November 17, 2009

POLITE SOCIETY

Related to the granting the premise idea, here's Roger Kimball on Lou Dobbs and what the media deems acceptable:

The English critic William Hazlitt once spoke disparagingly of "common place critics" who pretend to put themselves "in the middle, between the extremes of right and wrong." Something similar could be said of the rancid, illiberal liberalism of commentators like Krugman and Burns. They look upon their own opinions less as opinions than as universally applicable observations that reflect the state of nature. Their opinions are just what any enlightened, virtuous member of "polite" society believes. Only those who disagree with them have "fractious," line-crossing opinions unacceptable to such polite company as represented by Krugman, The New York Times and Media Matters. Here's what's really at stake in the controversy of Dobbs and CNN. It's not only Dobbs who's been rusticated: It's also the robust liberalism that thrived on disagreement, argument and polemic.

Read the whole thing.

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November 15, 2009

TRUTHS OF A DIFFERENT HUMAN ORDER

I am closing in on the end of my 2009 Reading Challenge. Unfortunately, all I want to do is read Atlas Shrugged again, but I ain't tackling a 1200 page book when I'm up against Karl Rove. So I was happy to pick up For the New Intellectual, a gift from Amritas. I have long wished I had access to a searchable Atlas, but this has the next best thing: excerpts of some of the best monologues from the book. I read them on the plane and got all embiggened yesterday.

And also nervous:

And, paving the way for Attila, the intellectuals are still repeating, not by conviction any longer, but by rote, that the growth of government power is not an abridgment of freedom -- that the demand of one group for an unearned share of another group's income is not socialism -- that the destruction of property rights will not affect any other rights -- that man's mind, intelligence, creative ability are a "national resource" (like mines, forests, waterfalls, buffalo reserves, and national parks) to be taken over, subsidized, and disposed of by the government -- that businessmen are selfish autocrats because they are struggling to preserve freedom,while the "liberals" are the true champions of liberty because they are fighting for more government controls -- that the fact that we are sliding down a road that has destroyed every other country, does not prove that it will destroy ours -- that dictatorship is not dictatorship if nobody calls it by that abstract name – and that none of us can help it, anyway.

Quite nervous:

Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion--when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing--when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors--when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you--when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice--you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that is does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.

Reading Rand always reminds me of this Daniel Quinn quote: "We know that the pious don't go to church every Sunday because they've forgotten that Jesus loves them but rather because they've not forgotten that Jesus loves them.  They want to hear it again and again and again and again. [...] there are truths, of a different human order, that must be enunciated again and again and again -- in the same words and in different words: again and again and again."

I like to be reminded that someone like Rand lived, and wrote, and thought.

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November 04, 2009

SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY

This is fantastic: Daily Kos sounds just like Glenn Beck.

Tonight proved conclusively that we're not going to turn out just because you have a (D) next to your name, or because Obama tells us to. We'll turn out if we feel it's worth our time and effort to vote, and we'll work hard to make sure others turn out if you inspire us with bold and decisive action.

The choice is yours. Give us a reason to vote for you, or we sit home.

Read the whole thing.  I promise I am not being snarky.  I think this is great.  I want both parties to say what they mean and mean what they say.  I hate how everyone runs as a moderate and tries to tweak their message so it doesn't offend anyone.  Or conversely, when they pretend to have principles and then get in office and abandon all their promises.  I want both parties to stand for different principles and then voters can decide which one they align with, not this election trickery where they all try to out-center each other.

I am 100% certain that I don't agree with Markos on any of the issues that he brings up: "health care, financial services, energy policy and immigration reform."  But he wants a candidate who represents his views and doesn't just pretend to represent them in order to get elected.  I completely agree with this.

Wouldn't it be nice if both parties stopped hiding who they really are and started standing for principles?

Imagine if we really had two distinct choices on election day...

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November 01, 2009

"HER INNER VOICE BECAME HER OUTER VOICE"

I actually found myself cheering Hillary Clinton on...

"Her inner voice became her outer voice," Martha Raddatz, a veteran NBC correspondent said on the network, explaining that while many in the administration believed what she said to be true (that Pakistan is coddling terrorists), it was rare for America's top diplomat to say it publicly. Officials in Washington were trying to keep a straight face, but there were a few gasps, she added.

Clinton's blunt remarks came during a pow-wow with half-dozen combative senior Pakistani journalists who harried her about US policy in the region.

"Al-Qaida has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002," she finally asserted when challenged about Washington’s tough prescriptions for Islamabad. "I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn't get them if they really wanted to."

After having publicly doubted the bona fides of her hosts, she added, as an afterthought: "Maybe that's the case; maybe they're not gettable...I don't know. As far as we know, they are in Pakistan." At one point during the exchanges, when a journalist spoke about all the services rendered by Pakistan for the US, Mrs Clinton snapped, "We have also given you billions."

It's about time somebody told it like it is.

But I also giggled at Mark Steyn's take:

Good thing those arrogant swaggering Texas cowboys aren't blundering around the world screwing up America's global relationships anymore.

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