Thursday, November 11, 2004

"My Kingdom For a Viable Third Party" Dept.

This is a continuation of the thread started HERE. My interlocutor's words will be in dark green font and my previous words will be in blue. Any sources I reference will be in darkblue font.

Re: Your Serfdom for a Third Party



Ever since my ascendency to new life from the ashes of my reckless youth, PG is as racy as it gets for me.

Well, what is PG today was probably NC-17 about twenty years ago...

"Everyone has 20-20 hindsight on these things XXXXXXX."

I was under the impression that even with this hindsight you have made the same decision. If this is not the case, then I apologize for misunderstanding your position.

You did understand my position correctly though. (Well, the essence of it anyway.)

If it is, though, then let me be blunt with you in saying that plumping for a third party ala H. Ross Perot at anytime during recent history is a grave act of political foolishness that is waaaaaaaay beneath someone of your acumen.

Why is promoting third party alternatives in recent heestwa the problem rather than promoting the concept at more distant parts of our history???

"We have two parties which in a lot of key areas are wings of the same bird."

I wish this were actually true.

It is: two wings of the same bird of prey. They both promote (to name one example of several) that boondoggle called "free trade" which is a wonderful academic theory that does not work in reality. I challenged three teachers in my international political economy class in college to name for me these countries that built themselves into powerful and industrious nations using the free trade that two of the three were so avidly promoting. And every example they raised I was able to easily shoot down.{1} Despite their failure to cite supporting evidences for this theory,they still shilled for the idea though. Talk about a classic example of economic solipsism in a nutshell!!!

I extend to you the same challenge with this caveat: my teachers who were well schooled in international political economic theory could not do this so do not think that this will be an easy task for you to do. NAFTA and other so-called "free trade" agreements benefit one class of people only: multinational corporations who like to utilize cheap labour for their products. I think it is absurd that these ivory tower nimrods cannot recognize the concoction that is brewed by (i) the strangling tax code in this country coupled with (ii) high regulatory and enviromental restrictions in the US, (iii) no such restrictions to speak of in Mexico, (iv) the ease with which materials can be moved from country to country under this policy, and (v) the dirt cheap non-unionized labour force in places like Mexico which can be exploited. There should be super high tariffs on the products of companies in which the latter go to Mexico or other countries to produce them to ship those same products back to the US for sale. That would mitigate against this pattern but do not expect to see that logical policy implemented anytime soon.{2}

If you want to claim that what we are seeing needs to be refined in its approach, then you would be doing with so-called "free trade" what I am doing with the third party political concept. My opposition was not as much to NAFTA in theory (which sounds good I admit) as what I knew it would result in where the rubber meets the road: indeed I predicted what has come to pass before NAFTA was even implemented. History was my teacher here and those who shilled for NAFTA (including some of my college business and law professors) chose to ignore Santayana's dictum and not listen to what the instructor of history reveals.

Let me explain. Both parties should be wings of the same bird: the Eagle that is.

Agreed. But wouldas, couldas, and shouldas do not detract from the fact that they are not.

Both parties should be of united mind that the good of the country supercedes political ambition.

Agreed. The Democrats are absolute disgraces in this area as the past four years amply demonstrate. (The fifty odd years prior to that point notwithstanding.) However, the Republicans are not without their problems as well from those who want to be "me too Democrats" amongst their party leaders.

The Republicans, for all their flaws (and there are quite a few), do place the good of the country above their own political expediency.

For the most part this is true. But adherence to pseudo "free trade" philosophies and their unwillingness to be as tough on the borders as they should be (lest the Demoncats bring up the "race card" viz. Mexico) show that they are not above some degree of pimping for their big contributors.

The Democrats, OTOH, have allowed their lust for power take them to the depths of sedition and treason.

I have noted this before on not a few occasions.{3}

This by itself marks a HUGE chasm between the two parties.

I have not claimed that there was parity here between the parties - only that the Republicans are a lot like what the Democrats were twenty-five years ago. And I frankly do not like what the Democrats were like twenty-five years ago if you catch my drift.

"A third party at least allows for the possibility of ideas which are anathema to the two parties to be given a stage for possible assimilation by the populace."

No it doesn't. All it does is marginalize those ideas and the people trying to advance them. The history of the effects of the so-called third party movements in this country proves me right.

Oh really??? I doubt you can find many (if any) pioneering initiatives or policy strategies that started within any of the major party apparatii in the past hundred odd years. They always start on the periphery somewhere and work themselves into the fabric of the major parties at some point or another.

Besides, you cannot find in this country's history a third party approach such as what I am advocating: one that does not run candidates before they have a decent base in place to make a viable run. The various parties always waste valuable money and resources running when they are not ready and then getting steamrolled by the major parties. This prevents them from building any kind of base for long term viability. It is time that those who would like to see a viable third option learn from the errors of third parties' past on this important factor.

"The problem as I see it is third parties that run before they are ready to do so."

Which is ALL so-called third parties in this country, something very telling in and of itself.

Yes it is telling. That is why I am proposing alternative third party strategery here.

"Perot only got the vote he got the first time because he had a lot of money and did not need to raise funds."

Perot got the vote he did in 1992 because there were enough conservatives stupid enough to vote for him. His huge warchest and G.H. Dub's miscues (e.g. read my lips, no new taxes, just increases on the old ones), only helped nurse that stupidity along.

It was not only conservatives who voted for Perot - of his 19% vote about a third of that was disaffected self-styled "moderates" who did not like Clinton.

Why in the world would any intelligent voter cast his ballot for someone who, at the height of his popularity, drops out of the race and then reenters the race in the last two months or less?

If you recall, there was more to it than just what you note here. There is what someone does and why they do it: I remind you that Perot claimed (rightly or wrongly) to be putting his family first in what transpired at that time. I also remind you that there were dirty tricks in that campaign as one of the architects of them later admitted to. Assuming for a moment that Perot was duped here, would you think more of him to have run believing what he was being told or less??? Would you have acted in like manner if privy to the same evidences if you in conscience believed them to be genuine??? I believe you would as would I.

As I knew he was being set up back then, I was not about to bail on supporting the third party option as I have long seen it as necessary and the chance to establish a foundation for that in 1992 was as good as it had been in decades. Unfortunately, Perot screwed up in 1996 and I reluctantly voted for Bob Dole whom I liked as a senator but thought would be a poor executive.{4}

Now, I'm not one who subscribes to conspiracy theories, but the theory that Perot was a Democrat stooge all along is one that I cannot dismiss out of hand.

I entertained this idea briefly at the time but later dismissed it after I could find no way such a position would benefit Perot or his family personally -unless Perot figured Clinton would worsen the economy ala what Soros probably thought Kerry would do. It is true that he and Bush Sr. did not get along but that hardly adds up to a conspiracy with the Democrats.

"The second time, he [Perot] was too egotistical to step aside and let someone else run with his backing."

The problem with Perot was that his psychological machinery had more than a few stripped gears, if you know what I mean.

I see you have bought into the image that Rush Limbaugh sought to construct back in 1992. I remember some of the parodies he ran and though they were funny, it was becoming clear that Limbaugh was carrying the water for the GOP no matter what at that point. That is not necessarily a bad thing but frankly (in retrospect) Rush was starting to get too big for his britches about that time and I am not referring to his physical stature. Now he is one part of the alternative media rather than the alternative media which as I see it is a better situation.

Ditto for anyone else in that party. This gets to another issue: only childish ego-trippers run on third party tickets, another fact borne out by the history of "third parties" in America.

I see. The twentieth centuries' greatest president (Theodore Roosevelt) was a "childish ego tripper" now for running on principle against the betrayal of conservative principles that was his successor President William Taft in 1912 huh??? I could note others but this is as good an example as any.

"My point here is this: parties need to build momentum and continually wasting resources on running is why no viable party alternatives are coming up anywhere. The Libertarians have made this mistake for thirty odd years and other fracture parties who want to not do what the Libertarians have done would be well to learn from the latter's mistakes."

Could this not be that third parties in the American political system are inherently a waste of time and inherently divisive?

This depends on how they are conducted.

I will elaborate on this in a moment.


"You are making the mistake of seeing any more than two as necessarily implying that there would have to be more than three also."

But has not American experience with "third parties" borne this out?

You are claiming that more than one other party would take the time and patience to do what I am saying a viable third party needs to do. Frankly, I doubt this since most third parties are flash in the pan stuff: single issue oriented at best and they fade as soon as the particular part of the zeitgeist they have hitched themselves to fades. Again, the purpose of what I am suggesting is to avoid this occurring.

It is clear to me that neither of the major parties care a whit about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights properly understood. No matter who is president or which party controls congress, we continue to see huge unconstitutional federal expenditures and unconstitutional federal intrusion into areas which are reserved by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to the states or localities. I am sick and tired of "unconstitutional" and "unconstitutional lite" being our only political options. And I am not the only one who views things this way.

"But your logic goes askew if we ask why there even has to be two if we are worried about fractures politically and otherwise. Why not have one party so that what you are worried about is not a problem??? If being so fractured politically and therefore ineffective is your argument for not having more than two parties, then we need to ask why you do not take the option of having even less fracturing of the process than we already have. And to do that means you have to go for one party and not two. Because the moment you go for two, you logically raise the question by extension of "why limit it at two"???"

The American experience with the two party system vs. the third party again vindicates me here. I did say that two parties are better than one, but a half dozen aren't. I think the reason why that is so is rather self-evident.

Am I recommending a policy here that has reflections in the American experience with third parties??? No, I am not and surely you can agree with that much.

Another problem with third parties (assuming for the sake of argument that it will only be three) is that it is difficult, indeed impossible, to get an absolute majority on anything. And absolute majorities, for the most part, are essential to the survival and flourishing of any democratic republic {1}.

The Framers set up the system of checks and balances with three branches of government to make such things difficult for a reason: they knew that if it was too easy that the federal leviathan would grow unchecked. And the past eighty years plus has vindicated their worst fears in this regard unfortunately. I am proposing this third option along with other ideas like my rider reform proposal and am not rehashing old ideas or approaches by any stretch.

So, what you have with a tripartisan body politic, as opposed to a bipartisan, is a minority rule, albeit the largest minority, but a minority rule nonetheless.

We just had four years of minority rule if you want to be technical. Remember, Bush did not win the popular vote in 2000 much as there have been about four other presidents who were elected with less of the popular vote. The Framers put the Electoral College in place specifically to protect against the "tyranny of the masses" as well as consolidated small areas of the country being able to trample over the rest of the country by giving all states a vote proportionately in the process. This insures that all states of the confederacy are represented in the government and not just a handful of more highly populated ones. Likewise, the Framers set up a system of checks and balances that at times means that the minority can block the processes of the majority. I see nothing different in principle with any of this than I do with an additional political party in the mix that is electorially viable.

Anybody who has even the slightest understanding of the democratic political process understands all too well the attendent dangers of this. It is an open invitation to the fourth, fifth, sixth, and so on fracturing I already spoke of.

Frankly, I think the general trends of third parties in history would make such multiplication unlikely. Remember, I am proposing a party that takes time to build a coherent philosophy and grass roots influence before running candidates for office. This is a radical approach for third parties to take which is why there are not likely to be a lot of imitators should one utilize this method as I am suggesting.

The circumstances surrounding the rise of Nazi Germany is a drastic example the dangers of this further fracturing. {2}

This is an overly simplistic analysis my friend. There were a lot of ingredients that baked the cake of German socialism and over-fracturing was but one of them. Furthermore, we are set up constitutionally a lot better than Germany was (and is) so this is to some extent an apples and oranges example on your part.

The bipartisan system is a safeguard against both the totalitarianism of a one party rule {3} that you speak of and the tyranny of the minority I just outlined above.

I have already outlined how what I am proposing for a viable third party has its own safeguards built into it.

"Now I am aware that you could argue that at least with two parties (unlike with one party) there is some choice in the matter. However, that can be easily refuted by pointing to boondoggle proposals such as NAFTA: where is the party that gives us an option on so-called "free trade"??? Where is the party that gives us an option on whether or not we take the limits of the Constitution seriously??? Where is the party that gives us an option on protecting the borders as they need to be protected??? You cannot say the Republicans because they are weak on all three of these points and you cannot say the Democrats because they are even worse on them than the Republicans are."

And just how do you think the causes you outline above will ever be well-served by the "third party," pray tell?

Historically, third parties have been the starting point for policies that later on are adopted to some extent by the other two parties. A more stable structure to a viable third option could inject those ideas into the political mainstream a lot quicker than tends to be the case nowadays. We have two parties that do not take the Constitution seriously. We need a third party that does. At the very least they will serve to make the Republicans be honest and put some substance behind their paens to being faithful to the Constitution.

Given the fact that, due to the perpetual fracturing of the third party movement, which only enables the "establishment" to write them off as fruits and nuts, thus by going the third party route, you cut your head off despite your face.

I have already dealt with these points and your continuing representation of my view as endorsing a methodology of perpetual fracturing{5} is missing the target. For one thing, the fact that such a party would not run until it had a decent base to be viable is a factor you fail to consider. It would probably be twenty years or so before this party would field a presidential candidate and it would have to start at the localities and build from the ground up. Find for me many third parties that have done this if you can. Until then, your argument is not interacting with the substance of what I am proposing.

Being the student of the Reagan Revolution that you are, I am surprised that you would even entertain this line of reasoning.

I am a student of Ronald Reagan and his political career as much as I am of the Reagan Revolution. Remember, Reagan claimed that he did not leave the Democratic Party but they left him. I am making the same claim about the Republicans: they continue to mouth Reagan's name but govern in ways that are anathema to his overall weltanschauung. Any student of his policies as I am{6} cannot be comfortable about this if they are true to their political principles.

Nothing could more anathema to Ronald "Eleventh Commandment Thou Shall Not Speak Ill of Another Republican" Reagan than chasing the third party pipe dream.

I do not make distinctions between one part of Reagan's philosophy and another XXXXXXX. Instead, I take into account the entire picture and just as the Democratic Party left Reagan in the 1950's and early 1960's, the Republican Party has left behind the principles of Ronald Reagan the man and the president since 1988. The so-called 1994 revolution was a joke because they did almost nothing they promised to do: unlike Reagan who kept most of his promises.

They could not even close down a single federal department!!! That is ridiculous since so much of the federal leviathan as Reagan recognized was patently unconstitutional. They had the control of the congress and thus the legislative ability to make changes uncluding (if necessary) changing the rules of procedure to make it harder for the Democrats to resist. But they did not. Care to go over the "Contract With America" with me point by point and see how much they actually enacted??? That alone makes my case since if anything the contract was a drop in the bucket of what needed (and needs) to be done to combat the unconstitutional federal behemoth.

The Reagan Revolution was not about leaving the Republican Party because he was disenchanted with the country club establishment, it was about sticking around rescuing the party from the country club and dragging them along holding their noses.

I remind you that Reagan did not stay a Democrat. He changed parties because the Democrats left him and the traditional principles that their party had espoused. Well, today the Republicans have followed suit and the Democrats are as hopeless as ever. If we are to be true to Reagan's principles, we need to recognize that (i) he was consistent with his principles his entire life with few exceptions and (ii) his leaving the Democratic Party was because of fidelity to his principles and finding them in some respect in the Republican Party. Furthermore, as (iii) the Republicans have left the conservative principles of Reagan and Goldwater, therefore (iv) consistency would lead us to consider finding another party which is faithful to those principles or creating one.

Further, the underpinnings of NAFTA find their origins not in Clinton nor G.H. Dub, but Ronaldus Magnus himself. Reagan biographer Lou Cannon points out:

"Reagan himself had no fear of the global future. He was an internationalist throughout his adult life and a free-trader who began his 1980 campaign with a call for a 'North American accord' among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. As president, Reagan sought and eventually (in 1988) achieved a Canada-U.S. Free Trade agreement. He took the next the logical step toward a North American common market by approving a "framework agreement" with Mexico that was the predecessor of the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiated by successors." (Ronald Reagan: A Presidential Portfolio pg 132 Public Affiars New York 2001)

Well, discerning with clarity what Reagan said and what he actually did in this area are not as conclusive as Lou Cannon would lead you to believe.

"One could argue that involvement in the process -even if you were involved on the wrong side of issues- is better than no involvement at all. That is my position anyway: that it is better to be in motion (even if in the wrong direction) than to be motionless."

Yes, one could. I acknowledged that is a valid argument by saying that I do regret not voting. By the same token , I am now of the belief that it is better for uninformed individuals to not vote than voting. The right to vote carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner. This is impossible when one is not properly imformed.

I have been rethinking for quite a while the subject of voting and who should vote. I doubt we have any serious disagreements on this subject.{7} The founders would turn in their graves at the idea that voting is a right in this country separate from a coordinative responsibility to the common good.

"As was I [proud to vote in the Republicans in 1994]. However, since that time, the Republicans have lost my confidence, not gained it. Two years after the 1994 midterms, I divested myself of the Republican moniker and have remained an Independent voter. There are too many issues which are important and which the Republicans and Democrats have no difference whatsoever on. That is the reason why I believe there needs to be viable alternate parties; however those parties if they are to be more than a flash in the pan need to build a structure for competing locally (then nationally) before they field actual candidates. Otherwise, it will be Libertarianism redux and that would be another waste of people's time and resources."

Certain events susequent to the 1994 elections were discouraging to say the least. I will give that much to you.


The first of which was the Clinton sandbagging of the Republican congress in the budget battle of 1995. Mr. Newt blinked, what can I say?

How about (i) he was a better strategist than actual leader??? Or (ii) he had bold ideas but no idea of how to put them into place??? Either of those (or both) will suffice I believe.

But the 1994 elction turned out to do something much greater that outweighed the major setback brought about by the budget battle of 1995, which, in turn, led to the fall of the House of Newt. And that something is that 1994 elections, of which Gingrich was the main architect of, nationalized congressional and senatoral race which have hitherto been local. And Newt understood that the Dems couldn't win nationally. This has been Zell Miller's battle cry of the last couple of years (and also the title of his book) that the democrats are "A National Party No More." This fact was borne out in spades back in 2002 and on Tuesday when the GOP laid a major arse kicking on the democrats. Hence, we owe Mr. Newt a debt of gratitude for Tuesday's victory.

Again, Mr. Newt was an excellent strategist but a poor leader. I agree with you that nationalizing elections has helped the Republicans the past ten years. But they are not governing like people true to Reagan's principles.

Remember, Reagan's economic policies doubled the income to the treasury and -if spending by the Democrats in congress had been kept in check as they promised to do- there would have been surpluses in the last three years of Reagan's term and throughout Bush's term and beyond. But of course that was not to be. With Republicans in congress and as President, the same obstacles that beset Reagan getting all of what he wanted are not there: the Republicans can cut the federal government in size and in spending but they are not doing this. And I am not about to buy the "well we are at war" excuse because military spending is a fraction of the budget and a small part of GDP. They can do it and they are not. That is the bottom line really.

Remember, it was conservative values and conservative candidates for the most part that won out on Tuesday, not those of the country club. It was by and large a grass roots effort. So, your above statement again begs the question, would it not be better putting and keeping the grass roots conservative pressure on the GOP party leadership be a more "viable alternative" than dithering around with this "third party" option?

Republicans love to campaign as conservative fiscally responsible sorts and then govern as fiscally irresponsible quasi-liberals. Why should I believe them this time when in four years of complete control of the government they have not shrunk a single department of the federal monster or cut any federal spending to speak of???

Tuesday's election was the greatest conservative victory at least since 1980 and, make no mistake, Bush understands that.

I wish I was that optimistic but as I noted in a pre-election weblog post I am not.

If you happen to hear his press conference Thursday, it is clear that he intends to pursue a more conservative agenda for his second term than he did in his first. He said things like, "I have earned political capital and I intend to spend it." And "I've grown wise to the ways of Washington." Translation: No more movie nights at the White House with Tequila Teddy [Kennedy]. He's not going have a hand in writing anymore Education Bills. The agenda of the next four years is going to be far more conservative. He has a clear mandate to pursue such an agenda, something he didn't have in 2000, given the closeness and contention surrounding the election and other subsequent events like Jumpin Jim Jeffords tilting control of the Senate to the Dems. In this way, it's going to resemble Reagan with one inversion: Reagan's first term was more effective than the second due to the latter getting bogged down in Iran Contra etc. whereas with Bush, it's going to be the other way around.

Two pieces of evidence against this outlook thus far are as follows:

1) His proposed nominee to replace resigning Attorney General John Ashcroft is a liberal stooge.

2) His reopening of that monumentally stupid amnesty idea over which I have publicly kvetched in the past.

Thus far, he is not following your script my friend: so much for the vaunted "political capital."

Granted, there will be disappointments.

The understatement of the decade...

He possibly, if not probably, will not pursue the immigration issue as agressively as we would like. But even here, I think there may be some pleasant surprises. He did hint, somewhat covertly, during his interview with Bill O' Reilly, that the border issue is a crucial one that needs to be pursued more agressively.

He was campaigning and I take a campaigners promises with a lot of grains of salt no matter whom they are.

Remember, he doesn't have to run for reelection anymore, so there is no need (perceived or otherwise) to pander to the Hispanic vote. Notice that his non-amnesty amnesty program was put to bed rather quickly. My guess, and even PJB agrees with this, is that they proposed that as a means public posturing to the Hispanic community and that he never really intended to push it. He would secretly let conservatives in Congress shoot it down.

Let us hope you are right on this one. Nonetheless, my criticism of this from earlier in the year stands: the same idea of amnesty to illegal aliens that Bush proposes that many of his supporters are mute as Hellen Keller about would be criticized and ripped to shreds by them if Clinton or any other Democrat president proposed them. Anyone who claims otherwise is only deluding themselves.

When have I ever defended Bush's policy viz. illegal immigration? In the interests of consistency, you have to bag even harder on the beloved Ronald Reagan on that issue. Remember, it was Ronaldus Magnus who granted full unadulterated amnesty to illegals in 1986.

I have noted this as one of Reagan's bad policies before. However, one is supposed to learn from bad policies, not reiterate them. That is why even though I am no FDR fan that I am nonetheless a lot harder on Lyndon Johnson than I am on FDR for the same kind of social manipulation: LBJ's great society was the new deal part II. And as is usually the case, the sequel of a bad movie is usually even worse than the original.

But whether or not Bush has a lousy policy regarding illegal immigration or whether or not he would be indistinguishable from Kerry there is NOT the issue here.

Yes it is. The reason: it is yet another area where the voter has no other options. Republicans are not supposed to be "me too Democrats." Furthermore, running on a platform of protecting national security during the war on terror and on an improving economy (the two issues which most influenced Bush's re-election I might add) and then (i) compromising our national security by not taking the border threat seriously and (ii) compromising the future of this economy and the credibility of the United States by rewarding illegal aliens with US jobs and facilitating the understanding that if you come here illegally you can be rewarded if you stick it out for a long enough period of time. I am sorry my friend but this is *NOT* acceptable.

The issue is (and I'm gonna hold you to this) is that whether or not going the third party route would serve the cause of securing our borders better than staying in the Republican party and supporting the Tom Tancredo wing of the GOP. I think the answer is obvious.

I disagree. Short-term it is obvious that we have to do what you recommend. But my third party idea needs to be considered for the long term if we are to give voice to ideals that the Republicans (as a rule) pay lip service to every election and then patently ignore except in token gestures.


{1} Which did not make them look good in front of the class I might add: fortunately my grades were high enough to take a bit of a hit for that one.

{2} I should note here that I believe businesses should not pay any taxes at all by the way: as those costs are always passed onto the consumer.

{3} See these links for details:

"JunkYard BLOG" Dept. (A Rerum Novarum twenty part weblog post circa October 5, 2004)

"Carthago Delenda Est" — What about Now? (A Rerum Novarum guest editorial by Charles M. de Nunzio circa September 28, 2004)

On the Mainstream Media and Liberal Inbreeding (A Rerum Novarum weblog dialogue circa September 16, 2004)

A September 11th Confutation of Extremist Liberal Canards Viz. the War on Terror (A Rerum Novarum weblog fisking circa September 11, 2004)

On the War, Moral and Constitutional Principles, "Supporting the Troops", Etc. (A Rerum Novarum weblog dialogue circa August 20, 2004)

Notification on Some Upcoming Weblog Post Subject Matter (A Rerum Novarum miscellaneous thread circa June 27, 2004)

Briefly on the Iraqi Prison Scandal (A Rerum Novarum weblog dialogue circa May 15, 2004)

"Vere's Viewpoint" Dept. (A Rerum Novarum weblog dialogue circa February 16, 2004)

Briefly on President Bush's "Thanksgiving in Iraq" Trip (A Rerum Novarum media fisking circa November 28, 2003)

"JunkYard BLOG" Dept. (A Rerum Novarum twelve part weblog post circa October 21, 2003)

War Musings on Possible Media Sedition (A Rerum Novarum weblog entry circa March 29, 2003)

{4} Frankly, it was the addition of Jack Kemp as vice president which sealed it for me. I liked Kemp back in 1988 but he was unable to convince enough people that he was Reagan's true heir rather than Bush Sr. I would have preferred a Kemp/Dole ticket but in the words of that great western philosopher Mick Jagger: "you can't always get what you want."

{5} Which if anything what I am proposing would mitigage against this historical pattern.

{6} To reiterate something I have said before, I proposed and defended the theory of supply side economics in college before a very liberal teacher and overly liberal class of students. When I was done, I had brought the teacher and most of the class to see the logic in this economic theory -in large part because I never once mentioned Reagan's name in the process until the very end. (Where I essentially said after there had been enough "that makes sense" sentiment from the teacher and classmates "that is so-called 'Reagonomics' in a nutshell.")

{7} I for one am irritated that my well-informed vote is of equal weight with some ignorant schlep who registered to vote six months before the election for "free weed" or some other inanity. If everyone gets to vote then we need a scale for making some votes of higher value than others.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

"Orwellian Doublespeak" Dept.

It is emails such as the one you are about to read that I find disturbing. It is not that the person disagrees with me of course that is the reason why. Rather, it is the manner whereby they disagree and the probable foundations of their operative points of view that is what is so problematical.

To put it bluntly: it is almost impossible to get through to someone who is infected with the malacy of solipsism. I will endeavour in this post to do this but must warn the readers in advance that the truth and actual facts are not effective weapons here. Instead, it will depend more on the good will (or lack thereof) of the person in question. Future emails will be what will clarify this issue one way or the other but let us get to the response now. My words will be in regular font and my sources in darkblue.

interesting site. I will be around to remind you of the failed policies and dictatorship of the current administration.

These are predictable leftist red herrings. One can have agreements or disagreements with a politician without immediately presuming that they are dictators. The irony is, the closest thing to a dictator that this country has seen in recent decades was President Bill Clinton and his Justice Department. But you probably laud Clinton and therefore ignore the many evidences of despotic activity in his administration: easily among the most corrupt in US history if not the most corrupt. Any student of history can well verify this if they try to approach these matters with a reasonable degree of objectivity.

Megalomaniacs usually self-destruct.

This is true. And that is precisely what the liberal elite and their toadies have been doing for years -particularly since the rise of alternative media sources.

I hope it happens before the dictatorship destroys our Constitution, Bill of Rights.

The Constitution has been under assault for years -particularly since Brown vs. Board of Education. Since that time, what was once the exception has become the rule: justices inventing law rather than interpreting it. This has undermined our Constitution and Bill of Rights significantly; however you probably will not acknowledge this so I will not say anything more about it here.

For your perusal, please read Pope Leo XIII's "Rerum Noravum" and Pope Pius XII's "Quardragesiomo Anno".

I have already read them. Why would you presume otherwise???

There are important messages for our right wing beliefs--it expands the currently narrow definition of Christianity.

This is a non-sequitur statement. Nonetheless, as you brought up these encyclicals, I have long argued that the economic policies of the late President Reagan can be shown to have a solid foundation in those encyclicals -particularly the one of Pius XI which was published in Reagan's youth.

Educate the electorate to the facts, expand their knowledge base, open their hearts.

I have been doing this. Find for me a single commentator in the blosophere who has been discussing core issues such as Bastiat's fundamental rights of man as I have been doing. Find for me another commentator who has sought to frame all the major issues of the day in this internally consistent paradigm of thought as I have done.{1} I doubt you will find anyone else doing it so please do not accuse me of not working to expand knowledge for the benefit of others.

As far as opening hearts, I am a very understanding person. I will not however negotiate the very small core of values which make up my weltanschauung simply for the sake of "getting along." Unlike a lot of people, I see the world of issues as being 80-90% negotiable to at least some degree (for the sake of not creating divisions) and am very willing to go a lot further on compromise than is common for those who would be called "pundits" of any viewpoint.

As far as "educating the electorate to the facts", again I have been doing this. It takes a lot of discretion to filter out truth from falsehood in the media outlets and I do a pretty good job of it: certainly far above the average that is for sure. That is not to say that I am beyond improvement of course; however I work at this unlike many commentators.

We need to remind folks that Pres. Bush has failed the Iraqi people--Saddam is gone, good.

He has no more failed the Iraqi people than Presidents Roosevelt and Truman failed the German people after WW II. If you knew your history and could see the obvious parallels, you would not make statements such as these.

Mercenaries will have to replace all the humanitarian groups who no longer find safety to do their work.

I see. Humanitarian groups are what is important, not Saddam Hussein's terrorism and mass executions of his own people!!! Again, if you know your history, you would be aware that Germany took about five years after the end of WW II and the defeat of the Nazis to settle down. From 1945 to about 1950, you had renegade Nazis who were causing the same kind of havoc that the so-called "insurgents" in Iraq are doing. Again, there is a strong parallel between postwar Germany and Iraq -including the latter being liberated less than two years ago.

Bush has failed. Iraq is not safe.

Then Truman failed because Germany was not safe after 1945. Nor was Japan for that matter - not initially anyway.

100,000 civilians have been murdered.

How many were murdered by Saddam Hussein??? Lowball figures put the number at a million or more. A lot of civilians were murdered in Germany after 1945 but again compared the the deposed regime, the figure was paltry.

Over a thousand of our dear troops have been murdered--Great Britain, our strongest ally, has lost just about 100.

You apparently do not know what "murder" means so I will help you out here. Murder is defined by the online hyperdictionary in three ways:

[n] unlawful premeditated killing of a human being

The ceasefire of 1991 was contingent upon Saddam Hussein's compliance with certain UN Resolutions. I explain all of this in detail HERE. For the reasons I outlined there, the war in Iraq was lawful and thus deaths occurring during its prosecution do not qualify as murder.

[v] alter so as to make unrecognizable; "the tourists murdered the French language"

The above definition obviously does not apply.

[v] kill intentionally and with premeditation; "the mafia boss ordered his enemies murdered"

To prove the application of the above definition, you would have to show that the troops killed each person intentionally and with premeditation. If you think much "premeditation" goes on during war conflicts, then you have a very strange notion of reality. And it should not bear noting that during a lawful conflict, someone who kills in self-defense (as indeed often happens in battle) cannot be properly classified as murder. This definition relies on sustaining the lawfulness of the situation as per the first definition: a point I have already dealt with in a previously mentioned weblog link from almost two years ago.

US is paying the bill for this war

This differs from any other war exactly how??? Do you have any idea how much European nations borrowed from the United States after both world wars??? We have financed every war and military action that we have been involved in as a free nation. We also pay much of the bill for the UN in case you did not know this.

and the debt climbs by millions daily.

The debt climbs much higher with the deluge of unconstitutional social spending of the federal government; however I have a hunch that does not bother you too much. In the words of Animal Farm "all debts are bad but some debts are less bad than others."

Bush has a failed Iraq policy.

See my previous comments viz. Nazi Germany.

He lied to get us in there---he thought his cronies could get a hold of the oil.

As the second part of your statement above relies on the first part to be sustained, I will address the first part of your statement: the part about Bush "lied to get us in [Iraq]". The claim that Bush "lied to get us in [Iraq]", requires by logical extention a whole host of presuppositions that I doubt you or many who view these things as you do are willing to make. To start with, as the entire world intelligence community believed Hussein had WMD's and/or was developing them,{2} to claim that these same beliefs as espoused by Bush were "lies" is to betray an unfamiliarity with what "lying" actually is.

Lying involves giving false information and knowingly doing this. If you claim Bush lied, you have to claim that (i) former President Clinton lied in 1998, (ii) former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger lied in 1998, (iii) current Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lied in 1998, and (iv) former Secretary of State Madeline Albright lied in 1998 and 1999. You would also have to claim that (v) Senators Jay Rockefeller, Bob Graham, Robert Byrd, and Carl Levin all lied in 2002.

Not only that, but you would also have to claim that (vi) Senators Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, and Tom Daschle among others lied to President Clinton in 1998 about Hussein's WMD program, (vii) Senator Ted Kennedy lied to Congress about WMD's in 2002, and (viii) Senator John Kerry lied to Congress about WMD's in 2002. That would also put you on the hook (if you are at all consistent in your views) to affirm that (ix) Senator Clinton lied about WMD's in 2002, (x) Senator Kerry lied about Hussein's threat and capabilities in 2003, (xi) Russian intelligence lied about WMD's, (xii) British intelligence lied about WMD's, (xiii) French intelligence lied about WMD's, and (xiv) UN intelligence lied about WMD's.

If you are willing to affirm that all of these parties lied about Hussein's WMD's,{3} the nature of his regime as a threat, and his capabilities to manufacture WMD's, then you can claim that Bush lied. However, if you are unwilling to affirm all of what I noted above, your stance on President Bush is internally contradictory and arbitrary and no one interested in the truth needs to take you seriously.

And now they are building US military bases in Iraq.

That is par for the course in stabilizing a nation. The US has various military installations in a number of countries -some estimate the figure as high as 800 or more.

I think he plans on creating a dictatorship over there as well.

I see, so we have our own "dictatorships" in Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and other countries simply because we have military bases there??? Interesting outlook to say the least: Iraqis are going to have the right to elect their own leaders for the first time ever and you think this is a ruse to allow Bush to be dictator in Iraq.

Bush is incapable of securing help from the Arab and Muslim world.

Are you saying that there are no allies in the war on terror from among the Muslim nations??? If you then you are propagating mistruths of your own and (if intentionally so) you are lying. Saudia Arabia is an ally albeit reluctantly so. Qatar is also an ally of ours as is Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Pakistan. I guess they are not Muslim nations then according to you ;-)

He is really a divider and our young men and women are dying for the wealth of a few--they make it sound like the mission is humanitarian, but he failed as more are murdered every day.

I already dealt with most of these misconceptions above. If you cannot even properly define your terms (such as "murder"), the possibility of having a discussion with you that is potentially productive is miniscule at best.

I am glad Bush got in because this war is his to clean up and the debt is on the backs of my, your kids.

And no other politicians have ever run a debt up in America I suppose. The truth is, the debt could be paid off in less than five years but people like you do not want to do that because it would mean returning the federal government to its constitutional boundaries. In that scenario, all of your social spending sacred cows would be slaughtered and the next generation would not have to be stuck with the bill. But I doubt you really want to see this happen so we know what to think of your "concerns" here.

He is incapbable of rational thought,

Your email does not show much promise in that department; ergo you have no room for viable criticism.

seeking counsel outside of the neo-cons and chicken hawks who never even fought on the front lines.

Of course I do not recall you lefties holding Clinton to the same standard that you are trying to hold Bush to now. At least Bush actually served his country in the Air National Guard. If he was looking to dodge serving, there are any number of desk jobs he could have been assigned which would have been safe and risk-free. However, he chose to fly fighter jets which is a pretty risky task as anyone familiar with flying aircraft can tell you. But of course that will probably go in one ear and out the other with you too so I will not hold my breath that the lightbulb over your head will be igniting any time soon.

Our innocent kids are shedding their blood, ruining their minds/bodies for the greed/power of a few.

More mere assertions without evidence. What about the welfare of the people of Afghanistan and Iraq: millions of people who were freed from the tyranny of Al Queda and Saddam Hussein respectively. While not the primary reason we went over there, this is a very important (and often overlooked) secondary effect.

Bush was a snot nosed drunk while he supposedly served in the Air Force National Guard. And no one can find his official records!

The bulk of Bush's records were released. Unlike Senator Kerry, he signed the releases for his records (military, tax, etc) to be viewed by the public under the Freedom of Information Act. As far as the first part of your statement, for someone who wants to "open hearts" you should start with your own and set aside your obvious irrational hatred of Bush.{4}

I am glad Bush didn't serve in Viet Nam as he isn't worthy of that kind of service. He doesn't have the guts.

I know, only gutless cowards fly fighter jets in the Air National Guard rather than fleeing for Canada or dodging the draft by trying to get into Oxford. Again, the refrain in 1992 was that Clinton's lack of a military record was not important. Why then do you think Bush's record is so important??? Where is the consistency in your attempts at "logic"??? Answer: you have none.

And the way he treats the armed service in Iraq is disgusting--inadequate equipment indeed!!!!

American soldiers during WW II fought against the German Panzer tanks with Shermans: a profoundly inferior piece of equipment. Likewise, our troops in the field were using WWI machine guns: also inferior equipment. The truth about warfare is that you fight with what you have. And besides, if you were really so concerned about equipment being adequate, you would not have likely voted for a man who allowed the military to deteriorate. I refer here to Bill Clinton who was almost as bad for the US military as Jimmy Carter was before him.

And their families suffer here back home.

Families always suffer in wartime.

He is just spewing words and not action when it comes to the treatment of our beloved troops. He is a sham in search of power/greed.

Boy, the bile continues to come forth from your keyboard. Do you bother to substantiate any of these assertions??? Of course not, your word is enough substantiation as far as you are concerned. Based on what we have gone over thus far, the readers can see that your word is not good enough on establishing the truth or falsehood of any statement you make.

If we thought Viet Nam was hard to live down, it will take generations to come to grips with the lies and deception and the bullying of Iraq and the world in this war. My generation will not have to face the future he has created, but you, your kids, grandkids will live with the consequences of this administration for generations.

See my previous comments.

The Iraq was was not a just war.

This is debatable. But again, I do not see you building a case for your statement at all. So why should anyone take you seriously simply because you say something???

I have lost relatives in every war our country has ever fought.

Which of course makes you an expert in these subjects I suppose.

They would turn over in their graves about the crap this supposed "commander in chief" has gotten their young men and women involved in.

Were you saying the same things about Somalia and our military interventions there??? Or were you quiet as a whore in church on that one because Clinton and company were in charge??? Compared to Somalia, Iraq was a perfect military operation. And in light of the mixed bag the latter has thus far been, the silence of people like you on Somalia tells us all we need to know about your true views. In summary form they are "wars by Democrat presidents: good, wars by Republican presidents: bad."

Thanks for your site.

You are welcome I suppose.

I found it interesting, very snotty and demeaning, but I expect that from your ilk as you ride the gravy train,

Again, talk is cheap. I doubt much of anything I have written is as snotty and demeaning as this email from you -but why do I sense that you will not see the reality of your own words and their tonality??? See my comments on solipsism from earlier in this note for the answer to that question.

But you will be crying "uncle" before Bush gets done with you. You will bow down to him. :-)

Better to bow before Bush than kneel before Clinton (just ask Monica).

don't tell my husband I wrote you!

As long as he does not read this site, your secret is safe with me and my readers. I even left your name out of this response so it will be our little secret XXXX ;-)


{1} To see a few examples of what was done in this realm up to about October 2003, see this link. The archives of this weblog since that time contain even more threads on this process -most recently this one on revisiting the three fundamental rights of man prior to the election.

{2} And of course, there are theories that account for why so many people (not just Bush) would appear to be wrong on this matter. Among the more viable ones is this one.

{3} Not to mention other Democratic stalwarts such as Senator Al Gore in 2002.

{4} I am not the only one who has written on this phenomenon -indeed many others have. I include one sample of this HERE for your perusal.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, November 08, 2004

"Joke and Dagger" Dept.
(With apologies to MAD Magazine)

As my day just went from not-so-good to great about ten minutes ago, it seems appropriate to post one of the jokes sent to me by email earlier today by one of my collegues.

Hello, is this the FBI???"
Yes. What can I do for you?"
"I'm calling to report about my neighbor Virgil Smith.
He is hiding marijuana inside his firewood!!!"

"Thank you very much for the call, sir."

The next day, the FBI agents descend on Virgil's house.
They search the shed where the firewood is kept.
Using axes, they bust open every piece of wood, but find no
They sneer at Virgil and leave.

The phone rings at Virgil's house. "Hey, Virgil
This here is Floyd. Did the FBI come???"

"Did they chop your firewood???"

"Happy Birthday, buddy!!!"

Who says Rednecks are not bright???