I’m from the Elite and I’m here to help you

Victor Davis Hanson has an insightful op-ed column up. Yet the true nature of our loud divisiveness is rarely remarked upon. In the last three decades, there has been a steady evolution from liberal to moderately conservative politics among a majority of the voters, whether gauged by the recent spate of Republican presidents or Bill Clinton's calculated shift to the center. Now the House, Senate, presidency and the majority of state governorships and legislatures are in Republican hands. A Bush win will ensure a conservative Supreme Court for a generation. In contrast, the universities, the arts, the major influential media and Hollywood are predominately liberal -- and furious. They bring an enormous amount of capital, talent, education and cultural influence into the political fray -- but continue to lose real political power. The talented elite plays the same role to the rest of America as the Europeans do to the United States -- venting and seething because the supposedly less sophisticated, but far more powerful, average Joes don't embrace their visions of utopia. Elites from college professors and George Soros to Bruce Springsteen and Garrison Keillor believe that their underappreciated political insight is a natural byproduct of their own proven...


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Brace Yourself

Anyone for whom this is in any way a surprise really needs to reevaluate their skills of perception, assuming they have any. (via Hit & Run)


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Inconsistency

I’m certainly not the first to point this out, but those who are either elated or disgusted at the recent story regarding the disappearance of nearly 400 tons of munitions in Iraq ought to consider the following. 1. If they were there after the US troop presence or not, why are they a concern now? Iraq was not a danger, right? Not threat, right? There were no significant weapons, right? 2. If 400 tons of explosives were there before the invasion but not when US troops arrived on scene, as claimed by the embedded NBC reporter, then they must have been spirited away before we got there. If Iraq was able to accomplish that effectively, then is it not likely to assume that they did the same with far less weighty munitions, such as chemical and biological weapons and anything to do with a nuclear weapons program? In other words, bringing this story up completely undercuts any claim you can make that there were likely no WMDs on the basis that we have not found any. To restate my longstanding position for purposes of clarification, going into Iraq on the basis of WMDs was dumb. It was dumb then, and...


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Too Good to be True

I wonder if the 'Elect Kerry 2004' campaign staff at the NYTs asked themselves if the missing explosives story was just too good to be true before running with it. Apparently not.


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Black Like Me

Remember the groundbreaking John Howard Griffin book, published first in 1961 about a white guy who disguises himself as black and travels around the south—in 1959?!? Well not in the same league, and there was nothing in Griffin's experiences to laugh at, but Richard Rushfield has a hilarious article in Slate about pretending to be a campaign-paraphernalia garbed Kerry-Edwards supporter in Bush country, and conversely, a Bush-Cheney supporter in the blue regions. Read and laugh. (via Michael Totten)


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No Stupids

I read and I laugh. Listen, I'm perfectly happy if no one at all votes. As it is, nearly half of eligible voters don't vote, and I'm happy to see that number increase. But given that everyone who votes is implicitly going there in hopes of securing a majority (might makes right) to force me to do what they cannot otherwise persuade me to do (or pay for), then I certainly do hope that those who engage in this practice have some brains. It was the famous novelist Robert A. Heinlein who once suggested that voting booths be locked, and in order to gain access, a potential voter had to first solve a simple quadratic equation. Well, that would certainly be a far cry from the wringing of hands for "the disenfranchisement of minority voters." In Heinlein's world, the fact that you're able to get your dumb ass to a voting booth in the first place is merely assumed. (via John Venlet)


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Head in Sand

It must be realized that liberty without security is worthless. Philosopher Bill Vallicella in an interesting post that exposes how the left and left libertarians butcher the meaning of liberty by taking it completely out of context. And, contrary to Bush's declaration in debate #3, liberty is not a gift from the almighty. It's a value that's earned and guarded, often at great price. But it's no surprise. Most people on the left I've encountered throughout my whole life seem to have missed that earliest of parental lessons: "money doesn't grow on trees." Neither do any of our core values, including liberty or security. (via Burgess-Jackson)


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The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend

The great conflict of the 21st century may be between the West and terrorism. But terrorism is a tactic, not a belief. The underlying battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernist fanatics; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe blind allegiance to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is no more than preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe that truth is revealed solely through scripture and religious dogma, and those who rely primarily on science, reason, and logic. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But terrorism is not the only danger we face. Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Clinton. We do ourselves well to understand the underlying nature of this conflict. In its simplest form, it is a battle between faith and reason; between individualism and collectivism masked in religious dogma; between self-guidance and authoritarian rule from a pulpit. I cringe each and every time I hear Bush, Kerry, or anyone else invoke his God as authority and justification for the task at hand. It is the belief...


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Turning Points

It goes without saying that most of the significant turning points in history came about as a consequence of decisions made by men, not women. It's simply a fact. One may second-guess all they want about where we'd be in the meta-cosmic sense had men been generally less aggressive throughout history. My own speculation, for what it's worth, tells me that the innate aggressiveness in men, turned to good, is the only force capable of defeating the innate aggressiveness of men turned to bad. You’re welcome to disagree. Here's another take on it.


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I won’t be, either

[...] I also told him: if you happen to find a roach at night in your kitchen, that means there’s at least one roach in your house. But if you find one at high noon in your living-room you can be sure your house’s roach-infested. That’s one of the meanings of 9/11. That you cannot be safe in Darfur or Beirut, in the Phillipines or Indonesia, that’s a problem. But if you can be murdered by Islamic terrorists while you’re on the top floor of the WTC, then that’s not a problem anymore. That’s much bigger. The progressive idea was to turn, for instance, Beirut into NY. If that’s not being accomplished, this is bad enough. But when people start turning NY into Beirut, we’re definitely moving backwards. And fast. An attack that manages to ground all US and most of the world’s air traffic and close down the stock markets around the planet is something qualitatively different from a bomb in an Ulster pub. Human life is fragile, so is democracy, the world economy, globalization etc. The US can absorb U$ 1 trillion in damages. The rest of the world cannot. The US can survive a nuke in Manhattan....


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Even Stranger Bedfellows

Back in July I illustrated how the Dems, unwittingly in most cases, are in league with the commies. Now I find that they’ve taken up alliances with the world’s terrorists. Politics over just about anything.


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Omnipreposterous

Keith Burgess-Jackson: The thought that there is a disembodied person, much less a disembodied person who’s omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipresent, is omnipreposterous. Ha!


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Carnival of the Pacifists

The easiest thing in the world to be is a pacifist and apologist—apologizing for the “wrongs” committed by others. It makes you feel so faux-superior to others—so much faux-smarter and faux-wiser. Such is the mentality of the slave and heritage of the conquered. It will always be the minority of hawks and warriors who suffer the general adolescent caprice and cowardice of the generally stupid majority, and in their true sense of compassion, takes care of them nonetheless, struggling to understand why they bother. (Link via Billy Beck, who includes a stark juxtaposition involving the truly compassionate and the truly grateful.)


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Ever been to the top of a windy mountain?

As you’ll see in the video clips below, some of us have our own way of getting down—and in this case—getting down eventually. My wife’s niece, who recently graduated Stanford University with honors, had the opportunity to take her first tandem hang glider flight with an experienced instructor. Typically, these flights are only of a 5-10 minute duration launching at 2,000 ft. over the landing zone. Tandem hang gliders are built for strength and stability, not efficient glide or sink rate. What’s more, this particular flying site (Monument Peak, Ed Levin County Park, overlooking Milpitas, California) is not normally known for its soaring opportunities, which is why it’s a good student, beginner, and tandem site. So I had decided that rather than hump my wing onto the H2 and go through all the hassle for what would most certainly be a short flight, even on my super-performance ATOS, I was just going to assist with Jennifer getting her tandem flight, roll some video, etc. But I had neglected to check the weather carefully. I had called the “wind talker” in the morning—an automated anemometer that sits atop the peak—and verified that the wind was not coming out of the east,...


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I Command You to Walk!

I must admit that I didn't really take much stock in the Drudge headline (at least not enough to concern myself with the underlying article), which is the first place I saw reference to the event. But after reading Charles Krauthammer's contribution to the topic—wherein I only just now learned that he’s a medical doctor by training—I have to find myself in agreement. Of course, I know that all politicians will say almost anything to get elected. Still… (via Glenn Reynolds)


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Shadow War

I heard a radio interview this morning of Richard Miniter, author of a new book called Shadow War. During this morning's interview, he stated, "I am not a registered republican and I did not vote for George Bush." Some key excerpts from the book description, linked to above: Drawing on material he gathered from court records, government reports, and other authoritative documents, and during travels and interviews with top-level officials in Baghdad, Khartoum, Cairo, Manila, Hong Kong, Paris, London, and elsewhere -- as well as New York and Washington... This is a thrilling story of sleeper cells and patient plots, phone intercepts and covert operations, boldly triumphant captures and heartbreakingly close escapes. Miniter offers compelling evidence, much of it never seen before... Miniter also goes beyond the biases and distortions of the evening news to demonstrate that since September 11, 2001, al Qaeda has made many attempts to kill large numbers of Americans. So far, these attempts have failed -- because they have been thwarted. Far from failing to keep up with what radical Muslims are doing, intelligence officials, according to Miniter, are defeating a plot somewhere in the world every day. Miniter shows how the Bush Administration's aggressive execution...


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Kerry’s Best Move Yet

The republicans thought they had a whopper at news of Kerry's characterization of terrorism as a "nuisance," which is how it was generally reported, and spun. But here's the quote in context, and I think that if Kerry were to play it right, it could strike a cord: We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance. As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life. Now, my purpose in this post is not to quibble with all the bullshit premises implied in the above that all reduce, essentially, to the notion that government should determine what values you hold and how they'll be managed throughout your course of life. But I agree with the general theme regarding how terrorism should be viewed; and who wouldn't? Yes, life is short, and wasting it...


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Military Times

Well, with Iraq nothing but a disaster, as portrayed by the "elite" media, and Guard & Reserve duty nothing more than a "back-door draft," according to Mr. Kerry, you certainly, certainly wouldn't expect to see this sort of overwhelming support for Bush from all levels of the US military, active and reserve. (link via my brother, Mike)


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Vote Or Die!

During my morning blog-browse, I ran across some reference to “Vote Or Die!” t-shits being worn by bunches of the get-out-the-vote [for the democrats] entertainers. Presumably, the implication is that if you don’t vote, Bush wins, and you die. I wondered if any of the youngsters wearing these things ever stopped to critically examine this “logic” flow, but I digress. The simple bottom line is that whoever wins this election; things are going to proceed pretty much as they have been for quite some time. The government deficit is going to increase, the government is going to get larger as a percentage of your life; the government is going to increasingly determine what values you will be allowed to pursue, what you will pay for them, and when and to what extent you will give up your values for the sake of others who profess to need them. Anyway, I then went poking around for any articles on the “Vote Or Die!” apparel, and I stumbled onto an article called Vote and die, by Ilana Mercer. It opens: Rapper P. Diddy and actor Ben Affleck have something in common other than the asinine Jennifer Lopez. At Mr. Diddy's instigation, Affleck...


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