Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day thoughts

I've seen and heard ,repeatedly, the statement that the military protects our freedoms. That's a popular saying, but it's not really true. I'm not a pacifist by any means--I fully accept we need a strong military. But what the armed forces do (sometimes) is protect our physical safety, not our freedoms. The Taliban, as horrible as they are, are not going to conquer America and make our women wear headscarves. Even the most passionate advocate of the Iraq war in 2003 didn't argue that Saddam was a threat to the 2nd Amendment.

In fact, most wars lead to a drastic reduction of freedom. To list just a few examples:

1. Lincoln arrested thousands of anti-war Northerners and shut down hundreds of papers during the Civil War.

2.During World War I (please read Walter Karp's The Politics of War for a great analysis) numerous measures were passed by the government restricting freedoms, such as the Espionage Act.

3.FDR had his Japanese relocation scandal during World War

4.The aftermath of Korea led to the rise of witchhunts against "subversives" who perhaps wanted the Communists to win the war.

Friday, May 28, 2010

What Russell Kirk would say today

The rantings of the Tea Party crowd (to take one of many potential examples, a woman on a facebook page compared Obama to Hitler) makes me long for some common sense on the right. For those who do not know much about conservative history, allow me to introduce the late conservative intellectual Russell Kirk, who despised radical libertarians. He wrote a great essay titled A Dispassionate Assessment of Libertarians in 1988. I will quote a few of his statements from that essay:

The Constitution of the United States distinctly is not an exercise of libertarianism. It was drawn up by an aristocratic body of men who sought "a more perfect union." The delegates to the Constitutional Convention had a wholesome dread of the libertarians of 1786-1787, as represented by the rebels who followed Daniel Shays in Massachusetts. What the Constitution established was a higher degree of order and prosperity, not an anarchists' paradise.

The libertarian asserts that the state is the great oppressor. But the conservative finds that the state is natural and necessary for the fulfillment of human nature and the growth of civilization; it cannot be abolished unless humanity is abolished, it is ordained for our very existence.

But the libertarians, rashly hurrying to the opposite extreme from the welfare state, would deprive government of effective power to conduct the common defense, to restrain the unjust and the passionate, or indeed to carry on a variety of undertakings clearly important to the general welfare.

Most damning and relevant was a quote from Dostoevesky: "To begin with unlimited freedom is to end with unlimited despotism."

The TP would call this guy a socialist, for sure.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I am discriminated against, I just know it

There is much less than meets the eye in this poll.

Who's discriminated against in America? More people say Hispanics than blacks or women, and it's not just Hispanics who feel that way.

An Associated Press-Univision Poll found that 61 percent of people overall said Hispanics face significant discrimination, compared with 52 percent who said blacks do and 50 percent who said women.

(My comment): This poll is worthless. The respondents never define what they mean by discrimination. And this sentence really shows how meaningless the poll is:

"I see it in people's faces, in the way they react," said Raymond Angulo, 66, a Mexican-born U.S. citizen and retiree from Pico Rivera, Calif. "It's gotten somewhat better, but it's still there. I feel like it's never going away.

Wow, who can argue with that? One person's semi-paranoid reaction is proof that blatant prejudice is out there. With aplogies to Descartes, I think discrimination, therefore I am discriminated against.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Excellent analysis of the dishonesty behind pro-illegal arguments

This was a terrific letter on the subject of illegal immigration, published in the North County Times, May 14--the author explains exactly how the law defines the words "illegal alien."

Editorial license and political correctness

I would like to correct the editor or employee of the North County Times who took editorial license with my Community Forum of May 7 ("Unlicensed drivers, police and checkpoints"). My wording of "illegal alien" was changed to "illegal immigrant." ...

"Illegal immigrant" is not a legal term, but used to somehow minimize the criminality, illegality and deportability of the millions of aliens in the United States. The term "alien" means any person not a citizen or national of the united states. The term "illegal alien" means any person not inspected or admitted by an immigration officer. Every alien who has entered the country in such a manner is an "illegal alien," the legal term.

In addition, an immigrant must apply for a visa at a U.S. Consular office issued by the State Department, be pre-screened and subsequently (if approved and issued a visa), apply for admission and inspection by an immigration officer at a port of entry into the United States. The overwhelming majority of the illegal aliens in the United States were not and are not even eligible for the issuance of an immigrant visa, therefore, the constant push for amnesty.

As a retired immigration officer (special agent, U.S. Border Patrol, anti-smuggling), I would suggest that you reference the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Dan Maccaskill

Link is here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

She'll need a ride to the courthouse

Is a Supreme Court nominee's ability at all relevant? See this column from Media Matters. Apparently, Elena Kagan can't drive, and at least one conservative is bothered by that.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The more things change, the more they stay the same

This website is really sharp, I wish I had seen it earlier. They show how Obama is just repeating Bush's cliches on immigration:

Bush in 2004:If you can make fifty cents in the interior of Mexico and five dollars in the interior of the United States, you're comin' for the five bucks

And, here's Obama yesterday:

The fact is if folks are making $2 a day back home, and they can make $10 an hour here, they’re going to come here

Apparently there was a COLA increase, or something.

The last line is hilarious. Great website.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

More illogic on the abortion issue

Continuing on the theme from my last post--I read some of the comments at the author's Facebook page. Few were impressive in their logical structure, but this one really made me wince: "I would never force my beliefs on other people." This statement is utterly nonsensical. In fact, it would lead to absolute anarchy, as all law is to a degree forcing our beliefs on others. For example, laws against shoplifting are forcing a belief that shoplifting is wrong on shoplifters. I don't think at all the poster is an anarchist, but I think she is guilty of really lazy thinking. Someone once said that thinking is hard work, which is why so few do it. I completely agree.