Thursday, October 25, 2007

RedState to Ron Paul Supporters: You're Not Wanted Here

There's an interesting bit of blogosphere fuss about RedState's policy of preventing new commenters from voicing their support for Ron Paul. RedState says that they're basically crazy people, and that they add nothing to the debate. Let me say this: I am the farthest thing from a Ron Paul supporter than you can possibly be. As a pro-war, center-Left liberal Democrat, I'm as far from Paul's constituency as Tokyo is from Texarkana, but I reject the idea of excluding certain groups of commenters without sufficient cause. I'm feeling a bit lazy now, so I'll let my comment over at Michael van der Galien's place speak instead:

Well, I’m coming at this from the perspective of a pro-war liberal Democrat, but let me add a couple of things. In my view, Ron Paul is something of a crazy person, embodying the worst of 1930’s isolationism, and Lew Rockwell-style hardcore libertarianism. His supporters are almost cult-like in their zeal. The way I see it, no self-respecting liberal would support him.

That being said, Paul’s candidacy is a legit phenomenon, and ought not be ignored. It’s bad form to exclude certain groups from the discussion out of hand. RedState can do what they want, but it’s bad form if you ask me. Meaningless cheerleader posts should be met with equal mental energy, which is to say, not much. Thoughtful and substantive posts should be encouraged. As I’ve said, throwing the whole bunch out is bad form, and I’ll leave it at that.

I'm not sure how likely this is, but if Ron Paul supporters happen to show up here, the door is open. I welcome open and honest debate, even from those with whom I vehemently disagree. Including those who support a bats**t crazy person who wants to basically hollow out the government, and thinks the Civil War was an unnecessary war. If you do show up though, prepare to have your arguments challenged openly, and as I see it, torn to pieces.

Also, I think Simon over at SF has a point about Andrew Sullivan extending a welcome hand to Paul supporters. Sully really does have to open up his blog to comments, if he's going to make statements like that.

HT: Stubborn Facts

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sure, You've Heard of Chickenhawks,

but have you ever heard of chickendoves?

Double-reverse chickendoves, no less:

People who talk up war without going get slapped with chickenhawk slurs. Clearly Friedman’s no chickenhawk, at least not anymore. Chickenhawk slurs are slapped on people who support war and haven’t gone. ”Chickenhawk” gets tossed around by people who don’t feel the need to lift a finger in support of the peace they profess to love. Not a human shield among them.

Friedman presents us with something different. The double-reverse chickendove. War supporter turned surrender enthusiast makes ironic funny about how painful this war has been for him. The terrible barrage of headlines, slogging through all those long, bitter thumbsuckers. News is hell. But apparently, he hasn’t been reading it.


HT: Instapundit

Friday, October 19, 2007

Say What You Want About Al Gore Winning The Nobel Prize,

but at least he's not this guy, who despite his assertions to the contrary, is a horrible racist.

BTW, as for Gore getting the Peace Prize, I think its a good thing. OK, then.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Of Heroism, Courage, Sorrow, and Pride

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

John 15:13

I dare say it is your duty to read in full this deeply moving piece by Christopher Hitchens, on the heroic life of Lt. Mark Daily, and the emotion Hitchens felt when he learned that his words inspired a young man to fight and sacrifice for his country. Quite possibly the best and most emotional piece he's ever wriiten, and maybe one of most moving pieces on this war you'll ever read.

HT: Centerfield

UPDATE: He's still utterly lost when it comes to religion, though:

He also told the crowd that heaven would be comparable to North Korea, as they both embody a totalitarianism of eternal gratitude.

Hitchens pointed to the “horrific pointlessness and misery” of having to thank a leader for everything when the leader was never asked for in the first place — which he said is intrinsic to both the concept of heaven and in North Korea.“At least you can fucking die and get out of North Korea,” Hitchens added.

Sigh. I'm praying for you, Christopher. I really am.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Sport of Kings

It's kind of a slow news day, so I give you this, what has to be one of the coolest game show concepts ever:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Matter of Principle

"Where there is no vision, the people perish."

Proverbs 29:18

"The result by the 1980s was a much weakened liberalism that was no match for a renewed conservative movement. Sapped of energy, liberalism had become, in Paul Starr's words, mostly "defensive" and "oppositional." Liberals tried to stick to the catechism of the older values, but were often pushed off course by the conflicting priorities championed by the cultural left. Liberals lacked any clear conception of first principles or anchoring ideas to guide them. Except for the fact that the Democratic party remained the home of almost all of the intelligentsia, it had now become the "stupid party" of American politics, an honor previously reserved for Republicans. Not even the two Clintons, with their high IQ's and a new generation of policy wonks to serve them, could change this. The "New Democrat" thrust was wholly strategic and practical: to move the Democratic party to the center and to "reinvent" government. Whatever other contributions may be ascribed to the Clinton Democrats, deep reflection about the party's theoretical foundations was not among them."

A must-read article, on the future of liberalism, the Democratic Party, and political discourse at large. Read the whole thing.

HT: Stubborn Facts

Friday, October 12, 2007

Congressional Foolishness, Ill-Advised and Dangerous

While we should recognize the tragic and bloody Turkish deportation of over a million Armenians during World War I as a horrible thing, I'm basically in agreement with Michael van der Galien (and the Bush Administration) that the nonbinding resolution that sprung forth out of Congress is a ill-advised and counterproductive measure:

Bush didn’t want the panel to send the resolution to the full House, because he feared (and fears) that it’ll do great damage to the relationship between Turkey and the US. The US is increasingly dependent on Turkey. Not only is Turkey a Nato ally closest to where the action takes place these days, it’s also one of the most important and powerful Muslim countries. Of all the Muslim countries in the world, the US can’t afford to insult this particular one.

If the House accepts the resolution - and I’m sure it will - the US has a major problem. Not only may trade problems occur, not only will anti-Americanism in Turkey increase, not only will Turks boycott American products and businesses, Turkey is also likely to move closer to the East and to distance itself a bit from the West. This at a time that the West needs Turkey in the war against radical Islam. More, it also makes it increasingly likely that Turkey will act against the PKK without asking the US for permission or even informing the US about the operation.

I've heard reports earlier today that the Congress (or at least Ike Skelton) has reversed course, and decided to kill this resolution. Let's hope so, and hope no permanent damage has been done. Let's settle this very real issue of the Armenian genocide(?) the right way, and not with nonbinding but dangerous resolutions.

"Look, I Just Want Some Pants. A Decent Pair of Pants!!"

Via Althouse, comes this hilarious and somewhat awkward clip of LBJ ordering some pants. Her analysis of the larger point is also interesting. I took note of this:

"LBJ: Now the pockets, when you sit down, everything falls out, your money, your knife, everything, so I need at least another inch in the pockets. And another thing - the crotch, down where your nuts hang - is always a little too tight, so when you make them up, give me an inch that I can let out there, uh because they cut me, it's just like riding a wire fence. These are almost, these are the best I've had anywhere in the United States"


BTW, in case you didn't get the reference alluded to in the title, watch this:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Revolution May Not Be Televised

From Michael Totten, comes an initimate report on U.S. efforts to keep the peace in Ramadi and Anbar, that you probably won't see on the local news. Read the whole thing, but I thought this was good to excerpt:

I'm hardly the first. I know several journalists, political liberals as well as conservatives, who write it straight and don't wallow in soldier-bashing. But the soldier-bashing that's also out there sure does make an impression. Every journalist who embeds in Iraq must hear these complaints as often as I did, and I heard it daily.

Indeed. I also thought this was important:

This is what it’s like now in and just outside Ramadi. This mission is the kind of thing embedded journalists see, which is why most war correspondents embed somewhere else. Soldiers Hand Out Newspapers and Rice isn’t much of a headline, and it’s even less of a scoop. But this is the kind of work soldiers do now every day in what was recently the most violent place in Iraq.

That doesn’t mean reporters who go somewhere else aren’t doing their jobs, but it mostly explains why you rarely see coverage from Anbar.

As I said, read it all.

The First (and Last) Time I Address The Limbaugh Controversy

OK, I'm only blogging on this once, because I'm already worn out. It's clear that there has a been a susbstantial amount of heat about comments that Limbaugh made regarding soldiers in Iraq, and dissent, and "phony soldiers." The Left has piled on, and the right has piled on the pile on. Let me say this: I don't consider myself a Limbaugh fan by any means, but I think it's clear that his words were at least ambiguous, and most likely didn't mean to assert that troops who oppose the war are phony. That being said, whatever one thinks of his comments, the context of the comments, the justification of ignoring said context based on past statements Rush has made, or whatever, there was no reason whatsoever to bring this foolishness to the floor of Congress. What a spectacular waste of time that was.

Before anyone brings this up, let me say that as vicious and low-class as the MoveOn ad was, I still asserted that it was also something of a waste to bring a resolution condemning it to the Senate floor. Congress has more important things to deal with. It's clear why the Dems chose to do this, to distract from the MoveOn mess, and because Limbaugh is an easy target, being the combative partisan that he is. Keep in mind that there have been other worse instances of attacks on the troops, from the Left (William Arkin, anyone?), and the Right (Limbaugh and others have said worse things in the past), but nothing was done. When the Swiftboating of Kerry was on display, there were no resolutions on the Senate floor. This is going on right now because of politics, and the whole bit of business is silly.

And, I'm done with this.