A Liberal's Ruminations on Saturday's Vote.

In our highminded zeal to obstruct the will of George W Bush, the Progressives have forgotten the political winds which blew Bush into power. The Neocons are described as Conservative, but that is something of a misnomer. They are the old Pinkos under a new label, and were once labeled unreconstructed Liberals. They felt they could change the world by breaking up the calcified foreign policy of the State Department and the intransigent military.

Unfortunately, a certain wing of the Progressives sound dangerously like the old Neoconservatives. Prosecute! Stop them! Stop the Killers! This is patent nonsense, and I do not care who I offend in so saying. America has an unfortunate tendency to believe Throwing Out the Rascals is a valid substitute for a plan: it is not. Few revolutions have produced good things, our own included. Only the glacier-slow pace of legal reforms have made any difference in the lives of men: the usual aftermath of mere revolution is worse than before.

Forvm News and Open Thread 2-16-07

Time for an open thread in these parts. I's a little sick of seeing our current top post on the F-P.

So Elagabulas, give us some clips to some jazz artists! And all of the rest of you follow suit!

And special congrats to our 30,000th commenter, Bill White, as well as our newest moderator, the one and only, MScott!!

History will not be kind

Representative Raul Grijalva's speech in the House anti-surge debate, regarding Iraq:

history and fact will not be kind to the decision-makers

A condemnation he makes of Republicans and Democrats alike, with the caveat that the proposed resolution offers a way to redress past errors:

The lack of leadership by this administration requires - no, demands - that this Congress assert its Constitutional duty, to check and balance this Administration and to respond to the crisis in Iraq with purpose and resolve.

I Hereby Resign

as a moderator, and will cease any and all affiliation with the Forvm. Thank You.
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I'm trying to make the best out of a bad situation. I don't need to hear crap from a bunch of hippie freaks living in denial! Screw you guys, I'm going home!

Shorter Glenn Reynolds: Uncle Sam Should Lead With His Chin

Glenn Reynolds recently stirred up outrage among several anti-war web-loggers with his
suggestion that the United States assassinate Iranians the US government- or Mr. Reynolds- considers inimical to US interests. His list includes radical Mullahs and nuclear physicists. Now, the protests against this suggestion have focused on the moral and legal issues it raises, and they have good reason to do so. We resist erasing the distinction between war and murder, for the very good reason that we don't want to turn soldiers into murderers.

But whatever your opinion of the moral and legal implications of Mr. Reynolds's suggestion, consider its strategic absurdity. The United States has a trillion dollar investment in the most technologically sophisticated military in the world, and Mr. Reynolds wants to get into the back alleys of asymmetrical warfare and fight it out with the equivalent of a switchblade and a brick in a sock. Sending a carrier to the straight of Hormuz makes sense partly because Iranians have no aircraft carriers they can send to Cape Hatteras. But if the US government insists on sending assassins to Iran, the Iranians can reciprocate.

Why I think Jimmy Carter is a Useless Jerk, Pt.1

Bernard Guerrero's picture

Is Jimmy Carter anti-Semitic?

I’m posting this as a partial reply to a legitimate question by one of our regular posters, “catchy”. I implied, by way of a comment on a prior diary, that Carter was, if not a full-blown anti-Semite, on his way to becoming one. I’ll stand by that. I can’t know what the man is actually thinking, men’s souls being islands, but his actions and words at the least give great comfort to anti-Semites, and at times approach the level that one could label him as such.

A) Quoting from Carter’s most recent book: “There are constant and vehement political and media debates in Israel concerning its policies in the West Bank but because of powerful political, economic, and religious forces in the U.S., Israeli government decisions are rarely questioned or condemned, voices from Jerusalem dominate our media, and most American citizens are unaware of circumstances in the occupied territories.”

Culture and Economic Growth

I have mentioned at various times the idea that culture is a very important driver of economic development. This idea seems to be demonstrably and massively correct as an explanation of the relative success of third-world countries. But this is of course a very tough thing to measure and analyze, much less use.

The WSJ has an interesting article today on an attempt to measure that slippery idea, not in the field of third-world development, but as an explanation of the difference in economic dynamism between the US (and some others) and continental Europe.

http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110009657

Atheism 101

How can an atheist not be committed to the claim that 'all is permitted' in a moral sense, as Dostoevsky claimed?

Big Question, Sketchy Outline Follows.

First, IMO it's no accident that Dost. held this opinion and was also an Orthodoz Christian. The view that 'everything goes' might seem right to the faithful, but that's only because they accept the religious tenet that religion is a foundation for morality.

Speaking autobiographically, giving up belief in God’s existence can be accompanied by a kind of vertigo – a feeling of having the ethical rug pulled out from underneath, so to speak. But the more atheism settles in, at least in my case, the more it becomes clear that morality never has been + never will be ‘grounded by religion’.

Open thread (11 February 2007)

From Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo:

At a farewell reception at Blair House for the retiring chief of protocol, Don Ensenat, who was President Bush's Yale roommate, the president shook hands with Washington Life Magazine's Soroush Shehabi. "I'm the grandson of one of the late Shah's ministers," said Soroush, "and I simply want to say one U.S. bomb on Iran and the regime we all despise will remain in power for another 20 or 30 years and 70 million Iranians will become radicalized."

"I know," President Bush answered.

"But does Vice President Cheney know?" asked Soroush.

President Bush chuckled and walked away.

Original link

Amir Taheri on Petraeus and US Defeatism

Amir Taheri is always worth reading. This latest seems apt -

Link

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