Minutiae
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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Thursday, March 25, 2004
Lileks gets it
right.

posted by Rachel 3/25/2004
. . .
If you want to look into the abyss. If you want to see the face of
naked evil. Go here. (No this is not sarcasm.)

posted by Rachel 3/25/2004
. . .
Oh
lord. These assholes mouth the phrases of human rights but they just never quite walk the walk.

posted by Rachel 3/25/2004
. . .
Holy shit. Now this is
someone I'd vote for. Please oh please get beyond this party label bullshit. It's great that he puts his money where his mouth is. This is a good development. We may be seeing the evolution of the 2 party system here. (Largely because one party has decided to pull a lemming...)
"George Bush vs. the Naive Nine
Why this lifelong Democrat will vote Republican next November.

BY ZELL MILLER
Monday, November 3, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST

If I live and breathe, and if--as Hank Williams used to say--the creek don't rise, in 2004 this Democrat will do something I didn't do in 2000, I will vote for George W. Bush for president.

I have come to believe that George Bush is the right man in the right place at the right time. And that's a pretty big mouthful coming from a lifelong Democrat who first voted for Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and has voted for every Democratic presidential candidate the 12 cycles since then. My political history to the contrary, this was the easiest decision I think I've ever made in deciding who to support. For I believe the next five years will determine the kind of world my four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren will live in. I simply cannot entrust that crucial decision to any one of the current group of Democratic presidential candidates.




Why George Bush? First, the personal; then, the political.

I first got to know George Bush when we served as governors together, and I just plain like the man, a man who feeds his dogs first thing every morning, has Larry Gatlin sing in the White House, and knows what is meant by the term "hitting behind the runner."

I am moved by the reverence and tenderness he shows the first lady and the unabashed love he has for his parents and his daughters.

I admire this man of faith who has lived that line in that old hymn, "Amazing Grace," "Was blind, but now I see." I like the fact that he's the same on Saturday night as he is on Sunday morning. And I like a man who shows respect for others by starting meetings on time.

That's the personal. Now, the political.

This is a president who understands the price of freedom. He understands that leaders throughout history often have had to choose between good and evil, tyranny and freedom. And the choice they make can reverberate for generations to come. This is a president who has some Churchill in him and who does not flinch when the going gets tough. This is a president who can make a decision and does not suffer from "paralysis analysis." This is a president who can look America in the eye and say on Iraq, "We're not leaving." And you know he means it.

This is also a president who understands that tax cuts are not just something that all taxpayers deserve, but also the best way to curb government spending. It is the best kind of tax reform. If the money never reaches the table, Congress can't gobble it up.




I have just described George W. Bush.

Believe me, I looked hard at the other choices. And what I saw was that the Democratic candidates who want to be president in the worst way are running for office in the worst way. Look closely, there's not much difference among them. I can't say there's "not a dime's worth of difference" because there's actually billions of dollars' worth of difference among them. Some want to raise our taxes a trillion, while the others want to raise our taxes by several hundred billion. But, make no mistake, they all want to raise our taxes. They also, to varying degrees, want us to quit and get out of Iraq. They don't want us to stay the course in this fight between tyranny and freedom. This is our best chance to change the course of history in the Middle East. So I cannot vote for a candidate who wants us to cut and run with our shirttails at half-mast.

I find it hard to believe, but these naive nine have managed to combine the worst feature of the McGovern campaign--the president is a liar and we must have peace at any cost--with the worst feature of the Mondale campaign--watch your wallet, we're going to raise your taxes. George McGovern carried one state in 1972. Walter Mondale carried one state in 1984. Not exactly role models when it comes to how to get elected or, for that matter, how to run a country.

So, as I have said, my choice for president was an easy decision. And my own party's candidates made it even easier."
And here's another one.
"Bolting for Bush
By EDWARD I. KOCH

I am a lifelong Democrat. I was elected to New York's City Council, Congress and three terms as mayor of New York City on the Democratic Party line. I believe in the values of the Democratic Party as articulated by Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and by Senators Hubert Humphrey, Henry "Scoop" Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Our philosophy is: "If you need a helping hand, we will provide it." The Republican Party's philosophy, on the other hand, can be summed up as: "If I made it on my own, you will have to do the same."

Nevertheless, I intend to vote in 2004 to reelect President Bush. I will do so despite the fact that I do not agree with him on any major domestic issue, from tax policy to the recently enacted prescription drug law. These issues, however, pale in importance beside the menace of international terrorism, which threatens our very survival as a nation. President Bush has earned my vote because he has shown the resolve and courage necessary to wage the war against terrorism.

The Democratic presidential contenders, unfortunately, inspire no such confidence. With the exception of Senator Joseph Lieberman, who has no chance of winning, the Democrats have decided that in order to get their party's nomination, they must pander to its radical left wing. As a result, the Democratic candidates, even those who voted to authorize the war in Iraq, have attacked the Bush administration for its successful effort to remove a regime that was a sponsor of terrorism and a threat to world peace.

The Democrat now leading in the race, former governor Howard Dean, is a disgrace. His willingness to publicly entertain the slander that President Bush had advance warning of the September 11 attacks and his statement that America is no safer as a result of the capture of Saddam Hussein should have been sufficient to end his candidacy. But the radicals who dominate the primaries love the red meat that is thrown to them, even when it comes from a mad cow.

In contrast, President Bush has confronted the terrorist threat head on. Immediately following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the president presented the core principle of what has become known as the Bush Doctrine, an articulation of American foreign policy that rivals in importance the Monroe Doctrine, which barred foreign imperialism from the Western Hemisphere, and the Truman Doctrine, which sought to contain communism around the world. The Bush Doctrine, simply stated by the president, is: "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."

President Bush has lived up to that credo. Under his leadership, Afghanistan was liberated from Al Qaeda's patron, the Taliban. The president also has demonstrated, through the liberation of Iraq from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, that he is willing to wage a preemptive war when he believes the national interests of the United States are endangered.

Even if we never find weapons of mass-destruction in Iraq ? though I think that we will ? our military campaign for regime change was justified. If the bodies of a quarter-million Iraqi dissenters killed by Saddam, some tortured with their eyes gouged and tongues cut out, is not proof enough, there is still Saddam's undisputed use of weapons of mass destruction against his own people and Iran. That record is why Congress overwhelmingly voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

It is not only in Afghanistan and Iraq that President Bush has risen to meet challenges presented by our increasingly dangerous world. When the president labeled Iraq, Iran and North Korea an "axis of evil," many commentators mocked him. When he threatened Syria, Iran and Libya with serious consequences if they continued to support terrorist groups, there were those who denounced him for being too bellicose. Now, however, it appears that the president's hard line has begun to pay off. Recently, Libya agreed to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction programs and allow in international inspectors. There are even indications that Iran and possibly North Korea may permit international inspection of their nuclear programs.

Nor have the president's critics stopped him from standing up for American interests. Many of those who oppose the Bush Doctrine also criticize the president's opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, the International Criminal Court and his decision to withdraw the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. These actions, however, are well-grounded.

President Bush was correct to oppose the Kyoto Protocol. The treaty would have exempted China and India, which have a combined population of more than 2 billion and are among the world's largest polluters.

As for the new International Criminal Court, it would be downright irresponsible to give this new tribunal the right to indict and try our military personnel for war crimes, given all the enmity directed at the United States nowadays. Instead we should continue to rely on our military justice system, which has an excellent reputation.

President Bush also was right to withdraw from the ABM Treaty. That treaty would have prevented the United States from deploying a shield against nuclear missiles that could be launched by rogue states or terrorists. The president's critics can pontificate about the importance of international institutions all they want, but we have to face facts. North Korea has nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. Pakistan not only has nuclear weapons, but is suspected of having provided nuclear technology to North Korea, Libya and Iran. The two recent assassination attempts against President Pervez Musharraf highlight the dangers we face. Should Musharraf be removed or killed, no one knows who will ultimately control Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. It would have been negligent for President Bush to allow our hands to remain tied at a time when we need to be exploring every option to defend ourselves.

This record and the Democratic candidates' irresponsible rhetoric are the reasons why I will vote for a second term for President Bush. This does not mean, however, that I have given up on my party and its principles. To the contrary, I will continue to fight against the president's domestic agenda. I also hope to support the Democratic effort to take back the presidency in 2008, but it is up to the Democratic Party to show that it can be entrusted with our nation's security."
I post this so that you will see that other intelligent people feel the same way. I spend more time ranting and raving about the democratic party than the republicans because I see the democratic party as my natural ideological home. They have FAILED me. They have left me with only one sane choice and it's for THE OTHER SIDE. I am ENRAGED. But I will vote for Bush and do all that I can to drag my heels and toss monkey wrenches on the domestic front, because IF WE DON'T MIND NATIONAL SECURITY THERE MAY BE NO DOMESTIC PROBLEMS TO WORRY ABOUT! Goddamnit. Would you be arguing over what kind of VCR to buy if your front door had no lock?

This is the same reason that I refuse to vote for anti-gun candidates. I refuse to cede my right to self-defense to any other agent. Not the UN. Not the police. Not 911. Not the international community. Not terrorists. Not criminals. I do not negotiate with bullies. You surrender any claim on my self-restraint the minute you employ force or the threat of force rather than persuasion and negotiation in your dealings with me. This is a fundamental human right and anyone who tells you otherwise is a threat to your life.

The refusal to to cooperate with evil, even under threat of death, is one of the most moral acts that human beings can engage in. This is a snippet of dialogue from Babylon 5: "You know, it's funny I was thinking about what you said. 'The pre-eminent truth of our age is that you cannot fight the system.' But if, as you say, truth is fluid, that the truth is subjective, then maybe you can fight the system — as long as one person refuses to be broken, refuses to bow down."

"But can you win?" the interrogator asks, almost gently. Sheridan, knowing it is likely to mean he will shortly die under torture, rasps out the bedrock libertarian reply "Every...time I...say...no!"

This same scene is repeated in all the great morality stories. Jesus. John Galt. Winston Smith. William Wallace. These are martyrs. Not some mass-murdering suicide bomber asshole.

We cannot win this war defensively. To truly prevent terror attacks we would have to give up our way of life. Our way of life has done more for human progress, has eliminated more human suffering, than any other system ever devised. It would be immoral to give it up.

So... We must eliminate the threat at its source.

We spend millions of dollars on precision guided weapons to spare civilians. They target civilians. If you don't grasp the difference you're morally retarded. If you can't decide which side should win- which rule you want to live under- you're mentally retarded.

As Ayn Rand put it nearly 50 years ago:
"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

"When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor—your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?

"Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions—and you'll learn that man's mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.

"But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made—before it can be looted or mooched—made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced.'

"To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss—the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery—that you must offer them values, not wounds—that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade—with reason, not force, as their final arbiter—it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability—and the degree of a man's productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?

***

The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide— as, I think, he will.

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns—or dollars. Take your choice—there is no other—and your time is running out."

posted by Rachel 3/25/2004
. . .
This astounds me.

posted by Rachel 3/25/2004
. . .


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