Mittwoch, Juni 22, 2011
President Obama wants to be re-elected, so he is throwing Afghanistan under the bus in order to make himself look good.
Of course, that follows a long, long pattern of US betrayal of allies when it was politically opportune to do so. Always, always during a Democratic presidency.
It is a sad fact: the President of the United States is a political hack, without direction or vision beyond what his financiers have been telling him to do, and even that has been spotty. For them, of course, he's the only game in town. He knows that, and is, I think, honestly perplexed that his honorable opposition isn't willing to get on the deal.
Look at the historical record: Democratic presidents, almost without fail, get the US into trouble internationally with poor decisions, bellicosity and incompetence. Kennedy started US involvement in Vietnam and Johnson escalated, and a Democratic congress cut Vietnam off in their final hour of need. Carter had the Desert One fiasco, while Clinton had the Balkans and alienated Russia for at least a generation. Obama may have inherited both Iraq and Afghanistan, but is doing just fine screwing things up in Libya and Sudan.
I think the problem with the Democrats and foreign policy is that they both don't really care about it (domestic politics is where the money is and where careers are made) and when they do, behave like Wilsonists and present carefully thought out, brilliant and complete unworkable solutions that make everyone shake their heads and go "what are they smoking?" whilst, of course, at the same time solving nothing. Carter's sole claim to fame is the Egypt-Israeli peace deal, and that got Sadat murdered, Clinton failed to achieve anything in the Middle East.
The true colors of the Democrats is that they cannot be trusted with foreign policy because they consistently screw things up. The days of Sam Nunn and the Senate Democratic Hawks are long, long gone, and there is no one of his character left. His retirement from the Senate was because the party shifted left: he could no longer be a part of that.
You can't run a super-power based on the politics you need to put together a coalition of gays, minorities and unions. You won't care about the hard military and defense decisions you have to make if all you are worried about is playing gay marriage advocates against Black church goers in order to keep the support of both. You won't be able to call upon everyone to make sacrifices when you think a sacrifice is 8% growth of the money for your union supporters, rather than 15%.
The Democrats are thoroughly corrupt and corrupted, unable to see, given the degree of support given a slimeball like Wieners, that what they are willing to accept as the new normal is far, far beyond the pale of normality.
You can't run a super-power based on wishful thinking and plans to have everyone sign kumbya around a camp fire making smores.
Montag, Juni 06, 2011
When I read this, I had to double-check to make sure it wasn't the Onion.
Nope. You usual Sydney Morning Herald, not a bit of onion in sight.
First of all, the intolerance. Mr. Glover feels that anyone who isn't a true believer should be tattoed so they can be identified as sinners. Above and beyond the sheer intolerance and outright bloody-mindedness of the idea, Mr. Glover takes it one step further, actively denying the past.
Mr. Glover, the Left defended and justified the brutal repression of the Hungarians in 1956. Not perhaps your smarmy drawing-room git who thought he was a socialist (but in fact simply resented his low place in society) and was perfectly willing to change his colors whichever way the wind blew, most likely supporting Mrs. Thatcher when it became apparent that it behooved him to do so.
No, I'm talking about your true believers, the unrepentant, those who could, with a straight face, argue that the Wall in Germany was really to protect the East Germans from the fascist West Germans.
Facts that don't fit one's world view can be difficult to see. Consider the way the left spent decades ignoring the horrors of Soviet communism, horrors that were obvious to anyone who cared to look from at least the early 1930s. The facts didn't fit in with the way they wanted to see the world, so they spent decades in denial, looking the other way.
For most of the left, that blindness ended, dramatically, with the invasion of Hungary in 1956: it became impossible not to acknowledge the brutal realities of the dictatorship of the proletariat.Like I said, revisionist history at its finest. Further, and this is the core of Mr. Glover's thesis, he is projecting: the reality is that the facts on global warming don't fit the theories (and if you think the IPCC talks about facts, take a closer look: peer review doesn't mean something is true, especially the kind of kid-glove peer review that is the norm for what is dubiously called climate change science), not the other way around. Mr. Glover wants those who don't think like him - he calls them the right - to suffer the same disappointments that he and his ilk have.
It's not those who you call deniers who are in denial, Mr. Glover: it is you. You and your fellow travellers were wrong on socialism and communism - and you cannot separate the two, as they are tied together forever - and you are wrong on anthropogenic climate change.
The Left didn't have any problems acknowledging the brutal realities of the dictatorship of the proletariat: it is exactyl what they deeply wanted and desired for their own countries. Anything else would have been bourgeois sentimentalities and worthy of a lengthy stay in Siberia to understand the errors of their thinking.
Good lord. Only in today's deliberate ignorance and respression of how truly evil the Left was, is, and will always be could someone even try to make this case. The examples that disprove his thesis are legion: the unwillingness of the SPD in Germany, for instance, to even contemplate unification because it meant abandoning the dream of real existing socialism on German soil (they were dragged kicking and screaming - behind closed doors, but nonetheless - by the US, the UK and France, along with the German conservative parties into agreeing for the liberation of East Germany and unification with West Germany. These were the same folks who tut-tutted when the Czechs dared to stand up to their rightful Soviet masters and want some meaningless, bourgeios freedoms instead of the glorious life of Czech socialism in 1968, warning that to even protest the march into Czechoslovakia would be provocative.
Mr. Glover is both guilty of projection and viewing what is apparently his own history with rather rose-colored glasses, selectively seeing what he wants to, rather than what actually is.
Each generation of people has a job to do; a burden that falls to their time. Sometimes, it's a war or depression. Sometimes, it's the work of building the first railways and roads. Sometimes, it's a plague that wipes out half the population or a fire that destroys a whole city.
God help anyone who actually believes such nonsense: they are in the arms of delusion and, worst of all, true believers in something that doesn't exist. There is no such thing as History as a force of nature, something that charts the paths of men: there are just people trying to exist and live their lives as they see fit. Mr. Glover and all of his like would put that to a right proper stop and show them the errors of their ways.
Beware the utopian idealist. The greatest political slaughters always beging with them, and end only when ordinary people stop them. It's one of the great mysteries of human society that so many fail to see this.
Mittwoch, Juni 01, 2011
This is damning, less so much because of what it says as where it comes from.
It's written by a water-carrier for the Democratic Party, a true sycophant. Kevin Drum over at Mother Jones, never afraid to toe the party line and defend the indefensible.
He laments the collapse of the Unions, ignoring, of course, the stench of corruption and the inequity of seeing your labor dues spent on things you find appalling.
Ultimately, the Unions died - effectively - because the New Left of the Democratic Party found actual workers - blue-collar, red-necked and generally your average American in all their glory - to be truly appalling.
And here is the key quote:
In other words, it's not that the working class has abandoned Democrats. It's just the opposite: The Democratic Party has largely abandoned the working class.
Duh. I've said that here time and time again. It's about time one of their own realizes it.
First and foremost, casinos exist for one thing only: to separate money from those who are bad at statistics. Nothing more, nothing less. There is a single verity when dealing with gambling, be it legal or unlawful: at the end of the day, the house always wins. Always.
Sure, you read of the guy tossing in a quarter and winning $10mn from the slots. The casinos need these stories to distract you from the fundamental fact that the guy winning $10mn didn't get that money from the casino: he got it from literally hundreds of blue-haired grandmothers feeding the slots, from hundreds of blue-collar workers out for a thrill and losing their paychecks at blackjack, from hundreds of office workers trying a system in roulette. The casino exists to provide a thrill in a mundane life, of the never-to-be-vanquished-hope of winning it big, of being someone special, of having the skill to beat the house and break the bank.
What fools we be.
Casinos bring all sorts of secondary effects. First and foremost, there is the problem of gambling addiction, of those who are so convinced that the next pull of the handle, the next deal, the next turn of the wheel will finally bring in the big bucks, that they are psychologically impaired and do foolish things in the pursuit of something that is extremely unlikely to happen. This addiction, like most, is destructive and insidious, affecting both rich and poor (with the only real difference being the length of time before they hit bottom). It breaks up families and destroys careers. But hey, it's not the casino's fault that these folks are susceptible to the allures, the bright lights and fleeting fame that gambling brings.
Second, casinos don't come alone. People out looking for a wild time will seek other ... distractions, and there is no casino out there that doesn't have the twin companions of drugs and rented sex. Maybe you didn't win big at the tables, but hey, you can still have that threesome you fantasized about, or you can get higher than a kite and what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Which is why Vegas is coming to Chicago.
Why doesn't this surprise me? Simple: because it is, after all, the logical next step on the road to perdition.
The City of Chicago is expecting upwards of $1bn of additional revenues from no less than 4 casinos, slots at the racetrack and at the two remaining Chicago airports.
Consider it instead a tax on statistical incompetence and stupidity. The City will need the revenue as bad money drives out what little is left of the good money.
Sin City just got some competition. Hope you like your new Mayor, Chicago, and what he is going to do to your city. Lock up your daughters (and sons!) and hope that the damage won't be too severe.
But this doesn't surprise me in the least. Letting casinos operate is a sign of desperation, not a sign of intelligent planning. Casinos are parasitical: they don't create meaningful jobs, but exist to take money from those who do not know better and serve the baser instincts. Expect fawning stories about job creation in the MSM, since they won't report on the thousands of lives destroyed.
But it doesn't surprise me: it is, if anything, the logical consequence of having Democrats running Chicago for so long, and also the logical consequence for electing the Mayor that Chicago apparently deserves.
It doesn't surprise me at all. Expect a move to decriminalize the sale of both soft drugs and sex; expect a police force interested in making sure the casinos work smoothly and keeping the human debris from showing up; expect strange deals and odd developments aimed at washing money. Standard operating procedures for a Democratic county that is already infamous for corruption and outright thievery of tax monies.
It doesn't surprise me at all.