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Wes Pruden, Washington Times editor and columnist, dies at 83
Thanks to "Ha" for alerting me. (And no, that's not any kind of insult to Pruden; "Ha" is the name he always goes by. A bit awkward in this context but it is just his screen-name.)
LOL reply to the sanctimonious David French, bewailing the country's divisions: "O! Why is the country so divided!?" shrieked the Russia Truther.
Liberal atheist AllahPundit just can't stop attacking Christians
It's "racist" to attack any group you don't belong to, but the liberal atheist AllahPundit attacks conservative Christians, accusing them of Godcrime, four or five times per week
It's also cool that he's quoting Real TruCon Conservatives like MSNBC flunky Michael Steele, too
It's like AllahPundit is saying Christians aren't real Americans and should go back to their own countries, except he says it 5 days a week
The Washington Monument "For three nights, July 16, 17 and 18 -- the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum will project the rocket's image onto the east face of the monument." [CBD]
I'm avoiding the full pile on, because I understand this person is nice and personally loyal, but a Leading NeverTrumper and Fusion GPS conspiracy theory promoter just tweeted, about Stevens' death: Man, the confirmation hearings over John Paul Stevens' replacement is going to be pure fire!
This wouldn't be such a big deal except we keep being told by this crew that they're the Smart Ones who Really Understand Politics. In fact, they're almost all unaccomplished and a bit dim. They mistake "Famous among a tiny subculture addicted to Twitter" for actually famous. Or actually accomplished.
A friend cracks: "Maybe she got this wrong because she was reading from Fusion GPS' dossier on Stevens."
You know, people involved in writing and communications might want to consider that Twitter Is Not Their Friend. It encourages lazy writing and thoughtless #HotTakes. Why bother checking to see the last decade that Stevens worked as a justice when precious seconds for getting in your #EarlyHotTake are slipping away!
Really Super-Forgotten 80s Mystery Click
Hint: it's King Creole and the Coconuts doing "My Male Curiosity"
Let's face it, you weren't going to get it anyway
Here's a topic: Can you think of bands that seemed to get a lot of promotion in movies and tv but didn't go anywhere? I seem to remember David Johannson (especially in his "Buster Poindexter" persona/act) getting a lot of tv/movie push and not being very good; Oingo Boingo too. (Danny Elfman eventually made it as a composer, but not as a rocknroll front man.)
Forgotten 80s Mystery Click
Somethin' in the moonlight catches my eye...
Baseball Cuck is, as usual, convinced he is smarter than everyone else in the world, despite continents of evidence to the contrary
The ability of the NeverTrump pseudo-intellectuals to maintain such passionate belief in their intellectual supremacy despite overwhelming evidence that they are wrong about literally everything is... how do I say it? ... rather Millennial in its delusional self-regard, no?
How do you spell "hamster," BaseballCuck?
An ocean of smug, a thimbleful of brains
Flashback: Glenn Reynolds on How David Brooks Gave Us Donald Trump
" It's clear that [Brooks would] like a social/political revolution that was more refined, better-mannered, more focused on the Constitution and, well, more bourgeois as opposed to in-your-face and working class.
The thing is, we had that movement. It was the Tea Party movement...
Yet the tea party movement was smeared as racist, denounced as fascist, harassed with impunity by the IRS and generally treated with contempt by the political establishment and by pundits like Brooks, who declared "I'm not a fan of this movement." After handing the GOP big legislative victories in 2010 and 2014, it was largely betrayed by the Republicans in Congress, who broke their promises to shrink government and block Obama's initiatives.
When politeness and orderliness are met with contempt and betrayal, do not be surprised if the response is something less polite, and less orderly.
Surprising exactly no one, David French once again teams up with the leftwing Vox's leftwing "reporter" on "The GOP, the right, and white supremacy" to smear his enemies, and Jonah Goldberg recommends the leftwing Vox "reporter's" thread to his Twitter following
Once again, they attempt to get an insult they don't like -- "cuck" -- censored, claiming it is only about black men having sex with white wives. The cuck kink isn't limited to black-on-white cucking -- it's a term oblivious to race, and refers only to weakness and submissiveness -- but they keep saying it is entirely racial, contrary to the dictionary definition and contrary to a cursory perusal of the offerings in this category on Xhamster. Just to falsely tar their opponents as "racist" for daring to criticize them. Same as their liberal friends do, oddly enough!
Or maybe I'm too cynical. Maybe they're not deliberately misrepresenting "cuck" porn as exclusively black and white; perhaps they're just prisoners of their own experience and their own kinks, and that's just their personal favorite type of cuck pornography.
I don't know. What I do know is that cucks come in all colors and shapes. Well, one shape, mostly -- Eggs With Legs. But again, it's not exclusive to that.
The silly little brokebrain bitch David French spends more time damseling for himself on Twitter, asking his beta orbiters to protect him, than he spends on his actual job(s). Shouldn't he at least put up a Patreon with "nude and lewd" pictures of himself on offer if he's going to keep begging his beta orbiters to White Knight for him? Shouldn't his Beta Brigade get some sexy boudoir shots for their services?
Coming soon: The Conservative Case for Anita Sarkesian, Who Showed Us The Way
Ain't No Rest for the Triggered, by Chris Raygun
Actually, given that these fine gentlemen are now making The Conservative Case for Vox, why bother with NR and the much, much anticipated Hayes/Goldberg newsletter -- why not just patronize Vox, the site that they're such great fans of? Cut out the middleman -- the Lucky Pierre -- I say.
How Prince wound up doing the "Batman" corporate synergy album (the first such album, not saying that's a good thing, mind you)
The studio wanted Michael Jackson, and for a time, it was going to be a Michael Jackson/Prince album (Jackson doing ballads for the heroes, Prince doing rougher music for the villains), but it wound up just as Prince
Star Wars: Saved In the Edit
Good short video about how Marcia Lucas saved a disaster called "Star Wars" by re-editing the beginning and the ending.
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Libertarians, Take Note: If Only John Kerry Thought Terrorists Were as Dangerous as Drug-Smugglers | Main | Weekend Schedule
October 29, 2004

The Endorsement I Never Thought I'd Write

George W. Bush for President

I heartily endorse George W. Bush for re-election on three grounds, the most important of which is of course the War on Terror, which I will address last.

On social and cultural issues, this is perhaps the most important election in modern history. Judges have been putting off retirement in order to secure ideologically-similar replacements, but the Court is venerable, and this cannot go on much longer. It will not go on much longer-- 3-5 justices will retire during the next Presidential term, and I'd guess it will be five.

Liberals like to speak of "conservative judicial activism." There is really no such thing, or, at least, not much of such a thing. When conservatives "scale back" constitutional protections and guarantees, they do not eradicate such protections. Rather, they simply refuse to mandate a particular outcome, and repose the decision-making on such issues in the care of the political branches of government-- where it should be.

While there are cases where a good case can be made for an anti-democratic branch of government mandating a certain political outcome, such instances are few and far between; certainly, by this point, America is one of the most free nations the world has ever known. Without explicit textual support for a ruling -- like the Fifth Amendment's clear statement that property shall not be taken without fair compensation -- jurists simply act as monarchs, imposing their idiosyncratic ideas about The Good on the public without so much as a by your leave. They're somtimes called "superlegislators" when they behave in this fashion, a Congress of Jurists, but that's inaccurate. A "superlegislator" would be expected to stand for re-election on occasion. Federal judges are never elected, and serve until they chose to resign, or die in chambers, or are impeached.

Liberals can speak of a liberal judiciary "expanding freedom" through their mandates-- but what they're actually doing is reducing democracy. Every time a liberal judge imposes the Rule of Five Men on a nation of millions, the promise of American democracy is diminished a little. If we wanted a nation ruled by an oligarchy of the learned, we could have set our Constitution up that way. But we did not. Unlike the judges, we citizens actually trust ourselves, and each other, to get the big questions right. And even when we get the big questions wrong-- well, that is the price one pays for self-governing.

If you're only allowed to democratically choose your laws and policies when a council of judges deems that you're choosing properly, you're not living in a democracy, or even a republic. You're living in, at best, a provisional democracy with most important and contentious matters decided by a quasi-House of Lords (and back when the House of Lords actually had some power).

Liberals are always willing to avoid actual democracy when it's expedient. Is the country opposed to gay marriage? No matter; we can find five judges in some liberal state who believe they know better than the public.

I'm not so willing. And if Kerry is elected President, you can count on such judges filling the Supreme Court, as well as the lower courts.

The economy never became an unambiguously positive issue for George Bush. Although it is growing -- and quite quickly, actually, despite the summer swoon over Iraq and oil prices -- job creation remains not quite subpar, but not as vigorous as one would expect in a strongly recovering economy.

I think many people fail to appreciate what a tremendous economic shock the 9-11 attacks were, and how the shock of that black day continues to weight our economy down-- unavoidably. Those who make decisions about hiring and capital investment have a new consideration never before seen in the modern age-- all decisions to spend money and expand business are taxed by a "terror premium," the economic risk that a fresh instance of mega-terrorism will suddenly put the economy into a recession (or worse) once again. Those who criticize Bush for failing to produce Clinton-style job creation should bear in mind that employers under Clinton were confident in the recovery, and had little fear that nuclear attack -- yes, a nuclear attack -- could destroy the nation's largest economic center at virtually any time.

Conservatives grouse especially about Bush's failure to adequately restrain the rate of government spending. And I too joined in that grousing, particularly after Laura Bush's suprise announcement of a big increase in NEA funding.

But I'd like to partially defend Bush on this score-- partially. Let's all keep in mind the man does NOT in fact have a working majority of conservatives in the Senate. He as a bare majority of Republicans/RINOs, but not a conservative majority. It is a bit much to ask that he restrain the growth of government when Lincoln Chafee makes noises about leaving the Repubican Party every few months.

And let us once again remember 9-11. I'm not a Keynesian -- to be honest, I have so little economic training that I'm not really qualified to call myself a disciple of any school of economic thought -- but it does occur to me that after the massive, system-wide shock of 9-11, perhaps the government should not have begun tightening its belt much at all. Companies were already doing that. If the government had also begun paring back on spending -- and shedding employees -- we would not have had the government playing a counter-cyclical role, but rather reinforcing the tendency of the private sector to save, scrimp, and reduce the number of dollars at risk.

Would I prefer that Bush had restrained spending more? Indeed. But I also must bear in mind the risks that, post 9-11, fighting for the conservative model of government was not the greatest priority. Keeping our nation from plunging into a true economic depression was our greatest economic priority. And if that required a bit of priming the pump with borrowed money spent on generally useless programs, so be it.

That may seem like foolish talk, because our economy did in fact remain more resilient than some might have expected. But what if we had chosen another path? Just because something did not happen does not mean it could not have happened. There was a time during 2002-2003 when most economists thought that deflation was the greatest risk to our economy. In such a climate, reducing the number of dollars in circulation is very risky indeed.

Finally, there is the first, last, and best reason I endorse George W. Bush: for his remarkable leadership and courage in the War on Terror.

After 9-11, I became radicalized and bloodthirsty. I savaged Bush for what I thought, at the time, was a too-merciful campaign to merely unseat the Taliban thugs from Kabul. They hit one of my cities; I wanted to hit theirs. I was no longer interested at all in the normal restraints of the Laws of War; I wanted the Islamist world to know that we would no longer respond to the slaughter of innocents with strikes on radio masts and airports. (And, of course, Afghanistan had precious little in that regard, anyway.)

I was angered by Bush's ethic of Christian mercy. Those who fault Bush for his devotion to God ought to bear in mind what a man unrestrained by a contemplation of religious mercy might have done in his stead. I know I personally would not have been restrained, except by the calculation of how much horror I could inflict on Afghanistan without being impeached by an outraged America.

But Bush's plan worked. It did not just succeed; it succeeded brilliantly. A combined CIA-Special Forces-precision bombing-light infantry campaign succeeded in dislodging this loathesome regime from power, all without inflicting near-genocidal carpet bombing on Afghanistan's cities.

We had won-- and won without compromising our fundamental respect for human life.

Bush is attempting something similar in Iraq. "Plymouth, Iraq," a friend calls it. Liberals like to talk about the "root causes" of terrorism but they don't seem to have any plan for addressing those "root causes," other than rewarding terrorists and terrorist-harboring states by paying them great sums from the US Treasury and perhaps sacrificing several million Israelis in the interests of goodwill.

I think there are two clocks counting down simultaneously. One measures how long it will take the Islamist world to shake itself out of its current pathology of psychopathic slaughter. The other measures how long it will be before an Islamist-leaning country gets the bomb. Well, the first clock has a while to go, and the second clock is three minutes to midnight. (Past midnight, actually, if you count Pakistan, which we probably should.)

Bush needed to speed up the first clock. He is attempting to show the Muslim world a better way, a way of progress, prosperity, and respect for human life, rather than a way of resentment, "humiliation," and racist mass-murder. I do not know if Bush's way will work-- let's face it, the optimistic projections of two years ago have been fairly well rubbished.

But I do know we need to do something, to try something. If we do not, then I'm afraid that one day New York City will in fact be destroyed, and I will most likely be killed. And then, we will have little opportunity to address "root causes," which take decades to address even if you're game for the challenge. Our only option will be a return of nuclear fire the likes of which the world has never seen, and hopefully will not be seen again.

I am not heartened by Senator Kerry's promise that he will defend this country the moment after I am killed by a terrorist strike. I am not sanguine about his apparent need for perfect intelligence before taking action-- there is no such thing as perfect intelligence, except for when the attack actually comes. Only then can you retroactively guage your enemy's previous intentions with perfect precision.

But only after several thousand have died. Again.

Never again.

I am not willing to wait. And furthermore, like George W. Bush, I am willing to make mistakes along the way, if those mistakes are likely to result in my survival. I don't wish to seem inhuman and unfeeling, but if we are in a state of war, cold, hot, cool, or whatever with a significant fraction of the world's population, there are going to be deaths. We didn't start this war; we would prefer it simply ended with a big group hug, as the liberals and Senator Kerry so devoutly wished. But if there are to be deaths, I am fairly strenuous on the proposition that those deaths should be, to the extent possible, suffered by non-Americans, and more specifically, by persons who are not me.

Senator Kerry, I don't want to die. And I'm not willing to die as some sort of moral tripwire, just so you don't have to face the moral dilemma of killing another without provocation. If killing on less-than-perfect-intelligence would give you nightmares, I'm afraid that's something you're just going to have to suffer.

But you have announced your refusal to make that sacrifice on your fellow Americans' behalf.

For Bush's steadfast and merciful leadership in the war on terror -- for his wise if not perfect stewardship on the economy -- and for his determination to keep democracy alive, with decisions made by the people's representatives, rather than councils of the wise -- I endorse him for re-election as President of the United States.

posted by Ace at 12:42 PM