Archive for August 9th, 2008

August 9, 2008

Random acts of Austrianism

During the YAF national conference this past week, I spoke to a young man who’d read Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom but who hadn’t read Mises’ Socialism, and so I recommended that he amend the omission.

When I came home from the conference, I discovered that (surprise!) my wife had rearranged my office, and it happened that, in the process, my copy of Socialism was placed atop my desk. Any book worth reading is worth re-reading, so even though I’ve read through Socialism at least three times, today I began to browsing it at leisure, and just now happened on this timely passage:

The theory of increasing poverty among the masses stands at the centre of Marxist thought as well as of older socialist doctrines. The accumulation of poverty parallels the accumulation of capital. . . .
The fact is, that the doctrine of increasing relative social poverty is nothing more than an attempt to give an economic justification to policies based on the resentment of the masses. Growing social poverty means merely growing envy.


August 9, 2008

Dr. Helen and ‘nice guys’

Dr. Helen Smith on “Dating Advice for Men,” in which she makes reference to the “nice guys finish last” complaint.

Nice guys, pay attention: The lady doesn’t owe you anything. Get it? Your mere “niceness” does not impose on her a reciprocal obligation. You are using your niceness as a Trojan Horse to get yourself inside the walled city, and when she spots this scheme and foils it, you cry foul. You’d be better off to make your play straight-up, accept the rejection and move on, rather than using the ambiguity of “niceness” to avert an immediate rejection.

The complaint that girls mistreat “nice guys” is actually a defense mechanism, a sort of sour-grapes method of projecting responsibility for your own shortcomings onto those who have spurned you: It’s not that I’m sexually insecure, socially awkward, and a lousy dancer. No, my problem is that I’m nice — and they’re all cold-hearted, selfish bitches.

Guys, study the Damone 5-Point Plan:

August 9, 2008

‘Truckstop Jim’ McGreevey updated

Being gay means not having to pay alimony to the gullible woman who served as your closet door. Let this be a warning to any other woman tempted to assist a Democratic phony trying to pose as an advocate of family values: Democrats’ “compassion” toward women is never personal, only political. Don’t expect your “services rendered” to proponents of this cause to be reciprocated; the advancement of the cause (i.e., the guy’s political career) is the only reward you’ll get.

August 9, 2008

Bush in Beijing: USA! USA!

It’s good to be the POTUS.

Via Hot Air, where Ed Morrisey has a caption contest, and urges commenters to “keep it clean.” Eh, I’ll wait for the AOSHQ caption contest. Rules? We don’t need no stinkin’ rules!

UPDATE: OK, the caption contest is now underway at “the most wretched hive of scum and villainy in the blogosphere.”

August 9, 2008

Republican media strategery

Treat reporters like scum. Yeah, that will work.

August 9, 2008

Contra Douthatism

Just reading the latest print issue of Doublethink, which features Donald Yoest’s profile of Grand New Party authors Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam, and can’t help thinking: My God, we’re back to 1959 and the “Modern Republicanism” that Buckley denounced in Up From Liberalism.

The essence of Modern Republicanism was making peace with the New Deal; now Douthat and Salam want us to make peace with the Great Society. Peace, peace — there is no peace.

In case anyone doubted that Douthatism is the bastard offspring of David Brooks’ “National Greatness,” Yoest traces the DNA sample:

Douthat and Salam admit the influence, at least partly, of New York Times columnist David Brooks on their work. Salama worked for Brooks as a research assistant and calls him “kind of a godfather of reformist conservatism” and points to “national greatness conservatism” — a phrase coined by Brooks and Weekly Standard editor William Kristol — as a forerunner of the new reformism. . . . Reform conservatives, like the national greatness conservatives before them, dissent from the anti-government enthusiasms of many on the Right.”

While I have already written some about what’s so wrongheaded with Douthatism — and will undoubtedly write more — the main point is that Douthat, Salam, Brooks & Co. are not interested in advancing a conservative policy agenda, they are interested in electing Republicans. On the question of limited government, they offer an echo, not a choice. They don’t differ at all from Democrats in their endorsement of a big, expensive, meddlesome federal government; they differ only only in what sort of meddling the government should do, and in wishing to see Republicans in charge of such an all-powerful centralized state.

This is not the conservatism I signed up for, nor is it a philosophically coherent alternative to Democratic “progressivism.” The Douthatist scheme — wage subsidies for “working families”? — is nothing but Rockefellerism and Scrantonism in postmodern drag.

I call to the reader’s attention this trend: These GOP apologists’ appetite for big government has only increased as their party has, in the past dozen years, steadlily abandoned the limited-government ideals espoused by Ronad Reagan and by the 1994 “Republican Revolution.” Big-government apologists like Douthat blame every GOP setback on the “anti-government enthusiasms” of conservatives, even though the setbacks only multiply and become more severe as Republicans increasingly sign onto the “national greatness” agenda.

A pox on this destructive apostasy and its misguided advocates, whose influence within the Republican Party is the best possible argument to vote for Bob Barr.

August 9, 2008

John Edwards: Ruh-roh

Hell hath no fury like a love child denied:

The family of John Edwards’ former mistress, Rielle Hunter, is challenging the former senator to take a DNA paternity test after his claim that he did not father Hunter’s six-month old child.
In the first reaction from Hunter’s family, her younger sister Melissa told ABC News that Edwards should immediately follow through on his pledge to take a paternity test.
“I would challenge him to do so,” the sister said. “Somebody must stand up and defend my sister,” she said. “I wish that those involved would refrain from bad-mouthing my sister.”

Ed Morrisey comments:

Edwards’ attempt to salvage some shred of his personal reputation at the expense of Rielle Hunter has caused this blowback. Let’s consider Melissa’s wrath for a moment. It springs from the notion that Edwards and Hunter didn’t have anything more than a physical affair and that Rielle slept with his campaign manager at nearly the same time — which certainly paints Hunter as something less than a virtuous woman.

In other words, from the standpoint of Hunter’s family, Edwards’ claim boils down to, “Rielle, you nasty slut.” I wonder what Edwards-worshipping Amanda Marcotte will say about this? Will she accuse Rielle of internalizing the patriarchal condemnation of female promiscuity?

August 9, 2008

Obama vs. McCain on the Caucasus crisis

Ben Smith of the Politico notes a characteristic difference in the way Barack Obama and John McCain address the Russian invasion of Georgia. Note the diplomatic neutrality of Obama’s statement:

“I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict. Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war. Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected. All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis.”

Obama refers to “the outbreak of violence,” calls on “both sides” to seek peace, and invokes “the international community.” Meanwhile, McCain bluntly speaks of the Russian invasion and makes prominent mention of the NATO military alliance:

Today, news reports indicate that Russian military forces crossed an internationally-recognized border into the sovereign territory of Georgia. Russia should immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory
We should immediately call a meeting of the North Atlantic Council to assess Georgia’s security and review measures NATO can take to contribute to stabilizing this very dangerous situation.

So, if getting tough with the Russkies is what you want, Maverick’s your man.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

August 9, 2008

Video: Beijing Olympics opening fireworks

Almost as good as my 4th of July show . . .

August 9, 2008

Edwards’ staged wedding-vow renewal

Michelle Malkin recalls the “major gushing” over the People magazine photos of John and Elizabeth Edwards’ 2007 renewal of their wedding vows, by Diane Sawyer on “Good Morning America”:

[W]e have the very first pictures of a very personal backyard ceremony for John Edwards and his wife.
Elizabeth Edwards is talking in a new chapter for her memoirs ‘Saving Graces’ about her life right now and the renewal of their vows. And we’ll show you those pictures, walking down the aisle again.”

Here’s Elizabeth Edwards at the July 2007 “BlogHer” conference, talking about “values” and religion and renewing her wedding vows:

Hey, Amanda Marcotte, why don’t you tell us again why this really isn’t a scandal, because Edwards can’t be accused of hypocrisy? I mean, here was Edwards, six months before the Iowa caucuses, getting People magazine coverage of his wedding-vow renewal ceremony and ABC News pitching his wife’s book — but none of this is hypocritical, is it?

UPDATE: Lee Stranahan, the kind of liberal true believer who doesn’t disillusion easily, puts it bluntly:

I am left with a very uncomfortable truth — both John and Elizabeth Edwards cynically used their marriage as a means to help John Edwards win an election. . . .
[I]f you gave John and Elizabeth Edwards time, money, support, or goodwill, they played you.
They made a conscious decision to make their relationship a focus throughout the campaign.

A sucker is born every minute.

UPDATE II: Roger Simon is willing to cut Elizabeth Edwards some slack:

Of course, if she knows it’s all BS and she’s still covering up for her husband, well, we’re all entitled to our personal Stockholm Syndromes.

But … the personal is political!