After that emotion-drenched (nay, bilious!) fury over the availability of pedagogically useful programming languages -- (who’d have thunk that my little poke would provoke such a stunning storm of opinion and ...occasionally... outright rage!) -- I am glad to be switching back to a much calmer and more rational topic -- politics.
1) Cognitive Dissonance on the Border: Political assumptions are terrible things. You simply cannot shake them with facts. This week, the GOP controlled Congress is making great big drumbeats over IMMIGRATION and Border Control. Naturally, the gerrymander-radicalized House is more extreme than the Senate, demanding instant sealing of borders with surpertech walls and rounding up 12 million illegals for deportation. How conservative! How Republican! What outrageous Baloney!
What I find stunning is that nobody seems even interested in hurling the accusation of hypocrisy... even though hypocrisy is known to be one of the most devastatingly effective charges you can fling at a political opponent. To the best of my knowledge, I am the absolute only voice in media who has been relentlessly pointing out that:
(i) Bill Clinton doubled the number of active Border Patrol field agents as almost his first act in office, while
(ii) George W. Bush, upon becoming president, savagely cut the same agency!
Moreover, Bush KEPT on cutting till the border tsunami began bothering even his most loyal redstate supporters.
These facts are clear, stunningly blatant. Obvious. (Remember Operation Gatekeeper?) Overwhelmingly powerful and potentially effective. So why does absolutely nobody ever mention them? I can only guess that cognitive dissonance prevents people from even allowing these datums into their minds. Even though the economic explanations are obvious. One supposes that liberals fear mentioning it lest they sound racist. Hence they do not use a bullet that would smite the enemy right between the eyes.
2) there is much buzz over an article in Washington Monthly called Time For Us To Go: Conservatives on why the GOP should lose in 2006.
”With Republicans controlling Congress and the White House, conservatives these days ought to be happy, but most aren’t. They see expanding government, runaway spending, Middle East entanglements, and government corruption, and they wonder why, exactly, the country should be grateful for Republican dominance. Some accuse Bush and the Republicans today of not being true conservatives. Others see a grab bag of stated policies and wonder how they cohere. Everyone thinks something’s got to change.
“Now seven prominent conservatives dare to speak the unspeakable: They hope the Republicans lose in 2006. Well, let’s be diplomatic and say they’d prefer divided government—soon. (Perhaps that formulation will fool Dennis Hastert.) Of course, all of them wish for the long-term health of conservatism, and most are loyal to the GOP. What they also believe, however, is that even if a Speaker Pelosi looms in the wings, sometimes the best remedy for a party gone astray is to give it a session in the time-out chair.
Spread word. Refer your conservative friends to articles by Christopher Buckley, Bruce Bartlett, Joe Scarborough, William A. Niskanen, Bruce Fein, Jeffrey Hart and Richard A. Viguerie.
These defections do little good, one at a time. It is in groups like these, in shotgun blasts, that they give me hope for the soul and manhood of American Conservatism. Hope that some conservatives may actually have enough character to do what liberals did, during the Miracle of 1947.
To stand up. To put their nation and civilization first. Ahead of reflex dogma, graft and loyalty to monsters.
3) Teacher won't shave until bin Laden caught. EPHRATA, Washington (AP) -- After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Gary Weddle followed the news so closely he forgot to shave. After a week he decided not to shave until Osama bin Laden was caught or killed. Nor has Weddle, 46, who expected the al Qaeda leader to be caught within a month or so, trimmed his facial hair in the succeeding five years as he went from substitute teacher to science instructor at Ephrata Middle School. At the start of each school year he gives students a brief explanation of his beard, which stretches more than a foot and has started turning gray.
4) On Slate see: THERE ARE NO MORE TROOPS TO SEND TO IRAQ. By Daniel Benjamin and Michèle A. Flournoy. Things that I say for two, three years http://www.davidbrin.com/neocons.html finally make it into public awareness... and am I ever cited? Ever? Ah well, it’s good to see this finally mentioned.
”Earlier this week, in a Washington Post , William Kristol and Rich Lowry called on the Bush administration to send more troops to Iraq...It isn't clear that any conceivable increase in troops could stem the tide of sectarian violence, but it is, at least, a serious argument and a welcome counterpoint to the White House's incessant calls for staying a course that is leading to disaster.
The only problem with Kristol and Lowry's recommendation is that it is premised on an illusion: In fact, there are no more troops to send to Iraq.
“That is the unmistakable message of an Army briefing making the rounds in Washington. According to in-house assessments, fully two-thirds of the Army's operating force, both active and reserve, is now reporting in as "unready"—that is, they lack the equipment, people, or training they need to execute their assigned missions. Not a single one of the Army's Brigade Combat Teams—its core fighting units—currently in the United States is ready to deploy... etc.”
The only thing more mind-boggling than this treason is that the dems are LETTING them get away with saying “we’re safer”, when the GOP has overseen the steepest decline in US readiness in any of our lifetimes.
I am still going to fight like hell for the dems to retake Congress. (For the sake of civilization.) But if they don’t start taking seriously the plight of the US Officer Corps... and the sincere, dedicated women and men who serve under them... then who will?
5) Register voters. Now.
FINALLY.... if any of you did as asked, and subscribed to Baen’s UNIVERSE Magazine, you are no doubt by now thrilled by the prodigious amount of high quality SF you’ve found there! If you liked the hilarious and groaner-filled SF comedy I’ve been serializing there, I am recruiting a small number of horrific punsters to look over Part III. Just a few. If you’ve enjoyed the 1st two parts and have already had a few evil thoughts and awful twists, write to me. It may be your lucky day.