THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 641 September 20 - 26, 2010
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September 20, 2010
It's important to keep things in perspective. The Country Club won't give up power easily; but not all of the supporters of the country club are irredeemable lackeys of the ruling class. If there is to be a restructuring of the Republican Party with a shift in power to the citizen middle class, it will require that the new coalition win a very great number of the rather complacent members of the Republican base who have stayed loyal for decades.
It is also important to understand that the Senate has 100 members, and is conservative by nature.
Genuine new party construction has been rare. The Whigs were eradicated, and the Republicans became a major party at a time when the Democrats were also deeply divided. Most power shifts have been within parties. Sometimes those shifts can be sudden and dramatic. This looks to be one of them.
This is going to be one of the most critical elections in modern times. The stakes are high, and the candidates are pretty well set now. What's important now is to win, and what's needed is unity. Unity has a price. Sometimes the price is too high, but for the most part the price is more social than principle. Being gracious in victory and not being sullen in defeat -- in those places where conservatives won or lost in the primaries -- is sometimes difficult but nearly always worth the effort.
We do not need to make mortal enemies of everyone who ever befriended an enemy. It is important not to concentrate on the blemishes of our friends. The objective is to change directions. A return to the Old Republic is not going to be easy, and there will never be unanimous agreement as to just what that means. I suspect that where I want to go is not the same as where many younger people are headed. So be it. What we need among other things is more transparency and subsidiarity, and those principles will inevitably lead to people "over yonder" doing things we "over here" consider despicable. That's the way it is.
The first objective is victory in November. Without that nothing else will happen. And the larger the victory the easier the transition of power.
I have heard the "O'Donnell said she was a teen age witch" tape from 1999. The one thing I learned is that she had questionable judgment back then, trusting Bill Maher to be fair or reasonable. Or maybe she was prescient, since I can't imagine this having much effect on voting outcome.
I used to have some respect for the Christian Science Monitor, a paper that was good on everything although you didn't rely on it for the latest advances in medical science, but here's the headline they gave this O'Donnell witchcraft story:
Which tells me a lot about the reliability of today's Christian Science Monitor.
If we have anyone knitting lists among the readership, the ones to watch out for are the Country Club Republicans who, rather than ignore O'Donnell or supporting her, take a lot of trouble to make fun of her. Surely we have someone who can play Madame Defarge for us? Those who go out of their way to denounce fellow Republicans have told us all we need to know about them. Those who can ignore the Delaware race can be left out of the knitting. And those who take the trouble to say anything at all positive should be remembered when it comes time to rebuild the party.
We are not going to build a new Right Wing Conspiracy party. We can rebuild the Republican Party to reflect the new realities of America. That's my idea of a Big Tent, anyway.
Let me remind you of what Governor Reagan said: "When someone agrees with me 80% of the time, I call him a friend, not an enemy." Bill Buckley agreed with him. I heard each one of them say it at one time or anthoer. Now I know to personal knowledge what Reagan and Buckley meant meant by that, too. There are some crucial issues that can't be compromised -- but there aren't that many.
I understand that my colleague Elizabeth Moon (formerly Lt. Moon, USMC) has been denounced for believing that not enough of our citizens have read Everett Elliot Hale's story of Philip Nolan, The Man Without a Country. That used to be required reading in fifth grade. Perhaps it should be again.
A good copy may be found here for those who do not recall.
Jim Baen was an old friend, as is Toni who succeeded him, and they certainly had the rights to publish anything they did publish. My memory isn't what it used to be. The Mote contract was with Simon and Schuster from long ago, and no one ever heard of electronic rights in those days. Many Kindle editions arranged by authors are non-exclusive publication with the royalties going directly to the authors; that's relatively new. The whole world of publishing is changing, and we're adjusting to it. I have nothing but praise for Baen.
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|This week:||Tuesday, September
Last Day of the Summer of Recovery
Haley Barbour Gets It
At least one old guard establishment Republican gets it:
Barbour, former Republican National Chairman, goes on to say
This is a critical election, and could -- probably will -- lead to a restructuring of Republican leadership, but only if we win at least one house of Congress, and better to win both. It's important not only that conservative candidates win, but that they win big; and conservatives who live in a Republican district where the Republican candidate is one of the old establishment who has treated us with contempt in the past need to think on what Barbour's statement says for the future. It may be possible to build a real center-right party again.
Barbour also said
We can hope that all of the Republican Regulars have received and understood this message. We can also hope that the Tea Party people whose candidates did not win understand the importance of such a message from an official of the importance of Haley Barbour.
The Little Amnesty program for Undocumented Democrats, called the "DREAM Act", is being attached to the Defense Appropriation Act in a cynical political move that assumes the American people are too stupid to figure out what is happening. The Democrats are betting that sound bites saying that the Republicans oppose defense spending will have a big effect on the military vote, while the Amnesty will raise their popularity with Latinos in Nevada, and thus bring about the reelection of Harry Reid. Reid, like the soon to be former Senator from Alaska, feels entitled to his seat without regard to what he has to do to keep it.
So far have we come.
The following is a matter of some importance and refers to an item in Mail yesterday.
If you are asking for my advice, it is simple: Do Not Do That. Be respectfully polite to the border guards, and apply your energies to other activities.
St. Thomas tells us that those who would stand up to tyrants must be prepared to face the consequences, and must not endanger innocent third parties. You do not qualify. Don't do it. A protest of that kind could have severe consequences without commensurate benefits. There are times to stand up to tyrants. This is not one of them. Put your time into less spectacular actions.
Highly publicized acts of defiance have their place, and need to be done spontaneously lest there be charges of conspiracy under the Patriot Act, yet be well thought out. That means cellular organization. That's a lot of work. Such work would be better spent organizing precincts and building permanent conservative influence and strength in the Republican Party. This can be done by working with the Tea Party movement or through less spectacular but much needed work within the regular Party structure. That is all legal and only mildly dangerous. It requires courage. Arnold Schwarzenegger found that out when as a new governor he tried to reform the California system and faced the hatred of the teachers and nurses unions with their ruthless pursuit and relentless denunciations. He couldn't stand it. The same tactics will be used on anyone who tries to change the system. Had Governor Schwarzenegger had the courage to stand up to all that -- of course the abuse was also directed at his family, since his Kennedy-family wife was denounced as a traitor -- had he had the moral courage to stand up to that, it would have been enormously effective.
A few thousand people working quietly to build permanent influence within a major party will have more consequences to the nation than what would come of one family's defiance of petty officials who believe they are only doing their job. There will come a time when the entire TSA and Border Guard system can be reformed. Work toward that. For that you qualify.
This is repeated from last week.
My son Richard works for Congressman Rohrabacher and has asked me to post this. Dana has long been a personal friend, and I have always supported him for Congress although I do not live in his district. He supports the concepts of X Projects and Prizes as a way to encourage technological progress without building large government structures. I do not often post political appeals.
September 22, 2010
I continue to be astonished at the fooferaw over O'Donnell's admission that as a teenager in high school she dated someone who "dabbled in witchcraft" or some such. It's obviously still the silly season.
Regarding the Delaware election, it's a matter of considerable importance. I have no idea what O'Donnell's preference is in matters of witchcraft, but I am very certain she would never vote to attach the DREAM amendment that would bring citizenship to half a million undocumented Democrats to the Defense Appropriation Bill; and I am quite certain that he Democrat opponent would. That concerns me a lot. I don't think the Congress is going to have many votes in which one's position on witchcraft when a teenager would be important.
Ye flipping gods.
Today's Wall Street Journal article "A Teacher Quality Manifesto" by Deborah Kenny of the Harlem Village Academies is well worth your attention.
The record of these schools is impressive. The United States does not have to sacrifice its children by hurling them through the arms of the Teacher's Unions as the Carthaginians were said to sacrifice their children to Ba'al.
Captain Robert Truax, RIP
One of the early giants of the space program. Jeanna Yeager was working for him when she met Dick Rutan. Truax championed sea launches of big dumb boosters as the way to conquer space.
September 23, 2010
.Rush Limbaugh today speaks of the new poll on "The American Dream". We are down to about half the people believing that "the American Dream" is over; it was once true, but is no longer. I suspect that's unduly pessimistic, but it's significant.
The very idea of freedom and liberty as a goal is under attack; the new goal is the liberal notion of an elite that sets goals which people are required to follow for their own good. It is this substitution of goals that must be stopped; which means that the education system which produced it must be either changed or abolished.
We went through all this before in the Carter Administration. Recovery is possible. We were transformed when the Carter era ended, and in those days the Soviet Union with its 26,000 deliverable warheads was a real threat.
I am not an uncritical fan of Limbaugh, but I think today's monologue had merit. Reagan gave us reason to be proud of America and gave new hope that freedom would be valuable. The current administration encourages dependence on entitlements. An entitlement society will necessarily be both structured and fairly rigid in composition. One can join the entitlements at the cost of freedom. That was not the American way in my youth.
One significant quote from Victor Davis Hanson: "We are all getting poorer in the hopes that we can prevent some from getting richer." This is worth reflecting on. Would we prefer to be poorer but equal if that is the price of equality?
I remind you as I have in the past. Free people are not equal. Equal people are not free. And eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
The US walked out of the UN during the Iranian President's speech when he accused the US of staging the 911 attacks. That shouldn't be surprising although I am a bit surprised that our delegates had permission to do that. What is more interesting is who walked out with us and who stayed. And why.
The UN succumbed to the Iron Law a long time ago. It has now devolved into farce.
Katy Perry plays dress-up with Elmo, and that's bad? I can well understand not having young kids watch TV at all, but if you decide to allow it, surely this won't be the worst thing they're exposed to?
She sure ain't Big Bird, though.
September 24, 2010
Time for my morning walk. Then Niven and I will go up the hill.
I am not always in agreement with Rush Limbaugh, but this morning he talked about nuances and this upcoming election: "If Mickey Mouse could get on the ballot, I would support Mickey Mouse rather than a Democrat." I heartily agree.
The Country Club is so concerned with party unity: where are they now? Did they not read Haley Barbour? This is a crucial election.
We had a good hike and replotted Anvil. We have over fifty good pages and a path to most of the book. As well as a connection with Hammer.
Peggy Noonan's "The Enraged vs. the Exhausted" this week is very good.
September 25, 2010
A few readers have asked if it is a bit extreme to say I'd prefer a Republican Mickey Mouse to a democrat this year. I understand the question. It is not something I would normally say. The nation is safest when we can entrust either party with power, and one might prefer a good man from the opposite party to a buffoon from his own. I do not think these are such times. The Pelosi wing of the Democratic Party is so thoroughly entrenched that the only way the leadership can change will be a thorough humiliation of the Democrats, something comparable to the thumping the Republicans got in 2008.
There is still a struggle within the Republican Party over who shall have the greater influence, the new Taxed Enough populist movement in alliance with the old Conservative/Libertarian Wing, or the Country Club faction that was instrumental in putting the Creeps in charge after the resignation of Speaker Gingrich. The primaries are over now, to the disappointment of many of the old Country Club candidates were defeated. Not all of the new candidates are the people I would have chosen, but the important thing is that the Republicans be elected. That will force a change in leadership and a sharing of political influence, a step toward purging the Republicans of the Creeps and a permanent diminishing of tendencies toward nonsense such as "big government Conservatism." That is an important thing to accomplish, and the larger the Republican victory after this Summer the more influence the Taxed Enough Already movement will have. Moreover, success breeds success, and with luck the Tea Party movement will itself be subject to some changes as those who wish for Self Government understand that for self government to work there must be reasonable numbers of people willing to govern themselves.
The larger the Republican victory in this election, the larger the chance of real leadership changes in both parties. We have rejected the Creeps. We now need to reject the Nuts. When that's accomplished we can get down to the serious business of rebuilding the leadership in both parties to reflect the principles that built this republic. I am as interested in the salutary effect on the Democrats of a big loss as I am in any positive results a Republican majority could accomplish over the next two years.
There is mail including a provocative piece on IQ and the coming economy.
September 26, 2010
I have enough mail asking me about this that I don't feel I am spreading rumors.
Harlan is an old friend. I have not spoken with him recently. I intend to.
Pledge to America
I am not so critical, but I certainly do not rank this statement with Gingrich's Contract With America. It hardly matters. My goal is a restructuring of both American political parties in a direction back toward the Old Republic; which means I don't really want a lot of new stuff, I want to get rid of some. Auction off Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and get out of the real estate loan business. Stop shoveling money out to academia which has only resulted in dramatically rising costs of education. Go back to something like the Hatch Act for federal employees.
Cutting taxes and spending won't bring back the economy, but it won't hurt, either. What is needed is cheap energy and more freedom. What is needed is an economic miracle. We are still capable of that.
The STUXNET virus has infected Iran's computers. All their personal computers, and probably their nuclear power system control computers, seem to have a root kit worm called Stuxnet that is so sophisticated that the talk is that it must have been taken the resources of a nation state, probably Israel. I have no data on this. The worm could conceivably allow the nuclear power plant control systems to be enslaved by an outsider.
I understand that the Pentagon has forbidden anyone with internal computer access to bring in thumb drives, where were the probable means of infection of the Iranian computers. I know that Zip Drives were once a means of infection. Some years ago the CIA epoxied the USB ports of most of its desktops to negate the threat of computer infection at Langley. Of course iPods, iPads, and iPhones as well as other PDA's can be a means of transmission. Internal firewalls help, but the nightmare of infection across all Company and Pentagon system remains. Fun for all.
The Israelis have ended their suspension of building new settlements. The impact of this will be enormous. Israeli's ten month freeze has not bought them much; but the end of the settlement road is full occupation with all that implies, and probably means moving people in large numbers.
Apartheid, segregation, or whatever softer term you wish to use actually works; but it does mean that it must be enforced in both directions. Building new settlements in the West Bank immediately opens the problem of how to protect them (since new ones will not be on the Israeli side of the Security Wall).
Israel is a democracy.
Stephen Colbert appears before a Congressional Committee where he gave the Congresscritters the benefit of his view on what conservatives believe. Perhaps this is a good thing? It may be the only time some of them ever heard a conservative idea expressed by anyone.
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 5,000 - 12,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
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