Friday, September 07, 2007
Barnett, T.P.M. (2007). I was -- quite literally -- a night deposit at the FDIC. Thomas P.M. Barnet :: Weblog. September 7, 2007. Available online: http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2007/09/i_wasquite_literallya_night_de.html.
From Tom's blog:
I am the first to quasi-testify to the panel. We meet in a HASC room with me at the center of the U (open end) and the seven of them surrounding me. Cooper asks me to start off and I do an impromptu summary of both books and my thinking in general, highlighting on the SysAdmin-Leviathan split, AFRICOM, and the Dept of Everything Else. Asked for some focal points on incremental change, I cite: 1) Africom’s stand-up, 2) the possible creation of a civilian reserves corps, 3) the rise of the SysAdmin industrial complex through the lens of Lock-Mart’s acquisition of PA&E (I use Dan Abbott’s concept a lot in discussions with people), and the likely suggestion of the HELP Commission (where I testified a long while back) regarding the splitting off of USAID from State (fingers crossed!).
It's an honor!
(And "Sysadmin Industrial Complex" rolls off the tongue easier than "Military Industrial Complex "anyway!)
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I like South Dakota Politics, a lot, but after checking the blog on my reader I find two posts to especially disagree with.
- SDP criticizes liberals for backing higher gas prices
But as I wrote:
It makes no sense to import vast amounts of oil from unstable petrokleptocracies. Oil revenues allow corrupt elites to avoid real reform and buy-off (often dangerous) special interests. It diverts capital from New Core growth economies to these backwords pits. It helps funds Islamic terrorism. It exposes us to another oil shock.
- SDP says that Congress is less popular than the President
But as I wrote:
The reason: the American people are opposed to Congress as an institution, but are not so opposed to the President. Political science research (see, for instance, Congress as Public Enemy or Stealth Democracy) shows that Americans are opposed to the idea of a body that is dedicated to political compromise making decisions for us. We would rather our government be in the hands of experts, or people who are able to ignore politics and get things done.
Increase gas prices. Ignore Congress's job approval.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Final vote results for roll call 298, from South Dakota Politics and South Dakota War College.
The best argument in favor of Hate Crimes legislations is that Hate Crimes Laws are actually Anti-Terrorist Laws. Terrorists, such as today's al Qaeda and yesterday's Ku Klux Klan kill people for the same reason that politicans pass laws: to get things done. al Qaeda wants America out of the mid-east, just as the Klan wanted America out of the south-east. This subverts the political process.
Hate violence is political violence. When a black or homosexual is murdered for being in the wrong neighborhood, this killing is done by those who wish to answer the political question, "who should live in our neighborhood?", through violence. However, if that same person was killed by his boyfriend in a quarrel, such would be a murder among murders. In the same way, if a PLO suicide bomber kills an Israeli, the world properly calls it terror and vows to pursue the terrorist to the ends of the earth. But, if that same Israeli was killed by her boyfriend, the world calls it "crime" and expects the police to handle it in the normal procedure. For that matter, the hateful political violence of 9/11, which killed almost three-thousand Americans, is considered much more serious than vitamin deficiency, which may easily top that number.
Hate crimes are attempts to subvert the political system, while regular crimes are attempt to subvert the justice system. When a man kills a friend, he attempts to go around the law-courts in a "he done me wrong" manner. He has no larger goals, and is thus merely a law-and-order threat for the country. However, when a man killers another out of hate, he attempts to go around the Congress and legislature. He is killing for a reason.
Thus, my Representative's (Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-SD) vote against hate crimes protections for veterans and soldiers is sickening. If I gave her and Nancy Pelosi intellectual credit, I would say that are more interested in protecting their supporters from terrorist violence than they are in reducing terrorism. However, I don't give them credit. The Democratic-Party Congress has been a disaster. Vote Republican.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Stearns, S. 2007. Bush repeats call for war funding bill without conditions. VOA News. April 14, 2007. Available online: http://voanews.com/english/2007-04-14-voa17.cfm
What's the difference between Republicans and Democrats in Congress? Republicans will waste everyone's time with crazy, useless regulations. Democrats will weaken the country.
I deeply regret my hurtful advice to vote Democrat. The Democratic Party has no business having a single seat in Congress..
The latest stunt of attaching a timetable to the war spending bill is harmful and dangerous. We should leave Iraq --- now. The only meaningful purpose of "the surge" is to intimidate Iran. There are easier and cheaper ways of doing this. The Iraqi Sunni Arabs will be slaughtered when we leave, but we already changed their history for the worse anyway, so why not speed the killing.
While Bush has incompetently fought the rebuilding of Iraq, has not looked weak. Every country in the world realizes that the United States of America is led by a dangerous bulldog who will tear down everything in pursuit of his goals. Frankly, there are worse reputations to have.
Yet Nancy Pelosi, that "mackerel-headed ho," is trying her best to screw even this up. By attempting to execute foreign policy in violation of the fact that the President is the executive, she made our country appeared divided even when it came to official channels. By playing with war funding, she raises the specter of an earlier Democratic Congress's betrayal of the Republic of Vietnam.
At this point, I do not care if decapitated boyscouts are found in the offices of the Republican Congressional Leadership. The GOP must win back the House and the Senate in '08.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I'm normally sympathetic to South Dakota Politics, but their defense of President Bush's low job approval numbers (36.5% for, 60.3% against) by comparing them to the low job approval fo Congress (35.0% for, 55.8% against) misses the mark.
SDP blogger Ken Blanchard writes:
I anxiously await Chad [of left-wing South Dakotan blog Clean Cut Kid] telling me why the bad news only counts when its bad for Republicans.
The reason: the American people are opposed to Congress as an institution, but are not so opposed to the President. Political science research (see, for instance, Congress as Pulbic Enemy or Stealth Democracy) shows that Americans are opposed to the idea of a body that is dedicated to political compromise making decisions for us. We would rather our government be in the hands of experts, or people who are able to ignore politics and get things done.
It is not surprising that the public has a low view of the Congress. But as long as abolition of Article I is not on the ballot, that really doesn't matter. What does matter is that the American people don't think highly of Bush. And it's pretty clear where he lost them (staying too large and too long in Iraq) and where he lost conservatives (Harriet Miers).
However, in Blanchard's defense, Bush is not running again. He can't. Therefore this back-and-forth about Bush is somewhat philosophical. The post-presidency has long since begun.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The last Republican Congress -- officially known as the One Hundred Ninth United States Congress -- was a disasterous embarrassment that fully deserved its divine obliteration.
As if criminalizing horse-steak was not bad enough, the so-called conservatives decided to bend time itself to the government's will. Except for a few misled libertarians, few were happy with this arbitrary and capricious, not to mention pointless, exercise of legislative power. And pointless. Did I say pointless?:
Results from energy companies are coming in, and the word is that moving Daylight Saving Time forward three weeks had no measurable impact on power consumption. The attempt by the US Congress to make it look like they were doing something about the energy crisis has been exposed as the waste it is."
I regret that Pelosi became speaker. And not at all sorry that Hastert lost the job.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
"House Votes to Outlaw Horse Slaughter," by Libby Quaid, Associated Press, 7 September 2006, http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/entrelaw/feeds/ap/2006/09/07/ap3001590.html (from Democratic Underground).
"The United States is the world's oldest and most successful multinational economic and political union in the world" - "50 members strong." The founding fathers gave us the wonderful system of federalism, which allows Massachusetts to experiment with Left-wing governance, South Dakota to experiment with Right-wing governance, and everyone else to judge the success or failure for themselves. Federalism rejects the failed notion of Modernity -- the idea that there is One Right Way For Everyone Best Decided By Experts -- and instead returns decision making to distributed and (informally as possible) networked centers of control.
But if you're a House Republican, you don't care about what those old fogeys thought, do you?
The House brushed aside objections from horse doctors and the White House and voted Thursday to outlaw slaughtering horses for people to eat.
"It is one of the most inhumane, brutal, shady practices going on in the U.S. today," said Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., a sponsor of the ban.
Sweeney argued that the slaughter of horses is different from the slaughter of cattle and chickens because horses, such as Mr. Ed, Secretariat and Silver, are American icons.
In case that didn't make you want to kill yourself, the House Republicans tried even more:
Added Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.: "The way a society treats its animals, particularly horses, speaks to the core values and morals of its citizens."
The administration had the backing of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the biggest horse doctors' group. The American Quarter Horse Association also supports the practice.
It is hard to conceive of any action that more clearly ignores the 10th Amendment to the Constitution
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Did the Congress, aware that horse-butchery was not an issue which Jefferson, Madison, & Co. were unprepared to trust the wisdom of distant federal officials, stay out of the matter, allowing the People in the several States to act?
Did the Congress, aware that horse-butchery was not an issue which Jefferson, Madison, & Co. were unprepared to trust the wisdom of distant federal officials, stay out of the matter, allowing the People to directly act, supporting horse-butchery or not as was their conscious?
For that matter, did Congress realize that a literalist interpretation of Mr. Ed may lead to spurious laws?
Nope. Instead a worthless, nanny-state law of the worst sort.
Don't Vote Republican. Vote Democrat.
Friday, September 08, 2006
"In the Defense of Basic Rights, An Official Led a City's Defiance," by William Yardley, New York Times, 8 September 2006, A20, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/08/us/08liberties.html.
There is no reason for Conservatives to vote Republican in the 2006 House elections. An obvious refrain is "security," but America is united on the issue:
In its efforts to fight terrorism, do you think the Bush Administration has gone too far in restricting people's civil rights, not gone far enough, or been about right?
Leaving aside criticisms of the questions' pro-Left phrasing, the conclusion remains... A strong, domestic anti-terrorism policy enjoys support of a majority of Americans. Among critics, Right Malkinists are nearly as popular as Left Kossacks. When the Democrats take the House in 2006, they will be unable to enact a Leftist agenda. Indeed, a worse-case Democratic majority in the 110th Congress would look a lot like the Republican 109th Congress.