Archive for October, 2008

Black Helicopters and Little Red Books

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

I think it’s true, as my political science professor brother, Jeff, has been telling me, that world government is about to take a great leap forward. Already the governments of the U.S. and Europe are, out of necessity, groping towards a global financial rules of the road. If bank accounts are guaranteed in Ireland, then they must be guaranteed everywhere, like it or not. It is no longer feasible to have such minimal global governance of the financial system as we have had.

It is not an argument about the lack or excess of regulation and governmental economic interference in the United States. Subprime mortgages and the resulting housing bubble was somewhat more the Democrats’ fault than the Republicans, but that isn’t the problem. The bad mortgages were the trigger, but the global financial system has not collapsed because of a few bad American mortgages, which the U.S. economy could have easily absorbed. The entire global system was/is way over-leveraged. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

If it hadn’t been the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble, which the global financial community bought into, it would have been something else. The big financial brains all over the world embraced a pseudo-scientific mathematical delusion that you could eliminate risk by making it more complicated. They created a system that was fragile and vulnerable. Pull on one thread, and it all comes unraveled. The housing “crisis” was the thread.

This is now a global argument, and, although economic power is the coin of the realm, consensus, and therefore compromise, is being, and shall increasingly be, required of all parties, to a much greater extent than heretofore. Necessity is a mother.

Since the nation-states of Europe have adopted the Euro as a common currency, all else follows. National sovereignty is over in Europe. Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, but within Europe, which has no guns to speak of, just these cute little toy armies, power grows out of the barrel of the Euro.

So Europe, and the rest of us, the U.S., Great Britain, Japan, China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Brazil, Venezuela, and the lesser (lessor) nations, will now have to hang together economically, or hang separately. This is very big news that has barely begun to be assimilated by world leaders, let alone the world’s citizens. The domain of national economic decisions is shrinking. The domain of the G7 and the IMF is expanding.

Of course I’m aware that this warms the cockles of the heart of the one world cult, and that it all sounds a lot more like Obama than McCain. I don’t like it. I am a big fan of national sovereignty. I am also a big fan of state and local sovereignty. It must be from my SDS days and the worship of “participatory democracy”, for which idealists like myself and Bill Ayers sacrificed so much.

But I don’t see an alternative. We are stuck with a global economy and we might as well get busy administering it. One bright side of the global financial collapse is the attendant collapse of Kyoto-style carbon emissions fascism, but we are about to experience the emergence of many more economic constraints on national sovereignty.

Ill Wind

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

If the Republicans had not won|stolen (choose verb based on Party affiliation) the last two Presidential elections, this global financial system meltdown would have happened anyway, only it would now be the Democrats’ fault, because of too much regulation, and the Republican candidate would be 8 points ahead in the polls.

In other words, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody good, and in that spirit, here are some reasons why the inevitable ascension of Obama to the Presidency will not be an unalloyed evil.

1. The mainstream media will start reporting good news from Iraq, now that Obama has cleaned up Bush’s mess.

2. Paul Krugman will become optimistic about the future of the U.S. economy.

3. Maureen Dowd will start writing snide columns about Barack Obama.

4. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will no longer be the official spokespersons of African America.

5. Black youth will gain a well-dressed family man role model.

6. Affirmative action will have even more people shaking their heads.

7. The U.S. will become beloved by the peoples of all nations, for several weeks.

8. Rising gas prices caused by no drilling, no nukes policies will further the quest for alternative energy sources.

9. The depression resulting from increased taxes and trade protectionism will reduce carbon emissions.

10. The Fairness Doctrine will get rid of all those annoying right-wing radio talk shows and Fox News commentators.

11. The Republicans will be severely punished. Lord knows they have it coming.

The Bradley Effect

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Now that racism has been redefined as criticism of Barack Obama, I imagine that a lot of people will lie and say they are voting for Obama, when asked by a stranger on the phone. I know I would, but they won’t call me because I don’t have a land line. It doesn’t mean you are a racist. It just means you don’t want to be called a racist. There’s no way I’m going to put up a McCain/Palin sign in the yard or a bumper sticker on the car, even if my wife would let me. Having an American flag out front is risky enough.

I don’t get this whole “racist tinge” mainstream media accusation against the McCain/Palin ads and statements. I can see how Al Gore bringing up the Willy Horton furlough in the 1988 Democratic primary debate, and the George H. W. Bush Horton television ad, could arguably be considered racist. Whoooo! Dukakis is going to let all the bad Negroes out of jail!

But Dukakis was white. You don’t have to make subtle appeals to racism to get racists to vote against Barack Obama. He’s a black guy! This is not a secret. If you are a racist, you don’t need a subtle remark from Sarah Palin to remind you that Barack Obama is black and that you don’t like black people. You already know this. You don’t require assistance.

White Republican racists were already going to vote for John McCain, because they’re Republicans, an endangered political species these days. Black racists were already going to vote for Obama, because they’re Democrats. 95% of black people are Democrats regardless. White people tortured by guilt over America’s racist history were already going to vote for Obama, because they’re all Democrats.

That only leaves white racist Democrats, who would otherwise have voted for the Democrat, if only he were white, but are now going to vote for McCain, and lie to pollsters about it. How many of those could there possibly be? Of course, now-a-days, the definition of a white racist Democrat, as established by the Obama campaign and the MSM, is anyone who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries.

So if Obama loses, and it is decided by the media that the cause is racism, then the Democrats are to blame. How long will it take, dear Lord, for the Democratic Party to overcome its racist legacy!?

Fools, Drunks, and the United States of America

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

If you read newspapers, watch TV, and stay away from the blogosphere, the radio, and Fox News, it looks like it’s all over. And it probably is. Even Christopher Buckley has come out for Obama.

I will not vote for a Democrat for any office. The Democratic Party collectively did everything in its power to lose the war against Islamic jihadism. They did so for domestic political gain. Abraham Lincoln would have thrown a few Democratic leaders in jail, but such behavior is no longer treasonous in a legal sense. However I consider it to be treasonous in a de facto sense.

When the evidence began to mount that the surge was going to succeed, and General Petreaus testified, oh so carefully, with the utmost restraint, to that effect, he was savagely attacked by Hillary Clinton, the entire Democratic leadership, and, yes, Barack Obama. He was accused of being a liar by Hillary, and a traitor by a major Democratic source of funding, Events subsequently proved him right far beyond the muted optimism of his Congressional testimony. The closer we came to victory in Iraq, the more the Democratic leadership redoubled its efforts. Obama called for all troops to be out of Iraq by last March, in a desperate attempt to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It was cynical. It was cold-blooded. It is unforgivable.

I have been a Democrat all my life, as were my parents before me, but I will never again vote for a Democrat until the Party makes amends, and I do not expect that to happen for a long time, if ever. Of course this means nothing to those who believe that we are not at war, or that the war is over, or that the Islamists were never a serious threat. Good luck to them. I hope they are right. I doubt very much that they are.

Setting such considerations aside, which apparently a majority of the electorate is quite willing to do, there are other reasons why I am not inclined to coronate First Citizen Obama. We don’t know him. The mainstream media have become part of the Obama campaign apparatus. No investigation has been done into his past. We are aware of every conceivable, real and imaginary, skeleton in Sarah Palin’s closet, but the details of Obama’s relationships with Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, Father Pfleger, and ACORN, remain murky, obscure, unexplored.

Barack Obama could be anything, from a Manchurian candidate to the coming Messiah. He is a carefully maintained blank slate. He is being dragged over the finish line by CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, the New York Times, the LA Times, and the Associated Press. I don’t trust him, and I certainly don’t trust him working in concert with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

I may be wrong. Obama would not be the first unsavory character to become President and rise to the occasion. There are ample precedents from Thomas Jefferson to Lyndon Johnson. And there are ample precedents of men of honor and integrity being terrible Presidents, from Ulysses S. Grant to Herbert Hoover. So let us hope that it is true, as Otto von Bismarck or Winston Churchill or somebody said, that God has a special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States of America.

The Cat’s Pajamas

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Sarah Palin has succeeded in removing herself from the equation by her sterling performance Thursday night. It is now between John McCain and Barack Obama.

If President Obama is in our future, if he is the one who stands up there to take the oath on Inauguration Day, I will cheer, I will pray for him, I will celebrate. It will be an historic occasion. It will be one of the greatest moments in all of human history. I will have the audacity to hope that Barack Hussein Obama turns out to be a great leader at a time, once again, of Civilization’s greatest peril.

It will not be the first time that a man of unrevealed moral courage and integrity has risen to the nation’s highest office. It has been the case with many of our Presidents, from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln to John Kennedy to Richard Nixon. It is the democratic crap shoot. The polis, the citizenry, the Palinesque rubes, have no understanding of the “issues”, but they may, hopefully, usually, but not always, be capable of judging, in spite of the media filter, the character of the contestants in the democratic beauty pageant.

I, myself, have seen no evidence of courage in Barack Obama, and I have seen, as we all have, undeniable courage in the character of John McCain. For me, that is the deciding factor. Obama may have it, or he may not. McCain undoubtedly has it. In the times to come, this will be absolutely essential in our President.

Hemingway defined courage as grace under pressure. Obama is certainly graceful, but I have not yet seen him exhibit courage under pressure, other than the courage to even presume to offer oneself as a candidate for President of the United States of America, something I suspect Obama himself did not expect to have gone this far.

In fact, when pressed with uncomfortable questions, Obama has been testy and petulant. His tendency has been, so far, when the chips are down, to play it safe, to equivocate, to shift the blame. I have seen grace, and more than grace, under pressure, from John McCain, and now I have seen it in Sarah Palin as well.

This has little to do with the issues of health care or tax policy or war, or any of the other issues that I and my fellow political geeks value so highly. This is about the real deal, not the hypocrisy that all politicians necessarily indulge in during campaigns. Who is this guy, or gal? Obama might turn out OK. Lyndon Johnson wasn’t too bad. Harry Truman turned out pretty damn well. Ronald Reagan was fairly successful. Kennedy might have been great. Who knows? Obama might just turn out to be the cat’s pajamas.

Why am I so doubtful?