“Take the budget. China officially says it's spending $35 billion
on its military, a 14.7 percent increase over last year's budget, amounting
to 1.5 percent of its gross national product. (The U.S. military budget
is nearly 15 times as large and amounts to 4 percent of our GNP; Japan's
and South Korea's defense budgets are larger than China's, too.)
The report says that China's growth "sustains a trend that has persisted
since the 1990s of defense budget growth rates exceeding economic growth"
- but read on - "although the growth of defense expenditures has lagged
behind the growth in overall government expenditures over the same period
of time." (Emphasis mine.[Author’s])”
“ Finally, Page 40, the next-to-last page of text, contains an eye-opening
sidebar that calls into question the report's very premise:
“China does not yet possess the military capability to accomplish
with confidence its political objectives on the island [Taiwan], particularly when
confronted with outside intervention. Beijing is also deterred by
the potential political and economic repercussions of any use of force against
Taiwan. China's leaders recognize that a war could severely retard
economic development. Taiwan is China's single largest source of foreign
direct investment. An extended campaign would wreck Taiwan's economic
“At a cost to taxpayers of a mere £2.6 BILLION every single year, Gordo's Small Business Service perfectly illustrates the incompetent arrogance of Big Government.
“Gordo set it up because for some unfathomable reason he believes he can
pick business winners, and likes to back his hunches with our money. In particular,
he reckoned many small businesses are failed by commercial lenders, who fuss too
much over tedious details like whether a business will be able to repay a loan.
His new Service would break free of all that to fund the white hot seed corn of
the new post-neoclassical endogenous sunlight uplands acorn thingie. Kind of idea.
“The dismal results have just been assessed by the National Audit Office.
They find that already, after just a few years, the default rate on loans made
by the Service is NINE TIMES that of comparable commercial loans. What's more-
surprise surprise- it seems that by favouring the weaker small businesses who
can't get commercial loans, Gordo's soft loans actually damage stronger competitors-
ie the businesses that actually are the seed corn etc.”
“Picking Winners” was a term used by the socialist
government of Harold Wilson to describe their disastrous policy of interfering with
the market. That government subsidised large companies such as British Leyland and
British Steel. These actions first drove the subsidised companies’ competitors
out of business, because these unsubsidised companies were unable to compete in
a market where they actually had to sell their goods to make money, but their competition
(the subsidised companies) were not so encumbered.
Note that while the ‘winners’ were subsidised, the
‘fat cat’ competition themselves had to pay extortionate taxes. Thus
the subsidised companies were ‘out-competing’ fully taxed companies.
Meanwhile, business high-flyers were being taxed up to 96% and many decided a better
option was to go abroad and work for the overseas competition. This was Wilson’s
“super-tax”, charmingly supported with the slogan “tax the rich
until the pips squeak”, a slogan adapted from the earlier “squeeze the
Germany lemon until the pips squeak”, that had been used to promote the disastrous
These policies are the reason why people like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones went to live abroad.. And why huge amounts of production from these people went into the American economy, rather than the British.. And why things like the British record industry collapsed. Finding himself in this super tax bracket, George Harrison wrote a song for The Beatles called “Taxman”:
“Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman [...]
“(If you drive a car car) I'll tax the street
(If you try to sit sit) I'll tax your seat
(If you get too cold cold) I'll tax the heat
(If you take a walk walk) I'll tax your feet”
Meanwhile this super tax and swingeing death duties meant that those with stately homes could no longer afford to repair and run them. Nor could they sell them for a reasonable price, because the taxes meant that nobody else could afford to keep them either. Thus many owners never sold these great houses, but just left them to rot. This is why hundreds of British stately homes became worn-down ruins. The Kinks have a song about it - although Ray Davies was apparently a fan of the Labour Party’s destruction of Britain - “Sunny Afternoon”:
“The taxman's taken all my dough
And left me in my stately home
Lazing on a sunny afternoon.
And I can't sail my yacht
He's taken ev'rything I've got;
All I've got's this sunny afternoon.”
Next, after the British competition were driven from business,
the subsidised companies were driven variously to ruin or eclipse by foreign competitors.
In order to make money, the foreign companies had to make and sell a decent product,
and offer good prices and service, while the subsidised British companies stopped
innovating and improving because they were paid no matter how bad their product,
price or service became. Remember also that many of the top business minds simply
emigrated and started working for and building these foreign competitors.
Apparently this ruining of British industry was deliberate: when Wilson was told that the emerging computer industry would generate a lot of new millionaires, he is supposed to have said something along the lines of “that’s the last thing we want”. The religion of envy strikes again.
Wilson, who came to be known as Wislon, makes an impressively horrible example. He was apparently no fool - I’m told by a mathematician acquaintance who had met Wilson that Wilson showed a very good understanding of statistics, something that is unusual even today. Wislon was neither innumerate nor stupid, instead he was a thoroughly dishonest man with aims that were contrary to the interests of the country. His chancellor, Dennis Healey was at one time a card-carrying Communist; a recent previous party leader, Hugh Gaitskell, repeatedly alleged that at least one sixth of the active members of the Labour Party were card-carrying Communists or Communist sympathisers; further, various accusations have emerged from MI5 [Britain’s FBI equivalent] that both the Labour Party leaders, Harold Wilson and Michael Foot, were directly cooperating with the Kremlin. Unfortunately, both the Official Secrets Act, and the propensity for communists to lie for the cause, make it very hard to be sure just how many in the Labour Party were also Communist Party members. Even with today’s Labour Party, ex-Foreign Minister Jack Straw and current Home Secretary John Reid are apparently (former?) Communist Party members.
As I said above, Wilson was not stupid, but rather was highly dishonest. Everyone knew he was a inveterate liar. He regularly went on television to make announcements. Oftentimes he would start a statement with the phrase, “to be perfectly frank and honest”. When the people heard that dreaded phrase, they knew that Wislon was about to lie again.
In those days, Britain had a fixed exchange rate, a game whereby the government tried to frig the value of money so that they could sell things above the market rate to the people in Britain (the British could not buy the cheaper foreign versions, due to the exchange controls, import quota controls, tariffs and the artificially low value of the pound), while setting a competitive rate abroad . With the fixed exchange rate, they would devalue the pound every so often: make the pound worth less. They would do this each time the pressures became too great, and their industries became less competitive under the wonderful policies. At one time, it was illegal to take more than fifty pounds out of Britain! Any goods brought into Britain had a high tax put on it .
Another of the many things for which Wilson went down in infamy, came in 1967 after a devaluation of just over 14%. He went on television and made a comment something like, “this does not mean that the pound in your pocket is worth any less”, which was of course a complete lie. The 120th issue of Private Eye (22 July 1966) had a picture on the front cover of a pound note with the slogan, “yours for 5/-  (in three months time)” [for scans of all the previous Private Eye front covers]. So you will see that we have been here before. Now we see Brown the Clown taxing all the pension funds that have been built up privately following the government's encouragement to save. Everyone who knows what is going on no longer saves like this.
Remember that the inflation
taxation effectively taxes away the wages and the pensions. The pounds in your
wage packet can buy less foreign goods, because the pound is worth less dollars,
euro or yen. The pounds saved up in your pension fund will buy you less food, clothes,
fuel, toys, etc. when it comes time to use them. Inflation is a way of stealing
from the poor and the ignorant. The rich and wise do things like moving their money
abroad, thus avoiding, or even profiting from, the government’s perfidy. Socialism’s
claims to support the common man are no more honest than any of the rest the come-ons
for that shallow and highly damaging religion.
Like many practiced liars, Wislon appeared to hold those he was
gulling in contempt. Probably his most famous saying was “a week is a long
time in politics”. In other words, he believed he would never be forced to
take responsibility for his dishonesty and damaging actions, because ‘those
idiots out there’ would just forget, or not notice - an attitude clearly prevalent
in the present British government. Given his three terms (the first and third were
only two years each), one could be tempted to think that Wilson had a point.. However,
don’t forget that his first term was with a majority of only four and was
cut short at two years; he was then kicked out after his second term; and finally
he resigned/retired in the middle of his third term.
Lead from TD.
1. This is approximately what China is doing today: it is making the value of the yuan lower in the world markets than its real exchange value. That’s a great deal of why these far-east economies are soaking up dollar bonds: by doing so they take the dollars out of circulation, keeping the value of the dollar up, so that they can sell more goods to people holding dollars. Keeping the value of the dollar up is equivalent to keeping the value of yuan down.
2. The EU is still doing this sort of thing with tariffs/taxes, especially on food. Italy was, until quite recently, playing the same game of devaluation, primarily by printing money. Italy was printing money at a faster rate than much of the EU, which was how it was maintaining its competitiveness. Italy is now in something of a squeeze, because in the Euro-zone, they can no longer inflate much faster than many of the other European countries, and so have to compete without that advantage. However, the Euro-zone as a whole continues to inflate faster than most of their main competitors.
3. 5/- means 5 shillings and no pence. Before decimalisation (used as cover by the British government for further debauchery of the currency), 1 pound contained 20 shillings or 240 pence - so 1 shilling contained 12 pence. A crown was 5 shillings, or 60 pence. A shilling was also called a ‘bob’. Gold pound coins were called ‘sovereigns’. There were also guineas, which were 21s, or £1 1s. £10 3s. 5d. would be 10 pounds, 3 shillings and 5 pence. ‘d’ stands for denarius/denarii, one of the Ancient Roman coins. For a number of years after decimalisation, 2 shilling coins were used as 10p coins. There also used to be farthings (quarter pennies) and halfpennies. There were also various other slang terms, which are sometimes still used, like quid/nicker for a pound, pony for £25, tonne for £100 and monkey for £500.
is a student counter-revolution emerging on american campuses? (abelard jointly with the auroran sunset)
Since the Seventies, the lefties have steadily infiltrated and taken over the educational establishment in America. It seems that some of today‘s youth are developing into a counter revolution. Democrat Representative, William “Lacy” Clay, speaking at the University of Missouri St. Louis‘s graduation ceremony, deep in the heart of Democrat country, started the usual tirade of moonbattery, only be increasingly booed and catcalled by the students and parents. Some of the parents walked out.
Part of the faculty, in an attempt at moonbat solidarity, stood with arms folded. The booing increased, and one by one they capitulated, backing down into their seats.
It must be a chastening experience for the never-matured, ageing one-time ‘revolutionaries’ to find themselves the butt of a rising generation striving after a better world. Despite determined efforts to pass on the mindless dogmas, the lefties now find the youth supportive of the new world set on crushing the dictators for whom these old-age ‘warriors’ once acted the useful fool.
For the source of this report, see here. That site has a two minute mp3 of a radio interview with one of the students who was there.
“Under withering criticism, the Dutch immigration minister has agreed
to rethink her threat to revoke the citizenship of a Somali-born former
lawmaker known for her opposition to fundamentalist Islam.
“Minister Rita Verdonk said she acted on the basis of a television
program that aired last week in which Ayaan Hirsi Ali admitted lying about
her name and age on her asylum application when she fled to the Netherlands
in 1992 to escape an arranged marriage.”
Does Holland have nothing like a presidential pardon? This
latest attempt to silence her has apparently been the last straw for Hirsi
“Hirsi Ali resigned from parliament Tuesday, saying in a sometimes
teary voice it would be impossible for her to function as a politician while
fighting a legal battle over her immigration status. [...]
“Hirsi Ali has declined to say what she will do next, or confirm
reports she will go work for the American Enterprise Institute.”
And these people dare to criticise the United States!
“After being forced into hiding by fascist killers, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
found that the Dutch government and people were slightly embarrassed to
have such a prominent "Third World" spokeswoman in their midst.
She was first kept as a virtual prisoner, which made it almost impossible
for her to do her job as an elected representative. When she complained
in the press, she was eventually found an apartment in a protected building.
Then the other residents of the block filed suit and complained that her
presence exposed them to risk. In spite of testimony from the Dutch police,
who assured the court that the building was now one of the safest in all
Holland, a court has upheld the demand from her neighbors and fellow citizens
that she be evicted from her home. In these circumstances, she is considering
resigning from parliament and perhaps leaving her adopted country altogether.”
She has recently published a book that looks interesting enough
to be currently on my wishlist.
The Caged Virgin : An Emancipation
Proclamation for Women and Islam by Hirsi Ali
Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, has successfully (63-34)
co-sponsored through the Senate James Inhofe’s amendment [National English
Amendment (S.A. 4064) to the Senate Immigration Reform Act (S. 2611)] aimed
at keeping the great melting pot bubbling:
“This amendment [...] makes English the default language for government
communication and redesigns the naturalization exam. The newly designed
naturalization exam would require the following citizenship test goals:
Demonstrating sufficient understanding of English for usage in everyday
Understanding of common values;
Understanding American history;
Attachment to the Constitution
Understanding the rights and responsibilities of citizenship”
politicians adjusting to the end of the fossil media
The above explanation of the amendment was taken from Bill
Frist’s blog. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Majority Leader,
John Boehner, has
done a podcast (mp3) interview with the two Porkbuster founding bloggers,
Instapundit and True Laid Bear. It is an interesting 15 minutes of talk about
the current situation with regard to corruption, spending and activist power.
The “lower quality” mp3 is only 1.4MB and more than adequate.
a comprehensive, but awful, search tool for us politics
US Congress has a search engine. It appears to contain full text to all
House and Senate bills, amendments and floor debates. However, whether by
incompetence or design, the whole site is a serious mess. The biggest problem
is that all search results are produced as temporary pages,
so there is no way to make links to anything
in the database.
The next problem is trying to find something once
you have searched for it. I will use the Inhofe amendment as an example. Probably
the easiest way to find a bill or amendment is by using its bill/amendment
number, 4064 in this case.
So, here’s how to find that amendment:
Find the next-to-invisible search box on the page.
Type “senate amendment 4064” into that box
and press enter on your keyboard. That will take you to a page of hard-to-follow
links to everything from debates to full legal texts.
In there, click the link after “TEXT OF AMENDMENT
On the page that takes you to, click the link after
“TEXT OF AMENDMENTS”.
On the page that takes you to, click the link on “Page:
Inhofe’s amendment is near the bottom of the resulting
page - just look for the bold “Amendment 4064”.
Easy huh? If you were doing this yourself, you would have
about another twenty clicks in order to check all the other places where it
“If our people see the Americans, we will stop fighting.”
“ "Our only hope is if the Americans hit the Iranians, and by
God's will this day will come very soon, then the Americans will give a
medal to anyone who kills a Shia militiaman. When we feel that an American
attack on Iran is imminent, I myself will shoot anyone who attacks the Americans
and all the mujahideen will join the US army against the Iranians.
“ "Most of my fellow mujahideen are not fighting the Americans
at the moment, they are too busy killing the Shia, and this is only going
to create hatred. If someone kills one of my family I will do nothing else
but kill to avenge their deaths."
“Most of the Shia in Yarmouk and other Sunni areas have left and
their young people have now joined the Shia militias. So what would Adel
do to stop the cycle of violence? "If I have some money I will pay
regular salaries to my men, buy three black Opel cars [the preferred assassination
car in Baghdad]. We will kidnap members of Badr brigade [the main Shia militia],
we will kill some and get ransom on the other and the ransom money will
finance more operations and I can have my own mujahideen faction."
“Later he and two friends explain how to distinguish a Sunni from
a Shia. One of the friends says: "The Shia are darker. Sunnis have
coloured eyes. Shia foreheads are smaller. Sunnis walk with arms away from
the body. It's so easy: look at that man, the way he is walking he is obviously
a Sunni." ”
"IMAGINE A COUNTRY where parents accused of child abuse are assumed
unless proven innocent. Where secret courts need no criminal conviction
remove their children, only the word of a medical expert, and rarely let
parents call their own experts in defence. Where even parents who are
vindicated on appeal cannot see their children again, because they have
And where the "welfare of the child" is used to gag them from
the case ever after. I live in that country."
“For Fukuyama to assert that I characterized it as "a virtually
unqualified success'' is simply breathtaking. My argument then, as now,
was the necessity of this undertaking, never its assured success. And it
was necessary because, as I said, there is not a single, remotely plausible,
alternative strategy for attacking the root causes of 9/11: "the cauldron
of political oppression, religious intolerance, and social ruin in the Arab-Islamic
world -- oppression transmuted and deflected by regimes with no legitimacy
into virulent, murderous anti-Americanism.'' ”
“In March 2000, the price of gas hit $1.80. Scandalized congressional
Republicans shamelessly pushed for repeal of Bill Clinton's whopping 4.3-cent
gas tax increase. Now that the president is a Republican, what do you think
Senate Democrats are proposing? A 60-day suspension of the federal gas tax.
It would cost $6 billion and counteract the only good thing that comes with
high gas prices -- the incentive to conserve.”
“Cuba and four other nations accused of widespread human rights
abuses won seats Tuesday on the U.N. Human Rights Council, newly created
to replace a controversial agency where abusers were often members.
“Cuba's candidacy was viewed as a test case for the fairness of the
future Council. Other nations singled out by human rights groups as being
unworthy of membership yet still elected were Russia, China, Pakistan and
senators try to pork the troops-
the auroran sunset
President Bush has given a $94.4 billion spending bill
to Congress. The bill contains approximately $72.4 billion for troops in Iraq
and Afghanistan, $19.6 billion for hurricane relief and $2.4 billion for
avian flu response. Bush has promised to veto the bill should the Congress
try to pad the bill beyond that $94.4 billion.
Despite this, the pork-barons in Congress have added $14
billion for such worthy causes as
“$608 million to facilitate a casino/condo-based redevelopment scheme
in Mississippi, $3.4 billion in additional farm subsidies, $967 million
for fisheries assistance, $516 million in unrelated highway aid, and even
$17 million for AmeriCorps”.
Tom Coburn and other honourable senators attempted to strip
the bill of this brazen corruption, but were voted down. Now 35 senators have
signed a statement saying they will support the use of the presidential veto
for this now hijacked bill.
In an attempt to hang onto their pork, the “appropriators”
have a new proposal: cut Bush’s spending for the troops, for hurricane
relief and for avian flu response by 13.2%, so that when their $14 billion
of graft is added, the bill is magically still within the $94.4 billion limit.
That’s $9.6 billion they propose to steal from our
soldiers. That’s $2.6 billion they propose to steal from the poor, hard-hit
by hurricane Katrina. That’s $304 million they propose to steal from
measures to prevent a flu epidemic that could kill millions.
Most of this added pork comes from Senators from the states
worse hit by the Katrina hurricane: Lott of Mississippi (Republican) and Cochran
of Mississippi (Republican). In other words, they are not looking after their
constituents back home, as they claim when trying to justify their rank corruption,
rather they are trying to screw their constituents out of relief in order
to fill their friends’ pockets.
Not only are they porking their constituents, they are
also porking the troops by using money put aside for the armed forces as backhanders
to their friends. Sixty years ago we had a word for such people: they were
These are the inevitable consequences when socialists are
Believe it or not, the ludicrous Margaret Becket has been
promoted to replace the ludicrous man of Straw [Jack Straw] as UK Foreign
“If you claim a subsidy for your orchard (as you may), you have
to prove that your trees are 10 metres apart and that the trunks are one
metre in circumference; and if you have more than 50 trees a hectare, you've
got to prove to the inspector that the bases of the trees have previously
been nibbled by sheep.
“You can grow cucumbers, cabbages and cauliflowers, but not strawberries
“Think of the new legions of bureaucrats being created, who will
have to check whether or not you are running your subsidised nudist colony
for more than 28 days.
“Forty thousand new dependents have been created! Untold acres are
now under new and pointless subsidy! And they call this reform? No wonder
Margaret Beckett was promoted.”
Meanwhile, Kaletsky tells us that Brown the clown could
‘triumph’ if the Straw man, fatty Clarke or Brown the clown act
even more stupidly than they did last week, or the week before, or the week
before that. You see, a great problem with socialism is you need to be rather
dull to espouse it. So finding real talent available in a socialist group
is a pretty forlorn task. As the great Keynes said,
“Marxian Socialism must always remain a portent to the historians
of Opinion - how a doctrine so illogical and so dull can have exercised
so powerful and enduring an influence over the minds of men, and, through
them, the events of history.” (1926)
Now I expect most of you don’t understand Mister
Kaletsky very well. Mister Kaletsky is what I call a neo-Keynsian or better,
a pseudo-Keynsian. For a cult socialist he is remarkably bright. He can actually
do the sums that Keynes developed. In fact, Kaletsy is the best pseudo-Keynesian
I have read.
The only trouble is he is no Keynes and he does no't really
understand Keynes. This makes his articles an interesting
mixture of sense and voodoo. It is a good exercise to see whether you can
spot the difference!
There are many writers like Kaletsky, a common pattern
especially among some cultists and religious enthusiasts. They tend to write
several paragraphs of quite interesting real world facts, and then, without
due warning, as you get towards the end of the article, suddenly god appears
for no apparent reason, or a tirade on ritual state murder, or a rant on the
awful state of the young nowadays.
These articles are ideal fodder for teaching people to
read and analyse critically.
“But the key lesson of history for Mr Brown concerns the steps he
must take to avoid the long-term fate of John Major: to do this he must
immediately ditch the Blairite policies most responsible for the present
Government’s demise. Mr Blair’s equivalent of poll tax may be
legislation on ID cards or hospital reforms, but the policy at the heart
of Mr Blair’s failure - the equivalent of the rows and misjudgments
over ERM membership under Margaret Thatcher and then under John Major -
is Mr Blair’s relationship with the Bush Administration and his policy
“By pulling out of Iraq and breaking publicly with the Bush Administration
(which by then will itself be in terminal decline), Mr Brown could win himself
so much credit with the Labour Party and the affluent middle classes that
he could do almost anything else he might choose with the health service,
taxes, pensions or schools. Mr Major’s fate was sealed by the way
he stuck to a policy that was doomed to failure - membership of the ERM.
“If Mr Brown heeds the rhymes of history, he will ditch the foreign
policy that has been responsible for Mr Blair’s demise. If he does
this, he could yet turn a funeral dirge into a song of triumph.”
Never mind that nearly every politician who backed the
freeing of Iraq then went on to get re-elected, whereas those who tried to
freeload on the coalition went tits up. I note the major party in the UK (the
falsely named Lib Dems), which overwhelmingly backed the appeasement of Madsam,
are even now sinking in the polls despite the little local difficulties at
the centre of the UK government.
Socialists never ever learn. You see, it’s the religion
that counts, the real world is an irrelevant nuisance!
& dissent, what jefferson didn’t say -
the auroran sunset
Many from the “don’t question my patriotism,
because I don’t have any” wing of the US Democratic Party have
taken to mis-attributing their own idiocy to the late great Thomas Jefferson,
presumably in the vain hope that this will finally get people to stop laughing
Quoted from the Steyn item linked below:
“ According to the Jefferson Library: "There are a number of
quotes that we do not find in Thomas Jefferson's correspondence or other
writings; in such cases, Jefferson should not be cited as the source. Among
the most common of these spurious Jefferson quotes are: 'Dissent is the
highest form of patriotism.' ”
“Thomas Jefferson would never have said anything half so witless.
There is no virtue in dissent per se. When John F. Kennedy said, "We
shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend,
oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty" --
and, believe it or not, that's a real quote, though it's hard to imagine
any Massachusetts Democrat saying such a thing today -- I could have yelled
out, "Hey, screw you, loser." It would have been "dissent,"
but it wouldn't have been patriotic, and it's certainly not a useful contribution
to the debate, any more than that of the University of North Carolina students
at Chapel Hill who recently scrawled on the doors of the ROTC armory "F---
OFF!" and "WE WON'T FIGHT YOUR WARS!"
“But the high holiness of dissent for its own sake is now the core
belief of the Democratic Party: It's not what you're for, it's what you're
against. Their current denunciations of Big Oil have a crudely effective
opportunism but say to them "OK, what's your energy policy?" and
see what answers you get: More domestic oil? Ooh, no, we can't disturb the
pristine ANWR breeding ground of the world's largest mosquito herd. More
nuclear power, like the French? Ooh, no, might be another Three Mile Island.
Er, OK, you're the mass transit guys; how about we go back to wood-fired
steam trains? Ooh, no, we're opposed to logging, in case it causes global
warming, or cooling, or both.”
Steyn’s “Massachusetts Democrat” is John
Kerry, who has been repeatedly repeating the fatuous fake quote over the last
week or two.
a third party viable? (us & uk)-
the auroran sunset
A large cross-party section of the American public
is, at least for the moment, worried about corruption and uppity Mexicans.
Against that background, Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit)suggeststhat a Third Party Candidacy (TPC) would at least
stand a chance if done properly:
“As the Rasmussen poll indicates, both Democrats and Republicans
face splits over immigration. Each party has substantial constituencies
(traditional conservatives in the GOP, African-Americans in the Democratic
Party) who have reason to oppose open immigration, and it wouldn't be a
surprise if those constituencies abandoned their parties to support a third
party that promised a tougher line. But that's just the beginning. In an
NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last week, the single biggest concern named
by respondents, ahead of immigration, was Congressional pork: 39% said that
Congress wasn't doing a good enough job of controlling earmarks. Feeling
betrayed, some Republican voters are vowing to stay home rather than support
a "small government" party where Sens. Trent Lott (R-MS) and Ted
Stevens (R-AK) can secure hundreds of millions of dollars for local goodies
without much in the way of resistance or repercussions. Democrats might
benefit if disenchanted voters sit things out, but that also means that
there are a lot of voters that a third party might pick up. And plenty of
Democratic voters are less than overjoyed with their party, too.
“The conventional wisdom, of course, is that a third-party candidate
can't win. That's been the lesson of recent history. But had Ross Perot
been a bit less kooky, he might have pulled off a victory in 1992. And technology
for mobilizing disaffected voters has advanced beyond the state of the art
then, which consisted of toll-free telephone numbers. Thanks to the Internet
and alternative media, reaching disaffected voters and rallying them behind
a candidate is likely to be much, much easier than it was back in the 20th
Century. (We saw an early illustration of this phenomenon with the insurgent
campaign of Howard Dean, who, if he had been a bit less kooky, might have
pulled off a victory in the Democratic primaries.)”
A TPC has two large problems:
Should they find an issue that is popular enough
to give them a chance of winning, the other two parties are likely to try
to adapt just enough to squash the run.
Even without such a candidate, the leadership of both parties are, currently
at least, making a show of curtailing pork, although not a great deal is
actually happening yet.
A serious candidate must be found, rather than
another Perot/Dean-type kook. Names previously bruited around are McCain
McCain’s wooing of the fundamentalist nuts in his party - who kept
him out of the top spot last time when he refused to woo them - suggests
he thinks he doesn’t need to try a TPC. The plebs say that fighting
pork is their number one priority; McCain is one of the top people working
PorkBusters movement. This gives an anti-corruption
TPC problems if McCain gets the Republican nomination!
Guiliani is currently off somewhere trying to get rich(er), I would suspect
in order to be prepared when an opportunity comes - whether Republican [unlikely
as he is too vocally sane on social issues] or TPC. My impression is that
he is positioning himself in terms of a 2012/2016 run not a 2008 run.
If McCain gets the Republican nomination, I can’t
see a TPC standing a chance.
Any other candidate suggestions?
I'm trying to think of some Democrats also, but the only ones I can see
being tempted are moonbats, and even they are fairly well co-opted into
A great advantage of the First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral
system used in the UK and US is that the nuts are keep away from power. Third
parties have little or no direct say, unless the society changes sufficiently
for them to displace one of the big two. A third party in America has the
advantage of a freer and more involved populace than available in the UK.
Despite the existence of a persistent 15-30% third party,
an outsider party in the UK probably has less hope of reaching the top. There
are two reasons for this: they must collect hundreds of serious enough candidates,
rather than just one, and a UK party doesn’t
have as large an internet-savvy and politically-active base to work with.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party managed to displace the Liberal
Party on the back of great social change: the rise of a “workers’
movement” pushed by socialist power-seekers, along with millions dead
in The Great War used as a stick to beat the nobs.
Since then, the socialist-invaded husk of the Liberal Party
has had unusually high support for a fringe party: both Le Pen in France and
Perot in America peaked at around 20%, which seems to be a fairly general
limit for such parties. However, even at the LibDem’s
current peak they have only around 10% of the seats and are a largely irrelevant
voice in the parliament.
There is some suggestion that Labour’s
current meltdown may be sufficient opportunity for the LibDems to return to
its place as one of the two power centres. Given the LibDem record, I’m
sceptical that they have ability to seize such an opportunity, should it exist.
But even if they did, we’d quickly return
to a two-party system, this time with Labour playing the role of permanently
In recent local elections in the UK, both the Dhimmi National
Socialist Party (a.k.a. Respect) and the British Nazi Party (a.k.a. BNP) made
gains. Both now have small geographically concentrated areas of support that
could lead to a seat or two in national elections (the Dhimmi National Socialist
Party already has one parliamentary seat).
Neither party has any chance of winning anything even remotely
close to overall control under FPTP. However, if for example the British Nazi
Party continue to gain, it seems likely that the serious parties will take
steps to undermine the British Nazi Party’s
anti-immigration leadership, for example by making their own anti-immigration
noises. Meanwhile, the Labour Party has already adopted parts of the Dhimmi
In other words, fringe parties may have (usually overwhelming)
difficulties in reaching power, but they can sometimes change the society
by infecting or pressuring the parties in power with their agendas. C.f. both
parties in America and Cameron in the UK now pushing the green agenda, despite
the Green Party never gaining serious support in either country, and largely
without the Green Party’s socialist and
In the current American situation, both sides deserve to
lose. It seems likely that large numbers of Republicans will stay home in
November, just as millions of Tories stayed home following John Major’s
socialist takeover. However, the Democrats are in no position to exploit this,
being just as free-spending and corrupt and just as untrusted by their constituency
- they are even alienating their moonbat wing by talking sense with regard
to Iran. It seems likely that the November election will be a contest to see
which party can alienate more of their own voters, thus persuading them to
This alienation within both major parties certainly seems
like fertile ground for a Third Party Candidacy. However, a midterm congressional
election is a very different proposition to a presidential contest with a
heavy-weight like McCain holding one of the big two nominations.
The pork-busting pressure must be retained until
the appropriators/perpetrators crack. Porkbusting is the number one national
priority amongst the voters after only eight months of a campaign started
by two bloggers (Instapundit
Laid Bear). This is not an opportunity to be wasted. Hence my interest
in a third party candidacy at a time when the leadership of both parties are
attempting to maintain business as usual.
[Afghanistan] “The Taliban is gone. In
its place is the unthinkable - a parliamentary democracy that welcomes an
open economy and foreign investment. Afghanistan is plagued still by drug-lords
and resurgent terrorists, but after a successful war that removed the Taliban,
the country hardly resembles the nightmare that existed before September
“Iran is closer to the bomb than ever,
but there is at least worldwide scrutiny of its machinations, in a manner
lacking in the past. Tehran is in a death struggle with the new Iraqi government,
trying to undermine the democracy by transplanting its radical Shiite ganglia
before a constitutional, diverse Iraqi culture energizes its own restive
population that supposedly tires of the theocracy.”
[Iraq] “The thousands who died yearly
under Saddam’s killing apparatus in Iraq have been followed by thousands
killed in sectarian strife. Yet Saddam and his Baathist nightmare are gone
from Iraq, offering hope where there was none. After three elections, a
democratic government has emerged. Despite a terrible cost in American lives
and wealth, so far elections have not been derailed, open civil war has
not followed from the daily terror, and Americans are looking to reduce,
not enlarge, their presence.
“Libya is perhaps the strangest development
of all. The United States is slowly exploring reestablishing diplomatic
relations. Moammar Khadafy is giving up his WMD arsenal. And the country
is suddenly open to cell phones, the Internet, satellite television, and
is no longer a global financial conduit for international terrorism.
“Pakistan is still run by a military dictator.
But as a result of American bullying and financial enticement, it is slowly
weeding out al Qaeda sympathizers from its government, which on rare occasions
attacks terrorists residing in its borderlands. Indeed, al Qaeda seems to
hate the present Pakistani government as much as it does the United States.
“Saudi Arabia has gained enormous leverage
as oil skyrocketed from $30 to over $70 a barrel. Yet under American pressure
it has cracked down on al Qaeda terrorists and has cleaned up (somewhat)
its overseas financial offices - perhaps evidenced by a wave of reactive
terrorist attacks against the Riyadh government. American efforts to urge
liberalization have met a tepid response - given Saudi reliance on the oil
card, and its sophistic argument that for the present an autocratic monarchy
is the only alternative to a terrorist-supporting theocracy.
“Syria is out of Lebanon by popular pressure.
It still supports terrorists against Israel - and now Iraq too - but judging
from its rhetoric it must be feeling squeezed by a democratic Turkey, Iraq,
and Israel on its borders, and a new tough stance from the United States.”
senator dick cheney offers friendly advice to brother russia
- the auroran sunset
First, a story known to every Roman child:
“Once upon a time there was a very bad and nasty King of
Syria named Antiochus. [...] Even though Syria was a rich kingdom,
King Antiochus IV lusted after the neighbouring kingdom of Egypt [...]
so King Antiochus IV invaded Egypt, capture Pelusium, marched down
the Delta to Memphis, captured that, and began to march up the other
side of the Delta toward Alexandria.
“Having ruined the country and the army, the brothers Ptolemy
and their sister-wife, Cleopatra II, had no choice but to appeal to
Rome for help against King Antiochus IV, Rome being the best and greatest
of all nations, and everyone’s hero. To the rescue of Egypt,
the Senate and People of Rome (being in better accord in those days
than we would believe possible now - or so the storybooks say) sent
their noble brave consular Gaius Popillius Laenas. Now any other country
would have given its hero a whole army, but the Senate and People
of Rome gave Gaius Popillius Laenas only twelve lictors and two clerks.
However, because it was a foreign mission, the lictors were allowed
to wear the red tunics and put the axes in their bundles of rods,
so Gaius Popillius Laenas was not quite unprotected. Off they sailed
in a little ship, and came to Alexandria just as King Antiochus IV
was marching up the Canopic arm of the Nilus toward the great city
wherein cowered the Egyptians.
“Clad in his purple-bordered toga and preceded by his twelve
crimson-clad lictors, all bearing the axes in their bundles of rods,
Gaius Popillus Laenas walked east. Now he was not a young man, so
as he went he leaned upon a tall staff, his pace as placid as his
face. Since only the brave and heroic and noble Romans built decent
roads, he was soon walking along through thick dust. But was Gaius
Popillus Laenas deterred? No! He just kept on walking, until near
the huge hippodrome in which the Alexandrians liked to watch the horse
races, he ran into a wall of Syrian soldiers, and had to stop.
“King Antiochus IV of Syria came forward, and went to meet
Gaius Popillius Laenas.
“‘Rome has no business in Egypt!’ the King said,
frowning awfully and direfully.
“‘Syria has no business in Egypt either,’ said
Gaius Popillius Laenas, smiling sweetly and serenely.
“‘Go back to Rome,’ said the King.
“‘Go back to Syria,’ said Gaius Popillius Laenas.
“But neither of them moved a single inch.
“‘You are offending the Senate and People of Rome,' said
Gaius Popillius Laenas after a while of staring into the King’s
fierce face. ‘I have been ordered to make you return to Syria.’
“The King laughed and laughed and laughed. ‘And how are
you going to make me go home?’ he asked. ‘Where is your
“‘I have no need of an army, King Antiochus IV,’
said Gaius Popillius Laenas. ‘Everything that Rome is, has been,
and will be, is standing before you here and now. I am Rome, no less
than Rome’s largest army. And in the name of Rome, I say to
you a further time, go home!’
“‘No,’ said King Antiochus IV.
“So Gaius Popillius Laenas stepped forward, and moving sedately,
he used the end of his staff to trace a circle in the dust all the
way around the person of King Antiochus IV, who found himself standing
inside Gaius Popillius Laenas’s circle.
“‘Before you step out of this circle, King Antiochus
IV, I advise you to think again,’ said Gaius Popillius Laenas.
‘And when you do step out of it - why, be facing east, and go
home to Syria.’
“The King said nothing. The King did not stir. Gaius Popillius
Laenas said nothing. Gaius Popillius Laenas did not stir. Since Gaius
Popillius Laenas was a Roman and did not need to hide his face, his
sweet and serene countenance was on full display. But King Antiochus
IV hid his face behind a curled and wired wigbeard, and even then
could not conceal its thunder. Time went on. And then, still inside
the circle, the mighty King of Syria turned on his heel to face east,
and stepped out of the circle in an easterly direction, and marched
back to Syria with all his soldiers.”
p.265 - 266, The First Man in Rome
The First Man in Rome by Colleen
McCullough, Avon, reprint 1991, 0380710811,
“The end of the Cold War did not usher in an era of quiet and tranquility.
A new enemy of freedom has emerged -- and it is focused, resourceful, and
rapacious. This enemy perverts a religious faith to serve a dark political
objective -- to establish, by violence and intimidation, a totalitarian
empire that denies all political and religious freedom. To that end, the
terrorists do not seek to build large standing armies. Instead, they want
to demoralize free nations with dramatic acts of murder, and to gain weapons
of mass destruction so they can hold power by threat or blackmail. We need
not have any illusions about their ambitions, because the terrorists have
stated them clearly. They have killed many thousands in many countries.
They would, if able, kill hundreds of thousands more -- and still not be
“This is not an enemy that can be ignored or appeased. And every
retreat by civilized nations is an invitation to further violence against
us. Men who despise freedom will attack freedom in any part of the world
-- and so responsible nations have a duty to stay on the offensive, together,
to remove this threat. We are working to prevent attacks before they occur,
by tracking down the terrorists wherever they dwell. We are working to deny
weapons of mass destruction to outlaw states and their terrorist allies.
We are working to prevent any nation from becoming a staging ground for
future terrorist violence. And we are working to deny the terrorists future
recruits, by replacing hatred and resentment with democracy and hope across
the broader Middle East.
“America and all of Europe also want to see Russia in the category
of healthy, vibrant democracies. Yet in Russia today, opponents of reform
are seeking to reverse the gains of the last decade. In many areas of civil
society -- from religion and the news media, to advocacy groups and political
parties -- the government has unfairly and improperly restricted the rights
of her people. Other actions by the Russian government have been counterproductive,
and could begin to affect relations with other countries. No legitimate
interest is served when oil and gas become tools of intimidation or blackmail,
either by supply manipulation or attempts to monopolize transportation.
And no one can justify actions that undermine the territorial integrity
of a neighbor, or interfere with democratic movements.
“Russia has a choice to make. And there is no question that a return
to democratic reform in Russia will generate further success for its people
and greater respect among fellow nations. Democratization in Russia helped
to end the Cold War, and the Russian people have made heroic progress in
overcoming the miseries of the 20th century. They deserve now to live out
their peaceful aspirations under a government that upholds freedom at home,
and builds good relations abroad.
“None of us believes that Russia is fated to become an enemy. A Russia
that increasingly shares the values of this community can be a strategic
partner and a trusted friend as we work toward common goals. In that spirit,
the leading industrialized nations will engage Russia at the Group of Eight
Summit in St. Petersburg this summer. We will make the case, clearly and
confidently, that Russia has nothing to fear and everything to gain from
having strong, stable democracies on its borders, and that by aligning with
the West, Russia joins all of us on a course to prosperity and greatness.
The vision we affirm today is of a community of sovereign democracies that
transcend old grievances, that honor the many links of culture and history
among us, that trade in freedom, respect each other as great nations, and
strive together for a century of peace.
“Our cooperation is vital, because democracies have great duties
in today's world. The challenges of a new era require concerted action by
nations and peoples who believe liberty is worth defending. For the sake
of our security, we must act decisively against known dangers. And to secure
freedom and peace for generations to come, we must be true to the democratic
dreams of others, and remember our brothers and sisters who have kept their
hopes in exile.”
the ego failure that destroys societies - the middle east
Bernard Lewis has been around a long while and has studied
the Middle East most of his life.
“[...] he reaffirmed the Vice-President’s deep conviction
that the jihadists believed that the US could not last the course [...]”
“But as he enters his tenth decade, Lewis is most alarmed not by
the Arab world - where he detects signs of hope - but by what is happening
in the EU and specifically in his native land. "The very composition
of society is at stake," he warned me. "The rate of immigration
from parts of the Muslim world is altering the way in which society is run.
And the Muslim populations of the EU, many of whom started out as quite
moderate in their native lands, seem to be indoctrinated by some of the
worst elements of their own co-religionists. Central to this is the oil
money of Saudi Arabia, funding extreme Wahhabite doctrines." ”
[Quoted from timesonline.co.uk]
“If the peoples of the Middle East continue on their present path,
the suicide bomber may become a metaphor for the whole region, and there
will be no escape from a downward spiral of hate and spite, rage and self-pity,
poverty and oppression, culminating sooner or later in yet another alien
domination-perhaps from a new Europe reverting to old ways, perhaps from
a resurgent Russia, perhaps from some expanding superpower in the East.
But if they can abandon grievance and victimhood, settle their differences,
and join their talents, energies, and resources in a common creative endeavor,
they can once again make the Middle East, in modern times as it was in antiquity
and in the Middle Ages, a major center of civilization. For the time being,
the choice is theirs.” [Quoted from fletcher.tufts.edu]
“The principle illness of the Balkans: Each nation demands that
its borders revert to where they were at the exact time when its own empire
had reached its zenith of ancient medieval expansion.”
Robert D. Kaplan in Balkan
Ghosts, page 57. thanx to Limbic
“[...] Cynics might even say that dependency doctrines have been
Latin America's most successful export. Meanwhile they are bad for effort
and morale. By fostering a morbid propensity to find fault with everyone
but oneself, they promote economic impotence. Even if they were true,
it would be better to stow them.”
David Landes in The
Wealth and Poverty of Nations, 0316908673, p328
“Some European governments that were patently anti-American - Chirac's
in France or Schroeder's in Germany - are either gone or going. The European
public no longer thinks that the threat of Islamic fascism was mostly something
concocted by George Bush after 9/11. American supporters in Australia, Japan,
and the United Kingdom were returned to power. Finally a parliament is meeting
in Iraq. There have been open elections in two regions of the Arab Middle
East. In one place, terrorists were voted in; in the other place - the much
more criticized one - terrorists are being hunted down.
“Hamas wanted power; the Americans didn't interfere, and they got
elected. Now they can galvanize their people for their promised war against
Israel (that they will lose), or they can find a way to evolve from thuggery
to governance - it's their call. It is not the decision of the United States,
which, after fifteen years, is finally freed from subsidizing West Bank
terrorists masquerading as statesmen.”
“I spent recent days recovering from emergency surgery for a perforated
appendix in a Red Crescent clinic in Libya. I owe a great debt to the skill
and confidence of a general surgeon, Dr. Ayoub, who was roused at 3 A.M.,
and saved me from a great deal worse, along with Dr. al Hafez who offered
his medical expertise and care that allowed me to get back to California.
Throughout all this, I did not experience a shred of anti-Americanism, but
instead real kindness from Libyans from all walks of life. There is sometimes
perhaps hurt and confusion over America's intentions - but also grudging
acknowledgement that for the first time in memory there is real hope for
something different, something far better in the future of the Middle East.”
[Quoted from victorhanson.com]
“As this wealth transfer from consumer to producer takes place, consumers
will either buy less gas or allocate more disposable income to gas. Over
time, the same consumers will opt for more efficient automobiles. They also
will figure out ways to consume less gasoline if the rise in the price of
gas offsets the falling prices of other consumer goods. At the same time,
the burgeoning resources of energy companies will be deployed
to increase the supply of gasoline and/or develop alternative fuels. (Full-page
advertisements by British Petroleum currently document such efforts.)
“In truth, this wealth-shift adds to our rising standards of living
- even though, in the short run, it means we have to forego some discretionary
spending. If gas prices were to remain low, then consumption would rise
and oil would (in the long term) be depleted before alternative energy sources
were developed. But as long as the price of oil stays high, we can be confident
that innovation, conservation, substitution, and increased supply will provide
for the ultimate fall in energy prices. This relationship is well known
to economics students, but not to politicians who rush to artificially push
gas prices back down.”
Well, not exactly, but he has the right idea. Energy is
likely to become a somewhat larger factor in production costs for a good while
forward now. Doubtless this will do the driving he suggests, but not necessarily
by driving energy prices down.
“Recent data on production, retail sales, and employment are stronger
than expected. The latest durable-goods report shows huge gains in orders
for big-ticket items like airplanes, transportation, metals, machinery,
and computers - even cars and parts. These orders suggest that the economic
boom will continue as far as the eye can see. And there’s more: The
backlog of unfilled orders, the best leading-indicator of business activity,
gained 12 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter. With this kind
of real-world corporate activity in the pipeline, highly profitable businesses
will be doing a lot of hiring in the months ahead in order to expand plant
and equipment capacity. Just what the doctor ordered.”
“ Indeed, bashing big oil won’t create a drop of new energy.
Nor will confiscating Lee Raymond’s bank account. Actually, over the
past fifteen years, ExxonMobil’s total investment has exceeded the
company’s earnings, according to Washington analyst James K. Glassman.
Meanwhile, all the evidence from time immemorial shows that gas prices are
set by market forces, not manipulation at the production level. So-called
price gouging is nothing but a political red herring. Windfall profits taxes
and special tax subsidies will only diminish energy investment, not increase