Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to John Q. Trapp:

It seems to be easier for me to find time to add quick hits to a file and post them later than to actually sit down and compose a blog post, so I think I’ll try it again.

With Hurricane Katrina having been in the news a lot lately in the wake of its second anniversary, it’s worth noting a Reason series detailing three of the most common associated myths:

Myth Number One: The main impediment to rebuilding the Gulf Coast is a lack of federal money.

Myth Number Two: "New Orleans" and "the Gulf Coast" are synonymous.

Myth Three: The Gulf Coast is suffering from a lack of leadership.


2007 is very much like 1943 in that all of the war movies being made are just propaganda. The difference, of course, is for which side Hollywood is propagandizing – now it’s for our enemies.

While on the subject, I recently saw the brilliant The Lives of Others, which should be required viewing for anybody interested in history between World War II and the end of the Cold War. It is the most honest onscreen portrayal of life under communism I have yet seen, and since Hollywood has obviously blacklisted such projects it is all the more valuable.


In a hagiographic essay on how history will view President Bush, Karl Rove slips in an important point right at the end:

I have come to understand true leadership leans into the wind. It tackles big challenges with uncertain outcomes rather than taking on simple, sure tasks. It does what is right, regardless of what the latest poll or focus group says.

This is an underreported aspect of modern politics. Whoever the next president may be, I hope he/she does address the big stuff – the continuing terrorist threat, the looming entitlement crisis – and doesn’t just kick the can down the road as we saw with Bush 41 and Clinton in the former case and Clinton and the contemporary Republican Congress in the latter.

And I hope that whatever he/she does, whether I might agree with it or not, is done out of sincere principle as opposed to polls and political calculation. Bush 43 has done much better in that regard than the image-obsessed Clinton, but he has also fallen short in some aspects – immigration comes to mind. I want any president not to be afraid to be unpopular during his/her time in order to do what he/she believes is best for this country. Again, this has been a particular strength of Bush 43.


ABC is not being allowed to release The Path to 9/11 miniseries on DVD because Hillary Clinton is running for president. Would you have expected any different? The docudrama was critical of both the Clinton and Bush administrations’ failures during the nine year series of smaller attacks and other foreboding events that led to the attacks. Expect a lot more of these little instances of censorship over the next 14 months in Hollywood and the New York publishing houses.


Speaking of the Clinton Machine...If a Clinton is running for president, you know there’s a ton of illegal campaign financing involved. But this particular scandal (of which you’re hearing as much as you did Abramoff, right? No? Why can that be?) is delicious in that it has no need for another tired “-gate” moniker. For this one, “Hsu-nami” or “Hsu-icide” works just fine. “A Boy Named Hsu” might be taking it a bit too far.


Labor Day sparked an interesting series of material on the overt racism of the American Labor movement from its inception all the way through the Jimmy Carter years. Suffice it to say that unions fought as vigorously against the civil rights movement as any southern politician. First was Paul Moreno’s WSJ article detailing some of the history and how unions’ refusal to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 led to the first “affirmative action” laws.

Paul from Power Line added some detail, and Scott from the same site expanded the discussion to note that “despite the legal mandate of equal treatment, for the past 30 years many of America's educational institutions have blatantly violated the law in the name of affirmative action and diversity. In reality these terms are extremely misleading euphemisms for the practice of gross racial discrimination.” This is fascinating stuff, and an extremely valuable service as it is exactly kind of history that academia is constantly attempting to rewrite and censor, much like the real history of Communism as noted above.

As a bonus, Scott also includes a hilariously hysterical letter from Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), an “ardent left-wing organization that is committed to the practice of racial discrimination in law school admissions,” which is alone worth the click.

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At 9/06/2007 11:06 AM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Similar I suppose to Rove's view is that of Natan Sharansky:
"Many politicians and institutions that should be promoting democracy and freedom are cynically reluctant to do it, because Bush raised the agenda," Sharansky went on. "That's why I give Bush an "A" for raising the idea, a "C" for implementation and I give his opponents, who abandoned the idea, an "F," because they are attacking Bush not for inconsistency in implementing the agenda but for raising it. Their approach denies the people of the Middle East the ability to live in freedom."

8 years ago Bush mocked the idea of nation building, but after 9/11 saw that messes like Somalia were petri dishes of terrorism. So when he changed the nation's approach to "failed states" he was mocked for inconsistency. (Of course he changed in response to events.)

If Dole had been president from 1996 to 2000, the foreign policy establishment would have been just as comfortable in ignoring the terror threat. (Your criticism of Bush 41 is consistent with this.)

Bush changed the mindset - unfortunately he didn't bring everyone - especially those in State and the CIA - along with him.


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