Category Archives: Politics

Because that turned out so well

Posted by lex, on September 1, 2008

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has laid down five principles for his country’s future foreign relations:

  1. The recognition (*cough*) of international law.
  2. A rejection of a unipolar world order.
  3. Friendly relations with the rest of the world, subject to certain conditions.
  4. The intention to protect its citizens where ever they are found (Sudetenland, anyone?)
  5. A recognition of Russia’s “privileged” interests in the near abroad and elsewhere.

As the BBC analysis points out, all of this would have been quite familiar to 19th Century diplomats. Who never dreamt, in their fussier moments, about the bloodbaths they were teeing up for the early 20th Century.

The first time as a tragedy, the second as a farce.

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Politics

Vive: Le difference

Posted by lex, on September 1, 2008

Compare and contrast:

Bristol Palin, one of Alaska Gov. Palin’s five children with her husband Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby…

(Sarah and Todd Palin): We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.

(Barack Obama): “Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old,” he said. “I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby…

Life’s all about choices, yah?

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Politics, Politics and Culture

Fishing unironically

Posted by lex, on August 31, 2008

I almost had the heart to drag all of you through the trail of tears that is the Chosen One’s people feverishly attempting to persuade themselves what a horrible person this Palin woman is, and how terrible it is for the country that John McCain cynically chose a faux female to be his running “mate”, going out of his way to spoil their diversity party and everything. Almost.

My tentative title was to have been, “What if it was Todd?”, wherein I’d hoped to point out the blatant hypocrisy – not to mention misogyny – of those who claim to support a woman’s right to choose (so long as she chooses within their predescribed constraints) and who purport have in their hearts the betterment of womyn (so long as they hew to all the correct orthodoxies and don’t get off the reservation, and all).

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Politics

Unconvincing

Posted by lex on August 26, 2008

I don’t know anything about the “American Issues Project.” I know nearly nothing about Texas billionaire Harold Simmons. I really don’t know as much as I would like to about Barack Obama, first term senator from Illinois and Democratic Party nominee for president.

I do know rather too much about former Weather Underground domestic terrorist Bill Ayers to feel entirely comfortable about the fact that Obama launched his political career at Ayer’s house. Even as I try to remain cautiously agnostic on the issues of the circles they both moved in and the boards they both served on – I’m not long on the notion of guilt by association and the Chicago political gene pool is pretty small.

Nevertheless, when Simmons sponsors an attack add on the Ayers issue through the AIP, what I’d like to hear from the Obama camp and its proxies is a pointed refutation of the facts.

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These our masters

Posted by lex, on August 19, 2008

There are times when even the sea service must bow to those who have been such Strong Military Supporters over the years, even going so far as to purchase a ship the service doesn’t want, whose defense they can’t guarantee, at a price of $2.6 billion – twice as much as the preferred competitor.

This is one of those times:

The (decision to reverse course and buy a third DDG-1000) comes after considerable pressure by lawmakers, including Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, concerned about the impact on General Dynamics, and Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, who was worried about the effect on Massachusetts-based Raytheon Co, which is building the combat system for the new ships.

Kennedy and a group of other lawmakers from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, had urged Defense Secretary Robert Gates to reconsider the Navy’s plans to buy only two new DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyers, instead of the seven planned.

They threatened to block future shipbuilding funds for all surface warships unless military officials could better justify the move to truncate the DDG-1000 program after years of touting its benefits.

With an offer like that, how could we say no?

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The “presumption of humanity”

Posted by lex, on July 22, 2008

Strange who gets it, and who does not:

The Montreal Gazette calls (Omar Khadr) “a victim,” “not a villain.” Closer to home, our headlines run along the lines of “Tape shows ‘frightened boy,’” “Teen on video: ‘Help me, help me’” or “Teenage detainee pleads for help, tells of torture on video; Rights group seeks immediate release.” About the only one willing to say anything unpleasant about Mr. Khadr is the soldier who lost an eye in the same firefight in which Mr. Khadr is alleged to have thrown the grenade that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer…

(David Addington), the counsel for the vice president is demonized. Such is the temper of the times that Rep. William Delahunt (D., Mass.) felt free to joke during recent hearings that he was sure al Qaeda was watching — and was “glad they finally have the chance to see you.”

And so it goes. Reasonable people can disagree with David, and many did. But the aim here is not reasonable debate. The aim is to close debate by shouting accusations so often that they become accepted.

Thus memos that are mostly about a commander-in-chief’s legal authority are now routinely described as “torture memos.” Thus the drumbeat for hearings on “war crimes.” And thus the Washington Post column on David’s congressional testimony, where he is described “hunched” and said to have “barked,” “growled” and “snarled” — language you would use to describe an animal.

We certainly have a right to expect more of our public servants that we have come to expect from our enemies. Nevertheless, it’s useful to remember which is which.

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, GWOT, Politics

Friends of Hill

Posted by lex, on February 13, 2008

I’ve had two kinds of folks I’ve worked for over the years: Bosses and leaders. The ones I worked for were bosses, and the ones I’d die for, leaders.

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Politics, Uncategorized

Goood governance

Posted by lex, on February 14, 2008

Chalk one more victory to the side of market regulation by Wise Government Bureaucrats:

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History

Posted by lex, on November 9, 2005

 

The dry recitation of facts: Names, places, actions. The way things were, rather than the way some folks might like them to have been. The things that people said, rather than what they might later wish to have said.

You either like it or you hate it.

Some folks are really going to hate this: Writing in the on-line magazine Commentary, Norman Podhoretz has assembled a history of the facts leading up to OIF: Who knew what, or thought they did, when: About WMD, an al Qaeda-Iraq terror axis, “imminent” threats, Colin Powell’s speech to the UN, the “sixteen words” spoken by the President to Congress. Who it was that insisted that action was necessary, and then publicly recoiled when action was taken.

Who told the truth and who lied.

Who is lying still.

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Seeing the Problem

Posted by lex, on Saturday February 19, 2005 at 12:03 PM

 

Martin Peretz, the editor of The National Review The New Republic (tks MT), has a compelling article up today, outlining the intellectual bankruptcy that is modern American liberalism. (Registration is required, but it is free, and definitely worth it.)

“Ask yourself: Who is a truly influential liberal mind in our culture? Whose ideas challenge and whose ideals inspire? Whose books and articles are read and passed around? There’s no one, really. What’s left is the laundry list: the catalogue of programs (some dubious, some not) that Republicans aren’t funding, and the blogs, with their daily panic dose about how the Bush administration is ruining the country.”

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