Saturday, December 22, 2007

Around the World Wide Web 44

1. Bill Clinton's latest:

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina (CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the first thing his wife Hillary will do when she reaches the White House is dispatch him and his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, on an around-the-world mission to repair the damage done to America's reputation by the current president — Bush's son, George W. Bush.

"Well, the first thing she intends to do, because you can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again," Clinton said in response to a question from a supporter about what his wife's "number one priority" would be as president.

A spokesman for the George H. W. Bush said Tuesday afternoon the former president supports his son's foreign policy and has "never discussed an ‘around-the-world-mission’ with either former President Bill Clinton or Sen. Clinton."

My first reaction to this was, "Clinton is a fool." But on further reflection, I believe that Bush 41, being a pragmatist and moderate, probably does agree with Clinton, but he wouldn't say so in public. The son's foreign policy has hard edges that must rub the father wrong. As bad a President as Clinton was, George Herbert Walker Bush was worse. He was the ultimate pragmatist and Washington insider. I suspect his advice has helped bring about the worst moments in Bush 43's presidency.

2. Gaius Sempronius Gracchus is A Conservative Green. He correctly calls himself a pre-Enlightenment conservative:

The central political commitment of this tradition of conservatism, stated with a view to the conditions of our time, is that the life of civilization should be so ordered, and states should so act, as to enable all members of the human community to live as well, and hence as virtuously, individually and collectively, as circumstances allow.

But, as the reader will know, the central commitment of modern conservatism in America, and similar movements worldwide, is to taking one’s capitalism straight, so to speak, in the name of liberty. At the extreme, this position is indistinguishable in many of its practical commitments from a kind of ecologically blind – and to that extent not really typical – libertarianism.

In particular, state ownership of enterprises or provision of services, egalitarian redistribution of income or wealth, and interferences with the market or other facets of human behavior intended to protect the interests, rights, and dignity of consumers, workers, or even just bystanders – I am thinking here of the issue of externalities, and taking it in a large enough sense to encompass all our environmental concerns – are all rejected and resisted by these conservatives, and attempts are periodically mounted to roll them back.

On all of these issues, I am firmly opposed to the aims and views of modern conservatism. For instance, like nearly everyone today, I favor a mixed economy. And generally I favor more, rather than less, of all those kinds of economic and environmentalist measures these conservatives oppose, to the point that I am, in these things, actually notably to the left of the Democratic Party.

His position is more coherent than trying to yoke Christianity and capitalism.

3. Could there be a better metaphor for what is happening to civilization than the US government outlawing the incandescent light bulb?

Andrew Ferguson writes,

On December 19, President Bush signed an energy bill that will, among many, many other things, force you to buy a new kind of light bulb. He did this because environmental enthusiasts don't like the light bulbs you're using now. He and they reason, therefore, that you shouldn't be allowed to have them. So now you can't.

Didn't conservatives used to talk about dismantling the Department of Energy? As Powerline notes,

President Bush extolled the energy bill in a statement at the Department of Energy.

Such is the fate of conservatism; it has utterly collapsed as a force against big government. It had to collapse: its free market politics stood in contradiction to its altruist morality.

My electric power company (owned by the city I live in) sent me an environmentalist-approved light bulb. I installed it in the dining room. It provides a dim yellow light that I can barely read by. This news out of Washington, D.C. has me worried.

(HT: Two-Four; see also Gus Van Horn and Noodlefood)

4. Speaking of the conservative collapse, Bush has just signed a bill regulating automakers that violates rights and will make cars more dangerous. The bill was driven by environmentalists, who want to regulate capitalism and industrial civilization out of existence. If Bush were a Democrat we might hear some squawking from people such as Rush Limbaugh, but Bush is a Republican. So the conservatives will continue to look the other way and pretend they value freedom while Republicans take us another step toward dictatorship.

5. Hillary Clinton's Christmas ad is an eloquent demonstration of the Democrat point of view. The Democrats are Santa Claus, giving us the gifts of universal health care (socialized medicine) and universal pre-K (whatever that is). To take this bilge at face value, a mind must be totally inert. If one reflects at all, one wonders, "Who is buying the presents?"

You know what is really in those presents? The chains that will enslave us all to the state. Merry Christmas, shut up, get in line and don't raise your head too high. As Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote,

In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, "Make us your slaves, but feed us."

6. Mike Huckabee has become such a joke that there's no way he can win. For instance:

"Who is your favorite author?" Aleya Deatsch, 7, of West Des Moines asked Mr. Huckabee in one of those posing-like-a-shopping-mall-Santa moments.

Mr. Huckabee paused, then said his favorite author was Dr. Seuss.

In an interview afterward with the news media, Aleya said she was somewhat surprised. She thought the candidate would be reading at a higher level.

"My favorite author is C. S. Lewis," she said.

I don't know what is more frightening, that he would lie to a child, pandering to a constituency that can't vote, or that he was telling the truth. Either way, the man is too f**king dumb to be President of the United States.


Billy Beck said...

I'm a lighting director. Thirty years, now.

Try to imagine what all this looks like to me.


Myrhaf said...

I would not be surprised if professional lighting workers are forced to attend government approved schools to get certificates like doctors in order to buy high-powered lights. The lighting people (Billy Beck aside) will go for professional accreditation because it limits competition and drives up their wages. The government will go for it because it increases their power, and that is their raison d'etre.

John McVey said...

"Universal pre-K" would be universal provision of government-funded childcare for working mothers. "It takes a village", remember? Bleagh. Add in greenie desires for control over (ie diminution of) birthrates and you see where this is going. Just at the start it's definite Home of the Infants stuff, far worse than comprachico behaviour and that Jesuit quip. It would ultimately mean the nationalisation of parenthood in the near term and the overt destruction of humanity in the longer.


EdMcGon said...

Banning light bulbs?

Another "bright" idea from our government. :P