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In response to:

Return of the Liberal Death Wish

amirvish Wrote: Jun 05, 2014 11:57 AM
All true. We on the right share the blame for letting it happen and for not, as PJ O'Rourke put it, "Having liberalism cornered in a housing project, we failed to kill it." The inability or unwillingness on our side to recognize that there is no way to have just a little welfare state - and indeed the willingness of many conservatives to concede key points (especially regarding economic management and the entitlements) if not actively embrace big government has been a huge problem. Reagan sincerely believed in limited government, even if he could not fully implement it. I have no idea whether Boehner et al believe in anything beyond staying in office, and GW Bush-types believe in big government.
Boehner is a WIMP (Weak Insecure Male Politician). He cries at the slightest chance.
I think Ms. Marsden is generally correct. Now, it would be nice to read a column in which she takes feminists to task for their 40-year plus campaign to insist that men be beta-male wimps because "that's what women want" and also to note that there are deep-rooted biological reasons for women's preference for alpha males, reasons that arise from the fundamental differences between the sexes.
In response to:

We're at the Mall, While They're at War

amirvish Wrote: May 27, 2014 11:34 AM
I appreciate the service and sufferings of our troops. I do not accept the "We're at the Mall, While They're at War" argument. We have an all-volunteer military. It was made abundantly clear during the WOT (and at other times) that the military itself does not want a draft because it thinks it will lower the quality of the troops and much else. So, it said to the country, "We're on the job." And, like any other job someone chooses to undertake, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have to take everything that goes with it i.e. the deployments, separation, danger, injury and death. Not trying to be callous here but one can't have it both ways: all honest work is morally equal and no one can make a special claim, especially one of moral superiority, for doing the work that one chose in the first place. In my opinion, the excessive adulation of our troops serves to mask a critical examination of their performance. "The best military force in human history" would not have lost every war since Vietnam (excepting Gulf War I, which was still a strategic failure). A draft and a more critical attitude would have vastly improved performance, and probably led to fewer casualties and a different outcome.
In response to:

The Nightmare of a Defenseless America

amirvish Wrote: May 05, 2014 10:46 PM
A rational discussion of national defense and the problems/dangers inherent in cuts or in opting for domestic entitlements would be welcome: this article is not it. We spend a lot on the military and yet consistently punch well below our weight. Some of this is political mindset, but a lot of it is incompetence and an officer corps that is far too large, and far too politically correct for its own good. We can outspend the entire world several times over on defense - and we do - but it doesn't matter if the weapons are so expensive we can't afford enough of them, if they take so long to develop they're not reliable for years, if our officers have not though realistically about warfare, and the cost of the benefits to the all-volunteer military make it impossible to field the requisite number of troops. Past its prime, Rome spent more on its military than did the barbarians who brought it down.
At least he is talking about amending the Constitution rather than re-interpreting i.e. simply twisting its meaning to support his conclusions. That, at least, is progress against judicial activism.
I think you misunderstand some aspects of rights. An individual right is legal recognition and protection of your freedom of non-violent, non-fraudulent action, and of thought. It is not a claim on anyone else's time, person, property, labor or good opinion. You can't shout anything in a crowded theater unless you're on stage and everyone has paid to see you; that's because your actions are actively disrupting other people's use of the property. Your other examples fall into similar categories, although I think you greatly overstate (to the point of straw man status) the examples involving weapons. A weapon has to be capable of self-defense; area weapons like nukes don't actually qualify, that is assuming that all there is to getting one is money. Even a billionaire would not be able to field a battalion of M1 tanks. Rights, properly understood, are therefore absolute and do not conflict and thus do not need to be balanced or restricted. Where I co agree with you, is that the Constitution doesn't always speak to all points, and that not everything someone wants is a right. That's why the Constitution is written to define narrowly what government can and can't do rather than trying to enumerate all rights. And also why it has an amending formula.
At least Stevens is actually proposing to amend the Constitution rather than doing so through re-interpreting the "living Constitution" from the bench. Despite the enormous flaws in the proposed amendments, this is at least some progress.
The Germans were once entirely nationalist. The Nationalist Socialist Workers Party was its most recent vehicle. That didn't work out too well. Pat is wrong to claim that nationalism brought down the USSR: it did only once our actions had undermined things to the point where Gorbachev loosened the reins in ways that let things come apart.
In response to:

From Greatness to Whiteness

amirvish Wrote: Apr 22, 2014 9:20 AM
You might want to check out the National Association of Scholars report on California's universities, "A Crisis of Competence." Most people now go to elite universities - except for medicine, engineering and the hard sciences, to make connections, get the right degree and form the right opinions.
In response to:

From Greatness to Whiteness

amirvish Wrote: Apr 22, 2014 9:18 AM
The Marxist paradigm remains alive and well and is so entrenched in the universities that most people - even those on the right who ought to know better - tend to frame their arguments in terms set by it. Marxism may be largely dead politically, but culturally, it is far from being so. And if that continues, it will soon be alive politically again.
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