Musings of a college conservative

Why is Liberia so Different from Iraq?

Howard Dean is calling for US military intervention in Liberia.

Dean argued his position on the use of force is not out of line with his opposition to the war in Iraq.
"The situation in Liberia is significantly different from the situation in Iraq," he said.

His first contention is built on the faulty assumptions of his second contention. The situation in Liberia is indeed very different from that in Iraq. There were a hell of a lot more reasons to invade Iraq.

1. WMDs
2. Humanitarian
3. Sanctity of International Law
4. To draw out terrorists
5. Provide a democratic model in the Middle East
6. Give support to Iranian democratic movements
7. Deny safehouse and funding to terrorists

There is really only one, maybe two reasons to put troops in Liberia.

1. Humanitarian
2. Some sense of stability for the region

Given a world of scarcity, where we can only deploy in a limited number of places, Howard Dean would pick option number two. Thank God he is not in charge of evolution. This man clearly does not know how to allocate resources. I'm not saying we shouldn't put troops in Liberia, I'm pretty much in favor of that. What I am saying is that to justify military intervention in Liberia while denying it in Iraq is not only stupid, incoherent, and contradictory, it is also immoral.

Please let this man be the Dems candidate.

Life on the Blog

Isn't this cartoon the truth.

Is the Recall Democratic?

The eyeranian has a post denouncing the California Recall as undemocratic. At first, this struck me as the exact opposite of everything I ever learned. Wasn't the recall an invention of the Progressives to make politics more democratic? Upon further reflection, I found that my initial reaction was perfectly correct. A recall is democratic, and a good idea to boot.

I'm going to talk now about the abstract concept of the recal. Reasonable people can disagree about particular recalls and whether or not they are a good idea, but I'll deal with those who make the blanket claim that recalls are always bad, as asserts the eyeranian.

sometimes politicians are forced to make hard choices and explore options that may not be appreciated immediately. Just imagine if politicians started making every decision based on whether it is popular or not. How effective can they be when tough choices need to be made? Will they make the right choice, or the popular one, even if it is wrong? This is what this idiotic recall invention (not including provisions for any physical or mental incapability or legal convictions) brings to any political undertaking.

There you have the gist of his argument. With a recall, politicians will cater to the public will, and that's bad. The inherent assumption is that politicians shouldn't cater to the desires of the people. Unfortunately for the eyeranian, that is exactly what democracy is - civilized mob rule. Were he complaining that the recall is unrepublican, his argument would have more standing, but it's clearly democratic.

His main concern is that politicians won't make the tough choices. There are always going to be controversial decisions to be made, and the politician must come down one way or the other. Whatever he does, he is sure to anger some portion of the population. If he does not act, however, he will anger the entire population. A good way to check that is the recall. In debate-land, we call this a "turn." The eyeranian's arguement is not only wrong, the truth is the exact opposite. I've "turned" it to my side. Without a recall, politicians can pander to special interests, making decisions without the majority's interests in mind. With a recall, if the politican fails to take responsability and act, he will piss off everyone, and be thrown from office. For example, if a politican fails to deal with a $38 billion budget deficit, both parties will be fed up and kick him out.

With Issa holding the office, should the Democrats start a petition to recall him as soon as he makes some unpopular choice? Where would this all end?

Next point, it will just be recall after recall. First of all, it's not historically accurate. We've had the recall for almost 100 years, and how often can you remember it happenning? Second, the electorate is politically mature enough to not throw a temper tantrum when their candidate doesn't win office. It's part of the responsability attached to the privilege of living in a free society.

Arguments of the type posed by the eyeranian are fundamentally based on the idea that the public is stupid, and that they don't know how to handle tough decisions. This type of thinking is the foundation for aristocracy, monarchy, and communism just to mention a few, but it is most certainly not the foundation of democracy. When faced with understanding that politican will not always make the decision we like, the eyeranian thinks that the average person will act immature, pout, and demand a recall. I have a different take. I think people can comprehend the complexities of life, and government. We often vote for a candidate we don't agree with one hundred percent, and we're not going to demand he leave office when he acts on one of his platforms we didn't like.

The eyeranian seems to want a patrician representative system where our leaders throw feed to the pigs to get elected, and then lead a cloistered life for several years, without any concern for the public (remember, they shouldn't cater to our desires), and at the end of their term, they can come back and tell us how great they were.

A great part of the reason why I'm conservative is that I believe that people can govern themselves, and they can deal with the intricacies of the political sphere. The popular decision is usually the right one, and the politician should be trying to please the electorate - the principle of decision by majority. And we're not going to try for a recall simply because our candidate didn't win. Please, have faith in the common person, our founders did.

Socialism Keeps France out of Heaven

I can't help but fisk this article. First, here's a good general rant against socialism by a blogger who echoes my own heart on a great range of subjects. Oddly enough, this is just the latest loose tongue screw-up in Europe. They sure do get in a fit over nothing. Imagine if they had to deal with someone like Newt Gingrich, they'll all gasp for air in shock and keel over ... hmmm, note to self ....

"France is not yet on the road to heaven, only in purgatory, since we still have Socialists," Mr. Raffarin said [French Prime Minister]

Sounds reasonable to me. After all, it is the country that invented the separation of powers, brought modern rule of law and freedom of religion to Europe, and Laetitia Casta. They at least deserve purgatory. They were doing pretty well until they became shaded pink, from about the Paris Commune on till now.

"Mr. Raffarin no longer deserves the title of prime minister of the Republic," said Jean-Marc Ayrault, the leader of the Socialist Party caucus in the National Assembly.

Of course you don't like that title, you'd much prefer "General Secretary." By the way, am I the only one who freaks out when he hears the words National and Socialist that close together in the same sentence?

In a scheduled debate in Parliament on Wednesday on whether to censure the French government for its overall policies, François Hollande, the secretary general of the Socialist Party

See, I wasn't even kidding when I made that reference to the title of the leader of the Soviet Union.

"You even have considered Socialism a sin bad enough to deprive our country of attaining access to heaven," Mr. Hollande said

It's really more sad than anything when a country that is considered 90% Christian to this day, and has produced some of the greatest theological minds, commits such huge faults in basic Theology. All sins are the same in size, it is not the combination of sins of varying degrees that deprives one of access to heaven; one simple sin is enough. But yeah, Socialism, e.g. the rape and pillage of a society for the benefit of those in power, while under pretenses of equality, is a bad enough sin.

"The majority is prostrating itself once again to the pseudomoral and intellectual terrorism of the left." said Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the right-wing National Front party

This is one of the few times I actually agree with Le Pen. They say he's right wing, but they forget to mention that he is also superracist, and a Holocaust denier, and that he took second place in France's presidential elections. This must be how the Anti-War crowd feels when they find out that Pat Buchanan is on their side.

Mr. Raffarin accused the Socialists of "demotivating France," adding, "They seem to prefer their party to their country."

Naturally. Being good socialists, they don't believe that the country is owed their alleigance, that belongs to their ideology. The reference point is socialism and its global spread, not France.

His verbal blunders — as well as his sweet and sometimes meaningless aphorisms — are so numerous that there is a name for them: "Raffarinades." ... "When I succeed, I'm a supercommunicator; when I fail, I am a bumpkin from the provinces." said Raffarin

Sounds a lot like Bush. Think back to the pre-9/11 days when Bush was considered to have ushered in the era of bipartisanship and his "victories" in unity such as the education bill and prescription drug care.

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