‘I came here for an argument.’ ‘No you didn’t!’

I swear, people will argue about the dumbest stuff. Click on the date stamp to see the thread.

Rand Paul’s Presidential Aspirations Death Watch Update

Wherein Rand Paul helpfully provides confirmation bias vis. my “Rand Paul Is Dangerous” post of a mere four days ago:

Apparently those tantalizing poll numbers from New Hampshire have Paul the Younger feeling a bit sparky. All good, Drone Boy. Forget that it’s April, 2014, and that the 2016 general election is more than 2-1/2 years away. Show us your hand early. Meaning, please do remind us on regular basis that the outlier beliefs you let slip in the day (that you’re trying to nuance away from) are what you still believe.

For some reason, Paul the Younger decided to vent in National Review, of all places, about the push-back he has been receiving in response to his incoherent–and more than a bit asinine–Washington Post op-ed. Perhaps Rand was responding to Ramesh Ponnuru’s link to a piece the latter did for Bloomberg. Rather hard to tell, since Rand leans heavily on petulant generalities and unnamed neocon strawmen in his National Review piece.

Rand’s public butthurt begins:

The knives are out for conservatives who dare question unlimited involvement in foreign wars.

Ah. Are we to the nuanced part yet?

I can’t help but wonder if he first wrote long knives, but then thought better of it.

And “unlimited involvement in foreign wars”? Dude. A slight variation on the nonsense that caught my ear about “endless wars” during his grandstanding drone filibuster. A silly, hyperbolic straw man.

Foreign policy, the interventionist critics claim, has no place for nuance or realism. You are either for us or against us. No middle ground is acceptable. The Wilsonian ideologues must have democracy worldwide now and damn all obstacles to that utopia. I say sharpen your knives, because the battle once begun will not end easily.

Interventionist? But it’s not fair to call you an isolationist, right?

So advocates of realpolitik, as distinct from reflexive paleo-libertarian-anarcho non-interventionism of the sort you seem to regularly embrace, are fleeing from realism?  Oh.

For or against? Is this from your presumably forthcoming memoir, Nightmares Of My Dad?

What is this middle ground you speak of, Rand? The middle ground that your “interventionist” neocon enemies, per your formulation, occupy?

Damn! Wilsononian, eh?

This is multiple-false dichotomy straw man asshat claptrap worthy of the sort of fascism you project on your ideological opponents.

And then, for good measure, the knives metaphor is repeated like a crappy chorus in a crappier song. Doesn’t make you sound paranoid at all. Nope.

Conservatives who want to read libertarian conservatives out of the movement should reread some old copies of National Review first.

Anyone get the feeling that this is a Twitter conversation with a Leftist, right before ones Algonquin Roundtable interlocutor suggests that you turn off Fox News and read a book once in awhile?

From Frank Meyer to William F. Buckley Jr. to George Will — indeed, to Ronald Reagan — there is a strain of libertarianism endemic to conservatism.

I’ll cut you some slack on the use of the word “endemic,” and assume you weren’t using it in the epidemiological sense.

George Will might have a thing or two to say about that, or at least about your invocation of him in the service of your simplistic argument. Since the other folks are all dead, it was nice you invoked one person who could respond to your assertions.

Rand goes on to paraphrase Meyer, expropriate Buckley, and to predictably invoke Iraq as the alpha and omega of neocon interventionism like any paleo and/or Leftist worth the name. Ho hum.

Later in the piece comes the dog whistle:

According to Peter Beinart, Norman Podhoretz, one of the founding neoconservatives, wrote that “in the use of military power, Mr. Reagan was much more restrained” than his more hawkish fans had hoped.

So either Rand Paul doesn’t know (which he surely must, given his lineage and occasionally reckless choice of ideological soul mates) that he just engaged in dog whistling–or else he does.

And so Paul the Younger concludes:

So as today’s young aspiring Buckleyites sharpen their knives to carve up conservatives who propose a more realist and nuanced approach to foreign policy, they should realize they’re also pointing daggers at some of their own.

So now it’s daggers? (Well, at least there’s a bit of variety there.) First a couple of vague Sturmabteilung allusions, and then a bit of Julius Caesar?

Not a bit surprisingly, some folks at National Review were having none of this farce: Ramesh Ponnuru writes a bit like someone politely scraping something off his shoe, and Quin Hillyer expands on Ramesh’s remarks.

We have a real bullshit artist on our hands here, folks. The fruit hasn’t fallen nearly as far from the tree as we may have imagined in 2010.

(As for Iraq, which the paleo-libertarian-anarcho non-interventionists so love to invoke as proof of their view of neocons–meaning everyone who disagrees with them–as unregenerate perpetual warmongers, not all of us thought that war was a particularly good idea. And ironically, many of us thought that that war was not a particularly good idea precisely because of the existential threat that Iran represents. But that’s a post for another day. Suffice it to say that support of the Iraq war is not in itself proof that one is ergo a nation-building, warmongering, ProgressiveLite interventionist–and Rand Paul bloody well knows it.)

 

Thanks to @talkradio200 and @AG_Conservative for putting me onto the posts.

Environmentalists

420-Denver

Image source.  H/t Mark Larsen for the idea.

Reading Assignment. Yes, It Will Be On the Final.

Go read “The Misguided Resurgence of Marxist Collectivism,” by Donald Douglas at AmericanPowerBlog.

No excerpts here. Read the whole thing.

Now.

I’ll take Reichstag Fire for $100, Alex.

The Easter truce in Ukraine was violated, purportedly by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists, Breitbart reports, quoting The Kyiv Post (bracketed comments were added by me):

CarveyChurchLadyA correspondent for Rossiya 24, a [Russian] state-run news station, said four cars drove up to the checkpoint and opened fire at the pro-Russian militiamen guarding it, killing three of them and seriously injuring another. Two “attackers,” shot by the pro-Russian group, were also killed, the correspondent said….

In a video report, Life News ["a news and gossip site known to have Kremlin ties"] showed what it said was the body of one man killed during the shootout next to weapons, ammunition and gear left behind by Right Sector [a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist umbrella group] members at the scene. It also showed crisp U.S. $100 bills, uncreased printed satellite images of Slovyansk from Google Maps and a business card of Right Sector leader and presidential candidate Dmitro Yarosh that it said had been left by the “attackers.”

Not surprisingly, there’s just a bit of skepticism afoot concerning the very convenient Russian “proof” that Ukranian nationalists were behind the attack. And not just skepticism, but mockery, according to Radio Free Europe’s website:

In an interview with Ukraine’s Channel 5 television station, Right Sector spokesman Artem Skoropadskyy said the Kremlin “staged an act of provocation.” He also noted that the business cards were reportedly found in “completely burned-out vehicles,” a claim he said was “completely absurd.”

Whatever the case, an Internet meme was quickly born, with mocking images of Yarosh’s black-and red business card bearing his name, phone number, and e-mail address being tied to many of the world’s biggest mysteries.

The article includes this excellent example:

Illustration above by @zhgun.

An Easter Message For Militant Atheists

GrumpyAtheist

See also, “Why Are So Many Atheists Such Insufferable Assholes?”

Rand Paul Is Dangerous

I supported Rand Paul’s 2010 Senate campaign, a mistake that I deeply regret. I did not adequately research his views. I did not do adequate due diligence.

As it turns out, Rand Paul’s world view is largely indistinguishable from his father’s, however deftly Rand attempts to distance himself from the nutbaggery of Ron Paul.

The first red flag, for me, was Rand’s idiotic drone filibuster, complete with a cypto-Leftist Paulite reference to “perpetual war.”

Then came his demonstrable ignorance as to the relationship between NSA activities and the Fourth Amendment.

Now comes this alarming trip down memory lane from The Washington Free Beacon:

Rand Paul: Nuclear Iran Not a Threat to U.S., Israel
Endorsed Bilderberg conspiracy theories before winning Senate seat

Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) denied that a nuclear Iran would pose a national security threat to the United States or Israel in a 2007 radio interview with talk show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones….

In a recent Washington Post column, Paul said he does not support containment of a nuclear Iran, but believes it should be an option….

Paul recently came under fire from conservative columnists after Mother Jones unearthed a 2009 speech in which he suggested Vice President Dick Cheney supported the Iraq War because of his past work for defense contractor Halliburton….

Paul has also endorsed “One World Government” conspiracy theories, including theories about the Bilderberg Group, a closed-door annual conference that brings together influential political and financial leaders from around the world….

I strongly recommend that you read the entire Washington Free Beacon piece here. Follow the links there as a well, particularly to his Washington Post piece–the most incoherent assemblage of double-talk I’ve ever read.

And I suggest you read the Free Beacon piece even if you’re a huge Rand Paul fan, because you’re going to be hearing a lot about it going forward, and may as well get used to it.

Remember, this is the guy who said (in answer to a question from Alex Jones in 2011):

“You’re basically what I would call a chip off the old block. Your policies are basically identical to your father, correct?”

“I’d say we’d be very very similar. We might present the message sometimes differently.. I think in some ways the message has to be broadened and made more appealing to the entire Republican electorate because you have to win a primary.”

Pretty much sounds like Paulite taqiyya to me.

CLA Radio 04/18/14: One-Named Artists

CLAR91Banner

The next ConservativeLA Radio show (on Duane FM in the HughniverseFriday, 04/18) will concern itself with artists who, when you hear their first name, you’re fairly likely to know who it is without being told their last name.

And, no, there will be no Cher. Sheesh.

Hope you can stop by, listen to the show, and join us in chat!

Spoiler Set List:

Mystery Mash-Up
Ray: Unchain My Heart
Merle: Wishing All These Old Things Were New
Otis: Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)
Tammy: You’re Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad
Emmylou: Red Dirt Girl
Jimi: Spanish Castle Magic
Louis: Blues For Yesterday
Elvis: Can’t Help Falling In Love
Gillian: Revelator
Janis: Piece of My Heart
Mahalia: Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen
Emmylou: Hard Times
Eric: Reconsider Baby
Neil: Speakin’ Out
Gram: Return of the Grievous Angel
Alison: Stay
Johnny: I Still Miss Someone
Roy: Claudette
Lucinda: Right In Time
Muddy: I Can’t Be Satisfied
B.B.: Every Day I Have the Blues
Pete: Empty Glass
Ella: Let’s Face the Music And Dance
Jaco: Portrait of Tracy
Al: Call Me (Come Back Home)
Rosetta: You Gotta Move
Ray: Hallelujah I Love Her So
Dwight: A Thousand Miles From Nowhere
Duke: Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Ernest: Walking The Floor Over You
Patsy: Walking After Midnight
Django (and Stephane): Sweet Georgia Brown
Frank: That’s Life
Frank: Valerie

The Pulitzer Prize Comes Full Circle

In 1932, New York Times‘ Moscow bureau chief Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for his “reporting” on the Soviet Union:

As the Times itself wrote in 2003 (h/t Wikipedia) (emphasis added):

A Columbia University history professor hired by The New York Times to make an independent assessment of the coverage of one of its correspondents in the Soviet Union during the 1930′s said yesterday that the Pulitzer Prize the reporter received should be rescinded because of his “lack of balance” in covering Stalin’s government.

The Times had asked the professor, Mark von Hagen, to examine the coverage of the correspondent, Walter Duranty, after receiving a letter in early July from the Pulitzer Prize Board seeking its comment. In its letter to The Times, the board said it was responding to “a new round of demands” that the prize awarded to Mr. Duranty in 1932 be revoked. The most vocal demands came from Ukrainian-Americans who contended that Mr. Duranty should be punished for failing to report on a famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in 1932 and 1933.

In his report to The Times, Professor von Hagen described the coverage for which Mr. Duranty won the Pulitzer — his writing in 1931, a year before the onset of the famine — as a “dull and largely uncritical recitation of Soviet sources.”

“That lack of balance and uncritical acceptance of the Soviet self-justification for its cruel and wasteful regime,” the professor wrote, “was a disservice to the American readers of The New York Times and the liberal values they subscribe to and to the historical experience of the peoples of the Russian and Soviet empires and their struggle for a better life.”

Fast-forward to today (also from the Times):

The Washington Post and Guardian U.S. won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, among the most prestigious awards in journalism, for their stories based on National Security Agency documents leaked by the former government contractor Edward J. Snowden.

Through a series of reports that exposed the N.S.A.’s widespread domestic surveillance program, the Post and Guardian U.S. sparked an international debate on the limits of government surveillance. The papers also came under heavy criticism by the American and British governments, with lawmakers accusing the two papers of compromising national security.

In March, William A. Jacobson wrote at LegalInsurrection.com (emphasis added):

Edward Snowden is the hero of those seeking to protect privacy of Americans.

He’s also certainly the hero of the Russian and Chinese military and intelligence services, who don’t exactly speak on camera.

The New York Times and Spiegel revealed, based on Snowden leaks, how the NSA managed to penetrate a Chinese computer equipment company’s source code and obtain an ability to monitor communications through that equipment. That fact, plus revelations as to how it was done, will help Chinese intellegence agencies tremendously.

There’s also question as to whether Russian intelligence obtained materials allowing it to evade NSA surveillance with regard to it’s Ukraine operations, reports Michael Kelley at Business Insider….

U.S. officials think that that Russia recently obtained the ability to evade U.S. eavesdropping equipment while commandeering Crimea and amassing troops near Ukraine’s border.

The revelation reportedly has the White House “very nervous,” especially because it’s unclear how the Kremlin hid its plans from the National Security Agency’s snooping on digital and electronic communications.

One interesting fact involved is the presence of Edward Snowden in Russia, where he has been living since flying to Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23.

In August, primary Snowden source Glenn Greenwald told The Associated Press that Snowden “is in possession of literally thousands of documents … that would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it.”

So it’s either a crazy coincidence that the Russians figured out how to evade NSA surveillance while hosting the NSA-trained hacker, or else it implies that Snowden provided the Russians with access to the NSA’s blueprint.

And so we come full circle: The Left pimps for the Russians, Pulitzer Prizes are awarded, and Ukraine suffers.

Another Day, Another Algonquin Roundtable

So much heartbreaking genius, so little time.

 

TwitterAlgonquinRoundtable

 

Here’s the link in case they decide to share more trenchant insight.

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