Category Archives: Neoconservatism

Israel: Why So Safe

Crime, Israel, Neoconservatism, South-Africa

The positions advanced by the “American” Israel Firster, neoconservative fifth column are riddled with contradictions. On his Facebook Timeline, Jack Kerwick points to one of many such gaping inconsistencies.

Jack Kerwick: I don’t speak much of Israel. It’s just not one of my interests. But to hear some movement “conservatives” in the so-called “conservative” media speak, you’d swear that Israel is infallible, for never, ever, do they utter a so much as a peep’s worth of criticism of it. And any criticism aimed at it is abruptly dismissed as a function of “anti-Semitism.” Israel, we are incessantly told, faces an “existential threat” to its existence. But then such ardent Israel supporters as Dennis Prager and Mike Gallagher, while encouraging listeners to sign up for the trip to Israel that they will be hosting later in the year, swear that Israel is among the safest places on Earth, and certainly far safer than many AMERICAN cities. But I thought that it faces an “existential threat?” Can someone please tell me: What’s really going on here?

My reply:

The Israeli state protects its own, unlike the US. I suspect it’s because even politicians can’t emigrate with ease; and their kids must serve in the army as well. No exemptions. Israel, in fairness, is not like the US, where elites and dynastic families, as opposed to the natural aristocracy, run the show to their advantage. Moreover, crime rates are very low. Last I checked, for my book, death-by-murder rates in Israel were 3.7 per 100,000 for civilians only; 4.3 when soldiers were included. That is dazzlingly low—read “Exodus from SA to Israel”—a function, in part, of population composition; its homogeneity, etc., although this too is changing.


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UPDATED: CPUKE 2015 (Ann Coulter Joins Libertarians, Gets Off Warpath)

Conservatism, Constitution, Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Military, Neoconservatism, Political Philosophy, Regulation, Republicans

Well, well, like the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference, CPUKE 2015 is lighter on the bimbo factor of yesteryear—CPUKE usually showcases retards like S. E. Cupp and assorted Townhall.com twits—but heavier with the weight of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are as close as it gets to constitutional conservatism. When quizzed by Fox News’ Sean Hannity about their positions on The Issues, both left drugs and marriage to the states. It would appear that the two are the only candidates standing for the Republican Party who reject centralized federal control over drugs and marriage. Libertarians want the state, local and national, out of marriage and drug use—the last must be legalized. So while the Cruz/Paul position is a compromise, it’s better than the rest. Cruz is far more intelligent and personable than Paul, so observing his intellectual virtuosity is more enjoyable.

Building up the largest military in the world, ours, it the focus of the megalomaniacal Donald Trump, who needs to go away for once and for all. “The business mogul is motivated by the sense that the nimbus of great power that surrounds the US is dissipating. It hasn’t occurred to him to search closer to home for the causes of America’s economic anemia—at Fanny, Freddie, and the Fed, for a start. Since Trump has no idea what’s potting, and is not eager to look in his own plate — he blames OPEC, China and Mexico for the burdens of doing business in the US.” More from “Sinophobia Trumps Common Sense”:

The Trump plan to reclaim global greatness and glory includes a strategy America has yet to try: the use of force, of course. Strutting around on the world stage, showing those Russians, Saudis, Chinese amd Mexicans who is boss: this may serve as a perfect panacea for the deficiencies in Trump’s persona, but is hardly a solution to US woes, at home or abroad.

Sadly, most other Republicans will echo these themes and the mob will cheer them. The WSJ summed up the overall lukewarm reaction to a libertarian foreign policy:

Many among [Paul followers] seemed receptive to his more restrained view of the use of military might, but the audience throughout the conference has responded enthusiastically to hawkish messages from the podium. Some of the best-received applause lines throughout the conference have been bellicose language and criticism of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy.

Mr. Paul linked his call for foreign policy limits to the kind of anti-government rhetoric that is popular with conservatives.

“We should not succumb to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow become successful abroad, that a government that is unable to deliver the mail will somehow be able to build nations’ abroad,” he said.

Later.

UPDATE I (2/28): It doesn’t take much to obliterate the lessons of history and political philosophy. CPUKE followers are on the warpath. From the Facebook thread:

Craig Smith: Many things to comment on here, and variously agree/disagree with. That event could have been much better orchestrated. But your comments which belittle the clamor for a militarily-revitalized are puzzling, especially against the backdrop of both an ever-increasingly dangerous world and Obama’s gutting, emasculating, and purging of the American military. I know that you are aware of all of this as well as anyone. I don’t have exactly the same opinion of all the parties that you criticize here. But I am wondering if you blurred the distinction of criticizing these individuals as individuals with the policy or policies they advocate.
13 hrs · Like

Ilana Mercer: Come again, Craig Smith!!!! I was under the impression you were aware that this was a libertarian Timeline of a libertarian writer. You appear to have strong, simmering neoconservative leanings. Time to start reading the good stuff again, Craig Smith…See More
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Craig Smith: I never forget that you are a strict libertarian. I like the novelty, but not all strict libertarianism seems viable to me. Nor, in the context even of all your works, does all of it always seem internally consistent. In any case, I urge an inventory-taking on what I brought up above.

Ilana Mercer: Craig Smith, you urge that I change on the basis of nothing but your drinking of the CPUKE Kool-Aid. I urge that you do the reading over the next few days of stuff that is as predictive as it was when first written. Why must I change when all I have predicted has panned out? All my predictions and analyses since 2002 have stood the test of time, so why must I change my philosophy? Here’s a better idea: do the reading. In “PUNDITS, HEAL THYSELVES!” (2004) I give some analogies to the advice of the pundits you urge me to follow. Some good lines.

UPDATE II: Ann Coulter Joins Libertarians, Gets Off Warpath. Doff of the hat to Kerry Crowel for the alert. He writes:

Have you read Ann Coulter’s latest column? … I think she’s been reading from the Mercer backlog. Especially the bit about “politicians obsessed with cleaning up the rest of the world.”


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Huckabee, ‘Forrest Gump’ Of The GOP

Conservatism, Constitution, Elections, Neoconservatism, Republicans

A “confidence trickster worthy of a P.T. Barnum circus” was how this column captured Mike Huckabee’s appeal. It must be conceded that Charles C. W. Cooke of National Review captures even better the forced and contrived, “cornpone” appeal of the man who will be vying to stand as the Republican’s nominee for the presidency. While I reject the writer’s crass, almost bereft of principle pragmatism; and although unable to tell whether Cooke prefers Mark Levin’s worldview to that of Calvin Coolidge—perhaps our only libertarian president—I liked his depiction of The Huckster:

Among the panoply of rightward-leaning politicians who are currently flirting with running for the presidency is one Mike Huckabee, a former pastor, governor, television host, and author who has of late been preparing for office by converting himself into Larry the Cable Guy. Huckabee is touring the breadth and width of the country in support of his new book — the alliteratively titled God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy — the purpose of which seems to be to establish its author as the unparalleled down-home candidate within the 2016 primary. Unlike so many in Washington, Huckabee claims, he is firmly on the side of “Bubbaville” rather than “Bubbleville”; of the “catfish and cornbread crowd” rather than “the crepes and caviar set”; and of those who “come home tired at the end of the day” rather than those who “burn tires in the street.” Are you tired of the incumbent set? he seems to ask. Then you know what to do.

By taking this approach, Huckabee is essentially attempting to become to the Right what the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson have become to the Left: namely, a proxy figure who can be used as shorthand by the lazy and the lost to signify their allegiance to a set of cherished cultural values. “We like the simple life,” Huckabee announces in his book. “Status is a Ford 150 truck; luxury is crawfish étouffée and slaw on your pulled-pork sandwich; and privilege is front-row seats at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.” And unlike those “misfortunate” souls in “Manhattan, the Washington Beltway, or in Beverly Hills,” we know the joy that one can get from wading “in chest-deep water to hunt mallards.” Insofar as it goes, there is nothing wrong with this. Indeed, I like many of these things too. But the self-conscious spinning of local tradition into a national political aesthetic is invariably irritating, and, typically, electorally counterproductive. There are many wonderful things about the world Huckabee is attempting to represent. But surely, just surely, it is possible for a southerner to run for high office without dressing up as Forrest Gump? …

… Whatever cultural renaissance Mike Huckabee might believe is necessary in the United States, it will be up to civil society and not to the political classes to bring it about. Unless conservatives wish to join the Left in its Wilsonian quest to glue politics to absolutely everything, our would-be emissaries really need to make up their minds …

MORE.


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Al-Sisi Is No Sissy

History, Islam, Media, Middle East, Neoconservatism

Being neoconservatives for the most, American pundits are without a concept of history. This was manifestly obvious during the democracy spreading mission to Iraq, a mission the British had tried a century ago and failed.

In this context, I am unsure whether Jonah Goldberg’s likening of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to “Atatürk — the Turkish strongman who modernized and secularized Turkey a century ago,” is warranted.

Addressing the assemblage of imams in the room, al-Sisi called for a “religious revolution” in which Muslim clerics take the lead in rethinking the direction Islam has taken recently. An excerpt (as translated by Raymon Ibrahim’s website):

Goldberg quotes al-Sisi as saying this, at Al-Azhar University:

“I am referring here to the religious clerics. … It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma (Islamic world) to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!
“That thinking — I am not saying ‘religion’ but ‘thinking’ — that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world! … All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.
“I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move … because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost — and it is being lost by our own hands.”

The Egyptian leaders that came before President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi—the unseating of the last, Husni Mubarak, was cheered by the West—governed in a secular manner. Their influences ranged from Egyptian nationalism and Pan-Arabism to socialism and anticolonialism, but not Islamism. They all fought ruthlessly against the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots. Anwar Sadat was assassinated by this faction for making peace with Israel. But repeated attempts were made by the Islamists on the lives of the other two, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Hosni Mubarak. Perhaps Al-Sisi is simply an Egyptian in the mold of Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak.

One thing is true: Al-Sisi is no sissy


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The Fourth Estate (Media) Moving Country Into Third Dimension

Hollywood, Journalism, Media, Neoconservatism, Objectivism, Technology

Being part of major US media—the Fourth Estate—means moving into a Third Dimension of your own making and taking the country with you. What was it that the Bush neoconservative Karl Rove once asserted at the heights of that regime’s manipulation of reality?

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

As was suggested over these pixelated pages, the “Hollywood hack hysteria” was a media event, not a journalistic investigation, as all news reporting should be. Accordingly, “the moron media shared speculations but not much credible evidence as to the source of the hack.”

It was left to an unconventional citizen-journalist-cum-blogger using conventional journalistic methods to uncover Jonathan Gruber’s utterances. Ditto the Sony hack attack. A blog called North Korea Tech by Martyn Williams did the digging. It

details inconsistencies in the Sony attack and past attacks by North Korea.
“Computers at Sony displayed a message threatening the release of internal documents if undisclosed demands were not met. North Korean hackers have never made such public demands,” Williams writes.
He also notes that little is known about Guardians of Peace, the group that claimed responsibility for the attack. No group has claimed credit in past North Korean hacks.
Williams said that the hackers stole sensitive information about movie stars, staff, and Sony management. In an apparently personal attack, the hackers posted a message on the Twitter accounts of Sony employees. This gives credence to the growing theory that the attack was an inside job.
Tommy Stiansen, the chief technology officer for Norse, a hacker-tracking company, told Bloomberg that he plans to approach the FBI and Mandiant, the private company researching the attack, with information that implicates a disgruntled Sony employee in Japan in the attack.

MORE.


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NASA And The Neocon National Greatness Agenda

Business, Free Markets, Neoconservatism, Republicans, Technology, The State

Hungry to sustain the National Greatness agenda, Republicans, who pose as the party of free-market capitalism, were furious when Barack Obama and his posse privatized aspects in the operation of NASA, the National Aeronautic Space Administration. Duly, neoconservative statist Chucky Krauthammer recently linked the so-called erosion of NASA under Obama to the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crash. That’s what happens when you trust this kind of national greatness enterprise to the private sector is what Krauthammer seemed to be saying.

How many disasters has NASA (which, incidentally, has always been a private-public collaboration) weathered? Many. Which NASA official has been as devastated as Virgin founder Richard Branson, as quick to take responsibility for the failures, or as resolute about rectifying these?

Branson’s career in business has been spectacular. The test pilots, astronauts and scientists who work for him know the risks. They’ll get it done. The incentives to succeed are tremendous. Angelina Jolie and her brood will get to levitate above the earth more so than they already do, soon and safely.


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