An interesting article over at United Liberty about moderate libertarians. Although I’m not a libertarian as such – I’d call myself classically liberal – I’ve got a great deal of appreciation for that ideology and its sane adherents. Libertarianism is about individual liberty, about freedom in its purest form.
Even though modern societies would collapse if we’d try to implement libertarianism in its purest form, it’s important for libertarians to influence the debate and to say ‘no’ against government expansion. If they don’t, government will expand without limit and individual rights will be deemed a relic of the past.
America’s communists are using modern technology to reach as many people as possible. They’re trying to reinvent themselves; where they are considered to be either radical losers or intellectuals who never worked a day in their lives, they are now presenting themselves as normal people. They could be your neighbor, brother or sister, son or daughter.
Of course communists have the right to speak their minds, just like the rest of us. However, it is rather troubling that there are 1,500 volunteers manning the communist call-centers. Fifteen hundred people. Can you imagine? Apparently, their PR-campaign is quite effective.
One of the reasons of their success is undoubtedly that we – capitalists, conservatives, freedom-loving people – haven’t done a good enough job educating people about the dangers of communism. It’s time to change that: communism is a dangerous ideology. It may sound Utopian to kids and young adults, but it always results in mass slaughter and oppression.
According to the AP, Democrats and Republicans are near agreement on billions of dollars in spending cuts. By agreeing to a compromise, they can avoid shutting down the government next week.
It’s quite possible that the GOP is willing to compromise now so their position will be strong later this year when they’ll talk about a balanced budget amendment and, of course, entitlement reform. Those issues are far more important than this debate about the budget; that’s how fiscal conservatives can truly change things.
Turkey has seized a secret shipment of Iranian weapons heading to Syria, documents submitted to the U.N. Security council and obtained by Reuters reveal. The discovery was made while officials were inspecting an Iranian cargo plane that had landed at Turkey’s Diyarbakir Airport on a technical stop, carrying what it declared as “spare auto parts”.
These “spare auto parts” mostly consisted out of Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, BKC/Bixi machine guns, mortar shells and more weaponry.
World Threats’ Trevor Westra writes: “Another critical and related question to consider is whether the growing number of Iranian weapons-trading infractions, which include, notably, Israel’s March 15th seizure of a boatload of Iranian weapons it claims were furnished for militants in Gaza, are actually a case of Iran increasing efforts to arm its assets by proxy, or whether its rivals are getting better at policing their exports.”
Good question. I fear it is the former. Iran seems to be stepping up its presence in the region, apparently emboldened by Obama’s weakness and indecisiveness, and by the unrest in the Middle East.
Reuters reports that Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai fired the vice-governor of the Helmand province after two women performed without headscarves at a high-profile concert he helped organize. Apparently, that’s a deadly sin in Karzai’s Afghanistan.
And here I was thinking that we had defeated the Taliban and its women-oppressing ideology.
Pro-Qaddafi forces today recaptured the refinery town of Ras Lanuf. The rebels, who took the city earlier, had to retreat.
Of course the air strikes against Qaddafi’s forces continue. As history should have taught the West years ago, however, air strikes are quite limited in their effectiveness. Air forces don’t win wars. You have to truly destroy the enemy on the ground.
In the meantime, I seriously don’t know what the West should do here. I know that this probably won’t make me more popular as a blogger (since we all have to have answers to each and every possible question), but so be it. Qaddafi is a horrific dictator, one of the worst in the world. On the other hand, these rebels are at the very least supported by Al Qaeda and other such terrorist organizations. Whomever wins, we’re in trouble – and what’s more, the Libyan people themselves as well. After all, the rebels are unlikely to give them freedom. Since the same goes for Qaddafi it increasingly looks like they will be screwed no matter the outcome of this civil war.
So Syrians are demanding more rights. They have had enough of Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorial ways. They’re risking their lives: Assad doesn’t respond with magnanimity to protests.
And who does Assad blame for the unrest in his country? That’s right, Israel.
This ‘blame Israel’ game never gets old, doesn’t it? If you’re a Middle Eastern tyrant, you can use it for e-ve-ry-thing, including your own people’s demand for freedom.*
*As an aside, I’m quite nervous about the nature of the Syrian protesters. Assad is an enemy of the West and Israel, certainly, but at least we know what kind of a man he is and what he will and won’t do. What if he’s replaced by some radical? That’s what Israel is worried about, and if Israel is worried, so should we be.
I believe it’s time for conservatives to truly stand for school choice. Yes, yes, I know; conservatives are in favor of school choice, of voucher programs, and so on. True. But the problem is that it isn’t considered a vital issue; this while the education of America’s youth is at stake and, therefore, the country’s future.
School choice makes sense. As The Foundry opines: “Providing school choice to children living in the nation’s capital should be a priority for any lawmaker who cares about equality of opportunity, parental empowerment, and increasing education outcomes. The icing on the cake of the DCOSP is that it’s a fiscally responsible plan to accomplish those goals.”
Republicans are actually talking about letting the debt limit increase in exchange for a vote on a balanced budget amendment.
Yes, you read correctly. They’re not talking about an increase in the debt limit in exchange for a balanced budget, or more borrowing authority in exchange for passage of a balanced budget amendment. Instead, they will roll over for the very low price of simply getting a vote on a proposed amendment.
To add: and this vote will likely be purely symbolic. In other words, fiscal conservatives will get… nothing in return for raising the debt ceiling. No fiscal sanity, nothing.
But for some reason it still sounds like a win-win situation to some conservatives in Congress. Stupid party indeed.
Thus said Obama yesterday in his Libya-speech.
Sounds great, of course. “I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” Right. The only problem with that statement is that not he, but Hillary Clinton refused to wait. France and Great Britain were becoming impatient, and Clinton started to rebel and put up a real fight. Then, and only then, did Obama “refuse to wait.” Before that, he couldn’t be bothered.
How is it not in America’s – or in the West’s – interest to promote democracy, my friend Mike Merritt wonders? Although I share many conservatives’ fear of extremists taking over in the Middle East, I agree with Mike when he points out that United States foreign policy doesn’t have to come down to two, black and white, options. There are always shades of gray. It’s not necessary to either support a ruthless dictator who is the West’s ally in the GWoT or to help radical Islamic organizations take over. There are other options. For instance, in the case of Libya we can work towards replacing Khadaffi with someone who’s close to him, but not as ruthless or insane, and who support a democratization process.
Note: a democratization process. Just suddenly turning these countries into a democracy is a mistake; the peoples involved aren’t ready for it. Democracy works in the West because the Enlightenment did its work here.
I’m growing increasingly concerned about the war in Libya. Truth be told, there’s little doubt in my mind that it’s time for Colonel Khadaffi to go. He truly is, as Reagan once succinctly put it, a “mad dog.” He has supported terrorists in the past and will undoubtedly do so again – if allowed to. On the other hand, the ‘rebels’ don’t exactly seem secular and democratic. This revealing article at CNN gives me the impression that many of them are, in fact, members of Al Qaeda or other such terrorist organizations. Khadaffi isn’t exactly a friend of the West, but having Al Qaeda in charge of his oil rich country would even be worse; for the West and for the Libyan people, who can probably count on more (religious) oppression from these self-styled ‘liberators’ than from their current oppressor. Also see here, at The Daily Telegraph.
TrogloPundit wrote an intriguing post over at Right Wing News about unions, collective bargaining and employees’ ability (or right) to individually negotiate with employers. The gist of the matter is this: individual employees will “continue to negotiate with employers after collective bargaining is gone.”
Unions don’t want people to understand this rather obvious fact, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
To me, breaking up the suffocating power of the unions is about two things: individual responsibility and individual freedom. Collective bargaining encroaches upon the employee’s freedom, and on that of the employer. Furthermore, it gives unions tremendous power, thereby strengthening its hold over employees, many of whom only joined the union because they had to.
Unions have become too powerful, too influential and too demanding. That isn’t in anybody’s interest – except for that of the unions themselves, of course.