Website has lots of GR-goodness!

Biden as Foreign Policy Expert?

I think Biden is way overrated on Foreign Policy.

I am not the only one:

In 2004, I was astonished to hear Biden doing his own bit of America-bashing in front of an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The US, he claimed, had no moral authority to preach democracy in the Middle East. “We don’ have much of a democracy ourselves, ” he said mockingly. “Remember our own presidential election; remember Florida!”

Biden has the experience of more than three decades in the US senate, at least two of them dealing with foreign affairs and defense. But experience is no guarantee of good judgment. And Biden has been wrong on almost every key issue.

* In 1979, he shared Carter’s starry-eyed belief that the fall of the shah in Iran and the advent of the ayatollahs represented progress for human rights. Throughout the hostage crisis, as US diplomats were daily paraded blindfolded in front of television cameras and threatened with execution, he opposed strong action against the terrorist mullahs and preached dialogue.

* Throughout the 1980s. Biden opposed President Ronald Reagan’s proactive policy against the Soviet Union. Biden was all for détente – which, in practice, meant Western subsidies that would have enabled the moribund USSR to cling to life and continue doing mischief.

* In 1990, Biden found it difficult to support President George Bush’s decision to use force to kick Saddam Hussein’s army of occupation out of Kuwait.

* A decade-plus later, the senator did vote for the liberation of Iraq from Saddamite tyranny. But as soon as terrorists started challenging the new democratic system in Iraq, he switched sides and became a critic of the whole war effort. He claimed that the Iraq war was lost and suggested that the US partition the newly liberated country into three or more mini-states.

Biden’s misreading of the situation in Iraq shows that experience is no substitute for judgment. He judged the situation on the basis of headlines and CNN footage – not the long-term, geo-strategic interests of the United States. In short, he lacked what President Harry Truman called “strategic patience.”

So writes Amir Taheri in the NY Post.

And most devastatingly:

Had Biden had his way, “the Evil Empire” would still be around and Saddam Hussein still in power. The US would still be begging the mullahs of Tehran for forgiveness of unspecified “past sins” – and more American hostages would be seized in the Middle East while the mullahs celebrate their first atomic bombs.

By choosing Biden, Obama, the candidate of hope, has transformed his promise of change, into a back-to-the-future pirouette – back to Jimmy Carter.


Capturing my Thoughts: Cuba

I posted this at TDAXP a few days ago:

It has been a long time since Cuban soldiers were causing trouble in Africa, Central America, and South America.

The bets thing the US could about Cuba is end the embargo, open up relationships, and let democracy, trade, capitalism, tourism and culture take their course.

The next prez should about Jeb Bush as amabassador to the gov or Cuba to deal with that level.

He should also appoint Gloria Estafan or Gov. Arnold Schwatzenwhatever as Ambassador to the people of Cuba.

A totalitarian Cuban gov doesn’t stand a chance against that.

Cuba should be a good trading partner (goods, services, culture) not a “problem” to deal with.

I look forward to when cruise ships can stop at Havana and I smoke a Cuban cigar legally in my back yard.

Don’t Blame Buffy!

WTF is this?

Sociologist Kristin Aune claims that Buffy, the Vampire Slayer is responsible for young women not attending church.
Of course, you have to wonder about her finding, that is that 50,000 women a year are skipping church on Sunday because they’ve been empowered by Buffy. The book contends that Buffy makes Wicca more popular and, therefore, lures girls from the church.

To say that this reasoning is a stretch is an understatement. By her reasoning, the fans of Buffy should all be signing up for witchcraft classes, believing in vampires and fighting evil in their own backyard. It’s a leap of faith to say the least.
[Link: TV Squad]

Rubbish. In the mythology of the series, when Wiccans where shown (heh…in season 4 episode “Hush”) they were presented as a joke, as pretend witches as nothings, as just clueless 20 year old girls who Willow ends up avoiding.

I guess this is what postmodernism and academia have come to – spewing nonsense.

Note: Buffy The Vampire Slayer is one of my favorite tv shows ever!
Don’t mess with Buffy!

What I Believe

This started out as a comment at Soob, but quickly grew in length.

I did a very short post on this once before. Let me go into more detail.

Let me be clear: I am not a Republican. I consider myself an Independent. I have mostly voted Dem in the past. The first time I voted for a Republican for President was 2004, though if I could vote again, I would have voted for Reagan in 1984 (and Bush in 2000 – update). I was 18 and surrounded by liberals and communists. I had always had strong pro-national security beliefs and much to the horror of those all around me, I was OK with Reagan calling the Soviets the “Evil Empire”. I also had the pleasure of being denounced in front of a room full of people (mostly fellow travelers and useful idiots) as an American-stooge by a Pro-Soviet Afghan Communist in 1988 (a proud day for me).

As far as policy, I am future oriented. I have no policy nostalgia for small family farms or big manufacturing industry and their labor unions or other such things. I love reading history and exploring retro culture and I am a big early jazz fan (real jazz, not smooth jazz), but that does not carry over to policy.

I am for a strong national security but I don’t think the Dems are anymore. On national security, the Dems are the party of McGovern, not the party of Roosevelt, Truman, and JFK. I am not deluded by “yes we can” and “change, change, change” into thinking otherwise.

That all said, America must continue to develop and exercise its other elements of national power besides that of military (which needs to keep developing and advancing too). US diplomatic and intelligence capabilities are pretty bad considering the money spent on them. Also, US Influence Warfare capabilities are atrocious. Right now, the US is really the only western country willing act. The lesson in that is we have to keep our expeditionary capability…and we can’t count on “allies” for support.

I am pro-globalization economically (big yes on global free trade) and pro-strong international state system. I favor strengthening the state system, not continuing to weaken it.

I am anti-Global Governance. Global Governance institutions (and the movement itself) are mostly non-democratic, and do not serve to protect the fundamental rights of Americans and frankly other humans. Governance bodies are unelected non-democratic (and often anti-democratic, anti-American) bureaucrats often serving their own purposes and see themselves in opposition to to USA. It would be dangerous to invest to much of America’s and the world’s future in their hands.

I am pro entrepreneurial capitalism, pro-growth, pro-tech, pro-innovation, pro-higher productivity and progress. This is possibly the most important thing for the American System. The unleashing of human capital through entrepreneurialism (business, social, cultural, heh and political) will continue to make us economically and cultural rich. The rest of the world is better off for this too.

Domestic policy should be changed to increase, support and create incentives for this activity. This mean changes to the legal and financial systems. It also means a pension system not tied social security and long-term single employer employment. It also means a health care system not tied to a particular employer or type of employment (this does not mean government run national health care though). All Americans should should have a stake in and profit from the success of the American System. Also, the American K-12 education system is obsolete and needs to replaced with something best summed up as “vouchers, charters schools, and mass customized education for all”.

I am moderate on social issues with libertarian leanings. I am all “equality of opportunity”, not “equality of outcome”. Most government handouts and social programs do harm in that the create bad incentives and they don’t really accomplish their goals (other then making some do-gooders and politicians feel good about themselves). All of the “feel good” programs should be examined and if found lacking, abolished (and maybe replaced with something new or something like vouchers or a negative income tax system).

I was also raised Catholic and I tend to be a bit of a prude on moral issues when pushed. Mostly though I have a sort of libertarian attitude – “don’t ask, don’t tell”, and “if its weird do it in your house and don’t shove it my face”. Don’t mess with children though – they are off limits for indoctrination into the weird.

I am not gay but I have had gay friends and I don’t like the idea of them being pushed around or being denied normalcy. I may find homosexuality uncomfortable at a certain broad intellectual level, but not when interacting with homosexuals as direct real individuals. Love is hard enough to find in this world, I am not going to stand in the way nor support policies to do so.

I care nothing for elites or the eastern establishment. They do great harm to this country.

I am pissed off by the continued presence and influence on society by Marxists/Marxism and socialists/socialism under what ever labels they hide under. I don’t buy into “Global Warming” because the science isn’t there and the supporters all seem to be Communists or their contemporary useful idiots.

I don’t like paying taxes on wasteful things and bloated bureaucracies, but I don’t mind paying them for efficient government activities. That being said, the tax system is too complex, costs too much and has too many bad incentives and loopholes. I favor switching to a flat tax system for individuals based on either income or consumption. I favor switching to a flat tax of cash flow system for C-style Corporations (if we are still going to tax C Corps, that is). This can be revenue neutral, but will have the positive effects of costing less in compliance and regulation, and will reduce the distortion of economic activity.

There is more detail of course. This should give you an idea of where I come from though. I may update this or add links occasionally.

Updated: grammar and spelling fixes.

Update: If you think I am an Islamaphobe, read this including the comments.

Update: Here is a quick hit on Federalism.

Update: I am mostly in sync with the Tea Party principles (as I understand them).

Its Palin! [Updates]

It’s going to be McCain/Palin!

Wow! I think she is an excellent choice!

(Photo scraped from Fox News).

Update: HotAir has a good summary.

Update: These folks are pretty happy.

Update: Thunder Pig has video and interviews.

Update: Zenpundit points out she is weak on National Security. Yep. McCain has that covered. She covers his weakness: Business, Entrepreneurship, and Executive Leadership. I suspect she will learn from McCain and will have her own National Security Advisor (i.e. Tutor). Keep in mind, Obama has 0 National Security experience…and Biden’s “expertise” I think is a joke.

Update: Wizards of Oz likes it.

Update: “Governor Palin has spent her time in office shaking up government in Alaska and actually achieving results — whether it’s taking on corruption, passing ethics reform or stopping wasteful spending and the ‘bridge to nowhere.’ Senator Obama has spent his time in office running for president.”

Update from Tracy Coenen:

Sure, Sarah Palin is “less experienced” than the other potential Vice Presidential picks McCain had in front of him. But she has so many things going for her, not the least of which include:

* Working to clean up corruption
* Being a political outsider when it comes to Washington D.C. politics
* A real track record of accomplishments in Alaska
* A positive energy to bring to the campaign and the country

And yes, she happens to be a female. But if you’re so naive to think that’s the only reason (or even the primary reason) McCain picked her, you’re nuts.

Meg Whitman as McCain’s Running Mate?

Maybe. She would be right on technology, entrepreneurship, business and economics. I don’t know anything about her security policy-wise. While she has never had elected office,she has proven successful executive experience. It would be an intriguing choice.


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