Random Thoughts

August 7th, 2010

By Brianna Aubin

As many of you may have noticed, I haven’t been around much this last week.  This is because, as I told Tom, I was taking a couple of weeks off in order to give myself some time to cool off, regroup, and actually do some work with my thesis and my day job (yes, I actually do have a life outside of this blog).  For those of you who enjoy my work, don’t worry, I’ll be back in another week.  But to show that I haven’t abandoned you all completely, I thought I’d try something a little ad-hoc in the meantime.  Every once in a while, Thomas Sowell will write a column entitled “Random Thoughts” which are full of just that: random thoughts.  So… here they are:

It’s always amazed me that those who advocate socialism in this country can’t find any ordinary people who have actually lived in socialist countries to help them with the advertising.  I’ve never encountered so many people from socialist countries in my life as I have in the last 12 months at Tea Party protests, Objectivist speeches, and while watching the Glenn Beck show.

If I had to choose between dealing with a sexist or a feminist, between a mugger and an IRS agent, I would take the sexist and the thief.  They may still be out to get me, but at least they wouldn’t tell me they were trying to help me and they wouldn’t expect me to thank them for it.

An article that recently appeared in National Review about a trip to Pyongyang called North Korea a country that was “a country obsessed with and built upon victimization.”  I would argue that such a mentality dominates not only the DPRK, but the vast majority of those who belong to the modern Left.

If I really, truly hated black people and wanted to destroy them, I wouldn’t join the KKK and I wouldn’t march down the street with neo-Nazis.  I’d put them on welfare that favored single mothers, socialize their school system, give them free housing projects and food stamps, and send in Leftists to preach victimhood, racial solidarity, and black liberation theology.

According to a 2006 survey, most Israeli Arabs are not proud of their citizenship (56%), and are not ready to fight to defend the state (73%). In contrast, the rate of Arab Israelis who believe that Israel is better than most other countries (77%) is among the highest in the developed world and 82% of Arab respondents said they would rather be a citizen of Israel than of any other country in the world.  But Israel is an apartheid state.  Really.

Those who complain about the “right of return” for Palestinian Arabs, while having some justice to their views, have probably never heard of the 800,000 Jews who were displaced from Arab countries after the formation of Israel or the $2.5 billion in property which was confiscated from them by the various Middle Eastern governments.  Nor would they care about the “right of return” of those Jews if they knew.

A Lefty acquaintance of mine said after the Gaza flotilla that she “would like to see a lot more diversity in terms of age (and gender, etc.)” in its army.  Apparently she is unaware that the Jews who have come to Israel hail from all over the world, that gays serve openly, that women are drafted, that practically every adult male is a member of their civilian reserve, and that the only way the IDF could become more diverse would be by drafting its Arab residents, which the Left would scream bloody murder at if Israel ever actually tried it.

While I’m glad gays have the right to form legal partnerships in CA now, I have to wonder at the logic of a judge declaring a portion of the state constitution to be unconstitutional.

If gays had campaigned for “civil unions” instead of marriage, they probably would have obtained the right to form legal partnerships on par with those of heterosexual couples a long time ago.  While there are certainly religious fundamentalists out there who think gays should all go straight to Hell, I believe that the real holdup has been the insistence of homosexuals on using the law to mandate social acceptance (as opposed to legal recognition) of their choices.

When the Arizona illegal immigration bill was passed, the Left screamed although they hadn’t read the law, they were absolutely positive that it was discriminatory and proof that Americans in general and Arizonans in particular had a deep-seated problem with brown people.  When the federal government actually went to sue Arizona over the law however, discrimination somehow failed to come up. Further, when the injunction against some of the most controversial parts of the law was passed, one of the reasons given for the injunction was essentially that forcing the federal government to enforce federal law was placing an undue burden on the federal government.

If I had to guess at which group in America hated illegal immigrants the most, including illegal Mexican immigrants, I would not say the Republicans and I would not say the conservatives.  I would guess legal immigrants.

Free tip to illegal immigrants and other Leftists protesting SB1070: calling America a racist nation, desecrating the American flag, and flying the American flag beneath your own native flag is probably not the best way to win converts to your cause.  Additionally, it is a tad facetious to argue that you are not a “second-class citizen” when the truth is that you are not a citizen at all.

It never ceases to amaze me that those would deny to their dying breath the power of ideas in the culture and how those ideas have influenced their own opinions are invariably the most slavish followers of foolish ideologies originally expounded by men decades or centuries dead whom they themselves have never actually heard of.

The Tea Parties, which are so non-violent that they can be counted on to pick up their own litter, are invariably portrayed as one step away from mass murder, whereas the anarchists who seem to gather in and smash up any town which contains more than three world leaders at one time, are invariably portrayed in an ideologically neutral and non-inflammatory manner.  It almost makes you wonder whether, if the Tea Parties ever did decide to engage in acts of vandalism and terrorism, that would finally be the magic key which would make the Left embrace them as authentic citizens concerned about the future of America.

It never ceases to amaze me that the Left, which claims to champion the rights of women, homosexuals and minorities, would stick up for a religion in which unbelievers are either killed or relegated to second-class legal status, homosexuals are executed, and women are systematically oppressed, abused, and viewed as little more than baby-making factories which can be murdered with impunity to preserve the family honor.

Media Matters is touting the fact that the University of East Anglia and Penn State have cleared Phil Jones and Michael Mann of ethical wrongdoing as proof that ClimateGate was a hoax.  The fact that those members of the public who have condemned Phil Jones and Michael Mann did so based on the direct empirical evidence of Jones’ and Mann’s correspondence which can not be waved away by an ethics panel has apparently escaped them, as has the fact that what basically happened was that a panel commissioned and payed for the University of East Anglia has exonerated the University of East Anglia (ditto for Penn State), which is exactly the sort of corruption that the emails were hailed as evidence of.

If I could pick one economic fallacy to wave away from America with a magic wand, I would choose to wipe out the idea that it is physically possible for a third party to do good by spending other people’s money.

A seven-year old in Oregon who wanted to run a lemonade stand just got slapped down by a federal regulator for not having a “temporary restaurant license.”  But government regulation is for the people’s health and safety, and we need more of it in order to fix the financial crisis.  Right.

Lenin once remarked that “When I get ready to hang the capitalists, those useful idiots will sell me the rope — on credit.”  I actually disagree; like Mark Steyn, I believe Lenin underestimated our society’s suicidal stupidity: We’re happy to give the rope away.

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11 Responses to “Random Thoughts”

  1. Brian |

    I needed a laugh this morning. Thanks.

  2. d |

    We only give the rope away to illegals and women with more than 5 kids, with 4 or more dads,of those 4,they can’t recall any of their names.

  3. Tom Carter |

    “It’s always amazed me that those who advocate socialism in this country can’t find any ordinary people who have actually lived in socialist countries to help them with the advertising.” I couldn’t agree more, as long as you’re talking about socialist/communist countries present or past and not democratic socialism in Europe. I’ve lived in five countries that were formerly socialist/communist, and it’s rare indeed to find anyone in those countries who wants to go back to the old ways. Beyond that, they all are very positive toward the U.S. Russia is the only exception, and that’s partial and superficial, based mainly on a few current political issues. Aside from that, many Russians as much as anyone else would love to emigrate to the U.S.

    You’re absolutely right on the Israeli-Arab comments. Most people have no idea how many Jews were expelled from Arab countries after Israel was created, usually with most or all of their property seized. Moreover, most Arabs who left Israel weren’t acually expelled — many left of their own accord, often encouraged by Arab absentee landlords, political activists, and the governments of Arab countries. This is never publicized because it doesn’t fit the leftist anti-Israel party line.

  4. Brianna |

    “as long as you’re talking about socialist/communist countries present or past and not democratic socialism in Europe”

    I am. Democratic socialism in Europe still looks attractive to people, though I believe that will soon change dramatically as more nations start to show the overt symptoms of what their policies have done to them.

  5. Tom Carter |

    The fact is, Brianna, people in Europe don’t want to retreat from democratic socialism. They may elect conservative governments, but all they (and their conservatives) want to do is fix the problems, not abandon the system. They don’t see it the way socialism-fearing conservatives in the U.S. see it, and I seriously doubt that’s going to change, aside from nibbling around the edges to adjust for and fix things. (This refers to Europe itself not the UK. That’s another question entirely.)

  6. Brianna |

    “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice does not sleep forever.” – Thomas Jefferson

    Mixed economies do not last forever. Eventually they have to choose. Democratic socialism might not end nicely through the democratic process, but eventually it will end, one way… or another.

  7. Tom Carter |

    Democratic socialism will end because God is just? Is that what you really meant to say?

  8. Brian |

    Don’t know about Brianna, but from my perspective, any system that engages in legal plunder, and recognized such plunder as virtuous, probably doesn’t have God’s favor. Democratic socialism will end because at some point, you run out of people to plunder.

    The ineluctable conclusion to that scenario is universal privation, except for the politically connected. That sort of system has many names – feudalism, Marxism, etc, but there are only haves and have-nots. The haves are always part of the ruling class. The rest, no matter how productive, pious, gentle, or just, always suffer poverty and misery, and are kept there by their rulers.

    Tyranny seems to be the natural state of government, with freedom and republicanism not so much.

  9. Brianna |

    No. Democratic socialism will end for the same reason that Communism had to end: because the laws of reality are an absolute not to be evaded. Democratic socialism violates the basic law that no man can consume more than he has produced. Therefore its fall is merely a matter of time. Jefferson believed in God, so he expressed his view in terms of God’s justice. I do not believe in the Christian God or any variant thereof, but I do believe in the absolute, unalterable nature of reality. Everyone, in the long run, gets what they deserve, and no person or society which gains benefits through the violation of natural laws may keep them indefinitely. The only way to evade reality is to push the cost of your contradiction to it onto another, which is the entire point of the morality of altruism. It forces those who produce to bear the brunt of the cost of a society such as the democratic socialist welfare states of Europe, under the ideal that another person’s need is an automatic claim on your ability and the lie that by allowing what you produce to be drained into the social welfare state, you are somehow benefiting yourself in the process.

  10. Tom Carter |

    Brian and Brianna, I understand your libertarian views. The reality, however, is that social democratic government and society in Europe isn’t anywhere near collapsing. It ebbs, it surges, it gets tweaked and adjusted, but it isn’t going anywhere. If you want to say “Yeah, but, but, you know, in a couple hundred years it will collapse and devotees of Rand will emerge triumphant.” Maybe so, but nobody knows that.

    In the U.S., laissez faire capitalism, or what we had that resembled it, collapsed long ago because it isn’t sustainable in the modern world. Free market capitalism as practiced in the U.S. (the reality rather than the ideal) has slowly evolved toward major elements of a social democracy, beginning at least with Social Security and other New Deal programs. It’s not going away, either, libertarians and theoretical dreamers notwithstanding.

  11. Brianna |

    Tom – Since I will never convince you anyway, I will not bother to argue. I will only say that I doubt you would believe me if I told you just how much I wish I could believe you were right.

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