June 26, 2004

Unfairenheit 9/11: The lies of Michael Moore

Christopher Hitchens on Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11:

To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.

June 22, 2004

EU Referendum

Recommended blog: EU Referendum

June 14, 2004

In Reagan’s Shadow
Compassionate conservatism vs. the shining city.


Jonah Goldberg compares George W. Bush with Ronald Reagan:

Discussing the importance of dogma, William F. Buckley wrote in 1964, "If our society seriously wondered whether or not to denationalize the lighthouses, it would not wonder at all whether to nationalize the medical profession."

Reagan's rhetoric and actions moved America closer to a country where we argue about denationalizing lighthouses. George W. Bush's rhetoric and actions are moving us in the opposite direction.

Last Labor Day, George W. Bush told a crowd, "We have a responsibility that when somebody hurts, government has got to move."

Reagan would never had said something like that.

Indeed, Bush's "compassionate conservatism" has more in common with his father's "kindler, gentler" America than it does with Reagan's shining city on a hill. Fortunately, the first President Bush believed, as he put it in his first inaugural speech, that America had "more will than wallet."

The current President Bush has lots of will and a wallet full of credit cards. On the domestic side, Bush has asserted that the federal government has a central role in education - once a local concern - and he's backed that up with a 60 percent increase in federal funding.

He's created a new Cabinet agency, massively expanded entitlements in the form of a prescription drug benefit and asked for a major new commitment by the federal government to insert itself into everything from religious charities to marriage counseling. And these are just a few examples.

Now, all of these programs aren't necessarily bad. Some might be quite defensible from a political or public-policy perspective. Also, there are quite a few truly Reaganite ideas bouncing around this administration.

But, at minimum, Bush seems to have abandoned the rhetorical high ground. Reagan declared that government wasn't the solution, it was the problem. In countless ways, Bush has been saying the reverse. And once you concede that the "government has to move" every time "somebody" hurts, you've pretty much abandoned your dogma and picked up the opposition's.

June 09, 2004

No Accidental Leader

Lee Edwards on Ronald Reagan:

Ronald Reagan was not an accidental leader. He possessed certain personal characteristics that set him apart from other seemingly as talented and ambitious men and women. Physically, he had remarkable vitality and stamina. He did not need energizer batteries to keep going through crises and challenges that would have hospitalized the rest of us.

Mentally, he was able to penetrate quickly to the heart of a matter and to shift from issue to issue with little apparent effort.

Philosophically, he had a set of core beliefs from which he rarely strayed. He did not hesitate to go against the popular grain if he thought it was in the best interests of America.

And he was a leader, a historic leader, because he embodied the four essential qualities of leadership - courage, prudence, justice, and wisdom.

June 07, 2004

Reagan and Capitalism

Article by Jay Bryant:

It is being restated over and over again in these days of remembrance that Ronald Reagan brought about the collapse of Communism, and there can be no serious doubt that the policies he pursued with regard to the Soviets worked. Neither the mass demonstrations against him in Europe, the carping of his domestic enemies, nor the softer temptations of Mikhail Gorbachev ("See what an improvement I am; help me succeed"), could deter Reagan from firmness in the right, as God gave him to see the right.

But Reagan did more than merely accomplish the negative, defensive goal of defeating communism. He also did something positive, something without which the meaning of the defeat of communism would have much less meaning. Ronald Reagan reinvigorated capitalism.

(...)

By demonstrating, through deregulation, tax cuts, privatization and other initiatives, and most assuredly by the effective use of the bully pulpit that is the presidency, Ronald Reagan fostered a revitalization of capitalism not only in the United States, but also throughout the world.

June 01, 2004

Constitutional scholar Badnarik gets presidential nomination

From the Libertarian Party press release:

Badnarik, 49, of Austin, Texas, won 423 votes -- or 54 percent -- from delegates at the Libertarian Party's national convention in Atlanta on Sunday. Coming in second was movie producer Aaron Russo, followed by longtime radio talk host Gary Nolan.

(...)

According to many political analysts, the Libertarian nominee could cost President George Bush the November election by attracting votes from frustrated Republicans in key swing states such as Wisconsin, Oregon and Nevada.