Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Jonah Goldberg: idiotarian 

Jonah Goldberg cries that a call for volunteerism from Barak Obama is tantamount to serfdom,

[T]he American revolution was all about escaping from the European model of servitude .... Incredibly, Barack Obama somehow believes that advocacy of a return to European style serfdom is a good way to celebrate the American Declaration of Independence from the oppression of English tyranny.

I especially liked this part of Obama's speech:

when I'm President, I will set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year. This means that by the time you graduate college, you'll have done 17 weeks of service. We'll reach this goal in several ways. At the middle and high school level, we'll make federal assistance conditional on school districts developing service programs, and give schools resources to offer new service opportunities.

So 17 weeks of service is sort of like European serfdom. I can't imagine what Goldberg would say had he wanted to write a snarky article about Bush's 2002 State of the Union address,

My call tonight is for every American to commit at least two years, 4,000 hours over the rest of your lifetime, to the service of your neighbors and your nation.

Or for that matter, the Gippers legacy.

Idiot.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reagan vs McCain 

Reagan on meeting with adversaries,

"We had quite a meeting there with [Gorbachev] and his people. I can remember a few things about that because of the oddity of it. We decided that the subject of the summit meeting would be mutual reduction of armaments and he agreed on that ...

"Then the first meeting with him, real meeting, it was going to be the first meeting in a big home along Lake Geneva and at a table like this only a little longer he and his team on one side and me and my team on the other to deal with the weapons.

"I told my people what I was going to do so they wouldn't be surprised. As everybody started to sit down, I looked across the table at him and I said, 'Why don't we let our two teams start this discussion about the reduction of the weaponry and all, and why don't you and I get some fresh air? He was out of his chair before I finished that sentence, and there he was. So, he and I left and we walked about a 150 yards down across the lawn to the lake where there was a beach house, and again I had told our people about this.

"It was cold, a real wintry day and that beach house had a big roaring fire going in the fireplace. We entered and in there were the two translators. I stopped him before we even sat down and looked right at him and I said, 'I'm going to give you a quotation that's not mine. Someone else has said that we mistrust each other because we're armed.' I said, 'I believe we're armed because we mistrust each other.'

"Then I said, ... 'wouldn't it be fine if we would spend just as much time trying to find out the reasons for our mistrust?'… I said to him that we should do this and I said, 'The only alternative to this is we resume the arms race.' Then, looking him right in the eye, I said, 'That is a race you can't win. There is no way we're going to permit you to be superior to us in weaponry.'

"So he took that and we sat down and the meeting went under way for an hour and a half. Then, I figured that we'd better get back up to the rest of our people, so we got up and we started back up the hill."

McCain on meeting with adversaries,

Republican presidential contender John McCain on Friday said he would meet with leaders of Iran and North Korea only if the encounter would guarantee a U.S. win.

"The logic is, you don't want to do something that enhances the image and prestige of someone who is your adversary, OK?" McCain told reporters traveling with him on a four-day campaign trip to New Hampshire's northern regions.

The Arizona senator said there could be disastrous results if the outcome of meetings with any hostile leaders were not predetermined.

"Are you going to accomplish something? That's the key. If you're going to go in and you're confident you are going to accomplish something, fine, do it," he said. "Know what the outcome is going to be so you're not embarrassed by the person you're taking to walking out and embarrassing (you) and enhancing their own prestige."

The further irony is that the Reagan quote is from a deposition he gave regarding his administration's effort to improve US-Iranian relations by arming them with US weapons.

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