Monday, May 19, 2008

The ‘conservative’ menace
From sell-out to threat: ‘torture professor’ John Yoo is only one example of such relieving themselves on the US Constitution. Remember 10 years ago when they sounded like real conservatives and accused Bill Clinton of that?

Hooray for the market
Lew Rockwell’s title is hyberbolic but other than that yes. Answering the well-meant charitable intentions of the clueless chattering class. There’s the Christian, voluntary self-denial and ‘living simply that others may simply live’ of crunchiness for example, or the poverty that monks adopt, and then there’s socialism.
You are surrounded by the blessings of capitalism. All of history has been defined by the struggle for food. And yet that struggle has been abolished, not just for the rich but for everyone living in developed economies. We owe this scene to centuries of capital accumulation at the hands of free people who have put capital to work on behalf of economic innovations, at once competing with others for profit and cooperating with millions upon millions of people in an ever-expanding global network of the division of labor.

Socialism always means overriding the free decisions of individuals and replacing that capacity for decision making with an overarching plan by the state. Taken far enough, this mode of thought won’t just spell an end to opulent lunches. It will mean the end of what we all know as civilization itself. It would plunge us back to a primitive state of existence, living off hunting and gathering in a world with little art, music, leisure, or charity.

Nor is it possible to divorce socialism from totalitarianism, because if you are serious about ending private ownership of the means of production, you have to be serious about ending freedom and creativity too.
Lest one forget, corporate welfare isn’t really capitalism.

As the sly, observant writer of SWPL notes when such rail against business, if you want to be liked don’t mention businesses they like. Like Ikea.

Second-class soldiers
Abusing America’s reservists and guardsmen, ‘paying an unnecessary price’
During the Vietnam War massive infusions of cannon fodder were desperately needed and Selective Service provided them. Lyndon Johnson preferred a draft because he was wary of political opposition from reservist and Guard families eager to keep their sons at home. Iraq was different. George W. Bush and Richard Cheney (both non-veterans) sent in the reserves and Guard and let everyone else alone because above all they wanted a passive public.
It works: many complain about the war but don’t vote that way or otherwise try and do something; like the pro-life movement the anti-war one is marginalised and running in place and seems to be mostly boomers and their elders trying to recapture their youth (as Charley says being at university 36 to 40 years ago). If Cheney (probably the real president; Bush is in the next room playing with his Xbox) took them seriously and wanted to shut them up he’d invade Darfur.

There’s the de facto draft about which the left are entirely correct:
“Simply put,” the authors comment, “a tightening American economy that squeezes lower and middle-class families’ abilities to provide for themselves and their children increases participation rates in the Army Reserve and National Guard.”

My guess is that some reservists — as many Americans have — doubted that only low-level MPs were responsible for Abu Ghraib, especially in an administration as secretive and paranoid as the Bush administration.
As I understand it (I used to know a US Marine sergeant who for all I know may have been reactivated and sent to Iraq) when you enlist you’re an indentured servant of the state for eight years; they own you. So they can extend your active duty or call you up to go back to Iraq etc. at any time in those years.

USMC = you signed the motherf*cking contract.

I’m not a pacifist. Militarism is wrong not the military in principle. Those who refuse to go back are heroes but I understand why they have to go to prison. All part of their courage.

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