Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"The New Girl Order"

A really thoughtful article by Kay S. Hymowitz in "CityJournal". Her thesis is that the economy has shifted from industrial production to post-industrial service, and a good many of the new industries (advertising, marketing, publishing, etc.) are tailor made for women, combined with a pattern of marrying later in life.

The social implications of this are striking: falling birthrates, delayed marriages, the rise of single professional women as the target market. Not just in the USA and Western Europe, but now Eastern Europe and much of Asia and Latin America. Notable execptions: the Muslim world and Sub-Saharan Africa.

But two commentators note that there are dark clouds on the horizon:
The new culture celebrates female narcissism in a way unthinkable for males. Future commentators will look back at this time as one utterly indulgent to a generation of women. "However much a man's world it was in 1960, men were never culturally free to place their self interest ahead of the interest of the society to which they belonged. Women today are taught that their greatest duty is to themselves, that their own personal happiness is paramount. It is a system swung out of balance, an overreaction to the limits of the past spurred on by technological changes and economic incentives. Centuries of traditional cultures are being swept away in the blink of an eye and are being replaced by an unsustainable hedonism, an explosion of individualism unchecked by any sense of responsibility. The severing of ties to the past and the rejection of responsibility for the future is how cultures end. I really don’t think Girl Power in the long run will fare very well against Islam."
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that liberal feminism is a demographic dead end. The new girl order will eventually become the old maids club. Without a doubt the new girl order is going to end up on the trash heap of history."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Don't attack Hillary personally

Kathleen Parker is sharp, at least here. Attack Hillary as inconsistent and two faced (see the illegal alien issue), but don't attack her qua woman:

That is, yes, women will vote for Clinton because she's a woman —if men target her as a woman.

Translation: Gentlemen, if you don't want another Clinton in the White House, do not say unkind things about her persona, demeanor, appearance — even if bull's-eye true. Not even in your own kitchen with your own wife.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Reuters fellates Hugo Chavez

Just like they did the Sandinistas two decades ago. Something about that Latin Look among Leftist dupes.
"Chavez, who called former conservative Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a fascist at the weekend meeting, has courted controversy at summits before, most notably last year by calling U.S. President George W. Bush the devil at the United Nations.

Political analysts say Chavez relishes such fights because he uses them to fire up his support base among the majority poor at home with blunt rhetoric that plays on their misgivings of rich countries' investments in Latin America.

On Tuesday, he said the king's "arrogance" exposed that colonial attitudes toward South America have not died out.

But the folksy president also showed he had a sense of humor over the flap.

When a reporter asked him a series of questions about the raft of constitutional changes expected to be passed in next month's plebiscite, he joked: "Why don't you shut up?"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tailgunner Joe, although drunk, was right on

M. Stanton Evans’ long-awaited investigative work Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and his Fight Against America’s Enemies debunks several popular falsehoods about McCarthy and the McCarthy era—myths which are routinely repeated by “progressive” ideologues, historians and journalists alike. Evans’ book is a must-read for anyone interested in pursuing the documented record about McCarthy, Soviet espionage, and communist infiltration during the Cold War era.

In the late 1990s, during the declassification of Venona-related documents from the Soviet archives, a steady stream of information revealed the extent of communist infiltration in the U.S. government during and after the Second World War.

If only he had done the Twelve Steps--he could have done this country a lot of good.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Republican's Limited Government dilemma

A great essay by William Voegeli of the Claremont Institute. Big government just keeps on growing, despite the GOP lip service to reverse it. And no, it's NOT because of military spending increases:

Military spending is a minor factor in the overall growth of government. It was 23.2% of federal spending and 5.2% of gross domestic product in 1981. Those percentages peaked in 1987 at 28.1% and 6.1%, respectively. Defense spending fell steadily thereafter, and was just over 16% of the federal budget and 3% of GDP from 1999 through 2001. Since September 11, defense spending has climbed to 20% of the federal budget and 4% of GDP. Despite the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both figures are lower than they were at any point during Jimmy Carter's presidency.

The engine driving the growth of government has been "human resources"--the Office of Management and Budget's category that includes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, along with other programs for health, education, veterans and income security. Spending on human resources in 1981 was $362 billion, slightly more than half (53.4%) of all federal outlays. That proportion declined to slightly less than half (49.7%) by the time Reagan left office in 1989. But it turns out there was a peace dividend after the fall of the Berlin Wall: National defense spending dropped from 26.5% of federal outlays in 1989 to 16.1% in 1999. That savings--a tenth of the budget--migrated to human resources, where spending climbed to 60% of outlays by 1995. The category has stayed above that level ever since, reaching almost two-thirds of federal spending (65.6%) and 13.1% of GDP in 2003.
So what's the problem? The problem, as the National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru put it, is that,

while a conservatism whose "central mission" does not emphasize the fight against Big Government is inconceivable, a "political coalition in America capable of sustaining a majority" for that mission is unimaginable. Conservatism, in other words, can have a purpose or it can have a prospect. It cannot, apparently, have both.
It is common for one faction of the GOP to blame another faction for betrayal of the conservative campaign against Big Government. All such explanations, however, assume that but for the weakness or hubris of some key player, the conservative project could have succeeded. Sorry, but cutting back the welfare state is MUCH more difficult than that, and those who earnestly try to do so usually get slaughtered politically:

Lacking an appreciation of the challenges they would face, conservatives never developed a political strategy adequate to the task. There was no systematic effort to pare back the welfare state, no disciplined preparation for the inevitable and aggressive counterattacks by interest groups and liberal journalists. Instead, conservatives time and again were shocked to discover that the people who built the welfare state were so unhelpful about dismantling it. Right-wingers fell into long periods of sullen, stupefied resentment, punctuated by frontal assaults that were brief, furious and futile. Think of David Stockman's crusade to cut spending in 1981; or the 1995 government shutdown, the Pickett's Charge of the Gingrich rebels.
So what to do? Mr. Voegeli suggests that:

It makes sense for conservatives to attack liberalism where it is weakest, rather than where it is strongest. Liberals sell the welfare state one brick at a time, deflecting inquiries about the size and cost of the palace they're building. Citizens are encouraged to regard the government as a rich uncle, who needs constant hectoring to become ever more generous. Conservatives need to make the macro-question the central one, and to insist that limited government is inseparable from self-government. To govern is to choose. To deliberate about the legitimate and desirable extent of the welfare state presupposes that we the people should choose the size and nature of government programs, rather than have them be chosen for us by entitlements misconstrued as inviolable rights.

No political strategy can guarantee success. Under no foreseeable set of circumstances will liberals fear giving voters their spiel: We want the government to give things to you and do things for you. Conservatives can only reply that single-entry bookkeeping doesn't work; every benefit the government confers will correspond to a burden it has to impose. A government that respects citizens as adults will level with them about the benefits and the costs. A conservatism that labors to reverse liberalism's displacement of Americans' rights as citizens with their "rights" as welfare recipients may not achieve victory, but it will at least deserve it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Clarence Thomas is angry? Damn right, he should be

This is from law professor Ann Althouse: “Unforgiven: Why is Clarence Thomas so angry?”

That’s the title of this Jeffrey Toobin piece in The New Yorker. I don’t think that’s a very accurate title and suspect his editor was hot to spread the Thomas-is-angry-meme. What concerns Toobin is Thomas’s attachment to conservative politics.

She goes on to quote Toobin’s concluding paragraph, (as she notes, not “about anger at all”) which says that “There is less to celebrate in the way that Thomas has used the opportunity to speak power to truth.”

This is switch on Anita Hill’s claim to have been “Speaking Truth To Power”–actually, of course, she was engaging in a series of malicious lies–on behalf of the majority party in the Senate at the time, which hardly seems to fit the Mahatma Gandhi/Rosa Parks image conjured up by those words.

And what Toobin calls speaking “power to truth” is no more than strict constitutionalism, and a belief that criminals, if guilty, should be punished.

But what Toobin is objecting to is who Thomas is believed to be mad at: Democratic Senators, and liberal journalists like Toobin. (And Anita Hill, of course.)

After what he went through in his confirmation hearings, and in the press since, I don’t blame Thomas for being mad at any of those people–but Toobin seems to think it’s wrong.

Well, boo hoo hoo, Jeffrey Toobin. And up yours.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Michael Medved essays

He does a pretty good job of it:

1. Reject the lie of white "genocide" against Native Americans. Read this article

2. Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and slavery. Read this article

3. The Founders intended a Christian, not secular, society. Read this article

4. No, America's never been a multicultural society. Read this article

5. Corporate power blesses, not oppresses, the American people. Read this article

6. How government expansion worsens hard times. Read this article

7. The third party temptation discredits its candidates (and their ideas). Read this article