Monday, October 08, 2007

Potpourri

Though I'm supporting Ron Paul's presidential bid, I'm not a zealot. I was bitten by the political bug earlier in life and now, well, I'm frankly just too busy for such nonsense. But I must say the Paulites over at LRC and other dark, dank corners of the Net are giving me some hope in his candidacy.

Raimondo is of course in the tank for Paul. His essays supporting Buchanan in 2000 always were too optimistic, though. One of the constant themes in the links I'm about to regurgitate is the thought that volunteers and non-professional politicos can drive a campaign. I'm not sure about that, unfortunately. What I noticed about Buchanan's runs is that his earlier efforts (1992 and 1996) were much better organized. By 2000, he was relying on consultants and aides who were castaways, people who couldn't work for the major parties. All the way down to congressional district organizers your campaign winds up being swollen by volunteers who may be committed and zealous, but just don't know what they're doing. I guess we'll see how it goes come winter in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Tom Roeser provides some unsolicited advice for the Paul campaign. He suggests focusing on radio as a means of getting his message out.

Alan Bock calls the Paul campaign "the most significant pro-freedom mass movement in modern American history, perhaps in all of our history." Hmm, seems a bit embellished.

James Ostrowski and Rick Fisk make strong cases that Paul can indeed pull off the miraculous.

Paul's strength politically is his opposition to the war, which has been consistent and unrelenting. In the Washington Post today is an article demonstrating the folly of "reconciliation" in Iraq. "I don't think there is something called reconciliation, and there will be no reconciliation as such," said Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih, a Kurd. "To me, it is a very inaccurate term. This is a struggle about power."

A war with Iran lies just over the horizon, too, as General Petraeus accuses the Iranians of fomenting violence in Iraq. When will the Iranians stop meddling in the affairs of a sovereign Iraqi state?

A column I missed earlier from Pat Buchanan on crime in America. After a litany of stats related to crime committed by blacks, Buchanan concludes: "What do these statistics tell us? A message the Post will not report. The real repository of racism in America – manifest in violent interracial assault, rape and murder – is to be found not in the white community, but the African-American community. In almost all interracial attacks, whites are the victims, not the victimizers."

The politics of immigration and identity roils the waters in Belgium and Switzerland. Language, culture and race all matter.

Paul Findley on policy in the Middle East:

"Two powerful religion-driven lobbies are prominent in Israel’s entry into bold criminality. One consists of a relatively small group of Jewish zealots, whose most prominent and effective voice is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC], founded a half-century ago. Its membership is relatively small, consisting mainly of secular Jews often called Zionists and others who are ultra-Orthodox. The other lobby, whose influence emerged in the last twenty years, consists of millions of fundamentalist Christians who accept a controversial interpretation of the Bible’s Book of Revelations. This lobby is loosely-organized but effective, with televangelists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell providing most of the leadership."

I was surprised to see how rapidly the defense budget is expanding. Doug Bandow writes, "Military spending ran $305 billion in 2001. The Bush administration has proposed outlays of $607 billion next year." To put this in perspective, the Chinese "accelerated" their military spending this year to...$45 billion.

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