Friday Linkage

A few articles of note for those of you who are trying to beat the heat this weekend:

Over at the moderate blog Donklephant, Callimachus has an excellent piece on his transition from “liberal” to “conservative” although it’s more a transition from “postmodernist” to “classical liberal.” He observes:

Back in the day, plenty of wingnuts on the right simply opposed anything that the U.S.S.R. embraced, whether the thing itself was good or bad. But it also seems to me the John Birch types largely have been marginalized in the “conservative” wing, while the “loony” contingent has claimed a lot of core ground in the intellectual circles of the “left.” Think of Chomsky denying the Cambodian holocaust because, well, any indigenous power that rises up to oppose American military hegemony must, de facto, be a good and benevolent thing. (Hell, you don’t have to go to Cambodia: just think of a turgid, tenured professor at MIT being held up as the champion of the world’s oppressed.)

A few years ago, Christopher Hitchens (in NYT Book Review) pointed out that the true, best heir of the 1960s youth Revolution is Vaclav Havel. Unlike the Western hippies, his revolution — wrapped in blue jeans and non-violence and rock music — really did overthrow a repressive, dour authoritarian state. Yet the heirs of the ’60s in the West have little use for him. They cling to Castro.

That particular fact is quite telling indeed.

In The New York Times, Oliver Roy has an excellent piece on the answer to “why do they hate us” has little to do with Iraq:

Second, if the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine are at the core of the radicalization, why are there virtually no Afghans, Iraqis or Palestinians among the terrorists? Rather, the bombers are mostly from the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, Egypt and Pakistan – or they are Western-born converts to Islam. Why would a Pakistani or a Spaniard be more angry than an Afghan about American troops in Afghanistan? It is precisely because they do not care about Afghanistan as such, but see the United States involvement there as part of a global phenomenon of cultural domination.

The idea that surrendering Iraq to the fanatics that are still trying to rip that country apart is precisely the wrong thing to do. The only way to defeat this sort of fanaticism is to drain the swamp in the Middle East. Unless we care to wipe out a good portion of Arab society in a total war, we’ve no choice but to create a democratic “insurgency” within Islam itself. Iraq is crucial to that end – and as Lebanese opposition leader Walid Jumblatt (who is hardly a pro-American) noted, the fall of Saddam and the subsequent Iraqi elections have been the equivalent of the fall of the Berlin Wall for the Arab world.

The Incredible Shrinking Deficit

In the Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen notes the stunning silence on the national budget deficit. When it could be used against President Bush, the media and the Democrats were suddenly all budget hawks. Remember John Kerry’s laughable insistance that he would restore fiscal sanity to Washington? Now suddenly that Bush’s pro-growth tax cuts have increased economic growth and caused tax revenues to surge, all of a sudden the media is utterly silent.

Were the only difference in the economy a Democrat in the White House, the media would be calling this a boom – but once again the endemic bias of the media has condemned another story that doesn’t fit their metanarrative to the back burners.

A Rose Dog-Dropping By Another Name…

The next version of Microsoft Windows, formerly codenamed “Longhorn” will be called Windows Vista. (Cue Hasta la vista jokes here.

In fact, Vista wasn’t chosen for its allusions to scenery. It’s actually an acronym: Vastly Inferior System To Apple

That’s A Man, Baby!

File It Under notes that the SMP covergirl has well, rather mannish hands. Now, being the gentleman that I am, I feel somewhat obligated to defend the honor of the SMP covergirl. Then again, I noticed the same thing.

However, if you’re paying attention to her hands, you’re probably missing the point…

12 thoughts on “Friday Linkage

  1. Pingback: File it Under
  2. Regarding the budget deficit shrinking, there’s no evidence at all that Bush’s tax cuts contributed to an economic surge that raised revenue. I suspect that if Clinton-era tax cuts had been maintained, the defict would be about $133 billion right now rather than $333 billion. Furthermore, most of the income tax cuts won’t start kicking in until next year, the war in Iraq can be expected to absorb another $100 billion each year we occupy, and the price tag for the prescription drug entitlement for Medicare continues to explode far beyond original projections before it has officially even kicked off. Bottom line….the reason the deficit reduction isn’t being reported is because it’s almost certainly a lowball figure.

  3. While I’m not sure I can agree completely with Callimachus’ article, I have to say that I’ve been experiencing some “liberal culture shock” as of late.

    You see, I’ve never lived in a “liberal” city before. Oh, I’ve lived in Minneapolis/St. Paul, but that’s more or less just Sioux Falls writ large. I just moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico two weeks ago… and from what I can tell, it’s illegal to be a Republican here. Nobody has taken the Kerry/Edwards (or even Dennis Kucinich) stickers off of their cars yet, and they outnumber pro-Bush stickers about 50:1. All the grocery stores are organic, and thus very expensive (though I must admit, the food around here is fantastic)!

    And everyone and their dog reads Chomsky. I’m not kidding.

    Every bookstore I’ve visited (and they have plenty of them- my wallet is crying!) has piles of Chomsky, usually on display. I’d always just assumed that he was a fringe phenomenon that a few professors and activist students read… no, Chomsky is as popular here as Left Behind is in SD. Ditto for Peter Singer. Ditto for Michael Moore. Ditto for… well, you get the point.

    By this town’s standards, I’m a conservative Republican.

    I miss Tim Johnson and Stephanie Herseth already… I always thought that the “liberal” straw man was just that, but now I know otherwise… my god, they’re everywhere… old hippies… hippies… I can’t take it any more… for the love of God, make it stop…


  4. I’ve always wondered why Santa Fe is so liberal. I always thought it was because their population was mostly Hispanics and American Indians. Is there an additional reason I’m unfamiliar with?

  5. Mark, would you care to explain the connection you see between between being Hispanic/ American Indian and liberal? I assume you could provide empirical data that show a correlation, but what causes do you attribute to those data?

    Thanks in advance,


  6. Janek, Hispanics tend to vote more than 60% Democratic in American elections. The 2004 election exit polls showed the number at a surprisingly low 55% for John Kerry. Some are questioning the validity of the exit polling that showed this weak performance by Kerry among Hispanics, but from the county-by-county numbers I’ve seen, it’s likely true.

    As for Native Americans, I don’t have the statistical data, but the last I heard, they vote Democratic nearly 3-1. I know that in the heavily Native American precincts in Minnesota, that is certainly true.

    Now I don’t know if that Democratic voting necessarily constitutes “liberalism”. In some cases it may not, but in the context of the discussion about Santa Fe’s political climate, which is overwhelmingly Democratic, I connected the dots.

  7. Mark is right on the numbers, Hispanics tend to be Democrats by a still significant margin. However, Hispanics also tend to be culturally conservative. The GOP is making significant efforts to reach out to Hispanic voters, which is why Bush did comparatively well among Hispanics in 2004.

    My guess is that Santa Fe is one of those cities that just attract aging hippies. On one hand, that does mean you get a thriving arts culture and good food. On the other hand, you have to deal with aging hippies…

  8. Nicq,

    As a former Santa Fe resident (1982-1991), I can offer one suggestion for why it is a haven of left-wing loons.

    It is not so much aging hippies — Santa Fe is too expensive for hippies who have not in some form joined the establishment — but that there is a large population of trust-fund babies (mostly males) and women who’ve won thumping big divorce settlements and come to live in paradise on their “earnings.”

    In both cases, they do not have to earn money, which means they can disconnect from the ordinary world inhabited by the less privileged. They do not have to make arguments or sell ideas to peers; they need not subject themselves to the company of others with different outlooks. In short, they are not forced to do any reality testing. Truth is whatever feels good.

    However much they are theoretically in favor of open borders, their resources ensure that they do not live in the same neighborhoods as illegals.

    Living in a kind of pseudo-Utopia, Santa Fe’s golden boys and girls find it easy to imagine that this is the natural state of things, and only hawkish conservatives stop the good vibe from flowing freely everywhere.

    There are many enjoyable and stimulating things about living in Santa Fe, but it is a bubble in which reality is shut out for many of its citizens. Good luck.

  9. Limousine liberals are almost as annoying and wrongheaded as conservatives. Doesn’t sound as though Santa Fe would be for me.

    Interesting how the city’s population is so thick with “trust fund babies.” With the Bush administration’s revokation of the inheritance tax, the trust fund baby population can expected to soar in the years to come. If all the Democratic trust fund babies migrate to Santa Fe, where will the Republican ones go? One would have to assume it would be a city much larger than Santa Fe to accommodate all the GOP heirs and heiresses.

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