Monday, March 07, 2005

Liberalism at the Crossroads, Part III.

John Leo weighs in, noting the Left's corrosive hostility to religion:

"...Worse, the cultural liberalism that emerged from the convulsions of the 1960s drove the liberal faith out of the mainstream. Its fundamental value is that society should have no fundamental values, except for a pervasive relativism that sees all values as equal. Part of the package was a militant secularism, pitched against religion, the chief source of fundamental values..."

Amen.


Battle of the Titans.

Wow! What a finish to the Ford Championship at Doral! Tiger Wood's eagle on the 12th hole, followed by back to back birdies by Phil Mickelson to even it up, only to let Tiger slip away on the 16th by matching his bogie! Exciting to the end with Phil's desperation chip on 18 that curled around the lip of the hole! Hats off to Tiger - he earned the victory.

Aye, laddie, that 'twas a Hell of a ro'ond 'a Golfe!


Facelift for Radio Oblique.

My flea circus of an internet radio station - now with "Formula X4" for deeper cleansing action, has a new playlist of R&B, Oldies, Rockabilly, and a kinder and gentler website. Fightin' the Media Conglomerate Man: heard Enima's latest hip-hop offering on four over-air stations simultaneously - aaahhhhghhh! When will they cue up some Don Woody, eh?




7 comments:

Trotsky said...

Again, Martin, you make specious generalizations about the "liberals". This is truly a great shame. It makes it fairly obvious that your world view is filtered through your politics, and not through open thought or unbaised observation. I find this to be disappointing from the stand point of your scientific background. As a scientist, were you to make such unfounded, biased statements you would never be published.

It would be simple for me to assume that you are an uncaring, conservative only worried about yourself, your right to guns, and your money were I not to read your blog closely. Because I chose to read this blog with an open mind, I can see that this would not be an accurate view. This would be accurate, though, if I saw you through the bias of a liberal filter. Maybe you should try do the same with liberals. They aren't all a godless horde, many have as deep and abiding faith, and your stereotyping does them a great dishonor. So Dr Sulkanen, try turn some of that keen intellect inward, and look at the things that might just as easily be misinterpreted about you were people to just see you through a filter, and not judge you openly.

RollCast said...

Ouch. This is getting a wee bit personal...

Point taken. Not all liberals are antireligous. That is not a fair comment. I should have been more specific: the Hard Left is antireligous (the Hard Left I define as the Communists, anarachists, radical neo-Luddites, etc.) Stay tuned for clarification.

Do you have a spare tourniquet on you, perchance?

Trotsky said...

No, I have no tourniquets. I mean only for you to be careful in your comments. You seem to be an intelligent and thoughtful person, and I agree with some of your statements. I find it discouragin g, though, when you make such broad statements. I was trying to show you the danger that was lurking in your statements. It would be just as easy to make specious statements about conservatives and their mantras, and just add to partisan division. I just hate to see thoughtful commentary fall into biased drivel. I just would hope that you could bring some of your scientific background into your commentary. Science ask us to view things as objectively as possible, and then to speak exactly to our observations. It requires us to be cautious in our statements because we are asked to validate and be responsible to our words.

It is always important to act and find belief not out of our biases, but out of thoughtful, open exploration of truth. And that to me is the heart of science and life's path.

I also hope that you realize that the democrats and many of the liberals in this country are not neo-luddites, communist, or anarachists. That is why there are seperate terms for those folks, because they are different enough to need another descriptor. Much of the democratic party and liberals are not the hard left. Despite the campaign to state otherwise, we are the same as the conservative folks across the street or in the house next door. We believe in God, we hope for security and peace for our nation and the world. The difference between comes not from a "radical agenda" but a fundamental difference in belief in how to accomplish these things. We (the average liberal)are no less honest in our desire than the conservatives. That is the thing that is lost in pejoratives.

Despite my chosen name here (picked more from a Monty Python sketch than a communist bent), I am probably more representative of the true liberal than the stereotype created by the neocons. And my final statement in the previous post was a bad paraphrasing of Agent Starling in Silence of the Lambs.

RollCast said...

Earlier, Trotsky wrote:

"I also hope that you realize that the democrats and many of the liberals in this country are not neo-luddites, communist, or anarachists. That is why there are seperate terms for those folks, because they are different enough to need another descriptor. Much of the democratic party and liberals are not the hard left. Despite the campaign to state otherwise, we are the same as the conservative folks across the street or in the house next door. We believe in God, we hope for security and peace for our nation and the world. The difference between comes not from a "radical agenda" but a fundamental difference in belief in how to accomplish these things. We (the average liberal)are no less honest in our desire than the conservatives. That is the thing that is lost in pejoratives."

I think I have clearly distinguished the Hard Left from others within the Liberal camp. This is precisely what Marty Peretz and John Leo are talking about, too. "Respectable liberalism" has acquiesed and appeased the Hard Left - please explain Deanism
and the hatred of Bush. Why were ninety percent of the delegates to the Dem convention opposed to the war, while the a cross-section of the public is evenly divided? This also has deleterious effects on the Republican Party as well. For example, when the Hard Left gets to define "responsible environmentalism" - heavy on regulation and hostile to private property rights - within the Democratic Party - it gives a great deal of leverage to the faction within the Republican Party with the view that "well, we ain't gonna get the green vote, so let's play to the mining and forestry lobby".

RollCast said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Trotsky said...

I by no means have given in to anybody, democratic or republican. Dean was not my choice for the chair, it was Jim Blanchard. Dean's selection had more to do with fund raising abilities than ideology, just as much as Madam De Vos within our won state when she was in power (as if she isn't now). You would not call her and other far right republicans agendas radical? Is that because you agree with it, thus making it right?

And why is it we should like Bush. The republican party pursued Bill Clinton when he was president. They hated him, was that okay while our feelings about Bush are not, why? Again because you agree with the one side but not the other?

As for the deomcrat stance on the war, if they are really against it, should they pander to a public opinion poll when Bush says he won't. What kind of ethics would we have if we changed our stance based on opinion found in polls (which you should know are often flawed). We honestly believed that the decision to go to war in the way we did was fundamentally flawed. Where was the strategy for the day after the victory. Because there wasn't any of us who thought we couldn't win, or didn't think that Saddam was an evil man. That still doesn't justify bad choices. There were a decent number of generals, the men who should know how to fight a war, who were not heeded. In fact Paul Wolfowitz chided General Shinseki about his estimates, which have come close to on the money. The estimates for costs have been again accurate, despite denial in the administration. Then when those who felt that this was the wrong war at the wrong time spoke out of conviction, we were called unpatriotic. Saddam was a rather nasty fellow, with horrible human rights violations, but what about the many horrible atrocities by rulers in Africa. How about Perez Musharraf, how about the AQ Khan situation. Pakistan is our great ally, yet they are selling secrets all over the place to our enemies. And last time I checked there was nothing Democratic about Musharrafs rule in Pakistan. How about our ties with the Saudi Government. Why is it we aren't democratizing them. Why do I hate Bush, because he allows my country to dance with the devil, and sooner or later that devil is going to want a kiss. Have we so soon forgotten who trained the mujahideen (I suggest Charlie Wilson's War). Gee, didn't that come back to haunt us. If we keep going with dicatators and strong men to achieve our ends, the world gets a badly mixed message. And they keep coming back to haunt us.

Another reason I wasn't crazy about going to war was because I thought we were getting bad intelligence. There were those in the intelligence services that were concerned about much of our pre-war intelligence. Chalabi had an agenda, to gain power in Iraq along with other members of the Iraqi National Congress. IT was just like the bad info we got in the Bay of Pigs. And so I am supposed to like a man who's administration (and yes he has to be reasponsible for those he places in his administration because he choose them to be there) doesn't do a better job of checking sources. Maybe had The First Bush Administration not left the Kurds screwed we would have gotten more from them. So tell me, if I really believe that these things are accurate, why am I supposed to like Bush. Because he is President, well by that logic the republicans should have had more respect for Clinton. So I think the republicans are full of just as much specious crap as the accuse the democrats.

As for the Green vote, that doesn't make it right to pander to mining interests. If that is the logic they are using, well you have to wonder why I am not crazy about the republicans.

RollCast said...

As HAL 9000 said, I really think you should take a stress pill, sit down and think things over.

Addressing your laundry list of accusations wouldn't serve much purpose - I doubt we are going to agree on much. I guess I would conclude my discussion on this thread by saying that these are members of the Democratic party and social liberals of good standing that are expressing great concern about the irresponsibility of their party's leadership and direction. If they want to become the loon party, they have the blessing of many Republicans, although I think that a healthy liberalism is important to the proper gestation of good politcs and good conservative principles.

I was also reviewing some of the comments you have made, some of them seem to be unnecessarily personal, and somewhat presumptuous as to given my profession, how I therefore must think about things. I learned a very, very powerful lesson during the Reagan years, when I saw remarkably gifted intellects all around me in school delude themselves into completely wrong-headed beliefs about the nature of the Cold War and Soviet and Chinese communism. They wanted to be so reasonable, so sophisticated and worldly - and conformist - they couldn't bring themselves to call evil for what it was. Scientists also have a serious weakness in believing that political problems can be broken into pieces and solved in approximations. It leaves them thinking solutions are so obvious and simple. This was really exhibited during the early eighties with the MX, Euromissiles, and SDI events. Ironically, Soviet dissidents were pleading in western and samizdat journals for the US to build the MX, deploy the Pershing IIs and cruise missiles, and develop SDI. Given the overkill that both sides had, it seemed a simple equation to western intellectuals that such actions were silly. They were not. The had a strong political and psychological effect on Soviet leadership that contributed substantially to their demise. The "correlation of forces", as Soviet theoreticians like to say, was not trending toward Soviet power and world influence. Western intellectuals just missed the boat on this. They claimed Reagan provided answers that we just too simple. No way - he provided simple, straightforward goals, but the solutions towards those goals were not simple. I believe much of the same for this period of time, and I believe that for similar reasons as described above, the Left have now missed the boat on Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and the War on Terrorism.

I admired Clinton's political dexterity - it was simply amazing to watch. He was absolutely brilliant in the manner in which he handled the budget battle of 1995. He ate Newt's lunch. He wasn't evil incarnate, but does have serious character problems that squaundered his talents on dodging bimbo eruptions. He is also an embarassing narssicist. I was sad for him when his dog Buddy was killed by a car - no man deserves that. I wish him good health.