Mailvox: shooting holes in missing data

Nemo doesn’t appear to read German very carefully:

Heck, Malkin’s attitude is like that of someone who has argued that women’s suffrage leads to higher government expenditures, but won’t look at, or even address, a study that shows that women’s suffrage in Switzerland produced a decline in government expenditure, even after it is linked or pointed out to them multiple times.

Nice try. The problem is that you missed a very significant change in Switzerland which strongly supports my theory, namely, the transition from decentralized cantonal spending to centralized federal spending. So, women began to vote and there’s a corresponding increase in central power, imagine that. Cantonal spending did go down, but only because federal spending increased even faster. That paper only addressed cantonal spending and I’m wondering if you even read it since all of the charts were missing from both PDFs I downloaded.

Meanwhile, the CIA World Factbook reports:

251.9 billion: GDP
140.4 billion: government expenditures (55.7% of GDP)

171.2 billion: GDP
016.1 billion: government expenditures (9.4% of GDP)

That does seem like an insane increase, however, which makes me somewhat dubious as to how trustworthy those numbers really are. I’d be interested in seeing the government expenditures for 1970, but I could only find the GDP figure of 21.9 billion. I’ll also see if I can dig up the combined cantonal spending compared to federal for the corresponding years, which should settle the matter nicely.

Mailvox: chickenhawk or not

Craig has a theory:

“I also notice that it seems the majority of people throwing around the term chickenhawk are not in the military and I think that says a lot.”

I imagine that’s only because almost no one in the media is or was in the military. But let’s take a poll and see if that’s the case.

This one is for those who have served or are serving in the military only. The question is as follows:

1. Ben Shapiro has asserted:

a) “If America is to survive and flourish, Americans must realize that empire isn’t a choice: It’s a duty.”

b) “Pre-emption is the chief weapon of a global empire. No one said empire was easy, but it is right and good”

c) “Most of us realize that during wartime, sacrifices must be made…. taking such a stand requires common sense and the knowledge that we are in the midst of the great battle of our time.”

d) “Now’s the time: Either put up, or shut the hell up.”

2. Ben Shapiro is also a single, 21 year-old American male with no known physical disabilities who has chosen to attend Harvard Law School instead of making the personal sacrifice of serving his country’s military during what he describes as “the great battle of our time”.

Is Mr. Shapiro a “chickenhawk” or not?

Please give a simple “yes” or “no” answer and note the branch of the military in which you served. Again, I’m only interested in the opinions of former and present members of the military.

Mailvox: the weak and the lame

CR wonders if it might be cowardice, or perhaps mere predation:

Why do you feel the need to pick on the Shapiros and Malkins of the Right. Kind of reminds me of a hyena attaching the weakest one in the herd. Are you afraid to go up against someone with a little more expreience.

You said it, not me. But in answer to your question, I have schooled both Dr. Thomas Sowell and John Leo on their wildly inaccurate summations of Pearl Harbor’s effect on the US Navy. And have you so soon forgotten The Ballad of Brave Sir William? The reason I generally don’t pursue more eminent members of the nominally right-wing commentariat is that I agree with them far more often than I do with, say, Maureen Dowd.

I think it is very ominous sign for the Right when ignorant and shoddy thinkers such as Malkin and Shapiro are being groomed as the next generation of voices in the conservative media. I have already been deemed inadequate/inappropriate/undesirable by those who decide such things, so you can almost surely look forward to years of thoughtless repetition of Republican party talking points from them and a few others of the anointed in numerous papers around the country, culminating eventually in one of them claiming the coveted token nominally conservative Republican slot in the New York Times. My money is on Shapiro.

Remember, this is the young man who wants to “temporarily” restrict civil liberties during wartime in a war that is expected to continue for decades while America builds a global empire. Malkin, meanwhile, lionizes FDR. If this is conservativism, then I want no part of it and will oppose it with the same enthusiasm that I oppose their socialist and neosocialist cousins. It’s nothing of the sort, of course, it’s merely a new breed of neofascists mouthing platitudes of liberty as they work towards its elimination.

That being said, who do you consider to be the lions of the Right? If you can give me an example where one of these intellectual strongmen advocates something to which I am opposed, I’ll be happy to compose a critique for you.

UPDATE: Jealous much? With regards to the popularity postulate suggested by Craig, here’s the hard numbers from WND. The weekly average readership for my column is 1.2 times that of Mrs. Malkin’s and 4.1 times that of Mr. Shapiro’s. Miss Coulter is still handing me my proverbial head, however, exceeding my readership by a factor of 1.5.

The chickenhawk clucks

Ben Shapiro really, really doesn’t want to go to Iraq:

Richard Bradley, one of the many cynical Sheehan-users over at Arianna Huffington’s website, expresses the “chickenhawk” argument this way: “Thanks in large part to Cindy Sheehan, people are starting to raise the issue of why Jenna and Barbara Bush aren’t serving in the military. It’s a tough question, but I think it’s a fair one.” This isn’t a fair question – in fact, it’s an un-American question….

And convenience is what the “chickenhawk” argument is really about. Pacifists don’t want to discuss real foreign policy issues – they want to call names. If you can’t win over the populace at large, the only solution left is to stifle the argument. That’s what “chickenhawk” is about. At the end of the day, “chickenhawk” is morally and intellectually chicken.

No, my young lawyerly WND colleague, that is a perfectly fair question and it is most certainly not an “un-American” one. Both you and President Bush have asserted that it is a matter of absolute priority for Americans to fight and die in Iraq and Afghanistan, and yet you seem to feel that it’s even more important for you to get a law degree from Harvard than to serve your country in its hour of dire need.

I am more than happy to debate real foreign policy issues with you. I would be delighted to discuss how the Bush administration’s handling of The Struggle violates the precepts of classic military tacticians such as Sun Tzu, Caesar and Clausewitz. Nor am I a pacificist, a liberal or anti-American.

And yet, I agree with those liberal, anti-American pacifists in labeling you a chickenhawk. Because, my young, cowardly WND colleague, regardless of who happens to be pointing it out, you most certainly are one.

PS: Lest anyone feel inclined to wonder about the pot calling the kettle black, on first day of Desert Shield, Big Chilly and I went down to the Marine recruiter’s office in the Pavilion Place and expressed our wish to enlist. We were thanked for our willingness to serve our country and were informed that our services were not required for the incipient hostilities as The Corps was looking for career officers, not patriotic one-term wonders.

Mike Wallace would not approve

Michael Yon puts Americans before journalism:

When I came back into the TOC, Major Michael Lawrence–who I often challenge to pull-up contests, and who so far has beat me (barely) every time–looked me square and professionally, in the direct way of a military leader and asked, “Mike, did you pick up a weapon today?”
“I did.”
“Did you fire that weapon?”
“I did.”
“If you pick up another weapon, you are out of here the next day. Understood?”
“We still have to discuss what happened today.”

Writers are not permitted to fight. I asked SFC Bowman to look at the photos and hear what happened. Erik Kurilla and CSM Prosser were witness, but I did not want the men of Deuce Four who were not there to think I had picked up a weapon without just cause.

Michael Yon is writing fascinating stuff. His words capture the chaos and confusion of the urban battlefield in a way I would not have imagined possible, while his pictures show its surprisingly mundane character. His courage and his willingness to stand by the soldiers of Deuce Four is truly exceptional, and I encourage you to support him in his work.