The Lizard Queen licks her chops

WHEN the Senate voted by a stunning 83-16 in favor of a reinforced fence along the Mexico border yesterday, it showed that lawmakers are feeling get-tough winds blowing from the grass roots. Even 2008 presidential prospects like Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) voted for the 370-mile fence, and several Democrats who first voted no switched nervously to yes.

I’m not in the least bit surprised that the Senate – and the American people – should completely reject my position stated earlier this week. (I mean my actual one against the border fence, not the mass murder of the insufficiently Aryan imputed by the illiterate critics.)

The significant thing is that Hillary did precisely what I predicted several months ago and voted for the fence, thus adroitly positioning herself to the “right” of the Republican hierarchy. This is exactly what she needs to do to guarantee her victory in 2008 and Dear Jorge is playing his role to perfection by alienating the Republican base.

Two uniforms, one team. That’s all you need to understand to grok the game.

And sure, it may look obvious now, but I seem to recall more than a few skeptics when I first explained the scenario back in the summer of 2004.

I wonder if Americans will see that fence quite so favorably by the time the sixth year of the Lizard Queen’s reign of terror rolls around?

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The Way of the Irrelevant Warrior

Fred Reed, who has seen more war first hand than the entire Chickenhawk Brigade combined, tries to explain why the Iraqi Occupation was lost some time ago:

To the Warrior, to doubt the war is treason, aiding and supporting, liberalism, cowardice, back-stabbing, and so on. He uses these phrases unrelentingly. We must fight, and fight, and fight, and never yield, and sacrifice and spend. We must never ask why, or whether, or what for, or do we want to.

The public of course doesn’t see it that way. In 1964 I graduated from a rural high school in Virginia with a senior class of, I think, sixty. Doug took a 12.7 through the head, Sonny spent time at Walter Reed with neck wounds, Studley I hear is a paraplegic, another kid got mostly blinded for life, and several, whom I won’t name, tough country kids as I knew them, came back as apparently irredeemable drunks. (These were kids I knew, not all in my class.) It was a lot of dead and crippled for a small place. For what?

Cowardice? I was on campus in 1966 on a small, very Republican, very patriotic, very conservative, very Southern campus. The students, and their girlfriends, were all violently against the war. So, I gather, were their parents. Why? Were they the traitors of the Warrior’s imagination? No. They didn’t want to die for something that they didn’t care about.

This eludes the Warrior. Always, he blames The Press for the waning of martial enthusiasm, for his misunderstanding of the kind of war we are fighting. Did the press make Studley a paraplegic? Or kill the guy with all the tubes who died in the stretcher above me on the Medevac 141 back from Danang? Did Walter Cronkite make my buddy Cagle blind when the rifle grenade exploded on the end of his fourteen? Do the Warriors think that people don’t notice when their kids come back forever in wheelchairs?

They don’t get it.

The reality is that Iraq was never going to attack the United States. Nor is Iran – North Korea already has its nukes and isn’t using them for anything except to keep the USA off its back as it starves its people and does otherwise Bad Things.

No amount of exaggeration is going to convince the vast majority of Americans that democracy in Iraq is worth the life of their child. Based on the evidence, I’d argue that democracy in America isn’t worth such a lofty price either.

I respect America’s soldiers. I like them and am comfortable with them, being from a military family and all. But I also loathe the politicians who spend their blood so freely and callously, usually in a cause that is of no benefit to America whatsoever.

The march of technology can be delayed briefly but it can never be arrested. Today North Korea has The Bomb, tomorrow Iran will, and in fifty years, it’s entirely possible that your neighbor will, if he is so inclined. History is replete with examples of central governments attempting to control the spread of military technology; last night I was reading a dictate of Charlemagne’s which forbade the export of burnies, iron chest armor.

We are currently seeing a race to determine if power can be globally centralized before the advance spread of technology renders such centralization suicidal. In such a race, the Way of the Warrior has little, if any, role to play. He will surely again have his day, regardless of who wins out, but he has little to say with regards to the victor.

Occam Struggled

At least <a href="http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com/2006/05/vox-confuto.html
“>Parenthetical Remarks read the whole thing, both versions, no less. Unfortunately, as you might expect from the sort of blogger who finds Andrew Sullivan inspiring, he is unable to take two seemingly discordant facts and reach a logical conclusion:

Apart from advocating that the U.S. government emulate Hitler in an effort to rid the country of its illegal immigrants, Vox’s article is a bizarre rant against a border fence. Why? “The problem with a fence is that it works both ways,” and building it would lead to “a self-imprisoned people”. What if we have to flee a tyrannical U.S. government at some point in the future? We don’t want no stinking fences in that case.

So, Vox Day appears to be both a fascist sympathizer and a paranoid. Talk about a classic combination! Chocolate and peanut butter don’t have anything on Vox.

Throw an unusual haircut into that Gordian knot and, well, obviously the whole thing is a hopeless conundrum beyond the best minds of the blogosphere.

And the quintet forms

I suspect you’ll be seeing more of these five names together in the future:

In the legends of the University of Chicago, the late, irrepressible Jason Aronson etched a memorable place with a dissertation that encompassed Louis Hartz and the Earl of Shaftsbury: “Hartz, Shaftsbury, and Marx: An Unsuitable Trio.” But just a couple of weeks ago, Aronson’s strange grouping was superseded by what could be called an Unsuitable or Implausible Quintet: Roberts, Stevens, Souter, Breyer, Ginsburg….

But… but… Roberts is a conservative! That he is, just like the man who hired him, George W. Bush. Oh, he’ll vote with Scalia and crew when it doesn’t matter, to be sure. But when it counts, I expect he’ll be right there with the other Republican-nominated liberals.

Quantity doesn’t dictate quality

Now that the double-digits and illiterates have shrieked themselves hoarse, we return you to your original programming… and a belated response to Daniel’s substantive critique on women in the workforce and their effect on the economy:

I still stand by my assertations that: (A) women in the workforce give employers more choice in selecting employees and allow for better overall employee value (in the absence of government interference in selection of employees or amounts paid to them), and (B) any drops in wage rates are compensated by drops in prices and better selection due to the increased productivity of having a larger worker pool in a free market.

The obvious short response is that this is a purely theoretical argument with no relation to an actual economy. An “absence of government interference” indeed! But that’s too easy, so let’s cast about and see if we can find a practical example that doesn’t involve hard-to-find statistics as a metric.

In 1937, the National Socialist regime employed 45 percent women in its agencies… okay, actually I have no idea who they hired nor is it relevant to Daniel’s question, I was just amused by the notion of seeing the usual morons get in a lather over another Nazi analogy. I’m a little confused, though. Is it “Bush is Hitler” or “Milosevic/Hussein/Ahmadinejad/Insert Next Neocon Target Here is Hitler” that is the acceptable Nazi analogy?

Actually, the historical example I have in mind is the American professariat. “According to a study done by the American Association of University Professors, about 26 percent of all tenured professors nationwide are women.” This was the case in 1999. I don’t have any precise dates on when the first female professors began being hired en masse and began to receive tenure, but various searches tends to show up relevant “first” dates ranging between 1969 and 1985.

According to Daniel’s theory, this broadening of the pool of potential professors should have increased the quality of the professors being hired and granted tenure. With the exception of the politically correct Left, however, few would agree that this has been the case. Certainly the results produced by those professors, as measured by the quality of their graduated students, have declined appreciably over the last 30+ years by nearly everyone’s measure.

The same holds true for other aspects of the workplace. If Worker X is 5 percent more productive than Worker Y, but reduces productivity by 10 percent in Workers A through S, hiring Worker X will be a disaster for the employer. The further inaccuracy of the theory stems from its reliance on the idea that the productivity of a worker can be ascertained prior to hiring.

B is too complex a matter to discuss here without first settling on agreed values regarding prices and productivity. As I am a confirmed CPI cynic, this promises to be difficult but I am open to suggestion.

We are the world

Wes Pruden notes a little item hidden out of sight in the Senate immigration bill:

One provision tucked away in the fine print would grant an immigration visa to any woman or orphan anywhere in the world who is “at risk of harm” because of age or sex. The critics of the president’s amnesty fiesta thought they were kidding when they said the president and the Senate wanted to grant citizenship once and for all to everyone in the world.

It seems that when Dear Jorge said that when someone is hurting, government has to act, he wasn’t only referring to Americans. I hear there’s a ten year-old girl in Tibet who stubbed her toe yesterday, surely the administration will be seeking to grant her a visa and welfare benefits tomorrow.

This provision would also logically grant immigration rights to every single widow and female fetus in India.

Hey, 12 million, 300 million, whatever, bring them all in. Why not? It’s party time and we’ve got the helicopter money to pay for it, thanks to a little invention that Ben Bernanke likes to call the printing press. And if oil prices keep climbing, everyone can keep warm this winter with 10 pregnant Hindi-speaking women huddled together in their homes.