Aye warned ye in 2003

More than one sage has expressed an opinion that Hillary is only lying in wait, not unlike a crocodile lurking at a waterhole, before announcing an unexpected bid for the presidency. I disagree. In my humble opinion, there are a number of reasons why the Lizard Queen will choose to sit on the sidelines in 2004…. So, the Lizard Queen will continue to lurk quietly in the gaseous morass of the Senate, biding her time, waiting for the right moment to strike an unsuspecting America and drag it beneath the dark waters of her totalitarian vision.
– Vox Day, November 24, 2003

The chief reason, however, for the likelihood of her ascendancy in 2008 is that the omens point to it being her time…. These are early days, of course, but look for the Republicans to nominate an unelectable candidate in the Dole mode to serve as a sacrificial lamb. Jeb Bush would be ideal, although Rudy Giuliani might be even better as a candidate who looks credible on the surface, but who will suppress the turnout of the Republican base.
– Vox Day, May 30, 2005

The charade comes to an end:

Hillary Rodham Clinton has jumped to an astounding 33-point lead over Barack Obama, topping her main rival among every major slice of the electorate and widening a dominating advantage she has held all summer. Clinton got support from a full majority for the first time in any national survey about the Democratic presidential field. She is backed by 53 percent in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll.

Unless the Republicans run Ron Paul against her, she wins the presidency in a walk. Anti-war and anti-immigration is the only way to beat her.

UPDATE – of course, since the Republican leadership is taking a fall, they’re trying to nominate the guy who more than a fourth of the party will not support in any thircumsthantheth:

If Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination and a third party campaign is backed by Christian conservative leaders, 27% of Republican voters say they’d vote for the third party option rather than Giuliani.

The thing is, Democratic tailwinds are so strong that they don’t even need to play the third-party card this time around. But it’s good to know that there are still some Republicans with principles left. Tony Blankley and The Anchoress can blather about why principled individuals should cast their principles to the wind in favor of inept political pragmatism, but it’s not going to work. It’s time for pragmatic Republicans to face the facts and accept that Giuliani, Thompson, McCain and Romney are all losers, so they might as well line up behind Ron Paul.

The gold standard of golddiggery

Jonah Goldberg posts an amusing, albeit arguably fictitious query from Craigslist:

Okay, I’m tired of beating around the bush. I’m a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I’m articulate and classy. I’m not from New York. I’m looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don’t think I’m overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 – 250. But that’s where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won’t get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she’s not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

The response of one investment banker is beautifully informative and brutally appropriate. Fake or not, it’s a funny dialogue and I’m always amused by women who describe themselves as “classy”. I don’t know why, but I tend to picture them saying it in a nasal voice with a New Joisey accent. But at least she knows what she wants – Central Park West.

(What a most peculiar objective, he mused, sitting in his villa and watching the Mediterranean waves roll gently onto the beach.)

I don’t have an inherent problem with shallow women pursuing shallow goals, anymore than I do with shallow men doing the same. Freedom is all about the right to be foolish and reap the consequences of one’s foolishness. I do, however, wonder at the obtuse lens through which these self-obsessed individuals view the world.

The Republican elite quakes

From NRO:

Ron Paul has $5.3 million for the quarter. That is five times what Huckabee raised. Wassup with that?

What’s up is that the conservative and libertarian grass roots have lost all patience with the idea of supporting another kinda sorta conservative politician who will come up with a million excuses to go along with the big government program.

Forget Giuliani. Forget Thompson. Forget Hucksterbee. None of them are going to be substantially different than Hillary, (who will betray her Democratic base and keep the wars going), so either support an individual who genuinely supports freedom, human liberty and the U.S. Constitution, or stay out of it.

If the nation wants to go to Hell with Hillary and company, so be it. It’s their right to make that choice. But we don’t have to acquiesce to the program.

UPDATE – Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic adds:

Ron Paul cannot be dismissed as a gadfly; the chance for him to outperform expectations rises exponentially with additional million dollars he raises. 5.08m is real money. There must be, within the Republican Party, a vein of anti-war libertarian sentiment. It is longer and deeper than many of us had suspected. The Paul movement is probably one part Buchanan bridage and one part fiscal hawk. It is clearly active in ways that most of us haven’t adequately understood? Paul may be in a position to be a giant killer now.

Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate who can beat Hillary. The only one. Giuliania can’t, Thompson can’t. McCain can’t. Romney can’t. If the Republican establishment won’t get behind Paul, it will demonstrate to all and sundry that the nominally two-party system is nothing but a facade for a single bi-factional ruling party.

Mailvox: of lies and liars

NBIII lodges an accusation of lying:

After five years of U.S. military occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq, 60 percent of the American people favor ending the occupation and withdrawing our troops from Iraq.

Why lie? The only way you get those numbers is by phrasing the question very carefully, and not attaching any relevant codicils (“Would you favor removing the troops from Iraq immediately if it means that what will shortly follow is a civil war in which millions will die and millions more will become refugees?”). You’re too damned smart to not know this.

Further, the only reason you can get those numbers at all is as a result of endless negative crap and nothing else being passed off as “news” by the media. Inform the people responsibly — give them a balanced view of the events, situations, and reality of what is happening in Iraq and what “cut and run” means — not just to America but to the Iraqis — in short, letting them make an informed decision about the actual situation, well, THAT just can’t be allowed, can it?

Your statement is a bullshit claim, and you know it. Being a libertarian is one thing — even a pacifist one. Being a defacto liar in the support of it is another. Stop getting your news solely from CNN, al-Reuters, and Lew Rockwell.

The only bullshit here is NBIII’s claim that I get my news “solely from CNN, al-Reuters, and Lew Rockwell”. In fact, I never watch CNN, pay very little attention to Reuters and don’t read Lew Rockwell all that often. I don’t even get one percent of my news from those sources, but it’s typical that an individual who swallows the neocon line would simply assume that everyone else is lying.

Here’s that “carefully phrased question” of which he complains:

If you had to choose, which do you think is better for the U.S.? Keep troops in Iraq until situation gets better? Set time-table for removing troops from Iraq? No opinion?

Moreover, I don’t recall him complaining about the following question back in March 2003 when the response was 23 percent Yes and 75 percent No. But now that it is 58 percent Yes and 41 percent No, he’s complaining about nefarious manipulations on the part of the pollsters.

In view of the developments since we first sent our troops to Iraq, do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, or not?

How fiendishly twisted! How could any poor American patriot possibly be expected to avoid the hidden word-traps concealed therein?

I’m all for bringing relevant codicils into the polling process, I think it would be very informative to include specifics such as “would you have supported the Iraqi invasion if you knew that it would bring a Shiite government to power, jack up oil prices and lead to an invasion of Iran?”

Literacy and religion

Mike doesn’t do his homework:

Look at what the illiterate believe. By far most of them believe the bible is the word of God. Most of the barely literate believe likewise. As you move up the scale of literacy, you find belief in the Bible drops off.

Actually, the nation which has the highest percentage of atheists in the Western world, France, only ranks 27th in literacy; it’s 99 percent rating is equal to that of the notoriously religious United States. Vatican City, meanwhile, has a 100 percent literacy rate; ultra-Catholic Poland ranks 9th, compared to secular Sweden’s ranking of 28th.

Furthermore, precisely none of the countries ranking in the bottom 30 are historically Christian nations with citizenries who believe that “the bible is the Word of God”. And it is the Christians in their midst who make up the majority of the literate minority in those countries.

Now, I am dubious of these literacy rankings, as if 99 percent of the adult American population is “literate”, then the bar is set so low as to be almost meaningless. Furthermore, given the failing performance by recent college graduates on a test of their history, law, economics and civics knowledge, it is clear that the attainment of post-graduate degrees cannot be considered evidence of a higher level of literacy. One would also be forced to reach this conclusion by surveying the papers published by PhDs across a wide variety of academic and scientific disciplines.

It never ceases to amaze me how much the typical atheist approach to debate resembles that of the medieval religious philosopher. No facts, no evidence, just a logical structure constructed upon a baseless assumption.