Speaking of word thieves

Jonah Goldberg correctly nails one of his critics, whose common, but erroneous criticism depends entirely on American intellectual parochialism:

Then there’s the omnipresent canard that I must be wrong because of fascism’s “overwhelming anti-liberalism.” Neiwert is again displaying either his ignorance or his dishonesty. It is absolutely true that a great many academic definitions — Ernst Nolte’s “fascist negations” for example — cite fascism’s anti-liberalism. And it is true that Mussolini and Hitler spoke of their disdain for liberalism many times, and there are many quotes to that effect. But guess what? These two European statesmen were speaking in — wait for it! — a European context where liberalism generally means limited government: classical or “Manchester” liberalism. They were most emphatically not talking about progressivism or socialism, which are the correct label for American liberalism and/or the American left (as I demonstrate at length in my book).

This argument about fascism being “anti-liberal” has popped up in the comments here as well. It’s not actually a coherent argument so much as it’s a profession of historical ignorance. Imagine how confused educated-but-ignorant left-wingers of the future are going to be once both “conservative” comes to mean socialism as well as “liberal”.

Bork and Flippy-Flop

Robert Bork, a Romney supporter, was on the radio Friday night; the judge argues that neither McCain nor Huckabee are conservatives.

He’s quite right. What both Bork and Lopez, who also supports Romney, fail to point out is that neither are the New York liberal Rudy Giuliani or the Massachusetts liberal Mitt Romney.

The Irrational Atheist in transit

I always make a practice of pre-ordering my own books from Amazon to alert me as to when the book actually becomes available, which is usually prior to the scheduled release date. After getting an email from them informing me that The Irrational Atheist was on its way, I talked with the Original Cyberpunk and we decided to move the TIA surge forward to this coming weekend, the 19th and 20th. The OC will post the relevant instructions for everyone who is interested in participating on his blog and I’ll link to them once they’re up.

If you just can’t wait, hey, go ahead and order one now and give the second one to a friend or whatever, but I’d really prefer for you to participate in the surge if you’re only intending to buy one. Yes, of course I will make some money off these book sales, but that’s honestly of tertiary significance because the importance of the surge and the book’s ultimate success is directly tied to my ability to publish – not write – more books. Regardless of how TIA is received by the market, I will always continue writing and making my books available electronically, but publishers tend to place a certain priority on actually selling dead tree copies. So, if you want to see more of my work in print, please seriously consider ordering several copies of TIA from Amazon next weekend.

In the interest of putting my royalties where my mouth and my position on IP are, I’m very pleased to inform you that Glenn, my very open-minded and forward-thinking publisher at BenBella Books, graciously worded the book contract in such a way as to give me the right to release the complete electronic text of The Irrational Atheist in multiple formats on the book’s official launch date. This will be done in a Radiohead-style pay-what-you-want format, which includes the ability to pay nothing if you like. There is absolutely no obligation to pay anything, so critics and fans alike may download the ebook for free in good conscience if they so choose. Any proceeds derived from these downloads will be divided between BenBella Books and me just like any other book revenues.

Thank you very much for your enthusiasm, your support and even your criticism. Without those three things, TIA would never have been written, let alone published. As far as critical response to the book goes, you probably already know that John Derbyshire, an atheist, named TIA one of his 2007 holiday recommendations for NRO. So, it may further interest you to know that the philosopher Jacob Needleman, the author of The American Soul, had this to say about TIA:

“Mr. Day has made a much-needed contribution to the religious/atheist controversy by significantly raising the intellectual level of the entire debate.”

I was, of course, delighted that Dr. Needleman didn’t happen to mention anything about the way I lowered its tone. It’s probably safe to say that this is the only book on the subject which begins with an unprintable quote from Tupac Shakur.

The Last Betrayal of George Bush

Having demonstrated that he is no conservative in nearly every possible way and taken every opportunity to assault American liberties, George W. Bush now attacks the Second Amendment:

Since “unrestricted’ private ownership of guns clearly threatens the public safety, the 2nd Amendment can be interpreted to allow a variety of gun restrictions, according to the Bush administration.

The argument was delivered by U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the ongoing arguments over the legality of a District of Columbia ban on handguns in homes, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. Clement suggested that gun rights are limited and subject to “reasonable regulation” and said all federal limits on guns should be upheld.

“Given the unquestionable threat to public safety that unrestricted private firearm possession would entail, various categories of firearm-related regulation are permitted by the 2nd Amendment,” he wrote in the brief, the Times reported.

As you all know, I never trusted George W. Bush from the very beginning. I tried to warn everyone about him, starting with my first political column written in September 2001. Very, very few listened, insisting that he was a secret small-government conservative with a double-secret plan to hoodwink those evil big-government liberals.

Do you still have confidence that the Supreme Court judges he appointed will be either pro-life or pro-gun? I don’t.

I cannot stand George Bush, I dislike him every bit as much as the leftists who fail to understand that he’s essentially on their side and call him Chimpy Bushitler or whatever do. But I also have a deep and abiding contempt for those who call themselves conservatives and continue to support him and his fellows – Giuliani, McCain, Romney, Huckabee, and yes, Thompson – who will govern in exactly the same treacherous manner that Bush has. You want war? Oh, they will give you wars a plenty, both at home and abroad!

Now, the Manhattan conservatives at places like National Review, Fox News, FrontPage and Townhall* will assure you that this just isn’t so, because times have changed and that conservatism must evolve as it moves forward into the future and so forth. What they won’t tell you is that what this “conservatism” is evolving into is nothing more than the progressive all-encompassing vision of the Platonic Left.

I readily admit that there are a lot more of them, they’re all much better-known and more highly regarded than I am and they’re much better connected in Washington D.C. than I will ever be. So, it’s perfectly understandable that most conservatives will be inclined to believe what the conservative commentariat is trumpeting rather than heed my warnings. I simply ask them to consider one question before they blithely trundle off to repeat their previous mistakes:

Who was correct about George W. Bush?

* I am not saying that every columnist or staff writer associated with these media outlets is a faux conservative, only that they appear to outnumber the genuine conservatives there.

Discuss amongst yourselves