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A timely summary of events in Minnesota and political commentary from conservative college students.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Conservatives on Campus

The Scholars have a great post with links about an article in The Economist last month. It's a must read.

I wasn't aware of this article but it is great press for the CRs and other conservative groups.

Let's hope we can keep the pace going this year.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

The problem is this blog is several levels above my IQ. I am not capable of such thought. Maybe my brother would be. Would you believe he got a 30 on the ACT. I only got a 24.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Coulter Slash and Burn

Apologies in advance: I'm a bit of a techno-schmuck, so I still haven't figured out how to indent.

From yesterdays column (via Towhall.)

Harkening back to the days when Gray Davis was being considered by some to be a possible VP candidate:

Both [Gore and Davis] were said to be "cautious, moderate 'New Democrats.'" Both were veterans, after a fashion, of Vietnam, which would make a Gore-Davis presidential ticket the only compelling argument yet in favor of friendly fire.

Ouch! Maybe a bit over the top. O.K. It is over the top, but we're all guilty for laughing.

On Davis' budget failures:

There are reports that Argentina and the Congo are sending their fiscal policy experts to Sacramento to help stabilize the situation. California's credit rating has been slashed to junk-bond status, and citizens are advised to stock up for the not-too-far-off day when cigarettes and Botox become the hard currency of choice. At this stage, we couldn't give California back to Mexico.

On the Competition:

The fact that Arianna Huffington hasn't been laughed off a stage yet is a pretty good gauge of the public's frustration with Davis.

On Democrat reactions:

Most touchingly, Democrats claim to be shocked at the exorbitant cost of a recall election. They were not such penny-pinchers when contemplating Enron-style pensions for school crossing guards. Nor did their fiscal conservatism kick in when Davis announced this week that he would sign legislation providing "intolerance and hatred control training" for all California schoolteachers. Yeah, this is the guy who wants another crack at straightening out the budget.

On California's public sector:

Strictly adhering to formula in California, as the private sector was bleeding jobs and money, Gov. Davis signed off on comically generous pensions for government workers. Government employees in the Golden State earn more than the private-sector workers who pay their salaries – and that's excluding the job security, health benefits and 90 percent pension plans that come with "Irish welfare," [Betsy's offended!] as government jobs used to be called.

Economists refer to this backward ratio between public and private-sector salaries as "France." (Inasmuch as they are paid more and work less than private-sector employees, perhaps we could ease up on treating public schoolteachers like Mother Teresa washing the feet of the poor in Calcutta.)



Check it out.
Iowa Electronic Markets

The money's still on the "rest of the field" and the differential is growing. I suppose we should assume this means Howard Dean since HRC is already listed and Al Gore probably won't run.

It's still early, but if Dean pulls it off, it could be good news for the President. Dean's the hallmark of the "Angry Left" and could go down as another McGovern or Dukakis.

So far, the election is the President's to lose.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

WFB on the Gay Marriage Debate

If the Supreme Court is going to continue to perform as a standing constitutional convention, then it becomes a conservative warrant to employ constitutional defenses...

The necessary amendment need go no further, nor should go any further, than to limit the application of the Full Faith and Credit Clause to exclude any requirement to abide by laws or judicial findings authorizing same-sex marriage. If individual states wish to authorize civil unions between members of the same sex, they would be free to do so, but not free to plead immunities particular to their own state as extending to all 50 states.


Check it out.

Newt on Nukes

A good debate in today's USA Today, with Newt writing the "opposing view," on whether or not the US should proceed with the R&D of low-yield, nuclear bunker busters.

The USA Today gives four critiques of the proposed policy change, two of them strong and the others wanting.

First, the name: Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator. They say it sounds like something out of "Dr. Srtrangelove" and they're right. It seems that we do have a bit of a naming problem lately. With the exception of the recently showcased MOAB, which can be nicknamed Mother of all Bombs; our names have been weak. "Iraqi Freedom" was kinda weak; a definite departure from "Desert Storm" and the latest push, operation "Ivy Lightning" seems somewhat over-poetic for the circumstances. But this is minor.

The other decent point they make has to do with the contamination of battlefields. O.k., I can see that. Nevertheless, we have to weigh that potential cost against the costs of an operational WMD lab and the contamination it would bring should it surface on its own. I'm sure we can hammer that debate out should these RNEP's prove necessary.

Then their argument breaks down.

1) It would "Require a resumption of testing."

The USA today worries that other countries would then be given "the green light to accelerate their own programs."

I believe that we must differentiate the motives of such nations. Our own nuclear arsenal serves as deterrence against foreign nuclear threats - mutual assured destruction and all that. When we look at North Korea, we can't say the same. It's Nuclear Program is either to be used to threaten South Korea or deter our conventional forces. Alternatively, it is possible that Pyongyang wants to sell them to terrorists.

The point is if we test these low-yield nukes, it is not the same as North Korea, or Iran testing their arsenals. Too often we see the word "nuclear" and refuse to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys.

Take a hypothetical: The U.S. tests a RNEP somewhere out in Utah. In Iran the Mullahs get mad and decide that they would like to speed up their program and threaten to test in the future.

Given that the US is in the business of preventing terrorist attacks and Iran is in the business carrying them out, and if you can't decide who has the moral upper hand...

Of course, if the paper is right, there may be a tactical advantage to having these nut-ball states speed-up their programs: The faster they go, the greater chance they'll screw it up, or we'll find them. If so, we can take 'em out before the threat becomes imminent. As one of my co-workers says, the "fasterer you go the behinder you get."

2) Provoke our enemies.

Umm, I think it’s a little late to worry about that. Newsflash: They already hate us. I believe there are diminishing returns on hate. There comes a point where if you already hate someone, it gets harder to hate them more.

Besides, if there is to be a new arms race, as the paper suggests, we have a pretty good arms race record. Hell, we're 1-0. And that was against a more formidable opponent!

The USA today worries that hostile states may in turn use our actions as an incentive to use nukes in regional wars. But what incentive do they have now that prevents them from doing so? It's not as if that the US, by not developing these weapons can be assured that this won't happen.

Even if one accepts that our actions toward these new weapons imply a harsher WMD climate among our enemies, it is not the necessarily the case that our inaction will lead to the inaction of our enemies.

In other words, it is foolish to assume that these terror states will be on their best behavior. Rather, we should pursue every possible option that may increase our tactical advantage. It is not enough to say that since we are already superior we shouldn't look for ways to improve. Dismissing an option before it is properly researched is irresponsible. While the politics of this option will be tricky, let's hope that they can be negotiated so that we don't miss out on an opportunity as has already happened with the terrorism futures market.

Like Newt says, "After all of the public threats of Osama bin Laden, Kim Jong Il and others, how can we not be prepared to defend ourselves if necessity requires it?"














Tuesday, August 12, 2003

VDH

Check out Victor Davis Hanson in todays NRO. As usual, his insights and commentary on military matters and security will knock your socks off.

Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law

Hey, the Human shields are back in the news. The Washington Post is reporting that the Treasury department may impose fines of up to $10,000 on our lovely protester friends for violating U.S. trade sanctions laws.

Apparently, there isn't a whole lot going on at over at the Treas. Come on, if these human shields are still alive enough to be charged with this violation of US laws, then they never actually did what they set out to do in the first place. They must be humiliated. Haven't they been through enough?

Nah.

I wonder if SCSU's Baghdad Betty falls into this category?

Monday, August 11, 2003

Limbaugh and Bloggers

This whole thing seems a bit outrageous doesn't it? I don't think Rush has to worry about bloggers stealing market share from him. And bloggers are growing while talk radio continues to attract new audiences.

Except among some of the more hard-core fans of either medium, the two shouldn't be considered substitutes, but rather compliments. Some people like ketchup, some mustard, but many like both.

Besides, blogging and talk radio require different levels of audience participation. Radio is often used as a background distraction to whatever one happens to be doing at the time. Blogging, on the other hand takes a lot of effort. Reading, hitting links, before you know it you have so many browsers going that it's easy to get lost.

Conservatives and our whacky libertarian friends should embrace both.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

What would you do with $200 million?

A great column from Ron Faucheux over at Campaignline on the possible Bush '04 strategeries. Motivating stuff for us campaign slaves, eh Zach?
Jesse and Arnold

To play of the Scholar's theme, this is from the AP (via the Pioneer Press).
A word from Newt

"People have been trying to figure out how to put me in a box, and it's vety hard because I don't fit in boxesvery well. The best description of me is that I'm a conservative futurist."
-1994


He never really explains what that means, but judging from what we know of Newt, it seems to be just an updated version of Reagan's optimism (shining city on a hill or whatever).

Maybe Russel Kirk was right when he said that conservatism is the negation of ideology. I mean, if it is so hard for so many of us to actually explain it like a bold-faced term in some 8th grade social studies text than maybe we shouldn't try.

Regardless, until we sort this out, following the Maha Rushi, Chang Limbang (proven to be equal 97% of the time), or El Rushbo shouldn't lead you too far astray.





Regarding the issue of conservative typecasting I would say that the honorable Sgt. Byma may someday develop his own type of neophilosophical conservatism. I would suggest that you check out Rush's page regarding blogging this weekend, dude. I would have to say that I am a limbaugh conservative. You know, one of those guys who marches in lockstep with everything the Great Rush says. I don't develop my own opinions, I simply regurgitate his daily memos. I have a little Rush Budda that I pray to...

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