Monday, 18 January 2010

Rants

OK, RINO apologists. Tell me where I’m wrong.


In the comment thread of this post at Daily Pundit, poster “TraitorHater” lamented:

Why Republicans don’t run on a program of deregulation and ending corrupt interventionism picking winners and losers this year, which because of the lousy current House and Senate campaign committees it appears they won’t do, I can’t understand.
To which I replied: Because:
  • Because deregulation reduces the power of the government and, by extension, the Republican establishment.
  • Because without regulation it’s harder to do favors for your buddies in business or in the pressure groups…
  • …or screw the folks who aren’t your buddies, which makes it harder to extract protection money campaign contributions.
  • Because less regulation means less lobbying -> fewer post-congressional career opportunities.  (Horrors! Ex-congressmen might have to work for a living!)
  • Because deregulation means that people have more opportunity to do what they want, instead of what they’re told…
  • …which is anathema to the political class and the “educated” (see David Brooks)
  • And speaking of the “educated classes,” less regulation means less influence for the media, the academy, and the progressive internationalists/socialists generally…
  • also anathema to the political class and the “educated” (see David Brooks)
Vote ’em all out.


LATER (100120 17:55): Quoth Tam:
Nowadays we just have the Party of Big Government and the Party of Even Bigger Government and the easiest way of telling them apart is that one of them doesn't like abortion and gay cooties.

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Friday, 15 January 2010

Rants

Ability is insufficient. There must be permission, too.


Via “Mr.B,” Herbert E. Meyer on our latest intelligence screwups:

The reason our intelligence service keeps failing to connect the dots is because the officials in charge don’t know how.  And the blame lies squarely with President Obama -- and alas, with President George W. Bush before him -- for appointing managers rather than dot-connectors to run our intelligence service.
Mr.B believes the rot goes beyond the exceutives, and that we must clean house:
Like any bureaucracy, the intelligence game is full of mindless drones...

Having people who are just putting in their time towards retirement is NOT going to keep the citizens of (and visitors to) this country safe.
...
Civil service laws be damned.  Get the right folks in there, and the pencil pushing REMFS who just need to get their time in, and their proper tickets punched the hell out of the “intelligence” game.
Well yes, but...

Look, “dot-connecting” is as much an art as it is a skill, and nine times out of ten it’s the product of a judgement call.  It’s tricky under the best of circumstances, even moreso when being wrong might land the dot-connector in political hot water.

And good dot-connectors are smart- certainly smart enough to detect the unspoken messages issuing from their superiors.  What kind of messages do you suppose our dot-connectors are detecting?

What is obvious is that neither the Bush administration (which began by “declaring war on a noun”) nor the Obama administration (whose F.B.I. is busy taking sensitivity lessons from people connected with the Muslim Brotherhood) have been interested in connecting the “wrong kind” of dots. Fear of accusations of racism, international pressures, political correctness, sympathy for “revolutionaries”... whatever the reason, both administrations have continually bent over backwards, failing to name the enemy and rushing to declare each new incident “isolated.”

So it’s no surprise that, in the wake of the Fort Hood shootings, we discovered that Nidal Malik Hasan’s conduct and statements repeatedly raised concerns among his superiors and colleagues; and that each time those superiors and colleagues failed to act, instead keeping their concerns to themselves.   No surprise at all that those superiors and colleagues might have believed that connecting “Muslim” with “Jihad” or “terror” might be a career-ender.

I cannot believe that our military and our intelligence agencies have lost all  ability to connect the dots.  What I can believe is that our dot-connectors know which way the wind blows, and- consciously or unconsciously- tailor their output to avoid conclusions their superiors “don’t want to hear.”  And as long as those superiors “don’t want to hear” about Islamic terrorism, it will take something really frightening to make it across that threshold.

Which won’t be solved by replacing a few incompetent agency heads.  Permission to connect the dots has to come from the White House.

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