Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The editors of The New York Times have moved into oppo mode even faster than Power Line. After having beaten up on Nancy Pelosi and Jack Murtha last week, this morning the Grey Lady woodshedded Charles Rangel for proposing to bring back conscription. Next thing you know they'll be back in favor of the NSA monitoring calls to al Qaeda Central.
Two things come to mind.
First, it will be interesting to see just exactly how much influence the NYT actually has now. If Rangel drops this he demonstrates to all the world that he's driven more by publicity than principle. For such a cynical old bastard that probably doesn't mean much but it will be an object lesson for other aspiring leftist pols. The NYT will be the ultimate arbiter of correctness for the left.
Second, Rangel's overall strategy was clear. Rush articulated it well yesterday but it wasn't exactly news. Given the lack of attendance at various peace rallies and the diffusion of idiotic liberal ideas being advanced at same, launching a campaign to re institute the draft would, perhaps, re ignite the bonfires of the vanities on the various college campii.
Again, this is Chollie Rangel, cynical old Pol at work. He knows that in an all volunteer army his constituents are too busy watching oprah and fooling around with their playstations to actually, you know, like, fight for America. These fat lazy jerks are, in their twisted minds, the "victims" of America.
Of course they can't imagine what the play station games would be like should they wind up living under sharia law, but hey, they in da hood and all's well. right?
So Chollie's not working for his constituents, he's lying for the party.
Great people, these Democrat pols.
Forget for a moment the substance of the editorial. "Even if the draft was a good idea . . . ." While I take it as a given that the NYT has no journalistic standards, I thought they at least understood the rules of grammar. What a bunch of amateurs.
The antiquarian press is fueled by professional contraianism. Otherwise no papers are sold. The news organizations ( and I include Fox News, here) are for-profit organizations. It is never was "all the news fit to print", but rather "all the news that excites." What this really points up again is the sheer necessity of the blogosphere as an antidote. Don't place more importance on this appearent shift than it is worth.
Exlawyer: sadly, the subjunctive in English is more or less dead. "If I was" is an accepted colloquialism now, and as time goes on "if I were" is becoming more and more rare. "Whom" and "were" are the linguistic dodo birds of our times, doomed to extinction. Soon they will be as archaic as thou, thine, and thee.
Yes, the NYT will critize Dems and their proposals for a while. The election is past and Dems don't face another for two years.
So, throw a few stones towards ideas which have zero chance of passing anyway.
But when an issue is close and important, or elecions draw near, the NYT will return to form.
"But the draft is slavery, pure and simple."
And taxes are theft, and laws (wearing seat belts, for instance) are oppressions of personal freedoms right?
The first goal of any government is to perpetuate itself, and for the whole to survive it requires contributions from the individuals. If the individuals will not give freely, (honestly, how much would you turn over for taxes voluntarily?) then what is necessary must be taken for the good of all.
How do you avoid the tragedy of the commons? Coercion in order to enforce order and obedience, or a super-benefactor willing to pull your weight for you.
Do you really think that taxes are theft, Doubtfire82? I am surprised since your paycheck reportedly comes from tax money.
In the case of "the tragedy of the commons," you seem to be making the assumption that individuals will always behave in a selfish fashion. I didn't when I enlisted in the army. You obviously didn't either when you decided to go into the military.
And, yes, I often pay more taxes than I must. It's less of a hassle for me to write a check than it is for me to add up pages of deductions and deal with possible audits. Time is money.
You said: "The first goal of any government is to perpetuate itself..."
The first goal of government should be to serve the people.
No, I don't. It seems like you've completely misunderstood my point. If you're going to call conscription slavery (which it really isn't, because you still get paid), then by extension you should call taxes theft. BTW, I pay taxes too, like everyone else.
I was saying that in order to preserve the existence of a government/society, it must sometimes take the things that are necessary for that preservation by force; like taxes, conscripted soldiers, and the enforcement of martial law. Such things are necessary to perpetuate our happy society.
"In the case of "the tragedy of the commons," you seem to be making the assumption that individuals will always behave in a selfish fashion."
If there is no incentive to behave in a way detrimental to oneself, then a rational actor will not behave in said manner. There's a whole subdivision of political science devoted to this kind of prediction called Game Theory. Prisoner's Dilemma and Stag Hunt might be the two best examples.
So it isn't just me being cynical.
What you're saying is that it isn't worth your time and effort to wriggle out of owed taxes. That is not what I meant at all. The fact that you owe taxes to begin with, and that you are legally required to pay them, is my point. If it wasn't legally required (and backed up by threats of incarceration) then who would volunteer that same amount? Would you just up and volunteer, say, 15% of your wealth every year just because you felt charitable? What about tacking on an extra 10% cost to all of your daily business transations (Sales Tax)? I sure as hell wouldn't. Almost no one, and certainly not enough people to perpetuate the functions of the governments, would. And as the functions of government slow and cease, there is even less incentive to donate because it doesn't seem to be doing you any good, because...
"...the first goal of government should be to serve the people."
Which it cannot do if it doesn't ensure its own existence, can it?
And joining the military does involve elements of selfishness. Ask a recruiter. Why do you think all of the college incentives and cash bonuses exist? While I always planned on serving in the national defense in some capacity, I joined the Army because of its particular incentives. (which for me were educational and training related; unfortunately, I've never received a single dollar of bonus money) Without them, I wouldn't be here.