Listing to Starboard


Sure, it’s a linkfest, but before we get to that, the content indicated by the pun in the title…

The List:

Orson Scott Card, a semi-classical liberal Democrat (meaning not really classical liberal, but leaning that way; a kinda Roosevelt/Truman “liberal”) has another serious essay on the Iraq war worth your time. Being Orson Scott Card must be fun. A strange critter: Semi-classical liberal Democrat; right most of the time. As in

Keep in mind that most of the country of Iraq is functioning surprisingly well, despite the forays of terrorists into Shiite-majority and Kurdish-majority areas. The economy of most of Iraq is doing better than it ever was under Saddam; the people are far more free and, for the Shiites and Kurds at least, safer than before.

I missed this article by Jonah Goldberg, cos it was right around the time of The Great Third World County Ice-out. He cites de Toqueville and takes off from there essentially touching on Samuel Francis’ term “anarcho-tyranny” without actually mentioning the term. Example:

…We ban using trans fats for millions but flinch at the idea that some kid might have to endure the Pledge of Allegiance or a moment of silence in school if it conflicts with his conscience. Everyone must surrender his shoes, his regular-sized toothpaste and shampoo at the airport, but we man the barricades to protect a few young Muslim men from being inconvenienced for an extra five minutes at the airport.

Linkfested in earlier, this post from Pirate’s Cove deserves to be highlighted. As an example of anarcho-tyranny, the persecution (and prosecution and conviction) of two Border Patrol agents for doing their job stands out head and shoulders above the crowd of government misbehavior in recent months (including even the misbehavior by the prosecutor in the Duke rape case). Shame on the “Justice” Department for proceding with the persecution. Shame on U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton for ginning up the phony charges. Shame on the jury for being so stupid as to convict these two Border patrol agents for doing their job. And shame on President Bush for not getting off Vicente Fox’s lap long enough to pardon these guys.


Read these three 1 2 3 WSJ articles by Charles Murray on education in America. No, really. READ them! Lil tickle from the first one: “Half of all children are below average, and teachers can do only so much for them.”

It’s hard to argue rationally against someone who’s actually done the politically incorrect real science on a subject and is able to make general applications sensibly. (Yes, Charles Murray wrote The Bell Curve. Have you read it?)

More anarcho-tyranny.

“Power corrupts. The ability to arrest and imprison another human being is an immense power that is held in bounds by principles based on common sense and common decency.”

Or not:

Why was the boy pursued so zealously? Jeanne calls it “a witch hunt” fueled by two factors: Thomas campaigned for office on a promise of being tough on sex offenders; and, he needs a high conviction rate in that area.

The real answer, however, may be the one Matt’s attorney reportedly received when he asked the County Attorney’s office, “Why are you doing this?”

According to Jeanne, he answered, “Because we can.”

16-year-old boy pursued as a sex offender for… being a (typically hormone-driven stupid) 16-year-old boy. Shades of Duke.

Lastly, just cos I want to, a link to a very short piece on Lincoln, in the spirit of this comment by Jerry Pournelle:

You can prove anything if you make up your data. You can draw any lessons you like from history if you ignore all the inconvenient historical facts. You may learn from good history but you learn little from bad history.

The article says nothing new or surprising (at least to folks who actually read a little history instead of the fluff that’s taught in schools), but it does nicely put paid to “The Great Emancipator” meme.

As Toynbee famouslysaid, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (Of course, he said many other things nearly as pithy about history. :-))

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27 Replies to “Listing to Starboard”

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  4. Nice post. Excellent lead. Orson Scott Card is one of the few writers still writing producing things still worth reading. Ender’s Game is one of the best pieces of Sci/Fi-Fantasy ever written (not that there are many fish populating that part of the barrel, but still, it’s nice to see a pony in there somewhere). Thanks for pointing out the essay – on my way to read it. I may not always agree with Card’s politics or POV, but he’s one of the few I can actually listen to and with whom I can find common ground.

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