David Kirkpatrick

March 7, 2009

One conservative take on the abortion issue

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:08 pm

Here’s a well-reasoned take on the issue of abortion by John Derbyshire at Secular Right. Pragmatic and realistic, not two words that can often be applied to the arguments of the right or left.

From the link:

And what do the right-to-lifers want? A total nationwide ban on all abortions, at any time? Yes, that seems to be what they want. Do they really imagine that’s going to happen? What a waste of political energy!

My reader is correct, though. If you’re not in lockstep with the right-to-lifers, you’re never really quite the thing in U.S. conservative circles. It’s a marker of acceptability. I was phone-in guest on a radio show recently. Waiting for the on-air, some glitch allowed me to overhear the two hosts talking behind the commercial break. “Funny sort of conservative,” said one. “I mean, he’s OK with abortion …?” Yep, I’m OK with it. Sorry, guy.

February 26, 2009

Derbyshire on conservative talk radio

This is a wonderful article by John Derbyshire (of National Review and Secular Right fame) at The American Conservative on conservative talk radio and how it has slowly wrecked the GOP.

I’ve blogged on the negative influence of Limbaugh, et.al. in the past, and I think the echo-chamber of idiots totally primed the path for the state of the Republican Party today. A party that may not exist as a serious national political force in ten years time.

Couldn’t tell you what the answer is to the rapid decline of the
GOP, and even worse for the party the fact that decline continues unabated to this very minute. Obama’s powerful speech and Jindal’s weak sauce response last night pretty much sum up the tall and short of it.

Whether current political winds make you happy or leave you in dispair, take the time to read Derby’s entire piece. It’s worth the time.

From the link:

With reasons for gratitude duly noted, are there some downsides to conservative talk radio? Taking the conservative project as a whole—limited government, fiscal prudence, equality under law, personal liberty, patriotism, realism abroad—has talk radio helped or hurt? All those good things are plainly off the table for the next four years at least, a prospect that conservatives can only view with anguish. Did the Limbaughs, Hannitys, Savages, and Ingrahams lead us to this sorry state of affairs?

They surely did. At the very least, by yoking themselves to the clueless George W. Bush and his free-spending administration, they helped create the great debt bubble that has now burst so spectacularly. The big names, too, were all uncritical of the decade-long (at least) efforts to “build democracy” in no-account nations with politically primitive populations. Sean Hannity called the Iraq War a “massive success,” and in January 2008 deemed the U.S. economy “phenomenal.”

Much as their blind loyalty discredited the Right, perhaps the worst effect of Limbaugh et al.has been their draining away of political energy from what might have been a much more worthwhile project: the fostering of a middlebrow conservatism. There is nothing wrong with lowbrow conservatism. It’s energizing and fun. What’s wrong is the impression fixed in the minds of too many Americans that conservatism is always lowbrow, an impression our enemies gleefully reinforce when the opportunity arises. Thus a liberal like E.J. Dionne can write, “The cause of Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Robert Nisbet and William F. Buckley Jr. is now in the hands of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity. … Reason has been overwhelmed by propaganda, ideas by slogans.” Talk radio has contributed mightily to this development.

December 9, 2008

Mysterianism

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:49 pm

I’ve learned a new term today from Derbyshire, er Bradlaugh, at Secular Rightmysterianism.

From the second (Wikipedia) link:

New Mysterianism is a philosophical position proposing that the hard problem of consciousness will never be explained; or at the least cannot be explained by the human mind at its current evolutionary stage. The unresolvable problem is how to explain sentience and qualia and their interaction with consciousness.

July 30, 2008

little green footballs vs the Discovery Institute

And the winner is? Charles Johnson and lgf by KO.

If you want to decide for yourself, here’s the latest salvo between the right wing anti-Islamist blog and the Christianist-shill, pro-creationism “research organization.”

Here’s Johnson’s intro from the first link:

Bruce Chapman of the Discovery Institute says I made false claims about them, but he doesn’t actually dispute a single fact in my LGF article. I was going to ignore this post at their anti-evolution blog, but on second reading it struck me as a pretty good example of the kinds of misdirection the Discovery Institute commonly employs, so we’ll go through it to see how many obfuscations we can spot.

Johnson added this Corner post from John Derbyshire as an update, and I think it serves to sum this whole thing up very tidily. I’m pretty biased in this debate — if you couldn’t tell from my description of the Discovery Institute — and Johnson goes way overboard on a regular basis at lgf, but he’s dead on about the Discovery Institute. If nothing else lgf is dogged, right or wrong. Johnson’s been right quite a bit as well. I bet his targets wish that wasn’t the case

From Derbyshire’s post at the Corner:

What a Tangled Web We Weave   [John Derbyshire]

I have banged on here at NRO about the corroding dishonesty of the Intelligent Design project, arguing that it arises from the very nature of the thing: pretending, in hopes of winning the occasional church/state lawsuit, to be one thing (a pure-science research institute), while in fact being a different thing (a Christian-proselytizing lecture agency, pressure group, and publisher). There is nothing wrong with being either of those things: the corruption stems from being the one while pretending to be the other. Not only is this dishonest in itself, it does no good to either cause.

Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs has been doing a few rounds with the Discovery Institute, in which the DI sleaze tactics come through loud and clear. It makes for entertaining reading. Plenty of links to follow.

(Hat tip: Panda’s Thumb)