Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This Week's Bouts!


No time for analysis! Must fight!!

•••Tonight’s 9/11 did-government-know debate, with Sander Hicks vs. Karol Sheinin (I’m goin’ — heck, I’m hostin’)
•••Video of Rev. Jen vs. Katherine Taylor from one of our prior debates — complete with me asking a vocal 9/11 activist to leave [UPDATE 11/8/07: But last night went smoothly, so no complaints] — is not, alas, easily found online, though Nick Zedd was shooting some footage, so here’s that clip of Bill Maher bouncing hecklers instead
•••Right vs. left over the Constitution, as explained by Richard Epstein, Thursday at 6 at Union Club (I didn’t have an erotic dream involving him and Tiffany Amber-Thiessen like one unnamed friend of mine did, but nonetheless I’m goin’!)
•••Good kaiju vs. evil kaiju, this Friday at 8 at Warsaw on Driggs Ave. (I’m goin’!)
•••Ron Paul vs. one-day online fundraising records, broken on the Fifth of November (meaning he symbolically inherits the anarchist mantle of V from V for Vendetta, who wears a mask of Guy Fawkes, associated with that day — as did I when I led that anarcho-capitalist counter-protest, as can be seen particularly well in an additional article about it; that’s Ali Kokmen in the V mask with shades on it, and you can see me at least holding one)
•••Club for Growth vs. Ron Paul (their verdict — he’s too cool!)
•••Libertarians Tyler Cowen and Will Wilkinson vs. Hayek-insulting money-distributor, geek, and U.N. suck-up Jeffrey Sachs at the Gotham Club, Saturday at 3 (the time-wasting BBC once invited me to question Sachs by attending a speech he gave, without ever calling on me when the time came — nonetheless, I’m goin’!)
•••Joe Strummer vs. musical convention (as seen in a documentary about him and the Clash showing at IFC — for instance, at 7:15 Saturday; I’m goin’!)
•••The triangulator vs. the flip-flopper (my fear of what might lie ahead if Hillary faces Romney in the general election next year, if he continues to do better than Giuliani in early-primary states)!
•••The state vs. religion (pitting them against each other to create stalemate and some possibility of freedom is a tactic about 2,000 years old in the West, and one I suppose fusionists like me, exhausting as it is to steer the culture single-handedly, have hoped to use in wielding the religious right as the biggest available weapon against the traditionally Democrat-driven welfare state, but I admit, for those concerned, that the tactic is no longer working smoothly, though not exactly for the reasons you might think — not so much because we are in real danger of utterly marginal figures like the Christian Reconstructionists taking over the bland and faithless federal government but [a] because the social right has lost interest in budget-cutting [though even my liberal-libertarian friend Jacob Levy admits that the most gung-ho budget-cutters are often, like Sen. Tom Coburn, also the gung-ho theists, mostly to the public's benefit] and [b] because the Democrats are turning to faith now, too, without necessarily losing their interest in the welfare state — and my fellow Phillips Foundation Fellow, Democrat Mark Stricherz, has just written a book, Why the Democrats Are Blue, saying he’s all for a more faith-fueled donkey party)
•••Julie Jargon vs. Jennifer 8. Lee (on a more scientific note, I just wanted to note the delightful name of Wall Street Journal’s new health reporter and the Borg-like name, apparently considered good luck by the Chinese, of one New York Times reporter, apparently quite the party-thrower down there in DC — though my favorite pseudonyms remain Voltaire and Groucho, so I keep trying in vain to convince friends of mine who plan to have kids to use those names for them)
•••USSR vs. U.S. — an Israeli couple I know, now living in Geneva, once observed that both countries, ironically, had some of the same problems of trying to forge coherent policies with an impossibly large population with divergent tastes, which is probably true to some extent (but the U.S. is still here — while I’ll write a little about the final days of the USSR in this coming Friday’s latest Retro-Journal entry — be there! There! There!)
•••Al Franken vs. Norm Coleman (If we must have a comedian in office, and perhaps we don’t, couldn’t it be the far funnier Stephen Colbert? I’m pleased talk of him running as a Libertarian — just in South Carolina — seems to have gone nowhere, though, since I think the time for Howard Stern-for-governor publicity stunts has passed, it being Ron Paul-for-President time, which is far more serious)


D------ said...

With my first choice, Sam Brownback, now out of the race, I find myself drawn to Ron Paul. He is certainly more principled than the rest of the bunch. As I’ve commented before, I do not now how a President Paul could successfully govern with a Democratic or Big Government Republican Congress and a Roberts Supreme Court with Kennedy as the deciding vote. Still, voting for Paul as a protest candidate can be useful and shake up the GOP establishment and the so-called conservative movement.

It will be interesting to see how he does in the primaries. I’m curious to see how many registered Republicans have soured on the idea that the U.S. can remake the world, especially the Middle East, in its image through military force, and now think that our foreign policy should exercise more caution and restraint.

I’m also tired of hearing how domestic policy must be subordinated to foreign policy and “security.”

If Paul finishes in the top three in the Iowa Caucus or the early primaries, expect many neoconservatives to panic and start attacking him.

Todd Seavey said...

Ah, take note, my anti-theocratic libertarian friends: D. was a Brownback man, now drawn to Paul — and Brownback is no _Skeptical Inquirer_ contributor (but pretty good on econ, as I noted in an earlier post).

And Paul himself, undeniably the most libertarian man in the race, is also Christian and pro-life (and by no means theocratically-inclined or fond of federal-level fiats). Like it or dislike it, this is sometimes the hand history deals us.

Todd Seavey said...

And on a more radical anti-statist note, sort of, Jacob Levy, mentioned above as a liberal-leaning libertarian and alluded to in my anti-theocrat Comment, has a blog entry about the weirdly double-quasi-inverted symbolism of Fawkes/V/Paul, historically speaking — and it very much ties into the theocracy issue:

Todd Seavey said...

And now Pat Robertson endorses pro-choice Giuliani — think about that for a moment. Nay, think about that for a few hours, weird though it may be…

D------ said...

I guess for the good Rev., expanding the war in the Middle East is a greater priority than overturning Roe v. Wade and other idiotic Supreme Court decisions that take authority away from Congress and the state and local legislatures.

Todd Seavey said...

Wait a second — all right, now I’ve lost track of which side I’m on. Nobody move.

Christopher said...

I blame Guy Fawkes and Alan Moore for your confusion.

But seriously, I wonder how Giuliani feels about Robertson agreeing with Falwell that God allowed the 9/11 attacks because of the gays and abortionists.

Todd Seavey said...

One more thing: Andrew Sullivan (who also linked to that Levy post on Fawkes) posted an item about how George Washington banned the celebration of Guy Fawkes Day during the Revolution, since it was a celebration of (Catholic terrorist) Fawkes’ _defeat_ by the very same British government Washington hoped to rally various sects, including some Canadians, against:

So Washington was riled enough by the (statist-seeming, anti-Catholic) holiday to suppress it, while Ron Paul supporters were excited enough by the same (anarchist-seeming) holiday to make it their rallying time, while also no doubt being gung-ho Washington fans.

And who wouldn’t a be a Washington fan, come to think of it, given the facts about him noted in this short educational video clip Christopher brought to my attention some time ago:

D------ said...

Would you consider supporting this candidate, ?

Todd Seavey said...

Can’t be much worse than Luthor’s short-lived presidential administration a few years back — but since we already have (as noted in the entry above) the villainous Triangulator and Flip-Flopper poised to lead their respective parties, I am reluctant to see them joined by another candidate as amorphous as Zod — who has gone from Kryptonian general to Pocket Universe inhabitant to ancient-Kryptonian illusion created by Brainiac to unreal Phantom Zone denizen to Russian autocrat and back to Kryptonian general again (albeit with more cinematically-influenced cronies and a son).

Zod’s history, like Hillary’s financial records and Romney’s conservative credentials, keeps getting rewritten, leaving us asking: Who is the real Zod? I simply don’t trust him or know what to believe anymore.

But if Ron Paul doesn’t do surprisingly well in the early primaries, I’ll pragmatically reassess my options.

Todd Seavey said...

And this may be as good a time as any to plug my friend Julian Sanchez’s article on political trends in comic books:

Zod said...

Why do you say this to me, when you know that I will kill you for it?