Sunday, December 19, 2004

Ukraine levels of electoral fraud?

I am still hoping that much of the talk about election fraud in this country is exaggerated. Certainly our lifetimes have never witnessed so many dubious or outrageous twists, warpings and "coincidences"... 100% of which so far have favored just one side. That fact, alone, should have made talk-radio pundits less stridently one-sided and more somber. Alas.

It would be sad to see American as another Ukraine, needing international observers to hold our own elections. Of course this fits trends that were already underway, no matter whether or not the effect was to "steal" the election of 04. From 92-2000, for example, the number of secrets held by the government got winnowed DOWNWARD steadily, through hard work, openness rules and a dedication to accountability. Since 2001, the number of secrets kept by the US government has LEAPED by an order of magnitude. A clear sign that we the people are not to be trusted. This is a simple fact. How can anyone defend it, or feel anyhting other than a chill?

Here are election-theft postings from a recent congressional candidate, Mike Byron. They are biased and emotiional, that means you should use a grain of salt. But that doesn't make them untrue. And the trend. Oh Lord.

--
1) Definitive statistical proof that the 2004 Presidential election was without any doubt whatsoever STOLEN.

2) Ohio vote count battles escalate amidst new evidence of criminal activity.

3) The full Clint Curtis sworn testimony before members of House Judiciary Committee is now available here. (Previously, we only had links to a portion of his testimony, which did not include his naming of Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) as having asked him to write the "vote-rigging software prototype! This clip now includes all of Curtis' testimony!)

4) Ohio recount reports.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Issue is Modernity

Thanks to those of you who have written comments on the essay The Real Culture War: Defining the Background. It's not about "left-vs-right" or "morality" or any other 20th century cliche.

The issue is Modernity and how to deal with a new century of change.

It's drawn a lot of attention. I only wish the message could reach some of the prominent conservatives who are currently in agony over the madness sweeping their movement. (Liberals were able to do this, recognizing the evils of communism.)

alliancemodernworldTake my proposal for an Alliance for a Modern World. It's one approach to bring up-front what really matters - fealty to the pragmatic can-do spirit of modernity, which stands at the heart of the American Experiment.

Somehow we must learn to recognize that moderate pragmatists across America derive no benefit from today's idiotic "left-right political axis" which forces them into alliance with various kinds of fanatics.

And yes, it is awkward to use "romanticism" as a general term for those who oppose modernity. Let me make clear that I feel a strong tug of romanticism within, and show it in my writings. For example, even in the hard SF novel KILN PEOPLE, there is a notion of transcendence of the human soul. In THE LIFE EATERS I explore a parallel world in which magic (necromancy and human sacrifice) actually works.

In my essay about Tolkien, I emphasize that there are differences AMONG romantic writers. Tolkien himself was deeply thoughtful about the implications of his own story, and well-aware of the moral faults of his High Elves. He just could not bring himself to face the possibility that wisdom might increase with time. And THAT is the fundamental assumption that seems to propel most romanticism. A cynical rejection of the egalitarian uplift-potential of progress.

I am writing an essay about modernism that may supplement these ideas. Later.

See my series: The Radical Notion of Modernism

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Real Culture War

I've posted a final essay about the recent, traumatic 2004 political season - another layered appraisal of the "Real Culture War," showing how obsolete and irrelevant the hoary old "left right axis" has become.

culturewarbattlegroundWhat appears to be dividing America, instead, is the issue of modernity. Whether people believe progress is possible or desirable. "Moderates" who stand, tormented, between fanatical poles of left and right are not different because their views are tepid. It is because many are capable of believing in science, in human improvability, in beneficial argument, in the contingent nature of opinion... and in tomorrow.

The work commences at: http://www.davidbrin.com/realculturewar1.html

And yes, it’s a bit ... well... erudite. I wish I had a way to reach those of my fellow citizens who turned out in droves for Carl Rove, voting to support conspiratorial liars. But I don't have a talk show. All I can do is try to engage those interested in reason and argument. Moderate liberals and conservatives who notice that something very strange is happening to America.

One feature: a proposed coalition of moderates who want out from the old left-right mania, offering instead a concise, limited list of reasonable goals for Americans of good will to get behind. See: Alliance for a Modern World.

alliancemodernworldMy suggestions don't cater to simplistic 20th Century ideologies. They are pragmatic. They serve the Enlightenment.

--------------

FINALLY, I have no idea whether the proposal below has got legs. I’m just passing it along. You are welcome to do the same...

"Join a "credit card strike" December 12 and 13! That's when Electoral College votes are tallied. The idea is not to disrupt the economy, but to cause a measurable protest 'blip'. To participate in this modest “general strike" simply pay CASH for everything you purchase on those two days. It's easy. And ANY level of change in credit card activity will be noticed! Even a small dip in blue states may say "this is just the beginning. So watch it."

"Some think this to be an idea worth passing on. Spread the word! CASH-only purchases on December 12-13!"

Monday, November 15, 2004

Accelerating Change and Horizons

While I work on my big post election essay... suggesting ways that Enlightenment Civilization can endure... let me recommend a few places to visit in the meantime.

An exceptionally cogent appraisal by Stephen Potts can be seen at Armageddon Cafe: Faith-Based vs. Reality-based America. 

Some delicious online comics await you at:
This Modern World, by Tom Tomorrow
Spiders on Electric Sheep Comics, by Patrick Farley


 =====     =====     =====

One person posted a comment asking for a transcript of my recent speech at the Accelerating Change conference at Stanford University, where we blissfully looked farther ahead into humanity's future, beyond our nation's present (and hopefully brief) panicky rejection of tomorrow. A partial transcript can be found at the Accelerating Change website.

Some of the ideas can be found however in the transcript of the keynote address I gave before the Libertarian Party's national convention (proof that my political opposition to this administration is not merely based on "liberalism, but on a more broadly ranging belief in modernity). This speech is available on my website: Essences, Orcs and Civilization.

philanthropyAnother place where I explore the idea of "horizons" can be found at: Horizons and Hope: The Future of Philanthropy. Here I explore m 'EON' proposal for a philanthropic foundation, Eye of the Needle:

Is the world improvable by means of human intervention? The question can be debated endlessly on a philosophical level. But there is little argument over this basic premise within the community of those engaged in philanthropic activity. We share a common belief that vigorous investment and intervention in humanity can help humanity as a whole -- and countless individual human beings -- to achieve goals starting with basic necessities but extending to the limits of ambition.

Finally, let me leave you with some quotations:

On July 26, 1920 HL Mencken wrote the following in the Baltimore Evening Sun :

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

And - in light of the unbelievable scandal over touch screen voting systems that lack any audit trail, operating under closed source proprietary software made by companies with blatant GOP connections -

"It's not who votes that counts but who counts the votes" -- Joseph Stalin.

Monday, November 08, 2004

A nice blog...

Just a note of thanks to Dana Blankenship for his flattering blog about my talk at the Accelerating Change conference at Stanford. Read his assessment at: http://www.corante.com/mooreslore/archives/028659.html

"Brin's talk was a therapy session. 'We need criticism,' Brin said: 'Karl Popper said that if you're not making falsifiable statements you're not making statements.' And he could have added, you only learn when you change your mind."

Brin's point here was, "We have to stop acting out of our own self-righteousness and recognize that we too may be subjects of propaganda." And finally, "Only in an open society can we charge into the future."

A few inaccuracies... but he and the rest of the audience at the Stanford University Conference on Accelerating Change seemed to "get it"... that we need to remain a civilization that looks ahead, with both skepticism and eagerness, toward a future of open horizons. Not one featuring a stage-set drama of the end-of-the-world.



David Brin
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Persevere... Think outside the axis...

Mea Culpa...I apologize...

Especially to my 12 year old son, one of the deepest and most honorable souls I've been privileged to know. His rectitude and character were a gift to me that I, as a parent, never had to train. And alas, he deeply trusted my assurance that the Moderns would win over Apocalyptic Vision in this election. His pain was that of a precocious child who only knows intellectually that there will be other days.

My fault. My damned fault.

But it seemed so clear. Never before have so many of the intellectual elite abandoned a political party to call its leaders "morons". Several hundred prominent Republicans from William F. Buckley to George Will to (even) a wavering Pat Buchanan, publicly denounced the "neocons" as divisive, manipulative and crazy. Almost a hundred GOP-related newspapers spurned decades - even a century - of tradition by abandoning George W. Bush and his narrow cabal of kleptocrats, neocons and apocalypts.

In my own very-Republican, upper-middle-class neighborhood, not a Bush lawn sign could be seen. Kerry bumper stickers outnumbered Bush stickers ten to one. And nationwide polls showed signs of a huge turnout. This traditionally favored democrats.

In fact, these signs did not lie. Kerry won URBAN AMERICA by margins greater than Johnson over Goldwater in 64. In other words, my urgent, long-winded, detailed and carefully-reasoned essays (see: http://www.davidbrin.com/neoromantics.html) were aimed at helping a trend that was already huge and underway. Persuading people with post-graduate degrees... nearly all of whom were already persuaded.)

Who knew that the groundswell was even greater in Rural America? Karl Rove said - 4 years ago - "there are 4 million missing evangelicals; I'm going to get them." And he did. When I was a kid, pastors showed decorum and restraint. They used allegories to slip in subtle political hints from the pulpit. Now they threaten damnation if parishoners don't grab "I-never-voted" Bubba and drag him to the polls.

I will write mote about this phenomenon... the Divided States of America. But first, I recommend you all drop by:
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/
and ponder the maps showing how deep the divide is.

See also Godly and Worldly America by Simon Schama, in the Friday November 05 2004 issue of The Guardian.

In effect, Rural America has declared war on Urban America..... though of course they will say that this is only in their own defense. In defense of moral values that Urban America has put under assault for decades.

.... I'll post a big article about all this in a week, or two, or three. Depending on travel (I still have speeches scheduled) and my wife's insistence that I go back to writing stories that pay. But first, some reassurance:

This too will pass.

Please. History shows that America has survived similar waves of urgent nostalgia and romanticism -- like the Great Awakening and the Know Nothings. America is stronger than this brand of mania. We usually regain our confidence to face a future of relentless challenges, unafraid of the moral and technical challenges of change.

And with nuclear war temporarily off the burner - (can you think of a LESS frightening time to have maniacs near the Big Button?) - I think we can wait them out.

(W needed this war to get re-elected. My guess is that he'll taper it off fast, now that it's accomplished its paramount goal. That is, unless the Saudis insist we keep it going. The nightly footage on Al Arabiya serves their long rage goals.)

Yes, and even the US Supreme Court. Let's make our symbol the RICCOLA COUGH DROP sending crates of them to Democratic Senators, insisting that they filibuster through the night so that W appoints genuine jurists who are honest conservatives and strict constructionalists, rather than apocalypse fetishists who drip venom toward those who disagree. If the new appointees are strict constructionalists, then I feel that both liberals and conservatives will be in for a surprise.

(I'll talk about that later. It may help you all to cheer up. Well, those of you who read and think about the future as an extended vista, stretching far ahead....)

So yes, I will speak of causes for optimism... soon....

But one thing, just one, has me down and gloomy with despair. It will sound like a CONSERVATIVE thing. But it is something precious. Something we needed for peace and progress and a better world.

What is Dead is our dream of Pax Americana leadership in a uni-polar world. The very thing that those bright nincompoops, Wolfowitz and Pearle and Pipes and the other rationalizing Platonist Straussians THINK they are enhancing.

All over the world, meetings will intensify to forge a Eurasian alliance against our immaturity. This is HAPPENING right now. The neocons have driven Paris and Berlin and Beijing and Moscow into each others' arms. The meetings which HAD been vague and hypothetical will now get very pragmatic. Neocons shrug at this news and sneer at Eurasian impotence. But that immature and short-sighted sneering is proof of their underlying stupidity.

And meanwhile, we provide footage for Al Jazeera's successful recruitment drive to create the first Pan Islamic unification in a thousand years.

Francis Fukayama is part of the group ensuring that his END OF HISTORY book will become a joke. We are in for plenty of multipolar history ahead. Pax Americana has missed its chance.

Is that ironic? While the Liberals wring their hands over things that we can endure... we'll find other ways to help the poor and the environment... my deepest pain concerns something that the neocons think they are building for us all.

I mourn Pax Americana. It could have saved the world.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

A Major Supply-Sider Defects...

Former chief editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal and one of the architects of Ronald Reagan's "supply side economics" - Jude Wanniski - has written a passionate letter explaining his enthusiastic support for Senator Kerry... while at the same time intending to continue voting for other Republicans.

See this piece from Wanniski explaining his endorsement of Kerry in this election:


"There are a lot of little reasons why I should be voting for the re-election of President Bush, for whom I gladly cast my vote in 2000. The one big reason why I will vote for Senator Kerry next Tuesday is that he is an internationalist, as am I, and Mr. Bush has become an imperialist – one whose decisions as Commander-in-chief have made the world a more dangerous place. Until this week, while I had privately decided to vote for Kerry, I had not planned to share that news with you until after Election Day. But I have been getting lots of mail from website fans urging me to vote for Kerry, or to help them decide between Kerry and Nader. Or from my Wall Street clients urging me to vote for Bush for all the little reasons – economic, social or political – of the kind that led me to the Republican Party in 1968 after my early adult years as a Democrat."


And the stack of defections grows. With the exception of a screeching Zell Miller, can you find any going the other way? Is it possible these intelligent and sincere conservatives have noticed something really rotten in the State?


It is late in the game to hope to convert any more undecideds. All I can do is offer up again my two "big salvoes", in case any of you out there know any wavering moderates.


about this administration's destruction of our world leadership:
http://www.davidbrin.com/neocons.html

about the "neoconservative" cult:
http://www.davidbrin.com/neoromantics.html 


I am growing increasingly optimistic. Soon we will be able to tell the world: "See? We recognized monsters and got rid of them. We are back in the community of nations. We are ready again to LEAD the community of nations."


Oh, and we'll be able to add (truthfully!):


"Most of us voted against him in the first place!"


I expect people around the world will accept this truth and cut us some slack for the temporary takeover of our government by maniacs. After all, when THEIR countries were run by monsters, the effects were often far, far worse.


It will be nice to be trusted again with the leadership of Western Civilization. I still believe we're the nation best qualified to do the job.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

More defections...

The Economist is, in my view, the best news publication in the English language, though editorially conservative. They endorsed Mr. Bush in 2000 and supported the Iraq war.

But they are now endorsing Kerry saying, Bush is, "too incompetent to deserve a second term."

America's Next President: The Incompetent or the Incoherent?

It is a very agonized editorial, leaning way over backward to give Bush the benefit of the doubt - for example shrugging off his incredible inaccessibility, dogmatism and the lies about WMD. And yet, despite trying their best to ignore a myriad mentioned and unmentioned faults on W's side... and eagerly nit-picking reservations about Kerry... they just cannot bring themselves to hold their nose any longer.

Like fifty other major papers (and W's home town newspaper) they are switching for the sake of civilization.

Bless the brits.

-------

PS... talk about a double standard. Just Dick Cheney's "deferred compensation agreement" with Halliburton is - all alone - far more corrupt and invloves far worse abuse of trust and loss of US funds than all of the purported misdemeaners that the neocons ever proposed accusing the Clinton Administration of. Combined.

(And, strangely, none of those "accusations" actually panned out. In 2001 we were promised "scores of corrupt officials of the previous administration will soon be indicted!" It looks like the prediction was 4 years premature....)

Friday, October 29, 2004

Optimism Time...?

I am starting to get optimistic. Few sitting presidents ever get higher percentages on election day than the final polls. Challengers often pick up a few points. And these polls are based on obsolete formulae for "likely voters".

More GOP defections: Lee Iacocca campaigned for George W. Bush in 2000 and Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984. He appeared in Bush campaign ads four years ago.

Retired Gen. Merrill McPeak, former chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. served as Oregon chairman of Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign and in 2000 was co-chairman of Oregon Veterans for Bush Cheney. He is now one of 12 Generals and Admirals supporting Kerry in an unprecedented display of support from the military establishment. Also 180 former U.S. ambassadors have stepped up to endorse Kerry.

43 newspapers, including Bush’s hometown Crawford paper, endorsed Kerry after having backed Bush in 2000. Kerry is the first Democrat to be endorsed by the Bangor Daily News since the 19th century. The Orlando Sentinel had not in 40 years. The conservative Detroit News, in refusing to support a second term for Bush, withheld its endorsement from a Republican for only the third time in two centuries. The Tampa Tribune, which has not endorsed a Democrat for President since 1952, also declined to endorse Bush. Other than the ranting spittle flying from Zel Miller's mouth at the GOP convention, have any of you seen even one prominent defection going the other way?


Doubts and and caveats that may interfere with a landslide reclamation of our country and civilization:

- a likely panic-manipulation of news in the next few days (we must hope that Bush unpopularity at CIA will help save us. We depend utterly upon their professionalism and skill.)

- we have no idea how extensive the wave of GOP cheating will finally go. (So far, except for some defaced lawn signs, EVERY news article about cheating has been about stunts by the right. And this is in my conservative local paper).

- our new and "improved" voting machines have nearly all been programmed by companies with GOP connections.


...and yet, still, I am growing optimistic. For the sake of civilization.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

In the Administration's Words...

I must thank my friend Paul Shoemaker for the following:

IN THE ADMINISTRATION’S WORDS –

Ø In February, 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell said “We have kept him contained, kept him in his box. Saddam has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction.”

Ø In July 2001, National Security Director Condoleezza Rice stated “We are able to keep arms from Hussein. He has not been able to rebuild any military capability.” How do you get from that assessment to “imminent, grave threat” in 12 months? …

Ø May 2003, Dep. Sec. of Defense Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld’s #2 man and acknowledged architect of the Iraq invasion) said “for bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, WMD’s, (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.”

Ø May 28, 2003, after a few vacant trailers were found in Iraq, Pres. Bush said “For those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they’re wrong. We found them.” The trucks were for hydrogen balloons.

Ø On the deck of the Abraham Lincoln, President Bush proudly proclaimed “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” The fallacy, absurdity and naiveté of that statement stands on its own.

Ø In September 2003, Vice President Cheney said that Iraq was at the heart of “the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.” In his debate last week, Cheney asserted that he has “not suggested there’s a connection between Iraq and 9/11.”

But of course it is really all about offering rationalizing to a gullible public, while your real reasons are hidden.

See The Shame of 1991 for a discussion of the worst stain on America's honor in our lifetimes...

....the decision to leave Saddam in power, in 1991....

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A Good Summary Indictment

war21century
My long "salvoes" have attracted a fair amount of attention at http://www.davidbrin.com/neocons.html and http://www.davidbrin.com/neoromantics.html
 People have written in saying that they use them with that wavering conservative of moderate intellectual.

But who am I kidding? I don't have any real influence. Fortunately, the awakening is happening on its own. Not only are conservatives defecting from "their" president in record numbers, but so are many old reliables of the press. (W's home town newspaper recently endorsed Kerry!)

Now, for the first time in its 80-year history, The New Yorker magazine has endorsed a candidate for president, citing Bush’s record of "failure, arrogance" and "incompetence," the editorial board is endorsing Kerry for President.

Don't just dismiss this as a liberal rant. It's an exceptionally cogent and well-written indictment. This may be the single best articulation of the reasons to vote for Kerry that I have read. It is well worth reading in full and passing around to everyone you know (especially undecided voters in battleground states):

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/?041101ta_talk_editors

Oh... and just for laughs (if you don't cry) see:
http://www.monsterslash.org/

(And does anybody really believe the rectangular bulge was really a "badly made suit"?)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

A Draft in our Future?

Go read some columns on David Hackworth's web page. http://www.sftt.org/hackstarget.html Hackworth - "the most decorated" military man in US History - is an outspoken critic with bipartisan credibility. (He was scathing about details of the Balkans intervention, while grudgingly admitting that it went pretty well, overall, under difficult conditions.) (See: http://www.davidbrin.com/neocons.html)

Hackworth quotes DoD Sec. Rumsfeld saying that draftees who fought in Vietnam were of "no value to the US military." At least as egregious an insult to Vietnam-era vets as any criticism John Kerry leveled in the 1970s, and far less accurate.

Unlike many liberals opposing the Iraq War, I believe that events like Abu Ghraib are exceptions to a generally high level of professionalism among our soldiers. What Abu Ghraib proved is that two things are absolutely necessary. Imperatives that fell apart in Vietnam and that are being deliberately undermined by Rumsfeld today.

* Policy at the top that insists on behavior that reflects well upon America and proves our high moral standing.

* Relentless supervision to ensure that bad apples do not spoil the barrel.

While Rumsfeld is dismantling both of these, I believe that senior officers desperately want them.

No, the US Officer Corps must be seen for what it is... our greatest and final bulwark against rationalizers and would-be tyrants. Following traditions of maturity and excellence laid down by the great George Marshall, the Officer Corps is the third best-educated clade in American society, after college professors and medical doctors! Their dedication to Constitutional government and citizen sovereignty is fierce and under-appreciated by most civilians. A majority would die protecting us from tyranny, either imposed from without or creeping Big Brotherdom from within.

Which helps explain the appointment of new CIA Director Goss, a right-wing political operative who had the gall to tell a passive, GOP-led Senate that he would be neutral and bipartisan upon taking over our Intelligence Community... and who then proceeded to fill dozens of top CIA slots with dedicated neoconservative shills. Several of whom have been heard in the halls gloating that "a hundred heads will roll" at CIA after the election.

The blatant politicization of the CIA began with the scandalous way that intelligence was misused to stir a frenzy over "weapons of mass destruction", exactly replicating the kind of lying pretext we saw in the Tonkin Gulf Incident. It now continues according to plan. First a complete housecleaning at the top, plus an "emergency" reorganization of the intelligence community that subjugates the Pentagon and removes any diversity of opinion. Next, purges of those who will not toe the political line. Then everyone who is sick of the lying. Then more.

Read Hackworth. He is a famous American curmudgeon and a bit of a drama queen. But he is also a bona fide American hero and has proved to be RIGHT, far more often than anybody can count.

And he can recognize a repetition of Vietnam stupidities better than anybody.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

More Conservative Defections

Some have complained that the American Conservative is not entirely representative of the conservative movement. I note that's true. It represents one wing. Interestingly, it was founded partly in a feud with William F. Buckley... who has also defected from supporting George W. Bush. Thanks for pointing out how wide is the spectrum of conservatives who - for various reasons - have come to realise that The Bush administration has very little to do with classic American values, and everyting to do with maniacal, moronic kleptocracy.

So, beyond those I cited earlier, here is just a sampling of other conservatives jumping ship, in an exodus unlike any other that I have seen in American political history:

John Eisenhower re: fiscal irresponsibility.

William F. Buckley re: an irresponsible war based on deceit.

Core conservative establishment figure George Will, Representative Henry Hyde, GOP lobbyist Stephen Moore and conservative commentator Tucker Carlson have all joined the tide, turning away from bizarre neocons bent on repeating every mistake of Vietnam.

A former special assistant to Ronald Reagan and Heritage Foundation Fellow ponders real conservatism.

And now...Jesse "The Body" Ventura endorses John "The Brain" Kerry.. .

Finally, there is this devastating recent survey. It shows that a majority of Bush supporters simply do not know what their man stands for.

 By large majorities, they misunderstand his positions on dozens of issues, showing just how much of this election is (from their perspective) about "culture war" and not about normal disagreements over policy. In contrast, Kerry voters appear to have a fairly accurate impression of his positions on a spectrum of issues. Stunning, given the rhetoric over "waffling".

Friday, October 22, 2004

The American Conservative

I was going to limit my postings to one-a-day, focusing on "words left out of the campaign," , but I just have to refer you all again to the "endorsement" issue of The American Conservative.

Never before have I seen a core publication of a major political movement express such deep, intelligent, and angst-ridden despair over the designated leadership of their side. Not even during Watergate. This hand-wringing takes the form of seven articles by well-respected conservative thinkers: two wails of agonized half-endorsement for George Bush, along with one for the Libertarian candidate, two calling for abstention and one even endorsing John Kerry.

Kerry's the One

Libertarian Resistance

war21century
I thought the condemnations of Bush by George Will, William F. Buckley and other conservatives had been devastating. (My own "moderate-centrist" denunciation is at http://www.davidbrin.com/neocons.html)

But this is the one-stop shopping place that says it all.

If you know any openminded conservatives, show them this material. Then remind them that every political movement gets hijacked by jerks, now and then. (It has certainly happened to the Left, now and then!)

The traditional solution is to beat a tactical retreat. Save the nation from your side's horrors (it's your duty). Then work as the loyal opposition to send real homosapiens into battle next time. (We've done it in Kah-lee-fornia ;-)

Pass it on, for civilization.

More Unmentioned Words

Also on my list of words I expected to be discussed this campaign - but gone AWOL - are conservative vows to end reviled policies, like the "don't-ask-don't-tell" doctrine toward gays in the military. (Wasn't it a GOP priority to reverse that?)

And while skyrocketing "pork barrel" spending has attracted some editorials, neither side is really discussing how it has burgeoned under this Congress. And why no followup on the once-topical "Contract With America"? Newt Gingrich asked us to track, a decade later, whether this core set of reform promises were kept by a GOP-controlled Congress. (There's more corruption and the minority in Congress is more excluded from discussion than when the Dems controlled things. Will the Dems keep their new promise to "forever reduce partisanship"? Maybe not. But it's their turn to try. They can't do worse.)

Other phrases may have drowned in irony. Take nation building, scorned as utopian by the team surrounding George W. Bush - till they began spending far more on that pastime than Clinton did in the Balkans. Now, "nation building" goes un-uttered. (See me comparison of the Balkans to the Iraq quagmire at: http://www.davidbrin.com/neocons.html )

Ah, the convenience of memory....

Oh, worth a look: http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/blog/blog.asp

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Words That Are Missing From the Campaign

I'm back from speechifying in Seattle (where I'm afraid I drew some crowds from Michael Moore.) Now I'd like to crank up blogging at least till the election.

First, I hope you'll peruse my Big Salvo which shows how calamitous our present leaders are, even if you believe in an assertive America that acts vigorously in the world. Just one fact - that we have fewer divisions ready for active duty in an emergency than before 9/11 - should give any conservative or moderate pause. (Per capita, we now have fewer soldiers guarding our homeland than before Pearl Harbor.) These obstinate ninnies have laid us bare, used up our reserves and embroiled us in a land war of attrition during times that call for maximum agility.

Now for something new Through each presidential term, I keep a list of words and phrases that might be prominent, come the next election. This year, some are curiously absent. Before 2001, for example, Republican leaders forecast a tidal wave of indictments against Clinton era officials, once the GOP took over the Executive Branch. Yet, for four years that promise of punished perfidy went unfulfilled. The "i word" has gone unmentioned.

Frustratingly, nobody seems willing to remind folks of that promise. Pres. Bush sent hundreds of lawyers trawling through file cabinets to prove the Clintonites "The most corrupt administration in history." Pat phrases like that fed the indignation wars of the nineties. Only now?

Lo and behold. All that vindictive searching, for a result of ZERO INDICTMENTS? Dang... but that would make the previous administration the... the... (gulp) most honest and least culpable in US history! Gasp.

Now let's ask the most fervent W supporter to lay money on odds that THIS administration will score similarly, under an honest and open system of justice, when its tenure ends. I'll even give a bye on the first 20. (No wonder they are fighting so savagely to stay in office.)


Saturday, October 16, 2004

Second Salvo: About the Weird "Neoconservative Alliance..."

I've published my second and final "salvo" before the election.

The first one - "War in the 21st Century" http://www.davidbrin.com/neocons.html - focuses specifically on this election, meticulously showing how the Bush Administration has betrayed even those conservatives who support the concept of a potent Pax Ameicana. It includes a persuasive line-by-line comparison of the mature, nimble and successful Balkans Intervention to today's inane slugfest in Iraq.

(In the Balkans, not a single American was lost to hostile action. Prestige, alliances and especially preparedness were unaffected. In Iraq, our best combat units are mired in grinding attrition and our reserves are being used up while prestige plummets, dissipating readiness in dangerous times to sub-Pearl-Harbor levels.)

neoromanticsThe NEW salvo - "Neoconservatism, Islam and Ideology: 
 The Real Culture War" http://www.davidbrin.com/neoromantics.html
- is less tied to the election. Looking beyond the election, it uncovers philosophical, ideological and psychological implications of the latest alliance calling itself "neoconservatism."

A weird alliance that would break apart if any of the component groups ever thought about their diametrically opposite visions of "the future." (In fairness, they aren't the only odd-couple bunching of ideologues, spanning left-to-right.)

Again, thoughts and comments are most welcome here at:
http://www.davidbrin.blogspot.com/

Thanks and here's praying for Western Civilization. db

Monday, October 11, 2004

David Brin's Political Salvo

Well, belatedly, just two weeks pre-election, I've posted my "big political salvo at:

War in the 21st Century: Maturity vs. Neocon Panic and the True Role of Pax Americana

In fact, that's the principal reason I at last bit the bullet and started a blog, after delaying for a long time. I cannot say if I'll make this a daily or even weekly stop when the election's over, but I'll try.

Until then, though, I declare the discussion open.

(If you are a science fiction fan who disagrees vehemently with the views I've posted, well, just bear in mind that I use a different part of the brain for SF. Anyway, science fiction is about staying openminded to change - not letting rigid dogmas inspire hate. So keep enjoying those grand adventures in the future! ;-)

Monday, October 04, 2004

initial posting

I've long delayed setting up a blog because of the inevitable time sink involved.

But as I'm about to post a pretty hard-hitting political salvo before the November election, it seemed appropriate to set up a venue for people to respond and discuss some of the issues that I raised.

So here goes....