I was going to blog about the Usual Stuff, maybe the synthetic it's-a-lynchin' outrage among the Left over Van Jones being tripped up by his own resume and video record and resigning over it. Hint: it's 2009 and this gentleman, with his fine Ivy League degree, is not swingin' from the limb of a lonely ol' oak and even among the people who don't much like him, an overwhelming majority would be revolted by any suggestion he ought to be; like many another politico all across the spectrum, he fell over his own past and now has to go find something else to do (geez, if only the linked example would). Look, the rules are simple and they are are colorblind: if you wanna be in the public eye, your backstory's got to be free of any really egregious ickiness. (Riddle me this: why, when the Left made various attacks on the character and fitness-for-office of Condeleezza Rice, were they not a lynch mob?)
...But you knew all that already. Then there's Pat Buchanan's latest apologia for his ol' pal 'Dolphie Schickelgruber, who was just misunderstood, a poor boy gone sadly wrong. This is Mr. B's little way of reminding us he's got some...notions... and how a free press lets the rest of us get a good enough look at 'em to make up our own minds. Hooray for the freedom of expression that will keep me from ever votin' for this ijit! (I believe Garet Garrett, who was not in favor of the U.S. wadin' into WW II, would'a slapped him). But that's old news, too, so old even the jokes about it are stale.
Casting my nets wider, I found this:
Many China experts, expatriates and business leaders say, with some irony, that the central government played the key role in this capitalist revolution. Without the give and take of democracy, an authoritarian government can move faster and more decisively.“The communist government says, ‘This is what we’re going to do. Do it,’ ” notes Hoe Wai Cheong, managing director for Kansas City-based Black & Veatch’s Asian energy office in Beijing.Gee, when was the last time the "efficiency" of authoritarian governments was bein' praised so? Give ya a hint:
Consider: It took Washington more than six weeks to pass and enact the $787 billion economic stimulus package. China’s economic stimulus package — $585 billion going to infrastructure, earthquake relief, energy and water projects — was approved in seven days.Hi-ho, impressive! Also, the trains run on time and the Sinobahn highway system is.... No; sorry, my enthusiasm ran away with me.
Any time the economy gets shaky, there's some feckwit out there (usually in herds, droves, even lemming-runs*), pointin' at some some or another tin-pot, centrally-managed "economic miracle," mistaking speed for effectiveness while missing the bigger point (can central planning function on an individual scale? Do "stimulus packages" actually make a difference, or are they spitting into an avalanche?) and completely ignoring that one teeensy little thing y'have to give up to make those "efficient" authoritarian gummints work: freedom. Oh, they'll notice it some if it's inescapable; but hey, as long as the starvin' folk are way off in the outback and the repression's smooth, it hardly ever makes it into the puff-pieces on "China's Economic Miracle." (38+ million Google hits for "China economic growth," 1.79 mill for "repression in China" and hey, everything's cheaper at MalWart!)
Remember them when the tanks roll. If they do -- maybe all that "freedom" stuff was just a fad, destined to go the way of the Dodo and the Great Auk and nothing worth even a heated argument about.
Maybe we'd better make up our minds one way or another pretty darned soon. Waitin' 'til Uncle China decides is a sucker's bet.
* Um, you do know the truth about lemmings, right? Ah, but the little vermin will turn cannibal under pressure and that's an even better metaphor!