Flinging Poo

The Instapundit has a new column up at Forbes and, as you’d expect, it sucks.

“War is the health of the state,” wrote Randolph Bourne, horrified by World War I and its excesses. And that phrase has been used by libertarians and opponents of state power ever since, as a reason why war is a bad idea.

Certainly the experience of World War I–and, in America, the dramatic expansion of state government power under Woodrow Wilson, as documented in Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism–supports that argument. But subsequent history makes me wonder if war is really as healthy for the state as some other things that get less attention.

When you have to cite The Pantload in the second paragraph, you’re in trouble.

But when the next national crisis struck–the Depression, under FDR–the U.S. got a massive expansion of government that, unlike Wilson’s, has remained with us to the present day. FDR’s policies may have extended the Depression, but what is clear is that when the Depression was over, the New Deal remained. There was no return to normalcy afterward.

Fuck me running – it’s that Amity Shlaes FDR-extended-teh-Depression shit again.  Can’t the wingnuts just admit it’s been debunked debunked debunked?

More fucktardery after the jump.

So what’s next?

Now we’ve had over five years of war in Iraq, finally winding toward a successful conclusion …

Is he fucking kidding? The violence is down because the Sunnis and Shiites have finished ethnically cleansing their neighborhoods.

… and in the process have spent a lot of money and made some changes in the law. But the changes in the law are promised to be undone by President-elect Obama, and the amount spent in five years on Iraq has already been dwarfed by the $5 trillion dollar tab run up during this fall’s bailout-mania.

Five trillion?  Is that a number he pulled out of his ass?  Shame the link doesn’t work …

Furthermore, war is politically risky in a way that new programs are not. Though people still speak of a decision to go to war as something done to enhance the political position of incumbent presidents, history doesn’t support that.

Tell that to the soldiers and civilians that have died since Bush was “re-elected”.

By contrast, presidents who push big social programs generally get a political boost and–because the costs and disasters of social programs are less obvious than the costs of war–there’s seldom any real downside.

So the notion that war is the friend of big government seems questionable to me, based on things that have happened in the past century at least. Rather, it seems that economic crisis, and economic intervention, is the thing to worry about if you want to keep government under control. Which bodes poorly for current times, when the war’s won but the bailouts are coming fast and furious. Eternal vigilance–especially now.

Shorter Glenn Reynolds: “As a Libertarian, I am saddened that our government will now spend money to help the people of this country rather than continue to finance the killing of brown people in far-off lands.”

Why Guns Are Better Than Butter [Forbes]

He teaches constitutional law, right? (I imagine he teaches it poorly at UT, given his excuses over the Cheney torture regime.)

So why is he getting paid to write about economics again by anybody?

@Signal to Noise:
It’s the old problem about specialization. Once you are considered a specialist then you can speak about anything even if you don’t know shit about it (a problem that is also common to many professions including engineering (especially engineering).)

Why does Atlas Juggs always have her mouth open in photos? Is this a Freudian thing?

And is she giving herself a breast exam in that photo? Did her implant slip off to the side? INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!

Correction: “Eternal vigilance — starting now.”

@Tommmcatt Yet Again:

I was blissfully ignorant of this Juggs phenomenon, but just found this. Heh.


That is about 16 different kinds of awesome.

Chris Dodd used the $5 trillion figure this morning in an interview on NPR. Can’t remember exactly how it was put together, but I was distracted at the time by smoking, drinking coffee, and driving down a winding mountain dirt road in the fog. Transcript should be up at NPR, but have to get back to work now.

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