Saturday, June 19, 2004

Doc Rampage blogs

I've been remiss not to point out some excellent articles by Doc Rampage. Be sure to read the following:

fisking David Greenberg
-- Doc takes Mr. Greenberg to task for his partisan attempt to sound reasonable. A brief example:
Myth No. 3: Reagan was an incorrigible optimist. Or, as we've been hearing, his sunny disposition made him impossible to dislike. This is more a half-truth than a whole lie. Certainly, Reagan charmed political antagonists like Tip O'Neill. His morning-in-America campaign tapped into a public sense of hope. And he could deploy humor brilliantly. But Reagan also possessed an ugly mean streak. It was evident back when, as California governor, he warned student protesters, "If there has to be a bloodbath, then let's get it over with." Anyone who has watched the replays of Reagan saying, "I paid for this microphone, Mr. Green," or "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," can see the manifest ferocity that was as crucial to Reagan's persona as his self-effacing grin.

I don't know if Greenberg is deliberately slandering Reagan here or he really is incapable of distinguishing between "an ugly mean streak" and courage. His second two quotes suggest the latter. The fact that he thinks his readers will interpret those two quotes as "an ugly mean streak" suggests that Greenberg is just morally stupid and can't see the difference.

As to the first quote, Greenberg obviously hasn't seen enough westerns. When the good guy points a gun at the bad guy, he has to make the bad guy understand that he means to use it. That's the only way to avoid using it. By making the students believe there really would be a blood bath, Reagan was trying to avoid a bloodbath. This should be blatantly obvious to everyone, including the students at the time. And if Reagan really was willing to have a blood bath? Well, the alternative was anarchy. The willingness to do what needs to be done is not a mean streak, it's courage. Get a dictionary, Mr. Greenberg.

The UN's sex-for-food scandal -- Doc thinks the sex-for-food scandal is overblown:
At the risk of being viewed as callous, I'd like to point out that prostitution is a nearly universal accompaniment of troops. The phrase "camp followers" sometimes specifically refers to prostitutes (and almost always includes them). These UN soldiers are acting no differently than any other soldiers in history, including American soldiers.

If there is a real horror here, (and I emphasize "if") it is that these girls are being so poorly fed at the refugee camp that they are forced into prostitution for a banana or other small bit of food. But I'm skeptical of even that. From the article, it seems that these girls are all former victims of sexual slavery. That is, it seems that they were all kept prisoner and raped repeatedly, by many men, over a long period of time before they got to the camps. And they came to the camps with babies conceived by those rapes.

on whether Bush is a conservative -- Doc takes on Andrew Sullivan in his attempt to paint Bush as... well, I guess I'm not really certain what Andrew's trying to do. He lists a bunch of Bush's conservative positions and then says they prove that Bush isn't really a conservative. Anyway, this appears to have been Doc's impression as well: "Now, anyone who reads my blog knows I'm not a Bush fan. I didn't vote for him, and if the Democrats had put up any kind of reasonable candidate, I would likely have voted against him this year. But really, this list of complaints is so off-the-wall that someone has to respond to them..."

All in all, it's good reading. You may not agree with all of it (I don't), but I highly recommend taking the time to read it.

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