Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Let's Get Banal

I've spent time in recent days discussing evil and I'm not done with the topic, but there have been other things to discuss in recent days. The political philosopher Hannah Arendt, in discussing the the Eichmann trial, coined the phrase "banality of evil," by which she referred to the ordinariness of people who are capable of committing evil acts. We'll get back to the matter of evil soon, but meanwhile there are other banalities to chew on these days:
  • The quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger, has been suspended for up to 6 games by the National Football League, primarily for a pattern of bad behavior involving very drunk young ladies. This guy has problems and the ever image-conscious NFL needed to do something about the way he's conducted his life. You could argue quite credibly that this guy is a date rapist with a bunch of enablers. He seems to have the problem that a lot of wealthy, powerful men have, which is that they don't seem to understand that you can't just use people and discard them. There is apparently some sort of rehab program that he's going to attend, but let's just say I have my doubts about the efficacy of such things. Therapy doesn't seem to be helping Tiger Woods very much.
  • The Obama administration and its acolytes really hate it when someone calls their policies socialist. I can see their point, because "socialist" is a pretty loaded word. There's a better comparison to make and Richard Rahn makes it: Argentina. See if any of this sounds familiar to you: In the 1930s, the Argentine government increased its interventions in the private economy. Juan Peron took over in 1946 and ended up nationalizing the railroads, the merchant marine, public utilities, public transport and other parts of the private economy. If you go to the link, you'll get the punchline and the eerie comparisons between what the Argentines have done and what we're doing now. And if you don't believe me, check out the trenchant analysis of Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. But notice the date on the article, too (H/T: Instapundit).


Gino said...

"No republic in the history of the world lasted more than 300 years,"

the coming end has been on my radar or a few years, and why i have attempted to accomplish a few things to gird for it. unfortunately, the downturn kinda took care of that.

i think, though, that we will see a disolution of the union instead of an argentina situaton, where the nation remains intact and crippled.
some states will leave, and set up shop independently.
i predict it will most likley be TX,AK,OK, or similar types of places.

my name is Amanda said...

Gino, I think it's pretty incredible to believe that any US state would secede. But really, I don't have an argument about it, because the thought of the possibility has never occured to me. What is this based on?

The Roethlisberger incident and his offensively light sentencing is shameful, and honestly, incredibly upsetting. The police report - the way the police treated the victim - the vulgarities which they used to abuse her - it's one of the worst things I've ever read (granted I don't spent my time reading rape reports). The thing is - I don't blame people for using the term "date rape." But I do think that the phrase takes away from the fact that it's actually just "rape rape" that's being discussed. And I agree that "therapy" for him is crap. (And it's just a PR move for Tiger.) Michael Vick went to PRISON for animal abuse. So basically, the Roethlisberger case communicates that dogs are more important to our justice system than women.

Finally, Obama acolytes don't hate the word "socialist" because they're paranoid that someone's on to their game. They hate it because it's used synonymously with "fascism, communism, and EVIL!" But that's really all I have to say about that.

Mr. D said...

So basically, the Roethlisberger case communicates that dogs are more important to our justice system than women.

Gee, I wish I could disagree with that. But it sure seems that way, doesn't it?


Don't see your scenario yet, but I could easily imagine how it could happen. Things could get quite bad in California, New York and some of the other states that have been so prodigal with their resources and it's going to be a very, very hard sell to get an Oklahoman or a Texan to pay for some retired Orange County teacher's gold-plated pension.

Gino said...

here's for you two.
beat ya to the punch a while back.

still dont know how to leave a link in the comments. sorry.

Anonymous said...

As an Obama supporter, I gotta tell you: I am not bothered by the ‘Socialist’ trope. Amused and entertained, but certainly not bothered. And for a very simple reason: It isn’t true. He, and I for that matter, are progressives. Do I believe in an activist government? Absolutely. But I am also relieved by the fact that our country is too grounded in its Empiricist British political traditions to ever let ourselves move too far to either side. And using the current administrations actions since taking control of the Oval office as some kind of incontrovertible evidence of rock solid Socialist tendencies is absurd. The Obama administration was forced into the kind of big government action required to cope with several huge crises, after years of negligence and drift by previous administrations (including Clinton’s). And in response, it’s been easy for the right to wheel out their exhausted tropes of anti-government rhetoric and demagogue to their hearts content, but circumstances required the drastic measures Obama took, and his administration's actions are defensible from the perspective of the actual circumstances: A year and a half ago, we faced a collapse of world-wide free market capitalism. Please remember that early in the crisis, the Bush Administration made the decision not to bail out Lehmann, and that turned out to be catastrophic. To his credit, Bush recognized this and adjusted. He took many of the necessary early steps to stop the bleeding, and even brought Obama into the picture and worked together with the President-elect to address the crisis. It’s really easy to play Monday morning quarterback on this, but I remember the day the Dow dropped 777 points like it was yesterday. We were all hanging on for dear life, and no one credible was saying ‘just let everything fail.’
I know you are going to cite HCR as your prima facie evidence of Obama’s move to Socialism, but I don’t think that holds up either. Just how Socialist is a HCR model that requires insurance, while keeping health insurance in the PRIVATE sector? The truth is: Obama did not cave to the far left's understanding of the role of government in health care. Obama’s healthcare reform was a moderate enterprise, made radical in the public consciousness by a cynical bid to propagandize the whole debate. (Remember too, that this same model was endorsed by your leading Republican Presidential hopeful (see Romney, Mitt), and this may come back to bite you in the ass). Same with his handling of the banks, financial regulations legislation, the stimulus, and Obama’s recalibration of US foreign policy after the failed belligerence of the Bush-Cheney era.


Mr. D said...

Just how Socialist is a HCR model that requires insurance, while keeping health insurance in the PRIVATE sector?

True. A system in which the government controls commerce through control of private enterprises isn't socialist. It's actually fascist. But you wouldn't like that comparison, either. And read what I wrote -- I didn't say he was a socialist; I compared him to Juan Peron. You're good at making such distinctions when it suits your purposes. :)

(Remember too, that this same model was endorsed by your leading Republican Presidential hopeful (see Romney, Mitt), and this may come back to bite you in the ass).

Nice try, but Mitt won't get the nomination precisely because of how well Romneycare has done in Massachusetts. By the way, how is that system working out?

Anonymous said...

You asked: By the way, how is that system working out?

I am going to guess that it is working as well or better than the status quo. And since so many more people are covered. I take that to be a net positive.


Mr. D said...

It's going bankrupt, Rich. And Massachusetts is going the way of Greece. That's many things, but it's surely not a "net positive."