18 January 2009

Blog has moved

The Carolina Review blog has moved. You can now find us at:

22 December 2008

You've GOT to be kidding...

Media bias anyone?

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16 December 2008

The World Loses Its Mind

Well, at least the Fed has. I guess inflation is no longer a concern?

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05 December 2008

Sensible analysis on the Economy

To Peter Thiel: Yes, yes, yes!
In a conversation between Peter Robinson of the National Review and Peter Thiel of Clarium Capital Management, Mr Thiel "teases" out the true nature of our crisis. His advice should be heard by all citizens of this nation. Check it out at the Uncommon Knowledge website.

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01 December 2008

Another FDR is Exactly What We DON'T Need

When will it end? Barack Obama is alternately our Messiah, Lincoln, and, now, FDR. Or at least pundits say he needs to be FDR. Richard Cohen's latest Washington Post column echoes this sentiment. Over the past sixty years, liberals have perpetrated the FDR myth: namely, that he brought us out of the Great Depression. The fact is HE DIDN'T.
George Will, also of the Washington Post, sums up the data destroying the FDR myth. He also elucidates another point conveniently forgotten by leftists: Herbert Hoover didn't promote laissez-faire economics. In fact, he substantially INCREASED taxes that only further impaired any possibiblity of economic recovery. And, of course, we are still experiencing the effects of the New Deal (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Social Security) that are going to bankrupt our country.
So no, we certainly do NOT need another FDR. We need someone who will cut taxes to stimulate economic growth (as both JFK and Reagan proved), promote fiscal restraint (like Margaret Thatcher after the Winter of Discontent), and stay our of the free market (unfortunately, no modern president has done so to the proper extent). Then, we can experience a recovery and commence another era of American prosperity. Regrettably, Obama is not that person.

21 November 2008

Why Conservatives Should Like Obama's Cabinet Appointments

Shockingly, many conservative commentators are actually coming out in favor of some of Obama's nominations. We've got Clinton for Secretary of State, Napolitano for Homeland Security, Robert Gates staying on at Defense, etc...
These selections show a lot about what will most likely occur under Obama's administration. Gates staying on at Defense indicates some continuity on the Iraq strategy. Clinton came out as a hard-liner during the primaries and may steer Obama in a more sophisticated foreign policy.
Now, Arizona Governor Napolitano may seem an interesting nomination to cheer, but if she resigns, her successor is a Republican, giving Arizona Republicans an advantage in 2010. Same with Schweitzer from Montana (possible Secretary of Interior). Senator Jack Reed's replacement would be appointed by a Republican Governor 9he's being considered for Secretary of Defense).
Karl Rove had a good article about the obstacles Obama will face in his first few days in office.
All in all, things are looking up for Republicans. This is the second consecutive electoral defeat, but 2010 is looking up. Do not despair.

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18 November 2008

Rebuild the Party

Alright, well as the Republican Party is the only party that adheres the conservative principles at the moment, conservatives have a vested interest in maintaining the GOP. The 2008 election revealed a number of weaknesses within the party structure (not the message). Money was the key issue, with the Obama campaign, DNC, DSCC, and the DCCC out-fundraising their Republican counterparts by wide margins. In North Carolina, Democrats won across the board. So now there are proposals out there that try to rectify these weaknesses: NC Conservative Future and Rebuild the Party. Check out these websites and start talking. We need good ideas for Republicans and conservatives in general to get elected. If not, we may be facing a long exile in the wilderness...

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17 November 2008

When Will They Stop?

The Democrats are unrelenting in attempting to spread their anti-deregulation mantra. Apparently they believe in the "Big Lie Theory," that, if you say something over and over again, it becomes true for the masses. A recent article in the New York Times relates the story behind former Senator Phil Gramm, the man behind the deregulation wave in the late 1990s. And of course, they quote various professors who claim that Gramm's actions "contributed mightily" to our current economic crises. Sigh.
Apparently, the editorial board of the NYT and the whole Democratic Caucus needs to read the series of articles from the latest edition of the Carolina Review where the real factors that caused the economic crisis are documented: the Fed's low interest rate, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, the "moral hazard," the Community Reinvestment Act, and organizations like ACORN who pressured community banks to give loans to people who could not afford them. Hum... dereguation surprisingly does not appear on the list because, in fact, dereguation DID NOT cause the crisis! No credible economist (with the exception of Paul Krugman) actually believes this.
So, to the NYT and Democrats in general: please stop spreading myths about the economic crisis. Thank men like Phil Gramm instead of attacking them.

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05 November 2008

Immanentizing the Eschaton

So, Obama has won. I haven't collected my thoughts on the issue yet, but I have a few things to say:
  • We live in a center-right country. I think this election was more of a vindication of Obama himself than a vindication of his radicalism. We might still be ideologically conservative (see the Newsweek report on America's ideological leanings) but operationally liberal... but at least we're ideologically conservative...
  • This is not the same as 1964, when Goldwater lost handily. That was a clear rejection of conservatism. McCain was always more impulsive than ideological.
  • Perhaps the greatest irony of this election is that Iraq, the issue which led to both candidates' victories in their respective primaries (Obama got traction in the Democratic Primary because he opposed the war from the beginning and McCain wouldn't have had a chance to win except for his support for the surge), played such a small part in the election in the end.
  • The silver lining for this election is that Bush has been clearly repudiated. Hopefully, the GOP will realize that America has repudiated "compassionate conservatism," but not traditional Conservatism.

03 November 2008

The Larger Point of Obama's Associations

The following post is adapted from, of all things, a couple of my Facebook comments on a friend's wall. A CNN anchor, Sanchez, brought McCain spokesman on the air; the spokesman did a pitiful job of deploying the Rashid Khalidi issue against Obama.

Sure, Sanchez can see through the nonsense about 'the LA times should release video and violate its confidentiality agreement,' but he's wrong to suggest that the PLO is simply another group with different views on Israel whose views are useful and true just because they exist.

This relative view of morality and truth is a symptom of the internationalist ideology that McCain should be accusing Obama of espousing. This association with a Palestinian statist could have been a catalyst in this accusation. McCain should have argued that Obama's espousal of this internationalist ideology would cause him to follow policies in office that would strip us of our sovereignty (i.e., giving political support to the ratification in the U.S. Congress of U.N. treaties created by an antidemocratic socialist/Islamist alliance), while his trade protectionism would depriving other countries like Mexico and Colombia of desperately needed remedies for poverty.

The problem with Obama is that he's so far left on so many issues that he's antiliberal - he favors public authority over private freedom. Against some free trade, against capitalism to a large extent, against protection of some offensive speech; embraces relative morality to the point that he will espouse relative truth in his domestic social policy.

The point of saying that is not to file charges against Obama, but to lampoon McCain for failing to attack Obama on his weaknesses. McCain went for personal connections to try to reveal Obama's internationalist ideology because 1) McCain doesn't know what he's doing and 2) Obama votes present on many important bills.

In that sense, McCain is a weak articulator. Too weak to win.

Yeah, the McCain guy was unprepared. He could have answered all of Sanches' questions if he had done his homework.

For example, here's a sample answer to the question about the other anti-Semetic guy: Jeremiah Wright. Black liberation theology is anti-Semetic, and Obama was influenced by black-liberation writers. I think he drew his Marxist ideas from those writers and not anti-Semetic ideas (that he drew any such prejudice from Cone, et all, is doubtful). I am convinced that Obama does not harbor any anti-Semetic or any other racial prejudice. But it is a bit scary that he espoused race-baiting Marxist ideologies during his intellectual development.

I'm not sure America would choose Obama if they had read and understood Dreams from my Father. And if they did read and understand it, and they still want it, then welcome to the new socialist motherland. This is democracy, and people will get what they're asking for. Conservatives will have to clean up the economic mess in a few years.

31 October 2008

Obama: Electoral College Landslide?

The media has consistently over-hyped Obama's chances of victory in this coming election. With the economy in the midst of a correction (not a depression as some would have), a war in Iraq that is increasingly unpopular (even though we are nearing victory), and an incumbent president with rather low poll numbers, McCain has an uphill climb. Frankly, this should be a landslide for Obama. The incumbent party has never won an election when the economy is in a downturn, but nonetheless, McCain has fought well. And he might well succeed. The Campaign Spot on the National Review website says that Virginia may not be lost to the Republicans. Northern Virginia, as a percentage of registered voters in the state, has remained almost constant from the 2004 election until now. In fact, the greatest registration increases have come from counties where Bush won by over 60%. These voters could all very well be Democrats, but the situation in VA is not dire for McCain. In Pennsylvania, many people think McCain is crazy for focusing on this state. RealClear has an average of 9.8% in Obama's favor. But he does have a strategy. Rural PA will go Republican, Philadelphia, Democrat. The Northeastern Extension tilts Democrat, but basically splits the vote. Pittsburgh is the area of interest. If McCain can win Pittsburgh by a wide enough margin to offset Philadelphia (maintaining his margins in the rural areas and keeping at least 40% of the vote on the Northeastern Extension), he can win the state. Kerry only won the state by 2.5% (Gore, 4.2%), so it is possible. A Pennsylvania win would offset losses in Colorado, New Mexico, and coupled with a win in VA, would offset a loss in Nevada. McCain needs to win Florida and Ohio, however. And I wouldn't count those states out.
So, yes, McCain faces an uphill climb, but it is achievable. We'll just see how it all plays out on the 4th. As much as the mainstream media wants to, you can't count McCain out.

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30 October 2008

More Crowder!

Here we go.

Preliminary GDP Report

This morning, the BEA published its preliminary report on third quarter GDP. The report estimated a .3% decrease in GDP during the third quarter. Of course, preliminary reports are subject to revision as more information is accumulated, and they are almost always adjusted a few tenths of a percent up or down. But, even assuming that this figure is correct, our economic situation is hardly dire. Listening to the media and the Democrats (as well as, unfortunately, many Republicans), you might assume that the BEA is off by a decimal point (or two). Our economy should be stronger, but this almost negligible downturn does not merit the sort of economic overreaction that we've seen from the Bush administration and Congress. We would need to face another quarter of decreasing GDP to even enter a recession.

29 October 2008

Election Issue

The new election issue of the Review will be distributed this evening. Here's a preview of the new issue:

Dear Readers

As Election Day nears, an increasing number of conservatives have announced their support for Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.). The list now includes (among others) Doug Kmiec, Ken Adelman, Christopher Hitchens and (most painfully) Christopher Buckley.

The Carolina Review will not be following suit. We are utterly unconvinced by the arguments of those on the Right who support Obama. We can see no loop holes in the conservative ideology that are big enough to enable any sort of conservative to support Obama, his positions or his temperament.

The aforementioned conservatives almost always say they support Obama in spite of his ideology and history of leftist positions. They typically say that, though he has always legislated as a leftist, he will govern as a centrist. Abir Chatterjee’s article deals with one plank of Obama’s platform- his tax policies- and argues that Obama exhibits an unreformed, uninteresting form of Liberalism which casts an ineluctable doubt on the notion that Obama will govern from the center. Case in point, Obama’s policies are so leftist as to satisfy Marx’s policy suggestions.

Further, we believe that Obama’s reaction to the financial crisis has been manifestly inept. Zachary Dexter and Anthony Dent trace the origins of the crisis and conclude that Obama is flatly wrong. The crisis was not caused by Wall Street greed and deregulation (as Obama has argued), but rather numerous actions of Congress, the FED, and several other government institutions.

Not only is Obama wrong about the cause of the crisis, he’s also wrong about how to fix it. For a multitude of reasons, we conclude that the $800 billion bailout of the financial sector is not going to solve the current catastrophe and will only prolong and worsen our economic downturn.

We also distrust Obama’s positions on the military. Christopher Jones’ article takes a look at Obama’s proposals concerning military spending and contends that an Obama presidency would do irreparable damage to the development of military technology. Without that technology our ability to preserve national security will be greatly hamstringed. There is no evidence to suggest that Obama’s military policies will be tempered by any kind of moderation.

Most often, conservatives site Obama’s temperament as the reason for their support. Brad Smith’s article argues that Obama has reached a celebrity status and that his campaign is supported to a large degree by simple groupthink and Obama’s “mindguards” in the media.

It follows that conservatives should naturally recoil from Obama. After all, we are the more sober wing, and the conservative temperament should be repulsed by anyone whose success is largely built on palpable insobriety. It takes a peculiar sort of temperament for a person to develop into a celebrity, and that sort of temperament is ill-suited for the presidency.

The conservative viewpoint can often be used to legitimately justify different positions on the same issue. The issue of the potential Obama presidency is not such an issue. In this election, a conservative should stand athwart Obama, and his supporters, yelling Stop.


Bryan Weynand and Nash Keune

28 October 2008

Go Barack Obama Go!

Earlier today, our inimitable cartoonist, Justin Crowder, posted a video on Facebook. Watch it.

23 October 2008

Palling around with Ayers

Sorry for the lengthy, unplanned hiatus. I'd attribute our blog silence to other commitments (it is midterm season after all), laziness, and the fact that, as Obama's election seems ever more imminent, following, covering, and writing about the news gets increasingly dreary.

With all of my apologies and excuses out of the way, I'd like to dive right in with a story which was brought to my attention by Toy Beeninga (with an assist by Taylor Holgate). In late September, a group of academics drafted a joint statement in support of William Ayers. Last I checked, 3,247 "friends and supporters of Bill Ayers" had signed the statement, endorsing its message (That number is probably inflated, though. An extremely cursory scan through the list revealed some unlikely signers, such as conservative talk-radio host Mark Levin, supposedly the1,232th signer). According to my source, the following UNC professors and TAs endorsed the statement: Lynda Stone, Amy Charpentier, Kathleen M. Brown, Jennifer Jone, Dr. Maria DeGuzman, Alan Tom, J. Anderson, and Ashley Lucas. You can access (and co-sign, if you'd like) the statement here.

I'll just briefly summarize the salient points (the argument descends into self-parody rather quickly, so I feel no need to go out of my way to mock the Ayers allies). The letter calls the "character assassination and slander of Bill Ayers" a "slanderous McCartyism" and takes umbrage at the Right's characterizations of Ayers. Yes- How dare the crypto-Nazis on the Right call Ayers, who is an unrepentant terrorist, "an unrepentant terrorist?" Nowadays, Ayers is a super-swell guy. He is a "valued faculty member" of the University of Illinois at Chicago who "has taught, advised, mentored, and supported hundreds of undergraduate, Masters and Ph.D. students." Things that Ayers did 40 years ago are "history." After all, can anyone really be considered guilty of a crime after he commits that crime?!? And, well, speaking of that whole "terrorism" thing, my gosh- Ayers didn't really do anything that these 3,247 signers would condemn. Ayers just "participated passionately in the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s, as did hundreds of thousands of Americans," that's all. He simply protested, precisely "as did hundreds of thousands of Americans."

These attacks on Ayers are not only offensive to such a respectable person, though. Apparently, they are also destroying our society. In the words of the document, brandishing Ayers about "casts a chill over free speech and inquiry and the spirit of democracy." Essentially, forming a stigma against those who try to kill Americans "threaten(s) schools as places of compassion, imagination, curiosity, and free thought" because forming such a stigma serves as a warning to "anyone who voices perspectives and advances questions that challenge orthodoxy." So, basically, if you sign the statement, you're helping to save democracy.

Frankly, I can't feign surprise at any of the ... ahem, logic of this letter. Nonetheless, it does reveal the extent of the versatility of academia's colossal fatuousness.

06 October 2008

1999 New York Times Article Foretells Subprime Mess

Excerpt: "Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits."

Click here to see the article.

Home ownership is important, but it's not "affordable housing" anymore when the bank forecloses on your home.

03 October 2008

If I was a Democrat...

I would probably be disappointed by the report released today that unemployment has stayed at 6.1%. That's the same rate we saw last month, which is approximately one-fourth the unemployment rate during the Great Depression and only a sneeze away from what we used to consider full employment. Yes, we are facing a financial crisis, but the economy is not in the free fall that many in the media and the Democratic Party (and, unfortunately, many in the GOP too) want to believe it is in.

VP Debate

Well, this is what the McCain campaign needed. After the dust settled, even the liberal pundits on the networks were saying that Palin had re-established her credibility. She may not have won the debate. There were certain areas where some criticism may be leveled. There were questions that she didn't answer and she got the name of the general in Afghanistan wrong. But again, Biden didn't answer every question directly, nor did Obama; and Biden claimed that FDR was president and, that FDR announced the gravity of the situation in 1929 on television. So it goes both ways. I personally think that Palin's was of a lesser magnitude. She came pretty close. Biden was way off (Sort of like saying, "It was like when James Madison flew into the Mexico City airstrip to contragulate the victorious troops of the Mexican-American War." Not too historically accurate.). The benefit that Palin had coming in was that she had lost some credibility and was making the McCain ticket lag. People were beginning to question McCain's judgement in picking her as his running mate. The debate now completely changed that. Now she has re-established her credibility and the McCain campaign can focus on the matters at hand and not worrying about their VP pick. So Biden failed in the respect that he needed to make her mess up. He didn't. So now she lives to fight another day. A salutary event in keeping the McCain campaign afloat. Now those poll numbers can start swinging the other way.

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02 October 2008

Immediate Impressions

In order, with notes on the beginning of the debate on top:
  • Perhaps Palin's most unique political charm is her ability to pull of the folksy anecdotes. All politicians in this era of universal Heepism try to pull of the soccer-game examples and almost all of them seem clumsy, unnatural, and awkward. They fit Palin perfectly.
  • Biden called attention to violence against women, putting police on the streets, etc. as instances of his leadership on controversial issues. Really? Since when is violence against women a controversial issue? Putting more police on the streets is only controversial amongst some members of the radical Left.
  • At least at the beginning, their was a notable differnce in their tones, pacing, cadences, etc. Whereas Palin's inflections were dynamic, Biden was, well, boring.
  • I'm very disappointed with the leaders of the GOP, Palin included, concerning their explanation of the financial situation. This is a perfect opportunity to trace the ruinous effect of the government's artificially created credit on the economy, but most (notably excluding Jim DeMint) seem to be hung up on Wall Street corruption. Perhaps there was corruption on Wall Street, but there's no reason to think that there was any more corruption on Wall St than normal.
  • I guess the populism might be profitable or necessary in this election, though. I'm actually preparing an editorial on an opportunity to score some populist points that McCain missed out on.
  • Another CR plug- We will have a comprehensive statement on the causes of the financial crisis in the next issue of the Review.
  • Does Biden think he's fooling anyone with the comb over?
  • In response to Biden's remarks on tax policy, I'll quote William F. Buckley: "I would like to electrocute everyone who uses the word 'fair' in connection with income tax policies."
  • The most annoying- maybe the only thing I find annoying- about Palin's remarks is the dangling "also"s which are unattached to any other claims, utterly unnecessary throw-away phrases, circular sentences and the like. I guess everyone has their ticks, especially in such high-pressure situations.
  • I think anyone who has ever watched a (political) debate could agree that moderators should really just suggest topics to discuss rather than go through the hassle of asking questions which will, in all likelihood, not be answered. Politicians will always answer the question they wanted to be asked.
  • Since when did the Obama-Biden team want to go ahead with nuclear power? I guess our energy situation has made the cost of certain opinions prohibitive.
  • Palin has done a good job of tying her own record into the debate. I won't say that it's not always natural or smooth, but very important.
  • I'm glad that gay marriage is back on the table. After the California decision (which allows homosexuals from other states to marry in California), it rightfully should have been established as a much bigger issue than it has been so far.
  • I've already been asked who the Talabani is (did she mean the Taliban? Is she going to talk with the Taliban?). Talabani is actually the President of Iraq. Which leads me to my next point that...
  • Palin has sounded positively knowledgeable on foreign policy issues.
  • Biden claims that "Nobody has been a better friend to Israel" than Biden himself. I'd actually probably rank Lieberman above everyone else, Senator.
  • Biden was wrong- Article 1 of the Constitution is devoted to the Legislative Branch, not the Executive Branch. I have to say, though, that I'm never surprised when a liberal manifests ignorance of the Constitution.
  • Also, Biden claims that Cheney is the most dangerous Vice President we've ever had. No. Not at all. Completely and utterly false. The most dangerous VP we ever had was Aaron Burr, who literally tried to annex (or, more accurately, steal) part of America for himself. The only reason he wasn't convicted of treason was that he told different stories to all of his co-conspirators , and you need to have at least two people to corroborate an accusation of treason. Cheney hasn't done anything close to stealing America.
  • Overall, it seems that Obama and Biden are talking about changing America. McCain and Palin are talking about changing America's government. I have to side with McCain/Palin.
About Carolina Review
Carolina Review is a journal of conservative thought and opinion published at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since its founding in 1993, Carolina Review has been the most visible and consistent voice of conservatism on campus.