May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Advice from Newt Gingrich

OK, I got to here because of one of the links in my previous post about desalinization, happening to mention Newt Gingrich saying "I do want to warn you that if the Left wins, and you come up with a virtually free water desalinization, you will not be able to use it. Because first of all, it will mean you are taking water out of the ocean. Second, if you were to suddenly have enough water to make the entire Mojave Desert bloom, the desert tortoise would be endangered. And for you to suggest saving the Sahel so that all the people in Chad, Mauritania, Niger, could all of the sudden have a decent living at the risk of in some way affecting the Saharan Sand Flea, I don’t think you could pass the EPA regulatory requirements for what the environmental outcome will be. And so just the fact that you want to help human beings will be seen as a sign that you have an anthropomorphic view of the planet in which all you care about is people and you don’t realize that the planet likes being desert and has actually been trying to desertify for the last 50 years, and you are interfering with the natural order all of which will be exacerbated by the global warming period which will increase the amount of water in the oceans which you could use for desalinization except that it would be inappropriate because after all by then you could have a lot of water in Antarctica so if only you were being reasonable you wouldn't come up with these new scientific breakthroughs and Al Gore’s next book will say that you personally are the greatest threat to human happiness on the planet."

His outlook is very bleak, and untrusting, and biased beyond recognition, but still, I decided to burn time listening to where someone like him could be coming from. Man, he is slick.

Anyway, a couple of things here actually are some good take-away advice, and many of the things he said are just, um, "spin" would be a nice word for it. It's nice that he actually mentions he got a call from Sean Hannity while he was on vacation. That gave me a bit of a handle for understanding him a bit better. The parts I found useful are in bold. The parts that are just fugly are in red. Truthy things, that provide new insight to me, are in green.

I. Always talk personally first, historically second, and politically last.
1. What're you gonna do for me? Are you gonna make my life better?
Ideology is a process of thought designed to produce better results/

We came up out of an ideological movement that was then transformed by a hollywood actor who had formerly been an FDR democrat.

Practice every day: personal, historical, political. .... When the hole gets deep enough, quit digging.

II. seven things very important that nobody really talks about. Discipline yourself to not spend more than half yr time on standard politics, ideology, etc, and spend the other half trying to learn some new things.

Notion that two Americas: Elite America of a remarkably small number of ppl who set the terms by which wash and state caps operate: editorial boards, newsrooms, tenured faculty, left wing intellectuals, trial lawyers, union leaders, hollywood elite.

91% of all Americans support the right to say "one nation under God" Even on the Berkeley faculty, you have a majority.

85% Rasmussen, 84% Zogby believe English should be the language of govt. Elites disagree even though the Hispanics are part of that 84%.

stick to the core values of this country, and you'll have a natural majority.

understand your core values, and how to explain them, and put them into context.

tempted to run by prospect of 7-10 dialogs next fall with hillary.

problem of iraq, very simple. its a mess. wrong policy and we've gone off a cliff. doesn't mean we should withdraw. i never defend the mess in iraq. everybody who believes that defeat is an easy alternative needs to explain the consequences of defeat. we have tried weakness once before under jimmy carter, a 444 day hostage crisis in iran, american embassy burned in pakistan , american embassador killed in afghanistan, soviet forces invade afghanistan, proxy forces from cuba, mozambique, angola, nicaragua and el salvador, soviets financing a million person demonstration in europe, ppl forget how much anti-americanism there was when ronald reagan was defending freedom and defeating the soviet empire. so we've tried weakness. so we've tried weakness at home with liberalism... it got us 13% inflation, 22% interest rates. some of you are old enough when you had to know the last number of yr car tag to know which days you could sit in line to buy gasoline... the carter administration had messed up. so we've done all this.

the debate has to be over iraq in context. [joel adds, "context," or "framing the debate"? the north korean bomb, the iran nuclear weapons program, public statements about defeating america by chavez. tell me in that context why a policy of weakness and defeat is a clever next step. i think we're in a hard place -- as hard a place as lincoln in 1862, or FDR in 1942. sooner or later we're going to have to beat these people. rabin understood that the key to making peace with the arabs was to being able to stop the iranians. so the baker-hamilton commmision said "why don't we invite the iranians in to help us out with the arabs?" like saying "if only adolph hitler had been friendlier, munich wouldn't've been nearly as bad." ["so you don't trust these people not to hurt us? can they trust us not to hurt them? seems we have already hurt them." this is a serious moment in american history, and at some point down the road we run a real risk of losing two or three cities to nuclear weapons. and i think its a lot better to act now before we lose a city than to wake up an appoint a new 911 commission saying "gee, why didn't we know?" thank you very much. [amazing how he says "we better watch it or we're gonna get nuked. thank you very much." directly back to back, and then is done with the speech. THAT's how to play on ppl's fears.]

pax hominibus,

He's a master at "spin", that's for sure. But getting insight on his perspective on the world turns my stomach. What bothers me the most, though, is that I don't think he necessarily believes anything he's saying. He just says what needs to be said to further whatever agenda he's working on at the time. Ugh.
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