Quote Of The Day

“I’m not a conservative, have never been a conservative, and don’t ever expect to become a conservative. So it spooks me how accurate all those old-time McCarthyite rants about Communist subversion turned out to be now that we have the Venona transcripts and ex-KGB generals telling all to historians. Back in the ’60s and ’70s I thought I was as hard-core anti totalitarian as an American boy could be, but even I bought some of the obscuring smoke that the anti-anticommunist “liberals” were peddling”. –Eric S. Raymond, In a conversation over at Cato Unbound, detailing the Marxist seduction of the Universities

19 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”


  • It cuts both ways … god that was a great song.

  • Damn communists, looks like that McCarthy guy was right.

  • Btw, I don’t know how the article you quoted proves that this ‘cuts both ways’, after all, not all Cubans are conservative, only the really anti-communist ones.

    My quote above however, is a clear cut historical black eye on liberals, many of whom continued to argue that McCarthy was wrong in his spy accusations, even after the Venona transcripts and ex-KGB generals told otherwise.

    It reminds me of how many liberals still refused to believe that communist Russia had done all of those evils things, even after being shown evidence of it on TV and through various independent sources.

  • Haha, I should learn how to read. I thought that article was about American spies … I’m such a typical paranoid liberal. Oh well, I’m pretty sure we must be right about something. Now I have to change my del.icio.us bookmark too.

    Well, like I always say whenever you beat me … at least I walk away with the girls.

  • LOL. I didn’t ‘beat’ you…and you didn’t walk away with the girls…ask your lady to tell you about HP….thank god for liberal women!!! :-)

  • Come on bro, we don’t need to compare the love lives of Dick Cheney and Fidel Castro do we?

  • LOL. I’m thinking more like Arnold Schwarzenegger vs. Howard Dean. :-)

  • Hispanic Pundit wrote:
    “My quote above however, is a clear cut historical black eye on liberals, many of whom continued to argue that McCarthy was wrong in his spy accusations, even after the Venona transcripts and ex-KGB generals told otherwise. “

    “It reminds me of how many liberals still refused to believe that communist Russia had done all of those evils things, even after being shown evidence of it on TV and through various independent sources. “

    I’m not a liberal so I’d like to know the liberals who “still refuse to believe that communist Russia had done all of those evils things.”

    The problem with McCarthy was that he accused people of being communists with little evidence to prove his claim.

    While it is true that several of the people Joseph McCarthy accused were also named in the Verona files, many more were innocent Americans. McCarthy was never able to produce credible evidence to prove his accusations, and not one person who appeared before his committee was ever convicted of Soviet espionage.

  • Richard Thomas – You took the words right out of my mouth.

    It is a very, very small minority of liberals who feel that the Soviet Union was not an evil empire, who deny that the government sent its dissidents to gulags. Who oppressed freedoms etc. Probably the same minority that exists among the hard right wingers who deny the holocausts existence (Mel Gibson’s father). Most people who have any knowledge of history realize this.

    As Mr. Thomas said, the problem with McCarthy was not the fact that he was anti-communist, but that he ruined the lives of thousands of people with scant evidence and with no convictions of espionage.

    Similar to the NSA spying the problem everyone agrees that Al-Qaeda is a grave threat to America. The problem is that the government is acting outside of the law and without having to show any evidence.

    Also when reading the whole post, I was shocked with the anti-semitism-

    “You’ve fluttered some dovecotes by observing that the replacement of WASPs by Jewish intellectuals was a leading indicator of some major negative trends in postwar American culture; what you didn’t note (an omission which surprised me) was that the real wreckers in the new elite weren’t a random selection of Jews, they were red-blanket babies from the same Ashkenazic family dynasties of the Old Left that had produced the Rosenbergs. These were Stalin’s most willing tools.”

    This is very offensive to me, similar to the current blaming of “secular jews” for the ills of hollywood.

    Also offensive is that Soviet Jews were oppresed by the govt more than any group.

  • I have no bone to pick on the McCarthy issue, although, what little I have read on the topic gives me the impression that while McCarthy may have over exagerrated his accusations somewhat, history has still been more cruel to him than what he properly deserves. The guy did, after all, prove to be correct on many more accusations than people believed at the time, and when you have such a significant threat as spying, those odds become very valuable.

    But being that I am still in my twenties, I realize that I will never get to the bottom of such a contentious issue.

    With that said, I do have a bone to pick with what you quote Michael, with your anti-semitism charge. I don’t know if you got offended at his staetment and didn’t continue to read further, but if you had read further, you would have seen that his next paragraph directly rebuts your claim, he writes:

    (I’m sure Dr. Gelernter knows better than to conclude from the previous paragraph that I’m anti-Semitic, but third parties reading this should know that I believe Jews found their way to central roles in Communism for the same reason they have been disproportionately important in every other reform, revolutionary movement, and conspiracy of the last three centuries; to wit, on average they’re a standard deviation brighter than Gentiles. Talent will out, even if it does so in horrible ways. It’s hardly the Jews’ fault that Gentiles are, comparatively and Gaussianly speaking, dumber.)

    The full article can be read here. If anything, this shows the guy is anti-Gentile, not anti-semitic.

  • Richard Thomas

    Hispanic Pundit wrote:
    “I have no bone to pick on the McCarthy issue, although, what little I have read on the topic gives me the impression that while McCarthy may have over exaggerated his accusations somewhat, history has still been more cruel to him than what he properly deserves. The guy did, after all, prove to be correct on many more accusations than people believed at the time, and when you have such a significant threat as spying, those odds become very valuable.”
    The problem is that McCarthy accused people of being Russian spies or sympathizers without credible evidence. It matters little that in hindsight some of the people he accused of being Russian spies turned out to be so.

    Just a brief analogy:

    A town has a District Attorney who one day accuses a number of citizens of being child molesters. The town is shocked when the news filters out. The people accused are harassed, some lose friends, their jobs and several marriages are ruined. When their attorneys ask the DA for evidence they are told it is forthcoming. What follows are more accusations by the DA but when a grand jury is assembled and does not return any indictments, the DA resigns.

    Years later, one of the accused is found out to be a child molester.

    Does this mean that the DA was correct in pursuing his agenda?

  • Good point Richard, but if I remember correctly, the (small amount) of people that turned out to be falsly accused (and we will never know if they were truly innocent, after all, the Venona transcripts and ex-KGB generals didn’t tell all), didn’t suffer anything like your analogy would imply. Sure, some people had their good name tarnished, but from what I remember reading, it was nothing like being accused of being a child molester.

    If you balance that out with the overwhelming number of accusations that turned out to be correct, and the large threat that Russia presented, I am more inclined to believe that McCarthy deserves more credit than history gives him.

  • Richard Thomas

    Alfonso:

    It sounds like you have a list of the persons that McCarthy accused of being Soviet spies and are weighing it against the Verona transcripts (recall that the transcripts have real and code names), Soviet official’s recollections (KGB, etc.), released Soviet documents, etc. I’d be curious to see this since how else could you say that there was only a “small amount of people who were falsely accused.”

    You said:

    “Sure, some people had their good name tarnished, but from what I remember reading, it was nothing like being accused of being a child molester.”

    “If you balance that out with the overwhelming number of accusations that turned out to be correct, and the large threat that Russia presented, I am more inclined to believe that McCarthy deserves more credit than history gives him.”

    A few points about the above two paragraphs:

    First you say that while “some people had their good name tarnished… it was nothing like being accused of being a child molester.”

    Then you say that the people who McCarthy accused were a serious threat to the USA.

    While I don’t mind you criticizing my analogy about the child molesters, you can’t first say that the analogy was too severe and then say in the following statement that the threat created by the Soviet agents was severe.

    Your comment that “Sure, some people had their good name tarnished” is very troubling.

    Here you seeming to be arguing that the end justifies the means and that it doesn’t matter how evidence is gathered, whether it is tarnished or not, and that if some people were falsely accused so what, as long as the guilty are punished or reveled that is ok.

    I’d say that it does matter since you are making a decision for the others who were falsely accused that their suffering (no matter how light or severe) is justified.

    So I ask, what if one of those unjustly accused were you, would you be willing to have your good name tarnished so that the guilty would be punished?

  • There are various levels of having your good name tarnished, for example, Hollywood actors are constantly complaining that their good name was tarnished in one way or another by some publication. But I would hardly consider that ‘severe’.

    In addition, even when you are accused of something severe, such as spying, it could have very little impact in how much your name was ‘tarnished’. Take the Democrat Senator from, was it Chicago?, that claimed to have been branded as unpatriotic by Republicans in the senate race. Unpatriotic, especially in a time of war, is certainly a severe charge, yet I wouldn’t consider that senators good name ‘tarnished’ all that much.

    Now, if memory serves me correctly, that is how I saw the McCarthy matter, if I remember what I read correctly, he was A. Right in almost all instances, and B. Where he was wrong, while the charges were severe, the damage wasn’t too bad, certainly nothing to reverse his positives in A.

    With that said, I don’t want to give the impression that the guy should be peoples heroes, certainly not. I am not advising people to start putting his picture up on the wall in their homes. My only point here is that I think history was much more cruel to him than he rightly deserves.

  • Richard Thomas

    While I agree that there are levels of having one’s name tarnished, you are claiming that McCarthy was “Right in almost all instances.” But in order for you to prove this, we would need the individual names who McCarthy accused of being Soviet spies. And in addition, we would need a list of known Soviet spies so we could compare McCarthy’s list with the known Soviet spies.

    Two questions:

    Do you know where such a list exists to prove your point?

    When you say “Right in almost all instances,” what does “almost all instances” mean? 99 out of 100, 89 out of 100?

    You said:

    “Where he was wrong, while the charges were severe, the damage wasn’t too bad, certainly nothing to reverse his positives in A.”

    You are still saying that the end justifies the means and that it matters little if innocents are unjustly accused as long as criminals are punished. For me since there is injustice involved, it matters little if the crime or level of being tarnished was slight or severe. Innocent people were unjustly accused.

    You said:
    “With that said, I don’t want to give the impression that the guy should be peoples heroes, certainly not. I am not.”

    I don’t think you are. But I think it should be important to say that people with the power to prosecute others be held accountable for any injustices that they knowingly perform on other citizens.

  • I don’t think you are. But I think it should be important to say that people with the power to prosecute others be held accountable for any injustices that they knowingly perform on other citizens.

    I think we are speaking past each other, I am not arguing that McCarthy was a great guy, only that history has been much more cruel to him than he rightly deserves. You bring up good points in what you say, and based on that, I accept that history should be somewhat cruel to him, my only point here is that the degree of cruelness is excessive to his actions.

    I think based on what the Venona transcripts and ex-KGB generals alone showed, we have to remove some of the previously held negativity, maybe not all, but some. Yet history tends to keep placing the guy in the same light as if the Venona transcripts and ex-KGB generals revealed nothing, and I think that is unfair. That is my only point.

  • I find this quote as anti-senmetic as the other one. (I’m sure Dr. Gelernter knows better than to conclude from the previous paragraph that I’m anti-Semitic, but third parties reading this should know that I believe Jews found their way to central roles in Communism for the same reason they have been disproportionately important in every other reform, revolutionary movement, and conspiracy of the last three centuries; to wit, on average they’re a standard deviation brighter than Gentiles. Talent will out, even if it does so in horrible ways. It’s hardly the Jews’ fault that Gentiles are, comparatively and Gaussianly speaking, dumber.)

    By stating Jews are a standard deviation smarter than gentiles is a myth that plays along with the old crafty, sinnister jew that you have to be really careful about because he will steal from you wirhout you knowing it. Jews are no smarter than gentiles. They may have a different work ethic and the culture values some forms of education more than others, but I do not think Jews are born with any more intellegence than gentiles.

    Also, thwe idead that Jews are dispraportianately involved with conspiracies over the last 3 centuries is a baseless accusation. What conspiracy were Jews dispaportianately involved in over the last 300 years. Again Jews are being looked at to be schemers.

  • hmmm, never looked at it from that angle. Maybe you’re reading too much into it. From my reading, all he is saying is that Jews were disproportionately involved in movements simply because they tend to be smarter than others, nothing more and nothing less.

    I didn’t see any connection to sinister Jews, or any such thing.

  • I know you are not anti-semetic HP.

    I just don’t know why he has to single out Jews in this discussion. I guess I need the context of the whole discussion

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