Teddy Unbearable

by Don Boudreaux on December 8, 2011

in History, Hubris and humility, Man of System

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Impressed that Pres. Obama spoke yesterday on “the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s legendary ‘New Nationalism’ speech 101 years ago,” E.J. Dionne is delighted that Mr. Obama is now channeling the ghost of the 26th President of the U.S. (“Obama’s New Square Deal,” Dec. 8).

I don’t share this delight, for H.L. Mencken was spot-on correct when he wrote of T.R. that “the America that Roosevelt dreamed of was always a sort of swollen Prussia, truculent without and regimented within.”*

The vision that motivated T.R. – and that transports too many modern-day “Progressives” into raptures – is repellent to anyone who cherishes peace and individual freedom.

Donald J. Boudreaux

* H.L. Mencken, “Roosevelt I” (1920), reprinted in Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy (New York: Knopf, 1949); p. 233.

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Fred December 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

Likewise the modern-day “Progressives” find peace and individual freedom to be repellent.

Invisible Backhand December 8, 2011 at 11:59 am

I’m a progressive and I don’t, I fight every day for my peace and freedom. I just know I’m not a one man army and have to band together with my fellows to fight a more powerful evil.

Hayek needed a way out of England, too. He had acquired an American backer, the libertarian Volcker Fund, of Kansas City, Mo., a foundation willing to pay him $10,000 a year, two or three times an ordinary academic salary.


Fred December 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Progressives celebrate the government making decisions for the individual, which is the antithesis of individual freedom. Implementing government imposed decisions can only be done through force, and force is not exactly peaceful.

Josh S December 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

He means he celebrates the individual freedom to do things he approves of.

Seth December 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm


Invisible Backhand December 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Progressives celebrate the government making decisions for the individual,

That’s an incredibly vague statement. And why ‘celebrate’? Is that what we do on the 4th of July?

Fred December 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

If you were any more obtuse you’d be a full one hundred eighty degrees.

Invisible Backhand December 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm

All governments make decisions for the individual, and all non governments make decisions for the individual (think vikings making the decision for you to stop living because you live in a non government paradise). So Progressives celebrate the government making decisions for the individual, is so vague it’s meaningless.

You’re problem is you don’t know what you think until Foxnews tells you what to think. That’s why a simple challenge to your asinine statement gobsmacked you.

Fred December 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I don’t watch Fox News, but thanks for the straw man.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm

You are the evil.

anthonyl December 9, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Banding together is the problem. Politics is nothing but banding together to force others to your will.
I have been thinking about the US pronouncement that gays will now be helped around the world! Well what the hell was the policy before? This is the trouble with banding. It causes rifts and artificial barriers that lead to inconsistencies of thought. One week gays can marry then the next they can’t. It’s wierd!

Invisible Backhand December 10, 2011 at 1:45 am

Politics is nothing but banding together to force others to your will.

And if my will is not to be killed by Vikings?

I know the game is hard and frightens you, but you can’t wish it away like a child.

Greg Webb December 10, 2011 at 1:48 am

Now back to your video games, Irritable Bowel.

vidyohs December 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Who are these progressives of whom is being spoken, and where does one find one? Surely not on the looney left, those guys are as regressive as it gets.

I assure you all, that if you label them as they are regressives, they will know and understand that you are addressing them. The label slap upside their head(s) is just to blatant for even the broken brained to miss it.

Daniel Kuehn December 8, 2011 at 11:09 am

Well something’s wrong here.

After all, I cherish peace and individual freedom and while obviously I’m sure I disagree with some elements of Theodore Roosevelt’s thought I think he was a pretty good guy and I certainly endorse what Obama highlighted.

Could you possibly make your arguments about Roosevelt without implicitly implicating people as being against peace and freedom? Aside from being poorly argued, that’s kind of a low blow, Don.

Don Boudreaux December 8, 2011 at 11:22 am

Daniel: It’s a letter-to-the-editor, not a history treatise.

I recommend that you find and read Mencken’s essay (referenced above) on T.R. – it’s not all negative, by the way.

But, just e.g., here’s just one ref for you to catch a glimpse of why I believe T.R. to have been a truly awful president:


Daniel Kuehn December 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Oh by all means raise concerns with Roosevelt…

I guess I’m just curious why this stuff always has such broad implications for our dedication to peace and freedom :)

The Other Eric December 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Focusing attention on the autocratic nature of TR’s political thought has broad implications if only people knew more history.

When a progressive suggests we don’t need to waste time with elections (Democratic politician in the Carolinas), or suggests any opposition to a shoddy piece of legislation is un-American (Democratic Speaker of the House), or tries to pack the Supreme Court, or uses the IRS to investigate and attack rivals, or… well, there’s a history of “progressives” in this country bulldozing over rights and legal restraints in the name of “progress.” And when those progressives also intervene in the affairs of other countries, 18 more times than non-progressive chief executives, it matters.

Randy December 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Personally, I think of any politician who favors intervention in the affairs of other countries as a Progressive – and yes, this includes Reagan and Bush. They may think of themselves as Conservatives, but they are following a Progressive tradition whether they know it or not.

Fred December 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Foreign intervention exists in the intersection between progressivism and conservativism, but not in libertarianism.

enoriverbend December 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

“When a progressive suggests we don’t need to waste time with elections (Democratic politician in the Carolinas)…”

I was astonished to find out current NC Gov. Perdue was NOT misquoted on that. She really said out loud what many of the ruling elite silently wish for.

On the plus side, we ARE going to have an election and she doesn’t look too good:

g-dub December 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I guess I’m just curious why this stuff always has such broad implications for our dedication to peace and freedom

He was president of the US, thus holding a lot of political power and heavy influence on peace and freedom in his time, and in times to come. I mean, there’s some history for you.

“If I see far past the constitution, it is because I stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before me.”–Obama

Okay. I made that up. Obama isn’t *that* honest. If he was, I wouldn’t of had to say it for him.

Yosef December 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm


Theodore Roosevelt was so repellent to Americans who love peace and freedom that they had his face carved on mountain as if to say “Never Forget”

Josh S December 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Even Obama doesn’t agree with his own speech–everyone should play by the same rules, he says, except, of course, Solyndra, Goldman Sachs, Eric Holder, Fannie Mae, LightSquared, Congress, SEIU, the TSA, etc.

And isn’t that the whole idea behind government intervention? The government chooses which firms, classes, interest groups, etc. deserve a reprieve from the rules everyone else has to play by in the market, and grants them special regulatory privileges, or guarantees their profits, or backs their loans, or spends money especially on them.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 8, 2011 at 1:34 pm

And Josh S goes yard with a grand slam…

Michael December 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm


Jeff Neal December 9, 2011 at 10:30 am

Also, Josh – the “same rules” rhetoric sounds a little empty when wrapped around and buried within a bunch of “tax the rich . . . pay their fair share” language. As I’ve learned recently from The Constitution of Liberty (F Hayek) there is no justice or morality in a majority passing a set of rules (a tax code) that applies to a minority (the top X% richest people) and not the majority (the other (100-X)%. A progressive tax code is immoral, full stop.

Ken December 9, 2011 at 10:41 am

This. It makes a farce of equal protection and enshrines the Nation of Men. Everything else was merely coda.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm

There are so many “progressive” ideas that would be stopped dead in their tracks if we really believed that the law applied to everyone, equally, without exception.

SmoledMan December 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm

You endorse Obama’s slur on capitalism?

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Theodore Roosevelt’s thought I think he was a pretty good guy and I certainly endorse what Obama highlighted.

Surest sign of someone programmed by an indoctrination system masquerading as education.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm

OK Daniel, you want specifics? Hang on, its going to get rough on your seventh grade civics sensibilities.

Of course to anybody who was educated in public schools in the last many decades, “TR” was always represented as one of the “great” Presidents, mostly revolving around a superficial and simple-minded interpretation of him as a trust-busting conservationist with a distinguished military background. Few other presidents, even those whose pictures adorned grade-school classrooms a few decades back have received have escaped a healthy scrutiny of their record.

In fact “Teddy” Roosevelt wasn’t just the worst sort of carnal retail politician who instinctively fanned the flames of public resentment, including such things as racism, he was an inveterate interventionist with the capacity to inflict damage extending decades beyond his term in office. Let’s examine just one of his “signature” “accomplishments”.

When the Interstate Commerce Commission was created in 1887, one of the first things America’s first bureaucrat- Henry Carter Adams did (unsurprisingly) was seek more power to regulate railroads. He received additional doses of power with successive legislation such as the Elkins Act of 1903, but nothing like he really wanted, until TR pushed for and received the Hepburn Act of 1906. Here finally Adams had power like never before.

The Hepburn Act was the crown jewel in the empowerment of the ICC to micromanage every aspect of the railroads operation-where they could go, when they could begin service, end service, what they could offer, what appliances would be put on locomotives and rolling stock and what they could charge and how they could charge it (there was an interesting case I read as an undergraduate, that revolved around how an executive at Lincoln Arc Welder advanced his career by having their welding machines reclassified as a different class of machinery so as to allow lower shipping rates).

Not surprisingly, political forces pushed the ICC to restrict rates, and when World War I came, a decade of government induced starvation made the railroads unable to react, and provided a great opportunity for the feds to nationalize the railroads, creating the United States Railway Administration. Among its initiatives was to insist on standardized locomotive designs, based on the premise that the many different designs were exercises in vanity and wasteful. It was also oblivious to the fact that steam locomotives are very much special purpose machines, which were often designed not for a specific railroad, but a specific hill on a specific railroad. After their emancipation, railroads soldiered on for decades under the ICC’s yolk, and making adaptions like reducing speeds, just as new competition from trucks would require the opposite.

Finally, the rigor mortis of the death of a thousand cuts set in during the 1960’s and in the 1970’s and then several very interdependent Northeast railroads collapsed. In response, Congress created Conrail in 1976, and now faced with the weight of that ponderous millstone of decades of regulatory excess, they took the initial steps to ending the federally imposed suffocation with the passage of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 and the Staggers Act in 1981. In 1995, that well noted free market radical Bill Clinton signed the ICC Termination Act.

But railroads are still regulated, so troll statists rejoice. The Federal Railroad Administration regulates safety (usually mandating operating practices that the railroads want EVERYBODY to follow and after some bad press) and the Surface Transportation Board still approves mergers, acquisitions and abandonment of service.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm


Few other presidents, even those whose pictures adorned grade-school classrooms a few decades back have escaped a healthy scrutiny of their record.

Price B December 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm


Josh S December 8, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Your tale makes it sound as though Congress is not good at engineering. This cannot be true. Everyone knows that you cannot get elected in America unless you are the sort of polymath who makes da Vinci look like a dunce.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 8, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Al little followup:

The end result of TR’s accomplishment:


Ben Rast December 8, 2011 at 11:39 am

Anyone else troubled by this equation: New Nationalism + Socialism = New National Socialism?

Don Boudreaux December 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

The two ideas are rather naturally attracted to each other, if for no reason other than that both spring from the notion that the interest of each individual is to be sacrificed for the good of some collective (a collective always ruled, of course, by animals who are “more equal than others”).

W.E. Heasley December 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Ah, a some animals system, obviously related to a some people system…..

“The fundamental principle of socialism is that its is appropriate to use force to organize society, to take from some and give to others. The government has nothing to give. The government is simply a mechanism which has the power to take from some to give to others. It is a way in which some people can spend other peoples’ money for the benefit of a third party – and not so incidentally themselves”.

The Invisible Hand in Economics and Politics, Milton Friedman, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1981, p11

Yes, some animals, some people……ah, the evil of it all!

Darren December 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm

And that collective will naturally be defined by the scope that power can be exercised, i.e., the nation.

tarran December 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Mr. Roosevelt is the Tom Sawyer of the political world of the twentieth century; always showing off; always hunting for a chance to show off; in his frenzied imagination the Great Republic is a vast Barnum circus with him for a clown and the whole world for audience; he would go to Halifax for half a chance to show off and he would go to hell for a whole one.

– Mark Twain

Michael E. Marotta December 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm

“… the first time, it is history; the second time, it is farce.” — Karl Marx in “The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon.”

His Dudeness December 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm

What a wonderful testimony to the wisdom and wit of the “Sage from Baltimore” that a century later his insights and opinions about his contemporaries like Theodore Roosevelt are still hilariously and wickedly trenchant. Is there a commentator today who could even stand in his shadow?

Rich Berger December 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm

And imagine what he might have said about Zero.

SmoledMan December 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Teddy Roosevelt & Woodrow Wilson ushered in neo-progressivism in America. The damage they wrought it still being felt today.

nailheadtom December 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm

” But this adviser also noted that Obama implicitly contrasted the flexibility of the Rooseveltian progressivism with the rigidity of the current brand of conservatism.” Dionne is simply producing gibberish.

“He also eviscerated supply-side economics, a theory promising that “if we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes — especially for the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger.” Wouldn’t “evisceration” be maybe a little more detailed?

“The official pointed to Obama’s strong commitment to education reform, including his critique in Osawatomie of “just throwing money at education.” Well, if they’re not going to just throw money at it, what, exactly, are they going to do?

Ryan Vann December 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Pretend their throwing is more accurate?

SmoledMan December 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Liberals like to point to the lack of regulation that allowed derivatives and MBS to be created.

Henri Hein December 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm

During the Bush years, I heard several friends clamor for TR. I found that ironic, as of all the past presidents, he reminds the most of Bush: an aggressive foreign policy and constant domestic meddling. He was the first neoconservative.

Jon Murphy December 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Wasn’t it Teddy who said “Walk softly and carry a big stick?”

Wasn’t it Teddy who staged a revolution in Panama so the US could get the land to build the Panama Canal?

Wasn’t it Teddy who parked 2 destroyers off the cost of Panama when the Panamanians wouldn’t let us build the Canal?

Wasn’t it Teddy who sent the “White Fleet” to circle the globe as a demonstration of American Power?


Jeff Neal December 9, 2011 at 10:35 am

What’s your point, sir?

Jon Murphy December 9, 2011 at 10:38 am

Just that, for a “Progressive”, he’s awfully imperialistic.

Josh S December 9, 2011 at 11:27 am

No, “for a Progressive,” that’s the norm. The whole point of Progressivism is that people need a little cudgeling now and then to move forward.

Josh S December 8, 2011 at 10:17 pm

George W Hitler was an anarcho-capitalist who used Atlas Shrugged as his policy program. After he and Greg Mankiw disestablished the government in 2002 and Darth Cheney orchestrated the sale of Nevada to Halliburton, everything in this country went to the dogs. He was nothing like Teddy Roosevelt.

Greg Webb December 8, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Hear, hear! A well written and thought out letter, Don!

Jon Murphy December 8, 2011 at 10:03 pm

All this being said about Teddy, I’m interested in hearing what people have to say about the National Park system he started. I know this is going to surprise many people here, but I am something of a conservationist. Living in New Hampshire, I love the parks and hiking trails up here (Mt. Washington is a climb I recommend for everyone).


GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Yeah, he’d didn’t start the NPS. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act, long after Roosevelt left office.

Jon Murphy December 9, 2011 at 7:28 am

I guess I meant he got the ball rolling. Similar to how JFK got the ball rolling on the Civil Rights Act although he didn’t pass it.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 9, 2011 at 9:01 am

Jon, his contribution was the 1906 Antiquities Act, something that gave him power. The movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was a n initiative of business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather.

TR’s “contribution” was the Antiquities Act of 1906-giving the President of the United States authority to, by executive order, restrict the use of particular public land owned by the federal government. (see wikipedia). Yes, a power grab.

Again, an inflated and uncritical account of TR exists in the public mindset.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 9, 2011 at 9:02 am

But i repeat myself.. never post before coffee..

Need.. Dunkin…

Jon Murphy December 9, 2011 at 10:22 am

That answers my question. Thanks

Ken December 9, 2011 at 10:57 am

Nock had some trenchant things to say about this in Our Enemy, the State.

Bill Stepp December 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm

A good book on King Roosevelt I is Bully Boy by Jim Powell.
The national parks should be in private hands.

Salt Water Economist December 8, 2011 at 11:10 pm

only an idiot would confuse a railroad monopoly with capitalism

one can one guess at how study and greedy railroads had to be to get bitch slapped by the Republican President

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 9, 2011 at 9:16 am

Only a moron, or a tool of the 19th century grange interests or the 21st century chemical industry, that dooesn’t want to be charged for the risk that shipping their product would assert a “railroad monopoly”.

Time to change your pseudonym Sewer water, this one’s thoroughly discredited.

Then again, its so much easier to repeat cliches then actually do the research.

vance armor December 9, 2011 at 8:51 am

The Republicans and Democrats are both Progressive political parties, at least since the disaster of 1952, when the Taft nomination was stolen by the globalist/international interventionist forces supporting Eisenhower. American Progressivism is one of the four deadly Western political ideologies of the twentieth century. These four deadly Western political ideologies are:

1. Soviet Communisim
2. Italian Fascism
3. German National Socialism
4. American Progressivism

Among these four deadly ideologies, American Progressivism is the WORST with regard to the state’s relationship to the human body. The Soviet Bolsheviks did not care too much about their hapless proletarians getting drunk on their own downtime, but American Progressives were intent upon abolishing demon rum from the planet. The world’s first controlled dangerous substances laws emerged in Progressive America. The world’s first mass concentration camp system emerged in Teddy Roosevelt’s genocidal war in the Philippines, where General Otis gave “shoot to kill” orders upon any Filipino male over the age of ten. Systematic and centrally planned political propaganda, with posters of a glaring Uncle Sam, began in the United States under the Wilson Administration. The world’s first totalitarian state in the West was Woodrow Wilson’s America, not Lenin’s Russia.

It is true that Soviet Communism was far worse, of course, with regard to private property than American Progressivism. It is true that German National Socialism was far worse with regard to race hatred than American Progressivism. But the eugenics movement in America was far more advanced in America than in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. Josef Mengele was financed by the Rockefeller Foundation. America had “fitter family” contests in the 1930s during the eugenics craze.

Progressivism in foreign policy is adopted by both political parties. Progressivism is the ideology of forced progress through statism. In foreign policy the Progressives will bomb the rest of the world to smithereens to achieve the New Jerusalem. Progressivism does not rely upon the “socialist” model to achieve its aims. It prefers “public-private partnerships,” like Fascist Italy. Corporate concentration of power in General Electric, Wal-Mart, Monsanto, McDonald’s, Comcast — all of this serves the interests of the Progressive population planners. Fiat currency and Keynesian economic management serve Progressive Imperialism as well, giving the banking class at the very top a privileged position. Why have freedom of the press when Jeff Immelt and Rupert Murdoch can get together and discuss the “rules of engagement” between Fox and MSNBC? Why do you think there are more than 10,000 rule changes a month at the SEC and IRS if such “regulatory agencies” are not captured by those they “regulate?” Why have voting and the ballot box when the policy choices between the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration are not fundamentally different from one another?

The people have very little control or opportunity to changes things under the Two Party Dictatorship of the Progressive Empire. Newt Gingrich is as much a Progressive as Hillary Clinton. Milton Friedman was a “free market Progressive,” an economist of Empire, as much as Joseph Stiglitz or Paul Krugman. Friedman simply wanted free markets within the imperial rafters, but the rafters themselves — such as the Federal Reserve and the Pentagon — should be reinforced in Friedmanite progressivism rather than questioned or dismantled.

Ron Paul is the only major political voice that questions the ENTIRETY of the Progressive Project.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 9, 2011 at 11:46 am

Among these four deadly ideologies, American Progressivism is the WORST with regard to the state’s relationship to the human body.

There is plenty to criticize in the U.S., but to make a statement like that is patently idiotic.

You do a horrible disservice to the millions that were gassed and incenerated by the Nazis and millions starved in the Ukraine by the Soviets and imprisoned in their gulags. Have you ever discussed this with a Holocaust survivor or somebody who lived in the Soviret Union or one of its satellites? I’m not even including those killed by Pol Pot, Castro, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein or any myriad of other lesser tyrannies.

If you want to know why Paul is destined to being the mascot of a small but intense group, rather than somebody with a chance, it’s this kind of lunacy which flows so frequently from his merry band of tinfoil hat wearing, Star-Trek convention refugee groupies-even more than his self-immolating vision (indistinguishable from Obama’s grand apology tour) of international relations.

Grood grief man, get a grip.

Jon Murphy December 9, 2011 at 11:51 am

Hey! Not all of us RP-ers wear tin hats! Mine just happens to be made of aluminium foil.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 9, 2011 at 11:59 am

I stand corrected on the metallic composition of your headwear.

Of course mine is green celluloid.

(I’m not kidding, I really own a green eyeshade to remind me of the days when accountants were fastidious, dull folks working with few computational aids-but reliable and impeecable).

Fortunately, the Brits still make reasonable similar items, used for the game of lawn bowling-its so much better to not have to wear something flammable.


Jon Murphy December 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm

“Experience has been shown that a stick of dynamite in the hands of a child is far safer than the average eyeshade.” That is yellow journalism at its best!

And I am not kidding about my headwear either. A trick I learned is to line the inside of your winter hat with aluminium foil. It acts as an insolater and keeps your head warm. Granted, it can be very cold when you first put it on, but that soon changes.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 9, 2011 at 11:52 am

Now if you want to consider the forty-million summarily executed in that ghoulish sacrament of the left, I’m listening. There’s been no greater mass assault on the individual for the crime of powerlessness than that.

vance armor December 9, 2011 at 7:32 pm

GAAP rules: I mean what I say and I don’t take it back. Certainly, the race hatred of the Nazis was far worse and led to the Shoah. Of course, the Holodomor was the result of the Soviets’ abolition of private property and “material balance planning.” American Progressivism is “less worse” than the Nazis and Communists in these arenas, but when you consider the TRAJECTORY of American Progressivism and the prospect of having every child in America microchipped, where the individual’s blood sugar and heart beat are regulated by the state and monitored through global positioning satellites — well, I do not take a word back about American Progressivism being the worst among the four deadly ideologies with regard to the state’s relationship to the human body.

vance armor December 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm

American Progressivism, also, has no problem with “Churchillian war ethics.” Terror bombing of civilian targets — Tokyo, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Dresden. Churchill targeted civilian sectors in terror bombing campaigns before Hitler did so. East London was hit by the Nazis in retaliation to civilian bombing by the British. The Nazis abided by the Geneva Convention with regard to Western POWS, at least, and they refused to engage in chemical warfare — e.g. mustard gas. There is no doubt that Hitler was a horrible war criminal and mass murderer, but so was Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, et al. 1000 years ago we will (hopefully) look upon the whole lot of them as sick killers who used a particular mechanism — the total war state — for their mass killing campaigns.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 10, 2011 at 12:15 am

Terror bombing of civilian targets — Tokyo, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Dresden.

“Terror Bombing”? You really are gullible. Imperial Japan’s reluctance to quit was attested to by their refusal to surrender after Hiroshima.

I’m sorry for those people that were affected by the bomb. It is the nature of war that the innocent suffer. One of them was my uncle, who after participating in a little picnic called Tarawa was assigned to Hiroshima. When he got back stateside thinking it was time to get a job and try to forget the pleasantries-it affected his daughter, born with terrible deformities-who languished for nine months and died.

The war killed millions-but the fault was with the Axis- and I’m glad that the fastest means were used to end it. As much as my uncle’s life was derailed by the bomb, he and hundreds of thousands on both sides got some chance to live, rather being wasted in an invasion that would’ve taken years and wasted perhaps millions of American and Japanese lives-for what? To satisfy the then unforseeable lunacy of the dovish crowd whose moral judgment is as bankrupt as it is errant-that would’ve been fine reason to sacrifice more lives and prolong the damn thing.


GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 10, 2011 at 12:19 am

The Nazis abided by the Geneva Convention with regard to Western POWS,

Now I’ve heard it all, a defense of the Nazis war conduct.

Did you ever think they were to busy incinerating Jews and killing civilians in occupied lands?

You are really distinguishing yourself as completely deranged.

Vance Armor December 10, 2011 at 6:33 am

Truth alone offends. Calling me deranged is not an argument. It is an ad hominem. Give me an argument.

Jon Murphy December 10, 2011 at 7:55 am

Gentlemen, please! We are all on the same side here. Let us not spend our time attacking each other, but uniting against our common enemy.

War is horrible for all the reasons you both mentioned here. That is why I say (with the most literal meaning) God damn war.

But that is not the issue here. The issue here, that both of you agree upon, is the inherent tyranny of big governments on their people and others.

I beg you, friends, not to spill our blood so needlessly. We all agree World War II was horrible. But we need to focus on preventing such a war again, not arguing about who committed more crimes. We must fight against all forms of coercion that lead to tyranny. Unite, my battle brothers. Our enemy seeks to spread disinformation within our ranks; to divide and isolate us. But keep a clear mind and an eye on our goal. Freedom and Justice cannot be defeated when her advocates stand united.

Sorry, got carried away again. But seriously, you both are arguing semantics.

Josh S December 9, 2011 at 11:25 am

I’m not saying TR was a good President, I’m saying Obama would be a less terrible President if he would go out in the woods and shoot a bear every so often.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 9, 2011 at 11:30 am

Perhaps in a bipartisan gesture, he could go with former Vice President Cheney.

Jon Murphy December 9, 2011 at 11:35 am


g-dub December 10, 2011 at 12:23 am

lol! Sporting penalties for “sporting” fouls!

g-dub December 10, 2011 at 12:21 am

He’d be a better president if that was all he did.

Vance Armor December 10, 2011 at 6:45 am

GAAP writes: “It is in the nature of war that the innocent suffer.” That is like saying it is in the nature of providing nationalized health care that there will be rationing — so let there be rationing. It is like saying that it is in the nature of minimum wage legislation that there will be unemployment — so let there be unemployment. I cannot for the life of me understand how those who decry state violence at the micro level defend it at the macro level.

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