First, Jonah Goldberg @ National Review (bold emphasis mine):
"A few years ago, during the worst part of the Iraq war, I wrote a column saying that Iraq needed a Pinochet type to bring order to Iraq and help develop democratic and liberal institutions. To this day, I get vicious hate mail from liberal and leftist readers for my "pro-dictator" stance. Meanwhile, Thomas Friedman, golden boy of the NYT op-ed page, is writing love-letters to dictatorships because they have the foresight to invest in electric batteries and waterless toilets or something. It looks like there's reason to hope I was wrong about Iraq (I certainly hope I was). But at least I favored a dictatorship of sorts — for another country! — because I thought it would lead to a liberal democracy. Here, Friedman lives in a liberal democracy but has his nose pressed up against the candy store window of a cruel, undemocratic, regime and all he can do is drool over the prospect of having the same power here."
Second, make sure your bladder is empty for this one, from Mark Steyn, also posting at National Review's "The Corner".
China "already has the most gender-distorted population cohort in history — and, as a rule, tens of millions of surplus young men with no gals to hand is not a recipe for social stability unless you're planning on becoming the first gay superpower since Sparta."
And my final thought.
Do you remember the political environment around the time of the release of the final of the Star Wars Prequels, Revenge of The Sith? The rage among the Left was the comparison of George W. Bush to Darth Vader and the Emporer, Palpatine.
I recall walking back to the train station from my office, going home for the evening one night. On the cover of Chicago's Redeye (which I call the LeftEye, for obvious reasons) I noticed a picture of Darth Vader's helmet, with the Title "Darth Bush?" The Left was all up in arms over the Patriot Act, the invasion of Iraq and the "illegal war". To the Left, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader was a perfect analogy for George W. Bush. They were giddy over their own insight.
But after reading Friedman's article, isn't it safe to say that the Left who agree with him have more in common with Vader and The Emporer? Here's an exchange between Obi Wan and Anakin from the movie:
I've had difficulty locating it in the transcript from the second prequel, Attack of the Clones, but I can also recall Anakin in that movie making a comment to his love interest, Padme, about the inability of free people and legislatures to accomplish things in the interest of the people. To Padme's horror, Anakin made the comment that people should be "forced" to do things that are in their own best interests.
OBI-WAN: The Senate is expected to vote more executive powers to the Chancellor today.
ANAKIN: Well, that can only mean less deliberating and more action. Is that bad? It will make it easier for us to end this war.
OBI-WAN: Anakin, be careful of your friend Palpatine
My whole point here is that elitists like Friedman are the ones more akin to Darth Vader. To their ilk, mandates from an "enlightened elite" are more productive than democracy. I can almost here a metallic wheeze coming from Friedman's picture.