As "everyman", let me say this: The crap is swift flowing downhill. Equilibrium is askew. Something big is about to happen. It might not be tomorrow, or next month, but it will be soon. The center of gravity has shifted too fast. The status quo is spent, and there are enough of us with a kindred spirit who are going to fall back upon principle. That principle will inspire us to take positions we would have been too timid to entertain mere months ago. Bob Dylan long ago sang 'The Times are Changin''. Little did he know it would be the American Spirit that would make a hard stand.
I recently paid a visit to San Francisco. It is a wonderful city. Beautiful along the steeped hills. Fragrant aromas and colorful people. This is life in the bluest of the blue cities America has to offer. Although I was acutely cognizant of this fact, I enjoyed every turn, every vista, and most of the people I encountered there. Frisco is simply shinin'. Sweet and easy.
But the photograph above, taken in that fair city by Zombie the day after the '04 elections, sums up very well the sad problem we Americans share among ourselves.
Look at that fellow's face.
Yeah, I voted for W, just like he voted for Kerry. Had the John won, I would have been sad and perturbed, to be sure, but I would not have indicted the 'blue' areas the way he did my homeland. That sort of expression would not have crossed my mind. Not in a million years. It was only an election, after all. Zombie's image captures a sick, pathetic pathos, which is not good for this nation.
The too veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas just said she would 'kill herself' should Dick Cheney decide to run for President in '08. Really? Pathetic pathology on her part, friends.
There is something dread wrong with the left in this country. Since America's inception, there has been vigorous, oft rancorous, debate over the direction our nation should take. I deeply disagree with that fellow's sentiments. I am offended by it, but I would not express myself likewise, because I do not believe Americans should lower themselves to that level. To do so exposes a lack of compromise, upon which we have exisited forever, save the uncivil war in 1861. Let's please not go there again...
The photograph does not bode well.
"[T]he policy or advantage of [immigration] taking place in a body (I mean the settling of them in a body) may be much questioned; for, by so doing, they retain the Language, habits and principles (good or bad) which they bring with them. Whereas by an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures and laws: in a word, soon become one people."
-- George Washington (letter to John Adams, 15 November 1794)
Reference: The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, Fitzpatrick, Ed., vol. 34 (American Memory Co)
Know of anywhere in the world where the problems of "immigration taking place in a body" are manifesting? Dig in your heels.
It's not a matter of crime. If you think so after nearly four years, then you are naive beyond reason. It's not a matter of understanding the root cause. If you believe it's about poverty in the third world, or America's over-reaching hand around the globe, then you are either ideologically corrupt, or you are a decided enemy of our way and life in the western world.
We mourn the deaths of innocents. That is why we will hunt down and kill Islamic killers wherever they are found. Even if it takes 156 years. That is a sad pronouncement, but it is grounded in a reality that acknowledges this: "if you won't sit and reason, and if you insist on killing us and our way of life, then you have made a serious mistake. Prepare to die."
In the end, on this world, human beings have the inate right to fight fire with fire; they have a Providential right to defend life and liberty. We're doing it, come hell or high water. If you hunt for me in the name of "Peace", ala Islam, then I will shoot back. Bank on it.
Grab your legacy already
Yesterday, this old gentleman finally showed his hand. Despite the MSM taking Mr Felt and putting him upon its lime-lit white horse of the hero of the moment, I believe his actions as 'Deep Throat' were as despicable as the reporters and newspaper that reported them.
Ben Stein's quick article in The American Spectator sums up my (and I would suspect many others') sentiments.
From Ratzinger to Benedict XVI
Frankly, being the light-weight Protestant I am, I wondered why Cardinal Ratzinger took that particular name. Fortunately, I ran across the answer, and it's a pretty good one. The following text is taken from an interview of Father Joseph Fessio, Chancellor/Provost to Ave Maria University in Florida, who has been a good friend and student of Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI for over 30 years. The interview was conducted by Hugh Hewitt, and you can read the whole exchange at Radioblogger. It is well worth the read if you want to know more about this amazing and faithful follower of Christ.
HH: Do you expect this to be a time of renewal under this new Pope for the American and the worldwide Catholic Church?
JF: I do. He chose the name Benedict. It's very significant. You know, Benedict was a young man in the worst days of the crumbling Roman Empire. It was corrupt and decadent from within. And it was being attacked from without, and Benedict did not stay in the city where he was magistrate, the city of Rome, and try to change it, try to improve it. He left with the simple desire of giving himself to God in prayer. Others joined him and they offered God worship and honor and praise and glory. He built a monastery to do that. They consecrated their lives to the Lord, and that monastery bred others and others until finally by 1200, there were 40,000, 40,000 Benedictine monasteries in Europe. That's like having 1,000 in every state in the Union. And those monasteries preserved Greek and Roman culture, they educated generations of young men and women, they laid the foundations for the great Cathedrals of Europe for the Christian nations of Europe. They were the ones that led to Medieval Christendom, this great civil and social society that gave glory to God. And I think that's why St. Benedict's called the father of Europe.
JF: And I think that Cardinal Ratzinger has chosen this name partly because he wants to lead the way to the re-Christianization of Europe and the evangelization of the world. And he wants to do it through prayer.
The international left's concern for human rights turns out to be nothing more than a useful weapon for its anti-Americanism. Jeane Kirkpatrick pointed out this selective concern for the victims of U.S. allies (such as Chile) 25 years ago. After the Cold War, the hypocrisy continues. For which Arab people do European hearts burn? The Palestinians. Why? Because that permits the vilification of Israel -- an outpost of Western democracy and, even worse, a staunch U.S. ally. Championing suffering Iraqis, Syrians and Lebanese offers no such satisfaction. Hence, silence.
That choice language falls toward the end of Dr Krauthammer's latest column, entitled What's Left, Shame?, on page A23 of the WaPo. Bush's humility, like Reagan's, is a key ingredient in his bold success as a shaker of policy and a mover of world history.
We've heard, for years and years and years, about the negative vibrations from the South. Racism! Bigotry! Hatred! Who in tarnation caused this to begin with? Liberal effetes, that's who. High nosed, righteous minds...who never bothered to walk the ground, and swat the misquitos, of the South to begin with.
We Southerners are sick and tired of liberal city-bigots in the north telling us what their perception of right is. To you who have never lived long enough in our land to perceive the truth of this region: we are sick and tired of your judgment. You know not of what you speak.
I got ticked, and I got proud, of this collection of CS Monitor letters. Read 'em all -- you'll get the picture. As for me, I'll stick to what I know best, and that is: a love of my heritage (including the 'flag' and its battlefield history), my brothers (of all stripes and colors), and my culture (hospitality -- check the etymology of the word).
The South has, despite the unceasing attacks upon its meaning and cultural thrust is going to retain its identity. We are not to be 'homogenized'; you snobbish 'hippies' can rant all you want about utopia. It is not the UN's ideal. Utopia, at least on this earth, consists of 'diversity', and the South is a distinct ingredient.
Bono may be next World Bank Head
I thought I had heard it all when Jimmy Carter won his Nobel Peace Prize. Now this. What next? Tim Robbins assumes the reins of US Ambassador to the UN?
U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow has confidence in Bono. Snow said, ‘He's somebody I admire. He does a lot of good in this world of economic development.’
Other names under consideration include former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina, Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor and former Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Christine Todd Whitman, according to this Business World article.
Geez, I don't know. The last time I got a good look at the man (whose music I generally admire), was his band's Super Bowl performance a couple of years back. The fellow looked rather grundgy -- a bit short on the shampoo, dull razor, wearing threads longing for the laund-ro-mat. Call me...stodgy?...but I prefer my bankers to look the part...
The news also places Bono in nomination for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
Oh, my. Oh, my!
Remember Ed Asner and "Not in Our Name?" How about Sean Penn's intellectual tomes from his rich, fact-finding forays into pre post-Saddam Iraq? Or the great French statesman, de Villepin's brave confrontations against the evil US on the UN floor? Michael Moore and his 'Minutemen' of Iraq? Bushitler? Ronald Raygun?
"The lesson of these last weeks is that it turns out Washington's Zionists know the Arab people a lot better than Europe's Arabists." Hoowhee, Mark Steyn, you are one for pithy zingers!
The Left is again using its superior intellect to configure the rightness of riding the wrong side of history. So it would seem. Let's take the recent happenings in Lebanon as an example:
"The fact that there are people in the streets of Beirut calling for Syrian withdrawal would have been inconceivable six months ago," said Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton's former National Security Adviser. "I realize that my partisan friends would not like it if I said it, but the answer is, yes, there has been some success."
Last saturday capped an astonishing week: an unrehearsable combination of tragedy, popular will, carefully coordinated behind-the-scenes diplomacy and unusual allied unanimity. The most electrifying moment came on Monday, when 25,000 Lebanese defied a government ban and staged a rally in Martyrs' Square to coincide with a parliamentary debate on the Valentine's Day massacre of Hariri, which was widely believed to be the work of Syria. The Beirut gathering was as unprecedented as it was diverse, in a country where power is constitutionally divided among sectarian communities. Troops and riot police deployed around the city center, but they did not stop thousands from joining the peaceful throng. Inside, the parliamentary debate dissolved into chaos after pro-Syrian Prime Minister Omar Karami stunned the chamber by announcing his resignation. "Real independence is not given," said Issaf Chaker Skinner, a Lebanese woman in the joyous crowd outside. "It must be taken." The unprecedented images of people power that beamed across the Arab world on al-Jazeera, said State Department officials, were almost as important as the event itself. -- Time Magazine's Michael Duffy
What are we seeing in these days? Well, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are all in the midst of a controlled revolution. Whether it is the same old 'one step forward, two steps back', or something a bit more -- time will tell. I believe it is the latter. The Left wants the former, oh, you know they do. You see, its all about the failure of the hated, chimp-like cowboy from Texas. This, for the Left, is victory. Never mind problem-solving in the real -- the Left would prefer that it remain upon the blackboard -- the better to nuance and fine-tune their utopian future (always in the future) ideals.
Morning in the Middle-east. Grand, isn't it?
You may have felt the sharp pangs of "data rape", or you may yet be blissfully ignorant. As for me, I've seen it in my family. As of today, it is the victim's burden to undue the transgressions upon him. Read this WaPo article for your edification -- important information is contained therein.
More importantly, we will all probably have free access to one complete credit report, per year, from each of the big three Credit Reporting Agencies: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experion (formerly TRW).
The NYT article: "When Good News Feels Bad". Writer Kurt Anderson confesses (for himself, most New Yorkers, and liberals in general) to what we conservatives have been saying since, oh, 9/12/01.
Seriously: The success of the elections poses a major intellectual-moral-political problem for people in this city. The cognitive dissonance is palpable.
New Yorkers think we are smarter than other Americans, that the richness and difficulty of life here give our intelligence a kind of hard-won depth and nuance and sensitivity to contradictions and ambiguity. We feel we are practically French. Most New Yorkers are also liberals. And most liberals, wherever they live, believe that they are smarter than most conservatives (particularly George W. Bush).
And finally, most liberals and New Yorkers suspect that we may be too smart for our own good. It is a form of self-flattery as self-criticism. During these past few years, I have heard it said again and again that liberals・ineffectiveness derives from their inability to see the world in the simple blacks and whites of the Limbaughs and Hannitys and Bushes. (Why else, the argument goes, did John Kerry lose?)
Read this piece, if for no other reason than to watch an earnest liberal mind grapple with the truth -- the 'black-and-white truth' -- of the issue at hand. Also, catch the jab Anderson is compelled to make at Kos (hehe).
But Carter and Kerry and Old Europe were wrong, and the absurd absolutist simpleton was right. Iraq is free not just because of the military skill of America and her allies but because of the political will of one man, who stuck to his guns against the opposition of the Eurocynics, the U.N. do-nothings, the Democratic Party weathervanes, the media doom-mongers, and the unreal realpolitik grandees of his own party -- the Scowcrofts and Eagleburgers.
Mark Steyn, missed him! He's back. He's on track.
His latest, inimitable, concise article disses American Democrats, the UN, and the Eurobureaucracy in equal measures.
The Dems have no strategy other than to complain, whine, and complain.
The UN complains of US foreign policy, but rolls like a wet noodle in the face of murderous, genocidal catastropy on a scale of Stalin.
The European pension schemes are a sinking ship, dependent upon the very life force of Islam . . . oh, irony of ironies!
Thanks to Kellipundit for the general, 'Mark-is-back' heads-up.
Kudos to our majority-elected President! Thank you, W, for placing those choked-off, obstructed judicial nominees back into consideration. Force the up-or-down vote!
"To replay this narrow and completed debate demonstrates the Bush administration's failure to craft a positive agenda for the American people," [Senate Minority Leader Harry] Reid said yesterday after the renominations were announced.
Reid is just a Senator who was elected to his position after the fact. The debate was never completed. That would have happened ONLY had the nominations been placed on the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote. No, the issue is not Bush's 'positive agenda', it is the Dem's obstructionism. You think we can't see that?Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat and member of the Judiciary Committee, said, "The president looks like he is still more interested in picking fights than in picking judges."
Mr Kennedy, is the epitome of the pot calling the kettle black. His public existence has been reduced to obstructionism. He has offered nothing substantive in the way of a bridge-solution concerning this impasse. Golly, someone research what happened when FDR packed the court and changed America in the 30's please."The nuclear option (i.e., changing the Senate rules of procedure) is aptly named because it will blow up the Senate," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat. "We don't know if Senator Frist has 51 'yes' votes, but it would be a tragedy for the Senate and for the country if he does. It would reverse almost 200 years of history and dramatically change what the Senate has always been."
You spell the rest of "b.s."Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican and member of the Judiciary Committee, said that for 200 years, judges have passed on a straight majority vote, by which all of the filibustered nominees would be confirmed.
"It would make no sense to require Republicans to be elected by a 60 percent vote, while only requiring 51 percent of Democrats," he said. "The Senate should reject the double standard that Democrats have created for confirming President Bush's nominees and restore our constitutional and traditional standards."
Cut to the chase! We re-elected W, and put four more Republicans in the Senate. Give us an up-or-down vote on these nominees, and choke the obstructing whine.
Quotes from this Charles Hurt WaPo article.
98% (about $203497) of all political donations by Google employees went to the Dem cause last year. That tells you alot. These sharp geeks spend their brain capital on a worthwhile endeavor, but the political end of the cranium is all mush. We common-sense types thank all Googlers for your technical know-how. But please, spend a little time and learn about the real world while you are at it! You are not spending your money wisely.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech, American Society of Newspaper Editors, 16 April 1953
So well put, General. I agree. I, too, have my little utopian shelf upon which like sentiments are placed, only to settle, agog, and to gather dust. But, I do hold out Hope. I think we all do, every one of us with a heart. My problem is this: for every gun made, warship launched, and every ordinance expended -- if those explosions are not answered in kind, then the blood they draw is lost in the mud of victim hell and grief.
Freedom comes with a price. And I know, dear hero, that most of those who use your quote in this day, are principally those who use it out of context. Thank you for your meritorious service, above and beyond the call of duty.
So where are they now as the Democrats are set to name wild-eyed ultraliberal Howard Dean as the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee?
Consider this: If, on the cusp of the first President Bush losing the 1992 election, the Republican National Committee had united around the idea of having his conservative base-rousing primary challenger Pat Buchanan be the next party chairman, how would the media cover the story? You can bet the farm they would have shouted from the rooftops that the GOP had a death wish, that the lemmings were pouring over the cliff, that the Republicans were forsaking every American voter in the middle for the foam-flecked extremists.
Thank you, Brent Bozelle!
Roll the muffin again. What? For the 50th time? Come on guys (i.e., MSM and Ward Churchillians), those cutesy, sapsy, vomitous, idealogic folks we know we won't hear a peep from over the erstwhile Vermont kingpin).
But then, having tasted their sour-mash (less the yeast) for this long, it does not matter. Bring Howard Dean on! Let the NPR cheerleaders and their guests sing his praises (the chorus line is STRAINED), because here is a guy to lead the yawying left, left. Ever outward!
One day (probably in most of our lifetimes), the old chain of national unity is gonna SNAP, and when it does, we'll just see who the 'Murc'ns are.
Saints preserve us (one more time).
As bizarre as it might seem, liberal media bias is proving to be a boon for the GOP. In its complete Bush-era meltdown, the liberal media elite is applying absolutely no brakes to the Dean "revolution" taking over the DNC. They are moving further and further to the left, and the media are offering nothing but happy talk. The cliff is in sight, and the Pied Piper press is set to lead the party over the edge.
As the debate between a largely neo-conservative 'red' America and a largely idealist-egalitarianist (i.e. UN-wishing) 'blue' America rages, prominent commentator Victor Davis Hanson offers up another of his superbly thought-out essays in support of the Bush administrations efforts in the Arab World.
Here are the reasons (Hanson's commentary on each of them is exceptionally valuable):
1. It is widely said that democracies rarely attack other democracies. Thus the more that exist in the world — and at no time in history have there been more such governments than today — the less likely is war itself.
2. More often than not, democracies arise through violence — either by threat of force or after war with all the incumbent detritus of humiliation, impoverishment, and revolution.
3. Democracies are more likely to be internally stable, inasmuch as they allow people to take credit and accept blame for their own predicaments.
4. The democratic idea is contagious.
5. In the case of the Muslim world, there is nothing inherently incompatible between Islam and democracy.
6. Democracy brings moral clarity and cures deluded populaces of their false grievances and exaggerated hurts.
7. We fret rightly about the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
8. The promotion of democracy abroad by democracy at home is internally consistent and empowers rather than embarrasses a sponsoring consensual society.
9. By promoting democracies, Americans can at last come to a reckoning with the Cold War.
10. Like it or not, a growing consensus has emerged that consumer capitalism and democracy are the only ways to organize society.
The article is worthy of a bookmark.
No other modern author has had such extravagant claims of greatness made on her behalf: Followers of her philosophy, Objectivism, regard her as the greatest thinker to have graced this earth since Aristotle and the greatest writer of all time. Mainstream intellectuals tend to dismiss her as a writer of glorified pulp fiction and a pseudo-philosophical quack with an appeal for impressionable teens. Politically, too, Rand is an outsider: Liberals shrink from her defiant pro-capitalist stance, conservatives from her militant atheism, and conservatives and liberals alike from her individualism.
Understanding this author may not be the easiest intellectual endeavor, but her ideas never fail to reach out and grab hold of your thought processes. As she would say, there are no contradictions, only misunderstandings of the baseline truths. The woman continues to amaze me by the sheer force and magnitude of her intellect.
There are a lot of testimonials and tributes out there. Start withthis one , by Cathy Young.
"'I hate America' is the world’s default position. Knocking America is a form of displacement. It helps non-Americans avoid focusing on their own big problems. In fact, strip it of its lacy hosiery and the world’s relationship with America is disgustingly Freudian."
So says Dominic Hilton, in an article for the website Open Democracy.
This long tome by Hilton is interesting. Particularly, I suppose, because he does his part to expose the vacuuous gibberish behind the 'hate America' juggernaut that has rolled for the better part of three years to...where?...nowhere substantive. But he tries to be fair about it.
To all of you Ward Churchill types, you leftist gend'armes, where do you seek to go with your rhetoric? To which utopia do you seek to deliver us?
"Some of America’s most sour critics preach their gospels in America’s palatial universities. A highly desirable standard of living is endowed on those who make their living attacking America’s highly desirable standard of living. Ditto its liberty."
Thank the good Lord Above, and stand fast, dear friends. To be on the right side of history is to trust in one's good, common sense.
This exercise of posting into the ether is a strange experience indeed. I came to the conclusion that the only reason I became one of the 600,000 active blogs last year was because of the election. What an event that was! Politics is the high drama of human affairs.
I could have been a forum poster. I could have been a regular commenter on any number of inspired, well-written blogs. That didn't appeal. Vanity.
In any event, three days after the election, the air whooshed right out of this balloon. Everyone experiences passing interests, like bowling or golf, or dyeing one's hair purple. Sooner or later, if it doesn't fit, you take it off and put it away. Funny thing is, there hasn't been a single day I haven't thought of this website (as if it were important!). I have experienced a twinge of, dare I say, guilt. Vanity again.
Nothing I posted was unique or breaking. At best, it was anecdotally contributive. There are too many bright stars in the blogoverse. You need a Hubbell-type device to spot me...way off in the distance of the background radiation.
So there. I'll keep thinking. I'll keep reading and listening to talking heads. And when the 'itch' manifests, I'll man this post again, because as any blogger knows, it's fun in the groove.
For those few wander here from time to time, thank you.
W has been sworn in for a second term. His speech was earnest, well-parsed, and profound. The usual suspects, eg. the UK mass-media, mocked his ‘end tyranny’ phraseology. The Brits never have forgiven us our 18th Century impetuousness. Anarchists seemingly had their way with the young ‘Protest Warrior’ lions in Washington when our 43rd President took his oath.
Nevertheless, all is well in our Republic. Dark forces may gather in the gloaming loom of an uncertain future, but we – the 'we within' the blue parentheses of the edge ...we, the red of ‘fly-over’ sent our message. We are not prepared to give up, and we shall not. Our vision of hope and freedom has been pronounced. The ‘world’ may balk, cuss, and curse, but they can ‘eat it’!
I thank my Sweet Lord for the blessings He has bestowed. With all due respect, let the neuro-scientists, with their unsolved circuitry-of-the-chemical-brain be damned. There is a Soul in each of us, and it is surely connected to our Creator...who gave us that chemical brain to begin with. Go figure! His gift is just that.
Bing’s dream a reality
I recall DC shutting down because of a blizzard. In fact, heavy snowfall is not at all unusual in many parts of the country. Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, and Colorado come to mind. However, these parts of America take this type of weather in stride. Granted, it is a large stride, but tolerable. Not so in these parts.
Where I come from, bitter cold, high winds, and copious amounts of stinging ice and drifting snow are relatively rare in combination. We have just experienced an intense storm which has left hundreds of stranded motorists along a forty-mile stretch of Interstate 24 (from mile 25 in Marshall Co, Kentucky to mile 65 in Trigg Co, KY). Several counties have been declared to be disaster areas! ‘Civil emergency’ is the catch-phrase of the day. Carlisle Co has called for backhoe operators to clear roads. SUV and tow-truck operators have been asked to search for stranded motorists along highways and byways. People are running out of gas and growing cold. State Police have issued a plea to all moving motorists to seek out and rescue any stranded drivers they come across. And the folks from Duluth are knowingly smiling.
At my place, I’m seeing things not seen since childhood. Two and three foot drifts on flat terrain. Three inches of snow atop hay stacked inside my old dirt barn. The barn has no batten boards, so for that amount of snow to uniformly cover a surface through ½ inch cracks takes some driving wind. The wind chill was ferocious.
My son decided not to make his way home from university on Tuesday. Like many skeptical west Kentuckians, he did not heed the weather warnings. We always hear this sort of thing, and the worst of it seems to blow by. Now he’s stuck in his apartment, a mere 36 miles away. It might as well be 360.
At times like this, we rural dwellers always turn our thoughts to the power lines. Loss of electricity could be devastating. Kerosene’s value far exceeds its 2.29/gal price. Bathtubs become receptacles for flush water.
Anyway, I won’t be playing my favorite, secular Christmas tune today. Stay warm.
We can barely muster the Democrats to go after terrorists and to eliminate the environments that produce terrorists after 9/11. I don't see them leaping towards a war with China simply because we signed a paper decades ago promising to protect Taiwan.
I believe our resolve is somewhat more stiff, if that's alright with you, mighty blogger. Times might be hard, but America is, in the end, America still.
Here is a sweet travelogue about the third prong of W's 'axis of evil'.
"Under North Korean law, every male must spend 10 years in the military. Women spend seven."
Now that sounds like something to look forward to.
While in the country, I desperately tried to talk to some actual North Koreans. But all outsiders travel in a virtual bubble, as a way to just about eliminate contact between North Koreans and outsiders. Except for the hotel's doormen, all the staff we encountered were recruited from ethnic Korean communities in China - and they are rotated back to China every three months.
Say that again? Quick, how do you spell p-a-r-a-n-o-i-a?
Not so good ... we fear...merely more of the same.
Ah, The Economist. A center of center bastion from across the sea...in Britain. Read this article, which includes generous reference to Tom Wolfe's latest novel.
Debating chambers are becoming echo chambers. Students hear only one side of the story on everything from abortion (good) to the rise of the West (bad). It is notable that the surveys show far more conservatives in the more rigorous disciplines such as economics than in the vaguer 1960s “ologies”. Yet, as George Will pointed out in the Washington Post this week, this monotheism is also limiting universities' ability to influence the wider intellectual culture.
This is true, and such shill is regularly disseminated to the larger, consuming culture. Just today, I witness a perfect example of the above statement. I watched the film Igby Falls Down. Igby is a younger, emotional, free-spirited (albeit aimless) sibling to his Ivy-league brother who majors in economics. The older, toe-haired brother is freely and derogatively referred to as a neo-fascist, young Republican.
Evidence of the atypical uniformity of American universities grows by the week. The Centre for Responsive Politics notes that this year two universities—the University of California and Harvard—occupied first and second place in the list of donations to the Kerry campaign by employee groups, ahead of Time Warner, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft et al. Employees at both universities gave 19 times as much to John Kerry as to George Bush. Meanwhile, a new national survey of more than 1,000 academics by Daniel Klein, of Santa Clara University, shows that Democrats outnumber Republicans by at least seven to one in the humanities and social sciences. And things are likely to get less balanced, because younger professors are more liberal. For instance, at Berkeley and Stanford, where Democrats overall outnumber Republicans by a mere nine to one, the ratio rises above 30 to one among assistant and associate professors.
Oh, well, keep writing to the contrary. Perhaps tomorrow's students will, to our collective intellectual, idealogical benefit, find words like these to plagiarize.
It's here. More and more people are paying attention to it. It has only just begun. A generation will be weaned on it.
The great Muslim migration to Europe ripens and comes of age. Sorry, but there are no melting pot analogies in this story. Why, then, don't we try 'good and evil' on for size? Too complex -- far too many loose (politically correct) ends for coherent minds? Well, then, let's accept an 'us versus them' approach. That will work, no matter which level the reader ascends -- or descends -- to.
The other day, Politickal Animal spoke of how well suited Tolkien's trilogy was to the day. Prescient man, Politickal! No less an internet presence than Victor Davis Hanson has chosen to elaborate upon your thoughts (mine, too, but you captured your keystrokes first!).
True, for a variety of reasons, Amsterdam may be a case study of how wrong Rousseau was about natural man, but for a Muslim immigrant the country was about as hospitable a foreign host as one can imagine. Thus, it was far safer for radical Islamic fascists to damn the West openly from a mosque in Rotterdam than for a moderate Christian to quietly worship in a church in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Algeria. And yet we learn not just that the Netherlands has fostered a radical sect of Muslims who will kill and bomb, but, far more importantly, that they will do so after years of residency among, and indeed in utter contempt of, their Western hosts.
VDH is a deep thinker and meticulous observer; I heed his words. Like when he puts the pox of Judas upon the entire of Kerry-supporting Frankreich:
Things are no less humiliating — or dangerous — in France. Thousands of unassimilated Muslims mock French society. Yet their fury shapes its foreign policy to the degree that Jacques Chirac sent a government plane to sweep up a dying Arafat. But then what do we expect from a country that enriched Hamas, let Mrs. Arafat spend her husband's embezzled millions under its nose, gave Khomeini the sanctuary needed to destroy Iran, sold a nuclear reactor to Saddam, is at the heart of the Oil-for-Food scandal, and revs up the Muslim world against the United States?
These islamists...what a deck of cards they are. What IS this picture we are staring at and into? I am confused to the depths. All of these people (obviously) ran away from something...we can only surmise that it was misery incarnate. They ran away to the west...to that great Satan and enemy of Allah. From cultural misery to license and liberty...but these people couldn't let go of the dark side.
It is almost as if the killers in Amsterdam said, "I want your cell phones, unfettered Internet access, and free-spirited girls, but hate the very system that alone can create them all. So please let me stay here to destroy what I want."
. . . .
Europe is also trapped in its own utopian race/class/gender rhetoric. It cannot openly question the wisdom of making the "other" coequal to itself, since one does not by any abstract standard judge, much less censure, customs, religions, or values.
I can't write --unfettered-- with curse words, but I want to insert them here for response, in the very same way these people strike at Western civilization. I am not the most eclectic of individuals, nor the most erudite, but I have been around long enough to draw a very firm conclusion with regards to western civ. It's the best that's ever been...its very weakness is its greatest intellectual strength...but when it gets down to the nut-cutting...rhetoric is a limp weapon indeed. Europe is awash in rhetoric, as is blue America.
We have three distinct traditions here in the West, according to James Kurth: (1) the classical culture of Greece and Rome (i.e., liberty and law); (2) the Christian religion (separation of powers); and (3) the Enlightenment of the modern era (liberal democracy, free market, reason and science). Which of these three (or any combination thereof) have you heard the Mullahs espouse recently?
But gut-check time is coming for Europe, with its own rising unassimilated immigrant populations, rogue mosques entirely bent on destroying the West, declining birth rate and rising entitlements, the Turkish question, and a foreign policy whose appeasement of Arab regimes won it only a brief lull and plenty of humiliation. The radical Muslim world of the madrassas hates the United States because it is liberal and powerful; but it utterly despises Europe because it is even more liberal and far weaker, earning the continent not fear, but contempt.
The real question is whether there is any Demosthenes left in Europe, who will soberly but firmly demand assimilation and integration of all immigrants, an end to mosque radicalism, even-handedness in the Middle East, no more subsidies to terrorists like Hamas, a toughness rather than opportunist profiteering with the likes of Assad and the Iranian theocracy — and make it clear that states that aid and abet terrorists in Europe due so to their great peril.
So will the old Ents awaken, or will they slumber on, muttering nonsense to themselves, lost in past grandeur and utterly clueless about the dangers on their borders?
Stay tuned — it is one of the most fascinating sagas of our time.
As my new-found friend, Politickal Animal, said the other day: "Even so, in the larger world the shadow is lengthening, just as it did in Middle Earth (one of my fav metaphors for the challenge of evil before us)."
Radical Islam must be tempered. If we are to see an end to this madness within our lifetimes, the force from without this sickness (i.e., the West's) will not be enough. Islamists adhering to the highest tenants of their belief must force positive change from within.