On Hillary Clinton's appearance during the DNC roll call vote to nominate the Obamessiah:
She looks so happy she could s**t a chainsaw.The inimitable Ace.
Jonah Goldberg, on the Senator from Delaware, Joseph Biden:
The man loves his voice so much, you'd expect him to be following it around in a grey Buick, in defiance of restraining order, as it walks home from school.
Mr. Goldberg has additional thoughts on the Senator, in a post entitled "Biden's Brains." Worth reading.
[Originally posted 14Sept05.]
[Bumped and promoted to quote of the month because... well, you'll know soon enough if you don't already.]
Gravitas isn't enough:
Biden is essentially a buffoon. He's quick on his feet. He's slick. He can put on a good dog and pony show. But if the answer to "who you gonna call" is "Joe Biden" you may be asking the wrong question. The truth is that a guy like Sam Nunn has pieces of guys like Joe Biden in his foreign policy stool.Jack M., at Ace of Spades HQ
8/23 addendum: Joe Biden couldn't carry my foreign policy jock.
Maybe it'll give Obama a chance to be competetive in Delaware.
I wonder: how will the PUMAs react?
More: Mickey Kaus: "He doesn't have gravitas. He has seniority."
Blog reactions at Stop the ACLU (STACLU).
Still more: discussing the Hillary! crowd reaction, Allahpundit provides a Quote of the Day:
The only way this could be more awesomely awesome is if it involved robots.
Sometimes "Never Again" just means "Not Until It's Our Turn."
Steve H., at Hog on Ice:
It's funny; the hippies call the earth--an inanimate object--"Gaia," and they claim it's our mother, and that it wants to take care of us. The truth is that the earth has been working hard to kill us since the dawn of time, and it succeeds in numbers that would make Hitler and Stalin and Mao weep with admiration.He then goes on to ask, "Does your mother want you dead?"
Maybe once or twice, sure. I wasn't always an angelic son. But she had her chance to do me in while she was here tending me, and didn't take it, so I presume I'm now safe.
On discourse and debate:
I’ll never understand how anyone can regard being disgusted as no better than being disgusting.McGehee, comment at Protein Wisdom.
About our saviour Barack Obama's plane troubles yesterday:
If it were a boat, he could get out and walk to safety.Steve Graham
The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.(Brought to mind by this story.)
In FrankJ's world, Supreme Court Justice Antonin "Tony the Bull" Scalia renders a slightly more forceful opinion in D.C v Heller:
The issue of incorporation was not brought before the Court, but our next step will be to grab our guns, form a posse, and head to Chicago. The citizens are disarmed, so they will be easy pickings and their stereos will become mine. See the barrel of my gun. I shall kill Mayor Daley and place his head upon a pike in the town square as an example to others. Usually the execution of laws falls on the Executive Branch, but I have the summer off and it sounds like fun.
Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit:
When the stormtroopers wear clown shoes instead of jackboots, it's easy to forget that they're still stormtroopers.
I can think of no better reason to vote against Obama than the prospect of an administration where any criticism of the President is treated as racism.
I can think of a few other reasons, myself. But that's a pretty good one.
John Hinderaker, at Powerline:
There's a sucker born every minute...
... but a sucker like Jimmy Carter comes along only once or twice in a century.
If he'd stuck to building houses for the poor, he might have been forgiven for being the worst President we've ever had. Until a few years ago, I was certainly prepared to let him off with a wrist-slapping. Now? Not only is he the worst President we've ever had, he's the worst ex-President, too. Quite an accomplishment.
Best ex-President ever? I'm undecided, but I'd consider Herbert Hoover, if for no other reason than his creation of the Hoover Institution.
Allapundit, at Hot Air:
There's something about an 81-year-old veteran and the phrase "And then I kicked him in the teeth" that's simply magical.
Follow the link to see the video of the news report.
His Imperial Rottiness, on helplessness:
Remember: When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
On firearm ownership:
The next time someone asks me what I'm compensatin' for, I think I'm gonna tell 'em, "The fact that I can't throw a rock at 1400 feet per second."
I’d like to think that maybe the spirit of Dred Scott really was hovering over his pen — whispering “I didn’t have a choice, but these people do”....
Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever.
Parts one and three of that quote (source) are pretty much true.
How about part two?
Chicks: I'm totally available. Ignore the
thinning thin hair. Unless you think it's the sign of an exceptionally active brain, in which case, by all means, pay attention.
Just don't expect me to take you dancing quite yet.
Actually, it's from last week Wednesday....
So last Sunday I did something against doctors orders: I read the New York Times. On the front page - a piece on American war veterans. The Times says they're all homicidal maniacs, committing up to 121 murders total, stateside. But this is the Times, of course - so you know what they leave out is always more important than what they leave in. I'm talking context. Oh - and a soul.
In the New York Post, writer Andy Solstis, along with other bloggers, point out that the murder rate for returning vets is only one-fifth of that of young Americans who did not fight. The take home message: if you want to make peace, make warriors.
Greg Gutfeld, in his nightly Gregalogue.
You're Tivoing/DVRing Red Eye, right?
Tanker at Mostly Cajun, in the latest installment of "The Name Game," notes:
No, people, exactly what are you supposed to do when you come to an apostrophe in a name? Stop and hiccup? Stomp your foot for emphasis? Ring a tiny little bell?Me, I'm going to start carrying one of those D-Day paratrooper "crickets" with me for just such a contingency.
On Hillary!'s propensity for gathering campaign funds:
The thing about donations from the Chinese is that no matter how much you get, you'll want more an hour later.The too-clever-for-his-own-good Frank J.
A word of advice: People who live in glass dunce caps shouldn't throw stones. Or, you know, those snub-nosed scissors gradeschoolers are always using.The inimitable (and I should know, I've tried) Jeff Goldstein
Via Tim Blair:
"They’re probably going to use it to commemorate the day they expelled Greenpeace from the town,” he added.That's something worth memorializing.
I am in love with any article that uses the words ‘melee’ and ‘buttocks’ . . ."Comeuppance" has a nice ring to it, too.
The late D. James Kennedy, former Chaplain of the Senate.
But for those for whom the very mention of Christ is an offense, I sometimes feel that what I would like to say is: Dear friend, in case you haven't noticed, in America over two hundred years ago, we gave up any supposed "right not to be offended by anything anybody might say" when we accepted the right of Freedom of Speech.I'm offended!
You can't have both. You've got to choose one or the other; and if everything offends you then I would suggest you're in the wrong place. You ought to pack up your offense and ship it off to China... and leave us alone.
Er... maybe not so much.
"There is only one plausible answer: Ours is a just and decent God."Jonah Goldberg, in I’m Rather Grateful
Apropos of nothing....
The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men.Samuel Adams
Even though America is a happy place, there are still some unhappy people here. They are unhappy that the president stole an election and that the government is spying on their phone. That's how happy America is: In other countries, people have real things to be unhappy about, but in America you have to make things up to be unhappy about.
The inimitable Frank J., in "A Happy Editorial About America"
See also Eiland's Theory of Compensatory Misery.
Nehring, on The Simpsons:
Think of it this way, it takes less people to crew ships into space than to write jokes about Homer poking himself in the eye with a hammer.
Dennis Miller, on Senator Harry Reid, D-NV:
I think that he believes that getting his negative comments in early could be the one chance that a non-entity like he has at a place in history. His is a mediocre man's Thermopylae.
Go see the whole rant. It truly is a thing of beauty.
Spotted earlier this week... Jeff Foxworthy, on why he loves country music:
It doesn't take political sides, even on things as ugly as war. Instead, it celebrates the brave men and women who go to fight them, the price they pay to do it, and the longing we have for them to return home to the ones that they love.
Country music doesn't have to be politically correct. We sing about God because we believe in Him. We're not trying to offend anybody, but the evidence we have seen of Him in our small little lives trumps your opinion about whether or not He exists.
You can call us rednecks if you want. We're not offended, 'cause we know what we're all about. We get up and go to work, we get up and go to church, and we get up and go to war when necessary.
I do believe I need to listen to more country music.
Now go over and catch the whole video at Hot Air.
Bono, during the last year's UK Music Hall of Fame induction of Brian Wilson:
I know that Brian believes in angels. I do, too.
But you only have to listen to the string arrangement on "God Only Knows" for fact and proof of angels.
Sometimes human talent reflects something... higher.
There’s a big difference between volunteers and mercenaries. Our fighters are where they are because, by and large, they believe in something bigger than themselves, they have learned that you can live in a community where virtue does not equal narcissism, and they know that they are far more than a nuisance. They’re in it for all of us, and if they lose it’s going to be bad for all of us.
Michael Ledeen, in Those Who Serve.
Steve H., in the midst of riffing on college athletes:
Probability dictates that a certain percentage of jocks will be in the smart-to-brilliant range. They must be as lonely as waxing salon owners in Tehran.
I'm sure my brother (smart guy, All-American football player) could opine further.
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Martin Luther King Jr.
The very quotable Steve H.:
Oh, yeah. While you're having fun, remember that Christmas has something or other to do with that "Christ" guy. In a world where most religions see God or the gods as selfish, capricious jerks or apathetic administrators who don't care about human suffering, Christianity alone recognizes God as a person who loved us so much He came to earth in the form of a man and allowed Himself to be tortured to death by His jeering enemies so we could be free of the consequences of our own evil deeds.
A lot of religions require the sacrifice of human beings to please gods. Christianity's God sacrificed Himself for the benefit of human beings.
As end-of-the-year gifts go, that one is hard to top.
Pretty hard indeed.
On Christmas shopping:
So how do I do it in 45 minutes? It's all thanks to a little wonder drug I like to call testosterone. Or, more likely, it's the relative absense of estrogen, which poisons the mind and causes people to wander in random directions in malls and on highways. A woman thinks, "I need to decide what to buy, so I'll go to the mall and shuffle around at two miles an hour until I bump into something appropriate." A man thinks, "I need to buy A. I can find it at store B. If I go at hour C, the crowds will be light. Then I will be able to get home early and view midget porn DVD D."
Steve H. of Hog on Ice, who is, I'm fairly sure, only kidding about the midget porn.
Eric Cartman, South Park:
Hippies. They're everywhere. They wanna save the earth, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad.
I was in a Whole
Paycheck Foods grocery store today. 'Nuff said.
Chamberlain's diplomacy ultimately failed: Hitler wanted war too much. But Chamberlain stayed true to his countrymen, yielding his place to Churchill and strenuously supporting him when Britain was in peril.
Can we expect as much of our Left? It seems doubtful.
As my quote of the day today, I was going to go with something from John Wayne, as Jacob 'Big Jake' McCandles. Maybe you know the one — "your fault, my fault, nobody's fault" — one of the all-time great movie quotes.
Probably not a good idea today, though, lest charges of making threats ensue. Pity.
These boys and girls are not spare parts.
President Bush, explaining his veto of Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
When I’m done with you, Deb, you’re going to be an internet verb.
Jeff Goldstein, righteously pissed off.*
Robert Fisk became a verb. So let's work on a definition, shall we? Here's my contribution:
frisch: to lose one's job or prospects thereof due to public utterances which cross the thresholds of legality, sanity, or both. "Bob really frisched himself with that letter to the editor."
Hmm. Needs work. Help me out here, folks.
* This all assumes, of course, that he's not being spoofed by a Deb Frisch imitator.
Update 2: GMTA.
"It would be done differently in Britain." How, exactly? Did Mr. Buckhaven believe that the cook merely left a loaded revolver with the lobster and expected it to do the right thing?
Robert, of the Llamabutchers, who perhaps should consider reworking his moniker to reflect his knowledge of crustacean-cide.
On one of our days to come, there will be another test. You'd best have an answer prepared.
Gerard Van der Leun, at American Digest
Over the last couple of years, I've been trying to see things from a liberal perspective. Unfortunately, I can't get my head that far up my ass. I guess it takes a lot of flexibility to be a liberal. It also takes a considerable lack of backbone.
Jay Tea, at Wizbang! writes:
Gravity, you may be the weakest of the four fundamental forces, but you are certainly the cruelest.
Indeed so. I wonder how much longer I'll be able to truthfully claim to be 6'8"?
The icons of my youth keep going downstream, and as they pass, they are eroding the bank upon which I stand. Sooner or later, I'm going in too.Fark.com commenter GoSpelunking, on the death of Don Knotts.
[AngryWhitey has begun a link roundup.]
Thomas Jefferson, writing about George Washington after his death:
His mind was great and powerful ... as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder. It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion.... Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw doubt, but, when once decided, going through his purpose, whatever obstacles opposed. His integrity was the most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known.... He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good and a great man ... On the whole, his character was, in its mass, perfect ... it may truly be said, that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great....
"Presidents' Day," my eye. We don't celebrate Polk, Hayes, or Cleveland. Today we remember George Washington.
I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney than ride with Ted Kennedy.
Michelle Malkin reader "C.T."
The latest Islamic outrage over the Danish cartoons represents an erosion in the very notion of Western tolerance. Years ago, the death sentence handed down to Salman Rushdie was the dead canary in the mine. It should have warned us that the Western idea of free and unbridled expression, so difficultly won, can be so easily lost.
. . .
[O]nce one starts down the road of self-censorship, there is never an end to it.
Victor Davis Hanson
Hey, uh, guys? Would you act like winners a little more often?
It's one thing for Democrats to be in denial about steady Republican election victories since 1994. It's quite another for Republicans to be in denial about them, too.
Ann Coulter, in Alito ... Boo!
unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called
The mighty God
The everlasting Father
The Prince of Peace
Truth, from Scrappleface:
A spokesman for Microsoft said it would phase out of the television news venture [MSNBC] in order to focus on its core business of providing free security patches for its popular Windows software.
Playah Grrl, in response to a feminist blogger:
Have you ever been discriminated against? I never have. Iíve been discriminated for. And Iíve seen women play the gender card when they got a bad PAR (Performance Appraisal Review), or didnít get the raise or promotion they thought they should have. And we all knew they sucked at what they were doing and didnít deserve any better.
Itís over, babe. Weíre liberated.
daddy Emperor? Misha, that's who.
The money quote:
Most of all, we need to learn to be proud of our American heritage and all that we’ve achieved. We need to relearn the pride and gratitude that comes from living in the only superpower in the history of the world that didn’t use its power to force itself on others or steal what was theirs, we need to learn to not apologize for being the richest, strongest nation on Earth because we worked very hard for everything we’ve got, and we need to be constantly reminded that all of this, this blessing that is our homeland, was built on individualism and courage and not on collectivism and fear.
Today it's France. Tomorrow, who knows?
I have watched this famous island descending incontinently, fecklessly, the stairway which leads to a dark gulf. It is a fine broad stairway at the beginning, but after a bit the carpet ends. A little farther on there are only flagstones, and a little farther on still these break beneath your feet.
Steve H., on hurricane preparedness:
Even in the modern socialist Nanny Paradise, you are responsible for your welfare and that of your family. So buy some batteries and shut the hell up.
... because as I look around at the state of this nation and see all of the weak little pampered candy-asses that are whining about this or protesting that, I'd be afraid to leave the fate of this nation entirely up to them.
troop, whoever you are 1Lt Bruce Bishop.
Found at Greyhawk's place.
On Saturday, the Iraqi people will make another public stand in favor of peaceful political change. We will again see long lines of voters, ink-stained fingers, happy faces, and children playing in the streets. Democracy on the march. It's enough to make a terrorist weep.
In memory of the man who gave us the "laser," Gordon Gould:
"If I were creating a world, I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o'clock, day one!"
– Evil personified, in "Time Bandits"
(But could he give us sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads?)
Jonah Goldberg, on the Senator from Delaware, Joseph Biden:
The man loves his voice so much, you'd expect him to be following it around in a grey Buick, in defiance of restraining order, as it walks home from school.
Mr. Goldberg has additional thoughts on the Senator, in a post entitled "Biden's Brains." Worth reading.
On lawlessness and looting:
That many progressives I’ve been reading are so willing to advocate for an anarchic condition wherein stronger, better armed, and more ruthless civilians are able to lord it over the weaker victims of Katrina — all for the sake of maintaining their critique of materialism — is, frankly, astounding.
Describing Cindy Sheehan's current mental/emotional state:
"Where do you guys keep the Hitler postcards?"
Nehring reviews the movie Constantine:
When you see dogs sniffing one another, they’re actually checking to make sure the other dog doesn’t have the stench of this film on it. This thing is truly awful. It is a grand, brilliant gem of vile stupidity.
And those are among the nicer words he has to say about the movie.
In today's WaPo, an Aljazeera.net reporter complains about the inconvenience in crossing the line from Palestinean areas into Israel — said inconvenience being entirely due to the Palestinian habit of sending explosive-laden goons into Israel to kill civilians.
Cliff May, in The Corner on NRO, answers:
Apparently, she believes the suffering of a Palestinian mother standing in line is infinitely greater than the suffering of an Israeli mother standing next to a grave.
On the subject of "awareness bracelets" (and the vanity of many of those who wear them):
Like nearly everything else these days, it's all about moi. Here's the trick: While publicly declaring your deep concern via colored ribbons and embossed bracelets, you get to draw attention to yourself. It's not enough to care quietly or to commit private acts of conscience. You have to erect a billboard on your forearm.
The repetition calms them.
Mental patients often rock back and forth as a means of trying to keep themselves under control. People in great agony rock back and forth and repeat the same movement or sound in an attempt to soothe themselves.
Same idea applies to the liberals, so crushed and distraught. We should be compassionate, and let them wail.
No attribution, but via Pirate's Cove.
At the end of the day, lovers of freedom, decency and enlightenment must prove themselves as dedicated to preserving their civilization as the Islamists are to destroying it. Surely a healthy step in that direction would be simply to stop "tolerating the intolerant."
Mona Charen: Can you fight an idea?
If, however, there is to be a war of nerves let us make sure our nerves are strong and are fortified by the deepest convictions of our hearts.
Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valor, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar.
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
We’ve all heard about how great living constitutions are. The most extreme, but essentially representative, version of this "philosophy" can be found from the likes of Mary Frances Berry or the Los Angeles Times’s Robert Scheer. They matter-of-factly claim that without a "living" constitution, slavery and other such evils would still be constitutional. This is what leading constitutional legal theorists call "stupid."
Jonah Goldberg, in "Better Off Dead":
He then goes on to explain why a "living Constitution" is antithetical to the Rule of Law. Read the whole thing.
Reminder: I'd be an ideal Supreme Court justice.
Hitler is supposed to define the outer limits of evil, not the lowest threshold. Something can be very, very bad and be far "better" than the Holocaust.
The mere fact that Durbin and his fans don't understand this is no reason to excuse it.
Jonah Goldberg, in Nazis Über Alles
A war that cannot be won entirely on the battlefield most certainly can be lost entirely off it — especially when an ailing Western liberal society is harder on its own democratic culture than it is on fascist Islamic fundamentalism.
Ain't that the truth.
Maybe YOU don't think curare suppositories are funny. I beg to differ.
(And be sure to follow the link he's posted.)
I think it's an affront to their memory that we have a tax on the books in this country today that says if you work and earn some money and you pay your income tax on it, and you try to give it to your kids or your family — the natural object of your bounty — you're going to get taxed again.
— Lieutenant Lynn "Buck" Compton, one of the Band of Brothers
In honor of the 61st anniversary of D-Day and the beginning of the end of the Third Reich, Lieutenant Compton made an appearance on Fox and Friends this morning. As well as telling some of his own story, he has an issue he stands for. He laid his life on the line for this country. He deserves the courtesy of a respectful hearing.
I've tried, thanks to the DVR, to make a decent transcript of the entirety of LT Compton's appearance on the program. A generation is passing away; things like this should not disappear down the memory hole.
Steve Doocy: We mentioned it just a moment ago, sixty one years ago today: D-Day, a moment in history that played a huge role in ending World War Two. Our next guest won a Purple Heart and a Silver Star in the Normandy invasion.
E.D. Hill: From Seattle, please welcome retired U. S. Army Lieutenant "Buck" Compton. You know, you're amazing. I often wonder if there are many Americans like you left, that would take the risks that you did. You were one of the paratroopers coming out, I think you were the 101st Airborne... a huge chunk of you lost your lives. What was it like that day as you were dropped in?
Compton: I don't know how to answer what it was like. It was a... obviously an exciting or momentous event, but we'd been pretty well trained, and we, sort of did it by the numbers. It wasn't something that I can, you know, describe to you other than that. We did what we....
Hill [interrupting]: But you were out... you were outnumbered, incredibly outnumbered.
Compton: Well, we were actually, but that wasn't a factor. I mean, we were behind their lines, trying to pave the way for the troops that were coming ashore on the beach, and they were coming ashore in huge numbers and even though our force was smaller than what the Germans had there, that was not really a factor.
Doocy: Gotcha. Alright, so you jumped out of an airplane before the actual beach assault and I understand that you lost all your equipment in the jump. What did you do?
Compton: Well, yeah, we jumped about 1:00 in the morning, and I was equipped with one of these, heh, "leg bags" that they developed to put equipment in so that you could release it and have it away from your body at the time you hit the ground to prevent injury. The jolt of the opening shock of the 'chute jerked the thing off my leg and I lost all my equipment, so when I hit the ground, yeah, I was without a gun, without [chuckle] food, without anything going in. I soon rectified it.
Hill: And you had to connect up with the other people, and as you say, it was in the middle of the night, you're jumping out over Normandy, just inside the coast there, and you had to find the other people. How did you do that?
Compton: Well, just getting out on the road and walking through the countryside in the general direction of the objective that we'd been assigned; and we were scattered pretty badly, we didn't land where we thought we were going to, it was sort of a hit-and-miss proposition, but there were jumpers landing all around and they got together even though we were from different units we eventually got together and got to the objective and... although we were not as well organized as we might have been.
Doocy: Yeah, but what a story, Buck, because not only are you telling it to us, but it was featured on HBO, your story, in Band of Brothers, as well. And now I understand what you're doing is you're taking aim at something else, and that is, you want to repeal the death tax, because you say it unfairly targets veterans of World War Two. Explain it to me.
Compton: Well, you know, we spent a lot of blood and a lot of guys gave their lives and limbs fighting for what we generally describe as freedom, and the freedom that we fought for and that those guys died for was the freedom of private property, the right to work at the job that you want to work at and to enjoy the fruits of your honest labor. And I think it's an affront to their memory that we have a tax on the books in this country today that says if you work and earn some money and you pay your income tax on it, and you try to give it to your kids or your family, the natural object of your bounty, you're going to get taxed again. And to me, that is contrary to what I fought for and what I think these guys fought for, and the worst part about it is it's a socialist-driven mechanism for redistributing wealth. It's not a real revenue producer, it's just designed to redistribute wealth and that's a socialist or communist concept that we've been fighting against and we shed a lot of blood to try to defeat, and it just offends me that this country still has such a tax mechanism on the books.
Hill: Well, if people want to find out more information, please go to the website, www.nodeathtax.org. Lieutenant Glen "Buck" Compton, thank you very much for your time and your service for our country.
Compton: Well, you're welcome, and thank you.
Doocy: Thank you very much. [Seattle feed cuts.] Alright. Great guy.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
John Stuart Mill, writing in opposition to British support of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
[Thanks to Firepower Forward for the reminder.]
Read further for the full (accurate) text from which the usual quote is taken.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.
Found at Bartleby.com — a terrific online resource.
So, if you're an Islamic militant, an infidel flushing a Koran down a toilet is grounds for rioting and killing, but your own bombing of a mosque -- killing at least 17 Muslims and obliterating who knows how many Korans -- is fine.
Just want to make sure I have that straight. And we should care what they think about us because ... why?
Andy McCarthy, in The Corner
In a way, both the U.S. media and those wacky rioters in the Afghan-Pakistani hinterlands are very similar, two highly parochial and monumentally self-absorbed tribes living in isolation from the rest of the world and prone to fanatical irrational indestructible beliefs. . . .
Read the whole thing.
Reality has not been kind to far leftists, historically, as we shall soon see. Like many in the deepest, most pleasant and safe confines of our Sanctuary, they have never had a chance to see – or have chosen not to see -- the reality of human nature up close and personal. Reality told them it was just going to the bathroom, when in point of fact Reality left these Leftists alone at the table without paying the check, and it hasn’t returned their phone calls, either.
I need to read it through a few more times to get the full benefit (and to mine a few more golden Quotes of the Day) but after my first read-through, I can assure you that the time you take to read it (give yourself an hour or so) will be exceptionally well spent.
It's surely kept me up past my bedtime.
Mexican President Vicente Fox said Thursday he will formally protest the clampdown on illegal immigration in the United States. He knows the stakes are high. If Mexicans come flooding across the border into Mexico it could overwhelm his schools and hospitals.
Victor Davis Hanson, on World War II historical revisionism:
If there were any justice in the world, we would have the ability to transport our most severe critics across time and space to plop them down on Omaha Beach or put them in an overloaded B-29 taking off from Tinian, with the crew on amphetamines to keep awake for their 15-hour mission over Tokyo.
But alas, we cannot. Instead, the beneficiaries of those who sacrificed now ankle-bite their dead betters. Even more strangely, they have somehow convinced us that in their politically-correct hindsight, they could have done much better in World War II.
Yet from every indication of their own behavior over the last 30 years, we suspect that the generation who came of age in the 1960s would have not just have done far worse but failed entirely.
[Emphasis in the original.]
Contrary to all the bloviating jackassery about how conservatives are more dogmatic than liberals we hear these days, the simple fact is that conservatives don’t have a settled dogma. How could they when each faction has a different partial philosophy of life? The beauty of the conservative movement. . . is that we all get along with each other pretty well. The chief reason for this is that we all understand and accept the permanence of contradiction and conflict in life.Jonah Goldberg, in What Is a “Conservative”?
On the European Parliament cowering from the showing of the film Submission:
Good grief, this ‘parliament’ is so craven that if it had been the Reichstag in 1933 it would have burned itself down.
Andrew Stuttaford, in The Corner at NRO.
The always-amazing DoggerelPundit bats another one out of the park:
How did freedom’s institution
Garner privileged absolution?
With the bar to publish falling;
Unrestricted pages sprawling,
Now we hear of regulation
On the spread of information!
It’s Free Press! — read the whole thing.
Aristotle states that courage is the first virtue, because without it nothing else is possible. In Pope John Paul's messages and life, he showed no fear: He was not afraid to stand against tyranny any more than he was afraid to personally forgive others, including those who wanted him dead, even his would-be assassin whom he visited in prison. He knew God and was able to teach the rest of us about Him — and now, with His message so well taught, God called the pope home, for a well-deserved servant's rest. We will not see another Pope John Paul II anymore than we will see another Mother Teresa or Ronald Reagan, but as with them, we can continue to hear him.William Bennett, at NRO
The battle against atheistic Soviet Communism was the battle of the last century, commencing in 1917 and finishing in 1991. The moral battle of the next century will be the fight for the dignity of human life. John Paul II helped us win the last, and has left us words of wisdom, a coherent philosophy, and an example, to guide us in our new fight.
In that way, then, the death of Pope John Paul II is a significant symbol, and a bridge — a bridge from one century to another.
Paul Kengor, in The 20th Century Ends
On the Theory of Evolution and its zealots:
A scientist who does not admit he might potentially be wrong is really a theologian.
Paul, at Wizbang
Update, 3/25: Paul recants... but I think the intended spirit of the quote still holds true.
Hillary Clinton demanded an improved national ratings system for video games and music and children's television. She's got to get these ratings in place, and quickly. Bill Clinton on Spring Break comes out on Sony PlayStation next week.
Comedian Argus Hamilton
President Bush, after reeling off facts and figures about the proposed reform of Social Security, while speaking in Raleigh today:
Not bad, for a History major.
It did this old History major's heart some good to hear that.
[Political Science majors, take note: having a grasp of actual history is often a far superior tool for dealing with the real world than having an education in the theoretical aspects of governance. Maybe that's why Bush has been as successful as he has been in office.]
Mike at Cold Fury:
I just wish people would stop referring to the yammering d***weed [Ted] Turner as "the mouth of the South." If that ultra-liberal carpetbagger ever tried to hang out with any real Southerners, they’d most likely beat his ass like a drum just for "Captain Planet" alone.
I'd stand in line for that.
When you flirt with death, you run the risk that death has something more serious in mind.
James Taranto, in today's Best of the Web, the item headlined "The Jerk That Flirts With Death."
[Hey, Jimmy — ever heard of the HTML <a name="..."></a> tag? Highly recommended.]
A national party no more:
All the Democrats who now say that the party has foolishly given up on the South, that it is unable to connect with religious voters, that it is too beholden to liberal orthodoxy on social issues, that Americans don't trust it on national defense, and that it doesn't speak the language of most Americans should take a deep breath and repeat after me: "Zell Miller was right."
Rich Lowry, in "Zell Was Right" at NRO
With Congress now back in session, I thought it might be a good day to roll out some oldies-but-goodies.
Alexis De Tocqueville:
The debates of that great assembly are frequently vague and perplexed, seeming to be dragged rather than to march, to the intended goal. Something of this sort must, I think, always happen in public democratic assemblies.
Henry David Thoreau:
If we were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncorrected by the seasonal experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations.
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.
With Congress, every time they make a joke it's a law, and every time they make a law it's a joke.
Personally, every time Congress goes into session, regardless of who's in charge, I'm inclined to hide my wallet and clean my shotguns.
When first you hold [your child's] hand it’s a tight small walnut balled in protest against the cold and the light. Then it’s the small collection of wiggly digits you’re washing forty times a day. Then it’s big enough so its fingers fit into yours. You’re no longer holding the hand at the wrist; now you weave your fingers together instinctively. I don’t think it’s possible to do this, ever, without some voice in the back of your head steeling you for the day when she pulls away, and pulls away for good. Or at least for a few years. Four, ten, twenty – what counts is that you’ll hold hands again at the end.
James Lileks on parenthood. I think this falls into the category of "Eternal Truths." I wish I could write so well and so profoundly.
I have two predictions for 2005.
First: a star in the Andromeda Galaxy, over 2 million light years from Earth, will explode in a supernova of unprecedented power.
Second: within 12 hours, the Democrats and the media will blame George W. Bush.
Predictions by an unknown caller to the Bill LuMaye show on AM 680 WPTF, Raleigh.
... But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT."
Clement Clark Moore, the conclusion of A Visit from Saint Nick
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
The Gospel according to John, Chapter 1, verses 1-5
You know something, sweetheart? Christmas is... well, it's about the best time of the whole year.
When you walk down the streets, even for weeks before Christmas comes, and there's lights hanging up, green ones and red ones, sometimes there's snow and everyone's hustling some place. But they don't hustle around Christmastime like they usually do. You know, they're a little more friendlier... they bump into you, they laugh and they say, "Pardon me. Merry Christmas"... especially when it gets real close to Christmas night. Everybody's walking home, you can hardly hear a sound. Bells are ringin', kids are singing, the snow is coming down.
And boy what a pleasure it is to think that you've got some place to go to. And that the place that you're going to, there's somebody in it that you really love. Someone you're nuts about.
Jackie Gleason, as Ralph Kramden in The Honeymooners
There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.
The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.
C. S. Lewis, elegantly summing up the meaning of Christmas
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
Ebeneezer Scrooge, in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 2, verses 1-20
'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give
And to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kind
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
I heard stories about them, I had to see more
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.
His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
I soon understood this was more then a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night
Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.
Soon ‘round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the day,
Because of soldiers like this one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The solder awakened and I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,
My life is my God, my country, my Corps.”
With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still,
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.
And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.
I didn’t want to leave him on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, whispered with a voice so clean and pure,
“Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas day, all is secure.”
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night!
Major Bruce W. Lovely, “The Soldier's Night Before Christmas”
God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy
Christmas carol God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
Oh holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine
Christmas carol Oh, Holy Night
I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.
Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.
But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us."
And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
The Gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 1, verses 18-25
As [Natan] Sharansky also notes in passing, although he is not a Christian, Jesus Christ taught humans to give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's. One does not have to be Christian to take that lesson, or perhaps even to admit that Jesus Christ is the world's greatest teacher of the illegitimacy of totalitarian government. The very idea of everything belonging to Caesar is false in principle. The modern idea of democracy follows in the wake of this teaching of Christ.
In parallel fashion, a leading figure of Enlightenment thought in Italy today, Eugenio Scalfari, the founder and publisher of La Repubblica, has reminded readers of his own paper that Jesus Christ introduced into modern Europe the idea of the dignity of every single individual, especially the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable. That is what gave meaning to the terms Equality and Fraternity in the triadic slogan of the French Revolution. To come to the aid of the poor is an essential idea of modern democracy.
And this idea, too, springs in great vividness from the Christmas scene of the endangered infant, the poor shepherds, and the humble animals seeking shelter in the stable under the cold stars, celebrated by angels. It is the poor and the humble who are chosen by the Creator for His greatest gifts.
Michael Novak, in The Power of Christmas
I sat there, closed my eyes, put my hands over them, and tried to imagine the first Christmas. And I saw it. I saw it like a movie. It was a blue black night and there were people on the road and I saw the man and the woman, I saw them going from house to house and being told there was no room. Then they went to a rocky place on a little hill just beyond the houses. There were some trees and bushes and a sort of wooden shanty with hay on the floor. Then there was the cry of a child. Animals came and stared and their breath warmed the air. It was starry. Mary's blanket was Joseph's cloak. And I thought: It's all true. It's not just a story, it's true, it really happened. This struck me like a thunderbolt.
Peggy Noonan, A Child's Christmas
What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
"What Child is This" (frequently known by the name of its melody, "Greensleeves")
For 2,000 years, Christmas has proclaimed a message of hope: the patient hope of men and women across centuries who listened to the words of prophets and lived in joyful expectation; the hope of Mary, who welcomed God's plan with great faith; and the hope of wise men, who set out on a long journey guided only by a slender promise traced in the stars. Christmas reminds us that the grandest purposes of God can be found in the humblest places. And it gives us hope that all the love and gifts that come to us in this life are the signs and symbols of an even greater love and gift that came on a holy night.
The Christmas season fills our hearts with gratitude for the many blessings in our lives. With those blessings comes a responsibility to reach out to others. Many of our fellow Americans still suffer from the effects of illness or poverty. Others fight cruel addictions, cope with division in their families, or grieve the loss of a loved one. Christmastime reminds each of us that we have a duty to love our neighbor just as we would like to be loved ourselves. By volunteering our time and talents where they are needed most, we help heal the sick, comfort those who suffer, and bring hope to those who despair.
During the holidays, we also keep in our thoughts and prayers the men and women of our Armed Forces -- especially those far from home, separated from family and friends by the call of duty. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, these courageous Americans are fighting the enemies of freedom and protecting our country from danger. By bringing liberty to the oppressed, our troops are defending the freedom and security of us all. They and their families are making many sacrifices for our Nation, and all Americans are deeply grateful.
Laura joins me in wishing all Americans a Merry Christmas.
George W. Bush, Presidential Christmas Message, 2004
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
Isaiah, Chapter 9, verses 6-7
For many of us, sadly, the spirit of Christmas is "hurry". And yet, eventually, the hour comes when the rushing ends and the race against the calendar mercifully comes to a close. It is only now perhaps that we truly recognize the spirit of Christmas. It is not a matter of days or weeks, but of centuries — nearly twenty of them now since that holy night in Bethlehem. Regarded in this manner, the pre-Christmas rush may do us greater service than we realize. With all its temporal confusion, it may just help us to see that by contrast, Christmas itself is eternal.
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Christmas carol O come, O come, Emmanuel
Christmas is a joyous holiday, and joyous people tend not to behave like Torquemada. By my rough calculation, 99.87 percent of Christians who say "Merry Christmas" to people who aren't Christian do so because they're trying to be nice. And, by my equally rough calculation, 97.93 percent of people who take real offense when they're on the receiving end of such Yuletide wishes are trying to be a pain in the — uh, well, they're trying to be a pain.
Jonah Goldberg, Politicizing Christmas — Lighten up!
For a 7-year-old who begged Santa for an Erector Set, "Waiting for Godot" ain't nothing compared to waiting for Christmas. The no-parole, hard-time sentence of the days and nights before Christmas starts with a soul-grinding trial: the blessed moment school closes for the holiday vacation. As it is, second grade is an endless drag. Then the ecstasy of raising and decorating the Christmas tree gives way to the agony of waiting for the day to arrive.
The Day -- you finally get the go-ahead, and your fingers shred the hideous snowman and icicle wrapping paper and uncover the secret source of the rattle in the present you've shaken once an hour for the previous week.
What adult with a clear memory of childhood doesn't sympathize?
Austin Bay, in "Wait"
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee to-night.
Christmas carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world - stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas.
Henry Van Dyke
As you count your blessings this Christmas Season, give thanks for our military. They defend us in a world filled with evil, bring hope to the persecuted, and have worked miracles in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are bringing peace to the Middle East that has known little peace. Their work is far from over.
Donald R. May, Blessed are the Peacemakers
Why do fringe liberals, Muslim terrorists, European socialists, and communists all hate Christianity? What is the common thread that joins them? They desire to control others, and they despise the fact Christianity promotes freedom based on personal responsibility.
Donald R. May, at Townhall.com
Today's quote of the day comes at the end of this brief portion of an interview on Dayside with [the very cute] Linda Vester, with Christopher Hitchens, regarding his book Love, Poverty and War:
Hitchens: Michael Moore openly says that he regards the murderers and torturers and beheaders in Iraq as the moral equivalent of America's founding fathers.
Vester: Which a number of people in this room take a dim view of.
Hitchens: I should hope.
Vester: Why do you in particular... I mean, you're tough on Michael Moore in your book. Why?
Hitchens: Well, because he's a scumbag.
Emphasis mine... because it can't be emphasized enough.
What's the number one cause of death in the world?
Pissing off Americans.
Who else could it be but Frank J.?
Bill, of INDC Journal, on combat journalism:
If an insurgent wets his pants in the desert and no one is around to snap a picture, does it make a puddle?
[Via e-mail from an old friend who really ought to be blogging.]
[John, I'm talking to you.]
Look, I understand that the entire Popular Front of the Left lost — and big — last week. I understand they thought they were going to win. I understand that many of them believed all of the nonsense about Bush's being a fascist crusader and I understand that some actually believed P. Diddy's axiom that you should vote (Democratic) or die. (Although it should be self-evident that a man who chooses the name P. Diddy is not a man to take very seriously. Last time I checked, Henry Kissinger never contemplated calling himself "Special K.")
James Lileks, recounting a chat with his young daughter:
We’re in the car after voting.
“If John Kerry wins he won’t be our president,” Gnat said.
Ah, a teachable moment. No, honey. He will be our president. He will be the new president, and we will respect him.
“What does respek mean?”
Man, that is a good question. It means we treat him like a teacher or the pastor or a doctor. Someone we should listen to when they talk and someone who is important to everyone. Because he’s the president, and we have to respect the job of president.
Because it’s hard and very important.
She looked out the window with the expression that either means she was processing my remarks or thinking about My Little Ponys. Since she said nothing else, I’ll never know.
I only wish I could write so well.
It’s a great & rare idea: one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. I think we can hammer out the particulars in a spirit of good will, eh? Or not. Our choice.
“Who is the father of George W. Bush?” Gnat asked on the way to school today. Oh boy.
“You’re not going to believe this, but his name is George Bush, too.”
“True.” Pause. Should I? Might as well. “And he was the president once, too.”
“George Bush’s daddy was president too? You’re joking me. That’s silly.”
And so it begins. But if all goes as it usually does, in 14 years she’ll vote for someone I don’t like; he’ll win, and she’ll remind me: you taught me to respect the President.
If I can give her that much, I’ve done my job.
Lovely — and to my own surprise, it makes me wish I were a dad.
If it's Friday and I'm quoting someone, the odds are very good it's Victor Davis Hanson:
When this is all over, and George Bush is reelected — Republicans then controlling all branches of federal government, and most of the state legislatures and governorships — then, and only then, will Democrats grasp the march of folly in 2004, and either return to their roots or perish from increasing irrelevance. Meanwhile, George Bush, oblivious to the hysteria, will finish and win this war.
This country benefits from having two competetive and rational parties; the Democrats try to be competetive, but they are increasingly irrational. As things stand, they will have to "destroy their party in order to save it" — a formulation with which their current candidate may be passingly familiar.
The self-destruction is well under way. But will they save it?
"I've always had two theories of this election. The first was the conventional wisdom: If Iraq and the economy were going well by Labor Day, Bush would be a shoo-in."
. . . .
"My second theory involved an even more elemental fact. John Kerry is a sphincter."
Orson Scott Card — author & life-long Democrat — delivers a right proper (and well-deserved) bitchslapping to Kerry & Edwards:
It's actually possible to conduct a political campaign in which you don't encourage enemies of the United States to kill Americans. It's actually possible to look at a war and not blame our own leaders for the crimes of our enemies.
But you'd never know it from watching the fanatical Bush-hating Left in this election.
[Insert obligatory Read The Whole Thing command here.]
Link via Ian S.
Daniel J. Flynn, discussing his book Intellectual Morons : How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas:
The Left's reflexive hatred for America and its allies overrides its genuflections to human rights. That's why they don't cheer human rights advances in Afghanistan, or Israel's tolerance of Arab homosexuals who would be severely punished for their behavior in their homelands.
The Left used to get their marching orders from the Soviet Union. They're gone now. But their enemy remains, and some leftists simply define their positions by what opposes the United States. If there has been a cohesive idea uniting the Left since the fall of the Iron Curtain, it is anti-Americanism.
In an interview with Jaime Glazov at FrontPageMag
Command Sergeant Major Phillip Shriver:
Drop and give me 20.
(as reported by the Army News Service.)
Honorary CSM Shriver is 7 years old.
Link via Blackfive. Read the whole thing, and marvel at the love a kid can have for soldiers — and vice-versa.
The only difference between Terry McAuliffe and Michael Moore is about 300 pounds.
Roger Stone, on Fox News Live, discussing the Rathergate scandal and his own complete lack of involvement therein, despite McAuliffe's wild speculations.
Rather and Kurtz:
“Give it to me straight, flatfoot,” I demanded. “What in the name of Edward R. Murrow is going on here?”
“I’m saying you’ve been played like a pawn shop fiddle, Rather. Set up. Conned. Slipped a mickey.”
“What are you implying Kurtz?”
“Snookered. Bamboozled. Flimflammed. They sold you a first class ticket to the Palookaville snipe hunt on the Gullible Express.”
“And so you’re saying….”
“You’ve been duped, Danny. Fooled. Had. You were wedgied, pantsed, and paraded around town in your skidmarked B.V.D.s. ”
“Stop talking in code, Howie,” I snapped. “I need the truth!”
It could only be Iowahawk. You must, without fail, read the whole thing.
On the developing Rather/CBS/forgery scandal:
I haven't mainlined this much schadenfreude since Robert Fisk was beaten by a Pakistani Mob.
Doug Giles is on fire in his Saturday column at Townhall.com.
On John Flipper Kerry:
If he didn't have his wife's late husband's money to prop up his feckless political career or Doug Brinkley's plastic surgical biographical skills to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, he would be working at a Border's bookstore, hosting their "Americans for Socialism" poetry read during Tuesday's Open Mike Night.
On Rudy Giuliani:
What kind of sweat is entailed in getting the liberals' teetering moderate constituency to look away from Giuliani who might differ from President Bush on social issues but properly gives them a backseat to the main cause at hand: the war on terror?
On Laura Bush:
Laura Bush could have read beef jerky recipes, yodeled, gargled with Listerine and played the spoons and still come off better than Teresa Heinz Janis Joplin Kerry did at the Democrats' convention.
On Zell Miller:
To have a Democrat systematically pull their wet noodle candidate apart like an eagle on a rabbit carcass, probably leaves a stubborn Democrat no other recourse or relief than sucking on a brew or ten.
Bush's double-digit lead in the polls boils down to the fact that in the midst of our social and fiscal differences, we understand something that the left doesn't seem to get: we are at war....
Not a bad column, not bad at all.
Kerry's so shameless that he once again tried to associate himself with John McCain.... But Kerry's brother-in-arms isn't Sen. McCain. It's the naval hero of Chappaquiddick.
Excuse me while I guffaw.
Southern gentleman and Senator from Georgia Zell Miller:
I wish we lived in the days where you could challenge a person to a duel.
to Democrat shill Chris Matthews.
[More feistiness and a video available at The Washington Dispatch.]
Sir George, in a masterful dismemberment of John F. Kerry:
If [the people of Vietnam] really would side with [whatever troops were in their area] then how did Wisconsin end up with signs written in both English and Hmong? John Kerry spoke up for their interests once; do you dare want him speaking for yours?
Read the whole thing at The Rott.
What Kerry did was accuse Americans still fighting in Vietnam of widespread atrocities on a daily basis, atrocities authorized all the way up the chain of command, atrocities committed for racial reasons, doing things to the Vietnamese that we would never do to Europeans.
This will no doubt come as some surprise to those Germans whose cities were fire-bombed to rubble in World War II.
From the "oldie but goodie" files:
If I knew a man was coming to my house with the fixed intention of doing me good, I would run for my life.
Henry David Thoreau
One of the more absurd aspects of multiculturalism is the way that we are in the West are now meant to revere the 'authentic' wisdom of those parts of the world still mired in the backward traditions of the past. We swoon at the feet of shamans – basically conmen dressed in twigs. We look for enlightenment from the cults and superstitions of societies that are tens of thousands of years late in escaping the Stone Age.
In NRO's "The Corner."
James E. McGreevey
Resigning his office
Gave us a speech.
Spoke in the plural
Of "truths" and "realities."
Someone should tell him
There's just one of each.
in The Corner
If memory serves, the last book Democrats tried this hard to suppress was the Bible.
As I am somewhat pedantic about language, I could not overlook this:
The words games of the left — from the mantra of "diversity" to the pieties of "compassion" — are not just games. They are ways of imposing power by evading issues of substance through the use of seductive rhetoric.
Thomas Sowell, on the vocabulary of the Left.
VodkaPundit reader Scott Canty, on Andrew Sullivan's recent descent into madness:
If he's parroting the "selected, not elected" line, he didn't just drink the Kool Aid, he free based the powder.
via VodkaPundit, of course.
In the introductions of her, people talked constantly about [Teresa Heinz Kerry's] "compassion" — and John's. Compassion, compassion, compassion.
I believe I know these people who talk constantly about compassion. I grew up with them in Ann Arbor. Frankly, they tend to be bastards.
(In today's Impromptus, at the DNC convention.)
Unless youíve spent some time in [Washington] DC you can't imagine the tremendous self-importance that possesses the people who feed off the government. They're like people who live in the same town where NASA has a tracking station, and think that it makes them all astronauts.
(via the VodkaPundit.)
Another Friday means another column from the inimitable Victor Davis Hanson. Today, he's good for two quotes - I couldn't decide between them:
A dying generation of aging dissidents is desperately trying to find some final redemption to their life-long suspicion of the United States military. For these Vietnam-era retirees, the televised mayhem from Iraq — not the other 25.9 million Iraqis living in relative calm — will always be the second coming of rice paddies and Rolling Thunder. So the rocky occupation gave the Left ammunition that hardly needed a Tarawa or even a Tet, just something more to work with than the costs of the three-week war last spring.
Without historical perspective, thousands of pundits and politicians maneuver every 24-hours to "prove" that their shifting and contradictory positions, like millions of the American people's own rising and falling spirits, are in fact really consistent and principled. But mostly they are all just confused about Iraq and not sure whether we are emerging from a few skirmishes with a few weeks left to the armistice or firing away on Guadalcanal with three more years of mayhem to go.
Friday. Hanson. Good.
For over a year now, we have witnessed a level of invective not seen since the summer of 1864 — much of it the result of a dying 60's generation's last gasps of lost self-importance. Instead of the "innocent" Rosenbergs and "framed" Alger Hiss we now get the whisk-the-bin-Laden-family-out-of-the-country conspiracy. Michael Moore is a poor substitute for the upfront buffoonery of Abbie Hoffman.Read.
The flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.
(letter to John Adams, September 12, 1821)
It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, independence now and independence forever.
(Eulogy on Adams and Jefferson, Aug. 2, 1826)
Thomas Sowell: he shoots, he scores!
What is wrong with America, in the eyes of the intelligentsia? The same things that are right with America in the eyes of others.Read the whole thing.
If one word rings out, and echoes around the world, when America is mentioned, that word is Freedom. But what does freedom mean?
It means that hundreds of millions of ordinary human beings live their lives as they see fit -- regardless of what their betters think. That is fine, unless you see yourself as one of their betters, as so many intellectuals do.
If it's Friday, there must be a new column from Victor Davis Hanson.
Right after 9/11, some of us thought it was impossible for leftist critics to undermine a war against fascists who were sexist, fundamentalist, homophobic, racist, ethnocentric, intolerant of diversity, mass murderers of Kurds and Arabs, and who had the blood of 3,000 Americans on their hands. We were dead wrong. In fact, they did just that. Abu Ghraib is on the front pages daily. Stories of thousands of American soldiers in combat against terrorist killers from the Hindu Kush to Fallujah do not merit the D section. Senator Kennedy's two years of insane outbursts should have earned him formal censure rather than a commemoration from the Democratic establishment.
Too many in the media act as if decency is a violation of the First Amendment.in today's Random Thoughts
Wretchard of Belmont Club:
The stars were never made for those who refuse to look up; nor are they vouchsafed to those enslaved by ancient hatreds.Perhaps that is why Americans are leading the way into space. This is what free men can do.
Many Democrats think that Republicans are rich, powerful, gun-toting thugs. Let's remind them that those are great reasons not to piss us off.Frank J., of IMAO
Steve H., of Hog on Ice (a.k.a. Little Tiny Lies), on stem-cell research:
But I'd rather die in a diaper than let a doctor puree someone else's brain in order to help me. After all, to me, this life is just an appetizer, and the meal comes later.Count me in on that sentiment — 100%, all the way.
With the lever of American patriotism, he lifted up the world. And so today the world - in Prague, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Sofia, in Bucharest, in Kiev and in Moscow itself - the world mourns the passing of the Great Liberator and echoes his prayer "God Bless America". [Emphases mine - Russ]Baroness Thatcher, eulogy for Ronald Reagan
If you're not already reading every word written by the DoggerelPundit, shame on you.
Then how are we to take the measure say,Read the whole thing.
When Tillman, Chance, or Dunham—others fall.
Why, see them as they are! they willing weigh
Their measure, simply said, at all for all.
Outside them, never shortage drought or dearth
Of disaffected, boasting pained complaint.
Yea, betters show us duty on this earth,
And some are something very near a saint.
Though Heroes live and die to scattered care,
There’s honor understanding honor’s guard.
Reflect and ponder; who is willing there
And why, it is so quiet in your yard.
Today's quote of the Day comes, once again, from the DoggerelPundit:
Perverted aim is aim to break;from "Regression Analysis"
Put soldier's and your life at stake.
What frays our steel, seeks out it's stress
And widens every crack?—our Press.
James Taranto at OpinionJournal.com has a little comment on John Kerry's "Let America Be America Again" theme in today's Best of the Web. [Click the link and scroll down to "LAABA Lamp." And if anyone at OpinionJournal reads this: Hey! You guys need linkable HTML anchors on your page!]
Taranto sums it up nicely, but not as nicely as Ith at Absinthe & Cookies did, in our Quote of the Day:
So what's America now? ... Heck, for all I know, America has actually been a guy named Lewis who lives on the Maine coast collecting driftwood.
Thomas Sowell, on The Hyena Press:
What we are seeing in the media today is a degeneracy that is by no means confined to the media, and is indeed actively promoted in many of our schools that are busy breaking down moral standards instead of educating children.[I would classify the war against Islamofascism as WW4 -- the Cold War was WW3.]
Along with this degeneracy has come a tragic irresponsibility by people who simply refuse to realize that we are currently engaged in World War III -- and were for years, before we were finally forced to realize it by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This war may last longer than both the other World Wars put together and has more potential to end with our destruction as a nation.
Nearly 25 years after Iran fell to the rule of the mullahs, Victor Davis Hanson, writing in The Wages of Appeasement -- How Jimmy Carter and academic multiculturalists helped bring us Sept. 11 at OpinionJournal.com, draws upon ancient history to give us a warning:
As long ago as the fourth century B.C., Demosthenes warned how complacency and self-delusion among an affluent and free Athenian people allowed a Macedonian thug like Philip II to end some four centuries of Greek liberty--and in a mere 20 years of creeping aggrandizement down the Greek peninsula. Thereafter, these historical lessons should have been clear to citizens of any liberal society: We must neither presume that comfort and security are our birthrights and are guaranteed without constant sacrifice and vigilance, nor expect that peoples outside the purview of bourgeois liberalism share our commitment to reason, tolerance and enlightened self-interest."Paging Mr. Santayana, George Santayana, please come to the white courtesy telephone...."
Regarding Abu Ghraib and the War on Terrorism in general:
Let's have some perspective here. While our handful of abusive troops represent the exception, the same is not true of our enemy, whose true nature we dare not forget. The ordinary enemy combatant is an unrepentant murderer.David Limbaugh, at Townhall.com.
The enemy and his sympathizers rejoiced as they mutilated our people and dragged them through the streets. Sex-related humiliation is one thing, but how about the deliberate killing of innocent women and children as a theological obsession?
Where's the outrage for the actions against us? Where are the condemnations? Where are the apologies?
UPDATE: see also today's Cox & Forkum editorial cartoon.
So, in summary, Kerry did and didn't vote for funding the troops, does and doesn't own an SUV, and he did and didn't throw his medals over the wall. It's like SchrŲdinger's Cat escaped from the box.Frank J., in today's Bite Sized Wisdom.
Stephen, the DoggerelPundit:
And let us for ‘Soldiers’ thankful be.in "Prayer of the Press"
We quote or ignore them as we see
Each chance to add to a mood of fear.
(Forgetting who warrants our freedom here)
No news is good news, and good news is no news -- not, that is, after it's been "filtered" through the bias of the press.
Victor Davis Hanson pimpslaps Ted "it's another Vietnam" Kennedy:
Senator Kennedy, the past exemplar of sober and judicious behavior....Then he gets down to business:
But did he say Vietnam? Apparently the senator thinks that the cause of these medieval fanatics who want to bring the world back to the ninth century will resonate with leftists the same way Uncle Ho's faux promises of equality and egalitarianism swayed stupid anti-war protesters of the past. Or is the real similarity that, once more, as promoters of anti-Communist realpolitik, we Americans are installing a right-wing government rather than promoting pluralism, elections, and the protection of minorities and women — the "dream" of the 1960s? Or perhaps Kennedy's comparison revolves around 600 combat dead in Afghanistan and Iraq, the liberation of 50 million from the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, and the emergence of proto-consensual governments in less than two years of hostilities? Does all that suggest to Senator Kennedy that we are embarking on a 12-year war, will lose 50,000 men, and are stymied by a bellicose nuclear China and Russia on the borders of Iraq?Wait a sec... today is Thursday. Why is Hanson's column being published a day early?
Cornell University sponsors an "anti-God week." Joseph Sabia objects:
All we are sure of is that liberals really hate the Religious Right. Whether they can actually define this mass “stealth” movement is irrelevant to them; what is important is that they defeat these wild-eyed Bible thumpers before they pray again! And, if there’s time on the clock, maybe knock around a few Jews and Catholics too.Cornell's Anti-Religious Jihad, at Frontpage Magazine
[E]pithets like "The No Child Left Behind Act" give me the creeps. Can't we just have bland, legal-sounding laws? Watching the signing ceremony for "Laci and Connor" on the telly, I found myself waiting for the hankies to come out. The State is the cold, stern guardian of our rights and liberties, not a frigging psychoanalyst leading Group.
Has anyone noticed the propensity of the French to convert an unhappy necessity into a virtue? Their foodstuffs were inedible, so they invented sauces; their plumbing was medieval, so they invented perfume; and their military was humiliated wherever it set foot, so they invented "diplomacy," by which they meant, first, collaboration and, second, appeasement.OpinionJournal reader Jean-Pierre Schachter, quoted by James Taranto
The always indispensible Victor Davis Hanson:
We should remember that this war of barbarism against civilization is global and connected. Poor Mr. Villepin [who is, we have been told, a man - Russ] may ignore that his country's appeasement and profit-making in Iraq were helpful to Saddam Hussein's state-sponsored terrorism and he may believe that things are worse in Baghdad now. But he will learn that past French double-dealing, flamboyant anti-Americanism, and obsequiousness to Iranian theocrats will win him no reprieve from these purveyors of a new Dark Age. The extremists will be just as likely to murder French children over banning headscarves as they would have had three Gallic divisions fought in Iraq.At (where else?) National Review Online
Derb nails it:
What I do see is a trend towards a European-style society dominated by an arrogant overclass of credentialed intellectuals, who are deeply contemptuous of those less articulate than themselves, and profoundly in-tolerant of traditional customs and morals, of Christianity, of normal sexuality, of manual work, of motherhood, of the military virtues, of any expression of ethnic pride or loyalty by anyone not a certified member of a Designated Victim Group. They don't actually like America much, don't believe there is much good to be said about this country, and would like to change us into something quite different.The whole article is worth reading.
When a majority of the electorate in Spain voted to capitulate to terrorists, something nagged at the back of my brain, but I couldn't for the life of me bring it to the fore.
IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
To call upon a neighbour and to say:—
“We invaded you last night—we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away.”
And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!
It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say:—
“Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”
And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.
It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray,
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to says:—
“We never pay any one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost,
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!”
Katherine J. Lopez:
Well, CNN's reporters won't get kicked out of Tehran. (Hopefully, someday when the Iranians are liberated, we'll have an Eason Jordan fill us in on what really happened.)In National Review Online's Corner
James Taranto, on John Kerry's, uh, "political flexibility":
No wonder he's so popular with the ladies. John Edwards may have been cute, but Kerry has more positions than the Kama Sutra.In today's "Best of the Web" at OpinionJournal.com
Mark Steyn, on Islamofascists:
And now Spaniards. "We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you." And by "you", they mean not just arrogant Texan cowboys, but any pluralist society - whether a relaxed tourist resort like Bali or a modern Muslim nation like Turkey or - come to that, one day down the road - a cynical swamp of appeasement like France.Link via Ian S.
To some, the act of "resistance" has such a romantic pull they cannot possibly renounce the use of flamboyant violence - until they find themselves in a train station on an average weekday morning, ears ringing, eyes clouded, looking down at their shirt, wondering why it's so red all of a sudden.And not even then, sometimes.
According to liberals, the message of Jesus, which somehow Gibson missed, is something along the lines of "be nice to people" (which to them means "raise taxes on the productive").In "The Passion of the Liberal"
You don't need a religion like Christianity, which is a rather large and complex endeavor, in order to flag that message. All you need is a moron driving around in a Volvo with a bumper sticker that says "be nice to people." Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity (as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of "kill everyone who doesn't smell bad and doesn't answer to the name Mohammed"). But to call it the "message" of Jesus requires ... well, the brain of Maureen Dowd.
In fact, Jesus' distinctive message was: People are sinful and need to be redeemed, and this is your lucky day because I'm here to redeem you even though you don't deserve it, and I have to get the crap kicked out of me to do it. That is the reason He is called "Christ the Redeemer" rather than "Christ the Moron Driving Around in a Volvo With a 'Be Nice to People' Bumper Sticker on It."
President Bush, in remarks to the Republican Governors Association:
The other party's nomination battle is still playing out. The candidates are an interesting group, with diverse opinions: For tax cuts, and against them. For NAFTA, and against NAFTA. For the Patriot Act, and against the Patriot Act. In favor of liberating Iraq, and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts.Actually, the whole thing is pretty good. Go read it.
Call it preemption. Call it self-defense. Call it liberation. In truth, President Bush is advancing the Reagan Doctrine, or what should now be called the Reagan-Bush Doctrine. Ronald Reagan rejected the Iron Curtain, he rejected Communism, and he rejected the status quo. He came to office when the Soviet Union was extending its tentacles over several continents, including South America. He believed that, for humanitarian and national-security reasons, the Soviets had to be defeated, not tolerated. And against all conventional wisdom, and severe criticism from many of the same Democrats who now disparage George Bush, Reagan did just that. Hundreds of millions were freed, and the Russians are no longer the threat they once were. Who would have thought it? Certainly not the Democrats.
Victor Davis Hanson:
For all the most recent invective about his lack of spontaneous televised eloquence, almost every necessary and dangerous initiative Mr. Bush has undertaken since 9/11 — protect American shores, destroy the Taliban, scatter al Qaeda, take out Saddam Hussein, promote democracy in the Middle East, put rogue regimes with weapons of mass destruction on notice — has worked or is in the process of coming to fruition.Published at National Review Online
In response to that success often we have met dissimulation, pretext, and rhetoric of those who have much to lose and very little to gain by seeing the old way of business — status quo alliances, deductive anti-Americanism, corrupt Middle East policies, and bankrupt ideologies such as moral equivalence, utopian pacifism, and multiculturalism — go by the wayside.
And so we get fantasy in place of reality.
I have no kids, and at my age am unlikely to ever have any (though it's possible, I suppose, if I ever meet the perfect woman, e.g., one who will go out with me more than once), but I have two nieces and a nephew I love more than anything.
James Lileks, on parenthood:
When first you hold [your child's] hand it’s a tight small walnut balled in protest against the cold and the light. Then it’s the small collection of wiggly digits you’re washing forty times a day. Then it’s big enough so its fingers fit into yours. You’re no longer holding the hand at the wrist; now you weave your fingers together instinctively. I don’t think it’s possible to do this, ever, without some voice in the back of your head steeling you for the day when she pulls away, and pulls away for good. Or at least for a few years. Four, ten, twenty – what counts is that you’ll hold hands again at the end.
James Lileks, riffing on the Kerry campaign:
I think I speak for millions when I say that I am deathly sick of the counterculture sixties. The music, the war, the protests, all the hagiography - it's not a reflection of the era’s importance but the self-importance of the generation who hung on the bus as it trundled along down the same old rutted road of history.. I’m tired of hearing about the boomers’ days of whine and neuroses; I’m weary of ritual genuflection to their musical icons; I’m utterly disinterested in most of the pop-cult trivia they hold so dear. We’ll probably be better off when that demographic pig has been excreted from the python so we can see the era clearly without choking on the smoke.In The Bleat
On our casualties in Iraq:
The international terrorist groups led by al Qaeda have now been deprived of their bases in Afghanistan, their potential source of chemical and biological agents in Iraq, their support from Libya, their unrestricted access to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and the reliability of their hitherto totally safe assistance from Iran and Syria. All this our honored dead have won for us. Their families deserve to glory in it for generations.Michael Novak, at National Review Online
"Greater love no man hath," the Good Book tells us, "than that he lay down his life for his friends." This, too, they have done for their fellow citizens. They have saved the cause of liberty from the shame of appeasing terror. They have protected their homeland and countrymen.
One day it will be a great boast for their children: "My father fought in Iraqi Freedom. He altered the course of history." And so they will be remembered by grandchildren, so long as memory lives.
With regard to computers:
Interfaces are ok for newcomers, but people who actually know what they're doing use a magnetised needle and a steady hand.Mike MacCana, on the linux-elitists mailing list
The price of freedom is high. You might think you would not sacrifice your life for it, but maybe you don't have to. After all, 20-year-old Americans are doing it for you, every day.Australian journalist Caroline Overington, in The Age
I wonder if we can embrace a big idea again. The moon shot was nonpartisan – Kennedy dialed the number, Nixon talked to the astronauts. Politics stopped at the ionosphere’s edge; it was an American gambit. I’d like to think we can do that again. I want to watch the Moon Channel with my daughter in 2010.Amen to that. Read the whole thing.
I want my child to look at the night sky and always think: this is the beginning. This is square one. More, please; faster.
I love Thomas Sowell.
This is an age when people who are contributing nothing to society gain fame and fortune by denouncing those who are contributing something, because those who are contributing something are not doing so the way idle on-lookers would wish, or in a way that those ignorant of the process would consider right."Random Thoughts"
Frank Gaffney, on Gen. Wesley Clark:
Anyone who pledges that, if elected, he will ensure the American people are never exposed to future terrorist incidents — including ones vastly more destructive than those that befell us 27 months ago — is sufficiently delusional or dishonest, or both, to be disqualified for the Oval Office.in "General Disqualification" at National Review Online
Everything you do -- from driving to earning a living to making a cup of coffee to owning a home to getting medical care -- is more expensive and difficult simply because of trial lawyers, who, at the same time, contribute absolutely nothing of any value to society. You can't buy as simple a device as a telephone without having to wade through a 50-page manual to locate information you actually need, like what your new security code is. (How about adding a one-page short list of instructions for consumers who already know not to place their phones in a microwave oven?) But other than the fact that trial lawyers have made every single facet of life worse, I can't think of a single good reason to dislike them.In an interview by FrontPage Magazine
Writing in The New York Times on December 28, Jim Wallis (editor of the religious-left Sojourners magazine) tells Democrats that they can compete among evangelicals with their own "religious" agenda.The always quotable Don Feder, Dems Get Religion
"How a candidate deals with poverty is a religious issue, and the Bush administration’s failure to support poor working families should be named as a religious failure," Wallis scribbles.
"Neglect of the environment is a religious issue," Wallis continues. "Fighting pre-emptive wars based on false claims is a religious issue (a fact not changed by the capture of Saddam Hussein)."
But this is Christianity For Idiots. Like the Torah before him, Jesus said you help the poor. He didn’t tell his disciples to enlist government to pick pockets to succor the widow and orphan. Moreover, it’s nigh impossible to reconcile a welfare system that’s resulted in over 80 percent illegitimacy in the inner-cities with Christian compassion. [Emphasis mine.]
Napoleon was one of the most brilliant generals of all time. Not only did he get 1.2 million Frenchman senselessly killed, but he also got most of Europe to hate the French even more than they normally would.George Turner, remarks in the Imperial Chatroom
As we all know, Vietnam vets were often glared at, yelled at, and spat upon as they carried their duffel bags through American airports. It must take an extraordinary level of hate to do something like that. I don't know where those people are today, but I'll bet you a dollar I know who they're supporting for president.Larry Miller, in the Weekly Standard
[Click the link below for the full column, since it will disappear from the WS site in a couple weeks.]
That's the Guy for Me
Is that a ribbon on your chest, or are you just glad to see me?
by Larry Miller
12/29/2003 12:00:00 AM
LENO USED TO HAVE A STORY he loved to tell about his early days at the Improv in New York. An older comic had started hanging around the club; he'd been out of the business for a while, and wanted to get back in. And he had material like, "You ever notice it's always the guys in uniform who get the girls?"
One night Jay and some of the other young comics sat him down and suggested that maybe he should think about updating his act. So the guy went onstage the next night and said, "You ever notice it's always the Green Berets who get the girls?"
Now, whether it was the '70s when the story happened, or the '80s when I heard it, the laugh was the same: The poor sap had missed the point and changed a phrase instead of dropping the outdated premise.
Recently (like you, I'm sure) I've seen spots on television of soldiers sending Christmas messages home to families and loved ones. And suddenly, seeing those earnest, young faces, it seemed to me that maybe I'm the one who missed the point. Because--and be honest--if you laughed at the opening story, then we're both part of a long, sad change.
Somewhere after World War II, somewhere after Korea, somewhere in the '60s, it became unfashionable, if not absurd, that American women should be attracted first and foremost to men in uniform. I seem to remember an old lyric from a song, "I want a man in a uniform, a
man in a uniform . . . That's the guy for me!" I don't know who first recorded that, but I'm guessing it wasn't Britney Spears. Of course, it might have been The Village People, but that's another story entirely.
What changed? Maybe I'm mistaken, but I imagine an America in the '40s that was positively in love with its soldiers: Giving them rides and meals, letting them use phones, introducing their sisters, shaking their hands and wishing them luck (not with their sisters, of course; well, maybe)--and praying for them.
Perhaps the icy winters and conflicting strategies of the Korean War were the first scratchings of cynicism, but I don't think the average American altered his affection for our soldiers. I'd like to see a survey from the '50s like the ones today: "What professions do you respect the most?" I'm pretty sure the military would have been high on the list. (Then again, so would furriers and tobacconists.)
I REMEMBER a good movie made in the '50s about America at the start of the Korean War. Dana Andrews, Farley Granger, Ray Collins, Jim Backus. Black and white. I think it was a sequel of sorts to the wonderful "The Best Years Of Their Lives."
There's a scene in the local bar where a soldier in uniform (a very young Martin Milner) is about to be shipped overseas. He asks for a beer like his older friends, and everyone laughs warmly when the bartender says, "You know I can't do that, kid, I could lose my license." Suddenly the music on the radio is interrupted by a bulletin. The announcer says that Chinese troops have attacked across the 32nd parallel, and American casualties are high. The music resumes, and the bar is silent. Then, without saying a word, the bartender turns around, reaches for a glass, pours a beer, and gently sets it in front of Milner. Nice.
DURING VIETNAM, things changed so much I remember a poster with three pretty young women sitting on a couch. And the caption read, "Girls say yes to boys who say no." In other words--well, you don't really need any other words, do you?
As we all know, Vietnam vets were often glared at, yelled at, and spat upon as they carried their duffel bags through American airports. It must take an extraordinary level of hate to do something like that. I don't know where those people are today, but I'll bet you a dollar I know who they're supporting for president.
Which brings us to the end of 2003. I've never served in a war and I've never risked anything greater than a joke not working onstage (although there used to be club in Boston named Nick's that's still the only place I've ever seen an "F-Troop" fistfight). And I am moved beyond words by the skill and devotion and clarity and purpose of our troops and their leaders, men and women, and I've never felt differently, not then, not now, and I believe in what they're doing. And I pray. And I know I'm not alone.
Still, it would be nice, someday, to see a comedian walk onstage and once again say, "You ever notice it's always the guys in uniform who get the girls?"
Larry Miller is a contributing humorist to The Daily Standard and a writer, actor, and comedian living in Los Angeles.
Leftists who can't stop attacking George Bush are like chickens in the back of a pickup truck. The fact that they're complaining doesn't mean the driver is doing anything wrong.Steve H., at Little Tiny Lies
While rhetorically dismembering Pacifism as an ideology, Ironbear notes:
[T]he ownership of weapons and the responsible excercise of that right is inherent to freedom. And it's the backbone to all other freedoms. It's a nonarguable concept - that's why so many weapons control/banning enthusiasts complain that we're "unreasonable" on the subject: We are.From "Pacifism and Personal Responsibility," at Who Tends the Fires
I bring a message on behalf of America: We thank you for your service, we're proud of you, and America stands solidly behind you. Together, you and I have taken an oath to defend our country.
You're honoring that oath. The United States military is doing a fantastic job. You are defeating the terrorists here in Iraq, so that we don't have to face them in our own country. You're defeating Saddam's henchmen, so that the people of Iraq can live in peace and freedom.
Each one of you has answered a great call, participating in an historic moment in world history. You live by a code of honor, of service to your nation, with the safety and the security of your fellow citizens. Our military is full of the finest people on the face of the earth. I'm proud to be your commander in chief. I bring greetings from America. May God bless you all.I daily thank God that we have a President who is an honorable man, who genuinely cares for our troops (one of which, I might remind you, I used to be) and who has devoted himself to the protection and preservation of our nation, the "last best hope of Earth."
This is a President of whom we can and ought to be proud.
How anyone can argue in favor of being non-judgmental is beyond me. To say that being non-judgmental is better than being judgmental is itself a judgment, and therefore a violation of the principle.
The death penalty for the D.C. sniper was said to be because he "showed no remorse." When the law gives a price list for committing various crimes, why should there be a discount for acting ability?
One of the reasons psychology is so popular on the left may be that it enables them to do an end run around facts and logic, and attribute other people's disagreements with them to unworthy motives or irrational drives.Thomas Sowell
Describing his book (with John Earl Haynes) In Denial: Historians, Communism, & Espionage:
One of the scandals of American higher education is that there are more than a few academics who are the equivalent of Holocaust deniers -- they defend Joseph Stalin, they defend mass murder and they ignore or distort clear historical evidence. And they teach at respected institutions of higher learning where their faculty colleagues politely ignore their views instead of treating them as the moral pariahs they should be.Harvey Klehr, interviewed by Jaime Glazov.
The Dallas Morning News editorial page opines on PFC Jessica Lynch -- "she suffered for us."
That she did, and God bless that brave woman. But to paraphrase Gen. George S. Patton, wars are not won by suffering for your country; wars are won by making the enemy suffer for his country. It is dismaying to see soldiers who do the "dirty work" of war shunted to the side, while we immortalize a noble victim. A culture that lacks the stomach to honor its blood-stained warriors, men who do the killing necessary to defend it, is in trouble.[Emphasis mine.]
After what she endured, is she a "hero"? I tend to think not -- she is, rather, a survivor -- but she is worthy, at the very minimum, of a great deal of respect for putting herself in harm's way on our behalf.
[Via Rod Dreher in NRO's The Corner.]
Frank J., in today's Bite-Sized Wisdom, makes a rather serious point.
There are those in this country who proclaim their concern and support for "the troops," but who in fact delight at each casualty report for base, partisan political reasons.
After all, they themselves have never served in uniform. They know no one in the service. And they would certainly never encourage their own children to enlist.
Each death in Iraq is an opportunity for them to publicly proclaim their hatred of the President... but they care not one whit for the soldiers in the field, and would be just as happy to see a hundred casualties if it gives them an opportunity to bash the President.
... this has gone from political discourse to just being plain evil - a very mild but growing evil that show a real disconnect from one's fellow man.I think it's more than a mild-but-growing evil - I think it is profoundly evil - but I think what Frank is saying is that there are only a few such people - so far.
There are our men and women fighting and dying out there. They are fighting for us and they are fighting for a people yearning to live free from tyranny.
The heart of the matter:
I just can't understand how the phrase "We are losing a soldier a day," can be followed by anything other than, "so let's get those [expletive] bastards."Bingo.
Ann Coulter, on the predictable lefty reaction to the nomination of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals:
Even Teddy Kennedy, who might be well advised to withhold comment on a woman's position relative to a moving body of water, has described Brown as "out of the mainstream," adding, "Let's just hope this one can swim."The man parodies himself.
Consider some of the countries that are contributing troops in Iraq today: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. They all have forces in Iraq assisting the coalition. There are others, as well, but I just mention these because those are the nations helping in Iraq today that President Reagan helped to make free.Speech at the Reagan Library, 10/10/2003
Why are so many of these nations, many small, most not very wealthy, sending their forces, their young men and women put at risk halfway around the world to help bring freedom to the Iraqi people? I suspect it's because so many of them have just recovered their own freedom, and they're eager, they're proud to help the Iraqi people recover theirs. God bless them all, and God bless Ronald Reagan for what he did to help liberate them.
(link via Jay Nordlinger)
Wesley J. Smith, in the Weekly Standard:
In a sense, the Schiavo case is a miracle. Because so many people around the country and the world have come to love her, root for her, and yes, pray for her, our country has been given a rare opportunity to look at where we are heading as a culture and reinvigorate a simple moral maxim: When in doubt, choose life.[Emphasis mine.]
The truly sad thing is that this has to be pointed out at all.
... I am not among those anthropologists who think all expressions of the human spirit are intrinsically valuable. Some, like human sacrifice, are pretty disagreeable. And the human spirit that expresses itself in rhetorical attempts to dilute the enormity of Stalin's Gulag, to revile President Bush, or to obfuscate the debate on efforts to achieve a colorblind society, is the old familiar one of folly.
[P]ublic nudity is like karaoke. The people who are most enthusiastic are least qualified.Steve H., at Little Tiny Lies
[Fortunately, I have no desire to do either karaoke or public nudity. Or nude karaoke, for that matter. Consider yourselves lucky.]
The eminently quotable Victor Davis Hanson:
... Americans must be reminded of more than details. They need to be assured that the war for Iraq is a noble cause, involving clear distinctions between good and evil, between a bright future and a horrendous past, between money and lives pledged for the promise of a civil society and oil profits of the past gleaned from a corrupt dictator. Americans are great souled, and so will rise to the occasion — but only if they are told that their sacrifices transcend the here and now, and will bring freedom for millions in the Middle East and security for themselves at home.I hope someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is reading this guy.
The Doggerel Pundit, on journalists:
Suppose my boy, computer wise and reader on the Net,If Blogspot permalinks are hosed, just go here.
Says "look here dad the facts are there, he really was a threat."
Your byline crushed the Kay report, please dad what have you done?"
How could I face him then and say, "I haven't read it, son."
Eiland's Theory of Compensatory Misery:
As human society gradually solves the problems of basic survival and reduces the amount of other miseries rooted in the reality of the human condition, the fringe elements of that society feel an increasingly strong compulsion to become obsessively angry about ever more trivial causes to recapture the sense that life is a painful struggle.Simple. Brilliant.
This may be the quote of the year.
Now follow this link and read the entire explanation.
Vice President Cheney, in a speech to the Heritage Foundation:
To accept the view that action by America and our allies can be stopped by the objection of foreign governments that may not feel threatened, is to confer undue power on them, while leaving the rest of us powerless to act in our own defense. Yet we continue to hear this attitude in arguments in our own country -- so often, and so conveniently, it amounts to a policy of doing exactly nothing.and...
The United States is committed to multilateral action wherever possible. Yet this commitment does not require us to stop everything, and neglect our own defense, merely on the say-so of a single foreign government. Ultimately, America must be in charge of her own national security. (Applause.)Applause, indeed.
A nation that gives up its right or capacity to defend itself whenever and wherever necessary is a conquest waiting to happen.
(Hat tip: Malcolm S. at Occam's Toothbrush)
Suppose youíre a fat stupid guy with no great education and not even enough motivation to last more than a single day on a production line. You complain all the time, your appearance is terrible, you struggle with accuracy, and you make enemies easily. You think the government is conspiring against you. Your overall skill-set barely qualifies you for homelessness.Good question. Of course, the answer is obvious:
With these talents, where on earth might you expect to become a millionaire?
Why, only in the US, which rewards Michael Moore with terrific wealth. His truly is a great American story; blessed only with the ability to bitch and moan and eat, Moore proves by example that even plus-size pullthroughs can make it big. Or, in his case, morbidly obese.What a great country this is!
A bit of Frank J.'s Bite-Sized Wisdom for today:
When Israel attacked Syria, we should have followed up. It would be just like that scene in Predator when a guy sees the predator and starts firing and, though no one else knows what he's firing at, they fire in the same direction. We should be like that because Israel is our ally, or, in the least, because we like shooting stuff.OK, either this is actually funny, or my cold meds are really powerful...
Let me reiterate, if you’re such a complete zipper-head that you cannot maneuver your way around a chad, then guess what? I don’t want you to vote because you’ll vote stupid and I’m not talking about run of the mill stupidity here either. I’m talking about weapon-grade stupidity.(hat tip: Betsy)
Once again, Jonah Goldberg, in NRO:
Criticizing someone else's criticism -- even when a government official does it -- isn't an assault on free speech. It is free speech. And leadership does not require saying "thank you sir may I have another" every time some yutz takes an unfair swipe at you. If giving as good as you get intimidates people from speaking their mind, maybe that's a good thing, because it most likely means those people haven't thought through their positions well enough to offer an opinion worth listening to. If that makes you sad, if that makes you want your boo-boo-kitty and a cookie from your mommy, that's fine. But spare me the prattle about how dissenters are being intimidated. Either offer some facts or stop your whining.[Emphasis mine.]
CNN's Tucker Carlson:
"The fact that the people who ran the debate allowed Arianna Huffington to just completely take it over -- living proof, by the way, she is -- that California does have an immigration problem..."Via NRO's Corner
The hell with the International Criminal Court. When they have Kim, Arafat, Qaddafi, Castro, Mugabe, and Jiang indicted, arraigned, tried, sentenced, and locked up, then I'll listen to what they have to say about Henry Kissinger's "war crimes." And I still won't believe it.The Demonization of Henry Kissinger, in National Review Online
Osama bin Laden released a new videotape Wednesday, shot from his hiding place in Afghanistan, in which he threatened war against the West. There's no question it was him. He had a beard, he had a limp, and he had a California driver's license.
On Rather, Brokaw and Jennings:
These men have tilted our national debate for so long, it's hard to contemplate a world without their bias. Imagine news anchors who matched every story reflecting a liberal premise with one framed around a conservative question: Are taxes too high? Are we spending enough on our national defense? Is the pro-abortion movement too intolerant? Is the environmental movement too radical?L. Brent Bozell III, still beating a drum that needs beating, in the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal
John Derbyshire, The Sacramento Tales:
INCUMBENT was ther, gilty (so they seye)Read the whole thing... if you can handle Chaucerian English.
Of budgets fals. And he was clepéd Gray.
His teethe bryght capt, his heer lyk helmet fixt
Grande master was he of lowe politycks.
In the 1990s the merits and/or popularity of the Contract with America were largely unassailable, so Democrats told us that Gingrich & Co. were "mean-spirited" and therefore their agenda was illegitimate, as if it's better for nice people to do wrong than for "mean" people to do right.and
The activist base of the Democratic Party today strikes me as demonstrably more paranoid and irrational about George Bush than even the most "obsessed" of my conservative brethren ever were [about Bill Clinton]. And to Bush's credit, he's not biting his lip and whining about it.
In Paris this spring, a government official explained to me how Europeans had created a more civilised society than America - socialised healthcare, shorter work weeks, more holidays.Mark Steyn, in the Telegraph (UK)
We've just seen where that leads: gran'ma turned away from the hospital to die in an airless apartment because junior's sur la plage. M Chirac's somewhat tetchy suggestion that his people should rethink their attitude to the elderly was well taken.
But Big Government inevitably diminishes its citizens' capacity to take responsibility, to the point where even your dead mum is just one more inconvenience the state should do something about.
I gladly -- nay, ecstatically -- left California behind me, but it continues to intrude into my life, stealing my attention from the things to which I'd rather pay attention....
Davis himself called the recall 'an insult' to those who voted for him. He's right: it is an insult to them, and they deserve it. Only an idiot would have voted for him last November.Mark Steyn, in the Spectator (UK)
The first thing that people asked when the planes crashed into the twin towers was, “whose fault is this.” Well, it’s the fault of the idiots flying the airplanes for starters. But you can’t blame the intelligence community for not doing its job properly if you don’t give it proper support, and when was the last time the media supported the CIA? If you treat ‘em like dogs they’re going to urinate on the fire hydrant rather than get the burglar.Tom Clancy, in a Newsweek interview
"Environmentalists are against crowding -- at least crowding where they live. Of course, this means that other places where they don't live will be more crowded than otherwise. But, somehow, that doesn't count. Nor do the people who die on a highway that the greenies don't want fixed."Thomas Sowell, "The Real Voting"
"If one were to collate the recent news reports about the Mosul shootout, the lessons would be as follows: Read two mass killers their Miranda rights; duck their bullets when they shoot first; capture them alive; let Europeans cross-examine them in the Hague; lose no friendlies in the operation; do not disturb the residents next door; protect the Husseins' victims from such oppressors (but without cracking their plaster) — and in general remember that the entire scene will be filmed and then broadcast as Cops rather than as Hell is for Heroes."Victor Davis Hanson, "How We Collapse" on NRO
"We have no way of knowing if we are of any value to the human race. One person could be completely insignificant and never cause any ripple affect to any other person. But! We don’t KNOW that. We have no idea whether what we do (or do not do) could change the course of history."Connie du Toit, "Volume"
From the other Lileks column today:
Getting Time and Newsweek was quite the coup, but that's just the start for Howie Two Covers. By the time Dean fever peaks, he'll have been on the cover of Atlantic, Harper's, Model Railroad Quarterly, Pez Collector's Journal and probably Cosmopolitan ("Drive your base WILD with Dean's Hot Initiatives!").
From Lileks today:
My dad had a Kingston Trio record, and even at the tender age of 7 I could tell this stuff was for dweebs. The sound probably hung in your clothes like cigarette smoke; you'd pass bullies, they'd twitch their nose, hiss "Tom Dooley!" and beat you up. It's so frickin' earnest, that's what kills me. And so lyrically inane: "If I had a hammer." Well, what's stopping you? Go to the hardware store; they're about a buck-ninety, tops.I am reminded of this from the comedian/actor Billy Connolly:
If I had a hammer, there's be no more folk singers.
"I'm sorry, but not since Professor Peter Singer explained that we should give as good as we get from dogs who hump our legs, have I been so exasperated with the way some academics think they can use their head for a colonoscopy and then crab-walk around expecting all the world to think their new hats make them look smart."Jonah Goldberg, "They Blinded Me with Science"
"In certain public indecencies the difference between a dog and a Frenchman is not perceptible."Mark Twain, via Julia Gorin, via Merde in France
Daniel Henninger, in "A Failure To Communicate":
The Democratic Party now resembles a vast hospital nursery, with each colicky baby lying in a separate crib screaming for attention--right now, for me. And if a Joe Lieberman or Dick Gephardt doesn't run right over and pour political formula down their throats, they'll keep right on screaming.
"France is like someone who’s been given a glimpse of the future, sees himself committing suicide, and resolves to spend his remaining days making it look like murder."
- James Lileks' Bleat, 21 April 2003