|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
Check this cat out:
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Posted 1:50 PM by WiN
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 1927-2003
I would feel terribly remiss if I let the death of one of the great political leaders (and indeed, to hear the tales, great men) of our time pass without comment. Being of a certain age, I remember Moynihan as a U.N. Ambassador and as a Senator, a giant of his party. But unlike a Kennedy, an O'Neil, or a Johnson, he was respected by those on both sides of the aisle, indeed, by those of all political stripes. In my mind, he stands out starkly as a voice crying in the wilderness, facing the rising tide of the New Society welfare state and stating flatly, "This isn't working, gentlemen". He very presciently pointed to the then-remarkable rate of illegitimate births among blacks of 26% and predicted a crisis if the trend were not reversed. It wasn't (that figure now stands at 69%) and fatherlessness among blacks remains one of the most devastating, intractable problems of our society today, a wellspring of poverty, drug use, violence and hopelessness.
Two tributes I have run across today give a glimpse of the greatness of this man - one a personal tribute by Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol and the other a more conventional memorial by Washington Post columnist George Will. From the latter comes this quote:
His was the most penetrating political intellect to come from New York since Alexander Hamilton, who, like Moynihan, saw over the horizon of his time, anticipating the evolving possibilities and problems of a consolidated, urbanized, industrial nation. A liberal who did not flinch from the label, he reminded conservatives that the Constitution's framers ``had more thoughts about power than merely its limitation.''The Democratic Party, indeed the world, sorely lacks men of such intellect and clarity of thinking today. His is a life whose end will be greatly mourned, but whose living will be much more greatly celebrated.
Posted 1:22 PM by WiN
War, schedules and the expectations of a microwave societyWow, we're already eight days into the war and we're not even in Baghdad yet? Eight whole days? What in God's name does Franks think he's doing here, directing tours for foreign journalists?
Unbelievably, we are already hearing on the airwaves and reading in the press grumbling about just how long is this darned war going to take, anyway? The Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last asks for A Little Perspective, Please.
Consider the greatest military collapse of modern times, the infamous French fold at the start of World War II. Germany invaded France on May 10, 1940, didn't get to Paris until June 14, and didn't get a French surrender until June 22.[via The Master - James Taranto]
Posted 12:30 PM by WiN
Concealed carry passes in New Mexico
Life is going to get tougher for criminals in New Mexico next January -
In other encouraging 2nd-Amendment news, Virginia's Democratic governor, who ran on a gun rights platform, has signed a bill giving state law precedence over (often more restrictive) local regulations. The new law will prevent prosecution of individuals with state concealed-carry licenses for violating local ordinances concerning gun possession.
Take that, Michael Moore, you weasel.
Posted 10:30 AM by WiN
Choice in Colorado
John Fund reports that a Democratic state senator in Colorado has come out for school choice and the party doesn't like it. Also in this article, he points out that a likely Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Ken Salazar, has also come out for a limited school choice program.
Perhaps these Democrats are willing to risk touching this 'third rail' of party policy because of the overall conservatism of their state (Governor Bill Owens is among the most conservative in the nation). But it represents an important breach in the seemingly impenetrable wall of public school lobbyist control (stranglehold, truthfully) on Democratic policy concerning public education. The lobbyists know that, once parents are free to use public money to send their children wherever they choose, the public school monopoly will be broken and they will either have to improve or lose funding. They fear this mostly because while public school teachers can be coerced and browbeaten into paying NEA dues, which in turn support radical liberal political policy, private school teachers are free to spend their (oftentimes much smaller) paychecks to support whatever they think is best for their community and their state. And this they cannot allow to happen. As a consequence, they apply tremendous economic pressure on their liberal politician buddies to fight school choice tooth and nail, thereby condemning millions of our nation's poorest children to a substandard (or worse) education.
Liberals like to claim they are on the side of the poor and hurting, but when it comes to policies like school choice, welfare reform and minimum wage, they always vote on the side of their unionist, statist friends and against the best interests of the very people they claim to champion. It's very encouraging to see some Democrats step up and say look, this isn't working, it's never worked, lets try something that makes more sense and seems to be working in other places. Our nations' lower-income kids can only benefit, making our whole country a better place to live.
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Posted 2:55 PM by WiN
Got a question about sex? Ask Rummy
Posted 2:34 PM by WiN
Whose war is it?
I rarely blog the 'big boys' (Reynolds, Lileks, Sullivan, etc) because (1) If you read blogs, you've probably already read it yourself or been referred to it by another blog, and (2) they get plenty of traffic as it is. But the sainted wife forwarded this post from Sullivan along to me, and it's a very good read. Don't have time to do a proper commentary now, but I'll give you a taste of it -
It is, first and foremost, the United Nations' war. Without the U.N., it would never have happened. Indeed, without the U.N., it wouldn't have even been necessary....Go read it and let me know what you think.
Posted 2:15 PM by WiN
Send your thanks to our troops
DefendAmerica is collecting names for a massive 'Thank You' note to our troops serving overseas. Over 9.5 million folks have signed so far. Go add your support. [from The Command Post via blogoSFERICS]
Posted 8:56 AM by WiN
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Posted 3:00 PM by WiN
Relationship mending, ending
Last Friday, I shared my views on the rampant rupturing of friendships throughout America and elsewhere over differing opinions on the legitimacy of Bush's decision to liberate Iraq without explicit U.N. sanction. Today I read a very thoughtful essay by David Warren on the topic, written from a very different point of view. He led off with one of Jesus' most provocative statements: "I come not to send peace, but a sword; I come to set a man at variance with his own father, and daughter against mother". He then suggests
With war upon the world, we are reminded of, or more exactly, re-exposed to the many great issues that divide son from father, and daughter from mother, and friend from friend.He goes on to discuss the merits of speaking one's mind in all circumstances, and how dealing with individuals is similar to but differs in important ways from dealings between countries. He concludes, more or less, with this summation of his philosophy:
For from the moment one realizes one has lost one's respect for a person, it is time to part. (The contractual case of marriage is more vexed.) Nothing good can come of trying to appease or humour what one can't respect -- whether among persons or nations, but the results within the individual human soul are actually more consequential. Some measure of civility is always required in public -- I am no enemy of the outward forms. But they do not supplant the inward judgment.But, I'm not convinced. I believe that Jesus' point was that those who made the life-changing decision to follow Him would run the risk of separation, and even enmity, from friends and relatives who did not accept the Truth. This was merely stating in an unambiguous way a fact known to all who were listening. Once one made the seemingly heretical leap of faith in accepting Jesus as God's Son, the Messiah, you could not hope to avoid being shunned by those who wished to remain in good graces with the religious leaders of the day. You were, in effect, choosing the life of a pariah. I believe he was just wanting to make sure that those who had been trailing around behind him simply because it had been 'the thing to do' for a few years understood the full ramifications of being identified with him once he completed his mission on earth. He knew there would be extremely tough times ahead for those who were associated with him and that many would decide they would just as soon not be (as Peter found out to his great dismay).
But from that statement, I don't see that it follows that one should disassociate oneself from someone who disagrees with you on something like the war in Iraq, or even the morality of Bush's decision. I think Bush is right, and that the war is just. Many people do not, but I'm not going to break fellowship with them because of it. If they want to remain on a friendly basis with me after they are fully aware of my position on the subject, why should I shun them? Only if they were constantly abusive and argumentative would I consider severing an amicable relationship with someone that I was otherwise in good fellowship with, especially another Christian. My opinion on Iraq is totally in another league from my faith in the Gospel. One is non-essential, the other one is vital. Only one is a matter of life and death, to the point of wielding swords in defense, and God help me if it ever comes to that. Otherwise, I'm more inclined to adhere to another of Jesus' commandments, to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and mind, and to love my neighbor as myself. And it's much easier to show love to someone you're on speaking terms with than someone you have parted ways with over political opinions.
Posted 1:20 PM by WiN
Go ahead - Make Michael Moore's Day
I was having a hard time figuring out what to say about the verbal diarrhea spouted by the sanctimonious propagandist Michael Moore at the Oscars. My blood pressure went supernova just reading it, so I'm really glad I didn't watch it (as if!) or my TV would have been sporting a candleholder through the tube. This treasonous slimeball definitely doesn't deserve to live and work in America. I'll have to add him to my List of Liberal Idiots to Ignore to Prevent Homicide, alongside Hillary Clinton, Al Sharpton, Al Franken and Cynthia McKinney.
Anyway, as might be expected, the warblogger community is taking action. Aaron the Liberal Slayer has decided that the best way for patriotic, Second Amendment-loving Americans to show their disgust and disapproval of Moore's seditious propagandizing is to exercise your rights and buy a firearm. Now, I don't disagree with his cause, and encouraging law-abiding, freedom-loving Americans to arm themselves is in and of itself a good thing. But, based on this very cogent dismantling of "Bowling for Columbine", I believe the very best thing you could do to show your disagreement with Moore and his deceptions is to support Charlton Heston and join the NRA (which Aaron has already done).
But whatever you do, make sure that everyone you know knows the truth about Moore and his slimy tactics. Maybe eventually, if the light of truth is held to his scurrilous lies, he will fade into well-deserved obscurity. That, or he'll decide to head north and try to peddle his baloney to his socialist Canuk buddies.
UPDATE: I'd like to amend my 'socialist Canuk' remark, as today I learned that three premiers of Canadian provinces have come out in support of President Bush and the liberation of Iraq and have expressed disappointment with Prime Minister Jean Cretien's pacifist pandering to Saddam's buddies at the U.N. Here is a story on the most recent premier to speak out, Ralph Klein of Alberta, who is reported to have once been a close friend of Cretien's. I applaud M. Klein and his fellow premiers - Ernie Eves of Ontario and Gordon Campbell of British Columbia - for expressing their disapproval of Cretien's decision to break Canada's historical bond with its' southern neighbor. As for Canada's socialists, well, they can climb into the handbasket and just see where it takes them.
Posted 8:21 AM by WiN
Carnival of the Vanities Tomorrow
Don't miss it!
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.