Sunday, May 29, 2011

Timber!

Is that what you yell when you're witnessing your country falling down?

Check out this story about the price of improperly pruning one's own trees in Charlotte, NC.  While I want just to shake my head and either smirk or laugh, instead a report like this can, if I'm not careful, almost bring me to despair.

Own It!

In the wake of the GOP defeat in NY-26, two of my favorites, Jonah Goldberg and Mona Charen, have independently posted similar pieces at NRO warning the Republicans that they had better learn quickly how to defend the Ryan Budget Plan as they're saddled with it already whether they like it or not. 

The problem the GOP has is two-fold:  First, the plan is not easily reducible to a sound-bite, or at least not a sound-bite that easily explains and thereby defends it.  But, second, it is easily reducible to a target of demogoguery.  Witness the Democrat friendly add of a Paul Ryan look-a-like pushing grandma in a wheelchair off the edge of a cliff.  The Democrat "Mediscare" tactic is time-tested and, as they have no new ideas, we can expect them to use it again and again.

The first problem is a real one for the Republicans.  The Ryan Plan is comprehensive, not just about Medicare, making it very difficult to talk about in pieces.  Frankly, I have no good advice about solving this problem other than being persistent. 

The second problem, however, is actually no problem at all.  The Republicans should counter the grandma over the cliff add with one of their own showing the Dems driving off the cliff, pedal to the metal, a big foot pushing the accelerator through the floorboard.  I've mentioned this before, but the first words out of every GOP politicians mouth should be that "there is no Medicare as we know it."  They should continue with something like, "Democrat budgetary irresponsibility has killed it.  Their only fix is to replace it with Obamacare, or, as it used to be called, socialized medicine, replete with the long lines and rationing that always attend it".

That's a start anyway.  But one thing is clear:  In no fashion should they run from the plan.  If nothing else, it communcates the stubborn fact that, so far, there is only one set of adults in the room and they all come from the party of Lincoln.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Remember

My brother used to employ a simple test to challenge the veracity of the latest manufactured frenzy, fear, catastrophe, calamity, epidemic, etc.  The crisis I remember best was back in the 1980s when the faces of abducted children were routinely posted, among other places, on the sides of milk cartons.  Remember that?  It was reported then that each year something like 3 million children went missing, never to be heard from again.

Well, my brother, as sceptical as all in my family are, would ask:  During the Viet Nam War, about 50,000 Americans lost their lives.  Nearly everyone either knows someone who died in that conflict, or at least knows someone who knows someone who did.  Do you know anyone, or know anyone who knows anyone, who has suffered the kidnapping of a child?

As we move further in time from that war, the premise of his test doesn't work as well as it once did.  (Although the lesson about being sceptical is forever valid.)  However, as we know all too well, the occasions for the risk and loss of life of those serving to protect and defend our nation have continued.

This afternoon begins our Memorial Day weekend.  Do enjoy it.  But as you do, at least for a moment, please pause to remember those who have given their all in service to this great country.  If you know someone, or know someone who knows someone who has given their all, pause also to thank God for them and their sacrifice.  Thank their family as well, personally, if you can.

They deserve our gratitude forever.  We forever need to express it.  

Those Who Can...Teach!

It's a nice gig, if you can get it.

My many friends in academia will probably not like this piece, but, sadly, it rings all too true.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On Second Thought

I said yesterday that I would leave commentary about the "meaning" of the NY-26 election results to the pundits, but, after watching this interview of TIME's Joe Klein about those results, I think I need to weigh-in.

The telling line which, of course, Klein delivered with unrestrained glee is that "It was a victory for socialism."  I think he may well be right about that.

Those who read this blog know that I use quite often the phrase "The Great Reckoning" to describe the times we are living in.  What I mean by it, at least in the most immediate sense, is that the bill has finally come due, that we're broke, and that we cannot continue to spend and promise to spend at the rate we've been doing so and expect to survive as the country we know, or think we know.

But what I mean by the phrase in a larger sense is that we've finally reached an extreme decision point, the very definition of the word crisis.  We face now like few times before in our history a crisis in which we must decide definitively who and what we are as a nation.  Our current financial distress, a distress of our own making, has forced this upon us.

The decision we face is this:  Are we the liberty-first nation of our founding or are we now in fact socialists?  Will we embrace liberty and the risk that always attends it, risk that rewards success and punishes failure, or not?  Will we stand on our own two feet, erect like men, a posture in which undeniably some will be taller and others shorter, or will we fall corporately to our hands and knees, a safer, more stable position, a position in which everyone's stature is more or less the same, but one from which very little of genuine significance can ever be achieved?

Our election results are so very often frustrating in their indeterminacy because we have lived too long with an unhappy compromise, unhappy because we imagine that both positions, standing and kneeling, are possible at the same time.  So long as the moral and material capital we held in reserve lasted, we could indulge that illusion, we could afford to kick the can down the road, we could avoid a decision.  No longer.  Our wallets are empty, our accounts overdrawn, our credit bust.

Therefore, we, I should say, You!, both must and will decide.  Are we socialists or not?  At the end of this period, The Great Reckoning, we will know.       

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In Case You Missed It

There's a piece in yesterday's USA Today by Michael Medved that you really ought to read. 

The National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in March an important study that put the actual number of practicing homosexuals in America at something like 1.4%, rather than the 10% I've heard, but never believed, for most of my adult life.  (Frankly, even 1.4% seems a little high to me.) 

Anyway, in addition to reporting the results of the study, Medved has some very interesting things to say about volition and inclination with respect to sexual orientation.  (One of the things you'll learn is that "sexual orientation" has replaced "sexual preference" as the term of choice.

 It's short; give it a look.

NY-26

I'll let the pundits explain and excuse the GOP's loss of the special election in NY-26 yesterday.  The circumstances surrounding it were idiosyncratic, to be sure.

But for professional Republicans there should be one clear lesson:  The party simply must present, to coin a phrase, "a choice, not an echo."

If they refuse, they will surely, "LOSE...Lose...Lose...Lose."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First Impressions

One of the most valuable lessons I've learned from the school of hard knocks is that it is absolutely crucial not to rely on first impressions.  How many times have you been wrong about someone?

This is important to remember as one reads and hears more and more commentary, from both the left and the right, about the lack of pizazz that describes the current field of GOP presidential hopefuls.

The short answer to this criticism is, of course, "So?"  One of the great advantages of being a conservative, at least when our minds are right, is that we don't pine for saviors, political or otherwise, among men.  No "well-creased pants", no "thrills going up my leg" will convince us that this is the right guy or gal.  It's a sure sign of immaturity if it does.

I remember counseling my daughter after her very first date.  It was, she reported, a disaster.  She, like most women, teenage or not, wanted desperately for the young fellow to be like Cary Grant.  You know, handsome, self-assured, experienced, smooth, etc.  I told her that no teenage boy especially, no grown man either, not even Cary Grant himself, could ever live up to that expectation.  But, and this is important, he may well be a good guy, a great guy even, nevertheless.  (She learned the lesson, by the way, and she and that first date remain good friends.  He was, and still is, a fine young man.)

So, let's wait and see what happens, shall we?  Don't exclude anyone from the current roster for a simple gaff or two.  Aside from their all-too-obvious desire to dispirit Republicans, the media, by hyperventilating over it, will skew your judgement anyway.  Instead, think long term.  Discipline yourself to focus on the substance more than the style.  Remember that the overwhelming majority of Americans at the time never once heard Abraham Lincoln speak, and yet he was soon judged one of, if not the, most eloquent of our presidents. 

By the way, we have one other huge advantage as well:  Nothing could be worse than another term by this incumbent.    

"Easy, Rider, Easy"

Who'd have figured actor Peter Fonda for a gun nut?

The End is Near...er

Well, it didn't happen last Saturday, so the preacher has recalculated and the still looming  apocalypse is now 21 October.

You think he might be confusing, along with liberal Democrats and the elite media, the end of the world with the failure of Congress to raise the national debt ceiling?

Monday, May 23, 2011

"When Austerity Fails"

That's the title of New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman's latest missive.  His recipe for fixing the economic woes caused by government over-spending and over-promising:  Spend more and borrow more.

"When Austerity Fails"?  For heaven's sake, when, in the last 75 years, has anything remotely like an  austere budget been enacted by any US government?  Democrat or Republican?  Liberal or conservative?

This is insulting.

"Academic Show Business"

Love that line.  It's used by Stanley Crouch in the context of taking down, and reporting on the taking down, of the "black intellectual" fraud Cornel West.  Methinks West's gig is finally, and mercifully, over.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Giv'em a Hand

Did you know that palm oil, yes, palm oil is used in the making of Girl Scout Cookies?

Oh yeah, and I probably don't have to tell any of you that the harvesting and production of palm oil almost necessarily means upsetting the natural habitat of orangutans

Unbelievable!

The Girl Scouts of America's dirty little secret was finally revealed by a couple of their very own, two Michigan youngsters whose exposĂ© began innocently enough: the simple pursuit of yet another merit badge.  But from that humble beginning, a national crusade has quickly developed against the future production and sale of the offensive cookies.

So, the next time some cute young girl in a brown or green uniform appears at your door and asks if you would like to buy a box or two, just before you slam the door in her face, feel free not only to scream, "No!", but also to deliver the little monkey killer a stern lecture about the importance of sensitivity to the environment.

WE HAVE LOST OUR MINDS!

Dreamin'

I was on the road and out of town yesterday, so I didn't get to see/hear President Obama's speech on the Middle East.  To put it mildly, it was not well-received.

I'll resist the temptation to pile-on save for this.  As I read the speech today, one line among many caught my attention:
The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.
"The dream of a Jewish and democratic state..."?

Uh, Mr. President, Israel has been in existence since 1948.  Your predecessor, President Truman, was the very first head of state to recognize it as a sovereign nation.  It was in all the papers.

But then maybe it hasn't yet made it to the teleprompter.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cut to the Chase

You can't make this stuff up.

This fall, residents of uber-liberal San Francisco will consider a ballot initiative that proposes a ban on male circumcision.

Huh?

Yep, a ban on male circumcision.

Now, whatever you think of male circumcision (my wife, for one, is against the practice), you still have to appreciate the supreme irony presented by this near perfect example of the colossal contradictions that actually describe all of liberalism.

Remember, this city is so liberal that it not only prides itself on standing up for a woman's right to choose, it insists that you must pay for the exercise of that right no matter what your objections.  In fact, San Francisco is so liberal, liberal and green, that an actual abortion is neither a family tragedy nor a necessary evil, instead it's a positive social good.  Why?  Because an actual abortion is evidence both that the right to choose remains secure and because an aborted baby helps keeps the city's carbon footprint smaller than, oh, I don't know, Oklahoma City's.  And that's important because San Franciscans need always to be able to preen about their moral superiority to yokels that live in places like Oklahoma City.

But, if the initiative passes, that same city which would have the day before celebrated the death in the womb of an unwanted child, the day after will simply not tolerate the barbarity that is the removal of the male foreskin.

So why not a ban on female circumcision as well you ask?

Because female circumcision is not a traditional Judeo-Christian practice.  If it were, you can be sure it would be on the ballot too.  But, as it's only a sometime Muslim practice, well, we can't offend Muslims, can we?  That would be intolerant.

"Anyone? Anyone?"

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that Ben Stein is getting more and more difficult to understand and to take?
 
His latest offense is in l'affaire de Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid.  Stein writes:
People accuse other people of crimes all of the time. What do we know about the complainant besides that she is a hotel maid? I love and admire hotel maids. They have incredibly hard jobs and they do them uncomplainingly. I am sure she is a fine woman. On the other hand, I have had hotel maids that were complete lunatics, stealing airline tickets from me, stealing money from me, throwing away important papers, stealing medications from me. How do we know that this woman's word was good enough to put Mr. Strauss-Kahn straight into a horrific jail? Putting a man in Riker's is serious business. Maybe more than a few minutes of investigation is merited before it's done.
Well, Ben, there are more than a few show people who are complete lunatics, who lie, who steal, etc.  Would you be as quick to dismiss their testimony?

And what's with this?:
In what possible way is the price of the hotel room relevant except in every way: this is a case about the hatred of the have-nots for the haves, and that's what it's all about. A man pays $3,000 a night for a hotel room? He's got to be guilty of something. Bring out the guillotine.
I always thought liberals and socialists like Strauss-Kahn relied chiefly on charging their accusers with racism.  Can we now expect them, hypocritically, to use class envy as well, not as a weapon, but, like a conservative, as a defense?

I hate it, but something's just not right with Ben Stein lately.  Ya think he's off his meds?

Back Home

Please take the time to read Andrew Ferguson's account of playwright David Mamet's journey from left to right.

Read it not only for the guilty pleasure of being confirmed in your own choices and biases.  Read it moreso to experience the surpassing pleasure of seeing this great country with new eyes again.    

Him Again

Over at NRO, Andrew McCarthy properly takes Senator John McCain to task for essentially libeling former Attorney General Michael Mukasey over his, Mukasey's, defense of the effectiveness of  enhanced interrogation techniques in leading us to Osama Bin Laden.

(Somebody please remind me why John McCain is a Republican, or at least why he's worth, for our side, all the trouble.)

Anyway, this debate got me thinking again about what is and what is not torture and it occurred to me that a very important distinction is being lost on McCain and the Democrats in all their grandstanding.  (Yes, that's what I think McCain is for the most part up to.)

Let's compare McCain's experience in Vietnam with that of those captured and interrogated by us in the wake of 9/11.  And, let's leave aside for a moment the ridiculously different degrees of violence inflicted.  (They are not comparable and it's dishonest to even suggest that they are.) 

It seems to me that an important difference is being missed.  What was done to McCain and his fellow POWs by the North Vietnamese was done solely to extract false confessions that could then be used to prop up their and other corrupt communist regimes, as well as to discredit the United States and thereby undermine American will.  What was done by us to the 9/11 detainees was done exclusively to extract relevant information for the purposes of prohibiting another attack and hunting down those responsible for the first.

Our interrogations, few as they were, stopped immediately when whatever intelligence the detainees had to offer was no longer relevant or actionable.  McCain's captors, by contrast, persisted in theirs for years and years, lead both by a native brutality and a hideous communist creed that instructed them that the glorious end of their imagination justified any and all means.

Insofar as our goals in the interrogations were and remained as limited and immediate as they were, I think, and I'm pretty confident that an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with me, that not only was water boarding an acceptable technique, we would have been justified in doing far more had it been necessary.

Does that make us all monsters?  No different than Nazis, the administrators of the Soviet Gulag, or Pol Pot as some would have it?

Call me a monster then, if it'll make you feel better, or superior.  Not to mention get you positive press in the pages of The Washington Post.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Is She Serious?

I could only shake my head at this report

Apparently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama:
"often marvel over foreign despots who want to stay in power for decades. She told a State Department forum that neither she nor Obama can understand leaders who refuse to transfer power and cling to office for 10, 20, 30 or 40 years.  She says she and the president joke: 'Oh, my gosh. Can you imagine?'"
Can you imagine?

Correct me, but isn't this the same woman who's been in the national limelight for 20 years now?  First as co-president (no cookie baker she, remember?), then a full term plus part of a second as a US Senator from the Empire State (she always was a Yankee fan she said), and also with a run of her own for the Oval Office sandwiched between that gig and her current role as Secretary of State.

And all along I thought it was her husband who was full of..., well, full of it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Right-Wing Social Engineering"?

That was Newt Gingrich's description of Paul Ryan's budget plan and, as many have already commented, that remark, along with the rest of his performance on the Sunday shows, effectively ended whatever very small chance he ever had of winning the Republican nomination for president.  But this is not about that.
 
Rather, it's about that phrase: "right-wing social engineering."  I don't know about you, but I find it grating, fingernails-on-a-chalkboard grating.  There is so much wrong with it, it's hard to know where to begin.  Anyway, here's a couple of thoughts:

1.  Insofar as "right-wing" means "conservative", there is no such thing as conservative social-engineering.  Right-wing social engineering is still left-wing social engineering.  Social engineering, even the temptation to it, is in toto a product of modern, left-wing thought and practice--meddling, rationalizing, leveling, bureaucratic, and coercive left-wing thought and practice.

Conservative "soulcraft", by contrast, strives always to be consistent with maximum liberty.  (Lefties rarely even pause over threats to liberty anymore.)   Soulcraft is teaching, training, encouraging, admonishing, and, yes, even punishing, if and when necessary, towards old-fashioned virtue, private and public.  It is understood by conservatives to be accomplished most effectively by the family, by voluntary associations, by the local community, and by the church--decidedly not by the state.

2.   Use of the phrase belies a fundamental belief that what currently divides our country can be adequately captured on some continuum of thought, left to right.  But that notion itself belies an even more fundamental belief that, actually, nothing divides our country, that it's all a matter of degree.  The modern, nanny-state leviathan is the norm; we're only arguing about more or less, (Always privileging "more", of course.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blow Your House Down

While it's a little long, it's still very accessible, and if you want to know the "true story" of the financial crisis of 2008, as well as much of the economic mess we're still in, then check out this piece by Peter J. Wallison.  He would know because, as he tells you, he was there.

In case you wondering, it's the government's fault.  But then, it almost always is.

"Why Do They Hate Us?"

Sorry Sage fans, but for some technical reason way beyond me, Blogger Command was down the past couple of days.

Anyway, remember that question from the days and months immediately following 9/11?  Do you also remember that the election of our current, cosmopolitan president was supposed to correct much of that sentiment?  He was supposed to be the healer, the very antithesis of and correction to the swaggering embodiment of American Exceptionalism that was George W. Bush.
 
Well, in a short piece from ABC News that is actually a puff piece, it seems that among the troves of intelligence gathered from Osama bin Laden's hideout was information showing that he, Osama, had his murderous sights aimed at President Obama as well.  With the election looming and sensing that apologizing for the country has not set well with the average American voter, ABC is doing its best to establish the quintessentially American swagger of Barack Hussein Obama.  The telling line in the report, like below, is set off by itself for maximum effect:
It was President Obama who got bin Laden first.
Tough, laconic, right out of a John Wayne western, George Bush's handlers couldn't have said it better themselves about the "You're either with us or against us" former president.

Hypocrisy aside, look for more and more of this kind of thing as the media, along with the White House, continue to milk the elimination of Osama bin Laden for votes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Zero Defects

It would appear that the number of shutouts in Major League Baseball is up, way up, the most since 1968 and 1972.  Is this a problem?

Well, it's being noticed and, as attendance is down as well, you can bet the "suits" at MLB are wondering whether or not they should do something about it.  I'm beggin'em, "Please, No!"

It was only a decade or so ago that they were fretting over the games being too long for the average fan's attention span, and also that there was embarrassingly too much offense in the game.  It was embarrassing because the skinny shortstop who had never hit more than 10 home runs in season was almost overnight looking like an NFL tight-end and pounding out 40 and more.  While steroid testing put a stop to much of that, both bringing the offense back to earth and, thereby, shortening the game as well, I think something more like the free market is a better explanation for the apparently sudden resurgence of pitching.

In the 1990s, steroids and expansion made it relatively easier to exploit an opponent's defense, which, in baseball, refers mostly to pitching.  The effects of steroids are self-evident, but why expansion?  Expansion dilutes the pool of talent for a time and time is what is inescapable if you want to produce good pitching.  While some hitters are born, most pitchers simply have to learn how to ply their trade and that takes time.  For awhile then, a premium was placed on the big hitter.  But soon, when almost everyone was knockin'em out of the park, the premium shifted to the arms that could reign in the madness and that is where we are today.

Will the current imbalance correct itself?  I'm confident it will.  When the 9th man on a 10- or 11-man pitching staff can routinely put up zeros, the market will demand a shift towards hitters who can handle it and, voilĂ , the supply of better hitters will slowly and steadily increase.

So, as I say, I'm praying the business end of MLB will exercise some patience and discipline and simply wait on this already near-perfect game to fix itself, which it will as this capacity for self-correction is itself part of its near perfection.  The last time they went wobbly about too little offense in the game and intervened, they instituted that "abomination of desolation" that is the designated hitter rule . (Excuse me while I spit.)

They also lowered the mound a bit, but you could say in doing that they were just leveling the playing field.

Man Bites Dog

Finally conceding the obvious, that we're broke, the editors of The Washington Post of all people take the Democrat Party to task for demagoguing once again the Medicare solvency issue.
Democrats may be feeling smug about their campaign against the House Republican budget plan, and as a matter of politics, they’re no doubt right. If the goal is to deal with the long-term fiscal challenge, though, the Democrats’ political success is apt only to prolong the gridlock and make the eventual solution that much more painful.
Of course, their liberal DNA simply will not allow them to deliver such a message neat and clean, so, reverting to form, they manage to take a few shots at Republicans nevertheless. 

But, on balance, this is a very hopeful sign.  Like the swelling waters of the Mississippi, our financial position is such a dangerous fact even they can no longer ignore it.

The Great Reckoning continues.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Apples and Oranges

The fact that "enhanced interrogation" techniques, i.e., water-boarding, led in part to finding and eliminating Osama bin Laden, coupled with the Obama Administration's refusal to concede as much, has resurrected the debate over whether or not such methods constitute torture. 

I've noticed in the back-and-forth that one of the rhetorical tactics often employed by the Left is to ask whether or not we would want our soldiers treated thus if they were to be captured by Al Qaeda.

The easy answer, of course, is that we would would not want them so treated.

However, if the US were routinely engaged in indiscriminate mass murder and one of our captured soldiers was believed by the enemy to hold important information regarding the next-planned episode, then their use of water-boarding in order to extract the relevant intelligence would be both understandable and justified.

The unstated premise of the Leftist's question is that between the US and Al Qaeda, there really is no difference at all.  But it isn't so, and we, and the Left, know it isn't so.  What this all reveals, again, is what the Left really thinks of their own country.

You see, the point of their question is not to lift us to a higher standard, but rather to drag us down.  And if more than a few of us get killed in the process, oh well, every revolution has its costs.

Spilled Milk

It seems that the days of offering chocolate milk in school cafeterias are numbered.  Too sweet and, therefore, a contributor to the epidemic that is childhood obesity.

No chocolate milk in school!?  Un-American!  Couldn't we, instead, reach some sort of a reasonable compromise like making the kids wear helmets while drinking it?

The article doesn't say, but anyone care to venture a guess as to the ideological disposition or party affiliation of those calling for the ban?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tortured Responses

Have you noticed how uncomfortable spokespersons for the Obama Administration are in answering any question about the efficacy of the Bush Era "enhanced interrogation" techniques?

Their hypocrisy aside, it is altogether dishonorable for them to wrap themselves in the glory of taking out Osama bin Laden without acknowledging, fully, how it is they achieved that long-term goal.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Crowing

This is almost too easy, but what the heck.

Astute political observer and erstwhile singer Sheryl Crow on President Obama: "I do think that if it were any other president, I might feel different about it. But, he's one of the most conscious people I've ever met, and I've met four presidents now."

As she hangs around mostly with Hollywood people, she would know how to distinguish between the conscious and the unconscious.  Anyway, it's good to learn our president is wide awake.

Picture This

While I'm not particularly interested in seeing a photo of the dead Osama bin Laden, the way the White House, and more than a few Republicans as well, are defending the decision to withhold it is troubling.  It's too cautious and, as a result, signals weakness.

The only reason we should withhold the photo is because to show it is beneath us, because we're better than that, because we're better than they.

But, if we were to show it, and at the risk of being accused of "spiking the football", I'd ask you to consider doing so under the following circumstances:

In order to address the nation and the world, the President asks for prime time from all the major broadcast and cable networks.  Seated in the Oval Office in a dark suit, an American flag lapel pin prominent, he opens by briefly reviewing what has transpired and congratulating our Special Forces for their courage and skill in finding and then eliminating Osama bin Laden.  He then solemnly warns the audience of the gruesome nature of the photo he's about to show.  For a few seconds the picture of the dead man fills the screen.  When the camera cuts back to the President, he looks sternly and resolutely into the lens and delivers this message:  "If you kill, or even attempt to kill an American, this, too, will be your fate.  And make no mistake, in order to exact certain justice, this will be so whether it takes us 10 days, 10 months, or even 10 years to hunt you down."  Fade to black.

Tiptoeing Through the Terrorists

So, the reason President Obama decided finally not to release the photo of the dead Osama bin Laden was that it might inflame the Muslim world, anger the terrorists, and thereby put American lives at risk.

Did I miss something?

Is there an armistice in effect between us and the terrorists?  Was some Paris Peace Accord brokered with Al Qaeda while I wasn't paying attention?

This is Important

The growing debate over the photo release, the backtracking from the original version of the raid (armed or unarmed, firefight or no, wife or daughter, etc.), the abandonment of virtually every campaign pledge about how to fight terrorism, to include not calling it terrorism, all of this and more is most encouraging.

How so?

The American people need and deserve a victory in the War on Terror.

However, for the 10 years of vigorously obstructing the justice that was achieved Sunday night in Pakistan, it is very important that this White House, liberal Democrats, the intellectual Left, and the elite media, get no credit for it all.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How Does Abu Ghraib You?

Have you noticed all this hand-wringing by the White House, liberal Democrats, the Left, and the Main Stream Media over whether or not to release photos of the dead Osama bin Laden?

For heaven's sake, have they already forgotten the Abu Ghraib snapshots which, for them, it was a constitutional, nay, a natural law imperative that any and all pictures of panty-hooded Iraqis be posted on the Internet immediately if not yesterday?

Unbounded hypocrisy on display yet again.

Bin Laden and the Left

In a column that will doubtless prompt howls of indignant protest, NRO's Mona Charen compares and makes explicit the similarities between the animating motivations of Osama bin Laden and those of the American Left. 

It ain't hard to do.

Take cover Mona.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Might I Have a Word?

I'm a baseball fan, the Atlanta Braves to be precise, and, as you may have heard, their pitching coach was just suspended for two weeks without pay for making, among other things, "homophobic" remarks to some heckling fans while the Braves played a game in San Francisco.

While I won't quibble with his punishment which, if for no other reason than the stupidity of responding to hecklers, seems just, I would like to dwell for a moment on the word "homophobe".

What, exactly, is meant by this?  Why is a racist not called a "negrophobe"?  Or a miscongynist, a "gynophobe"?

Could it be that revulsion at homosexuality is so natural, so reflexive, particularly among heterosexual males, that it requires something more than a traditional descriptive in order to discredit it effectively?  That is, might resistance to the normalization of homosexuality be so strong that to fight that resistance it must be labeled something more than just a garden variety bigotry, it must be called instead a psychological disorder, in fact, a phobia?

Just wondering.

An Explanation

If my last post was a bit too petulant for your taste, let me explain.

I cannot now, nor likely will ever, forgive President Obama, the lion's share of his Democrat Party colleagues, and all of the American Left for just how unnecessarily difficult they made, over the past 10 years, this most obvious of duties, and for no reason other than rank political expediency.

Thank You Mr. President

Osama Bin Laden is dead.  While we have much for which to be thankful, we should in the first instance thank our Commander-in-Chief.

Thank you Mr. President for:
...breaking your campaign pledge to close ASAP the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center,
...continuing the interrogation of the prisoners held there, or at least not forswearing the use of any  actionable intelligence gathered thereby,
...eschewing your promise to capture, i.e., not to kill, Bin Laden, as the latter would only have served to enhance his status by making him a martyr in the world of Muslim terrorists,
...forgoing the restrictive, shoot-to-wound, read'em-their-rights, and get'em-a-lawyer R.O.E. (Rules of Engagement) favored by so many of those who constitute your political base, as well as the Democrat Party.

Through the Looking Glass Debt Ceiling

Was it George Orwell who said that there are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual can believe them?

No matter, the truth is compelling nonetheless.

While I doubt former Bush II Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill qualifies as an intellectual, I'm pretty sure he'll pass for a card-carrying member of the smart set in Washington.  Apparently, he seriously thinks that raising the debt ceiling yet again is the only way to secure and improve the nation's faltering credit rating.  He's joined in this kind of thinking by current Secretary Tim Geithner, along with countless other DC savants.  And all along I thought routinely busting the debt ceiling was the main cause of our faltering credit rating.

I've made this point before, but there is some threshold over which one's antagonists pass where it is no longer meet, in fact it is sure folly to engage them any longer in anything like reasoned debate.  The proper response, the only response is mockery.  To that end, the invaluable Mark Steyn serves up a satisfying portion on this subject over at NRO.