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You Should Read Every Word They Write:
Wednesday, June 30, 2004The Ben File is a great blog -- one we should aspire to emulate, Gary. Ben is a believer, and quite a successful guy. He comments on issues of the day, and mixes in solid sports commentary. (In fact, his blog ended up in the Sports category of my FeedDemon reader.)
Today he comments on a hatchet job on Joe Gibbs and his faith done by ESPN. Good stuff.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004That was Hillary Clinton yesterday at a San Francisco fundraiser for Senate colleague Barbara Boxer. Read it and weep:
"'Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you,' Sen. Clinton said. 'We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.' "Shoot, I must be pretty well off because I benefitted from the Bush tax cuts. In fact, I think the only people to not benefit were those who don't pay any taxes. Wait ... I think they did too - if they had children, they got the child tax credit, a credit on taxes they never paid!
Hills says she needs to take the money back to get America back on track. Psst, Ms. Rodham, we're already back on track. Leave it alone. Better yet, tell us the real reason you want to reconfiscate our money. What, exactly, do you mean by "the common good"?
Great news about Sam. I've always liked him. Did I ever tell you my personal Sam Mitchell story?
He was playing (golf) in Tom Lehman's charity event and I was in the gallery. As he was walking between holes - from the green of one to the tee of the next - I walked up to him, shook his hand, and said, "Didn't your buddies tell you that your pants leg is stuck in your sock?" He was looking great, of course, nice clothes, good looking, fit gentleman. I thought it was a shame to see his general nattiness (that's a compliment, by the way) marred by the old pants-leg-in-the-sock problem. He thanked me then harangued his golfing partners about their insensitivity. It was a proud moment for me.
Of course, you've heard Michael Moore has a new movie out. Apparently it's critical of President Bush and U.S. foreign policy. (As you can tell, I haven't seen it and I don't plan to give any of my hard-earned money to Moore.) David Brooks, in his column today, gives us some insight into Michael Moore's worldview. He (Moore) doesn't think much of the average American,
"They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet ... in thrall to conniving, thieving smug [pieces of the human anatomy]," Moore intoned. "We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing."American foreign policy has produced a long list of suffering peoples, mostly for the purpose of getting more oil,
"You're stuck with being connected to this country of mine, which is known for bringing sadness and misery to places around the globe." In Liverpool, he paused to contemplate the epicenters of evil in the modern world: "It's all part of the same ball of wax, right? The oil companies, Israel, Halliburton."(Somebody's going to be very angry because President Bush just turned over the control of Iraqi oil to Iraq! What was he thinking?)
And the American economic system (the kind of system where a guy can make movies full of holes, halftruths, and lies - and become rich), well, it stinks,
"Don't go the American way when it comes to economics, jobs and services for the poor and immigrants. It is the wrong way."That's why those immigrants are coming to America - they're not treated poorly enough in their own country, they want to be treated worse here.
As I said, I won't be paying to see Moore's new movie. But I will be paying to see Michael Wilson's new movie, Michael Moore Hates America. Now that has a ring of truth to it.
I was pleased to see this item. I always thought Sam Mitchell was a good guy, and one of those real pros that just knew how to play the game the right way. I wish him well as the new head coach of the Raptors.
Monday, June 28, 2004This is really nice. An Iraqi blogger reacts to the news of today's handover of sovereignty. Here's what The Mesopotamian says: (hat tip to Kathryn in The Corner)
Hail our true friends, the Great People of the United States of America; The Freedom giving Republic, the nation of Liberators. Never has the world known such a nation, willing to spill the blood of her children and spend the treasure of her land even for the sake of the freedom and well being of erstwhile enemies. The tree of friendship is going to grow and grow and bear fruit as sure as day follows night. And the people deep down at the bottom of their hearts, they appreciate. Make no mistake about that.Wow. If Americans heard that more often (and, Lord willing, they will) this war would be going so much better.
Shout it from the rooftops!
European intelligence officials have for the first time confirmed that information provided by human intelligence sources during an operation mounted in Europe and Africa produced sufficient evidence for them to believe that Niger was the centre of a clandestine international trade in uranium.
Friday, June 25, 2004Jonah has a very interesting post in The Corner today. He refers to this story in the NYT. It seems that "Harvard -- like a lot of schools, I'm certain -- is going overseas to get many of its black students." Lani Guinier and Henry Gates find this trend "troubling." I'm sure you can guess why. Affirmative action is meant to give blacks, who have been historically harmed due to slavery and discrimination, a leg up on the competition for admission spots in universities.
But, Jonah continues,
the problem is that in order to sustain, defend and expand the racial spoils system liberals have had to argue that affirmative action is no longer a "remedy" so much as an educational benefit in itself, i.e. "diversity." So now Lee Bollinger the former President of the University of Michigan whose case was decided in the Supreme Court last year, must now defend diversity as educational tool and not as a remedy. ... "The issue is not origin, but social practices," he told the Times. "It matters in American society whether you grow up black or white. It's that differential effect that really is the basis for affirmative action."So, it turns out affirmative action is bringing in the wrong kinds of blacks - not only immigrant blacks, but mixed race students.
But one of the numerous ironies here is that the diversity fixation has created a market for qualified blacks that -- despite the protestations of Guinier & Co -- cannot be satisfied with the domestic supply. So, in the era of globalization there is a flight to quality. I think it's all just really, really interesting.Very interesting.
Thursday, June 24, 2004I am not a big fan of the "F" word, but it's hard to blame Vice President Cheney in this case.
Man, wouldn't it be great to be able to tell of a Senator like that?
James Taranto's Best of the Web Today at OpinionJournal.com has a nice surprise. It's a chapter from the new book, "Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House" (edited by James Taranto and Leonard Leo), available at the OpinionJournal Bookstore.
The chapter is written by noted historian Paul Johnson and, man, is it good. His subject is Bill Clinton. Would that the whole book were written by Mr. Johnson, but it's not. (There are, however, other fine authors contributing to the book - William Bennett, Richard Brookhiser, Lynne Cheney, Brendan Miniter, Fred Barnes, John McCain, Theodore B. Olson, Max Boot, Robert Bork, Edwin Meese III, Peggy Noonan, Kenneth Starr, Paul Gigot, Robert Bartley, Victor Davis Hanson, and others.) Anyway, Paul Johnson's contribution is wonderful. He begins,
Presenting a just estimate of the Clinton presidency will pose perhaps insoluble problems to historians. The printed record of his doings, misdoings, and omissions is unarguably deplorable from start to finish. Yet he was reelected without difficulty, and some would argue that, had it been constitutionally possible for him to run for a third term, he would have been elected again. It is a fact that historians will have to take into account, for it is central to the success he enjoyed that William Jefferson Clinton was a formidable personality, at least in one sense: Face-to-face, it was almost impossible to dislike him. Indeed it was difficult not to like him very much. As Tony Blair put it to me: "I found I had to like him, despite all the evidence."And he goes on, giving Clinton credit for nothing except being Bill Clinton. In fact, one of his greatest strengths as a President was his lack of activity.
If Clinton had been a continent man, and so with time to be an activist president, the consequences would almost certainly have been disastrous for the American economy. As it was, with the president busy elsewhere, the nation thrived mightily, as always when the White House does nothing.In the end, I guess we're fortunate that he did so little and yet unfortunate that he was so successful at it.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004Talk about poetic justice. Michael Moore, maker of fictional 'documentaries,' may be restricted from advertising his film after July 30. The general counsel to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has advised the Commission
that political documentary filmmakers may not air television or radio ads referring to federal candidates within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election.Although I believe the McCain-Feingold is horrible legislation, it's nice to see it causing trouble for the reprehensible Moore. No one is more deserving.
The article also mentions 4 other movies that would be affected by the ruling. Revealed: There is no shortage of money backing the "Bush for Ex-President" campaign.
This columnist from The Albuquerque Tribune, (Jeffry Gardner), has some news for his readers, and he thinks the Bush administration needs to "go positive."
The mainstream media is less to blame for my having to gin up this tell-all than is the administration. The Bush folks are so consumed with "defining" Kerry that they've forgotten they have a positive story to tell.Here, exactly, is how the economy rocks:
Since the first of the year, 1.5 million jobs have been created, and economists project that number may double by year's end. Americans' per-capita income is up. The Treasury Department reports an increase in tax revenues, which shrank the budget deficit by $100 million in the first quarter - far, far ahead of Congressional Budget Office projections.Gardner makes a great point. The truth needs to be told to balance against the lies Kerry is telling day after day.
The American Film Institute last night released it's list of 100 top movie songs of all time. I only caught the last hour of the show, but of course, that was the best hour. I'm proud to say my wife and I picked the top 3 when they were showing us the 20th (approximately) song. Here's the top 10:
Good stuff. AFI also has lists of Heroes & Villians, Passions, Thrills, Laughs, Stars, & Movies.
Guess who I found in the St. Paul Pioneer Press this morning? Mark Steyn! Somebody must have fallen asleep in Pioneer Press offices to let this slip through. Steyn's opinion piece is about Air America (the link is to Steyn's page - it turns out the column appeared in the June 7th National Review, I don't know why the Pioneer Press is printing it now), the left's feeble attempt at talk radio. Here's Mark:
Remember Air America? The brilliant pre-publicity campaign marred only by an ill-advised decision to actually launch the product? The hype was coast to coast, but the station was only in a handful of markets, and a couple of those dumped the station after a bounced check, and most of the senior executives departed after a couple of weeks, which, according to whom you believe, was either part of the original business plan or extremely necessary because one of them was a "former Republican activist from Guam" and thus likely a double-agent for the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004I want one!
Monday, June 21, 2004Cafe Hayek does a nice job summarizing a report by the inestimable John Lott that clearly shows that if you outlaw guns, only outlaws have guns. In 1997, England rather grandly banned practically all handgun ownership, and so naturally, crime increased as the criminals of England realized that most folks could reasonably protect themselves. Crime was actually declining in the years before the ban, but shot up immediately upon the ban taking effect. Same thing happened in Australia after their gun ban. What a surprise. Both England and Australia now have violent crime rates that are double that of the United States.
Here's my comment: Duh!
Seems obvious to the casual observer, but not obvious to the folks who drive around our fair state with "Repeal Conceal" bumper stickers.
Friday, June 18, 2004An al-Qaida group followed through on their threat to behead American contractor Paul Johnson if Saudi Arabia did not release its al-Qaida prisoners. Could anyone not have predicted this would happen? It was inevitable ... unless. Here's what the Saudis should have done. They should have answered the al-Qaida threat by saying, "If you execute this prisoner, we will release the prisoners. They may be picked up at the east gate of the Riyadh prison, their heads may be picked up at the west gate." This response could even have been transmitted through back channels, not publicly. Honestly, though, I don't think the Saudis are that concerned about dead Americans.
Thursday, June 17, 2004Jay Nordlinger Impromptued again on NRO. The best part of this one was the letters (gotta love the letters). They were in response to J-Nord's essay on Reagan a couple days ago. Here are some excerpts from multiple letters:
"I think liberals were shocked, and maybe frightened, by the outpouring of love and respect this past week."
The Power Line guys take a critical look at the 9/11 Commission's preliminary report. Relying heavily on Andrew McCarthy's ("the former chief assistant United States Attorney who successfully prosecuted the blind sheik and eleven other defendants for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993") analysis in NRO, the Big Trunk asks why the commission is ignoring all evidence of an Iraq-Al Qaeda connection.
The wire services and newspapers certainly got the headlines they wanted:
"No Iraq Ties To Al-Qaida Found" (Mpls. Star Tribune)
"Report Discounts Iraq Ties To Al-Qaida" (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
Also, the New York Post editorial today takes a shot at the way news reporting, and Democrat hacks, have skewed the conclusions of the commission's report. The editorial also makes a couple interesting points. First:
In fact, as Stephen Hayes writes in The Weekly Standard, the conventional wisdom in Washington long before George W. Bush took office was that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were partners in terrorism.Hmmm. And,
Meanwhile, back in 1999, ABC News reported that Saddam had offered bin Laden asylum, citing their "long relationship" and a December 1998 meeting in Afghanistan between Osama and Iraqi intelligence chief Faruq Hijazi.Again, hmmmm. The next sentence, "Did everyone mislead America?" Exactly. There's much more in the editorial, read it.
A proposal that would have encouraged the mass exodus of Southern Baptist children from the public school system was killed at this year's annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (search), supporters say because leadership felt it was too radical for the organization.Too bad. Well, it's a start at least. I think more and more people should be thinking this way, and the publicity surrounding this proposal will make that happen.
The proposal, sponsored by retired Air Force General Thomas Pinckney and home-school advocate and attorney Bruce Shortt, suggested that each parent in the estimated 16 million-membership of the SBC take their children out of the public school system because, they say, it has long fostered an anti-Christian world view.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004How sweet it was to see the Lakers fall last night. And not just lose, but lose badly. They were dominated by Detroit. Bye-bye Kobe. Bye-bye Shaq. Time to retire Karl, Gary, Phil, Rick Fox! You're done. It would have been sweeter if the Wolves had been the drubbers, but I'll take the next best thing.
Did you notice the TV ratings on the DRUDGE REPORT? "FLASH: NBA FINALE NEARLY DOUBLES AUDIENCE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR... ABC HITS 15.4 RATING/24 SHARE FOR TUESDAY NITE [OVER 8.7/14 IN 2003]... 51 SHARE MAX FOR LOS ANGELES... 67 SHARE MAX DETROIT... " It seems the whole country wanted to see the Lakers lose. I didn't watch any of the series until last night when I checked the game at halftime - Pistons up 10. I decided to watch to see if the Pistons could do it. So I kept watching, and it kept getting better and better. I've never been happier to see a team lose.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004Cal Thomas writes today:
The Southern Baptist Convention - the nation's largest Protestant denomination with about 17 million members - is meeting this week in Indianapolis, and among the resolutions it is considering is one calling upon parents to withdraw their children from public schools and either educate them at home, or enroll them in private Christian academies.I say, "Do it! The sooner the better." I appreciate the SBC's willingness to take a stand on the Bible and to live by it. Surely, Southern Baptists are not perfect and neither is the SBC, but that doesn't mean that they (and all Christians) shouldn't strive for perfection. We ought always to strive to do what is right.
"God gives the responsibility for education of children to the parents, not the government." Very true. And as a side benefit, the education establishment will begin to squirm a bit as their government funds shrink, as their influence shrinks. They might actually start listening to parents!
It'll be interesting to watch this story this week.
Friday, June 11, 2004I was quite moved by Baroness Thatcher's Eulogy to President Reagan.
That Maggie Thatcher is one awesome woman.
"In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that day may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future...I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead."
Some poeple just have no class. None.
There are few things are more fun for me to watch than the Lakers getting their butts handed to them.
I vowed not to watch the finals because I think they are totally fixed. And finally someone besides me noticed the subtle ways that the refs helped the Lakers win game 2.
Detroit is a better team. I don't see how that can be denied. They could very easily be up 3-0 right now, save a phantom foul call and a resulting free point and Kobe's shot. The Lakers are simply being out-played and outclassed. They can't get a decent shot, no one besides Kobe and Shaq are doing anything, the "hall of famers" who are supposed to be the ones to get them over the hump look like a couple of glue-factory horses, and they can't stop the pick and roll. Chauncey Billups is eating them alive on the pick and roll. I don't know why they don't run it every single time down the floor. The Lakers simply cannot stop it.
Detroit is going to win this thing. The Lakers may take one at Detroit, forcing the game back to LA, but the Pistons aren't even remotely afraid of playing at Staples Center.
The fun part here -- besides, of course, watching the Lakers lose -- is watching the press go into coniptions over it. They all thought the Laker juggernaut was unstoppable, and they are so wrong. They love the Lakers so much, all the headlines this morning are about the Lakers losing, and not about Detroit winning.
Go Pistons. Make them all look like idiots.
Man, I hate the Lakers.
Thursday, June 10, 2004I was touched by this recounting of Reagan's last moments.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004Hey, thanks for the 'props'. I'll be out for a while so - tag - you're up. See you Monday.
I've been sick, and haven't been able to keep up with you. But I must say, since I've been on the bench, you have been on fire, man. That Colson stuff, connecting it to the Perle article? A wonder to behold.
Chuck Colson is one of the great thinkers of the Christian church. His thoughts on Ronald Reagan are no less insightful. Here's an excerpt:
But when Reagan was elected, all of that changed. He started talking about the "Evil Empire." At one time I thought he was being overly simplistic and said so in Christianity Today. But he was right; I was wrong.How often do you see someone write, "he was right; I was wrong" ? It takes a solid man to do that.
Colson here makes a point similar to Richard Perle's below. Perle said Reagan chose to "engage the Soviet Union on the battlefield of ideas," Colson, "on the basis of morality." But Perle fleshes out the same point as Colson. The Soviet system was brutal, illegitimate, and tyrannical. In other words, evil. A moral judgement was made. There was no relativity. No "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Reagan had a moral compass and used it. The same is true of Bush. And both are vilified for it.
Jonah Goldberg on Ronald Reagan on National Review Online: "To summarize why I admired the Gipper: He was put on earth to do two things: kick butt and chew gum, and he ran out of gum around 1962."
Cry me a river. Billy Boy Clinton is whining that he doesn't get to speak at Reagan's funeral. Give me a break. The reason that he isn't being asked to speak is that his ego isn't big enough to get into the church. What a crybaby.
Ronald Reagan is dead, but it's all about me, me, ME! Why can't I be on national television??? It's all about MEEEEEEE!
Good heavens but I hate that awful man. I really do. I know I shouldn't but I do. He's just so utterly reprehensible.
I really hate him.
Justin Katz of Dust in the Light was kind enough to notice us and link to us and put us in his blogroll. Justin is a believer, and apparently a very interesting and talented guy. It's hard to keep up, as he appears quite busy, but as far as I can tell, among many other things, Justin writes books and has a CD out. Justin is also part of the big-time in blogger-dom, having been linked to many times in the Corner by Ramesh Ponurru (a for instance).
Since Justin linked to us, we now actually have a profile at Technorati. Cool! I guess the only place to go from here is up! Thanks a ton to Justin.
One must always read Mark Steyn. Here is his tribute to Ronald Reagan. I only want to quote one part. These are not Steyn's words, but a quote from Dutch, Edmund Morris' biography of Reagan:
'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!' declaims Dutch, trying hard to look infuriated, but succeeding only in an expression of mild petulance ... One braces for a flash of prompt lights to either side of him: APPLAUSE.What mindless drivel! I made the decision long ago not to read this book, and I am feeling really good about it. Whoever chose Edmund to be the official biographer made a huge mistake. OH, that's horrible!
But Mark Steyn's piece is good, read that.
writes in OpinionJournal about "Freedom's Team - How Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul II won the Cold War." Reagan's strategy "rested on six pillars" -
On June 7, 1982, the day before Reagan gave his "ash heap" speech at Westminster Abbey, he met alone with the pope in the Vatican. Richard Allen, Reagan's first national security adviser, says the two men "agreed to undertake a clandestine campaign to hasten the dissolution of the communist empire." Until it was legalized in 1989, Poland's Solidarity union was kept alive by the U.S. and the Vatican. Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, who later became president of free Poland, has said that "we owe our freedom to their unstinting efforts."Did you further know ...
that the Reagan administration allowed a Soviet agent to steal gas-pipeline software that had been secretly designed to go haywire on a catastrophic scale. The ruse led to a June 1982 explosion in the Siberian wilderness that Mr. Reed says was "the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space." It crippled the Soviet's secret techno-piracy operation because they could longer be sure if what they were buying or stealing was similarly booby-trapped.So it was more than just a matter of calling them the "evil empire" and proposing SDI. Reagan pressured and destabilised the Soviet Union from many directions and, with the help of Mrs. Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, "won the Cold War without firing a shot."
Today's OpinionJournal editorial:
A myth has developed that Iraqis aren't grateful for their liberation from Saddam. So it's worth noting that the leaders of Iraq's new interim government have been explicit and gracious in their thanks, not that you've heard this from the U.S. media.You're welcome. Glad to help.
Monday, June 07, 2004Richard Perle on Ronald Reagan:
Even now, the irony that so non-intellectual a man should choose to engage the Soviet Union on the battlefield of ideas has eluded most commentators and historians.
The Office of Ronald Reagan has released the schedule of funeral events this week. You might want to be in front of a TV at these times:
Wednesday, June 9, 2004
5:00 pm EDT Aircraft arrives Andrews AFB
6:00 pm EDT Formal Funeral Procession to U.S. Capitol
7:00 pm EDT State Funeral Ceremony in Rotunda of U.S. Capitol
Friday, June 11, 2004
10:30 am EDT Departure Ceremony at U.S. Capitol
10:45 am EDT Motorcade departs U.S. Capitol
11:15 am EDT Motorcade arrives Washington National Cathedral
11:30 am EDT National Funeral Service at Washington National Cathedral
2:45 pm EDT Aircraft departs Andrews Air Force Base
6:00 pm PDT Motorcade arrives Reagan Library
6:15 pm PDT Private Interment Service at Reagan Library
I've been waiting for Peggy Noonan to write about President Reagan and, thankfully, it wasn't a long wait. I don't know what to say about him that could be better said than Peggy. But I'll say this, he was a man who saw right and wrong clearly, who knew what he had to do, and did it (as far as he was able). He didn't waver, he didn't go wobbly, he stood on his principles through it all. And he combined those great qualities with good ones - faith in God, love for all men, humor, warmth, faithfulness.
This was a life with size. It had heft, and meaning. And I am thinking of what Stephen Vincent Benet, a writer whom he quoted, wrote on the death of his friend Scott Fitzgerald. "You can take off your hats now, gentlemen, and I think perhaps you'd better."
Gary -- count me in. I'd love to see a movie ripping up that big butterball.
Many others will say far more eloquent and meaningful things about the death of Ronald Reagan than I can. Let me just say this: Ronald Reagan was a great, great man who led a great, great life and did great, great things. The world -- the whole world -- is a much better place because of his courage and the strength of his indomitable will. I mourn his passing, and pray that we find another leader half as great as he was. I was proud to serve in the US Navy under Reagan. I was proud to vote for him in 1984. One of the great regrets of my life is foolishly passing up the opportunity to cast my first ever vote for him in 1980.
Let me say again: Ronald Reagan was a great, great man.
Sunday, June 06, 2004Twin Cities filmmaker Mike Wilson is my hero. He's turning the tables on Michael Moore by making a documentary, "Michael Moore Hates America," showing what a pompous ass Moore is.
Wilson says his documentary tries to point out the biases behind Moore films such as "Bowling" and the highly anticipated "Fahrenheit 9/11," which will be released June 25 and which Wilson has not seen. He says it's not only a response to Moore but also to others who have added to "the shrillness that has engulfed the American conversation."Wilson says he was motivated by Moore's implication in Bowling For Columbine that a Flint, MI, school shooting was due to a single mom working 2 jobs.
...my mom worked two jobs when I was a kid, and it was like a personal slap to her to say you can't work two jobs and raise your children properly. My mom worked really hard, and she taught us right from wrong.Wilson tried to interview Moore more than 50 times but, of course, was unsuccessful.
"The closest I got was I did run into him at the (University of Minnesota) when he was on his book tour, and he started screaming at me," says Wilson. The screaming began when Wilson mentioned the title of his film in the middle of asking a question. "It was quite a sight — 7,000 Michael Moore fans, just booing me."Mike Wilson is a man who must be applauded, supported, and followed. I plan on going to the theater to see "Michael Moore Hates America." Who's with me?
Friday, June 04, 2004I don't know if you've read much of David Gelernter's stuff but I think he's a must read. He is a victim of the Unabomber, a Yale Professor, computer scientist, and author. I've read one of his books, Drawing Life: Surviving the Unabomber, it's excellent.
Anyway, today he has an OpinionJournal article about World War II remembrances recent and soon. He's not buying it.
A cultural establishment that (on the whole) doesn't give a damn about World War II or its veterans thinks it can undo a half-century of indifference verging on contempt by repeating a silly phrase ("the greatest generation") like a magic spell while deploying fulsome praise like carpet bombing.He's right, of course. Most Americans under 30 can't name a significant battle of the war, a good chunk probably can't name whom we fought against. These things need to be taught - if only there was enough time after sex ed, diversity, multiculturalism, and loving our mother (the earth). But I will say this, all the recent attention given to WWII and its veterans has raised my interest level - I want to learn more. I'm guessing that's true for a lot of people. Will we follow up on that hunger? I will, I don't know about everyone else.
Gelernter points to a characteristic common to mankind - when the limelight shines bright we try the hardest to be the people we should be, but who are we when no one's looking? That's when our character, faith, and discipline carry us (or don't).
Lucianne.com today has the following quote from Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi. but there's no mention of when and where it occurred. Regardless, it's a winner.
They must know the price the Americans paid to free our continent. Half a million killed in world war II. More than 7000 killed on D-Day alone, in Normandy; 25,000 killed to liberate Italy. Some of them rest in peace in our country, buried in Anzio. I suggest you visit that cemetery, and see the names of people unknown to you: John, Charlie, Robert, Ted, Howard... Men aged 20, 22, who gave up their life for our freedom.
Gary, glad that you like James' missives. James really is a great guy -- he's the perfect dinner guest: funny, interesting, kind, and generally a good guy. I definitely count him among the great American's I know. I miss eating lunch with him.
Dateline Baghdad: 16 May-19 May
Thursday, June 03, 2004Nick, I enjoy reading your letters from James in Baghdad. Hugh Hewitt posts another letter from a Marine near Fallujah.
We have made great inroads in breaking up insurgent cells through ambushes and raids. Even more important, we have begun to establish an early and still fragile rapport with the people of these areas.He goes on to tell of a firefight with mujahadeen (muj) in the area:
It was a 360 degree engagement that lasted 8 hours. An 8 hour firefight is an eternity. To put it in perspective, this guy was in both OIF 1 battle for Baghdad as well as the Fallujah fight. He states that the firefight up near this town was the toughest he has been in. We fired quite a bit of artillery and brought in a number of sorties of close air for them. By the time it was over, the estimates (now confirmed) are that they killed over a 100 muj. We could not understand why they kept coming but they did (more on that later). Throughout it all, very accurate mortar fire up to 120mm was falling inside the Marine position. Automatic weapons and RPGs were crisscrossing through the perimeter. The Marines just laid there in the micro terrain and squeezed off well aimed shots.Yeah! I love these guys!
The upshot is the regular folks in the area are warming to our forces. "The people were watching the entire time and have made up their own minds where their best future lies." They (the Marines) are receiving more walk up intelligence & more cooperation in locating the bad guys. The Iraqi people see the contrast between our guys, who treat them with respect, and the thugs, who rape, intimidate, steal, etc., and they're making the wise choice.
Read the whole thing, it's pretty good.
Rudy Giuliani, call your office.
Rudy Giuliani, call your office.
World magazine has a nice interview with Mr. Buckley (WFB), founder of National Review magazine and conservative icon.
Nobody turns a phrase like WFB. In answering a question about his ability to civilly debate his opponents, he says:
It is to be expected that the most conspicuous representatives of antagonistic positions will pitch their voices in such a way as to please the ideological mobs. But time tends to dull political lances inordinately honed.I love that! "Time tends to dull political lances inordinately honed." It is my life goal to use that in conversation at least once.
The interview ends with this exchange:
WORLD: Looking back at your life, what was a waste of time, and what should you have spent more time doing?There's no one like him.
It looks like he's back. It's been too long. Today's topic: "This Is a Stupid Country".
Interesting you'd post that about modest clothing. I whole-heartedly agree about the need to banish people from paying any attention to anything that Brittany Spears does.
Coincidently, I found this link -- Modest by Design -- on my MyYahoo page this morning. Everyday they have a few links that they think are interesting, and this was one of them. Cool.
And re: the Seventeen magazine person -- being sexy is all there is. There is nothing else as far as she is concerned.
For reasons I cannot explain, I have had "I'm a Little Bit Country" running through my head. You know, the Donnie and Marie song. It's been a big curse, because no serious person likes that song.
But it got me thinking. Marie, I can buy her as "a little bit country". I mean, put her in a frilly, 70's dress, gussy up her her in a Tammy Baker kind of thing, and I can believe that she's a bit of a country singer. And come on, who among us wouldn't admit to having at least a little bit of a crush on Marie back in the day
But I'm sorry, Donny was another story . That helmet-haired, beaver-toothed insane-smiling doofus didn't have a single ounce of "rock-n-roll" in his skinny little body. The thought that "Donnie Osmond" and "Rock-n-Roll" would even be used in a sentence together is completely, utterly ludicrous. Yet there it is -- the signature song of that irrepressible brother and sister duo -- claiming that Donnie was "a little bit rock-n-roll"
This is good news. As a father of girls, I'm all for a more modest look in fashion. Our society is constantly pushing kids towards "adulthood" far too early and clothing styles are a big part of that. Kids need to be kids. I would be proud to have a daughter like Ella Gunderson, the girl in this story (although her spelling could use a little work). She complained to Nordstrom after a recent shopping trip.
"I see all of these girls who walk around with pants that show their belly button and underwear," she wrote. "Your clearks sugjest [sic] that there is only one look. If that is true, then girls are suppost to walk around half naked."Good for you, Ella!
But it's obvious that some people still don't get it. Here's how Gigi Solif Schanen (is that a real name?), fashion editor at Seventeen magazine, sees it:
We like to call this new girl Miss Modesty. It's such a different feeling but still very pretty and feminine and sexy. It's just a little more covered up. It's kind of like a sexy take on a librarian. I think people are tired of seeing so much skin and want to leave a little more to the imagination.Uh, hello? What are you talking about? You're completely missing the point! It's not another way to look sexy. "Sexy" is the problem. Just let them be girls. Of course, if Seventeen magazine were to see the light it would be the end of their magazine.
Wednesday, June 02, 2004I'm sorry, but George Bush is just the man. How cool is this guy? You have to know that the cadets loved having him there. What a great photo. I don't think I can adequately express how much I admire this guy. I'd love to meet him.
You know, W is really a litmus test, a Rorschach Test for people. If you don't admire him as a man of strong character and integrity, then I must seriously call your character and integrity into question. The Left admires Bill Clinton and scorns George Bush. Doesn't that speak volumes about them?
By the way, here is the complete text of Bush's speech today at the United States Air Force Academy.
Mark Cuban has some facts on the refereeing during the playoffs, most notably information about Danny Crawford and his crew.
I note that in general, Crawford calls "loose" games. Given that the Wolves can't win when Crawford refs, I conclude that the Wolves prefer a tightly called contest, which stands to reason, since they play a discipline, skills-based offense that relies on clean play.
I have been falling behind in forwarding on my posts from my buddy James in Baghdad.
Dateline: Baghdad, May 14, (14:00)
Tuesday, June 01, 2004So we finally get an Impromptus out of the Nord! It's about time ... what a slacker.
Rod Dreher has a good article today about the paucity of good news from Iraq. I'm sick of hearing about Iraqi detainees, roadside bombs, ambushes, etc. while not hearing about things like this:
These are the kinds of things we should be hearing from the press. Sadly, they don't seem to want to report them. Hence, someone - either the Bush campaign committee, or one of these 527s we keep hearing about - should package these facts into a nice ad and begin airing it nonstop. If the word doesn't get out ... say hello to President Kerry.
This one isn't strictly a reader letter, but it is a letter none the less.
I laughed out loud at this one, because it is so very true.
"The first thing we must do is kill all the lawyers" -- Shakespeare's King Henry VI
As I've always said, I read NRO for the Letters.
Scroll down to the end of Jay Nordlinger's latest Impromptus and read the letter there -- it's a home run.
I just got off the phone with Rosenbaum and O'Connell on am 1500 KSTP, where I spoke briefly with Dr. Pense, the guy leading the "Ushers of the Eucharist" group that was protesting the giving of Communion to a group of Rainbow sash-wearing gay men. I say briefly, because they cut me off pretty quickly after I said "...I'll go ahead and say it, I think the Bishop is a coward." ;-)
In the time that I had, I did encourage Dr. Pense, and tell him I thought he was doing a good thing. He was speaking the truth about two things -- about homosexuality, and about the role of men in the church. As you know, I'm not Catholic, but he was speaking about the role of men as leaders and protectors -- all things that good Christian men should know and understand. The thing that struck me, though, was how strange the truth sounded. As he spoke, I realized that what he was saying was very much not "politically correct", and I confess that I actually cringed a bit as he said it.
But that's the problem, isn't it? The Bishop won't stand up to homosexuals in the church, and he won't stand up for masculinity, and so the popular culture becomes feminized and homosexualized.
And I do think that Bishop Flynn is a coward. I read the Pioneer Press article, which had this in it:
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, however, said in a statement it would not deny Communion to those wearing sashes because "members of this group have previously assured us, in writing, that their attendance at the annual Pentecost Mass … is not in protest of the Church's teachings.''
Please. What kind of fool do you have to be to buy that? A pretty big one. The so-called "Rainbow Coalition" is making a clear and open political statement about their view of church teaching. Defying the rules of the Catholic Church so openly clearly is protesting the church's teachings. The Catholic Church has rules and doctrines, and if you don't like those rules, then leave the church. To expect the church to heel to your way of thinking is hubris; however, it is worse for the church to lay down and let such people run rough-shod over the teachings of the church.
So yes, I'll say it again here on my blog where I can't be cut off -- Bishop Flynn, and any other bishop who cowers before these sinful, immoral people, is a coward. He should stand up to immorality and sin, he should stand up for masculinity and the truth, and he should start acting like a man of authority, which he is.
In addition, I'll add that we Christian men in the country are to a large degree as guilty as Bishop Flynn. The fact that I cringed when Dr. Pense spoke of the need for men to be men speaks volumes to me about how much feminism and its philosophy has seeped into my psyche. Men need to be men, and not cow before the alter of feminism. We in the Church need to realize that more than anyone, and we need to do something about it.
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