Monday, September 28, 2009
REGULATING ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING
Two British policewomen are in trouble because they watch each other's kids on a regular basis. The charge is "operating an illegal childminding business."
Lest you think that this is only a British form of insantiy and such things could never happen in the United States...
continued at Chicago Boyz
Thursday, September 24, 2009
THE WEIRDNESS OF MANUEL ZELAYA
Manuel Zelaya was ousted as President of Honduras, at the direction of that country's Supreme Court, because he was attempting to seek a second term--which is clearly prohibited by the Honduran constitution.
Now illegally back in Honduras, and hanging out at the Brazilian embassy, Zelaya claims that "Israeli mercenaries" are torturing him with high-frequency radiation.
More on this from Robert Avrech. See also Fausta, who posts a report that Zelaya's return was orchestrated by the extreme left-wing, anti-American, and anti-Israel President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.
Manuel Zelaya is the man who Barack Obama wishes to have reinstalled as President of Honduras.
A LETTER FROM POLAND
...about Obama's recent action regarding ballistic missile defense and the highly offensive way in which this action was announced. Here.
This is painful to read.
cross-posted at Chicago Boyz
Monday, September 21, 2009
Healthcare, Marie Antoinette, Michelle Obama, and organic food...all in a single post. From the always-interesting MaxedOutMama.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
A nice collection of sunrises and sunsets.
via Newmark's Door
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
LEWIS VS HALDANE
J B S Haldane was an eminent British scientist (population genetics) and a Marxist. C S Lewis was...well, you probably already know who C S Lewis was.
In 1946, Haldane published an article critiquing a series of novels by Lewis known as the Ransom Trilogy, and particularly the last book of the series, That Hideous Strength. Lewis responded in a letter which remained unpublished for many of years. All this may sound ancient and estoteric, but I believe the Lewis/Haldane controversy is very relevant to our current political and philosophical landscape.
continued at Chicago Boyz
Sunday, September 13, 2009
BLACK STORM CLOUDS AND BRILLIANT LIGHTNING FLASHES
Today there are once more saints and villains. Instead of the uniform grayness of the rainy day, we have the black storm cloud and the brilliant lightning flash. Outlines stand out with exaggerated sharpness. Shakespeare's characters walk among us. The villain and the saint emerge from primeval depths and by their appearannce they tear open the infernal or the divine abyss from which they come and enable us to see for a moment into mysteries of which we had never dreamed.
(For those who are not familiar with Bonhoeffer--he was an important leader of the anti-Nazi resistance in Germany. He was executed in 1945.)
I was reminded of the above passage by something Cara Ellison wrote a couple of days ago in discussing the 9/11 anniversary:
I guess I thought they were all gone, those types of monsters, stranded on reels of black and white film.
continued at Chicago Boyz
Friday, September 11, 2009
9/11 PLUS EIGHT YEARS
(This is basically a rerun of my posts from this day in 2006 and 2007. Some new links added this year are at the bottom of the post.)
I am increasingly worried about our prospects for success in the battle against those who would destroy our civilization. America and the other democracies possess great military, economic, and intellectual strengths--but severe internal divisions threaten our ability to use these resources effectively.
Within days of the collapse of the Towers, it started. "Progressive" demonstrators brought out the stilt-walkers, the Uncle Sam constumes, and the giant puppets of George Bush. They carried signs accusing America of planning "genocide" against the people of Afghanistan.
Professors and journalists preached about the sins of Western civilization, asserting that we had brought it all on ourselves. A well-known writer wrote of her unease when her daughter chose to buy and display an American flag. Some universities banned the display of American flags in dormitories, claiming that such display was "provocative."
Opinions such as these have metastacized to the point at which they are no longer irrelevant to mainstream politics. Former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, along with other leading Democrats, attended a special screening of Michael Moore's movie Farenheit 9/11. Moore is well-known for his outrageous statements about the country in which he lives--things he is credibly reported to have said include: "(Americans) are possibly the dumbest people on the planet . . . in thrall to conniving, thieving smug [pieces of the human anatomy]," (in an interview with the British newspaper The Mirror) and "That's why we're smiling all the time. You can see us coming down the street. You know, `Hey! Hi! How's it going?' We've got that big [expletive] grin on our face all the time because our brains aren't loaded down" (to a crowd in Munich) and "You're stuck with being connected to this country of mine, which is known for bringing sadness and misery to places around the globe." (to a crowd in Cambridge, England.) And about the terrorists who are killing Americans and Iraqis on a daily basis in Iraq, Moore had this to say: "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not `insurgents' or `terrorists' or `The Enemy.' They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win."
This is the individual who shared Jimmy Carter's box at the Democratic National Convention, and who continues to be very popular in "progressive" circles.
Imagine if a former President, in the midst of World War II, had embraced a man who spoke to foreign audiences about the stupidity of the American people and referred to our German and Japanese enemies as "heroes." Imagine also that such attitudes had been openly embraced by a large part of the Republican Party leadership and by many well-known writers and entertainers. Could Franklin Roosevelt have led the nation to victory under such circumstances?
And continuously, there has been the steady drip-drip-drip of moral equivalence. In September 2003, Howard Dean, now Democratic National Committee Chairman, stated that the US should not "take sides" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Actually, the refusal to draw a bright line against Palestinian terrorism is a major factor that enabled 9/11 and other terrorist atrocities.
Susan Turnbull, Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, referred to the killing of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as murder. Follow this link and you can hear it for yourself. Yes, she corrected herself and changed it to the "bombing" of Zarqawi. However: As far as I can tell, Turnbull is a native speaker of the English language. And I don't think any native English speaker would use the term "murdered" unless they disapproved of what had been done. Certainly, few Americans during WWII would have referred to the "murder" of Admiral Yamamoto (whose plane was shot down after his movement plans became known via communications intercepts) or the "murder" of German war criminals who were executed after the war.
Many individuals, particularly among religious leaders, show a stunning naivete. Annika quotes from a homily at a church in her neighborhood: "What if, instead of bombing Afghanistan, we had dropped food, medicine and education?"
How could anyone with an IQ above refrigerator temperature say such a thing? Even if education could somehow be "dropped," isn't this priest aware that the Taliban specifically denied education to women, and greatly limited the kinds of education that were available to men? Does he think the Taliban's executions at the soccer stadium, or its destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, were motivated by a desire for food and medicine?
People who say such things are so caught up in the catch-phrases they have been taught that they are completely unable to understand the real motivations of the enemy.
Bryan Preston: Rather than accept the reality of an enemy that cannot and therefore will not negotiate away what he believes to be the will of God, and rather than accept that this enemy will understand nothing outside total victory or total defeat, and rather than understand that this enemy’s goals include enslaving the entire world in a global caliphate, and rather than accept that this reality necessitates the use of all tools including military might to defend ourselves, millions have embraced an alternate reality. The reality of the enemy outside the West and its motivations being too terrifying and too far beyond their own control, millions now imagine that the enemy in this war is within. The enemy, to them, isn’t the turbaned man behind the plot to hijack multiple airplanes and crash them into multiple buildings in America. The real enemy, to these millions, is the man in the Oval Office, and the man or men behind him.
Five years on, the illness of replacing an implacable, indeed alien enemy with one from our own civilizational family has spread and metastasized through the majority of one of our two political parties, and may yet claim a majority of the country itself. History has a way of fading out as the day’s current noise rises in volume, and to them 9-11 is either history or a historic lie. The loudest voice, though not always or even often right, is often the one that gets the last word. And the 9-11 deniers and their allies across the left are nothing if not loud.
Five years on, it’s hard to take a positive look at the war because we are failing to comprehend it. The mass denial of reality is taking half our arsenal of unity and morale away from us. Those of us who see the threat for what it is still say that we will prevail because we are right and because we are America, but that’s just letting the others off the hook. If we’re going to prevail anyway, why should they snap out of their fog? And why should we demand that they do? The truth is, we need the denial to end and we need our countrymen to understand and help, but since we’re powerless to cure it with reason we shrug or laugh at it. But it’s eating away at our ability to defend ourselves.
It has to be said: The mass denial of reality is taking half our arsenal of unity and morale away from us. We are not dealing here merely with normal differences about policy that can be debated by rational individuals. We are have in our midst a significant number of individuals who are filled with rage toward their own country, who are highly susceptible to bizarre conspiracy theories, who lack any form of historical perspective, who are increasingly eager to engage in scapegoating.
In 2006, I visited an old industrial facility that has been restored to operating condition. One of the machines there, dating from around 1900, was called an attrition mill. It contains two steel discs, which rotate at high speed in opposite directions, crushing the kernels of grain between them.
I fear that our civilization is caught in a gigantic attrition mill, with one disc being the terrorist enemy, and the other being the reality-deniers within our own societies.
Links worth following:
Roger L Simon
A post byJane Galt, written six months after 9/11, when she was volunteering at the World Trade Center site.
A worthwhile essay at The American Thinker: The Moral Emptiness of the Left. Also see Bret Stephens on some of the roots of the left's confused thinking on terrorism.
Finally, Reflecting Light has some eloquent words.
UPDATE: Lead and Gold has links, excerpts, and reflections, all of which are well worth reading.
Neptunus Lex was operations officer on an aircraft carrier when the news came in. Read the comments, too.
UPDATES FOR 2008: Cara Ellison has pictures and a story.
Here is some very depressing survey data about international beliefs regarding 9/11. In Italy, for example, 15% of the people surveyed believed that the U.S. government was behind the attacks. In Egypt, 12% said that the attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. government, while 43% blamed Israel.
UPDATES FOR 2009: Ryan Mauro ask are we getting complacent about terror? Ralph Peters believes that the answer to this question is clearly "yes." (via PowerLine)
Bookworm has thoughts and links.
cross-posted at Chicago Boyz
Thursday, September 10, 2009
PAGLIA ON THE DEMOCRATS
Camille Paglia on the Democratic Party and its cheering section in the media. Plenty of shots at the Republicans, too.
(via the Advice Goddess)
cross-posted at Chicago Boyz
Monday, September 07, 2009
Cliff May reviews a new book by George Gilder on the importance of Israel:
Israel is, Gilder contends, "not only the canary in the coal mine — it is also a crucial part of the mine." If Americans will not defend Israel, they will "prove unable to defend anything else. The Israel test is finally our own test of survival as a free nation."
(via Maggie's Farm)
Note that Obama's "green jobs czar" Van Jones, who recently resigned after bloggers and others revealed some of his past statements, has said some very negative things about Israel. Following Gilder's logic, Joness's negativity toward so many aspects of American society should not be surprising.
According to senior British officials, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did have advance knowledge of the planned release of the Lockerbie bomber:
'The US was kept fully in touch about everything that was going on with regard to Britain’s discussions with Libya in recent years and about Megrahi,' said the Whitehall aide.
'We would never do anything about Lockerbie without discussing it with the US. It is disingenuous of them to act as though Megrahi’s return was out of the blue.'
Svetlana Kunin, who came to this country form the Soviet Union in 1980, writes about capitalism and socialism, envy and greed.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
HEALTHCARE: THE SUPPLY SIDE
Here’s a thought experiment. Suppose the year is 1902. Automobiles exist, but they are rare and expensive. The assembly line has not yet been invented, and car manufacturing, such as it is, is done entirely by craft methods.
Now imagine that our politicians decide that every American family, as a matter of national policy, should have its own automobile. (Let’s also stipulate that the trades involved in automobile-building–machining, welding, carpentry, etc–are tightly controlled by guilds.)
What would happen?
continued at Chicago Boyz
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
70th ANNIVERSARY OF WORLD WAR II
Today is the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War. Here's a rerun of a post from a couple of years ago.
On September 1, 1939, Germany launched a massive assault on Poland, thereby igniting the Second World War.
Britain and France were both bound by treaty to come to Poland’s assistance. On September 2, Neville Chamberlain’s government sent a message to Germany proposing that hostilities should cease and that there should be an immediate conference among Britain, France, Poland, Germany, and Italy..and that the British government would be bound to take action unless German forces were withdrawn from Poland. “If the German Government should agree to withdraw their forces, then His Majesty’s Government would be willing to regard the position as being the same as it was before the German forces crossed the Polish frontier.”
According to General Edward Spears, who was then a member of Parliament, the assembly had been expecting a declaration of war. Few were happy with this temporizing by the Chamberlain government. Spears describes the scene:
Arthur Greenwood got up, tall, lanky, his dank, fair hair hanging to either side of his forehead. He swayed a little as he clutched at the box in front of him and gazed through his glasses at Chamberlain sitting opposite him, bolt-upright as usual. There was a moment’s silence, then something very astonishing happened.
Leo Amery, sitting in the corner seat of the third bench below the gangway on the government side, voiced in three words his own pent-up anguish and fury, as well as the repudiation by the whole House of a policy of surrender. Standing up he shouted across to Greenwood: “Speak for England!” It was clear that this great patriot sought at this crucial moment to proclaim that no loyalty had any meaning if it was in conflict with the country’s honour. What in effect he said was: “The Prime Minister has not spoken for Britain, then let the socialists do so. Let the lead go to anyone who will.” That shout was a cry of defiance. It meant that the house and the country would neither surrender nor accept a leader who might be prepared to trifle with the nation’s pledged word.
continued at Chicago Boyz