Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Full-Spectrum Conservative 


There is a USA Today piece out that suggests Fred really doesn't want the job. Jim Geraghty got to the true story:

A questioner asks, "If I caucus for you next week, are you still going to be there two months from now?"

The event host says, "Senator, you were a little bit late getting into the race."

Fred responds, "The fact of the matter is, others started this process a lot earlier this time than they normally do."

"Right after the last election." (some laughter)

"I think that for some of them, they were juniors in high school." More laughter, applause, and then this lengthy answer from Thompson transcribed by your friendly neighborhood campaign correspondent:

"That is a very good question... Not because it's difficult to answer, but because I'm gonna answer a little bit of a different way than what you might expect. In the first is wanting the opporunity. I wouldn't be here if I didn't. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't. I grew up in very modest circumstances. And I left government and I and my family have made sacrifices for me to be sitting here today. I haven't had any income for a long time because I'm doing this. I figure if you're gonna be clean, you have to cut the [unintelligible] off. And I was doing speaking engagements, and I had a contract to do a TV show, I had a contract with ABC radio like I was talking about earlier and so forth... I guess one would have to be a total fool to do all of those things and to be leaving his family, which is not a joyful thing at all... if you didn't want to do it.

But I am not consumed by personal ambition. I will not be devastated if I don't do it. I want the people to have the best president they can have. (applause) When this talk first started it didn't originate with me. There are a lot of people around the country and both directly and through polls... liked the idea of me stepping up. And of course, you always look better at a distance, I guess. (laughter) But most of those people are still there and think it's a good idea.

I approach it from the standpoint of a deal... Of kind of a marriage. You know, if one side of the marriage has to be really talked into the marriage, you know, it's probably not going to be a very good deal for either one of them. But if you mutually think that this is a good thing — in this case, if you think this is a good thing for the country, the you have the opportunity to do some wonderful things together. I'm offering myself up. I'm saying that if I have the background, the capability and the concern to do this and I'm doing this for the right reasons... but I'm not particularly interested in running for president, but I think I'd make a good president. Nowadays, the process has become much more important than I think it used to be.

I don't know if they ever asked George Washington a question like this. I don't know if they ever asked Dwight D. Eisenhower a question like this. Nowadays it's all about fire in the belly. I'm not sure that in the world we live in today, it's a terribly good thing for a president to have too much fire in his belly.

I approach life differently than a lot of people. People, I guess, are wondering how I've been as successful as I've been in everything I've done. I've won two races in Tennessee by twenty points in a state Bill Clinton carried twice. I had never run for office before. I've never had an acting lesson, and I guess that's obvious. (laughter). When I did it, I did it. It wasn't just a lark. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. I've always been a little more laid back than most. I like to say I'm only consumed by very few things, and politics is not one of them. The welfare of my country, and my kids and grandkids, growing up, is one of them. (applause)

If what people really want in their president is a super type A personality, someone who has gotten up every morning and gone to bed every night and been thinking about, for years how they can be president of the United States... someone who can look you straight in the eye and say they've enjoyed every minute of campaigning... (laughter) I ain't that guy. (more laughter) [To questioner] So I hope I've discussed that, or I haven't talked you out of anything. I honestly want... I can't imagine a worse set of circumstances than achieving the presidency under a false pretenses, especially if you feel the way I do. I've gone out of my way to be myself, because I don't want anybody to think they're getting something they're not getting. I'm not consumed by this process, I'm not consumed with the notion of being president. I'm simply saying I'm willing to do what's necessary to achieve it if I'm in sync with the people. And if the people want me, or somebody like me, I will do what I've always done with everything else in my life. I will take it on and do a good job. You'll have the disadvantage of having someone who probably can't jump up and click their heels three times, but will tell you the truth. And you'll know where the president stands at all times."

Wow. If I weren't already supporting him, that would convince me. Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton have all been running for president since 1959, their lives incomplete unless they could boss others around. Whereas Fred has had a real life outside Washington.

And if you want to know where Fred Thompson stands, take a look here, where he outlines his principles and, alone among the candidates, has authored his own in-depth policy solutions. An excerpt:

Whether at an outpost in Kosovo with U.S. Army troops; watching flight operations with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aboard an aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean; meeting at a darkened Afghan airfield with special operations forces shortly after 9/11; or flying aboard a cargo aircraft with the U.S. Air Force in South America and South Asia, I am always inspired by the courage, competence, and commitment of our men and women in uniform.

But we are fighting a war in two theaters today, against an enemy not bound by borders, using 20th century equipment in a 21st century war. And our material support for our troops has not matched the demands we have placed on them. Their readiness and capabilities could soon be in doubt. We simply have been asking too few troops to do too much for too long.

It is time for real change, not half measures.

Here, here!

Before Pajamas Media... 


O'Rourke, that is.


Schlesinger spent some of his time being a Harvard historian and all of his time kissing the behinds of rich people, famous people, and people who were powerful in the Democratic party. He accomplished only one thing of note. (If you don't count his unfinished, multivolume history of the FDR administration and his A Thousand Days buncombe about JFK, and you certainly shouldn't.)

In 1945, Schlesinger went back in time to retro-behind-kiss Andrew Jackson. He wrote The Age of Jackson, glorifying the ignorant backwoods thug who perpetrated genocide upon the Indians, created the spoils system in Washington, and fathered that bastard political party of rum, rebellion, and Hillary Rodham. The rest of Schlesinger's life was spent engaged in such activities as being a speechwriter for Adlai Stevenson and in doing things even less important than that, if you can imagine any.

...and then:

The individual is the wellspring of conservatism. The purpose of conservative politics is to defend the liberty of the individual and - lest individualism run riot - insist upon individual responsibility.

The great religions (and conservatives are known for approving of God) teach salvation as an individual matter. There are no group discounts in the Ten Commandments, Christ was not a committee, and Allah does not welcome believers into Paradise saying, "You weren't much good yourself, but you were standing near some good people." That we are individuals - unique, disparate and willful - is something we understand instinctively from an early age. No child ever wrote to Santa: "Bring me - and a bunch of kids I've never met - a pony, and we'll share."

Cuttlefish Redux 


when even the atheists beg you to drop the dreary, mind-numbing, politically-correct left-wing cant ...and preach the Gospel instead!

Mankind is more than the janitor of planet Earth.

I am avowedly atheist. But listening to the bishops' drab, eco-pious Christmas sermons, I couldn’t help thinking: ‘Bring back God!’

(Via Five Feet of Fury)

Pakistan Blues 

Although a noted expert on Pakistan, I'll defer to others here.

Ralph Peters was no fan:

The bitter joke is that, while she was never serious about freedom, women's rights and fighting terrorism, the terrorists took her rhetoric seriously - and killed her for her words, not her actions.

Nothing's going to make Pakistan's political crisis disappear - this crisis may be permanent, subject only to intermittent amelioration. (Our State Department's policy toward Islamabad amounts to a pocket full of platitudes, nostalgia for the 20th century and a liberal version of the white man's burden mindset.)

The one slim hope is that this savage murder will - in the long term - clarify their lot for Pakistan's citizens. The old ways, the old personalities and old parties have failed them catastrophically. The country needs new leaders - who don't think an election victory entitles them to grab what little remains of the national patrimony.

In killing Bhutto, the Islamists over-reached (possibly aided by rogue elements in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, one of the murkiest outfits on this earth). Just as al Qaeda in Iraq overplayed its hand and alienated that country's Sunni Arabs, this assassination may disillusion Pakistanis who lent half an ear to Islamist rhetoric.

Rich Lowry is more charitable:

Bhutto’s martyrdom will understandably obscure her misrule the first two times she was prime minister. But on her return, she was a frank voice against Islamism, and no one can deny her this: She was very brave.

Whatever else, she was pro-life. George Weigel's 'Witness to Hope':

"The image of the Cairo conference as a clash between the United States and the overwhelming majority of world opinion on the one side, and an isolated, prudish, mysogynist Vatican on the other, was shattered in the first hours of the conference itself. On September 5, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan — unmistakably a woman, unmistakably Harvard-educated, and unmistakably a major political figure — took to rostrum during the opening statements to defend the "sanctity of human life" and to condemn the Cairo draft document for trying to "impose adultery, sex education . . . and abortion" on all countries."

What does it mean for us?

Mona Charen:

Perhaps the high-school reference was a one-time faux pas? No, the man seems to perpetually to compare international relations and conflicts to personal spats. “We haven’t had diplomatic relationships with Iran in almost 30 years,” Huckabee told radio host Hugh Hewitt, “most of my adult life. And a lot of good it’s done. Putting this in human terms, all of us know that when we stop talking to a parent or a sibling, or even a friend, it’s impossible to resolve the differences and move that relationship forward. Well, the same is true for countries.”

No, it isn’t. Emphatically not. The mullahs who rule Iran, the commissars who rule China, the dictators who control most of the Arab and African nations, and most of all, the terrorists who sent the world a deadly reminder of their ferocity when they killed Benazir Bhutto Thursday are not waiting for an invitation to the mixer. And to nominate for president someone who thinks so would be a disaster.

Barack Obama's claim that Hillary is responsible because she voted for the war is so infantile as to be unworthy of scorn. But this, from Powerline, is :

"I'm calling for a full, independent, international investigation," Clinton said in an interview with CNN.

"I think it's critically important that we get answers and really those are due first and foremost to the people of Pakistan," Clinton said.

The former first lady suggested the probe could be along the lines of the international investigation that followed the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005.

"I don't think the Pakistani government at this time under President (Pervez) Musharraf has any credibility at all. They have disbanded an independent judiciary, they oppressed a free press."

This is, I think, shocking. It is hard to see how an American presidential candidate could say anything more inappropriate and destructive. Calling for an "international investigation" is a crude insult to the sovereignty of an American ally. Worse, Clinton's suggestion that President Musharraf--an ally of the United States, and perhaps the only viable alternative, at the moment, to Taliban-like rule--has no credibility to carry out the investigation, is precisely the kind of arrogant meddling in other countries' affairs of which Democrats like to accuse the Bush administration, falsely.

Clinton's analogy to Lebanon is misplaced. An international investigation made sense in that case precisely because Lebanon's sovereignty is legitimately in doubt, due to interference on the part of Syria. It is widely believed that Syria was responsible for Hariri's murder and was also likely to be able to control any investigation carried out by Lebanon's compromised government. For Clinton to say that Musharraf "lacks credibility" while drawing the parallel to Lebanon is, in effect, to say that she suspects that Musharraf is responsible for Bhutto's murder.

Hillary Clinton's schoolmarmish arrogance has always been her Achilles heel.

It is one thing to be madly power-hungry, but there is nothing harmful to her country Clinton wouldn't say if she thought it would get her elected.

A few thoughts:

1.) Manly terrorists are real good at killing women and children.
2.) Pakistan has gotten worse thanks to Saudi Fraud-y madrassa money.
3.) Like the Clintons, Bhutto's first two terms were marked by incompetence and grift.
4.) Do the right thing the first time--you may not get a second chance.
5.) The terrorist killers must not be allowed to profit from their kill. Historian Paul Johnson:

"The virtue we should cherish most is the courage to resist violence, especially if this involves flying in the face of public opinion which, in its fear, and in its anxiety for peace, is willing to appease the violators. Above all, violence should never be allowed to pay, or be seen to pay."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Ghost of Christmas Past 

(From our archives, Dec. 2003:)



Sen. John McCain announced a new round of Reform proposals today.

"Christmas has become institutionally corrupt," said the Senator. "I woke up the day after Christmas feeling like a 2-baht Saigon hooker on a Tet Love Holiday. And it's not just me; we all just can't stop ourselves."

"That's why I'm proposing Christmas Finance Reform," he explained. "Families are too close to children, just like Parties are too close to candidates; and we don't want children to feel indebted to fat-cat donor-parents. So from now on, all private gift-giving will be a crime and we'll have public financing of all gifts."

"Did you promise little Susie a new doll-house next year? Tough!" said McCain, his left eye beginning to twitch. "The Federal Gift-Selection Commission has decided she's getting a toy dump-truck. The Government wants more female truck-drivers anyway. Sure; little Susie will cry, but just tell her we here in Washington know what's best."

Another provision of the Act would ban all Christmas caroling 60 days before the holiday. "That's my favorite part...I've always hated that "We Three Keatings" song! Nobody said Reform would be pretty...but I think she's pretty..." McCain shouted, and then whispered, in the now-familiar, unhinged sing-song voice long known to criminologists and FBI profilers.

While endorsed by many serial Congressmen, a majority of Congress recognize that this Act would violate their oaths to the Constitution.

Pres. Bush also said he was firmly against it, and it is widely expected that the Supreme Court would strike down such an outrageous assault on our liberties.

Therefore, it will certainly be passed by Congress, signed by the President and approved by the Court in time for next Christmas.

Justice O'Connor could not be reached for comment, as she was busy researching Saudi court rulings regarding the celebration of Christmas in Mecca.

When asked what was next on the Reform agenda, Squinter McCain, now in full 'Bruce-Dern-on-a-meth-bender' mode, said:

"Ya' know...the 4th of July has always kinda' bugged me."

I, 2, M A UMN BN! 


Mark Steyn, "Christmas with counsel":

"...[I]t's worth considering the logic of that lawyer's advice. He's saying that, if we make nice, we might get a fair trial and be acquitted. Sorry, that would be the worst possible outcome. It would legitimate the process, and the usual pussies at The Toronto Star et al would say: See, it proves there's no threat to freedom of speech from the HRC shtick. After all, if a notorious hatemonger like Steyn can get a fair shake, what's the problem?

Here's my bottom line: I don't accept that free-born Canadian citizens need the permission of the Canadian state to read my columns. What's offensive is not the accusations of Dr Elmasry and his pals, but the willingness of Canada's pseudo-courts to take them seriously. So I couldn't care less about the verdict - except insofar as an acquittal would be more likely to bolster the cause of those who think it's entirely reasonable for the state to serve as editor-in-chief of privately owned magazines. As David Warren put it, the punishment is not the verdict but the process. To spend gazillions of dollars to get a win on points would do nothing for the cause of freedom of speech: It would signal to newspaper editors and book publishers and store owners that it's more trouble than it's worth publishing and printing and distributing and displaying anything on this subject, and so it would contribute to the shriveling of freedom in Canada.

This is a political prosecution and it should be fought politically. The "plaintiffs" certainly understand that, ever since the day they went in to see Ken Whyte and demanded money from Maclean's. I want the constitutionality of this process overturned, so that Canadians are free to reach the same judgments about my writing as Americans and Britons and Australians and it stands or falls in the marketplace of ideas. The notion that a Norwegian imam can make a statement in Norway but if a Canadian magazine quotes that statement in Canada it's a "hate crime" should be deeply shaming to all Canadians."

The wish to accrete power is inherent in human nature, and therefore in human governments. The entire history of Western Civ, from the Judeo-Christian concept of the worth of the individual, to Greek democracies, to Roman republicanism, to the Magna Carta and the Constitution has been a push to limit the absolute unchecked power of governments.

Even where we have specific black and white lines, it is difficult to get governments to abide. Hence the recent gutting of the Takings Clause in the 'Kelo' case, for example.

These Human Rights Commissions started out as little venues for housing discrimination arbitration claims, that is, if you refused to rent your fishing trailer to Eskimos.

They have since evolved into Dispensers of Cosmic Justice, Able to Set the Moral Universe Aright And Make Endangered Baby Birds Sing Gaily Once Again, While Causing Free-Range Candy-Colored Unicorns to Frolic in the Elysian Fields of Organic, Soy-Based Brotherly Love, As A Delicate--Yet Robust!--'52 Lafite-Rothschild Merlot Springs Gently Forth From All Public Water Fountains In A Non-Threatening, Racially-Inclusive, Revenue-Neutral and Life-Affirming Manner!

In other words, they no longer care that you wouldn't rent your fishing shack to Eskimos--they're pissed that you used the word "Eskimo". Or even thought it. Because the proper phrase is "Inuit/First Nations Peoples". Which also happens to be the name of my bank.


Because there are jokes.

And then there are jokes with staff, office space, legal counsel and plenary powers.

And like the Angry Feminist said: "That's not funny!"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Cuttlefish of Canterbury 

"The more we are proud that the Bethlehem story is plain enough to be understood by the shepherds, and almost by the sheep, the more do we let ourselves go, in dark and gorgeous imaginative frescoes or pageants about the mystery and majesty of the Three Magian Kings."--G.K. Chesterton


"It's that time of year again just before Christmas, when some religious leaders feel the need to explain that the miracles of the Bible never happened, or that the homeless roaming the streets in Buffalo are the modern equivalent of Mary and Joseph. We get the bastardization of the story of the Bible this time of year by liberal Christians. Today's violator, if you will, is no less than the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, and what he says is that the star of Bethlehem, the star of Bethlehem "rising and standing still," he said stars "they just don't behave like that." Now, that is the Archbishop of Canterbury. This is a man of the cloth, and he said that it's just not possible. Stars don't just stop up there.

He also says that "belief in the Virgin Birth should not be a 'hurdle' over which new Christians had to jump before they" can be signed up as Christians. You can be a Christian without believing that. No big deal. I mean, who really thinks that happened anyway? says the Archbishop of Canterbury. Well, a lot of Christians know where his reasoning is going to end up, or where this line of reasoning will take you, because it ends up denying the fundamental basis of Christianity, which is the resurrection. Because if that didn't happen, then the whole thing is in trouble, and if these biblical miracles didn't happen, the star of Bethlehem didn't stop, if there was no virgin birth, then, of course, there probably wasn't a resurrection. In which case, what the hell is the Archbishop of Canterbury doing in the business, if he wants to rewrite it this way?"

Rush goes on to quote French philosopher Blaise Pascal, to explain how Life itself violates the First Law of Thermodynamics and to cite Stephen Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time' on the Big Bang Theory. Because Rush is, you know, just a dumb entertainer.

He closes with this theological observation:

"By the way, the Archbishop of Canterbury also said the nativity scene is a "legend." Not real, just a legend. So for those of you out there who feel compelled to take some of your Christian beliefs, discard the miracles, and replace them with modern science and thereby invent a new religion, go right ahead -- and if this is what Dr. Rowan Williams wants to do, if he wants to throw out the things in Christianity that he just can't explain in his "superior mind," go ahead, Dr. Williams. But just don't call it Christianity. You are distorting and debasing it. Call it whatever you want. Call it Williamsism. I don't care what you call it, but do not call it Christianity. When you start cherry-picking things that you want, cherry-picking things that your superior mind says you can't possibly accept because stars don't stop; there's no virgin birth, and nobody can rise from the dead, fine. Go base your own religion on that; find the flock that you want, but don't call it Christianity."

"Take away the supernatural and what remains is the unnatural."--G.K. Chesterton

Of all the people in the world, shouldn't it be the Archbishop who counsels us to remember and cling to the "legends"? Or is he instead, like the rest of the world, desperate to dismiss the supernatural for fear he might end up in an airport button-holing strangers?

He wears an elaborate gold brocade shepherd's costume complete with gold-plated shepherd's staff--so why dismiss the simple faith of those shepherds who beheld the angels so long ago?

Why believe that God loved us enough to send his Son to save us...and then choke on some lesser miracles? That's like believing that Al Gore, a guy who can't set his VCR clock, invented the Internet.

Why not believe that a supernatural God in His supernatural universe can commit supernatural acts called 'miracles'? People will believe almost anything else.

For example, people believed that Roger Maris, a champion's champion, somehow deserved an asterisk* after his home-run record because he played a few more games than Babe Ruth.

If that's so, I want a big, triangular "Warning: Corrosive Chemicals Aboard!"-plaque after the home-run records of these modern players.

People will believe that government programs will "pay for themselves in just a few short years."

People will believe that evil dictators will behave themselves because of words written on scraps of paper called "treaties".

People will believe that the "Pony-tail with Male Pattern Baldness-look" is hip.

Barry Manilow...happenin' ladies' man!

People will believe David Caruso wuz robbed of his Best Actor Academy Award. ROBBED.

People will believe that Arianna Huffington is speaking English.

People will believe that Keith Olbermann is a grown-up. Kidding--even people have their limits.

"A thing may be too sad to be believed or too wicked to be believed or too good to be believed, but it cannot be too absurd to be believed in this planet of frogs and elephants, of crocodiles and cuttlefish."--G.K. Chesterton

The most fabulous lies are, of course, called "science".

The biggest scientific scam going today is Global Warming. They claim that George W. Bush controls the weather. But all educated people know that it is, in fact, Al Gore who controls the weather. Or would, if only Congress would pass Kyoto.

Me, I think that if a guy can't carry his home state in an election, then he probably shouldn't be made Dark Lord of the Weather, Possessor of the Wind and Tides, Sustainer of the Sun and Master Faerie of the Elements. But that's just me talkin'.

The UN has released several reports proving conclusively that the weather would be better instantly if only we'd give them the keys to the Treasury Building. Thanks, UN.

There are other science scams, too.

For example, if scientists unearth a human bone fragment in Borneo, the first thing they do is paint a full-color portrait of the ancient guy. They will tell you which sports teams he liked and if he preferred his steak rare, medium or well. They still don't know his bowling handicap, but they're working on it.

We have perfectly well-educated citizens who are sure they descended from Apes. The Apes in turn descended from primordial one-celled creatures concerned only with reproduction, who lived in the ooze on Malibu Beach--and, some say, still do today. What can you say about a theory when the most famous phrase associated with it is called "The Missing Link"--and this is offered as further proof?

That's like saying that this pebble in the stream, rounded by the current, will over time become a wheel--and the wheel will one day become a steel-belted radial, which, given a little more time, will then sprout a 2008 Cadillac DeVille with a Northstar V-12 and GPS. See dealer for details.

So if you really must believe something outrageous this Christmas, believe this:

God loves you.

And, best of all, it happens to be true.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas blog 

(And now a post from the next generation.-Ed.)

Dear Readers,

Today I would like to take our topic off of Fred and Obama. Christmas is our subject.

A lot of people think Christmas is a time to give and take gifts, to play music and to be with family and friends. And it is! But the main reason we should be coming together is for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him, we would not be here right now and you would not be reading this. We would live in an eternal hell, far, far, far away from any department store.

Jesus came for us to make men and women live in peace and harmony. The nativity scene is living in the heart of each of us and that's how it should be. Jesus was a leader, a fighter, and THE savior. Now music, gifts and family is all a part of it, but Jesus is the reason of Christmas; the birth of our God.

Luke 2:11-14 "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

There's Been a Lot of God-talk Lately 


Just the wrong kind.

Because most of it has been about propping up Mike Huckabee, and elbowing him to the front of the line. And all this "If-you-criticize-me, you-are-criticizing-Jesus"-stuff is frankly ridiculous and maybe even a little blasphemous. As a conservative Christian, that bugs me.

In a political context, this is the wrong kind of God-talk:

"Don't they (Mormons) believe Jesus and Satan are brothers?"

I don't know, pal--you're the one with the theology degree--you tell us.

When it gave him unique credibility to challenge Islamism, it was a theology degree. But when asked about this, it became just a B.A. in Bible Studies. If you're going to hold yourself out as a minister, I want Billy Graham ethics, not Jim Bakker word-games.

Also, nothing in the public performance of Harry Reid or Orrin Hatch has caused me to worry about their private theology. Publicly, Mormons, Catholics--and evangelicals for that matter--have all been good conservatives, good Republicans and good Americans and should not be isolated or marginalized to advance the personal ambition of one candidate. In this election, we're going need every pro-American conservative vote we can get.

Now if a hypothetical candidate was from, say, the Nation of Islam, and he huddled with CAIR and some Flying Imams to stage a faux-terrorist attack and provoke airline passengers into thinking they were in danger in order to cry "Racism!" and loosen security standards to the benefit of future terrorists, well, then, yes, theology might figure in such a hypothetical case.

But such a thing could never happen in America.

Now, here's the right kind of political God-talk:

"When Abraham Lincoln spoke in his famous Gettysburg speech of 1863 of 'government of the people, by the people, and for the people,' he gave the world a neat definition of democracy which has since been widely and enthusiastically adopted. But what he enunciated as a form of government was not in itself especially Christian, for nowhere in the Bible is the word democracy mentioned. Ideally, when Christians meet, as Christians, to take counsel together, their purpose is not (or should not be) to ascertain what is the mind of the majority but what is the mind of the Holy Spirit - something which may be quite different.

Nevertheless I am an enthusiast for democracy. And I take that position, not because I believe majority opinion is inevitably right or true - indeed no majority can take away God-given human rights - but because I believe it most effectively safeguards the value of the individual, and, more than any other system, restrains the abuse of power by the few. And that is a Christian concept."--Margaret Thatcher, speech to the Church of Scotland General Assembly

That's how it's done, Huck.

What troubles me though is not religion. It's THE LIBERALISM. Huck is a LIBERAL. Bringing Gitmo terrorists to Kansas to get full Constitutional Rights is LIBERAL. Emptying the jails of vicious criminals to indulge one's self-esteem is LIBERAL. Towing the Teachers' Union line is LIBERAL.

If I wanted to vote for a Liberal from Arkansas, there is already one running. If we choose Mike Huckabee, we'll be tarred as Bible-thumpers while still being stuck with a liberal for a candidate--the worst of both worlds!

Like Huck, I support a Life Amendment. And I support a Marriage Amendment. But for a variety of reasons, the super-majority votes simply aren't there now. But they're even less so for Huck's signature issue, the repeal of the Income Tax for the Fair Tax. Write this down:

Democrats Will Bring Back Chattel Slavery Before They Will Give Up the Income Tax.

I don't want A Department for the Prevention of Smoking--I want a Dept. for the Prevention of Smoking Craters Where Skyscrapers Used To Be. I don't want a Trans-Fat Ban--I want Trans-National Terrorist Ban--with extreme predjudice.

Above all, I don't want years of incoherent policy decisons based on one part sound Biblical principles mixed with four parts expedience, pop psychology, the latest liberal talking points and Hallmark Greeting Cards' Greatest Hits.

Better a principled Conservative instead.

The Future Show-Trial Lawyers of Canada 

Except the Future Farmers No Longer Use Cattle Prods

Mark Steyn:

Incidentally, the plaintive tone of the plaintiffs - "All We Want Is A Chance To Respond" - rang a little hollow to yours truly. When they came in to Maclean's for their meeting, they demanded money from the magazine for their "cause". Meanwhile, their anonymous cheerleaders at this Canadian law blog suggest more than a financial shakedown may be required:

"Steyn’s freedom is hardly at stake.



At Steyn's suggestion, I took a look at 'Law Is Cool', the Canadian law-school blog. Some of the school's graduates have charged Mr. Steyn with the serious offense of Committing Thought Crimes Against the Regime.

These Criminal Thoughts are to be hunted down and brought to justice, in not just one, but several Double Jeopardy "Human Rights Commissions", which are in fact merely Left-Wing Hangin' Courts, where none but conservatives are ever charged...but everyone who is charged is found guilty! I'll take "Hangin' Judge Roy Bean" for $500 Canadian, Alex.

By the time I got there, they had already banned all comments here, here and here, (oddly and tellingly referring to hits and comments, normal communication means, as unwanted "spam"). I left this comment in the next thread:

"It’s quite fitting that you closed comments on the Steyn posts. It reminds me of this:

“Labour today is so deeply anti-creative, so organically and instinctually lacking in any positive impulses, that it actually likes banning things or people, for its own sake. It’s motto is: accentuate the negative. To ban, to boycott, to embargo, to exclude, blacklist, close down, shut up, silence, censure - these are the things which now come naturally to it, perhaps the only things it really knows how to do.”–Paul Johnson

Good luck with your careers in Book Burning.


I checked back a while later and they were claiming, correctly, that it wasn't censorship to ban blog comments. This is because a blog, just like Maclean's Magazine, is private property--yet they demand space in Maclean's! Not to mention the shake-down money.

I wrote:

"You are right; it is not censorship to ban comments-–it is merely lame and effeminate.

What is deeply offensive however is your wish for Mr. Steyn to be incarcerated, a refreshing call to create in the West real political prisons and political prisoners (as opposed to the thugs who shoot cops in the back and then author a kid’s coloring book.)

Surely this site originates in Saudi Arabia or some other human rights hell-hole. You simply can’t be related to those people who once fought at Normandy or are bravely serving today in Afghanistan.

What you are doing is not law, but anti-law, or “The two lines above my name” as Saddam put it.

Merry Whatever It Is You Believe In , my Nartzees of the North Opinion-Police."

I see that 'Law Is Cool' blog has also mastered the MSM programming trick which allows them to delete comments without it being known to the commentor.

It is my fondest wish that these venal and petulant children are one day thrown in jail for simply expressing an everyday political opinion, so that they may also experience the kind of Stalinist knock-on-the-door dread they so blithely wish for others. They fancy themselves protecting minorities from Nazis, yet the individual is the smallest minority. In this case, that individual is Mark Steyn.

And they have themselves become His Own Personal Gestapo.

What the hell happened to Canada?

UPDATE: (The Scene: Mark Steyn seated behind the table. The light glares down in his eyes from the incandescent light bulb overhead, the kind of bulb just outlawed in the new energy bill because it works so well.

The criminal tobacco smoke wafts up through the criminal incandescent light, annoying the Idea Criminal Steyn, but it's okay beause the smoke came from a hookah, which were exempted when cigarettes were banned because you simply can't expect Muslims to live under the same rules as everyone else.

The interrogator, Herr Say, holder of the Bed-Vetter Chair at Canada's prestigious Hob-Nail Law University, slams his hand on the table.)

Herr Say: "Giff us your Conflict Paycheck!"
Steyn: "My what?"
Herr Say: "Yes, your Conflict Paycheck. Like Conflict Diamonds. The ill-gotten gains you use to further this war."
Steyn: "Simply disagreeing with you is not an act of war."
Herr Say: "It iss in the new Canada we are building; Zee New Kanadian Reich, 3.5!"
Steyn: "Whatever, pal--it took a long time to get paid for this and you're not getting my paycheck."
Herr Say: "See how you people are about zee money!"
Steyn: " 'you people'?"
Herr Say: "Yes, Mr. Stein."
Steyn: "It's 'Steyn'."
Herr Say: "Yes, Mr. Steinberg."
Steyn: "STEYN."
Herr Say: "Yes, Mr. Steinbergsteen."
Steyn: "That's quite enough, Herr Gerbils."
Herr Say: "Mr. Steyn, you vill now tell zee Commission where you keep the Purple Machine...vere do you keep zis much-vaunted Purple Demographic Machine?!!"
Steyn: "I keep it in my trousers, boys, and frankly, this kind of talk makes me a little nervous."
Herr Say: "All talk makes us nervous! Zat iss why talking must be banned in zee New Kanadian Reich! All those in favor of silencing Mr. Steyn, say nothing now...the Say-Nothings have it! Vee hereby decree a lifetime speech-ban for Mark Steyn. Vee also assert that Silence is Speech and Work Makes Free. Guards, take him away!

Okay; who iss next?"


Lemme be absolutely clear: I don't want anyone hurt except killers. And hyperbole aside, I don't want anyone jailed. And unlike these "Human Rights" clowns, I don't want anyone silenced either. Unlike them, I believe in the Human Right of Free Speech for everybody, not just for me and my pals.

I don't usually go straight to the "N"-Word, dropping the 'Nazi'-bomb on anybody with whom I disagree. It is the tactic of churlish Leftist trolls. But my hope is to shock the conscience of these people and force them into a re-examination of first principles.

Failing that, I hope to hold them up to public scorn, ridicule, rebuke, obloquy, disdain, disapproval and disgust. I fully intend, in open and full violation of these Canadian Nuremberg Laws, to make them objects of derision, demeaning and disrepute. I aim to impugn, harpoon, lampoon, spitoon and whadda-maroon these little totalitarian toadies until they squeal "I surrender!" in the original French.

We have purchased these rights at too dear a price over too many centuries to see them pissed away by a bunch of arrogant, pampered, billable-hour bullies. I despise a damn bully and that's all these poopy-panzer paper tigers are.

Much more at Free Mark Steyn.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Only One, Only One 

Jeffrey Bell, 'Alive and Kicking':

There are several things about social conservatism that have made it easy to underestimate. For one thing, it is still comparatively new. Fifty years ago, the term was seldom used. Then as now there were many millions of Americans with conservative moral and social values, but there was no such thing as a mass political movement or political philosophy built around such values.

This was in part because social institutions like marriage and moral ideas like the sanctity of unborn human life had not yet come under broad-based assault, and therefore had not become a factor in the national political debate. As recently as the 1950s, the divide between liberals and conservatives had nothing to do with whether marriage should be redefined or abortion should be treated as a constitutional right. Beginning in the 1960s, when politics did begin to call moral and social values into question, it generated dismay and protests among holders of traditional values.

Similar challenges and social changes--the legalization of abortion and the enactment of "no fault" (unilateral) divorce, among others--were taking place at the same time in Western Europe, and dismay was expressed there as well. But nowhere else did this dismay lead to anything remotely resembling the social conservative political movement of the United States. Conservative parties in Europe largely capitulated to social liberalism and continued to base their critique of the left on economic and foreign-policy issues.

Then and Now 

From our friend Grim, now serving us in faraway places:

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2007 - Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

I have always loved 1957.


Kathleen Parker:

Alan Keyes: Why does he get 30 minutes and I get 30 seconds?

Church Lady: Because your eyes are popping out of your head.

Denial May Be a River in Egypt 


And the water is starting to lap at our ankles here, too.

Mark Steyn notes

...the strikingly evasive coverage of Aqsa Parvez, the young lady from the Toronto suburbs strangled to death allegedly for refusing to wear a hijab. The Washington Post headline?

Canadian Teen Dies; Father Charged

That is a sadly typical Monkey-Meat Media headline, designed specifically to make and keep you ignorant instead of leaving you informed.

Mohamed Elmasry, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress and the man currently accusing me of “hate crimes”, “human rights” abuse and “Islamophobia”, is predictable enough when he says:

“I don’t want the public to think that this is really an Islamic issue or an immigrant issue… It is a teenager issue.”

Kids today, right? It’s like Bye Bye Birdie - The Director’s Cut.

If only those darn teenagers would listen, we wouldn’t have to kill them!

Canada’s Number One news anchor went to weirdly contorted lengths to avoid the word “strangle”:

“Her neck was compressed, to the point she couldn’t breathe.”

All Americans know the story of the famous criminal, “The Boston Neck Compressor”, don’t we?

Steyn also found this editorial:

Few are the fathers, of any faith or none, who have not clashed with their adolescent daughters over something…”

Clothing “clashes”. This is murder.

He finishes:

"Honor killings" were something we assumed took place on the fringes of the map - the Pakistani tribal lands, Yemen, Jordan. They now happen in the heart of western cities, and western feminist groups are silent, and western media rush to excuse it as just one of those things, couldda happened to anybody. The underlying message the press coverage communicates is horrible and heartless: the murder of Aqsa Parvez is an acceptable price to pay for cultural diversity.

You know, Back In the Old Days(tm), Liberals used to confidently mock denialism. Now they cling to it like ship-wrecked rats on a piece of water-logged flotsam.

For example, how many movies were made with a scene like this: Junior comes home to 1234 Elm Street in Denial-ville, a suburb of Smalltown, and tells his parents "Mom, Dad; I'm a cross-dressing hooker with a heroin addiction."

His Stepford parents respond "No, son; you're not a cross-dresser--you just have a flair for fashion. And you're not a hooker--you're entrepreneurial! And you're not shooting heroin--that's just allergy medication and you can quit any time!"

The modern Multi-Cultist Left is in deep, deep denial about the cost and implications of their unchallenged assumptions even as the bodies pile up and they flatter themselves as "critical thinkers". And speaking of casualties, the first thing they have jettisoned is their once iron-clad, rock-bottom commitment to Free Speech.

That's why Mark Steyn is being hauled before not one, but two--and counting--"Human Rights" tribunals, where the process is punishment in and of itself:

My oh my, a fellow could get used to the electric frisson of victimhood: I'm beginning to see why American college students get such a kick out of staging fake hate-crimes against themselves.
Yes, it is a growth industry.

Stanley Kurtz explains the jerks' circularity here:

The macabre totalitarianism here comes out most clearly in the sections condemning protests against the very "human rights" laws and multiculturalist ideology, resorted to in the complaint itself. The result is a bizarrely infinite regress of despotism. (See page 13.) These folks are making a bogus claim of religious and racial discrimination in order to persecute a writer, thereby launching a lawsuit on frivolous grounds. And what are they complaining about? Why, writers who say that Muslims make bogus claims of religious and racial discrimination, in order to persecute writers, and launch lawsuits on frivolous grounds.

Your attackers object to claims that Muslims at large believe in "burning books of learning." Yet they not only want to burn your book, so to speak, they object even to articles or reviews that provide a "guise of legitimacy" to "recognized Islamophobes" like Bruce Bawer and Claire Berlinski. So the complainants would not only ban your article, and by extension, your book, they would ban the entire genre of books touching on problems raised by large, relatively unassimilated Muslim immigrant communities in the West. And to top it off, they’d ban anyone who has the temerity to protest the very laws that (in the complainants’ view) allow book banning itself. These guys have got us going and coming. "Totalitarian" is not too strong a word — although I recognize that, simply by saying this, I have opened myself up to prosecution in Canada.

Here's a crazy thought: instead of hauling Word-Criminals like Mark Steyn before the Nurem-book Trials, why not bring up the teen-ager's murderer? Child Abuse, Gender Discrimination, Religious Persecution--it's a veritable Human Rights Three-fer.

But alas, as I've said, the "Human Rights" ratchet is a tool designed to turn only in one direction.

In an almost perfect metaphor for the "Human Rights" Left:

Protests from female soldiers have led to the Swedish military removing the penis of a heraldic lion depicted on the Nordic Battlegroup's coat of arms.

The armed forces agreed to emasculate the lion after a group of women from the rapid reaction force lodged a complaint to the European Court of Justice, Göteborgs-Posten reports.

Or, as the Cowardly Lion said to the mohel "Don't get snippy with me!" Oh, well; they weren't using it anyway.

By the way, Kathy Shaidle has been all over these Human Rights clowns like white on a mime (or blackface on a Ned Lamont supporter). She reports that Islamo-nuts are now trashing the murdered teen-age girl. Because they have Free Speech.

And so do I. But what I don't have is a bunch of sorry-ass Speech-Stalinists who'll do my dirty work for me and silence anyone who disagrees with me.

That's okay--I couldn't bear the stench anyway.

ps: The hijab is an Arab thing, as foreign to a Pakistani family in Canada as Kim Jung Il's velvet Elvis paintings are to a Balinese Buddhist monk. Thanks, Saudi Arabia. We owe you one--again.

ManufacturedNews(tm) Network presents... 


"If By 'Shorts', You Mean 'Both Boxers AND Briefs'."

*The Office of Drug Policy released some good news today showing marijuana use down by 7%, cocaine use down by 11% and Ecstasy use down by a whopping 17%--and that's just among Democrat candidates!

*Fresh on the heels of the story of the British man who showed up at a London police station claiming amnesia for the last six years comes a similar story from America. A local man identified only as "Former President Bill C." showed up at the Chappaqua police station, claiming that he had forgotten he was married for the last thirty years.

*Democrats went after each other at the recent Des Moines Register debate:

Obama: "Senator Clinton, "serving during the Sexual Revolution" does not constitute military experience."

Corn-fed Lesbian Prison-Matron/Moderator: "Senator Clinton, you have 12.3 seconds to respond."

Hillary: "Well, at least I tried to enlist during Viet Nam."

Obama: "But the Viet Cong turned you down?"

Hillary: "Good one, Osama. Did you learn that in Jihadi Kindergarten?"

Obama: "Yes. Even at that young age, I remember trying to organize my instructors to join the National Education Association."

Hillary: "Whatever, Hadji. If I can't claim the Sexual Revolution as military service, then you need to stop claiming that "going commando-style" constitutes "combat experience"."

*In Sports, former Democrat senator George Mitchell released his "Baseball on Steroids" report. In response, ball-players vowed to investigate Sen. Mitchell's addiction to Big Government on Steroids.

*In Weather News, forecasters predict massive winter snowstorms from the Sierras through the Rockies and into New England due to the Gore Effect, the freakishly cold weather that occurs every time Al Gore gives a speech on Global Warming.

Gore thanked the Nobel Committee for his prize and warned that mankind was teetering on the very brink of "destruction, annihilation, catastrophe and meltdown." Despite these dire warnings, MSNBC renewed Keith Olbermann's show anyway.

Gore also thanked the committee for pretending not to notice he was a stiff, wooden, passive-aggressive with End-Stage meglomania and a Messiah Complex who was willing to plunge his country into a divisive Constitutional crisis over what was essentially a child's temper tantrum.

Gore then traveled to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, where he called for the indictment of George W. Bush for the murder of Frosty the Snowman.

Court watchers said that based on the Slobo trial, opening arguments could begin in as soon as ten or twenty years.

* And now, a Public Service Announcement:

"Dear Arkansas,

Haven't you "helped" enough already?


-the other 49 States."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

To Slur, With Love 


"Political correctness is tyranny with manners."--P.J. O'Rourke

By Jim Henley's standard, if two hundred years ago a Canadian Indian Chief had worried aloud about being out-bred by white people, that would have made the chief a bigot. Probably smoked, too, the bastard. And he no doubt oppressed women and was mean to fuzzy bunnies.

(Oops--can I say "Canadian Indian Chief"? How 'bout 'Indigenous Chair-Person'? Wait--no chairs--I'd better ask the Canadian Human Rights Commission; they'll tell me what to say! Come to think of it, isn't "Human Rights" a non-inclusive phrase? What about the Rights of non-humans like animals, rocks, dirt and the fully-animatronic cyborg Al Gore?)

The issue isn't racism. The issue is this: do individuals have a right to free speech? And is government competent to function as the Opinion Police? And doesn't this kind of grievance-group umpire-ship just encourage more mindless tribalism, division and disunity?

And where the hell are the Lefties and the Liberals? While they were screaming at us on every TV show, movie and editorial page about how they were being silenced and how "Dissent is patriotic!", "Dissent is very basis of civilization!", "Nay--dissent is God!"--they were quietly building these institutions to silence, censor and ban others.

Or should I say "the Other"?

Just this week, for example, conservatives were mocked (unfairly, I thought--but whatever) by The Dainty Kos (sp?) and other Lefties for "regurgitating" government talking points. Yet when a so-called "Human Rights Commission" tells citizens what to regurgitate, well, that's different, you see.

No, it isn't.

In fact, it's worse because it's involuntary. It's the dream of every Waldo Greenglen out there; a Bureau of Mandatory Sock-Puppetry and Pre-Approved Speech. Charlie McCarthyism, if you will. Or even if you won't.

Like "People's Republics", these "Human Rights Commissions" are the exact opposite of what their names claim to be. They are in fact Politically-Correct Censorship Boards. And the Liberal/Left love it because the "Human Rights" ratchet always turns only one way--against conservatives, majorities, Republicans, Tories, white people, Christians, Jews, squares, men, property-owners, businessmen, traditionalists, soldiers, gun-owners, etc.

But above all, they discriminate against the humor-ful, the Humorous-Canadian Community, teh Funny-ists.

John Birmingham:

"To read Mark Steyn on the Islamisation of France, for instance, is to encounter a man speaking the unspeakable and doing so with an unshakeable self-assurance. But it is also to witness a comic genius at work, sharpening an already finely honed wit to a razor's edge on the rock-hard noggins of his enemies.

The left, on the other hand, has indulged for so long now in the guilty pleasures of relativism, protected by a value system that says discussion of certain topics is off limits, that any sense of confidence they might have had at one time has now entirely disappeared. And with it their sense of humour.

It's like the old joke. How many angry feminists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: That's not funny!"

"That's Not Funny!" is now the Canadian National Motto. Also "Hey, Everybody...Come Back!"

Speaking of, where did all the liberal funny men go? From the dearth of funny on the Left, you'd think maybe George W. Bush did establish a Gulag of Guffaws* after all. (*not to be confused with Al Franken's mouth, the Place Where Comedy Goes to Die).

NPR's Garrulous Keister can be quite funny--but his humor is generally rooted in his conservative upbringing. When he comments on politics, he's just another effete schlub.

I've heard rumors that Bill Mahr said something funny once--maybe in '97. Or was it '99? Anyway, it was sometime during the Clinton Administration of Blessed Memory. But he seems unable to tear himself away from his prized collection of Hef's crusty and threadbare used bathrobes--the May '78 model being a particular favorite.

Some of the SNL impressions are good for an occasional chuckle, but that's about it. Who's left? Dowd? the late Molly Ivins? Franken? Garafalo? Chen? Gary Trudeau? George Carlin? Please. You'd do better to pump Art Buchwald's corpse full of meth and lock him in a room with Bill Burkett's '73 Selectric.

Jon Stewart couldn't do it if he snorted a couple of grams of Hunter Thompson's ashes. And found his "h".

In fairness, it's probably hard to be funny when you're losing the Battle of Ideas. In the words of the old Negro spiritual, "World To End: Women, Minorities, Lefties' Sense of Humor Hardest Hit".

Mark Steyn:

[Re:] my forthcoming show trial, the most depressing part is the pre-emptive surrender. As Roger writes:

"Just last week I received a message from one of the entities that helps distribute our books in Canada and Britain:

'Can you please let us know if there are any references to Saudis and terrorist[s] in the book. We are just concerned that this book, could potentially create libel lawsuits as it could offend Saudis living in England and this has happened with many other US publications and we do not want to be jeopardized in selling this book.'

Hello? So books offensive to Saudis are verboten?"

Not technically. But, if you're a publisher, who needs the hassle? Easier to do The Lindsay Lohan Guide To Celebrity Carjacking. To reprise Sir Edward Grey, "The lamps are going out all over Europe" - one distributor, one publisher, one novelist, one cartoonist, one TV host at a time.

We're lucky we live in America--but make no mistake; there are those who wish to impose Canadian and European-style Free Speech Rationing here in America. They do not trust their peoples to vote on constitutions or own guns. Hell, they don't even trust their people to talk. And if they can do this to a best-selling author, what chance do little bloggers have?

It boils down to this:

Kangaroos are funny.

Kangaroo Courts--not so much.

UPDATE: "Canada: Where Bible Verses Are Hate Speech but Hardcore pRon is Protected!":

"During the years when my colleagues and I were labouring to create (human rights) commissions, we never imagined that they might ultimately be used against freedom of speech."

UPDATED UPDATE: 'Mr. Trudeau, Tear Down This Sticky Wicket!'

Mark "The Fugitive" Steyn vows to re-publish and "use the old bootlegging runs around Lake Memphremagog to smuggle it across the Maple Curtain into Canada."

BREAKING NEWS!!!: Another Human Rights Commission weighs in on L'Affaire Steyn:

"...Men in our kingdom shall have and keep all these liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably in their fulness and entirety for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all things and all places for ever.

Both we and the barons have sworn that all this shall be observed in good faith and without deceit. Witness the abovementioned people and many others.

Given by our hand in the meadow that is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June in the seventeenth year of our reign."--the Magna Carta, 1215

Lincoln Thinkin' 

“To love their country has been considered as virtue in men, whose love could not be otherwise than blind, because their preference was made without, a comparison; but it has never been my fortune to find, either in ancient or modern writers, any honourable mention of those, who have, with equal blindness, hated their country.”–Samuel Johnson

RE: "DemoTraitor":


There is a good reason you’ve never seen that Lincoln quote before in all your reading; it’s not an actual Lincoln quote: see here.

It is the conclusion of a modern author whose editor mistakenly added quotation marks, making it appear to be Lincoln speaking.

But the premise is not without some validity. Here is a letter from Lincoln to Rep. Corning, which is still today rife with consequence and implication for the Patriot Act, FISA, Gitmo…and us:

“[Rep.] Vallandigham avows his hostility to the war on the part of the Union; and his arrest was made because he was laboring, with some effect, to prevent the raising of troops, to encourage desertions from the army, and to leave the rebellion without an adequate military force to suppress it. He was not arrested because he was damaging the political prospects of the administration, or the personal interests of the commanding general; but because he was damaging the army, upon the existence, and vigor of which, the life of the nation depends. He was warring upon the military; and this gave the Military Constitutional jurisdiction to lay hands upon him.”

Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts, while I must not touch a hair of a wiley agitator who induces him to desert? … I think that in such a case, to silence the agitator, and save the boy, is not only Constitutional, but, withal, a great mercy.

If I be wrong on this question of Constitutional power, my error lies in believing that certain proceedings are constitutional when, in cases of rebellion or Invasion, the public Safety requires them, which would not be constitutional when, in absence of rebellion or invasion, the public Safety does not require them…”

Lincoln then speaks of putting country before party. If only:

“In giving the resolutions that earnest consideration which you request of me, I can not overlook the fact that the meeting speak as “Democrats”; nor Nor can I, with full respect for their known intelligence, and the fairly presumed deliberation with which they prepared their resolutions, be permitted to suppose that this occurred by accident, or in any way other than that they preferred to designate themselves “democrats” rather than “American citizens.” In this time of national peril I would have preferred to meet you upon a level one step higher than any party platform; because I am sure that from such more elevated position, we could do better battle for the country we all love, than we possibly can from those lower ones, where from the force of habit, the prejudices of the past, and selfish hopes of the future, we are sure to expend much of our ingenuity and strength, in finding fault with, and aiming blows at each other. But since you have denied me this, I will yet be thankful, for the country’s sake, that not all democrats have done so– He on whose discretionary judgment Mr. Vallandigham was arrested and tried, is a democrat, having no old party affinity with me; and the judge who rejected the constitutional view expressed in these, resolutions, by refusing to discharge Mr. V. on Habeas Corpus, is a democrat of better days than these, having received his judicial mantle at the hands of President Jackson. And still more, of all those democrats who are nobly exposing their lives and shedding their blood on the battle-field, I have learned that many who approve the course taken with Mr. V. while I have not heard of a single one condemning it. I can not assert that there are none such.”

And he then cites Habeus precedent involving Col. Jackson at New Orleans:

“And the name of President Jackson recalls a bit of pertinent history. After the battle of New-Orleans, and while the fact that the treaty of peace had been concluded, was well known in the City, but before official knowledge of it had arrived, Gen. Jackson still maintained martial, or military law. Now, that it could be said the war was over, the clamor against martial law, which had existed from the first, grew more furious. Among other things a Mr. Louiallier, published a denunciatory newspaper article– Gen. Jackson arrested him– A lawyer by the name of Morel, procured the U. S. Judge Hall to order a writ of Habeas Corpus to release Mr. Louaillier. Gen. Jackson arrested both the lawyer and the judge– A Mr. Hollander ventured to say of some part of the matter that “it was a dirty trick.” Gen. Jackson arrested him– When the officer undertook to serve the writ of Habeas Corpus, Gen. Jackson took it from him, and sent him away with a copy. Holding the judge in custody a few days, the general sent him beyond the limits of his encampment, and set him at liberty, with an order to remain till the ratification of peace should be regularly announced, or until the British should have left the Southern coast–

A day or two more elapsed, the ratification of the treaty of peace was regularly announced, and the judge and others were fully liberated– A few days more, and the judge called Gen. Jackson into Court and fined him a thousand dollars, for having arrested him and the others named– The general paid the fine, and there the matter rested for nearly thirty years, when Congress refunded principal and interest. The late Senator Douglas, then in the House of Representatives, took a leading part in the debate, in which the constitutional question was much discussed. I am not prepared to say whom the Journals would show to have voted for the measure.

It may be remarked: First, that we had the same constitution then, as now. Secondly, that we then had a case of Invasion, and that now we have a case of Rebellion, and: Thirdly, that the permanent right of the people to public discussion, the liberty of speech and the press, the trial by jury, the law of evidence, and the Habeas Corpus suffered no detriment whatever by that conduct of Gen. Jackson, or its subsequent approval by the American Congress.

That mistaken “quote” however reminded me somewhat of Jackson’s words to the proto-Copperheads, the Nullifiers:

“Tell them from me that they can talk and write resolutions and print threats till their heart’s content. But if one drop of blood be shed there in defiance of the laws of the United States, I will hang the first man of them I can get my hands on to the first tree I can find!”

Although Jackson was known far and wide for his ironic post-modern sensibility, one gets the feeling that he really means it.

That’s just one of the reasons this blog is called "Sharp Knife" after the name given to Col. Jackson by American Indian warriors.

And then there’s P.J. O’Rourke:

“Q: Why are conservatives opposed to gun control?”
“A: In case we have to shoot Democrats. It happened during the Civil War, and it could happen again.”

I certainly hope not. Democrats used to act like patriots–because they were!

That could happen again, too. I guess.

If only they could remember…

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sometimes, "No" Means "Yes" 


Congratulations to free Venezuelans!

Miguel at Devil's Excrement:

Multiple reliable sources are saying that having Chávez accept the results was no easy task. In fact, a good source told me that at some point the CNE President almost announced a Si victory by a slim margin, which was stopped only because General Baduel threatened to come on stage and call the fraud if she did this. In the end the military and Baduel prevailed in defending institutionality. Baduel and the military reportedly played a key role in forcing Chavez to accept his defeat or otherwise the military will call it a coup.

Chavez in some sense acknowledge this last night, when he refereed to his “dilemma” and the fact that he no longer had one. Chavez tacitly admitted that he had known the results for three hours and that the results created a dilemma for him and that even if he tried to refer to the Electoral Board as an independent institution, in the end it was his decision. He went as far as mentioning that he even had long consultations with his Ministers and the Cabinet.

In a country with true independent institutions, whether or when to announce a result should have nothing to do with the Executive branch. The Electoral Board may have the courtesy of informing the winners and losers right before the announcement, but Chávez clearly proved why there are no independent powers in Venezuela and why institutionality is so weak: he fails to recognize where he should stop meddling and interfering with independent branches of power. It was not his dilemma, he was interfering with institutions.

It also shows why our democracy is weak. If the military has to act at each tough junction in our democratic life in order to restore institutionality, it means that our politicians do not yet understand what a functional democracy should be and act like.

Read if all--and you gotta love this picture!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

"CNN--Public Master Debaters Extraordinaire!" 


"The debate is over."--Al Gore

"The debate's not over until the last Democrat plant gets to make a five-minute speech at a Republican debate."

* The first thing that jumps out at you is, of course, Anderson Cooper's wedge-head.

It looks like a giant vanilla ice cream cone. Or perhaps Dick Tracy's arch-nemesis "Smallmouth Bass". No, wait--he looks like a white-haired Namor, the Sub-Mariner.

Like the Sub-Mariner, Cooper often walks around in his Speedo. Unlike Anderson Cooper, however, Namor almost never wore women's clothing on weekends.

* By trying to paint conservatives as fringe cases and gum up the works with "Gotcha!" questions, CNN hoped to subtract information from the public sphere, rather than add to it. It's not just dizinformation, it's de-information, and it is a hallmark of the Drive-By Media.

* Still, some conservative ideas were advanced:

"Governor Romney, was New York a sanctuary city?"
Romney: "Absolutely. It called itself a sanctuary city. And as a matter of fact, when the welfare reform act that President Clinton brought forward said that they were going to end the sanctuary policy of New York City, the mayor actually brought a suit to maintain its sanctuary city status."

Teh Fred: "A nation that cannot and will not defend its own borders will not forever remain a sovereign nation. And it's unfair. We have thousands of people standing in line at embassies around the world to become United States American citizens, to come here to get a green card, to come here and to assimilate and be a part of our culture. They are part of what has made our country great. Some of our better citizens. We all know them and love them. Now, it's our country together -- theirs and ours, now together. It's our home. And we now get to decide who comes into our home. And to place somebody above them or in front of them in line is the wrong thing to do."

Thompson: "The OMB has come out with a list of over 100 programs. I would take all 100 of them, the ones that are full of waste, fraud and duplication. ... But my point is that we're going to have to reform Social Security, we're going to have to reform Medicare. I've laid out a detailed plan that will give individual retirement accounts for people, matched by the government, and also re-index the way benefits are calculated initially when a person retires. ...I've got the only program out there that really addresses specifically one of the programs that's going to have to be reformed."

McCain: "I just want to also say that Congressman Paul, I've heard him now in many debates talk about bringing our troops home, and about the war in Iraq and how it's failed. And I want to tell you that that kind of isolationism, sir, is what caused World War II. We allowed Hitler to come to power with that kind of attitude of isolationism and appeasement. And I want to tell you something, sir. I just finished having Thanksgiving with the troops, and their message to you is -- the message of these brave men and women who are serving over there is, "Let us win. LET US WIN!"

Thompson: "I cut taxes for eight years when I was in the United States Senate. Never met a tax I liked. I've got a tax-cut bill on the table. But I don't do pledges to anybody but the American people."
Audience: "Go, Fred, go!"

Thompson: "Well, the mayor has supported a wide array of gun control laws. I'm not sure there's ever one that didn't come up for consideration in terms of legislation that he didn't support -- signing ceremonies with people from President Clinton's Cabinet and that sort of thing when they came up. The Second Amendment is not a choice thing. I mean, it's in the Constitution of the United States -- that's the protection that the people have against [rogue government]."

Huck: "I believe there is a place for a death penalty. Some crimes are so heinous, so horrible that the only response that we, as a civilized nation, have for a most uncivil action is not only to try to deter that person from ever committing that crime again, but also as a warning to others that some crimes truly are beyond any other capacity for us to fix.

Now, having said that, there are those who say, "How can you be pro-life and believe in the death penalty?" Because there's a real difference between the process of adjudication, where a person is deemed guilty after a thorough judicial process and is put to death by all of us, as citizens, under a law, as opposed to an individual making a decision to terminate a life that has never been deemed guilty because the life never was given a chance to even exist."

Fred: "Too many people in this country are vested in a scenario of defeat. I'm vested in a scenario of victory and I see it happening there in Iraq today."

* Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter should go now. Now.

* What he said.

* Of course we should talk back to CNN. For years we couldn't talk back, and they hate it now that we can. We also need to state our case on media bias to the newly-aware. Even though it is old hand to us, it is a ray of light to those just awakening. It is a powerful thing when you realize that the Rat-Droppings Media has essentially been lying to you your whole life.

* Once again, Hillary's general is supporting the Co-president who triangulated "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the first place. In 1992, it was Hillary, not Bill, who pushed for Gays in the Military. In the ensuing political disaster, they came up with "DA, DT" as a way of salvaging Bill's pre-shabby presidency. If the general wants the policy changed, he should ask his own candidate first.

In fact, since Democrats control the Congress, they could easily schedule votes on Gays in the Military from now 'til the election. Don't tell me it's about the futility. This is the party that has held 41 failed votes to defeat our troops--futility is what they do. It's who they are. Futility is a brand name with Democrats, a job description, a reason to go on living. No, my friends, it's not the futility, Stupid--it's the massive unpopularity.

For example, when asked if they supported second-graders being read gay fairy-tales at school, all of the Democrat candidates said they supported it--all except Hillary. She was lying, of course--but she can count.

That is also why the general has been air-brushed Soviet-style from re-broadcasts of the debate. It's not out of some sense of fairness to Republicans--hell, no. It's simply because Hillary Clinton does not want to see her name in the same headline with the words "Hillary's Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Trans-Gendered Steering Committee". She's owed the presidency, you see--and she'll allow no little thing like the truth to stand in her way.

* This just in from MNN--Manufactured News Network(tm)
"Manufactured News--Is There Any Other Kind?":

In News News, CNN announced today that it has solved the problem of Democrat plants at the Republican debates.

"At our next CNN Republican Debate, instead of having half of the questioners and half the audience be Democrat plants, we've decided that all the questioners and all the audience should be Democrats," said CNN's politcal officer Sammy Zidat.

"And to help the ratings, the Republican candidates will portrayed by Hollywood actors. Ed Asner could portray Fred Thompson, for example, and Woody Harrelson has already signed to play Ron Paul. We simply feel that this is the fairest way to present Republican views," said Zidat.

Mr. Zidat added that the part of "Anderson Cooper" would be played by Namor, the Sub-Mariner.

In other news, a mentally-unbalanced man well-known to New Hampshire authorities had barricaded himself inside Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters and was demanding to speak to the candidate. He also demanded a karaoke machine.

The stand-off ended peacefully, however, when Gov. Dean surrendered.

"I've never heard the Neil Diamond catalogue sung quite that way before," said New Hampshire state trooper Mabel Surpp.

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