Saturday, February 09, 2008



Historian Paul Johnson:

"I object strongly to the drift away from English history, which is part of a wider movement away from European and North Atlantic history. Virtually all the ideas, knowledge, techniques and institutions around which the world revolves comes from the European theatre and its ocean offshoots; many of them came quite explicitly from England, which laid the principal matrix of modern society. Moreover, the West is still the chief repository of free institutions; and these alone, in the long run, guarantee further progress in ideas and inventions. Powerful societies are rising elsewhere not by virtue of their rejection of the western world's habits but by their success in imitating them. ...

What ideas has Soviet Russia produced? Or Communist China? Or post-war Japan? Or liberated Africa? Or, for that matter, from Latin America, independent now for more than 150 years? It is a thin harvest indeed, distinguished chiefly by infinite variations on the ancient themes of violence, cruelty, suppression of freedom and the destruction of the individual spirit.

The sober and unpopular truth is that whatever hope there is for mankind - at least for the forseeable future - lies in the ingenuity and the civilized standards of the West, above all in those western elements permeated by English ideas. To deny this is to surrender to fashionable cant and humbug. When we are taught by the Russians and the Chinese how to improve the human condition, when the Japanese give us science, and the Africans a great literature, when the Arabs show us the road to prosperity and the Latin Americans to freedom, then will be the time to change the axis of our history."

Canterbury Tails 


The Archbishop of Canterbury is in trouble.

Although he's more widely known for his dreary, plodding, left-wing political sermonizing than for his Christian homilies, this time he may have gone too far, suggesting that England adopt Islamic Law for British Muslims and "regular" law for everyone else:

"An approach to law which simply said - there's one law for everybody - I think that's a bit of a danger."

Leaving aside the craven and gutless cultural kowtowing this represents, doesn't the Archbishop understand that "one law for everybody" is not merely some annoying, archaic tic of our system but, like traditional marriage, it is a foundational linchpin of our society? Not to mention a reflection of the Christian concept of the fundamental worth and dignity of the individual?

Doesn't he know that "one law for everybody" is why Englishmen fought for the Magna Carta, impartial courts, parliaments and common law? It is why British colonists like Washington, Jefferson and Franklin fought the Mother Country and wrote our Constitution. It is why, for example, our Supreme Court has "Equal Justice Under Law" inscribed over its door.

How much blood has been shed to obtain, even imperfectly, "one law for everybody", whether commoner or royal, rich or poor, black or white?

Yet in the name of a suicidal, one-way multi-culturalism, the Archbishop blithely proposes to dispense with all this.

No one dragged those Muslims to England in chains. They came voluntarily--often illegally, even--and it is their duty to adapt to their new home, not vice versa.

John Derbyshire:

"We live in the Age of Bad Ideas. Mass Muslim immigration into Western nations seems to me a strong candidate to be regarded as the worst of all the bad ideas we are afflicted with, and pretty convincing evidence that the West is in the grip of some sort of collective insanity. ...

There are fifty majority Muslim nations in the world, covering a fifth of the world's land area. Muslims have plenty of places to live, with national laws and customs that suit them. There is no reason for them to migrate en masse into western countries, and no reason for western countries to let them. Britain is one of the most crowded countries in the world — population density twice China's or Nigeria's. The British are fools to permit mass Muslim immigration."

On the other hand, why be angry at the Archbishop? After all, he's just reading the writing on the wall (a phrase, Archie, that comes to us from the Book of Daniel).

Just this week the British government announced that Muslim "Englishmen" will be be allowed to collect welfare payments for their multiple wives--while bigamy will still remain illegal for other Englishmen. This has happened in Canada as well.

In other words, one man is prosecuted while the other is subsidized...for the exact same act! "One law for everybody" no more.

In both cows and countries, there are tipping points. But what's the tipping point for a cowed country?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Get a Grip, Peggy 


Peggy Noonan:

"As a conservative I would say Ted Kennedy has spent much of his career being not just wrong about the issues but so deeply wrong, so consistently and reliably wrong that it had a kind of grandeur to it. So wrong that I cannot actually think of a single serious policy question on which I agreed with him. But I remember the night President Reagan spoke of Sen. Kennedy's brother at a fund-raiser for the JFK Library, and I remember the letter Reagan got from Teddy. “Your presence itself was such a magnificent tribute to my brother. . . . The country is well served by your eloquent graceful leadership, Mr. President." He ended it, “With my prayers and thanks for you as you lead us through these difficult times.

Liberals are rarely interested in pointing out, and conservatives by and large may not know, but everyone who knows Teddy Kennedy knows that he holds a deep love for his country, that he feels a reverence for the presidency and a desire that America be represented with grace abroad and stature at home. He has seen administrations come and go. And maybe much of what he's learned came forward, came together, this week.

His principled and uncompromising rebellion [by endorsing "Orbaumer"] seemed to me a patriotic act, and adds to the rising tide of Geffenism. When David Geffen broke with Mrs. Clinton last summer, and couched his disapproval along ethical lines, he was almost alone among important Democrats. It took some guts. Now others are joining his side. Good."

1.) Uncle Ted was so filled with “deep love of country, reverence for the presidency and desire that America be represented with grace” that he took it on himself to contact the Soviets back in the 80’s and offer his services to them in order to undermine Pres. Reagan.

They essentially told him “Thanks, Ted–just keep on doing what you’re doing.”

2.) David Geffen listened to all those stupid idiot 70’s folk-singers and decided he should purchase a pardon for cop-killer Leonard Peltier (who had ambushed and then executed gang-land style two FBI agents who were investigating a pair of stolen boots).

The Clintons took Geffen’s money and then stiffed him on the pardon because there were no ethnic votes in it for Hillary’s senate campaign, only bad p.r. for freeing a murdering thug.

Geffen was just mad that his politicians didn’t stay bought. That hardly makes him some paragon of ethics–he was just another gang member cheated out of his cut of the spoils by Ma and Pa Barker.

Let’s not get carried away here, Peg.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Giants Among Us 

I'm not really big on the Superbowl this year, but because of this, I'll be rooting for the New York football Giants;

Mike Lupica:

"His name is Lt. Col. Greg Gadson and he used to wear No. 98 for the Army football team and was with the Second Battalion and 32nd Field Artillery, on his way back from a memorial service for two soldiers from his brigade when he lost both his legs to a roadside bomb in Baghdad. It was the night of May 7, 2007, and Lt. Col. Gadson didn't know it at the time because he couldn't possibly have known, but it was the beginning of a journey that brought him to Lambeau Field Sunday night.

He was there as an honorary co-captain of the Giants, there on the sideline at Lambeau because this Giants' season has become his season now and he wasn't going to watch from some box. This is a Giant at the Super Bowl worth knowing about, as much as any of them.

"Me being a part of this team," Gadson was saying Monday night from his home in Virginia, having made it back there from Green Bay, "really starts with the team I played on at West Point."

He played at West Point between 1985 and 1988, and one of his teammates was Mike Sullivan, who played cornerback and some safety and is now one of Tom Coughlin's assistants with the Giants. When Sullivan and so many other of Gadson's teammates found out what had happened on the night of May 7, found that Gadson had first lost his left leg to arterial infections and then his right, it brought that old Army team back together.

"My injury turned out to be a catalyst event," Gadson said. "These were guys who hadn't talked in years, but now were rallying around me, and my family. Some of us had stayed in contact, but not to any great degree. But now an incident in a war reminded us that we were still brothers.""

With lots more Superbowl stuff here.

Primary Color-Blindness 


Hog on Ice

"If this dimwit [McCain] gets the nomination, I'll vote for him. I'll have to, just like I had to vote for Captain Magic Underpants [Romney] today. Unlike the mindless sheep who squeal pea-brained slogans like, "I vote for the man, not the party," I realize that federal judges run this country, and eight years of Hillary appointees will put us to the left of Vietnam. Federal judges are about a hundred times as important as Presidents, so in a Presidential election, you NEVER vote for the man. Always the party. Hopefully McCain would do a better job than Hillary. Of course, he has betrayed us before, over and over, so who's to say?"

Sadly, I agree with that analysis. A fine kettle of Phish and other Dead cover-bands.

Like Steve, I'll be heading to the polls Tuesday to vote for Romney--although "for" is a pretty strong word. I'm basically voting "against" at this point. If only Mitt had defied his runaway anti-constitutional court, I'd of had his signs in my yard long ago. But this is the hand we're dealt.

Steve is also having fun with Leftrons who object to Jonah Goldberg being referred to as a "Pulitzer nominee". Goldberg, who also won the Nobel Prize for crop genetics, cracked the Soviet codes and invented pancakes, is the author of 'Liberal Fascism', possibly the greatest American political treatise since 'I Married a Communist' by Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Some Fine, Fine Writin' 

by Andrew Ferguson:

"...[Fred Thompson's] finest moment came in a debate before the Iowa caucuses, when the moderator asked the assembled candidates for a show of hands if they believed human activity caused climate change.

"Well, do you want to give me a minute to answer that?" Thompson said. When the moderator said she didn't, he said: "Well, then I'm not going to answer it. You want a show of hands, and I'm not going to give it to you."

The moderator looked as though Thompson had suddenly sprouted daffodils from his ears. So did his fellow candidates. After a stunned silence, they all courageously announced their refusal to show hands, too. They looked like the Little Rascals, hitching up their britches and flexing their biceps after Alfalfa clocked the neighborhood bully. [...]

The first presidential candidate even to make an appearance on his own behalf was William Henry Harrison in 1840. When he showed up in Columbus, Ohio, to give a speech extolling his (exceedingly thin) record, the political world was scandalized. An opposition paper, the Democratic Globe, counted his uses of the pronoun "I"--there were 81 of them in his text--and pronounced the speech "a prodigy of garrulous egotism." The Cleveland Adviser, a nonpartisan paper, asked: "When was there ever before such a spectacle as a candidate for the Presidency, traversing the country advocating his own claims for that high and responsible station? Never!" [...]

...the modern campaign excludes anyone who lacks the narcissism, cold-bloodedness, and unreflective nature that the process requires and rewards. In his memoir -Greenspan remarks that of the seven presidents he has known well, the only one who was "close to normal" was Jerry Ford. And, as Greenspan points out, Ford was never elected.

Fred Thompson probably feels terrible at the moment, but he should be honored to be in Ford's company."

We May Need Reagan 


someday--in fact, we certainly will--so let's at least keep the record straight.

As does Mark Levin:

..."Reagan would never have used the phrase "manage for profit" as a zinger to put down a Republican opponent. Reagan believed in managing for profit because he believed in free enterprise. That doesn't mean he didn't agree to certain tax increases (after fighting for and winning the most massive tax cuts in modern American history), which were incidentally to be accompanied by even greater spending cuts. McCain believes the oil companies are evil, and said it during one of the debates. Among his first acts as president, Reagan decontrolled the prices of natural gas and crude oil with the stroke of his pen because, as he understood, profit funds research and exploration. Reagan had a respect for and comprehension of private property rights and markets that McCain does not. There never would have been a Reagan-Lieberman bill, in which the federal government's power over the private sector would have trumped the New Deal.

Reagan opposed limits on political speech. The Reagan administration ended the Fairness Doctrine and the media ownership rules, which helped create the alternative media that McCain despises. Reagan's reverence for the Constitution would never have allowed him to support, let alone add his name to, something like McCain-Feingold.

As for Reagan's Supreme Court appointments, it is wholly misleading to simply list those who turned out to be disappointing as evidence of Reagan's willingness to compromise on judicial appointments or appoint moderates, or whatever the point was. In Sandra Day O'Connor's case, he was assured by Barry Goldwater and Ken Starr that she was an originalist. While on the Court, she started out on fairly sound footing, and then lurched toward the Left, something Reagan could not foresee or control. Yes, Reagan appointed Anthony Kennedy to the Court, but only after: 1. first nominating Bob Bork; 2. then nominating Doug Ginsburg; and 3. again receiving assurances that Kennedy was solid. And, again, Kennedy started out as a fairly reliable originalist, but has "evolved" over the years in ways that no president can prevent. But Reagan also appointed Antonin Scalia and promoted William Rehnquist to chief justice, and he appointed scores of outstanding judges at the district court and appellate levels — the significance of which attorneys like me, who study this issue, fully comprehend and appreciate. (As an aside, as I spent some time at the White House working on judicial selection, Reagan refused to allow the Senate to dictate which judges he would ultimately nominate to the circuit courts.)

Reagan sought to abolish all kinds of federal programs and agencies — from the Department of Education to the Action Agency/VISTA — and the list goes on and on. I imagine it wouldn't be too difficult for someone with the time and inclination, such as a think-tank scholar, to go back and examine the early budgets that Reagan sent to Congress. Am I the only one who remembers all the horror stories in the media portraying Reagan's budgets as setting back the New Deal and Great Society, creating armies of homeless, cutting ketchup from the Food Stamp program, and so forth? But Reagan couldn't get a lot of the cuts he wanted past congressional Democrats. However, he did shutdown the government several times to try to limit spending. Does anyone remember the media stories about Social Security recipients going without checks?

The one area Reagan drastically increased spending was defense. And while McCain is said to be among the most capable of hawks, he used little of his political capital and media savvy to oppose the Clinton cuts — or to warn the nation about the rising threat from al-Qaeda, for that matter. He did not call for the resignation of his good friend Bill Cohen, who was a terrible defense secretary. McCain was not alone, of course. But a more fulsome examination of McCain's senatorial record relating to defense, intelligence, and law enforcement is met mostly with silence or admonitions to avert our eyes.

Reagan would not have led efforts to grant the enemy constitutional and international rights, as McCain has. I believe he would have sided with President Bush. After all, as president, Reagan rejected efforts to expand the Geneva Conventions to cover terrorists. This is a key area of departure for McCain not only from Bush but most national security advocates. But, alas, we must avert our eyes, again.

As for the 1986 Reagan amnesty for illegal aliens, we've been down this road time and again. The bill was carefully reviewed within the Reagan administration, including at the Justice Department (at the time, the INS reported to the attorney general). Reagan agreed that amnesty would be conferred on 2-3 million illegal aliens as a one-time event in exchange for adequate funding for border security. The bill passed in 1987. The border security part of the deal was never enforced. To say that Reagan supported amnesty and no more is to rewrite history. There would have been no Reagan-Kennedy bill, written largely by LULAC and LaRaza.

But we must rewrite history if we are to make the case that McCain is no different from Reagan, Reagan is no different from his predecessors, and Reagan's speeches weren't all that revolutionary. And if we object to such characterizations, then the argument shifts to — well, stop making comparisons to Reagan, Reagan wasn't perfect, the Reagan era is dead, these are different times, etc. Then, if we criticize McCain's record we are told the tone is troubling, we're going to help elect Hillary Clinton if we don't unite behind McCain now (at the beginning of the primaries, no less!), the surge is the only issue that matters, etc.

Look, I do not believe that McCain is a principled conservative. I believe he is a populist hawk in the tradition of a Scoop Jackson. This isn't a perfect comparison, of course, but nothing is ever perfect, is it? In my view, this is why the hawks will support McCain regardless of his record in virtually every other respect. Moreover, they see McCain as the only Republican who has the will or ability or whatever to fight terrorism. I don't. But please, can we at least agree, on National Review's website of all places, to stop dumbing down or dismissing the Reagan record." ...

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