Monday, February 28, 2011

Fit to Be Tied

Not really actually.  Here's yet another (yawn) report revealing liberal hypocrisy, this time at the very highest level.

Question:  If you never practice what you preach, is it still hypocrisy?

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Recklessly Principled"

That's the phrase the invaluable Charles Krauthammer uses to describe the new generation of Republican leadership, and I like it.  Krauthammer:
We can see the future. The only question has been: When will the country finally rouse itself?  Amazingly, the answer is now. Led by famously progressive Wisconsin — Scott Walker at the state level and Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan at the congressional level — a new generation of Republicans has looked at the debt and is crossing the Rubicon. Recklessly principled, they are putting the question to the nation: Are we a serious people?
Well maybe, just maybe, we are.

As Krauthammer sees it, the beauty of the events unfolding in Wisconsin, a most improbable Ground Zero, is that they serve to bring crystaline clarity to the issues, to the party differences, and to the stakes, not only for Wisconsin and the country, but, I would add, for the world.  Please STOP and try to imagine for just a moment the global chaos that would be unleashed if the United States truly became financially insolvent.  The stakes are indeed that high.

The Great Reckoning continues.  The books will be balanced whether we face up to it like men or not.  I, like Krauthammer, think it's high time just such "recklessly principled" men and women took charge.

Shocked Again

A few days ago, I pointed you to a piece about "vagueness".  As the writer argued, there is something about contemporary patterns of speech ("like, you know", for example) that suggest the desire to be deliberately vague.  Because I found that argument interesting, it won't surprise you that this first line in a different article by a different writer caught my attention as well.
ANOTHER MONTH, ANOTHER media hurricane of "controversy" in "the arts." Forgive my use of quotation marks in the previous sentence, but in our postmodern world, it's hard to avoid them if you want to be precise in your meaning.

The writer in this case is James Bowman who, among other things, is the film critic for The American Spectator.  (I've linked to his work several times before, most recently for his review of The King's Speech.  He's always worth a look.) 

In this piece, Bowman links the need for using quotation marks with the Kabuki dance that is the modern artist's presentation of some deliberately "shocking" piece of "art". (See, I'm doing it.)  That presentation results in a predictable, and desired, expression of outrage by some representative or other of the bourgeoisie, which is itself followed by an equally predictable expression of outrage in return by the artist, the art community, or both.

Anyway, life in contemporary America can be so convoluted that a sane guide like Bowman is necessary ftrom time to time.  Give it a look.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"President of the World"

The title is as empty as its holder. 

By now, you simply must know of my contempt for our 42nd president, "Slick Willie". (I hear he hates that moniker most of all.)  But I just can't resist piling on.  So please give R. Emmett Tyrrell's latest in The American Spectator a read: "Remembering Clinton and the Episodic Apologists"

"Episodic apologists"  Wish I'd thought of that.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tribune of the Minority

It appears the Obama Administration has decided it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws.  Whether the President, or you, think this is a wise piece of legislation, it was nevertheless passed into law in accordance with the Constitution.

Speaking of which, would someone please direct Mr. Obama to one of his more important duties as outlined in Article II, Section 3 of the same: "...he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,..."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Effective Secession

It seems that Indiana Democrat legislators have joined their party brothers and sisters from Wisconsin in fleeing to Illinois in order to avoid having to vote on what they deem to be anti-union legislation and thereby shutting down the democratic process altogether.  This is beginning to look like something more than just a stunt, and it's troubling.

Among the several reasons Lincoln gave for the illegitimacy of the South's secession from the Union was that it was actually the death of democratic government.  When one joins a democratic political union, the  unanimously agreed upon assumption, whether explicit or not, is not only that the majority rules, but also that the minority will bow to it.  If, when it appears one will be on the short end of a democratic vote, one exercises the right (if you can call it that) to withdraw from the process altogether, then it signals the end of the democratic process and is, effectively, an act of secession.

This must be

Monday, February 21, 2011

Birthers and Truthers

Have you noticed that the Main Stream Media are again shoving their microphones in the face of one or another unsuspecting GOP congressman or senator, who didn't bring the subject up, and asking/demanding that he/she disavow the "birthers" who insist that Barack Obama was not born in the US and, therefore, is not a legitimate president? 

It all reminds me of the similar way the MSM treated Democrat congressmen and senators when, in the aftermath of 9/11, "truthers" maintained that Bush and Cheney were somehow involved in the terrorist attacks.

Oh, sorry, that never happened, did it?  I guess I just got carried away imagining "fair and balanced" journalism.

"Like, you know"

If the "like, you know" pattern of speech is as grating to your ears as it is to mine, then you might want to check out this article at City Journal by Clark Whelton, who, among other things was a speechwriter for New York City mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani.

Whelton wonders if this pattern, or tic, is actually a sign, along with many other things, of what he calls a descent into "Vagueness".   By this he means "shifting the burden of communication from speaker to listener. Ambiguity, evasion, and body language, such as air quotes—using fingers as quotation marks to indicate clichés—were transforming college English into a coded sign language in which speakers worked hard to avoid saying anything definite."

It's a short piece, so give it a read.  Like, I think Whelton may well be on to something, you know?

By George!

Besides being a day off for state and federal workers, the point of "Presidents' Day" has never been quite clear to me.  Are we merely collapsing, for convenience sake, the celebration of Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays?  Or are we actually recognizing the service of every former presidents, whether they be heroes, scoundrels, or mediocrities? 

I hold to the former interpretation and since I made a point of remembering the Great Emancipator's actual birthday on the 12th, I should do the same for Washington's which is tomorrow, the 22nd.

What better way than to consider some sage advice (get it? sage advice?) offered by the Father of our Country himself on the occasion of his departure from public life.  Happy Birthday General!

From Washington's Farewell Address:
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Father Knows Best

As events unfolded this past week in both Wisconsin and D.C., I was reminded me of a comment made by then Senator Joe Biden several years ago.  In a television interview he conceded that, essentially, the Democrats were the "Mommy" party, while the Republicans were the "Daddy" party.  (Actually, he may have been conceding something said by someone else.  I can't remember exactly.)

Biden is much better known for his multiple gaffes than he is for expressing political wisdom, but when he made this confession about the differences between the parties, he only said aloud what most Americans knew already.  And, very importantly, for your average American, it's a piece of knowledge that largely determines his vote.

As close as the 2000 presidential election was (Al Gore in fact won the popular vote), the day after 9/11 in 2001 you could almost hear the collective sigh of relief across the country:  "Under these new circumstances, thank God a Republican, and not a Democrat, occupies the White House."

Today, confronted as we are by an equally undeniable fiscal threat, it appears that the GOP is once again ascendant.  But this particular ascendancy is not so much because the people have come to blame the Democrats more than they do the Republicans for our current woes.  Both parties are responsible, to one degree or another, for the fiscal mess we're in.  Just as both parties were culpable, again, to one degree or another, for paying insufficient attention to the growing threat of radical Islam prior to 9/11.

Unlike for me, and probably for you too, for the average American this shift in support is not chiefly about ideology.  It's more visceral than cerebral.  (Which, by the way, makes it more precarious as well.)  But in increasing numbers, the people are turning to the Republican party for answers, for action, and, significantly, for reassurance. 

At the risk of offending my female readers, who are no doubt legion, when the stakes are high, really high, and the threat immediate, a family turns most naturally to its father for leadership.  This is not about gender.  Margaret Thatcher, for one, was clearly of the "Daddy" party.  Fair or not, in America the GOP fills the roll of the "Daddy" party.  As things currently stand, this is for it a tremendous political advantage.

Whether or not the Republican leadership can capitalize on and, more importantly for the country, institutionalize that advantage remains to be seen   To that end, they would do well to heed the advice of Don Corleone:  "It's an old habit. I spent my life trying not to be careless. Women and children can be careless, but not men."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

This reminds me...

In 1981 nearly 75% of the PATCO (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) union members went on strike in the midst the nation's worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Whatever the merits of their case (and there weren't many), it was obvious at the time to even casual observers that it was really not a very politically wise moment to take it before the American people. 

Now, thirty years later, the members of the teachers union of Wisconsin, well-educated educators though they may be, have apparently learned absolutely nothing from that case.

What's that definition of insanity again?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Evinces a Design"

How predictable is it that this story comes to us from California?  And also, how predictable is it that it comes to us from a university in California, UC-Davis to be precise.

Apparently, the university's toleration policy as outlined in its pamphlet, "The Principles of Community", defines religious/spiritual discrimination thus:  “The loss of power and privilege to those who do not practice the dominant culture’s religion. In the United States, this is institutionalized oppressions toward those who are not Christian."

Can you say "culture war"?

Will the Left ever wake up to the fact that the institutionalized tolerance that is everywhere enjoyed and enforced in this country especially, but also throughout the West, rests fundamentally on precisely its Judeo-Christian foundation?

Probably not.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Do You Like Pina Coladas?

Do you remember that catchy tune from the late-1970s?  Do you recall what it was actually about?

Then it was done through a personal ad in the newspaper.  Now it's not only high tech, it's a business.

Are we this immoral, this unprincipled?  Are we this bored?  Is there much of anything left to "normalize" before it all comes crashing down?

May God save our poor children...from us.

The Great Reckoning looms.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Splitting Rails and Spitting Nails

I know, I know, I'm late.  I should have recognized Abraham Lincoln's birthday more properly, and more respectfully, on Saturday, when it actually occurred.  But for the life of me I couldn't think of anything new or clever to say.

Until now.

If you haven't already, read my last blog.  Now, I want you to imagine the same baby-faced reporter who interrogated Secretary Rumsfeld, interviewing Abraham Lincoln in April of 1865.  Imagine also him highlighting for the president the far more expensive "costs" of the Civil War.  Finally, imagine him ending his presentation with the same question he asked of Donald Rumsfeld:  "What responsibility do you bear for those costs?"

I don't know about you, but as long as we're imagining, I can imagine also, in that far more virile age, all 6'4'' of Abe Lincoln rising up very slowly from his chair with the full confidence of a strong and seasoned wrestler and rail splitter, and then, after glaring intently for just a moment at the diminuitive reporter seated before him, turning and striding purposefully out of the room, ignoring the little pipsqueak altogether.

Happy Birthday Mr. President!

How Dare They

I 've been out of the country for a good part of the past two weeks and as a result didn't get to hear much of the sundry ABC News interviews with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.  The occasion, of course, was the release of Rumsfeld's new memoir, Known and Unknown.  Apparently, ABC had purchased exclusive broadcast (not cable) TV interviewing rights.

As it happens, Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard reported on the tone and substance of those interviews and just the title of his piece says it all:  "The Interrogation of Rumsfeld"

As Barnes sees it, this setup and question from George Stephanopoulos was fairly typical:
After a few obligatory questions about Egypt, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos got to the point. “You concede in the book that the Iraq war came at a very high price. I want to show for our viewers some of that price,” he said. A graphic popped on the screen: “4,408 U.S. military deaths, 32,000 wounded, 115,000 Iraqi civilians killed, $700 billion (CBO estimate).”  “I’ve read the book. I’ve read the reviews. I watched your interview with Diane [Sawyer],” Stephanopoulos said, “and it seems like the one question that most people want answered is the one you most don’t want to address. What responsibility do you bear for those costs?”
I don't know about you, but when I read this, my blood began to boil.

As you know, this ain't Donald Rumsfeld's first rodeo, so he certainly doesn't need any help from me.  But, if I may, I'd like to suggest at least one way to respond to any and all such calumny in the future.  In the full righteously-indignant mode, it goes something like this:
"How dare you suggest that the ultimate sacrifice of 4,400 brave American soldiers, as well as the high price paid by the many thousands more who suffered wounds was anything but noble, and to do so just because you don't agree with the war in which those sacrifices were required.  Moreover, as a taxpayer myself, I bitterly resent the implication that I was somehow duped about the material costs of the war."

"We, the American people, that is, are not pathetic victims, and the men and women of our armed forces are most certainly not so.  The sacrifices they made and continue to make are part and parcel of the high calling they've heard and answered nevertheless.  Thank God for their willingness to serve."

"A brutal murderer and very real threat to us, our allies, and our common interests has been removed from power.  In the process, he was afforded more justice than he was ever willing to give even to his own countrymen.  That country and its neighbors are much the better for it.  A people who once knew no freedom at all, can now at least taste of it, and we earnestly pray that the appetite for it will spread throughout the region.  If it does, it will be better off still and so will the world."

"Now, if you have any honest disagreements about the wisdom of this war or the way in which it was prosecuted, then voice them clearly.  But before you do, know this:  I will not sit still for any criticism that is as laden with contempt as is yours.  Or, I should say, I will not sit still without returning it in kind first.  Next question."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Is Multiculturalism Dying?

Now that British prime minister David Cameron has joined German chancellor Angela Merkel in pronouncing the failure of multiculturalism in their respective countries, can we expect the American Left to recognize their cue and follow suit?  After all, the Europeans are always so much more sophisticated and avante garde than we.

We can only hope. 

But multiculturalism in America has always had a crazy cast to it that I think may make it more resilient than the European version.  Here, multiculturalism has included not only a strong measure of typical liberal self-loathing, but also a peculiar understanding of the Declaration of Independence, an allegiance to which is what otherwise makes Americans of us all.  Red and yellow, black and white, Jew and gentile, Protestant and Catholic, etc.

For the Left, universal principles always trump particular expressions of them, even honest particular expressions of them.  While there is something hopelessly naive about that point, I take it nonetheless.  But they go far beyond it the American case.  For them, the argument advanced in the Declaration that men everywhere are free and equal means that as Americans they are also free and equal in their right to remain  non-Americans.  In fact, I swear I have even heard them to say that it is precisely because of our founding principles that the most American thing of all is to live here but refuse to become an American.  To insist that someone assimilate and actually become a legal and loyal citizen is to violate their natural rights, the very rights enshrined in the Declaration itself.

Whew! It's hard to argue with that kind of sophistry.  So, I figure the reports of multiculturalism's demise in the U.S. are a bit premature.  But then we can always move to Europe.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cold Webb Feet

The handwringing was on the wall.  After running in 2006 as a potentially iconoclastic Democrat, but then voting almost exactly the same as Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, rookie Senator James Webb has apparently come to understand that his record on Capitol Hill will be more than a little difficult to explain to the Virginia electorate in 2012.

A GOP pickup perhaps?

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Enemy of the Good

As we contemplate what, or what not, to do in response to the events unfolding in Egypt, we would do well to heed the wisdom contained in this paragraph, as well as the short article that follows, by the always reliable Michael Barone.
Most campaign rhetoric and political punditry is underpinned by an assumption that perfect solutions are possible, if only people would have the good sense to adopt the candidate’s or the pundit’s course of action. Alas, that is not always so.


In case you were wondering, those were the years my two children were born. 

Still having trouble?  C'mon, in XVIII, the, then, L.A. Raiders thrashed the Redskins.  Two years later, the Bears did equal damage to the Patriots.  If it'll help, in between, in XIX, the 49ers killed the Dolphins.

What's that you say?  You don't mark time that way. 

Well apparently the NFL does, and, increasingly, so does every sports writer as well.  At one point during the build-up to yesterday's game, I read an article on the Sport Illustrated web site and was very annoyed that the writer refused to use 1978, 1985, etc., when referring to some aspect of those year's games to make whatever point it was he was trying to make.  Instead, he'd just refer to VII, for example, and take it for granted that the reader would remember that particular game and remember it in that way.

Look, I'm as big a sports fan as anyone.  I watched yesterday's championship game between the Packers and the Steelers like most of the rest of you, and enjoyed it as I suspect you did as well. (After so many years of one-sided yawners, we have had a string of pretty good games lately, haven't we?)  But the only people who refer to Super Bowls by their roman numerals and know immediately to which game it refers are ESPN junkies who otherwise have little or no lives at all.

OK.  I'm glad I got that off my chest.  I feel better now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Black-eyed Puh-leeze

Is it just me or have Super Bowl half-time extravaganzas become increasingly embarrassing?

If the NFL, the networks, the ticket-buying spectators, and the television-viewing public really feel the need to extend the evening in order to get their money's worth, how about just lengthening the quarters by five minutes or so?  While a one-hour and twenty minute game may be more risky for the players, it will definitely be less painful for us.

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Curse braces, bless relaxes"

If you don't already know, and I didn't either before I read the review, my title is a line from the English poet William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.  But this ain't about that.

Rather, it's about James Bowman's review of the film, The King's Speech. (Which, I'll confess, I haven't yet seen.)  Bowman uses the line from Blake to illuminate something about the movie that he feels makes it work for audiences despite its obvious conceit.  That is, that the fate of the West immediately before and during World War II somehow rested on poor King George VI's success in conquering an embarrassing stutter.  That is, of course, nonsense, but viewers don't seem to care.  Why not?

As Bowman has it, the King, who never wanted the crown in the first place, submitted nevertheless to the call to duty both by accepting it and, in order to be of use with it, by achieving a more than acceptable fluency.  All the while, however, his fulfillment of duty is contrasted with his relationship with his tutor, an Australian, i.e., an outsider, whose very presence calls attention to the fact that something is very wrong with the mores and stiff traditions that continue to govern in Great Britain.  In this way, according to Bowman, the movie manages to appeal to "both sides in the culture wars."
Surely, here we must have the secret of the film's success: that it manages simultaneously to appeal to both sides in the cultural wars that have raged in Britain and America, as elsewhere in the West, since the 1960s: both, that is, to the believers in relaxes and those fighting a presumably doomed rearguard action on behalf of braces. Litterateurs will recognize the allusion to William Blake's enigmatical dictum: "Curse braces, bless relaxes," which can also be read two ways. Is it, in other words, braces that are to be cursed and relaxes blessed? Or are we instead to recognize the bracing effects of the curse alongside the entropic relaxation of mere blessing? The answer, as everything about Blake requires us to insist, is yes.

In the same way, the PBS "Masterpiece Classics" series Downton Abbey ends with simultaneous disasters for the family of the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and the world at large. The latter disaster is of course the outbreak of World War I, while the former is said to be a result of the fact that someone "must say what I think." To this the Dowager Countess, played by Maggie Smith, pointedly replies: "I don't know why. Nobody else does." There, too, I believe, contemporary audiences must feel at once our morally relaxed culture's contempt for the inevitable hypocrisies of life in the highly structured and even more highly strictured world of pre-1914 Britain and a kind of grudging admiration for those who felt, for reasons we can hardly imagine anymore, that they had to live according to its rules.
Readers of this blog can have no doubt on which side of the culture war the Sage has enlisted.  But, just in case, the "relaxes", the libertines, have gone too damn far!  Nevertheless, Bowman, I think, through a movie review, has something useful to say about why we are fighting in the first place.  Read his review and then, like me, go see the movie.

Reagan the Radical

Huh?  How could someone who became the very personification of conservatism in America justly be called a "radical"?

This Sunday, the 6th of February, the country pauses to recognize Ronald Reagan's birthday, significantly his 100th.  As we do, we would do well to consider also the following reflection on Reagan as a daring agent of change in America.  It's by my former colleague and good friend Dr. Stephen Knott, Associate Professor, US Naval War College.  Steve's breadth as a scholar is wide, but if he has a focus, it's on the American Presidency, and especially on the presidency of Ronald Wilson Reagan.  Enjoy. 

Oh, before you do, join me, please, "Happy Birthday Mr. President!"

The Radicalism of Ronald Reagan

As the nation celebrates Ronald Reagan’s one hundredth birthday, it is worth remembering what a controversial figure Reagan was in his time. Jimmy Carter warned in 1980 that if Reagan were to win the presidency he would “lead us into war.” Senator Alan Cranston from California agreed, claiming that Reagan was a “trigger-happy President with a simplistic and paranoid worldview, leading the nation toward a nuclear collision that could end us all.” Teddy Kennedy calmly observed in 1982 that “the arms race rushes ahead toward nuclear confrontation that could well mean the annihilation of the human race.” Even Richard Nixon chimed in, arguing that Reagan’s “evil empire” rhetoric and assertive stance toward the Kremlin was dangerous and doomed to fail. “There’s a school of thought that hard-line policies on our part will induce change for the better on their part. I wish that were the case, but it’s just not going to happen” Nixon claimed. Tip O’Neill, arguably the most partisan Speaker of the twentieth century, declared that Reagan, not the Soviet Union, was the focus of evil in the modern world. The Gipper had “no concern, no regard, no care for the little man of America. . . . And I understand that. Because of his lifestyle, he never meets those people.” O’Neill would later add, in case anyone didn’t get the message, “the evil is in the White House at the present time. And that evil is a man who has no care and no concern for the working class of America and the future generations of America, and who likes to ride a horse. He’s cold. He’s mean. He’s got ice water for blood.” Needless to say, for much of his presidency, Reagan was hardly the beloved figure he is today with the American public. For instance, two years into his presidency Reagan’s approval rating stood at 35%, below Barack Obama’s standing at the same point.

Reagan’s critics feared the man, not in the sense that they feared Richard Nixon, but due to the fact that he represented a radical break with the past – within an hour after being sworn into office, he proclaimed in his inaugural address that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” That one phrase sent a chill down the spine of any unreconstructed New Dealer or New Frontiersman who bothered to tune in, and served notice that the Dewey-Rockefeller-Eisenhower wing of the GOP was dead, replaced by the heirs of the anti-federalists and the Jeffersonians. Reagan proposed to prune the Federal government [at least its domestic arm] and return power to the states. In the short term, Reagan failed to deliver on this agenda, blocked by Tip O’Neill’s House of Representatives, although he did succeed in passing significant tax cuts, thereby making taxes and spending the cornerstone of modern American political debate. And, it should be noted, elements of his agenda came to pass with the most far reaching social reform of the modern-era, the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. Reagan’s deficits, and the tripling of the national debt that occurred under his watch, forced American’s to confront fundamental issues of fiscal responsibility and the proper role of government. He would have preferred balanced federal budgets, but short of real spending cuts he was not going to accept business as usual. To some extent, Reagan is the reason we are in the position we find ourselves today, because he moved the GOP away from its blind devotion to balanced budgets toward a broader and more principled opposition to big government and its enabler, the Internal Revenue Service. The reckoning has arrived, as the Sage of Mount Airy is fond of noting – although the verdict is still out as to whether responsibility and constitutionalism will triumph over our 100 year experiment with progressivism. Should the fiscally responsible constitutionalist approach prevail, then Reagan could well replace FDR as the most significant President behind Washington and Lincoln on those perennial lists of presidential greatness.

Reagan’s foreign policy broke sharply from the past as well. At his very first press conference the new President stated that Richard Nixon’s policy of détente was “a one way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its own aims.” He added, to the horror of his own Secretary of State, “that the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat,” in order to attain the goal of world domination. Reagan (along with Margaret Thatcher) stared down a nuclear freeze movement that was aided and abetted by the KGB and the western media; rebuilt the American military; restored the morale of the West through moving rhetoric that boldly distinguished East from West; covertly supported anti-Communist movements around the globe; and proposed a Strategic Defense Initiative, all of which put the geriatrics in the Kremlin on their heels (Or perhaps in their graves. Reagan coldly responded to criticism from leftist Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau that he wasn’t reaching out to the Politburo by acidly observing “Pierre, they keep dying on me. You want me to meet the dead ones?”). Ronald Reagan’s radicalism was not limited to his rejection of détente and his hatred

Ronald Reagan was a throwback figure in many ways – a man perhaps more at home in nineteenth century America, the America portrayed in many of his movies. He preferred to be riding one of his aforementioned horses out at his ranch than sitting in the Oval Office. Nonetheless, Reagan did what William F. Buckley or Barry Goldwater could not do – he transformed conservatism in modern America into a powerful mainstream movement. This was a remarkable achievement for a movement that was written off as all but dead by mid-century, and an impressive achievement for a man described by friend and foe alike as a kind and gentle person who operated utterly without guile. Reagan’s conservatism was of a different stripe – his eternal faith in the wisdom of the common man and his frequent invocation of Thomas Paine’s declaration that “we have it within our power to begin the world over again” set him apart from many of his scolding conservative contemporaries. Twenty-two years after leaving the White House, Reagan’s legacy remains a work in progress. His heirs are everywhere, and they just might win a few more for the Gipper.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Forever Young

Here's another of those "If you're interested in such things" pieces.

Ever heard of "emerging adulthood"?  Apparently it's a description that is actually a justification of the contemporary phenomenon of protracted, and protracting, adolescence through and even beyond one's twenties.

This Harvard grad student will have none of the "science" of this purportedly new developmental stage.

Does it surprise you that the writer's a woman?

Not me.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Eat Mor Chikin"

Many thanks to Michelle Malkin for bringing to our attention the Left's latest attack on the fast food industry.

Apparently emboldened by its successful effort to remove the toy that comes with the purchase of a McDonald's Happy Meal, the Left is now focused like a laser beam on the threat to liberty emanating from Chick-fil-A, the fast-food chain famous for, aside from its food, remaining closed on Sundays.  Chick-fil-A's crime is tolerating the fact that one of its franchises donated sandwiches to marriage seminar.

"Huh?", you say.

Well, the seminar was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI).

Still confused?

PFI was one of the groups that filed an amicus brief in support of California's Proposition 8, the ballot initiative and constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.  (The initiative passed, but was later over-turned by a federal judge.)

Clear now?

So, what can you do?

Re-read my title to start.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Water's Edge

This from POLITICO:  "When Senate GOP press secretaries gathered for their weekly meeting Monday, Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander’s aides cautioned their colleagues to follow the lead of President Barack Obama on the crisis in Egypt."

I mentioned this in yesterday's blog about our reaction to the news from Egypt.  I honestly cannot imagine similar guidance ever coming from the Democrat Party leadership were it a Republican in the White House.

Firing Back

South Dakota state lawmakers have proposed a bill that would require everyone over 21 years of age to own a gun.  According to the bill, the gun must be “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense” and “suitable to their temperament, physical capacity and preference.”

Huh?", you say.

The point, of course, is that if the federal government can mandate the purchase of health insurance for our own good, then why can't it mandate the purchase of firearms for exactly the same reason.

Wish I'd thought of this.