Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Humbling Thought

On Don Imus' radio show, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) confesses that he thinks he would have been a good president, maybe even a great one.

I'm afraid I have to agree.  John Kerry does indeed think he would have been a good president, maybe even a great one.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Matter of Degree

I just happened to flip over to MSNBC (shhhh, don't tell my wife) and watched Chris Matthews lead a discussion about the surprising guilty verdict in the trial of the former Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich.

Chris and his confreres were genuinely surprised and more than a bit dismayed that what Blago had been engaged in as governor even rose to the level of a crime.  Journalist Eugene Robinson at one point shook his head and conceded that well, yea, it may have been a crime, but using political power in this way is really all a matter of degree.

Yep, and the degree he, and they all had in mind is the degree to which you're a conservative Republican or not.

To be honest, I thought that was the standard as well.

Get the Red Out

I'm not kidding, what in heaven's name is wrong with Ben Stein?

I've asked this before, but it came up again this weekend as I watched him perform as a talking head on one of those "money" shows.  Ben is worried, very worried, about the fiscal state of the US government and, with deep regret to be sure, he now sees no other way out save through the measure of raising taxes.

OK, let's forget about what ails Ben Stein for just a moment.  Let's also forswear any and all arguments about whether or not raising taxes will help or hurt the economy, or even about whether or not raising tax rates will result in more or less revenue to the treasury.  Let's assume that raising taxes, however much and however accomplished, will in fact deliver at least one more dollar than otherwise to the hands of our elected representatives.  What will then happen?

As we know, and are reminded endlessly anyway, the appropriate image to describe the fiscal position our elected officials have brought us to is one of a steep cliff.  Those officials currently stand on the edge of that cliff, toes over the edge even, swaying vertiginously as they argue with each other and with us about how best to avoid the disastrous fall that awaits.  Now ask yourself what would happen if the dollar raised by whichever tax plan is placed in their hands.

If long and bitter experience has taught us anything it has taught us that that dollar absolutely will not be used by any politician of either party or ideology to buy even one inch of real estate away from the cliff's edge.  Instead, dollar in hand they will reason that since nothing catastrophic had to this point happened before they held the money, it must still then not be too late.  Therefore, rather than using it to purchase real estate as they should, they will without doubt start figuring out yet another way to buy a vote.

Can I get an "Amen"?

But enough about this, seriously, what's wrong with Ben Stein? 

Cafeteria Communitarians

Want to chew on something very serious?  Try Matthew Shaffer's piece about how contemporary life, built on a foundation of small "l" liberalism, of which we are all passionate adherents, has resulted in, among many other troubling things, the separation of the generations.  Old people and young people just don't interact very much any more and, it would seem, we both like it better that way.  Except when we don't.

Shaffer rightly sees the particular problem, age segregation, as part of the larger problem presented by liberal modernity itself:
How can this bad (separateness) come of this good (freedom)? The best allegory for this, the dilemma of modernization, is C. S. Lewis’s imagining of Hell, The Great Divorce (the title implying that it is a response to Blake’s Marriage). Lewis envisioned that the damned suffer not a fire, or any physical torment or confinement, but absolute dominion and inalienable rights: the liberty to roam an infinite and borderless land, and to freely and instantaneously build castles wherever they like.Lewis’s damned enjoy this freedom by abandoning locations and acquaintances the moment they become inconvenient. The awkwardness of an exchange with a neighbor we think has slighted us can, in Lewis’s Hell, be evaded by simply moving away. So after a few years’ stay in Hell, each of the damned is thousands of miles away from any other, pacing solitarily in his castle.The political moral is that unchosen obligations, restraints, and dependencies are the things that push people together, despite our irritableness and our inconvenience to each other. Our limitations and inadequacies counter our selfish bent, and become a foundation for community.
As I see it, the only fix for this very real problem (we all know it in our bones), aside from catastrophe and calamity of biblical proportions, is a deliberate choice on one's part to live in community, to live in community with all the attendant costs to include practicing lifelong forbearance toward a neighbor or relative who is otherwise a genuine pain in the...well, you take my point.

Short of that, most of us will remain cafeteria communitarians at best.  That is, we will remain liberals.  Something about modern life is very wrong or missing or lacking and we know it.  We try to fix the problem or fill the void by choosing a community of which to be a part, but only a community of our choosing.  You know, something not too demanding, something built on a very narrow common interest perhaps, a hobby maybe, with affordable dues, and while regular, at least mercifully short meetings.

Better yet, we'll start a Facebook page and call it community.

Are You a Flake?

I think FOX News' Chris Wallace is a good guy, a fair and balanced guy, in fact.  So, that he would allow himself on his show yesterday to ask of GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann whether or not she was a flake demonstrates just how powerful still the elite media and the professional pundits and politicians are in setting the national agenda and establishing the terms of the debate.  According to that agenda and those terms, anyone, and I do mean anyone, who even looks like they're uncomfortable with, much less actually challenges the status quo established inside the beltway and along the NY-to-LA axis is a flake (or stupid or evil) and must be quickly and publicly discredited as such.

Dearly Beloved...

I'm not sure why exactly, but this weekend's news that New York, along with several other states now, had legalized homosexual marriage disheartened me more than a bit.  It's like the tsunami in the wake of the hurricane that hit Japan a couple of months back.  We know it's coming, we can see it coming, it's going to be a disaster, but there's virtually nothing we can do about it.

Except, that is, to continue to speak truth and common sense.  Here's the indefatigable George Weigel with a fortifying dose of both.  His particular audience are those libertarians who think their creed demands that they simply shrug their shoulders over the whole gay marriage debate
“Gay marriage” in fact represents a vast expansion of state power: In this instance, the state of New York is declaring that it has the competence to redefine a basic human institution in order to satisfy the demands of an interest group looking for the kind of social acceptance that putatively comes from legal recognition.... For if the state in fact has the competence, or authority, to declare that Adam and Steve, or Eve and Evelyn, are married, and has the related authority to compel others to recognize such marriages as the equivalent of what we have known as marriage for millennia, then why stop at marriage between two men or two women? Why not polyamory or polygamy? Why can’t any combination of men and women sharing financial resources and body parts declare itself a marriage, and then demand from the state a redress of its grievances and legal recognition of it as a family? On what principled ground is the New York state legislature, or any other state legislature, going to say “No” to that, once it has declared that Adam and Steve, or Eve and Evelyn, can in fact get married according to the laws of the state?
New York State notwithstanding, the argument over marriage will and must continue, because it touches first principles of democratic governance — and because resistance to the agenda of the gay-marriage lobby is a necessary act of resistance against the dictatorship of relativism, in which coercive state power is used to impose on all of society a relativistic ethic of personal willfulness. In conducting that argument in the months and years ahead, it would be helpful if the proponents of marriage rightly understood would challenge the usurpation by the proponents of gay marriage of the civil-rights trump card.
That usurpation is at the heart of the gay lobby’s emotional, cultural, and political success — the moral mantle of those Freedom Riders whose golden anniversary we mark this year has, so to speak, been successfully claimed by the Stonewall Democratic Club and its epigones. And because the classic civil-rights movement and its righteous demand for equality before the law remains one of the few agreed-upon moral touchstones in 21st-century American culture (another being the Holocaust as an icon of evil), to seize that mantle and wear it is to have won a large part of the battle — as one sees when trying to discuss these questions with otherwise sensible young people.
But the analogy simply doesn’t work. Legally enforced segregation involved the same kind of coercive state power that the proponents of gay marriage now wish to deploy on behalf of their cause. Something natural and obvious — “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” — was being denied by the state in its efforts to maintain segregated public facilities and to deny full citizenship rights to African Americans. Once the American people came to see that these arrangements, however hallowed by custom (and prejudice), were, in fact, unnatural and not obvious, the law was changed.
What the gay lobby proposes in the matter of marriage is precisely the opposite of this. Marriage, as both religious and secular thinkers have acknowledged for millennia, is a social institution that is older than the state and that precedes the state. The task of a just state is to recognize and support this older, prior social institution; it is not to attempt its redefinition. To do the latter involves indulging the totalitarian temptation that lurks within all modern states: the temptation to remanufacture reality. The American civil-rights movement was a call to recognize moral reality; the call for gay marriage is a call to reinvent reality to fit an agenda of personal willfulness. The gay-marriage movement is thus not the heir of the civil-rights movement; it is the heir of Bull Connor and others who tried to impose their false idea of moral reality on others by coercive state power. (my italics)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Liberal Sports Illustrated

Imagine the perfect liberal sport:  Soccer, of course. First, because it's clearly number one throughout the rest of the world.  But chiefly because it's neither the, nor even an American pastime.  (The uncountable youth soccer leagues don't count because, after age 10 or so, few ever play again and even fewer ever pay attention again.)

Imagine the perfect liberal sports fan:  Non-American is good, but anti-American is better.

Imagine the perfect liberal sports setting:  This one's trickier.  An American stadium, but filled with anti-American soccer fans.

Well, imagine no more.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"SlutWalks" and "Elevator Eyes"

From the jargon of contemporary feminism.

"SlutWalks" I've highlighted briefly before, but for the uninitiated it's the practice of young coeds dressing like, well, sluts, and then assembling together for the purpose of parading about the campus in order to demonstrate and demand their right to dress and act like sluts without consequence.

"Elevator eyes" is the unwelcome reaction of apparently far too many young men when confronted by young women dressed like sluts.  That is, they check them out from top to bottom, then back to the top again, doubtless pausing at a few floors along the way.  According to the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, this practice is and should be grounds for disciplinary action.

So let me get this straight:  The next time I encounter an assemblage of young women parading about as sluts in order to draw public attention to their plight, whatever else I do, I should not notice them?

Got it.

Parsing Obama

Parsing the Left actually.
Consider this little gem from last night's speech:
And most of all, after a decade of passionate debate, we must recapture the common purpose that we shared at the beginning of this time of war. For our nation draws strength from our differences, and when our union is strong no hill is too steep and no horizon is beyond our reach.
So what is it?  "Common purpose" or "differences", unity or diversity?   I submit that it's chiefly liberals who actually think in such a confused fashion.

Victorious Interruptus?

With last evening's speech, President Obama made clear what everyone already knew anyway:  Neither he, nor his base, nor even his party for the most part, care much for shouldering the real burdens of national security.

While his announced timeline for withdrawal of the surge forces from Afghanistan reeked of political calculation, (September 2012?  Puhleeze), his posture actually communicated something different even from that.  As we would expect, it certainly wasn't anything like a pro-war or, better, a pro-victory speech.  No lefty and few Democrats could credibly pull that off.  But it wasn't exactly anti-war either.  There was no chest-thumping or fist-shaking rhetoric of the "Give peace a chance" kind.   (By the way, stop and think about how incongruous that image always is.)  No, for the most part, the president came across as though he was just plain bored.

Opposition to the War on Terror for Obama, for all of his lefty base, as well as the lion's share of his party, has long since served for them its political purpose.  They recaptured the Senate (all of Congress for a time) and the White House as well.  And let's be honest, Obama's Afghanistan mini-surge was accomplished chiefly to justify his campaign position that the "real" war, the "good" war, was to be fought there and not in Iraq.

But that was then.  Now, there are domestic priorities:  wealth to redistribute, businesses, large and small, to regulate, climate catastrophes to control, new "victims" to discover and champion, etc.  Being a nanny is a full-time job.

Don't be fooled, this has nothing to do with saving money.  No Administration, no party, that unapologeticaly wastes $800 billion on a failed stimuls package, spends untold trillions on institutionalizing socialized medicine, oversees huge expansions in the money supply, and mocks all GOP proposals to control spending while offering none of their own, can be taken seriously when it adds "money saved" to the end of its list as to why the war in Afghanistan should now be ended.

No.  Obama, his base, and his party are simply bored with national security.  Let's pray their lack of interest will not end with any more dead Americans before we show them the door in the fall of 2012.   

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dress for Success

Check out this story.  Check out the picture first.

White drag queen versus black "sagger".  The former is welcomed aboard, the latter is shown the exits.

What does it mean?

Homosexual trumps African-American as the victim du jour.

Standby, however.  It's sure to change. (Note that both were men...well, sort of.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Him again...again

Yea, I'm talking about John McCain.

Let me get this straight Senator:

When some Republicans challenge, or simply demur from President Obama's still undefined intervention in Libya, it reveals short-sighted and irresponsible "isolationist" tendencies that are forever latent in the Grand Old Party.

But when almost every Democrats reflexively challenge anything and everything about the War on Terror, no matter where or how it's prosecuted, they may be wrong, but they're still principled men playing an important role as part of the loyal opposition.

Is that about right?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Woody Allen Movies

In his review over at NRO, Thomas Hibbes is, if not enthusiastic, at least willing to give a thumbs up to Woody Allen's latest film, Midnight in Paris.  Among Hibbes' several reasons is that it's an improvement over most of Allen's more recent movies in which he "indulged in strident liberal politics and incoherent nihilistic musings."

Go and see the new flick if you like (I probably won't), but Hibbes' review did remind me of something I thought about a few months back when I saw again on television Allen's most successful film (if your measure is Oscars won, that is) Annie Hall

It's been some time since I tried to appreciate, or even watch, a new Woody Allen movie.  I stopped caring even before he was revealed to be a creep and a pervert.  Maybe it was because, as Hibbes suggests, the films became more insufferably left-wing.  Maybe it was simply because they became less funny.  But I repeat myself.

Anyway, it occurred to me that night as I watched Annie Hall that one of the chief reasons Allen's old movies were enjoyable to me, a conservative, was that his most caustic wit was directed mostly at the various neuroses and hypocrisies that described his closest friends, fellow liberals.  Try watching something of his from the 1970s and see if you don't agree.

To Allen, conservatives are probably scary people, then as now.  But liberals are definitely funnier.  Maybe if he went back to skewering them instead his career would enjoy a much needed renaissance.  

Help a Blogger Out?

You may have noticed that I've stopped responding to comments.  Please know that I'm not ignoring you. 

For whatever reason, I'm no longer able to respond as I once did and, for the life of me, I can't figure out a way around it.  Some of you have told me before that making comments on this site has always been difficult.  If any of you know something that might help, could you pass it along?


Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Father's Day Lesson

"He knew that joy is best found not in the pursuit of pleasure, but in the execution of responsibility."

As far as I'm concerned, that statement is among the most mature of conclusions possible about life's central purpose.  Take a moment to learn, or reinforce, a lesson about love, about sacrifice, about duty.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rainbow Repression

I'm going to assume that by now you heard about the Arab-lesbian-blogger hoax. (If not, google it.)  Mark Steyn has a good piece (doesn't he always?) about how the entire episode is demonstrative of  Western liberal gullibility over such things.  The Left wants, the Left needs, and desperately so, to believe in an otherwise repressed rainbow world.  So, when they hear of something like this, without pause, they jump.  And not just to conclusions, also to accusations, to demands, etc..

Steyn's probably right, but I think another interpretation is possible.

I've mentioned before that one of my all-time favorite Rush Limbaugh routines was when he used to claim he was a "male lesbian""  That is, he was a woman trapped in a man's body who prefers  women to men.  You have to stop and think about it for a moment, but once you grasp it....  I think something like this just might be applicable to the current case and make the hoax not a hoax after all.

As it happens, the "real" blogger is some fellow from Georgia named MacMaster.  In his on-line explanation for what he had done he wrote: “While the narrative voice may have been fictional, the facts on this blog are true and not misleading as to the situation on the ground.”  

You see, perhaps the blogger is in fact a lesbian.  That is, he's a "male lesbian", a woman trapped in a man's body who prefers women.  And if his sexuality can be repressed, then why not his ethnicity as well?  He's not a Westerner at all, he's a repressed Arab.  And if both of these are so, then the blog was true and the Left need not be embarrassed.  (They probably weren't anyway.  I think it's impossible to embarrass them.)

"This is silly Sage," you protest.

Well, no less an authority than the US Supreme Court has ruled that, "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shaking My Head

POLITICO, like virtually every other news source by now, is reporting that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) will in fact resign after all.  But this is not about that.

It's about these two sentences from the POLITICO report:
The Clintons, the sources said, and their extended world, are furious and want no contact with Weiner. But they are deeply supportive and protective of Abedin, whom Clinton called a “second” daughter when he officiated her wedding.
I'd like to think the reporters and editors at least paused when they wrote and then approved that particular passage for publication.

But then I can't be sure, can I?

ATMs and Unemployment

The president has been taking more than a few shots for his unfortunate comment about ATMs and airport kiosks and stubbornly high national unemployment numbers.  Most of the shots have been unfair.  He was, after all, only using the ATM as a single example in order to make a larger point.

That point, of course, was that in an earlier time an actual human being would have been employed to cash your check or check your bags and that same human being has now been replaced by automation. Multiply the case of the ATM by the number of similar cases across the economy and you have uncountable jobs once performed by people now being accomplished by machines.

Those who criticize the president for his hypocrisy in this are correct to do so.  Obama and the Legion of Lefties he represents are the ones always arguing, for example, that going "green" is not a job killer.  Instead, they insist that pursuing what they deem to be environmentally friendly policies will release the American entrepreneurial spirit.  Newer, safer, more efficient, less fossil-fuel dependent technologies will be developed as a result.

The problem is that I don't believe them.  The country they envision as a consequence of following their often draconian rules and regulations is not the country of some Stephen Spielberg sci-fi dream (I'm thinking of the pristine landscapes depicted in, for example, Minority Report and AI), but is, rather, a return to an America that existed prior to industrialization.  Heck, if they're lucky, maybe even prior to the arrival of the evil white man altogether.

But, aside from the hypocrisy, what the president's comments reveal is a way of thinking that is fairly typical of lefties.  When they consider things economic (which ain't often), their thinking is both static and narrow.

Focus just on the case of the ATM.  It's true, the advent of the ubiquitous ATM meant the end of employment for a very large number of tellers across the country, across the world in fact.  That hard fact is what the president and most lefties focus on.  Regrettably, they focus on that fact alone.

They rarely think further about the efficiency and convenience brought along with the ATM.  Most of us can still remember a time when, if you needed some cash at other than what used to be called "bankers hours", good luck.  Now, 24/7 and virtually everywhere, it's available.  Available cash is cash to spend on other things, things produced and sold by other people, perhaps even former bank tellers, employed to do so. 

Moreover, the end of the need to hire as many tellers as before means that banking is relatively cheaper than it would be otherwise.  Because of competition in banking those savings are invariably passed on to the consumer, savings the consumer can now spend, again, on something else.  Oh, I don't know, a Sea-Doo maybe, the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of which also requires the employment of people, again, maybe former tellers.

I've not even mentioned the obvious point that someone, some real human being, a good number of them in fact, must be employed to produce, distribute, and maintain the ATMs themselves.  Should I say it again?  I should.  Maybe even former bank tellers.

Automation, and the indispensable liberty to fuel it, should never be feared.  Instead, it should be embraced.  An economic policy that intends seriously to create jobs is one that should encourage it.  Chiefly, I might add, by getting the government the heck out of the way.    

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

TV Rights, and Lefts

Need a warm-weather diversion?  Try this: What are the most conservative television shows of all time?

NRO's Ben Shapiro tackles the question, listing, with some pretty serious constraints to be sure, his own Top Twelve.

This is very difficult for me for a couple of reasons.  First, for the past 20 or so years, aside from news and sports shows, I've watched very little TV.  So, when Shapiro includes Lost and 24 among the most conservative, I'm afraid I can't comment one way or the other.

Second, and Shapiro alludes to this, much of what we consider conservative is so because it's explicitly not political.  That is, it affirms traditional mores and habits of the heart simply by not attacking them.  This is true of television shows as well.  Shapiro on Leave It to Beaver: 
The real question isn’t why Americans loved this show the question is why liberals hate this show. The answer: It’s wholesome, clean fun and doesn’t see suburbia as a prison. It doesn’t try to paint the American dream as a nightmare. For the typical Hollywood leftist view of Leave It to Beaver, watch Pleasantville, which tries to infest the 1950s-era ethos with overt and promiscuous sexuality, injecting color into the black-and-white conservative world.
As Shapiro asked the question one way, let me ask it the other:  What are the most liberal TV shows of all time?

One quick answer:  M*A*S*H.

I loved that show at first, but the longer it ran, the preachier it got, and the sermons were always replete with left-wing bromides. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Looks Like He Got the Memo

I mentioned only the day before yesterday that in the absence of any incriminating emails, the elite media's new tactic in their crusade to disparage, discredit, and destroy Sarah Palin is to argue that, "No, she wasn't always the shrill, vindictive, uncouth moron she is now.  She's changed."

Well, consider today's piece by former Bush speechwriter and current Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson.  Gerson has long since revealed himself to be a "conservative" only in the David Brooks, David Frum, Ross Douthat mode.  That is, he's unreliable at best, saving much of his harshest invective for those who thought he was on their side.

Anyway, note in particular this line from the piece:
How did a likable, consensus-oriented governor become such a divisive figure? This is a different and deeper scandal, in which many are implicated.
As I was saying,,,

Adult or Adolescent?

I'm aware that more than a few have already weighed-in on the "This or that?" gimmick used by CNN moderator John King in last night's first GOP debate--"Coke or Pepsi?  Mild or spicy?"--but I just can't let it pass without comment.

This was bad, altogether bad, and not just because it was corny.  Even if it worked, no, especially if it worked, it doesn't so much personalize the candidates, as it was apparently intended to do, as diminish them, and along with them, the very serious process in which we are now engaged.

Second, it's revealing, or should be, and disturbingly so.  The same John King we witnessed prancing around on the stage asking silly questions like "Leno or Conan?" will, on Sunday morning, among other like-minded pundits, sit and offer what appear to be informed and sober judgements about this or that candidate, this or that plan.  I'm sorry, but I can't take seriously anyone who participates in turning the election of a president into the equivalent of a TV game show.

I'm afraid this is of a piece with Rep. Weiner's photos of his private parts.  Unless and until we, the electorate, accept nothing less than adult fare from both the candidates and the people who make their living reporting on them, we'll competently solve very few, if any, of the grave troubles facing us as a nation.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"He is not Tiger Woods"

While chiefly about the Secretary of State's invaluable, uh, experience, in such matters, this article is so full of ironies one doesn't know where to begin.

So, I'll begin, and end, where the piece ends with the quote in my title from an aide defending Rep. Weiner's behavior.

No, he's not Tiger Woods, he doesn't golf.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"He wasn't going out with little boys."

The lofty New York City moral standard as articulated by Rep. Charlie Rangel in defense of beleaguered fellow Democrat Anthony Weiner.

Rep. Barney Frank  (D-Mass.) was unavailable for comment.

Just My Imagination

It appears the e-mail dump will fail to reveal or confirm the "Sarah Palin" of the liberal imagination.  So what do they do?  Why, they imagine something else.  You know, another, a different Sarah Palin.  From POLITICO:
The emails from her governorship, released Friday, brought back the memory of a long-lost Palin: the popular, charismatic, competent woman of the people. This was the vice presidential candidate John McCain’s team thought they were getting, before her darker tendencies — defensiveness, thin skin, grudge-keeping — hardened into tics.
Hereby saving themselves, and John McCain, whom they might want to use again, from the necessity of apologizing, the Left moves on.  Pretty convenient, ain't it?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What He Said

Michael Walsh at NRO's "The Corner" on Weinergate and "The Face of the Modern Left."  Enjoy!

The King James English

As you probably already know (I've made mention before), this year marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible. If you have a few minutes, please read this article by Barton Swaim about the significance of that translation. The piece is not so much about recounting the history of the process, as it is about revealing the intentions of the translators.

Before commenting on the article itself, let me recommend to you the magazine, Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, where it's published. My now 2-3-year subscription came as a gift from a good friend and, I must say, the journal keeps getting better and better. Check it out.

Anyway, back to the article. As Swaim points out, among the intentions of the translators was both capturing and preserving what he calls a "religious language":
One of the principal reasons the King James Bible has achieved such astonishing durability is that its diction captures the gravity and splendor one feels God’s words deserve. The Scriptures are old, and the feeling that they should sound old is a natural and proper one. Partly, of course, the KJV sounds old because it is old. But there’s more to it than that. The King James Bible was never what we would call a “modern” translation; even in 1611 it sounded antiquated. The ancient feel of its language was, in fact, largely deliberate.
I don't know about you, but it strikes me that in our no doubt well-meaning attempts to make the Scriptures relevant--Oh how I despise that word--we may have lost something transcendentally important.  God forbid.

America Shrugged

There's a nice little exchange over at The American Spectator about how and whether conservatives, particularly Christian conservatives, should embrace the philosophy of Ayn Rand.  First, Mark Tooley reports and warns about how the Left is trying to use this new "Randian Moment" against us.  Hal G.P. Colebatch answers the challenge quite well, I'd say.  Readers of this blog will remember that I've made a similar quasi-defense of Rand's work myself. (Here and here.)

Suffice it to say that the same Jesus who charged us with demonstrating concern and care for the "least of these", warned us also about conflating the things of "Caesar" with the things of "God".  An altruism that is a product of government coercion is no altruism at all.

Anyway, let the Left say and do what it will about this.  Most Americans will neither hear, nor care if they do, about this manufactured controversy.

As Long as Your Eyes are Dry...

Keep'em that way for Rep. Anthony Weiner, DEMOCRAT-NY.

BTW, expect absolutely nothing to come of this.  Did I mention he is a Democrat?

Shed Nary a Tear

Most Americans have finally concluded that John Edwards is in fact the creep he always was.  Therefore, they'll likely give his looming trial the attention it deserves, i.e., none.

But, believe it or not, some, like the the Washington Post, cling to the twisted notion that there is something tragic about the rise and fall of the former senator, presidential, and vice-presidential candidate.  Not so says the always reliable Mona Charen:
In fact, John Edwards,...who, in his own words, “represent[ed] people who were in very difficult places in their lives and tr[ied] to give them a shot,” made his fortune as an ambulance chaser. No one who examined his career as a fortune-hunting, slick, and unscrupulous trial lawyer should find any inconsistency in his later incarnation as a manipulative, mendacious, and morally bankrupt politician.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Future of Feminism?

With absolutely no sense of irony, Jessica Valenti reports on what she deems "the most successful feminist action of the past 20 years":  SlutWalks

Read to believe.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Government We Deserve

I haven't yet weighed-in on the Anthony Weiner Show, mostly because the puns are too easy and the spectacle of this punk self-destructing too delicious.  (It's true, I praised him in a post some time back, but that was only as an example of the kind of tough political in-fighter the GOP seems never to produce.)

If you have ears to hear, the "meaning" of this latest episode of a politician involved in some fashion or another in lewd and illicit sexual behavior and then clumsily lying about it is not that the sort of men attracted to politics display well-above-the-mean libidos.  Rather, it is that we, yes, we, persist in electing arrested adolescents to high office.  This is what bugged me most about Bill Clinton.  Weiner, like Clinton, is a teenage boy.

And it's not just in the area of sex.  Early on in the 2000 campaign, one of the things that troubled me about George W. Bush was his regularly calling attention to and bragging about his 7-minute miles.  I winced.  Why would a 50 or so year-old governor of Texas, with a host of other accomplishments and credentials to garnish his already prominent name, feel the need to brag about this of all things?  Because, in some sense, he was still a teenage boy, insecure, eager to please, craving attention, etc.  (By the way, I think George W. Bush very much grew up while in office.  If you have any character at all, something like 9/11 will do that to you.)

But this post is not about them, it's about us.  Why do we persist in electing teenage boys to high office?  Why do we elect them to high office and then act surprised when they behave like teenage boys?  Or, more to the point, why do we elect teenage boys to high office and then expect them to govern like grown men?    

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Worst Form of Government Except...

As long as I'm praising witty writers, consider this mot juste from the pen of Florence King:
Democracy elevates by turning ordinary people into extraordinary ordinary people called celebrities.
Wish I'd written that.

My Victim is Bigger Than Yours

If you haven't yet read anything by James Lileks of National Review Magazine, you really need to.  He gives Jonah Goldberg and Mark Steyn a run for their money when it comes to laugh-out-loud political commentary.

In the latest issue of the aforementioned periodical, he has penned a piece about the trouble a group of San Francisco moms are in for forming a club for, well, moms only.  They're being challenged for their illiberal exclusivity by, are you ready, gay fathers.

As Lileks says, "This complicates matters..."  Why?  Lileks:
This complicates matters, since the calculus involved in the Grievance Equations are baffling to the layperson.  Feminism usually trumps everything, unless there's multiculturalism involved, in which case Islam trumps discussion of women's rights, lest you be Islamophobic, which is racist.  Unless you're gay!  Wild card.  But you'd better not be one of those apostates like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born socially liberal critic of Islam, because she encourages the wrong people.  You know, the "some of my best friends are Dutch-nationality apostates living under a death threat" types who really hate Muslims.  You wish there were a smartphone app for it all--just punch in the groups, and let the phone connect to a vast database of New York Times editorials and NPR feature stories and tell you who's right.
I love it.  Such superb mockery of the liberal prison of which we are all, unfortunately, inmates--"you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave"--is hard to find.  But, while there appears to be no escape, there is, thank God, relief.  You'll find some in the musings of James Lileks.  Look for him.

American Exceptionalism Defined

I've mentioned this before, but among the many things that drive me nuts about liberals is their fetish about self-esteem, that is, self-esteem over achievement, or better, self-esteem despite the lack of achievement.  However, they abandon this concern when it comes to their country.  Here, anything that even smacks of self-esteem, you know, like American exceptionalism, is positively dangerous.

Anyway, Clifford May over at NRO does a solid job of defining American exceptionalism by contrasting his understanding with that recently proffered by the very liberal Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen.

Check it out.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Say What?

By now you've heard the report of what Democrat National Committee Chairwoman and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said about Republicans and illegal immigration, but just in case:
“We have 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country that are part of the backbone of our economy and this is not only a reality but a necessity,...And that it would be harmful--the Republican solution that I’ve seen in the last three years is that we should just pack them all up and ship them back to their own countries and that in fact it should be a crime and we should arrest them all.”
And still many on our side feel the need to apologize for Sarah Palin.