Monday, September 24, 2007

Taking a Break

Due to heavy time commitments, I'm taking a break from heavy political and philosophical blogging. I'll still post quick comments here, but no proper essays unless something really rips my toga.

I wish I had time to devote to the foolhardy decision by Columbia to allow Iran's head waiter Ahmadinejad to propagandize them. It's bad enough that having the U.N. on our soil forces us to entertain our enemies, but to give him a platform is just silly. It's a fine example of lunactivism, since it's the logical extension of the idea that people won't hate us if we just listen to them. They have to do it for consistency with their ideals, but they don't realize how it makes them look: complicit with his goals of destroying Israel and the US.

When full blogging resumes, look for comments in places such as IMAO, Redstate, The Minority Report, and the other blogs I troll.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

A Better Man Than I

Rest in Peace, 1LT Travis Manion

He could have done anything, but he proudly chose the warrior's path, and said that it would dishonor a man as a warrior not to continue the fight which felled him.

"The American people must know we too lost a close friend and brother this day," said Iraqi Army Col. Ali Jafar, Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Iraqi Brigade, who previously spoke at Manion's memorial service. "May his family know we too lost family, and we share their loss, our loss."

Iraqi soldiers have since named a combat outpost after Manion.


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Friday News Briefs

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Thursday, September 20, 2007


The United States of America is a Christian nation.

By which I mean, most Americans are nominally Christian, and without a largely Judeo-Christian ethos it would be dysfunctional.

By which I vehemently do not mean that our government ought to take even the slightest notice of the religious views among the people. The government should be as blind to the particulars of our faith as it is to the color of our skin or the number of tattoos with which we adorn ourselves.

Many people look to Thomas Jefferson's 1802 letter to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists as marking a start to the notion of separation of church and state, but the sentiment started much earlier than that.

Roger Williams was a minister ordained by the Church of England, his views on individual conscience leading him to leave that country and head to America.

The Pilgrims in Plymouth, where Williams had landed in 1631, were of a more tolerant and independent mind than the Puritans of Salem, Boston, and the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They had endured a decade of hardship during which they learned that them who would not work should not eat. Many of them (though not all) had left England or Holland with the purpose of worshiping, or not worshiping, in the manner and to the degree their individual consciences demanded. But as is often the case, a journey consists of small steps, and the Puritan church became indistinguishable from the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. To Williams, the idea that the government should punish purely religious transgressions was anathema. To the Puritans, he was a radical nutjob.

So Williams left Massachusetts in 1635 and bought (or bartered) land from the Indians. A few years later, he is credited with writing in the Rhode Island charter, [emphasis added, spelling original]:

[...] Now know bee, that wee beinge willinge to encourage the hopefull undertakeinge of oure sayd lovall and loveinge subjects, and to secure them in the free exercise and enjovment of all theire civill and religious rights, appertaining to them, as our loveing subjects; and to preserve unto them that libertye, in the true Christian ffaith and worshipp of God, which they have sought with soe much travaill, and with peaceable myndes, and lovall subjectione to our royall progenitors and ourselves, to enjoye; and because some of the people and inhabitants of the same colonie cannot, in theire private opinions, conforms to the publique exercise of religion, according to the litturgy, formes and ceremonyes of the Church of England, or take or subscribe the oaths and articles made and established in that behalfe; and for that the same, by reason of the remote distances of those places, will (as wee hope) bee noe breach of the unitie and unifformitie established in this nation: Have therefore thought ffit, and doe hereby publish, graunt, ordeyne and declare, That our royall will and pleasure is, that noe person within the sayd colonye, at any tyme hereafter, shall bee any wise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any differences in opinione in matters of religion, and doe not actually disturb the civill peace of our sayd colony; but that all and everye person and persons may, from tyme to tyme, and at all tymes hereafter, freelye and fullye have and enjoye his and theire owne judgments and consciences, in matters of religious concernments, throughout the tract of lance hereafter mentioned; they behaving themselves peaceablie and quietlie, and not useing this libertie to lycentiousnesse and profanenesse, nor to the civill injurye or outward disturbeance of others; any lawe, statute, or clause, therein contayned, or to bee contayned, usage or custome of this realme, to the contrary hereof, in any wise, notwithstanding.

Williams knew that neither Church nor State is served when either has too much influence over the other. He also knew that each has a definite role in the affairs of people. When the Church fails to tend to their needs, the people turn to government, and that spells ruin of all.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Next President

  • Must be willing to finish the job in Iraq, and not by quitting
  • Must not gain office promising bread (or bandages) from the public trough
  • Must understand the importance the nation as an institution, guarding against the encroaching power of transnationalism and the United Nations
  • Must understand the importance of the State as an institution, guarding against the encroaching power of nationalism and the Federal government
  • Must understand that the Internet doesn't belong to anybody, even though parts of it do, and must not seek to control it
  • Must be willing to confront the media, or at least present his side of things once in a while
  • Must know that Global Warming is just the latest liberal doomsday fad
  • Must support the right to keep and bear arms
  • Must clean house in the bureaucracy, starting with anyone in an appointed position not of his party
  • Must be willing to enforce our borders

That's not too much to ask, is it?

It is? I was afraid of that.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Paperless Electronic Voting?

Haven't we been over this?

A "think tank" called the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is due to release a report on Tuesday, September 18, with the counterintuitive conclusion that a paper trail does not add to the security of electronic voting systems. The briefing hould be hilarious.

Read more at Modern Sourcery.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Missing Intro to Osama Video

Washington, DC (ONA) With Osama Bin Laden's latest video message leaked to the U.S. government, world media outlets pour over every word of translated text offered them by authorities. Conspicuously missing from this 'official release' is a three-minute intro, exclusively obtained by Official News Agency.

Read the transcript, as it is most enlightening, bringing the inner workings of an Al Qa'i'da meeting to us at last.

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The Perils of Legacy

In the waning days of a presidency, talk inevitably turns toward "legacy", seeking by prediction to influence what the future will say of the Oval Office's occupant.

The picture is often painted of the lonely leader, sitting at the big desk, staring out the window at the manicured lawn and seeking to find his place in the pantheon. Implicitly, we are led to believe that his actions in his lamest hours will be in effort to guide history's view of him.

I hope that this is a false scenario. I hope that the President instead tries to do the right thing, not worrying how it will look to future historians any more than he should worry about how he looks to present day pundits.

I also trust that the present Bush Derangement Syndrome will subside, and a rosier view of George W. Bush will in time prevail. I have more than past precedent to guide me, for I know that Mr. Bush is not attempting to become a theocratic dictator as many BDS sufferers feverishly profess. Eventually, it will be clear even to the most unhinged lunactivist that the 2008 elections will go on as scheduled, that the National Guard will not stage a military coup to keep Bush and Cheney in power, and that really, no one was listening in on the silly liberals' calls to their Crystal Power Advisor. At that point, perhaps their irrational hatred of the man will subside.

Or maybe not.

I am also made mindful that we are now living in the past. If you don't believe me, just wait a bit, and you will see that I was right.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

They Don't Need to Retract

In what can only be described as lunactivism, the 88 faculty members at Duke University who signed a letter assigning guilt to the Lacrosse team have refused to retract it, or even to issue an apology for their excessive zeal. It's a wonderful example of idealistic fervor trumping good sense.

Anyone can jump the gun and be wrong. Why not just say "Oops, sorry for ruining your lives!" and be done with it? This case, and in particular the faculty lynch mob, will give fuel to the anti-PC fire for years to come. An apology would have done a lot to douse that flame.

At The Minority Report blog, Daveinboca has a piece up about the Duke Lacrosse case. I don't call it the "Duke Rape Case", because the only people raped in that case were, figuratively speaking, the accused.

Why don't the Duke faculty need to apologize and issue a retraction of their infamous letter assigning guilt to the Lacrosse team? In a comment there, I said:

In their minds, they were right. It's the facts that were wrong, but only because this case was either A) an aberration or B) proof that rich White kids can do what they want.

Some of them in B) have it figured that the rich and powerful pulled strings and got the case to turn out how they wanted.

Others in A) are unhinged in a slightly different direction: they think that even though these particular rich White kids were put through the ringer this time, the justice system is still lopsided in their favor and it's only fair, because the academics just know this kind of thing happens to poor Blacks all the time.

No, it doesn't. While it may be true that the system is rigged against the poor, politicians don't pin their reelection hopes on prosecuting a particular set of poor Black defendants, or at least not on the basis that they're poor and Black.

Our legal system is biased in favor of the rich and powerful, but the bias is more heavily against the passive. Those who will fight the system, make noise, and do whatever they can to protest an injustice against them (whether justice is actually on their side or not) often will be rewarded, while those who roll over and accept their fate (deserved or not) will be punished.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Enough with the Half Mast, Already.

Ever since 9/11, we've put the flag at half mast for too many things. I won't list the hurricanes, floods, school shootings, mine accidents, and traffic snarlups down to which the slope has slid.

The flag should be lowered for the death of a former President, and now and then, for the death of a former leader of an allied nation. Not for Senators, not for noted journalists, nuns, generals, or astronauts. These people are to be honored in other ways. The flag is different.

Lowering the flag is not merely a token of respect, it's a sign that our country would not have been as great without the person for who we are lowering it. And the flag should only be lowered while we mourn for the passing of the noted person.

And it never should have been lowered for 9/11, not even for a minute. Cancel baseball, shut down the airlines, watch out for each other, and devote your life to what matters. But don't dip the flag when your nation is attacked.

And we certainly aren't in mourning for 9/11 any more. We shouldn't be mournful any more, even as yearly we pause to recall the day, our memories of it, and our response to it. But after mourning comes anger, and you should have been angry every day since.

Keep the flag high, in triumphant assertion of our unflagging commitment to the victory of light over darkness.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What 9/11 Taught Us

This will be brief, because it's all I have time for today.

What 9/11 Taught Us

About Terrorism

Yes, it really could happen here. Our oceans and sparkling personality were no match, by themselves, for the hatred of religion gone mad.

About Us

While we may argue amongst ourselves in good times, when attacked, we put aside our few differences and pull together. When that occurs, our enemies have no defense.

About Our Allies

When we were attacked, they responded. They didn't stand back and tell us it was our own fault.

And of all of those things, long and deep should our memory be.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Your Homework for the Weekend

For a possible 10 Anti-Lunacy credits, compare and contrast:

Larry Craig, flirting in public restrooms, presumed guilty because...
Classical Values: An Unforgiveable Sin

Pedophiles as foster parents, above suspicion because...
Michelle Malkin: The Horrors of Political Correctness

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Friday Official News Agency: Product Focus

The Official News Agency has a listing for a long overdue product:

In the aftermath of the Sen. Larry Craig restroom sex scandal, the question of what is and what is not sexually solicitous behavior in a public restroom has become an important issue for Americans. Now, a new product emerges, promising to protect you by broadcasting your intentions before you enter the stall.
The "No Sex Please" sign is a step in the right direction, and can only help improve the public restroom experience for everyone. But what other signs are needed?

Surely signs showing the stall's status, such as "Do Not Flush" or "Hot Water Mixup" would be of extreme help. I'll never forget the time Maintenance did an experiment on the Academy's plumbing, such that the toilets flushed with hot water. That was quite a surprise, though I must admit that it was not entirely unpleasant.

But nothing ruins the public restroom experience like having the facilities all taken. I mean, who uses a public facility unless they are already in dire straits? The worst part (well, almost) is not knowing how long the torturous wait will be. Those signs with clock faces, used by barbers and other one-man storefronts to signal when the proprietor will return, could do double duty in public restrooms.

O'course, unless everyone brought their own sign, which would be quite a lot to ask from people on fixed incomes, hygiene would demand setting the hands with the proverbial ten-foot pole, and of course to be any good at all it would have to be done before entering. As I said, I've always got urgent business inside that will probably not get me arrested but certainly won't wait while I put up a sign.

As for the "No Sex Please" sign itself, will those of us who don't carry such a sign, or as explained, fail to display proper signage, then be open to the advances of randy undercover policemen cruising public restrooms?

It's time to set your feet apart and take a wide stance against this product. While the "No Sex Please" sign seems harmless enough, we must not allow failure to warn to be seen as an invitation, or our public restrooms will become as sleazy as the halls of Congress.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Global Alarming to Blame

What are the effects of Global Warming?

I consider Global Warming is an unmitigated good, because I like hot weather. Anything over 80°F and I'm happy, so a rise of 5 degrees will be just fine, thank you. Yes, I understand that the climate is complex, and no, it doesn't alarm me. But some people, especially those who live in urban heat traps or equatorial deserts, might not want the extra warmth.

I fail to see why I should alter my lifestyle in the slightest to accommodate their choice of habitat, when they can't even show that all of the changes that I and the rest of the developed world could make would even influence the climate, much less fix it. And given that some of us like it warm, they still need to show that the current global climate is the best one.

But beside being implicitly seen as the cause for famine in Ethiopia, Sudan, and the whole of East Africa, Global Warming has several other alleged effects:

And from
  • Spreading disease (ignoring the effects of staying indoors in cold weather)
  • Earlier spring arrival (yay!)
  • Plant and animal range shifts and population changes (Fallacy of Antiquity)
  • Coral reef bleaching (but are coral growing elsewhere?)
  • Downpours, heavy snowfalls, and flooding
  • Droughts and fires
Which is it, too much rain or too little?
Which is it (Classical Values), ocean too salty or ocean not salty enough?

The Global Alarmists want it both ways.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007


If you've not heard about the misfortunes of Senator Larry Craig, consider yourself both blessed for having missed the circus and cursed for having to read about it from me. On the plus side, I'm going to skip the sordid details and go straight for what's really important about the event: it highlights a difference between Left and Right on the subject of morality.

Specifically, the main charge against Craig is not what he did, but hypocrisy. Craig, as a Republican, is held to the familiar standards of traditional decency. (Yes, "traditional decency" is a loaded phrase, but it's the best one I can come up with that hasn't been co opted, redefined, and bumper stuck into obsolescence). Democrats are not held to those standards, or any other save the most clear and outlandish violations of law. Why is this so?

It is because on the Left, traditional standards of decency are not part of their morality. Morality, I've shown, is the set of rules for behavior that we believe everyone ought to obey. People differ wildly on what those rules are, but we all have them and a sense that ours are correct. On the left, even those who cling to traditional decency do not hold others to that standard, but prefer tolerance of wickedness over its disdain. Traditional decency is to liberals a matter of preference and lifestyle.

To liberals, then, traditional decency is an ethical choice. Since Senator Craig self-selected into a group adhering to traditional decency, liberals react to him as someone who has committed an ethical violation.

But don't fall for the "we just hate hypocrisy" line: consider the Global Warming alarmists who are palleted around in limousines and private jets while telling the little people to walk. Hypocrisy doesn't matter, only opportunity matters: the opportunity gain power by making public the peccadilloes of their political foes.

By the way: a United States Senator accused of public lewdness would not plead guilty unless he were guilty. If not guilty, he would come before the public and explain the misunderstanding, if any, or simply deny the charges. To plead guilty in secret and then exclaim innocence in public strains credulity, and where politicians are concerned, it already doesn't take much to make my lie detector peg the needle.

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