Some eyebrows went up when, right after Bush's State of the Union, I decried his proposed emphasis on math and science education, to the patent detriment of the humanities. Now, here comes academic luminary and prolific intellectual author Martha Nussbaum — someone who should know, and about whom more later — beating the same drum:
My friend Lawrence Henry takes issue with “Endgame Conservatives, Chapter 2” this week. But
Larry first says that, “Where Jed and other administration critics have it wrong, I think, is that they conflate democracy-building with a soft-pedaled approach to making war.” The problem with that is not my statement of the administration’s policy, but the policy itself.
He next says that, “We cannot in good conscience defeat a terror-sponsoring state (say) and leave it with a leadership vacuum.
Last, Larry says, “…we cannot simply exercise what John Derbyshire fondly calls "gunboat diplomacy" against states that threaten us, and then leave. We owe the world better. Indeed, we owe ourselves better.” Um, no. We owe ourselves security from foreign threats. And we owe the world nothing more than being true to our own Constitution and law, neither of which requires we establish democracy anywhere but here.
Finally, I am unwilling to spend American lives in pursuit of democracy anywhere else. To protect allied democracies is one thing. To try to create them where they have never existed, in a culture that — even at its most beneficient — makes impossible the separation of church and state is purest folly. Win the war, then come home. It’s what we used to call the American Way.
If we do not fight this war in a manner calculated to win it decisively, Larry, we will lose it inevitably. And while we concentrate on building democracy in Iraq, the enemy is concentrating on winning the war. The path you so fervently defend is the path to defeat.
I’ll be on H & C tonight talking about the Israel/Lebanon/Hizballah war. Hope you can catch it about 9 pm EDT.
At first glance, most conservative grouches should have nodded approvingly at Katie Couric’s nurturing decision to eschew reporting live from the Mideast when she hosts CBS Evening News:
“I think the situation there is so dangerous, and as a single parent with two children, that’s something I won’t be doing,” Katie said.
On second thought — and discounting the fact we of the 99.9% of the population less attractive than she seem to unduly enjoy always tweaking her — there is something bothersome here that should be aired.
As the iconic New Century Woman, Katie does neither marriage, nor men, nor women any favors by referring to herself as a “single parent.” By doing so, she telegraphs how deeply society has internalized the “new” (meaning “non”) marriage paradigm.
Like most bad ideas, it started with good intentions. In the seventies, “single mother” was the replacement term used to avoid having a divorced woman feel shame — a shame she may well have deserved not one scintilla. Inevitably, the term migrated to describe women with children who had never been married. For them, “single parent” dodged a potentially even greater shame.
So, now we have widows, who share a familial flow chart with the above women, but come from an entirely different emotional, historical, and moral place.
To describe a widow as a “single parent” (a) posits no distinction between the mother and father units and (b) sends the departed dad down the memory hole. “Widow” is the very essence of the kind of word that implies “incomplete, not altogether whole.” And these days, when “wholeness” is considered a right that is totally in our control to harvest, widowhood is simply an inoperative concept.
The Cleveland Browns running back (and not a known feminist) Jim Brown used to make a point of always arising from a tackle at an equally slow rate. That way, he says, no one would know if that last hit had hurt him. With the “one term fits all” approach to womanhood, we allow every woman to come out of every of of life’s tackles “the same.” By homogenizing moral choice, we have devalued all men, and stripped history — and, yes, judgment — from all women.
(Brainstorm: While they’re colorizing Fred and Ginger in The Gay Divorcee, why stop there? Go ahead and replace the no-longer-oxymoronic title with a socially relevent reduncancy: “The Gay Single.” Oops, you can’t use “gay” either. Never mind.)
For the record, every widow is entitled to call herself whatever she wants and our exclusive and immutable social obligation is to increase her comfort. Nevertheless, score this one as a victory for moral chaos.
I resolved not to blog for the past couple of weeks whilst honeymooning in Europe, and of course missed out on huge and tragic news. I’m referring, of course, to the Carmen Electra-David Navarro breakup.
But also to the conflagration in the Middle East. On the plane home from Prague the other day, I read the International Herald Tribune and noted Edward Luttwak’s cogent argument that a wider war is unlikely: The players, most importantly Syria and Iran, simply have too much to lose. On the same page (and I take it the New York Times had a similar juxtaposition), an editorial says that “The only beneficiaries of a wider war would be Iran, Syria and the armed Islamic radical groups that they support throughout the region.” Come again?
Below from my column in today’s New York Sun: detail of the Iran observers was confirmed in public (open source) yesterday in Congress testimony. Additional note: the Iranians are now ready for the US air strikes. The North Korea test (and there may be a second test) was a full scale exercise in wartime conditions. North Korea trained Iran’s rocket brigades. The Iran warhead is North Korean design.
First, on Tuesday, July 4, North Korea stunned its East Asian neighbors and rocked the U.N. Security Council by firing not only the Taepodong-2 missile that had been displayed on its launch pad for two weeks but also by launching up to nine more smaller missiles from its rocket brigades’ arsenals. Japan was the angriest of the six-party talking states and demanded sanctions from the United Nations. China expressed its frustration as well as restating its fear that any confrontation would trigger a flood of desperate North Korean refugees into Manchuria. Even Russia was unusually alarmed. The salve to the crisis was that the Taepodong missile had failed within a minute of its launch and fell haphazardly into the Sea of Japan along with the smaller missiles. The press smirked that Kim Jong Il needed more smarts before he was ready to be the big bad wolf of Asia.
Unfortunately, the missile firings were not a failure. The confirmed fact from American observers is that the exercise was a complete success.
Up till now, North Korea has had a first-strike policy where it, as the intended aggressor, gets to prepare for a sneak attack by prepositioning, fueling and firing its missiles against multiple targets. The July 4th exercise was instead a rapid response test to a simulated American air attack. Prior to the launch, the North Korean rocket brigades dispersed into the countryside as if under air attack. The military maintained radio silence to simulate the confusion after America’s first and second waves took down the communications grids, as well as to practice the necessary communication security under American surveillance. Then the Taepodong-2 was fired, simulating a strategic weapon missile launch, followed by tactical weapons chosen randomly from the mobile brigades. The missiles landed in the Sea of Japan, but not ineptly. North Korean trawlers were prepositioned at the landing sites to observe the exercise. The Taepodong-2 missile performed correctly, simulating a nuclear weapon strike on American allies or assets.
Crucially, observing this exercise were 11 Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers, including among them members of the elite command and control group, the Partisans of the Mahdi (the Ayatollah Khomeini). The Iranians had in part paid for the North Korean exercise, because Iran is a North Korean arms client. The Iranians were on hand because their own strategic and tactical missile system is based upon the designs of, and built by, North Korean technicians (from Chinese plans proliferated in the early 1990s). The Iranians were preparing for the expected American air attacks against Iran’s strategic assets now being provoked in the proxy war on Israel.
As usual, the nonpareil reporter David Rogers of the Wall Street Journal has all the inside scoop today on congressional action. And, once a conservative analyzes the unbiased, factual reporting of Rogers, that conservative again will start to feel his blood boil — on social issues and especially on spending.
Let’s start with spending. Once again, Congress is using ruses to disguise how much money it is spending, and thus how much debt to load onto our grandchildren’s grandchildren. Apparently these folks have never heard of honest budgeting. It’s bad enough that they spend like thoroughly drunken billionaires; it’s even worse that they don’t have the guts to do so on the up-and-up, but instead try to hide their handiwork. To quote David Rogers: “The Senate Appropriations COmmittee gave final approval to a $453.5 billion Pentagon budget, cutting $9.1 billion from the administration’s request…. An estimated $3.8 billion in savings would come from operations accounts, suggesting that the military will have to rely on Iraq-war emergency funds to help weather the reductions.”
Okay, stop right there. Let’s analyze that. What this means is that in a time of war, Congress is actually CUTTING defense spending in some areas. (“By shifting funds from defense,” reports Rogers, “the committee is better able to blunt proposed cuts from domestic programs.”) Targeted in particular are funds for a highly important new, high-speed Littoral Combat Ship. In total, $2 billion will be cut from aircraft and ship production. That’s not responsible, especially when so much totally non-military pork is always stuck into the defense bill for museums and other stuff that has no national or military value.
YET…YET… go back to the italicized portion. Another very large $3.8 billion (from “operations”) is not actually to be cut at all, but only to be saved for “emergency” spending, where it doesn’t count against even the soft budget “caps” Congress is working against. In other words, by refusing to spend money now that it KNOWS is needed for Iraq, Congress can add those billions to domestic, non-defense programs WHILE CLAIMING TO HAVE STAYED WITHIN THE BUDGET. Yet they know, for a fact, that they will approve the $3.8 billion later — “off budget,” by their lights, but still adding to the national debt no matter what budgetary sleight of hand Congress uses.
Thus does Congress harm our military capability (by cutting ships and plains), while refusing to cut purely local, non-military pork, PLUS add to the national debt by increasing domestic spending accounts (for instance, Rogers reports, for Housing and Urban Development) while, with a wink and a nod, writing an IOU for day-to-day operations that it will finance through a later emergency bill (which itself will surely be chock-full of other pork). Got all that?
These people show neither responsibility nor integrity.
Now, as for the social issues, there is the Senate’s final passage, 98-0, of the 25-year extension of “temporary” parts of the Voting Rights Act. I’ve written a number of times about how misguided it is to pass the extension without certain amendments; what is really annoying is that this extension adds provisions that actually make the overall act worse. How? By redefining and re-explaining its intent in such a way as to try an end-run around two recent Supreme Court decisions. Those court decisions put limits, in effect, on the ability of legislatures to “gerrymander” new districts with race as a primary consideration. Racial gerrymandering amounts, of course, to a form of electoral apartheid, as it promotes racial separatism rather than the commonality of citizenship, What’s even worse is that Republican congressmen are apparently too dense to see that not only are they wrong on principle in thse end-runs around S. Court decisions, but they also are quite arguably hurting their own political interests. Ramesh Ponnuru explained it brilliantly in this piece in National Review. Not only that, but they act AGAINST the true long-term interests, rightly understand, of the very black voters they claim to be protecting — which is why one of the high court decisions they are trying to neuter is one that SUPPORTED the position of the black, Democratic attorney general of Georgia, who presumably has the best interest of black voters in mind.
All of which brings up this question: When is the last time Congress actually did something right? It’s been so long that memory alone doesn’t serve to recall it….
The New York Times, in its special way of imputing vaguely sinister motives to benign phenomena, takes issue with President Bush’s pronunciation of N-A-A-C-P, “attracting some notice from those who use the more traditional pronunciation of N-double-A-C-P.” They don’t say who, or why. I also enjoyed John Lewis’s statement that he was disappointed Bush hadn’t mentioned the Bush should have stayed away from the NAACP the rest of his term, in the hopes that the organization would either die of neglect or reconstitute itself along constructive ends. Instead, he went to visit a group that has slandered him mercilessly for six years, not even demanding an apology or retraction as a condition for his doing so. In his speech, Bush declared that he wants to “change the relationship” between Republicans and blacks, but the audience made clear that the relationship changing was a one-way street: they cheered the parts they liked and booed the parts they didn’t (his mention of charter schools). Like many others before him, Bush grants to the NAACP and their ilk the right to make any accusation, however baseless, while the responsibility for proving innocence is his. Sounds like White Guilt">White Guilt to me.
Bush should have stayed away from the NAACP the rest of his term, in the hopes that the organization would either die of neglect or reconstitute itself along constructive ends. Instead, he went to visit a group that has slandered him mercilessly for six years, not even demanding an apology or retraction as a condition for his doing so. In his speech, Bush declared that he wants to “change the relationship” between Republicans and blacks, but the audience made clear that the relationship changing was a one-way street: they cheered the parts they liked and booed the parts they didn’t (his mention of charter schools).
Like many others before him, Bush grants to the NAACP and their ilk the right to make any accusation, however baseless, while the responsibility for proving innocence is his. Sounds like White Guilt">White Guilt to me.
Ross Douthat and the Catholic News Service both caught Arlen Specter promoting the old (and largely manufactured) war between science and religion during the stem cell research debate in the Senate. He suggested the study of human cadavers was blocked by the Catholic Church during the 13th century. Wrong. And that Michael Servetus ran afoul of the church for his study of cadavers in the process of learning about the circulation of blood. Wrong. Servetus got in trouble over the Trinity, not medical practice or study.
I’ve played the staffer role enough times to know what happened here. The big strategy is to paint opposition to stem cell research as purely religious and to draw the noose tight with a good story about how irrational religion has been. So, you go out trawling issues of Village Atheist or books by Prometheus Press and you get what you’re looking for.
After the voting’s over, who cares if any of it was true?
Does she really want to follow in the shallow footsteps of Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell? What is it about having an office in Foggy Bottom that makes people choose to fail while humiliating their nation and its allies? Can someone restrain her? (Note to boards of directors of Nordstrom’s and Neiman-Marcus: if ever there was a week to hold a sale, this is it, guys. The fate of the Middle East is in your hands.)
“IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN”
It’s never for the children, its always about getting more money, power, authority or other benefit for some group of adults who proclaim to ‘know’ what the children need. Did anyone ask the children what they want?
Why would Bill Clinton choose Waterbury as the spot of his appearance for Joe Lieberman? A friend writes:
“Waterbury is considered a pivot point in the 1960 Kennedy campaign, where the worshipful crowds foreshadowed a Kennedy win. Clinton has to know this. Given his ongoing emulation of JFK, is this location an accident? I have no idea…”
Update search for abducted IDF in Lebanon. The two are separated. No confirm in Beirut at this time. High probability they have been transferred separately to Syria.
IDF invasion of HizbAllah zones imminent. Mobilized at border jump offs.
As soon as hours.
Best theater source expects UN resolution for ceasefire within days. This is a race to degrade Hizb as much as possible (50-75 percent) before withdrawal to be replaced by UN supervised Euro troops — Brits or French.
And the redline for Israel is an Iran missile into TelAviv. Redline for Cairo and Tehran is airstrikes on Damascus.
Overall, this column by Robert Samuelson is excellent. Here is one part, though, that is a bit confusing:
…the budget should be balanced — or run a surplus — when the economy is close to “full employment,” as it is now. Balancing the budget forces politicians to make uncomfortable choices. Which programs are sufficiently needed or popular to justify unpleasant taxes? Balancing the budget also lightens the debt burden. One figure Bush doesn’t praise is the annual interest payment on the growing federal debt. Even by White House estimates, it will rise from $184 billion in 2005 to $302 billion in 2011.
In the third sentence of that paragraph, is Samuelson suggesting that taxes should be raised, or that politicians need to make choices about which programs to keep and which to eliminate? Your thoughts would be appreciated.
It looked like Armageddon for sure. There on MSNBC was a declaration: “Breaking News!” which went on to say that Israel had dropped a “23-ton bomb” on a Hezbollah bunker in south Beirut. The breaking news item kept reappearing last night during the Scarborough show. Let’s see, you wonder, 23 tons is 46-thousand pounds, beyond the capacity of the F-16s being used for the normal work. How did the Israelis deliver such a behemoth, and is there anything left of the Eastern Mediterranean?
It was of course one of those miscommunications which is allowed to perpetuate itself either because producers don’t know the difference or aren’t watching their product.
The Israeli command had said it had dropped 23-tons of ordnance on that south Beirut target, but not all in one bomb of course. The 23-ton bomb does not exist except in the imagination of a confused television news production assistant. And, perhaps, in the minds of some hapless viewers.
Reading a column like Michael Daly’s makes one realize that it is next-to impossible to parody the left anymore. As you will recall, one Nick Minucci was sentenced to 15 years for beating Glenn Moore with a baseball bat. Minucci was also convicted of a hate crime for using the N-word during the attack. Here is Daly’s take on the sentencing:
Glenn Moore has at times played a bit part in this city’s troubles and he does not dispute he was up to no good the night Nick Minucci beat him with a baseball bat while uttering a racial epithet.
But, when he stepped up to speak at his assailant’s sentencing yesterday, Moore proved he also harbors a small yet precious piece of our city’s greatness.
At the same time, Moore taught an important lesson to those of us who tend to divide the world into good guys and bad guys.
Moore admits that he was Howard Beach to steal a car, that “my purpose of that night wasn’t the best of ideas.” He nonetheless demonstrated himself to be more angel than Devil as he read aloud in court from the twice-folded sheet of white paper bearing a typewritten victim’s impact statement. He was addressing Minucci directly when he described his feelings after he was attacked.
“Your actions of that night caused me to initially feel anger and uncomfortable around those of the opposite race,” Moore said.
Then came a glint of what makes our city great, of what allows people of every race and nationality to live together here more peacefully than not.
“However, because I am not an ignorant person such as you, I, today, have overcome those mixed emotions,” Moore said.
Moore was saying that he was not going to let some knucklehead racist and hater make him a racist and a hater. He had even managed to distill some good from the bad.
If there is any justice in the world, Daly owns a car and one day Moore will steal it.
Joe Lieberman’s problems with the base are nothing new.
Forbes: Language a Widening Barrier to Health Care.
The Sen. Joe Lieberman campaign announced that Bill Clinton will be up in Waterbury, Conn., to campaign for the Senator. All while Hillary is declining to publicly do much for her next-state neighbor.
The Clinton arrival comes at the same time as a Quinnipiac poll that shows Lieberman’s challenger in the Democrat primary, Ned Lamont, now leading Lieberman by a couple of percentage points. MoveOn and the Kossacks must just be laughing manically about this. After seeing their anti-war babe McKinney essentially lose on Tuesday night (she’s in a runoff), this is uplifting news.
There are a number of what we’ll call “reasonable” Democrats in Washington and elsewhere watching the Lieberman race closely, not so much because of what it means for Lieberman, but for what the outcome means for the party and the 2008 presidential race. “I don’t think people on the far left understand what they are doing,” says a Washington-based Democrat political consultant. “It’s alarming to a lot of us, and we’re not sure why it isn’t alarming to more people within the party hierarchy.”
Meanwhile, Republicans are quietly watching, and hoping — regardless of the outcome in the Democrat primary in Connecticut, a lot of people believe the only winner is the Republican Party.
Two sources, best signals source and best theater source, locate two IDF soldiers abducted by HizbAllah now being held at the Iran Embassy in Beirut. Am told this is not confirmed. Am told this is not for air confirm. This report is now 45 hours old. Emphasize: Not confirm. Watching. Will ask each day. Also, the manpad alert for Gaza and Central Israel continues. Old alert, still on. Confirmed.
Tracey Lingo sends this sensible email:
“Disproportionate use of force.” Do I really have to explain that one? That’s been in the press for the last week since the situation in the Middle East has blown up and I (for one) am quite sick and tired of it. Several pundits have put it better than me: “If rockets were raining down on Chicago or Miami on a daily basis, would you be complaining that our military was using “disproportionate use of force” against the thugs that were dropping those rockets on our cities?”
Tom Cook really dislikes the phrase:
This phrase has quickly become the most annoying noise on news reports. Like a car alarm at 8:00 in the morning, like a mosquito buzzing next to my ear, like a cell phone ringing six levels too loud, the repeated use of this brainless retort sets my nerves on end and nearly causes me to exert a disproportionate use of force against my television.
And Donald Palmer sends these words of wisdom:
Sun Tsu told the world 2,500 years ago that next to pre-empting war entirely (think Reagan and the Evil Empire), creating a disproportional response is the best strategy in warfare.
It is only in today’s PC (Orwellian) world, where both winners and losers get trophies, and 2 + 2 = anything you want it to be, that a disproportional response seems unfair. I guess we should go back the trenches in World War I, where a toe-to-toe 2-year stand off along a fifty mile front gained no ground for either side and killed hundreds of thousands of soldiers.
Now there was a truly proportional response.
It appears the famed pugilist and loudmouth Rep. Cynthia McKinney is headed to a runoff on Aug 8th. Given the makeup of her suburban Atlanta district, there is little hope of a Republican pick up here, but folks we talked to on the ground said the McKinney’s staff was surprised she failed to get a majority of the vote in the primary. That means she likely will face off againse Hank Johnson, a lawyer and former local county official.
McKinney showed up her “victory” party last night with Cindy Sheehan in tow. Perhaps they’re dating, who knows. Regardless, the fact that McKinney failed to gain a clear majority should be troubling news for the far-left, who have touted McKinney’s convictions and courage on the stump to oppose Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Once again, MoveOn appears to have lost yet another election, and one has to wonder how long the MSM can hold off on reporting the abject real-life failures of the extreme leftist political movement in this country.
BY JOHN BATCHELOR
July 18, 2006
American observers have long anticipated the strategic offensive by the Islamic Republic of Iran that began with Iranian proxies in Gaza and Lebanon provoking Israel. The next weeks will see Iran maneuver for the global crisis it wants to create by winter. The confrontation at the United Nations Security Council over Iran’s refusal to suspend nuclear fuel cycle processing will be the presenting issue; however, the contest is decades in the making and is best understood as Iran’s aim to defeat the United States and to establish itself as the pre-ordained hegemon of the Persian Gulf and ummah.
War planning by all sides is well advanced. Israeli strategic plans are now on display. Iran’s strategic plans are discernible because Iran has twice in the last months conducted war games that describe what is ahead.
Last winter, Iran tested its strategic air defenses. Ahmadinejad was out of view for about ten days as he participated in his role as president along with his war cabinet and the mullahs. American observers watched DOD signals traffic on the games and reached several conclusions: 1. Iran expects America to launch air attacks against Iranian command and control, air defenses and nuclear weapons-making and ballistic missile sites by winter, perhaps as early as October 2006. 2. Iran has constructed deep and hard sites in which its command and control will ride out American attacks through the winter months, when American tactical strikes will struggle with the heavy cloud cover over Tehran. 3. Iran’s national command leadership is prepared to approve offensive strikes against American and coalition assets in the Gulf, in the Iraq theater, in the Arabian Sea. 4. Iran believes the U.N. Security Council will work to broker a ceasefire; when it does, Iran will emerge triumphant and the remaining American strategic options will be minimal.
Last spring, Iran accelerated its war planning during naval war games in the Persian Gulf. Again, Iran was demonstrating its capabilities knowing that American signals intelligence was watching and recording.
What the Iranians demonstrated was that in the event of the expected American air strikes, Iran will respond with weapons and forces in the Persian Gulf. They also showed that they have a navy with surface and submarine warships that are capable of crippling civilian shipping indefinitely.
The Chinese-designed Silkworm missile C-802 that struck an Israeli warship last week was launched by Iranian agents in Lebanon, and Iran possesses weaponry that is capable of striking at American warships in the Persian Gulf. Iran’s major strategic goal in a sea battle is to cripple an American strategic asset, a supercarrier.
Iran is also prepared to launch an amphibious assault against the Gulf States. The Islamic Republic has the weaponry to strike at the depots, pipelines, refineries and oilfields of the Arabian peninsula as well as the Caspian Sea basin.
In the event that American air strikes become unbearable, the Iranian national security apparatus is prepared to launch a strategic ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead: accordingly, as part of the 2006 naval war game, Iran conducted a practice of national command and control procedures for the launch of a nuclear warhead. The range of the Iranian ballistic missile is up to 1200 miles, which puts Jerusalem in range.
Iran’s war games plan looks to be on schedule and well suited to the paralysis of the Europeans and the U.N. Security Council. Stare at burning Haifa and Beirut and (eventually) Damascus and know that Iran is on the march. The Teheran regime is supremely confident. It believes that Allah has prepared its victory over the American demon it calls “World Arrogance.” It believes that the ruin that follows this conflict will prepare the entry of the Twelfth (Invisible) Imam and the delivery of the faithful to Paradise. The Tehran regime believes unshakably in what it calls the “Day of Judgment.”
What is to be done? A Wall Street trader who lives on risk converted his assets entirely to cash on Thursday July 13 and yet then, that night, while reasonably buffered from the panic in worldwide markets, found he felt sick to his stomach. My own recommendation is to read over a towering American hymn from the age of the American Revolution: “Jerusalem, my happy home, when shall I come to thee?” asks the opening stanza. “When shall my sorrows have an end? Thy joys, when shall I see?”
More entries keep coming in, and they are of pretty high quality. Herre is a anotheer good one, this from Kate Shaw:
One of the words (next to “disenfranchised”) that causes me to grind my teeth is the word “disadvantaged”. The dictionary defines ‘advantage’ this way:Yes, and I will get to the remainder in the rest of the week.
advantage: noun. 1. advantage, reward; benefit resulting from some event or action; “it turned out to my advantage”; “reaping the rewards of generosity”
Yet those who use the word “disadvantaged” seldom mean “lack of benefit due to NOT performing some event or action (such as getting up, getting dressed, packing a lunch and heading off to work).” They mean that the ‘disadvantaged’ person lacks Goodies that, by implication, they are owed. This follows on another permutation of the same ilk: “less fortunate”, and invites us to believe that “fortune” and “advantage” is something that is sifted down upon us from Heaven, regardless of our personal actions, and our “disadvantage” is due solely to the fact that we happened to be standing in the wrong place when the Cosmic Lotto Tickets were scattered from On High.
People who lack Goodies can be many things: poor decision makers, lazy, uneducated, broke; they may even have decided to spend their money on cigarettes, beer, hard drugs or the slot machines instead of on those Goodies of which they are “disadvantaged”. But more likely they are simply envious and jealous of those who have “advantages” without having any idea how those advantages were gained.
“Disenfranchised” means “deprived of the right to vote.” However, when Race Warlords and Liberal Social Workers use this word, they generally mean something much more like “not being permitted to advance up the social ladder.” Again, this disenfranchisement is something that is simply sifted down upon some people by an uncaring Heaven, and has no relationship to anything the “disenfranchised” may be doing or not doing.
Those are my two and I’ll be interested to see what other people come up with.
Courtesy of Extreme Mortman, read this classic exchange between Tony Snow and Helen Thomas. As usual, Tony put her in her place very well!
Well, don’t anyone say I only take those who flatter me. From Bob Keiser:
You aren’t going to like this one Mr. H.!
Let’s start calling the “death tax” what it really is. It’s an INHERITANCE TAX dammit!
It causes problems, mainly to people who inherit small businesses and farms, and are forced to sell them to pay the tax, but this can be resolved simply enough by exempting the first $25,000,000.00 or so from any tax and taxing the balance left over.
Hell, you can make a case for taxing 100% of a survivors inheritance! Consider, for instance, Pinch Sulzberger.
No, I do not like it. And I could say what I think is wrong with it, but I’ll let you folks do that in the comments section.
Here’s another from Jay Molyneaux:
My pet deceptive phrase in Mrs. Clinton’s oft spoken of “vast right wing conspiracy.” Given that a conspiracy is a secret undertaking by a small, secretive group of people to accomplish some unlawful act, it would follow then that vastness would not be a component. It must then be also true that there be an unlawful end which is the reason for the conspiracy. What unlawful acts has Mrs. Clinton pointed out as the subject of this nefarious group of fanatics? Perhaps bring to public attention her husband’s serial adultery? Making known his alleged assaults on women? Or is the phrase just another attempt by a totalitarian socialist to obscure and avoid discourse on facts? Methinks the latter.
Kelley Dupuis sounded a similar note:
How about “vast, right-wing conspiracy?” It isn’t just misleading and inaccurate, it’s a LIE!!!! (I’m still trying to figure out how Hillary Clinton got away with saying this on television and going completely unchallenged.)
So am I.
While we are talking about annoying phrases, another I can’t stand is “Hate Crimes Law.” When was the last time you had heard of a “Love Crime”?
Yesterday in New York City, a white thug, Nicholas Minucci, who took a baseball bat to the head of black car thief, Glenn Moore, was sentenced to 15 years. Among other things, he was convicted of a hate crime. I wonder, what is the average sentence for people who take a baseball bat (or other heavy object) to the head of another? I’ll bet it isn’t even close to 15 years.
Anyway, Steve Dunleavy has this take on it:
But if it was a race-hate crime, what of John Broderick Hehman, 20, a New York University student? On April 1 of this year, on 125th Street in Harlem, a wolf pack of minority kids chased him into traffic screaming, “Get whitey” and “Get the white boy.”
A Mercedes-Benz knocked him down, and witnesses, Harlem residents, reported that the wolf pack laughed as Hehman’s lifeblood ebbed away.
No, authorities said, it was not a hate—crime murder — the intent was larceny, not race bias.
Why didn’t DA Brown arrest Glenn Moore? “Thinking about stealing a car and actually stealing a car are two different things,” Brown said.I wonder, who will be the first brave researcher to look into whether there is a racial disparity in how hate crime laws are applied?
Au contraire, mon frere. By going to Howard Beach with his friends to steal a car, Moore committed the overt act the law requires for a charge of conspiracy to commit larceny.
Get a life, Dickey boy — or be accused of reverse racism.
Here is a good one from a Mr. Robert Staggs:
A phrase that is overused today is “obscene profits” as if some level beyond normal profits is too much. Must we emposer a pane of economists and social engineers to ascertain the exact profit margin at which “much higher than normal” profits reaches the “obscene” level? Should we therefore have a special tax rate on obscene profits and, out of “fairness”, subsidies for “obscene losses”?You should try “A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence.” It’s a lot of the hippy dippy nonsense Quakers are famous for, but if you scroll down a bit there actually is a good definition of speaking truth to power.
Another phrase similar to yours is “tax cuts for the rich”. Well, only “the rich” pay taxes. Two thirds of personal income tax receipts are paid by the top ten percent of wage earners, those making at least $95,000 a year.
But the phrase that really bugs me is “speaking truth to power”. What does that even mean?
And then there are advantages. George Allen is looking at a 12-to-1 fundraising edge over Jim Webb in the Virginia Senate race.
Getting some good responses which I will post throughout the day. Let’s start with Terry Robb’s pet peeve:
I liked your article on phraseology in the online American Spectator. “Don’t take this personally” drives me crazy. I exist, I am a person, and when you direct criticism at me, it is at my person—not to my soul or some clump of rogue neurons acting independently to govern my behavior. When this trite phrase is trotted out, maybe I should just reply with “the devil made me do it”. That would certainly relieve me of any “personal” responsibility.
Well, here we go again. I’ll be subbing for Hugh (6-9 EDT, Salem Radio Network nationally). We’ll have a lot of war coverage (probably an interview with Dr. Chuck Freilich — just retired from the Israeli National Security Council — an update on immigration from Cong. Mike Pence, more on the New York Times flameout and - perhaps - a surprise guest from the Pentagon. (No, not that one. Big Dog is busy today). Hope you can tune in.
Reading through Bob Herbert’s
screed today, I was struck by this line:
The court said, in effect, that this is not the American way, that ours is not a Marx Brothers republic. Not yet, anyway. (It most likely will be if Mr. Bush gets to appoint one or two more justices to the court.)The “Marx Brothers republic” is a state in which we no longer have any due process rights. Of course, the idea that we aren’t going to be able to confront witnesses against us, examine the evidence, have counsel present, etc., is absurd and paranoid.
I suspect that 10 years ago (maybe even 5), the editor of the opinion page would have at least struck those last two lines.
I’ll be on Scarborough Country tonight on MSNBC about 9 pm debating Pat Buchanan on the Israel-Lebanon fight. Should be fun.
Condolences to the family of Win Rockefeller, the Lt. Governor of Arkansas, who died Sunday way too young, at 57, of a blood disorder. I worked 14 months in Little Rock, and by ALL accounts — I mean every single time I heard his name, from any source — Win Rockefeller was praised as a gentleman, a man of principle, and a great philanthropist. And he was a solid Republican. May his family know the Lord’s love, and may Mr. Rockefeller rest in God’s peace.
Is this thing on? Yes, Mr. President. Right on:
“See, the irony is what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this (expletive),” Bush told Blair in a discussion before the Group of Eight leaders began their lunch.
May I extend, in kind, a few unvarnished propositions about the Zombie Regime in Damascus.
1. The fighting in Lebanon is the opening to the September-October attack by Iran. (See War Warning Parts 1-4)
2. The United Nations Security Council is divided along continental lines. Russia and China refuse to endorse Chapter 7 for North Korea. Russia and China refuse to endorse Chapter 7 for Iran. North Korea is an agent of Iran.
3. Iran knows that Jerusalem is the weak point in the US defense. Iran will attack Jerusalem.
4. The Gulf States have been told that they will burn if they assist the US. The Gulf States will assist the US. They will burn.
5. Iran wants the US attack on its facilities to begin by November. Iran knows the winter months of cloud cover are poor for tactical air strikes because it will make it hard to avoid civilian casualties.
6. Iran knows the price of oil is panic. At $100-110 per barrel, the US economy will stagger.
7. The end game is a grand bargain in which the US will quit Iraq in defeat and Iran will assert itself as the regional hegemon.
8. More soon.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online