From an exchange with Neil Cavuto:
CAVUTO: Well, are you saying you’re for Castro?
RANGEL: No. I want a democratic change. But I don’t believe dancing in the street and spreading out money in Havana and in Miami is the a way to do it.
CAVUTO: Charlie, this guy killed a lot of people.
RANGEL: Well, I wonder how many people we killed at Guantanamo. I mean, we don’t have the human rights record.
CAVUTO: Well, wait - wait a minute. Are you equating Fidel Castro with what’s happening at Guantanamo?
RANGEL: You bet your life, if we’re - if we are talking about human rights.
CAVUTO: So, President Bush is just like Fidel Castro?
RANGEL: No. But what I’m saying is, if you want to talk about the inhuman human rights that Castro has, in arresting people and not presenting them with why they were arrested, not giving them lawyers, and having a secret trial, hey, we’re doing the same thing…
TEL AVIV, Israel - Iran is racing to resupply Hezbollah across the Syrian border ahead of a possible cease-fire being ironed out this week at the United Nations.
Yesterday’s Washington Post had an article on Jewish charities raising money for Israel, which didn’t satisfy one defeatist Jewish leftist who prefers that Jews fund their enemies instead. Rabbi Michael Lerner of San Francisco, editor of the liberal Jewish magazine Tikkun, said:
“This is a time for the Jewish community of the United States to signal a new open-heartedness toward those who’ve been our adversaries if we want to break through the cycle of violence,” Lerner said. “So we should be raising funds for Israel, as well as for Lebanon, as well as for Gaza, as well as for the West Bank.
“Donations to the federation at this point are simply a ‘yes’ vote to continued Israeli militarism and a ‘no’ vote to the Israeli peace movement that is calling for an immediate cease-fire and a negotiated settlement of all the issues that have led to war in the past 60 years.”
While we’re at it, we should start raising money to build a Nazi War Memorial in Washington next door to the Holocaust Museum.
Sleep deprived as I am, and fearing the intellects of those engaged in this Israeli Army objectification discussion (seriously…you guys are my heroes), I’ll instead just link to a sort of fun story I wrote for a New Hampshire paper this week on wacky bras.
I just arrived in
Meanwhile, for all his bluster about Lieberman taking a contribution from Wal-Mart (which he later returned), turns out Lamont has some pretty substantial investments in the company.
Amid today’s locker room chat I was happy to see John Tabin remind everyone that Israel has universal conscription — the necessity of survival leaves it no choice. What’s also worth noting is that women in the IDF are not allowed to serve in front-line combat roles, and there has been no feminist effort to acquire such equality. The flirtatiousness of the young women in the IDF photos couldn’t be further from any Lara Croft nonsense — there’s nothing “kick ass” in the service they provide their country, Jim, nor anything appalling or morbid. Those two categories pertain only to the situation Israel finds itself in, having to conscript all its able-bodied youth because its neighbors would prefer to drown every last Israeli in the Mediterranean Sea.
James: I had an inkling you might respond by suggesting that, contrary to popular wisdom, there is indeed some accounting for taste. I’m generally skeptical of that proposition, but in this case I’ll go ahead and argue that there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the beauty and power of young women charged with defending a good society against evil. It’s an impulse that is at least as old as Athena-worship.
David, a small quibble: It’s not quite right to speak of the IDF babes “joining the military.” Israel has universal conscription; it is, alas, necessary to her survival.
I remember a time when the question of whether women ought to serve in combat roles was not confused with the question of whether it is hot to see an empowered eighteen-year-old in fatigues toting a giant machine gun. Is the guy who pauses to feel discomfort at this little spectacle while the dead body count rises now a stick in the mud? Have we gone so far so fast, with such enthusiasm, to the gloriously gung-ho coed future caught on celluloid in Starship Troopers? When does the party end? When do the good-natured catcalls cease? When Hezbollah turns part of Tel Aviv into a slant of blood and bone?
James: “[F]etishized IDF killer patriot sexpot business” and “ripe girlhood in the final stage of some fleeting innocence”? Come on. You’re on a bit of a high horse here.
First, I’m betting everyone of these women know the dangers involved in joining the military, and especially the dangers involving Lebanon. Innocence left along with the peace process long ago.
Notice how a lot of the women are smiling and striking a pose. If showing off for the camera is no big deal when they are in the Israeli military, why should enjoying the photo be such a big deal?
Finally, what is the most likely topic of conversation between the average bunch of males in the Israel Defense Force during down times in between pummeling Hezbollah: A. Tolstoy B. Fiscal Policy C. Which babe back at base they would most like to hook up with? Or perhaps they are also engaging in the “killer patriot sexpot business”?
War is hell. But let’s not use that as an excuse to be killjoys.
It’s routine, Tabin, to find among trained lawyers a willingness to admit the strength of valid counterarguments. Another commonplace is the impression among conservatives that “entirely subjective aesthetic judgement” is the toxin that pumps through the veins of an addled culture — specifically, ours. You appear to have read me backwards, like a satanic verse.
Aesthetics are nonsense without moral points of reference, and that’s what culture must provide. Propriety, as the decent regulation in public of private desire, can be debated coherently in the usual way — according to reasoned argument and the artful science of rigorous thought. If you brush away the whole notion of the utility — and indeed the possibility — of that conversation, you brush away everything, my friend, including intellectual conservatism; and if that’s the ride you’re after I suggest the ticket for you is a one-way trip to the bankruptcy of any and all humane aesthetics.
When the movies are made about the fall of the House of Saud, I hope and pray that Stanley Kubrick’s talents are somehow revived and applied. Only the man who made “Dr. Strangelove” could do justice to this.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal delivered himself of an hypocrisy that from anyone else would be simply staggering. For him, it is only business as usual. Condemning the US position — declining to force Israel to accept a cease-fire that would preserve Hizballah — Saud said, “Washington has a moral responsibility to prevent Israel from using US weapons to kill innocent people.”
Not a word, naturally, about the moral obligations of Syria and Iran to stop Hizballah from raining rockets down on Israel. Next thing you know, he’ll be talking about purity of bodily fluids.
Bit of a kerfluffle over a recent Slate article on the Bush tax cuts by Jason Furman.
The AP reports:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the solution to the Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel, state-media reported…
“Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented,” Ahmadinejad said, according to state-run television in a report posted on its Web site Thursday…
It’s been said before, but deserves to be said again. No matter how the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah ends in the short term, there will be no chance for long term peace without confronting Iran and Syria. Even if Israel is given adequate time to completely annihilate Hezbollah in its current incarnation (an unlikely outcome), as long Iran and Syria are unchecked, the terrorist group will rebuild. With monetary support and weapons coming in from Iran and Syria, over time, Hezbollah will be able to regain its strength and threaten Israel, and the same crisis will play out all over again. To borrow a phrase from Winston Churchill, Iran and Syria are the organ grinders, but Hezbollah is merely the monkey.
The latest Quinnipiac University Poll has the race at 54-41.
James: Hmm. No, I don’t think that’s right, though if I’m reading you correctly it comes down to an entirely subjective aesthetic judgement. My guess, though, is that your sentiments will be less widely resonant than those expressed in an anecdote I got from a friend who emailed me the IDF Babes link:
I met a guy… about two years ago who said he worked for the NRA. We chatted and naturally the topic eventually turned to girls. At this point he said, with complete seriousness, that Israeli women were the hottest on the planet.
“Why’s that?” I asked.
Because, he said, the average Israeli woman can field strip and reassemble an assault rifle even faster than he could.
Begging the collective pardon, but this could be the most appalling thing not involving murder that I’ve seen all year. Don’t get me wrong, gents, a beautiful woman is a beautiful woman, and if you like these offered up here on their own merits then, by all means, marinate in your enthusiasm.
As for myself, I recall the windowless side of a building in Westwood, Los Angeles, which in the wake of 9/11 was adorned with a vast, head-to-toe mural. A sort of American Lara Croft, bedecked in commando gear, gleamed from gunmuzzle and lipgloss and cheekbone alike; screaming eagles — I forget if these painted into the sky were birds or planes — strafed the background, which was ablaze with flames and, I remember, with the flag of the US of A.
This fetishized IDF killer patriot sexpot business is of the same lurid genre, taken to a whole ‘nother level. I can’t think of anything more rancid and hopeless than packing off a nation’s ripe girlhood on the hard pretense of kickass service to one’s country. Or wait — yes I can: celebrating fotos of said ripe girlhood in the final stage of some fleeting innocence. The fantasy of the hot broad who slaughters the would-be pillaging rapists is a bit more than I can bear, particularly when there is a real war taking place that involves actual carnage.
Under such circumstances sex and violence, trading places when respectively latent and blatant, take on an altogether morbid feel, as inappropriate to a civilized country fighting back terror as it is for allies behind the lines to get kicks off the vicarious thrill of manufactured erotic tension under the least beautiful of conditions.
* Note: if these pics are photoshopped, this post is (only partially) null and void.
The cat is out of the bag. Robert Sloan is likely leaving the chancellor’s office at Baylor to become the next president of Houston Baptist University. For those who have forgotten the story, Sloan resigned the presidency at Baylor after controversy over his rapid implementation of the Baylor 2012 vision. Debates raged at Baylor (and still do) over the desirability of integrating faith and learning. More prosaic matters were also involved, such as whether Baylor should build a $100 million science facility (which it did under Sloan’s direction).
Houston Baptist is much smaller than Baylor, but it has some advantages. First off HBU has a board that has seen exactly what Robert Sloan does with a university and wants his leadership. Second, Sloan gets to do his thing at a school in a major metropolitan area. That means a setting very congenial to recruiting students and faculty and holding conferences. It also means going to work in the midst of a very large and thriving evangelical community in Houston.
I’ve written positively about Sloan in the past and have disclosed my own previous working relationship with him as a part-time member of his university relations office at Baylor. Since his resignation I’ve had the opportunity to keep in touch with him so I know he’s a man of energy and determination. My guess is that he and HBU are going to hit this thing out of the park.
Billy Graham and Carl F.H. Henry harbored a dream of developing a truly great Christian university in the evangelical tradition for many years only to see it go unfulfilled. Robert Sloan is not a bad guy upon whom to pin those hopes.
UPDATE: Baylor has a statement on Sloan’s candidacy for the position at HBU.
“Baylor University’s reputation for excellence in Christian higher education has been built by faculty, staff, students and friends who have given of their time and talents for 161 years,” said Baylor President John M. Lilley. “Robert Sloan has made a major contribution to that history in many ways, but Baylor 2012, our 10-year vision, began during his presidency and may well be his greatest contribution. Its breadth and depth are such that it will serve as a guide for Baylor’s future. The Baylor family expresses our thanks to him and Sue, and offers our best wishes and prayers for their future.”
Another reason to back Israel. I can’t wait for the calendar.
Our health care system is plagued by bureaucracy, both in the government and the private sector. Having for years been accustomed to the third-party payer system, much the private sector has created structures designed to hold down costs and wring more dollars out of the federal and state governments.
Hospitals are one example of this. As we turn to a more consumer-oriented system with the adoption of health savings accounts, hospitals are struggling to adapt. Holman Jenkins has a great article on this in today’s WSJ (subscription required). Here are a few snippets:
[Hospitals] don’t publish price lists. They don’t advertise promotions and discounts when facilities are idle. Though hospital CEOs are still prone to believe it’s government’s job to bail them out, plenty of lessons from other industries are available as they adapt to the end of third-party payer socialism. Movie theaters, grocery stores and car dealers all make sure you pay for their goods and services whether they charge you before or after the fact. Yet hospitals are just discovering such ploys as getting the customer’s credit-card data before he lies down on the gurney. One hospital, looking at procedures that exacerbated its bad debt problem, found that nobody was stopping emergency room patients from walking out the back door without passing the cashier.
Hospitals like to blame a mild flu season for an unlikely softening in admissions the last year or so, but they’re whistling past the operating room. The Los Angeles Times noted on Sunday that insurers and employers are just starting to look at sending surgery patients to India or Thailand, where a state-of-the-art procedure can cost 10% of the U.S. price.
The NY Post reports:
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will hit the trail today in support of the man challenging Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary.
It may have been easier for me to overlook the anti-Semitic comments Mel Gibson made in his recent drunken tirade had this been an isolated incident, but given that it has been a part of a pattern for him, most glaringly with his failure to distance himself from his father’s hateful comments several years ago, it’s much harder for me to dismiss. Do I claim, based on his drunken antics, to know what Gibson really feels in his heart and soul? No. However, there is enough out there to make me uncomfortable with the idea of helping to further line Gibson’s pockets with money. I’m not going to get too gassed up about the matter, because Gibson is a
As a Christian, I will always be grateful to Mel Gibson for The Passion of the Christ. Throughout my life I’ve taken in the various attempts to portray different portions of the life of Jesus and have always been left just a little underwhelmed. The Passion struck deep and hard. I think every Christian believer who saw the film could say, “This is the story of my Lord. This is the cost of sin and the price of justice and holiness.”
I am also grateful for the lasting value of art, because if Gibson were a politician, rather than an artist, he would have thrown away everything he’d built in one rage-filled gesture. Instead, the work stands and will remain a defining portrayal of Gospel events for many years.
What I am not grateful for is the contribution Gibson has made to the standing libel against people who take their Christian faith seriously. No matter how much proof is obtained via survey or real life experience, foundationless moralizers on the left will proclaim that everyone knows every Christian soul conceals an anti-semite obsessed with the way the Jews killed their Lord. The news media will continue to believe ridiculous stories like those suggesting the vice-presidential candidacy of Joseph Lieberman would harm Al Gore’s prospects with Christian voters in 2000.
Gibson carried our banner for a little while and he let us down this time. I pray better things are ahead for a man who has, over the last few years, has proven he was so much more than anyone previously believed, and yet less as well.
In fact, for some of us entering academia, the lack of common ground with Columbia’s English Department (or Duke’s, for that matter) is worth a moan as well as a groan. Even a harmlessly failed department at our proudest institutions of elite learning hurts the culture at large. And I don’t mean conservative culture, or that only — I mean western culture, which, again, has been big enough to contain multitudes certainly since Jerusalem met Athens. A proper intellectual conservative ought to not just stomach this but savor it. I think it’s Thomas Sowell who drives his students up a wall by leaving them stumped by semester’s end as to how he “really feels” about Marx.
Of course the agnostic pose can be taken, like all poses, too far. At a certain point even the thinker has to do something. But the doing, in the face of an antagonistic culture, is a behavioral dilemma that reaches right down to the roots of a thinking conservative’s life, academician or no. How to negotiate the proper distance between self and family and community and society is a complex puzzle, and humans must learn from culture both the ground rules and finer points. That our culture now seems therapeutically committed to breaking the boundaries and smashing the categorical slashes of all those things — society, community, family, and self itself — is a trauma so acute that we can even learn from intellectuals on the left about how the monster of liberalism has gained a taste for eating itself.
Well, God bless them. Unfortunately, I think they have a ways to go before they understand conservatism.
After showing how the producers misunderstand William F. Buckley, he concludes:
I will say this, though, on behalf of my earnest, benighted liberal friends: At least they’re trying….
But where are the right’s efforts at outreach? You don’t hear conservatives mourning their lack of common ground with the English department at Columbia University. In fact, it’s incredibly rare to find a conservative who understands liberalism as anything other than hatred for the rich and a desire to hand over our foreign policy to the United Nations.
Winning, apparently, gives conservatives the luxury of not having to care what the other side thinks.
Talk about not understanding conservatives! Has Chait missed all of the conservative commentary that is a response to liberal commentary? Don’t such responses imply that we on the right are reading what liberals think and trying to understand it?
What really irritates conservatives isn’t that liberals misunderstand us. It’s that they don’t really try, instead sneering at us with the condescension born of a feeling of moral superiority—a pretty good description, by the way, of Chait’s conclusion.
John Denver was right. Though I think he was referring to his euphoria rather than the altitude. But at 7000-plus feet, Pagosa Springs, Colorado drove his point home. It really is harder to breathe.
Sitting in the Albuquerque airport (they call it a “Sunport” — heh), I am struck again by how big the West is. Virginia is beautiful, but with small rolling hills and mini-ranches. In many ways, northern New Mexico and southwest Colorado are even bigger than my erstwhile home state of Montana. Montana has lovely broad valleys meeting dramatically large mountains, but it feels so much tamer. Missoula’s altitude is 3000 feet, and the Treasure State has few peaks over 10,000 feet. Heck, you’ll regularly hit 8000 feet in Colorado, and the mountain passes climb above 10,000. And instead of the glacially carved valleys, life feels all the more precarious in Colorado’s narrow valleys. These folks see well over 100 inches of snow in the winter — next to that, western Montana seems downright tropical.
Still, there is an excess of civilization. In tiny Creede (over Wolf Creek Pass to the north, along the Rio Grande River, at 8500 feet), a professional repertory theatre has a vibrant summer schedule. We caught Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (try the pie!), an ambitious undertaking for such a tiny venue. They pulled it off with style. And a nice touch: the actors meet the audience along the street as they pour out of the theatre.
And as cliche as it may seem, the people are just nicer. Not nicer than Montana. But certainly nicer than the D.C. area. You have to make an effort not to strike up a conversation in the shops or with others on the street. The only confrontation comes when locals talk about how Texans or Californians are buying up all the land and overrunning the place. But when your nearest neighbor is a quarter mile away, and the traffic jam is due to road construction, the locals will need to get much meaner to drive away the summer visitors.
On our local radio newscast in the morning, the TV anchor from the radio station’s companion TV station stops by to tout her upcoming noon broadcast. After mentioning Castro’s illness, she said, “I didn’t even know he had a brother Raul.” And she obviously thought herself very clever.
This is a news broadcaster. I’m speechless.
Some legislative dope off of the Senate side.
One reason not to count out a successful vote in the Senate on both ending the Death Tax, pension reform and some other tax issues is the number of tax and tax credit issues tacked onto the pieces of legislation by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Leader John Boehner.
Frist actually deserves more credit, because while reporters were running around worrying about Republican political failings, Frist and his leadership team were pushing through appropriations bills with far too few earmarks to Senators’ likings. Now the Death Tax and minimum wage bill have some earmarks to meet the needs of Democrats. If they vote that bill down, it is doubtful they get a shot at them for the rest of the year.
It is still a 50-50 proposition that they get it through, but the comparatively unlarded approps bills will be interesting to see move onto the floor later this year.
Another byproduct of the minimum wage bill is that some Senate insiders think they will have a shot later this year at some decent fixes to the Medicare system.
Medved also has some good thoughts on the matter.
If you want to see why the hard left is evil, take a look at the blog page over at AlterNet. One the one hand, they have a link to a video of Noam Chomsky meeting with the anti-Semitic Hezbollah. The post says Chomsky’s visit “proves why AlterNet readers voted him their most valuable progressive.”
Down below that is a post titled, “Mel Gibson, Jew Hater.”
Apparently it is okay to simultaneously condemn anti-Semitism and embrace anti-Semites.
Looking up from Hell, uncle Joe must be proud.
The fascinating fact about actors is that they usually play who they really are. Mel Gibson played a crazy, angry, hard-drinking loner. That’s who he turned out to be. An alcoholic. A racist of the worst kind. A bully. A braggart. A rich thug.
But let’s also be clear about something else: he is going to be charged with driving under the influence. Probably he will be also charged with resisting arrest and seeking to flee the scene of a crime and also resisting a lawful order (or something similar). That’s fine. That’s what should happen. It sure looks as if he did all of these things, although some smart lawyer will try to get him off (probably some smart Jewish lawyer at that).
However, the anti-Semitic, hateful, vicious, sick things he said about Jews are not a crime. It is not a crime to say cruel things about Jews to a deputy sheriff. It is not a crime to ask a deputy if he’s Jewish. These things are not nice. They’re disgusting. But they are not crimes.
If we did treat them as crimes it would be all too close to making thoughts a crime, or to the worst crime in Orwell’s “1984” — “thoughtcrime.” Preserving the right of people to speak freely about others unless it is incitement to violence is vastly more important than sparing the feelings of any group. We are already far too close with university codes of speech and self-censorship about racial matters to allowing and imposing “thoughtcrime” on this country. That would be, no is, the end of freedom. It’s orders of magnitude more important than a pitiful alcoholic of the hopeless variety acting like a big spoiled racist baby. (By the way, I have seen far worse than Mel get well in “the rooms” and he is extremely welcome there in the brotherhood of the spirit, trudging the road of happy destiny.)
Let’s get it straight: What Mel Gibson said was horrifying and he deserves the criticism of decent people. And he should not drive for a good long while. But punishing his words would be a disaster for the Bill of Rights. That’s a much bigger matter.
Yeah, the Castro-is-dying story is a perennial, but this time he’s temporarily handed power over to his brother. Here’s wishing old Fidel all the worst.
UPDATE: Celebration in Miami:
The announcement drew cheering in the streets in Miami. People waved Cuban flags on Little Havana’s Calle Ocho, shouting “Cuba, Cuba, Cuba,” hoping that the end is near for the man most of them consider to be a ruthless dictator. There were hugs, cheers and dancing as drivers honked their horns. Many of them fled the communist island or have parents and grandparents who did.Meanwhile, NBC News provides a bit of the sort of vague analysis that we used to call “Kremlinology”: “How would Raul Castro govern?”
Dave: “Little work”? Maybe Allen Iverson doesn’t like to practice, but there’s not a more hardworking player on the floor anywhere. If everyone else on his team played as hard, maybe it would get somewhere. Plus he’s absolutely fearless. Given his many negatives, no way he’d survive in the league as long as he has. Look how quickly Shawn Kemp disappeared. Or the countless other talents that join the NBA prematurely and never cut it.
In addition to glorifying the thuggish, our culture also works hard at diminishing the fruits of accomplishment. Over at CNNSI.com, they call the top 50 paid athletes the “Fortunate 50”.
Fortune? As in Tiger Woods got to his position by mere luck? The guy gets up and practices at 7:00am everyday. Sure, there are a few guys who make mega-bucks with sheer talent and little work—Alan Iverson comes to mind (he isn’t on the list, though). Of course, there are such people in all walks of life, not just sports.
That list is surely dominated by people who have busted their rears to get where they are. Yet CNNSI makes it look as though they achieved their heights by the whim of the gods.
The U.N. Security Council passed a weakened resolution Monday giving Iran until Aug. 31 to suspend uranium enrichment or face the threat of economic and diplomatic sanctions.Oh, that‘ll have ‘em shaking in their boots.
Because of Russian and Chinese demands, the text was watered down from earlier drafts, which would have made the threat of sanctions immediate. The draft now essentially requires the council to hold more discussions before it considers sanctions.
Maybe it sounds better in the original Arabic.
The newsies are saying that the Israelis have totally destroyed the Hizballah capital in South Lebanon. Not quite. I’ve seen the videos, and there are still several stones standing stacked one on top of the other.
Well, conservative bloggers’ least favorites, anyway. Over at Right Wing News.
Shawn, Judd, it's evident that among the anythings with
which we're encouraged to identify one finds birds, bees, flowers, trees, and
pimps. I am loath to toss around the word "pimp" more than it already
has been tossed, but its very "mainstreaming" is proof of how the
popular culture could do with a not-so-subtle reminder that to pimp is indeed
to pawn off subjugated whores for profit.
Now that we've got that out of the way, we can draw attention to just what a fetish of compassion has emerged from several generations of psychotherapeutic culture. Freud would gasp at what a sloppy and garish spectacle we have made of our therapies. Part of the quid pro quo involved in upgrading our little goblins and desires to the status of rights and freedoms is defining deviancy down; the pimp — with all the gender and race and class baggage that he brings — must be integrated with all deliberate speed into the safety of permissiveness. "Pimp" must be made both more and less than "pimp." What a relief it is that cars and home theaters, in addition to whores, can be pimped!
And what a riches-to-rags transvaluation of values occurs when "to pimp" actually comes to mean "to improve." Naturally enough this is a result of precisely that brutishness the culture wishes to pillow. The way a pimp improves things is by festooning them with felt and diamonds. Cars and home theaters, in addition to grills, necklaces, chalices, walking sticks, sunglasses, and favored whores, are encrusted and draped with jewels, or "tricked out," another term of esteem borrowed from the sex trade. It's the most neophyte of the new-rich methods of saying "I got what I want" — displaying wealth the way a peacock in mating season displays it. It's also a triumph of cultural ornamentalism at the crudest level, and it echoes clear across a society that admires desires according to the obviousness of their successful material entitlement.
That even cartoons might be sucked into association by the wake of this
constant demonstrative thrusting is worse, I think, than a message of mere
pacifism in a
Judd: Clearly you don’t watch MTV.
This Stephen Hunter bit in the Washington Post on The Ant Bully is a hilarious must read:
Gack, what gagging insanity! What foolishness. It’s not merely the psychotic anthropomorphism — that’s only the enabling mechanism of the conceit — but the far more troubling underlying idea. “The Ant Bully” represents a ruinous force in the world that might be called, for lack of a better term (although, heh-heh, this is a pretty great term), “promiscuous empathy.” We identify with anything: birds, bees, flowers, trees. We weep for all. We make a fetish of our compassion and treat our feelings as if they’re ideas. This contagion holds that there is no us and them in the world, that we are all one big us. The fact that the world then makes no sense is of no matter to those who hold this point of view; far more important is how happy it makes them feel, how moral, how superior. All they are saying is give peace a chance.
You’d have to be an idiot to miss the Middle Eastern allegory in all this. More foreign policy advice from the savants of Hollywood: We Americans, we’re the ant bullies, with our huge technical might, and we blunder into the Third Worlds of this world, huffing and puffing, only to be humiliated by the determination and resilience of the indigenous forces.
There’s more. And thanks Galley Slaves for the link.
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?