Friday, October 25, 2002

A good line from George Will and Senator Moynihan:

A few decades ago, says former senator Pat Moynihan, in this city of builders -- of bridges and tunnels and skyscrapers -- "civic reputation began to be acquired by people who prevented things from happening."

And it's spread since then. People would rather be "watchdogs" than builders.

On this day of mourning for Paul Wellstone, I give him credit for being honest and impassioned in pursuit of his beliefs. He was a true populist and the kind of personality we could wish we had in all our politicians.

I share with him a concern for the poor and the weak. Where we differ is in our views of the government as the means of helping them. I think that there are far too few people like Senator Wellstone, which is why I don't trust government to carry out his goals. Government means power, and that is too attractive to the kind of people who shouldn't have power to be trusted.

Shudder . . . I just realized that John Allen Muhammad and his little buddy, Sniper, will next get a public trial. Will it be O.J. II or McVeigh Redux?

"As yet no one has suggested that this war veteran could be suffering from the Gulf War Syndrome. But give it time."
The American Prowler

Thursday, October 24, 2002

I don't usually find much instructive in The Guardian, but this piece by John Casey is an exception.

Barry Strauss (via Instapundit) writes: "[T]his skeptical Yankee proposes the following rule of thumb: the more the Europeans talk morality, the more they mean power."

It's a good and true line and it applies also to most American liberals, including environmentalists. It's the Elsworth Toohey factor. They don't want to soil themselves with weapons or money, but they feel entitled to direct everyone else's thoughts and behavior. I used to wince at the Birch Society's billboards demanding that we get out of the U.N., but now that it's become such a bastion of political correctness, I think it's a good time to follow that advice. I am truly sick and tired of people calling NPR and complaining that Bush isn't obeying International Law, as if there were such a thing. When International Law can punish Saddam or Russia or China for their crimes, I might start to believe in its existence, but, even then, I'm not going to submit to the jurisdiction of an organisation that includes Sudan on its Human Rights committee.

[Update:] This piece on TCS reinforces my point about environmentalists.

It's All About You

These are the links to related stories in the WaPo's report on the arrest of the sniper suspects:
_____Recent Stories_____
After Arrests, Area Residents Cautiously Optimistic (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2002)
Children Anxious; Parents Feel Helpless (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2002)
For Area's Parents, An Agonizing Choice (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2002)
Half of Area Residents in Fear, Post Poll Finds (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2002)

We may have a mean president, but at least the Washington Post feels your pain.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Curiouser and curiouser.

The sniper may have been identified. So the lone gunman theorists and the terrorist theorists may both be right. It's too soon to rule out anything. The FBI are supposed to be digging bullets out of a tree stump from the backyard of a home recently rented by John Allen Muhammad, aka John Allen Williams. That will make it more definite. I've heard that he may be a Jamaican, which would twist the plot nearly in two..

About a year or 18 mos. ago we had a homicide near Green River, Utah when a drifter from Spokane gunned down an old guy driving a road grader. The killer was carrying a Quran and notes where he had experimented with a list of imagined terrorist groups with "Islamic" in the names. He had traced his route on a map, and was apparently headed to Washington, D.C. before he committed this murder and was sent to prison here in Utah..

Something about Islam seems to attract alienated, violently inclined young men. If the U.S. has too many of these, imagine how many the Arab and Asian Islamic nations must have. My personal view is that Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, was founded on divine inspiration, but apostatized a long time ago. It cost the others an Inquisition, a few hundred years of war and a holocaust to work out their problems--which still haven't been resolved--mostly by separating the power of government from control by religion.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Best of the Web accuses MSNBC's column, Blogspotting, of smearing Charles Johnson by calling his blog, Little Green Footballs, "hateful."

I don't consider LGF hateful, but what I find more interesting is that MSNBC has appointed itself the arbiter of who is and isn't hateful. This is the kind of arrogance that has earned mainstream media the distrust of most thinking people. If I need a guide to which blogs are worth reading, I have Instapundit. Reynolds is perfectly opinionated, but at least he doesn't try to mislead anybody about his objectivity. If I wanted more big media political correctness, I wouldn't be reading blogs in the first place. MSNBC seems to want us to believe that asking one of the broadcast networks for guidance on which cable shows to watch, will get you a completely honest review.

Udpate: "Will Femia, the MSNBC Weblog Central editor, is distancing himself from his smear," reports BOTW, and quotes Femia saying that his "hateful" remark wasn't his opinion, but that of some people who had written to him. If Femia doesn't print his own views, what's the point of his column. He doesn't cite any traffic statistics, polls or anything else of use to his readers. If he isn't a critic, why should anybody read his column? Why not just republish Instapundit? At least Professor Reynolds has a point of view and is willing to say what he thinks and not blame his views on someone else.

Monday, October 21, 2002

The Catholics will love this! A whole box of relics from James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.