Saturday, April 26, 2003

Chris Regan brought my attention to this article by Mark Goldblatt and this report on the fallout from it. Goldblatt made the point that "America is the most benevolent world power in the history of the planet," a truth that is impossible for the blame America groups to even consider:
There's something more significant going on here than a profound lack of historical perspective or a skewed understanding of the scholarly record. Both of those are signs of ordinary ignorance. But this is willful ignorance � which is much more insidious. It's as if the very suggestion of America's fundamental benevolence triggers an intellectual gag reflex among hardcore leftists. It cannot be tolerated; the system rejects it whole, regardless of the mental contortions that follow, because allowing it to penetrate would gum up the entire works.
This struck me as important in that it is the same kind of willful ignorance that characterizes the environmental movement, the same wilfull ignorance that many intellectuals associate with religion. It is the basis for my contention that laws like the Wilderness Act are in fact an establishment of religion, based on the idea that not just America, but all of mankind is evil.

Anyway, Goldblatt in the National Review piece describes the reactions to his NYPost Op-Ed column.

This deserves to be more widely discussed. I don't consider myself an intellectual, but it appears to me that the root of all of this rage is the fact that America is not socialist enough for these people, yet it is powerful and rich. That basic contradiction between their ideals for society and the fact that a capitalist system has produced such results causes cognitive dissonance, which they resolve by asserting that America has achieved its wealth on the backs of the poor and powerless. Naturally environmentalism appeals to them, because it provides another outrage to be attributed to America.

I had never before been really aware of this attachment to Marxism among educated people. It still amazes me, but it is reinforced over and over as current events reinforce the echoes on the left of "Animal Farm."

The strangest thing is that they can't see it. They revere John F. Kennedy, but denounce anyone who proposes to emulate his policies.

Friday, April 25, 2003

I am in favor of anti-sodomy laws, not because I want to bash homosexuals, but because I don't want sodomy to become an accepted practice in this society. To me its a matter of the survival of a moral free society. We've already seen examples of radicals demanding equal rights who, when they win, begin using their positions to impose their views on others. I don't want to live in a gay society. I don't want my children to be taught by gays. I don't the "gay lifestyle" on my television, or anywhere else.

I've never bashed gays or advocated violence toward them and I'm not going to. But I believe that homosexuality is immoral and a perversion of normal sexuality, and I believe that tolerance for it will erode the health of our society.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Oh, no! American troops have been caught bringing home works of art from Iraq!

They're portraits of Saddam and other really bad stuff that has nothing to do with antiquities or good art. I say let them keep them. The Iraqis will never miss them, except as objects for their shoes.

George Galloway: I'm not too worked up about this. It's shameful, but we already knew he was a supporter of Saddam. I'm waiting for the Chirac payments to come to light.

Denis Horgan is a journalist for the Harford Courant who lost his column and decided to continue it on a personal blog. Now his publisher has told him he can't keep the blog. I wouldn't think they could do that.

George Will considers what it will take to build a democracy in Iraq. I've thought about this before, how blessed (lucky, for you atheists) the United States has been. I've only recently begun to realize the debt we owe to our founding fathers. Other nations have adopted constitutions similar to ours, only to succumb to coups of one kind or another. France is a good example. Apparently it has never overcome the idea of a natural aristocracy, which is why so many Frenchman are offended by the kind of people America elects as its leaders.

Here's to Lileks:
This is the fifth anniversary of this domain, more or less. It had existed on AOL for a year and a half before that, back in the days when �Home Pages� were the new thing. Now it's blogs. Next it'll be IdSpots, or SelfLocales, or EtherZines, or whatever term they slap on it. However the model changes, the Bleat will still be the Bleat.
In five years I predict that the best blogs will be called Bleats in homage, while the worst will be called Josh.

Wednesday's bleat (April 23, 2003) is about Earth Day and the Ecological Footprint Quiz. I haven't seen the quiz but I'll bet that it doesn't tell how much space it would take to sustain us in the lifestyle to which we're accustomed if we had to rely on the sun and photovoltaic cells and all the other environmental recommendations made by these twits.

I don't consider the earth worth saving if its' going to be living with more stern women without makeup wearing hiking shorts. I still have nightmares about one group called Great Old Broads, who like to go hiking in the wilderness, sometimes in the buff. The horror.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Via Best of the Web, this story about anti-semitic spam being spoofed to appear that it comes from Muslims. This is what you get when you make privacy a fetish.

Joy in Karbala

Shiites in Iraq are celebrating a pilgrimage to the tomb of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet. A few quotes from the crowd:
"I am so excited I am able to visit Hussein now without fear."

"We want to decide our fate by ourselves and obtain all of the things we have wanted for the past 35 years."

"Our celebration will be perfect only when the American occupier is gone and the Iraqi people are able to rule themselves by the principles of Islam."

Because of the procession's potential as a political rallying point, successive governments have periodically banned it since the 1930's. During Mr. Hussein's rule many defiant pilgrims were gunned down on the road to Karbala, and just 40 days ago more than 100 pilgrims were arrested on the outskirts of the city as they tried to commemorate the anniversary of Hussein's death, residents said.
You're welcome, folks.

I hope someone tells them that Americans don't really want to occupy Iraq. I know I don't, and I don't think our soldiers want to be there, particularly. We would love it if they would decide their own fate and pursue their own happiness. Just knock off the terrorism and attacks on Israel, and no more jihad.

It's great to be rid of Saddam, but if they elect a government that won't stick to its knitting, or they allow themselves to be dominated by another like him, chances are we'll be back. So they need to take responsibility for their own freedom. They have no tradition of democracy or freedom. It will take a determined effort to make them see that they were not born with saddles and stirrups, that religious leaders are human beings and just as susceptible to corruption by power as anyone else. They cannot be voted out of office, because they aren't usually elected. That's why they should not be trusted with governmental power. I wonder how you say "Power corrupts" in Arabic.

If they're successful, let's bring them back here to teach Americans why they need to break down the federal government and return power to the states and local governments.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Two things about this story seem dodgy. The first is obvious: This woman and her baby are killed in a gruesome manner and all these people can think about is how this will affect abortion rights? Second, why is a press release from the Morris County, New Jersey president of NOW about a case in California, considered news?

NOW is getting pretty tone-deaf if it thinks this story will win any sympathy for their obsession with abortion rights.

I wish I'd written that:
From The Online Weekly Standard Top Ten Letters of the week:

Joel Engel, is a poor, misguided fool (An Ordinary Citizen Calls a Press Conference). He has deluded himself into believing that his opinion counts as much as George Clooney's or Susan Sarandon's. What an idiot. Clooney, Sarandon, and the other very important people he mentions, have spent years studying acting, and no telling how many years reviewing documents, reading learned treatises, and obtaining degrees in government and political science. Why, I would bet my last dollar that every last one of them read the New York Times and WP from front to back every day! Engel probably doesn't even have a subscription to Daily Variety. And yet, he has the nerve, nay, the unmitigated gall to hold his own press conference and express opinions that are probably held by a mere 70 or 80 percent of ordinary, hard-working Americans. No wonder the mass media failed to show up.

--Mike Webster


I was stuck in D.C. traffic the other day, thanks to an antiwar protest on the Key Bridge. (Jonathan V. Last, Freedom, at Home and Abroad) The supposed reason for launching the protest was to disrupt the lives of persons working in Washington so that they could realize how the lives of Baghdad's citizens were being disrupted by the war. If true, that's fine. But let's at least play fair. If the goal is to feel what life is like in Iraq, then I say let the police beat the hell out of the protestors to show them what life in Baghdad is like if you protest against the government.

--Sean Pugh

Sunday, April 20, 2003

From Rod Dreher at the Corner:
A San Francisco writer, ashamed of his country and full of spite at Republicans, Southerners and other troglodytes, wants the Bay Area to secede from the United States and form an independent nation.

How dumb is Bashar Al-Assad?

Well, there's this: "In an interview in the Lebanese daily Al-Safir, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad expressed the hope that the U.S. would be defeated by Iraq,. . . "

Steven Den Beste argues for pulling out of NATO. Wouldn't that be kind of a smack to the members who stood by us? They may not be able to contribute much militarily now, but I would rather have bases in countries that are friendly than in those that seem to hate us (cough, Germany).