Saturday, November 15, 2003

What good does a free press do, when you can't trust what they report? We live in a time when digital technololgy can fake almost anything, so it becomes more critical all the time to know the sources, their biases and reliability. When it comes to the war in Iraq, we don't know what we can trust coming from Arab sources, because they don't seem to have any sense of truth as Westerners understand the concept.

Of course, Westerners have their own problems with the concept in the world of Postmodernism. It seems sometimes that we have two enemies to conquer, the first of which is our own major media. The histrionics at the New York Times over the revelations about a reporter making up stories, but not the slightest embarrassment over the misreports and denunciations regarding the "looting" of the Iraqi National Museum, illustrate the point. As someone said, ""It ain't so much the things you don't know that get you in trouble. It's the things you know that just ain't so." (That quote, in slightly varying form is attributed to Frank Hubbard, Artemus Ward, Mark Twain and probably a lot of others on the internet. Perhaps a better one for understanding the rage against George W. Bush, is "Truth is too simple for us; we do not like those who unmask our illusions." Ralph Waldo Emerson.) I can only hope that Americans still have enough common sense to question the authority of those who keep telling us to question authority.

Friday, November 14, 2003

An Open Letter to Mort Kondracke,

afte his lame defense of Ted Kennedy's reference to President Bush's nominees to the Courts of Appeals as "neanderthals":
You, sir, are a neanderthal, a slope-headed knuckle-dragging troglodite, a pre-human species with barely enough brain capacity to chip stones for tools, a pre-lingual moron. But I mean that in a nice way.

Get real! To hear you defend the splenetic blurts of tired bore like Ted Kennedy makes me wonder if you have been in the Potomac miasma just a little too long for your own mental health. What we cornfed yahoos out here in the red states understand by "neanderthal" is "subhuman," and it's serious insult, not to mention wildly inaccurate. Kindly let Mr. Kennedy make his own excuses for his boorish gaffes. A well-known journalist, not employed by the WaPo or the NYTimes, is expected to not only carry the title pundit, but to actually be a pundit, i. e. a wise man.

If you haven't noticed, it's the Democrats who are reactionary these days, resorting to antidemocratic methods to hold onto gains they achieved through the most undemocratic of our three branches. They are the ones fighting the rearguard actions. They are the ones behind the times, as their response to the threats to our country from terrorism shows. If anybody deserves to be called a neanderthal, it would be over-the-hill political bosses like Kennedy who are still in office thanks to religious slurs and machines that have all but withered away except in a few enclaves like Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. If Bush's nominees are neanderthals, then Ted Kennedy is a bonobo. (In case you don't recognize it, that means he's a hirsute primate who has the manners and morals of a chimp.

Meanwhile, in Utah the frontpage news is a Nurse-In at a local Burger King. You go, Mom.

I can hear the little devil on my left shoulder muttering, "You mean there's something else those things are good for?" Ignore him.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

The CIA thinks things are bleak in Iraq. Shouldn't a president be able to set policy without being undermined constantly from political enemies within his own administration? It's tough enough to run a war without having to campaign against the Democrats AND the whole State Department, CIA and a lot of gripers in the Pentagon. It's not their job to leak opinions to the press, but to find ways to achieve objectives set by the elected representatives of the people. This is why bureaucracy is inconsistent with a republican form of government.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Read this explanation of how, if a city allows a monument to the Ten Commandments in a public park, it must therefore allow monuments against gays or monuments to kookie fringe religions as well. This the weird logic of modern courts whose view of fairness ends up with the atheists being the only ones allowed to express their views in public.

Monday, November 10, 2003

This link is to an Op-Ed in the L A Times by David Gelernter. The only thing that explains why the L A Times would publish it is its histrionic language, "It was my fault, mine personally; I was part of the antiwar crowd and I'm sorry. But my apology is too late for the South Vietnamese dead. All I can do is join the chorus in shouting, "No more Vietnams!" No more shrugging off tyranny; no more deserting our friends; no more going back on our duties as the strongest nation on Earth."

I was alive back then too, and I'm haunted to some extent by Vietnam, too, not because I demonstrated against it--I never thought I knew enough to want to substitute my judgment for the President's--but because I didn't enlist. The only comfort I have for that feeling that someone else served in my place is that I wouldn't have pass the physical. I doesn't make me feel less indebted to all of those men and women in my generation or others past and present who have put their own lives on the line, to fight for freedom. I don't know if America's freedom and prosperity today is directly linked to the war in Vietnam, but it certainly is to the winning of the Cold War, of which Vietnam was a part. I'm a beneficiary of the struggle to preserve and expand democracy and freedom, which often has been misrepresented by those who feel guilt for all their blessings. I know it and I bow my head at times like this, to honor all the real heroes of the past 227 years.

Michael Medved claims that the New Hampshire court's ruling, linked below, is a setback for gay rights and gay marriage. If homosexual sex isn't sex, legally. Eugene Volokh quotes the New Hampshire decision, "Homosexuals and heterosexuals engaging in the same acts are treated the same because our interpretation of the term 'adultery' excludes all non-coital sex acts, whether between persons of the same or opposite gender." Medved may be right. The argument for gay marriage is that there is no difference between the relationship of a heterosexual married couple and that of a homosexual couple. But the New Hampshire court points out that the point of its laws concerning marriage, and adultery as a ground for divorce, is that marriage is intended for the procreation of children, and only heterosexual intercourse, as opposed to other forms of sexual behavior, produces children. "Adultery is committed whenever there is an intercourse from which spurious issue may arise . . . ," and that, says the court, is why adultery entitles the innocent party to a divorce. The main point of marriage, then, is give legal sanction to traditional families.

This argument has lots of holes, since it is now possible to conceive children outside of the womb, and homosexual couples can "procreate" with the contribution of a womb or sperm from a third party. Still, these arrangements have more in common with adoptions than with traditional marriage, which has the distinction of producing children whose are the progeny of both marriage partners. No "gay" marriage can ever do that.