Archive for the ‘Freedom’ Category.

Strange But True

One of the great demonstrations of the universal value of Democracy and Liberty is that no matter how despotic and corrupt a regime is, it will always mouth the platitudes of Liberal Democracy.  N. Korea dutifully has elections, as does Iran.  All the worst places in the world are “People’s Republics” or “Islamic Republics”.  No one just says outright, “hey, I’m just a plain old despot claiming the absoulte right of kings.”  They have to couch their thugocracies in the trappings of Western Civilization because we have discovered something that borders on a universal human truth.

So, in a way, we might already have won if we would only hold all these petty dictators to account through the international bodies that exist.  Sadly, the UN is the playground of these same petty, corrupt dictators, so absent starting something else (and leaving the UN altogether for non-humanitarian issues), we’re not going to make much headway in that direction.  But I digress…

Over at the Contentions blog, Jennifer Rubin has been writing about Sotomayor’s sudden transformation into a rule of law girl now that she’s been nominated to the Supreme Court.  Never mind her years and years of giving speeches and handing down rulings in direct contradiction to the idea of judicial restraint, now that she’s on national television, she’s as Federalist as any Federalist out there.

If legislating from the bench is so wildly popular, why the need to lie about it during confirmation hearings?

And the same question could be asked of about a dozen of the Left’s legislative priorities.

They don’t want to nationalize health care, they swear. Even as they pass legislation geared to do exactly that.  They have no intention of raising taxes, even as “cap and trade” becomes the largest tax grab in the history of the US.  No one has ever been a stronger friend of Israel, even as we lean on them and put no pressure whatsoever on Hamas or Abbas or Syria or Iran.  Name one demand that Obama has made of the PLO.  I certainly can’t think of one.

But he and his supporters swear there has never been a better friend to Israel in the Oval Office.

Hogwash.  And hogwash again on Healthcare which the Left has been trying to socialize it since the 60s.  And hogwash again on taxes.

And hogwash again on Sotomayor’s judicial restraint.

But think about it.  If the West has already won the important debate about the truth of Democracy and Liberty and our evidence is the hypocrisy of Castro and Kim JongIl and the Ayatollahs; then what does the hypocrisy, not to say perfidy, of the Democratic party here in the US say about the domestic policy debate?

And if we’ve already won the battle of ideas (as I believe we have), then why aren’t our elected officials at least trying to do a better job of holding the government to account.  We know why the press won’t do it (they are on the other side).  But our congressmen should at least try to point out the utter ridiculousness of their opponents across the aisle saying one thing and doing another.

Perhaps calling Sotomayor on her silliness is a good start.

Back

From parts mostly known.  Known to all who have children anyway.

Where to begin?  The Anchoress has a post which I shall quote liberally for its essential humanity:

…my point was about understanding who we are and our intrinsic worth; we too often treat our lives, our bodies, our intellects, our blessings and our various gifts like they are nothing special, and so we devalue them.  We forget that – as Jesus says in Matthew:

Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?  Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your father’s knowledge.  Even all the hairs of your head are counted.  So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

We forget that we are royal children; loved into being; that our lives are not meaningless or accidental – that we do not pass unnoticed, whether we’re grocery shopping, or meeting friends for drinks, or weeping in our closets…

Read the rest here.

What else…  Johnson perhaps..

A shining dress, like a weighty weapon, has no force in itself, but owes all its efficacy to him that wears it.

Or a voice, mellifluous or not, which has no weight without character behind it.  And I think the rest of the world has seen through the show of the Obama adminstration.

And Acton, I simply must quote Acton after being away so long…

There is another world for the expiation of guilt, but the wages of folly are payable here below. – Acton, Lectures on the French Revolution. (here)

Sadly, the costs are often born by other than the fool.   And we shall all bear the price for the ridiculousness pouring out of Washington these days; healthcare and climate change legislation being two of the worst and most prominent nightmares currently passing through Congress.

More later.  Happy to be back.

Ten Score

Official White House portrait

Official White House portrait

Today marks the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, the preserver of the Union, and the signer of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Oft reviled by his political enemies (even within his own cabinet), he is now revered by almost everyone for his ability to manage an ultimately successful war, coax cooperation from disputing factions within his party, and inspire a nation with his rhetoric.

The rhetoric, of course, was not “mere” rhetoric. It sometimes soared, but was always salted with old-fashioned and uniquely American common sense.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”

“That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.”

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

Happy Birthday indeed, Mr. President.  You are a son of whom Illinoisans and Americans may rightly be proud.

A nice evaluation of the inauguration

By David Horowitz, seen on Powerline

First we have to recognize and then understand that whatever happens in the Obama presidency, this Inauguration Day is a watershed moment in the history of America and a remarkable event in the history of nations, and thus a cause for all of us who love this country, conservative and liberal, Democrat and Republican, to celebrate.

It gets better, go read it all.

QOTD and More

Obama’s inaugural was forgettable (save for its regrettable partisan edge), let us revisit one far better. Lincoln touches on so many issues and feelings in his first inaugural that we must approach it in parts (and here only a few of the many parts of interest).

The Supreme Court

I do not forget the position assumed by some, that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court; nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case, upon the parties to a suit, as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the government. And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be over-ruled and never become precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.

A nice summation of that body’s proper role especially with the possibility that Obama will get to appoint two justices in his first term. The Left has used the court as a legislature of last resort to force certain positions down the throats of the people for too long. A return to Lincoln’s understanding of their proper place would be welcome.

Executive Power and The People

The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people… His duty is to administer the present government, as it came to his hands, and to transmit it, unimpaired by him, to his successor.

Would that he also said unenhanced… (continuing)

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope, in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of nations, with his eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North or on yours of the South, that truth, and that justice, will surely prevail, by the judgement of this great tribunal, the American people.

We can simply substitute the Right and Left of our own time for North and South… (continuing)

By the frame of the government under which we live, this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief; and have, with equal wisdom, provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals.

While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government in the short space of four years.

Of course, since Lincoln’s time, the politicians have increased their power for mischief significantly and the “Virtue and Vigilance” of the people appears to be in decline, but the sentiment is still valuable… (continuing)

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well, upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you, in hot haste, to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it… If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied, hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.

This is all taken from Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address, and we haven’t even quoted the oft quoted final paragraph…

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

I don’t think it’s petty to point out this is way better than anything Obama has ever said, even when he quoted it. You can read the whole thing here.

Lincoln never passed up an opportunity to recognize the humanity and goodness of those who opposed him. He understood that our differences do not arise out of the moral or intellectual failings of our opponents, but from the simple difficulty of the issues we are trying to address.

There is no simple answer to poverty. We emphatically do not know what to do about it or a range of other issues. There is no conspiracy keeping the era of prosperity and pollution free energy from raining down upon us. A Perfect Union is forever beyond our grasp.

Lincoln knew this and articulated it even as he struggled mightily to keep the Union together through its most difficult and bloody time.

Today, we are left to wonder when our opponents will even acknowledge our humanity, let alone our good will. Any disagreement over even trivial legislation is treated as tantamount to Nazism. Opposing the Global Warming farce is tantamount to holocaust denial and should be prosecuted! This is the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression you insensitive jerk!

Obama’s people made a big show of using Lincoln’s bible for the swearing in (strange that the church-going Obamas have no bible of their own). Would that he used some of Lincoln’s thoughtfulness and magnanimity.

The Shoe Thrower

You know, when that guy (you know, THAT guy — the one embraced now by anti-Americans everywhere, especially the anti-American Americans) threw his shoes in the general direction of W (and missed), I thought — would he have dared to do such a thing to Saddam? Or Uday? If I had attempted such a thing, would I not have been taken to one of Uday’s gang rape rooms? Or perhaps just the wood shredder?

Of course, I can’t say such a thing. I’m a conservative. But does it mean more, perhaps coming from an Iraqi?  (and true, he didn’t put it quite in those terms…)

The Iraqi ambassador, Samir Sumaida’ie, responding to Code Pink women:

Novel Thoughts

It’s been a few days, but this is still worth remarking.

Random House has pulled a debut novel authored by an American about the Prophet Mohammed’s child bride. It’sa work of fiction. A romance that the author says is not a bodice-ripper, but instead a bridge-builder. Okay.  So why pull it? The publisher fears violence (remember the cartoons?) from, err, devout Muslims.  A ” small, radical segment” according to Random House deputy publisher Thomas Perry.

Random House told Bookseller.com they had “no second thoughts”.  Sure, author Sherry Jones can find another publisher. It’s still a free country, after all.  Right?

RIGHT?

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, RIP

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (2007, copyright VOA)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (2007 photo)

Sad news tonight.  Alexander Solzhenitsyn has died of heart failure (Russian authorities say it was a stroke).

HIs books, particularly The Gulag Archipelago, revealed what many in the West wanted to ignore — the atrocities of the brutal slave labor camps the USSR used to squash dissent and prop up its economy.

The impact of that book and others he wrote about the Soviet system can’t be overstated. Perhaps for the first time, previously skeptical historians and journalists began to doubt their own assumptions about Lenin and communism. Although many still doubted until the Cold War ended.

But the truth will out. And the truth will set you free. RIP.

What to do about the Olympics

Don’t watch. Seriously. The only way to bring the idiots at the IOC in Geneva to heel is to hit them in their pocketbooks. If nobody watches the Olympics, TV revenues go into the toilet and networks tell the IOC not to choose a homicidal, totalitarian dictatorship the next time.

It’s not just about Tibet, or the Falun Gong, or the thousands that were killed in Tiananmen square. It’s about thousands of missiles pointed at the free, democratic nation of Taiwan, and censoring the internet, and banning any and all banners at the games. And staging an attack in Paris to discredit the Tibetan movement. It’s about Darfur in Sudan, and Mugabe in Zimbabwe. If you’re an environmentalist, China is the largest polluter in the world by a great margin. If you favor reproductive rights, it might interest you to know that China sterilizes women against their will and aborts pregnancies against the will of the mothers.

There is no measure by which China is not a problem; labor rights, fair trade, human rights, free speech.

Don’t support the butchers of Beijing. Don’t watch.

it’ll all be on youtube a month later anyway, unless Google sells out again. You wouldn’t do any more evil, would you Google?

Don’t watch.

Happy Birthday, America! Part II