Thursday, July 20, 2006

Maher Moderation

I was pleased to read this post from NewsBusters on some even-handedness from Bill Maher. Maher is a funny guy, or at least possesses the capacity for humor, but has become such a lefty that his views are largely unpalatable to conservatives. Fortunately, he demonstrated the ability to praise the president, and makes a case for the existence of the patriotic liberal.

What do I mean? Liberals are so filled with hate for the President that they can't conceive that he could do anything right. This is their biggest weakness and I think it will contribute to their failure in November to claim either Chamber of Congress. And I don't think you can be truly patriotic if you are unwilling to ever support the Commander-in-Chief.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Taking the Gloves Off

I've started and stopped this post several times over the past several days, never finding the time to finish it. I'm blogging from O'Hare International in Chicago (business trip) and finally have a moment to get my opinion out.

Its not new or ground-breaking. From conversations I've had with other people, I know its definitely not unique, but it is what I feel.

Israel has the right to defend itself. If we had rogue elements in Canada lobbing missiles into Detroit or Buffalo or Seattle, and Canada failed to curb that, we would be justified in using force to detain or kill those that are guilty. Israel has made siginificant concessions over the past several years. They own the high road, and I think they are completely justified. They have chosen their targets carefully, and I hope they endure and finish the job. That's all.

And as for the President's use of a swear word in conversation about Syria and Hezbollah- so what? I choose not to swear, but something about the president's word choice resonates with me. I know he is a regular guy, in the sense that his visceral reaction to the practice of terrorism is to equate it with excrement. It is apt, if indelicate, and the fixation of the media on it is a ridiculous waste of time.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Kerfuffle Shuffle

It's old news by now, but I wanted to address the issue that brought us the word 'kerfuffle"- the Saga of Valerie Plame. Blogger Tom Maguire has followed this issue closely from the start, and he has a very good synopsis of Robert Novak's column on his part in the story, as well as commentary and background.

As we have stated here before, the Plame kerfuffle was much ado about nothing. All of the complaints from liberals about Rove, Libby, et al. were baseless, a fact evidenced by the failure of prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to find anyone guilty of the crime he was tasked to investigate.

It should have died out a long time ago. Maybe it will now.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Buenas Elecciones

Check out Spanish Phrase of the Day for a link to a great article on the Mexican presidential elections.

You can also check out Michael Barone's blog, where he has been following it closely.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Feliz dia de la Independencia

That title probably belongs on the Spanish Phrase of the Day, but here we are. I just wanted to point out an insightful article about a "forgotten founder," John Witherspoon. He has not received a great deal of attention, but deserves it, having had a great influence on people like James Madison.

It really is an interesting story and I encourage you to check it out. Here's something to think about (from Roger Kimball's article):

For us looking back on the generation of the Founders, it is easy to deprecate the religious inheritance that, for many of them, formed the ground of their commitment to political liberty. Theological skeptics and even atheists there were aplenty in late eighteenth-century America. But for every Jefferson who re-wrote the Bible excising every mention of miracles, there was a platoon of men like Madison who wrote commentaries on the Bible. Witherspoon believed that religion was "absolutely essential to the existence and welfare of every political combination of men in society." Madison agreed. As did even the more skeptical Washington, who in his Farewell Address observed that "of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports . . . . And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion." For many, perhaps most, of the Founders, Morrison observes, the chain of reasoning ran thus: "no republic without liberty, no liberty without virtue, and no virtue without religion." John Witherspoon did as much as anyone to nurture that understanding. Which is perhaps yet another reason he is less known today than other figures from the period. Whether that is a sign of our maturity and sophistication or only, as Witherspoon might put it, our pride and natural depravity is a question we might do well ponder.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Gore who cried Warming

I wanted to point out an insightful article on Global Warming, echoing statements made here by Bear and me. In this week's Wall Street Journal, Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, wrote an article disputing the existence of a consensus of the cause of Global Warming (republished yesterday on OpinionJournal). Professor Lindzen provides a really excellent basis to discount the alarmism of Al Gore.

I really encourage you to read his entire piece. I don't want to paraphrase it here for fear of missing something important. Besides, he is far more qualified than I even hope to be. I will relay his conclusion:

So what, then, is one to make of this alleged debate? I would suggest at least three points.
First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists--especially those outside the area of climate dynamics. Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. That is an inauspicious beginning to what Mr. Gore claims is not a political issue but a "moral" crusade.
Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition. An earlier attempt at this was accompanied by tragedy. Perhaps Marx was right. This time around we may have farce--if we're lucky.

Read it.