My friends, it's nearly Christmas but we're not there yet. So in the meantime let the people at Minnesotans for Global Warming tell you about the 12 Days of Global Warming.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
However, given the lack of detailed coverage by the mainstream media (credit where credit is due, Fox News and the BBC have both covered it), I though this quick quiz will help you all work out what's been going on:
So you think you know climate science? - the quiz
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
So what has her journey been, the route she travelled to reach her Green destination? In her own words ("Why I turned from red to Green", The Guardian, Wednesday 18th November 2009):
The communist states of the 20th century did for socialism. I was a dynastic communist – my parents were British Bolsheviks, they were good citizens, and became better when Khrushchev gave permission to criticise Stalinism. All that crashed with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. They could not relinquish the Soviet Union, and thereafter our family rows were on the terrain of Russia. The worst insult my father could hurl was: "You're just a social democrat!"
I remained a communist until 1989, when it was all over. I was part of the anti-Stalinist, Euro-communist wing. We were clever, caused trouble, caught the imagination, but we lost. Or maybe we failed.
But it was feminism that clarified the unsustainability of state communism. Macho, manic productionism relies on force, it valorises conquest of nature and other humans. It marginalises the means of reproduction – how societies sustain themselves, breathe, give birth, grow and rest, clean up; how people take care, give pleasure and co-operate. Barbara Taylor's revelatory book, Eve and the New Jerusalem, published on the crest of women's liberation, told the story of industrialisation and socialist politics, utopianism and the co-operative movement. And it tells the story of these radical movements' defeat – by working men organised in their own interests as men.
The sexism – and destructiveness – of modernity was not evolutionary, it was a bitter political struggle. The outcome: men's movements masquerading as egalitarian and socialist.
Green ideology represents the reconciliation of production and reproduction – that is what yields sustainability.
Well, at least she's honest about it.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Thomas Jefferson - (1743-1826)
US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source: First Inaugural Address - March 4 1891
Monday, 16 November 2009
Not the sort of thing you expect to see when you're settling down with your popcorn and barrel of Coke at the cinema, but a welcome addition to political discourse in an election season nonetheless. Perhaps this is a sign that mainstream Euroscepticism is finally being accepted as a reasonable and moderate stance? Even the pro-Euro BBC is willing to discuss Divorcing Europe now!
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Cornelius Tacitus - (55-117 A.D.)
Senator and a historian of the Roman Empire.
Source: Annales (1st century A.D.)
Worth bearing in mind when one considers the plethora of new laws enacted by the New Labour government since 1997.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Christine Stewart (born January 3 1941)
Former Canadian politician and Environment Minister
Source: Calgary Herald, December 14 1998
How many other types of rapist do you think Whoopi Goldberg would try to defend? None, I expect.
Thursday, 24 September 2009
My friends, there were rumours a while back that Lord Mandelson was keen on appearing on Strictly Come Dancing at some time in the future (presumably when his team are back in opposition next year), there have even been rumours that Ann Widdecombe might be up for strutting her stuff on the show.
Well now the precedent has been set for politicians on the programme, with former House Majority Leader, Republican firebrand Tom "The Hammer" DeLay. If our Parliamentarians can be this good it would be worth watching:
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Robert M. Lafollette, Sr. - (1855-1925)
American politician who served as the 20th Governor of Wisconsin (1901–1906) and Republican Senator from Wisconsin (1906–1925), ran for President of the United States as the nominee of his own Progressive Party in 1924
Source: Speech, 6 October 1917
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Ayn Rand - (1905-1982)
Monday, 21 September 2009
...he criticises the smugness and self-importance that he feels has crept into some political satire – not surprisingly, a trait he sees more on the Left than on the Right. “It does not do for a political humourist to be smug. We’re not offering policy alternatives; we’re pointing out political absurdities. We’re the ones switching on the kitchen lights and watching the cockroaches scamper. But we’re not going in there to stamp on them. That shouldn’t be our role.”
Quite right, P.J., quite right.
...he opts for an observation he made in 1993 that is enjoying a new lease of life today: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free,” he famously opined at a gala dinner for the libertarian Cato Institute as the then First Lady Hillary Clinton pursued her doomed efforts to reform the health care system.
“It’s very flattering to invent a catchphrase that sticks around and hear those words being quoted again,” he says, 16 years later. “They probably stand up to analysis and time because they’re true.”
Thomas Jefferson - (1743-1826)
US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source: Letter to Samuel Kercheval, Monticello, July 12, 1816
Thursday, 10 September 2009
James Anthony Froude - (1818-1894)
British author and historian
Source: Short Studies on Great Subjects - (1872)
Here's a tip, Griffin, give them up - don't make him come and take them...
“When someone called me to say that the BNP was using one of my books in a publicity stunt, I was sick to the stomach.
“I served with men of all colours and from many nationalities. They were all equal to me. That’s what the army teaches you. Nick Griffin thinks differently. He thinks the British Army should be for whites-only. He thinks heroes like Johnson Beharry, our only living VC, should be sent back to Grenada.
“He doesn’t understand that what makes the British Army great, and what makes this country great. It’s the way we draw together people from all around the world and give them ideals worth believing in: tolerance, fairness, decency, looking out for the little guy.
“It’s the British way of doing things.
“That’s why I’ve asked for my books back. Because I don’t want anything to help the BNP promote their poisonous politics of segregation and hatred.”
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
P. J. O'Rourke - (born November 14 1947)
US humorist, journalist, and political commentator
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
"We have discovered two types of stimulants that were introduced into the Gaza trip from Israeli border crossings," a Hamas police spokesman told the French news agency [AFP]. "The first type is presented in the form of chewing gum and the second in the form of drops."
According to the report, the coastal territory's Hamas rulers claim to have detained several members of a gang involved in the import over the last two years who "admitted during the investigation they were linked to the Zionist intelligence services."
So far the Israeli Defence Forces have refused to comment on the allegations, no doubt shamed by the nature of the plot uncovered by the doughty torturers, er..., interrogators of the Hamas police force. That most taciturn of communicators, nobody from the IDF has been willing to come forward to apologise for their shameless conspiracy, though an anonymous source has broken ranks to be the sole whistleblower:
It surely can't be long before the brave crusaders for truth at Press TV pick up on this?
...one army source was quoted by AFP as calling the story "absurd."
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Monday, 8 June 2009
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Friday, 29 May 2009
Thursday, 28 May 2009
"We have checked with the designer who confirmed the image was inspired by Lenin. Nonetheless, if even one customer is offended or upset we are happy to withdraw the range."
Thursday, 14 May 2009
The piece entitled “We must seize the moment to demand a written constitution” gives Mr Norman’s opinion on why we need a written constitution and why David Cameron must be the man to offer it. It then gives a few ideas about the mechanics (how it should be devised and what might be in it).
He talks of the genuine fury of the electorate aimed at the political system in the United Kingdom and then asks “how that fury must be channeled if a political system atrophied into incompetence, low-level corruption and the highest of farce is to be salvaged and rebuilt”.
He goes on:
“Only in moments of chaotic flux, when the foetid accommodations and stifling conventions of the age are suspended because the status quo looks scarier than radical change, does a glimpse of a less imperfect country feel like more than utopian dreaming. Such openings come seldom, vanish swiftly, and must be seized immediately.
“This one may well not be. More than likely we will, until the June elections divert the spotlight, fixate on all the expenses debacle without questioning the underlying culture that generated it, and how that might be ended.
“If so – if this golden opportunity is wasted – it will be a historic tragedy for this country. For the fiddling, as shameful as it's been, is not the disease but one of its more trivial symptoms. It is to a democratic sickness that remains largely undiagnosed what a bout of violent diarrhoea can be to colonic cancer. Mask it with over-the-counter medication though you may, more serious symptoms will soon enough emerge. The longer you ignore those, the more brutal the treatment required, and the lower the chances of recovery.
“The illness in question is malignant in the extreme, and the only effective treatment is a written constitution. Since David Cameron will shortly be Prime Minister, it is to him we must turn on bended knee, begging that he acts while the rage is still hot and the desire for change intense, and makes a binding commitment to that constitution. He should pledge that, within an hour of kissing the Queen's hand, he will inaugurate a year-long national debate about how we want that constitution to look, involving the town-hall meetings and an appeal for public proposals with which we can reacquaint ourselves with the notion that our stake in how we are governed extends beyond voting with distaste every four or five years.
“A committee of respected parliamentarians (there are a few) and distinguished outsiders – scientists, jurists, academics, trade unionists, soldiers, artists, and so on; even national treasures such as Mr Fry – should be co-opted to filter out the most promising ideas, and hand them to the Commons for a series of free votes. Those approved should then be given to a group of our finest writers, to be translated into a document as simple, elegant and enduring as the US Constitution revered almost as a deity to this day.”
“Where it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change."
Mr Norman gives some examples of elements he would like to see:
“Several of the most compelling requirements race to mind. Electoral reform is one. The madness that the votes of little more a third of the actual electorate, and a fifth of the potential electorate, produce almost unlimited political power while disenfranchising the majority must end. Fixed-term parliaments are a no-brainer. So is a clause guaranteeing freedom of speech.
“The soul-sapping spectacle of MPs trooping pliantly through the lobbies to vote for things in which they don't believe or actively disbelieve, or even of which they are blissfully ignorant, must stop. They continually assure us how incredibly hard they work, but being lobby fodder isn't work at all. It's a cushy version of house arrest.
“The constitutional function of a backbench MP is not to rubber-stamp the leadership's will, but to act as a check against the power of the executive. A written constitution could enshrine their duty to vote according to conscience and constituents' interests, not the blackmail and bribery of the whips.
“It should elevate the stature of select committees, those snivelling apologies for overseers of government practice and malpractice. If we drastically increased allowances for research staff, and offered additional salary, their members' status would be enhanced to approximately that of a minister of state. They might then resist the threats and lure of ministerial preferment, and do the fearlessly unpartisan job expected.
“There are countless other symptoms that sorely want treating... the lack of an elected upper chamber; the absence of quasi-judicial scrutiny of such outrages as the decision to go to war in Iraq and the security failures that prefaced the 7/7 bombings; the refusal to devolve to local government outside London; the criminally reckless failure to control and de-politicise the police; and many more besides.
“The overall imperative, however, is to treat the sickness itself by reconnecting the populace with its legislature, by restoring the supremacy of the Commons – our only direct link the central governance of Britain – by packing it with the kind of high-minded, talented and independent representatives whom we'd be delighted to pay £100,000 per annum and more."
Mr Norman concludes:
“We need that written constitution desperately. It is in David Cameron's gift, and his alone, meaningfully to promise one. He should do so at once. This window will close by the day, and may not reopen in our lifetimes.”
Amen to that, my friends, amen to that.
So, what do you think should go in a new United Kingdom Constitution?
"See, I have these missing pieces that are holding me up, and I was wondering Sir, if you could take time out of your busy schedule and help me out. You know, no big deal, just some loose ends and things.
"Hey, you have a nice place here! The wife sees houses like this on TV all the time and says boy she wishes she had digs like this you know? Is that painting real? Really? Wow. I saw something like that in a museum once!
"Could you please help me find these things Sir?
"Oh and one more thing Senator, I can't seem to find any articles you published as editor of the Harvard Law Review, or as a Professor at the University of Chicago. Can you explain that to me Sir? Oh but, hey -- listen! I know you're busy! If this is too much for you right now -- I mean -- tell you what. I'll come back tomorrow. Give you some time to get these things together, You know? I mean, I know you're busy. I'll just let myself out.
"I'll be back tomorrow. And the day after...
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Herbert Hoover - (1874 - 1964)
Professional mining engineer, author, United States Secretary of Commerce and the 31st President of the United States
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Remember Dan Quayle's comment about speaking Latin in Latin America? Of course you do, I mean it was 20 years ago but people still bleat on about it, even though it's actually a myth invented by lazy journalists.
Remember George Bush calling the residents of Greece "Grecians"? Again, of course you do, I mean it was 10 years ago, but the Mainstream Media never cease retelling his gaffes.
So what did the Obamessiah do this time? Well, my friends, in a gaffe similar to those above he seems to think Austrians speak...er...Austrian. In response to an Austrian reporter he said this:
“Erm...political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There’s a lot of...erm...I don’t know what the term is in Austrian, wheeling and dealing, and, you know, people are, you know, pursuing their interests, and...erm....erm...you know, everybody has their own particular issues and their own particular politics.”
What an orator! What command of the English language! What poetry!
Here it is in full with a piece taken from fair and balanced Fox News (because you won't find it on the biased British Broadcasting Corporation):
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
We all know they censored Dan Hannan's brilliant speech to Gordon Brown, but they shouldn't be allowed to censor him in future.
So, write to the producers at Question Time by posting on this page and tell them you want Hannan on the panel and not the usual pop singer or comedian they cheapen the discussion with week in week out.
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
“No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the house. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the numbers of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.
“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?
“Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.
“There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free - if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending - if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained - we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable - and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace - but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Monday, 23 March 2009
Well I may be wrong, but I don't seem to remember Chukka decrying these tactics when they were used with disastrous consequences for his own party in Crewe.
Monday, 16 March 2009
Monday, 9 March 2009
Milton Friedman - (1912-2006)
Nobel Prize-winning American economist, economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Frederic Bastiat - (1801-1850)
Source: The Law, (1850)
Monday, 16 February 2009
However, it seems it's never to early to start.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Their goal, according to a post on the PETA website, was to draw a parallel between the KKK and the American Kennel Club. "Obviously it's an uncomfortable comparison," PETA spokesman Michael McGraw told the Associated Press.
But the AKC is trying to create a "master race" when it comes to pure-bred dogs, he added. "It's a very apt comparison."
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Chilling stuff...The posting - which instructs jihadis to remember "forest jihad" in summer months - says fires cause economic damage and pollution, tie up security agencies and can take months to extinguish so that "this terror will haunt them for an extended period of time".
"Imagine if, after all the losses caused by such an event, a jihadist organisation were to claim responsibility for the forest fires," the website says. "You can hardly begin to imagine the level of fear that would take hold of people in the United States, in Europe, in Russia and in Australia."
C.S. Lewis - (1898-1963)
British novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist.
Source: The Screwtape Letters, 1942
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
GORE HEARING ON WARMING MAY BE PUT ON ICEMon Jan 26 2009 17:59:26 ETAl Gore is scheduled before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday morning to once again testify on the 'urgent need' to combat global warming.But Mother Nature seems ready to freeze the proceedings.A 'Winter Storm Watch' has been posted for the nation's capitol and there is a potential for significant snow... sleet... or ice accumulations."I can't imagine the Democrats would want to showcase Mr. Gore and his new findings on global warming as a winter storm rages outside," a Republican lawmaker emailed the DRUDGE REPORT. "And if the ice really piles up, it will not be safe to travel."A spokesman for Sen. John Kerry, who chairs the committee, was not immediately available to comment on contingency plans.Global warming advocates have suggested this year's wild winter spells are proof of climate change.
Sunday, 25 January 2009
Saturday, 24 January 2009
In his Inaugural Address he said the following about the Oath of Office he had just taken:
The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.
Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.
You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.
That's not all, it is also reported that he said to fellow Democrats:
If we don't get this done we could lose seats and I could lose re-election. But we can't let people like Rush Limbaugh stall this. That's how things don't get done in this town.
So there you have it, a Professor of Constitutional Law becomes President of the United States of America and tells his fellow Americans of the importance of the Constitution, especially at times of crisis no matter what expediency might dictate. He then proceeds totally to ignore any concept of the Separation of Powers riding roughshod over the Constitution's system of "checks and balances" to tell other elected officials how to behave, despite their consciences, constituents and mandates, and ties it to his re-election chances in 2012.
Nice. Obama, the change America needed?
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Unmoved by the current tidal wave of hatred directed towards the former President, Hitchens begins:
The general thrust of the lack of his regret is that nobody can say, hand on heart, things would have been better without Bush. It’s not intended as an actual defence, merely an appeal for honesty when those reviewing his record take it as Gospel truth that the alternatives would have been better. Why does he want such honesty (other than for its own sake)? He concludes:“…on the last day of his presidency, I want to say why I still do not wish that Al Gore had beaten George W. Bush in 2000 or that John Kerry had emerged the victor in 2004.
“We are never invited to ask ourselves [in Oliver Stone’s W.] what would have happened if the Democrats had been in power that fall. But it might be worth speculating for a second. The Effective Death Penalty and Anti-Terrorism Act, rushed through both Houses by Bill Clinton after the relative pin prick of the Oklahoma City bombing, was correctly described by the American Civil Liberties Union as the worst possible setback for the cause of citizens' rights. Given that precedent and multiplying it for the sake of proportion, I think we can be pretty sure that wiretapping and water-boarding would have become household words, perhaps even more quickly than they did, and that we might even have heard a few more liberal defenses of the practice. I don't know if Gore-Lieberman would have thought of using Guantanamo Bay, but that, of course, raises the interesting question—now to be faced by a new administration—of where exactly you do keep such actually or potentially dangerous customers, especially since you are not supposed to "rendition" them. There would have been a nasty prison somewhere or a lot of prisoners un-taken on the battlefield, you can depend on that.
“We might have avoided the Iraq war, even though both Bill Clinton and Al Gore had repeatedly and publicly said that another and conclusive round with Saddam Hussein was, given his flagrant defiance of all the relevant U.N. resolutions, unavoidably in our future. And the inconvenient downside to avoiding the Iraq intervention is that a choke point of the world economy would still be controlled by a psychopathic crime family that kept a staff of WMD experts on hand and that paid for jihadist suicide bombers around the region. In his farewell interviews, President Bush hasn't been able to find much to say for himself on this point, but I think it's a certainty that historians will not conclude that the removal of Saddam Hussein was something that the international community ought to have postponed any further. (Indeed, if there is a disgrace, it is that previous administrations left the responsibility undischarged.)
“…And the collapse of our financial system has its roots in a long-ago attempt, not disgraceful in and of itself, to put home ownership within reach even of the least affluent. So the old question "compared to what?" does not allow too much glibness.”
"Inescapable as it is, "compared to what?" isn't much of a defense. And nor has this column been intended exactly as a defense, either. It's just that there's an element of hubris in all this current hope-mongering and that I am beginning to be a little bit afraid to think of what Wednesday morning will feel like."
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
"America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
I couldn't have put it better myself.
Obama deserves to win because he seems talented, compassionate, and because he offers the hope of rejuvenating the greatest country on earth in the eyes of the rest of us. All those are sufficient reasons for desiring his victory.
And then there is the final, additional reason, the glaring reason, and that is race. Huge numbers of voters, whether they admit it to themselves or not, will hesitate to choose Barack Obama for President because he is black. And then there are millions of white Americans who will undoubtedly vote Obama precisely because he is black, and because he stands for the change and the progress they want to see in their society.
After centuries of friction, prejudice, tension, hatred - you name it, they've had it - America is teetering on the brink of a triumph. If Obama wins, then the United States will have at last come a huge and maybe decisive step closer to achieving the dream of Martin Luther King, of a land where people are judged not on the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.If Obama wins, then black people the world over will be able to see how a gifted man has been able to smash through the ultimate glass ceiling.
If Obama wins, then it will be simply fatuous to claim that there are no black role models in politics or government, because there is no higher role model than the President of the United States.
If Barack Hussein Obama is successful next month, then we could even see the beginning of the end of race-based politics, with all the grievance-culture and special interest groups and political correctness that come with it.
If Obama wins, he will have established that being black is as relevant to your ability to do a hard job as being left-handed or ginger-haired, and he will have re-stablished America's claim to be the last, best hope of Earth.
God bless America.
Monday, 19 January 2009
"It's no longer a close call: President Bush was right about the surge. According to Michael O'Hanlon and Jason Campbell of the Brookings Institution, the number of Iraqi war dead was 500 in November of 2008, compared with 3,475 in November of 2006. That same month, 69 Americans died in Iraq; in November 2008, 12 did."Violence in Anbar province is down more than 90 percent over the past two years, the New York Times reports. Returning to Iraq after long absences, respected journalists Anthony Shadid and Dexter Filkins say they barely recognize the place."
"Al-Qaeda alienated the Sunni tribes; Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army decided to stand down; the United States assassinated key insurgent and militia leaders, all of which mattered as much if not more than the increase in U.S. troops. And the decline in violence isn't necessarily permanent. Iraq watchers warn that communal distrust remains high; if someone strikes a match, civil war could again rage out of control."
"...even if the calm endures, that still doesn't justify the Bush administration's initial decision to go to war, which remains one of the great blunders in American foreign policy history. But if Iraq overall represents a massive stain on Bush's record, his decision to increase America's troop presence in late 2006 now looks like his finest hour. Given the mood in Washington and the country as a whole, it would have been far easier to do the opposite. Politically, Bush took the path of most resistance. He endured an avalanche of scorn, and now he has been vindicated. He was not only right; he was courageous."
"Doing so would remind Democrats that no one political party, or ideological perspective, has a monopoly on wisdom. That recognition can be the difference between ambition -- which the Obama presidency must exhibit -- and hubris, which it can ill afford.
"Being proven right too many times is dangerous. It breeds intellectual arrogance and complacency. As the Democrats prepare to take over Washington, they should publicly acknowledge that on the surge, they were wrong. That acknowledgment may not do much for Bush's legacy, but it could do wonders for their own."
"The good news is that when this happened the last time, Hooters benefitted from an avalanche of positive publicity and public support for keeping Hooters Girls, well, girls. If we lose this go around, you can next expect hairy legged guys in the Rockettes to line up and male models in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. You wonder why people just can't leave good things alone."
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Isaiah 41:10 (King James Version)
With events coming this week, perhaps something to think about in the same context as "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself"?
Friday, 16 January 2009
Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.
Capt. Orr, 25, felt that aborting some of his targets for fear of harming civilians were among his proudest achievements.
"The ones I remember are when I have locked in on a target and I fire and then at the last second I see a child in my cross hairs and I divert the missile," he said. "That leaves a mark."..."We work very hard to keep civilian casualties as low as possible," he said. "Each missile we shoot is pinpointed to the very meter we want it to go."
Milton Friedman - (1912-2006)
Nobel Prize-winning American economist
Thursday, 15 January 2009
“In the avalanche of abuse and ridicule that we are witnessing in the media assessments of President Bush's legacy, there are factors that need to be borne in mind if we are to come to a judgment that is not warped by the kind of partisan hysteria that has characterised this issue on both sides of the Atlantic.
“The first is that history, by looking at the key facts rather than being distracted by the loud ambient noise of the 24-hour news cycle, will probably hand down a far more positive judgment on Mr Bush's presidency than the immediate, knee-jerk loathing of the American and European elites.”
“History will also take Mr Bush's verbal fumbling into account, reminding us that Ronald Reagan also mis-spoke regularly, but was still a fine president. The first MBA president, who had a higher grade-point average at Yale than John Kerry, Mr Bush's supposed lack of intellect will be seen to be a myth once the papers in his Presidential Library in the Southern Methodist University in Dallas are available.
“Films such as Oliver Stone's W, which portray him as a spitting, oafish frat boy who eats with his mouth open and is rude to servants, will be revealed by the diaries and correspondence of those around him to be absurd travesties, of this charming, interesting, beautifully mannered history buff who, were he not the most powerful man in the world, would be a fine person to have as a pal.
“Instead of Al Franken, history will listen to Bob Geldof praising Mr Bush's efforts over AIDS and malaria in Africa; or to Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India, who told him last week: "The people of India deeply love you." And certainly to the women of Afghanistan thanking him for saving them from Taliban abuse, degradation and tyranny.”
“The historian’s first duties are sacrilege and the mocking of false gods. They are his indispensable instruments for establishing the truth.”
Jules Michelet - (1798-1874)
Source: History of France, 1833
That's right, "the people who matter in Britain".
"I know that the majority are still opposed, but there is a period of consideration underway and the people who matter in Britain are currently thinking about it."
Now we have my good friend Lord Malloch-Brown, the Government appointed British Foreign Office Minister, explaining who are the people who matter in Europe:
"With 24 countries having approved the treaty, I am not sure whether the voters of Ireland should have a right of veto over the aspirations of all the other people of Europe. I am not sure whether that is, or is not democracy."
Here's hoping sanity prevails in October and, once more, Irish voters kick the EU Commissioners where it hurts.