Last week was given over to a vigorous parlor game of “What is wrong with Rod Blagojevich?” with answers spanning the spectrum — he’s stupid, he’s egomaniacal, he’s mentally ill (drawing complaints, and rightly so, from the bipolar crowd, pointing out that mental illness is a serious affliction and shouldn’t be bandied about lightly every time a pol is caught with his hand in the till).
In closing Guantanamo, we are told we must find legal ways to deal with those now incarcerated there. Some hold that we should treat them like criminals, entitled to the same legal rights as Americans. Others, as soldiers, protected by the Geneva Conventions. As I see it, our minds are big enough to accommodate more than two options. Terrorists clearly are neither garden variety criminals nor soldiers but a third, distinct category.
Surprise, surprise, the negotiations with North Korea collapsed. The WSJ editors blames policies pursued by Condi Rice. They are only marginally true. The reality is that the Three Kernel of Corn concentration camps commandant, Kim Jong II, (who unfortunately seems to be recovering from a stroke)has every reason to expect a better deal from the incoming Obama administration. Indeed, he must be looking forward to the most enjoyable Albright redux visit from her student, Hillary Clinton.
Throughout the 2008 campaign, we heard many Democrats proclaim themselves the champions of the middle class. Barack Obama couldn’t make a campaign stop without mentioning how the middle class was getting squeezed and how he was going to dole out tax cuts and all sorts of goodies to make sure the middle class was protected. Other Democrats had similar messages. The class warfare was less rich vs. poor than rich vs. middle class. Of course, the definition of “middle class” kept changing.
Protesters in Europe are extending their solidarity to the struggle unfolding in Greece, where demonstrators show no sign of losing steam after a week of actions. The mass protests erupted after police killed 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos on Dec. 6, with at least 100 schools and 15 universities have come under student occupation.Rallies were called for Dec. 12 in Russia, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. Demonstrations in Madrid and Barcelona drew roughly 200 people, with 11 being arrested amid chants denouncing police brutality. In Berlin, more than 15 people occupied the Greek consulate Dec. 8, hanging a banner from the window bearing Grigoropoulos’s name and the words, “Killed by the state.” Protesters in several countries battled police in the streets.
In a previous column I did short commentaries based on current events. I’ve decided to call this approach “Quick Hits.” Hopefully, you’ll enjoy reading this type of column as much as I enjoy writing it. Onward:
Before anyone is tempted to applaud the clown who threw a shoe at the President, one ought to ask what would have happened if that same “journalist” performed the same stunt at one of Sadam’s news conferences — assuming there were any.
In case you missed it —- and there’s a very good chance you did given its prominence in the news pages — someone attempted to burn down Alaska Governor and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s church. The arsonist started a fire while women and children were inside making Christmas decorations. I say you might have missed it, because in those papers in which it ran, the story was largely relegated to a one-paragraph squib on the pages where they cover automobile accidents or “news of the weird.”
Commenters at the Puffington Host cheer on the individual who threw his shoes at President Bush. As I noted earlier, the site is now, in large part, just a gathering place for people to make anonymous, hateful remarks against people and things they don’t like. Nothing good comes from that. Time for a (voluntary) end to anonymous postings.
Of course, when Sarah Palin’s church burned, I knew my first stop had to be the comment section of the Puffington Host. As usual, it is chock-full of hate-filled remarks–lots of joy over there whenever something bad happens to people with whom they disagree–but this time I noticed that there’s actually a template that many of them follow: Make a modest expression of disapproval, then launch into a rant about how Palin deserved it anyway. Like so: “Arson is never the answer, BUT….”
My friend Patrick Gavin (with his partner Jeff Dufour) at the DC Examiner reports the surfacing of this: “‘If you’re planning on visiting the Eisner and Lubin Auditorium this evening, remember bring cream-filled-pastries and baked goods!!!’ — from an email sent out by the New York University College Democrats, in advance of a speech by conservative bomb-thrower Ann Coulter.” Whoever the little bastard is who sent that message ought to be expelled, and any faculty member who would approve such a message ought to be disciplined. The intolerance of other opinions–and this attitude thrives among the campus left–must stop. Anyone who fails to condemn this is tacitly approving it. Where does it end?
Agence France Presse and the Associated Press are reporting that Belgian authorities have arrested 14 suspected Al Qaeda terrorists including a jihadi who was allegedly planning a suicide attack. Sixteen raids were executed by 242 police officers in Brussels and in the eastern city of Liege. Security and judicial sources described the arrests as the “most important anti-terrorism operation in Belgium.” Citing the Federal prosecutor’s office, AFP reported that the move was targeting “a Belgian Islamist group involved in training as well as fighting on the Pakistan-Afghan border in cooperation with important figures in Al Qaeda.”
James Moll’s Inheritance aired on PBS December 10th to good reviews and little criticism of the filmmaker’s intent. “It’s a film that raises questions about what our parents did and how we each carry with us the consequences of our parents’ actions,” James Moll has said. To illustrate this, the filmmaker orchestrated a meeting at the Plaszow Concentration Camp in Poland between Helen Jonas of New Jersey and Monika Hertwig of Germany. Helen was the Jewish house slave of Amon Goeth, the sadistic commandant of the camp familiar to us from Ralph Fiennes’ performance in Schindler’s List. Monika is his daughter who never knew the father who was hanged when she was one year old. Now in her sixties, Monika is ostensibly still haunted by the ghost of her father’s murderous past. Helen, in her eighties was persuaded to change her mind about this project: “I felt sorry for Monika, but I asked myself why I should be expected to help the child of a perpetrator? But then I realized that returning to Poland, meeting with Monika was something that I needed to do.”
Here’s where Colin Powell urges conservatives to be Democrat-lite. He even allows as how he can tolerate social conservatives. Is this someone with worthy advice for conservatives? I don’t think so. He endorsed Senator Obama–and if you did that, you can’t be serious about your belief in conservative ideas, because Obama stands opposed to nearly all of our ideas. It’s as simple as that. Gen. Powell is a great American, a great warrior, and a man of great character. But when it comes to policy, he’s not applying his intellect with any rigor at all.
Is there any system of governance or economics that can withstand rampant corruption or self-entitlement? While there are numerous examples of odious people who could be used to illustrate the point, one man will suffice: Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain.
The word “fisking” — originating in the blogosphere ca. 2001 — has fallen somewhat into disuse in recent years, especially as the ’sphere has expanded to include many who weren’t around back in its earliest days.
ABC News is reporting that Jesse Jackson Jr. was offering to raise money as a trade for Sen. Obama’s to-be-vacant seat. If that’s the case, it’s no surprise, really. His father has made a career of extorting cash from corporations; Jackson Jr. must have already understood the drill.
“Funny Girl,” Barbra Streisand, a familiar White House guest during the Clinton years, apparently felt right at home there Sunday evening, when President George W. Bush not only surprised the outspoken liberal by planting a kiss on her cheek, but when she walked into the men’s room while hubby James Brolin and a military aide blocked the door. Perhaps for the moment she thought she was back on the set of “Yentl,” where she played a young boy. The talented diva dramatically pulled the medal she was presented at the State Department the previous evening out from her cleavage so it dangled among a dozen or so long gold chains.
It took hours for Barack Obama to make a statement about the arrest of the Governor of his home state and close political ally, Rod Blagojevich. What took so long? Perhaps all of those legal consultations.
This story is ridiculous on its face–Fran Drescher offering herself up to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate–but there’s more. Ms. Drescher is also a vicious, unfeeling partisan. This of course is not disqualifying (though it should be); what really makes her a stand-out laugher is her utter lack of familiarity with basic policy issues. I recall seeing her on an episode of Larry King or some similar show, interrupting the other three guests not even to state an opinoin but only to verbally hound the two Republicans, essentially for having the audacity to hold an opinion contrary to her own.Then again, maybe she’s the best choice NY Governor Paterson could make. One way to flush out the abject haters on the Left (and on the Right, though they don’t seem to me quite as egotistical) is to put them out in public and let the Left embrace or reject them. Either way, the truth will out about the true character of American Leftists.