Category Archives: Politics

Friday Open Thread

By lex, on July 23rd, 2010

First, thank you for all your expressions of concern and interventions with the Big Guy/Positive Energy. It’s very much appreciated.

Second, I realize that the previous post is a poor place to leave an invitation for the community to “talk amongst themselves.”   So here, hopefully, is a more congenial place for the regulars to chat about issues of common interest while I attempt to decide what it is I want to do with this space going forward.

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Rights and Responsibilities

By lex, on July 17th, 2010

Douglas Murray says that modern day Britain has done a whole lot better job of defining the former than requiring the latter:

“A lot of young Muslims have said to me in recent years, ‘You ask me to integrate, but what are we integrating into? What is Britain, what are British values?’ It’s very hard to tell people to integrate if you don’t tell them what they are integrating into. It’s very hard to tell them to be British if they don’t know and you don’t know what Britishness is. The fact is that we have been very poor in saying what we are and we have also been very poor is saying what we expect people to be. We’ve been very good in stressing what rights people get when they come to Britain and very bad at explaining what responsibilities come with them.”

He also appears to have the drop on the whole multi-culti thing, as well:

“Pluralism or multiracial societies seem to me to be good and desirable things,” he says. “Multicultural societies, where you encourage group differences, seem to me to be a very bad thing.”

For Murray, multiculturalism is a moral vacuum, and “into a moral vacuum always bad things creep.”

The Eton and Oxford educated Murray quotes Saul Bellow in his introduction to The Closing of the American Mind: “When public morality becomes a ghost town, it’s a place into which anyone can ride and declare himself sheriff.”

“Once so-called multicultural societies decided that they didn’t have a locus, that they didn’t have a center of gravity, anyone could ride in and teach the most pernicious things,” Murray expounds. “It didn’t matter. It was just another point of view.”

Divide et impera, Douglas me lad. Dividing the polis into aggrieved victim groups is a classic path to power.

Of course, there’s a world of difference between conquering and Conquering. But in the interim, there’s so much fun to be had. And the muddle-headed multi-culti set might just get lucky.

They might get eaten last.

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Obliterated

By lex, on July 3rd, 2010

We inherited the English language from the Mother Country, but Thomas Jefferson decided that one word, at least, should form no part of our political lexicon:

“Subjects.”

That’s what Thomas Jefferson first wrote in an early draft of the Declaration of Independence to describe the people of the 13 colonies.

But in a moment when history took a sharp turn, Jefferson sought quite methodically to expunge the word, to wipe it out of existence and write over it. Many words were crossed out and replaced in the draft, but only one was obliterated.

Over the smudge, Jefferson then wrote the word “citizens.”

No longer subjects to the crown, the colonists became something different: a people whose allegiance was to one another, not to a faraway monarch.

Nor to regents close at hand, either.

A wise fellow, Jefferson. Would that we had more like him today.

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Kaboom

By lex, on June 14th, 2010

Junior officers have always had a tendency to believe the worst things about those two echelons higher than themselves in the chain-of-command, some with better reason than others. In the past they mostly shared their observations among themselves, the Third Law of the Navy being enforceable across DoD. That was of course before Generation Why? came along, having grown up as the most (over?) exposed generation since the Rape of the Sabines , what with their Myspace/Facebook/Twitter accounts and, yes: blogs.

Generation Why? that is. Not the Sabines.

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Thought Provoking Op-Ed?

Those who read the Wall Street Journal know that over time they have been no friend of Donald Trump. Personally, I had some reservations about him but voted for him.  Even in this young country’s lifespan, it is difficult for people today to get some political perspective.

But at least twice in our history, politics were pretty polarized. Hard to believe today that during the Revolutionary War, only a third of the population supported independence, while another third supported the Crown. Do I have to mention that people were also polarized during the 1850s?

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An Outdated Concept?

 

By lex, on May 29th, 2010

David French provides an anecdote that poses a question:

In January 2008, a small team of American soldiers was ambushed after an al-Qaeda terrorist faked a surrender (this was common practice). The team leader and another officer were mortally wounded the instant the terrorists opened fire. The senior noncommissioned officer was pinned down and unable to take effective control of the formation; other officers were worked desperately to retrieve their fallen comrades. A Sergeant First Class took immediate control of the situation, personally returning fire and killing the majority of the attackers, directing the team’s defense, and coordinating the recovery under fire of his stricken team members. He shepherded the formation out of the kill zone and coordinated the medical evacuation.

All in a day’s work, you say? How about this additional fact: He did all of this after being shot in the neck in the opening moments of the ambush. He killed the enemy, protected his comrades, and led them to safety while bleeding profusely — collapsing only after help arrived. I’m not sure about you, but I can’t even imagine what I’d do in a similar circumstance.

I’m just glad I never had to find out.

The SFC was awarded a Silver Star, by the way. Our country’s third highest award for valor.

Despite its symbolic importance and educational role in military culture, the Medal of Honor has been awarded only six times for service in Iraq or Afghanistan. By contrast, 464 Medals of Honor were awarded for service during World War II, 133 during the Korean War and 246 during the Vietnam War. “From World War I through Vietnam,” The Army Times claimed in April 2009, “the rate of Medal of Honor recipients per 100,000 service members stayed between 2.3 (Korea) and 2.9 (World War II). But since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, only five Medals of Honor have been awarded, a rate of 0.1 per 100,000 — one in a million.

So what’s a guy got to do, die?

Do we no longer believe in the concept of “honor”, at least as it applies to living soldiers? Are we so concerned about what a MoH awardee might do later in life that we deny him his due for what he has already done?

Or is it this: Are those in the rear with the gear – and those even further back than that – so envious of recognition deny it to those who have earned it? And if that is true, what has become of that mild charity and kind deference that once defined a greater generation?

Whatever the answer, it’s a national disgrace.

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Oath Breakers

By lex, on May 24th, 2010

Those who evaded their country’s call during the Vietnam era draft are considered differently depending upon the viewer’s perspective. To those who believe that no man should ever be forced to do what he does not want to do, they were bold individualists. To those who believed that the freedoms enjoyed here must are unique and must be defended they were, plain and simply, cowards. Cowards who, to make things worse, forced some other person who otherwise would not have been drafted to go in their stead. You can probably figure out which side I am on. In a civil society, certain rights are given over so that the vast majority of freedoms may be retained.

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