Archive for January, 2012

Titanic or Costa Concordia?

January 22, 2012

A brilliant concluding paragraph on what lies ahead for the West:

“The contempt for “women and children first” is not a small loss. For soft cultures in good times, dispensing with social norms is easy. In hard times, you may have need of them.”

From this excellent column.

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Hope for change

January 3, 2012

Michael Leeden writes about internal affairs in Iran relatively frequently, and this column offers some evidence for serious problems for the regime of the mullahs.

It’s odd that one tack the Democrats may attempt this fall is to argue for Barack Obama’s foreign policy success. As Leeden points out, Iran and Syria have been directly responsible for numerous American deaths and terrorist attacks, yet Obama has failed to offer any assistance to the increasingly powerful opposition groups in both those countries. Instead, his assistance has gone to opposition groups in Egypt and Libya, helping to topple two regimes that were certainly oppressive to their populations, but they were far less violent and repressive than either Iran or Syria, nor were they actively opposing U.S. interests in the world, as are Iran and Syria.

It makes one suspect that our President’s foreign policy ambitions are limited to advancing his own political interests rather than his country’s foreign policy interests.

Quote of the day

January 3, 2012

[One of the ironies of the current American moment is the posture of suffering oppression taken by many among the privileged upper middle class.]

“Despite the rhetoric employed, the current dominant idea in the United States seems to be not so much that the “rich” (and, in practice, the middle class) have to pay “their fair share” to those who are starving to death in rat-infested squatter camps (of whom there aren’t many), but that they must subsidize upper middle class people who are non-productive yet living very nice lives, often better lives than those who are hard-working and subsidizing them.”

From this excellent piece by Barry Rubin.

A thesis for 2012

January 3, 2012

Kevin D. Williamson does a marvelous job of pointing out the depth of the connection between Wall Street and Washington, D. C., and why it’s inimical to the good of the country as a whole.

Given its strength across the party spectrum, it remains a puzzle to me why there is so much support among religious people for increasing the extent, both in breadth and depth, of federal influence in the personal affairs of American citizens. Of all people, those of the book should be particularly concerned about human systems demanding obeisance, especially those with the power to enforce it violently.

Ponderables

January 2, 2012

I enjoyed coffee with a friend during Christmas break. We don’t get the chance to meet very often, so it’s always enjoyable to catch up when we do.

What I ponder when we meet is his devotion to progressive political policies. We don’t talk about it very much because our political viewpoints are closely interwoven with our understandings of the world, and there’s not much flexibility. But the futility of the centralized government project for accomplishing what he claims to want seems at such odds, it baffles me to hear him advocate for more of what has failed for the past 80 years.

So I ponder it, but it seems irresolvable.

Quote of the day

January 2, 2012

“The managed quest for fairness inevitably leads to bureaucratic favoritism, inequalities based on special interests, and undue political influence.”

From this excellent piece by Matthew Spaulding.