Thursday, August 31, 2006

Don't Be Too Hasty Cont'd

I was doing some catching up on old Best of the Web columns tonight and saw this cogent piece by James Taranto. He makes a great point: why is it that, when some terrorist commits some atrocity, apologists for the terrorists invariably make excuses like "American imperialism triggered this incident", or "it's another incident in the cycle of violence". So, if that's the case, how come we never hear that an American (or Israeli for that matter) action or incident was "triggered by a terrorist provocation" or "it's just another incident in the cycle of violence"?

Here's Taranto's take from the June 21 Best of the Web:

Terrorist Eden
Horrific news out of Iraq, where two U.S. soldiers, Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker, were either killed or captured and later killed in an enemy attack Friday. Their bodies were found Monday, CNN reports, "mutilated and booby-trapped":

The bodies also had been desecrated and a visual identification was impossible--part of the reason DNA testing was being conducted to verify their identities, the sources said. . . .

Not only were the bodies booby-trapped, but homemade bombs also lined the road leading to the victims, an apparent effort to complicate recovery efforts and target recovery teams, the sources said.

To most of us, this is a reminder of the depravity of our enemies. But blogress Jeralyn Merritt sees it as a reminder of America's sins:

Violence begets violence. Inhumanity and cruelty bring more of the same. The whole world is watching and we don't have the right to claim the moral high ground so long as those responsible for the abuses at Guantanamo and detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan go unpunished, the policies stand uncorrected and the Pentagon continues to prevent the media from learning the facts first-hand.

The always excitable Andrew Sullivan similarly laments "the cycle of depravity and defeat."

This rhetoric about "cycles" appears to reflect a theory of moral equivalence, but in fact it is something else. After all, if the two sides were morally equivalent, one could apply this reasoning in reverse--excusing, for example, the alleged massacre at Haditha on the ground that it was "provoked" by a bombing that killed a U.S. serviceman--and hey, violence begets violence.

But America's critics never make this argument, and its defenders seldom do. That is because it is understood that America knows better. If it is true that U.S. Marines murdered civilians in cold blood at Haditha, the other side's brutality does not excuse it. Only the enemy's evil acts are thought to be explained away by ours.

Implicit in the "cycle" theory, then, is the premise that the enemy is innocent--not in the sense of having done nothing wrong, but in the sense of not knowing any better. The enemy lacks the knowledge of good and evil--or, to put it in theological terms, he is free of original sin.

America ought to hold itself to a high moral standard, of course, but blaming the other side's depraved acts on our own (real and imagined) moral imperfections is a dangerous form of vanity.

I Don't Want to Go to Bed!
(and the U.N. says you're violating my rights by insisting that I do)

The following story reads like a satire. Unfortunately, it's quite serious. (and it provides more evidence (as if any was needed) why real law-abiding, patriotic Americans should join the NRA and buy firearms.)

Washington Times Op-ed—U.N. Treaty Trumps Parental Rights

by J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President

Could a 10-person panel of foreign nationals dictate, with the full weight of U.S. law, how we raise our children? This idea seems far-fetched, even ridiculous, but, unfortunately, it is possible.

The problem stems from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been adopted by 192 nations. The treaty creates civil, economic, social and cultural rights for every child. The Clinton administration sought ratification, but the treaty was not approved by the U.S. Senate because of opposition from senators who were concerned it would undermine parental rights.

For example, the convention gives children autonomy regarding the school they attend, the friends they have and the activities they choose. If there is a disagreement, the parent’s decisions could be reviewed by a third party. Consequently, parents could be subject to “identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up.”

Many people are probably asking the question—if the Senate didn’t ratify it, why is the convention still a problem for the United States? Unfortunately, this is not the end of the story because the U.S. court system has been incorporating the treaty steadily through a doctrine called “customary international law.” This is where U.S. courts look to foreign courts and other international treaties to derive its interpretation of the U.S Constitution.

In the 2004 case Roper v. Simmons, a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court noted that the execution of juvenile offenders violated several international treaties, including the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and stated that the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty provides confirmation for the court’s own conclusion that the death penalty is disproportional punishment for offenders younger than 18.

Additionally, a change in the makeup of the Senate could result in the ratification of the treaty. The consequences of these actions could be devastating for the American family because it would mean that any state law relating to education, the family, adoption and dozens of other issues could be nullified by a judge.

Decisions interpreting the treaty in other nations could be relied on by our courts. An example of how this could unfold is occurring in Belgium today. A couple in Brussels is being threatened with criminal neglect for educating their children at home, and the Belgian authorities are using non-compliance with the convention as a legal argument to force the family to stop homeschooling. As reported by WorldNetDaily, the only response from the Belgian minister of education, Frank Vandenbroucke, came through a spokesman who said in a local newspaper that in Belgium homeschoolers must sign a document that requires them to follow the protocols of the U.N. convention.

“These parents have not done this. This is why the ministry has started an inquiry,” he said.

It remains to be seen whether the Belgian courts, and potentially the European courts, uphold the position of the Belgian government. A ruling against the homeschooling Belgium family could have negative ramifications in the United States.

If the treaty is ratified, because of the way the U.S. Constitution is written, the convention would become the supreme law of the land. The U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause requires that “all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.” The U.S. Congress and state legislatures could not override the provisions of the treaty.

This scenario should remind us that we need to remain vigilant in defense of our liberty. In the short-term, it means that the appointment of judges who will not look to foreign courts for guidance is one of the ways the scenario above can be avoided.

Michael Smith is the president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He may be contacted at (540)338-5600; or send email to

'Nuff Said!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Don't Be Too Hasty with that Delete Button

One of the great things about web-based e-mail is that the providers give you lots of space. As a result, I tend to file a lot of things to read later. One of these items is my subscription to "Best of the Web" by James Taranto of the WSJ.

Recently I've been trying to catch up on past issues of "Best of the Web" (although it's the end of Aug., I was backed up to last May). I was tempted to just delete all the past issues, but decided against it. Here's a sample of Taranto's cogent political analysis from June 12th which shows why it's worth it not to be too hasty to delete old e-mails.

Role Reversal
E.J. Dionne, a liberal Washington Post columnist, is unhappy about last week's California election results. No, not the Republican victory in the special House election (though he's none too pleased with that), but the defeat of a pair of ballot measures (emphasis his):

The truly sobering news for liberals was in the statewide voting. Proposition 82, the ballot measure that would have guaranteed access to preschool for all of California's 4-year-olds, went down to resounding defeat, 61 to 39 percent.

Not only that, voters also rejected a $600 million bond measure for the state's libraries. A vote against libraries? Yes, the bonds went down 53 to 47 percent.

And bear in mind that these spending measures appeared on a primary ballot at a time when Democrats were holding a fierce contest for their gubernatorial nomination, while Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger faced only token Republican opposition. There were roughly 500,000 more Democratic than Republican primary votes--meaning that a significant number of Democrats voted against both propositions.

Progressives can find plenty of alibis. Instead they need to deal with the sources of voter skepticism about public spending.

Dionne goes on to discuss some specific problems with Proposition 82, making a very strong case against it, though he still says he wishes it had passed. But the column got us to thinking about broader trends that may be feeding public skepticism about government.

It has been widely noted that congressional Republicans have failed to live up to their billing as the party of small government, especially since George W. Bush became president. There are exceptions, to be sure, but the allure of spending other people's money has proved so great that voters have not gotten the spending restraint they expected when they elected a Republican Congress in 1994. About all that Republicans can say in defense of this record is that Democrats have been worse.

Yet what is less widely noted is that the Democrats, in opposition, have presented themselves to a large extent as an antigovernment party. One of their main themes has been that the Bush administration is "incompetent"--that, at least for now, the government can't do anything right. As we noted in September, former Enron adviser Paul Krugman blamed the allegedly poor response to Hurricane Katrina on Ronald Reagan's "ideological hostility to the very idea of using government to serve the public good."

This attitude betrays a fundamental lack of faith in government. Its implication is that the institutions of government are too frail to withstand the pressures of American democratic politics. It is also a remarkably self-serving position. Liberal Democrats take credit for creating an enormous government, which, according to them, doesn't work--but would work just fine if only the populace were smart enough to elect liberal Democrats.

In sum: Republicans favor small government but embrace big government when they have the power to control it. Democrats favor big government but insist that it can work only when they have the power to control it. Politicians in both parties, then, seem to see government as a means to the same end: their own political power. Little wonder that voters are suspicious of government.

Monday, August 28, 2006

"MTV has done all it can to promote the cheap, the vulgar, and the flashy over the good, the true, and the beautiful."

Great piece by Chuck Colson today re the 25th anniversary of MTV:

We certainly can't place all the blame for our coarsened and desensitized culture on MTV. But it deserves a significant share of the blame for a culture in which our children -- at younger and younger ages -- are surrounded on all sides by twisted views of sexuality. ...

Only in a culture shaped by MTV's kind of values, for example, could Madonna's latest stage act -- hanging on a mirrored cross while singing -- draw little more than yawns and "Oh, there she goes again." Madonna and her onstage antics are a perfect expression of the channel and the culture that helped create her. Or take that infamous Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl. As the AP implied, what shocked an audience full of adults was old hat to many of their kids, who had seen far worse in MTV's videos and reality shows.

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Welcome to the Party

Most people know what an amphibious assault ship is. It's a large warship designed to carry and support troops who will make amphibious landings via helicopter or smaller vessels. Here is a picture of the USS Kearsarge. It's one of the largest amphibious assault ships at 40,500 tons, with a length of 844 feet. It has a crew of 100 officers and over 1,000 enlisted. It carries 42 transport helicopters and five Harrier "jump jets". It will support a landing force of almost 2,000 marines.

Recently our friends and allies the French, in conjunction with the United Nations (the French do nothing without the collaboration of the U.N. mind you), launched their first amphibious assault craft. It's not in the same class as the Keararge, but it's a start. :-)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Good News for Ravinia -- No, Make that GREAT News

Another article in today's Sun-Times says that Super Tenor Placido Domingo will be at the Ravinia Festival next years. YES!!

I suspect tickets will be a little pricey, but it will be worth it. Time to start collecting empty soda bottles again. Hmm. They don't sell pop in 12oz bottles anymore. I guess I'll start collecting S&H Green Stamps.

More Bad News for Freakonomics Author

You'll recall that i posted something on this topic back on June 13th (see here). Now John Lott (well known for his 2nd Amendment work) has weighed in on the questionable theories propounded in Steven Levitt's book Freakonomics.

In an article in today's Chicago Sun-Times, it states:

A high-profile economist is challenging the conclusion in the best-selling book Freakonomics by University of Chicago professor Steven D. Levitt that the legalization of abortion in the early 1970s led to a major drop in murder and other violent crimes a generation later.

John R. Lott Jr., a former U. of C. economist now teaching in New York, says the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision actually caused violent crime to rise.

The article also mentions that Lott is already suing Levitt for defamation for accusing him of fabricating his 2nd Amendment research in Freakonomics. (I suspect that Levitt is learning a little too late that he messed with the wrong guy when he decided to trash Lott. Lott has more than held his own for years against the whole weight of the liberal anti-gun establishment. He should be able to take it to a liberal dandy Levitt without a lot of effort).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

More Bad News for the Pro-Abort Crowd

Very interesting editorial in the WSJ today. In examining why liberals can't seem to win elections, the editorial points out that the pool of potential liberal voters has been and continues to be shrinking because liberals don't like to have children.
Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They're not having enough of them, they haven't for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids. That's a "fertility gap" of 41%. Given that about 80% of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20%--explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today.
This concept translates even more neatly into the pro-life versus pro-abortion debate. You see, it is inevitable that someday we will be a pro-life country again. While there will certainly be more battles before the end (and, unfortunately, many more abortions), victory is a foregone conclusion. Why?

It's simple actually -- because pro-lifers have children and pro-aborts kill theirs. The children of pro-lifers (likely) grow up to be pro-life as well and will vote accordingly (as well as run for public office, pass legislation and litigate abortion issues). On the other hand, pro-aborts children will never do any of those things because they were never born. (In fact, the great irony of the pro-abort crowd is that they are only here because their parents were pro-life.)

As an illustration, an attorney I knew used to work for Banned Parenthood. I asked her once how many people she knew who had more than six children. She tried avoiding the question but I pressed her on it and she admitted that she did not know one person with more than six children. Without expeding any effort, right now I can think of twelve families I know who have six or more kids (ok, 6 of them are family members so it's kind of easy for me -- but, regardless!, -- my point is still valid. :-)

And the point is (yes, there is a point), pro-lifers will continue to be fruitful and multiply and pro-aborts will (unfortunately) continue to kill their unborn children. Eventually, we will have more pro-lifers than pro-aborts and will overturn and outlaw abortion.

Monday, August 21, 2006

"Her thoughts were God's thoughts"

Last week was the Feast of the Assumption. In observance of this great Feast, our parish bulletin reprinted Pope Bendict's homily on the Feast of the Assumption from last year.

A couple of lines from Pole Benedict's homily caught my attention:
A second observation: Mary's poem -- the Magnificat -- is quite original; yet at the same time, it is a "fabric" woven throughout of "threads" from the Old Testament, of words of God.

Thus, we see that Mary was, so to speak, "at home" with God's word, she lived on God's word, she was penetrated by God's word. To the extent that she spoke with God's words, she thought with God's words, her thoughts were God's thoughts, her words, God's words. She was penetrated by divine light and this is why she was so resplendent, so good, so radiant with love and goodness.

Mary lived on the Word of God, she was imbued with the Word of God. And the fact that she was immersed in the Word of God and was totally familiar with the Word also endowed her later with the inner enlightenment of wisdom.
While I don't think it was intentional, I see the Pope making a compelling case as to why Catholic's venerate the Blessed Virgin -- because she is such a great model and example for us to be better Christians. In addition to being the Mother of God, she is also an example of the Christian life par excellance.

The Blessed Virgin was so familiar with God's word that it was the "fabric" of her life. To me this means that she incorporated God into each and every part of her life; into all aspects of her daily life. When she was cooking, cleaning, washing, etc. she was manifesting God. I believe that she did not just cook a meal, I think she made the best meal she could possibly make so that her cooking could honor God. I think she did not just clean her home, I think she put her heart and soul into cleaning so that the cleanliness of her home glorified God.

This is what I think the Pope means when he says she was "at home" with the Word. The Word was so constant and familiar to her that she lived on it; it "penetrated" her entire life.

What a great example for us to contemplate and emulate.
"They teach an American history with the good parts left out and the bad parts emphasized."

Great article by Michael Barone in Real Clear Politics today about how the elitist thinking in this country skews the way we see current and historical events. An excerpt:

At the center of their [the elites] thinking is a notion of moral relativism. No idea is morally superior to another. Hitler had his way, we have ours -- who’s to say who is right? No ideas should be “privileged,” especially those that have been the guiding forces in the development and improvement of Western civilization. Rich white men have imposed their ideas because of their wealth and through the use of force. Rich white nations imposed their rule on benighted people of color around the world. For this sin of imperialism they must forever be regarded as morally stained and presumptively wrong. Our covert enemies go quickly from the notion that all societies are morally equal to the notion that all societies are morally equal except ours, which is worse.

These are the ideas that have been transmitted over a long generation by the elites who run our universities and our schools, and who dominate our mainstream media. They teach an American history with the good parts left out and the bad parts emphasized. We are taught that some of the Founding Fathers were slaveholders -- and are left ignorant of their proclamations of universal liberties and human rights. We are taught that Japanese-Americans were interned in World War II -- and not that American military forces liberated millions from tyranny. To be sure, the great mass of Americans tend to resist these teachings. By the millions they buy and read serious biographies of the Founders and accounts of the Greatest Generation. But the teachings of our covert enemies have their effect.
Read the whole article here.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Psalm 9-11: I will fear no evil
By Jules Crittenden
Boston Herald City Editor
Sunday, August 13, 2006 - Updated: 07:07 PM EST

Do you know anyone whose Sept. 11 fears have returned? 
Someone with a sick feeling and a tightening of the chest, bordering on panic? 
Someone distraught or perhaps just withdrawn and distracted in the past few days?
What do you say to calm their fears? 
We drive each day on highways where the likelihood that a dumptruck will veer into our path far outstrips the possibility that we will find ourselves on an airplane targeted by terrorists. The chances that we will get it in any number of benign but equally deadly ways are exponentially higher than the chances that those who want to kill us will, in any given case, succeed.
Logic is irrelevant in combating these fears, as it is with children who fear monsters under the bed. This is not to disparage these fears. The threat is real. And while statistically remote, there is a factor that elevates terrorism beyond the many mundane fates we all dodge daily. It is the malice.
There are men out there who want us dead. This is undeniable. They want to see us all dead. Each and every one of us. They don’t know our names, they don’t know what our thoughts are about their grievances. They don’t know what our actions are and how we’ve lived our lives. They don’t care. They just want us dead.
I wish I had a sweet, comforting post-Sept. 11 lullaby to sing the ones I love to sleep when they experience fear of these evil men. But I don’t. Lullabies combat false monsters. Real monsters require something different.
Psalms, like lullabies, give comfort. But they don’t mask or deny the threat. They embrace it, and show the way to strength and ultimately comfort from within. What might a psalm say to anyone whose 9/11 fears have been reawakened 
Strong, ruthless men and women go long hours without sleep for you. They do everything they can to keep you safe. They are your shield. They will kill for you, and die for you.You can take comfort from that knowledge and draw strength from their example.
But that is not enough. There is something you have to find within yourself. It may be that one day, our shield will fail, and the insidious foe that operates from beyond our borders and even within them will penetrate that shield and kill some of us again.
You must decide for yourself that you will not let them deter you from your path. If they rise against you, you must be prepared to meet them. Prepared to be ruthless in defense of what you love. It may mean that you will die. We all do someday. As a friend of mine who knew what he was talking about once said, it’s not a matter of whether we will die, but how we will die. And when the time comes, the best we can hope for in this life, the one thing we might be able to control, is that we die well.
Each of us must look within ourselves for the strength that pushed the passengers of United Flight 93 forward against their hijackers on Sept. 11, in a successful if tragic assault that prevented further death and destruction.
We must look to the bravery of men such as Rick Rescorla, the British-American security executive and Vietnam war hero who shepherded thousands of people out of the World Trade Center but who stayed back himself with the last and ultimately died in the wreckage.
They are towering figures, but each of us has a little, just enough of that in us that we can draw on, to carry us through. We honor them by endeavoring to live up to their example. It begins by repeating to ourselves the words from which others have drawn comfort in time of war and peril for more than 2,500 years.
I will fear no evil.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Across the threshold I had been afraid to cross, things suddenly seemed so very simple. There was but a single vision, God, who was all in all; there was but one will that directed all things, God's will. I had only to see it, to discern it in every circumstance in which I found myself, and let myself be ruled by it. God is in all things, sustains all things, directs all things. To discern this in every situation and circumstance, to see His will in all things, was to accept each circumstance and situation and let oneself be borne along in perfect confidence and trust. Nothing could separate me from Him, because He was in all things. No danger could threaten me, no fear could shake me, except the fear of losing sight of Him. The future, hidden as it was, was hidden in His will and therefore acceptable to me no matter what it might bring. The past, with all its failures, was not forgotten; it remained to remind me of the weakness of human nature and the folly of putting any faith in self. But it no longer depressed me. I looked no longer to self to guide me, relied on it no longer in any way, so it could not again fail me. By renouncing, finally and completely, all control of my life and future destiny, I was relieved as a consequence of all responsibility. I was freed thereby from anxiety and worry, from every tension, and could float serenely upon the tide of God's sustaining providence in perfect peace of soul.

Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J.
Book Meme

I've seen this on a couple of different blogs and thought I'd post it here. I'll update it later with my responses. Feel free to send me yours to: ex.mea.sententia @ gmail . com.

Responses added below.

1. One book that changed your life:

My Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis has changed, is changing and will continue to change my life. Like Scripture, you never finish reading this book. Once you get to the end, you start over again. I’ve read this book about 5 times now and still get new wisdom and insights that I did not glean in previous readings.

Another book that comes a close second is He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter Ciszek. In case you hadn’t heard of him, Fr. Ciszek was a Jesuit priest ordained just as WWII was about to engulf Europe. Nevertheless, Fr. Ciszek went to Poland to minister and was almost immediately arrested by the Russian secret police. He spent the next 23 years in various Soviet prisons – including several years in solitary confinement. Once he was released and returned to the States, he wrote a great book entitled With God in Russia – which was a biographical account of his years in Russia. However, he was often asked about his spiritual trials while in confinement and he then wrote He Leadeth Me. Fr. Ciszek’s spiritual growth and insights are incredible.

2. One book you've read more than once:
Based on the above, My Imitation of Christ is obvious. Another book I’ve read many times is the collected Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. I started reading Sherlock Holmes as a boy and have never grown tired of the stories. Some of them I’ve probably read close to ten times. Even though I always know the outcome, these stories make great reading.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island:
Sacred Scripture is the (too) obvious answer, so I’ll think of something else
. Chesterton would (and I think did) answer this question with something to the effect: How to Make an Ocean-going Raft out of Desert Island Materials. (Gotta love Chesterton). I think the next best thing to Scripture would be St. ThomasSumma.

4. One book that made you laugh:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. This book gets my vote for the best American novel. I laugh out loud at some of the passages.

5. One book that made you cry:
Love Story by Eric Seagal starring Al Gore. Sorry, just kidding. J I can’t think of one offhand; however, I can recall being brought to tears on a number of occasions reading the 13th through 16th chapters of John’s Gospel.

6. One book that you wish had been written:
How to Understand Women. Just kidding (but not too much)

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
I don’t know the name of it, but it was written by a guy during the “Enlightenment” and it started the whole chain of thought that man was a rational creature in charge of his future and that he no longer needed God – in fact, he himself could be “god”.
Maybe there is no specific book that this heresy can be traced back to, but we’ll never know, this side of heaven, how many lifes and souls have been destroyed by this “liberation” in thought.

8. One book you are currently reading:
Oh boy. Let’s see:

  • Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
  • Armageddon by Max Hastings
  • How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods
  • The Faith Explained by Leo Trese
  • Freakonomics by Steven Leavitt
  • The Civil War by Shelby Foote
  • Common Sense 101: Lessons From G.K. Chesterton by Dale Ahlquist
  • Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
9. One book you've been meaning to read:
Boswells’ Life of Johnson. This has been recommended to me numerous times by different people. I bought a copy and have never even opened it yet.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Top Ten Stupid Leftist Ideals
By Doug Hagin (07/11/2006)

David Letterman has made a career of making people laugh. His show has been on TV for far more than a decade now, and, one of America’s favorite parts of that show is Dave’s Top Ten. I must say, I enjoy it as much as the next person does.

In honor of David Letterman’s Top Ten, this column is my own version of a top ten. The top ten list of stupid, inane, asinine, and, loony leftist ideals. Now in making such a list, in attempting to whittle down to just ten, the most foolish of leftist ideals, I have worked tirelessly and diligently to include only those leftist ideals that not only reach the bottom of the pit of inanity, but those that required extra digging as well.

By the way, as a side note, if any Leftists find themselves offended, put out, aggrieved, or suffering from a bruising of their ever-fragile self-esteem after reading this column, let me say good! The Left is always seeking something to be hurt or upset over anyway, so I consider it a very special honor to help them out in their never-ending pursuit of a pity party!

Now, on with the official Doug Hagin Top Ten List of Stupid, Inane, Asinine, and Loony Leftist Ideals.

Number ten- Environmentalism. Now concern for the environment is a good thing, as is a healthy appreciation of nature and its matchless beauty and splendor. The left, however, goes far beyond reality in their version of environmentalism. The Left does not stop at reasonable conservation measures, or reasonable regulations on pollution. Instead they would have the United States, one of the environmentally clean nations, submit to the Kyoto Protocol, which would do serious damage to our economy. The reason they would have us wreck the greatest economy in the world? Well to stop global warming of course! This despite the reality that this theory has never been proven to be true.

Number nine - It Takes a Village. Now this jewel of foolishness is the brainchild of the Left’s heroine Hillary Clinton. The simple fact is the left has always and will always think collectively. They hate individualism and acknowledging parents as the most important factor in raisin children flies in the face of the left’s fascination with collectivism. While many people may have wonderful influences in a child’s life, it takes parents, and not some leftist village to raise a child.

Number eight- Children are Incapable of Handling Stress. The left likes to feel that children must be raised and educated in an environment totally insulated from any negativity. A few examples of this include teachers ceasing their use of red ink to correct children’s tests or homework, or the erasing of certain parts of history because teaching it might hurt some child’s feelings.

Children are not so fragile that having spelling mistakes corrected or history that might be painful taught to them. Protecting children from every possible offense will not serve them well. It will instead serve to leave the ill prepared for the reality that life can be unpleasant at times.

Number seven-Competition is Bad. Nothing could be more asinine than the Left’s infatuation with the notion that competition is unhealthy for people. People, by their nature, are competitive. We desire to excel, not to be held back. It is OK to want to win, and nothing will help us, no matter where life leads us, more than having a healthy competitive streak. Yes, competition does mean some people will lose. Losing can teach us to push harder though, and that can create greatness.

Number six- Health Care is a Right. Health care is some civil right everyone has, according to the left. No, actually health care is a personal responsibility. You and I are responsible for our own destinies; it is a part of liberty. Health care is part of that responsibility. The left, again, thinks collectively on this subject. Their ideal is for everyone to pay for everyone else’s health care. Of course, socialized medicine is well below the standard America has, but the left would gladly sacrifice quality for collectivist idealism.

Number five-Wealth is Bad. Again, the collectivist ideology of the left is on display here. It is, to a devoted Leftist unfair that one American has more than another does. Their solution, punish the bad successful folks with heavy taxes and give the money to a wasteful federal government to dole out to those not as successful. This is lunacy of course. Punishing success and redistributing wealth is a recipe for failure of the people and the nation as a whole.

Number four- Racism is Rampant and can only be Solved by Leftist Tolerance. Despite the constant cry, that racism is alive and thriving in America, most folks could not care less about skin color. The left, naturally, sees race relations from the prism of pessimism. Every time any minority loses a job, does not get a promotion, gets a speeding ticket, or stubs a toe, the left is ready to blame racism. The fact is it is the Leftists who are hung up on skin color. Race is not important, to most of us. Well, except for the left of course.

Number three- Abortion. The left, despite all the medical evidence stacked against them, still clings to abortion as some sacrament. In their pursuit to erase personal responsibility, they willingly support the killing of the most innocent of human life, the unborn. Their vile defense of this atrocity only points out how little respect or admiration they hold for human life. To them life is only precious according to the “quality” of it. Of course, they are all too happy to define what “quality” is.

Number two-Guns are Bad. The left hates guns. They hate those who own them. They hate those who defend themselves with guns. Why? Well guns allow individuals to defend themselves, property and rights. The left, again collectivists to the core, want the defense of rights to be handled by government. An individual who owns a gun steps outside the collectivist utopia the left desires so deeply. Gun owners who use their gun to defend themselves are even worse to the left. By their actions, they have illustrated that rights are individual, and can be protected by individuals. That is a direct threat to leftist collectivism.

Number one-Appeasing Evil Ensures Peace. Of all the foolish notion the left subscribes to, this ideal is surely the most inane. The left has, over the course of history, tried to appease Nazis, Stalinists, dictators, and terrorists. They have preached peaceful solutions, refused to accept that violence not only can be the solution but sometimes is the only solution, all the while evil never was appeased. Hundreds of millions have suffered horrible fates, hundreds of millions have died, and the left STILL thinks we can understand evildoers and change them without violence.

Evil exists and must be crushed, defeated and eradicated. There is no understanding it, or reasoning with it, or appeasing it. We will kill it, or it will kill us, it is that simple. In fact, the only thing simpler than this truth is Leftist thinking.

Doug Hagin

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I guess they DO have an indefinite shelf life!



3rd Place goes to:



2nd Place goes to


and the winner of the husband of the year is:


Ah, the Irish are true romantics.

See how he's holding her hand!


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