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Archive for December, 2008

Happy New Year!

Independence Hall, Philadelphia

Independence Hall, Philadelphia

I’ve just returned from Philadelphia, where I was interviewing candidates for faculty positions with an outstanding group of colleagues. Here’s hoping that 2009 will be better than 2008, and that the values this nation’s founders affirmed in Philadelphia 233 years ago will not only survive but thrive throughout the year.

The past year witnessed a host of threats to liberty. But it also witnessed triumphs. Human intelligence, strength, creativity, and ingenuity can accomplish astounding things when people are free to exercise them. May God protect all those who would defend that freedom.

UPDATE: A colleague related this to me, a part of her priest’s New Year’s sermon: “Ask not what the new year will bring, but what you will bring to the New Year.”  It’s an excellent thought.  What the new year will bring is largely determined by what we bring to it.

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O Come, O Come Emanuel

From Gateway Pundit

From Gateway Pundit

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Is Blagojevich Stupid?

Michael Barone thinks so.

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The Democratic Party

Sorry I’ve been posting so little—life has been insanely busy. I’ve been working 7am–1am pretty much nonstop. But the Blagojevich scandal is too much to ignore. If you’ve been working too hard to pay attention, or spending all your time on planet Christmas, look here, here, here, and here for some basics. And of course there are still the scandals swirling around Christopher Dodd, Charlie Rangel, etc. All this makes Republican scandals of the past few years look podunk. And Obama’s not even President yet!

Maybe this can get people to see what my grandparents taught me. They were staunchly Republican in a largely Democratic city. Why? I was young, but I remember the answer: “There are two kinds of people: honest people and Democrats.” The Democratic party, the unions, and the mob were intertwined and committed mostly to their own advancement. Pennsylvania and New Jersey had an informal competition to see who could have the most convicted public officials. Representative Daniel Flood raised the bar by being reelected while in prison.

People need to understand: The Democratic party is essentially a criminal enterprise. Republican corruption is an aberration. Democratic corruption is not just more extensive. It’s not that we are all prone to sin, but that Democrats are more prone to sin than Republicans. (Though that’s probably true, now that I think about it.) It’s that the Democratic party’s central mission is to steal from others and distribute the proceeds to its supporters—with a large processing fee kept for itself, of course—under the guise of “social justice,” “investing for our future,” and the like. If it’s all theft anyway, what’s the difference whether the loot goes to some interest group or to oneself?

By the way, people have been making fun of the coarse language of both Mr. and Mrs. Blagojevich. They certainly talk like mobsters. I may be unusually isolated from that sort of thing; the last time I can remember a colleague using the ‘F’ word, a computer had somehow swallowed the entire bibliography for our proposal to the National Science Foundation on the day it had to be mailed. He responding by ordering an anatomical impossibility involving water fowl. That was 1986.

The story had a happy ending: We got the grant. And no aquatic animals were injured.

I don’t think Mr. Blagojevich will be so lucky.

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Parallel Lives

Victor Davis Hanson, following in the footsteps of Plutarch, outlines parallel lives of Republicans and Democrats.  The double standard is familiar, but nevertheless startling when the cases are lined up side-by-side.

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