No, that’s not some strange code. Those are the symbols I haven’t been able to type for the past week, for reasons that I finally sorted out with Apple tech support people. (There seems to be an incompatibility with some LaTeX font packages.) So, I haven’t given up blogging, and haven’t been suffering from clinical depression since the inauguration; it just took so long to type anything for the past week that I took a break. (Try cutting and pasting every ‘s’, ‘w’, ‘x’, etc., and you’ll see what I mean.)
Some thoughts on the week’s events:
- Thank you, President Bush, for keeping us safe after September 11, for formulating a policy for combatting Islamic supremacy that will, I think, in the end prove to be successful, and for implementing that strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq at great political cost.
- President Bush will be remembered, I think, much as Harry S. Truman is now. The Bush doctrine will be as significant as the Truman doctrine; the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are already more successful (at much less cost!) than the Korean War.
- President Bush’s greatest failures: declining to veto spending bills, which damaged the Republican brand and allowed spending to grow unreasonably; failing to make a case for his policies to the public, allowing a biased and increasingly irresponsible or even treasonous media to undermine them; and failing to take military action to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.
- President Obama, as his decision on Guantanamo indicates, is frequently going to be caught between reality and his own glib campaign promises to the absurdly self-proclaimed “reality-based community” on the left. If this is any indication, reality is going to lose. As Richard Fernandez observes, this is a recipe for hypocrisy and much worse.
- Glenn Reynolds on the stimulus package: “This is not so much a stimulus, as a massive transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected.” I think that’s exactly right. I noticed back in the 1980s that the Democratic party devoted itself primarily to exactly that kind of transfer. The rhetoric about asking the “haves” to invest in the “have-nots” for the sake of the future is only rhetoric. Since the politically connected are generally more affluent than the average American, Democratic policies, however they are sold, end up mostly transferring wealth upward, from the average person with no particular political clout to people who have political influence. Those people in turn contribute money to keep the Democrats in power and the upward transfers continuing. That’s what I meant a few weeks ago in saying that the Democratic party is essentially a criminal enterprise. It is essentially a scheme for expropriating the wealth of the average person and giving it to the politically connected and favored. This used to be called ‘theft.’
- Richard Fernandez writes of deepening troubles in Europe, which may split the European Union. In the comments section, he becomes reflective and issues a warning: “If things go to hell in a handbasket we will probably see a transformation in human behavior the likes of which would surprise those who’ve never seen trouble up close. The very same people who only yesterday were the paragons of political correctness will be the most bloodthirsty of all. Paradoxically, it will be those who have always understood human nature who will be the most tolerant and humane of all. There is no greater fanatic than an ivory tower fanatic; no more enthusiastic murderer than a former pacifist. I would rather take my chances with a grizzled sergeant of marines than one of these disciples of Hope who’s suddenly had a lightbulb come on in his head…. I hope and pray that we find ways to solve our problems rationally and gradually and not stick our heads in the sand until it all pent up and all kinds of red lines are crossed because we attended to things too late; because on the day that man becomes an animal, there is no animal worse than man.”
- Ezra Levant writes eloquently on the prosecution of Geert Wilders: “It is a national suicide note, a white flag of surrender flown by a once-great empire in the face of illiberal fascists and hoodlums. It is a homicide note, too — announcing the murder of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. And it is a warning note to other Western democracies. The warning is this: liberal democracy, multiculturalism and immigration — pick any two. Holland has picked multiculturalism and immigration, and has heaved liberal democracy overboard…. What a disgusting victory for fascism and censorship and Muslim fundamentalism. Louche, libertine, amoral Holland has lived down to its worst reputation: it stood for nothing, and it obeyed the instructions of those who ordered it to collapse without a fight. That’s what happens with a confident, militant, unrelenting, uncompromising foe meets a tired culture in decline: national suicide.” How can it be forbidden to quote the Koran in Fitna but acceptable to quote the Koran in the mosque, in speeches calling for jihad, and in anti-Semitic riots that do far more to harm Islam’s image than Wilders could?