Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Libyan Turmoil 24
(thanks to reader Anonymous Atl.)
A message for all Americans and all freedom loving people, from  "Patriot Post".


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Foundation

"It should therefore be difficult in a republic to declare war; but not to make peace." --Joseph Story

Opinion in Brief

Moammar and Barack
"Conservative infighting over whether the United States should intervene militarily in Libya is sign of good health. To remain vital, an ideological movement needs to have its basic assumptions challenged occasionally. We need to correct our wayward courses rather than allow mistakes based on faulty strategy to serve as precedents for the next missteps. Many conservatives (particularly neoconservatives) are strong supporters of intervention, out of a deep conviction that the global advance of freedom promotes American security. I happen to disagree, at least insofar as the 'freedom agenda' relies on the U.S. military as its agent. Regardless of where one comes out on the policy, though, we all ought to agree on at least one thing: The Constitution must control the implementation of whatever policy wins the day. Yet it has become necessary to ask whether even this principle, so fundamental to a free, self-determining people, is still unanimously honored. On Thursday evening, the U.N. Security Council voted 10-0 (with five abstentions, including China, Russia, and Germany) to authorize the use of military force (i.e., 'all necessary measures') against Libya. Ostensibly, the resolution is designed to protect the Libyan people. But not to mince words, it is a license for war against the regime of Moammar Qaddafi. It would kick hostilities off with a no-fly zone over Libya. As a practical matter, American armed forces must do the heavy lifting if the strategy is to have a prayer, and indications are that President Obama intends to oblige. There is a catch: The Security Council is powerless to 'authorize' the U.S. military to do a damned thing. The validity of American combat operations is a matter of American law, and that means Congress must authorize them. Our Constitution vests Congress with the power to declare war. That authority cannot be delegated to an international tribunal that lacks political accountability to the American people. ... If the president and proponents of intervention cannot win congressional approval, that is a reason to refrain from going to war, not a reason to refrain from asking for approval. I used to think we all agreed about that. I hope we still do." --columnist Andrew C. McCarthy

Re: The Left

"Perhaps the standard shouldn't be whether Japan's reactor was 'invulnerable' but whether it succeeded by taking such a beating without threatening much human life? The damaged reactors are ruined, but so what? Cars are designed to be ruined after a major accident, too. We routinely, and wisely, trade salvageability for survivability. Few skyscrapers in the United States can withstand a 9.0 earthquake; should we stop making tall buildings? More to the point, much of the discussion about what this means for American nuclear energy leaves out that even the Japanese reactors are 30 years out of date compared with new designs. So-called Generation III plants have passive cooling systems that do not depend on the electricity grid. Hence any moratorium on new nuclear construction -- as being discussed in Congress -- would prevent building plants that have leapfrogged the problems we see in Japan. ... You would at least think that climate change activists, who want fossil-free energy ... would be throwing coolant on the public meltdown. After all, a major backlash against nuclear will be a boon not for wind and solar -- still profoundly inadequate to our energy needs -- but for coal and natural gas. Of course the situation is grave. And who knows what the lessons of this tragedy will be? But rather than worry about letting this crisis go to waste, this strikes me as a great moment to simply cope." --columnist Jonah Goldberg

Political Futures

"'Americans' perceptions of the issue of global warming appear to be cooling,' CNN reports: 'In a Gallup Poll released Monday, 51 percent of respondents said they "worry a great deal or fair amount" about global warming, down from 66 percent in 2008. Forty-one percent of respondents also said that the seriousness of global warming is "exaggerated" -- the highest amount of skepticism in the survey since it was first conducted in 1997.' Why might this be? One obvious answer is that the Climategate emails ratified the skeptical view by showing the corruption of 'climate science.' Looking at the poll results, another explanation occurs to us. Like the 2011 poll, the 2008 one was taken in early March. Since then, we've faced one actual crisis after another: a financial panic, a recession with continuing high unemployment, a vast increase in government spending, a legislative assault on the health-care system; an oil spill, Mideast instability and a concomitant increase in fuel prices. (Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident don't make the list because they came after this year's poll.) In the midst of real crises, faddish speculative ones become less compelling." --Wall Street Journal columnistJames Taranto


"For decades, Europe has been in the grip of an Islamist assault. Largely ghettoized Muslim populations have become dangerously alienated from the European mainstream. ... America faces the same kind of threat. Yet when anyone tries to put a spotlight on the growth of domestic Muslim extremism, liberals, Islamic lobby groups and their fellow travelers cry 'Islamophobia' and 'racism.' The latest example was the congressional hearing held by Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, who dared to examine how some U.S. Muslim youth are being radicalized and recruited by terror networks. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Democratic Party all claimed the hearing was not only unjustified and deeply discriminatory, but could spark an intense backlash among many in the U.S. Muslim community. The critics even argued that this could provide fodder for al-Qa'ida and other jihadists to commit more terrorist acts. In other words, Islam is a 'religion of peace' unless you investigate some Islamic extremists who may be plotting to kill or maim Americans; then that will compel peaceful, law-abiding Muslims to wage jihad. This is the twisted -- and perverse -- logic of the multicultural Left." --columnist Jeffrey T. Kuhner


"The government is supposed to provide order and structure. It is the agency of law in a just and reasoned society. The shameful failure of the Pelosi Congress to produce a budget is an example of lawlessness -- a failure of fiscal duty no different from various accounting frauds that would put corporate CEOs behind bars. A budget is the government's way of explaining to its masters in the electorate how it will perform the duties they have assigned to it, using the resources they have seen fit to provide. The current process of limitless deficits and make-it-up-as-we-go spending resolutions makes an utter mockery of this republican ideal. ... Government through continuing resolution is a fraud. Politicians who claim the wisdom to manage our lives, with piles of law carved into stone, are instead scribbling their judgments on scratch paper with pencils. It's time to hear exactly what they intend to do, and exactly how much it's going to cost us, so we can pass judgment on them." --columnist John Hayward


"The strongest argument for free enterprise is that it prevents anybody from having too much power. Whether that person is a government official, a trade union official, or a business executive. If forces them to put up or shut up. They either have to deliver the goods, produce something that people are willing to pay for, are willing to buy, or else they have to go into a different business." --economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

The Gipper

"If there is any political viewpoint in this world which is free from slavish adherence to abstraction, it is American conservatism. ... Our task now is not to sell a philosophy, but to make the majority of Americans, who already share that philosophy, see that modern conservatism offers them a political home. We are not a cult, we are members of a majority. Let's act and talk like it. The job is ours and the job must be done. If not by us, who? If not now, when? Our party must be the party of the individual. It must not sell out the individual to cater to the group." --Ronald Reagan


"For decades, conservatives have endured the brickbats of progressive arrogance, with any resistance to their worldview labeled as 'mean-spirited,' 'racist,' 'homophobic,' 'xenophobic,' 'misogynistic,' 'imperialistic,' etc., etc. ad nauseam. ... [C]an conservatism survive without progressivism? Without a scintilla of a doubt. Can progressivism survive without conservatism? Not the proverbial snowball's chance in hell. It a testament to the obtuseness of the progressive mindset that the foundation of their worldview is built on sand. It is a sand on which the idea of 'spreading the wealth around' presumes either the endless goodwill of the wealth creators, or their never-ending surrender to progressive guilt-mongering. And when either emotion can no longer be manipulated, you get what you just got in Wisconsin: a hate-filled debacle of death threats, extortion and an unabashed attempt to toss the foundations of our democratic republic into a ditch. Only those without an ounce of shame could characterize an attempt to be responsible with the wealth created by the taxpayers of that state as an 'assault on democracy.'" --columnist Arnold Ahlert

Faith & Family

"President George Washington understood the importance of personal values as the underpinning of a great nation. In his farewell address ... Washington wrote, 'Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensible supports.' Washington understood that in order for a country to be able to self-govern, that trust between individuals based on common values was important foundationally. More than two centuries later ... Americans often take for granted the foundations on which our nation was built. This past week, I received an e-mail forwarded from an American military officer serving in Afghanistan, who has also served in Iraq. This message eloquently interwove the importance of national and personal values with the ability of a country to govern itself. 'Since being here I have realized two things about the United States. One is that our forefathers were more incredible than I thought, and two is that I believe more so than ever that our Christian-based value system is what made our country the most successful nation the world has ever seen...' ... This Lenten season, possibly we should focus on creating rather than denying. Creating the underlying values that lead to virtues." --columnist Jackie Gingrich Cushman

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