"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Cheney uses buckshot, the Press uses flechettes

In Nigeria, 16 people died in cartoon protests today. In Libya, 10 folks lost their lives. I have nothing further to say, except I can't remember the last time we had double-digit deaths in any recent non-Muslim protest.

And so, because Denmark-flag-cookouts have apparently become commonplace enough that the media's willing to discuss something else, Dick Cheney's hunting escapade has snatched leading headlines for the last couple of days. In a world where mad mullahs are on the verge of joining the mushroom cloud club, unrepentant and well-organized terrorists replaced the unrepentant and disorganized terrorists in Palestine, and hundreds are dead or missing in mudslides in the Philippines, the veep's hunting accident somehow overshadowed all these more mundane stories. The media claims this is one more example of the super-secrecy of the Bush administration; I support the theory that this story says more about the media than anything else. Whether it's the Press' ability to inflate everything Bush/Cheney do into the
End Times, or their narcissitic ability to turn a tale of real tragedy into an ego trip about how they were left out of the loop for a few hours and scooped by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times (I can't imagine how the editors of the other Times must have felt getting beaten by a paper that writes at a fifth-grade reading level. I used to live in Corpus, and I read the Caller-Times. I kid you not), the famous MSM once again provided ample evidence of why the public pays less and less attention to them.

It was a hunting accident. Something tells me they've happened to more people than the Vice-President. Granted, he's the Vice-President, so naturally it would garner a little more attention, but the Press is determined to draw parallels between Mr. Whittington's sad case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and our descent under Bush into the Fourth Reich. Has no one in the White House Press Corps accidentally harmed someone they love? Is everyone at the other Times innocent of playing a little too hard with friends or siblings? I can't even begin to count the number of times I imperiled by brothers' well-being when I was younger. Does that mean I'm contributing to the decline of Western civilization? And accidents don't stop just because we get older. I recall a time in college when I was play-fighting with my future wife and, in the midst of it, decided she'd find it hysterical if I pretended I was going to pull her off her (upper) bunk bed. Well, I started pulling, but didn't quite think through the physics of it, as I grabbed her legs rather than her arms or shoulders and pulled her, legs-first, off the bed. Well, legs first means face last, so instead of me playfully lowering her to the ground, I kept a good grip on said legs while watching, with horror, as her upper, unsupported half, obeyed the laws of gravity and plunged to the ground. Her face was so close to the metal bedpost that I was terrified I'd badly cut her or, even worse, injured one of her eyes. Fortunately, the worst that happened was her getting the wind knocked out of her, but I will never forget those few seconds of sheer terror when I thought I'd maimed the girl I loved. I did it, I 'pulled the trigger'; does that make me evil, secretive, a "terrorist", as Alec Baldwin labelled the VP with his usual stunning insightfulness? I hope not. It makes me reckless and complacent, as surely anyone becomes after doing something multiple times and having nothing bad come out of it. But, more than that, it means I'm only human. I make mistakes for which I'll never fully forgive myself. Dick Cheney's only human too. His mistake just happened to occur while he occupied an important place in the spotlight. I'm sure he'll never forgive himself for almost killing his friend. And that guilt is more punishment than anything a rabid media could possibly inflict on him.

PS. I'd still feel safer hunting with Dick Cheney than driving with Ted Kennedy.


Ammianus Marcellinus said...

Can we all just agree this was a lame story that got the attention it did because this was a slow press week? This isn't the MSM, it just is the February lull when there is NOTHING to report about.

Cincinnatus said...

Yes, I think we can all agree on that. Plus it looks like this port story is shaping up to be much more interesting and hopefully substantial.