"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."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

America Alone

Haven't had much time to attend to these digital pages lately, with a busier-than-normal flight schedule and massive preparation for our upcoming airshow when not flying. Also, I've been sucking down a bunch of books from my personal collection in an effort to have actually read all the books in my library before buying new ones (at this, I have never and probably never will succeed). At the top of that list is Mark Steyn's first pure-bred book, America Alone. His columns have always been a mix of humor and insight, and this book is no exception (although, on this topic, there's not so much to laugh at). I think this is the best distillation of the threat posed by radical Islam to the West that I've ever read; and the saddest part is, much of the West isn't bothering to halt its own decline. Pick it up - it's well worth the time.

And speaking of Mark Steyn:
his take on the Foley cybersex scandal. Love this guy (Steyn, not Foley).


Ammianus Marcellinus said...

You really think that the media and Democratic Party somehow coordinated to enmesh Foley in some sort of sting operation timed for the election? The whole thing is disgusting and tawdry, and it shouldn't be an election issue (I'd much rather focus on wasteful spending, torturing people and our lackluster foreign policy). There's a great op-ed in the Washington Post by Robert Dalleck calling for Rumsfeld to resign; I'd rather debate that then trying to figure out who knew what and when in the House leadership. But at the same time, Bill Clinton was impeached for covering up consensual (albeit extra-marital) sex with an adult woman. Foley's actions are borderline legal, most likely because of the legislation he helped pass regarding online solicitation and the age of consent, and certainly actionable in civil court should any of the pages choose to pursue such a route under sexual harassment procedures. The House leadership clearly knew about this and didn't do anything, fitting that into the narrative of them being largely corrupt and politically motivated is the sort of easy storyline lazy beat writers need. Sure, its a distraction from real issues, but such is life. As far as coordination between the media and the Democrats; the pages that have come forward are largely Republican and the Democrats really haven't been particularly vocal in doing anything other then condemning the whole thing (which is pretty much what most Republicans are doing as well).

Cincinnatus said...

I don't think that the Foley case was an "October surprise" orchestrated by the Dems for maximum political damage, nor do I think that's what Steyn is saying; his point is that the Democrats want to have it both ways when it comes to sexual morality, and that in the bigger scheme of things sex scandals are barely newsworthy. I almost considered not saying anything about this scandal at all, because while I think it's creepy and disgusting, it was at best a "cybercrime", Foley immediately resigned, and in a week we'll probably have forgotten all about it. I guess the only thing I'd really want to say about it is that the Democrats don't have any moral high ground when it comes to sexual misconduct, given the way they circled the wagons around Clinton when he literally, rather than digitally, had his penis inside something, and he broke any number of laws trying to cover it up rather than resign with some shred of dignity. But hey, he got his impeachment, Foley's out of a job, and thankfully no one got hurt. As Steyn said, there's any number of reasons to vote the Republicans out of office, and as you point out, it shouldn't be an election issue. I suppose that I, like ex-Congressman Foley, just couldn't help myself. I will happily move on to bigger and better things.

Speaking of which: how about them North Koreans? (and trust me, definitely more on THAT to follow)