Tarry for the Nonce

March 31, 2003

Orphans with Parents

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 3:16 pm

It seems that Kim Jong Il is acquiring triplets, as well as the children of his heads of state.


High Ideals

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 1:42 pm

Claudia Rosett has a thing or two to say to the naysayers:

In sum, only a simpleton from Texas could imagine a Middle East with freedom for all. Only a dang-fool cowboy could envision Iraq–of all places–as a beacon of hope.

We’re in luck. We’ve got us a cowboy in the White House. And distasteful though it may be to many Middle East experts, it’s worth stressing that for all their nuanced knowledge of regional characters and culture, there is something Mr. Bush understands that many of them apparently do not. It’s called human nature . . .

The critics are entirely right in underscoring that there is no easy road ahead. Democracy is not something that comes in a kit, to be unloaded and assembled overnight. Its success depends not only on a framework of rules, but also on intangible and complex bonds of individual responsibility and trust . . .

But one must start somewhere. And in pointing the way toward political frontiers never before explored in most of the Middle East, Mr. Bush has once again done something he’s got a knack for. He has changed the terms of the debate. And once the Middle East experts recover from the shock of this novel idea–democracy–they might want to consider that their most valuable contribution would be not to list the reasons democracy might not succeed, but to look, with educated eyes, for ways to help it along.

Miguel Estrada IV

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 12:41 pm

Well, the saga continues, as presented by Robert L. Bartley. Citing the Democratic inability to move beyond the Florida election litigation, he points out that:

With three or four other appellate nominations waiting in the wings, their refusal to give Mr. Estrada an up-or-down vote amounts to a de facto constitutional change, requiring 60 votes instead of a majority for judicial confirmations. Mr. Estrada received a “well qualified” recommendation from the American Bar Association, and is backed by a series of Democratic Justice Department officials for whom he has worked–Seth Waxman, Drew Days III, Robert Litt, Randolph Moss. These Democratic former officials also oppose release of memos he wrote as a civil servant, the artifice Senate opponents have seized to justify their opposition. In fact, in the tactics they started with the Bork nomination, they oppose him because he is too well qualified, and might eventually prove himself Supreme Court material.


Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 11:34 am

Peggy Noonan delivers a thoughtful argument about the benefits of a longer conflict, including

A resentful world is about to see that America had to fight for it . . . Our implacable foes and sometimes doubting friends will see that America’s armed forces don’t just shock and awe, we stay and fight. The world will be reminded that America still knows how to suffer.

But the more compelling part of her argument was this:

The biggest threat to America now, apart from Iraqi regulars and irregulars, is not a person but a phenomenon. It is the twisting or abusing of facts to underscore a point of view one wishes to see disseminated . . . mentioned in a recent column by Rich Galen, who noted strange media reporting of a poll on US support for the war:

“I was flipping through the cable news channels and came across someone who was sadly reporting that only about 34 percent of the country now thought the war was going well. That 34 percent number was shocking. So I looked it up. Here’s the scoop: The latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll asked: “How would you say the war with Iraq has gone for the U.S. so far: very well, moderately well, moderately badly, or very badly?” As the commentator suggested, 34% said “very well.” But what he neglected to say was that 51% said it was going “moderately well.” Put together, fully EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT of those polled had a favorable view toward the conduct of the war. By the way, the most recent CBS/NY Times poll–not exactly two news organizations with a reputation for being in the employ of the Bush White House–asked the same question and came up with 84% (32% very well, 52% somewhat well).”

Rich Galen is one who reads between the lines professionally, but as this war goes on a lot of Americans will find it necessary to read between the lines as progress of the war, and world feeling about it, is reported.

March 28, 2003

War on Catholics

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 3:01 pm

As a Roman Catholic, I have had several friends challenge me on my pro-war stance, since the Pope spoke out against the war in Iraq. With each, I have (correctly) responded that, as a Catholic, I am not required to agree with all papal viewpoints, but to accept the matters of doctrine.

George Weigel has put together a much more loquacious argument. Within his explanation:

The Holy Father speaks, as all popes speak, in different registers: magisterial, doctrinal-theological, pastoral, prophetic. To suggest, as the critics do, that these are all the self-same papal voice equivalent acts of the papal magisterium with equally binding force on the consciences of Catholics is to make a fundamental theological error . . .

Such statements do not constitute, and cannot constitute, an exercise of the papal magisterium. They are to be carefully and respectfully considered as the prudential judgments of experienced churchmen. They are not more than that, and to claim that they are more than that is to misunderstand the nature of the Church’s teaching authority . . . to suggest that different applications of principles we all agree upon, or different understandings of the precise content of those principles, constitutes “dissent” from authoritative Church teaching is not theology. It’s polemics . . .

War is always a terrible thing a defeat for the forces of reason in human affairs, as the Pope has rightly insisted. Still, the moral fact remains that there are moments when moral duty not vulgar self-interest, but moral duty requires the proportionate and discriminate use of armed force to sustain the minimum conditions of world order, redress great injustices, and defend freedom. These are all moral goods. To will these good ends without willing the means to achieve them is just not morally serious.

Having considered the Pope’s position on the conflict on Iraq, I find it to be culturally influenced and rather short-sighted. And so I respectfully disagree – without Catholic guilt.

At a Loss for Words?

Filed under: Anecdotes — lmwalker @ 1:58 pm

For those who keep Live Journals or blogs, here is a useful tool.

I found it on the Live Journal of someone by the name of Andrew.


Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 1:39 pm

I’ve developed a new interest in golf.

Deep Sigh

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 9:47 am

Michelle Malkin does a brief follow-up on the Guantanamo Bay prisoners in reponse to Helen Thomas’s confrontational assertions that the U.S. is being hypocritical in their protests of the American POWs in Iraq:

Last weekend, 18 Afghans were released from detention in Cuba after 16 months of questioning in U.S. custody. They flew home and were held briefly in a Kabul jail. The Boston Globe reports that “nearly all of the former detainees enthusiastically praised the conditions at Guantanamo and expressed little bitterness about losing a year of their lives in captivity, saying they were treated better there than in three days in squalid cells in Kabul. None complained of torture during questioning or coerced confessions.”

I read the Boston Globe article, and even while Ms. Malkin clearly extracted selected passages to strengthen her argument, she is not untrue to the thesis. In the spirit of fairness, however, I will point out that the article says that

Conversations with 13 of the men, first in prison and then in a restaurant after their release, paint a picture of Guantanamo as a place where a detainee may be treated well, reasonably, or badly, depending on whether Americans consider him a terrorist, and whether he protests perceived humiliations that other prisoners let pass.

Still, the article also admits that “The men said they did not know of anyone having been beaten during interrogation” and quote one former prisoner as saying “If we are to be imprisoned, I want to go back to Guantanamo.”

Move over, Helen Thomas, for someone who is less obsolete.

March 27, 2003

The Gentle Sex

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 12:49 pm

Collin Levey discusses the hypocrisy of NOW.

. . . the National Organization for Women has been doing the regular rounds of protest marches against the war. It hasn’t issued a peep in support of the women who broke down the biggest barrier to equal opportunity of them all. NOW has determined that President Bush’s “tunnel vision is jeopardizing the women and men serving in the U.S. military.” Huh? What war doesn’t jeopardize the troops who fight it? . . . Back in 1991, NOW was agitating self-righteously for women to be allowed to serve in more of the gritty combat positions that had remained closed to them. What about the women who took the opportunity that NOW wanted them to have? You’d think they’d get some support for their decision to serve. Nope.

I’m Sure You’ve Seen This One

Filed under: Anecdotes — lmwalker @ 11:27 am

Dave Perenic sent me a link to a free cup holder.

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