Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Contextually Clueless

I've watched the events of the past months in amazement. Attack after attack emanating from the "loony left" smearing everyone from Gen. David Petraeus, the military in general to Rush Limbaugh and Clarence Thomas. The common thread of these exercises in demonization and marginalization has been to totally disregard historical and situational context and either adhere to either a literalism that would put Pharisees to shame or to drag out their crystal ball and proclaim what someone "really meant" or "really was thinking" when they made a statement.

It's not bad enough that those we already know to be products of defective educational establishments (i.e. the MSM) engage in this behavior, but it has now spread to the hallowed halls of Congress. People we elect, whom we would assume know better, not only follow the madding crowd, but are its chief cheerleaders.

In what universe do these people live? What version of history have they read? General Petraeus is guilty of nothing more than finally putting together a cohesive strategy in Iraq that is yielding tangible results, but he is insulted by senators and representatives who all but call him a liar to his face. Democrat pretender to the throne Hillary Clinton, who at last check had not graduated from a service academy or served in the military, impugned the reputation and truthfulness of the General by stating bluntly that his progress report required "a willing suspension of disbelief." What person in their right mind wants to take a position of responsibility in our military now just so they can be called a liar by Congress?

Recently, "Pinky" Reid took the floor of the Senate to make himself look foolish as he attempted to portray Rush Limbaugh as impugning soldiers who, while serving their country, expressed anti-war sentiments. It took a leap of illogic wider than the Grand Canyon, provided by an alleged media watchdog organization that is actually a mouthpiece founded by Clintonistas, to come to this absurd allegation. Mr. Limbaugh has been one of the most pro-military commentators in the US, with a history of actions that back his rhetoric. He has lent his name, money and time to efforts supporting our troops. In a tacky quip more worthy of a drunk auditioning at a backwater comedy club than a member of the Senate, Tom Harkin wondered aloud if Rush was "high on drugs again". Of course, this is the same paragon of truthfulness who sought to embellish his image by claiming to have flown missions in Viet Nam when he did not. Perhaps he was thinking that Rush's commentary was aimed at at him.

The latest outrage, to my mind at any rate, is the article written by Frank Rich for the NYT in which he paints Clarence Thomas as a "whiner" for having the temerity to actually write about his experience with character assassination (Congressional style) during his Senate confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court. Poor Frank couldn't get it right if you spoon-fed him facts. It might help also if he actually read the book instead of depending on his "impressions" from a "60 Minutes" interview. Ann Althouse does a tremendous job of laying bare Frank's "facts" with actual quotes from Thomas's book. It's worth a read -

Before I leave the subject of Clarence Thomas, I can't resist recalling the comments of "seasoned Constitutional scholar" Harry Reid again. If one remembers, in late 2004, Senator Reid opined that Justice Thomas was an "embarrassment to the Supreme Court" and that his opinions were "poorly written"- especially in contrast to the brilliant Justice Scalia. Knowing that he'd be asked to cite specifics, he probably had a flunky try to pull up an example that he could quote so he could look scholarly. Unfortunately, "Pinky" made a major boo-boo. On the December 26th edition of "Inside Politics" on CNN, Reid brought up the "infamous" Hillside Dairy v. Lyons. This earthshaking decision dealt with California milk regulation. Justice Thomas dissented with one part of the Court's decision, and the language in his dissent was routine legalese, citing a previous Thomas dissent if one wanted to go into more specifics. The hilarious point to this narrative is that there is no comparison available to Scalia in this instance, since Scalia did not write a dissent.
For a further expose, I recommend to you the WSJ Opinion journal piece -

Folks, is it just me, or are we truly witnessing the dumbing down of America?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Looking Over My Shoulder

With a 40th HS reunion staring me in the face, I've spent some time corresponding with friends and looking over my shoulder at what the years have brought.

One perception that has been knocked by the wayside is that, by now, I would be in the twilight of a professional career where 40 hour weeks would be the norm- with plenty of time to pursue other interests. I find I'm working harder and longer now than when I was 30! The unsettling thing about this observation is that I don't see it changing in the near future. It almost looks like, instead of a leisurely lope, it will be a mad dash to the finish line of retirement.

I don't find that I've lost my desire to work hard and produce quality results, but I do find that I am starting to care immensely more about where that effort is directed. Who knows but that this could lead towards looking for a way to go into business for myself?

On the public affairs front- a couple of issues: Alberto Gonzales and the British hostages.

Poor, Alberto. A classic American success story. An immigrant made good. Submarined because he was too naive about the political process. Firing US attorneys is not a crime. It's done to political appointees all the time. It really has little effect upon investigations or prosecutions in progress, because those are usually done by the staff attorneys. In some respects, the US attorney position is simply a stepping stone to higher political office. Why Gonzales wasn't forthcoming about his role in determining who was to be let go is puzzling to me, but what is more puzzling is how the Dems were able to gin up so much outrage over a "non-issue".

Now, on the subject of the British hostages- I'm livid. I'm angry that I've heard so many leftists say that Iran was in the right- that they couldn't "trust" the word of the UK on this issue. Let's see, whose word do I take.......the word of a civilized country or the word of a country that hosts a "Holocaust Denial" symposium in its capital? Tough call.....NOT.

I guess this will have to suffice. Call it a "scattershooting" column if you must. Maybe an entry back into posting more often than quarterly :)

God's blessings be with you all.