Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why Emulate Them?

Have you noticed how Barack Obama acts like a European and seems to wish he was one? Of course he was treated like a rock star over there, seeing as how he’s more European than American on every meaningful measure you can think of. And it’s no wonder the MSM worships him, since it’s filled with likeminded elitists who think of Europe as sophisticated and idealistic while thinking of America as backward and oppressive.

Unfortunately for their worldview, however, it was F. Scott Fitzgerald who had it right when he described that continent as “rich in the culture and arts, barren of all ideas.” Italian cuisine is delicious, French prose is mellifluous, and the onion-domed architecture of Russian cathedrals is strangely beautiful, but the reality of European life is not something we would ever want to duplicate. The vast majority of the continent is plagued by high unemployment, chronically stalled economies, and fertility rates so low it has become questionable whether many European societies will be able to sustain themselves.

Here in America, the standard of living is higher and the cost of living lower. And an overwhelming majority of Americans move up through the income percentiles during their lifetimes, whereas in Europe a much higher percentage spend their whole lives in the same economic class to which they were born. Consider that most people in the top fifth of U.S. earners started in the bottom fifth, and few who start in the bottom fifth remain there.

Plus, perhaps most striking, free speech is an alien concept on most European soil. After French actress Bridgette Bardot criticized this ritualistic slaughter of sheep by Muslim immigrants, she was prosecuted for “inciting racial hatred.” After British blogger Lionheart criticized Al Quadea’s growing influence in his country, he was arrested for “stirring up racial hatred.”

The United States is great precisely because it is not like Europe. Combine all the nations of Europe together and they still have not done nearly as much for human progress and individual freedom as the U.S. Yet virtually the entire MSM, and their wunderkind candidate Obama, and most disturbingly, millions of well-intentioned but ill-educated people who call themselves “liberal” because they’ve bought the lie that it’s a synonym for “good,” think we should abandon our path and follow Europe’s. I say: Why?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Culture and Liberalism are NOT Synonyms

I have always thought it interesting – and frustrating – how liberals never separate culture from politics, as if only they can have any taste for music, or dark beer, or Southwestern pottery, or tie dye shirts, etc.

Politics and culture do have the ability to influence one another, but they are not the same thing and, in a free society, should be mingled rarely if ever. Jay Nordlinger included this tidbit about the subject in his recent “Impromptus” column for National Review:

You know how liberals assume you’re liberal because of what you do, or the way you are or something — like if you read, bathe, or don’t have horns and a tail? A reader of mine recently visited his cousin in Oregon. The cousin is an artist and psychologist. And he lives in a neighborhood filled with Obama signs. My reader asked how he was holding up. And the cousin answered, “Well, they assume I’m a socialist too because I paint, I suppose. So I just let them.”

Perfect. I couldn’t have said it better, at least in so few words.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

And They Call Conservatives Intolerant?

It’s been one week since Tony Snow passed away at the age of 53, leaving behind his wife and three children. He died of colon cancer, the same disease that took his mother from him when he was 17. Here is a sampling of the comments left by liberals on the Los Angeles Times “Top of the Ticket” blog:

I wonder how he likes hell (tedson)

I only wish his suffering were more prolonged (Efrain Rojas)

The question begs to be asked, is it possible to die when you don’t have a soul (Chad)

I hope he suffered at the end. (Melanie Samson)

Goodbye Snowjob – I will not miss you at all (RB)

the world is now a slightly better place (gundumma)


And a commentator named Alan posted this remark on that blog:

All you right wingers would be saying much worse things if the same had happened to Ted Kennedy or Obama - you are nothing but trash and liars just like Snow job was. good riddance to bad rubbish

Considering Alan’s pronouncement, it only makes sense to check out what conservatives actually did say when Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May. So I checked out freerepublic.com, and these were the only comments left on it that might be considered anything other than kind:

Bummer. I hope he repents (airborne)

I wonder how long he will be kept on life support to keep his Senate seat in dem hands. (greyfoxx39)

Maybe Teddy will now have second thoughts about all the wrongheaded positions he’s taken throughout his life, chiefly, his rabid pro-abortion stand. There’s something fundamentally wrong with someone who cheers on the murder of unborn children. (reagan_fanatic)

Hmmm…according to the MSM, conservatives are bitter and intolerant while liberals are open-minded and want the best for everyone. But my experiences have always shown the opposite to be true (with a few exceptions, of course) and these comments match my experiences. The possibly negative quotes from conservatives are far fewer than the actually negative ones from liberals, many of which I left out to save space. Just as important, the quotes from conservatives are benign by comparison. The liberal remarks are not merely “negative,” they are venomous and hateful, and compared to them it’s not even clear whether each of the three conservative remarks is really negative, or just poorly worded.

I want to be very clear: The liberal comments I quoted do not reflect the majority from the LA Times blog. Many of the comments were sympathetic and humane, yet the cruel ones accounted for almost two of every five and it’s worth noting that the blog states: “Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.” (emphasis mine) So, the multitude of cruel remarks was deemed appropriate by whoever moderates that blog, which is located on the web site of one of the nation’s largest and most liberal newspapers.

Though I suspect that comments on freerepublic.com are also moderated or subject to approval, I could not find any place that says so. If in fact they are moderated, some conservatives may have tried to post inappropriate remarks; but if that happened, they were weeded out by other conservatives in the interest of taste and decency. Which is consistent with something else I’ve long thought to be obvious: that conservatives as a group hold themselves to standards, while liberals as a group do not.

This instance is one more example of why, if I was a liberal, I’d be embarrassed to admit it.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Mankind's Greatest Hour

Today, as we fire up our grills and crack open our beers, let us remember why this holiday exists: to commemorate the greatest act of shared, selfless courage the world has ever seen.

Everybody should know that Thomas Jefferson authored the Declaration of Independence. Most people know the names of a handful of the 56 men who signed it, such as John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, and of course Jefferson himself. But few people seem to realize that when those men signed their names, they were committing what was considered an act of treason against the British crown, punishable by death. Those men were property owners who were successful in their lives and businesses. Their lives were comfortable and they stood to lose everything by signing the Declaration – yet they chose to sign it anyway, because they knew that casting off the crown and forming a new government based on individual liberty was the right thing to do, not only for their own descendents but for all of humanity. And here is what happened to some of those men after they signed the Declaration:

Five of them became prisoners of war.

Nearly one-sixth of them died before the war ended.

British forces burned, and/or looted, the homes and properties of nearly one-third of them.

When the British did that to the property of William Floyd, he and his family fled and spent the next seven years living as refugees without income. His wife died two years before the war ended.

After being forced into the wilderness by British forces, John Hart struggled to make his way home. When he finally got there, he found that his wife was dead and his 13 children were missing. He died without ever seeing them again.

Richard Stockton was dragged from his bed and sent to prison while his property was ravaged. From the day of his release from prison until the day he died, he had to rely on charity from others to feed his family.

Francis Lewis’s wife was imprisoned and beaten. Meanwhile, his wealth was plundered. His last years were spent as a widower living in poverty.

Thomas Nelson Jr.’s home was captured and occupied by British General Cornwallis, who used it as what we would now call an operations center. Therefore, Nelson ordered his troops to destroy his own home with cannon fire during the Battle of Yorktown. To assist in funding the war, he used his own credit to borrow 2 million dollars, which today would equal about 25 billion dollars. Repaying that debt bankrupted him, and when he died he was buried in an unmarked grave.

It is a safe bet that fewer than one percent of our citizens have ever heard of these people, much less know anything about the devastating sacrifices they made so that future generations could have the freedom necessary to build the kind of upwardly-mobile, always-progressing society we now take for granted.

The Founding Fathers bequeathed us a wonderful gift called America, and we owe it to our own children to make sure we don’t allow that gift to be destroyed. We should never hear the words “Fourth of July” without feeling a skip in our heart and a tear in our eye.

Much thanks to Jeff Jacoby, Paul Harvey, and all the others who have written and spoken about the fates of the signers, to keep their story alive.