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Scene above: Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
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JULY 24, 2011
SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE:
SHOCK AT NORWEGIAN POLICE RESPONSE – It is just sinking in to many in Norway that their police took more than an hour to reach the massacre of Norwegian children, children who had absolutely no defense and no security. Norway is one of those leftist-run countries that endlessly "prides itself" on its self-declared high level of civility and humanity. Great pride, great pride. So their police didn't have any means to get to a massacre in less than an hour, allowing a single gunman – one man – to kill the equivalent of almost three infantry companies. It's always the same thing with these welfare states: They have great pride in their own superiority, but a lot of people ultimately wind up dead. We counted our own death toll from crime in the thousands each year in New York before Rudy Giuliani put an end to the liberal madness and fought back, saving the lives of many more thousands. But the leftist element never "takes pride" in progress like that.
WHITE SHIFT? – A new Pew poll shows a dramatic shift in white voter support toward the Republican side. No doubt some will attribute this to "racism," but it appears to be a reaction to economic stress and a giving up of hope. Then why, one might ask, is there not the same slippage among minorities, who certainly are being hurt by the economy? The reason, I think, is a kind of ethnic solidarity, an understandable desire to protect "the first." But a racial divide, for whatever reason, can be a real danger to America as we enter an election year, and a source of fodder for the demagogues of any race.
July 24, 2011 Permalink
HESS TODAY, GONE TOMORROW – AT 8:38 A.M. ET: The events in Norway have focused attention on right-wing extremist politics in Europe. By that we emphatically do not mean conservative politics, although attempts are already underway by the usual suspects, led by The New York Times, to link the two, a particularly vulgar tactic. And we sometimes forget that Europe has an ugly history on the fringe right. We were reminded by a strange story out of Germany. From the Weekly Standard:
COMMENT: That's pretty much the bin Laden solution. Get rid of the body and avoid a shrine. The Israelis did the same when they executed Adolph Eichmann, the organizer of the Holocaust. The Weekly Standard points out that those sentenced to death at Nuremberg were all cremated, and their ashes dumped in an undisclosed ditch.
And so Hess, once one of the most powerful figures of the Nazi regime, will finally disappear from this Earth. And I'm willing to bet that his burial at sea will also be used by a blinded press to condemn "right-wing" politics and attempt to make fascism and "conservatism" appear the same. Fight back.
July 24, 2011 Permalink
AND THEN THE RACE WILL CHANGE – AT 8:27 A.M. ET: If there's an 800-pound gorilla in the room in GOP politics it's Governor Rick Perry of Texas. The conventional wisdom, which I believe is correct, is that a Perry entrance into the presidential contest will shake things up considerably. We won't have long to wait. From The Hill:
Those are the right questions. As we noted here yesterday, Perry is very sharp, one of the sharpest politicians I've seen in recent years.
When a Texas conservative can stay conservative, yet get the support of a GOP gay group, you've got to admire the guy's ability to maneuver. Perry understands there's a route to the presidency and a candidate had better study that route carefully. That route consists of an entire nation, not four or five comfortable states. Getting hung up on side social issues that are being resolved state by state is not the way to go.
We await Perry's announcement. If it's positive, we'll then see how he does as he comes to bat.
July 24, 2011 Permalink
NONE DARE CALL IT WEINERGATE – AT 8:17 A.M. ET: Another congressional Democrat is in trouble, or should we say is again in trouble over sex charges. Where have we see this movie before? From the Politico:
Yeah, they seem deeply troubled. Get this:
Are we seeing a pattern here?
What is remarkable is that this dude got elected, then reelected, in a "liberal" district in which women's rights would presumably be a sensitive issue. The hypocrisy flows.
Resignation required. Today.
July 24, 2011 Permalink
JULY 23, 2011
SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 7:14 P.M. ET:
NORWAY – No dramatic developments. One researcher at a human-rights group claims he's traced the alleged killer's e-mail address to a pseudonym at a neo-Nazi website in Sweden. I was also struck by a report saying that, up to yesterday, the most heavily fortified building in Oslo was the US Embassy, a fact that, the story said, produced eye rolling among Norwegians, who thought the security excessive. Perhaps the eye rolling will now stop, and the adolescent mentality that accompanied it will stop as well.
ANOTHER BUSH? – Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has raised eyebrows by saying he doesn't "anticipate" a run for the presidency in 2012. It wasn't exactly the Sherman oath. Bush also said he's learned never to say never. Bush is a very attractive guy, with a fine record as governor. But most observers see him for 2016, when some of the anger directed toward his ex-president brother dies down. I think that's probably good common political sense. But, you never know when the itch strikes a politician. If Jeb sees an opening for 2012, I wouldn't be shocked to see him "reassess" his position.
FIVE-DOLLAR GAS? – Oil experts suggest the possibility that gasoline prices, rising again, could possibly top five dollars a gallon during 2011 if the US Government defaults, if there's unrest in another oil-producing nation in the Mideast, or if emerging markets in Asia and Latin America start to use even more oil, driving the price upward. Five-dollar gas could be disastrous for the American economy, driving down consumer spending for other items, and possibly driving up unemployment. It could also have a profound political effect on President Obama, assuming Republicans, who work hard to lose elections, can come up with a coherent, convincing plan to lower prices if they win next year.
AGAIN, SAN FRANCISCO – A legislative proposal in San Francisco would make felons and ex-convicts a protected class, along with the currently listed protectees, which include blacks, preganant women, and people with all kinds of problems. Under the proposal, employers and landlords would not be permitted to ask applicants if they have a criminal past. Makes perfect sense if you think like the San Francisco left. After all, why would a day-care center have to know if an applicant is a convicted child molester or sex offender? We must rise above these simple prejudices, darlings.
July 23, 2011 Permalink
OBAMA NOT LEFT ENOUGH? – AT 11:55 A.M. ET: CNN is reporting that President Obama's approval is down among liberals. I wonder what their alternative is? I mean, Dennis Kucinich isn't running...yet:
COMMENT: Well, let's look at that. So 13% of Americans don't think Obama is liberal enough. What does that tell you about so-called "liberals"? It really tells you that there's a liberal fringe, which can't muster more than 13%, that has really always been there. It's concentrated in some parts of big cities, in college towns, and among people who pine for Ralph Nader.
These folks will have nowhere to go but Obama in the general, but they can also stay home. That is a legitimate worry for the Obama crowd. It was stay-at-home Dems who sank Hubert Humphrey's campaign in 1968. But I don't see the more-liberal-than-Obama faction running America anytime soon.
July 23, 2011 Permalink
SMART, SMART, SMART – AT 10:53 A.M. ET: I've been watching Rick Perry carefully. It's clear he's about to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination. It's also clear a lot of people aren't satisfied with the current field.
The more I see of Perry, the more I like. He's smart, he's fast, he's practical. I sense that he can get the job done. I also sense that he fights back, that he won't be intimidated by a press that will try to destroy him right from the start. (Wait 'til you hear some pundit say, "Rick Perry makes George W. Bush look like a liberal." Believe me, it's coming.)
Perry also oozes common sense. He knows when to leave things alone, and recognizes that ideological groups within parties must, as Reagan knew, sometimes be kept at a bit of a distance. Consider this, from The Politico:
COMMENT: Exactly right. No matter how you feel about gay marriage, it is nuts for the Republican Party to get hung up over it. Perry has punted to the states, and that's a good, sound strategy.
Remember, Ronald Reagan never addressed an anti-abortion rally in person. He always did it by phone. He kept his distance from these social issues, as did FDR, who borrowed some programs from the socialist movement, but never acknowledged it.
Having a set of clear priorities is critical to an election campaign. Perry understands that. In politics, I'd rather have 65% of something than 100% of nothing. Ideologists, across the political spectrum, never understand that. Please recall Winston Churchill's definition of a fanatic, as someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. Fanatics don't win elections.
July 23, 2011 Permalink
NORWAY – AT 10:17 A.M. ET: The death toll continues to rise, with 84 now confirmed dead at the youth camp attacked by at least one gunman yesterday. We say "at least" because eyewitnesses say they saw a second gunman. His existence is unconfirmed. Eyewitness reports can be notoriously inaccurate. There may have been a second gunman, there may not have been.
It now appears the shooting at the camp went on for two hours. Two hours in which children were sitting ducks. It appears there was no security provided at all, with no one nearby trained in defense, no one with a weapon. I don't wish to sound political, or to wave the National Rifle Association flag, but this is what happens when only the criminals have guns.
I watched the Norwegian prime minister on TV in the middle of the night. It was like watching a town official in the United States. We reported yesterday that Norway drives American security people crazy because it doesn't take terrorism seriously, and never believed it could happen in Norway. It can happen in Norway.
The alleged shooter had bought six tons of fertilizer, which is used to make explosives. It was sold to him by a supply house, but the house did not feel the sale was suspicious because the purchaser, now the alleged gunman, was involved in agriculture. Gee. Six tons sounds like a lot for a small farming operation.
The alleged shooter, who also presumably set off the huge bomb in Oslo earlier in the day, is described as a "Christian conservative" with right-wing views, and was associated with extremist groups. I'd be awfully careful about descriptions at this point. The international left is going to have a field day with this one, and I can just hear the leftist commentators in the United States trying to link the horror in Norway to, say, the thinking of the Tea Party in America. After all, that is exactly what they did after the Tucson shooting. In Tucson, the alleged shooter turned out to be a mental case with no known politics.
It is remarkable to watch reporters contrast the violence in Norway to the fact that the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by that country. The cynicism flows. The Nobel Peace Prize has become a bad joke, but to some on the left it is still an iconic award. I mean, they gave it to Jimmy Carter and Al Gore, didn't they?
Already the foreign minister of Norway, who reflects the naiveté of his society, is lecturing Norwegians about not jumping to conclusions after terror attacks. Many did assume, in the first hours, that this assault was the work of Al Qaeda. The foreign minister was quick to say that most political violence in Norway comes from the right. He did not add that most terror violence in the world comes from jihadists, but he's a major-league appeaser, so why ruin the party line?
We'll keep you posted if anything is new.
July 23, 2011 Permalink
"What you see is news. What you know is background. What you feel is opinion."
"Councils of war breed timidity and defeatism."
"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
THE ANGEL'S CORNER
Part I of The Angel's Corner was sent late Wednesday night.
Part II was sent late last night.
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© 2011 William Katz