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Archive for December, 2009

The Magic Year

Imagine

Steven Den Beste looks at the difference between conservative and liberal as a conflict between materialism and teleology, between practical judgement and utopianism. This year in government, fantasy has trumped reality. Den Beste opines in this essay, that maybe that’s for the best in the long term in order to discredit that way of thinking.

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Hard All The Time

General David Petraeus


“In truth, it is, I think, accurate to observe that, as in Iraq in 2007, everything in Afghanistan is hard, and it is hard all the time.”

—Army General David H. Petraeus,
commander, US Central Command,
Times (of London), September 18, 2009.

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Libyan Leader Muammar Qaddafi

“If Taliban wants to make a religious state, OK, like the Vatican. Vatican doesn’t constitute a danger against us? No. It’s a religious country, very peaceful. And if Taliban wants to make an Islamic emirate, who said that the Taliban is an enemy?”

—Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi,
Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
and Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution;
speech to UN; September 23, 2009.

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Meeting at Night

THE gray sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand.

Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro’ its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

– Robert Browning

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Obama Ecstasy Tablets

While Obamamania wanes, the Obama administration has apparently found a new way to bring back the heady buzz of those campaign days: Ecstasy tablets shaped like little Obama heads. It’s something like vitamins for Obamabots. They’re popping up in Texas, where the Obama-love is the weakest. Obama Ecstasy would explain a lot about the wigged-out religious fervor of his campaign followers. This may just be deja vu all over again.

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Andrew Zimmern enjoys some spleen & artichoke ice cream in Italy.

Sometimes it seems we sheltered Americans possess a far too pedestrian palate for ice cream with our quaint vanilla and bourgeois chocolate and walk-on-the-wild-side strawberry. Europe has disdained ice cream altogether with its gelato, with every street corner shop in Italy offering a bevy of flavors. Asia has pulled far ahead of us using ice cream as a flavor delivery vehicle. Let me send you on an all-expense paid tour of the world’s ice cream via the magic of the Internet: FNH -18 Unusual Ice Cream Flavors From Around The World.  Click and enjoy!

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The Thrill Is Gone

Code Pink Ad Protesting Obama

Code Pink has turned against Obama, calling his dispatch of more troops to Afghanistan to be a “hopeless escalation.” Only last October, Michael Moore pleaded with his fellow radicals only last October to give Obama a chance, “All I ask of those who voted for Obama is to not pile on him too quickly.” Then, come the end of November, Moore turned on Obama’s surge to Afghanistan as “…the worst possible thing you could do — destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. … Have you drunk Bush’s Kool-Aid?” To the hard-core lefties who voted for Obama as the anti-war candidate, his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan leaves them slack-jawed. And it’s not the only disappointment for them.

Obama drew cheers from his radical base when he vowed to tax the windfall profits of the Evil Oil Companies, but now he says he won’t, sensibly enough. When he claimed he’d shut down the the prison at Guantanamo and stop the Evil Military from torturing the innocent Muslims held there, the Obamamaniacs swooned with joy. Now, he’s been kicking that hot potato down the road, saying he’ll do it sometime in the future. It appears Team Obama discovered to their shock that the remaining Gitmo detainees were actually Very Bad Guys who were guilty as hell, the kind that might perpetrate an embarassing Man-Made Catastrophe if set loose on the streets. The Patriot Act warrantless wiretapping he was gonna stop? Well, he decided to keep that going after all. There are some evil plots being laid against America through the telephone network. Gay rights? Obama promised to end the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the military once he was elected, but once he elected he didn’t ask the military to end it and didn’t tell his supporters he ever would. Heh.

It’s been a long while since the liberals have had that hope and change thrill up their legs. They’ve come a long way since the faithful gave candidate Obama a standing ovation for sneezing. Now, for the liberals, with Obama carrying on many of the same Bush policies he vowed to scrap, it kinda feels like “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Of course, you have to be standing Way Out Left to think that, but there they are.

Obama seemed to be riding high on the big wave of Obama Love until July, when his pal, Professor Gates, returned to Harvard and went off on a Cambridge cop investigating a possible break-in. When Obama reflexively sided with his pal before the facts were in, something in the milieu turned against him. He had piled tinder at his feet with the gigantic stimulus bill, voted through without any legislator reading it, voted through before it had even been printed. He was pushing through bills which had not even been fully written, yet. This was a mess waiting for a match.

Now, Obama’s vector is headed down, down, down. The independent voters have shifted right. Obama’s radical base is coming unglued from his administration. The elections next year could be a pretty grim and sobering event for the Democrats. Now, I don’t think the liberals are going to abandon Obama. However, if he leads them to defeat at the polls, that will give them an honorable way to dump him. It looks to me like there’s a pretty decent chance he will be a one-term president. I just hope the Republicans have a candidate, perhaps even one who is a conservative, not a Democrat Lite.

In the meantime, I intend to pop some popcorn, sit back, and bathe in Schadenfreude.

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