Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Abolition of Men

Joe Queenan told us the other day that he is "sick of reading the 'Man Up, Barack' editorial" from the President's liberal detractors ("'Man Up, Obama' and Other Nonsense," Wall Street Journal, Oct. 26, 2009).

I am surprised that the thought of manly virtue enters the liberal mind at all. It has been central to the New Left liberal agenda for generations now to un-man men so that we may all live in a world that is not only sexually more egalitarian, but also safer.

Here are two articles on how boyhood is being abolished so that virility may trouble us no more.

Anthony Esolen gives us "A Requiem for Friendship: Why Boys Will Not Be Boys & Other Consequences of the Sexual Revolution" (Touchstone, Sept. 2005).

Our boys are failing in school. Has it occurred to no one that we have checked them at every turn, perversely insisting that they must not form brotherhoods, that they must not identify their manhood with practical and intellectual skills that transform the world, and that they must not ever have the opportunity, apart from girls, to attach themselves in friendship to men who could teach them?

Anthony Esolen is Professor of English at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island.

The second article is by James Bowman, the author of Honor: A History (Encounter Books, 2006). In his article, "The Decline of the Honor Culture: An Old Code Becomes Déclassé" (Policy Review, August/September 2009), he looks at how liberal passivism neuters our boys and will leave our country defenseless insofar as we allow it to continue.

It’s hard to persuade boys of military age that they have a duty to fight for their country when they have been taught from their earliest years that fighting of any kind is wrong and shameful and only leads to more fighting.

You should read this article alongside what C.S. Lewis says about "men without chests" in The Abolition of Man. James Bowman is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

NYC is Not Where the Wild Things Are

They say that New York is a city where anything goes. You could dress like a giraffe, and no one would bat an eye. A man could likely even wear a kilt without causing a stir. But apparently, wearing a bowtie goes beyond even what New Yorkers will tolerate, at least in midtown.

At The King's College, men in the House of Churchill distinguish themselves with various forms of greatness, but also by sporting the Churchill bowtie on Tuesdays. As faculty adviser to the House, I occasionally join them in this.

On my way toward Penn Station this past Tuesday evening, as I waited for the light at Broadway and 33rd, a pedicab driver pulled away from the intersection and said loudly in a mock Brahman accept, "That's why I wear my bowtie!" I thought to myself, "Oh my! I've just been gratuitously mocked by a pedicab driver. By a pedicab driver of all people!"

Perhaps I should have thrown a coffee at him, or even a garbage can. No. It would not have been in keeping with the bowtie. Besides, I remembered this video of a brawl in the street between a pedicab driver and a cabbie. (Go on. How can you not watch it?)

For those of you who are from out of town, "That's New York for ya" is a gross mischaracterization. New Yorkers, even New York cabbies, are a whole lot more civil and friendly than this. In my more than four years here, I have never seen anything even remotely like this. In fact, I have found New Yorkers to be remarkably polite and considerate of one another. (Read my earlier post, "New York--City of Marvels and Manners.")

But it seems that Gotham is also a lot more conventional than it's reputation would lead you to think it is. You can play a guitar in your underwear in Times Square and call yourself the Naked Cowboy, but if you walk down 34th Street dressed that way, you'll make people uncomfortable. (I have not tried this.) I'm not even sure that a man could wear a kilt without getting jeered. And even a distinguished looking bowtie is a step outside the acceptable, inviting cultural punishment from the street.

I'm not complaining, mind you. All of this just confirms my belief that a sustainable, livable political community--which New York City is--requires a degree of mutual consideration and fellow feeling, but also a healthy level of outwardly expressed mutual censorship...some, but not too much.

I love New York. And New York loves me, but not always.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Christian Culture War in the Age of Obama

In his April 2009 farewell speech to the Focus on the Family staff, Dr. James Dobson surveyed what his more than thirty year defense of the Christian American family had accomplished. Far from triumphalist, he described the work of his mammoth organization on behalf of the unborn child and the dignity of the family as "a holding action." He seemed to concede defeat, but if so it was only for the present. "We are awash in evil and the battle is still to be waged. We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all those battles, but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?"

It does look bad on the culture front. Thirty-six years after Roe v. Wade, abortion is still legal. All manner of depravity is broadcast over the airwaves, taught and tolerated in the public schools, and pressed into our souls from every direction. It is more difficult than ever to raise godly or even just polite children without sealing one's family off from the world. Like Dobson, I do not think that the war is over. It cannot be. As God has not rescinded the cultural mandate to "take dominion over the earth" (Gen. 1:26), neither has Christ told his people to be anything other than salt and light in the world (Matt. 5:13-14), taking captive every thought for him (II Cor. 10:5).

John Barber and David Brooks have separate responses to the state of the Christian culture war in the age of Obama.

In a conference address at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church this spring entitled "Have Christians Lost the Culture-War? ," John Barber challenged the way Christians assess success and failure in our efforts to transform culture by comparing it to our view of evangelism.

What is successful evangelism? Is it successful only when you share the gospel with someone and that person becomes a Christian? What if no one comes to Christ? Are we to say that we failed? Isaiah preached for nearly fifty years and hardly anyone responded positively. Was he a failure? I think of Bill Bright’s helpful definition of successful evangelism. Bright often said, “Successful evangelism is witnessing in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.” Now apply what Bright said in reference to the Great Commission to the cultural mandate, and let’s define the cultural mandate. “Successful Christian activism is laboring in culture in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.” You see, if we looked at evangelism the way some look at the culture-war, we’d look at all the people we’ve witnessed to, and see how few have come to Christ, and [following Dr. Dobson] say, “We are awash in evil and the battle is still to be waged. We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say we have lost all those battles.” But no one who is biblically informed thinks this way regarding evangelism. So we ought not to think this way regarding the cultural mandate.

David Brooks, whether or not he thinks that these old battles (are they so old?) over abortion and the normalization of homosexuality are obsolete, is certainly convinced that we have missed one of the great battle fronts of the age. He has a point.

In "The Next Culture War" (New York Times, September 28, 2009), he writes:

[D]espite the country’s notorious materialism, there has always been a countervailing stream of sound economic values. The early settlers believed in Calvinist restraint. The pioneers volunteered for brutal hardship during their treks out west. Waves of immigrant parents worked hard and practiced self-denial so their children could succeed. Government was limited and did not protect people from the consequences of their actions, thus enforcing discipline and restraint. ...

Over the past few years, however, there clearly has been an erosion in the country’s financial values. This erosion has happened at a time when the country’s cultural monitors were busy with other things. They were off fighting a culture war about prayer in schools, ... and the theory of evolution. They were arguing about sex and the separation of church and state, oblivious to the large erosion of economic values happening under their feet.

He cites widespread and government sponsored gambling and the avarice it incites, scandalously huge executive compensation packages, supersized restaurant meals, a sharp rise in personal consumption as percentage of GDP, the explosion of personal debt (133% of national income vs 55% in 1960), and runaway government spending.

Our current cultural politics are organized by the obsolete culture war, which has put secular liberals on one side and religious conservatives on the other. But the slide in economic morality afflicted Red and Blue America equally.

Brooks calls for a “moral revival” in the form of a “crusade for economic self-restraint.”

He sent the same message in his June 10, 2008 column, “The Great Seduction.”

The people who created this country built a moral structure around money. The Puritan legacy inhibited luxury and self-indulgence. Benjamin Franklin spread a practical gospel that emphasized hard work, temperance and frugality....The United States has been an affluent nation since its founding. But the country was, by and large, not corrupted by wealth. For centuries, it remained industrious, ambitious and frugal.

Over the past 30 years, much of that has been shredded. The social norms and institutions that encouraged frugality and spending what you earn have been undermined. The institutions that encourage debt and living for the moment have been strengthened. The country’s moral guardians are forever looking for decadence out of Hollywood and reality TV. But the most rampant decadence today is financial decadence, the trampling of decent norms about how to use and harness money.

Evangelical Christians have had to mount counter-offensives on seemingly innumerable fronts as the culture has been unraveling, hastened on by the ubiquitous and (yes) demonic efforts of the nihilistic left. We have rallied to the defense of babies in the womb. Murder is a bloody and obvious evil. We have stood against public acceptance of the horror and perversity of homosexuality alongside its wholesome and natural counterpart. Prompted by these conflicts, evangelicals have thought seriously about the nature of healthy family life and have developed helpful resources to support people in their marriages and child rearing.

But the seductions of wealth and comfort and self-indulgence were harder to discern, and they so went largely unopposed. The megachurches went as far as embracing them. Why should I not sit in my own theater-quality chair? Why should I not be entertained on Sunday morning the way I was on Saturday night? Why should I not enjoy a Starbucks coffee after or before church, and why should I not be able to buy it in the church lobby? But Christians in small churches too went heavily into debt and voted for governments that did the same, and also supersized their drinks.

The Institute for American Values has initiated the sort of moral reform movement that Brooks has advocated. Indeed, Brooks praises them for this in his 2008 column. David Blankenhorn, the institute's founder and president, has written Thrift: A Cyclopedia, as well as “There is No Paradox of Thrift” (The Weekly Standard, June, 15, 2009). You can learn about the organization's Thrift Initiative here: http://www.newthrift.org/.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dow 10,000 a Bubble, Not a Boom

Whenever we see a bubble, we want to think it's a bag of gold. And when we enter the eye of a storm, we like to kid ourselves that times of peace has come at last.

Now that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has once again surpassed the 10,000 mark, we want to believe that the hard times are finally over and that ten to fifteen years of unbroken prosperity lies before us. Brace yourself.

The New York Times reminds us ("10,000: The and Now") that when the Dow first passed that point on March 29, 1999, the economy was roaring through it's eighth year of wild prosperity, and unemployment was about as low as it could be. This ten is not the same as that ten.

Yes, unemployment today stands at 9.8 percent. But is that just the economy lagging behind the first indicators of economic recovery? Sorry. No.

The spike in the Dow is the result of huge profits that the banks have posted from their recoveries. But they are still not lending, and without that there will be no recovery for the rest of us. But don't get angry. Get answers. Why are these shrewd people still not lending? Isn't it their business to lend? No, it is their business, as in any business, to make money. They must have reason to believe that if they lend, e.g. to small businesses or to prospective homeowners, they will lose money. So look around for what they are seeing.

Look here. David Malpass, the president of Encima Global LLC, points us to our collapsing dollar as a source of our vanishing prosperity ("The Weak-Dollar Threat to Prosperity"). The Bush administration was devaluing the dollar throughout the decade. That corresponded with runaway government spending. When faced with large debts, government must either cut spending (unthinkable), raise taxes (impolitic and counterproductive), or devalue the currency. How do they do this? By keeping interests rates low, they encourage public and private borrowing, such as government bonds and home mortgages. If anything becomes oversupplied, it's value decreases. As dollars lose their value, it takes more of them to buy things, both at home and abroad. Prices rise across the board.

How much value has the dollar lost? Is this a big deal? You can see how dramatic the fall has been by looking at the price of gold over the past decade. Gold has a stable value. The fluctuation in its price reflects the relative value of the currencies that are used to price it. So as the dollar loses value, it takes more of them to buy an ounce of gold. When President George W. Bush came into office, gold was selling at over $250 an ounce. When he left office eight years later, it was about $850 an ounce. The price climbed steadily over those eight years.

President Obama is making his predecessor look like the king of thrift, and he's not done. The present government has popped the roof off an already large public debt, spending trillions, and preparing to spend trillions more. As a consequence, the dollar is falling faster than ever. Since Barack Obama took office less than a year ago, gold has gone from about $850 an ounce to roughly $1,050. You should expect it to go higher. Much higher. Adjusted for inflation, gold's historic high is over $2,000 an ounce.

As Obama pumps trillions of dollars into the economy, and the economy does not respond proportionately with a vigorously growing GDP (still no sign of that), more dollars chasing the same number of goods will mean inflation. A ridiculous increase in the money supply on top of a stalled economy will give us a devouring plague of inflation further devastating people's lives.

You might be wondering, however, about the upside to a weak currency. Doesn't it make our exports cheaper, and thus boost domestic production and launch us into recovery? Malpass explains how historically this has always been a losing strategy.

As the pound slid in the 1950s and '60s and the British Empire crumbled, the corporations that prospered were the ones that borrowed pounds aggressively in order to expand abroad. Though British equities rose in pound terms, they generally underperformed gold and foreign equities. At the end of empire, the giant sucking sound was from British capital and jobs moving offshore as the pound sank....No countries have devalued their way into prosperity, while many—Hong Kong, China, Australia today—have used stable money to invite capital and jobs.

None of this indicates the American economy returning to boom times any time soon. In fact, this window onto the future reveals just the opposite.

The other place bankers are looking is the second wave of residential mortgage defaults and, on top of that, the coming collapse of the commercial real estate market. Charles Gasparino helps us there ("The Next Bank Crisis").

[The banks are] still holding trillions of dollars in ailing mortgage loans and commercial-real-estate debt that they have yet to fully write down. They're hoping they won't have to -- but continued joblessness is squeezing those portfolios. The banks will tell you that they've written down a good chunk of their consumer loans. But the problem, according to banking analysts like Mike Mayo, becomes acute if unemployment passes 10 percent and nears 11 percent. That's the point, according to many economic models, that American consumers start defaulting on loans in such a way that trillions of dollars in consumer-related loans and debt that haven't been written down start to implode.

And that doesn't account for the trillions in commercial-real-estate loans and bonds that have yet to take any significant hit at all -- but (most analysts predict) will be crashing in the months ahead even if unemployment stabilizes at 10 percent.

Bottom line: If unemployment goes higher than 10 percent, the banks' numbers get even worse. As losses begin to mount, the big banks may well find themselves back begging the government for more bailout money.

So beware of jumping on the bank profit driven bull market, thinking that you are going to ride it into the Obama Boom Years. There is much pain to come, and with it much tragic loss. It is tragic because wise leadership could steer us through it more safely by stabilizing the currency and tightening up on government spending. The administration is doing just the opposite. It's like physics. If you torch your house, it will burn down. We are already feeling the heat.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I teach Introduction to Politics. The topic of ultimate concern in political life is, of course, justice. The morally serious students at The King's College are eager to know what this is.

This is justice.

Now you know what justice is.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Nobel Goodist Prize

Hopeless Continuity: A Goodist in Power

Dick Morris sees Obama's Peace Prize as Europe's second attempt in three hundred years to civilize America. "Europe wants to reverse the American Revolution and re-colonize us and it sees in Obama a kindred spirit willing to do its bidding."

John Bolton sees a leftist Norwegian record of interfering in American politics with the Nobel. He writes, "Their message really is quite straightforward: 'Jimmy Carter in 2002,Al Gore in 2007 and now Barack Obama. Do you Americans get the point yet?'"

Hendrik Hetzberg at The New Yorker is harsh on the Nobel Prize itself ("Obama's Nobel Surprise").

If President Obama really had to get a gift postmarked Scandinavia this month, he would probably, on the whole, have preferred the Olympics. At least at the Olympics the judges wait till after the race to give you the gold medal. They don’t force it on you while you’re still waiting for the bus to take you to the stadium. They don’t give it to you in anticipation of possible future feats of glory, like a signing bonus or an athletic scholarship. They don’t award it as a form of gentle encouragement, like a parent calling “Good job!” to a toddler who’s made it to the top rung of the monkey bars. It’s not a plastic, made-in-China “participation” trophy handed out to everyone in the class as part of a program to boost self-esteem. It’s not a door prize or a goody bag or a bowl of V.I.P. fruit courtesy of the hotel management. It’s not a gold star. It’s a gold medal.
But he is sympathetic to the Nobel's most recent recipient. "Given that his perceived political problem is exaggerated expectations, does he really need a Nobel Peace Prize before he has actually made any peace?"

But the best of the columns that I have read on the Obama Nobel prize come from one who fully supports the award, Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal ("A Perfect Nobel Pick"). Stephens has figured out the Nobel Committee. They are what Oriana Fallaci "Goodists."

They are the people who believe all conflict stems from avoidable misunderstanding. Who think that the world's evils spring from technologies, systems, complexes (as in "military-industrial") and everything else except from the hearts of men, where love abides. Who mistake wishes for possibilities. Who put a higher premium on their own moral intentions than on the efficacy of their actions. Who champion education as the solution, whatever the problem. Above all, the Goodists are the people who like to be seen to be good.

Yes, there is a long history of their influence in the previous century. They gave us the League of Nations. They gave us "peace in our time" back in 1938. They gave us permissive child-rearing in the generation following the war. In the 1960s, they addressed "the root causes" of poverty, and gave us vastly more. At the same time they addressed "the root causes" of crime, and gave us a pandemic outbreak of that too. The last Goodist President made human rights the organizing principle of his foreign policy, but did so in Goodist fashion, so only succeeded in making the world safe for oppression by weakening America.

Now the Nobel Committee has helpfully identified our current President as a thoroughgoing Goodist (for those who were  unable to see it during the election campaign). So when Iran starts firing nuclear missiles, when former residents of Guantanamo Bay blow up densely populated American targets, and when the engine of American prosperity splutters and dies, we'll all know why.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama, Man of Peace...Or So We Hope

When I first saw the New York Times news alert in my inbox announcing that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize I thought--for just a flash--that it was a conservative joke, but then just as quickly recognized the source. This is serious. They gave him the peace prize.

This is actually consistent with his life so far. This is a man who had written two (2!) autobiographies before becoming President, and with no significant accomplishments to his credit. This is a man for whom people renamed schools and roads simply for his having been elected. The Hempstead, NY, school district here on Long Island renamed Ludlum Elementary School after him immediately after his election and before he was sworn in. And now he has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize before he has actually brought any peace anywhere in the world. The Nobel Committee's reasons for choosing the 44th American President are all anticipations of what they expect him to do. He has "created a new climate" in international relations. He has a "vision" of a nuclear weapons free world. His government is "playing a more constructive role" in efforts to fight climate change. "Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened," but nothing to report so far. It's all hope; no actual change.

While it is shocking that the Nobel Committee has given this award to Barack Obama at this stage in his presidency, it is just as shocking that he would accept it. No. On second thought, I'm quite sure he believes he deserves it. This is the man who has been lauded by his most devoted admirers as the Messiah, and he has received the near-worship without objection. His arrogance is as without bounds as it is without foundation.

In accepting the award, Obama spoke humbly and turned attention to the work of others.(Watch the full six minute video here.)

Words are easy to craft. A statesman must ultimately be judged by his deeds, however. Not only has Obama done nothing to justify this award, his record has even been one of emboldening dictators and betraying the allies of liberty. Daniel Henninger makes this case in "Obama, Dictators and Democrats" (Wall Street Journal; Oct. 1, 2009).

The Monday after last Friday's bombshell that Iran has a hidden nuclear site, the State Department announced the start of a "direct dialogue" with Burma's hopeless junta. The administration has dispatched a special envoy to Sudan and its genocidal leader, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad got his own Obama envoy, plus a visit from John Kerry. At the Summit of the Americas, Mr. Obama himself did meet and greets for "dialogue" with Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega and Bolivia's Evo Morales, and reached out to Cuba's Raul Castro. Mr. Obama then dropped in on Russia's leaders for a "reset."
 But this is precisely the sort of thing that has earned him the prize. The committee said in its press release:

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.
In the past, The Nobel Committee has honored dissidents, like Aung San Suu Kyi and Andrei Sakharov, who had been struggling courageously and with great suffering against oppressive regimes. Barack Obama, by accepting the award, not only displaces many nominees of this character, he has also turned his back on such people in his overtures to their oppressors. Henninger notes this also.

If the Obama team wanted to make a really significant break from past Bush policy, it would say it was not going to just talk with the world's worst strongmen but would give equal, public status to their democratic opposition groups. Instead, the baddest actors in the world get face time with Barack Obama, but their struggling opposition gets invisibility. Iran's extraordinary and brave popular opposition, which broke out again this week at two universities, seems to have earned these pro-democracy Iranians nothing in the calculations of U.S. policy.
Henninger traces this cold-blooded foreign policy to the influence of Obama's trade union support.

For the American left, now fused to financial support from domestic labor unions, the world's dispossessed represent a threat—less costly labor selling goods into the high-cost world. Active help for democratic oppositions in Venezuela, Syria, Egypt, Iran or even Guinea hardly serves this interest. Today, social justice stops at the water's edge. Even as Mr. Obama extends his hand to a Chávez, Morales or Castro, he makes no effort to finish free-trade agreements with certifiably democratic Colombia and Panama.
The Nobel Committee has made some strange choices in the past, but nothing this bizarre. Even many on the left are scratching their heads. You can look down this list of past recipients and make your own comparisons.

Here is the full text of the committee's announcement of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

Oslo, October 9, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Richard Nixon, Alpha Male

Richard Nixon is not one of my favorite presidents. My dad was a Scoop Jackson democrat (the sensible wing of the party trying to hold off the New Left, when it was the party of the little guy, and knew what side was up internationally), and complained bitterly about "tricky Dick" during the nightly newscasts of that era that I watched with him as a kid. So my antipathy was kind of inherited, but my later, adult appraisal of his presidency didn't alter my youthful prejudice. He established the EPA and OSHA, and handed them over to the Left to run; famously proclaimed "we're all Keynesians now", and promptly ordered the federal imposition of wage and price controls, with predictable effects; and of course showed his true inner impulses with the Watergate cover up of a small time burglary that, left alone, would have been a minor episode in the history of the office. Not least, the famous White House tapes showed him to be an inveterate anti-Semite, condescending and insulting to the Jews on his staff and in official Washington generally.

Yet, his foreign policy acumen still shines; I would argue he ranks first among the 44 presidents for his understanding of international relations. His ambition to redeem his shamed presidency in his post resignation period resulted in thousands of pages of highly authoritative foreign policy analysis, and earned for him a reputation as a true statesman, perhaps the last of that breed.

Now, we find revealed another aspect of the man that calls for respect. Jason Moaz over at Commentary magazine reports that 1973's Yom Kippur war, which saw Israel attacked by six Arab nations while the world stood by, had Nixon as the proximate cause of the victorious outcome for Israel. Seems he put aside whatever personal prejudice he had (one shared by most of Europe then and to this day), and unlike the feckless Europeans, boldly made the decision to secretly airlift the war materiel which made the decisive difference in whether Israel survived or not:

What is clear, from the preponderance of information provided by those directly involved in the unfolding events, is that President Richard Nixon — overriding inter-administration objections and bureaucratic inertia — implemented a breathtaking transfer of arms, code-named Operation Nickel Grass, that over a four-week period involved hundreds of jumbo U.S. military aircraft delivering more than 22,000 tons of armaments.
As soon as the scope and pattern of Israeli battle losses emerged, Nixon ordered that all destroyed equipment be made up out of U.S. stockpiles, using the very best weapons America possessed. . . . Whatever it takes, he told Kissinger . . . save Israel.

“It was Nixon who did it,” recalled Nixon’s acting special counsel, Leonard Garment. “I was there. As bureaucratic bickering between the State and Defense departments was going back and forth, Nixon said, this is insane. . . . He just ordered Kissinger, “Get your ass out of here and tell those people to move.”
When Schlesinger initially wanted to send just three transports to Israel because he feared anything more would alarm the Arabs and the Soviets, Nixon snapped: “We are going to get blamed just as much for three as for 300. . . . Get them in the air, now.”

Haig, in his memoir Inner Circles, wrote that Nixon, frustrated with the initial delays in implementing the airlift and aware that the Soviets had begun airlifting supplies to Egypt and Syria, summoned Kissinger and Schlesinger to the Oval Office on October 12 and “banished all excuses.”

The president asked Kissinger for a precise accounting of Israel’s military needs, and Kissinger proceeded to read aloud from an itemized list.

“Double it,” Nixon ordered. “Now get the hell out of here and get the job done.”

Later, informed of yet another delay — this one because of disagreements in the Pentagon over the type of planes to be used for the airlift — an incensed Nixon shouted at Kissinger, “[Expletive] it, use every one we have. Tell them to send everything that can fly.”

This was a man made of sterner stuff than what we have seen in that office since, especially the current occupant, who on the Israeli issue seems determined to do what he can to help with the new final solution the Iranians have in mind. The revelation of Nixon's decisive executive decision making, regardless of the considerable international fallout, makes Obama's disgraceful indecision on what we are doing in Afghanistan look even weaker and more despicable than ever. Greg Lewis at The American Thinker wonders "Did We Elect a Beta Male as President?" and then goes on to demonstrate that we did.

There was a time boys and girls, when men were men. Our enemies are noticing who wears the mom jeans in this administration.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Abe Lincoln Weighs In On Health Care Debate

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) speaks homespun common sense in good midwest American fashion here in his opening statement on the currently proposed health care reform legislation. Let the Congressman have the floor.

He's eloquent. He's sincere. He quotes Lincoln ("You can't make a weak man strong by making a strong man weak.")

Of course, I was curious as to the source of this Lincoln quote, so I went searching. It does not appear that Honest Abe wrote these words, although they have been attributed to him for many years. Snopes traces it to a Presbyterian minister named William John Henry Boetcker who was the director of the Citizens' Industrial Alliance when he penned these truisms in 1916. The theory goes that they were later published on the back of a leaflet of genuine Lincoln quotes and the confusion was inevitable. Nonetheless, the ideas are Lincolnian.

Ronald Reagan quoted these pearls of wisdom at the 1992 Republican National Convention, and attributed them to Lincoln.
I heard those speakers at that other convention saying "we won the Cold War" -- and I couldn't help wondering, just who exactly do they mean by "we"? And to top it off, they even tried to portray themselves as sharing the same fundamental values of our party! What they truly don't understand is the principle so eloquently stated by Abraham Lincoln: "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves." If we ever hear the Democrats quoting that passage by Lincoln and acting like they mean it, then, my friends, we will know that the opposition has really changed.
This clip does not include the spuriously attributed Lincoln line (it follows just after), but it is well worth the five minute investment to watch it.

You can read the full text of the speech here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

American Socialism's Waterloo

King's student, Matthias Clock, reports on Sen. Jim DeMint's visit to The King's College and the South Carolina Senator's opposition to ObamaCare, American socialism's Waterloo.

Much of DeMint’s rhetorical firepower has been directed at Obama, who DeMint said continues to increase federal power. The senator added that we have witnessed a “bait and switch in the White House.” According to DeMint, Americans are now finding out how destructive the Obama administration will be if left unchecked. He predicted a difficult road ahead for his Republican colleagues, calling Obama’s healthcare plan “the fight of our lives.”

Read the article in the online edition of World magazine: "DeMint Defends Liberty Against Rising Socialist Threat."