Sunday, August 31, 2008

The past is prologue. (Gustav nears landfall.)

Mayor Nagin has ordered a total evacuation, saying Gustav is much more powerful than Katrina. If FEMA once again fails, may God protect the people of New Orleans. (Above: the French quarter, courtesy Matthew Hinton/Agence France-Presse)

Friday, August 29, 2008

A moment of silence.

(Above, the Lower Ninth ward in 2008; courtesy In the Loop)
Sure to be buried underneath the ensuing avalanche of post-Speech commentary from the chattering heads of CNN and other outlets will be a tempered but iconic note of support from a seemingly unlikely source: GOP defector Susan Eisenhower. Here’s what her grandfather, a Republican president who presided over eight years of peace and prosperity, said 47 years ago, about the time Obama was born:

“A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

“Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Why can’t Obama say this? Was Eisenhower really a man of the so-called radical left, as our political culture would have it today?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

“John was a wild man. He was funny, with a quick wit and he was intelligent. But he was intent on breaking every USNA regulation in our 4 inch thick USNA Regulations book. And I believe he must have come as close to his goal as any midshipman who ever attended the Academy. John had me ‘coming around’ to his room frequently during my plebe year. And on one occasion he took me with him to escape ‘over the wall’ in the dead of night. He had a taxi cab waiting for us that took us to a bar some 7 miles away. John had a few beers, but forbid me to drink (watching out for me I guess) and made me drink cokes. I could tell many other midshipman stories about John that year and he unbelievably managed to graduate though he spent the majority of his first class year on restriction for the stuff he did get caught doing. In fact he barely managed to graduate, standing 5th from the bottom of his 800 man graduating class.

“… I can verify that John has an infamous reputation for being a hot head. He has a quick and explosive temper that many have experienced first hand. Folks, quite honestly that is not the finger I want next to that red button. … He is not a moderate Republican. On some issues he is a maverick. But his voting record is far to the right. I fear for his nominations to our Supreme Court, and the consequent continuing loss of individual freedoms, especially regarding moral and religious issues. John is not a religious person, but he has taken every opportunity to ally himself with some really obnoxious and crazy fundamentalist ministers lately. I was also disappointed to see him cozy up to Bush because I know he hates that man.”

—Phillip Butler on John McCain, a fellow classman at the U.S. Naval Academy and a fellow P.O.W., explaining why he will not vote for him this November

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

End this war.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Search your feelings.