Monday, May 26, 2008

For Memorial Day

I posted this great poem by Henry van Dyke last year, and I think it's still worth revisiting. Just remember, during your cookouts, movie marathons, time with family, or however you choose to celebrate, that many brave men and women gave, and still give, to keep us free.

Thou warden of the western gate, above Manhatten Bay,
The fogs of doubt that hid thy face are driven clean away:
Thine eyes at last look far and clear, thou liftest high thy hand
To spread the light of liberty world-wide for every land.

No more thou dreamest of a peace reserved alone for thee,
While friends are fighting for thy cause beyond the guardian sea:
The battle that they wage is thine; thou fallest if they fall;
The swollen flood of Prussian pride will sweep unchecked o'er all.

O cruel is the conquer-lust in Hohenzollern brains;
The paths they plot to gain their goal are dark with shameful stains:
No faith they keep, no law revere, no god but naked Might; --
They are the foemen of mankind. Up, Liberty, and smite!

Britain, and France, and Italy, and Russia newly born,
Have waited for thee in the night. Oh, come as comes the morn.
Serene and strong and full of faith, America, arise,
With steady hope and mighty help to join th brave Allies.

O dearest country of my heart, home of the high desire,
Make clean thy soul for sacrifice on Freedom's altar-fire:
For thou must suffer, thou must fight, until the warlords cease,
And all the peoples lift their heads in liberty and peace.

Henry van Dyke April 10, 1917

Friday, May 16, 2008

When You Put It LIke That...

You know, I've always held that the meme that Obama is somehow less than supportive of Israel, or wants to appease terrorists in the Middle East is false and ridiculous. I still hold to that, but I must admit I find this disquieting:

It's time to engage in diplomatic efforts to help build a new Lebanese consensus that focuses on electoral reform, an end to the current corrupt patronage system, and the development of the economy that provides for a fair distribution of services, opportunities and employment.

Lee Smith explains what's wrong with Obama's analysis:

Obama's language is derived from those corners of the left that claim Hezbollah is only interested in winning the Shia a larger share of the political process. Never mind the guns, it's essentially a social welfare movement, with schools and clinics! – and its own foreign policy, intelligence services and terror apparatus, used at the regional, international and now domestic level. But the solution, says, Obama, channeling the man he fired [Robert Malley] for talking to Hamas, is diplomacy.

Yeah. Like I said, disquieting.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Real Moderates

I though this was interesting, from Michael J. Totten, on moderate Muslims, and the NYT's inability to showcase real moderate Islam.

First, for perspective, there's this from guest-blogger Lee Smith:

A Turkish Sufi, even if he tried to undermine the secular nature of a US ally, is less scary than the adolescent Pakistani mobs he is trying to educate; Tariq Ramadan, even if he is of two minds about stoning women to death for adultery, is less scary than bin Laden; Brooklyn's Reda Shata may have mourned the death of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, but he is less scary than Omar Abdul Rahman, the Brooklyn sheikh jailed for his role in the 1993 WTC attack. Unfortunately, it seems to be beyond the scope of the Times to recognize that this is how politics is typically waged in the Muslim Middle East, with the “moderates” serving as both arsonists and firemen, using the violence of the “extremists” against the established order and promising to rein them in.

Finally, one can only sympathize with American Muslims, those who may or may not be religious, but surely have no attachment to the obscurantist fanatics that drove them from the region, and must now be wondering what is wrong with the New York Times that the only Muslims that register with the paper of record are very scary ones, and less scary ones.

Michael Totten expands on this, with a piece in Commentary magazine, on authentic moderates, which he argues can easily be found, if one knows where to look:

A large number of Kosovo's Muslims are Sufis—the most peaceful and the least fundamentalist of all the world's Muslims. Sufis can be found in many parts of the Islamic world, but here in Kosovo they proudly proclaim that they are the most “progressive” of all.

Soft-imperial Wahhabis are trying to export their brand of Islam from the deserts of Saudi Arabia to this fertile green land. They have their work cut out for them with this crowd. Bosnia notoriously welcomed thousands of Salafist mujahideen fighters from the Arab world during Yugoslavia's violent demise. But the Kosovo Liberation Army brusquely told them to stay the hell out of their country—even while they faced an ethnic cleansing campaign directed from Belgrade.

Read the whole thing.

Happy Birthday, Israel

The modern state of Israel celebrates its 60th birthday today. By God's grace, and the hard work of many, Israel survives, and despite challenges, thrives, whether certain people like it or not.

HT: Fern, with more links.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

This blog now has a working site counter!


Obama Wins in Tarheelia, Indiana Still Too Close...

It's still unsettled in Indiana, although Clinton has a slight lead. Keeping tabs.

UPDATE: Hillary wins Indiana, but it may be a Pyrrhic victory.

Friday, May 02, 2008

John Conyers' Wife Gets Put In Her Place By An Eighth Grader

That eighth-grader is one Kierra Bell, who respectfully reminded President Pro-Temp of the Detroit City Council Monica Conyers (who is third in line to the mayoralty), that she is an adult, and ought to behave like one. This was priceless, and embarassing at the same time (HT: Pat):

What a fool, Mrs. Conyers is. What a fool. We need to pray for Detroit, my friends. I mean it.

Pat has the transcript, as well as links to the backstory.