Saturday, December 30, 2006
I will try to remember this bit of wisdom before opening my electronic yap:
"...the fact that your voice is amplified to the degree where it reaches from one end of the country to the other does not confer upon you greater wisdom or understanding than you possessed when your voice reached only from one end of the bar to the other." - E.R. Murrow
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Former President Jimmy Carter's book, "Palestine Peace not Apartheid" has led to the resignation of Emory Middle East professor Kenneth Stein from the Carter Center. As reported by the NYT, Stein has called the “replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions and simply invented segments." Alan Dershowitz has called the book "ahistorical", and the Times' article mentions some questions as to - shall we say - the originality of parts of the book. Tough-questionin' Tim Russert on a recent Meet the Press had Carter on to talk about the book. Russert opted to roll over and have his belly scratched by Jimmy. Baffling. However to quote Stein: "...the history and interpretation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is already drowning in half-truths, suppositions, and self-serving myths; more are not necessary."
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
A Brave and Good Man: Gerald R. Ford, 1913-2006.
Jerry Ford will always be remembered for his pardon of Richard Nixon; bitter-enders still damn him for it. It was an action of immense political bravery, and was the proper medicine that a wounded nation needed for the long term recovery from Watergate. The Press and Democratic Politburos, drunk with power by Nixon's exit, wanted to drag his carcass through the streets for the climax of their bacchanalia. Ford wouldn't have it - he knew it would result in political warfare for years (fast forward to 1989 and John Tower) - and rolled the dice as to the consequences on the congressional midterm elections and his reelection. They came up bad, but he didn't whine about a "malaise" for his ill fortune.
His administration signed the Helsinki Accords, which, conservatives will remind one, effectively codified the Soviet control of Eastern Europe. However, they also provided a useful dipolmatic two-by-four for Ronald Reagan to use against the Evil Empire, namely the recognition of human rights that transcended their definition by the State.
[See WSJ OpinionJournal for further discussion of Ford's achievements]
He was a tremendously decent man, while giving as well as he took the body blows in The Arena. R.I.P., from a grateful nation.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Gloria in Excelsis Deo.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold itwith justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
God with us.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Have a Joyous Christmas!