Another Republican betrayal

Ladies and gentlemen, your Republican president!

Base Betrayed [Kate O’Beirne]

I just talked with a veteran conservative activist whose group doesn’t engage on the immigration issue but who is glum about the expected reaction of the conservative grassroots to the immigration deal. “We’ll all be hurt. They’ll just stay home,” he predicted. “They’ll figure they didn’t support Republicans in order to federalize education, create a big, new entitlement program, and grant amnesty to illegals.”

He left out purple-fingered nation-building to elect a legitimate and democratic jihad, but otherwise, yeah, pretty much. When Hillary gets elected, I’ll be the one pointing and laughing at all of your sad Three Monkey faces. Nice work losing the House and Senate, you politically astute “pragmatists”. Well done putting the Lizard Queen on the Cherry Blossom Throne, all you “he’s only doing it in order to unveil his double-secret super-conservative plan to save the nation” voters.

Maybe you will all finally see and hear some evil once your party finishes its third trip to the guillotine. I know you’ll certainly be speaking plenty of it.

And yet, I have no doubt that you’ll all run right back into the warm embrace of Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager and Jonah Goldberg and Sean Hannity and Bill Bennett and all the other Radio Republicans… I mean, you’ve got to know their opinions, they’ve collectively got such a smashingly excellent record over these past few years.

Don’t forget, we are at war!

Bush is such a disaster, the Democrats don’t even want to impeach him anymore. But after the 2008 elections, I bet there will be a lot of ex-Republicans who will wish they had.

Being literate

The OC asks a good question:

Which are the 25 books that someone should read by the age of 25 in order to be considered properly literate?

I’ll have some comments and my 25 later. And I’ll probably mock yours….

It’s later, and I’m amused by how many people included books that are supposed to sound impressive and very few people actually read, or very good books that most people should read but don’t.. Unless you’re making a subtle point intended to prove that virtually no one is literate, this is, I think, completely missing the point.

Since I consider myself to be literate, by definition any book that I have not read cannot be necessary for literacy. That knocks out more than a few books commonly listed, such as Portrait of the Author as a Young Man. (And while I have read Ulysses, it is by no means necessary.)

I should also note that I left out the OC’s spotting of a religious tome, because whereas the Bible is necessary to be considered literate, the Bhagavad Gita and the Koran are not. Most literate people have read neither. Anyhow, without further ado, here’s my list of 25 books which I believe is absolutely necessary to have read in order to be considered literate.

The Iliad
The Odyssey
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Plato’s Republic
The Annals

The Decameron
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
A Christmas Carol
Anna Karenina

Don Quixote
The Three Musketeers
The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe
Crime and Punishment
Brideshead Revisited

The Name of the Rose
The Glass Bead Game
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Lord of the Rings
The Chronicles of Narnia
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Code of the Woosters

There’s a few books you may not have read that aren’t absolutely necessary to be considered literate, but I’ll nevertheless look at you somewhat askance if you haven’t: The Tale of Genji, The Dark is Rising, Watership Down, The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, The Divine Comedy, Madame Bovary, a collection of short stories by Guy de Maupassant, a Poirot novel.

No problem

In which I answer a question posed by a commenter at Fetch Me My Axe:

I like this logic, could be very interesting to apply it to other areas of life. Let’s see if we can think of some other things without which civilisations survived for thousands of years that we have today…



Universal suffrage (the Athenian city-state, for example, had very restricted suffrage in its democratic system, very few men, even, were allowed the vote);

Human rights are a fairly new invention, as is the concept of a “war crime”;

I wonder how many of these, and many other innovations it’s possible to list, the author of the above quotation would advocate doing without…?

I would recommend doing without universal suffrage, “human rights” and “war crimes”. The first subjects the citizenry to rule by an elite without accountability, the second is a popular fiction which is dependent upon those rights not conflicting with the granting authority – read your Universal Declaration of Human Rights and check out Article 29 section 3 if you didn’t understand that – and the concept of “war crimes” inherently presupposes a supra-national power that poses more potential danger to humanity than either war or war crimes.

I’m okay with cars and computers, though. You could certainly make a case against cars, but I don’t think it would be ultimately convincing.

Balaam’s talked too

I’ve never read “The Purpose-Driven Life”. And for all I know, Rick Warren is a genuine man of God. But based on his own public statements, it’s pretty hard for the casual observer to believe that:

In the New Yorker interview published in September 2005, Warren is quoted as saying: “I had dinner with Jack Welch (former chief executive officer of GE) last Sunday night. He came to church, and we had dinner. I’ve been kind of mentoring him on his spiritual journey. And he said to me, ‘Rick, you are the biggest thinker I have ever met in my life. The only other person I know who thinks globally like you is Rupert Murdoch.’ And I said, ‘That’s interesting. I’m Rupert’s pastor! Rupert published my book!'”

Seriously, who talks like that? Could you drop any more names there, Rick? Or is your big, shiny, shellacked head just too chock full of big thoughts to recall any more at the moment?

The mission was accomplished

JohnG expresses a reasonable fear:

We’re at brink, at this moment, of handing the jihadists the greatest recruiting tool – our withdrawal in shame and defeat from Iraq – in the history of Islam.

That’s true. But what he’s either missing or glossing over is that this became INEVITABLE once the decision to stick around Iraq and play Purple-Fingered Nation Builder was taken. The history of what passes for democracy in Turkey, Indonesia, Palestine and Algeria proves that the Bush administration signed up America’s troops for an impossible task.

So, instead of leaving behind a shocked and awed Middle East, we’ll leave an encouraged and emboldened one. This isn’t news, some of us have known that would be the result since 2004. Check my column archive, you’ll see that’s why I went from supporting the wars to unseat Saddam Hussein and the Taliban to vehemently and viciously criticizing the Afghani and Iraqi Occupations.

It’s called biting off more than you can chew. We’re not the first great military power to make that mistake, we won’t be the last. If we’ve learned from our mistakes, there will probably be one more surge to provide some level of cover for our pull-out, plus the establishment of a quasi-independent Kurdish state that will allow us to claim some lasting positive legacy there.

If we haven’t, we’ll invade Iran.

The other possibility would be to destablize the entire peninsula by removing five or six area regimes, pulling out and letting the various factions occupy themselves with fighting it out for the prize. The danger there would be the possibility a strong and unified Caliphate being established, which the Law of Unintended Consequences suggests would likely be the case.