Memorial Day has become an increasingly sad and cynical affair. Politicians from both parties and members of the the media, universities, peace groups, churches, and veterans organizations join with ordinary Americans on this day to pay tribute to the men and women who have died or been maimed fighting America’s wars. And while the fallen and wounded fully merit the reverence shown them, many of those showing it are hypocrites of the first rank.
Mr. Lee Harris has written a marvelous, provocative, and thoroughly troubling book called The Next American Civil War. The Populist Revolt Against the Liberal Elite, (New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2010) Of the many issues Harris discusses, I was most struck by his clear and cogent analysis of the cultural war raging between what he calls America’s “cognitive elite” and all other Americans.
Living near Washington gives one a first look at how the federal government slicks Americans into thinking they are well defended. Yesterday, for example, I received an e-mail from the Center for Security and International Studies (CSIS) announcing a talk by “John O. Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.” The talk is part of CSIS’s “Statesmen’s Forum” series and is entitled “On Securing the Homeland by Renewing America’s Strengths, Resilience, and Values.” The title of the talk ought to make you put your hand on the wallet and then prepare to defend yourselves.
The attacks by MSNBC’s extremist Rachel Maddow on Rand Paul clarify a good deal for me. Ms. Maddow’s position is based on a sort of warmed over version of the 1920s’ Bloomsbury ideology: effete, secular, socialist, pacifistic, elitist, and libertine. The ideology is shared by her fellow MSNBC extremists Olberman and Matthews and by Mr. Obama and his acolytes. Anyone disagreeing with her and them is not just wrong but perverse, racist, badly educated, antiquarian, and could only come from the scum of the earth. What passes for political thought and philosophy among MSNBC’s neo-Bloomsbury extremists and team Obama reminds one of cheeses and flowers — those that stink the most, last the longest.
This morning’s news photos of President Obama smiling and standing with the president of Mexico is a clear reminder that America is a land of laws — unless our president, Congress, and Supreme Court decide to ignore them because they are inconvenient. As Obama’s people spend large numbers of taxpayer dollars to entertain Mexico’s latest thief-in-chief, you have to wonder what the people of our Southwestern states are thinking — and how can much longer they will tolerate being associated with the U.S. federal government.
I keep getting e-mail from a man named David Horowitz who wants me to give money to his movement to stop what he calls “President Obama’s war on Israel.” The notes are much like the earlier one I wrote about here from the Republicans’ congressional leader John Boehner asking for money to help his party protect Israel against Obama.
After meetings last week in Washington among President Obama, his generals, Secretary Clinton, and Afghan president Karzai, it is worth focusing on what it means for the United States to lose the Afghan and Iraq wars.
Last week on Bill O’Reilly’s program on FOX, he asked if it is important for the adjective “Islamic” or “Islamist” to be placed before the word terrorist, militant, insurgent, or extremist when we are attacked by a Muslim individual or group. The conservative guest tried to answer, but did so ineffectively. The liberal guest supported President Obama’s decision to de-name America’s mortal foes, using the tired old irrelevancy that Irish extremists were not called “Catholic terrorists.” There is such deep and enduring stupidity in this statement that I was surprised Mr. O’Reilly did not pound a figurative 20-penny nail into his guest’s forehead. All that ever needs to be said in response to this inanity is the IRA never claimed to attack anything in Catholicism’s name. It attacked in the name of hating Britain and reuniting Ireland as a secular or — for some — a socialist state.
Almost before the car bomb in Times Square was defused, the city’s mayor, its police commissioner, and sundry politicians were heaping praise on the New York Police Department (NYPD) for “stopping” the attack. This spin will quickly take hold and become accepted as truth. It is not.