If They’re So Intelligent, Why Don’t They Use Real Quotes?

This Sunday’s Steyn column looks at the fake Jefferson quote that John Kerry, and plenty of others, have been throwing about to prove that they’re really patriotic.

One thing that we have always been told by Democrats and liberals is that we should listen to them because they are so much more intelligent than the rest of us.

But if that were true, why would they need to use fake quotes? And wouldn’t that also mean that they already knew the quotes were fake?

No matter, Dissent is good; dissent is patriotic, dissent is holy. Unless of course you are dissenting from one of their views, in which case you’re a fascist theocrat who is slave to “Big Oil”.

Where’s the dissent about source of quote?

Dissent for its own sake is like the Democrats’ energy policy: We’re opposed to any kind of energy; we prefer to be mired in enervated passivity. If the right is full of armchair generals, the left is full of armchair generalities: Nothing can be done, any course is futile, everything’s a quagmire. All we can say for certain is that saying so for certain is the highest form of patriotism.

It’s truer to say that these days patriotism is the highest form of dissent — against a culture where the media award each other Pulitzers for damaging national security, and the only way a soldier’s mom can become a household name is if she’s a Bush-is-the-real-terrorist kook like Cindy Sheehan, and our grade schools’ claims to teach our children about America, “warts and all,” has dwindled down into teaching them all the warts and nothing else. Or as the Capital Times of Madison, Wis., concluded its ringing editorial on the subject:

“Thomas Jefferson got it right: ‘Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.’ And teaching children how to be thoughtful and effective dissenters is the highest form of education.”

We Should Be So Lucky

Powerline links to a London Times story that says al-Qaeda in Iraq (which has nothing to do with Iraq) is going to change tactics.

Power Line: Change In Strategy for al Qaeda In Iraq?

Zarqawi wants to turn his group into a more traditional force mounting co-ordinated guerrilla raids on coalition targets.

Al-Qaeda is sending training and planning experts to help to set up the force and infiltrate members into Iraq with the assistance of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the sources said.

I don’t know what would lead them to believe that this would be good news for the “insurgency” and bad news for us. If there’s something American troops excel at it is killing people that are foolish enough to attack them.

I seem to remember the “insurgents” doing this about a year ago at Abu Ghraib.

That certainly worked out well for the “Insurgents” didn’t it? Let’s hope they learned nothing and still want to go head to head with the U.S military. Nothing cures an “insurgent” faster that a small amount of dense metal applied at high velocity. The results have proven efficacious in most instances.

We May Gripe About The Price…

But we couldn’t get out of our cars if we wanted to…which we don’t.

To Pump or Not to Pump – New York Times

That’s the conundrum out here in the land of the automobile. We’d all like to do our bit for the environment — and out-of-control gas prices awaken in us a fervent desire to save at the pump through the simple expedient of driving less — but while a leisurely Sunday meander down the coast aboard Amtrak is just fine, when Monday comes, we need our cars.

We need to be first in line at the pump (remember the gas lines of the late 70’s, cars lined up a hundred deep at 5 a.m., awaiting the arrival of the sad, slow-shuffling proprietor?), first off the freeway exit, lead car in the power lane and everybody look out! In the paper the other day, there was a letter from a concerned consumer suggesting that we go back to the draconian 55-mile-per-hour speed limit to conserve each precious pint, quart and gallon. What a dreamer.

The West is a mystery to those who live in the East. My daughter’s in-laws in Buffalo still don’t entirely believe that there aren’t Indians running wild out here. (Well, they’re right if you’re talking about Warm Springs)

But they have no conception of the how big it is and how spread out we are. Those who live in the urban enclaves such as Portland or Eugene might be able to ride the Max or bicycle to work, but for the rest of us that option is simply not feasible. It wouldn’t matter if they suddenly had a train every hour through my town, it still wouldn’t do any good.

The thing is that we just don’t have the public transit coverage they do in the urban area, it’s because even if we did, we wouldn’t ride it. Not that there is any danger of public transportation suddenly becoming popular around here.

I live close to work. By close I mean seven miles. I suppose that I could bike it. But I’m 56 years old and I really don’t want to ride in the rain. Even if I did, I wouldn’t want to take the time.

That’s the rub, isn’t it? The time. Public transportation, buses, trains, streetcars, no matter how they’re configured, run on their time, not yours. They’re there for people who have the time, or just don’t have any other choice. Who would choose to take the train to wait at a terminal to ride the bus to run an errand? Not me. I’ll just jump into my pickup, go and come back. After all, why should I spend time that I could be wasting on line sitting around a bus shelter wondering when the bus was going to show up, and hoping that today is Estonian Solidarity or Muslim Appeasement Day which would require the drivers to take sensitivity training instead of driving the bus.

No thanks, even when I visit Portland or Eugene I eschew the public transport, though I might make use of it if all of us taxpayers who funded it but don’t use it got passes.

Dissenting Views Not Welcomed By White House Press Corps

White House scribe asks for the remote

“It’s come to my attention that there’s been requests — this is a serious question — to turn these TVs onto a station other than Fox, and that those have been denied,” VandeHei told McClellan, who is soon to be replaced by former Fox anchor and self-described conservative Tony Snow.

Jim VandeHei, who rewrites DNC press releases for the Washington Post and can be found mindlessly parroting liberal talking points on MSNBC was evidently discomfited by being exposed to other points of view.

In keeping with liberal practices he demanded that the channels be changed to a network that doesn’t allow conservative viewpoints to be aired. Actually this was his second demand. His first, which was that Fox News be shut down, their studios padlocked and all their staff imprisoned, was denied.

Why You Should See “United 93”

Varifrank tells us why we should see “United 93”.

Varifrank: United 93 and Our “Survivors Guilt”

The United 93 movie represents something else besides a just a movie. It’s the ugly and cold metric of commerce. There are a number of people in the business of producing movies who are betting that Americans won’t go to see this movie. They believe that people do not wish to be reminded of that day. They do not think that Americans will go to see what happened. If United 93 were to fail, it would give rise to the myth that “Americans do not support the war”, which is becoming less a call for “leaving Iraq”, and more often than not is now a call to return to the days of the 1990s, when threats were ignored and allowed to fester into the embolism of 9/11.

They find it very easy to make a movie that drives a wedge into the country and destroys the morale of free people while it gives comfort to our enemies, like “Fahrenheit 9/11”, or creates a series of unsustainable paranoid theories like “Syriana”. But to make a movie about the first battle in the war against terror and show citizens as heroes, that is simply beyond the people who run Hollywood. Its extremely important to me that United 93 does well at the marketplace, because if it were to fail, it would give comfort to those who say there is no heroism in fighting back, that there is only heroism in defeat and dissention.

If United 93 fails at the box office, the war on terror will be re-written in our popular culture the way that returning Vietnam vets were re-written from normal people into murdering psychopaths let loose on the general population. Like it or not, what passes for popular culture very often serves as the basis of history. Popular culture is often the lens by which historical events are later interpreted.

He also manages to say succinctly what I have murdered countless electrons trying to convey.

Life however, is not a movie plot, life is often cruel and unforgiving and things in the world often fall right to hell, even for very good people and innocent children.

These days too many people seem to view the world as a movie. There’s a beginning, in which you learn all about the characters, a middle, where various things, usually heroic, happen, and an end, where things finally work out and it’s all done within a condensed time frame. There’s a feeling that whatever the question, there should be a neat answer that wraps everything up and then the credits should roll. Everything in a nice neat little box to be put on the shelf and labeled “GWOT”, “Iraq War, or “Iranian Nukes”. Some people actually seem to think that all these things are separate from each other and should be dealt with individually.

In the movies they would be.

In reality things are not that simple, and never were. Events that are separated by thousands of miles feed on one another to bring about another event thousands of miles separated from the first ones. The butterfly’s wings in Mexico bring about, not cyclones in India, but slaughters in Africa. It’s all connected in myriad ways that we can only guess at and there’s no director to say “cut”.

I have heard people say of someone that they, “didn’t deserve to die like that”. But people don’t die the deaths they “deserve”, they just die. Sometimes good people die in bad situations, such as the airline passengers on 9/11 and other times, bad people like Yasser Arafat, die peacefully. The major cause of death in the world, other than old age, is being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and there is no way of knowing in advance what that place and time is.

There is no movie and you are not the star, you are, at best, one of the bit players and, at worst, one of Star Trek’s “red shirts”.

So, Give Her Job To Someone Else

Boycott steps up rights debate

Monday morning, Irma Magana will get up at 6, slip white T-shirts over the heads of her two young children and ready their banner for a rally in downtown Vancouver.

They won’t go to school. She won’t go to work. And she won’t spend her money on a single thing.

“That’s a way of supporting our people. I’ve explained to my children what this is about, and they understand,” says Magana, a 30-year-old Wal-Mart cashier who came from Mexico at age 4.

Sure, she has the right to skip work and keep her kids out of school. But I also support the right of her employer to fire her and hire someone else. I would also support the schools scheduling something critical for Monday and not allowing makeup for non-excused absences, and going to this march is not an excused absence.

You have the right to be stupid; but you also have a duty to pay the price.

Marchers, al-Zarqawi Declare U.S. Defeated In Iraq

Any student of history knows that defeat occurs when one side loses the will to fight. This is what happened in Vietnam when the Democratic controlled Congress cut off funding for supporting the South, leading us to abandon millions to starvation and execution at the hands of the repressive Communist government. It happened again in Beirut in 1981 when again the Democrats in Congress pressured the Reagan White House to retreat and in 1993 President Clinton rushed headlong to abandon Somalia after expanding the mission without giving the troops the support they needed. It is a mantra of the Democratic Party in America that our commitment to other nations should not go any further than lip service. A thousand blustering threats but not one action.

Now the head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi joined by thousands of marchers in New York has declared that the United States is defeated in Iraq and should immediately withdraw so that those Iraqis who supported us can be massacred.

They are all very comfortable with the idea of the massacre of American allies. After all, they’re all Black or brown and don’t speak English. Many times since the start of the war, opponents have made the point that the Iraqis, and Arabs in general, are not sufficiently advanced to be able to handle democracy and should stay under the control of a brutal dictatorship of some kind. I take that to mean that they consider them somehow subhuman or “untermensch” and unworthy of our support.

They would like the world to know that they would probably be better off allying themselves with China or even Iran rather than the U.S.

While the Chinese and the Iranians are brutal, they’re much less judgmental and will stick with their allies even in tough times. The Democrats and protesters want it known positively that America will only stand by her allies in good times.

When things get rough, well..nice knowing you. We’re outta here. We’re gonna run home as fast as we can, and then make self-serving rationalizations about why it’s really your fault.

A lot of the war opponents say they don’t support the war because Iraq wasn’t a danger to the United States. They say they would fight if we were being invaded. But then many of the same people that claim this, will turn out on Monday in support of the invasion of illegal immigrants. I guess it depends on what the meaning of “is” is.

Jason Annihilates The Trolls

Jason at Countercolumn has been receiving e-mails and comments from the “surrender now” contingent of the public.

He has no problem handling them. Which was never in doubt. It’s amazing how ignorant they are of actual facts, or even of the fact that Jason served as an Infantry Platoon Leader in Iraq.

Thanks for the laughs

Correction: As Jason notes in the comments, his true position while serving in Iraq was not as an Infantry Platoon Leader but as XO of the Headquarters Company of a Infantry Battalion. Still on the sharp end of the stick. (Twelve minutes from Jason’s comment was posted to the corrected entry. Let’s see the MSM do that! Not that they’d try.)