Thursday, July 31, 2008

Middle-School Tactics For Me, But Not For Thee

Just saw this post by Lowell Feld over at Ranting Kids ... er, Raising Dough ... er, "Raising Kaine" ... er, "RK," and I thought something was funny. After all, the make sport of GOP presumptive presidential nominee John McCain by calling him "McLame."

But I seem to remember something about savaging former Delegate Dick Black for childishly characterizing challenger David Poisson (French for "fish") as "Poison."

Yup. Sure enough. Here's a post by teenager Kenton Ngo attacking Black's actions.

It's pretty pathetic when a teenager demonstrates more maturity than a man of Feld's years. On your own website!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Nuke Day!

It was on this day, 63 years ago, that mankind produced the first man-made nuclear explosion with a plutonium fission device at the Trinity Test Site near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Shortly thereafter, World War II was ended when quickly-weaponized atomic bombs were first used in anger over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While fewer died on 6 and 9 August 1945, respectively, than were killed in conventional raids on Dresden and Tokyo, it is the events of August 1945, which command the attention of most.

And what were the results of man's success in harnessing the atom?

Hundreds of thousands of American and Allied troops were neither maimed nor killed because President Harry S. Truman had the wit to bring to bear this new instrument of American power. Likewise, hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of Japanese survived who would not have, had the Allies been forced to invade and conquer the Japanese mainland.

Nuclear weapons can also happily be credited with the lack of a direct major-power confrontation during the last half of the Twentieth Century. Doubtless, we came close to one on a number of occasions. Nevertheless, the prospect of the horrific consequences of the use of nuclear weapons as equally undoubtedly a major factor in preserving a precarious --- if imperfect --- peace notwithstanding the ideological hostility between the world's two major powers in the post-war period.

Alan Oppenheimer, the on-site head of the Manhattan Project, quoted Shiva, the destroyer, from the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, upon witnessing mankind's first atomic mushroom cloud: "I am become Death, the Shatterer of Worlds."

Literary critic and historian Paul Fussell --- himself a veteran of the war in Europe, and scheduled for transfer to the Pacific for the invasion of Japan --- observed twenty years ago, in the title essay (called "classic" by one author, and "powerful" by another) of his book, Thank God for the Atom Bomb.

Today, I would put it more simply: Happy Nuke Day!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Jesse Helms, RIP

Senator Jesse Helms was an unapologetic, no-nonsense lion of the Conservative movement, and his passing yesterday --- appropriately enough, for such a champion of liberty, on Independence Day --- will be keenly felt by generations of Conservatives. We heard the news as we were traveling to the annual Conservative Soiree at Bull Run Regional Park.

While a long-time friend of the Right to Work movement, I had only two occasions to have any interaction with the Senator from North Carolina.

The first was back in the summer of 1984, when I was interning for Congressman George W. Gekas (R-PA). I had just attended a reception on the Hill. It was a "Free China" reception, held by Conservative Senators and Members of Congress in response to a reception for athletes from Communist China.

In any case, as I was leaving, I happened to run into Senator Helms (who had attended) and joined a group of other interns who were chatting with him. It wasn't a long conversation, but it was less than a year after the liberation of Grenada, which caused a firestorm among the media because they weren't allowed to accompany the troops. Someone else, knowing of Senator Helms' history as an award-winning journalist, asked him what he thought of the controversy.

I'll always remember his humorous, almost impish response, delivered in a wonderful Southern accent. He paused, and then offered "Well, Ah think it woulda been sportin' to send them in first!"


The other was a few years later, on a professional level, when the Senator retained me to represent him in a lawsuit challenging a Clinton Executive Order attempting to debar Federal contractors who dared to exercise their rights under the National Labor Relations Act to replace permanently strikers in an economic strike (for higher wages and/or benefits). While it was ultimately determined that only those Members of the House who retained me had a claim, and we never filed suit on Senator Helms' behalf, I was alway flattered that a Conservative hero had retained my services.

He is and will be missed.

Resquiat in pacem.

Great Tune; Lousy Words

I heard a politician speak a few days ago on the phenomenon of the Obama campaign. This politician pointed out that, like a few songs of which he could think, Obama coupled a great, catchy tune with lousy words.

The classic metal anthem "Highway to Hell" came immediately to mind.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Interesting Point

It seems that Howling Latina has stumbled unwittingly into the truth.

She complains that Obama has assumed the posture of a moobat to win the Democrat nomination for President, but is posturing as a Republican to win the general election.

Of course, this illustrates one of the fundamental differences between Republicans and Democrats: Republicans expect their candidates to do when elected what they promise in their campaigns; Democrats expect their candidates to lie and act like moonbats when elected.