Sick kid, work, 200 backlogged real world emails — haven’t yet formed coherent thoughts based on this morning’s reading. Having said that, I’m still thinking, and offer these off the top of my head paragraphs.
Arlen Specter’s re-labeling is meaningless. He’s long been a RINO, and he’s merely aligning his party affiliation with his votes. Some have commented that he looks terribly ill, so this may be akin to a deathbed conversion. If he is indeed ill, I hope that whatever ails him resolves itself with the minimum of pain and inconvenience (and that is true whether he ultimately recovers or not).
I’m beginning to wonder about his whole swine flu thing, not least because it’s forcing me to keep a kid with an ordinary cold home from school. If this were truly a serious epidemic, the first thing to do would be to close the borders (the official borders, at least) to Mexico for a couple of days, despite the potential economic hits. Two days of a closed border, and closed flights, of course, is a lot less serious than America in thrall to a deathly epidemic. The fact that Obama hasn’t done this tells me (a) he’s an idiot or (b) he knows something about the flu deaths in Mexico that we don’t know. I think it’s (b), especially given that his first agenda item with regard to the flu was to push his socialized medicine plan, and that despite the fact that Mexico, the country in which people are dying, is a socialized medicine country. [UPDATE: And this just makes my point about Obama creating or using a created epidemic for his own ends.]
The most interesting thing I’ve heard about the flu is that, since new flus are combinations of viruses from old flus, it is entirely possible that Americans have had a version of this flu before, while the Mexicans haven’t. That’s why we’re getting in but, so far (and thank God) not dying from it, while the Mexicans are very hard it. Mexicans may also be dying, of course, because of that socialized medicine problem, but who knows?
As you may have noticed, Charles, at LGF, is waging quite the war with certain European and European oriented blogs, based on his contention that they are neo-nazis, because they comport with neo-nazis. That got me to thinking about Europe and political extremism.
As I see it, one of the problems with Europe, and it’s an old problem, is that the Europeans, for all their wonderful old-world sophistication, are lousy at moderation. Perhaps it’s because, if one ignores the Muslim outsiders, each European nation, aside from being geographically small compared to America, is pretty damn homogeneous and inclined to statism (either monarchical or parliamentary). That means that these cultures can turn on a dime, and turn hard.
Big, noisy, genuinely multicultural, opinionated, individualist America is about as wieldy as a large ship. Creating a mass movement is difficult (Obama mania notwithstanding, especially because a mere 53% of the popular vote means that the real mania is confined to the media).
The end result is that, when indigenous Europeans identify a parasite in their midst, whether a harmless Jew or a harmful, fully wired Islamist, these same Europeans go from 0-60 in seconds in terms of mounting a united offense. Moderation gets by-passed, and they go into full “kill the alien” mode. In America, at least before the dawn of a 24 hour a day lockstep media, that kind of swift movement is difficult to orchestrate. There are too many competing voices, and there is (or, pre-media, was) too much land to cover.
Europe has also been in thrall to PC so long that the only ones who even squeaked about Muslim extremism were the extreme right organizations. Now that the lumpen masses are starting to squeak, and the government is refusing to acknowledge that there may be validity to those squeaks, the only ones they can turn to are the pre-existing neo-nazi organizations.
All of which is to say that, once you make common cause with those Europeans who are worried about Islamists, you seem invariably to fall into bed with the neo-nazis. The European moderates are still moving lumpenly through the PC mist, and only the extremists are reacting — and they’re doing so extremely.
I don’t know if I brought any clarity at all here, but I’m not sure that approving the fact that some Europeans have correctly identified a problem in their midst is the same as falling in, hook line and sinker, with the more extremist views of those same Europeans. On the other hand, if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.
And that’s off the top of my head. Back at ya’ later.
UPDATE II: One more thought for this hodge-podge. Charles Johnson has pointed out that the Ron Paulians have infiltrated tea parties. I don’t like the Ron Paulians because they make unabashed common cause with American neonazis who, in turn, are unabashedly proud of their violent racism and antisemitism. However, I don’t think the fact that Ron Paulians — all of whom call themselves libertarians — are involved should taint the tea parties.
Genuine libertarianism, free from the icky Ron Paul taint, is very simple: less government. I think that the tea parties were a true, grass roots expression of classic libertarianism — American citizens rising up to oppose increased statism. Certainly that was true in my neck of the woods, because I know many of the people who attended and they are true small government people who simply want less government interference, while maintaining a strong defense. They are also pro-Israel and not racists in any way, shape or form.
The fact is, though, that Ron Paulians are everywhere, and it would be silly to imagine that they wouldn’t want to attend an event like the tea parties.
The thing is that, just because the crazies like it, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. The goal is to limit the crazies to participating roles and make sure that they don’t get the power. Essentially, we’re facing the flip side of what happened on the left, which is that a whole lot of good ideas (such as equal opportunities and treatment for blacks and women) got co-opted by the radical left, who turned these good ideas into identity politics and vehicles for the Communist idea of equal outcomes for all, as opposed to the American idea of equal opportunities.
UPDATE III: I haven’t commented on PlaneGate, and really can’t add to what Power Line has to say.
UPDATE IV: And I have to say that Michelle Malkin’s tribute to Obama’s 100 days is the must-read of the morning:
Come on, who’s surprised? The White House-engineered photo-op of low-flying Air Force aircraft that caused terror in New York City this week epitomizes the Age of Obama. What better way to mark 100 days in office than with an appalling exercise in pointless, taxpayer-funded stagecraft.
The superficiality, the unseriousness, the hubris, the obliviousness to post-9/11 realities: They were trademarks of the Obama campaign and they are the tattoos on his governance.
He never leaves home without his teleprompter. All the Obama world’s a stage. Or a world ready to be staged.
So, is it any wonder he would staff his White House Military Office with a clueless paper-pusher who saw nothing wrong with spending inordinate government resources – and recreating 9/11 havoc — to update Air Force One publicity shots? And who planned, believe it or not, to do the same in Washington, D.C., next month, where 53 passengers and 6 crew members on board American Airlines Flight 77, and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the Pentagon were murdered by the 9/11 jihadists?
All for some damned publicity shots.
No one should be shocked. Remember: Barack Obama is the frivolous man who concocted his own presidential-looking Great Seal before he was elected. An ego big enough to publicly display a ridiculous “Vero Possumus” (“Yes, we can” in Latin) motto and a regal eagle with the Obama campaign logo emblazoned on its chest is an ego capable of far more reckless things. Obama orchestrated a grand photo-op in Berlin, Germany, to declare his world citizenship at the Siegessäule Victory Column – a soaring monument of arrogance championed by Adolph Hitler and Third Reich architect Albert Speer. He manufactured his own Open Temple of The One in Denver for the Democratic National Convention last summer, replete with fake Greek columns.
Read the rest here.