Sunday, May 21, 2006

Ya Got One More Left in Ya, Old Man?

Six years ago next month — June, 2000 — El Casa Móvil De Pennington was parked in the suburban Detroit driveway of my good friend John. Son Number Two, his family, and I were spending a few days with John and his family during our month-long, coast-to-coast, northern U.S. tour. The second day we were there, John and I were sitting in the living room of El Casa, quietly discussing John’s upcoming career move. He was leaving his, and our (before I retired), current employer to take a corporate officer position at a small start-up in San Francisco. It was a good opportunity for John. I listened carefully, asking the odd question here and there, as he laid out his upcoming duties and responsibilities, talked about the company and its niche in the IT business, and so on. At the end of his talk he looked at me and said “I’m going to need some help. You got one more left in ya, Old Man?” I smiled and said “Sure,” knowing full well I was signing up for another run of long days and longer nights. But, What the Hell. I was still fairly young. A month and a half later I was out in San Francisco, working my butt off.

And all that by way of introduction. I got up fairly early this morning (0600) because I was in bed before midnight last night. I turned on the TV, as is usual for me, switched the channel to C-SPAN after checking the weather, and proceeded to make the coffee. First thing, and I mean the very first thing, I’m inundated with whiners and complainers calling in to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal…Republicans and Democrats. Not good. As recently as two weeks ago it was just the Democrats doing the whining, and I could handle that, because that’s what they do. Predictable, and all that. It seemed Dubya had damned few, if any, defenders today. The main topic? Immigration. {sigh}

So. The coffee gets done, I pour my first cup, fire up the browser while mentally tuning out the C-SPAN rabble, and what’s the first thing I read? This self-indulgent excuse for a severe lapse in decorum aggravated by total, almost willful, ignorance, as in: being completely clue-free. What follows are the final paragraphs in a speech given by the author of the HuffPo post linked above. The occasion was commencement ceremonies at New York City’s New School. The author immediately preceded Senator John McCain, who was invited to give the keynote commencement speech.

What is interesting and bizarre about this whole situation is that Senator Mc Cain has stated that he will be giving the same speech at all three universities where he has been invited to speak recently, of which ours is the last; those being Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, Columbia University, and finally here at the New School. For this reason I have unusual foresight concerning the themes of his address today. Based on the speech he gave at the other institutions, Senator Mc Cain will tell us today that dissent and disagreement are our "civic and moral obligation" in times of crisis. I consider this a time of crisis and I feel obligated to speak. Senator Mc Cain will also tell us about his cocky self-assuredness in his youth, which prevented him from hearing the ideas of others. In so doing, he will imply that those of us who are young are too naïve to have valid opinions and open ears. I am young, and although I don't profess to possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that preemptive war is dangerous and wrong, that George Bush's agenda in Iraq is not worth the many lives lost. And I know that despite all the havoc that my country has wrought overseas in my name, Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction.

Finally, Senator Mc Cain will tell us that we, those of us who are Americans, "have nothing to fear from each other." I agree strongly with this, but I take it one step further. We have nothing to fear from anyone on this living planet. Fear is the greatest impediment to the achievement of peace. We have nothing to fear from people who are different from us, from people who live in other countries, even from the people who run our government--and this we should have learned from our educations here. We can speak truth to power, we can allow our humanity always to come before our nationality, we can refuse to let fear invade our lives and to goad us on to destroy the lives of others. These words I speak do not reflect the arrogance of a young strong-headed woman, but belong to a line of great progressive thought, a history in which the founders of this institution play an important part. I speak today, even through my nervousness, out of a need to honor those voices that came before me, and I hope that we graduates can all strive to do the same. (Ed: emphasis mine)

Well, now. It’s hard to imagine how any one individual could possibly demonstrate greater ignorance in such a brief communication. She’s just so wrong on so many levels. I won’t present counter-arguments to the points I highlighted above; all four of you Constant Readers are on the same page as I am. If you’re a drop in and are curious, all you have to do is scan the archives—I’ve gone on at some length on each of these points elsewhere. But I will say this: Her words do, in fact, reflect the arrogance of a young person; moreover, her words reflect a basic misunderstanding of the realities of this war. I’m not surprised. Her attitude and outlook is most certainly the learned “reality” of the academic Left. Key words? “…a long line of progressive thought.” Progressive thought is fine in polite circles, but doesn’t wash with tinpot dictators, throat-cutting Jihadists, or Islamic fundamentalist mullahs. You might get a laugh out of them as they cut your throat, or worse.

So, anyway. Those are just the last two paragraphs of the author’s short speech. To get the full effect of this woman’s absolute cluelessness, you have to read the whole HuffPo article, but not necessarily the 11 pages (as of about 0730 this morning) of “Huzzahs!” “Right-Ons!” and “You GO, Girls!” that follow. Depressing.

I followed the HuffPo piece by reading several rebuttals to, and comments on, this woman’s speech — here, here, here, and best of all, here. I felt a bit better after reading those pieces, but I still wasn’t, shall we say, “right.” I sighed and quit reading political stuff. By this time, about 0800 or so, Washington Journal was over and C-SPAN began a re-run of General Hayden’s DCI confirmation hearings. To make a long story short, I watched the entire six hours of Gen. Hayden’s statement and the subsequent give and take with the members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Yeah, I took a break or three, but for the most part I paid attention the whole time. And I came away impressed. Even the Democrats, with the exception of Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Feingold (D-WI), seemed to get it. The CIA will be in good hands with Gen. Hayden as DCI.

What does this have to do with that opening digression about my buddy John, San Francisco, and going back to work? Just this: it would be easy, very easy, to throw up my hands and “retire” from all things political. The constant onslaught of media distortion and misreporting, willful ignorance, attack-dog commentary, political point-scoring, defeatist rhetoric, and manifestations of Bush Derangement Syndrome from Lefty blogs wears one down after a while. But after watching Gen. Hayden I have a renewed feeling of confidence. Where politics are concerned, if the question is “You got one more left in ya, Old Man?”, the answer is “Yes.” Most definitely yes. I’ve got at least one more in me.


  1. Karl Rove indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice. White House forces indictment to be sealed so no one will know.

  2. Old news, Moonbat. You really need to keep up to avoid looking totally clue-free. You can start with this.

    Truthout has issued a comment on their story of last week that Karl Rove was indicted.

    The Rove Indictment Story as of Right Now

    On Saturday afternoon, May 13, 2006, TruthOut ran a story titled, “Karl Rove Indicted on Charges of Perjury, Lying to Investigators.” The story stated in part that top Bush aide Karl Rove had earlier that day been indicted on the charges set forth in the story’s title.

    The time has now come, however, to issue a partial apology to our readership for this story. While we paid very careful attention to the sourcing on this story, we erred in getting too far out in front of the news-cycle. In moving as quickly as we did, we caused more confusion than clarity. And that was a disservice to our readership and we regret it.

  3. What does that have to do with today's post? Totally off the wall...

    Anyway, as for Ms. Totally freaking idiot...She states we have nothing to fear from anyone on this planet. Does she really believe we have nothing to fear from those who have declared their hatred of this country, called us the Great Satan, and whose stated purpose is to wipe us from the face of the earth?

    "Many people have fled radical Muslim regimes to live in the U.S. Hardly anyone has fled the U.S. to live under radical Muslim regimes." —Arnold Kling

    Perhaps she would care volunteer...

  4. Self-defense does not require the innocent to sit idly by waiting to be attacked by a proven aggressor. --Ken Connor

    A just fear of an imminent danger, though there be no blow given, is a lawful cause of war. --Sir Francis Bacon

    Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others.—Alexander Hamilton

  5. I believe so much of what liberal peace activists say is said from a point of ignorance. I don't think they are stupid so much as ignorant and un-educated. The process of setting and implementing National Policy (pick one: military, economic, humanitarian, etc.) is not well understood. It's complicated to say the least, but it must be understood BEFORE it is justifiably criticized. Facts form the basis for any valid arguement and to me, the liberally minded make too many factless arguements.

  6. I agree, Becky. Nice quotes, too! :-)

    And Sam...that ol' saying "There's none so blind as he who will not see..." certainly applies here. I made the point that so much ignorance on the Left is willful ignorance. And, in that case, another saying applies: "My mind is made up; don't confuse me with facts."


Just be polite... that's all I ask.