Blogenres: We have a poetry

: We have a poetry blog. Why not a comic blog?

Your crow, sir
: Andrew Sullivan did a great job nya-nyaing all the quagmirists who said we’d be stuck in a losing war in Afghanistan and rubbing their noses in their pessimistic errors.

Now let’s nya-nya Mr. Sullivan, too. What’s good for the goose…

I’m reminded of his quote of 9/160/1 [via webpan via Woods Lot via Follow Me Here]:

The terrorists have done the rest. The middle part of the country – the great red zone that voted for Bush – is clearly ready for war. The decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead – and may well mount a fifth column.

Decadent left? Fifth column? Nya-nya.

Every decadent coastal liberal I know is supporting the war and reclaiming the flag.

Road rage
: Britain is considering tracking where you drive with a satellite snoop and charging you for every mile. This from the same country that charges you for TV.

As my father would say: This is bassackwards.

If people are driving, it’s because they want to and need to. One of government’s most fundamental jobs is to accomodate that need with roads.

If anybody ever tried that in America, there’d be a revolt. Come to think of it, maybe this explains why we did revolt.

On the other hand
: Britain remains our friend. The Observer says Tony Blair will come to the U.S. to plot war on Iraq and show his support.

Managing up
: The Observer also explains why Blair is sticking close to us:

The challenge, it turns out, faces not America but the rest of the world. Rather than Americans having to handle decline, everyone else must try to manage this goliath. The challenge is made more severe by an American administration which, from tearing up international treaties to trampling over Geneva conventions, combines an instinct for unilateralism with absolute certainty about the justice and urgency of its mission. It’s a moot kind of victory for the campaign against terrorism when Osama bin Laden is still on the loose and the CIA foresees Afghanistan spiralling into civil war.

But a great triumph it has been proclaimed in the heads of President Bush and those who are guiding him to unleash further hostilities against anyone that America identifies as her enemy. The voices of restraint in Washington are decreasing in number and influence….

Relations between America and Europe, their oldest and most natural allies, are descending to a nadir not seen in more than half a century….

One European leader has set himself apart by refusing to utter a particle of public criticism of the United States. The wider the continental drift, the further Tony Blair stretches himself to straddle the chasm. He is sticking to the strategy that he instinctively formulated in a matter of minutes following the attacks on the Twin Towers. He continues to calculate that leverage over Washington is maximised by being the unswerving ally. That does not make him an unqualified admirer of this Oval Office. The intellectual capacity of Dubya is not highly rated within Downing Street. One of Mr Blair’s most influential foreign policy advisers regards George Bush as ‘imbecilic’, a global village idiot. The Prime Minister might secretly agree. Even if he did, he sees as much point hectoring America as there is in heckling a juggernaut.

Those in his government and party who expect Mr Blair to restrain Mr Bush’s ambitions to strike against Iraq are likely to be disappointed. The intelligence material that the Prime Minister sees makes him genuinely disturbed – it would not being going too far to say petrified – about Saddam Hussein’s potential ability to use weapons of mass destruction. Mr Blair is not against removing the Iraqi dictator. He is only concerned that the Americans produce a plan that actually works….

There are evident risks in Tony Blair’s approach. But it is a bit more dignified and intelligent than whining. He has come to the correct conclusion that resentful sniping at America has no traction on the megapower. The United States is not going to listen to lectures from Europe about American responsibilities. Not until Europe demonstrates a much greater willingness to start addressing its own responsibilities.

Sane Francisco?
: Another reason for Nick Denton to dislike San Francisco (and move to New York):

Nearly 1,000 anti-war protesters marched Saturday in San Francisco, chanting that the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and campaign against terrorism are inhumane and an excuse to erode civil liberties….

Protesters carried placards that read “War is Terror,” “Books not Bombs” and “Schools Not Jails.”

Beliefs: Leftist vs. not leftist
: Many have linked to Tristin Laughter’s wise essay (at Blogs of War) on how a friend’s death on 9.11 made her reconsider her political beliefs. I agree with most everything she says; I went through a similar conversion, which I wrote about here, discarding my pacifist beliefs to see that we had a moral obligation to fight this evil, to protect ourselves from its threat.

I want to quibble with just one thought she has here:

Now I know, in a visceral, human way, that the United States has enemies in the global arena, enemies capable of a brutality and a barbarism which marks their depravity. If being an American Leftist today means being defending that, then, I can’t be a Leftist. Fortunately, outside of youth culture, outside of punk rock world and aging baby boomers, there is a stabler and smarter Left which recognizes and contains the complexity of a truer vision of the U.S. I hope the appalling rhetoric of the Left’s culture heroes in the wake of Sept. 11 gives other politicized young people pause, even if they did not lose a friend.

My quibble is a small one but important in the label-wars of blogdom. I fear that I hear her molding herself to a label: “If being an American Leftist today means…” That is backwards. A person should start with her own beliefs and then, if a label fits, she can wear it; if not, not.

I despise the PC idiocy of people who call themselves liberal; I’m ashamed of their tyranny of language and belief; I am embarrassed by their artificial sentimentality. But that does not mean that I should reject certain beliefs just because some people believe them. I believe that society has a moral obligation to help care for those who cannot care for themselves; I believe that government and regulation are not all wrong. So am I liberal?

Similarly, I cannot abide the sanctimonious selfishness of people who call themselves conservative; I’m offended by their attempts to coopt God and country as their own; I am disgusted by their compulsion to demonize their opponents. But I believe that this war is right; I believe that business is not bad. So am I conservative?

I am what I am. And I believe that every individual is capable of reaching his or her own belief (and changing them, too). I hope that people do not believe what Chomsky or O’Reilly believes just because they believe it. I have more faith in the electorate — in the masses — than that. That is why I don’t get hot-and-bothered by alleged media bias of either stripe; I think that the people, the voters, are quite capable of deciding for themselves whom and what to believe. That is what democracy is all about.

Beliefs: Why I’m not a Presbyterian
: I was raised a Presbyterian. My sister, of whom I am quite proud, is a Presbyterian minister. But I’m not a Presbyterian anymore and here is the main reason why. Once again, the Presbyterians have voted to forbid the ordination of gays.

What sanctimonious bigots they are.

I left the church 25 years ago, offended by the un-Christian backbiting I found in my congregation then, and I returned only because I had children and wanted to give them the choice I had. We tried two Presbyterian churches but they were ruled by more spiteful backbiting that was abetted by the bureaucrats in the denomination’s heirarchy; at one of them, as I said the other day, I was attacked for liking Cheers because it had sex. But worse than anything, I found that one of the congregation’s leading bodies had voted to oppose gays in the ministry; they went out of their way to do this. I called the minister a bigot and quit. I refused to raise my children in this atmosphere of hate.

We searched around and found a Congregational church where people are allowed to believe what they believe, where hate is not preached.

: Ted Barlow on religon and homosexuality (the post begins, “Kevin’s…).

: Missouri Synod Lutherans are worse. They don’t want to pray with nonlutherans. As if God is a religious bigot.

: Speaking of religious bigots, here we have Pat Robertson on Muslims. Not that he’s all wrong this time…

Beliefs: Starbucks and yoga
: I great line from Tim Russert in an otherwise foolish column by William Powers in the National Journal: “Russert quoted from something he’d recently read, a remark by a young woman who said: ‘I haven’t been to church in a long, long time, but Starbucks and yoga just doesn’t do it anymore.’