reflections of a pragmatic optimist, lover of freedom

Month: March 2008 (Page 1 of 3)

Pardon Our Dust

To accommodate an improvement in the way I write and submit my posts, I’ve had to republish all my old entries. I seem to have succeeded in doing so without causing those entries to appear as new in the blog’s Atom feed. But in cases where I didn’t get the necessary accompanying markup adjustments quite right, you may see some formatting oddities in archived posts — blockquotes with missing line breaks, paragraphs concatenated together, etc. — that I will hopefully notice and fix soon. (Blogger’s “Convert line breaks” setting is retroactive in its effect, so changing it for the benefit of my new posts requires me to adjust all the old ones to look right with the new setting.)

The expected payoff for all the trouble is a faster, easier process that I hope will lead me to do more writing and post here more often. (A-ha! I said it! I committed!)

So, per this post’s title and the usual signage convention, please “Pardon Our Dust” during renovations. We are improving our facilities to better serve you, our valued customers…

Thank You for your patience during this transition,
The Management

“The Bolivarian Republic of Massachusetts?”

At Heritage c/o Instapundit:

The Christian Science Monitor reports today that “liberals from around the world” are flocking to Caracas “to experience Hugo Chavez’s experiment in socialism.” Liberals here in the United States worried about the carbon credits they’d have to purchase to offset a flight to Venezuela might consider visiting Massachusetts instead.

Heh indeed.

The news isn’t all light humor though. According to the author, Congressman James McGovern (D., Mass.) has been “working with an American go-between, who has been offering the [FARC] rebels help in undermining Colombia’s elected and popular government.”

I guess at least one contemporary Democrat feels he shares a common cause with Marxist “rebels”? How telling.

Update 3/26: More at Gateway Pundit

Obama’s “Carefully Chosen” Friends

(hat tip: Ann Althouse, c/o Instapundit)

Thomas Sowell at RealClearPolitics::

Barack Obama’s own account of his life shows that he consciously sought out people on the far left fringe. In college, “I chose my friends carefully,” he said in his first book, “Dreams From My Father.”

These friends included “Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk rock performance poets” — in Obama’s own words — as well as the “more politically active black students.” He later visited a former member of the terrorist Weatherman underground, who endorsed him when he ran for state senator.

Obama didn’t just happen to encounter Jeremiah Wright, who just happened to say some way out things. Jeremiah Wright is in the same mold as the kinds of people Barack Obama began seeking out in college — members of the left, anti-American counter-culture.

Read the rest — it’s a short piece, and well worth it.

Update:

Christopher Hitchens offers some incisive comments on the topic at Slate:

It’s been more than a month since I began warning Sen. Barack Obama that he would become answerable for his revolting choice of a family priest. But never mind that; the astonishing thing is that it’s at least 11 months since he himself has known precisely the same thing. “If Barack gets past the primary,” said the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to the New York Times in April of last year, “he might have to publicly distance himself from me. I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.” Pause just for a moment, if only to admire the sheer calculating self-confidence of this. Sen. Obama has long known perfectly well, in other words, that he’d one day have to put some daylight between himself and a bigmouth Farrakhan fan. But he felt he needed his South Side Chicago “base” in the meantime. So he coldly decided to double-cross that bridge when he came to it. And now we are all supposed to marvel at the silky success of the maneuver.

You often hear it said, of some political or other opportunist, that he would sell his own grandmother if it would suit his interests. But you seldom, if ever, see this notorious transaction actually being performed, which is why I am slightly surprised that Obama got away with it so easily.

and later:

Look at the accepted choice of words for the ravings of Jeremiah Wright: controversial, incendiary, inflammatory. These are adjectives that might have been — and were — applied to many eloquent speakers of the early civil rights movement. … But is it “inflammatory” to say that AIDS and drugs are wrecking the black community because the white power structure wishes it? No. Nor is it “controversial.” It is wicked and stupid and false to say such a thing. And it not unimportantly negates everything that Obama says he stands for by way of advocating dignity and responsibility over the sick cults of paranoia and victimhood.

Hitchens does make a number of excellent points. As with Sowell’s article, I suggest reading the whole piece.

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