Christmas, according to Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1999, is when those in that particular faith tradition celebrate "the birth of a homeless child." Or, as Al Gore put it in 1997, "Two thousand years ago, a homeless woman gave birth to a homeless child." For Pete's sake, they weren't homeless -- they couldn't get a hotel room. They had to sleep in the stable only because Dad had to schlep halfway across the country to pay his taxes in the town of his birth, which sounds like the kind of cockamamie bureaucratic nightmare only a blue state could cook up. Except that in Massachusetts, it's no doubt illegal to rent out your stable without applying for a Livestock Shelter Change of Use Permit plus a Temporary Maternity Ward for Non-Insured Transients License, so Mary would have been giving birth under a bridge on I-95.
[E]ssentially modern post-Christian Europe, and Canada, and large parts of the United States...have replaced the traditional impulses of civilization, which is to breed, and to prosper, and to expand and survive with a culture of narcissism. You know, I'd like to have ... meaningless, promiscuous sex, and just think about myself all day long, and all week long, and all year long. But in the end, when you prioritize that, you actually destroy the culture that enables it.
I can understand why the transnational jet set -- the EU, the UN, the NGO neo-imperialists, the foreign correspondents for CNN, the BBC and so forth -- have a preference for strong, centralized states. The State Department was still in favor of keeping the Soviet Union together even after the Soviets had given up on it. It's a pain in the neck to have to update your Rolodex every half-century or so.
It's depressing that after three years the Democrats seem incapable of any kind of characterization of the enemy that approximates to reality. But it's not surprising. In the landscape of modern progressive pieties, there are no enemies, just friends whose grievances we haven't yet accommodated.
One can be pro-war or anti-war, but the notion that the fundamentalism that's threatening the world is Bush-Blair Christianity is so far off the mark as to be pathological.
So how about this: Turnout in the Kurdish north and Shi'ite south probably was higher than in the last U.S., British or Canadian elections. Legitimate enough for ya?
So John Kerry now is the first self-confessed war criminal in U.S. history to be nominated for president. Normally this would be considered an electoral plus only in the more cynical banana republics. But the Democrats seemed to think they could run an antiwar anti-hero as a war hero and nobody would mind.
Speaking as a foreigner -- which I believe entitles me to vote in up to three California congressional districts -- I've voted on paper ballots all my life and reckon all these American innovations -- levers, punch cards, touch screen -- are a lot of flim-flam. I would be all in favor of letting the head of Bangladesh's electoral commission design a uniform federal ballot for U.S. elections.
The Kerry campaign's bumbling ineptness this last month is a bit of a stunner to those of us who followed Bill Clinton for eight years. The Democrats may not know how to run a school district or a highway department, but they're supposed to be able to run scandals.
The New York Times was stunned that their short list of Cardinal Gloria Steinem, Cardinal Rupert Everett and Cardinal Rosie O'Donnell were defeated at the last moment by some guy who came out of left field and isn't even gay or female but instead belongs to the discredited 'Catholic' faction of the Catholic Church.
The Western front is the important one in this war -- the intersection between Islam and a liberal democratic tradition so mired in self-loathing it would rather destroy our civilization just to demonstrate its multicultural bona fides.
When nuclear weapons were an elite club of five relatively sane world powers, the Left was convinced the planet was about to go ka-boom any minute, and the handful of us who survived would be walking in a nuclear winter wonderland. Now anyone with a few thousand bucks and an unlisted number in Islamabad in his Rolodex can get a nuke, and the Left couldn't care less.