July 30, 2008 - July 23, 2008
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Sometimes it's wise to listen to an
I was going to wait six months before pulling this trick, but I'm too
full of myself to wait another 30 days. The crisis is already
approaching. When all is said and done, Republicans won't nominate
Giuliani because he's pro-abortion. Voting for him is more than a
compromise; it's a betrayal of moral principle. Republicans also won't
nominate John McCain, because he's crazy. Not in any ordinary way,
perhaps, but in the special way that happens to good men who are
captured, tortured, and held in isolation for too long by the most evil
denizens of our species. Yes, he's brave, but he can never again be
trusted as a warrior because our enemies found the weak spot we all
and used it to destroy him. Now he will pay any price to defeat
terrorism except hurting an enemy in custody. He also has the broken
man's hair-trigger temper, which will doom his chances in the final
any national election. The MSM may not be as badly dressed as a North
Vietnamese interrogator, but they're every bit as ruthless and
unscrupulous. They won't
hesitate to apply the cattle prod to McCain's weak spot and prove
how crazy he is when all the
chips are on the table.
Which leaves us with Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. Actually, it
doesn't. Mitt Romney will never be elected president. He may be a good
man. He was probably a good governor. He was almost certainly a good
business executive. But on the national stage he's a fish out of water.
Nobody -- not even Republicans -- wants a goody-goody for president.
When even a moron like Ben
can make you look ridiculous, you're done.
“Gone, Baby, Gone” director Ben
who tried mightily - but unsuccessfully - to get Sen. John Kerry
elected to the White House, said he expects ex-Gov. Mitt Romney to be
the Republican nominee in 2008.
Chatting about the upcoming presidential race on the season finale of
“Real Time with Bill Maher,” the Cambridge homey said he thinks the GOP
will end up with Romney because the ex-gov looks good, has nice hair -
and the Republicans really don’t have anyone else.
“He says he doesn’t like abortion and he’s all clean-cut and he looks
like a Ken doll,” said Affleck, who was doing a rather amusing
of our ex-gov during the Romney rant...
Humorist P.J. O’Rourke, who was also on the panel, pointed out that
Romney has a “fundamental problem” with conservatives: “He was governor
Which really sent Ben off the deep end!
“‘I hate liberals,’ is what he’s basically now saying. He’s holding his
nose saying, ‘I wish I didn’t even have to be in Massachusetts. I’m
sorry I was there. I hated them when I was governor. I hated
Massachusetts. I was governor because I wanted to kill them all!’ ”
Added Maher: “If he were a movie, he’d be ‘Say Anything.'”
True, it's not hard to make Ben Affect look ridiculous, either. His
whole career is reprised in the movie that first made him famous, Good Will Hunting
which he played the numbskull friend of Harvard alum Matt Damon. In the
movie, no one thought Ben was smart because Matt Damon was. In real
life, some people do
Ben's smart because Matt Damon is. But it's really pretty easy to
collapse a house of cards. In Ben's case, we
did it a long long time ago
. In the final analysis, he's a
completely average dumb guy who got lucky by having a smart friend.
But this time, we should all pay attention. He's right about the "Ken
doll" thing. It takes one to know one. Mitt Romney really is
too plastic to be elected
Which leaves Fred Thompson. Who isn't even a candidate yet. But say he
throw his hat in the
ring. What then? Who's going to write all his
lines for him? Who's going to cue him with the the right riposte when
Hillary takes his head off in the first debate? Is Bruce Willis going
to rush in from the wings and take the bitch out with a .45? No. The
people who miss Reagan ought to be more aware than anyone that Fred
Thompson is not
Sometimes an actor really is just an actor.
Let's face it, folks. The only chance the Republicans have in 2008 is
to accept that they are going to lose in 2008 and do what's right
rather than what's expedient. Soldiers are most dangerous and effective
when they go into combat assuming they're already dead. It clears the
mind marvelously. That's why I'm re-running this
post from January word for word
There's a lot of conventional wisdom
swirling around out there about the 2008 presidential election, which
we're already supposed to believe is underway. Personally, I think it's
a false start and it won't be long till the contestants are ordered
back into the gate to wait just a bit longer.
Why? Because none of the current jockeying for position means anything
yet. It can't mean anything because presidential races are defined by
the issues voters care most about -- or can be made to care most about
-- in the election year. The MSM, the pundit class, and the blogosphere
may think they know how key variables are going to look in 2008, but
they don't. No one can say for sure how the economy, the Iraq War, the
Islamic terror threat, the immigration situation, the
Israeli-Palestinian standoff, or even the Bush presidency vs. the
Democrat congress will look to voters a year from now. Therefore, much
of the handicapping that's going on presently is worthless, especially
the talk about who can or cannot win.
Republicans in particular should cool their jets for a bit. Even more
than the Democrats they seem intent on outsmarting themselves by basing
their allegiances on which of a bunch of dubious candidates they think
can prevail in a general election. Ironically, they do this while
lamenting the absence of a Ronald Reagan to lead and inspire them. I'm
old enough to remember that the chief argument used against Ronald
Reagan as a presidential candidate was that he had no chance of winning
a national election; he was doomed to be another Goldwater. I thought
that too. Right up to the moment when, with much wailing and gnashing
of teeth, the three networks took to the air on election night and
announced an overwhelming victory for Reagan.
There's even more irony afoot. Conservatives can barely contain their
outrage about the fact that the remaining Republicans in congress
continue to betray party principles and refuse to speak or act like
Republicans. Meanwhile, the very same conservatives are tying
themselves in knots to explain why they feel obligated to support some
particular candidate -- Giuliani, Romney, McCain -- with whom they
disagree about numerous fundamental issues. Aren't they doing the same
thing they're accusing their party leadership of doing? Yes. They are.
Let's forget about electability for a moment. Think about the candidate
base in terms of conservative principles. McCain is twice a traitor --
an accomplice in the McCain-Feingold abomination and in helping the MSM
portray the Bush administration as a gang of amoral torturers. Giuliani
is a New York City Republican, meaning that he's not a conservative at
all, but a kind of JFK Democrat; no matter how much squinting we do to
forgive him because he's strong on national security, he's still
pro-choice, pro gay rights, squishy on illegal aliens, and inevitably
tilted toward the preeminence of city folk over country folk. Romney is
a Massachusetts Republican who is suddenly claiming to be a social
conservative, and it's painful to read all the rationalizations
conservatives are concocting to make his johnny-come-lately conversions
seem plausible. Brownback is squishy on the Iraq War. Jeb Bush looks as
if he will refuse to run this time around, under any circumstances.
That leaves a only a couple of congressmen whose ability to function on
a national stage is still a big question mark. And Newt Gingrich.
Ah yes. Newt. He runs through all the other gobbledy-gook conservatives
write like a thread of wistful sorrow. If only he were electable... If
only he didn't have so much personal and political baggage... If only
he weren't too smart to connect with average Americans...
Then, when he speaks to a convocation of conservatives, the wistfulness
becomes a yearning ache. He's so smart. He has real ideas about how to
fix what's wrong. He reminds us of why we became conservatives in the
first place. What a terrible shame that we can't have him instead of
all those others.
Why can't we have him instead
of all those others? Yes, he might lose, perhaps even badly. But that
might well happen with anyone else, too, and if it does happen with
anyone else, the definition of conservative principles will be further
eroded and delegitimized. One thing we can be sure of is that a
Gingrich candidacy would provide the best opportunity since Reagan to
offer the American people a brilliantly clear statement of the
difference between conservatism and "progressive" socialism. It would
also generate significant new ideas around which young conservatives
can rally and establish forward-looking policy positions. No one but
Newt has the brains or the balls to take on the U.S. State Department
-- that perpetual dagger in the heart of U.S. foreign policy -- and the
sheer brokenness of so many huge agencies in the federal government. No
one else can make the case in advance -- and memorably -- for why
Americans should resist the Democrats' inevitable demand for a national
health care system of socialist design.
Conservatives keep bemoaning the fact that the Republican party has
lost its identity and betrayed its core beliefs in a vain attempt to
compromise with an unscrupulous political foe. How can that identity
ever be reestablished and core beliefs recovered if there is no one to
articulate them, defend them, and actually win the debate against the
Here's what we can know about Newt for certain. He will pulverize any Democrat candidate in
televised debates. He may not come across as more likeable, but he will
certainly be perceived as brilliant, lightning quick on his feet, and
in command of the facts. He will be amazingly effective in overturning
the liberal mantra that conservatives are dumb, backward hicks with
thick tongues and clicheed positions. He will make conservativism new
and vital again. That's exactly what Goldwater and Reagan did.
Moreover, despite all my reservations about the vailidity of discussing
electability this early on, I suggest to you that Newt is far less
unelectable than he looks to conservative power brokers. Yeah, he's had
a messy private life, with divorces and affairs. Ditto, though, for
Giuliani. And McCain. It may be Clinton's real legacy that he's cleared
the way for other bad boys to get a pass on this kind of stuff. It's
also likely that Newt will be running against Hillary, whose private
life is also spectacularly messy. And, yeah, Newt may also be notorious
for having participated in the impeachment of Clinton while he was
having an affair of his own, but does Hillary really want to make an
issue of hypocrisy, and does she (or any Democrat) really want to
dredge up the scandals of her husband's administration, which include
her own close calls with indictment for obstruction and/or perjury?
A few other quick points. It's supposed to be bad that Newt is an
honest-to-goodness intellectual. But after eight years of "Bush is so
dumb he..." jokes, maybe Americans really are ready for a super-smart
president. Also, he has a temper and an outrageous ego. Uh, need I
remind you again that he's running against Hillary? He's a mean
sonofabitch? Uh, Hillary?
And if Hillary is the nominee, we can be absolutely certain that the
campaign will be the dirtiest in history. She will stop at nothing to
win. Nothing. In that case, we will need a fighter who's tough enough
to counterpunch and mean enough to go for the jugular himself. Mitt
In short, Newt Gingrich's perceived liabilities may turn out to be a
complete wash with those of his opponent. Too conservative? That
shouldn't concern us. If the ideas are good, we should trust our
Trust our convictions. What an
odd idea. Give it a try.
Conservatives, reach into your pants and find your balls. Republicans,
find a conservative and ask him what it feels like to have balls. Then
-- all of you -- get on your knees and beg Newt Gingrich to run. I
mean, what would you do if you knew
we were going to lose? You'd want them to pay for the privilege, right?
Forget the nice guys. And the damaged guys. And the plastic guys. It's
time for a fucking gladiator. And we have one.
Did you find anything in there, you conservatives? Well, keep looking.
Maybe they'll turn up.
It seems that Michelle
is also skeptical about Fred Thompson as the Second Coming
People are asking me to comment on the
non-announcement announcement by unnamed Fred Thompson advisers about a
non-public public non-plan plan to officially non-officially test the
waters for a presidential bid that may or may not happen on July 4, but
probably the first week of July, which "could culminate in a formal
announcement over the July 4th weekend," but maybe not at all because
nothing is official yet.
What's there to say?
You could say what you know and never admit: InstaPunk is always right.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Unfortunately for some, blue is also
the color of angels.
several presidential elections now, New Jersey has shown
up in the "blue" column, giving a strong edge to Clinton (twice), Gore,
Kerry at the polls, as well as two successive Democrat governors, a
Democrat state legislature, and a string of Democrat U.S. Senators.* In
the mathematics of the left, this means we're
solid with the rest of the post-modern, anti-capitalist peaceniks of
the northeast, demonstrating our dyed-in-the-wool liberalism
to a degree even Massachusetts can't match. (Remember Romney?) So, when
the lefties color New Jersey in on their political maps,
they must be looking deep into the Crayola box for that one special,
truly pure shade of cobalt blue which to them signifies near unanimous
immunity against the conservative retrovirus they're battling in the
red states. There shouldn't be any more jingoistic pro-military yahoos
in Jersey than in, say, Marin County, California, right?
Wrong. The lefties who view the states as monochromatically good (blue)
or bad (red)
would have been dismayed by what happened in Millville, New Jersey,
over the weekend. Millville is the home of the annual Millville Air
. You probably haven't heard of it because no MiG has ever
down half the town in a display of state-of-the-art Russian technology.
If you've noticed the graphic above, you might even be skeptical that
luminaries like the Blue Angels would show up to perform their
death-defying act at a small airport bordering the scrabbly
wasteland called the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Especially after their
a few weeks ago. Isn't the whole world supposed to come to
a standstill if a single 'boy' dies in a military-related event?
The biggest, most powerful fighter plane of WWII.
Two reasons. First, Millville Army Air Field (MAAF) was a
World War II training facility for P-47 fighter pilots. P-47s
were the A-10s
time, destroyers of trains, trucks, tanks, factories, artillery,
everything else that can be struck on the ground. That's why the
official name of the A-10
is, like the P-47, Thunderbolt
The P-51 Mustang was more glamorous, perhaps, but the P-47 was the real
workhorse of American fighter planes:
The City of Millville, small as it is, has never forgotten the part it
played in World War II and works diligently to keep this heritage alive
in the MAAF
. The annual air show is an essential part of that effort,
and it has become one of the biggest and best attended in the east.
Second, the Blue Angels don't quit performing when one of their team
dies. What they do is dangerous. That's a given. Their aviators are not
'boys,' any more than our combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are.
Hence, as scheduled, they performed in Millville on May 26 and 27,
2007. (And for one of their technical support team, the two-day event
represented a homecoming
Happily, Mrs. InstaPunk and I were there to see it, and what we saw
went far beyond what we could have expected. The experience of the Blue
Angels was... well, I'll get to that, and it's worth waiting for, but
the rest of the show was also well worth the 90-degree heat, the lack
of shade, and the miles of walking involved.
Mrs. InstaPunk was most taken with the current military hardware on
display, like the F/A-18s flown by U.S. Marines in Iraq and attended at
the show by their young pilots.
Should it be unnerving to see a young
girl in the sights of an F/A-18? It isn't.
Once I lost her in the crowd, but I used my head and went looking for
the biggest cluster of marine pilots. There she was, of course,
chatting with them about their latest tour in Iraq. But she wouldn't
let me take her picture with them because "all women look awful in this
kind of heat."
answering questions despite the din of a B1-B flying overhead.
I liked the modern jets just fine, but I was enthralled to see so many
vintage WWII aircraft on display, including Stearman and Texan
fighter-trainers, a Corsair, a Thunderbolt, a Mustang, a flying boat I
couldn't identify, and a B-25 Mitchell bomber like the ones General
Doolittle flew to Tokyo.
B-25 taxiing back from its flight demonstration
And much more than these, of course, including veteran aircraft from
Korea, Vietnam, the Berlin Airlift, Desert Storm, and even Coast Guard
rescue craft. I can't possibly do them all justice here. The same goes
for the flying demonstrations. Words can't convey the shock to your
ears, and your visual sense of physics, of a B1-B or F-15 passing over
your head at a few hundred feet and then climbing to an altitude of
invisibility within a matter of seconds. Contemporary warplanes seem to
be merely the visible lead point of a tidal wave of sound, which unrolls
behind them like a dense sheet of thunder stretched so taut and
thin by the force of flight that the whole sky becomes a loudspeaker.
Like music, the roaring and screaming of this sky feels like the
harmony of mathematics translated into sensory terms, so that the
extraordinary power of the minds behind the intricately menacing
machinery permeates your body from brain to bones. This singing human
thunder contains in every moment the entire history of flight, without
a word, from the blackboards filled with tiny computations to the
daring of the Lindberghs and Yeagers, to the decades of dogfights
between competing pilots, planes, nations, technologies, and times.
Without thinking, you simply feel the life and death and danger and
exhilaration of aerial war and the heroes who have taken to the skies
in our defense. And you know, without the smallest calculation, that no
one on earth, however arrogant or evil, wants to be on the receiving
end of this magnificent flying shield of ours which can also deal out
utter devastation in an instant. It's frightening, joyful, and
awe-inspiring all at the same time, and the shifting shapes of the
planes themselves, on the deck or vanishing into the ozone, are a
continuous permutation of the dread side of beauty.
I'm not making this up. The organizers of the air show and the people
who attend it are intensely aware of the simultaneity of history and
the all encompassing present of warplanes climbing and diving without
gunfire in the free skies of our home. After the F-15 assaulted our
senses, a newly restored P-51 Mustang mesmerized all of us with the
synchrony of its Rolls-Royce engine and its ability to turn and roll
and charge in a phantom solo dogfight over the D-Day battlefield
symbolized by the black stripes on its wings. While the pilot pushed
the old bird on and on, big band music played, summoning that brave,
desperate era before almost all present were born, when 19-year-olds
fresh from college and ordinary civilian dreams clambered into machines
not much longer than a good-sized family room and risked everything for
their country after only a few short months of training. Maybe the
youngest only stared up at it and smiled at its grace, but every face
with a few lines on the brow looked up with appreciation and a kind of
reverence: God bless this machine
which did so much and brought so many safely home.
hardcore bikers there, with their headscarves and bellies and boots
(and a separate parking lot filled with choppers), and they, too,
humble and grateful as children who've gotten the rarest of treats.
The P-51 made a second appearance -- a deeply moving one -- flying in
wing-to-wing formation with the F-15 while the air show's PA system
played Tommy Dorsey's "Sentimental Journey." This was the show's
"Heritage Tribute," and we all watched in open-mouthed solemnity mixed
with a curious sense of paradox. Yes, the F-15 was flying at a fraction
of its top speed, but the two planes turned and rolled gracefully in
tandem and so close together that one could feel the trust that had
somehow been created between the professional Air Force pilot in the
Eagle and the civilian amateur in the Mustang. It was a brief,
beautifully executed time warp with a perfect musical accompaniment.
My own favorite flying performance of the day was a four-fer: the P-51
(again), a blue bent-wing Corsair, a silver P-47, and an olive P-40
Warhawk chasing one another in a great ellipse above the crowd. I had
never seen the latter two actually flying, and the performance was not
listed in the program, so their appearance was an unexpectedly dramatic
delight. On each circuit the oldest of them, the P-40, lagged farther
behind, and I remembered my dad
explanation of why his unit had their
Warhawks replaced with Thunderbolts: "We were supposed to fly bomber
escort, but we couldn't keep up with them... That's not a good thing."
But the P-40 still belonged with the others, a smaller, slower, older
brother of the more famous P-51, and it had its own unique place in
history as the weapon of the daredevil Flying Tigers, legends in their
own right in China and Burma.
I keep wanting to say more about the crowd, but there isn't much to say
because they were not the bloated, intrusive, oblivious beast you
encounter at the mall. The children were well behaved, closely tended
by parents who understood the responsibility of bringing them into the
presence of dangerous machinery on a very hot day. So there was no
running, no pushing, no yelling, no cursing, no annoyance of any kind
perpetrated by kids. Among the adults, there were no cross words, no
dirty looks, no beer coolers, no shoulder bumps, no grumblings or signs
of complaint (well, I did hear one guy get cross about paying $3 for a
cupful of ice), and amazingly enough in a crowd this large and
dispersed, no smoking. Only the trashcans communicated the stricture
against lighting up in the vicinity of so much aircraft fuel, but I
didn't see a single rebellious exception in four hours. It's amazing
how a vast crowd of seemingly average Americans simply slides,
lubricated by plenty of "excuse me's" and "that's okay's," into the
background of an experience everyone is simply glad to attend. And so
they are memorable for having been in no other way memorable. Sometimes
it feels good to be an American, even in 2007.
But it was also punishingly hot. Three-and-a-half hours in, Mrs.
InstaPunk, who's so Irish she's actually in danger of bursting into
flame from contact with too much sun, confessed over funnelcake that
she was probably going to expire of heat-stroke before the Blue Angels
performed. Since that was the one thing she had been most determined to
see, I knew it was serious and started steering her toward the exit.
"We can watch the performance from the parking lot," I reassured her,
"after we've resuscitated ourselves with a blast of air-conditioning in
the car." Eventually she agreed, and we started the mile long hike to
the car. We walked slowly, to preserve her strength, and finally
attained the target objective under our own steam 15 minutes before the
Blue Angels were slated to take off. (To be fair, her version is
slightly different; she claims she had to drag my inert body only part
of the way, and a kind Millville cop drove us the last three-quarter
mile or so back to the car. But you know how women are. They always
I confess to feeling disappointed. While Mrs. InstaPunk waited in the
car, I looked past the hangar rooftops that obstructed our view of the
airfield and listened for the PA system to announce the beginning of
the show. The first indication I had of the Main Event was the
unmistakeable chord set that launches "Start Me Up" by the Rolling
Stones. This was followed by "Wild Thing" as the jet engines of the
Blue Angels' F/A-18s leaped into life wth billows of smoke that could
be seen even from our distant vantage point. By now I had detected that
across the street from our lot -- even farther from the action than we
were -- the Millville Eks Lodge seemed to have the full membership on
hand, ensconced in lawn chairs on their porch as well as lawn chairs
arrayed in the beds of innumerable pickup trucks. We were DEFINITELY
going to be able to see something.
We heard the takeoff. It sounded like the naval guns beginning the
bombardment of Normandy on D-Day. But still no sign of those blue and
yellow machines we had seen lined up on the tarmac. "They can't do all
their maneuvers ten feet off
the runway," I offered lamely. "Of course not," said Mrs InstaPunk.
By now the sound was firing at us from, seemingly, all points of the
compass. We, and a few others camped pathetically in the parking lot,
craned our heads in every direction. Where were they? Where was the
sound coming from?
Then I saw them. Four planes climbing straight up to the north. At our
distance from them, there was no separation among the triangular
shapes. Each wingpoint was welded to another, and the ascending
formation was but a single unit through which you could see small
triangles of sky. Behind us a shattering engine scream announced the
arrival of a fifth plane, and a sixth, returning to the airfield from
the south at very low altitude. They disappeared, and apparently parted
company, behind the hangars that blocked our view west, but after their
exhaust blasts diverged, I suddenly saw them through a wide gap between
the two biggest hangars -- passing each other in opposing directions
nearly six inches apart just a couple hundred feet over the runway.
"There!" I shouted. "Je
There were seven planes in all, but it seemed like more. We got the
feeling of being at the epicenter of a vast virtual armillary sphere,
around which various combinations of planes were orbiting in all
possible directions, in impossibly tight formations, to the limit of
the invisible tether that bound them, until the gravity of the center
pulled them back together at the reckless velocity of a brand new
universe. When they converged and flew past one another, the colliding
onslaught of sound resembled Stephen Hawking's version of the Big Bang,
an incipient mega-explosion that doesn't ever quite happen because you
can never get closer than a trillionth of a second to the birth of
"We can go now," announced Mrs. InstaPunk. "I've seen the Blue Angels."
So we started the car and began the drive back home.
That should be the end of it. But it isn't. When you leave the ballgame
or the concert, you're almost immediately outside the action and
whatever you hear of it is muted, diminished, and subsiding. When you
leave the epicenter of a Blue Angels performance, you are merely
plotting the direction of subsequent, incredibly immediate encounters.
We hadn't thought of that. But the residents of Millville and the
surrounding rural areas had. We reached the heavily wooded main road
that would lead us back home, and the first clearing we came to was
lined on both sides by cars, pickup trucks, motorcycles, lawn chairs,
blankets and dozens of people. We followed the direction of their
upturned faces, and here came the Blue Angels again, four planes locked
together as one, slowly rotating as they shivered the pine trees en
"Should I pull over?" I asked. "They've obviously got the perfect spot
here to watch from. I don't want you to miss anything."
"No. Keep going. It's okay."
hadn't gotten it.
Nobody had to go to the air show to experience the power and majesty of
the Blue Angels. As we proceeded down what I'd always known as a back
country road, every gap in the trees, every crossroad was jammed with
cars, bikes, and people. Where there were houses, there were crowds,
and the American flags flew, and the Blue Angels obliged by flying past
and back again, showering us with waves of sound that rattled windows
and rippled the wading pools.
Through one stretch of pure woods, we experienced a flyover so low that
both of us ducked inside the car. The sound of the plane overhead was
like a a yard of duct tape being ripped off your naked eardrums.
Farther on, more people, more cars, more flags, the occasional,
helplessly grinning state trooper guarding an intersection, and oddly
unhurried traffic away from the show. I drove just under 50 and was
astonished that an old biker who could have been Paul Teutle, Sr, made
no effort to pass. When he finally turned off, I tossed him a wave, and
he gave me a nod.
I'm sure that Hillary and Obama believe there's no price to be paid for
supporting the troops by defunding the American military machine. Maybe
they're right. All I know is that there's a vast unknown reservoir of
American devotion to the bravest and most heroic aspects of the
American military. Even here in the blue states, we retain the ability
to be inspired, to be humble in the face of our national greatness, and
a desire to live up to that greatness when the critical moment comes.
This weekend we saw the Blue Angels. More importantly, we got a glimpse
of the spiritual impact heroes can have on ordinary Americans. It's not
just the noise and speed. It's more than that. 'Shock and awe' isn't about machinery. It's about what a proud, free people can do when
they finally set their minds to do it.
Thanks to our friends at ColdFury.com
for the link. What a kick-ass name for a blog.
There are blue states, and then there are blue states. Today, Michelle Malkin
has a report that San Franciscans are seeking to ban the Blue Angels
from their city during Fleet Week. These people really do need to be
stood up against a wall and shot.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
About the Flag
. Well meaning nincompoops are still nincompoops. The nincompoops
on Fox & Friends
was a truly fine and transcendant idea (and please note the date):
Saying he was frustrated with the
public's fascination with low-grade celebrities in a time of war, the
city manager of Long Beach ordered Thursday that city flags be flown at
half-staff to honor soldiers who died in Iraq.
City Manager Edwin Eaton said he consulted informally with the
five-member City Council before issuing the order, which will remain in
effect until further notice. "Obviously, not forever," Eaton said.
"While our society and media outlets appear to be consumed by the
antics and activities of dysfunctional personalities and the
'glitterati,' we tend to forget that each day Americans are anonymously
dying in Iraq," Eaton said in a memo to city department heads.
"I think it only fair that they be remembered and honored. To achieve
that end, we hereby direct that American flags throughout the city be
flown at half-mast," the memo read.
Eaton, a self-described "draft avoider" in the Vietnam era, said in an
interview that he felt he had to do something after watching
"Entertainment Tonight" and other media outlets focus on celebrities
who have little talent except for getting themselves in the public
Traditionally, the American flag is flown at half-staff for the death
of a former president or other prominent figure, and on Memorial Day or
other designated days of mourning.
What probably gave Eaton the idea was the ill-conceived decision some
weeks ago to fly the flag at half-staff in Virginia after the mass
murders there. Another well meaning act of self-flagellation (pun
The problem with Eaton's idea is that it's completely wrong. Out troops
do not go into battle carrying the flag at half-staff. The iconic image
of the flag that inspires and exemplifies the ideals they are fighting
for is never
It is a proud and audacious banner
that countless men in our armed forces have died trying to raise and
keep aloft under the most terrible battlefield onslaughts imaginable.
And it is precisely in those moments which most test our resolve and
national spirit that the rest of us should be the most determined to
fly the flag
at the very top of the staff.
On Memorial Day, we specifically remember those who have fallen
defending our flag by lowering it for a day. But to honor them truly
the remainder of the year, it's our duty to hold the standard high, as
done and continue to do far more courageously than we ever can.
the troops also means honoring what the troops are fighting for.
A thought to consider this Memorial Day.