December 21, 2008 - December 14, 2008
According to Drudge this morning, Mike Huckabee is now claiming
that his support for a federal smoking ban has been misrepresented.
the clip of his original comments above and decide for yourselves what
you should believe about his philosophy of governance.
But the sad news is that he's not the one who's out of step in the current social environment. The ones out of step are those of us who think government interference in matters of personal health and personal vice is the most dangerous slippery slope there is.
Even the alphabet networks concede that the 'nanny state' isn't just a paranoid neologism. Here's an acknowledgment from NBC.
ABC News correctly identifies that the pioneer of much of the blatant
social engineering being written into our laws is the State of
Smoking, obviously, is not the be all and end all of government's
invading our homes and cars and workplaces with their superior
knowledge about how we should all live. Practically everything else is
on the list too, particularly guns, but also such staples as
transportation and food. Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker of the House for
one year and has accomplished practically nothing legislatively. But
she has managed to inflict her native Californian faux-haute cuisine on the
congressional representatives of all 50 states:
Everything we consume and do is now supposed to be "environmentally
friendly and socially progressive." That's how it's possible to make
smoking objectively evil while the far greater health risk of
promiscuity is beyond subjective criticism. They've succeeded with
they're presently hard at work trying to accomplish the same trick with
eating red meat and other real foods that taste good. How hard is it to
imagine the day when barbecuing a juicy burger becomes a disgustingly
activity? Like so:
That clip is from the movie Demolition Man, which seems to
do a pretty good job of imagining the California of the future. Who
will be the Che-esque freedom
That's right. The valiant underdogs will be people who just want to
live their lives without some damn food prude or psychosomatic
asthmatic autocrat looking for excuses to lock them up. What, you ask,
does a "cigar the size of Cincinnati" look like? It looks like this.
But forget it. Your future isn't going to include anything like that.
Not in a free country like this one. What you're much more likely to
inherit from the populists who care so damn much about you that you
can't wait to vote their controlling asses into office is this:
If they can take the fun out of eating, there isn't much they can't
take the fun out of. Eventually, they'll get around to everything, but
the very next item on their long list is your personal transportation.
(No, you don't have to watch the whole thing. But you really really should.)
pretty sure they can get away with selling us idiots on hybrids.
Because those of us who object are a bunch of dumb NASCAR types, too
stupid and inbred to get out of our own way. What they don't realize is
that us NASCAR fans are actually pretty damn smart, and we can prove it.
Maybe we should be just a little bit worried.
POSTSCRIPT. One of our more disreputable contributing bloggers has strayed once again into the ranks of the MSM with an op-ed piece in the Providence Journal. If you like, you can see it here. It's about a past that wouldn't begin to understand today's entry.
I'm going to leave it to others to discuss the betrayals,
absurdities, and consequences
of the amicus brief filed by the Department of Justice in the
Washington, DC, gun ban case. My purpose is only to provide what small
relief I can in the form of the Paul
D. Clement Dartboard. Yes, he's the Solicitor General who filed
the brief in support of the DC gun ban, and his background is exactly
what you'd expect:
After that he went on to do some conservative-looking things, but by
then he already was who he so obviously is now. When will conservatives
learn they can take their officials out of the most left-wing universities, but
they can't take the left-wing universities out of their officials?
Have a beer and fire your darts when ready. (Hit Refresh to play again.)
I'm not saying we all approve of your decision
to enter the NFL draft. I, for one, don't. Not because Rutgers
needs you but because you may still need a Rutgers education and the
possibilities it offers if football doesn't provide for your future.
Yes, I know the arguments. A running back like you takes so much
physical abuse that another unpaid year could represent a permanent
loss in your lifetime income. But so could the very next play in
college or the NFL. Brian Leonard, your one-time partner in the Rutgers
backfield, was named the top
NCAA scholar-athlete just a year ago. Did he agree with your decision to give
up your senior year and (I'm guessing) a college degree from one of the
best state universities in the country?
Sad to say, even the appearance that you dropped out of college to get instant gratification in the NFL is a bad signal to thousands of other high-school and college athletes. Almost all of them should be using athletic programs to get an educational opportunity, not using educational institutions to get an athletic opportunity. How many young athletes will absorb the implicit wrong lesson from your decision that they don't need to study or learn or get good grades because there's always a shortcut to the ranks of professional sports?
Well, maybe my real beef is with your coach. Did he tell you this decision was really in your best interest? If so, fie on him. The truth is, it isn't. (And if you didn't make that crystal clear to him, Schiano, shame on you. Consider this: in the near century and a half of Rutgers football history before your tenure, none of its football players got seduced away from a Rutgers degree by an NFL promise to replace their education with permanent maiming and a 56 year life expectancy. Is this really what Paterno does? And is this really progress for the university you serve?)
Oh well. All that aside, thank you. Ray Rice the running back has been a great and inspirational star. You've brought tremendous joy to the students and alumni of Rutgers and to the citizens of New Jersey. We admire your talent, your determination, your perseverance, your incredibly wicked straight-arm, and your oft-expressed team spirit. Please don't take it amiss if some of us wish you had earned a degree as well as the lifelong adulation of your fans. It's just that the latter won't help you if your knee is destroyed a day or a year into your NFL contract, and the former could enable you to provide for you and your family for the next 50 years. That might not be a trade-off at Boise State or Auburn, but it sure is at Rutgers.
However it goes, we'll always be admiring fans. Here's a tribute from a Rutgers graduate we know who journeyed to Toronto to see your final 280 yard rushing performance in the International Bowl.
. Congratulations on the New
Giants. There was a sign in the end zone at Dallas Stadium none of
sportscasters referenced, but it said, "Who wants it more?" It was the
right question. Dallas had more talent, at times frighteningly so, but
the Giants staged a heroic, truly gutty performance to win. I'll be
rooting for them against both Green Bay and the Patriots.
. I know
that for non-Scots the bagpipes and the Highland Fling
are a sort of easy joke. No other ethnic group combines quite the same
longevity and rigid stereotypicality as the Scots -- ridiculous at once
for their nauseating (truly) cuisine, their men in skirts, their
earsplitting imitation of music, their barbarism, and their anti-poetic
glottal speech, as well as their enormous contribution to priggish
(i.e., Presbyterian) protestantism and the equally black arts of
economics and industry, including capitalism itself and all the
grunting, puffing, clacking machines that made capitalism an industrial
reality in the first place. I think Scots are funny
myself, and that's
largely because I'm a Scot.
On the other hand, Scots are one of only three tribal cultures that have arced all the way from the prehistoric past to the high-tech present without losing either their original identity or their individuality. And of the three, they're the only one whose first response was always to kick the ass of anyone who dissed them. All three cultures have played a major role in shaping the world everyone else lives in. The Irish have defined poetry for the world. The Jews, philosophy and psychology and science. The Scots have defined economic competition as warfare by other means, innovation as wealth, and free markets as personal liberty. And alone among the three, the Scots have never stopped going to war when it suited them.
This weekend, Mrs. CP and I went to a concert of the Coldstream Guards and the Royal Scots Dragoons. One English, one Scots, now integrated into a single regiment. The Brits are going multicultural. The concert was magnificent. Part of it had to do with retracing the musical steps of the Coldstream Guards. There were tricorn hats, bassoons, and an instrument called the Serpent. Then there was a Coldstream waltz, written by a Coldstream commander, and it was a competently done piece of composing and playing. The audience loved it.
Eventually, though, the program calls for the pipes and drums of the Royal Scots Dragoons. When the pipes start, it's as if everyone else has left the hall. When all ten pipers line up, the British Empire seems to fall away, and we are left with their pagan wail, their mammoth-fur busbees, and what the Scots call drums -- the choreographed beating of bones on bones the ancient Celts used to bring themselves in and out out of battle.
They also played a tribute to all the American services. This was at the Kimmel Center. It occurred to me that members of this audience would be found at multiple other concerts, from the Beatles to the Big Bands to Ray Charles to John Coltrane to Motown to Whitney Houston to U2 to the Black-Eyed Peas and Warren Zevon, but they were nevertheless white, and no non-Celtic audience would ever attend such a performance. Where, I wondered, was diversity now? It lay in the services. As the Guards played the anthems for the marines and the navy and the army and the coast guard and even the merchant marine, members of the audience stood, sat down, and then gave a standing ovation for the hands aross the sea, and that land across the sea.
At the intermission, we got to meet members of the Guards. The man in the middle up top told us he was the first black member of the Coldstream Regiment. We congratulated him. He was from Fiji. What would they do with a real black man, like Osi Umenyiora? That's right. This is the United States. Everyone else iin the world is worse at liking people for superficial things like talent, looks, and ability.
You see, the Royal Scots Dragoons had been folded into the English Coldstream Guards. Scots are assholes, but they're not snobs. The Coldstream Guards are English and the English remain who they have always been. I was shocked when the Scots dancer we met burst into the Scots tongue I hadn't expected to hear. It was his job to dance over the crossed swords. He did it like Romans were watching.
He had never been in the United States before. I didn't ask him if he was liking it. I only expressed the hope that our people would be hospitable to him. He seemed nice. Let's hope... (Sorry. The vid is from the Edinburgh Tattoo, which includes the Royal Scots Dragoons.)
Just a thought. All you people who don't believe in God. Why not
believe in Scots? God only knows they're pagan and ancient enough...
A final video from the Scots Dragoons.
See you tomorrow.
P.S. Yeah, I forgot. The Scots Dragoons also won the battle of Waterloo. Here's one of the most famous war paintings of the 19th Century.