Let me know if I’m being a right-wing paranoid. I saw a headline last week: “US military deaths in Afghanistan at 1,968.” (Article here.)
If a conservative Republican, rather than a liberal Democrat, were in the White House, would the media be doing a big countdown to 2,000?
Based on recent experience, am I being paranoid — or more like realistic? (It will shock you to know that I vote “realistic.”)
Think way back to the Florida recount in 2000. The Democrats worked pretty hard to block military ballots — to have them invalidated. This did not play very well, politically. About two weeks into the recount, Joe Lieberman went on Meet the Press to say that military voters should be given “the benefit of the doubt.” He continued, “Al Gore and I don’t want to ever be part of anything” that might hamper military voters. This horrified Democrats trying to win the election, but they backed off.
This year, the Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Democratic party of Ohio are suing Ohio for its policy on military voting: which gives military personnel extra time for early in-person voting, owing to the vagaries of what they do for us. To read a good article on the subject, go to that political ace, John Fund, here.
With some regularity, Democrats claim that the military favors their presidential candidates, who are thought to be less war-like. Isn’t it odd, then, that the one party seems so touchy about military ballots?
Is that McCarthyite? (Or just true?)
After Prince Harry’s most recent antics, I saw a lot of commentary about how he was just a “young person,” acting as a young person should, “blowing off steam,” etc. Harry is 27. How long will adulthood be delayed, as humanity “progresses”?
Keats was dead at 25. A lot of Britons, within memory, were dead on battlefields long before they reached Harry’s present age.
Just sayin’. Then again, one can make excuses for Harry: his parents’ marriage; his mother’s death.
One more thing: Is Harry a little like Princess Margaret — a younger sibling who can screw off because the older one has all the responsibility?
Here was a damn odd headline, last week — the mind sort of reeled, historically and otherwise: “Israel president asks Germany to back circumcision.” (Article here.)
I was reading Benjamin Kerstein on Noam Chomsky, here. And as I was reading, I thought, “This is some of the most intelligent, clearest, most honest writing I have read in a long time.” It was so good — so rich in those qualities — it reminded me of the writing of National Review’s managing editor, Jason Steorts.
Very high praise, from me.
In a blogpost, Daniel Hannan quoted Norman Nicholson, a “wistful Cumbrian poet,” said Hannan: “That’s the trouble with summer: It’s late so soon.”
I thought of the famous aria from Barber’s Vanessa (words by Menotti): “Must the winter come so soon?”
I wish to give you a snippet from Nobel Peace Prize history, and then tell you why I’m doing so. In 1934, the prize went to Arthur Henderson, formerly the foreign secretary of Britain. He was a fellow-traveler — a great fan of the Soviet Union — and a leader of the disarmament movement. Giving the presentation speech for Henderson was Ludwig Mowinckel, the prime minister of Norway.
Allow me to quote my book — my history of the peace prize:
Mowinckel noted that people were saying, “Germany is arming.” “Well!” replied the prime minister. “In the divine comedy by our immortal Ludvig Holberg about the unhappy Jeppe, we find this sentence: ‘Everybody says that Jeppe drinks, but nobody asks why Jeppe drinks.’” Mowinckel was citing Holberg’s Jeppe på Bjerget, or Jeppe of the Hill (a work from the early 1720s). The prime minister said, “Let us all who now complain that Germany also is arming look into our own consciences and ask why Germany is arming.” And that, Mowinckel was saying, was because other nations were arming, or rearming: acting warlike.
Why do I regurgitate this now? A couple weeks ago in Salzburg, I was amazed to see a poster advertising Jeppe of the Hill — a production in German. Ol’ Holberg, still a draw, 300 years later.