Barack Obama likes to say that people “believe in climate change” or don’t. Last week, he was comparing Mitt Romney and John McCain — saying that the latter was a far more reasonable man. For example, “John McCain believed in climate change.”
When speaking to students in Turkey, Obama blasted George W. Bush — because, you know, the classiest presidents blast their predecessors when they are speaking to foreign students, on those students’ own turf. He said, “George Bush didn’t believe in climate change. I do believe in climate change. I think it’s important.”
Everyone “believes in” climate change, in that everyone knows that climate changes. The debate is over man-made global warming and the realization of the collectivist dream.
A reader writes, “Saw a bumper sticker this morning that was new to me, and delightful: ‘Visualize Limited Government.’ Better even than whirled peas . . .”
(You know the bumper sticker that goes “Visualize World Peace,” right? And you remember the parody bumper sticker, “Visualize Whirled Peas”?)
Let’s turn, now, to the country that President Clinton called our “strategic partner,” China. Amnesty International has issued an “urgent action” concerning “Falun Gong practitioners at risk of torture.” This is routine, daily stuff, I know. But here is the specific case:
On February 25, 40 police officers stormed into the home of Wang Xiaodong. They seized him, taking his money and belongings in the bargain. That’s how they do it in Communist China. Wang, according to Amnesty, “has been charged in connection with possessing a CD containing information on the Falun Gong spiritual practice.”
His sister, Wang Junling, did something gutty: She circulated a petition in their home village, a place called Zhouguantun. The petition called for the release of her brother. Nearly every family in the village — some 300 of them — signed it. Later, says Amnesty, they were “intimidated into retracting their support.”
The prisoner’s sister also wrote an “open letter,” posting it on the Internet. Then she went into hiding. Now they have nabbed her, as well as people suspected of sheltering her.
To read the full report, go here. All I can say is: an amazing sister, an amazing village, amazing friends — a despicable government. They are no “partner” of mine, believe me.
You know those 40 police officers who went into Wang Xiaodong’s home to seize him on account of that CD? Don’t you think 39 would have been enough? Even 38?
Last week, President Obama talked about George W. Bush, when the latter’s White House portrait was unveiled. Obama did pretty well, I think.
I was reminded of the speech that Reagan gave, in 1986, at the dedication of Jimmy Carter’s presidential library. It was a paean to Carter, and superb — mainly true, too. I have just re-read it: here.
Carter’s comment was, “For the first time, I understand why you won and I lost.” That’s a paraphrase, but close.
Really, you’ll want to treat yourself to this speech, when you have the time. It is beautiful, gracious, interesting, deft. Pretty much perfect.
Here is how it ends: “And there’s only one thing left to say. From the 40th president to the 39th, happy birthday! And, Mr. President, if I could give you one word of advice: Life begins at 70. [Laughter] Thank you all. God bless you all.”
The dedication was held on October 1, 1986, Carter’s 62nd birthday. (Reagan was 75.)
A few days ago, on the subway, I saw a student with his textbook: the Howard Zinn history of the United States. In other words, a Communist, or in any case far-Left, one. I had just read this column by Mona Charen, about her son’s “world civilizations” textbook. The book treats Stalin and other Communist mass-murderers with kid gloves.
People complain that our schools leave young people ignorant. There’s that, yes. But worse than their knowing nothing is their knowing lies.
I thought of something that Robert Conquest told me, when I profiled him in 2005: “They’re still talking absolute balls. In the academy, there remains a feeling of, ‘Don’t let’s be too rude to Stalin. He was a bad guy, yes, but the Americans were bad guys too, and so was the British Empire.’” Conquest continued, “They say [disapprovingly] that we were Cold Warriors. Yes, and a bloody good show, too. A lot of people weren’t Cold Warriors — and so much the worse for them.”
Oh, Conquest — my man, eternally. (For that 2005 piece, go here.)