Great column in the New York Sun about a fellow traveler on the road to enlightment. Shh! Don’t tell the Dems. They still not know there are millions of us.
Via Roger L. Simon
Just when I was starting to feel all warm and fuzzy (see previous post) I encounter this crap from Teddy Kennedy:
And this killer response (pun intended) from Arthur Chrenkoff:
Ok, someone tell me again why mainstream Democrats like this are worthy of any respect. Thank God the American people had the good sense to keep Kennedy Klone Kerry out of office. Oh wait, KKK is already taken by Democratic Senator Byrd from West Virginia.
And the Dems wonder why they can’t win elections?
Florida Cracker has a nice story about the budding friendship of Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush:
Well, I’m not going to mock or make fun. I think it would be nice to see more of this kind of thing. Although I voted for Bill Clinton 4 times*, he turned out to be a pretty big disappointment. I don’t so much care about the Monica fiasco, but letting Bin Laden get away was inexcusable. Well, nothing to be done about that now, so if we can stop the dehumanization of political opponents that’s progress towards finally achieving a level of debate where the issues, not the personalities are what matter.
Which is not to say that extremists who hate America (Michael Moore comes to mind) are worthy of respect. But as a person who has remained married to a sometimes scary liberal I like to think that somewhere in the vital middle we can find some common ground.
* Twice for President, twice as Governor of Arkansas.
I ran Long Time Gone through a readability check and got the following results:
Ok, apparently I didn’t get docked for bad spelling. And I guess writing at the level of Time and Newsweek works for me. Especially since LTG is free from liberal bias!
Of course, I ought to be writing something profound instead of taking these tests, but then again, filler qualifies as content. And a post is a post, no?
Alright, y’all deserve better. It’s coming. I can feel it.
UPDATE: Hmm, I just realized that when I had LTG scanned, it would have included the quoted portions from other sources. Maybe I just dumbed them down with my own words. Well, as long as you as you keep coming back, who cares if I write at a TV Guide level….
Sorry I have not been posting like I should. I have been busier than usual at work this week and just haven’t had the energy at night to get fired up enough to post on current events. Bear with me…..
I did catch some of the Dodgers-Diamondbacks game last night. Again, having a Korean on the roster will get some television coverage. Sadly, Mr. Choi struck out in a key situation.
I’m hearing thunder outside this morning so it looks like my plan to walk in to work today is in jeopardy.
I am very excited about the pending arrival of the person I hired to fill a key vacancy on my staff. She’s a person I have know for several years and in addition to being highly qualified she is good people. I’m looking forward to introducing her to the Korea experience and her enthusiasm this adventure is very refreshing.
That’s my news this morning.
I ventured out to a new part of town yesterday and took a stroll through grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Well, the rebuilt palace. The Japanese destroyed it the first time in the 1500s, and again during thier occupation of Korea circa 1910-45. Still, you could get a sense of how glorious it once was. I was amazed at the size, courtyard after courtyard. And it always seems strange to find an oasis in the urban sprawl that is Seoul.
Anyway, I got a few pics before my camera batteries died:
The point is the place is huge. I’m not sure this captures that, but its the best I could do.
This is where I came in. I liked how the backdrop is mountains, when I just walked in from a skyscraper jungle.
As I arrived there was a traditional Palace guard reenactment going on….
After purchasing a ticket for 3000 Won (US $3.), I entered through this main gate…..
….and into this courtyard….
Looking back towards the main gate you can get a sense of the size of the courtyard and the urban setting.
You could only go inside one building, but there was not much to see. I think the first shot is of a sleeping area. And then I tried to capture the ornately painted ceiling…oh well. Hardly worth taking my shoes off for.
Moving on to the next courtyard was this little garden area…
And this pond….
and this cute child….
and these birds. Cahchee or Cagee or something like that. I want to get a better picture because they caught my interest my first day here. Pretty large for a songbird. I understand if you hear them in the moring they are bringing luck…
I was getting thirsty. The concession stand didn’t have diet coke, so I settled for an ice cold Pocari Sweat. Tasted like Gatorade.
This is the Korean folk musuem. I didn’t make it inside. Just too nice out.
A statue garden. These are found on Jeju island, off the southern tip of Korea. I hope to visit there later this year.
And that’s as far as my batteries took me. After I left the palace, I walked over to a shopping district called Insa-dong. They had some sort of festival going on, streets closed to cars and music and vendors. It was pretty nice, especially after tawdry Itaewon.
So there you have my Sunday in Seoul.
Right here in Itaewon. Yes, tonight I ventured up the infamous “alley” and visited a country bar called, yep, the Grand Ole Opry.
It was a dive in the fine country bar traditon. Antlers and all. It reminded me of some of the honky tonks I would frequent when I lived in Oklahoma. It was bad, but in a weird kind of way it felt good to be there. A taste of home.
Beers are cheap too (2500 Won, most places are 4-5000). And the bar girls are the fattest, most disgusting looking Koreans I’ve seen since I’ve been here. Yep, it was pure country in the truest sense.
Tell you what though, I saw a couple of Koreans doing some pretty impressive Country Swing dancing. I think I’m pretty fair at it, but these people rocked. And you had your American cowboys (or wanna be’s), hat, boots, and all. Pretty interesting crowd. I just sat there and soaked up the atmosphere, watched the people, and drank cheap beer. Hey, I’ve had worse nights.
God Bless America. Even in the dingy outposts of Korea.
Victor Davis Hanson has a great article at National Review Online discussing our progress (and set backs) in the GWOT. Please go have a read. Here’s just a taste:
Geez, I don’t know. How can you help but bash Europe and the UN? They are such easy patsies. Well, I will try and go easy on the Euroweenies, but the incompetence and thievery at the UN is criminal, and we should never cut that bunch one inch of slack. Oh yeah, I won’t shut up about the French either. F*** the French.
Anyway, Hanson sums up this way (how come you haven’t hit that link are read the whole thing yet?):
Yeah, what he said.
Powerline has some great info and insights on the two judges who will be brought for confirmation before the Senate.
So it will be interesting to see if the Democrats play the filibuster game again. There is no reason these judges should not be confirmed. The lies the Dems and media are spreading don’t hold up, and the debunking by Powerline of the CSM article is but the latest example.
No one has shown me one shred of evidence that these judges are not qualified to serve on the courts as desired by President.
I was re-watching Band of Brothers on DVD last night. And this morning came across this great article on Major Dick Winters. He provides some of the backstory you don’t see in the movie and also some great insights on leadership. It’s well worth the read.
Via Mudville Gazette
I love it when the only response Europeans can make to the weakness of their own society is to say “oh yeah, well America sucks worse”. No one denies that we have our own issues to deal with here, but I don’t see the same kind of emigration statistics like the brain drain occuring in the old world. What is really hilarious is the mantra that the European economy is stronger than ours. I guess if you keeep telling yourself that long enough you might actually start to believe it.
Of course, that does not make it true. No less authority than that liberal bastion called the New York Times has an article dispelling the myth of a higher standard of living standard of living in Europe.
Can you imagine how bad it would be if the Euros actually paid for their own defense? Whatever. I stand by the assertion that Europe as we have known it is unlikely to survive the 21st century. If they weren’t so damn arrogant I might even feel some pity as their pathetic society goes the way of the dinosaur. Godless socialism, declining birthrates, staggering Muslim immigration, and an economy in the toilet. All hail the brilliance of our betters for creating a perfect storm of destruction.
Meanwhile, as we watch the former powers of Europe fade into oblivion, the Chinese are making noises. China will be America’s challenge in the coming years. I expect we will prevail but we won’t have the time or resources to bail out our feckless former allies for a third time.
A fascinating post over at Belmont Club on the decline of Europe is a recommended read, especially for the naysaying commenters on my earlier post on this subject.
Here’s a small sample:
There are some outstanding comments on the Belmont Club post, don’t miss them. A couple of my favorites:
Other factors to look at in Europe are:
1. The demographic disaster is continent-wide, meaning the influx of Muslims is the crucial, defining political issue.
2. The best and brightest continue to try to escape to Australia or Canada, leaving the elites at home even more ossified, inflexible, and incompetent.
See “One-third of Dutch people want to emigrate”: “A survey has indicated that 32 percent of Dutch people want to emigrate abroad and that just 51 percent are proud of the Netherlands.”
Any colonization effort which involves the usage of the indigenous people as low-level work force will eventually fail. The colonizers may initially beat the native people with better arms and technology, but over time the native people will assimulate the technology and weapons knowledge of the colonizers and use it against them. The French discovered that in Algeria, in IndoChina, and elsewhere.
The mistake that France made in its colonization effort, is that it wanted to export a gentry class, who would make the natives do the work while the gentry lived in leisure.
Now France (and Europe) is being colonized by foreign powers. The immigrant gentry (who the French call welfare recipients) have little interest in work or in assimulating, and grow in numbers rapidly. The people who do the work to hold it all up are decreasing as childless people retire and are not replaced.
If I summarize Wretchard’s thesis as tersely as possible, it comes out as: “Goodbye Europe—Hello Eurabia”
I’m not sure exactly what the hope is here. I can imagine terrorist outrages producing a ferocious turn to the right in Europe, Muslims becoming the enemy that justifies rapid rearmament, strict immigration controls, and a radical reform of the social welfare system. But even if European economies boomed overnight, who would be manning those enterprises? The demographic problem cannot be solved in any short run, and meanwhile Europe’s choices are few and bad. Birth rates in the old East Bloc countries are even worse than in Western Europe, so East-West migration only rearranges the deck chairs. I have no doubt that Europe would dearly love to have a Mexico across its southern border, instead of what they do have.
As Wretchard notes, the French currently seem to fear the Polish plumber more than they fear the Arab wilders. The French pols pimping of the EU (always with a wink and a nod to let the proles know who really would be running things) is not overcoming the reality that half of every Frenchman’s potential income is going to support either a bureaucrat or a wastrel. Perhaps some Frenchmen are even realizing that taxing those nasty capitalistic companies results in higher prices.
Whether the EU constitution passes or fails is a matter of indifference to me. I doubt that passage will speed up or slow down the economic collapse that only a change in demographic trend can cure. In a democracy, the people fully deserve the government that they get. Europe has been eating seed corn for forty years, the granaries are empty and winter is coming.
I am not at all persuaded that America should help in the coming European meltdown. It seems to me that since Europe — and especially France and Germany — have tried their damndest to implode twice in the past century, (taking the whole rest of the world lemming-like with them over the cliff), that from a Darwinian standpoint, that should be allowed this coming iteration.
If the European model is a failure, then it should be allowed to fail every bit as much a the Russian model is being allowed to fail. Granted there is that little Muslim problem they’re having, but it seems to me that we need to be focusing on Canada’s little Muslim problem first, and secondly, on Mexico’s desperate determination to over-run the United States and to take enough of our wealth to send back home to keep the home enchilada’s cooking.
We should support our allies the Brits, of course, always. And on an individual basis, any of the other countries that wake up and smell the coffee beans, such as Queen Margarethe in Denmark. But to support a “Europe” entity like we would support the nation of Australia just doesn’t make sense, neither from a psychological, a social, an evolutionary, nor an economic point of view.
Because quite frankly, saving them has not worked. We have spent enormous sums of both blood and money on saving and rebuilding Europe … twice. And have been rewarded for it with smug arrogance, uninformed stupidity, and backbiting perfidy. To me, this coming time will be three strikes, and it’s time to try something different.
So, I understand that I am just a backwoods American hick, too unsophisticated to have an opinion on issues of such great importance as those involving the superior and enlightened beings who reside on the European continent (and a federal employee to boot [have I no shame?]), but is it possible that just maybe their is a slight chance, that in their blind arrogance, our European betters have failed to see the wolf at their doorstep?
Nah, forget it. It couldn’t happen. Forget I said anything.
Yesterday I ventured out to Yeouido park for the cherry blossom festival. It was quite interesting. Seoul has nearly 13 million inhabitants, and at times is seemed like the majority of them joined me at Yeouido. The blossoms were already a couple of days past peak, but they were still beautiful of course. The setting was not as pretty as the tidal basin in DC, but it still reminded me of springtime back home.
Another thing that was different was that out of the thousands of people that were there, I saw maybe two foriegners. It was a strange feeling as I have grown accustomed to seeing western faces in the crowd in Itaewon. No one bothered me of course, although it seemed like I was being stared at sometimes (or maybe I’m just a little paranoid). Anyway, it was a good day to be out and walking about. Plenty warm, although a little overcast. Last night we had a big thunderstorm. Loudest thunder I’ve heard in quite sometime, it woke me from a deep sleep. I was disoriented at first, and thought it was an explosion. Didn’t know if the NORKs had decided on a pre-emptive strike or what, so I was relieved when I saw the next flash of lightning.
Alright, here’s some photos from the day:
As I said it was crowded (not unlike DC at cherry blossom time). I don’t do well in crowds, so I moved off this sidewalk after a very short time.
I liked the contrast of the gaenalee flowers with the cherry blossoms.
I had to escape the crowded sidewalk, and found this little park-like area. It was nice to see regular Koreans enjoying a Sunday afternoon.
I sat on a bench for awhile and saw this cute little girl running around. When she finally stopped for a minute I snuck taking this picture. Made me think of my little granddaughter Gracyn who is going to be born in about 3 weeks.
Moving on, I encountered this Magnolia tree (called monjoun here). Again, a few days past peak blooms, but still quite impressive.
I spent a few minutes listening to some Korean music. I was pretty far from the stage and in the midst of a large crowd, so I moved on pretty quick. I don’t like crowds generally, and it was just so strange to be the only person who looked and talked like me. Still, I was able to see over everyone’s head, so that was an advantage.
I believe this is the ROK National Assembly building. I thought it looked pretty cool from this perspective.
So, I moseyed on down to the riverside. Bought a couple of boiled eggs, a bag of chips, and a soft drink and sat by the river to enjoy my snack.
I bought the eggs because I at least recognized what they were. If I am not mistaken, this local delicacy is silkworms. Yum! (not).
So I walked along the river for quite awhile, then crossed the bridge and headed home. It was a good day all in all. Certainly better than sitting at a bar….
George Will has an excellent column noting that Europe may well be in a death spiral. While Mr. Will’s contention that this can be traced to Europe’s embrace of secularism may or may not be entirely correct, there is no denying these demographics:
The sad thing is, the Euros think they are perfectly healthy. And they delight in feeling superior to us ignorant Americans. Hmm, maybe being delusional is but one symptom of their illness. Still, since they appear clueless as to their peril it is unlikely they will wake up and take some much needed medicine before its too late. No doubt when the Islmofascists take control, they will expect us to come riding to the rescue (again). But I expect we are going to have our hands full with China.
Well, thanks for the memories Europe. Before you all became pussies and wimps, you had some glory days. Perhaps we can take lessons from your coming demise and avoid your self-inflicted fate. As I recently told someone who was talking about the useless French: “No nation is entirely worthless. It can always serve as a bad example.”
Via The Anchoress
So, let’s have a vote. It’s the American way.
Reading this speech from the great historian David McCullough was very moving. Sometimes we need to be reminded of just what it means to be an American. How we got here. What sets us apart. The legacy of our past is no less great than the challenges we face as nation to honor the spirit of our founders by continuing this “grand experiment” in the 21st century and beyond. Our freedom and liberty were not gifts bestowed upon us by providence, there were bought in blood and toil. To forget our obligations to those who went before, or to fail in upholding the values and traits that make us uniquely American, is the surest way to lose all that we cherish and revere.
As McCullough said so well:
Nothing fills me with as much pride and honor than to be called an American. I pray that I prove to be worthy.
As we move into the final stages of the power play to end Senate filibusters on judicial nominees, it is interesting to note that rather than attempt to defend the indefensible, Democrats instead seek to silence the opposition through demonization and disrespect of beliefs they cannot comprehend.
I am not a particularly religious person, but I strongly believe that people of faith have as much right to be heard as anyone else in this debate. When did holding religious values become something to be feared and mocked? Why shouldn’t people have the right to have their moral convictions represented through the democratic process?
Ann Althouse has a great post that makes this point much better than I can. Please go have a read. Here’s a taste:
You know, I see liberal commenters expressing great fear of an American theocracy, complete with comparisons of conservative Christians to the Taliban. While I certainly would not care to have someone else’s religious beliefs imposed on me, it seems the greater danger is the blatant attempts of the left to silence those voices to which they disagree. I see this as a clear and present danger to the freedoms we most cherish. For if the views of the Christians are unworthy of being heard, who will be next?
I do not believe that in the marketplace of ideas any extreme view will survive. Let the Senate vote on the President’s judicial nominees as the Constitution intended. Then hold the elected leaders accountable for those votes. There’s a name for that. It’s called democracy.
Cross posted at The Wide Awakes
Angelina Jolie in exchange for North Korean nukes…. It’s a great concept, and would maybe start a trend. Who could we send to Iran?
Carol went to the Washington Nationals home opener this week. Saw the Prez throw out the first pitch and watched the Nats defeat the Diamondbacks. It is ironic that for years I anxiously awaited the return of baseball to our nation’s capital city, and the year it finally does I move to Korea. Alas. Well, I am glad that Carol was able to attend in my place.
Over at Powerline, Paul Mirengoff offers this bit of DC baseball tivia:
Ah, there is much that I miss about my homeland, but baseball is right up there. I caught a bit of the Yankees-Red Sox game on TV last night (commentary in Korean, which was no worse that what you usually get from the Americans–both ununderstandable (hmm, is that a word? I don’t think I’ve ever had occasion to say ununderstandable, but that’s pretty much how I feel when I am out and about in Korea–the street signs, the store signs, the people talking–all ununderstandable).
Anyway, I have watched some of the Korean “major leagues” on TV too. It appears to be the minor league equivalent of AA (at best) in the States. Still, there are some good players, and baseball is baseball. I plan on catching some games in person this summer. It’s funny, the teams here are all corporate owned, so you have the Hyundai Unicorns, the SK Tigers, the Kia Dragons (I might have the nicknames wrong, I’m still learning the teams). Koreans are really proud of their countrymen who make the majors. And as I learned from another American bloggers’ experience, it does not pay to be critical of Koreans playing in the US, even if their talents are suspect. Read this post from Ruminations in Korea for a good laugh. For the record, Kim, Byung Hyun, does suck, he single handedly killed my fantasy team one year.
Places I Go
John McCrarey: That's the plan. It