On Unmaking Evil, Worldwide:

Chesterton, added yesterday, says this on the thought of a great national enterprise:

When everything about a people is for the time growing weak and ineffective, it begins to talk about efficiency. So it is that when a man's body is a wreck he begins, for the first time, to talk about health. Vigorous organisms talk not about their processes, but about their aims. There cannot be any better proof of the physical efficiency of a man than that he talks cheerfully of a journey to the end of the world. And there cannot be any better proof of the practical efficiency of a nation than that it talks constantly of a journey to the end of the world, a journey to the Judgment Day and the New Jerusalem. There can be no stronger sign of a coarse material health than the tendency to run after high and wild ideals; it is in the first exuberance of infancy that we cry for the moon.
Compare with Bill Whittle:
To those who doubt our mental sophistication, I would remind you that our grandparents walked upon the moon.
Marching Day:

Today is the day for International ANSWER's big anti-war marches. I'll just take a moment to quote from their new brochure on the Iraq war. Please consider:

Having achieved their victory, however, the occupiers now confront a people who have a long and proud history of resistance. The anti-war movement here and around the world must give its unconditional support to the Iraqi anti-colonial resistance.
Now, that "anti-colonial" resistance is killing American soldiers. So, I feel inclined to ask: just what might "unconditional support" entail? Adhering to their cause? Rendering them, say, aid and comfort? Or perhaps something more? It is unconditional support, is it not?
Bushes are Nazis, Confirmed:

The New Hampsire Gazette is running a story claiming that the Bush family had Nazi party links. The evidence for this is that George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, had business dealings in Germany with a leading German banker who was a Hitler supporter. How did this happen? Bush's grandfather married someone whose rich father had business dealings with the banker, and Prescott was made a partner in his father-in-law's business.

The author expresses astonishment that the media has not thought this a huge story. Well, lad, here is why: "Blood washes out dishonor," as Alexandre Dumas wrote. In the Second World War, George W. Bush's father, George H. W. Bush, flew 58 combat missions and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. World War II cannot be a source of shame for a family who offered their son to America's defense. Neither can one claim that the family lacked the proper hate of tyrants, when that son fought with such heroism and power.

New Links, Cont.:

While I'm on the topic, I'm going to include a link I've been meaning to for a while. It's in "Philosophy & Ideas," and is of a similar kind to the "Marine Corps Doctrine" link. It's a link to the collected philosophy of G. K. Chesterton, possibly the most important philosopher of the 20th century.

That is a bold enough claim, you say? Fair enough--it is bold, but valid. Written in the first decade of the 20th century, Chesterton's critique of modernism ("The Suicide of Thought") not only saw through to the flaw in Modern thinking, but anticipated Postmodernism and proceeded to critique that as well. Alas, few listened, and philosophy descended into an irrelevance from which it is only now emerging.

On top of that, Chesterton was quite a good poet. His Ballad of the White Horse is said to have been Tolkien's favorite poem, and is one of the best long poems in English--Old, Middle, or Modern. If you read it, read it aloud.

To have been both a poet and a philosopher of quality is surely glory enough for any man. Yet Chesterton was also kind, beloved of children, always ready to challenge his ideological enemies with humor and wit, and happy. It's hard to think of too many who've done better.

Foul Communists, Cont.:

We are pleased to announce a new addition to our web links, The Politburo Diktat. We're only too glad to reciprocate the Commissar's link, as indeed we do with all who link to our hall. Hospitality is meant to be reciprocal, after all.
The Perils of Moderation:

We will now turn to the writings of a non-Commie-backing liberal, Sovay McKnight. Joe Lieberman comes in for some abuse, being playfully labeled a (literal, in this case) Republican clone. This is Joe's reward for being the only man in the Democratic presidential primary to adopt a serious position on national defense, taxation, and so forth.

Still, Sovay is no Communist--although you wouldn't know it from the company her site keeps over in San Francisco. That's not her fault, though: she didn't ask to be placed there.

More on Communists:

Via Winds of Change, I see that the leading leftist blogger, Atrios, is today citing the World Socialist to argue his position.

If you want to draw your news from Communist publications, well, it's a free country. Still... if you don't mind, as long as you're going to continue drawing your news from Communist publications, could you lay off the topic of how "Fox News" is biased?

International ANSWER:

"Act Now to Stop War and End Racism" is the leading group in all antiwar protests in the United States. A transcript of their recent planning session has been made available by Protest Warrior. Excerpt:

I hate to point out that the Constitution itself sucks; there's a lot wrong with it. There's no right to healthcare, no right to education, no right to jobs, none of that is in there. Racism, anti-gay bigotry, none of that is outlawed by the Constitution. Those are the things that need to be in a real peoples' constitution. It's important to point out because we keep defending the Constitution, but it's a Constitution that's extremely weak and does not represent what people need. And when we defend the Constitution we have to go one step further and say "this is what a real constitution should look like."
Another excerpt:
It really clarified things when the economy starts to you know go sour and I actually picked up a copy of Communist Manifesto and started reading what Marx said, that every ten years there's a boom and bust system, and it's like, "Oh okay, I get it!" You know like I read it before and didn't get it, it didn't apply, you know? And now that I read it again it applies! It's like, "Oh okay, I get it!" You know, I think.
Just so you know what you're marching for. Of course, if you'd rather march against Communists who think the Constitution sucks, you can join these lads.
Not exactly a Burka:

This alone justifies the invasion of Afghanistan.


Cowboy Bebop, explained. You have to read well into it to get to the good part--the part about a Ronin epic.
Glorious Knoxville:

Via the Sage of Knoxville, we have this: the winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics is a resident of Knoxville, TN.
Glorious Dixie:

John Derbyshire writes of his trip to Dixie: Alabama Diary, Part I.
Al-Sadr to be Arrested?

The Guardian reports that the Coalition and the Iraqi Governing Council are preparing to arrest Muqtada al-Sadr. This is because of the murder of a rival cleric in the Shrine of Ali, which is where the "Najaf bombing" took place, in which the highly respected Baqir al-Hakim was killed. I wrote about the bombings at the time, and you can see the reports: here and here.

Hat tip: the Agonist.

Georgia does right:

Proving once again the commitment of the Great State of Georgia to Individual liberty, Gov. Perdue has refused to partake in the "Matrix" spy-on-the-citizenry program:
Amid cost and privacy concerns, state officials backed away from an anti-terrorism database that officials initially considered joining -- a decision that makes Georgia the sixth state to abandon the Matrix project. The move also casts doubt on the future of a database that tracks personal details of all citizens, not just those accused of a crime.

"I have held serious concerns about the privacy issues involved with this project all along, and have decided it is in the best interest of the people of Georgia that our state have no further participation," Gov. Sonny Perdue said in a statement Tuesday.

[P]rivacy rights advocates questioned the sweeping database, noting that it would contain credit histories, marriages and divorces, even fingerprints and Social Security numbers.

Thanks, but no thanks. Georgians have no need for government spies to protect us from terrorists. We have revolvers and rifles for that.
"Tiger Force":

The Toledo Blade has published a startling series on American brutality in Vietnam. The report details intentional massacres of civilians by members of the 101st Airborne's "Tiger Force" unit. American soldiers slaughtered civilians, mutilated bodies, cut off ears to make necklaces. Witnesses describe digging dozens of mass graves.

The Pentagon has said it will not investigate these charges.

THE US Defence Department has refused to reopen an investigation into suspected atrocities committed in Vietnam by a special US Army reconnaissance unit, despite new allegations of war crimes, including ghastly killings and torture of Vietnamese civilians.

"Absent new and compelling evidence, there are no plans to reopen the case," a Pentagon spokesman told AFP. "The case is more than 30 years old."
The Pentagon had damn well better reconsider. Just this weekend, Human Rights Watch issued a report on American soldiers' use of force in Iraq. They charge that our soldiers--including the 101st Airborne, who have on 5 October announced that they will be using "Tiger Force" teams to act as airborne snipers to protect pipelines--have used "indiscriminate" force, and that the Pentagon is not investigating criminal charges.

No deliberate slaughter of civilians is alleged by HRW, whose report is respectful in tone. I have no doubt that our boys are acting valiantly. However, the brass should be emphatic about enforcing military law in a transparent fashion. It is the argument of the American government that the American military can be counted upon to use force in a just way, and that the viciousness of Saddam made it right to depose him.

Now we have credible reports that members of the American army behaved in much the same fashion during Vietnam, down to the mass graves. The HRW report, with its attendant pictures, brings this history forward and ties it to Iraq. The same units are involved. The Pentagon's refusal to investigate either set of charges give the appearance of a pattern of behavior. The appearance is unfair: today's Army is a magnificent thing. To make certain that distinction is not lost, we ought to put these charges to the test. If there has been wrongdoing, let it be punished. If not, let us clear the air. The honor of the US Army must be defended. This can be done only by showing the world that it holds to its high standards with rigor.

"That Old Time Religion"

Scotland on Sunday has an article on the revival of Greek paganism in Greece itself. The Volokh Conspiracy is against it:
Sure, take the "world view, concepts, ideas, . . . and values" of the ancient Greeks -- or, more likely, a select subset of that world view, for instance eliminating slavery, and the subordination of women -- but why the "religion," even with "each god represent[ing] a natural phenomena or human value" rather than a person who was screwing around and fighting with other people? If you want "a scientific society," do you really need Zeus, whether you think he's real or metaphorical, to do it?
Do you need Zeus? The question ought to be, should it not, "Do you believe in Zeus?" It doesn't look like they do: "Buschbeck explained that Hellenes do not worship the pantheon of 12 gods as deities. Rather, each god represents a natural phenomena or human value[.]"

Ah, gods as metaphors. I've heard that before:

For Wagner, as for the Greeks, a myth was not a decorative fairy tale, but the elaboration of a secret, a way of both hiding and revealing mysteries that can be understood only in religious terms, through the ideas of sanctity, holiness and redemption....

The gods come about because we idealise our passions, and we do this not by sentimentalising them but by sacrificing ourselves to the vision on which they depend. It is by accepting the need for sacrifice that we begin to live under divine jurisdiction, surrounded by sacred things, and finding meaning through love. Seeing things that way, we recognise that we are not condemned to mortality but consecrated to it.
There is something to be said for that position, I suppose. Certainly I can't agree with the Conspiracy's alternative, which is to reject myth altogether. Nothing could be less wise, or reasonable, than that. It is a denial of human nature, and that always ends in sorrow.

But I do have a challenge to the boys at Volokh: it may be that you can do without Zeus. But don't you need Woden?

Global Crossing:

Today, The Agonist has a story on Global Crossing. Alert readers will remember that the China e-lobby was working hard to prevent the sale of the US Defense Dept's telecommunications to a firm with ties to the Chinese People's Liberation Army. This space celebrated their success back in May.

As GC moves through bankruptcy, some interesting news may emerge. It's worth watching.