"... You can’t keep going with a completely upside-down age distribution, with the pyramid standing on its point. You can’t have a country where everybody lives in a nursing home.”EUROPE IS FAST BECOMING A CONTINENTAL NURSING HOME.
"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."
"... You can’t keep going with a completely upside-down age distribution, with the pyramid standing on its point. You can’t have a country where everybody lives in a nursing home.”EUROPE IS FAST BECOMING A CONTINENTAL NURSING HOME.
"Iranian Threat" on Mullen's Israel Visit Agenda2 - AFP:
Speculation is growing in Washington that Israel is exerting pressure on the United States to launch a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. US m (more)
Speculation is growing in Washington that Israel is exerting pressure on the United States to launch a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. US military chief Admiral Michael Mullen will be arriving for an official visit to Israel in the coming days for discussions on the Iranian threat, the US Department of Defense confirmed on Wednesday. Mullen, said the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, left the US on Tuesday "to go overseas to visit counterparts as well as combatant commands, and Israel is not his only stop."
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell tried to play down the report, saying the trip had been on the schedule for "months." "I believe this is a routine opportunity for Chairman Mullen to engage his counterpart in Israel on military-to-military matters, as he does in much of his travels around the world," Morrell said.
"I will say this, though: Obviously, when Chairman Mullen goes to Israel and speaks with the Israelis, they will no doubt discuss the threat posed by Iran, as we discuss it in this building, in other buildings in this town."
The chief of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards has issued a new warning against Israel not to attack it, saying the Jewish state is well within range of its missiles, a newspaper reported on Saturday.STAY TUNED...
"This country (Israel) is completely within the range of the Islamic republic's missiles. Our missile power and capability are such that the Zionist regime -- despite all its abilities -- cannot confront it," General Mohammad Ali Jafari told the conservative daily Jam-e Jam.
"There is the possibility that by attacking Iranian nuclear sites the enemy wants to delay our nuclear activities, but any interruption would be very short since Iranian scientific ability is different from that of Syria and Iraq."
His comments came after US media reported that more than 100 Israeli warplanes staged a training exercise with Greece earlier this month to prepare for a possible long-distance strike and as a warning to Tehran.
Iran has defied UN sanctions and international demands by pressing ahead with its disputed uranium enrichment programme, which both Washington and Israel fear would be used to build a nuclear weapon.
Tehran denies wanting the bomb, and says its nuclear ambitions extend only to generating electricity for a growing population.
Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, formerly Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, weighed in on Saturday and said the country was ready for anything.
"Iran is always ready for any kind of action," Larijani was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
Israeli Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, a former defence chief, said in an interview published in the Russian press on Wednesday that Iran would be "annihilated" if it tried to attack Israel.
But, he said, "we are not planning any attack against Iran."
Meanwhile, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, discussed Iran in Israel on Saturday with his counterpart, General Gaby Ashkenazi, Israeli military radio reported.
The talks came amid speculation that Israel is seeking Washington's tacit approval to strike Tehran's nuclear programme, but the Pentagon said earlier this week that the meeting had been scheduled for some months.
US Representative William Delahunt of Massachusetts, a leading foreign policy voice in the Democratic Party, will endorse Barack Obama for president today, saying he believes the senator will repair the image of the United States overseas.Scum like Delahunt don't deserve the privilege of being Americans, let alone serving in the Congress.
"If Barack Obama is elected president, I daresay America will present a new face to the world, will restore, simply by his election, hope - not just within the United States, but from all corners of the world, that America's claim to moral authority is back on track and that our leadership in world affairs will see a renaissance," Delahunt told the Globe.
... Obama opposed the Iraq war from the start, Delahunt noted, while veteran lawmakers voted to authorize force. Delahunt said he was also influenced by Obama's stated willingness - criticized by the Clinton campaign - to meet with rogue world leaders. Delahunt has met with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, negotiating a deal for home heating oil for his constituents from a Latin American leader who once referred to President Bush as "the devil."
Delahunt's backing has elevated significance for Obama, who is seeking to convince voters he would be able to deal with myriad foreign policy challenges after just three years in the Senate. The Massachusetts lawmaker is a prominent member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was selected to represent the Congress at the UN General Assembly in September.
The Pakistani government has asked its military to get ready to launch attacks on Taliban strongholds around Peshawar, the northern city, amid warnings the militants were preparing to seize control of the town, said a government official.IMHO: WITH NATO KILLING THEM AT THE FASTEST PACE IN SEVEN YEARS, AND NOW PAKISTAN JOINING THE FIGHT, THE TALIBAN WILL END UP LIKE AQ OF IRAQ AND MOOKIE VERY SOON.
Witnesses have reported sighting trucks of Taliban militants armed with assault rifles driving in to neighbourhoods around Peshawar...
Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is to fly to Britain next month as part of an ambitious foreign trip that will also take him to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as to France and Germany.IT'S ABOUT TIME HE WENT TO IRAQ!
Only skeleton details of Mr Obama's trip have been agreed but an announcement of an outline programme is expected over the weekend.
"You will be hearing something very soon," a senior Obama aide told The Telegraph.
... Mr Obama, 46, has not been to Iraq since 2004, a fact that his opponent John McCain, 71, the presumptive Republican nominee and a regular visitor to Baghdad, points out frequently. ...
Mr Obama has visited Downing Street once briefly during a Congressional trip.
On a previous trip to Britain in 1996, he was a guest at the wedding of his half-sister Auma, who has since moved back to Kenya, in Bracknell and went his brother-in-law's stag night in Wokingham.
Due mostly to his father, who had children by four women, Obama has seven living half-siblings (one he had never met died in 1984). He’s tight with two of them. The first is Maya Soetoro-Ng, his younger half-sister, the child of Obama’s mother and Lolo Soetoro, her Indonesian second husband. Maya stayed with Obama’s mother after she divorced Lolo, and she has recently taken time off from teaching high school in Honolulu to make appearances at her brother’s campaign stops. The second, Auma Obama, is Obama’s older half-sister, the child of Barack Sr. and his first wife in Kenya.I'M GONNA TAKE A LOT OF HEAT FOR THIS BUT I'M GONNA PUT IT OUT THERE:
"Obama Clarifies Position..."or, B) February 11 of this year???:
Is that becoming a familiar headline, or what? I hope someone is compiling them all. Today, it was the Supreme Court's gun decision: "Obama clarifies position on D.C. gun ban":Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama Thursday sought to clarify his position on a Supreme Court ruling striking down a Washington gun ban. ***
When asked about his reaction, Obama disputed the one outlined earlier by his campaign, ABC News reported.
When a reporter noted in November that the District's handgun law was constitutional, Obama distanced himself from the campaign, the network reported.
"I don't know what my aide said but I've been very consistent, I teach constitutional law," Obama said. "What I said was that I believe Second Amendment as being an individual right and have said that consistently. I also think that individual right is constrained by the rights of the community to maintain issues with public safety. I don't think those two principles are contradictory and in fact what I've been saying consistently is what the Supreme Court essentially said today."
Which is a ludicrous claim, even by Obama's standards. Here's an idea, though: maybe as part of this year's campaign, we could have a debate between Obama and his campaign staff;
SPACE.COM:The newest red spot is on the far left (west), along the same band of clouds as the Great Red Spot and is drifting toward it.
If the motion continues, the new spot will encounter the much larger storm system in August. Jupiter's recent outbreak of red spots is likely related to large scale climate change as the gas giant planet is getting warmer near the equator.
Both of Saturn's poles have surprising swirling hotspots that persist even through years of polar winter, a new study reveals. The hotspots are localized areas in Saturn's gaseous atmosphere over its poles that are considerably warmer than the surrounding air — they're actually about as warm as the atmosphere at Saturn's equator, said Leigh Fletcher of the University of Oxford.
The hotspot over the southern hemisphere was imaged by the Keck Observatories prior to arrival of the Cassini spacecraft, but the northern hemisphere has faced away from Earth for over a decade, so its hotspot was revealed only this year by Cassini.
Scientists had thought that solar irradiation might be generating the hotspot in the southern hemisphere (currently in its summer phase, facing the sun), but the existence of a similar hotspot in the northern hemisphere, which has been plunged in wintry darkness for many years, suggests that isn't the case.
Instead, dynamic processes in Saturn's atmosphere may create the hotspots, the new findings, detailed in the Jan. 4 issue of the journal Science, suggest, Fletcher says.
In the House, where Democrats held a series of four votes on energy policies before a weeklong Independence Day recess, Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, declared, “After today’s vote, the G.O.P. now officially stands for the Gas and Oil Party.”
In the Senate, where Republicans introduced a bill called the Gas Price Reduction Act of 2008, Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said: “Most Democrats still insist on trying to repeal the law of supply and demand. It’s a new economic theory. You might call it Obamanomics.”
"You know what is the really sobering thing about that ongoing terror trial in Brampton?
Clue: It's not that there was a plot to attack Canadian targets. And of course there was; the court has heard evidence up the ying-yang that there was just such an enterprise afoot. Was it the finest plot ever? Oh hardly. Were its members variously bumblers, what those who hang around courts call "yutes" or raving hotheads? Absolutely. But there was a plot.
It's not even the hate, chiefly for Jews and Americans, that one of the group leaders preached at the drop of a hat and the top of his lungs with almost magnificently ungrammatical, near-illiterate, Koran-ignorant hysteria. It's that he felt so free to preach it.
It's that he felt comfortable enough to hand out jihadist CDs outside at least one Toronto mosque and to occasionally turn up in combat fatigues at another. It's that he giddily talked to one of his alleged co-conspirators about the obligation to kill Jews whenever one finds them. It's that the leadership of the group regularly met at a half-dozen mosques in the GTA, usually on Fridays, the day of communal prayer. It's that within minutes of meeting Mubin Shaikh, a fellow Muslim-turned-CSIS informant-turned-paid-RCMP agent, he was openly verbally indulging his bloodlust and "recruiting" Mr. Shaikh: Their shared religion was enough.
"A Canadian stand-up comedian will face a human rights tribunal hearing after a woman complained she and her friends faced a "tirade of homophobic and sexist comments" while attending one of his shows.
In a decision released this week, the B. C. Human Rights Tribunal ruled there is enough evidence to hear the case of Vancouver woman Lorna Pardy against Toronto comedian Guy Earle. Zesty's Restaurant in Vancouver, where the May 22, 2007, show took place, has also been named in the complaint.
Ms. Pardy could not be reached yesterday for comment. However, the tribunal's decision says she alleges she was discriminated against over her sex and sexual orientation when Mr. Earle made public comments "intended to humiliate her."
The ruling says Mr. Earle and Ms. Pardy "have very different versions of who was to blame for the incidents, how it came about and how it escalated." There is also a dispute over what role alcohol played in the incident.
"Mr. Earle does, however, admit that he used comments which he now regrets," says the tribunal. "Those admitted comments may go to establish discrimination."
Reached yesterday, Mr. Earle said he was the show's emcee when Ms. Pardy and two of her friends walked in, sat in the booth closest to the stage and began heckling him and other comics. "Two of them started making out, flipping me the bird and saying I hated lesbians," he said.
Mr. Earle was reluctant to repeat the remarks that led to the human rights complaint. "Everybody wants to know what I said, and I invite people to come see me on stage because you can't take it out of context. And that's exactly what's happened here. "The reader or the listener or whatever has no feeling for the environment of the comedy show that is triple-X, edgiest-show-in-town, controversial and offensive, so when you walk in there you're making an agreement to be a party to this controversial show."
"They were drunk, they were being jerks and I was very rude and visceral to them because, like I said, if you have a heckler what you want to do is put them in their place by offending them, so I tried to hit them where it hurts and the only thing I had to key on was the fact that they were lesbians. "I don't care if they're lesbians, heterosexuals, homosexuals or giraffes."
Mr. Earle said the complaint is an attack on comedians' right to perform. "I would never have expected it would get escalated to a philosophical battle." He added it's been more than 40 years since controversial U.S. comic Lenny Bruce was jailed for obscenity over his comic material-- "and we're still fighting the same battle. I know it's a fight I can never win. But I've got to keep fighting."
As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. "Certainly it would be a big advantage to him," says Black.
Williams then turned to Sen. Barack Obama, second in the polls but gaining fast on the frontrunner, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. "If, God forbid, a thousand times, while we were gathered here tonight, we learned that two American cities had been hit simultaneously by terrorists," Williams said, "and we further learned beyond the shadow of a doubt it had been the work of al Qaeda, how would you change the U.S. military stance overseas as a result?"
The question was specifically focused on a military response, but Obama didn't talk about the military, or any use of force at all. "Well, first thing we'd have to do is make sure that we've got an effective emergency response, something that this administration failed to do when we had a hurricane in New Orleans," Obama said. "And I think that we have to review how we operate in the event of not only a natural disaster, but also a terrorist attack."
"The second thing," Obama continued, "is to make sure that we've got good intelligence, A, to find out that we don't have other threats and attacks potentially out there; and B, to find out do we have any intelligence on who might have carried it out so that we can take potentially some action to dismantle that network."
The reference to "some action" might be interpreted as an endorsement of the use of force, but in the rest of his response, Obama softened even that notion. "But what we can't do is then alienate the world community based on faulty intelligence, based on bluster and bombast," he said. "Instead, the next thing we would have to do, in addition to talking to the American people, is making sure that we are talking to the international community. Because as has already been stated, we're not going to defeat terrorists on our own. We've got to strengthen our intelligence relationships with them, and they've got to feel a stake in our security by recognizing that we have mutual security interests at stake."
That was it. Obama's answer to a question of how, as commander-in-chief, he would change America's "military stance" in response to an attack by al Qaeda did not involve using the military.
AND NOTE THAT THE DOLLAR IS NOT DROPPING AS FAST AS OIL IS SURGING - (SO CURRENCY ISSUES ARE NOT DRIVING THE OIL BUBBLE); HERE'S A DOLLAR-EURO CHART:
We’ve compared the spike in oil and other commodities like gold with the decline in the dollar since the fall of last year, and, up until recently, there was an outstanding correlation — going long oil, gold or other commodities was pretty clearly an effective way to short the dollar in an almost risk free environment. Something has changed, however, in recent days.
Since early April, gold and oil have moved in opposite directions. [GOLD IS THE RED LINE.] Gold’s price, in our view, has retreated as the market has judged, correctly, that the dollar’s decline is nearing an end for multiple sound reasons (a halt to interest rate cuts, global slow growth or recession, etc.). Meanwhile, oil’s price has become completely untethered from reality in an insane speculative frenzy, even versus other commodities (which have had their own bull markets).It’s over, or at least coming to an end, in our opinion.
Well they are seeing them now. Heh.
Comment on to previous post points out at p.2 of the Stevens dissent he refers to NFA and US v. Miller: "Upholding a conviction under that Act, this Court held that..."
Same mistake the 9th Circus made years ago and had to issue a new opinion, since Miller was never convicted -- commentators noted this was pretty suggestive the court hadn't bothered to read Miller before citing it. First thing you look for in reading a case is what happened below, and what the Court do to that. Very first thing.
I'd add that at 41 he refers to:
"In 1901 the President revitalized the militia by creating the 'National Guard of the several States,' Perpich 496 U.S. at 341 and nn. 9-10."
Reading that part of Perpich v. Dodd: It says in 1901 President Roosevelt called for reforming the militia. He didn't create the National Guard (where would he have had the authority?)
On the next page Perpich says that Congress in 1903 enacted the Dick Act, which created the "National Guard of the Several States." Footnote 11 of that opinion, referring to creation of the Guard, begins: "The Act of January 21, 1903, 32 Stat. 775, provided in part..." So I guess he didn't read the Perpich case, either, let alone verify the dates and who did what.
And none of the four signing onto this opinion, and none of their clerks, saw these items?
A building or group of buildings used for teaching Islamic theology and religious law, typically including a mosque.Those who have read this web page by Daniel Pipes, also know about other connotations for the word "madrassah."
[T]his is a nightmare for the families of the students enrolled in the academy. This pressure is exerted by several Congressmen, known for their great hostility towards Arabs and Muslims.Um, ISA supporters, remove the beam from your own eye before trying to remove the speck from another's eye.
What should be said about a commission that some say is unconstitutional and contradicts the very meaning of its name? This commission [which recently issured the report on the textbooks] calls upon all countries of the world to respect freedom of religion there, while the commission itself violates this freedom on its own land.
Just across at SCOTUS Blog. 5-4, which means Kennedy was the deciding vote — or, if you prefer, Alito was the deciding vote. Would O’Connor or Harriet Miers have voted the same way? If nothing else, Bush at least delivered this.
Stand by for the opinion.
The court’s 5-4 ruling strikes down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision goes further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.
Update: Here’s the opinion at SCOTUS Blog. They’re getting hammered by Drudge so e-mail us if you can’t access it there and I’ll upload it elsewhere.
As predicted the other day, this ruling did not necessarily affirm any type of weapon ought be available to the general population. But it does for the first time establish a precedent that the occasional need during civil unrest or collapse of institutions for "self regulated militias" does not preclude the individual's right to own "common" weapons for self defense. For now anyway, that particular argument is kaput.And, (as was also predicted) Scalia did not infer that the 2nd Amendment granted any individual the right to any specific weapon, and he even went so far to say that it was reasonable to restrict certain "special" arms from the general public (WMD's is my own extreme example of this logic...).
We reach the question, then: Does the preface fit with an operative clause that creates an individual right to keep and bear arms? It fits perfectly, once one knows the history that the founding generation knew and that we have described above. That history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the able bodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents. This is what had occurred in England that prompted codification of the right to have arms in the English Bill of Rights.I am very relieved; in fact I may just go to the range later this afternoon to celebrate!
The debate with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, as with other guarantees in the Bill of Rights, was not over whether it was desirable (all agreed that it was) but over whether it needed to be codified in the Constitution. During the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia was pervasive in Antifederalist rhetoric. [See, e.g., Letters from The Federal Farmer III (Oct. 10, 1787), in 2 The Complete Anti-Federalist 234, 242 (H. Storing ed. 1981).] John Smilie, for example, worried not only that Congress’s “command of the militia” could be used to create a “select militia,” or to have “no militia at all,” but also, as a separate concern, that “[w]hen a select militia is formed; the people in general may be disarmed.” [2 Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution 508–509 (M. Jensen ed. 1976) (hereinafter Documentary Hist.). ]
Federalists responded that because Congress was given no power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, such a force could never oppress the people. [See, e.g., A Pennsylvanian III (Feb. 20, 1788), in The 26 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER Opinion of the Court Origin of the Second Amendment 275, 276 (D. Young ed., 2d ed. 2001) (hereinafter Young); White, To the Citizens of Virginia, Feb. 22, 1788, in id., at 280, 281; A Citizen of America, (Oct. 10, 1787) in id., at 38, 40; Remarks on the Amendments to the federal Constitution, Nov. 7, 1788, in id., at 556.]
It was understood across the political spectrum that the right helped to secure the ideal of a citizen militia, which might be necessary to oppose an oppressive military force if the constitutional order broke down. It is therefore entirely sensible that the Second Amendment’s prefatory clause announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia.
The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting. But the threat that the new Federal Government would destroy the citizens’ militia by taking away their arms was the reason that right—unlike some other English rights—was codified in a written Constitution. JUSTICE BREYER’s assertion that individual self-defense is merely a “subsidiary interest” of the right to keep and bear arms, see post, at 36, is profoundly mistaken. He bases that assertion solely upon the prologue—but that can only show that self defense had little to do with the right’s codification; it was the central component of the right itself.
The Labor-Kadima agreement does not specify when Olmert will actually step down from office, under the assumption that the primaries will produce another paty leader.They are quite right, I'll say. Barak is no leader. Update: Netanyahu, much more of a leader than he'll ever be, has responded in an address to Olmert on how the dam of confidence has been broken.
Politicians from the right and the left were quick to slam the deal. MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) criticized the Labor Party for allowing a prime minister under investigation of corruption charges to remain in power several additional months instead of replacing him with a "suitable" government immediately. One Likud Party spokesman said Labor chairman Ehud Barak "once again failed to take responsibility," a reference to the Defense Minister's broken promise to resign upon publication of the Winograd Report in January, 2008.
Fighting between Taliban-led militants and security forces is surging, clouding hopes that the six-year, multibillion-dollar effort to stabilize the country will succeed any time soon.
U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces killed up to 35 Taliban insurgents after the militants attacked two towns in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border overnight, a police chief said on Wednesday.... About 100 Taliban insurgents attacked the towns of Gomal and Sarobi in Paktika province overnight, but fled when they were engaged by Afghan police supported by coalition troops, said provincial Police Chief Nabi Jan Mullah Khail.
It is now a certainty that the "birth certificate" claimed by the Barack Obama campaign as authentic is a photoshopped fake.....
Some of these oddities surfaced in Israel Insider's previous article on the subject, but new comparative documentary evidence presented below, and official verification obtained by Israel Insider from a senior Hawaiian official, provides the strongest confirmation yet....
Janice Okubo, Director of Communications of the State of Hawaii Department of Health, told Israel Insider: "At this time there are no circumstances in which the State of Hawaii Department of Health would issue a birth certification or certification of live birth only electronically." And, she added, "In the State of Hawaii all certified copies of certificates of live birth have the embossed seal and registrar signature on the back of the document."
A team of patriotic leaders are working together in a historic undertaking with the goal of sending the largest single shipment of care packages to U.S. troops in American history. The care package drive will result in the shipment of not just 1,000 care packages—a feat accomplished by the Grand Ole Opry in October 2007. Organizers similarly won’t settle for just the 10,000 packages shipped as part of an impressive effort undertaken by the Nevada Girl Scouts. And they plan to surpass the efforts of the terrific organization, Operation Gratitude, which undertook a multi-day effort to pack and ship 50,000 care packages last year.For more details, go here!
Move America Forward, the nation’s largest pro-troop organization, has launched this historic drive to rally Americans to show our troops in Iraq & Afghanistan just how much support they have from the American people back home.
The grand finale for the push will take place on June 26th when a Jerry Lewis style 8-hour Internet Telethon ("From the Frontlines") will take place. This cutting edge production “From The Frontlines” will be broadcast live online by UStream.tv and hosted by Melanie Morgan & Michelle Malkin. Live and taped reports will be broadcast from our troops serving in Iraq & Afghanistan during the historic 8-hour event.
Americans can sponsor the care packages from Move America Forward’s by ordering via this link from MAF’s online webstore partner: TheCampaignStore.com
Mickey Kaus thinks he is just inept:
The movie star, who campaigns actively for the Illinois senator, recently told the website Politico, "You'd imagine that someone like the senator who is constantly traveling and constantly 'on' - how can he return these personal emails? But he does, and in his off-time I know he also calls people who have donated the minimum to thank them."
She said Obama had responded to one note about a debate, commenting to her that the questions were "silly."But speaking to reporters aboard his campaign plane, Obama said the actress doesn't have his personal email address. "She sent one email to Reggie, who forwarded it to me," Obama said, referring to his 26-year-old personal assistant, Reggie Love. "I write saying, 'thank you Scarlett for doing what you do,' and suddenly we have this email relationship"
This seems inexplicably clumsy. Johansson's a supporter who helped make Obama a highly effective video. She probably thought she was helping Obama again when she told the press how impressed she was that he returned her emails. Surely there's a way to get across the point that she's just an occasional emailer without making her look like a fantasist. ...Maybe he is just afraid that Michelle would be jealous.
The U.S. has been at war for years now, but ordinary Americans have never been asked to step up and make the kind of sacrifices that wars have historically required.
There is no draft. There are no shortages of food, consumer items or gasoline. We’re not even paying for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That multitrillion-dollar obligation has been shoved off to future generations. Incredibly, taxes have been lowered, not raised, since the wars began.
On the home front, this is as pleasant a wartime environment as one could imagine.
And Herbert can't stand it! He wants to suffer! He wants you to suffer!
Of course, nothing is preventing Herbert from helping the war effort by making whatever sacrifices he thinks would be useful and appropriate. He could donate to Adopt a Platoon or Adopt a Sniper, for example. he might not be too old to join up in some useful capacity.
And he could actually use his column to support America instead of supporting America's enemies! Imagine that! But I guess that would be too much of a sacrifice . . .
Incidentally, contrast Bob Herbert's insane desire for suffering with President Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863:
In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
Lincoln had a hostile Democrat New York press with which to contend, but I don't think even the most rabid copperheads were so foolish as to wish that the country they still in fact loved would suffer more than it already had endured.
Mr. Herbert is worried that the lack of sacrifice and suffering on the home front is contributing to the psychological stress endured by our Armed Forces:
Among the least-noted aspects of these two seemingly endless wars is the psychological toll they are taking on those who have volunteered to fight them. Increasingly, they are being medicated on the battlefield, and many thousands are returning with brain damage and psychological wounds that cause tremendous suffering and have the potential to alter their lives forever.War is hell. Nobody knows that better than the men in the front lines.