Christopher Cross at Patterico's Pontifications sheds light on United Nations efforts to stop the U.S. from distributing materials to Iraqis that urge them to vote in Sunday's elections.
Remind me: Why are we in the U.N.? Oh yeah -- promotion of worldwide democracy.
From a couple of other blogs I have visited today:
The host of the Psycho Toddler blog tells the story, with pictures, of his own family's horrific Holocaust experience in his blog today. Very, very sad.My own Holocaust Remembrance Blogburst post can be found directly below this post.
Meanwhile, Harry at Squaring the Boston Globe reports that the Boston Globe has what could be called an excessively complimentary obituary in today's Globe for a man Harry calls "an American Albert Speer."
I'm participating in the January 27 Blogburst on the theme "Remembering the Wannsee Conference and the Liberation of Auschwitz."
Polls, such as this one about Canadians and this one about Britons (I could not find a recent one about Americans, but am under no illusions that I would like its results), show scandalously high levels of ignorance about the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, and the multiple genocides that have occurred within the lifetimes of people living today.
My contribution to the Blogburst is to recommend this link to the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. You can use the viewer at this site to watch short excerpts of personal testimonies from people who survived the Holocaust.
See and hear what these survivors experienced, in their own words, and remember, chillingly, that most of those touched by the Holocaust did not survive.
If you don't do it today, bookmark the page, and do it on another day.
I also am publishing a list of other Blogburst participants, each of whom has committed to posting or linking to material on this topic today. I hope readers will consider visiting the websites of some of the other participants.
Other Blogburst participants include:
You can learn more about the Blogburst project, including how to become a participant in future Blogbursts, here.
The Heritage Policy Weblog answers the question, with help from the National Center for Policy Analysis's John Goodman and the fine folks at the Cato Institute.
Hint: The answer is "no."
From a Talon News article today comes this February 9, 1998 quote from then-President Bill Clinton:
[I]f you don't do anything [with Social Security], one of two things will happen. Either it will go broke and you won't ever get it, or if we wait too long to fix it, the burden on society ... of taking care of our generation's Social Security obligations will lower your income and lower your ability to take care of your children to a degree that most of us who are parents think would be horribly wrong and unfair to you and unfair to the future prospects of the United States.
Ed Haislmaier sent over this New York Post editorial by John Podhoretz, drawing particular attention to this observation:
...But others speak in pessimistic tones about the inability or the unwillingness of the residents of the "Sunni Triangle" to participate. Sunni Muslims, who were the dominant force in Saddam Hussein's regime, constitute 20 percent of Iraq's population. And yet the argument is seriously made that a Sunni boycott will invalidate the election results.Good point.
If white South Africans had refused to participate in that nation's first-ever free elections back in 1994, nobody on earth would have argued that their lack of participation invalidated the election results.
Speaking of the Center for American Progress, it has an essay posted today on its main page by a Reverend Debra W. Haffner saying, "we have a moral imperative to ensure access to abortion services."
The essay says even parental notification (not just consent) laws are immoral as well as any limits whatsoever on any abortion procedures.
The essay gives the following as the moral reasoning behind this position: "...it is precisely because life is sacred that it not be created carelessly."
But -- isn't destroying life the ultimate in treating it "carelessly?"
Jeffrey Lynn, the father of a Marine on his second tour of duty in Iraq, has set up this website to support the troops with gifts of CDs and messages of support.
Says Jeff: "My goal is to get music in the hands of any soldier that needs a taste of home - and that's just what our Tunes for Troops program does."
By a $10 CD and they send a CD to you and another to a soldier or Marine in Iraq or Afghanistan, along with a (optional) message from you.
By coincidence, after I read Andrew Sullivan's denunciation of a piece by Rabbi Daniel Lapin as "a new nadir" in the "degeneration of the American right," I caught up on reading my email and found a copy of Lapin's entire essay in my in-box.
Let's put it this way: After I read all of what Lapin had to say, I had a very different impression of his thoughts than I had after reading Sullivan's post.
Google has 440,000 entries for the phrase "end of an era"; yet, few of its uses are likely to be more apt than in referring to the loss of Johnny Carson.
It is not just Carson's uniqueness -- which others are addressing better than I can -- but that for much of his "Tonight Show" career, most of us had 3-4 TV channels at most. So we all had Johnny Carson in common. For thirty years.
Some reports about Carson say he was painfully shy. I'm pretty sure he was. Back in the mid-70s my parents took our family to tour NBC. Our tour was walking though an indoor parking lot when our tourguide was briefly called away. As we waited, a car pulled up. It was Carson, and he had to get out and get by us to get into the studio.
He looked at us. (We had looked at him first.) After the first few seconds it was kind of awkward -- the way it can be if you look at a stranger in an elevator and he happens to look at you and then you both feel as though someone has to say something, but no one actually has anything to say. But this was Johnny Carson; the master of talk! Who could be more comfortable filling just a few seconds with friendly chatter?
Somebody else. The King of Late Night was too shy to speak.
Soon realizing this, my Dad -- who as an engineer had professional training about as different from a professional talkmeister's as it is possible to have -- filled the awkwardness (I think he simply made a comment about the weather). Carson did reply; he was friendly, actually, but I had the definite impression that if one of our group had not spoken first, Carson would never have said a word.
Once in a long while, I think about that incident. Mostly, I think it was pretty cool that there was a social situation in which my Dad was a better conversationalist than Johnny Carson (I mean, really, it was Johnny Carson!). But I also think that if someone so painfully shy he could not even think to say something like "have a nice day" could become The Interview King, then we all should take a look at the personal weaknesses we have that we think we can't overcome. Because, just maybe, we can.