The founders of the New York Herald commissioned the figures below to stand on the cornice of their building, sounding out the hours. After their deaths, the figures were removed and made into a sculpture memorializing the newspaper family in Herald Square in midtown Manhattan. Quite extraordinary, actually. I don't know whether the men swinging the sledge hammers actually struck the bell to sound the hours in their original placement; if they did, the dynamic scene would have been inspiring. Even static, the group is heroic--truth in time.
Larger versions of the images below are in my photo album, "Manhattan" (see sidebar). The commemorative plaque for the memorial has information about the history of the sculptures, from which I gleaned the information above.
The comic strip "Doonesbury" accuses the President and the GOP of fearing-mongering in order to win the election. In the strip, the off-stage character, "Fear Itself", answers questions at a press conference. Doonesbury is mistaken--and slanderous (as he often is regarding the President). I don't know anybody who is afraid and I don't know anybody who knows anybody who is afraid; further, the President has not asked them to be. I have not read of or witnessed states of fear or spontaneous outbreaks of fear due to terrorism. Have you?
What President Bush has asked of Americans is to be courageous, to accept the most important challenge of their generation, in girding themselves to fight against Jihadist world-wide terrorism. I know New Yorkers who are cautious and careful, but that is different from being afraid. The wife of a friend, who live in the Clinton's suburban town, dislikes going into the city. My daughter asked for a mid-story office in her corporate building, located just a two hundred feet from the gaping holes left by the cleared twin towers. My son notes trains that have extra police on the platforms and cars. All President Bush is doing is pointing the public's attention to the outstanding issue of our era and re-stating, as he must as the free world's leader, it's centrality to the mission of preserving freedom.
For nearly a generation after the US Civil War, in elections, the GOP "waved the bloody shirt," as Democrats complained. Yet this campaign tactic was appropriate. The Democrats had been on the wrong side of the most important political and moral issue to face the young nation.The GOP was on the right side, and it remained on the right side of sundry struggles that were allied the issues of the war, such as social reconstruction of the South and free labor, while the Democratic Party remained on the wrong side.
It required a generation for the Democratic Party to reunite itself with the Union and to take a leadership role with the trust of the nation. Today, "9/11" is the equivalent of the "bloody shirt" then, and today, as then, the GOP is in the right and the Democratic Party is in the wrong on sundry issues associated with it. If the Democratic Party does not want to wander for forty years in the political desert, it needs to step forward and take a leadership role in actively waging the war for freedom the US now fights.
Today, I lugged to the trash bins and threw away several cartons of the notes I wrote in college and graduate school courses. I had preserved them carefully, lugging them around the country with me as I moved. Most of the notes were written on punched, ruled, white sheets that had originally been snapped into ringer binders. A few were written on pads of ruled paper bound by coils. At some point, I took the sets of notes out of their binders and put them into carefully labelled manila folders. Notes were written in pencil and ink from ballpoint pens and fountain pens...
(I had always been committed to black ink. My first wife, whom I met and got engaged to in college, had been partial to blue-black ink. After a long, pleasant contest, I convinced her to use black ink. She remembered this little moment of marriage many years later, when, the marriage long over, our daughter mentioned to her that I had suddenly burst into colors. I started writing with the rainbow of Levenger darker inks, partial to browns and reds. She--first wife--remarked about my sudden defection to color.)
...No highlighters then; my review annotations involved underlining in pencil and summarizing on additional sheets. My notes from college were 46 to 42 years old! The notes from graduate school were 42 to 37 years old! Why did I keep these notes? It made some sense, I suppose, to have kept them for a few years on the odd, off chance that I would want to refer to them; but I cannot recall ever pulling them out of their boxes and reading them or using them in any way. I have always had the instinct of an archivist; but this retention policy is way outside professional bounds. I suppose that I might have hung onto the notes for a few years after school from pride, as testimony to my academic work and accomplishments; but as symbols, they were soon superceded by more important and tangible evidence of growth and attainment. Anyone have any suggestions as to why I might have kept them? Did you keep old school notes?
I'm reading Marc D. Hauser, Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong (HarperCollins 2006). Hauser is a professor at Harvard University. Fascinating stuff; I got gripped right away. Blogging to return when I've pulled myself out of the book.
On Tuesday, America will have, as an estimate, 300 million persons. Sometime about 2043, America will have 400 million persons. The rapid growth in population we have seen since the 1980s and the more rapid population growth we will see in the next four decades are, almost without exception, good for America. Why? Population growth brings economic growth. More people will require more houses, schools, roads, health care. Meeting these needs pushes prosperity. The new Americans will provide some of the labor to provide these services and utilities. The established labor force will provide the rest.
One of the blessings of population growth is political. It reinforces the Republican strategy for America, and decreases the likelihood of the Democratic strategy. The Republican Party believes that population growth, powered by families, and economic growth, powered by capitalism, provide greater prosperity and economic security for all Americans. Certainly, American history provides overwhelming evidence for this belief. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, believes that prosperity and economic security for all Americans can only come by income redistribution and social policy favoritism for the have-nots. The Democratic Party follows a political strategy of class conflict to enact the laws and policies that mandate redistribution and social favoritism.
The Demcratic Party's strategy was born during a great emergency in American history--the depression of the 1930s. The solutions created to solve that depression, some by Hoover, most by FDR, have long ceased to be the political property of the Democratic Party. For instance, home ownership through private capital, underwritten by the national government, was a New Deal policy that quickly became part of the American political consensus. Similarly, social security is part of the national consensus. There is little possibility that abandonment of the Democratic Party's preferred mode of political operation and policies would lead to dismantling of these integral institutions in American society.
The result of the Republican strategy of growth is social optimism by all peoples and relative cooperation and harmony in the public and civic spheres of life. The outcome of the Democratic strategy is general unhappiness--the politics of envy and social conflict in all spheres. We should all greet the news of the likelihood of population growth with a deep and meaningful sigh of relief.
Hamas and other "Palestinian" militant organizations have smuggled into Gaza anti-aircraft and anti-tank ordnance and heavier infantry armament, along with Katyusha rockets. Use of this arsenal will greatly increase the likelihood of conventional military confrontation between the IDF and the "Palestinian" terror militias. Hamas and the other terror militias believe, since the July-August war between Hezbollah and Israel, that the IDF can be beaten. This is a horrible misjudgment, as they will discover if they start raining rockets onto southern Israeli cities. The IDF will be forced to respond with a full-scale occupation of both the West Bank and Gaza--taking casualties from the anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. Since the noncombatant "Palestinian" population has no where to flee combat, their casualties will soar. The only positive outcome of such a confrontation would be the punishing and undeniable defeat of the terror militias--defeat so clear and complete that moderate "Palestinian" opinion might emerge. It is possible to inflict such a level of defeat, a defeat so complete that the defeated society renounces military force. The Allies did it in World War Two to Germany and Japan. Hamas and the other "Palestinian" terror groups also seem to be preparing to be taught this lesson. If Israel's political leadership has the courage and will, the IDF has the capacity to teach it.
Update. October 18, 2006. A commentator for the Jerusalem Post also has concerns about an impending war.
Caroline Glick provides the background for the alliance of Soros and big-money anti-Israel Jewish leftists, their increasing influence in Congress in supporting the "Palestinians", and their influence on Secretary of State Condi Rice who has abased herself with obscene groveling before the "Palestinian" terror masters. President Bush should be able to keep straight the issues regarding Israel and terror and to control the policy announcements of his Secretary, but he seems disconnected from her opposition to his 2001 policy of giving no truck to terrorists and their allies. The Bush administration seems to be sliding downhill into the Democratic Party foreign relations philosophy, a frightening tendency that bodes ill for the future of the United States and its chief ally against terror, Israel.