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Friday, May 02, 2003 :::
THERE IS NO NEED to be overly cynical, but I have two words explaining President's Bush actions: John Kerry. Kerry's campaign is based on his military service in Vietnam. It's a good idea to remind the American people that Bush was a fighter pilot.

::: posted by our man in Oxford at 5:21 PM

GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States, showed himself to be incredibly cool today by making his carrier landing (do check out the pictures and the online video!). The Instapundit disagrees, but he has some good comments up from people who have sentiments similar to your man in Chicago. Dubya demonstrated himself capable of having fun, of displaying solidarity with the forces, and of being a man. Yes, you read that correctly: of being a man. Every boy and every man on the planet wants to do want Dubya did today, no matter how pathetically some may deny it - and we love Dubya because he actually does it (indeed, that's perhaps a reason why some hate him, but I'll leave the pop psychology to you). The professional cynics, carpers, and chatterers who need to waste their ink on something somewhere all the time can analyze this event all they want, but Bush showed again why he understands more about life and politics than most of those scribblers ever will. UPDATE: Tony Blur... erm, Blair -he of the Third Way (remember the Third Way?), formerly the scribblers' patron saint- says that Dubya's lightweight image is not only "complete bull" but "total nonsense." Just roll that sentence over your tongue: not only complete bull, but total nonsense... Blair is clearly serious. Says Tony: "He [President Bush] is highly intelligent, and it's not clotted by so many nuances that the meaning is obscured." Hmm. I wonder who he has in mind with that turn of phrase. "The good thing about (Bush) is that once he does really think that an issue has to be tackled he has big reserves of courage for doing it, and he won't really be diverted." Unlike that other friend of Tony's who used to live in the White House, right?

::: posted by our man in Chicago at 1:48 AM

Monday, April 28, 2003 :::
NIALL FERGUSON unintentionally explains why 19th-century Britain is superior to 21st-century America. He hopes that America will take up its imperial calling. I, for one, do not believe that America will do so, or that it can be said to have such a calling. If I may venture a short suggestion as to the reason for this: 19th-century Britain had an aristocratic spirit; 20th and 21st-century America have a very democratic spirit. Britain dissolved its empire when it lost the will to continue it - this happened at the very moment that the country became truly democratic for the first time, namely after world war two. The people chose refrigerators at home rather than regiments abroad. The idea of refrigerators rather than regiments -a worshipping of consumer goods above almost all else- is a characteristic of democratic regimes and has long been central to the notion of America. UPDATE: The British Empire -and perhaps also the American Frontier- offered opportunities for the 'problem children' described by John Derbyshire. Unlike Derbyshire, I do not think that these children are necessarily problematic. They simply do not do well in the "suburban, conformist, lawn-tending, church-going lifestyle" that he calls "one of the best lifestyles — the most satisfying to the largest number of people — that the human race has yet come up with." We may agree that the benefits of the democratic and bourgeois world vastly outweigh its disadvantages. Yet the truth of that statement should not lead us to forget its opportunity costs - costs for noble endeavors such as Ferguson's, and costs to kids (and later adults) such as discussed by Derbyshire.

::: posted by our man in Chicago at 4:41 PM

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