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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Alan Keyes, the Great White Fleet, Russia's Strong Man of theYear, and other Tales

Many things are of note from today and yesterday.

  • Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal discusses Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet, and reminds us that a Show of Strength can be risky, because showing your power often leaves certain areas unprotected, but the Great White Fleet was a exhibition for the purposes of self-defense. While in today's world our Navy cannot be used to thoroughly assault our primary enemies where it counts, and attempts to implement a suitable/adequate plurality of Littoral Combat Ships have proven to be less than thrilling, threatening, or useful, the symbol of the act still applies, or should. Fellows like Ron Paul may wish to draw down military power as a parallel to draw down government power but one of the greatest ways to fend off attacks is a prevention based on fear. If enemies abroad fear our ability to strike back and obliterate those they hold dear, then perhaps they would strongly consider less violent actions. But then that's why I don't believe we should simply withdraw from the Iraqi theatres, which is among the only reasons I vote against Congressman Ron Paul. I also keep in mind the possibility that China would assert a capability to strike out abroad.
    Whatever the procurement problems or tactical issues, a supremely powerful Navy is not a luxury the U.S. can safely dispense with. In September, ships of the People's Liberation Army Navy made their first-ever port calls in Germany, France, Britain and Italy, and Chinese admirals are frequent guests on American warships. "The Chinese Great White Fleet is not too far off on the horizon," says a senior Navy official in a recent conversation.

    China's current rise, like America's a century ago, is not something anyone can stop. It can be steered. Making sure our vision for the Navy stays true to Teddy Roosevelt's is one way of ensuring the Chinese don't make the mistake of steering it our way.

    Demonstrating a will to use power can assure others as to the best use of their own power.
  • I have spent a disproportionate number of brain cells attempting to divine why Alan Keyes was running for President this month, or to some extent why he ever does. It is not inappropriate to posit that he is as Conservative as me, as much as that can be a virtue and as a potential POTUS his views and policies are the notions, philosophically closest to my own. That said he is a terrific speaker and a horrible candidate. As a speaker of high caliber the high price point is worth it.
  • I cannot believe that I had to read it here instead of figuring it out myself. Alan Keyes runs for President, or any higher office as of late, in order to increase his demand as a public speaker so he can raise his prices. Given that he stole (was granted) time in the last Republican debate and that he absorbs tiny bits of attention (and money) that could be slightly useful to Conservative candidates that are viable, his presence and demand for attention is more destructive than useful.
  • One could at least argue that Tom Tancredo is running as a protest candidate now and that Duncan Hunter runs as a sort of fulfillment to the commitment to volunteers and donors. The silliness comes when these two dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives, the two most Conservative members of Congress and the US House of Representatives, are accused by Ambassador Keyes of being among "the elites". I'd like to see how the two least popular yet most principled candidates are elites doing damage to whatever cause that Alan Keyes is supposedly championing now. This isn't over, of course.
  • Fascinating that as Alan Keyes supposedly drives people to be more Conservative and loving, like me, his example for his kid has to a "Queer" anarchist.
  • Speaking of bad parenting Lynne Spears' sixteen-year-old daughter is pregnant from her eighteen-year-old boyfriend. I wonder if Lynne Spears is still planning on writing a "Christian parenting book." UPDATE: The book has been put on hold. This is a surprise.
  • Lynne Spears is the mother of Britney Spears and I don't care to spell out what kind of young adult, child, or human that particular celebrity is, yet Britney Spears' younger sister is also a celebrity of sorts, although certainly not habitually selling merchandise with a sexual angle. Apparently Jamie Lynn Spears is the star of "Zoey 101", a program on Nickelodeon that I have never heard of or seen. According to the radio the child has been sexually active with her adult boyfriend that she met at church. An anonymous teenager on the radio bemoans that the child Spears is demonstrating as a "bad role model" and as someone who wasn't responsible enough to be abstinent she certainly is. Regardless of age or maturity when you are on television and young children, teenagers and the twelve-year-olds look up to you, you are a role model with some responsibility and duty towards virtue. That she is a poor role model should be stated and set aside. She is responsible enough to carry the baby to term and intend to raise him or her. Then that she is taking responsibility, as is the minimum expectation, for her actions is something that should be said and set aside as she is a poor role model for your children and she should be set aside out of the spotlight. As Joshua Elder, let's just "leave it at that."
  • Jeopardy superchampion Ken Jennings insists that his religion should stop being battered from this politically-based push to the limelight. I say it could stand some honest assessment and criticism from smart people and even some morons. Attacking those of Mormon faith for simply being Mormon, of course, is wrong. That we have an opportunity to discuss Mormonism without fear should be celebrated and that people would shame those of anti-Mormonism belief under the shroud of defending against bigotry is annoying and destructive. Ken Jennings is a decent guy and this is illuminating.
  • Time Magazine has appointed a former member of the KGB to be their Person of the Year for 2007. If I have to point out how wrong that is, yet fitting with Time's tendencies, I'll do it in 2008. The runner-up is a highly-successful politician/confidence man and a former children's author.
  • Is a man fortunate to be in this position or is it a place of moral confusion? I don't know if I am a man to hold people accountable on this, although in my weaker moments I would envy him. In my more logical moments I recall that a woman could come between me and the Lord.
  • I can't view this video from my home, given the dial-up connection, but I am curious what Alan Keyes said to Sean Hannity that is original, and I am still annoyed that Hannity defends the inconsistent Conservative.

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