Thursday, January 25, 2007
Over the weekend I visited Berry Hill, the antebellum plantation which will serve as the future home for Founders College. I do not think enough has been said about just how tremendous a location this is for this school; it is simply a place without many equals in higher education today. I have visited most of great homes of Virginia in the past, and the Berry Hill manor house alone easily ranks among them, while the richness of larger grounds serve to amplify the beauty of the property in ways that are absolutely breathtaking. [redundant link dropped]In a followup post in the near future, he plans to discuss how Founders plans to provide a solid education for its students, based on what he has learned from one of its newly-hired faculty members.
The State of the Sacrifice
Myrhaf has posted a lengthy critique of President Bush's recent State of the Union Address, something I had no desire to go through. No surprises there. This pretty much essentializes it:
On health care, [Bush] says, "When it comes to healthcare, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children and we will meet those responsibilities."A commenter by the name of "Madmax" also adds the following astute appraisal of the Republicans' idea of warfare:
Now, how can Republicans be horrified by the Democrats' socialized medicine schemes but ignore this? If the government takes care of the elderly, the disabled and poor children, then the principle of free market health care is gone and the road is paved for socialized medicine. Once you expand the state to cover the weakest, then the next to weakest look like they deserve it too and sooner or later America's health care looks like Canada's. The Republicans will get us to Hillarycare, just not as fast as Hillary would have done it. [slight reformatting, my bold]
I got the impression that many Conservatives liked this SOTU because Bush refused to back down on Iraq. It really is a no-win [scenario] in that Conservatives cling to our current Iraq policy because they see [withdrawal] as a victory for the Dems. But Conservatives will not consider total war as a legitimate option (there might be some rare exceptions to this). There just is no awareness on the part of the Conservatives for an egoistic approach to war. So it looks like quagmires like Iraq and Afghanistan are all we are going to get.This would also, by the way, pretty well sum up what is wrong with Hugh Hewitt's grassroots effort (HT: Glenn Reynolds and Varifrank) to threaten withdrawal of support for any Republican who helps pass any, "resolution, non-binding or otherwise, that criticizes the commitment of additional troops to Iraq that General Petraeus has asked for and that the president has pledged" [bold added].
What of the notion of criticizing this "surge" for the right reason, as I recently did?
In any war, including the one of which the conflict in Iraq is but a part, the two basic options are to fight or to surrender. In the context of Iraq, where we find ourselves now whether one agrees or disagrees we should have gone there in the first place, there are several viable options that would constitute continuing to fight the broader war -- even including a withdrawal from all or parts of Iraq premised on the notion that our forces could be better used elsewhere.Were a group of Republican senators to object to the surge on similar grounds, would Hugh Hewitt withdraw his support from them? If one of the virtues of representative government is that it allows public debate over the best course of action, then Hugh Hewitt clearly fails to grasp or appreciate that fact.
As Alex Epstein recently put it,
One does not support our troops by sending them to fight wars of self-sacrifice and then thanking their corpses. The conservatives' call to "stay the course" in Iraq -- or to add 20,000 troops to that course -- is harmful to America and its troops because the mission has been conceived and conducted in defiance of American interests.Does Hewitt want to prevent someone from his own party stating this truth so plainly? If so, he has "learned the wrong lesson" on the war worse than I ever imagined any Republican could. At one point, I had supported the Republicans because I feared that a Democrat victory would cause them to think America favored surrender. That would be bad enough, but this is worse!
One does not support our troops by keeping them home when their and our freedom requires military action. Our soldiers did not join the military to sit on their hands while Iran prepares for nuclear jihad.
The Republicans lost in part because Bush's course is so flawed that unless it changes, it will prove worse than not fighting at all. (It will fail to defeat Islamofascism and it will discredit the idea of waging war in the process. For more on how we ought to fight, see John Lewis's comparison of this war with World War II.) The last thing we need to do is to discourage open debate among the Republicans over how we ought to fight this war!
Myrhaf also provides a good answer to another commenter who supports President Bush's foolish desire for the government to prop up the alternative fuels industry.
Speaking of which, ...
Alternative Fuels as Alternatives to Prosperity
Galileo goes into somewhat morbid detail about how government encouragement of the alternative fuel industry can harm the economy.
The "Canada of Operating Systems"
Isaac Schrodinger points to this unsurprising assessment of Microsoft Windows Vista, which includes the following gem: "Vista sound less like a 'wow moment' than a passable bore -- the Canada of operating systems."
I'd call Linux the "Israel of Operating Systems": Small (in terms of number of users and disk space requirements) and powerful -- but crippled by leftism.
Martin Lindeskog has been blogging a bit more often lately, so do stop by to catch up if you haven't visited Ego in awhile. In his latest post, he announces the arrival of space tourism to Sweden.