Welcome, one and all to the most intense nightly read anywhere on the sphere…The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble
- YET MORE FT HOOD: Let’s have a look at the comments of Steve Hayes from last Night’s Brett Baier thing:
STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, I think what we’ve learned over the weekend, we have basically seen manifestations of government incompetence in the extreme on two different levels.
One is the military side. You have former colleagues of Hasan who said that they reported to their superiors comments that he made, incendiary remarks that he made, and things that were highly suggestive of somebody that was at least sympathetic to Islamist ideologies. You had others in the military who said they with afraid to report such comments. They heard them and they heard them repeatedly but were afraid to take them forward to their superiors because they were concerned of being accused of discriminating against Muslims.
And against all of that you then you have George Casey this weekend go on the Sunday shows and say…the
BAIER: Army chief of staff
HAYES: The Army chief of staff say in public repeatedly that one of the things he’s most concerned about is a backlash against Muslims right here.
So if you are now a serving soldier in the U.S. army and you have concerns about somebody else, what is the incentive to step forward and actually make a claim or to point this out right now? You have just been told by the army chief of staff that you could be singled out again for discrimination. I think that’s a disgrace.
To those not terrorized by fear of offending Muslim sensitivities, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s motive was instantly clear: It was an act of terrorism by a man with a record of expressing virulent, anti-American, pro-jihadist sentiments. All were conspicuous signs of danger his Army superiors chose to ignore.What is hard to ignore, now, is the growing derangement on all matters involving terrorism and Muslim sensitivities. Its chief symptoms: a palpitating fear of discomfiting facts and a willingness to discard those facts and embrace the richest possible variety of ludicrous theories as to the motives behind an act of Islamic terrorism. All this we have seen before but never in such naked form
I submit to you that the reaction that Rabinowitz speaks to after the tragedy…. trying mightily to disconnect Islamic radicalism from the acts we saw in Fort Hood is of a piece with the politically correct policies espoused by the White House for far too long…policies which led directly to those shootings taking place. All this goes directly to my comments of last night : this is political correctness and it’s logical conclusion. The very source of this nonsense is the White House.
Now mind you, they should not be construed as a parent of defense of W, by any means. Part of this goes back to the politically correct BS that was spewed by Mr. Bush about “the religion of peace”. I’m on record as labeling it as such it that time, and since.that was a situation that a more conservative individual being given the position of POTUS would likely have improved. As it is, we gave someone of the far left that power, and the situation is deteriorated, even, from what W left us with.
- IRONY ABOUNDS: John Allen Muhammad, the so-called DC Sniper, was executed by the state of Virginia  at about 9 last night.
- THE HAWKINS / FRIEDERSDORF DEBATE: I’m a little annoyed that I didn’t make mention of the first half of this debate which is here. Already, the second half is up….Here’s the John Hawkins’ half of it: 
Although there have been a few misguided people calling for “banishing” RINOs from the party, that’s not what the majority of conservatives want. Most conservatives are simply saying: We make up the majority of the party, we supply most of the money, the energy, the manpower, and the intellectual firepower. Since that’s the case, it’s about time that our views started getting more consideration. That seems fair and sensible.Moreover, maybe Conor is having trouble grasping this, but the reason so many conservatives are hacked off at moderates is because they are the ones who supported many of the dumb positions that decimated the GOP over the last eight years. It wasn’t the conservatives arguing for deficit spending, amnesty, and a prescription drug benefit — it was the moderates. When they won the day, the Republican Party, conservatives, and America lost.
Then, moderates got their dream candidate in 2008: John McCain. So, what happened then? They didn’t rally to his side. They spent their time attacking his running mate, sulking that the ultimate moderate was still “too conservative”, and many of them voted for the other side. People like Colin Powell, Dede Scozzafava, Christopher Buckley are certainly welcome to vote for Republicans if they like, but why should any Republican treat them like a “leader?” You can’t support the other side when it matters most and then expect to be welcomed back into the fold with open arms. Moreover, why should conservatives care about what people like David Brooks and Kathleen Parker have to say when they obviously dislike conservatives more than liberals? Why would the Right take the opinions of people who wish them ill to heart?
I think John make several good points, here. I take some exception to the idea that conservatives have been calling for a banishment of RINOS from the party. I have on several occasions suggested, however, that we remove them from positions of power within the party. I say this specifically because I want those positions of power to be taken up by people whose positions are more commensurate with that of the majority of the party. There is no question in my mind, but that the party leadership is decidedly to the left of the party rank and file. The outcome of that situation is eminently predictable.
Conor Friedersdorf responds, in part: 
“And I think you’re wrong to assume that a large media presence automatically helps the right — its biggest conservative political triumph, the election and tenure of Ronald Reagan, preceded the rise of the movement media, whereas the Bush Administration and President Obama’s rise coincided with the success of the Fox News Channel (though talk radio did play a role in the Gingrich Revolution). When it comes to news and opinion media outlets, I’d argue that quality matters, and that the right still lags markedly behind the left when it comes to the quality of the journalism it produces — is there any publication on the right, for example, that even approaches the quality of writing and reporting one finds every week in The New Yorker? “
I’d say offhand that a group of drunks on NY’s 42nd street with a Ouiga board and a Scrabble set could do a better job, frankly, than anything I’ve seen coming out of the New Yorker in terms of “reporting”, in years. Writing style? Yeah, OK, they’ve got some style. But the message is the thing that’s their Achillies heel. I submit to you that all the slick in the world isn’t going to sell a bad message. A reasonably quick look at the product of CNN and MSNBC shows it to be a reasonably well put together product, in terms of flash and dash. Style they have. Technologically speaking, there is not a great deal of difference between day and the dominant news channel Fox News. The difference between them is the content of them. It’s not the technology, it’s the message. Were that not the case, AM radio as an entity would not survive today.
- NELSON WON’T VOTE FOR HEALTHCARE THAT LOOKS ANYTHING LIKE THE HOUSE VERSION: Or so he says.  Seems to me we are dealing with the first indication of many that my read on the situation was absolutely correct; what we saw in the house will never make it through the senate in any form, much less one that resembles what the house cranked out. America may survive, after all.
- VETS DAY: It will, alas, the little noticed today. I wrote something here back in ’04 that I’ll share with you in part because today is the day to be thinking about these things:
The honoring of our vets has always held special meaning for me; it’s a lesson my parents instilled very well, indeed. It was brought home to me, as I was recently looking at pictures from a trip we made through the Gettysburg PA area some years ago.
It’s a particularly meaningful thing, when you’re standing on that field…. something that goes well beyond the cold facts and figures about who died from what company, how old they were, or even where they were from. It’s more a feeling you get…. you can sense it… not unlike being at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, or visiting Arlington National Cemetery. I’m told Omaha Beach, and Pearl Harbor and many other sites are the same way. I’ve been at the funerals of firemen and policemen who died in their line of duty, and that was also remarkably similar.
In each case, we’re dealing with places and concepts of death. But death alone doesn’t do it; doesn’t create that solemn atmosphere that is so unique to the above places. After all; there are lots of mass casualty accidents have happened over the centuries and their sites are well marked, and revered, or at least held apart, and yet, their impact doesn’t approach that of an Iwo Jima or a Pearl.
Even under the shelter of the relative safety of the time that has passed since the events, as you stand in each place, you can still feel it; Lives were lost there that were willingly (And in the case of the civilian deaths at the towers, unwillingly) sacrificed toward a higher ideal.
Our feelings and conclusions can be far different from what those lost experienced. Yet, their lives and their sacrifices still count for something. And the thing is, it doesn’t take much for us to out ourselves in their mindset.
Think of it this way; Every single man who died at Gettysburg, at Normandy, at Pearl and all he rest, and now in the Middle East, has meaning for us because each of them, had their own lives, just as we have our own lives.
These people loved, they laughed, they cried. They had a favorite food, a favorite color, a particular bit of music, or of poetry stirred their souls, like none other, just like we, ourselves. Every bit as much as you and I love our lives, they loved theirs. Their lives were as precious to them, as yours is to you. Their loss was as keenly felt by their loved ones as yours would yours. And yet, they put their lives at risk and many lost them, for something bigger.
I have a neighbor, whose father just recently needed a liver transplant. This neighbor willingly gave up part of his liver to be transplanted into his father. A noble action, certainly, commendable, and impressive. But with all respect to my neighbor, the choice to do that is comparatively easy to make. He knows and loves his father, and the sacrifice is fairly light by comparison.
How much more noble is a sacrifice of one’s life for people that one will never meet?
These people we honor today, gave of themselves for the benefit of people they would never know…. you and I, and countless others from many nations. If not for their sacrifices, you’d not be reading this, because I’d not have written it…. we’d be living in a very different world, possibly, one not nearly as good to us as it has been.
Look upon those actions, those sacrifices, and know what you’re seeing is strength, courage, and nobility in measures that should not… can not, be ignored. It must be honored by us all; it was made, after all for our benefit.
They’re all worthy of the very same respect, living or dead. Not because of their having lived or died, but because of their respect and understanding of the ideals that uniform represents. Ideals they hold highest.
These are values I’ve been at some pains over the years to teach my boys as they grow up in this wonderful place called America. I fear that when and if we let these values pass away, America will, as well.
It is with this passage I salute our vets today.