Thursday, November 28, 2002


"Holiday greetings to the men and women of the Armed Forces, as you gather to celebrate this day of friendship and worship. Some are spending this Thanksgiving Day with family and loved ones; others of you are far from home, standing watch for freedom. Wherever you are, I want you to know that your country is grateful for your service and for your sacrifice. Each of you is in our hearts and our prayers as we give thanks today for the blessings in our lives. On this day sixty years ago, World War II was raging. American soldiers were spread across the globe. Many gave their lives to defeat the Axis powers and save the world from tyranny. Today, we are once again engaged in a battle -- this time it is a battle between freedom and terror, extremism and fanaticism. And today, once again, the men and women in uniform are risking their lives in the defense of liberty. In Afghanistan, you and our coalition forces defeated the terrorists, rescued a country and liberated a people. Today, you are on the ground in dozens of countries, and patrolling seas and skies, hunting down terrorists so that they too, cannot kill again. All Americans can give thanks that our freedom and way of life are defended by the strongest and most skilled military force in the world. And each of us can also give thanks for the American people, whose steadfast support is helping us accomplish our mission in the global war on terror. I salute each of you for your patriotism, your sacrifice, your dedication. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have a great deal to be thankful for. May God bless you all."

--Thanksgiving Message to the Troops from the Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld



Ira Straus points out that the Pilgrim Fathers were not the real founders of modern-day America and submits that their Puritan influence has been a negative for American thinking.

Alex Robson too is less than enamoured with the wisdom of the Pilgrim Fathers.

Regardless of what one thinks of their religion or of their politics, however, I think one has to admire the heroism and committment of those early settlers and their success at rising above great hardships.



The recent death of Leftist philosopher John Rawls seems to have caused even some usually sensible conservative bloggers to mourn the �loss�. I suppose it is mainly De mortuis nil nisi bonum but I still think a dose of reality about Rawls is needed and in my blunt and irreverent Australian way I propose to supply it:

Rawls is a good example of what computer people call GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). If you start out with crazy assumptions you get crazy conclusions and in Rawls�s case Leftist assumptions inevitably led to Leftist conclusions. Like all Leftists he was unable to deal with the complexities of the real world so he invented an imaginary and vastly oversimplified one wherein only Leftist criteria for a good world are even mentioned. So his basic proposition can be summarized simply: If I know nothing about myself and nothing about the world I am about to enter other than its degree of social and economic equality what sort of world would I choose? And the expected answer is? Wait for it! A world wherein everyone is as equal as possible. The compulsory Leftist conclusion has been reached! Good job, Johnny. So now let�s make the real world as equal as possible.

But look at how crazy his criterion is. What if the �equal� world I chose turned out to be starving? Would it not make more sense to choose an affluent world, for instance? Or a world in which modern medicine and dentistry were available? Rawls of course would claim that he is speaking ceteris paribus but what if other factors CANNOT be held constant? What if very equal worlds turn out to be in general poorer or more tyrannical? -- as indeed seems generally to be the case.

But aside from that, we just do not live in the imaginary Rawlsian world. We DO know things about the world we are in and we DO know things about ourselves and that does and should influence the type of world we prefer. And even if we did not, it is one big assumption to say that we would choose an equal world. Gambling is a very human thing to do and it seems to me highly likely that many people would choose a world of IN-equality precisely because that would give them a chance of doing well and rising above the herd. And is not that in fact precisely the American Dream -- to start out at the bottom of the heap and by hard work and good thinking to rise to the top? Real people everywhere would like to get to good old unequal America so that they can have a chance of becoming rich. But none of the unreal people in the unreal world of John Rawls do. Funny, that.

Rawls is simply irrelevant. He is popular in academe only because his conclusions are Leftist.



There seems to be a bit of a hate campaign going on about Little Green Footballs -- with the accusation that it is a �racist� site. What utter nonsense! What it is, is a good mainstream conservative site with lots of interesting posts that are a tribute to the hard work of their author. As my comment on the matter, I have moved my link to the site to the top of my link list -- though the other entries on my list are not in any particular order.



One of my sources about the attacks on Little Green Footballs was Steven Den Beste. He is a strange mix. He writes at enormous and moderately well-informed length on military matters yet did not know what a permalink was and admitted that he does not know how to put up anything longer than the very short blogroll he currently uses!

As a �warblogger� he would also usually be seen as conservative yet he supports affirmative action -- and does so in a particularly illogical way. His humility in naming his site �USS Clueless� is then admirable.



Apparently the French sometimes describe UN head, Kofi Annan (a negro) as "une Anglo-Saxon."! I guess he does speak English but there is no doubt that the Angles and the Saxons would be amazed.


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