I don't have words for this.

Sharia law in UK is 'unavoidable'

The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law
in the UK "seems unavoidable".

Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4's World at One that the UK has to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.

I had come to the conclusion that Rowan is basically an old fool, but whoa, what a fool. His stupidity knows no bounds, it seems.

(via memeorandum)


A Fun Year:

What an odd time. Republicans at National Review are griping about Southern prejudice against Mormons, of which prejudice I'd never heard (used to know a Mormon back home, in fact, a guy named Jimmy Fish. He was there to convert us, and while I don't recall him enjoying any success, I recall him being well liked by everyone).

Meanwhile, over at the blog of Obama's biggest fan:

What do the talking heads and those reporting “identity politics” expect? That every single demographic split within a 45-55 band? That’s ridiculous.

Read my lips. A black guy just carried forty percent of the white vote in a Georgia primary. We’ve over-used the word “transcend,” but that’s what happening here.... An African-American candidate for president winning forty percent of white voters in a primary in the Deep South. Whatever one makes of Obama’s policies, that is a tremendous statement, that is a tribute to the people of Georgia.
Stephen went so far as to email me personally to express his regard for Georgians. "Y'all are all right," he said, "and you can fly whatever goddam flag you like. :)"

You want to win votes, that's the way you win 'em -- more flies with honey, as my mama used to say. She said it just like that, too, adding "as my mama used to say" at the end; so when you hear yourself say it, you hear her say it, and you imagine your grandmother saying it to her, and for a moment you can see the shadow of a long line behind her, whispering.

Of course it's easier to be happy when you win than when you lose; some disappointment is natural. Still, a whisper passed along so far down a long line probably has some truth behind it.

More honey, less vinegar. I've just been given something I didn't expect to get -- an actual reason to vote for Obama, a vision of finally breaking old prejudices about my home and her people. I'm tired of hearing about how, when people vote this way or that way, it's because of prejudice -- are Asians and Latinos racists for voting against Obama, or white women racists for voting for Clinton; or is white men who have the problem, for preferring a black man to a white woman? Does their sexism outweigh their racism? Is it religion? Why do they hate us?

Enough of that, for heaven's sake. Don't tell me Obama's the only one who can do it.

Forward after Tuesday

Thoughts on Tuesday:

The Corner holds that Southerners put an end to the Romney campaign in a sort of spiteful way:

John O'Sullivan:

Tonight is not yet over, but I fear that one element in the voting may be a positive rejection of Romney. That seems to be a factor quite as much as an embrace of McCain. Hence the revival of Huckabee in the South. My southern belle wife always warned that many evangelicals would vote for anyone but a Mormon.

Mark Steyn:

I think John O'Sullivan is right. There was an explicit anti-Romney vote in the south. A mere month ago, in the wake of Iowa and New Hampshire, I received a ton of emails from southern readers saying these pansy northern states weren't the "real" conservative heartland, and things would look different once the contest moved to the south. Well, the heartland spoke last night and about the only message it sent was that, no matter what the talk radio guys say, they're not voting for a Mormon no way no how.
I don't know what kind of email Steyn gets, but I don't doubt the South rejected Romney. I do doubt that the reason was his Mormonism. I never took him seriously as a candidate, because he was plainly a northeastern businessman. That is a faction of the Republican party that has never run strong in the South; the only exception being Bush senior, who was running on Reagan's coattails.

Apparently he was a serious candidate, but I imagine his real problem was that most Southerners -- as I did -- ignored him from the beginning. There's normally a candidate from that faction in the race; they never win. I never paid him any mind, any more than I did for Ron Paul (who, to judge from his fundraising, has a real base of support somewhere).

It's fairly easy to see that, in the little I've had time to write about the election, Romney's name has simply never come up. I haven't talked about Paul before either. Neither, that I recall, have co-bloggers here. We did talk quite a bit about Fred Thompson, who was our candidate; and Duncan Hunter, who was my other favorite. Those guys were better than any of the candidates who did well on Super Tuesday, at least on the issues; but it isn't issues on which you win elections, it's your machines.

So no, I don't think there was an 'explicit anti-Romney vote' in the South. I think there was an implicit anti-Romney vote: we never considered him at all.

Not that the folks at National Review have any right to complain, if the South doesn't take their candidate as seriously as they'd prefer. Jonah Goldberg writes, on the same page: "Hope to see some of you at Oglethorpe (which isn't what Salami did in the locker room on the "White Shadow")."

The memory of Sir James Edward Oglethorpe deserves better than to be used as a cheap joke. You might say he was the Sam Houston of Georgia: a soldier who defended the early colony from the Spanish raiders in the south; a kind man, who devised a plan to found the state to provide a refuge for the imprisoned debtors of England and repentant Jacobites from Scotland, chiefly the MacIntosh; and a wise man, who banned both lawyers and slaves from the colony. Without intending any offense to my two JAG co-bloggers, I cannot help but feel that we would have benefitted from more closely obeying his original design.

It is that kind of history that Southerners live and breathe, and if you want our attention, so must you. I realize that makes it hard for a Romney, perhaps harder than is fair; but these are good traditions, powerful to hold men to what the best in their heritage.

If we didn't take Romney seriously, apparently New Hampshire didn't take Thompson seriously, and they at least had a chance to vote for him. I still think they should have gotten behind him up North; apparently I was supposed to get behind Romney, of whom I've barely heard, along with the South.

So we're left with McCain, and whoever finally wins the Democratic nomination. I assume that will be Obama, on the strength of yesterday's performance; he did not need to win, being the underdog, but only to show that he could win. There is really no reason for a liberal to vote for Hillary when they could have Obama; for, as discussed yesterday, she will betray their principles, whereas it appears he will hold fast. Those principles are wrong, I feel certain, but there is little doubt that he believes in them.

So... on from here. *Sigh.* I imagine there must be a few good things about McCain; and perhaps Clinton will still pull it out. That would seem to be the best we can hope for, these next four years.

On the Primary

On the Primary:

I am at two disadvantages in commenting on the primary election, one practical and one conceptual. The practical problem is that I have very little time or opportunity to read or write about US politics right now, being otherwise occupied. The conceptual problem is that the primary has already drifted so far to the Left that I really have given minimal thought to the programs now on the table.

Take health care, for example. Ezra Klein and MyDD have quite a lot to say about these issues, which they have considered at length. My response to the question, "What do you think the best way to achieve universal health care is?" would be, "Let's not."

Unfortunately, as in the 1990s, the debate is tracking that way anyway. "But do you think that universal insurance premiums is better (with an enforcement mechanism, of course, to attack the 'free rider' problem), or a single-payer system?" I must reply, "I really meant what I said at first: I'm totally opposed to any such plan, period."

This has made it difficult to follow the debate.

I have come to the conclusion, however, that Obama really appears to be a decent fellow; and we all know what Clinton is. They are tracking each other closely (as far as I can tell, given the conceptual problem mentioned above) in their rhetoric on every topic, which shows Obama's leadership -- he is putting forward principles he really believes in; whereas if Clinton is saying the same things, it's because that is what her pollsters tell her triangulation requires.

Oddly, sadly, this puts me in the position of having to oppose Obama as the first principle in the election. He does truly believe these things he's saying -- and I think he's wrong about everything. He is certainly wrong about Iraq, and seems not to have thought very deeply about the consequences of leaving it behind: even if you are not interested in the humanitarian consequences for the people of Iraq, the practical consequences to the world of leaving a power vacuum in Iraq, that will pull into conflict Iran and Saudi Arabia, the three main oil producing states in the main oil producing region.

He is wrong about Pakistan. He is wrong about health care, I believe; and indeed, on the entire domestic program.

He is wrong about the need for America to redeem itself: America is morally the finest nation in human history, and the light of future days. I have witnessed her efforts and effects from China to Iraq, and taken part in them; and so, if I am not a disinterested observer, I am an experienced one. No other has done more, inside and out, to hold itself accountable for its mistakes, and incline to its best nature in the brutal sphere of international politics.

This nation is the hope of the world: right now, as she is.

I oppose reflexively the concept that we should try to better each other against our wills. Bluenoses who want to fight obesity or alcoholism or "dangerous" things like guns and sexism whatnot represent the worst impulse regularly given license in American society: there are worse ones, but we normally restrain ourselves from them. There always seems to be someone ready to pass another law to put a leash and collar on their fellow Americans.

So we are told a good people must provide for each other's health care; and therefore that no one should be fat, or smoke, or drink too much; and all of us must pay, so there will be no 'free riders.' Ah, well, where then is freedom? Freedom includes the right to make mistakes, and more: the right to decide for yourself if what you are doing is a mistake in the first place. It includes the right to order your own values. Perhaps you value cigarettes in the morning more than life past 65: so be it.

Obama seems sincere and genuinely devoted to his principles: and as those principles are wrong, backwards and unAmerican, I have to oppose his nomination. Clinton, at least, will betray those principles if they prove momentarily difficult, and we can make them difficult. I say this with a real respect for Obama: good for him that he is honest and decent. It is only that he is honestly wrong, about every policy he has actually proposed to enact.

I would not, then, vote in the Republican primary if I were you, and if you are in a state where you have a choice. The most serious question is being resolved in the Democratic race: whether it shall be led by a candidate who is deeply devoted to bad principles, or one who is not.

If you are interested in the Republican race, Tigerhawk has thought deeply about it; but the only Republicans that were interesting to me have already quit the race. Neither of the remaining candidates appeals to me even slightly, though if required, I will vote for either in the general election to prevent an Obama presidency.

For now, vote Clinton! It's important.


Gerard van der Leun, over at American Digest, scolds 'ideological purists' and sets his comments on fire. Have a look. See what you think.

For my part, I think Gerard overdid it a bit.
Men against fire.

LT G gets shot at for the first time.

Fairy Tale

Fairy Tales:

One can understand how this might happen:

Britons are losing their grip on reality, according to a poll out Monday which showed that nearly a quarter think Winston Churchill was a myth while the majority reckon Sherlock Holmes was real. The survey found that 47 percent thought the 12th century English king Richard the Lionheart was a myth. And 23 percent thought World War II prime minister Churchill was made up.
Both Churchill and Richard the Lionheart share the qualities that Chesterton attributed to Alfred the Great (who, for British readers, was also real):
And this of Alfred and the Danes
Seems like the tales a whole tribe feigns
Too English to be true.

Of a good king on an island
That ruled once on a time;
And as he walked by an apple tree
There came green devils out of the sea
With sea-plants trailing heavily
And tracks of opal slime.

Yet Alfred is no fairy tale;
His days as our days ran,
He also looked forth for an hour
On peopled plains and skies that lower,
From those few windows in the tower
That is the head of a man.
How, in the current age, does one believe in George Washington? But Sherlock Holmes, with his cocaine habit and psychiatric obsessive disorders and inability to have a successful marriage -- why, he fits right in.

Girl Scout Cookie money

"All that effort... and we had to give the money back. I'm kinda pissed."

Laura at Ace's place has a video that I've watched twice now, and still can't really believe. Obviously not all young women are hyper-achieving in jobs and education.

UPDATE: I'm still shaking my head in wonder, two hours later. I have no trouble understanding evil. This, though, I just can't grasp. I can't imagine what it would be like to be this way.