From Sharp Knife:

Noel of Sharp Knife sends this story, for your reading pleasure. It is from the Wall Street Journal's "Opinion Journal" (which, oddly enough, seems to be down this morning).

Noel adds, "Somewhere, Mr. Jackson just chuckled, if not Mr. Hamilton."

In the wake of Zell Miller's fiery denunciation of John Kerry at the GOP convention, the national media has been working overtime to remind people that Mr. Miller once worked for Georgia's axe-handle wielding segregationist Governor Lester Maddox backed in the 1960s. Curiously, this is something they never brought up when Mr. Miller was a loyal Democratic Governor or Senator.

But last night at a Club for Growth reception honoring Mr. Miller, Herman Cain, the former chairman of Godfather's Pizza and an unsuccessful GOP candidate for Mr. Miller's Senate seat this year, isn't having any of it. An African-American, Mr. Cain says attacks on Mr. Miller are 'bunk.' 'When I campaigned and people asked me who I wanted most to be like in the U.S. Senate, I always said Zell Miller,' he told me.

Later, Messrs. Cain and Miller embraced on stage and Mr. Miller was presented with a pair of 18th-century dueling pistols -- an obvious reference to the duel he said he'd like to have with Chris Matthews of MSNBC as the two tangled on air Wednesday night after Mr. Miller's controversial speech.
There really is something to be said for a return to duelling. Even the reminder of the institution, though, is clarifying. Consider the "Go to Hell, Zell," John Kerry Infant creeper, for those who think that American life isn't sufficiently profane for children. This shirt allows those of a particularly cowardly persuasion to express obscenity without fear of retribution. No reasonable person would take the baby to task (the baby would be just as happy if the creeper said "Vote Bush, 2004," or said nothing and was decorated only with carrot stains). No decent man would engage the parent in front of the child, as anyone bent out of shape enough to dress an infant in such garb would surely cause a scene upsetting to the innocent.

Or consider this interview with Zell, from the Imus program. He was asked about his defense of Michelle Malkin, whom he doesn't seem to have known at the time (during the Hardball interview, he called her 'that young lady you had on the other day'):
[I] ought to stay down in Young Harris with [my] two yellow labs, Gus and Woodrow, and let the world go by, I guess. I had just been holding one for Chris Matthews ever since I saw him browbeat Michelle Malkin on his show that night. He wouldn't let that little 5'2", 95-pound girl say a word, and I just said to myself, 'If he ever gets into my face like that, I'm gonna pop him.'
The image of the crossed pistols reminds us that men used to take responsibility for their words -- that the things they said were things they would risk death to defend. They remind us that once men would not permit women and children to be abused, which is no longer a popular sentiment. Today women wish to defend themselves, which is excellent. It nevertheless speaks very well of a man that, if he should see the strong abusing the weak, whether strong from size or from position of power (e.g., anchor of the news program), that he should take their part.
"I should in that case hold you,'' replied the yeoman, "a friend to the weaker party.''

"Such is the duty of a true knight at least,'' replied the Black Champion; "and I would not willingly that there were reason to think otherwise of
Malkin, who has certainly proven quite outspoken in her own right, still appears to have appreciated the courtesy.

How many times have I had to hear people toss around the words "lie!" or "liar!" in this election? It seems to be the very first line of defense, when anyone says anything you'd rather not believe. Not only do these people hide behind children, they sound like children. They spit deadly insults freely, knowing that they can never be called to account.

The end of the duel may have brought some good effects, but it has also ended the culture of responsibility that went with it. No one is called to account for their slander. That John Kerry of the VVAW is a candidate for the highest office in the land says this as truly as anything.

I'm with Zell. It is a shame that duels are no longer legal. Duels were private wars, and like wars they could be just. Like wars, for all the harm they did, they often did more good. In a world fallen from hope of perfection, that may be the best you can ask.

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