Military Base Shootings

Why there will be more. If we couldn’t fix all of this suicidal multi-culturalism and political correctness in the military during the Bush administration, it’s hard to be very optimistic about doing it now. There was reportedly an interview by a CNN reporter who asked a military wife how she felt about her husband being deployed to Afghanistan. “At least he’ll be safe there, and able to shoot back,” she said.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Whatever happened to “connecting the dots“? If this is the best we’re willing to do, prepare for another 911.

[Update early afternoon]

I don’t often agree with David Brooks, but he has this spot on — The National Rush To Therapy:

There was a national rush to therapy. Hasan was a loner who had trouble finding a wife and socializing with his neighbors.

This response was understandable. It’s important to tamp down vengeful hatreds in moments of passion. But it was also patronizing. Public commentators assumed the air of kindergarten teachers who had to protect their children from thinking certain impermissible and intolerant thoughts. If public commentary wasn’t carefully policed, the assumption seemed to be, then the great mass of unwashed yahoos in Middle America would go off on a racist rampage.

Worse, it absolved Hasan — before the real evidence was in — of his responsibility. He didn’t have the choice to be lonely or unhappy. But he did have a choice over what story to build out of those circumstances. And evidence is now mounting to suggest he chose the extremist War on Islam narrative that so often leads to murderous results.

The conversation in the first few days after the massacre was well intentioned, but it suggested a willful flight from reality. It ignored the fact that the war narrative of the struggle against Islam is the central feature of American foreign policy. It ignored the fact that this narrative can be embraced by a self-radicalizing individual in the U.S. as much as by groups in Tehran, Gaza or Kandahar.

It denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn’t the reaction of a morally or politically serious nation.

It’s sadly ironic and amusing, as always, that such sentiments come from people who delude themselves that they’re part of the “reality-based community.” A culture that won’t defend its values or itself is doomed to lose to one that will.

Another Apology In The Wings?

The president doesn’t have time to help the Germans celebrate the anniversary of their freedom, but he wants to go to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I predict that on the sevensixty-fifth anniversary, next August, he will go there and apologize for the barbarism of the US in dropping the bombs.

He probably would have liked to apologize to the east Germans for losing their worker’s paradise, too, except he wouldn’t want to give the credit to Reagan.

The Chicago Way

…and journalism.

This is your country: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This is your country on fascism:

The Chicago Tribune weighed in with an editorial late last month accusing the prosecutors of “wielding this subpoena to send an unsubtle message to these students and other journalists: Back off. Don’t make waves. You’re embarrassing us.” And in an article in last week, American University law Prof. Darren Hutchinson called their behavior “shameful,” exemplifying “a deep contempt for the law, which makes the students’ efforts to uncover wrongful convictions even more compelling.”

The Cook County prosecutors’ actions are certainly shameful. But they may be excused for thinking that attacks on media critics are, in today’s political era, business as usual. Indeed, they need look no farther than the White House, whose occupant has sometimes styled himself the nation’s chief media critic.

It is, after all, the Obama administration that declared that its critics at Fox News Channel are not real journalists, and that Fox is not a “legitimate news organization.” In doing so—as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs admitted with a reference to “brushback pitches” in baseball—the White House’s goal was just the same as that of the prosecutors in the president’s native city: To chill criticism, and to get journalists to think twice before stepping up to the plate.

Bert Gall and Robert Frommer of the Institute for Justice have made a compelling case that the Obama administration’s word choice is quite significant. They think that by branding Fox as something other than a “legitimate news organization,” the White House is actually setting up a more brutal attack using campaign finance laws. News media organizations are exempt from campaign-finance laws’ speech regulations. But if Fox is not a “legitimate news organization,” then federal election authorities might be able to argue that its political speech can be regulated like that of any other non-news corporation.

I hope that SCOTUS finally defangs McCain-Feingold this session.

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s more on the Northwestern case.

[Update a few minutes after the previous one]

Here’s another story along the same lines:

In a case that raises questions about online journalism and privacy rights, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a formal request to an independent news site ordering it to provide details of all reader visits on a certain day.

The grand jury subpoena also required the Philadelphia-based Web site “not to disclose the existence of this request” unless authorized by the Justice Department, a gag order that presents an unusual quandary for any news organization.

<TONE=”sarcasm”>Why should they object? What do they hav to hide?</TONE>

Because I Didn’t Have Time

Clark Lindsey has done us all the favor of reviewing The Space Review today. Like him, I was struck by Tayylor Dinerman’s completely ignoring ULA in his discussion of the “burgeoning” commercial space industry. But even more, I agree that Dwayne Day’s broad conclusion about public interest in space and space settlement from a single stupid network program is absurd:

The paradigm that near-term space can only involve a small number of people in a small habitat doing technical and scientific tasks does not lend itself to great story telling. Conflicts are required for compelling stories and lots of different types of conflicts are needed to generate enough stories for a compelling TV series. I think the “nearest” near future space scenario that could generate an interesting diversity of plots with a diversity of characters would involve a couple of thousand people populating multiple LEO space stations and habitats at a Lagrange point and bases on the Moon. Commercial, government, and international activities of various kinds would inevitably lead to all sorts of conflicts.

Let’s ignore the fact that most television shows (and particularly Big (though becoming smaller) Three Network television programs) fail, often epically. Big media, like (apparently) Dwayne, remain stuck in the Apollo paradigm of space being about a few civil servants doing science and exploration, at great government expense. Here’s an idea. Try a show about real space pioneers and see how popular it is. IIRC, “Lost In Space” actually did pretty well back in the sixties, or at least a lot better than the schlock that Dwayne reviewed. It’s not the sixties any more, but let’s give it a try anyway. It’s not like LIS was based on the NASA paradigm, so that wouldn’t explain its sixties success, right?

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!