Old themes and new events feed the trough with fodder for these musings.
The fighting in Libya rings with names of 70 years ago. Benghazi, Tobruk, Tripoli were all in the news regularly from 1940 to 1943 with the ebbs and flows of the fighting during WWII. The fall of Tobruk was one of the hardest for Churchill to take until Singapore came along. Those battles ended well for civilization and one wonders if these will too.
If you reflect on it, the amazing thing about Shakespeare is that he was able to write so much and do it with a master’s touch with the language. If you have ever struggled with writing only a 3 page essay for literature class then you are challenged to pick up one of the many compilations of his complete works. Just take a gander at the sheer volume of it! To think he wrote all that with such exquisite eloquence and passion is stunning. If there ever was a genius he must be in that category. Most of us would spend days to try to complete only a few pages of Hamlet and I rather doubt our version would inspire the audience with his excellent grasp of story and language.
Now everyone is freezing the assets of the bad guys Mubarak and Qaddafi around the world. The pundits applaud and almost literally beat their chests about what a great and noble thing this is to do to the bad guys. One wonders where all that courage was a few years ago. If seizing the assets of bad guys and cutting off their ability to utilize their funds and international banks, then why don’t we do it before they are down and hurting and on their way out the door? When the bully is badly wounded everyone gets brave all of a sudden and advances bold action. Don’t know about you but I could suggest several other bad guys we should do the same thing to now, like in N. Korea, Zimbabwe and even Turkey. They never take the on when they are still in power. Go back and read the papers of the ’30’s and see what the NYT had to say about Hitler and Stalin. When FDR finally got a little backbone and imposed the embargo on Japan in 1941 he was criticized then and the revisionists historians lay the blame for Pearl Harbor at his feet. A little perspective never hurts.
In the US I can’t think of a better invention of the last 100 years than the automatic starter in cars. Get in the car and turn a switch and your car starts. It wasn’t always that way. Before you had to crank the engine by hand after you set the choke, the fuel flow and the gear shifts. It often took two people to start the engine. Of all the conveniences of the modern age I can’t think of one that beats that. Especially during those cold winter mornings.
Why are some people so concerned that we must rebuild Iraq since we won the war there? You have heard those pundits talk about how it was our responsibility to build back everything that was broken during the war. Why is that? Do you recall how much we gave the Germans after WWII to rebuild their nation? That’s right, nada other than very little grudging humanitarian supplies and even those were very limited. Most people forget the extreme poverty and starvation during the winter of ’45 and ’46 and even later in Germany. We only started giving the Germans any help at all after we realized that Uncle Joe was not a very good friend after all. They had to do it on their own and it worked out for them.
Can anyone remember another instance of a President refusing to enforce a duly passed statute of Congress or an order of the Supreme Court except for the guy in the White House refusing to defend and enforce the DOMA act? The only that comes to this mind is Lincoln refusing the obey the Supreme Court when they ruled he violated the Writ of habeas Corpus for the Maryland legislators at the beginning of the War Between the States. He had a number of them arrested because he was afraid that Maryland was also going to secede and join the Confederacy and had them imprisoned. The Supremes ruled that illegal but he ignored the order of the Court. Don’t really have a strong feeling about the gay marriage issue as such but lots of us do have very strong feelings about the rule of law.
As the debate over the meaning and scope of Federalism is renewed (and about time) never forget that is was the States that ratified and approved the Constitution. With the 1oth amendment receiving renewed interest it is appropriate to recall that the Constitution starts off “We, the people….” but when you get to the end, it was the States, not the people by popular vote that ratified the document. The States agreed to grant certain powers to the Federal government ceding some of their powers but only those specified in the Constitution’s limits.
After a very cold winter in my part of the world the buds are out and the blooming will begin any day now. With all the turmoil and perceived turmoil in the world it is always a comfort to know that the seasons march on in their endless cycle of renewal and change. In spite of the dire warnings of and endless summer with suffocating miasmic air we do still have seasons and rather think we will whether we drive Volts or not.
When you go to sit on a jury you should recall the wisdom of Proverbs–“He who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him”. Before you make up your mind about issues listen to both sides. http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com