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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cruising Al's Superhighway

Update: 3 to 10, it might be appealed.

Judge Cashman gets another shot at it. The criticism of Judge Cashman's 60-day sentence for rapes of a child over four years, beginning when she was seven, has itself been severely criticized. But good things have emerged. Vermont has changed its rules so that an offender such as this one would be eligible for treatment while in prison, and now the prosecutors are going back to court urging the Judge to reconsider the original sentence. One would think he might if indeed the issue was getting treatment for the offender.

Rasky at
Dust My Broom has a hilarious post up about the worst threat to sanity and peace ever to emerge - Canadian Conservative bloggers.

Another good laugh:
Liberal Larry's hate mail

Something I really enjoyed: Carl of No Oil For Pacifists covers product releases and upgrades of world religions and the results in the marketplace. There's a serious point to the post, but the droll way in which it was presented is unique.

Into the white-knuckle category - Hamas wins the election in Palestine, and
SC&A publicizes the party platform. He's going to get a pile of hate mail for this post.

The Anchoress on Joel Stein. Her post contains tons of links. She writes:

I feel kind of bad for Stein - he admits to Hewitt that he did not write clearly, and even ruefully says, “I don’t think anyone’s ever said ‘good column’ to me, and maybe for good reason.” A line which tells me the young man has enough chops to be self-deprecating. I don’t think he’s a terrible person. I think holds a position that is largely based on feelings and articulated those feelings and that position very badly.
If you haven't read Stein's column and Hewitt's interview I think you'll want to. This is an excerpt from the interview, after Hewitt asks if Stein honors the troops:

JS: All the troops that are here to defend our country, I'm very, very grateful for. I'm grateful for the police...
HH: Provided they don't leave the country?
JS: Yeah, provided they don't fight in wars that I think are endangering them for no reason.
HH: And the moment they do, you stop honoring them?
JS: The moment I do, I think it's a poor idea to show support for them and prolong that engagement.

Hugh Hewitt does a wonderful job of demonstrating the cultural gulf in this interview. Joel's definition of "honor" is totally different than mine. A military man or woman has no control over his or her deployment. The country as a whole controls the mission. In order for the military to serve as a defense arm for our country it must logically and legally submit itself to the control of the government. Therefore following any legal order(**) is a matter of honor to the individual soldier.

So Joel Stein's definition of honor must be something like "socially admirable", whereas to me honor is constituted solely in the person and manifested in characteristics such as personal integrity, honesty, courage, unselfishness, dedication to duty and fidelity to a higher purpose. When my generation says we "honor" someone, it is those qualities we are acknowledging. Those qualities do not change if the nation misemploys the individual - it is we the civilians who are dishonored by such a misuse, not the military personnel in our service.

**True, there are limitations. If we ordered soldiers to walk into an Iraqi village and burn everyone alive, that would be an illegal order and to follow it would be dishonorable. But that is recognized in military law and training.


"Joel's definition of "honor" is totally different than mine."

MY definition of "honor" may be different from both of yours, but no less heartfelt for it.

I would like to "honor" Joel Stein.

My definition of "honor" involves repeatedly swinging a tire iron...

I don't think he's nasty, but I can't take him seriously. He seems stuck in those self-absorbed teen years.

Do you think he got a lot of praise in college and high school for this sort of thing? I do.

The point is, you wouldn't need a tireiron. A flyswatter would do.
He is a perfect example of the disconnect between those in uniform and those not. The mere fact that he gets a major news organization to publish his crap is testament to the depth and severity of that difference.

At times like this it is difficult to convince myself that those who have never worn a uniform in service to their country (military, law enforcement, etc) are even relevant.
Yes, that is my instinctive reaction to good ol' Joel (this guy can vote?), but then I have never worn the uniform either.

Mentally, he's a kid, and not a particularly impressive kid. But I think the tireiron is not necessary, because what this guy has done is expose himself as shallow and foolish in front of the entire nation.

The bit about the news organization is more tellng. I suppose the editorial staff is composed of people with similar views. Their circulation is plummetting, and Stein's column shows why. Anyone who can take Stein seriously is not serious himself. Their idea of what constitutes news is going to really turn off a large segment of the public.
Of more interest is the letters column in the same paper. Only Left commentary was published. Keep in mind that the LAT's only readership is show biz left, academic left, and hard core left.
Howard - that would definitely account for the declining readership.
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