Archive for July 25th, 2010

July 25, 2010

American Hubris (Exceptionalism)

by Vince

I just finished reading ‘An Exceptional Debate‘ by Richard Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review. The topic of American Exceptionalism from a religious or patriotic root intrigues me, so I checked this past issue out of the local library. Here are some quotes that stood out to me:

Our country has always been exceptional. It is freer, more individualistic, more democratic, and more open and dynamic than any other nation on earth. These qualities are the bequest of our Founding and of our cultural heritage. They have always marked America as special, with a unique role and mission in the world: as a model of ordered liberty and self-government and as an exemplar of freedom and a vindicator of it, through persuasion when possible and force of arms when absolutely necessary.

I see a stark difference between being cut from a different cloth and being better than others. We are different in the way our country and leaders operate, the way we interact with our government, the way our lives are up for our taking, and how we have a choice – whether this is good in the end or not – to be independent. To see this as making us better than other nations – either in terms of white Judeo-Christian religion that we prop up to make us seem predestined or the hubris of manifest destiny – is ignorant and cocky.

But it is blindness to ignore that American exceptionalism has homegrown enemies — people who misunderstand the sources of American greatness or think them outdated. If they succeed, we will be less free, less innovative, less rich, less self-governing, and less secure. We will be less.

The continued ignorance that we need to be more, that we are destined, meant to be, and deserve to be more is sickening. I love the kicker of being less rich. Why must we be more? Is being less a shot at our pride? Your identity is not based on wrapping yourself in an American flag and flaunting around.

Wow, I am really not in a good mood and I feel my writing is suffering.

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July 25, 2010

Helmet Design of the Day

by Vince

From the Daily What.

July 25, 2010

Top Secret America Ctd.

by Vince

Bernstein digs into the common thought behind national security bureaucracy:

“…it’s not just Bush who made things worse than they had to be.  It was the Democrats who pushed for the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and the 9/11 Commission that wanted the DNI.  In my view, both were probably unnecessary additional layers of bureaucracy that made both the substantive problem (that is, actually keeping Americans safe from terrorism) and the procedural or democratic problem (allowing the political branches to control the bureaucracy) worse.  And it’s probably worth singling out the secrecy mania that most reports have attributed to Vice President Dick Cheney: secrecy is both a necessity and a problem for government coordination in national security matters, but what’s been reported to be a very large bias in favor of secrecy almost certainly hurt, not helped.”

July 25, 2010

The Ground Zero Mosque Ctd.

by Vince

Scott Wheeler was interviewed by CNN recently over the ad he created. Watch the interview yourself here.

His ad fires up citizens across the country but all without any evidence. Wheeler says that the new mosque is tied to al Qaeda but can’t prove it. Wheeler says that the new mosque will be a “military barrack” but can’t prove it. He poorly tries to construct an argument that the media has given us proof that the mosque is tied to al Qaeda before he starts to crumble in his attempt to make a point. I commend you Allen Chernoff for asking thought provoking questions and getting at the root of Wheeler’s claims.

In the end, this has 52% of New Yorkers not wanting a mosque built 2 blocks from Ground Zero. It may just be too close to the heart of many peoples pains.

July 25, 2010

Timeline for the Shirley Sherrod Smear

by Vince

First off, here is the full video of Sherrod’s speech. I won’t give you a short clip to make you buy my point.

Here is a video from the Washington Post that interviews the farmers that Sherrod helped. This is a must watch.

Finally, the timeline done by MediaMatters.

July 25, 2010

DOMA in Real Life Ctd.

by Vince

A reader writes:

I think I have to agree with the first commenter on the video, John Parmater. SS Benefits are for the person that they belong, not someone else. The system is banked on the hope that the person dies before they collect much of it, simply because there’s not that much money to go around. I think a better solution than allowing gay partners to collect would be to either not allow straight partners to collect, or allow the owner of the SS benefits to will their benefits to any person of their choosing.