Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. gojeda's Avatar
    Posts
    93 Posts
    Global Posts
    104 Global Posts
       #1  
    Hammer....meet nail.

    Mark Steyn: World should give thanks for America

    Speaking as a misfit unassimilated foreigner, I think of Thanksgiving as the most American of holidays.

    Christmas is celebrated elsewhere, even if there are significant local variations: In Continental Europe, naughty children get left rods to be flayed with and lumps of coal; in Britain, Christmas lasts from Dec. 22 to mid-January and celebrates the ancient cultural traditions of massive alcohol intake and watching the telly till you pass out in a pool of your own vomit. All part of the rich diversity of our world.

    But Thanksgiving (excepting the premature and somewhat undernourished Canadian version) is unique to America. "What's it about?" an Irish visitor asked me a couple of years back. "Everyone sits around giving thanks all day? Thanks for what? George bloody Bush?"

    Well, Americans have a lot to be thankful for.

    Europeans think of this country as "the New World" in part because it has an eternal newness, which is noisy and distracting. Who would ever have thought you could have ready-to-eat pizza faxed directly to your iPod?

    And just when you think you're on top of the general trend of novelty, it veers off in an entirely different direction: Continentals who grew up on Hollywood movies where the guy tells the waitress "Gimme a cuppa joe" and slides over a nickel return to New York a year or two later and find the coffee now costs $5.75, takes 25 minutes and requires an agonizing choice between the cinnamon-gingerbread-persimmon latte with coxcomb sprinkles and the decaf venti pepperoni-Eurasian-milfoil macchiato.

    Who would have foreseen that the nation that inflicted fast food and drive-thru restaurants on the planet would then take the fastest menu item of all and turn it into a Kabuki-paced performance art? What mad genius!

    But Americans aren't novelty junkies on the important things. The New World is one of the oldest settled constitutional democracies on Earth, to a degree the Old World can barely comprehend. Where it counts, Americans are traditionalists.

    We know Eastern Europe was a totalitarian prison until the Nineties, but we forget that Mediterranean Europe (Greece, Spain, Portugal) has democratic roots going all the way back until, oh, the mid-Seventies; France and Germany's constitutions date back barely half a century, Italy's only to the 1940s, and Belgium's goes back about 20 minutes, and currently it's not clear whether even that latest rewrite remains operative. The U.S. Constitution is not only older than France's, Germany's, Italy's or Spain's constitution, it's older than all of them put together.

    Americans think of Europe as Goethe and Mozart and 12th century castles and 6th century churches, but the Continent's governing mechanisms are no more ancient than the Partridge Family. Aside from the Anglophone democracies, most of the nation-states in the West have been conspicuous failures at sustaining peaceful political evolution from one generation to the next, which is why they're so susceptible to the siren song of Big Ideas communism, fascism, European Union.

    If you're going to be novelty-crazed, better the zebra-mussel cappuccino than the Third Reich.

    Even in a supposedly 50/50 nation, you're struck by the assumed stability underpinning even fundamental disputes. If you go into a bookstore, the display shelves offer a smorgasbord of leftist anti-Bush tracts claiming that he and Cheney have trashed, mangled, gutted, raped and tortured, sliced 'n' diced the Constitution, put it in a cement overcoat and lowered it into the East River. Yet even this argument presupposes a shared veneration for tradition unknown to most Western political cultures: When Tony Blair wanted to abolish, in effect, the upper house of the national legislature, he just got on and did it.

    I don't believe the U.S. Constitution includes a right to abortion or gay marriage or a zillion other things the Left claims to detect emanating from the penumbra, but I find it sweetly touching that in America even political radicalism has to be framed as an appeal to constitutional tradition from the powdered-wig era.

    In Europe, by contrast, one reason why there's no politically significant pro-life movement is because, in a world where constitutions have the life expectancy of an Oldsmobile, great questions are just seen as part of the general tide, the way things are going, no sense trying to fight it. And, by the time you realize you have to, the tide's usually up to your neck.

    So Americans should be thankful they have one of the last functioning nation-states. Europeans, because they've been so inept at exercising it, no longer believe in national sovereignty, whereas it would never occur to Americans not to. This profoundly different attitude to the nation-state underpins, in turn, Euro-American attitudes to transnational institutions such as the United Nations.

    But on this Thanksgiving the rest of the world ought to give thanks to American national sovereignty, too. When something terrible and destructive happens a tsunami hits Indonesia, an earthquake devastates Pakistan the United States can project itself anywhere on the planet within hours and start saving lives, setting up hospitals and restoring the water supply.

    Aside from Britain and France, the Europeans cannot project power in any meaningful way anywhere. When they sign on to an enterprise they claim to believe in shoring up Afghanistan's fledgling post-Taliban democracy most of them send token forces under constrained rules of engagement that prevent them doing anything more than manning the photocopier back at the base.

    If America were to follow the Europeans and maintain only shriveled attenuated residual military capacity, the world would very quickly be nastier and bloodier, and far more unstable. It's not just Americans and Iraqis and Afghans who owe a debt of thanks to the U.S. soldier but all the Europeans grown plump and prosperous in a globalized economy guaranteed by the most benign hegemon in history.

    That said, Thanksgiving isn't about the big geopolitical picture, but about the blessings closer to home. Last week, the state of Oklahoma celebrated its centennial, accompanied by rousing performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein's eponymous anthem:

    "We know we belong to the land

    And the land we belong to is grand!"

    Which isn't a bad theme song for the first Thanksgiving, either.

    Three hundred and 14 years ago, the Pilgrims thanked God because there was a place for them in this land, and it was indeed grand. The land is grander today, and that, too, is remarkable: France has lurched from Second Empires to Fifth Republics struggling to devise a lasting constitutional settlement for the same smallish chunk of real estate, but the principles that united a baker's dozen of East Coast colonies were resilient enough to expand across a continent and halfway around the globe to Hawaii.

    Americans should, as always, be thankful this Thanksgiving, but they should also understand just how rare in human history their blessings are.

    http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/am...rope-europeans
  2. #2  
    Ha ha. This post is a joke, right?

    Surur
  3. #3  
    What makes it a joke?

    Oh wait, I know, the "Left" was mentioned.

  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    Hammer....meet nail.

    So Americans should be thankful they have one of the last functioning nation-states. Europeans, because they've been so inept at exercising it, no longer believe in national sovereignty, whereas it would never occur to Americans not to. This profoundly different attitude to the nation-state underpins, in turn, Euro-American attitudes to transnational institutions such as the United Nations.
    Yes "indeed" he nailed it.
    Iago

    "Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls: Who steals my purse steals trash . . . But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed."


    Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.
    - Howard Scott
  5. gojeda's Avatar
    Posts
    93 Posts
    Global Posts
    104 Global Posts
       #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by treotraveler View Post
    What makes it a joke?

    Oh wait, I know, the "Left" was mentioned.

    The grandest joke of all, some would say.
  6. gojeda's Avatar
    Posts
    93 Posts
    Global Posts
    104 Global Posts
       #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    Ha ha. This post is a joke, right?

    Surur
    One of your more "erudite" responses surur. <golf clap>
  7. xdalaw's Avatar
    Posts
    583 Posts
    Global Posts
    680 Global Posts
    #7  
    No Sunday would be complete without another great Steyn column. Thanks for posting, gojeda!
    Palm III -> Handspring Visor Deluxe -> Dell Axim X5 Advanced -> Dell Axim X3i -> Dell Axim X50v -> Cingular 8125 -> Sprint Palm Treo 700Wx -> ->Palm Treo 700P (my wife's but I played with it ) -> Sprint Mogul -> Treo 800w -> Touch Pro & Treo Pro.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by treotraveler View Post
    What makes it a joke?
    It's the only trick in Chuckles' bag.
  9. #9  
    Even jokes have a ring of truth.
  10. fishera's Avatar
    Posts
    494 Posts
    Global Posts
    495 Global Posts
    #10  
    Just a tad to add.. I didn't read the entire post because I couldn't stop laughing but...

    your right, the Constitution says no where that people have the right to abortion, thats not what was legalized. Roe vs. wade was the US Supreme Court ruling that invoked the constitutional write to privacy, and abortion, and many other things are under that category. the current argument for gay marriage falls under that category also, and is currently being contested.

    please... please... check your facts before wasting everyones time, although I may say I did get a kick out of it!

    PS: Don't judge my knowledge based on age, judge my wisdom based on age. And by matter, that has nothing to do with intelligence.
    Aaron M. Fisher
    CEO of Sonicfish Consulting
    www.SonicfishConsulting.com

    PDA/ Smartphones:
    Handspring Visor> Sony Clie SL10> Nokia N-Gage> Nokia 3300b> Treo 600> Treo 650> Treo 680> Nokia e71> Apple iPhone 3G> Palm Pre+
  11. gojeda's Avatar
    Posts
    93 Posts
    Global Posts
    104 Global Posts
       #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by fishera View Post
    Just a tad to add.. I didn't read the entire post because I couldn't stop laughing but...

    your right, the Constitution says no where that people have the right to abortion, thats not what was legalized. Roe vs. wade was the US Supreme Court ruling that invoked the constitutional write to privacy, and abortion, and many other things are under that category. the current argument for gay marriage falls under that category also, and is currently being contested.

    please... please... check your facts before wasting everyones time, although I may say I did get a kick out of it!

    PS: Don't judge my knowledge based on age, judge my wisdom based on age. And by matter, that has nothing to do with intelligence.
    Apparently, what you did read was not understood...

    Perhaps it is worth repeating what was actually said (as opposed what you *think* was said.):

    "I don't believe the U.S. Constitution includes a right to abortion or gay marriage or a zillion other things the Left claims to detect emanating from the penumbra...."

    "Emanating from the penumbra" is the operative phrase. Penumbra is, actually, a legal term. The word means "a body of rights guaranteed *by implication* in a civil constitution.

    In other words, the SCOTUS ruled that the 14th amendment clause of due process is the foundation upon which abortion is legalized - as seen in Roe v. Wade.
  12. gatorray's Avatar
    Posts
    12 Posts
    Global Posts
    13 Global Posts
    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by fishera View Post
    Just a tad to add.. I didn't read the entire post because I couldn't stop laughing but...
    I am not familiar with the author, so I am not aware of how biased his thoughts are. Just curious, what made you laugh? I thought it was a well written opinion piece. No more and no less.

    There were many good points in the piece, so please let us know what was so wrong that you had to laugh.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by gatorray View Post
    I am not familiar with the author, so I am not aware of how biased his thoughts are. Just curious, what made you laugh? I thought it was a well written opinion piece. No more and no less.

    There were many good points in the piece, so please let us know what was so wrong that you had to laugh.
    It's a simple page from the Rush Limbaugh-wannabe playbook, full of insults, lack of respect or decorum towards those of differing opinions. It's an opinion piece, alright, but not a dignified, intelligent one.
  14. PSB22's Avatar
    Posts
    192 Posts
    Global Posts
    203 Global Posts
    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    When something terrible and destructive happens a tsunami hits Indonesia, an earthquake devastates Pakistan the United States can project itself anywhere on the planet within hours and start saving lives, setting up hospitals and restoring the water supply.
    $2.1 million for Bangladesh cyclone this week.
    $12.5 million per hour for the war in iraq

    Oh yeah, we're known all over the world for our generosity!
    *****.
  15. gatorray's Avatar
    Posts
    12 Posts
    Global Posts
    13 Global Posts
    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by PSB22 View Post
    $2.1 million for Bangladesh cyclone this week.
    $12.5 million per hour for the war in iraq

    Oh yeah, we're known all over the world for our generosity!
    *****.
    Wow...just, wow.

    I give up.
  16. #16  
    closed.

Posting Permissions