The global test

Instapundit:

I EAGERLY AWAIT THE HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER BASED ON THIS REPORT: EU Soldiers Accused of Torturing Civilians in Congo.

Gosh, and to think that because of the Bush Administration, the reputation of the U.S. has been lowered in all those previously dewy eyes around the world!

It’s just better off for everyone to keep expectations real low, I guess.

Nothing personal

If you’re a friend on Facebook, please don’t take it personally when I decline to add yet another application in response to your invitation.

I still want to be friends. I just don’t want more nonsense applications in my “experience,” k?

What Wright did wrong

Shannon Love:

Obama’s close association with Rev. Wright may have destroyed his political ambitions by undermining the perception that he is a new kind of African-American politician, who does not see white Americans as evil. It called into question the sincerity of his views about the majority of Americans and American institutions. How can he represent, protect and lead the white Americans that his long-time minister, confidant and mentor sees as evil people?Leftist African-Americans like Rev. Wright take it as axiomatic that they cannot trust white Americans due to their evil and corrupt nature. Yet they seem puzzled and angered that white Americans do not trust them in return.

Trust is a two-way street. To be trusted, one must give trust. Let us hope that one day, those on the Left learn that lesson.

I have often argued that it is a grave mistake, and one commonly made by conservatives who do not think deeply enough into the matter, to insist that white-black dialogue, sensibilities and even policies be mirror images of each other. This is urged only as the appropriate policymaking premise for “color-blindness,” but the appropriate standard for interpersonal relations. Thus certain whites pretend to be offended when black comedians imitate whites, or fume over black expressions of themselves as people who, surprise, insist that they experience a different cultural experience as Americans from that of typical whites.

This is simply a lack of sensitivity disguised as fairness. It is different when you are the majority. You can be teased. You can be the butt of jokes. It is not really offensive to be made fun of for being white, and the people pretending offense know this. This is a simplistic conception of how to react to the overplaying of the victimization card, and those who insist on it are not advancing either the discussion or the solution in any sense.

There is also a flip side to this argument, which is what Shannon is pointing out here. If blacks as a group, at this stage of the game, expect their group identity, their legitimate shared experiences and perceptions, and their interests to be taken seriously, they have got to stop playing the game she has described. Not because I say so, or she does, or a judge will, but because the majority will not have it. The concept that people are wicked for being who they are is not only ironic when applied by blacks, once considered by some satanic themselves simply because of their negritude. It is not only morally and logically unsupportable. It is a loser of an argument. Liberalism is premised largely on guilt; but that much guilt is not being distributed through the water supply.

There will be no political maturity, no Promised Land, until black leaders accept, teach and preach that Pharaoh and his minions are dead on the shore of the Red Sea, and that we are all here, on the other side, together.

Cross-posted on Right Wing News.

Magic for everyone

Avakesh:

It is not that I necessarily object to popularization of Kabbala. There is certainly a precedent to this . . .

What is different now is the admixture of New Age thinking and terminology and the incessant and careless dumbing down of profound ideas to fit the needs of the audience. The line between popularization and desecration is thin. Popularization is good but the classic works of Kabbalah are full of warnings about the consequences of carelessness and lack of seriousness in the the study of hidden wisdom.

I like Avakesh. He’s very thoughtful and thinks hard about hard things.

Cuba’s door opens a crack

AP:

President Raul Castro’s government said Friday it is allowing cell phones for ordinary Cubans, a luxury previously reserved for those who worked for foreign firms or held key posts with the communist-run state.It was the first official announcement of the lifting of a major restriction under the 76-year-old Castro, and marked the kind of small freedom many on the island have been hoping he would embrace since succeeding his older brother Fidel as president last month.

That is a much bigger deal than it sounds like.  Isn’t it?

Freedom and discretion

On my blog, I take aim at a recent column by Peter Hoekstra.  On a broader note, I find it mildly disturbing that in the current political climate, we Americans focus excessively on rights, but we seldom take into account the corresponding responsibilities, or even ruminate on the perfectly resonable consequences of those rights.  Avery Doninger, recently cited by Ron Coleman, is a prime example.  When you call somebody by that kind of epithet in a public forum, you face consequences that flow from the exercise of that speech.  And the student there disagrees.

 Why is there so little focus on responsibility?  Is this endemic to some sort of “rights culture” or an entitlement complex among the younger generation?  Is it endemic to Americans?  Or is it just people with not enough time on their hands?

Attorney Ronald D. Coleman