A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Monday, July 21, 2003 :::
Righting One of the Great Wrongs of the Last 25 Years...Why Conservatives Need to Put Pressure on the Administration...BBC: Blustering, Buggering Creeps...A Great Book...a Nice Wedding....

Rascal Flats fans should scroll down to July 18, but slowly, reading every line of this amazing blog!!

Time to Make Good on a Horrible, Horrible Error. In today's Journal, there is a moving and enraging account of what Saddam did to the historic marshes between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the very cradle of human life. In 1991, barred from entering Iraq by its own diplomacy, the first Bush administration went whole hog encouraging the Shiite majority of Iraq to rebel, which they did, assuming we would help them. We didn't, and Saddam punished them by deliberately draining or salting the marshes. Of 500,000 "Marsh Arabs," fully 60% perished. Our fault, totally. Now we are trying to help them and reflood the swamps. If anything argues against "administration by inches," as advocated by our illustrious Secretary of Defense, it is this. Lots of money, now, for the victims of glib comments uttered in Washington 12 years ago. Southern Iraq is home to most of the world's Shiites, and, historically, Shi'ism has been apolitical. The failure of the first Bush admininstration to deliver on promises it should never have made in the first place, and the lives that many Iranians shed trying to oust Saddam, have opened the door to the revolutionary Shi'ism of the Ayatollah Khomeini, which now has many adherents. "Watch what you say" is pretty basic education, and George H.W. Bush blithely ignored it. We are now reaping the whirlwind he sowed, but we MUST help those people NOW.

Things We Should Have Thought Of. The Wall Street Journal also has a withering op-ed piece this morning on our attempts to introduce a stable currency. Now, if there is one thing that we have had a lot of experience with in the last fifteen years it is introducing hard currency into devastated socialist economies, which are the only kind of socialist economies that there have been or ever will be. This war was "planned" for a year. The backing for the money should have been determined pretty much at the start, plans for safeguarding people's lifesavings should have been a priority, and the money itself should have been printed, boxed up, and sitting right behind the lines. Instead, they have gone through three different plans for..get this..printing the stuff. And the first money simply came from the old presses and bore the image of...Saddam Hussein. The word "inexcusable" floats to mind....

Sex and Death. The BBC has now admitted that Dr. Kelly was indeed the source for a story they broadcast a couple of weeks ago accusing Tony Blair's government of "sexing up" a report on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Kelly told a government inquiry board that he didn't think he was the source of the accusations, since he never said anything like what they said. The BBC at first said "no comment," but now admits he was. They more or less admitted their own story was a little wobbly--issuing a statement that said they were "right to report what they reported when they reported it"--but refuse to apologize on the grounds that apologizing to the government amounts to acquiesence in censorship. It's not censorship if the government proves you wrong; it's the same as if Aunt Mildred proved you wrong. But they refuse, and winds swirled around poor Dr. Kelly that he could not stand, and still Auntie Beeb refuses to apologize. Sick, sick, sick.

A Great Book. Thumbing through old magazines to find those guilty of advocating "liberation light" in Iraq, A Mind That Suits ran across a review for a Scots novel from the Romantic era called The Private Memoirs and Confessions of A Justified Sinner, by James Hogg. It's from 1824. A Mind That Suits normally despises Romantic literature, unless it is by William Wordsworth, but this is one of the most fascinating works of fiction he has ever read. It is about what happens if you believe in "hard predestination," the hyper-Calvinist doctrine that God has simply chosen whom He will and whom He will not save, so it really doesn't matter what you do. Recoiling in horror, the author opts for atheism, or at least a toothless, sentimental form of Protestantism, whereas A Mind That Suits is Catholic, recognizing the need to bow in awe before the will of the Almighty without limiting His course of action. Nonetheless, the book is brilliant. It apparently gets "rediscovered"every few decades, and is going through a renaissance right now. The critical notes in the Edinburgh University Press Edition, edited by P.D. Garside, seem to be very helpful, but there are several editions out that reproduce the work in its original form.

Happy Families Have Happy Weddings. A Mind That Suits sees a lot of weddings, as he has had occasion to describe before. This weekend, he was at one where, manifestly, the bride and groom fulfilled the Iron Law of Love: we marry our parents. The groom had the same bearing and style as both his own father and that of his beloved. The bride had the same open smile and manner as her own mother and that of her beloved.
And a merry time was had by all.

The women in this family are also level-headed. It was a very expensive wedding, but the bride proved stronger than the wedding salespeople, who always stand ready to create yet one more "tradition" that will make "your special day" as special as money can buy. A nice cocktail reception, a straightforward dinner, a dessert buffet, and dancing. There was no endless succession of "momments" orchestrated by merchants, which is what will happen if you follow any guide published by the storied Martha Stewart or her cheap imitators. Simple, welcoming, and an immense amount of fun. Go, thou, and do likewise.

The couple was youngish, which meant that there were a fair number of younger cousins. The youngest, just out of college, had that boyish look that brings out the mothering instinct, and so his date was, in technical terms, a total babe. The couple provided an ample reminder of just how much fun it is to be young if you do it right. The young lady held up her end of the bargain with a black slip dress with a slit up one side, a plunging back, and a halter top that, when its wearer was twirling around dancing, proved not to be much of a top at all. (We're talking peek-a-boo here, not CMT-worthy flashing.) The wait staff was most appreciative, and the older family members were clearly making a mental note to invite young George and "date" to any future family gatherings.

But that was toward the end of the festivities. Five hours, and A Mind That Suits did not hear a single discouraging word. What a blast, and God bless the Happy Couple.

Have a great day.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 12:08 PM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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