Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Two Must Reads for Today

With the Christmas rush over, but the glow still around, entries will be sporadic at best until January. That said, there are two must reads today.

The first is from the Seattle PI, which reveals that one of the reasons that Bush felt the need to ignore the FIS Court, and the established protocol for getting wiretaps, was that the Court was apparently rejecting some of the applications. This is a truly troubling revelation for those of us who value the role that each branch of government plays in our system. The White House unilaterally decided to ignore legislation passed by Congress, which set up the FIS Court, simply because they did not like the results. It is very disturbing.

The second must read is a summary of the disaster that was 2005 for President Bush, done by Jay Cost over at the RCP Blog. It is the best year end summary that I have read on why things went so wrong.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

For the Non-Believers Out There

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
- Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus?Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897

Today more than ever these words ring true, or maybe they just need to ring true in an age that is even more skeptical than that seemigly innocent time. May you have a wonderful Chirstmas and a joyous New Year! (And I promise my three loyal readers that there will be more posts next year.)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Democrats Would Do well to Remember This

Stu Rothenberg has his Roll Call column up regarding how Democrats have, for the most part, avoided the personalization and name calling on the 2006 Congressional elections, unlike what the GOP did in 1998.

There is frequently a desire by partisans to do some name calling, it just feels good sometimes. But name calling isn't a strategy, and can often turn off those who are on the fence. And honestly, with so many real issues that can be used to attack Republicans, to advocate an "impeachment strategy" is just silly.