October 24, 2004


Evil benign in Kerry's eyes (Jim Wooten, 10/24/04, Atlanta Journal Constitution)

John Kerry will lose the war on terrorism. He'll lose it because he'll abandon it at the first face-saving exit.

His party, and perhaps a majority of Americans, don't have the stomach for protracted war. Like British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, returning home from the Munich Conference in 1938 with an agreement signed by Adolf Hitler to promise "peace in our time," much of the nation, and certainly the political left, is desperate to grasp at the illusion of security — of anything that will allow us to return to the way we were on Sept. 10, 2001.

We yearn for the reassurance of Chamberlain, even the false assurance, that an understanding affirms "the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again."

In John Kerry's worldview, expressed in an interview with the New York Times Magazine, "We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance . . . We're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life."

Like Chamberlain, tranquilized by an inability to comprehend evil, Kerry looks into the face of evil and sees a nuisance, a law enforcement matter that can be held to the level of prostitution and gambling by the elusive international cooperation, as represented by the United Nations, France and Germany.

The catastrophic flaw of the secular is their inability to comprehend evil and to, therefore, believe that Man can be perfected by the application of Reason to politics. when folks whine about the President squandering the national--even global--unity that prevailed briefly after 9-11 what they are actually referring to is the Left reverting to form and forgetting that on that day even they'd been forced to confront the fact of Evil.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2004 11:54 AM

If you'd said 'most people' instead of 'secular,' you'd be right.

The ability of the secular -- or some of them -- to comprehend evil better than the religious -- or many of them -- has been demonstrated so many times that it is beyond question.

We might, for example, adduce the present state of Islam, where -- according to me, anyway -- some real evil is at work. Not by all Muslims, but enough.

Yet the unwillingness of so many of them who are not actively supporting the evil to refuse to comprehend, much less confront it, is striking.

The more so since it is clearly in their own interest to do something.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 24, 2004 1:52 PM

Yes, let's leave it to "true believers" to define what "evil" is. Than maybe we can have another Cursade. Puulleeesee!

Four more years of this and we'll be in a religious war the likes of which we can only begin to imagine.

V.S. Naipul predicted this.

Posted by: charlemagne at October 24, 2004 5:07 PM


Easily imagined & we'd win, but it won't come to that.

Posted by: oj at October 24, 2004 5:33 PM

"If you'd said 'most people' instead of 'secular,' you'd be right."

Precisely. Plenty of sectarians can't figure it out, either.

Like Detroit's Bishop. Full stop Kerry advocacy from him the last week in the editorial pages.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 24, 2004 8:29 PM

Harry, I'm sure you're familiar with the old joke about the drunk looking for his car keys under the street light. I wonder if you realize just how much you are the punchline to that old joke. Any Friday night we can find you out there under you favorite street light, the one on the corner of Church and Market, turning over familiar pebbles and muttering to yourself. Russians were better off during the Cold War (evil Republicans)...Viet Nam (evil Republicans)...S&L crisis (evil Republicans)...And yes, you've demonstrated your intimacy with that particular street corner beyond my question, at least. In the meantime, here's a flashlight. Go look around a little bit.

Posted by: joe shropshire at October 24, 2004 9:42 PM

Who, in your opinion, was responsible for the S & L problem ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 25, 2004 5:49 AM

Who, in your opinion, was responsible for the S & L problem ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 25, 2004 5:50 AM

"Who was responsible for S&L crisis?"

Both parties. Unfortunately Republicans under Bush No. 1 had to take the blame. The long-time Democratic congressman St. Germain (from Rhode Island?) never helped the situation and was in the pocket of S&L's.

Posted by: h-man at October 25, 2004 6:10 AM

There were a lot of shady characters of limited IQ like Fredo(oops, Neil) Bush around the S & Ls. They were the ones responsible.

If you're curious as to why FSLIC was asleep at the switch, the reason is that the Democratic Party of Tony Coelho and Jim Wright, which controlled the oversight function, sold itself to the highest bidder. And the Keatings or Mallicks were happy to bid.

Posted by: Bart at October 25, 2004 7:24 AM

And John McCain, lest we forget.

Posted by: Uncle Bill at October 25, 2004 1:13 PM

McCain was cleared. He just happened to be around when his fellow Arizona senator, Dennis DeConcini, was getting some sacks full of loot from Keating, or at some other such embarassing moment.

We libertines always get a kick out of the fact that the crook, Keating, was also an anti-porn crusader. Porn is bad, swindling borrowers is good?

Posted by: Bart at October 25, 2004 2:03 PM


What's the connection?

Posted by: oj at October 25, 2004 3:05 PM


It is always funny when some bluenose turns out to be a bigger crook than the people he's trying to burn at the stake. (See John 8:7)

Posted by: Bart at October 25, 2004 4:24 PM

Even a crook can be right about social issues.

Posted by: oj at October 25, 2004 5:17 PM

>Porn is bad, swindling borrowers is good?

I've had "smoking is bad, homosexual pedophilia is good" preached at me, so why not?

Posted by: Ken at October 25, 2004 6:46 PM

Jesus, you guys are as myopic as Harry. Frankly I could care less who was responsible for the S&L thing, and in a knife fight between John McCain and Charles Keating, you'd have to hope they both get one in the liver. I adduced that as the sort of thing Harry will spend the rest of his life muttering about, while dictators go about their business making their piles of skulls.

Posted by: joe shropshire at October 25, 2004 11:44 PM

The investors were responsible, trying to make a quick buck in uninsured accounts. We should have left them high and dry.

Posted by: oj at October 25, 2004 11:53 PM

Fernand St. Germain's change to the S&L insurance and investment regs. happened under Jimmy Carter. It took a few years to percolate into full corruption, but was mainly a local issue for speculators like Charlie Keating (who were in over their heads). It was not a national 'scandal' in the sense that Fannie Mae might be very soon. The national view arose because too many Senators got caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

It was also fixed by GHW Bush, in one of the better domestic reactions by our government. And many of the principals did suffer, as they should have. The small investors lost as well, but not everything.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 26, 2004 11:10 AM


I was feeling pretty good until you reminded me of my biggest financial nightmare, a small blip in interest rates causes a crash of the housing market and a resulting vast shrinkage of accumulated wealth. Now I'm hiding under the desk.

Posted by: Bart at October 26, 2004 12:28 PM


Fannie Mae will be the big domestic flare of the next couple of years, especially if the Fed goes off the deep end and raises rates reflexively.

But on this issue, there is no blame to spread around - too many in Congress are already harping about it, the WSJ has been editorializing about it for probably 3 years, and Freddie Mac has already gone through a purge of management (after having to adjust its financial statement early last year). If Fannie slides, Franklin Raines and his Democratic pals will take the blame.

Although it will be interesting to watch Pelosi, Kennedy, et al. try to blame the evil corporate Republicans.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 26, 2004 1:20 PM

Then why'd you bring it up, joe?

I never did.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 27, 2004 3:13 AM


I just look at some of the products being offered out there like adjustables, negative amortization products,etc and I see an impending disaster. There are millions of Americans who can barely put food on the table who are now 'home-owners.'

Posted by: Bart at October 27, 2004 7:03 AM

Barely put food on the table? They eat 3,000 calories a day.

Posted by: oj at October 27, 2004 7:27 AM

oj, calm down, it's just a metaphor. People get 'qualified' at something like 33% of Gross Income and put 0-3% down. They go into a product whose monthly cost is sure to skyrocket. It's the express train to bankruptcy or foreclosure. And who gets stuck with the bill? Depositers like you and me. And if the Depositers, the FDIC, FNMA, FSLIC etc can't take the hit, the taxpayers will end up paying.

Posted by: Bart at October 27, 2004 3:47 PM

What was it a metaphor for?

Posted by: oj at October 27, 2004 4:13 PM