Friday, July 13, 2012

Two NRO Gems

Among your weekend reading, I urge you to include these two articles from National Review Online. If you do, you'll find they'll lead to some weekend thinking, conversation and prayer as well.

The first piece is from Victor Davis Hanson, "The World Is Changing Minute by Minute." It is a very thoughtful look at how the conventional wisdom of the last several decades is being turned upside down by quite unexpected technology and politics. Very good.

And the second, "The 2012 Contest: Obama Lacks Accomplishments; Romney Lacks Convictions." It's written by Conrad Black whose acerbic wit is just perfect for the subject. Here's a few passages:

Unemployment and under-employment have effectively doubled from the average of the Clinton–George W. Bush years, while national debt has increased a stupefying 50 percent in this term, most of it bogus debt issued to the Federal Reserve and paid for in Monopoly Money notes. There is a broad national consensus for the repeal of Obamacare, whose constitutionality has been upheld, provided it is recognized as a tax. Not content with that, the administration’s media spear-carriers have denied that it is a tax, though it does appear to be an obligatory payment of about $525 billion, one of the largest fiscal impositions in history. Apart from the killing of bin Laden, it escapes my ability to find one success in any field that can be credited to this singularly self-satisfied administration…

Obama has the benefit of being a conviction politician, though most of the convictions are bad and the execution is sloppy — or malevolent and cynical, as in his inchoate war against the Roman Catholic leadership, assumedly based on the theory that the Catholic bishops were just a bunch of irrelevant ninnies…

Whatever the legalities in the Obamacare case, the speculation that the chief justice flipped to avoid a political crisis has helped reveal the under-worked, over-lionized Supreme Court for the opinionated, capricious gang of sinecure-holders that it is. Its popularity, while still far ahead of that of the other branches, has finally descended to about 40 percent, a trend that, barring the greatest resuscitation since Lazarus, will continue. It persisted in its levitation for so long only because the public doesn’t much focus on it, and the court doesn’t generally tax, spend, or go to war. But it has sat, as mute and inert as a suet pudding, while the prosecutocracy has gutted the Bill of Rights; turned the plea bargain into an infamy of inquisition, extortion, and perjury; made a mockery of due process and the rights of man; and upheld the absolute immunity even of prosecutors who willfully lie and suppress exculpatory evidence (in the unspeakable Supreme Court decision in Connick v. Thompson). Much of the American problem is in the trifecta of having 5 percent of the world’s population, 25 percent of its prisoners, and 50 percent of its lawyers.