Went over to the Giant Swede’s house for an inaugural supper. Got into an argument over whether the Europeans should be treated with deference to assure future cooperation, or whether Bush should Taser Chirac the moment he sets foot in the Oval Office, just to set the ground rules for term two. I’d heard the speech earlier in the day, so I didn’t pay attention to the rerun. And I suppose some will say it’s just a rerun in the first place – blah blah freedom, blah blah tyranny, etc. I found it striking, but I suppose you’d expect I would. Still. In ten years, which do you think will be more relevant: the speech, or this Toles cartoon? (Yes, of course, that's where we're going. Dictatorship. Thanks for the heads-up.) I listened to a few hours of talk radio, where caller after caller lined up to explain why America could not stand for freedom for all manner of reasons – slavery, oil, Halliburton, Freemasonry, no gay marriage, FCC regulations on nipple-flashing, and all our other numerous sins that stain this shameful endeavor. And again, I return to the Kirk Doctrine, expressed in the Star Trek episode “The Conscience of the King.” He has passed judgment on a suspected tyrant, and the dictator’s daughter asks “who are you to judge?”
Who do I have to be? Kirk snaps.
The answer, I guess, is “Canada.”
The Week magazine sent me another sample issue, angling for a subscription. No thanks. “The REAL reason the Taliban had to go: oil.” Mm-hmm. “Is it time to stop hating Castro?” I don’t know; is he dead yet? “Is religion itself the real enemy to Western Civilization?” No, clever newsmagazine writers who lump together Islamic terrorists and Cambodian immigrant Lutherans in Fargo are the problem, inasmuch as they have no intellectual connection to the accumulated wisdom of the Western experience, and regard their cultural heritage as an expense account to be squandered at will. “Was Elvis really that good?” Them’s fightin’ words, sahr. On the cover: “American Supremacy: Can it Last? And should it . . .”
Well. Someone is going to be the strongest nation. You would prefer China? I suppose a united Europe could reign supreme, as long as nothing was required of them.
Read the whole thing, etc.