Brit Hume evangelizes Tiger Wood

On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume had a message for Tiger Woods:

Whether he can recover as a person depends on "his faith. He's said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redeption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be, "Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."

Hume, of course, is getting criticized, not only for evangelizing on air but for dissing Buddhism. Still, I salute him. A private TV network airing private opinions should have room for this, isn’t it?

Incoherent terrorism policy

Charles Krauthammer says that President Obama and his administration are confused and inconsistent when it comes to dealing with terrorism:

The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration's response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to play down and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism "man-caused disasters." Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close, CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York — a trifecta of political correctness and image management.

And just to make sure even the dimmest understand, Obama banishes the term "war on terror." It's over — that is, if it ever existed.

Obama may have declared the war over. Unfortunately, al-Qaeda has not. Which gives new meaning to the term "asymmetric warfare."

And produces linguistic — and logical — oddities that littered Obama's public pronouncements following the Christmas Day attack. In his first statement, Obama referred to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as "an isolated extremist." This is the same president who, after the Fort Hood, Tex., shooting, warned us "against jumping to conclusions" — code for daring to associate the mass murder there with Nidal Hasan's Islamist ideology. Yet, with Abdulmutallab, Obama jumped immediately to the conclusion, against all existing evidence, that the would-be bomber acted alone.

More jarring still were Obama's references to the terrorist as a "suspect" who "allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device." You can hear the echo of FDR: "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — Japanese naval and air force suspects allegedly bombed Pearl Harbor."

Obama reassured the nation that this "suspect" had been charged. Reassurance? The president should be saying: We have captured an enemy combatant — an illegal combatant under the laws of war: no uniform, direct attack on civilians — and now to prevent future attacks, he is being interrogated regarding information he may have about al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Instead, Abdulmutallab is dispatched to some Detroit-area jail and immediately lawyered up. At which point — surprise! — he stops talking.

This absurdity renders hollow Obama's declaration that "we will not rest until we find all who were involved." Once we've given Abdulmutallab the right to remain silent, we have gratuitously forfeited our right to find out from him precisely who else was involved, namely those who trained, instructed, armed and sent him.

This is all quite mad even in Obama's terms. He sends 30,000 troops to fight terror overseas, yet if any terrorists come to attack us here, they are magically transformed from enemy into defendant.

The logic is perverse. If we find Abdulmutallab in an al-Qaeda training camp in Yemen, where he is merely preparing for a terror attack, we snuff him out with a Predator — no judge, no jury, no qualms. But if we catch him in the United States in the very act of mass murder, he instantly acquires protection not just from execution by drone but even from interrogation.

“Lawyered up.” Good word. The point is, we need to decide whether to treat terrorists as unlawful (because they are not fighting under a lawful chain of command as soldiers of a nation do) enemy combatants or as criminals. If the former, they can be interrogated (which does NOT have to include torture) and indefinitely detained. If the latter, they have the right to remain silent! Nor may they or their camps be searched or their communications tapped without a warrant. Nor should they be subject to use of force when they are not in the process of committing a crime, as in having Hellfire missiles from a drone strike their camps. Instead, they would need to face extradition. We are trying to have it both ways at different times.

UPDATE: The administration has confirmed that it will try the Underwear Bomber in federal court. The president’s chief counterterrorism advisor John Brennan said that although he is now exercising his right to remain silent, we can still extract information from him by plea bargaining. Which means that the more he talks, the more he gets off!

One tenet of sexual morality that has come back

Don’t miss Mary Eberstadt’s article in First Things: How Pedophilia Lost Its Cool. She shows that in the 1970’s through the 1990’s sex with children was being presented by many in the cultural elite as not so bad–something to joke about–or even as something to advocate. Now, there is a consensus across ideological lines that adults having sex with children is a great evil. This is evident in the case of Roman Polanski, in which liberals joined conservatives in condemning his violation of a 13-year-old. (In Europe, in Hollywood, and in particular circles, there are still those who defend Polanski and even some who still advocate and practice pedophilia, but they are violators of what is still broadly accepted as a cultural and moral norm.) Why did the trend to pedophilia stop, while other tenets of the sexual revolution moved forward? Eberstadt credits the universal revulsion against the child-abusing priests, who did most of their assaults during the more easy-going 1970’s-1990’s, but hearing the testimony of the scarred adults they victimized as children made the public sensitive to just how evil this was and is.

Happy New Year! Happy Thresholds!

And Happy January! This month is named after Janus, the Roman god of thresholds, and thus, of transitions. He had two faces, one that could see the past and the other that could see the future. So in going from one year to another, as we celebrate the New Year, it has been customary to both look back and look ahead. In the buildup to New Year’s Day on this blog, we have been looking back. Now let’s look ahead.

Predictions for 2010?

What do you think will happen in this new year of 2010? We’ve been doing this for a few years and checking the results (see below). The more specific you are, you more amazed we will be if you turn out to have been right.

Checking the predictions for 2009

Last year CNN assembled some journalists and politicos to make predictions about what would happen in the year 2009. As promised in my blog post back then, we’ll check their predictions. Actually, they didn’t do too bad.

Of greater interest, I asked YOU to make your predictions. See how you did. My former student Cindy Ramos was prescient (I taught her so well):

In college football, Texas will once again defeat Oklahoma. They will also beat Texas Tech and everyone else on their schedule, putting them in the BCS title game. (I won’t predict the outcome of that game, since it won’t be played until 2010.) Colt McCoy will win the Heisman.

Except for that last sentence. There were some other seemingly unlikely predictions that came true. Get a load of this from Eric M:

No major terrorist attack will occur on US soil which will set the stage for a relaxing of many of the “security” measures put in place by President Bush. This will be a good thing overall. As the wars in Iraq and Afganistan wind down, the terrorists will have more freedom of movement leading to major events in 2010.

He had some other spot-on predictions, as did Jeff Samelson and others. Good prognosticating. There were, however, some misses. The world did NOT end because we elected Barack Obama president.

Here is an even bigger miss.

UPDATE: Jeff Samulsen predicted that the stock market, at the time in free fall, would go up by double digits by the end of the year, possibly, he said, as high as 20%. I just read that it had gone up 20%. Let Jeff manage your money, if you have any.