Round ‘em up and Read ‘em, Pardners!

There is absolutely no excuse for my cowgirl lingo, but while you’re wondering what I am about (I’m recovering from five days of lunacy and sorrow, about which I’ll write later – maybe -) you might want to nose about in the web and see what’s comin’ down the pike, Pilgrims!

Here is a rather depressing article about what has happened to Steve Gardner since he dared to speak candidly about John Kerry.

Twenty-four hours later, Gardner got an e-mail from his company, Millennium Information Services, informing him that his services would no longer be necessary. He was laid off in an e-mail — by the same man who only days before had congratulated him for his exemplary work in a territory which covered North and South Carolina. The e-mail stated that his position was being eliminated. Since then, he’s seen the company advertising for his old position. Gardner doesn’t have the money to sue to get the job back.

I happened to read this first at Polipundit but I have since learned that the Powerline guys have contacted the free-lancer who wrote the story regarding how funds might be contributed to Gardner. Her response:

I’m glad you picked up my column on Steve Gardner. He certainly deserves better than he’s gotten for speaking up about what happened on that Swiftboat those years ago. I’m not at liberty to give out his address or phone number, but he has allowed me to give you his email address: sgardner5@carolina.rr.com. I hope a great job can be found for this man.
Best,
Mary Laney

I will go on record as admitting that I thought Gardner was the flakier of the Swift Vets, an opinion which I later rethought and regretted. And flake or no, in this country someone should not lose his or her job for daring to go up against the Establishment. It seems Gardner has been the victim of precisely the sort of oppression the left routinely suspects of the Bush Administration. But really…is any of this that surprising? Politics and Religion are both games that can get dirty and even deadly.

Speaking of politics and religion (and aren’t we always) read this really excellent and thoughtful essay by Harvard professor (and Evangelical Christian) William J. Stuntz, who believes that both sides, distrustful of each other as they are, have much they can learn and appreciate from each other if only they’d try. Hat tip to another professor, Glenn Reynolds.

On the darker, more conspiratorial and paranoid side of the Religion and Politics matrix (and we all know there is such a side) comes an article out of India which will make liberals cheer and conservatives wince and will raise the eyebrows of those who have spent any time at all wondering about the mythic/legendary/real/fake/whothehellknows infiltration of the Catholic Church by members of the Freemasons, and who point to The Alta Vendita and get the cold chills. This is not Christmas Reading, and you’ll find people telling you it’s hogwash and people telling you it’s all happening before our eyes. I just put it out there, and y’all can make up yer own minds, because I know yer all smart cowhands who’re innerested in di-verse subject matter, I’ll tell you what.

Finally, what a story! I love these stories about people who have started at the bottom of the rung and taken the opportunities to be found in this country and simply run with them to inspiring heights (and yes, I give props to some of the civil rights work of the 1960′s Democrats who helped some of these opportunities appear – after all, I have nothing but respect for classical liberalism…which these days goes by the name of Conservatism!)

;-) I had to say that for Joe Marshall and our Ghost friend!

President Bush is being castigated for surrounding himself with people like Dr. Rice, and Mr. Gutierrez and yes, even Justice Thomas, the sharecropper’s son, because they all “think like him.” (Gasp! The scandal! Bettymae, get me mah smellin’ salts!)

Putting aside the fact that no one ever seemed to expect President Clinton to surround himself with dissenters, I suspect the reason President Bush so values these folks is because he understands that in the end, it’s not money or privilege or bloodlines that makes a difference in a person’s life. After all, he is the son of money, privilege and blood, and he was a drunk and a bit of a wastrel who took the opportunity his wife gave to him when she told him to choose between Jim Beam and his marriage, pulled himself up, and ran with it.

Whether you are up from material poverty or what Mother Theresa correctly identified as “spiritual poverty”, you still have had to work hard to move beyond it – even with grace – it takes discipline, nerve and faith. I suspect that Bush feels a spiritual and psychological kinship with Ms. Rice, Mr. Gutierrez and Justice Thomas that simply transcends any earthly understandings of where any of them started out. Each, in their own way, has had to overcome obstacles not of their own making. For all that George W. Bush was supposed to have had it “easier” than most, his history suggests that he could not lightly wear his own privilege. Interesting. I might write more about that after I’ve had a chance to think on it. Right now, I gotta hit the trail and see to the trainin’ and edumacation of my young’un, pardners! Happy trails!

AT THE SALOON: After you’ve read all that, have a nightcap with John Leo. You’ll be glad you did. (via Cartago Delenda). Then go read Mark Steyn’s terrible and wonderful anger and then, finally, CUANAS gives us a bit of Iraq the Model’s Omar, as he wonders just why it is the French feel so terribly, terribly safe in Baghdad these days – safe enough to advertise themselves.

Me? I don’t wonder at it at all. Yyyyup.

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