Dalai Lama Hearts George W. Bush

I love this piece from Jay Nordlinger, on how the Dalai Lama stunned Cambridge, Massacusetts with the news that George W. Bush is a good man, and one he loves:

Audience member: “Can you give us an example of a leader we should look up to as a positive influence?”

Dalai Lama (after thinking for a few seconds): “President Bush. I met him personally and liked him very much. He was honest and straightforward, and that is very important. I may not have agreed with all his policies, but I thought he was very honest and a very good leader.”

Nordlinger has more and you’ll want to read it all, particularly Jay’s closing remarks.

Now, look, I have had a great upsetment of a day, over here, and while I was trying to pray my way out of it, I heard a wee voice -it sounded a little like my dear Auntie Lillie, but the Holy Spirit can use anything- and the wee voice said, “child, have a glass of wine and dilate those veins and arteries before you have a stroke.”

So -under obedience- I’ve had a glass of wine. At threesomething in the afternoon. The problem, of course, is that I have had only coffee today, not so much as a scrap of dry toast, so. It’s hitting me like your basic ton of bricks.

I am not a great drinker. A great eater, unfortunately, yes, but I am not a great drinker. The occasional Guinness of a Sunday afternoon, that is Lizzie. Wine hits me like…there is a line in The Philadelphia Story, where Mike (MacCauley) Connor, aka James Stewart (I love!) says to C.K. Dexter Haven, aka Cary Grant (aka Archie Leach; I love!), “whiskey is a great slap on the back, and champagne is a mist before your eyes.”

And red wine? Ho-ho-hardy and giddy life! Or a sort of mild goofiness. I am a poor Irishwoman and cannot hold my drink. A single glass of very good Rodney Strong cabernet is making me blotto. I think I will not bother opening the bottle of suspect-sounding Long Island Red Table Wine.

So, with that said, let’s have a look around the world
as represented by the blogosphere and see what is going on, outside of the Dalai Lama’s love for Dubya.

I heart Dalai Lama. And presidential swagger should not be freaking ideological. It’s always good.

I do not know if I like Twittering. There is sort of an “oh, look, a shiny pebble” aspect to it that does nothing at all to help my ADHD. I am going to see how that goes. Right now Fausta is all over my twitter thingy and her drawing is scaring me in a sort of Tim Burton-meets-goth way. Go ‘way, scary Fausta! Be a nice Fausta!

Souterstuff: A an apparent 14-year old has suggested that Obama appoint Anita Hill to the SCOTUS.

A wee roundup here.

I read, somewhere, the suggestion that Michelle Obama, being a lawyer, would be “the dream” Justice. Is she still a lawyer? I don’t think you have to be a lawyer to be a SCOTUS Justice, which is why I support Frank’s suggested nominee of Mr. T:

Mr. T does not put up with jibba-jabba, which I think is important for a justice. He is very tough, but he is also compassionate (he often pities fools). Now, I don’t know Mr. T’s political stances, but one can only assume he’s not a liberal because he’s definitely not a sissy.

Also, I still insist -in fact I’m afraid I really must demand- that I be put in charge of Homeland Security in place of Janet Napolitano. Despite my inability to drink wine. This is actually a strength in my favor; I shall forego wine to keep the country safe. I never liked cocktail parties anyway, even though I am supposed to go to one, tonight. Awful. There was a layoff at my husband’s job and they’re having a “happy hour sendoff” of people. Do I want to go, no. So you see, if I were running Homeland Security, I could say, “dear, I understand that you want me to go, but I must protect and serve the nation!”

Which, as we know, has been stimulated!

Speaking of cocktail parties
, don’t invite Krauthammer and The Pelosi to one.

Speaking of serving the nation, Andrew C. McCarthy says, sorry pal, you’re not using me for your fig leaf, like you tried to use Mary Ann Glendon! He’s not going to give the Obama Administration cover (by saying they’ve reached out and consulted with the likes of Andrew C. McCarthy) when they roll out their next round of weird and dubious notions of how to protect the nation. You know, like umm…let’s tell everyone how we collect information and not make a fuss when ABC News outs undercover people who are vital to our national security, as though outting is now, suddenly, a “good” thing, when a few mere months ago it was very, very bad, indeed.

Politics is a mean, ugly, miserable business. No wonder so few good people want to serve.

Sally Rios says there is a bloodless coup going down in DC. Phbwah. I was ‘way ahead of you, honey. WAY ahead.

I have not fully formed my thoughts on torture, yet. I think I am against it but with this one exception: if I have a choice between saving say, 5 million lives in a nuke-contaminated Chicago or being able to say, “but at least we didn’t waterboard that guy,” I am inclined to think I would go for torture. The 5 million might still die, it’s true, but at least I won’t have to answer for standing idly by and watching it so that my morals might remain intact. I will take the chance that my moral failing in that instance will simply join my other moral failings in life, and then God and I will work that stuff out.

Actually, you have to work out your moral failing, in either case, don’t you? If you torture, you have to work it out. If you allow millions to die because you’re “too good” to torture, that’s another moral failing you have to work out. And what is the moral failing? Not trusting that God will help you work that out.

Maybe when you don’t have an idea that you and God can work out your moral failings, you have a tougher time dealing with them? I don’t know. But “who saves a life saves the world, entire” may come into play here. I don’t want to kill the guy I’m torturing. But I want to save 5 million lives.

So, how is that stimulus working out for us? I can tell you that a fug-ugly pair of $540.00 sneakers are not in my budget, this year. Hey doesn’t that remind you a little of Evita, when Eva Peron is on the balcony of the Casa Rosada, saying, “I am only a simple woman who lives to serve Peron in his n oble crusade to rescue his people! I was once as you are now and I promise you this we will take these riches from the Oligarchs only for you–for all of you! One day you too will inherit these treasures!”

Not that Michelle Obama is Evita. Although I know it is unpopular to say on the right, and her “for the first time in my life I’m proud to be an American” was yes, offensive, I rather like her. I like the fact that she’ll wear fug-ugly $540 sneakers out in public while we’re in a deep recession and facing a deficit of trillions upon trillions of dollars, or that she’ll wear patent-leather boots while “digging a garden.” It shows we have come a long way in deciding what it is that labels White House residents as “out of touch” with ordinary Americans. It is important that we move forward, in all events.

I love this magnificent exposition on the myths of Catholic Art. DO go read it. Print it out and read it somewhere when you can relax. Just a great piece, beautifully written, and thanks to Elizabeth Anne for reminding me of it, in an offhand sort of way.

There is some very good writing here, some very neat turns of phrase. Don’t know if I agree with all of it, but some neat turns of phrase.

Do you yearn for a holy place? I do. Oh, look, this Roman Catholic Deacon got healed through the intercessory prayers of Newman. And look, a very insightful observation about things shallow and unreal.

A very great high school prank

Hate Crime Laws: I don’t like them. They try to make a murder even more murdery in order to serve a whole politically agenda. One cannot legislate niceness. One cannot legislate “not hating each other.” Talk about your overreach.

Elder Son: Just got a thing in the mail from his college, asking how he’s doing out in the great-big-real world. He scrawled across the questionnaire, “UNEMPLOYED. DESPERATE. SEND HELP!” And he sent it back. I love him. I am so glad we let him be an eccentric super-genius, just as he is, and didn’t change him or anesthetize him with ritalin (although I was tempted once or twice).

Speaking of sons: Buster had to take an IQ test and other things for school. You’re not going to believe this. Turns out he is a super-genius just like his brother! He can join Mensa, if he wants to. But he still can’t spell. Sent me a text: I KNEW I WAS A GENEOUS. That damned whole-language program!

I love Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati and I put my super-genius sons and super-genius future daughter-in-law under his prayerful watch. All they need are decent jobs!

The Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time: to which I respond, Pshaw! Any list that does not include Miss Ella Fitzgerald and the Jimmy Jones Trio and others and the album recorded at their gig at Carnegie Hall (entitled The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever and man, and damn near maybe it was) is an incomplete list and I raise my nose to it.

Okay, I think I am done. The wine is wearing off and I must be good. Must go put on make up and girl clothes, now. Yuck.

WELCOME: Instapundit readers, and thanks, Glenn, for the link. But I don’t think I need any more drinks; that one hit me pretty hard. And yeah, while we’re talking about it, yep, I still miss Bush. Please look around at the new First Things digs, folks…and please bear with us – we’re still hitting a few transitional bumps in the road. Thanks!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://spreadingolive.blogspot.com Elizabeth Anne

    Aww,see, I came over here all ready to fightcha, but instead I must only quibble over a small point. I’d still be “against” torture even to save five million, in the sense that I would think it was a grave evil. But I’m willing to concede that sometimes, a grave evil is necessary.

    What scares me is the ideological creep. I think very few people would object to the nuclear holocaust scenario. What scares me is that more and more people seem to be clamoring for more strenuous methods to save a far smaller number. And where does that sliding scale stop? Two thousand years ago, the Sanhedrin turned over a suspected terrorist, already responsible for a riot outside the temple in Jerusalem, for torture and execution because to not do so would be to risk Roman wrath against all of Israel. Look, now, how we view them.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender B. Rodriguez

    I have not fully formed my thoughts on torture, yet

    Part of the problem with making a moral judgment on torture is that “torture” is a vague, ambiguous, relativism term. Even if we were to limit it to the physical, is it torture to cause someone great pain and suffering? Well, that is what we do in our hospitals every day. We cut into people and chop their limbs off and inflict all sorts of horrors on them. Of course, such pain and suffering is inflicted on them in the present for the greater good of saving or improving their future lives.

    Is it merely the infliction of pain? Or is it the needless infliction of pain, or the undue infliction of pain? If the latter, that suggests that a needed and due infliction of pain would not be torture.

    Then you have the whole problem of trying to define torture in wartime. Can we really say that it is OK to sink an enemy’s boat, leading to the horrific drowning of the crew, is a legitimate act of war, but pouring water on that same enemy’s face without killing them is not OK and is torture? That it is OK to shoot them on the battlefield, but it is not OK to berate and coerce them in an interrogation room?

    Is the difference that one is still on the battlefield and hostilities are on-going, and the other has been captured and is now in custody, such that hostilities must cease under the rules of surrender?

    Then you have the added problem of needing to gain information in wartime in order to protect your own nation and nation’s people. If someone surrenders, so as to create that quid-pro-quo — I won’t fight and resist anymore so don’t kill me — is it not part of their obligation under that assertion of surrender to quit fighting, to quit resisting, including in the withholding of vital information about the enemy’s plans?

    Do not these terrorist detainees have an obligation and duty to voluntatily disclose this information? And does not their resistance and refusal to do so alter the rules of surrender, effectively putting them back on the battlefield, where a much harsher level of treatment is a legitimate act of war?

    I agree that the sadistic infliction of severe physical pain and suffering for no reason other than getting kicks out of such inhumane cruelty is always a great moral wrong.

    But is the use of tactics that are far less egregious than those legitimately allowable on the battlefield for purposes of gaining information about the enemy, is that morally wrong? Someone is going to have to make a very careful and point-by-point argument for that to be clearly and objectively the case.

  • jakewashere

    “Greatest Jazz Albums Of All Time” — and they put Ornette flippin’ Coleman on top over Coltrane, and Herbie Hancock’s not even in the top 40?

    Oh well. I do have to give them credit for putting Moondog on the list. Sax Pax is one of my recent favorite albums.

  • Bridey

    Well, Bender, you have (I am sure intentionally) raised a whole set of other questions. Such as, would captured Americans face this same hypothetical obligation to resist no further, extending to any information of which they may be in possession?

    Even if, quid pro quo, there is some level of obligation to the captor, is there not a higher obligation to refrain from endangering one’s uncaptured comrades — or one’s country? I am not one of the moral equivalency brigade — far, far from it — but someone captured by our soldiers might well see the matter in such a light.

    I haven’t worked out my own thinking on this terribly well, either, I must say. But there is a clear duty to protect the innocent. How far does it extend?

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  • pabarge

    Upsentment is not a word.

    [In my Irish world, "upsetment" is a word. - admin]

  • btsea

    I’m not a jazz expert, but I do like Herb Alpert, so how did they pick Whipped Cream instead of Going Places? I think they are judging a book by its cover!

    Also, why doesn’t Dixieland ever get the nod? Maybe it’s light-heartedness disturbs the solemn jazz demeanor? I nominate Al Hirt’s dixieland cd, That’s A Plenty. If you like dixieland, you’ll love this cd, guaranteed!

  • btsea

    Oops, one other thing…I’d also toss in Antonio Carlos Jobim and Gal Costa’s live cd, Rio Revisited. It has great live duet renditions by two masters of Brazilian jazz.

  • Iceworm

    This whole “torture” debate has a juvenile feel to it. As I approach geezerdom (I am 57), I remember the debate in the Church during the Reagen years about the use of nuclear weapons. Ignatius published a wonderful little book containing the ruminations of the American, German and French bishops on the matter.

    The Americans concentrated on the widespread and baleful effects of such weapons but concluded through gritted teeth that their use was, nonetheless, sometimes/maybe/possibly, justified.

    The French were characteristically French: pithy, blunt and unapologetic. Nukes were the great equalizer of modern nation-states and by God they were not about to give up theirs.

    The Germans were by far the best. They had obviously read Clausewitz and fully appreciated the historical, political and cultural contexts of the question. They recognized the great damage that such weapons could cause but they also recognized what was at stake. They concluded that the immense destruction caused by these things was commensurate with purpose for which they might be used: the preservation of a people. Perhaps a contributing factor to their analysis was that, at the time, the Soviet Union was still immensely strong, looking like it would last forever and literally next door.

    All this is lacking now. Not sure why. Too much Oprah? Too much prosperity and ease?

    The Catholic just war criteria are still a practical and accessible guide to thinking about how to morally use deadly force. So many are agahst that we would “torture” people for information. But the use of weapons which cause far more suffering and destruction among the innocent goes unremarked. I do not mean nukes. Even though we now use so many precison-guided munitions, the death toll among the innocent is not zero and it never will be.

    There seems to be an implicit assumption by many that “good people don’t do bad things”. Well! I vividly recall in my militarized youth being trained how to compute the burst altitude of a nuclear warhead so as to maximize the damage caused by it. God be praised, I never had to use such a disquieting skill. While defending my fellow citizens against tyrants and thugs, perhaps some of their dirt rubbed off on me. But, dirty job though it may be, someone has to do it and I am grateful for and supportive of those who are still willing to do it.

    Love your site, thanks for tending so well to what is obviously a labor of love.

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