Some people are determined to be unhappy and will be unhappy no matter how much wealth, power, social status, and privilege they have. Unfortunately, such people resent happiness in others and do what they can to make others miserable. These people are known as progressives. In a little over a year, the experiment with cosmopolitanism will be over. Those of you who voted for it should be ashamed of yourselves.
Alec MacGillis wonders, Why would anyone dependent on public assistance vote against his or her “own interests” by voting Republican? Let me help: Perhaps these people on public assistance are not as venal as Democrats may think. Perhaps they see their “interests” as self-reliance and personal success rather than government dependency.
JOHN W. HOWARD
Note from KBJ: I have never voted for someone because I thought doing so would benefit me specifically, as opposed to Americans generally. If you wonder why the poor vote Republican, you are making two mistakes. First, you are assuming that people do, or should, vote out of self-interest. Second, you are understanding self-interest in material terms. Is it in a poor person's long-term self-interest to be given things? (That's a rhetorical question, for those of you in the brain-dead progressive camp.) Jesus had it right long ago: If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach him to fish, he eats for a lifetime. The aim of government is to make people self-reliant, self-sufficient, and responsible. If you reward inactivity, you get more of it.
In 1979, as a Boy Scout at the International Jamboree in Sweden, I saw something truly amazing: girls! Camping, hiking, trudging through the mud as equals alongside the boys.
For decades, scouts have been fully integrated in countries all around the world. The Boy Scouts of America is a fine organization, but on this and many other issues, it struggles to adjust to the last century of progress in the world.
Let’s hope that the girls are coming, and let’s tell the boys to “be prepared”!
Note from KBJ: And we all know how normal Sweden is.
Cowboy Songs (1990). I just learned this song on my acoustic guitar. There are many renditions of "Home on the Range." I chose this one because it's in the key of G and has three verses and three choruses. It's also a bit sad.
George H.W. Bush, Jon Meacham reports in “Destiny and Power” (Nov. 15), was distressed, as a veteran of World War II, to lose the presidency to a man he considered a “draft dodger.” Jim Kelly, the reviewer, notes that Meacham “is too polite” to say that this observation “would dog Bush’s own son.”
Kelly does not mention that 12 years later, that son won an election in part by impugning the war record of John Kerry, who—unlike him—served in Vietnam.
I wonder if Bush Sr. had any qualms about that tactic, and whether Meacham was too polite to ask.
Note from KBJ: I don't recall George W. Bush saying a single word about John Kerry's "war record." Is your Bush hatred getting the better of you, Leon?
It's been raining in these parts for two days, with several more days of rain to come. It's also cold and windy. Undaunted, I set out on my bike for a 34-mile ride. As you can see in the above picture (click to enlarge), the first bridge was inundated. I went back to the road and got through by a different route. Unfortunately, River Legacy Park was so flooded that I couldn't get in, so I turned around and rode home. I ended up with 17 miles instead of 34. Conditions were miserable. The wind chill was 34º when I left my house and 33º when I returned. There was a northwest wind of 16 miles per hour when I left and 15 when I returned. Add to that the fact that I was soaked from the waist down for most of the ride. My teeth were starting to chatter when I arrived home, which means hypothermia was imminent. I'll try again Monday. I'm still on track for my second-best mileage year ever.
Addendum: I've never seen water this high. Not even close.