The Long View 2006-10-13: Eurasia Spotting; Zombie Watch; Looking for Character

Just today, David French wrote a piece for the Atlantic, "America Soured on My Multiracial Family", in an odd coincidence with John Reilly's ponderings from 2006 about Madonna and other celebrities adopting African children. Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie also come to mind. French is hurt and puzzled by those who attack him on grounds of virtue-signaling, but given the popularity of international adoption amongst celebrities in the the 1990s and 2000s, I don't know why he's surprised.

To be fair to French, his motives appear to be nothing of the sort, but I don't think he should act surprised. Hurt and offended. Righteous anger even, but not surprised.

Eurasia Spotting; Zombie Watch; Looking for Character

Does anyone but me really care about Eurasianism? I wonder. At least The Jamestown Foundation produces a security-related journal about Eurasia:

Eurasia Daily Monitor

There is more to the matter than the former Soviet space, as readers of this site know.

* * *

The Golden Age of tabloid headlines has passed, but even in these degenerate days, the The New York Post can still rouse itself from its laurels to write this coverage of Madonna's recent adoption of an African child:


Days ago, she lined up 12 African boys - tots hand-selected for her perusal. She picked out a 1-year-old, David, to take home in her luggage. ... Well guess what? The boy selected in this freakish slave auction is no AIDS orphan. He's got a biological father, plus a granny - but was placed in an orphanage after his mother died. His family loves him. They just can't afford him.

Madonna has never done me an injury that I know of, but I am at a loss to understand this fashion among celebrities for adopting multi-ethnic families. Do their publicists recommend it?

* * *

Be Good All The Time is perhaps the lesson we should draw from this report from Chicago:

Security and terrorism won't be an issue if Chicago wins the right to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games because, by that time, there'll be a surveillance camera on every corner, Mayor Daley said Wednesday.

There are neighborhoods of my own city that are approaching this condition. We are reminded of this often, because videotape of particularly outrageous crimes committed in public will appear on the evening news. I always ask myself when I see these videos: was no one watching the monitor when the attacks occurred? No one ever intervenes to stop the crime.

Again, if we are going to have cameras everywhere, we should have the output available to the public as Internet webcams. That way we can decide for ourselves whether the gangs of zombie marauders have retreated far enough for us to venture out to our bookclub meetings.

I don't actually belong to a bookclub, by the way, but I did see the premier episode of the new season of Lost.

* * *

I have made enough predictions about the upcoming midterm Congressional elections that I am starting to contradict myself. Still, I would endorse what Mark Steyn says in this interview with Hugh Hewitt:

MS: I think the Republicans will do a lot better than these ludicrous predictions of massive losses. I think Mark Foley is over already...the intention of this is to kind of label the Republicans as a kind of decadent, gay toga party, so that the religious right all stay home on election day... anyone who knows most evangelical Christians, knows they are not as dumb as cynical but ignorant Democrats in New York and Boston and Los Angeles think they are.

I would extend this point to Iraq: that country will seem to be doing much better once the barrage of pre-election propaganda is over. Some of the propaganda is true, of course, but the timing of its release creates a sense of crisis that does not reflect events on the ground.

In any case, Steyn is certainly correct that the Foley affair is unusually fatuous, but the gold standard for fatuous domestic politics in the face of grave foreign threats was set by the Republicans in the 1990s. Steyn himself unwittingly alludes to this fact when he derides Bill Clinton:

Richard Clarke's book. Read Richard Clarke's book. Read Richard Clarke's book. Well, if you take Bill Clinton at his word, and you read Richard Clarke's book, this guy explains that every time Richard Clarke came up with a great idea for how to get bin Laden, how to do something about the jihad, how to deal with the terrorist camps in Afghanistan, Bill Clinton would never go along with it, because he felt that with his particular problems, with the draft dodging issue, with all the rest of it, that he couldn't plausibly order American troops into action on any difficult mission. In other words, character tells. Character tells. If you elect people in the full knowledge that they have significant character flaws, and those character flaws have certain implications for policy areas. Don't be surprised, then, that it comes back to haunt you.

Yes, character does come back to haunt you: institutional character as well as the character of individuals. The national Republican Party is of such a character that it actually impeached a president, because of nothing in particular, while war raged in the Balkans and the approaching detonations of the jihad were getting louder and louder. Perhaps a man of sterner stuff than Bill Clinton would have responded better to these problems, but it is the measure of the Republicans that they saw in his weakness nothing but an opportunity.

Again: it would better if the Democrats do not take control of both Houses of Congress, but the current generation of kickback-and-chaos Republican leadership does not deserve a future.

* * *

If zombies do not worry you this Halloween season, you might want to attend services here.

Holy Rosary Church
Downtown Jersey City
344 Sixth Street

I really need to learn Flash.

Copyright © 2006 by John J. Reilly

Why post old articles?

Who was John J. Reilly?

All of John's posts here

An archive of John's site