Saturday, August 05, 2006

Why I Support Mel Gibson

Back on July 28, actor/director Mel Gibson said some truly awful things when he was stopped for driving under the influence. Gibson has since apologized, directly, fully, and humbly, for his words.

The question now, is what do we make of this? Some people have rejected Mel’s apology, even though it was far more humble than most we see these days. Other people want to pretend the incident never happened, even though the words used by Gibson were every bit as “reprehensible” as he himself admitted. And in either case, it’s impossible for us on the outside to really know which Mel Gibson is the real article? Well, I stand with Mel, and here’s why.

First off, while it is true that Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” was controversial, there is no evidence that Gibson meant the film as a slur against Jews. The Gospel accounts are all generally harsh in their judgment of the Sanhedrin and especially the High Priest Caiaphas, so any film which is faithful to a literal reading of those books would be controversial in that respect. I will not go further in discussing that film here, since I neither agree totally nor disagree completely with the film, and because I do not believe the film in any way demonstrates any hostility against Jews by Gibson. I am also aware of the many donations made by Gibson to Jewish charities and foundations, and the significant fact of Gibson’s close friendship with a number of observant Jews. From what I can tell, the evidence of Gibson’s actual work demonstrates that he is not a bigot.
If that is true, then, what do we make of Gibson’s rant? One can hardly say he was misquoted or simply phrased a thought in a bad way. But since I do not believe that rant represents Gibson’s true spirit, where did it come from?

To answer that, and to further explain why I support Gibson, I want to share something from my own life. My parents have always been good, God-fearing people who want to live in imitation of Christ. To love and forgive and be good to everyone To that end, my parents always instructed me to judge people by their character, never by just their appearance or superficial things like race or culture. Because of this, I have many friends from many cultures and backgrounds, and I consider myself much better-rounded and more fully developed as a person. And it happens that my wife is a different race than I am. And it is that fact which led to a great surprise.

When I announced to my parents that I had asked my girlfriend to marry me, I expected them to be surprised – after all, I was in my mid thirties and everyone had pretty much decided I would never marry. But I was stunned when my mother gave me a stony look, and my father sat me down and lectured me to consider whether I knew what I was getting into, if I insisted on marrying “one of those people”.

That was the closest I ever came to physically striking my own father. In time, however, he and my mom came to appreciate my wife better, and to show her respect. The funny thing is, my parents were not being hypocritical – they meant what they taught me about judging people by character only, but they had not prepared themselves for the cultural shock which came from a logical extension of those beliefs. In their generation, no one they knew married outside their race, and they simply never expected their son might not walk the expected path.

Mel’s dad, well, what I have read is not at all complimentary about the man, especially in the matter of Jews. I have no doubt that when he was growing up, Mel heard a lot of things which were just like what he said last Friday night, and somehow the liquor brought it out from Mel. Maybe it was something Mel used to believe but does not anymore. Maybe it was something he never believed, but heard so often the phrases were in his brain, ready to roll out at bad times. Or maybe part of Mel was brought up to believe that crap, and he’s been fighting that demon for a long time now.

I know this. Mel has done himself some very bad damage, and he knows that. His actions up to now are not those of an anti-Semite, and I for one found his apology contrite and honest. He wants to fight his alcoholism, and to make reparation for the hurt his words caused. A lot of famous people wouldn’t, and have not, done or said as much as Mel has.

Give him a chance.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Black Hand Returns – The Anarchist Aspect to Jihadism

One of the stranger things about debating the Global War on Terror, is having to sell some folks on the idea that defending our nation from terrorists is a good and necessary thing. In fact, there seem to be a lot of people on the Left, who are very bad at convincing folks they are as patriotic as the regular guy, since they insist on making excuses for some very bad people. Oddly enough, there is a long historical trail for groups like Hezbollah and the various Jihadist factions, one which has made clear their character and motive. And yet mainstream political parties support, even embrace, such monsters.

Back in the early years of the Twentieth Century, an international group existed which changed Terrorism into something very like what we know today, yet for many years the schools did not teach children about it. Most people are aware that World War One as it is commonly known, was set in motion through a series of causes and events, but the spark was the assassination on June 28 1914 of the Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand during a visit to Sarajevo. What is not commonly taught or remembered, is that Ferdinand was killed by a Serbian subsect of the Black Hand, for the specific intention of sparking a great war which would destabilize governments so that revolution could occur. The scary part is that this is exactly what happened. Russia fell, Germany was forever changed, France and England greatly weakened by the conflict. Even the United States radically changed its foreign policy and military doctrine because of what happened in Europe. In fact, the Black Hand also came to the United States and began a series of bombings and assassinations, including attacks on Federal Judges, a number of Senators and Supreme Court Justices, and notable business leaders. When a bomb in 1920 exploded on the very doorstep of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, he appointed a young graduate from the George Washington University Law School to head up a task force to deal with the crisis. Almost three hundred terrorists were arrested in the next three months by the group led by J. Edgar Hoover, who forever linked the anarchists with the Bolsheviks, who often carried letters or copies of speeches from the Soviet leader Lenin, who in his own turn may fairly be compared to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in both style and tactic. Like the anarchists of a century ago, today’s anarchists ardently believe that in order to have a chance to establish the sort of government they desire, they must first destabilize and bring down the existing order.

So then, why would Democrats support such monsters? It is clear that the anarchists in the United States, in so far as they vote or support a party, have chosen to support the Democrats. This, to be fair, was not true during the days of Bill Clinton, when the anarchists saw him as the force of order to be opposed, but since the Republicans have gained control of the White House and the Congress, they are especially hated by the extreme Left, who are quite willing to accept the apparently strong support. Basically, it seems that the Left makes a number of questionable assumptions:

1. They believe that the extremists are not going to be able to succeed, and therefore conclude that there will be no consequences to accepting their help.
2. They believe that they are close enough to win, so that even extremists are worth accepting in order to gain votes.
3. Democrats mistake noise for significance, so that they are willing to offend the larger portion of their voter base in order to pander to relatively small groups, which create a far greater image than they can support at the polls. Consider the disappointing effect of the DU crowd, for instance.
4. Extreme Liberals have convinced the national party that only extreme positions will catch the attention of the voting public in a meaningful way.

It should be noted as well, that the Democrats ands American Liberals are hardly the only people to have fallen for the trap of accepting anarchists into their number. The overwhelming majority of international protests against American actions in the Middle East have had connections to or influence by anarchist groups, and more than a few governments have thought they could play with the anarchists without getting burned. Certainly this is a factor in Jihadism – some of these groups are waiting for a chance to establish their idea of a perfect nation, and to do that they are determined to undermine public confidence in the existing regimes. This is why they target the innocent, why they look for soft targets with high visibility. It is why, when Al Qaeda struck on 9/11, that their first and primary target was the World Trade Center rather than a legitimate military target – they wanted to hurt innocents in the belief that this atrocity would weaken the government. It is obvious that the only hope for Al Qaeda in Iraq is to provoke a civil war, so they attack mosques and bomb shopping centers. Ultimately however, there can be no resolution in order through the use of anarchist forces. Look at Lebanon. Prior to 1970 Lebanon was a peaceful, stable nation, but after the anarchists brought about civil war, order was lost, and even though Syria was successful in taking control, it turns out they could not hold it – the chaos of the anarchists led only to more disorder and violence. The anarchists win by a simple fact – they do not care about winning, except that the forces of Order are undone. And even the Jihadists are finding out that you cannot play games with Chaos on your terms.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Justice Delayed, Sometimes Just Finds Another Door

Over at, writer “Oak Leaf” wrote about how the Bush White House is dealing with the absurd SCOTUS ruling that denied the use of military tribunals, for no reason beyond their demand that the President, in essence, get permission from Congress to do his job. Oak Leaf, a reserve Lt. Colonel with a tour in Afghanistan under his belt along with some significant experience and a better-than-average mind, linked to a draft of a resolution he found, which essentially hands President Bush back his authority to use military tribunals for terrorists apprehended and detained at places like Guantanamo.

The “Enemy Combatant Military Commissions Act of 2006”, as the bill is tentatively titled, properly observes historical and legal precedent for what is deemed the “Law of War”, and is consistent with all treaties and legislated obligations to which the United States is signatory. I should stop here and emphasize that the use of military tribunals is not only legal under the auspices of the much-vaunted yet commonly misunderstood Geneva Convention, but military courts are specified as the only acceptable kind (Article 84), and that death sentences are legal and legitimate if certain restrictions and conditions are observed (Articles 100, 102). The Congress, in this proposed Act, merely adds its consent to the administration of the President’s authority in wartime, which should not reasonably be required by this interloping court but since such is the case, this Act affirms that the President has the authority and the consent of the Congress.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The 2008 Republican Nomination for President

Tod Lindberg at The Washington Times wrote a piece with a look towards the 2008 Presidential election, specifically focusing on the possible Republican nominee. It’s a good article, and worth reading, but it strikes me as short-sighted, missing a few lessons from History. And so I find myself taking a shot at the crystal ball of party leader decision.

Lindberg looked basically at who is popular now, more than 2 years out from the election. That is not really an accurate look. While he quickly became the front-runner, George W. Bush did not announce his candidacy until 1999. And does the name Paul Tsongas ring a bell? After G.H.W. Bush hit 90%+ approval ratings after the first Gulf war, only Tsongas declared he would run against him. Bill Clinton did not join the race until October of 1991. In fact, many successful campaigners come into the fray late, and for good reason; a campaign is expensive and a long exposure gives opponents, both in your own and in the other party, a long time to dig up anything about you they can attack. So, to be blunt, anyone who is a front-runner right now probably won’t be around when the real race begins.

Here’s my take on Lindberg’s pack:

John McCain has no chance to become President of the United States. None. First off, anyone experienced in election politics knows that Senators do not do well in Presidential contests, especially when running against non-Senators. Kerry, Dole, Dukakis, Mondale, and so on all broadcast the same message in the way they act and speak, and it shows up in the voting. And McCain has already blown out in primaries before, and not just because he was running against Dubya. But there’s more. Any national contest means you need connections and alliances. That’s another reason why newbies do well in their POTUS run, because they haven’t burned their bridges yet. McCain has put knives in the backs of lots of people, and so he won’t get their help when he needs it. McCain can win in the East and in Arizona, but he’s far too divisive to build the kind of momentum he needs to hope for the party nod.

Rudy? Hey, I love Giuliani, even if he is pro-Choice and a N’Yawker. But like McCain, he’s been on the shelf long enough to make lots of friends, but also shove a few folks away. Yes, he can win New York, but probably does not have the staying power for a long campaign on the national scale. Call him a ‘maybe’, but not my idea of a front-runner. Too many questions on how he’d handle Foreign Policy, Taxes, Immigration, the things we already know will be on a lot of voters minds in 2008.

What about Romney? It’s wrong to think that folks are all that worried about a Mormon becoming President – I don’t see that it will matter if he can get past his real anchor – he’s from Massachusetts, but is a Republican. He’s everything the Democrats hate, so he may not even carry his home state, normally the kiss of death for a national contender, and Republicans are not all that excited by Romney, mostly because he has not been around the ‘Red Meat’ Republicans that usually do well in elections. I’d lock Romney in a room with a bunch of Reagan speeches, along with the ones which Dubs did well. I’d even throw in a few of the G.H.W. Bush speeches from his 1980 and 1988 campaigns – if “Poppy” Bush can sound manly by studying ‘Red Meat’ speechifying, then Romney could do well to learn it. As it is, he stands out kind of like Kerry at a NASCAR event. And it just makes sense to be as un-Kerry-like as possible.

So, if it’s not the present gaggle of wannabe’s, who will get the GOP nod? I can’t say for sure right now, since it comes down to three keys, but I can tell you what those keys are and where to look for them:

[] Talk the Talk. I just noted that there’s a ‘Core Republican’ way of making speeches and explaining your policies. The Democrats never figured it out, and a lot of Republicans are clueless, too. It showed up in Reagan’s ‘Shining City on a Hill’ speech, and again when Bush extemporized on the rubble at Ground Zero. It’s when a Republican shows real emotion, the kind of ideal shining through that most of us want in a leader, with a zeal for Justice and a love of America that is a lot deeper than the veneer politicos usually paint on for show. It’s what we all are, only more so. Make bold promises, and dare to cheer for the Right.

[] Be national. The race to the White House means claiming at least 270 Electoral Votes. Polarized or regional candidates won’t make it in the marathon of the Primaries, and as Howard “Scream” Dean found out, a loud name and a big warchest can’t overcome fundamental flaws. The ideal candidate will either be a Governor, preferably from the South or West, or the candidate will be someone widely respected at the national level.

[] Act Like You Already Are The President. You’d be amazed how often perception is framed by the image most often projected by the candidate. A small ego in the package of a clearly confident competitor is a big plus.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More Proof That The U.S. Has One Political Party And One Political Street Gang

John Hawkins asked right-wing bloggers to name the twelve people “on the right” that we found the most annoying. The main thing which struck me was that Conservatives are honest enough to admit that not all Conservatives are good people, and not all Republicans are good Conservatives, and not everyone who has the right opinion expresses it in the best way.

Take Michael Savage, for instance. Strictly speaking, I agree with many of his political views, but he expresses his opinion in a very poor way, regularly insulting people with no provocation or reason – I lost all respect for him when he remarked once that he felt no sympathy for the family of the Princess Diana, because – in his words – she was ‘planning to marry a raghead’. The man is a classless boor who does far more harm than good with his style.

On the political scene, my list also included John McCain. McCain is a tough call in some ways – he sometimes makes stands for noble causes, and as a former combat veteran and P.O.W., he has earned the credibility few others can claim when speaking about war. That said, McCain has often also proved himself an opportunist and a back-stabber, whose word cannot be trusted for a moment. He strikes me very much like a Republican Clinton, and therefore must never be trusted with the office of President of the United States.

I also included Michelle Malkin on my list. That was a tragic turn; Malkin used to be one of the most insightful and rational writers for the Conservative point of view, but that all changed with the Immigration debate. Malkin fell into the practice of unfairly twisting the President’s words just so she could use him as a rhetorical punching bag, and blame him – a la Al Franken – for things she knew full well he either had not caused, never said, or simply had no control over. She slipped, as some other notables on the Right have done, over the edge of rational debate and considered opinion into bitter rancor and feuding. Her own words may now be used in testament against her, all because she chose a poor method in a bitter mood.

Doubtless, some or even many Conservatives may read my submissions here and take issue with them. Savage, McCain, Malkin, and many others who made the list presented by Hawkins have their fans and supporters. And that, too, is my point. There is no monolithic “Conservative” view; we are as varied as the sixty-two million voters who re-elected President Bush, and more to come as the new generation of voters wake up not only to the lies of Liberal politicians, but to the fact that the Democrats are bankrupt at the Bank of Ideas. Every proposal from the Donks in the past quarter-century has been nothing but copied from an old Donk playbook. You know why the Donks always try to compare the War in Iraq to Vietnam? Because for the Donks, that’s the last war that they understood. Maybe it was a bad reaction to the first run of “Miami Vice”, but the Donks lost it and just never got moving forward again.

Anyway, this poll proves it once again. Sure, there are plenty of Liberal sites and columns which are quick to name the various Conservatives they despise, and God help the Donk who steps out of line as decreed from the DNC – funny, actually, it sure looks like it’s the Left which acts like robots and whacks their own if they show an independent mind – just look at the grief Joe Lieberman is getting for actually holding an opinion that did not get approved by a Clinton or a Moore. I cannot think of a single Democrat forum where vicious attacks by Liberals which cost the Left more of its dwindling credibility, is criticized for its incivility and poor strategy. I cannot recall ever reading a piece where Liberals warn their extremists to use evidence instead of insults to persuade the nation. As long as our side is willing to be honest and criticize our own, we will stay healthy and become stronger. The Democrats/Liberals are more and more becoming like the Crips, dangerous but stupid.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Cowards In Character: The NYT and Hezbollah

The New York Times, never able these days to sort Good from Evil with any consistent accuracy, reverted to form again in their latest opinion piece.

Writing for the Times, author Noah Feldman falsely insulted the elected government of Israel, the victims of more than a thousand cross-border missile attacks by Hezbollah, and – of course – the Bush Administration in a gross misrepresentation of the current climate in the Middle East, and the courses taken to address it.

Sniffs Feldman: “Destabilizing the old order really has changed the rules of the game. We are now witnessing the most serious regional test so far to the wisdom of starting down this uncertain path.”

The old order”, as Mr. Feldman so fondly labels it, was one of dictators and torture prisons – not ‘torture’ as the NYT calls it, where a few people break the law and humiliate prisoners through ridicule, but REAL torture, where limbs are sawn off and prisoners murdered. The “old order” continues in Iran and Syria, where teenagers are murdered for things which are not even misdemeanors in the West (courtesy – BBC), and writers are arrested for discussing social problems in their nation (courtesy Al-Jazeera). In generations past, the public would furiously demand to know why we waited to respond, but Feldman thinks responding at all to evil is an “uncertain path”.

Like so many Liberals today, Feldman is unable to recognize, much less state, the obvious. He claims that “The most important new feature of the present situation is the strange hybrid character shared by Hamas and Hezbollah: both are simultaneously militias and democratically elected political parties participating in government”, but fails completely to mention that both of these so-called “militias” have long histories of kidnapping of civilians, torture, terrorist atrocities and murders. It would appear that the combination of, say, ‘U.S. Marines’, ‘Beirut’, ‘1983’ would ring no bells for this guy. Certainly he goes well out of his way to imply a moral equivalency between the government of Israel defending itself against unprovoked missile attack, and a non-government organization which has seized a nation’s territory for the express purpose of attacking Israel.

Feldman stupidly thinks that the legitimate government of Iraq should be compared to the junta style in Lebanon, claiming that “The model of Islamist organizations that combine electoral politics with paramilitary tactics is fast becoming the calling card of the new wave of Arab democratization.” I rather doubt that the millions of Iraqis and Afghans who participated in free elections, at great personal risk from terrorists still operating in their countries, felt that they were electing a pseudo-republic which planned to rule by coercion and threat, as is the practice with Hezbollah. I further doubt that any objective review of the official government policies in Baghdad, Kabul, or even Riyadh or Amman would reveal much similarity to the deranged venom coming from Hezbollah or its sponsors, the mullahs in Teheran.

Feldman sneers at pretty much everyone in the region, when he claims that the recent election of Hamas and Hezbollah to political position “calls into question the viability of Middle Eastern democracy as a peaceful practice”. I have already noted the clear chasm between the practices both of the new governments and many current administrations, against the vicious predatory pattern of terrorist groups.

Having crossed the line from accidental misstatement to deliberate lie, Feldman plunges on, claiming “Israel has targeted not only Hezbollah leaders and strongholds but has also bombed infrastructure that sustains daily life for everybody in Lebanon.” If that claim were true, Israel would have been poor in its targeting, as major roads, hospitals, water and power supplies, and civil government buildings have been left untouched. Only Hezbollah facilities and sites from which weapons have been launched have been attacked. Feldman in that statement is out and out lying, and he knows it.

Having plunged into clearly partisan propaganda and deliberate deceit, Feldman tries to counter the obvious problem that Israel was the victim from the start, rather than the provocateur. Feldman writes, “Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000 and from Gaza last year on the theory that disengagement would lead to fewer attacks on it, not more. Right-wing Israelis argued that withdrawal rewarded Islamist violence and that rockets would soon be fired into Israel from the very areas being vacated. Now those critics claim to have been vindicated”. Since Israel withdrew as part of an agreement which was promised to protect Israeli lives, and since Hezbollah did exactly what the conservatives in Israel warned they would do, to claim they were anything but right is impossible. Further, Feldman once again ducks Hezbollah’s responsibility for the crisis, since the terrorists not only held territory they had promised to give up, and did not withdraw their armed forces but instead obtained more and heavier arms and immediately used them in regular attacks on known innocents and civilians in Israel, anyone noting the chronology of the past half-decade would not only understand Israel’s need to finally oppose Hezbollah at the source, but would be amazed at the long forbearance by Israel while it waited for the other side to keep its many promises, or at least for the U.N. to keep maybe a few of its own “solemn” assurances.

I had to laugh when I read Feldman’s claim that “In the past, crises involving Israel were addressed by dealing with the regional Arab powers, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, all of which exerted influence of different kinds on the actors.” Given that most Arab powers have officially established a doctrine demanding the destruction of Israel, and almost none have rescinded such policies, and given the many wars begun by Arabs specifically against Israel, and given the many targeted attacks on shopping malls, busses, schools, and other innocents, to pretend that the Arab position is at all honorable is disingenuous at best.

Feldman, notes the squib at the end, is a law professor. His words confirm he is not very good at comprehending History, especially the Military sort. And the New York Times, as always, cannot stand with America or her allies, when there is a chance to attack her instead.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

No Room For Anyone Else

I was reading The Anchoress on Friday, and came across a part where she said she had been begged to “fisk this woman”, the woman in question being one Helen Kirwan-Taylor.

Ms. Kirwan-Taylor, or “Ms. ME-ME-ME” as I am inclined to think of her, wrote a column which basically amounts to suburban dreck – a mild complaint about how she finds her two sons too boring to merit her time and attention, if she can find a way to slough them off on someone else. Ms. ME-ME-ME goes so far as to claim that her column “argues provocatively that modern women must not be enslaved by their children.” Granted, there are some children who are so whiny and selfish that if their parents are not careful to lay down the law, they might indeed find themselves controlled by their children, but as the reader makes his way through the column, we find that Ms. ME-ME-ME is the one who finds selfishness the ideal way of life. Indeed, I could almost agree that Ms. ME-ME-ME should not be allowed contact with her sons, as her sort of personality seems the poisonous sort which could damage their future outlook and sense of responsibility. It was difficult to take the column seriously, but because such people exist, it needs a look from the broader perspective.

Ms. ME-ME-ME starts her litany of self-pity by explaining how she lied to get out of attending parties with her sons. Ms. ME-ME-ME reports that she sent off the nanny with the boys, who then “almost always returned complaining that my son had been singled out for pitiful stares by the other mothers.” Ms. ME-ME-ME protests that she loves her children “as much as any other mother”, but that lie is proven out by the sentence immediately before it, where Ms. ME-ME-ME admits she found shopping and personal gratification much higher on her list of priorities than spending time with her sons, even at signal life events.

Ms. ME-ME-ME also had little interest in sharing experiences and insights with the other mothers in her neighborhood, deriding such discussions as “mind-numbing”. Since Ms. ME-ME-ME confesses that she found “the thought of spending time” with her own children “more stressful than any journalistic assignment”, it appears that she could have done with paying attention to how the competent and loving mothers managed to get things done. Instead of ‘mind-numbing’, comprehending her duties and opportunities as a mother seems to have been rather at an intellectual level beyond the comprehension of MS. ME-ME-ME.

Ms. ME-ME-ME asks the reader: “Kids are supposed to be fulfilling, life-changing, life-enhancing fun: why was my attitude towards them so different?” She won’t like the answer – it’s because Ms. ME-ME-ME is a self-obsessed narcissist, with no room for anyone whose priority is not to satisfy her every whim.

Sniffs Ms. ME-ME-ME: “To admit that you, a mother of the new millennium, don't find your offspring thoroughly fascinating and enjoyable at all times is a state of affairs very few women are prepared to admit. We feel ashamed, and unfit to be mothers.” That, madam, is because you are very much unfit to claim the title of ‘Mother’ as it is properly meant, and your arrogance - claiming that all women must be like you to some degree because you are unwilling to admit the sheer selfishness in choosing to have children which you then treat with less attention than your furniture, and the callous character which you are exhibiting towards their growth, education, and experience is abhorrent on its face.

She does not sit with them while they do homework, or share trips to a cricket match, or even holidays when families – real ones, anyway – look forward to spending time together and sharing what they have learned.

Am I a lazy, superficial person?” asks Ms. ME-ME-ME. Absolutely, you are, and worse you know it but are trying, even now, to make excuses instead of trying to be a better Mother.

I can't remember most of the teachers' names” admits Ms. ME-ME-ME. How long, I wonder, before you start forgetting your sons’ names? You’re certainly on the road to that place.

Ms. ME-ME-ME, I have to warn you that when you are a dried-up, miserable old prune who – at long last – finally realizes that a business career is little more than spending time and energy making money for someone and working hard to only transient accomplishments, and that nothing in this world matters more than the people you love and who love you, you will finally come to realize what you threw away, but it will be too late. Every mother and father – the real ones – put their heart and soul into raising their children with the absolute best of their devotion and care. Yes, it’s boring sometimes and annoying at times, and it means going without many of the luxuries and personal entertainments. Yes it means you have to work through tantrums and diapers and teaching the child to behave and it means doing better than going through the motions to help them learn responsibility. And it never ends, even if you do a perfect job, which no parent manages. But the secret is, a real Mom or Dad gets back just as much as they put in. My own little girl is the smartest in her class, in large part because I work with her every day on her math, reading, and behavior. She is loved by pretty much everybody, because my wife works hard to keep her hair just so, and her clothes neat and clean, and together we teach her how a princess behaves, as much by example as we are able. You may think that such a child will be a narcissist, but you could not be more wrong. Imitation parents like you make children narcissists, because children learn from their parents and often become like them. So in a surprisingly short while, you may expect your sons to give you all the space and time you want, because following your lead they will be obsessed with their own pleasures and wants, and you will never see them. Even when it becomes the dearest hope you hold. I am old enough to have seen it many times, and you are lying to yourself to pretend that ignoring your children will ever lead to a good end, or that the parents who spend so much time and attention helping their children grow up loved and responsible are not the ones who win the most in the end. You are a cold, selfish monster, Ms. Kirwan-Taylor, and all your lies and excuses cannot change that fact.

The broader perspective I mentioned, is the uncomfortable question: Just how many other parents are like Ms. ME-ME-ME? I have long observed that while many parents are genuinely committed to doing the very best for their children, others are clearly only interested in their children in ways which suit their mood. Not to say abuse, but a clear disinterest in paying attention to their child's interests unless it happens to match their own. It seems very strange to me, that people could have children and not see the treasure God has granted them, but there it is. The truly scary part about Ms. ME-ME-ME, is that she really does speak for a segment of the parent population.

God save the children.