Another controversial person: Sarah Palin. Why’d she quit?

John Fund, who writes the Political Diary for the Wall Street Journal online, writes that people misunderstand when they think that Sarah Palin’s decision to leave her role as governor of Alaska was a recent one. He contends that the people who hated her and what she stands for turned her job into a quagmire. In driving her from office they made it clear that she was not one of them:

She made many mistakes after being thrust into the national spotlight last year, but hasn’t merited the sneering contempt visited upon her by national reporters. She simply was not their kind of feminist — and they disdained the politically incorrect life choices she had made.

What kind of “sneering contempt,” you say? The kind that David Kahane writes about in National Review Online:

Did Sarah stand for “family values”? Flay her unwed-mother daughter. Did she represent probity in a notoriously corrupt, one-family state? Spread rumors about FBI investigations. Did she speak with an upper-Midwest twang? Mock it relentlessly on Saturday Night Live. Above all, don’t let her motivate the half of the country that doesn’t want His Serene Highness to bankrupt the nation, align with banana-republic Communist dictators, unilaterally dismantle our missile defenses, and set foot in more mosques than churches since he has become president. We’ve got a suicide cult to run here.

And that’s why Sarah had to go. Whether she understood it or not, she threatened us right down to our most fundamental, meretricious, elitist, sneering, snobbish, insecure, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders bones. She was, after all, a “normal” American, the kind of person (or so I’m told) you meet in flyover country. The kind that worries first about home and hearth and believes in things like motherhood and love of country the way it is, not the way she wants to remake it.

So, Fund writes, because she was so controversially “normal,” her critics relentlessly attacked her and paralyzed her in her role as Alaska governor. But the message they sent is not a good one, he says:

In helping to convince Sarah Palin that her road forward in national politics would demand even more sacrifices and pain than exacted from most politicians, the media did nothing to encourage women or people of modest means to participate in politics. By sidestepping her critics, Sarah Palin is now moving to another playing field where she has more control over the rules of the game. Her friends say her critics may call her a “quitter” now, but they should wait and see what new role she decides to fill. She may wind up having the last laugh.

The British decide: The rules for English have changed

While the world holds it breath waiting to see what happens in Iran following its elections, a revolution has taken place in Britain. From The Associated Press:

It’s a spelling mantra that generations of schoolchildren have learned — “i before e, except after c.”

But new British government guidance tells teachers not to pass on the rule to students, because there are too many exceptions.

The “Support For Spelling” document, which is being sent to thousands of primary schools, says the rule “is not worth teaching” because it doesn’t account for words like ‘sufficient,’ ‘veil’ and ‘their.’

Jack Bovill of the Spelling Society, which advocates simplified spelling, said Saturday he agreed with the decision.

But supporters say the ditty has value because it is one of the few language rules that most people remember.

New iPhones: Apple wants you to stimulate the economy

A little silver lining on the dark economy cloud as reported by the Associated Press:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple Inc. slashed the entry price for an iPhone in half and rolled out new laptops for $300 less than previous models Monday, the company’s first dramatic price cuts since the recession began a year and a half ago.

Apple unveiled two new models of the iPhone – the 3G S – that will sport a faster processor and sought-after features like an internal compass, a video camera and an improved photo camera. A 16-gigabyte version of the 3G S will cost $199 and a 32-gigabyte model will be $299. The 8-gigabyte iPhone 3G, which came out last year, will be cut to $99 from $199.

All those people who dished out $599 two years ago for lesser phones will be really glad to hear this news. Or not.

Let’s not forget the sacrifices of D-Day

From the U.S. Army‘s Web site dedicated to this historic day:

June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high -more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded — but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.

The death of George Tiller is a tragedy

Abortionist George Tiller was shot and killed Sunday while at church. From the story by the Associated Press:

 

Prominent late-term abortion provider George Tiller was shot and killed Sunday in a Wichita church where he was serving as an usher, his attorney said. The gunman fled but a city official said a suspect is in custody.
The city official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. The official did not provide additional details.
Long a focus of national anti-abortion groups, including a summer-long protest in 1991, Tiller was shot during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church while his wife was in the choir, his attorney Dan Monnat said. Police said the gunman had fled in a car registered in Merriam, a Kansas City suburb nearly 200 miles away.
Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic is one of just three in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy.

Prominent late-term abortion provider George Tiller was shot and killed Sunday in a Wichita church where he was serving as an usher, his attorney said. The gunman fled but a city official said a suspect is in custody.

The city official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. The official did not provide additional details.

Long a focus of national anti-abortion groups, including a summer-long protest in 1991, Tiller was shot during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church while his wife was in the choir, his attorney Dan Monnat said. Police said the gunman had fled in a car registered in Merriam, a Kansas City suburb nearly 200 miles away.

Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic is one of just three in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy.

This is a tragedy, plain and simple. George Tiller did not live a life that glorified God. Like the countless babies he saw in his work, his life was ended abruptly but, unlike them, he will be held accountable before God. Hopefully, there was some realization of that in whatever time he had before he died and he repented before God. For the person who did this, they did not honor God with their actions. Robert P. George, who holds strong pro-life views and teaches law at Princeton University, speaks well when he talks about Sunday’s events:

Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing.  The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands.  No private individual had the right to execute judgment against him.  We are a nation of laws.  Lawless violence breeds only more lawless violence.  Rightly or wrongly, George Tilller was acquitted by a jury of his peers.  “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.” For the sake of justice and right, the perpetrator of this evil deed must be prosecuted, convicted, and punished.  By word and deed, let us teach that violence against abortionists is not the answer to the violence of abortion.  Every human life is precious.  George Tiller’s life was precious.  We do not teach the wrongness of taking human life by wrongfully taking a human life.  Let our “weapons” in the fight to defend the lives of abortion’s tiny victims, be chaste weapons of the spirit.

Iran blocks access to Facebook in run-up to June elections

Put this in the keeping-up-with-the-times category. Repressed countries like Iran can’t let technology get away from them. By all means, let’s “dialogue.” From the BBC America:

 

Facebook
Facebook says it is investigating reports of the ban

Iran’s government has blocked access to social networking site Facebook ahead of June’s presidential elections, according to Iran’s ILNA news agency.

ILNA suggested the move was aimed at stopping supporters of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi from using the site for his campaign.

Facebook, which claims to have 175m users worldwide, expressed its disappointment over the reported ban.

So far there has been no comment from the authorities in Tehran.

‘Access not possible’

“Access to the Facebook site was prohibited several days ahead of the presidential elections,” ILNA reported.

 

Mousavi registers at the interior ministry in Tehran
Mr Mousavi was Iran’s prime minister when the post was abolished in 1989

It said that “according to certain Internet surfers, the site was banned because supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi were using Facebook to better disseminate the candidate’s positions”.

CNN staff in Tehran reported that people attempting to visit the site received a message in Farsi that said: “Access to this site is not possible.”

Facebook expressed disappointment that its site was apparently blocked in Iran “at a time when voters are turning to the Internet as a source of information about election candidates and their positions”.

Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister, is seen as one of the leading challengers to incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 12 June elections.

His page on Facebook has more than 5,000 supporters.

 

The campaign to bring change to national security

From Jim Geraghty, at NRO, on President Obama’s campaign speech on national security Thursday:

Obama mentioned the conviction of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, but did not mention his sentence. Upon hearing that an admitted al-Qaeda sleeper-cell member who studied chemical weapons is free to leave prison in 9 to 15 years, this “try them all if we can” may not sound so reassuring to the American people.

Beyond that, there was this glaring contradiction in Obama’s speech. He lamented the past decisions — even half-sneering that the previous administration had left “a mess” — but then said that when all the reviews were finished, there would be some prisoners who could not be tried, who could not be shipped to another country, and who could never be released. And they . . . will be detained indefinitely, he admitted.  So it is okay to hold some people for the rest of their lives without trial, but only if the president has determined that they are a serious threat to U.S. national security. Thank goodness this administration’s approach is so different from Bush’s!

The Kindle DX is here. Can it save newspapers?

kindledxAmazon today announced the new 9.7-inch Kindle DX, along with deals from textbook and newspaper publishers. The new e-reader is priced at $489 and will be shipped this summer.

What’s the big deal? According to MacRumors:

The Kindle DX, now available for pre-order at a price of $489 for shipment this summer, contains a 9.7″ screen and is being positioned as a device for reading documents such as newspapers, textbooks, and research journal articles whose formats have not worked ideally with the smaller 6″ screen of the current Kindle 2 model.
The Kindle DX features a built-in accelerometer that allows for auto-rotation of content between portrait and landscape orientations, and increased storage over the Kindle 2 of 3.3 GB, which provides space for up to 3,500 books periodicals, and documents. Like the Kindle 2, which will remain available at its current price of $359, the Kindle DX offers free 3G access through Sprint’s network to allow downloading of content on the go. Native PDF support is also included.
The Boston Globe, The New York Times and The Washington Post are all planning to offer long-term subscriptions for Kindle newspaper editions at discounted prices.

The Kindle DX is being positioned as a device for reading documents such as newspapers, textbooks, and research journal articles whose formats have not worked ideally with the smaller 6″ screen of the current Kindle 2 model.

The Kindle DX features a built-in accelerometer that allows for auto-rotation of content between portrait and landscape orientations, and increased storage over the Kindle 2 of 3.3 GB, which provides space for up to 3,500 books periodicals, and documents. Like the Kindle 2, which will remain available at its current price of $359, the Kindle DX offers free 3G access through Sprint’s network to allow downloading of content on the go. Native PDF support is also included.

The Boston Globe, The New York Times and The Washington Post are all planning to offer long-term subscriptions for Kindle newspaper editions at discounted prices.