Friday, April 14, 2006

The Friday Furo Questus

Questus Furore - The Persian Problem
It's official, Iran now has its uranium. Now the crisis truly begins. While diplomacy will be tried again and again and again, I hold out little hope for its success. Either Iran will get nukes, or we will go to war. Either option is bad.

Appeasement never works. But we never seem to learn.

Questus Furore - Does Anyone Remember Chivalry?
Tonight (early tomorrow morning, actually) marks the anniversary of the loss of the RMS Titanic. This week, I came across an interesting article by Carrie Lukas.
When the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, the answer was obvious: women and children had first priority. Why was this? Certainly, the male passengers could have over-powered most of the women and saved their own lives. What kept them from doing so?

Chivalry. The idea that part of being a man (and certainly part of being a gentleman) is to sacrifice willingly to protect those who are more vulnerable. Of course, all those aboard the Titanic were equally vulnerable to the near freezing water. The men who gave their seats in the lifeboats gave their lives. Out of all of the Titanic's passengers, 74 percent of women lived while 80 percent of the men died.
Of course, a few did try to sneak onto the lifeboats. But here is the difference between then and today - those who did slink away were scandalized, and led a life of shame.

Now, a tearful apology cleanses away all sin, whether the penitant means his confession or not.

So, I have a suggestion, for all us men out there. Tonight, go out under the stars. Think back to a cold North Atlantic night ninety-four years ago. Then ask yourself this question: could you have done what the men on the Titanic did?

They did it as a matter of course. Society expected it of them.

Now society expects nothing. The loss is ours.

Recommended Reading
VDH, "Dead-End Debates."

David Frum, "So Why Not Just Give Them The Bomb, Then?"

Mohamed Eljahmi, "True to His Terrorist Ways."

Argghhh!, "Wars, and Rumors of War."

Dan Simmons, "The Time Traveller."

Thought of the Week
"I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone."
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)

Churchill Quote of the Week
"You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken – unspeakable! – fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse – a little tiny mouse! – of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic."
Winston Churchill


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