CriticalMASS Top 10 Reads of the Week – Veterans Day (11/11/11)

The Significance of Veterans Day – Leon Kass [Weekly Standard Blog]

What exactly do we celebrate on Veterans Day? To be sure, we mean to honor the brave men and women, living and dead, who have fought America’s battles, past and present. But honor them how, and for what? About these matters, we lack a clear national answer.

Part of the confusion is built into the history of the holiday. It was first celebrated as Armistice Day, commemorating the cessation of fighting between the Allies and Germany in World War I-at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918. When, a year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first Armistice Day, he spoke of the “solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service” and the “gratitude for victory.” But because World War I had been regarded as the “war to end all wars,” Wilson’s reasons for esteeming the victory had everything to do with lasting peace: “the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” Armistice Day was a day that celebrated the pacifist and internationalist dreams of a nation-and a world-sickened by maiming and slaughter on a hitherto unimaginable scale. The dreams were not to be realized…

The Case for Pessimism – Mark Steyn [Commentary]

In September 2009, Barack Obama and Muammar Qaddafi both addressed the United Nations. It is a pitiful reflection upon the Republic in twilight that, when it comes to the transnational mush drooled by the leader of the free world or the conspiracist ramblings of a pseudo-Bedouin terrorist drag queen presiding over a one-man psycho-cult basket case, it’s more or less a toss-up as to which of them was the more unreal.

Qaddafi spoke for 90 minutes, and in the midst of his torrent of words, his translator actually broke down and cried out, “I can’t take it anymore.” The colonel gravely informed the world body that the swine flu was a virus that had been created in a government laboratory, and he called for a UN inquiry into the Kennedy assassination on the grounds that Jack Ruby was an Israeli who killed Lee Harvey Oswald to stop the truth coming out about Kennedy being killed to prevent an investigation into the Zionist nuclear facility at Dimona…

If you are a little nervous about a column by Steyn titled “The Case for Pessimism” I can hardly blame you.  But you should take a deep breath and Read the Rest, followed quickly by:

Podhoretz, making The Case for Optimism;

Howard on The Public-Union Albatross;

Mitt on Iran;

Braceras on Mitt;

A chilling first hand account of captivity in pre-fall Libya;

and Funny or Die’s take on Perry’s “Oops”

all at CriticalMASS

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