As Iraqi insurgents make gains against the government of Iraq, many of the same venal, stupid, and apparently shameless fools who put us in the Iraq quagmire in the first place -- you remember, weapons of mass destruction, ties to al-Qaeda, greeted as liberators, 20-cent-a-gallon gas, the next six months will tell us everything, all that? -- are trying to get us to go to war there again. Hence I have two action alerts opposing a new war in Iraq: one from Just Foreign Policy and MoveOn, the other from CREDO. Both alerts let you tell President Obama not to pelt Iraq with airstrikes, either, since Mr. Obama has already ruled out ground troops but has said he'd consider airstrikes. Could it be that the "liberal" media won't be so quick to enable our warmongering übermensch again? Paul Waldman reminds us, with considerable force and vigor, that we shouldn't listen to the same chickenhawks who got us there in the first place, because they were wrong about everything, and note well that his piece appeared in the Washington Post. Fox News's Shepard Smith has taken the same tack as Mr. Waldman, and I bet he'd even ask William Kristol why we should listen to him again to his face -- if Fox News allows them on the same stage, that is. Still, none of our elites will do the right thing unless we tell them to, en masse.
Meanwhile, did you know that only one country on Earth puts their kids in prison for life? Can you guess which country that is? That's right, it's us, somehow simultaneously a beacon of liberty and home to politicians getting "tough" on kids who commit crimes. More than 2,500 children currently serve life sentences in prison, and they may never get a second chance to contribute something to civilization. Now perhaps you're sitting at home saying: but some of these kids are absolute monsters. But I respond: and whose damn fault is that? Who is responsible for raising children to be sane and productive members of society? Not just parents, but all of us. And since we, as civilized people, recognize that children aren't capable of making adult-level decisions unless and until we teach them to do that, the failure is ours when a child goes haywire. Is there light at the end of this tunnel? Possibly: our society has generally wearied of the zero-tolerance ethos, and our Attorney General has already spoken in favor of limiting life sentences for nonviolent drug offenders; we could argue that children deserve that mercy more. So the ACLU helps you tell Attorney General Holder to end life sentences for children at the federal level.
Finally, if you can make it to the Harrisburg, PA area tomorrow around lunchtime, you can join Food and Water Watch at a rally protesting Gov. Corbett's leasing of state parks to gas drillers; Food and Water Watch asks that you RSVP here, so they can (possibly) arrange transportation and arrange for you to sit down with your state legislator after the rally. I guess your pro-fracking state legislator will run on about JOBZ!!!!! (as if there's no other way to create jobs!), but there are more important things in life than one industry creating a few jobs. One of them is natural space to enjoy -- to hike, park, hunt, and fish in. Another is natural space for wildlife to live in and thrive in. But even more important is clean water -- if frackers drill any further into state parks, they'll start turning drinking water all over the state brackish, gelatinous, and flammable, just as they've done in so many areas of Pennsylvania's "T." And these lands belong to us, after all. It's not even like Mr. Corbett is raising money for the state with new fracking leases -- you may recall that he called impact fees "un-American," a word our elites use too often to refer to ideas most people support.