Happiness During Wartime

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Orlando Sentinel columnist Kathleen Parker glosses a new book by National Journal's Carl M. Cannon. She writes that The Pursuit of Happiness in Times of War

in perfect tune with Bush's imperative that we "get back to normal"—Cannon posits the Darwinian notion that the opportunity to pursue happiness is what fuels our drive and willingness to fight for and preserve liberty.

Contrary to what our enemies think, Americans aren't slack, lazy and soft. We're like Kid Shelleen, the character played by Lee Marvin in "Cat Ballou." It is true that sometimes we can be found in the hammock cradling a six-pack of beer. But it is also true that when necessity calls, we can rise to the occasion and sober up right fast.

The problem is "they"—you know, the ones who hate us and some who pretend to be our friends—confuse our pursuit of happiness with hedonism and mistakenly infer a lack of purpose. As Cannon demonstrates—and as the U.S. military recently made clear in Afghanistan and Iraq—freedom and lack of purpose are not axiomatic.

Whole column here.

Would Fred Flintstone pass Cannon's criteria? He writes, ""Chasing dreams, pursuing happiness, and even achieving material success, are not embarrassing by-products of American freedom; they are the essence of American freedom."

I think so.

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  1. no its more of the fact that well… don’t mess with texas… or you’ll get messed by texas, and wonder wtf happened

    just like dems and bush…

    and idiot pacifist libertarians that live here

  2. purposelessness? Speak for yourself. Why must I compare my purpose in life to a bunch of idiots who think there will be 72 corporeal virgins waiting in “paradise” for their blown-up corpse? Freedom creates for the bearer a responsibility to please the Self, because few if any will do it for you. Oh, boo hoo. Freedom lacks purpose? Freedom lacks somebody else’s purpose and leaves you able to create your own, anathema to the caliphate and democrat alike.

  3. Work at a meaningless job for the right to relax in a hammock.

    Better that than working in a meaningless job for the greater glory of the Dear Leader.

    Much better than blowing up schoolkids for the greater glory of the Caliphate.

  4. “72 corporeal virgins”

    Yeah, and if the best of them look like Miss Afghanistan, I wouldn’t be in much a hurry to get to Paradise, myself.

  5. And so it comes again to the question of what happens when we are out in the world and meet those who despise us because we chase dreams, pursue happiness, and achieve material success?

    I am tired of the world demanding apologies from me for these things.

  6. Very well said Jason.

  7. The call of materialism labled our sense of purpose? So is this one of those black-white tricks, calling purposelessness a purpose?
    Seriously, this is largely how this will be seen by “them” and some others. Work at a meaningless job for the right to relax in a hammock. It’s great, but it’s a self-enclosed loop of meaning and gratification. Isn’t it obvious how people who believe they are fighting for God will ignore this?
    I guess the point of the book isn’t to communicate to those people, though. I guess it’s some sort of pat on the back for doing your patriotic duty through shopping.

  8. EMAIL: sespam@torba.com
    IP: 62.213.67.122
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    DATE: 01/22/2004 12:38:32
    Self-imposed ignorance should disgust everyone.

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