Rise To The Occasion

Principles are eternal. They stem not from our resolution or lack of it, but from elsewhere where, in patient and infinite ranks, they simply wait to be called. They can be read in history. They arise as if of their own accord when in the face of danger natural courage comes into play and honor and defiance are born. Things such as courage and honor are the mortal equivalent of certain laws written throughout the universe. The rules of symmetry and proportion, the laws of physics, the perfection of mathematics, even the principle of uncertainty, are encouragement, entirely independent of the vagaries of human will, that not only natural law but our own best aspirations have a life of their own. They have lasted through far greater abuse than abuses them now. They can be neglected, but they cannot be lost. They can be thrown down, but they cannot be broken.

Each of them is a different expression of a single quality, from which each arises in its hour of need. Some come to the fore as others stay back, and then, with changing circumstance, those that have gone unnoticed rise to the occasion.

Rise to the occasion. The principle suggests itself from a phrase, and such principles suggest easily and flow generously. You can grab them out of the air, from phrases, from memories, from images.”

Mark Helprin ; Statesmanship And Its Betrayal, April 1998


” No one in the United States should try to overhype this election. This election is a sort of demarcation point, and what really counts now is the effort to have a legitimate political reconciliation, and it’s going to take a massive diplomatic effort and a much more significant outreach to the international community than this administration has been willing to engage in.  Absent that, we will not be successful in Iraq.”

Sen.John Kerry, Meet The Press, Jan.30 2005.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Middle East, World Politics, , ,
Kate McMillan
About Kate McMillan
Kate McMillan is the proprietor of small dead animals, which has won numerous awards including Best Conservative Blog and Best Canadian Blog. She contributed nearly 300 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and June 2007. Follow her on Twitter @katewerk.


  1. Kevan says:

    Why are we still listening to and quoting this person? This person would like nothing greater than the failure of this administration and it’s goal of achieving freedom for others around the world. If it had been up to him, he would have let the genocide continue and Saddam would still be running the show and thumbing his nose at the U.N. and everyone else.

  2. Mikey says:

    Senator Kerry is a jerk, and every time he speaks he proves it.

  3. LJD says:

    “…what really counts now is the effort to have a legitimate political reconciliation”

    Is this where he smooches Chirac on the behind?

    “Absent that, we will not be successful in Iraq.”

    “I was actually against successful democracy in Iraq, before I was for it…”