Mark Alexander quotes John Stuart Mill in a point rarely made these days:
«"War is an ugly thing," wrote 19th Century political philosopher John Stuart Mill, "but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war is worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature...."
Unfortunately, during the interim between Newsweek's posting and its retraction, Jihadi Islamofascists murdered at least 18 civilians and injured hundreds more during anti-American protests in Afghanistan, Pakistan and points east -- protests prompted by the phony story.
However, don't expect Newsweek's next issue to feature the faces of the dead, or an apology to their families, or an exhaustive CBS-like investigation of what went wrong. »
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Mark Alexander quotes John Stuart Mill in a point rarely made these days:
The front page of today's New York Times featured a story on Zimbabwe, complete with a large feature photo above the fold of police controlling what might turn into a food riot. One cop is shown with a raised whip. This sort of flies in the face that the Mugabe regime claiming that it has liberated the population from something akin to slavery.
Titled "Zimbabwe, Long Destitute, Teeters Toward Ruin" (by Michael Wines) does a few subtle things. It hasn't been destitute that long. The item ENTIRELY fails to mention the dictator Robert Mugabe's rapacious cronyism, and the cleptocracy of his Idi Amin-like land redistribution scheme. The sham has concentrated power into fewer hand, and into those more interested in political power than productively producing food.
Wines only mentions Migabe ONCE, mentioning the drop in the value of the Zimbabwe Dollar and the mass printing of currency, saying:
«It may have helped [the scarcity]: President Robert G. Mugabe's ZANU-PF, was installed for another five years. But Zimbabwe's Potemkin prosperity has evaporated since the the elections, replaced by penury and mounting signs of economic collapse»
Shame on the NYT. The data on currency might be current, but the story is far from new, and the causes are no mystery. The causes of the collapse are not the "collapse of the chain of industry" that he cites, they are an effect of it.
Is this the press that many are defending for their expertise and sophistication?
Friday, May 20, 2005
To begin with, the name “Audioslave” (hostile remnant of “Rage Against the Machine”) makes sense for a big time lefty band going to play for
Il Duce in Havana. The never changing “revolution” will be amused… Add to that the REAL rebels who are hoping to meet to discuss democracy in Cuba without being locked up and “re-educated”. The “revolution” is so amused that they threw out two of the only non-sheep MEPs, and turned back another two. Looks like this winter’s EU rapprochement with El Hefe’s favor really panned out. At the time, the EU appeared to do it to thumb it’s nose at the US anyway, so I don’t think the emotional investment is any greater than the one they have for Democracy itself.
Need a clue? Check out baldie’s lid.
Which brings us to the brilliance of the UK band “Coldplay” – who think that “shareholders” are the great evil of the universe. Okay. Planning on working for free, then?
Said that forgettable ass-clown, whose name is actually Chris Martin: "I think shareholders are the great evil of this modern world."
No they aren’t. Your crack pipe and your romper room Marxist fantasies are, sparky.
I don’t always agree with the view of RNW’s Rob Greene, but I more often than not I do, and for one basic reason: he still believes in the primacy of the individual’s right to make his own choices. Several weeks ago the opinion item that he wrote for the Dutch International broadcaster struck me as an excellent illustration of a world where people are pandered to one-time-too-many to feel free. «He smiled affably. 'Sure you do Sir. As for a free country; of course we're free, but not without certain responsibilities. You may not be aware of it, Sir, but the 2008 European Public Health Act requires us to keep track of our customer's consumption patterns so we can warn them of any dangers they're exposing themselves to. We could lose our licence if we didn't, Sir.' 'The 2008 European Public Health Act, eh?' I said, 'what about the Dutch Personal Data Protection Act of 2001?' 'Repealed in 2006, Sir', he replied, giving me a quizzing look, 'Doesn't Sir read the papers?'»
I don’t think he knows that he more resembles an American “wing-nut” as they really are, than a presenter of the national European broadcast entity.
The irony is that his observation would be though entirely reasonable, even though it’s not that different that this one, which is dismissed as radical.
All it does is point to a LACK of intellectualism among critics of opinion. Even if the ARE reading the content of (in this case) these two opinion makers, they are more concerned with the risk to their ideological comfort than they are to the effect or outcome of the matter discussed.
So with Robert Greene, I find a man with whom I can occasional agree with, but NEVER, NEVER dislike in spite of his repetitive digs against “America” – or whatever it is that one seems to be the US given the narrow attitudional persistence of the European media.
From Free Europe:
«Among many serious shortcomings, a main problem of this legislation lies in food itself. Many foods do not necessarily fit easily into "good" or "bad" categories. For example, milk and cheese are both high in fat but also very high in calcium which is extremely important to children and women. Under this directive, foods' bad qualities would prohibit manufacturers from marketing their good ones. Any claims regarding olive oil -- a far healthier choice than lard or butter -- would be banned from labels. Thus, touting olive oil's ability to lower the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing blood cholesterol levels would be banned because of its high fat content. »Greene’s sentiment is not that different:
He describes an exchange taking place in a grocery store in 2005, not in a court of law. Barring the institution of a “year zero” or an inversion of the way we count, it is not yet 2006.
What to draw from this? – at least one thing: there are too many rules. If you treat people like helpless idiots, they become helpless idiots. This is the essence of the American “wing-nut’s” truc with the left. Likewise with personal freedom.
The gist of what Free Europe is after is personal freedom, and they see the EU constitution in particular as a step in the limitation of the individual. Others see the reverse altogether, feeling that doing away with the national laws of 25 states and preserving rights in a bazillion little “protective” rules does the same. Though the latter exhibits the reaction of a prisoner demanding some fresh air, it still doesn’t quite realize that they are being treated like idiots.
«He smiled affably. 'Sure you do Sir. As for a free country; of course we're free, but not without certain responsibilities. You may not be aware of it, Sir, but the 2008 European Public Health Act requires us to keep track of our customer's consumption patterns so we can warn them of any dangers they're exposing themselves to. We could lose our licence if we didn't, Sir.'
'The 2008 European Public Health Act, eh?' I said, 'what about the Dutch Personal Data Protection Act of 2001?'
'Repealed in 2006, Sir', he replied, giving me a quizzing look, 'Doesn't Sir read the papers?'»
Oslo Girl clues us in on one of the only forms of unregulated free trade remaining in sharing and caring Norway:
«According to Aftenposten, prostitution in Oslo is close to reaching its saturation point. The recent influx of younger, more attractive prostitutes from abroad is squeezing older, drug-addled Norwegian prostitutes out of the market, which may lead them to commit more crimes.That notwithstanding, the regulators expend resources sticking to their guns:
"Those from abroad have spread out all over town. They are taking our customers and our locations... They take lower prices than we do. Some of them will accept 200 kroner for a lay, while 500 is (our) minimum." -Norwegian prostitute, 32 years old.»
«Competition policy shall promote the efficient use of resources by fostering effective competition. It is often a demanding task for the competition authorities to determine whether the provisions of the Competition Act should apply in individual cases, for example when considering mergers that have positive effects in the form of cost reductions but negative effects in the form of reduced competition.»Then again, Oslo Girl also points outh that being an actual nation (having a language, culture, and borders) isn't much of an issue:
«There has been a lot of hooplah here in Norway concerning which flags should be permitted on the 17th of May. The 17th of May committee in Oslo announced a few months ago that only Norwegian flags will be permitted on the 17th. Well, you make a stupid rule and you'll get a stupid reaction. Counties all over the country responded by inviting people of non-Norwegian descent to wave their own flag on the Norwegian national day, you know, to show that Norwegians love foreigners and everyone's welcome here and blah blah blah.»Being half-American, she briefly contemplated waving the Stars and Stripes, but came to her senses. When she realized that it's not that different then other parts of Europe where they play the game of "don't wave that flag!"
Jules Verne brough us what seems like a strange sort of dystopia to some, a simple guess to others, but certainly not a utopia. His assumption was that the individual would be more or less powerless over his destiny and matter less, when the opposite trend is what prosperity has actually brought.
«Nine Years ago, a great bronze safe once belonging to the French fantasist Jules Verne was opened by his great-grandson. Inside, under a pile of linen, he found a manuscript for a novel, written by his great-grandfather 125 years earlier.
«Verne's novel is set in the Paris of 1960, in an age when free-market capitalism governs the world. Everything has been privatized, even education, and institutions are run for profit by share-issuing companies. Because science and technology have been the agents of phenomenal progress and productivity growth, little else interests the vast majority of the population. Wara notoriously unprofitable endeavorhas been eliminated, but so too have the humanities, and while music survives in a utilitarian function, centuries of literature crumble into dust on forgotten bookshelves.»
Verne's world of automated manufacturing and agriculture, overcrowded cities, and poorly paid service-sector employees is a crushing dystopia for his protagonist, Michel Dufrenoy, a young man ill-suited for anything other than the useless trade of poet. As he falls into the margins of his society, and beyond, Michel's friends desperately wonder what kind of employment he might find for himself in a society that values only capital and expediency. As a writer, they suggest, he might find a position as a "stock reporter...getting caught out every day in inevitable errors, prophesying events with great aplomb, on the principle that if the prediction doesn't come true, the prophet will be forgotten, and if it does, he will pride himself on his perspicacity, overcoming rival companies for some banker's greater profit...Will Michel ever consent to that?" As the story is a tragedy, he will not, and so his fate is sealed.»
Was this the confused beginning of a very confused modern neo-luddite movement? It's hard to tell.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Les mères, ne lais' pas vos fils devenez des cowboys...
Celebrating the free spirit of country life, a heartfelt music that people listem to for a lifetime, and well, just getting together for some good clean fun, thousands in French people have imported a curious festival. «"When I started the event six years ago, I thought it would work for a year or two, but it has just kept on growing. Last year we counted 5,000 attendees," said Yves. That's a big crowd for a town such as Auboué, which has a population of only 5,454. So why don't the French look to revive traditional French community events? "The costumes aren't as much fun," he said. "And even if le country is not technically our culture, we grew up watching Westerns and playing cowboys and Indians. America is our dream, too."»
They are something like the community get-togethers of the American rural west. And they're call it their Rodeo.
Having rejected the use of the word 'cowboy' as a slur, and the endless repetition of the driving off of Native American culture, they get together for the love of country & western and the great outdoors.
From The Telegraph:
It seems that very few are immune to the sincerity of the cowboy culture, wherever it is found. I say revive those events - you have nothing to lose other than twisting an ankle dancing...
Muller views le country's popularity as a reaction to the times we live in. "French people are looking for ways to escape the stress of our modern, isolated lives and congregate, as a community. Like we used to in France, for example, after the grape-harvesting."
«"When I started the event six years ago, I thought it would work for a year or two, but it has just kept on growing. Last year we counted 5,000 attendees," said Yves. That's a big crowd for a town such as Auboué, which has a population of only 5,454.
So why don't the French look to revive traditional French community events? "The costumes aren't as much fun," he said. "And even if le country is not technically our culture, we grew up watching Westerns and playing cowboys and Indians. America is our dream, too."»
The cultural realist Theodore Dalrymple brings us a hilarious story which makes simple illustration on the lack of any ethical or moral core to the Politically Correct™.
To them, content in literature is meaningless. In an effort to cultivate a "designated victims", they promoted the writings of one Rahila Khan. Khan is just another typical example of narrowminded truisms about "diversity" mattering more to them than evenhandedly editing. In that subculture it's the symbol of the writer selected that constructs and promotes THE PUBLISHING HOUSE'S image, not really that of the writer:
«Her oeuvre is very slender: a single paperback volume of 100 pages, entitled Down the Road, Worlds Away. It was published in 1987 by the Virago Press, a feminist publishing house founded in the 1970s that is now owned by TimeWarnerBooks, and it appeared in a series called Virago Upstarts—that is to say, parvenu termagants. You are never too young to resent.For goodness sake, the only predictable truisms that were missing were that the fake Ms. Khan is a survivor of spousal abuse and a refugee who became a Dickensian street urchin. Makes one think about the sculped, maudlin human caricatures found on NPR's "Fresh Air", the ubiquitous intellectual driftwood of BBC Radio 4, or on "OneWord"...
“Virago Upstarts is a new series of books for girls and young women… . This new series will show the funny, difficult, and exciting real lives and times of teenage girls in the 1980s.” No prizes for guessing the reality of the real lives, of course: and Rahila Khan gives us “twelve haunting stories about Asian girls and white boys … about the tangle of violence and tenderness … in all their lives,” written “with hard-eyed realism and poignant simplicity.”
As for Rahila herself, she was born in Coventry in 1950, lived successively in Birmingham, Derby, Oxford, London, and Peterborough, married in 1971, and now lived in Brighton with her two daughters. She began writing only in 1986 (presumably when her daughters demanded less of her time), and in the same year six of her stories were broadcast by the BBC. Virago accepted her book, an acceptance that, in the words of Professor Dympna Callaghan, Professor of English at Syracuse University and author of a Marxist analysis of the exclusion of women from the Renaissance stage, “seemed to fulfill one of Virago’s laudable objectives, that of publishing the work of a diverse group of contemporary feminist authors.”
A literary agent contacted Rahila Khan by post and asked to represent her. Until then, Miss Khan had refused to meet in person anyone with whom she dealt, or even to send a photograph of herself: but she agreed to meet the agent who wanted to represent her. The agent was surprised to discover that Miss Khan was actually the Reverend Toby Forward, a Church of England vicar.»
They don't want you to "hear yourself think" - they want you to hear them think for you.
Which helps describe bring us to a graver matter – the amalgam of seemingly innocuous positive selection supplemented with silent exclusion.
The American columnist and commentator Suzanne Fields in an article titled “Lessons from Ancient White Males” illustrates perfectly the paranoiac nature of the left protecting its’ turf instead of dealing in the real diversity of ideas. The reports on a watershed moment in the realization that the left is authoritarian through the experience of Yale’s Donald Kagan:
«"Such was the understanding of the ancient Greeks and of the Renaissance humanists," he continues, "but not, I fear of many teachers of the humanities today, who deny the possibility of knowing anything with confidence, of the reality of such concepts as truth and virtue, who seek only gain and pleasure in the modern guise of political power and self-gratification as the ends of education."The banishment of an opportunity for any non-relativistic idea was an instinctive reaction for the “inclusionists” at Yale University. Never mind the fact that most graduates of last classical education establishment in the US, St. John’s College in Annapolis Maryland tend to be centrist to a fault, the Yalies still feel threatened. I have yet to meet a St. John’s grad who is radical in any way.
A critic for The Washington Post inevitably sniffs that these ideas are "boilerplate," a cheap appeal to the neocons in power in Washington who criticize multiculturarists and academic deconstructionists on college campuses. But the professor speaks with experience in the culture wars. He has been a professor at Yale for 36 years, and lost a major battle a decade ago when Yale returned a $20 million gift to set up an interdisciplinary program for the study of Western civilization, which he thought would counter the "politically correct opinion" pervasive on campus. He saw it as a substantial loss for everyone. "Even if we conservatives are all stupid, crazy and ill-informed," he told the Yale alumni magazine, "we have the absolute value of providing an alternative to what students are being told by everyone else and helping them see through the cant."»
Those who feel threatened and crank up house organ notions are tacitly half way to some awareness that they aren’t so much defending ideas, but transparently defending themselves FROM IDEAS. At the very least they must realize that the faculty’s ideology matters more to them than the exchange of ideas.
Alan Oxley, the former Australian ambassador to the GATT writes in Tech Central Station about the risk Pascal Lamy poses to world trade the WTO. Namely that of lame, petty politicking.
«Last year Lamy wrote a paper on trade policy that accommodated the case for globalization and the case against. How do you do that? Create an incoherent idea and claim it does both. His idea was to allow national governments to set solemn international legal commitments to free trade aside where "collective preferences" of a nation, however determined, decree that should occur.»It reminds me very much about what a commenter on David's Medienkritik said about heavy duty double-speak in the Berlin's SPD led government: That there was some matter that Schroeder and Fischer didn't agree on, and continued to, but Fischer was going on television to convince people that even though his position didn't change, that he and Schroeder agreed...
Now figure that out.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
« “The British miracle should serve us as an example, provided we have the courage to cross the Channel and seek answers . . . to the anaemia of our economy” “Success is not a sin. It is not ideological mimicry to want to follow the example of those i who have managed to find the path to full employment” “The constitution is our defence against liberalism (British free-market doctrines)” “Approving the constitution means sentencing Europe to the ravages of liberalism, it means opening the door to everything the Anglo-Saxons want”
CHARLES BREMNER REPORTS IN the Times (UK):
«Since Mr Blair’s re-election, a new theme has emerged. Perhaps the British model, with its strong growth and unemployment less than half that of France, is desirable after all.And in a thumbnail press roundup:
M Sarkozy reassured the audience. “We want a political, integrated Europe.” However, France was bottom of the class in employment and should stop imagining that it provided a model for Europe, he said.
More surprisingly, left-wing media have been abandoning their antipathy to Mr Blair as a “phoney leftist”. Le Nouvel Observateur, weekly bible of the thinking classes, published a series of articles under the headline: Why are the British better than us? “The other side of the Channel is swinging while France is paralysed by a gloom that is spreading across the Continent,” it said.»
— Le Figaro
— Nicolas Sarkozy, leader of President Chirac’s UMP party
— President Chirac
— Henri Emanuelli, Socialist ‘No’ campaign»
« “The British miracle should serve us as an example, provided we have the courage to cross the Channel and seek answers . . . to the anaemia of our economy”
“Success is not a sin. It is not ideological mimicry to want to follow the example of those i who have managed to find the path to full employment”
“The constitution is our defence against liberalism (British free-market doctrines)”
“Approving the constitution means sentencing Europe to the ravages of liberalism, it means opening the door to everything the Anglo-Saxons want”
I have always admired Man Ray. He never took himself too seriously. This post is something of a Dadaist experiment. Strung around exerpts from a very short story by Vonnegut are random bits of prose from activists for leftist revision and social change, and economic criticisms of the goals of our society.
Links for the items in whole: * * * * * *
“Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut (1961)
I'd like you to read this famous story and think about whether Nietzsche wasn't on to something when he criticized the naive idea of human equality.
THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.
The truth is that France cannot sustain competition. The fact that the World Bank considers France the "world's top reformer" for start-up businesses, with 224,000 created in 2004 - a 12.5 percent increase over 2003, is a mirage. In France, welfare is a core principle, not entrepreneurship. In 2001, about 6 million people - that's 10 percent of the French population - were receiving some kind of social welfare benefit.
Capitalist society is one in which a minority of wealthy people own the majority of the country's wealth and the means of production. It exists on the basis of exploitation and has no other driving force but that of making ever-increasing levels of private profits for the ruling capitalist class.
And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.
There will only be more beneficiaries of the RMI since unemployment is above 10 percent now. It clearly shows the inability of the French economy to create work. It's only logical since the ideology applied by both the Right and the Left is the Marxist principle that work cannot be created but must be shared. Thus the 35 hour-week law.
Such a society is inherently divided, unjust and harsh. There is no tenderness or love in such a system. That tenderness exists at all is a tribute to the worldng class which has to struggle against the brutality of capitalism to uphold humanity and decency in such a cold social climate.
Trade union hostility to 'excessive' pay for directors reflects growing pay inequality within organisations and comes as many firms are closing final salary pension schemes to new employees (UK0301109F). In March 2002, a Trade Union Congress (TUC) report,Executive excess - time to act, noted that between 1994 and 2001 basic pay rises for directors were treble those for average employees. Similarly, an annual survey of boardroom pay conducted by the Guardian newspaper and pay consultants Inbucon, published in October 2002, reported an average annual increase in directors’ pay of 17% in 2002, following a 28% increase the year before.
The television program was suddenly interrupted for a news bulletin. It wasn’t clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment. For about half a minute, and in a state of high excitement, the announcer tried to say, “Ladies and gentlemen – “
He finally gave up, handed the bulletin to a ballerina to read.
“That’s all right –” Hazel said of the announcer, “he tried. That’s the big thing. He tried to do the best he could with what God gave him. He should get a nice raise for trying so hard.”
“Excuse me – “ she said, and she began again, making her voice absolutely uncompetitive.
“Harrison Bergeron, age fourteen,” she said in a grackle squawk, “has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete, is under–handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous.”
The objective of the project was ‘to promote equal pay between men and women for equal work and work of equal value and to identify an efficient mix of tools and instruments for promoting equal pay in the context of each partner country in three target occupations: unskilled workers in the food processing industry; engineers; and secondary education teachers.’
Recalling the country's darker years of the not too distant past, a planning group of the SPD's parliamentary group created a list of those whose behavior is deemed unacceptable. Titled "Market radicalism instead of social market economy", it alleges that private equity has been subverting companies on the back of the common worker and lists almost a dozen companies that have already been compromised by private equity associations. The objective is clear: demonizing privatization and creating conditions for a policy of extending the reach of government even further into the economic realm.
Scrap metal was hung all over him. Ordinarily, there was a certain symmetry, a military neatness to the handicaps issued to strong people, but Harrison looked like a walking junkyard. In the race of life, Harrison carried three hundred pounds.
It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.
Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on.
Morality doesn't even come into it. The needs of people are only met to the extent that the organised working class fights for those needs, to protect the ruling class from facing civil unrest and to ensure: the worldng [sic] class can continue to fulfil [sic] its other function as consumers of the products it has created.
Forgotten is the empirically proven fact that no other form of economic order in the history of mankind has lifted so many people out of poverty. Forgotten also is the fact that capitalism enabled Germans to lead the lifestyle they so enjoy.
Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on.THE YEAR WAS 2081...
«Until those in the mainstream media are willing to acknowledge that it is this crusading impulse that has led them astray, we are unlikely to see the end of such journalistic scandals.
"They should understand the sentiments of Muslims and think 101And then this:
times before publishing news which hurt feelings of Muslims."
"Disrespect for the holy Koran is something the United States will never tolerate," Secretary of State Rice said last week. . . .In fairness to Rice, she presumably was referring to government policy, not the actions or opinions of private individuals. Still, by way of comparison, recall that three years ago Palestinian Arab terrorists occupied the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Priests reported that "gunmen tore up Bibles for toilet paper," according to The Daily Camera of Boulder, Colorado and The Chicago Tribune noted after the siege that "altars had been turned into cooking and eating tables, a sacrilege to the religious faithful."
Christians in the U.S. responded by declining to riot and refraining from killing anyone. They had the same response 15 or so years ago when the National Endowment for the Arts was subsidizing the scatological desecration of a crucifix and other Christian symbols. Indeed. This should also put to rest the oft-heard calumny that America's "religious right" is somehow a Christian equivalent of our jihadi enemies.»
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
[Sadaam Hussein’s “mother of all wars”] - «"This group of neocons is involved in the mother of all smokescreens," he said of the committee. "I want to turn the tables on this neo-con, pro-Israel, pro-war, Republican lynch mob."»
«He said earlier: "The truth is I have never bought or sold a drop of oil from Iraq, or sold or bought a drop of oil from anybody.»
[Joe McCarthy]: Omitted by the BBC in text, but not on the air: «I am not nor have I ever been an oil trader»[Clarence Thomas: “This is a high-tech lynching”] : «MP George Galloway said on Tuesday he would reject charges at a U.S. Senate hearing from a "neo-con ... pro-war, Republican lynch mob" that he profited from the Iraq oil-for-food program.»Covering for him in addition to providing some curious omissions, the BBC stated:
«Mr Galloway, who travelled to Washington in a bid to clear his name, went on the offensive from the beginning of his testimony.»He is not in Washington to clear his name – he’s here because he can showboat for his robotic supportes back home, and with no legal implications. The very fact that Labour told him to pound sand over his advocacy of the enlisted not acting on orders and turning on their officers is tasteless and possibly criminal in the U.K.
If he’s trying to tap into the American psyche with this silly recycling of political phrases from the U.S., the type that his proponents in the U.K. are rather obsessed with, then he has failed miserably.
Scott Burgess who has much more patience with pets-not-yet-housebroken, and a stomache strong enough for the Galloway's spewem has more.
Goodness, what would we do without Scott?
Monday, May 16, 2005
Do you honestly think a Koran would readily fit in there and flush nicely? C'mon already! Sheesh!
Thus we arrive to the poor but dignified figure no. 2... A typical run-out pipe of the sort which exits from our friend, Mister Throne (shown dashed), superimposed on a garden variety trade size paperback. Still having difficulties? Then you probably always will.
Limousine lefties and government in need of your love obsess over both global poverty and "the environment". They should - their environmental goals harm the poor and those with the least, not just in the third world but in the developed world as well.
The goal appears to be the construction of social dependency and a desperation to make central government matter more than it needs to. It is the totalitarian bent, but one where benevolence is imagined, and a few scientific sounding buzzwords are thought to be understood. CO2, Isoionisphere, etc., etc.
Its like the outcry over death in the under-developed world, its displayed selectively, for example as long as they dont die from DDT not that anyone who hasnt fallen into a vat of it actually has.
Like Shaw's description of the minds griffins, the leftist mind seeks irony in issues to construct needless debate over things which by themselves have impirical and ethical matters which they tend to have an allergy to. Why not force a confluence of more literal conflict over, say, social welfare and the environment?
Because these are their election issues. Or why not poor nationalized healthcare and the low birthrate? Because any grave social matter which they aren't beating their political opponents over the head with don't really exist to them. These intellectual train-wrecks only have one purpose: to convince oneself of some engagement with civilization and to give oneself a purpose to others. A needy delusion.
That political power for themselves and of central governments matter to them more than WHAT central governments DO is their hob-goblin; the one of small minds where impressions of the past are a comfortable place in a world which is more complicated than they would hope. Good and bad exist to the leftist mind too more so, I think than those who dont drink from their cup. The problem is what they identify as good and bad. Bad things are those too complex for them to grasp, like genuinely respecting faith, or the dynamic economics of climbing out of poverty. Good to them are simple intentions. The feeling stops at the bumper stickers on their Volvos and Land Rovers. Then the confusion kicks in.
Imagine what it is to believe that those Free Tibet stickers have been effective over the past 20 years, without questioning the fact that it would only replace a Communist theocracy with a Buddhist one. All that matter is the feeling.
True too with protecting the environment at the cost of human life, only to convince oneself that population needs to be thinned out to match the world view.
It's placed above the fold, but below a picture of dead bodies in Baghdad. The image has no link to an article in the subheading, and the image is nearly identical to one run on Friday. In other words, it's in all likelihood a 3 day old image, and tossed in there to diminish the presence of the item on Newsweek's fatal screw-up. The excitation started by that story led to 15 deaths.
Make good use of that extra 58 seconds a day they plan on making railway employees work Will they make people stand in line for another 58 seconds every morning?
«May 16 (Bloomberg) -- French transport and school services were disrupted by protests against the scrapping of the 119-year- old Whit Monday public holiday, adding to the government's unpopularity just weeks before a vote on Europe's constitution.They wont even work one day for the fate of the aged, and demand Whit Monday in a nation where barely 5% of the population attends religious services, and the unions still spit in the face of a noble goal. Not enough irony yet?
France's seven main unions asked transport workers and teachers to strike today, and businesses, including BNP Paribas SA's 2,200 bank branches, remained closed. Prime Minister Jean- Pierre Raffarin abolished the holiday to raise 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in taxes from the extra working day for the aged and the disabled, after 15,000 people died in 2003's heat wave.»
«BNP Paribas, France's second-largest bank, closed all its French retail banking arm's branch offices, 70 percent of which are typically closed on Mondays.»
«Among [the ad hoc pro-strike groupss] arguments is a line from a 1981 encyclical on work by Pope John Paul II in which he said, "The justice of an economic system must be evaluated according to the way human labor is fairly compensated."»What about the six free WEEKS where productivity is NIL? Or the reverse when it comes to any number of other entitlements? This is exactly why pay in the US is enumerated by hours, even for salaried employees.
«The SNCF, which faced strike threats by unions, has decided its workers will from now on work [an additional] one minute 52 seconds longer each [other] day to make up for the lost labor.»Well, they might spend that minute reading ¡No Pasaràn! and chowing down a muffin, but who knows.
And while theyre at it, why dont they install ticket vending machines in the metro? Even the East Germans managed that bit of common sense.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Unemployment in the Arab world has long been considered unsurpassed in the worst way. A side-note to the UN report identifying the number of war dead in Iraq, is a lamentation of unemployment
-but its one which equals that of France and makes Iraq look a staggering success for social stability compared to the rest of the Arab world. France and Iraq have roughly the same rate of unemployment, floating just above 10 percent with an adjusted figure of 18 percent when you add in those who have given up looking. Ironic, indeed.
Unadjusted Figures of more than 20 -30 percent have long been reported in the PA, Jordan, Yemen, with many arab states presenting NO reliable data at all either for lack of looking, or the unreliability of any parenthetically constructed estimates, even if they are cocked up to prevent repaving the arab street with arab blood.
The U.N. brings good news, and its not about themselves or a false metric of their own programs. Who knew? They probably didnt.