Saturday, July 02, 2005

It about poverty erm, something...

Saint Bob and Saint Bono swooped in to be in the photo. The world’s governments, after all wouldn’t be playing these games with inflated-ego celebrities if they hadn’t already decided to dissolve debts of highly indebted nations, or already decided to treble TREBLE aid taken from your taxes.

«According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. government sent $16.2 billion abroad in 2003. That's 35 percent of the total amount given that year by all industrialized nations combined.»
-Andy Brehm writing in the Star-Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul)

What is it then that these agitators attending “Live 8”(and also against)WANT? Why don’t they just open up their wallets and give of themselves? What they want is to simply tax YOU for the charity THEY want to give in THEIR name, and somehow absolve them of guilt.

Justice? “Social” justice? I thought this was about poverty? Not high-school socialism.

What will going to a concert do anyway? Raise awareness? Well, who in the world doesn’t know that large parts of Africa have problems. Raise money? No – what they could give is nothing compared to the general public acting without their coercion.

No – they want to feel good about what they think they’re doing. They want to celebrate the fact that by repeating what being discussed inside the G8 meeting, that they think that the can TAKE CREDIT for it!

Think about the anonymity and mindlessness of state aid anyway – how can anyone feel good about not giving of oneself, but giving away other people’s money? The whole thing has the same silly detachment from reality as the pop-culture that it crawled out of.
Hilarious. Like the mental masturbation found in academia, this is nothing more that patting one another on the back and lauding each others' virtue.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Reliance on the best available intelligence, though it turned out to be wrong, doesn't make Bush a liar or prove that he made a mistake in attacking

Wanting to uncover the real liars, David Limbaugh reminds us that critics of the current administration's foreign policy
contend that our failure to find Saddam's WMD stockpiles after we deposed him proves that President Bush lied about their existence in the first place. President Bush's reliance on the best available intelligence, though it may have turned out to be wrong, doesn't make him a liar or prove that he made a mistake in attacking. He would have made a mistake had he failed to act on the information he had, especially considering Saddam's self-incriminating behavior.

As I've written before, Democrats are the ones who are lying when they say they weren't relying on the very same intelligence in supporting the Iraq war resolution. And they are lying when they falsely accuse President Bush of lying about the intelligence.

… From the very beginning, President Bush's rationale for attacking Iraq was that under Saddam, she was our enemy in the global war on terror and a threat -- indirect and direct -- to our national security. The three reasons Kerry cites are not incompatible, but of a piece. President Bush believed Saddam was amassing WMD and acting in concert with Islamic terrorists. And, he's always had a vision that the spread of freedom and democracy in the Middle East would be a natural antidote to the proliferation of terrorism. That's not why we attacked Iraq, because we are not in the business of gratuitous nation building, but it's a potentially glorious byproduct that we shouldn't underestimate and is certainly consistent with our war aims.

No matter how incapable Kerry's Democrats are of comprehending this, 9-11 confirmed that Islamic radicals throughout the world are at war with the United States. The terrorist threat is not localized to Osama and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Democrats' quixotic refrain that we concentrate our resources only on capturing Saddam reveals how radically they misapprehend the global scope of this war.

Saddam was begging to be removed, and President Bush neither lied nor made a mistake in removing him.

One of Your Webmasters with a Fan of No Pasarán

If Western elites cannot find perfection in history, they see no good at all; most never learned the narrative of WW II, only what was wrong about it

The truth is that the supposedly biased West discusses the contribution of others far more than our former enemies — or Russian and Chinese allies — credit the British or Americans. There is a pattern here.
writes Victor Davis Hanson as we approach the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.
There is a pattern here. Western elites — the beneficiaries of 60 years of peace and prosperity achieved by the sacrifices to defeat fascism and Communism — are unhappy in their late middle age, and show little gratitude for, or any idea about, what gave them such latitude. If they cannot find perfection in history, they see no good at all. So leisured American academics tell us that Iwo Jima was unnecessary, if not a racist campaign, that Hiroshima had little military value but instead was a strategic ploy to impress Stalin, and that the GI was racist, undisciplined, and reliant only on money and material largess.

There are two disturbing things about the current revisionism that transcend the human need to question orthodoxy. The first is the sheer hypocrisy of it all. Whatever mistakes and lapses committed by the Allies, they pale in comparison to the savagery of the Axis or the Communists. Post-facto critics never tell us what they would have done instead — lay off the German cities and send more ground troops into a pristine Third Reich; don’t bomb, but invade, an untouched Japan in 1946; keep out of WWII entirely; or in its aftermath invade the Soviet Union?

Lost also is any sense of small gratitude. … Such revisionists never ask whether they could have written so freely in the Third Reich, Tojo’s Japan, Mussolini’s Italy, Soviet Russia, Communist Eastern Europe — or today in such egalitarian utopias as China, Cuba, or Venezuela.

Second, revisionism requires knowledge of orthodoxy. One cannot dismiss Iwo Jima as an unnecessary sideshow or allege that Dresden was simple blood rage until one understands the tactical and strategic dilemmas of the age — the hope that wounded and lost B-29s might be saved by emergency fields on Iwo, or that the Russians wanted immediate help from the Allied air command to take the pressure off the eastern front in February 1945.

But again, most Americans never learned the standard narrative of [World] War II — only what was wrong about it. Whereas it is salutary that an American 17-year-old knows something of the Japanese relocation ordered by liberals such as Earl Warren and FDR, or of the creation and the dropping of the atomic bomb by successive Democratic administrations, they might wish to examine what went on in Nanking, Baatan, Wake Island, Guadalcanal, Manila, or Manchuria — atrocities that their sensitive teachers are probably clueless about as well.

… How odd that Swedes and Spaniards who were either neutrals or pro-Nazi during World War II now so often lecture the United States not just about present morality but about the World War II past as well.

Do some good this weekend

Send those old paperbacks on the shelf to soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen on deployment. Most of the ones Ive ever known like to pass their time reading. Swapping books and giving them out when service personnel PCS (get orders to relocate) helps, but you can too.

Theyre grateful for your generosity, and like to know that theyre being though of.

Sand on Charity and Faith

Today is the birthday of George Sand (1804-1876), the French writer whose thoughts on charity ought perhaps be meditated upon by the adherents of today's nanny state.
Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it.

Faith is an excitement and an enthusiasm: it is a condition of intellectual magnificence to which we must cling as to a treasure, and not squander on our way through life in the small coin of empty words, or in exact and priggish argument.

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.

He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life.

I regard as a mortal sin not only the lying of the senses in matters of love, but also the illusion which the senses seek to create where love is only partial. I say, I believe, that one must love with all of one's being, or else live, come what may, a life of complete chastity.

I see upon their noble brows the seal of the Lord, for they were born kings of the earth far more truly than those who possess it only from having bought it.

Life in common among people who love each other is the ideal of happiness.

No one makes a revolution by himself; and there are some revolutions which humanity accomplishes without quite knowing how, because it is everybody who takes them in hand.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Ignoring the vast majority of people who have suffered, and continue to suffer, in Iraq

As he (rightly) mourns the death of Marla Ruzicka, yet another reader puts the blame for all the ills in the world (or at least in Iraq) on America's (or Bush's) doorstep ("A humanitarian's death," Letters, International Herald Tribune, April 27). According to James Stewart, George W. Bush is responsible, directly or not, for "a whole new class of collateral damage," the "innocent civilian victims of the Iraqi insurgency".

One would hope that the reader's description of CIVIC as "dedicated to helping innocent Iraqi civilian victims of American military action" is wrong, because if not, the organization would have been ignoring the vast majority of people who have suffered, and continue to suffer, in Iraq.

Indeed, what with the partial and biased coverage in the mainstream media these days, apparently it needs to be reminded that the populations that the so-called "insurgents" have deliberately targeted have been, and continue to be, Iraq's unarmed citizens.

And why wouldn't they deliberately seek to make the most victims among those innocents? Before the war, before the presence of the "occupation" soldiers, these "insurgents" were the very people in power in Baghdad — or their thuggish henchmen — who submitted civilians to torture of a far different kind than that bewailed at Abu Ghraib: amputations, tongue-cuttings, and acid-eaten faces, not to speak of the untold tens of thousands who ended up in Saddam Hussein's mass graves.

There is one word for such people, whether they commit their atrocities while in power in time of "peace" (sic) or while in hiding with a foreign army in the country: their policy is to produce terror, among prisoners and victims as well as their families and the rest of the population, i.e., they are terrorists — pure and simple.

Too many people forget, or minimize, the fact (if they ever knew it) that the Ba'ath party, created in 1944, was consciously modelled on the ruling party in Germany at the time — Hitler's Nazi apparatus. And the leaders of Iraq's Ba'ath party were the people that, in 2003, today's pacifists would have had the international community deal with, hold discussions with "as civilized grown-ups", and come to tactful understandings with.

Indeed, with all the emphasis on how Bush and Blair supposedly lied and misled their publics about Iraq, it would be nice if you devoted more space about how the members of the "peace camp" misled theirs as to the possibilities of coming to an understanding with a psychopathic mass murderer — one with whom those "honest and fair brokers" enjoyed quite a number of unsavory business dealings, and that on the backs of the Iraq's suffering population.

Bring in the UN! Stop the looting!!!

The Independent (UK): Curator is charged as 30,000 books are 'lost' by French national library

«More than 30,000 books, including 1,000 rare and priceless items, are believed to have been stolen from the French national library in Paris.

A former senior curator of the library will appear before an investigating magistrate today accused of stealing at least 100 rare old books and manuscripts. Michel Garel, an internationally known expert on Hebrew texts, initially admitted stealing a 13th-century French copy of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament).

M. Garel said he had warned his bosses over many years that rare items were going missing. The basement of the library's old building, in the first arrondissement in central Paris, was connected by a labyrinth of underground passageways to nearby antiquarian bookshops, he said.

"Personally, I have located four places you could get into the library without any problem, before pilfering at will," he said.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Garel case, an audit of the library's stocks, the first for many years, suggests that at least 30,000 books or manuscripts are missing.

More disturbingly, 1,183 priceless books or documents from the library's "precious core" cannot be traced. More than 200 of these are medieval manuscripts or books from the dawn of the age of printing.

The curator said yesterday: "I have proclaimed my innocence from the first day they put handcuffs on me. I am the perfect scapegoat because of the poor relations I have had with my superiors for years. I have never accepted a centime for anything belonging to the BNF or any other public collection." »

Oh, the loss of history! The theft of treasures!

Gegen das Vergessen - Don't let us forget.

Having passed through Checkpoint Charlie as many as 500 times, and having heard the gunshots at night of the brave souls trying to escape the Grenzepolizei who shoot to kill, I wonder how any German could demolish a monument to hundred of persons killed in their flight to freedom.

If there was a way to describe to you the internal sense of freedom and elation felt on leaving the East, and into a world of color, away from the grim faces of those who know that they had to survive to retirement to see their relatives again and breath the free air of west Berlin, and see faces of people who seemed to have hope…

There is no way. Memories must be short for some, or perhaps some new hatred has taken its’ place. Otherwise I can’t see how any German could do such a foolish and forgetful thing. Threy must have never had to leave a friend behind a wall thinking that they may never be able to come to you, that you may never see them again.

For heaven’s sake, it’s only just a piece of land – and just money – to save a history and a memorial. This is no different than if in the US someone razed a memorial to the civil rights era deaths merely because they were Americans killing Americans, and that no-one else, and no future generation needed to know about it. It is a supression of memory, meaning, and emotion that is driving this, not a mortgage.

For goodness sake, it’s only pocket change, and the souls of your countrymen...

You and what Army ?
Well, he does have the US Marines double parked just outside.

You Don't Say!

(The original title of this post being "No Sh*t!")
In person Mr Bush is so far removed from the caricature of the dim, war-mongering Texas cowboy of global popular repute that it shakes one’s faith in the reliability of the modern media
writes the Times' Gerard Baker, as he prepares for an interview in which Dubya shows how clueless he is on all issues.

Calling for a Turtle Bay Tea Party

This is a moment at which there is much to be learned about the U.N., though less from Mr. Annan's epistles than from the realities that have engendered them
writes Claudia Rosett.
We'll skip lightly past the footnote that Mr. Annan's articles lauding his own plans and importance are actually written by members of his ample public relations staff, whose tax-free salaries are covered in substantial part by U.S. taxpayers. We'll pause only for a moment to note that Mr. Annan, having denounced the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein as "illegal," managed in a Washington Post piece last week to credit himself for progress in Iraq with nary a nod to the U.S.--though the vital act allowing for all that Iraqi forward motion was the toppling of Saddam Hussein.
In a similar vein, readers of No Pasarán will remember that when asked whether Iraq's historic January 30 elections represented a victory for the Bush administration, French government spokesman François Copé replied that they were "a great success for the international community."
And we'll give Mr. Annan the benefit of the doubt. Surely it was just another of his memory lapses, similar to those encountered by investigators of the Oil for Food scandal, that led him to omit any mention of the sacrifices of the Americans, British and other non-U.N. coalition members who for more than two years have been clearing and securing the way for the Iraqi progress about which he is now preening. …

[Kofi Annan's latest proclamation of such stuff as a fresh start and much progress and grand plans for reforming the U.N. -- he is particularly practiced at, having done it twice already, in 1997 and 2002 -- ] is unnervingly similar to the U.N. arrangement via Oil for Food in which Saddam paid 2.2% of his oil revenues to the U.N. to supervise the program. As long at the deal continued, the flow of funds to the U.N. was automatic. And because the money belonged by rights to the people of Iraq, but Mr. Annan did his U.N. deals not with them, but with Baghdad's tyrant, the effect was taxation without representation. The predictable result was a carnival of graft in which both Saddam and his biggest business partner, the U.N., hoodwinked the general world public and short-changed most of the 26 million Iraqis who were neither family members of U.N. top officials, nor cronies of Saddam.

"airline tax against poverty?" Snxpfff!@!?!

Hurricane Lou hits the nail on the head of something even BBC4 managed to expose "both sides" of: the revival of transnational taxation, or, what Kofi Annan called an "alternate revenue" source:

«Thierry Breton is clueless. Rich people don't fly Ryanair and other low-cost airlines. Rich people fly British Airways and Lufthansa and Air France. The poor and budget-conscious middle-class fly Ryanair. They are the ones who will be most impacted by this tax.»
The Lou has spoken. Be nice to the Lou.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

For the want of misery

Lifted from the Wall Street Journal’s Best Of The Web:

The 'Pro-Americans':

«Recently the Pew Global Attitudes Project released another of its international polls finding that, ho-hum, a lot of foreigners don't like America. But columnist Anne Applebaum has an interesting take on it. Noting that a significant minority in many countries--"some 43 percent of the French, 41 percent of Germans, 42 percent of Chinese and 42 percent of Lebanese"--are pro-American, she looks at the demographics of this group:»
These numbers are competitive with many of wins in three party elections held in some of these state. So why would the inverse – the percentage of ‘positives’ divided by 100 – matter so much as the BBC has been flogging for nearly a week now?
«Advertising executives understand very well the phenomenon of ordinary women who read magazines filled with photographs of clothes they could never afford: They call such women "aspirational." Looking around the world, it is clear there are classes of people who might also be called aspirational. They are upwardly mobile, or would like to be. They tend to be pro-American, too.

In Britain, for example, 57.6 percent of those whose income are low believe that the United States has a mainly positive influence in the world, while only 37.1 percent of those whose income are high believe the same. Breaking down the answers by education, a similar pattern emerges. In South Korea, 69.2 percent of those with low education think the United States is a positive influence, while only [?] 45.8 percent of those with a high education agree. That trend repeats itself not only across Europe but in many other developed countries. Those on their way up are pro-American. Those who have arrived, and perhaps feel threatened by those eager to do the same, are much less so.

In developing countries, by contrast, the pattern is sometimes reversed. It turns out, for example, that Indians are much more likely to be pro-American if they are not only younger but also wealthier and better educated, and no wonder. . . . Some 69 percent of Indians with high incomes think the United States is a mainly positive influence in the world, and only 29 percent of those with low incomes agree. This same phenomenon may also account for the persistence of a surprising degree of popular pro-Americanism in such places as Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil and the Philippines. They're getting wealthier--like Americans--but aren't yet so rich as to feel directly competitive.

There may be domestic parallels here. The most anti-American Americans seem to come from the ranks of the superrich and the overeducated. And "working class" support for the relatively free-market Republicans, which so mystifies liberal Democrats, is at least in part aspirational.»
So losers resent, and those working hard and hoping to succeed are positive about a nation about which they've only had bad news brow-beaten into them over. Shall we guess what side of the divide the Independent’s cartoonist falls on? In that light, he aspires to very little.

On to the point of the construct of a negative image, we also find in today’s WSJ a citation to a failed attempt at agitprop:
« A Muslim cleric formerly held at Guantanamo Bay prison said Tuesday that U.S. guards there regularly desecrated the Quran by putting it into a toilet," the Associated Press reports. But Airat Vakhitov acknowledges that "he never witnessed it himself":

"A Palestinian named Mahir, who was in a neighboring cell, had seen it and told me about that," Vakhitov told the AP. "Many other people in Guantanamo also told me about that."

Sure thing there, Airat. Just one problem: As blogger Danny Troy points out, "Vakhitov was singing a different tune not too long ago." Troy quotes from an August 2003 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report:

“Hasanova [Vakhitov's mother] said she learned of his fate after receiving a letter from him last November. She said her son is feeling well and is satisfied with the conditions of his detention at Guantanamo.

"He writes that he is treated kindly and with respect, that he has good food, cleanliness, and as he says in his letter, he feels better than if he was at the best Russian sanatoriums," Hasanova said.

Vakhitov's mother said he also writes that his fellow detainees are friendly toward him, and that they often lend each other copies of the Koran and pray together.”»
Further this morning the cat dragged in this bit of puzzlement:
«The special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, said the claims were rumours at this stage, but urged the US to co-operate with an investigation
The answer should be "nope, find out what those capo-lile cops of yours' are up to, sparky". Even if they’re only rumored to be bustin' heads and abusing prisoners. Childish agit-prop, but the BBC’s audience has already been conditioned to drink the kool-aid, no matter what it looks like.

Broadway Gerhardt is at again

Doing an "Anti-Reagan", Kanzler Schröder raises top tax rate a year after dropping the top tax rate:

«Other observers were also unimpressed, pointing out that Mr Schröder had only just lowered taxes for top-earners, at the beginning of the year, as part of his attempt to revive Germany's sluggish economy.»

Since the Socialism + Corporatism model seems to be working so well now, why bother encouraging small business creation? After all, who needs ingenuity and innovation anyway, eh?

Green acres is the place to be...

Telegraph (UK): French bureaucrats refuse to give up lavish free homes as economy wilts.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Gerhard’s magic bus

If his capitalism-baiting and the historically familiar looking Amerikaner-baiting ploys didn’t beef up his election chances, does he really think a magical touch of that good W juju will cure his electability problems?

It seems so.

In any event, your humble correspondent had the chance to “speak truth to the soon to be powerless” by airing views at the civil servants, hangers on, trade sheisters, and flunkies who came with the visiting Chancellor Schroeder with Ray of David’s Medienkritik. It gave us a chance to speak and hear back from German media, governmental commerce types, and foreign ministry types visiting DC with hat in hand.

Oddly enough they knew exactly what sort of anti-americanism we were talking about. We heard stories of editors tch-tching balanced news stories submitted by staff writers, among other things which gave us all the more reason to pity the poor idealistic shlubs who want to do balanced journalism, free of the perplexing hang-ups of the ’68 generation.

When German government representatives nod, (and not in that “un-hunh, take it easy on the bong, dude” way,) but in a way that actually speaks to their own frustration with the electoral gambit which seems to have failed the SPD at home, but has done them no favors within Europe or beyond their borders.

Among other fine folks who joined us was none other than’s Mary Katherine Ham. In addition to having enough of a sense of humor to show up is an editor and opinion writer for, edits townhall’s c-log. She also rocks. Her positive way and her wit gave the event the pique of a color-man calling a boxing match. Noting on one of DC’s local gentry who paid us a visit:

«I got there a little late, but Joe said they didn't encounter a lot of anger from passers-by, unlike David’s Medienkritik's protest during Bush's visit to Mainz, during which Ray was surrounded by "200 angry Communists who want to whip you."

We were only surrounded by one spacy-looking, plaid-skirted girl with a Starbucks cup, standing next to us shrilling about "the dolphins! They killed the dolphins and then those same politicians cut down the Redwoods and there are no more trees. World health not war!"

She went on and on and on, even when the group had dispersed and we were just four people standing around talking about German media bias and blogs. It was odd. It was just as if she had been walking by and decided by the looks of us that we needed her dolphins and Redwoods lecture, which was addressed to no one in particular, but managed to make several of my conversations challenging.»
In fact our new fan was so amusing that we tried to record some of that wisdom and remix it for sale outside the Democrats’ next convention. All in needed was a hated drum machine set on “bassonova” and a goober with a Casio. Da-da-da, peeps! We could pepper it up with a host of soundbites with their predictions about "eroding America's gravitas" abroad, and breaking Europe's "chain of trust".

The floor-show notwithstanding what had we accomplished? We communicated directly to German government officials, press, and let them know that one could just as well say that they shouldn’t continue burning up American patience and good-will to make symbolic and distracting publicity points at home. That feeding the tiny embers of German anti-Americanism into a volcano wasn’t just imprudent, but dishonest and cheap.

We found them to be as frustrated with the beast of their creation as much as many Americans have been, and that it certainly didn't look it came in very handy right now.

If you hate honesty, send them your hard earned money

«I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself… I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.»

- Roger Baldwin (1884-1981). Founder, The American Civil Liberties Union

(post lifted from John Ray)

Its obvious what side the left has taken

Monday, June 27, 2005


Do you know how often smug French people like to point out the obvious superiority of European society because of the fact that the percentage of blacks in America's prisons is far superior than that of African-Americans in American society as a whole; and to wax on (and on, and on) about how this shows the obvious failure of capitalism, of the effort to improve race relations, and of America itself?

Well, for some reason — perhaps because French media outlets rarely (if ever) dwell upon such matters — the afore-mentioned cynics make much less noise about this LGF statistic (merci à Grégoire et Steve).

Incidentally, Steve notes the plethora of "said-with-irony quotemarks" around words such as "extremist groups", "Salafi", "emergency", and "Islamic" extremism. As for a French jail, it is called a
Concentration camp …! No irony quotemarks there! Thanks, Islam Online! We Americans now have an easy retort for snooty French remarks about Guantanamo Bay.

Letters to the Editor

Following his appearance on French television, Charles of Little Green Footballs got a number ofemails from French viewers proving beyond doubt, and once and for all, just how the atmosphere in France, how the media outlets in France, and how the work of France's national education has led to a nation of reasonable, tolerant, polite, lucid, wise, and above-the-fray individuals…

(Feel like answering Momo, Frank and Hervé — among others?)

China's communist leaders view the United States as their main enemy and are working in Asia and around the world to undermine U.S. alliances

China's communist leaders view the United States as their main enemy and are working in Asia and around the world to undermine U.S. alliances
Bill Gertz quotes a former Chinese diplomat as saying. (Read also Gertz's Chinese Dragon Awakens, in two parts.)
Chen Yonglin, until recently a senior political officer at the Chinese Consulate in Sydney, Australia, said in an interview that China also is engaged in large-scale intelligence-gathering activities in the United States that, in the past, netted large amounts of confidential U.S. government documents from agents.

…Mr. Chen said the danger of a war over Taiwan is growing

echoing what I wrote four years ago.
"That is possible as Chinese society is getting more unstable," he said. "Once any serious civil disobedience occurs, the government may call for a war across the Taiwan Strait to gather [political] strength from people."

It is fashionable in some circles to invoke the UN as the touchstone of moral authority, but realists know better

Jeff Jacoby:
"A reader living in Moscow," writes National Review's Jay Nordlinger, "sent me a photo from a rally in Azerbaijan, which showed a youth holding up a poster of President Bush with the words, 'We Want Freedom.' The reader commented, 'It's good to remember whom people turn to when they're desperate — and it ain't Kofi Annan."'

Indeed. It is fashionable in some circles to invoke the United Nations as the touchstone of moral authority, but realists know better. They look to the United States, not the UN, as the great moral engine in world affairs. Like the Lebanese who waved a US flag during the demonstrations in Beirut earlier this year, like the "Goddess of Liberty" in Tiananmen Square in 1989, the young Azerbaijani with his poster is a reminder that America and its message of freedom and individual dignity have an almost limitless capacity to inspire those who are denied them.

Democracy needs more of Dan Rather, Newsweek, and Al-JazeeraLa démocratie a besoin de davantage de Dan Rather, Newsweek, et Al-Jazira
Only 33% think it hurts democracy?
Seulement 33% croient qu'elle nuit à la démocratie?

Tell me lies

In a compendium of lefty journalistic over-reach, the newly released book "Tell me lies" presents an amusing display of essays that the moonbat crowd will use their unquestioning and predictable mental filter to draw its' own message from. Keith Windshuttle in the New Criterion does a thorough fisking of Robert Fisk himself - who Windshuttle says is madly in love with leftism is enamoured an anachronism: the aristocratic trappings of the arabism of centuries ago, and displays a penchant for looking at people as wogs in need of Euro-guidance. Shown too for what he is, is the unctuous John Pilger as are several others.

The starkest though is the illusion Fisk has that he's merely reporting. Its belied by a profession that places by-lines at the top, not the bottom, and will uncritically trumpet any anti-western thought provided that it supports his self-promotion and hefty speakers fees for years to come.

Note Fisks adoration of bin Laden, which takes the form of a sort of T.E. Lawrence treatment:

«Osama Bin Laden sat in his gold fringed robe, guarded by loyal Arab mujahedin With his high cheekbones, narrow eyes and long brown robe, Mr Bin Laden looks every inch the mountain warrior of mujahedin legend. Chadored children danced in front of him, preachers acknowledged his wisdom. »

or the promotion of his own "mind penetrating radar" which leapt to these conclusion mere hours after the Trade Center and Pentagon attacks:
«Still, Fisks contacts with the Arab militants have allowed him to be sometimes perceptive. While on a transatlantic flight to the United States on the morning of September 11, 2001, he heard the news of the terrorist attacks on New York and immediately guessed correctly who was behind them.»

Helen Keller on Life and (True) Happiness

Today is the birthday of Helen Keller, the woman (1880-1968) some of whose opinions could be said to apply to (among other things) Europe's cradle-to-grave protectionist mentality and its hopes for a brave new (UN-dominated) world:
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.

Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.

College isn't the place to go for ideas.

A child must feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment before he takes with a will to the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way through a dull routine of textbooks.

All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.

As selfishness and complaint pervert the mind, so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision.

As the eagle was killed by the arrow winged with his own feather, so the hand of the world is wounded by its own skill.

Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction! Be heroes in an army of construction!

Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.

When one door of happiness closes, another one opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

Related post: Annie Sullivan

Sunday, June 26, 2005

7 Things You Can't Say in Canada

From Reader's Digest (of all places): 7 Things You Can't Say in Canada

Keine klischees in Deutschen Medien!

At least they aren't promoting some kind of EUsperanto yet...

Deutsche Welle reports/ promotes a the actual integration of Germans who aren't culturally German, and therefore disinvolved in German life. Finally!
The terribly misnamed piece called Promoting Germany's Language Melting Pot reveals a sort of novelty and discomfort to the whole excercise. At least the lazy meme of "multi-culturalism" has some competition on the Agora of ideas now.

They seem to finally have realized that people don't exactly dispose of their identities when they integrate, not do they lose their dignity. So even though the language "melting pot" is no didfferent than the night before, in a novelty sensetive society, the case has to be made disingenuously that learning German is a "melting pot thing" in itself.

I can't help wondering why they didn't pose the lead-off image with the word "integration" in english, and not german. DW is meant as a sort of propaganda to promote German culture, ideas, and economy. Perhaps they recognize that "tribal relations" in German aren't living up as planned, and seem so from abroad.