|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
Check this cat out:
Thursday, December 19, 2002
Posted 9:49 AM by WiN
Afghanistan - check; Iraq - to do; South Africa - 2005ish
You've just got to love inept government bureaucrats who make bloody fools of themselves for all the civilized world to see. Seems the South African health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, got the inter-office memo giving the official excuse for spending valuable tax dollars on submarines instead of AIDS relief is that US invasion could be imminent. [via James Taranto]
Not that their blossoming kleptocracy could care, but here's a little free advice on how to keep Bush from 'invading': Stay out of the WMD business and don't provide aid and comfort to enemies of the United States. Doing so will free up millions of rand for use in trying to stem the tide of HIV infection sweeping over the Dark Continent everywhere that abstinence isn't practiced. Good luck with all that.
Posted 8:45 AM by WiN
Germans Trying to Win Round Three Via Proxy
James Taranto points out that there may be a very good reason why German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was so dead-set against attacking Iraq. Seems German industry is by far and away the leading supplier of 'weapon supplies' to Saddam's desert dictatorship according to the left-wing Berlin paper Tageszeitung.
So let me get this straight: Russia doesn't want us to attack Iraq because of their multi-billion dollar trade surplus, and now Germany is helping them to re-arm for future aggression. Is the U.S. the only industrialized nation not ignoring the U.N.-imposed trade embargo? And the 'world community' wants us to restrict our defensive measures to those proscribed by the U.N.? Sorry, but it already appears that the 'every country for themselves' rule has been back in effect now for at least the last decade. The U.N. remains only as window-dressing for xenophobic Euroweenies and third-world kleptocracys. Bush should underline that reality by proceeding with actions in line with U.S. interests without any further U.N. consultation. Let's see if they object virulently enough to 'take their toys and go home'.
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Posted 1:13 PM by WiN
Law, Lott and the Life of the Powerful
Geez, just how embarrassing is Trent Lott to Republicans, and the conservative movement in general? As Jonah Goldberg points out, he has succeeded in "achiev(ing) the anatomical triumph of shoving his foot in his mouth while his head was already in an unlit nether region.." Then he has the unmitigated gall and/or imbecility to go on BET and proclaim his everlasting support of affirmative action "across the board". This is the man we want playing a major role in sheparding the conservative agenda for the coming legislative session?
Kathleen Parker, perhaps my favorite conservative single mom, has drawn an interesting parallel in her recent column between Lott and Boston's recently resigned Cardinal Law.
Law's denial of a truth that ruined dozens of lives doesn't make him a pedophile any more than Lott's careless eulogizing of an old man necessarily makes him a racist.Both are men who seemingly became so intoxicated by their positions of power that they completely lost touch with reality as viewed through the eyes of their average constituent. Law's painfully delayed departure smacked of a reluctance to release the reins of power long after his complicity in the corruption of dozens of lives became widely recognized. Now Lott appears to be clueless as to the damage his careless remarks have made to the Republican cause on the eve of an historic political power shift. Just as Law's continued denial of complicity caused untold pain to the parishioners of Boston, so Lott's continued clumsy and dull-witted backpedalling and damage control is leaving an unguarded flank of conservatism open to repeated attacks from the race-mongering left. David Horowitz puts it well when he says:
"These modern liberals, ...mock the truth when they label conservatives and Republicans who decry reparations, quotas, and the racism of "lower expectations" as "racists" rather than "liberators." But if Lott remains the leading spokesperson of the Republican Party in the U.S. Senate, the liberal attack will be true in the public mind and therefore an electoral reality. The domestic mission of conservatives and the Republican party must be to liberate all individuals from the oppression of "the vision of the anointed" -- the vision that elite liberals wish to impose on all people especially minorities and the poor. Senator Lott will do his party and his country a service if he steps down. If he does not, the Party must remove him."I can only say, "Amen". Trent, it's time to go.
Posted 12:37 PM by WiN
Drink, Drive & Lose (your Liberty)
Well, the lefties at MADD are at it again. According to this press release by the American Beverage Institute,
a coalition of government and law enforcement officials vowed to set up roadblocks to arrest anyone who drives after drinking alcohol, even if they are well below the blood alcohol content arrest threshold.In other words, don't worry about such legal technicalities as whether or not the driver is legally drunk, or even poses any danger whatsoever to themselves or others, let's throw them in the clink to show what good citizens we are.
Sorry, but this is getting WAY too close to police state practices for me. First, stopping people for no probable cause is a blatant violation of constitutional rights. Second, most states proscribe no penalties for minimal BAL levels (<.08), which for a great many folks is well below the level of impairment for driving. One-handed cell phone users constitute a far greater hazard.
Law enforcement officials who really want to cut down on the mayhem caused by drunk drivers would be much better served by keeping close tabs on the chronic offenders who cause a vastly disproportionate percentage of accidents, injuries and deaths attributable to drunk driving. Of course that would be much less convenient and entail some real work, not to mention not being nearly as attractive in generating favorable headlines. I recommend that anyone living in these enforcement areas contact their state and federal representatives at once and express their thoughts on these unconstitutional enforcement tactics. I know I would.
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.