Friday, November 30, 2007

NAACP defends racism

An Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal discusses the NAACP's defense of segregated schools:
In 1992, the Supreme Court held in U.S. v. Fordice that racially identifiable institutions of higher education in Mississippi were a holdover from the state's Jim Crow past. The plaintiffs wanted more state funding for historically black schools, but the court turned them down, seeing the ghost of "separate but equal."

... This prompted the NAACP, in the summer of 1994, to organize a civil-rights march to save Mississippi Valley State University. In a strange turn of events, the preservation of an allegedly "segregated" institution became a black cause.

"Peace" Democrats oppose "useless" war

The Democrats opposition to democracy in Iraq is quite similar to their opposition to the US Civil War to free the slaves, says Gateway Pundit.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How Pericles dealt with hecklers

From Plutarch's Lives:
Once in the market he was abused and reviled for hours by an idle hooligan and uttered not a word in reply. The hooligan continued his tirade all the way to Pericles' home when darkness fell. Pericles sent out a servant with a lantern to escort the hooligan to his own home.
Who among our current crop of politicians would exhibit such dignity and courtesy?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Childish solutions

Sen. Clinton calls for a 'timeout' on new trade agreements:
"When I'm president we'll have a time out to take stock of where we are on trade," said Clinton, a senator from New York. "Every trade agreement has to be independently, objectively analyzed."
Sen. Clinton has also called for a forclosure timeout:
Senator Clinton recently announced an initiative to address the crisis in the subprime market, including increasing independent and face to face financial counseling for borrowers before they take out mortgages and .... a possible "foreclosure timeout" to create incentives for lenders to identify troubled mortgages and work out solutions with borrowers to avoid foreclosure.
One the one hand, calling for "timeouts" allows her to triangulate between the pro and con on any issue. This might be good politics, particularly for a front-runner who doesn't want to commit to positions during the primaries that might hurt her during the general election.

Timeouts make sense for kids because their brains take extra time to process new data. Adults, however, have studied free trade issues for centuries (Remember Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations). Bill Clinton (pro) and Ross Perot (con) debated free trade over a decade ago. If our distinguished Senators haven't yet made up their minds on the issue, more time will not help. It is interesting, though, that calling for timeouts continues the previously noted Democrat practice of trying to solve adult problems as if the adults were children.

Making the facts convenient

James Taranto notes a nuanced view of facts:
Today Post columnist Ruth Marcus devastates Times columnist Paul Krugman, whom she actually mentions by name. Marcus notes a Krugman column from last week in which the former Enron adviser pooh-poohs concerns about the solvency of Social Security.

"Somebody should introduce Paul Krugman to . . . Paul Krugman," she writes, citing a series of old Krugman columns in which he sounded alarms about the solvency of Social Security. The best one is from a book review that appeared in the Times in 1996, before Krugman was a columnist. He wrote:

Responsible adults are supposed to plan more than seven years ahead. Yet if you think even briefly about what the Federal budget will look like in 20 years, you immediately realize that we are drifting inexorably toward crisis; if you think 30 years ahead, you wonder whether the Republic can be saved.

As far as we know, Krugman has never explained why he changed his mind, but one has to suspect it is for the same reason that, say, John Edwards went from being an alarmist about Saddam Hussein to being complacent about the whole war on terror--that is, political expediency.

The Democrat's turnabouts on Social Security solvency, like their turnabouts on the Iraq war, seem breathtakingly irresponsible. It makes one think of the Islamists who believe that the Koran tells them to lie if it benefits their cause.

RELATED: Sen. Barack Obama endorses a neo-con foreign policy.

Bravely attacking safe targets

It has been widely noted that the left-wing media and commentators will "bravely" attack Pres. Bush but will not, say, publish the Danish Mohammed cartoons. The (London) Times reports that an award-winning English artist has taken the unusual step of admitting the obvious about such left-liberal bravery:
Grayson Perry, the cross-dressing potter, Turner Prize winner and former Times columnist, said that he had consciously avoided commenting on radical Islam in his otherwise highly provocative body of work because of the threat of reprisals.

Perry also believes that many of his fellow visual artists have also ducked the issue, and one leading British gallery director told The Times that few major venues would be prepared to show potentially inflammatory works.

“I’ve censored myself,” Perry said at a discussion on art and politics organised by the Art Fund. “The reason I haven’t gone all out attacking Islamism in my art is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.”

Perry’s highly decorated pots can sell for more than £50,000 and often feature sex, violence and childhood motifs. One work depicted a teddy bear being born from a penis as the Virgin Mary. [emphasis added.]

While the left may claim that Christian "fundamentalist" "extremists" resemble the Taliban, somewhere inside, they do know the truth to be otherwise. A psychologist might call this displacement.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Reasoning by Ad Hominem

Scott Johnson recalls a university lecture given by a National Socialist:
George Lincoln Rockwell was the founder of the American Nazi Party who was assassinated by a former follower in 1967. ....I saw Rockwell speak in 1965 or 1966.... He drew a large crowd that packed the house of the University of Minnesota auditorium where I saw him speak. As I recall, he gave a stemwinder followed by a long question and answer period.

One of the students asked him a critical question regarding Hitler's actions, citing William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. I vividly recall that Rockwell dismissed the question with the answer: "Shirer is a Jew."

This is an ad hominem argument: attacking a person while failing to respond to what that person said. It obviously is useful to provide emotional comfort and certainty to those whose views cannot withstand logical analysis.

Incidentally, Rockwell as wrong about Shirer's religion.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Our "moderate" enemies, II

Sir Ian Kershaw, a professor of modern (German) history at the University of Sheffield reviews how wrong British newspapers were about Hitler:

The Guardian thought on September 25 1930 that the exclusion of the Nazi party from Reich government, given its electoral success, was not in the best interests of German democracy and that their involvement would "in the long run ... help to perpetuate this democracy". ....

The Guardian maintained its view, however, that Hitler, "while full of the verbiage of revolution", was "no revolutionary leader". It claimed that he lacked courage, and that his baleful threats before the Leipzig court raised unnecessary fears, while his assurances of proceeding legally had hardly been noticed. It dismissed him on September 29 1930 as "the ranting clown who bangs the drum outside the National Socialist circus". Few things, the newspaper had remarked three days earlier, were less likely than that Hitler would gain sole power in Germany.

By 1932, as the crisis of German democracy deepened, British newspapers devoted far more attention to Nazism. Even now, however, underestimation of Hitler was commonplace. The Observer, still on February 21 1932 seeing Hitler as no more than a demagogue propped up by financially powerful nationalists, reversed course following his candidacy for the Reich presidency in March, when it wrote (March 20 1932) that it would be wrong to regard him "as a mere agitator and rank outsider". Here, as in the Guardian (which still implied on March 30 1932 that Hitler was no more than a charlatan), the emerging view was that he was a "moderate", who might possibly develop into a statesman, but could not control his own violent and unruly movement.

The press also warned against over-emphasizing the anti-semitism of this "moderate" leader:
The Observer, in its article on March 20 1932, hinted that attacks on Hitler's anti-semitism exaggerated the danger, adding: "It must not be forgotten that the major part of the German Republican Press is in Jewish hands."
The desire of liberals to believe the best our enemies repeats today as we are urged to give the benefit of a doubt to the to the moderate and pragmatic enemies like the mullocracy in Iran or urged to believe that "Al Qaeda in Iraq" is not really Al Qaeda.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Clinton Donor indicted

A big Democrat donor, Mauricio Celis, has been indicted on four counts: 1. falsely holding oneself as a lawyer, 2. impersonating a public servant, 3. state jail felony theft, 4. aggravated perjury. He has contributed over $415,000 to Democrats since 2002. Gateway Pundit has a round-up.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Those who love to hate, III

Michelle Malkin spots a case of a blogger at the Huffington Post imaging/projecting liberal faults onto conservatives and then attacking/hating them for those imagined faults:

A sanctimonious liberal (redundancy alert!) blogger excoriates various conservatives who all presumably own massive, gas-guzzling vehicles like the Ford F-150:

As the American economy falls to pieces, oil is hovering in the $100 per barrel range and gas prices are a few days away from shattering all-time high records. Forecasters are predicting that gas will surpass $3.22 per gallon by next week. Mad Money’s Jim Cramer told Chris Matthews last week that gas prices might top $4 per gallon within the next six weeks.

Even with this brutal economic news to serve as an incentive, will Michelle Malkin, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk sacrifice for the war effort by purchasing less Islamofascist gasoline for their Ford F-150 Microphalluses? No way. Too moonbatty. Devising new and hilariously clever agitprop words like “Defeatocrats” is clearly more patriotic than actually addressing the principle source of global and domestic instability: oil and gasoline.

The blogger, one Bob Cesca, published his post at the Huffington Post, founded by the Queen of gas-guzzling Gulfstream Liberals, Arianna Huffington. Yes, the same Arianna Huffington who was caught driving this Chevy Suburban beauty to get to the Sierra Club’s national summit in San Francisco a few years ago [picture omitted]

Ms. Malkin provides links to reports on what Ms. Huffington drives/flies (some links above, much more in her full post). By contrast, I found nothing in Bob Cesca's post or its links to indicate that he had made any effort to find out if the cars driven by the conservatives that he mentions actually guzzle more gas than Ms. Huffington's vehicles or whatever Mr. Cesca drives. Actual facts are irrelevant when one is making argument by projection.

Monday, November 12, 2007

UN warns of criminal irresponsibility!

The AP writes:
VALENCIA, Spain - The U.N.'s top climate official warned policymakers and scientists trying to hammer out a landmark report on climate change that ignoring the urgency of global warming would be "criminally irresponsible."

Yvo de Boer's comments came at the opening of a weeklong conference....

So, who is Yvo de Boer and what are his qualifications? According to the UN, he was appointed as the UN's top climate official by Kofi Annan and his background and education are presented as:
Born in Vienna, Yvo de Boer is married and has 3 children. As the son of a Dutch diplomat, he travelled the world extensively before entering boarding school in the United Kingdom and obtaining a technical degree in social work in the Netherlands.
So, the UN's top climate man who is assuring us about the certainty of the science has a degree in social work?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

All the news that's convenient

The Al Dura trial in France is producing more and more evidence of complicity of the the Western media in presenting Palestinian propaganda and stage productions as if they were facts. As a France 3 journalist explains, fake news is normal:
“You know, I think this whole affair is dead in the water,” said a senior journalist at France 3 TV, Clement Weill Raynal, who is also a well-known contributor to Jewish media. “Karsenty is so shocked that fake images were used and edited in Gaza, but this happens all the time everywhere on television and no TV journalist in the field or a film editor would be shocked."

Previous admissions by US media that its foreign news was false are discussed here.

Venezuela's other major export: organized crime

Moises Naim writes about Venezuela under Hugo Chavez in an L A Times op-ed:
While this situation has so far been rather invisible to the rest of the world, it is patently clear to those in charge of fighting transnational crime. Anti-trafficking officials in Europe, the United States, Asia and other Latin American countries are paying unprecedented attention to Venezuela. These officials are not particularly interested in Venezuelan politics or in Chavez's policies. All they care about is that the tentacles of these global criminal networks are spreading from Venezuela into their countries with enormous power and at great speed.

The numbers speak volumes: About 75 tons of cocaine left Venezuela in 2003; it is estimated that 276 tons will leave the country this year. Before, the main destination was the United States; now, Europe is increasingly the target. Italy and Spain are two new important and lucrative end-user markets, ....

A senior Dutch police officer told me that he and his European colleagues are spending more time in Caracas than in Bogota, Colombia, and that the heads of many of the major criminal cartels now operate with impunity, and effectiveness, from Venezuela. The cartel bosses aren't exclusively Colombians -- there are Asians (especially Chinese) and Europeans too. ....

Venezuela appears near the top of lists compiled by the anti-money-laundering authorities as well. Money moves in and out, and not just through electronic inter-bank transfers. The combination of private jets, suitcases full of cash and diplomatic immunity has opened up new possibilities. ....

A group of Venezuelans had engineered the sale of Iranian arms and munitions to his country, using Venezuelan companies as a cover to bypass the U.N. embargo on Iran's arms trade. Likewise, the guerrillas in Colombia seem to have no trouble acquiring weapons -- many of which come through Venezuela-based arms dealers. ....

Diamond traders are doing equally well. "Venezuela is allowing massive smuggling of diamonds," stated a recent report by Global Witness and Partnership Africa, two respected nongovernmental organizations.

John Hinderaker writes "Communism is, in essence, rule by a criminal gang. So it shouldn't be a surprise that Hugo Chavez is turning Venezuela into a haven for international crime."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

War of the Worlds, for real?

A space shuttle experiment has found that some bacteria become more lethal after spending time growing in space's zero-gravity.

Environmentalism visits the moon

Author Andrew Smith is concerned about "plundering the moon." There is some speculation about mining He-3 on the moon for use as a fuel for nuclear fusion on Earth. Compared to other power sources, such as coal or nuclear fission, He-3 would, if practical, be an environment boon. However, environmentalist Andrew Smith sees a downside:
Earth's sister [i.e. the moon] has played a role in teaching us to value our environment: how extraordinary to think that the next giant leap for the environmental movement might be a campaign to stop state-sponsored mining companies chomping her up in glorious privacy, a quarter of a million miles from our ravaged home.
On Earth, the environmentalists talk about our "fragile" ecological system and the "delicate balance" of nature. By contrast, the moon has no eco-system and no delicate balance: it is a lifeless barren rock. That environmentalists would be concerned about it, I think, reveals their agenda less as pro-environment and more as anti-man.

Friday, November 02, 2007

In government, we trust, II

Over at DailyKos, Kos complains about the difficulty that he has had dealing with the massive bureaucracy at Blue Shield over paying an out-of-network anesthesiologist. As a liberal, he, of course, expects that huge government-run bureaucracies, like HillaryCare, would be friendlier. If the problem is a bureaucratic run-around, the solution would hardly seem to be a larger bureaucracy.

He asks "[h]ow could a government-run service be any worse than these unaccountable, unethical, disgusting creeps?" Well, for one, he didn't have to leave the country to get care. Also, they didn't poison him. Yes, government-run systems can be worse.

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