Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Animal House


Tasting Victory, Liberals Instead Have a Food Fight
(Washington Post. Requires registration. I've tried to include the most relevant bits below.)

Even the Washington Post can see that when Hugo Chavez's latest squeeze, Cindy Sheehan, and Saddam Hussein defense attorney Ramsey Clark get together to promote "The Impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney." no one besides John Kerry is likely to take them seriously.

They were headliners at a teach-in/love-in/putsch-parody/rally yesterday at the aptly nominated Busboys & Poets restaurant and bookshop in Washington, D.C.

One David Swanson, a labor union official who runs "Impeach PAC", asked
"Does the Democratic Party want to continue to exist or does it want to ignore what 85 percent of its supporters want?"
Swanson must have meant 85% of the 10% of Americans who comprise the extreme left and who support Democrats as long as Democrats perpetrate disingenous filibusters.

Since associating with such stupidity as will be revealed following, would cost Democrats far more votes than that, Mr. Swanson is either stupid and/or innumerate. I'd go for the former, based on further evidence:
After the participants made their urgent calls for impeachment proceedings, John Bruhns, identifying himself as an antiwar Iraq veteran, rose for a clarification. If Democrats don't first "gain control of one of the houses" of Congress, he wondered, "how else can we impeach this monster?"

Swanson had a ready brushoff for Democrats who won't pursue impeachment because they're in the minority: "Just go home if you're going to talk that way." Offering the lessons of 1994, he said: "The way the Republicans got the majority was not by being scared. . . . It was by going out and speaking on behalf of their base and letting themselves be called radicals."
He actually meant to say simply that "Republicans won elections", but as a member of the "reality-based community" he continues to regard this as metaphysically unacceptable.

If being called "radicals" (a polite term for Cindy Sheehan or Ramsay Clark) were all it took, there would be 99 Democrat Senators keeping Bernie Sanders company in the Senate chamber while watching re-runs of the Bork confirmation hearings.

No, Republicans didn't win by making themselves look any more like fools than they actually are, though if you're going to do so I suppose you may as well say it's on purpose.

Some of them even know it:
When one of the impeachment forum's sponsors posted an item on its Web site about news coverage of the event, a reader responded that, without conservative support, "this becomes a cartoon image of the old pinko commie left, and fair game for the wingnuts at Fox."
The only trouble is, that it is not a cartoon and Ramsay Clark is indeed the "old pinko commie left." Cindy Sheehan is probably not smart enough to be the "new pinko commie left", but her keepers still think she might challenge Senator Diane Feinstein in the next primary election.

None of this is going to stop these people from banging pots and pans together tonight in protest against the State of the Union speech, however. And Fox, if no one else, will probably show us some video of it. Maybe Ramsay Clark will get a tambourine.

Ramsay Clark, in addition to his current gig as one of
Saddam Hussein's defense lawyers, is a former United States Attorney General.
Clark, on a stage decorated with portraits of Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King Jr., said the administration is "the greatest threat to peace, to human rights, to economic justice worldwide." The former attorney general proposed a 75 percent cut in the military budget and complained that Democrats are just as warmongering as Republicans.
That may attract a major contribution from George Soros, but it is fortunately unlikely to help any Democrat outside of the San Francisco Bay area actually win an election.

Electoral success is not an issue, though:.
"I've heard a lot about accountability" from the panel, said one questioner. "Seems to me the first opportunity we had for accountability was in the last election."

"Elections," moderator [Kevin] Zeese replied, "are not the determining factor."
That explains why they have no use for them in Iraq, either, I suppose.

Your slip is showing


Here is the problem Google has with the massive loss of moral capital attendant upon their agreement to censor search results in Communist China.

Google challenges EU plan to regulate the internet
Google, the giant internet search company, is to lead industry opposition to new proposals from the European Commission to regulate online content.

The company, which last week said it would self-censor its Chinese search engine to appease the country's government, objects to the commission's proposals to extend regulations in the Television Without Frontiers directive (TWFD) to cover video content shown on the internet.
What principle is it that they want to assert to the European Commission again?

Worry not, however, the EeYew is both less efficient and less effectively draconian than the ChiComs.

As to resisting subpoenas for sample, aggregated, non-personal data from the US DoJ, Google'shanging tough.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Sir John Cowperthwaite


Died this last Saturday.

An economic miracle worker after the example of Calvin Coolidge,

We probably shall not see his like again.

P. J. O'Rourke wrote a nice chapter on Hong Kong under Cowperthwaite in Eat the Rich.

R.I.P.

H/T The American Thinker

Federal Courts 5, New York Times 0


Powerline has an excellent debunking of an NYT editorial on warrantless wiretaps, notable for citing federal case law related to the topic.

Spies and Lying Editorialists

The initial paragraphs:
Today the New York Times denounced the NSA's terrorist surveillance program in its usual hyperventilating style, in an editorial titled "Spies, Lies and Wiretaps". What was most striking to me about the Times' editorial, however, was that the paper doesn't actually want the Bush administration to stop the NSA's international surveillance. On the contrary: the Times' editorialists view the suggestion that the Democrats are opposed to such surveillance as libelous:
"President Bush believes if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why," [Karl Rove] told Republican officials. "Some important Democrats clearly disagree."

Mr. Rove knows perfectly well that no Democrat has ever said any such thing....
So monitoring calls between al Qaeda operatives overseas and their American contacts is a good thing. The Times just wants the administration to use FISA orders all the time, as opposed to the vast majority of the time. What's more, the Times assures its readers that there is no obstacle to obtaining such orders, nor is there any perceptible inconvenience in doing so.

A casual observer would be forgiven for wondering what the fuss is about. If the Times is happy with what the administration is doing, but just wants it to follow a procedure that will yield exactly the same result with virtually no inconvenience, why is the paper so hysterical?

The answer is that the Times purports to be making a technical legal argument. Its point is that following an easy, foolproof procedure will make the necessary surveillance legal instead of illegal...
It's worth reading the whole thing.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Just a thought


If, 40 years ago, the right had to distance itself from its supposed fealty to the John Birch Society in order to eventually gain electoral credence, when will the left recognize that it must distance itself from the Daily Kos, and democraticunderground for the same reasons?

The Daily Kos showcases far more extreme views than did "John Birch", yet t
he Dem leadership marches in lockstep to its rantings. John Kerry has posted there.

When winning primary elections ensures you can't win general elections it is time to re-group and re-think; not time to filibuster-for-finances.

Update: 6:35PM, 30-Jan-2006
Stuck in the '70s
By Michael Barone
at RealClearPolitics

Update: 6:35PM, 30-Jan-2006
Stuck on 1968
By Arnold Kling
at TCSDaily

John F. Sisyphus


It’s not that I’m against making a futile gesture in order to uphold a principle. It’s just that I insist there be a discernable principle. Unlike leading Democrats.

The list of those scambling to support John Kerry's call for a filibuster against the Alito confirmation, after they opposed it, continues to grow.

Add leader-from-the-rear Harry Reid, to Diane Feinstein and Hillary Clinton (previously noted here).

Those left wing blogs cannot say they aren't effective in influencing the Democrat party.

Too bad they can't promote a filibuster to end earmarks.

(See Wikipedia for a nice short review of who Sisyphus was.)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

It depends on what the meaning of the word "lie" is


We always knew this, but it is still amazing that they'll come right out and say it.

Michelle Malkin skewers... Well, exposes a self-skewering.

In the Times, lies are so refined, they should always be attended by a dowdy guard of whys.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Here's the story


Editors, Lansing State Journal

Gentlemen,

Re: What's the story?, today’s LSJ editorial on NSA wiretaps.

It is precisely because I do
Recall the administration argues the president has his own inherent surveillance authority as commander-in-chief. [and, I] Recall the administration argues Congress authorized surveillance with its post-9/11 resolution to pursue global terrorism.
- that I think you’ve missed the point.

We know that the Senate (and the House, for that matter) Intelligence Committee had been briefed on expanded NSA surveillance as early as October 2001.

That these briefings included arguments about the administration’s legal reasoning is known because Nancy Pelosi asked in writing for clarification. Even without that, it is impossible to imagine that no Congressperson asked about it in numerous briefings.

In other words,
…the type of explicit congressional authorization the Bush administration now says it has.
- is the same authorization the administration said it had then. That would be the force authorization, not some provision of FISA.

The context of the administration contention that
the existing rules were being followed and were working
- included, for the Senate Intelligence Committee, knowledge that FISA warrants were being bypassed.

What the administration was saying, in urging rejection of DeWine’s amendment, was 1) We do not want a public announcement authorizing top-secret operations we are already undertaking and; 2) We’ve already told you why this is legal under Article II of the Constitution, and we’re most definitely not interested in establishing a precedent that Congress can override Article II by conceding that you need to amend the law. Our argument is that not only do you not have to do that: You can’t.

Therefore, to use the rejection of DeWine’s proposal as a case against the administration’s interpretation of the law is a circular argument. Ironically, it seems likely that knowledge of the wiretaps is what motivated DeWine’s proposal.

Here is an excerpt from the Attorney General’s recent speech on the matter. This is certainly very similar to what Congress would have heard.
[A]s long as electronic communications have existed, the United States has conducted surveillance of those communications during wartime—all without judicial warrant. In the Civil War, for example, telegraph wiretapping was common, and provided important intelligence for both sides. In World War I, President Wilson ordered the interception of all cable communications between the United States and Europe; he inferred the authority to do so from the Constitution and from a general congressional authorization to use military force that did not mention anything about such surveillance. So too in World War II; the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt authorized the interception of all communications traffic into and out of the United States. The terrorist surveillance program, of course, is far more focused, since it involves only the interception of international communications that are linked to al Qaeda or its allies.

...The FISA Court of Review, the special court of appeals charged with hearing appeals of decisions by the FISA court, stated in 2002 that, quote, “[w]e take for granted that the President does have that [inherent] authority” and, “assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power.” We do not have to decide whether, when we are at war and there is a vital need for the terrorist surveillance program, FISA unconstitutionally encroaches – or places an unconstitutional constraint upon – the President's Article II powers. We can avoid that tough question because Congress gave the President the Force Resolution, and that statute removes any possible tension between what Congress said in 1978 in FISA and the President's constitutional authority today.
When you raise the “72 hour” question;
And recall what the FISA rules do allow: A court that has almost never denied government requests for surveillance warrants. And a court review that can occur up to 72 hours after the fact.

Yet the Justice Department now argues such protections impinge on "critical speed and agility" in surveillance?
- you ignore not only that the Justice Department always did argue that, but also that it contended that Article II, as FISA judges acknowledge, trumps FISA.

Attorney General Gonzales:
Some have pointed to the provision in FISA that allows for so-called “emergency authorizations” of surveillance for 72 hours without a court order. There’s a serious misconception about these emergency authorizations. People should know that we do not approve emergency authorizations without knowing that we will receive court approval within 72 hours. FISA requires the Attorney General to determine IN ADVANCE that a FISA application for that particular intercept will be fully supported and will be approved by the court before an emergency authorization may be granted. That review process can take precious time.

Thus, to initiate surveillance under a FISA emergency authorization, it is not enough to rely on the best judgment of our intelligence officers alone. Those intelligence officers would have to get the sign-off of lawyers at the NSA that all provisions of FISA have been satisfied, then lawyers in the Department of Justice would have to be similarly satisfied, and finally as Attorney General, I would have to be satisfied that the search meets the requirements of FISA. And we would have to be prepared to follow up with a full FISA application within the 72 hours.

A typical FISA application involves a substantial process in its own right: The work of several lawyers; the preparation of a legal brief and supporting declarations; the approval of a Cabinet-level officer; a certification from the National Security Adviser, the Director of the FBI, or another designated Senate-confirmed officer; and, finally, of course, the approval of an Article III judge.
This casts a different light on -
A court that has almost never denied government requests for surveillance warrants.
The question would be why so many get rejected given the preparation that goes into them.

There are legal issues in dispute, with considered arguments on both sides. Whether a mechanism exists that allows the White House, in some cases, to ignore FISA warrants is a fair question. “What’s the story?” isn’t.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Democrat 2008 presidential primary strategies


H/T for the Hillary quote, OpinionJournal.

Senator Clinton on why she'll vote against confirming Judge Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice:
Judge Alito also holds a harshly limited view of what the government can or should do to help ordinary Americans. Judge Alito said it all in 1986, when he was a young lawyer in the Reagan administration. He wrote that in his estimation, it is not the role of the federal government to protect the health, safety and welfare of the American people. Well, I guess that explains the inept, slow and dangerous response to Hurricane Katrina.
Um... no, what that explains is the term non sequitur.

It also explains that Alito has read the Constitution and Hillary hasn't. James Madison, an authority on the matter, said it all in 1792:
If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.
It never even occurred to Madison that the Supreme Court would "
subvert the very foundations" by aiding and abetting elected looters in a quest to destroy federalism.

Hillary sees
SCOTUS' role as enabling unchecked expansion of the nanny state: "It takes a Village - and a Majority of Nine Judges."

This sensitivity to, and preference for, judge-made law is a common Democrat theme. So, not to be outdone in vying for statist sympathy in advance of the 2008 presidential campaign, Senator Kerry is trying to organize a filibuster opposing Alito's confirmation vote. I thought this would have been Harry Reid's job.

Whoever. I'm OK with it; whether writing for the Daily Kos (be sure to check out the site thoroughly to see the company Kerry's keeping), obstructing yet another judicial nomination for the sake of it, or calling our soldiers terrorists, Kerry's doing
whatever it takes to wade ever further into the political nether regions quagmire. And when he's not dragging Hillary with him, she's dragging him with her. Teddy Kennedy is pushing them both with George Soros leading the cheers.

I hope Kerry is successful in initiating a filibuster. Then Senator Clinton will have to decide whether to join in useless Kos-appeasing obstructionism, and Senator Frist may finally be forced to employ the Constitutional Option.

"Democrat strategy" is truly an oxymoron.

Update: 28-Jan, 11:19AM - Over at Scrappleface Scott Ott notes that Filibuster Part of Secret Kerry Plan for 2008

Update: 28-Jan, 12:36PM - Captain's Quarters' Ed Morrisey with John Kerry, Blog Boy Of The Left

Update: 28-Jan, 4:28PM - Powerline - There's Something Happening Here... Woo Hoo! maybe we'll see the Constitutional Option yet.

Update: 28-Jan, 5:29PM - New York Daily News - Hil's for filibuster. Told you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

"Speakeasy" to be redefined


OpinionJournal has an important article about freedom of speech.

Bloggers of every political stripe know McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform for the totalitarian wedge it is. The MSM doesn't get it because they think the "press exemption" actually protects them.
As President Clinton taught us about the word "is", that depends on the definitions of "press" and "exemption."
Shut Up, They Explained
The left's regulatory war against free speech.

...The ultimate pipe dream of the reformers is a rigidly egalitarian society, where government makes sure that every individual's influence over politics is exactly the same, regardless of his wealth. Scrutinize the pronouncements of campaign-finance reform groups like the Pew-backed Democracy 21, and you'll see how the meaning of "corruption" morphs into "inequality of influence" in this sense. This notion of corruption--really a Marxoid opposition to inequality of wealth--would have horrified the Founding Fathers, who believed in private property with its attendant inequalities, and who trusted to the clash of factions to ensure that none oppressed the others. The Founders would have seen in the reformers' utopian schemes, in which the power of government makes all equally weak, the embodiment of tyranny.

To eradicate "corruption," leading theorists of campaign-finance reform, such as Ohio State University law professor (and former Ohio state solicitor) Edward Foley, Loyola law prof Richard Hasen, and radical redistributionist philosopher Ronald Dworkin, want to replace privately financed campaigns with a system in which government would guarantee "equal dollars per voter," as Foley puts it, perhaps by giving all Americans the same number of political "coupons," which they could then redeem on the political activities of their choice. This superpowerful government would ban all other political expenditures and require all political groups to get operating licenses from it, with stiff criminal penalties for violators.
This will require spying on citizens' speech; the justification for which is preserving incumbency. If there were any real commitment to reform, it would start with federally elected politicians eschewing the ability to bribe us with our own money by reducing their power to spend it.

Read the whole thing.

Comrade Google


Urban legend has it that Google’s motto is "Do no evil", or “Don’t be evil”. That’s wrong. In fact, the way it’s stated on their website is: “You can make money without doing evil.”

This is an entirely different concept, and a good thing too, otherwise they’d be open to charges of hypocrisy - having just agreed to co-operate with the Chinese Communists to suppress search results. Their excuse seems to be that "the Chinese were doing it anyway."

“You can make money without doing evil.” But, apparently you just can't make quite as much.

See also or Evil or not and Google Blogoscoped
.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Freedom of Speech


I was living in Canada at the time (Spring, 1987), and did not appreciate the connection between Ronald Reagan and the demise of the FCC's "fairness doctrine." Reagan vetoed an attempt to codify it.

As a contribution to free speech this would only be exceeded (since 1791 and the adoption of the First Amendment) by a repeal of McCain-Feingold campaign finance "reform", an even more odious statute.

This post struck me with the fact that a Canadian not only knows Reagan's role, but chose to illuminate yesterday's election results with it. Many Canadians know more about US politics than do most Americans.

I keep saying we can learn from Canada. Usually, I don't mean anything positive.

An Honest Liberal


You may not agree with Joel Stein, writing in the Los Angeles Times, but he at least takes an intellectually defensible position. Then again, he's not a Democrat politician.

Warriors and wusses

I DON'T SUPPORT our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on.

I'm sure I'd like the troops. They seem gutsy, young and up for anything. If you're wandering into a recruiter's office and signing up for eight years of unknown danger, I want to hang with you in Vegas.

And I've got no problem with other people — the ones who were for the Iraq war — supporting the troops. If you think invading Iraq was a good idea, then by all means, support away. Load up on those patriotic magnets and bracelets and other trinkets the Chinese are making money off of.

But I'm not for the war. And being against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken — and they're wussy by definition. It's as if the one lesson they took away from Vietnam wasn't to avoid foreign conflicts with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade afterward.
Apparently he read Support the Mission - The Iraqis did that Today, but didn't understand all of it.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Pushme-Pullyou

Dr. Dolittle, call the DNC!

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-Carpetbaggia) reverses Democrat course.

The Bush administration has been insufficiently unilateral:

In an address Wednesday evening at Princeton University, Clinton, D-N.Y., said it was a mistake for the United States to have Britain, France and Germany head up nuclear talks with Iran over the past 2 1/2 years. Last week, Iran resumed nuclear research in a move Tehran claims is for energy, not weapons.

"I believe that we lost critical time in dealing with
Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and chose to outsource the negotiations," Clinton said.

How can a Kerry voter be criticizing the idea of having our European allies on side? Wasn't this (aside from serving in Vietnam) the Democrat platform in the 2004 presidential election? Haven't we had unrelenting criticism of Bush for "going it alone" and "losing international credibility?" Didn't John Kerry say the way to solve these problems was to involve the UN and our allies? Apparently, that's only a wise plan until Bush does it. First, it's good to have the French and Germans on board, and then it's bad.

"Downplay the threats?" Now we're supposed to act before a threat becomes imminent?

And what an insult to our allies - "outsourced." The international community is certain to lose respect.

Bush's mistake was saying to the EeYew, "Well, guys, you wanted to be involved and we're a bit busy at the moment with
Afghanistan and Iraq. How about you take care of the negotiations with Iran? That's what they tell me you're good at, and after all, it's you guys who are in missile range and have huge unassimilated Muslim populations. If you need any backup, let me know. You can count on the United States in the Security Council"

Ms. Rodham also weighed in on women's rights in the
Middle East:

She applauded nations such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for making recent gains in women's rights.

Good point, Hillary, women in Saudi Arabia can now vote in municipal elections if they can find a man to drive them to the polls and have their husband's permission. Kuwaiti women are all too aware of the third through sixth letters in their country's name. That's worthy of including in your speech about Bush's "failure" with Iran.

Ms. Clinton did not mention the women who have been voting in droves in national elections in the nascent democracies of
Afghanistan or Iraq - where NOW is urging a boycott of the Constitution.

She is proposing troop withdrawal, however:

She called for the United States to reduce the number of American troops in Iraq, leaving a smaller strike force.

"This will help us stabilize their government and will send a message to
Iran that they do not have a free hand despite their personal and religious connections," she said.

I missed the bit where she said "withdraw the troops to Iran". That would have the effect she predicts. Any other withdrawal from Iraq, a state bordering Iran, seems less likely to send that particular message.

If the Iraqi Shiites are beholden/aligned/sympathetic to
Iran, then it seems we'd want to provide a counterweight and promote nationalism. If Iraqis are not so burdened, it seems like we'd want to provide support and promote nationalism. Or, we could "redeploy" to a nearby country and attract increased Islamist angst and car-bombings there.

Clinton said that the United States has an important role in stabilizing the Middle East, in part because America offers a brand of optimism that can make a difference.

Would this be the optimism of John Murtha, Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Teddy Kennedy and others who've called our military "exhausted terrorists who can't win"? Maybe she meant the GOP and Joe Lieberman offer a brand of optimism. If so, that's what she should have said.

There was also this gem:

"History has weighed heavily on the Middle East. What we have tried to do over the last 30 years, starting with President Carter, moving through other presidents, including my husband, and now this president, is to send a uniquely American message: `It can get better. Just get over it.'"

Jimmy Carter?

Jimmy Carter, US architect of the fall of the Shah of Iran? The same Jimmy Carter who presided over 444 days of American Embassy staff held as hostages by Iranian Islamofascists?
Jimmy Carter, the President who demonstrably "lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats?"

Jimmy Carter, unauthorized private citizen, who went to
North Korea at the behest of the psychotic Kim Il Sung? Jimmy Carter, who once there "negotiated" nuclear development "restrictions" that made the US a laughingstock? Jimmy Carter, who did this while Hillary's husband was President?

Jimmy Carter, of "bash the
US" Nobel Prize fame?

Jimmy Carter, who, contrary to "it can get better", told us "it is only going to get worse?"

Why would she demean the word "optimism" by mentioning his name?

Nonetheless, Hillary can perhaps take comfort that she is neither alone, nor even covering all the ultra-pragmatic triangulation territory. Victor Davis Hanson has a well written summary further defining the logical chicanery that surrounds the Battle of Iraq and the War on Radical Islam.

We were once slandered as hegemonic; but when we didn’t steal anything in Iraq, and instead spent billions in aid, suddenly we were called naive by the now realist Left.

The war was caricatured as all about grabbing oil. Then when the price skyrocketed, we were dubbed foolish for tampering with the fragile petroleum landscape, or with not charging Iraqi price-gouging exporters for our time and services...

Prewar forecasts warned a worried public that we might lose 3,000-5,000 soldiers just in removing Saddam. Three years later, we have removed him and sponsored a democracy to boot, and at far less than those feared numbers. But we react as if we had faced unexpected numbers of casualties. [Not to mention predictions of a million refugees and three hundred thousand civilian deaths.]

Despite the fact that al Qaedists were in
Kurdistan, Al Zarqawi was in Saddam’s Baghdad, terrorists like Abu Abas and Abu Nidal were sheltered by Iraqis, and recent archives disclose that hundreds of Iraqi terrorists were annually housed and schooled by the Baathists, we are nevertheless assured that there was no tie between Saddam and terrorists. Those who suggest there were lines of support are caricatured as liars and Bush propagandists.

Hanson's piece is worth reading in its entirety just to refresh your memory of how the Left adopts - then sheds - then adopts - any argument, however contradictory it may be with the previous idée du jour fixée, just so long as the necessity and conduct of the war on terror are made amenable to Democrat political aspirations.

Make no mistake, that's exactly what
New York's junior Senator is doing.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

UN "disappears" Israel


An example of why you should make periodic visits to Eye on the UN. Then you'll know what is being done with your money.
The implementation of existing Congressional riders on US-UN funding should be extended. It isn't enough to withhold US contributions to the UN for the amount the UN General Assembly claims is spent on the Committee on the Inalienable Rights for the Palestinian People. For example, last month the Committee booked the UN's Dag Hammerskjöld theater for three days running to screen a film which promotes a one-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and attempts to convey the prevalence of Jewish racism. In the words of one interviewee, "All Jews seem to care about is work and money." Why use U.S. dollars to pay for operating the theater, or the employee running the videotape, or the advertisement for the film in the UN daily journal? Or how about those exorbitant renovation costs for UN Headquarters housing the Division for Palestinian Rights? UN officials' explanation that they are merely "providing information" on anti-Israel (and often anti-American) activities cannot be allowed to obscure a global propaganda campaign of staggering proportions that is centered at the UN. The excuse that the UN Secretariat is "simply doing its job" ought to ring alarm bells for forensic accountants (and democratic societies) everywhere.
Israel is a member state of the United Nations, but that does not prevent the UN from agreeing with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that it should be wiped off the earth - even if that requires ignoring the UN's own resolution of November 29, 1947.

Given the waste, corruption, venality, racism, incompetence, moral turpitude and blatant anti-Americanism that the UN displays daily, I am amazed that even one American still supports it. More amazing; those Americans who do support it grant it moral superiority and many of them see it as a nascent World Government.

Oops


Due to an operator error, comments have not been showing up for a few weeks. This is fixed and all comments have been published.

Sorry.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Time flies


As of this day, a former President whose legacy could be summed up as, "he was more morally respectable than Teddy Kennedy", can get back his license to practice law.

Hint: it is not Richard Nixon.

Looters


I am not a big Wal-Mart shopper. I hadn't even been in one until about 10 months ago. I
really don't like huge stores where, even if I know the layout, I have to spend 4 or 5 minutes threading my way past women with carts they can barely push while 3 kids orbit around them - just to get to the section that might contain the merchandise I am looking for. I'm on a mission, not an explore.

I generally don't like asking where things are - but even if you know the layout stuff is often in several different places, or it's changed since you were last there. My problem is not reluctance to ask for help. I don't mind asking for help in the little hardware store where the clerks actually become engaged in my problem and make thoughtful suggestions. I don't expect that in a store with more square footage than Bill Gates' house.

But, I digress. I am a big fan of Wal-Mart as a capitalist enterprise, so the Union PR thugs and Democrat party hacks (senior campaign people from the Kerry and Dean campaigns) who are running anti-Wal-Mart websites, holding candlelight vigils for oppressed Wal-Mart workers and persuading their fellow-travellers in the Maryland legislature to pass laws targeting Wal-Mart make me angry. I have resolved to shop at Wal-Mart more often.

What is happening in Maryland is not merely socialist, it's totalitarian. The union bosses can't organize
Wal-Mart workers so they've conspired with their pals in the Maryland legislature to raise Wal-Mart's costs. They admit it isn't about health care.

They prefer reduced employment and reduced health care when a union free Wal-Mart threatens their privilege. Looters.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Is it contagious?


Ray Nagin has apologized for saying New Orleans would be "chocolate" again because God wants it that way. The amazing thing is that he didn't learn from Pat Robertson blaming 9/11 on God's wrath regarding homosexuality, or telling us Ariel Sharon was being punished by God for giving away land to the Palestinians.

On Martin Luther King day Hillary Clinton described the US House of Representatives as a "plantation, and you know what I'm talking about." She did appear at the same rally as Harry Belafonte, so a Vulgan mind-meld might have been a factor.

While we're on hypocrites, Ted Kennedy just resigned from a Harvard social organization; The Owl Club.
The club has long been reviled on campus as "sexist" and "elitist" and, in 1984, was booted from the university for violating federal anti-discrimination laws...
Sounds like a perfect fit to me.

Also check Amy Ridenour on Mayor Nagin.

Islamofascist Chauvinist Pigs


This makes a lot of sense.
British author Salman Rushdie said the West had failed to grasp the extent to which Islamic extremism was rooted in men's fear of women's sexuality.

Rushdie told German weekly magazine Stern that his latest novel, "Shalimar the Clown", dealt with the deep anxiety felt among many Islamic men about female sexual freedom and lost honor.
I'm probably not alone in imagining a parallel here with Victorian England (which includes 19th century America). It is pretty easy to consider the
subjugation of women necessary if you buy the idea that a glimpse of a woman's ankle could lead to the ruination of civilization.

It's pretty hard to maintain that attitude in an open, industrial society where anybody is the least bit introspective.

I do not belittle the importance of honor, but facile use of that word as an excuse to deny women equal opportunity was scrapped in Western civilization a century ago.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Frankly Unctuous


Now we’re in for it. Walter Cronkite, or Frankly Unctuous as he’s known around here, has again declaimed on the Battle of Iraq. Basically, he’s said the same thing he did after America’s stunning victory over North Vietnam during the Tet Offensive: Now we should get out.

Fortunately, we know more about the “most trusted man in America” than we did then, so his current opinion is unlikely to cause for George Bush the angst it did for Lyndon Johnson.

Cronkite’s mellifluous tones sucked the backbone out of the American people. He should be ashamed of it. The politicians, who had been unserious about the war in Vietnam for a decade, should be even more ashamed. John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon combined gave us what Robert Anson Heinlein described as:
The largest, longest, bloodiest war in US history, fought by conscript troops without a declaration of war, without any clear purpose, without any intention of winning – a war that was ended simply by walking away and abandoning the people for whom it was putatively fought.
If those failings had been Walter’s point history would judge him differently, but, on the morning of a great victory he didn’t urge a re-dedication to success. He displayed no concern for our honor, our allies or our 50,000 dead. He didn’t question our politicians’ lack of commitment - he counseled our defeat at our own hands.

The media was trusted in 1968. It isn’t any more. Walter Cronkite began that erosion of confidence. We can be grateful to him for that. Still, Mr. Unctuous should stick to protesting windmills being built where they might obstruct his privileged view, and leave questions about the conduct of foreign policy to more resolute men.

Thanks for the Help


Angry in the Great White North
has a nice post about Canadian forces heroism in Afghanistan, where they are helping to make sure the Taliban are history.

This is one of those soldiers the Libranos warned Canadians that Steven Harper wanted to relocate into *shock* Canadian cities!

Master Cpl. Paul Franklin is welcome in Michigan anytime, in a city or otherwise.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Feminism & Jihad


Mark Steyn comments on the practical consequences of Feminist epistemology.
In their peculiarly reductive definition of "women's issues," older Western feminists sound squaresville and younger ones sound kooky. Just before the 2004 U.S. elections, Cameron Diaz appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to explain what was at stake:

"Women have so much to lose. I mean, we could lose the right to our bodies . . . If you think that rape should be legal, then don't vote. But if you think that you have a right to your body," she advised Oprah's viewers, "then you should vote."

The question is not whether Cameron's lost all rights to her body, but whether she's lost her mind. After presenting the 2004 Presidential election as a referendum on the right to rape, Miss Diaz might be interested to know that men enjoy that right under Islamic legal codes around the world -- and, given that more countries live under Sharia than did 50 years ago, that means more women have "lost the right to their bodies". Under the Taliban, women were prevented by law from ever feeling sunlight on their faces. Following the country's liberation by right-wing patriarchs like Bush and Blair, there are now, as Linda Frum noted here the other week, more females in electoral politics in Afghanistan than in Canada.

In other words, isn't the war on terror the real "women's issue"? As Ahmad al-Baqer, an MP from one of the more progressive Muslim nations (Kuwait), breezily put it, nixing a proposal to give broads the right to vote, "God said in the holy Koran that men are better than women. Why can't we settle for that?"
The whole thing: The war on terror is the real women's issue

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Belafonte's greatest hits


Singer Harry Belafonte has certainly fulfilled his mother’s dream. Belafonte was born in the United States in 1927 after his mother emigrated from Jamaica in search of opportunity. But in recent years his career has slipped. It is good to see him back on the charts with a new hit that he unveiled on his recent Venezuelan tour:
"No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people ... support your revolution.”
While this idea enjoys steady sales, not all the critics are impressed. The Washington Post, for example, notes that:
Venezuela's human rights community is under siege. Its troubles ought to send a message to anyone who still wonders whether President Hugo Chavez intends to preserve the democratic system that brought him to power.
Notwithstanding such petty sniping, Mr. Belafonte’s admirers are happy to see him back on the charts. Prior to the “Paean to Chavez” single, some were beginning to wonder if his career was over because it had been more than 3 years since his last chart topper – “Colin Powell - House Slave”:
"In the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and there were those slaves that lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master ... exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him."
Mr. Belafonte had had a string of minor successes, including this clever lyric on Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice –
"Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value.";
wherein he was able to combine anti-Semitism and denigration of achievement with the obligatory comparison of George Bush to Adolph Hitler; and this classic blame-America riff:
Sept. 11 “wasn't just Bin Laden. Bin Laden didn't come from the abstract. He came from somewhere, and if you look where ... you'll see America's hand of villainy."
For obvious reasons, much of his work in the last few years has been seen as merely derivative, and has been considered unlikely to garner any serious awards.

However, he is also a long time admirer of Ho Chi Minh and supporter of Fidel Castro, "If you believe in freedom! If you believe in justice, if you believe in democracy-- you have no choice but to support Fidel Castro!" So, his fans have new hope that his latest work (with backup man Hugo Chavez), may earn a Nobel Prize.

Though he is following the pattern laid down by previous winners, it still seems unlikely. Mr. Belafonte is no Jimmy Carter. Nevertheless, in the interest of furthering Mr. Belafonte’s Nobel chances, he might consider re-recording his 1956 hit “Day-O” with different words:

Cas-tro, Ca-ah-ah-stro
Cuba’s fine: denigrate me home
Cas, me say cas, me say cas, me say cas, me say ca-ah-ah-stro
Cuba’s fine: denigrate me home

Soros, Chomsky, Castro, Ho
Just four fine gents that hate me home
Chavez, Saddam, Kim-Jong, Che
Propaganda ‘til the break of day

Come, Mr. Nobel Man, rally in Havana
Cuba’s fine: denigrate me home
Come, Mr. Nobel Man, rally in Havana
Cuba’s fine: denigrate me home

H/T ES

Friday, January 13, 2006

Things we can learn from Canada


NDP LEADER HAD HERNIA SURGERY AT PRIVATE HEALTH CLINIC..

Make polygamy legal, says Justice Dept. study...

Lessons on one Socialist's attitude about Socialized Health Care and the consequences of redefining marriage.

If this "why criminalize this relationship" mantra continues, I see a clash between Canada and PETA coming.

Courtesy of Canada via Nealenews.

Hurricanes & Hubris


Op-ed in the Lansing State Journal today.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Iran: Killing the Victim


I’ve been poking fun at the juxtaposition of Islamofascism and Feminism, but this post is not about funny. Tragic, disgusting, infuriating; it’s about that - but unlike feminism, it isn’t a joke.
Tehran, Iran, Jan. 07 – An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece.
Read the whole thing.

“Unintentionally!?” That she would say that says a lot about womens’ place in Iran. That after that self-debasement they’re still going to hang her says even more.

Let’s review. A victim of attempted rape has been sentenced to death by an Islamic court for fatally stabbing an attacker who chased her boyfriend away by throwing rocks. The boy”friend” escaped on a motorcycle. The perp, backed by a couple of buddies, attacked her twice. The first time - she cut him. The second time - she killed him.

Under United States law we probably would have reached a different verdict than death by hanging for the victim. I imagine a verdict permanently removing this learning-challenged bastard from the forcible gene distribution pool. It would have been accompanied by applause.

Under Iran’s interpretation of Sharia women can be hung for defending themselves from rape. Giving birth to a daughter out of wedlock is a crime punishable by death under Sharia in Nigeria – and probably in Iran, I can’t be bothered to look. In any case, differences in interpretation of laws established in the 4th Century is a principle that has been called by some “a living constitution.” Unless you’re female. Then it isn’t living.

Death by hanging for defense against rape is not some fading convention of Islam unique to Iran that will be overturned on appeal. The sentence is neither remarkable nor an idle threat – later to be rescinded
issued merely to pacify a few malevolent religious psychotics.
Last week, a court in the city of Rasht, northern Iran, sentenced Delara Darabi to death by hanging charged with murder when she was 17 years old. Darabi has denied the charges.

In August 2004, Iran’s Islamic penal system sentenced a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, to death after a sham trial, in which she was accused of committing “acts incompatible with chastity”.

The teenage victim had no access to a lawyer at any stage and efforts by her family to retain one were to no avail. Atefeh personally defended herself and told the religious judge that he should punish those who force women into adultery, not the victims. She was eventually hanged in public in the northern town of Neka.
Such are women’s rights under “strict” Sharia. That raises a question or two by itself: What would be “moderate”, “or “progessive”, or “reality-based” Sharia
and what stops those doctrines from turning into “strict” Sharia? A Constitution? Inquiring minds want to know. Sharia is the law in several foreign countries and some might prefer not to travel in them.

For an inquiring mind the phrase "deference to foreign law" leads inexorably to Supreme Court Justices Kennedy and Breyer, and especially Justice Ginsberg in this gyno-context, and their shared idea that we should look to foreign law for instruction in interpretation of our own Constitution.

It becomes, then, reasonable to ask the esteemed Justices how they distinguish Sharia from any other foreign law? In their answer they are not allowed to refer to the Constitution of the United States in any way whatsoever, even through the vague innuendo which they might normally apply.

Thinking of feminism, and SCOTUS, and the malicious treatment of women brings us to considering Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women, who has been denouncing threats to women in the strongest of terms. For example, her defense of women in recent days has been complaining that Senate Democrats, like the odious Ted Kennedy, haven’t been tough enough in questioning Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

You’d think the impending State sanctioned murder of a young woman in Iran – whose crime was being subject to an attempted rape – would garner some attention from the President of NOW. You would be wrong.

NOW’s website doesn’t mention the plight of any of these Iranian woman, and when you do a search on “Islam” the first hit is The Truth About George W. Bush - Archive.

A search on “Iran” returns, in order, these top four hits:

The Truth About George W. Bush - Archive
The Truth About George - Cronies
The Truth About George W. Bush - Bushisms

And the Ms Disingenuity winner:
Iraqi Women Should Think Twice Before Accepting Constitution

This is why feminism has become a joke, though one that’s not at all funny.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Apprehended Insurrection


The Canadian Liberals supporting the troops - video of an election attack ad here.

Incroyable.

Actually, from what I've read, the Canadian Armed Forces may be small and underequipped, but they're still of high quality. Maybe 500 or so of them would be useful snipers in Toronto's notoriously violent Jane-Finch corridor.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Islamofeminist Chronicles


Suicide bomb attack foiled

Fatima al-Zarqawi, niece of Abu, was arrested today while sitting in a 1977 Lada parked near Baghdad’s green zone. Iraqi police initially became suspicious because the car tilted deeply to the right rear. Ladas typically lean toward left fronts.

Police suspicions were further aroused because, despite temperatures in the 90s and wearing a heavy black burqa, Ms. al-Zarqawi sat in the car for 72 hours while police waited for a FISA-authorized search warrant.

When they did search the vehicle they found over 400 pounds of explosives in the trunk.

Fatima claimed that she had intended to enter the green zone and “visit the wrath of Allah upon the infidels”, but the plot was stymied when it became apparent that no male relative was willing to drive the car.

Upon hearing that a weak shock absorber had given her away, she said, “I’ve been nagging Mohammed to fix that for months. But would he get off his lazy patriarchal ass to help me become a martyr? Men!

'Jihad, schmihad,' he told me, 'women don’t get 72 virgins anyway, so this is just stupid. Besides, that burqa makes your butt look fat.'”

H/T ScottV

Monday, January 09, 2006

Sen. Kennedy's new book


Is a children's book:
Meet the latest children's author, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and his Portuguese Water Dog, Splash, his co-protagonist in "My Senator and Me: A Dogs-Eye View of Washington, D.C."
A sequel to the bestselling "Splash: A Dog's-eye view of Chappaquiddick".

Islamofeminism

...taking bra burning to a whole new level.

Devout minds don't want to know: Are female suicide bombers wacko?

Here is what passes for feminist debate among Islamofascists.
Fatah gunmen on Saturday threatened to shut the offices of the pan-Arab Al-Arabiyah satellite TV station in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after accusing it of "defaming" Palestinian female suicide bombers and their families.

Leaflets distributed by Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, demanded that the Dubai-based station apologize to the families in particular and the Palestinians in general within 24 hours or else its offices would be closed.

"At a time when the Muslims and Islam are facing a political, intellectual, economic and social offensive by all the forces of evil in the world, Al-Arabiya has aired a scandalous and despicable film that is completely biased in favor of the executioner at the expense of the victims of occupation," the leaflets charged.

"This film depicts female suicide bombers as a group of women suffering from psychological problems and who are under pressure from males. It claims that in order to rid themselves of these problems, these women are prepared to kill themselves. They also claimed that these women were ill- behaved."
This is not cross-posted from Scrappleface or The Onion.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Fruit. Nut. It's all vegetation.


Nancy Pelosi on the difference between illegal domestic surveillance and protecting the United States from terrorists:
Some in the government have accused me of confusing apples and oranges. My response is, it's all fruit.
Well, she is from California where avocados, apples and almonds all look alike.

This quote appears in Joe Klein's column - here. Worth a read.

TOTH to J. R.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Murtha Culpa


My apologies for yesterday's quiz hint.

It was intended to aid identification of al-Qaeda’s 2IC as the answer, but
Ayman al-Zawahri was not the only person to say on Thursday that we've been defeated in Iraq or that a slow withdrawal is faking victory.

Except that he wasn’t "fondling an AK-47" (a reference I had considered facetious), Rep. John Murtha would also be a correct answer to yesterday’s quiz. On Thursday he had this to say at a town meeting in Arlington, Virginia:
"A year ago, I said we can't win this militarily, and I got all kinds of criticism." Now, Murtha told the strongly antiwar audience, "I worry about a slow withdrawal which makes it look like there's a victory when I think it should be a redeployment as quickly as possible and let the Iraqis handle the whole thing."
There's more here:
Murtha Fears a Withdrawal that “Makes It Look Like There’s a Victory”,by Byron York

I should have asked a second question: “Who is Ayman al-Zawahri’s mentor?” for additional credit. That would have had 4 right answers if you assume al-Zawahri cannot be his own mentor, but "B) Rep. John Murtha" would be the preferred answer because he made an identical statement in a 24 hour period. 1.5 points.

Lifetime achievement considerations would dictate Noam Chomsky get second place. 1.25 points.

Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy are tied in the "major bodily organ damage" disability category. No extra points.


There is more of interest about the town meeting. Michelle Malkin has video
of Sgt. Mark Seavey challenging Murtha and fellow-traveller Rep. Jim Moran there.

OooRah, Sergeant!

Death to all things real

At its heart the radical left's assault on "globalization" is denial of economic reality in a increasingly free world. Turns out economics is not the only thing real they don't like.

Last week The University of Michigan became the 10th U.S. university to boycott Coca Cola products for political reasons.
Michigan's decision was prompted by a complaint last year from Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality.

The student group accused Coke of draining local groundwater in India and conspiring with paramilitary groups in Colombia to harass and harm union members. The company has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The university, which has more than 50,000 students, decided not to renew its contracts when Coke said it was unable to meet a Dec. 31 deadline to cooperate in an investigation of circumstances in Colombia. The university and several other colleges had offered to fund the investigation.
Noteworthy is the source of the complaint, Student's Organizing for Labor Equlity. They could hardly have picked a more honest or a more left-sounding name without including the word "People's". It is a self-admitted shill for unions and they are to be commended for their openness.

Also of note, if you live in Michigan, is that the University was willing to use your money to conduct an investigation of The Coca Cola Company's alledged crimes. Was that what the legislature had in mind when they debated how much to increase your support for "education" last year?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Question.


Who said this yesterday:

"[Mr. President] you must confess that you have been defeated in Iraq and in
Afghanistan... I said more than a year ago that the Americans' departure from Iraq is only a matter of time..."

A) Sen. Ted Kennedy
B) Rep. John Murtha
C) Al Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri
D) DNC Chairman Howard Dean
E) Dr. Noam Chomsky

Hint - he was fondling an AK-47 at the time and the key word is "yesterday."

The day before yesterday would be a different matter.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Barn-burner of a speech


I have been wondering why Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has not lately been criticizing the United States on the same basis that our own Democrats are doing. To wit; why aren't we being held up as examples of fascist civil liberties deniers based on “warrantless” NSA intercepts of terrorist communications?

Is it because the Prime Minister is distracted by the Income Trust insider trading scandal? Is it because he can’t figure out how anti-Americanism in this context could actually deliver any votes? Is it because he is aware that he is Pierre Trudeau’s legacy?

I favor the third explanation, since it includes the second.

Paul Martin is surely Pierre Trudeau's legacy to Canadians, and civil liberties anti-Americanism just won’t work in a country where the response to the kidnapping of a couple of politicians is the War Measures Act.

There is no reason Canadian Liberals shouldn’t try to blame the US, for example, for the existence of the Bloc Quebecois - until you remember how the flammability of Quebec barns has declined since the 70s.

I’d like to remind Canadians of the last time the War Measures Act was invoked and invite them to recoil from the level of US self-flagellation that would have been unleashed had George Bush been accused by Nancy Pelosi of having the FBI burn down some barns.
Concerns initiated from questionable security activities of the RCMP in its fight against Quebec separatism. Allegations made against the RCMP included an illegal barn burning, the issuing of a false FLQ manifesto, improper use of confidential personal information, theft, break-ins and forgery.
Hard to top that, and even harder to top Pierre Trudeau’s War Measures Act speech. You don’t need all of it, but listen to a bit and compare it to Bush’s speeches about 9/11.

Remember, Trudeau was a man whose charisma caused teenage girls to swoon, so his affectless delivery of the news that the very fabric of Canada was in serious danger is amazing. So too, given the threat only existed in Quebec, was his remedy: nationwide martial law. He wasn’t the last Canadian PM to use federal security services outside normal law.

But never mind Trudeau’s lack of passion, maybe a rock star is well advised to be dispassionate in explaining that the country he leads may not be viable in the next 72 hours. Notwithstanding (a word he uses in the speech) that, please compare and contrast the FLQ and Al-Qaeda, whose latter minions are today relatively unfettered north of the 49th parallel.

Anyway, that legacy is why we’re not getting any flack from Martin on civil liberties issues.

Causality


Because I promised more info on Canadian vs US crime statistics, a couple of links I find interesting follow. But I commend your attention more to the piece by David Frum linked at the end of this post.

1- A Comparison of Violent and Firearm Crime Rates in the Canadian Prairie Provinces and Four U.S. Border States, 1961-2003 by the Economics Division, Parliamentary Information and Research Service.

2- Statistics Canada’s analysis of the comparability of crime rates in the two countries. Feasibility Study on Crime Comparisons Between Canada and the United States.

The main event is David Frum’s Reaping what we sow in today’s National Post.

Frum provides a nice segue by citing more comparative crime statistics, but the importance of the article lies in its examination of the reasons for Canada’s increasing crime rates. That it reinforces the points in my last two posts
(here and here) does nothing to dissuade me of its value:
… a Canadian criminal is 80% less likely to go to jail than his American counterpart.

Putting police on the streets works. Yet Canada employs 25% fewer police officers per capita than the United States.

Enforcing laws against vagrancy, prostitution and drug dealing works. Yet Canada is either decriminalizing or tolerating all three. The right kinds of gun laws work too: for example, extending the sentence of any criminal who commits any crime -- down to jaywalking -- while in possession of a gun.

…It is not guns from across the border that threaten Canadians. It is the weak and cynical policies of home-grown politicians, and especially the Chretien/Martin Liberals. The $2-billion wasted on the gun registry could have paid for more cops, more prisons, more of everything that would protect the lives and security of Canadians.
Read the whole thing.

Links fixed, 5-Jan, 10:08AM

Monday, January 02, 2006

the void in their lives


There has been a fair bit of traffic visiting Bah-nanada, my post decrying the reflexive anti-Americanism displayed by the typical Canadian politician. Setting up that point, I referenced statistics comparing Canadian and US crime rates. I have pursued the statistical bits further, but they weren’t the point of that post, or this one, and I will put them up separately.

The point of Bah-nanada was not statistical comparison. It was that when the local equivalents of The Crips and The Bloods stage The Battle of the Eaton Centre, they are not doing it because of Americans or American law. They’re doing it because there is confusion in Canada, as there is in the US, about equality and responsibility. This is how Canada has “imported” un-Canadian values:
Canadian multiculturalism is fundamental to our belief that all citizens are equal. Multiculturalism ensures that all citizens can keep their identities, can take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging. Acceptance gives Canadians a feeling of security and self-confidence, making them more open to, and accepting of, diverse cultures. The Canadian experience has shown that multiculturalism encourages racial and ethnic harmony and cross-cultural understanding, and discourages ghettoization, hatred, discrimination and violence.
If “belonging” to a street gang is the object, if the “potential of all Canadians” is to shoot straight, if discouraging “ghettoization” means the shooting of innocent shoppers outside of Jane-Finch proper, if “harmony” discourages “violence”, and if “acceptance of diverse cultures” would include Americans, then the results seem to be mixed.

If this “cultural re-adjustment” follows the same pattern it has in the US, it further promotes the suicidal moral equivalence model for which Canada has already proven fertile ground.

The danger is not that some petty demagogue like Toronto’s mayor or a Prime Minister with latter-day delusions of Pearsonesque world-stage relevance will say stupid things: It’s that those stupid things they’re bound to say will be believed.

If the United States repealed the Second Amendment tomorrow, Paul Martin would blame US CO2 emissions for damaging the fetal brain development of Toronto street-gang members.

If Finance Minister Ralph Goodale turns out to have been involved in insider trading, Paul Martin will blame the export of Enron style corruption on the SEC.

If gun control worked then the murder at the Eaton Centre wouldn’t have happened.

From street violence to the Kyoto Treaty (where Canada’s emission reduction performance lags the United States’) to a scandal-ridden Liberal government - the cult of smug moral superiority is showing its bare threads.

The policy consequences of believing Paul Martin are more wasted money on feel-good laws and more coddling of murderers.

Following France's Vanity of the Bonfires principle of mealy-mouthed acquiescence to “youth” violence:
Prime Minister Paul Martin said feelings of hopelessness and alienation plaguing youth in Toronto's troubled areas must be dealt with.

"Yesterday's shootings in Toronto serve as a painful reminder that we cannot take our peace or our understanding for granted," Martin said during a Hanukkah celebration in Montreal.

"I think more than anything else, they demonstrate what are in fact the consequences of exclusion. I was in Toronto not long ago and met with a number of members of communities in the Jane and Finch area … and the young people talked to me about the void in their lives, and what hopelessness and exclusion can bring."
The condescension is as palpable as the narcissism is ingrained. It couldn’t be elitist discouragement of assimilation of conscience, or welfare policies that make work optional that have reduced opportunity, initiative and a sense of community. “Our programs are right; we just haven’t had enough of them.”

Mark Steyn nails it:
Like many enlightened western leaders, the Canadian Prime Minister will be congratulating himself on his boundless tolerance even as the forces of intolerance consume him.
Please, read Steyn’s entire article It’s the demography, stupid.

Paul Martin was right about one thing, though, Canada can no longer take peace for granted. The decreasing homogeneity of population has been harmonized with a calculated elevation of multi-culturalism and its handmaiden, moral relativism. The reasons for “exclusion” may be debatable, but the mind-set of Toronto’s street thugs is not.

If Canadians think allowing guns to be smuggled in from the United States is a bigger security problem than protecting Islamofascist travel arrangements and health care; if they think murderous amoral thugs, imported or otherwise, will be affected by more gun control laws; if they believe that their federal government can somehow fill the “voids” in those gangsta lives; if they think their problems are not subject to their own control because those problems originate in the United States - and they are looking for ways to display Canada’s disdain for George Bush – then they should vote Liberal on January 23rd.

If it doesn’t work out, they can always blame the results on Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky.