Friday, March 04, 2005

This Picture Appeared

In the New York Times

With this caption:

U.S. Yields to Global Opposition

The U.S. bowed to global opposition at a U.N. conference on women's equality and dropped its insistence on inserting an anti-abortion amendment into a document that was then adopted unanimously.
Yeah, the U.S. yielding to global opposition... they wish...

Meanwhile, these Afghan women will continue to be compelled by their male betters to wear full coverage bivy-sacks while they do their grocery shopping in Kandahar.

Yep, the U.S. and it's opposition to abortion is the real damper on women's rights around the world. That's it allright.
Light (light as in NO) Posting Ahead

Like that's anything new around here. Brenda and I are going to Orlando for a few days - without the boys!!! The trip is courtesy of Wells Fargo. I won a Cards Services Hero's 100 award last year so I (and 99 other fellow award winners) will be hangin' at the Grand Floridian.

Brenda has "suggested" that I not take my laptop. Jeez, I can't imagine why... Back on Tuesday.
Official English

As a bi-lingual "Hispanic" (whatever the hell that is...), I'm for it. English is the glue that binds our common culture together. Newcomers must be compelled to learn it.

Hey, how come every other culture gets to protect itself... except ours? Here's Teddy Roosevelt again - I love this quote:
There is no place for the hyphen in our citizenship... We are a nation, not a hodge-podge of foreign nationalities. We are a people, and not a polyglot boarding house.
Sorry Register Editorial Board, we Iowans are not Xenophobic if we demand that newcomers conduct their public affairs in English. We're just trying to keep our culture alive. You're all for that, right? Right...? Rekha...? Are you there...?
Europeans as Spoiled Teenagers

Says Victor Davis Hanson.
A Muslim in Europe who puts a picture of bin Laden on his wall is the equivalent of a European chanting that Bush is Hitler: The Arab does not really wish to destroy the opulent European network that he counts on, nor does the European in jeans with a cell phone truly wish the U.S. would stop protecting his lifestyle. Yet each feels terrible about his own hypocrisy and accompanying appetites for what he professedly hates, and so looks to express angst on the cheap.
LA Times and North Korea - Perfect Together

Check this out. The LA Times runs a fawning front page story on an interview with a North Korean "Businessman". Uh... I thought they shot "businessmen" in the DPRK.

According to the "businessman":

"There is love. There is hate. There is fighting. There is charity.... People marry. They divorce. They make children," he said.

"People are just trying to live a normal life."
Not one word about 1 million dead of famine and the benefits of pine needle soup or the lack of birdsong in North Korea. All of the songbirds have been eaten, you see. Nothing to see here, perfectly "normal".

What the hell is the LA Times thinking!

As a ironic sidelight, Rachel Carson gets her Silent Spring - not from DDT... from DPRK.

H/T - Roger L. Simon

Update: Hindrocket from Power Line has a full deconstruction here.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

No... no clash of civilizations... nothing to see here...

Unfortunately it's not on the online version of The DM Register so I can't post a link - but there's a silly opinion piece by Stephen Aigner, Sana Akili and Hsain Ilahiane (all faculty at Iowa State) that tries to claim that:

1. There's no "clash of civilizations" between the West and radical Islam
2. The war in Iraq "endangers the world" (yeah... tell that to the Lebanese)
3. It's really "economic conditions, authoritarian practices and institutions of..." (wait for it now...) "post colonialism" that are to blame

Here's an excerpt:
History is replete with examples of the three Abrahamic faiths - Jews, Christians and Muslims living together peacefully and tolerantly.
Yes, in the "Dar al-Islam" dhimmis don't have quite as many rights - like, uh... women - but that's not important right now.

They close with this:
Instead of pointing the finger at Islam and Muslims, let's examine how economic and political conditions support authoritarian regimes, foster intolerant religious extremism and produce terrorists.

If we do not, if we continue to point the finger, the United States may further alienate moderate, peace-seeking Muslims who prefer democracy and have surfaced recently in Iraq,
[coincidence? Ed.] Lebanon, [coincidence? Ed.] Saudi Arabia [coincidence? Ed.] and who live everywhere, in Iowa and across the globe.
Hmmm... almost sounds like a threat.

Let's face it, there aren't a lot of Presbyterian, Buddhist or Hindu terrorists running around right now. I'm all for dialogue, but trotting out the tired old argument that postcolonialism is the root of everything bad in the developing world is a crock. The "clash of civilizations" argument makes a lot of sense to me. And these three have no strong points to refute it.

Update: The Register put up a link.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Ted Stevens - Idiotarian Republican

If there's one thing I think less of than a nanny state Democrat a-hole, it's a meddling, scolding, puritanical Republican a-hole.

Another example of why I remain a proud independent.

The right-wingers better watch out. People like me have joined them in a fragile coalition based on Bush's war Presidency. If they start thumping their Bibles and pushing their sense of morality down our throats, it's not going to have they outcome that Senator Stevens and his prudish colleagues think.

Personal responsibility is not about conforming to a strict, puritanical moral code. It's about adults taking ownership of their own lives, decisions and - most importantly - the consequences that result.

Hey Ted, (Kennedy or Stevens), stay the hell out of my life.
Hey, but what about the Constitution?

Anthony Kennedy, from his SCOTUS majority opinion on the juvenile death penalty:

It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty
Okay then. Chalk up another victory for "Transnational Progressivism".

No matter how you feel about meeting the death penalty to citizens who committed their crimes as juveniles (and I'm against it, by the way...) you may not want to applaud this decision. There's a good chance that there's a fair amount of "international opinion and law" that you may not like.

For a good analysis, check out this Wall Street Journal editorial.

Update: Iowahawk nails it in this screamer. Here's a highlight:

By a 5-4 margin, it reversed death sentences for prisoners convicted of crimes committed while juveniles; however, the Court ruled that states may voluntarily terminate prisoners as "extremely late-term abortions" under Roe v. Wade.
Man, he's a hoot!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Think Arthur Miller, but with more pretensions and a bigger ego

That's our Harold Pinter. But wait! The Guardian reports that Harold has decided to stop being an avant-garde playwright. How will we philistines go on without?

Don't worry though, we'll still have his anti-globalization, anti-war, anti-capitalism, anti-American poetry to keep us socially aware, in our place and fill our culture-holes.

And after noon the well-dressed creatures come
To sniff among the dead
And have their lunch

And all the many well-dressed creatures pluck
The swollen avocados from the dust
And stir the minestrone with stray bones

And after lunch
They loll and lounge about
Decanting claret in convenient skulls
Wow. Just... wow.

Oh well, he was never really that subtle or profound. When I was a 19 year old freshman in Ed Roney's Contemporary Drama course, I thought Pinter's work was way deep.

Then again, I was a 19 year old freshman...

H/T - Tim Blair.
The Today Show...

... why do I watch it?

This morning's edition was pushing Bin Laden's "order" to al-Zarqawi to attack American interests outside of Iraq. Not a word about what's happening in Lebanon. Then straight on to Michael Jackson. Then an article on Laura Bush.

Ignorance is strength baby.
And in the Register...

Page 1 - Suicide blast kills 115 near clinic in Iraq.
Page 4 - Prime minister, Cabinet quit amid protests in Lebanon.

Ah... if one had a suspicious mind...

Monday, February 28, 2005

The End of the Beginning?

That Churchill (Winston, not Ward) quote seems apt this week. Even with today's car bombing that took over 130 patriotic Iraqis, it's been amazing.

50,000+ march in Beruit and the government falls. The Lebanese want the Syrians out.

President Baby Assad magically finds Saddam's half brother in Syria (shocking... no?) and coughs him up to the Iraqi government.

Snubbed by Condi, Mubarak at least pays lip service to free elections in Egypt.

Tel Aviv hit by a suicide bomber, Israel points the finger at Syria and Sharon gives President Mahmoud Abbas a chance to get his house in order. Mahmoud baby, I'd take care of business if I were you. This is your chance.

And all of this is of course an incredible cosmic coincidence.

Yeah, right.
Conservatives are Selfish Dammit!

Dick Doak hauls out all of the recycled liberal arguments in his column today on the joys of collectivism. Here's the meat:

In politics, self-fulfillment might seem naturally suited to liberalism, but actually it has become a driving force in modern conservatism. Conservative policies focus on maximizing individual wealth and achievement. "I," "my," "mine" saturate conservative slo- ganeering, as in " I can spend my money better than the government can."

Well, no. As a matter of fact, you can't spend your money better than the government can - not all of it anyway.
Gee, thanks for signing me up Dick!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Holy Crap - 2 years

It's hard to believe that I started this thing 2 years ago this month. And it's good to see all of the other folks in Iowa who've taken up the habit.
Blogger Bash

Man, it was great fun to meet fellow Iowa bloggers at Wellman's last night. For a list of attendees go visit Brett at Beet Canvas.

Cocktails, much spirited - and civil - conversation. Looks like Kris is planning a summer event in Iowa City. Cool!

Now I'm off to update my blogroll.
Sharia Law in Nigeria - Blame Bush

Only Rekha Basu could write an entire column on international women's rights and not mention Sharia Law once. Instead she lays blame at the feet of the US, right wing Christian fundamentalists and the Bush Administration. Oh... and she thinks the "U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, signed by President Carter in 1980" will protect the women of Iran and Nigeria from decapitation and honor killing.

Color me "not surprised".

Ms. Basu, I'll support you in supporting "America's women's liberation movement" when they get their heads out of their postmodernist a... I mean out of the ground and make a friggin' reality-based, common sense distinction between Christian born agains and Islamic Fundamentalists.