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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Egypt Was In Iraq?

With the recent terrorist bombing in Egypt, I need to know what involvement Egypt had in the actions in Iraq or Afghanistan?

What Is "Mainstream"?

Obviously far from the last point to be made here on the issue of political labels, the following thought has occurred to me.

In the area of Supreme Court nominees, the labeling by leading Democrats of who is "mainstream" and who is "extreme" takes on interesting definitions when we look at the recent SCOTUS decisions on medical marijuana (Raich) and eminent domain (Kelo). Assuming that the new justices per the Democrats' pronouncements and NYT editorials must be "mainstream", and the majority in those 2 notorious decisions were largely the liberal bloc who Messers. Kennedy, Leahy and Schumer would dub "mainstream", we can now utilize their terms to apply to liberals. According to those decisions, the liberal mainstream is for federal government intrusion into traditional state jurisdiction and the relationship between MD and patient. They are likewise for removing the property from citizens through the coercion of government for the benefit of anther private citizen (the developer) so long as the State can benefit from greater tax revenues.

As I wrote before, a positive effect of these 2 decisions is the actions of the liberals, as represented by the majority justices, was done in the open. These decisions were far from roundly criticized by the Democratic leaders. Nancy Pelosi has gushed over them publicly.

That is the natural result of power resting in the hands of Statists on the Left. Maybe the American public deserves "extremists" on the High Court.

UN Movement on Mugabe. Why?

The NYT reports that the UN has come out forcefully against the "eminent domain" practices of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

They report:

The United Nations on Friday condemned the mass destruction of urban slums and shantytowns in Zimbabwe by the government of President Robert G. Mugabe as a "disastrous venture," saying the policy had left 700,000 people homeless and created a "humanitarian crisis of immense proportions."In a toughly worded report, the United Nations demanded that the activity be stopped immediately, that compensation and assistance be arranged for victims and that the leaders of the campaign be prosecuted.

Did this unusual pronouncement by the UN against an action by Mugabe have anything to do with the criticism heaped upon the organization by the U.S. Congress and conservative media? Was it something Et Tu Bloge said?

No, we shouldn't approve John Bolton as ambassador, should we?

More On Labels and John Birch Society

Allen Gorin responds to Skip March's comment below:

Skip, while political labels can and do help us to understand the world, they also can be very limiting in the sense that we cease actually listening to individuals, and the very real positions behind the labeling. It's much easier to meet "a liberal" and project onto him or her all sorts of positions, values, and the like, instead of actually listening. To paraphrase the President, "Listening is hard work!!!"

But listening to individuals is the only way of really connecting with people, even in a political context. This attitude is what prompted me to check out the John Birchers many years ago (as I recall, 1984). I had read about these "anti-Semitic, racist, right-wing extremists" and at some point became curious enough to actually want to meet them. With my fiancée (my wife Leslie), I drove out to their western regional office in San Marino, CA, and spent some time talking with their leadership. I attended a few of their meetings, and to this day still get their flagship publication, The New American. While I think some of their membership can and do go off the deep end with the conspiratorial lens through which they view the world, I found most of them to be straight-shooting, patriotic Americans deeply concerned with the leftward movement of the culture. Never did I sense even a whiff of anti-Semitism, and in the 20 or so years I've been reading the New American, have never read any anti-Jewish, anti-Israel stuff.

But back to listening and connecting with people. What I particularly appreciate about this Ettublog group is the willingness to listen; to look for ways to build bridges. So often, political junkies only want to talk, and assume they've got the market on truth. There is way too much ego. With a different attitude, we--as bridge-building types--can do a tremendous amount of good by bringing this spirit into other groups with whom we choose to affiliate.

More Thought On The Leftist/Liberal Labels

Andrew "Skip" March weighs in on the Leftist/liberal/conservative labelling spawned by Allen Gorin's post below:

This thoughtful and thought provoking piece by Allen Gorin speaks to important distinctions in political, cultural, economic thought and discourse and how we must be carefully conscious of these distinctions for our own discovery and understanding. I for one will be more so...thank you Allen.

My own ever evolving thoughts are as follows:

Liberalism is ideological in nature with a core set of principles focused on human and civil rights and a belief in a larger, stronger, central government to promote and sustain those principles. Liberalism is not rigid in nature and therefore liberals will thoughtfully engage in discussion and debate. Leftism is more political in nature, not with a core set of values, but rather with focus on the struggle of the Haves and Have Nots and a reliance on divisiveness as a strategy. In the US this strategy embraces such tactics as gender, class, race, economic, age warfare. It is rigid, closed minded and rife with bias largely because leftists will not engage.

This is not unlike conservatism and right wing, particularly ante-Buckley (William F.). Conservatism also has a core set of principles, not unlike liberalism. A major difference is a belief in less central government involvement in the promotion of those principles. The right wing will also rely on a strategy of divisiveness and fear as did and does the John Birch Society, right-wing militia and supremist groups, etc. It was not until W.F. Buckley finally articulated that core set of principles that the conservative movement began to move from being identified with and in large part populated with these groups and societies. The Taft-Wing of the Republican Party was the exception to that conservative/right wing identity.

This is not to say that there is not overlap and gradations (liberal/left, conservative/right). We are dealing with people after all. However it is most useful to make and understand these basic distinctions so that we do not confuse issue positions, people's positions and motivations as well as for our own self understanding. We do not want to morph into something we are not nor into positions or attitudes that are not consistent with who we are as individuals.

As for Professor(?) Newman's position, I believe Mr.Gorin effectively tore that apart. My only comment is that Newman needs to brush up on historical references......no actually to get a clue. The Berlin Wall was built to prevent people from escaping the tyranny and destruction of communism. The Israeli Security Fence means to protect Israel ad its people from tyranny, destruction and death. This is not hard to figure out.

Again thank you Allen.....

Friday, July 22, 2005

Who is the Monolith? Left or Non-Left?

While Allen Gorin provides us a distinction between "Leftists" and "liberals", to me there does not appear to be the gradations among them on the various issues of the day that ones sees in the self-labelling of "conservatives".

In a series of essays in FrontPage Magazine, Keith Thompson has been chronicling his philosophical outlook that began as a lifetime liberal and, after reflection, has turned into what?

He repeats a comment from an emailer that he always believed:

“I too dislike what the left has become, but the monolithic, conform-or-die right terrifies me.”

Thompson and I both believed this sentiment for many decades of our lives as liberals from teenager through much of adulthood. However, Thompson and I have found the conservative umbrella contains many gradations with civil but strong disagreements on a number of issues.

Writes Thompson:

If only my anxious correspondent could scan the many hundreds of smart, good-natured, reasonable (and typically quite funny) messages I got from a veritable non-monolith of readers who identified themselves with these kinds of labels: independent, libertarian, classical liberal, conservative, federalist, culturally Western, free-trading, constitutionalist, free-marketeering, religious, religious-and-secular, spiritual-but-not-religious, patriotic. This self-description, spoken more than any other, comes closest to monolithic: “I am an American.” Dangerous stuff — call out the campus grievance committee.

Within this blog the contributors differ on such issues as abortion on demand, foreign policy, the First Amendment, free trade, the proper role of government and other issues. Some of us came gradually to conservatism, or its related offshoots, and some were always there. Our contributors are thanked as they can provide new insights for all of us to consider.

The monolith today is the Left and its offshoots. Concluded Thompson:

I've come to find my way outside the narrow confines of the Left — and life after the Left is liberating.

My fear is that the seeming difference between Leftism and liberal is that Leftism preaches overt socialism while liberals are either being covert or are unwittingly leading us on "The Road To Serfdom".

Liberals, Leftists and Israel

Last week I posted on an article by Allen Gorin, a regular contributor, who is the leader of Idahoans United for Israel. He used the term "Leftist" to describe the Boise State professor with whom he disagreed regarding, inter alia, the controversial fence erected by Israel. Below is Allen's e-mail to IUI where he effectively provides the distintion between liberals and Leftists as far as the State of Israel is concerned. It is a valuable essay worth considering as labels are used in discussion and debate.

Dear Friend of Idahoans United for Israel:

As most of you know, last week the Idaho Statesman published my Reader's View: an op-ed rebuttal of BSU Professor Marcy Newman's attack on Israel's security fence. In that rebuttal, I made reference to Newman's "leftist views, " using this term in a pejorative sense. While all IUI e-mail recipients who contacted me liked my Reader's View, a couple took issue with my use of "leftist." One critic felt that my "thoughtless use" of such terminology would only alienate the more liberal members of the pro-Israel coalition. Such criticism deserves a response.

While my use of the term "leftist" may have been controversial (with some), it was hardly thoughtless. Long before I had even heard of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), I realized the need for a broad pro-Israel coalition, one that spanned the political and theological spectrums. Assuming a leadership position in this type of diverse coalition requires showing deference and respect to the different factions. When people tell me that I should not unnecessarily alienate liberals who support Israel, they're really preaching to the choir. Anyone who's attended our meetings or read the articles I've sent out over the years would, hopefully, attest to my not catering to one faction at the expense of another.

Why then did I choose to label Marcy Newman a leftist, linking that term with anti-Israel sentiment, especially on college campuses? My reasons follow:

1) First, I never once used the term "liberal" in my article. In my mind, there is a distinct difference between being a liberal and a leftist--although I acknowledge that in our political culture, both liberals and leftists are often lumped together--both groups being "on the left"-- especially when viewed by conservatives. On the matter of Israel, liberals can and do support the Jewish state for reasons which include the fact that Israel is much more liberal than any of its Arab neighbors. Whether we're talking about women's rights, abortion rights, respect for minorities, social justice, governmental safety net programs, or any other issue that's generally important to liberals, Israel wins hands down.

For leftists, on the other hand, all this is trumped by the fact that Israel is viewed as an oppressor of Palestinians--a result of the leftist "lens" that sees the world made up of the powerful and the weak. Add the fact that Israel is a capitalistic society, and Israelis are almost as bad as ............well, Americans! This is the leftist (aka Marxist) viewpoint.

There is also a profound difference between liberals and leftists when it comes to grappling with the facts of the Arab/Israeli conflict. Liberals may debate the pros and cons of disengaging from Gaza, the Oslo Accords, or the Roadmap. But rarely have I heard a liberal question Israel's right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state, or right to defend itself (with measures like the security fence). Leftists, on the other hand, routinely raise the "legitimacy"of the Jewish state; or, like Marcy Newman, criticize Israel's acts of self-defense.

2) On many college campuses, anti-Israel sentiment is being driven (for the most part) either by Arabs/Muslims or ardent leftists--sometimes in collusion with one another. Anti-Iraq war activity will, quite often, have an anti-Israel/pro-Palestinian component as well. This is just a given in contemporary academia, as a general rule.

Am I suggesting that all anti-Iraq war sentiment is also anti-Israel, or that only leftists oppose America's policy in Iraq? Not at all. I know some conservatives and libertarians who have real doubts about President Bush's strategies vis a vis Iraq. The difference with leftists--I'm generalizing here--is that it seems as if they want America to lose, to take a beating. They're not particularly interested in facts and logic to the contrary. So strong is leftist antipathy for America (and Israel) that leftists will seek out and maintain leadership positions in college activist groups--just like Marcy Newman has.

3) In singling out leftist anti-Israel sentiment, I'm not above criticizing anti-Israel feeling that emanates from the right of the political spectrum. For example, the libertarian right is often hostile to the notion of foreign aide to Israel. Certain libertarians don't want to acknowledge the value-for-value relationship between America and Israel, and posture Israel as some sort of welfare recipient. These libertarian ideas should be forcefully countered by pro-Israel advocates, especially by fellow libertarians and conservatives.

On the religious right, certain Christians have bought into replacement theology: the view that Jews are no longer the chosen people, and beneficiaries of Old Testament covenants with God. According to this worldview, Christians are the new chosen people, and Israel has no more significance than, say, Peru. Replacement theology--in part, because it has disastrous implications for critical Christian support for Israel--should be forcefully countered, best done so by fellow Christians.

Last but not least, the Pat Buchanan wing of the Republican Party--whether because of isolationist, "America-first", or anti-Semitic tendencies--has its problems with Israel. They too should be engaged and rebuked where appropriate, ideally by fellow Republicans.

* * * *

Finally, we should never underestimate the difficulties in maintaining broad-based coalitions like Idahoans United for Israel. Melding together Jews and Christians, liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats--all working together for Israel--does not happen of its own accord. Treating each faction with respect, never mind alienating anybody, is so critical. That said, there is a time and a place to call a spade a spade: to clearly state that ideas like those espoused by Marcy Newman do not come out of a vacuum. My Reader's View was one of those instances.

Sincerely,

Allen

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Brooks On Roberts: What Does He Mean?

I am not sure what the heck David Brooks is talking about today regarding Catholics fighting Catholics (and can Ted Kennedy fight anyone without Chivas balls?), but his exhilaration over the Roberts nomination contained the following:

Conservatives who came of age in the 1960's did so in an intensely ideological time when it was arduous to be on the right. People from that generation are more likely to have a dissident mentality, to want to storm the ramparts of the liberal establishment, to wade in to vanquish their foes in the war of ideas.

But John Roberts didn't enter Harvard until the fall of 1973. He missed all that sturm und drang, so he lacks, his former colleagues say, the outsider/dissident mentality. By the time he came of age, it was easier for a conservative to be comfortable in mainstream institutions, without feeling embattled or spoiling for a fight.

Okay. We will see if he gets Borked by stand-up guys like Kennedy, Biden and Schumer.

The Liberal Talk Radio Project: How’s the Left Side of the Dial Doing These Days?

Mike Taylor provides us this analysis of radio talk show ratings and the comparison between conservatives and the Left side of the dial:

I happened across the Arbitron Ratings for Los Angeles and Chicago when scanning the Drudge Report this morning.

Left coasters, in general, are about as left as Manhattanites… if you’ll forgive the comparison. Your humble correspondent was a one-time resident of Chicago. I found the denizens of the Windy City to be a little left of center, but nothing like the coasts.

One would expect that Los Angeles would be one of the more receptive markets for liberal talk radio (Isn’t liberal talk radio commonly known as “the network news”?… I sometimes confuse the two.)

The following data comes from a press release from Premiere Radio Networks so we have to assume that the markets are somewhat “cherry-picked”, with that disclaimer… Here are the ratings for selected shows on the Los Angeles and Chicago airwaves:

The chart below shows the hosts and their (Adults 25 to 54) Share, Average Quarter Hour (Adults 25-54) and ranking:

Rush Limbaugh 2.5 35,900 14
Al Franken 0.8 11,900 31
Bill O'Reilly 0.9 13,100 29
Ed Shultz 0.6 9,000 42

The next chart shows the hosts and the same rating per all people over the age of 12.

Rush Limbaugh 4.4 100,100 5
Al Franken 1.2 28,400 27
Bill O'Reilly 2.3 54,900 14
Ed Shultz 0.9 20,500 34
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050720/law119.html?.v=8

I’ve never heard of Ed Shultz, but a Google search tells me he’s a “progressive” talk show host hailing from North Dakota. Apparently Mr. Shultz has been claiming that various right-wing entities are trying to “shut (him) down” and that Rush Limbaugh is a big fat liar… no wait, that’s the other guy, Franken. I told you this was confusing. In any event, Mr. Shultz is hoping that controversy will attract an audience… it doesn’t seem to be working.

Let’s look at the numbers. Rush is still the 800 lb. gorilla, despite his celebrated weight loss. Among Adults 25-54 Rush pulls about 3X as many listeners as Franken. Franken and Bill O’Reilly have similar numbers. If you’re wondering about the last column, “Rank (All AM/FM Programming…) you have to remember that many offices during the day have a Lite FM music station playing in the background.

Al Franken has about one-third of Rush’s audience for “Adults 25-54”.

But what’s interesting to me is the difference among the numbers in the category “Persons 12+”…and the category “Adults 25-54”. At first blush one might suspect that 1/3 of talk radio’s audience is made up of persons 12-24 years of age. But the top set of numbers does not include people 55+… so we can’t be sure of the split of very young versus somewhat older.

Despite appearances, people over the age of 54 aren’t dead yet… (Disclosure: I’m 45 and I feel half dead most of the time.) But when we count all persons 12+, Rush’s rank jumps from #14 to #5… Franken barely moves from #31 to #27 in ranking. O’Reilly improves +15 ranking spots.

What does that really mean other than Rush is getting the ear of a lot of Angelenos and Chicagoans? The data provided is inconclusive. Franken may be getting over half (58%) of his total audience from very young (12 to 24) or the older crowd (55+). Rush is getting 64% of his audience from those fringes. The key figure is the sheer size of what Rush is pulling: Rush gains +64,200 listeners from the fringes… Franken gets only +16,500.

That’s why Rush is making the big money… not only does he attract the key demographic of 25-54, he can pull down huge numbers outside that group. Looks like George Soros must continue to shell out money to keep Air America up and running.

It doesn’t seem that liberal talk radio is taking hold. “This breaking news just in… Generalissimo Francisco Franco is STILL dead!”.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

NYT- Who Cares? It's Just Israel.

Danny Greenberg sent us this article on the NYT false caption under a picture of a burning armorerd vehicle.

Per HonestReporting.com:

The caption indicates that Israel destroyed this armored car with children in the immediate vicinity. But in fact, it was Hamas that set the vehicle on fire, as indicated by other major news agencies: AFP, Reuters, Associated Press. Moreover, two Palestinian children were killed on this day (July 15) from battles between Hamas and the PA.

No anti-Israel policy in the MSM, is there?

Bush Names Roberts- NYT Revolts

The NYT editorial staff on John Roberts' nomination said:

"But if on closer inspection he turns out to be an extreme ideologue with an agenda of stripping away important rights, he should not be" confirmed.

I call important rights those laid out in the Constitution. The various government hand-outs may be expected by the public but they are not "rights". The editorial goes on with this beaut:

The far right is on a drive to resurrect ancient, and discredited, states' rights theories.

Given the NYT ire over the Raich medical marijuana case one wonders why the call the federalism framework "discredited". And given their support for New Deal legislation, who is the ancient?

More on the press treatment of the nomination from Mike Taylor who gives us this gem:

So the catcher says to the batter:

“Hey pardner, here comes his curveball, moves right”.

The batter, thinking himself too smart for this ruse says “Yeah… right… sure”.

The pitcher rears back and throws a looping curve over the plate.

“Steee-rike!”

The catcher says “Hey, mac, didn’t I tell you it would be a curveball? Whassa matter?”

The batter replies “I’ve been hearing so much BS from previous catchers that I can’t believe that you’d really do what you said you’d do”.

“Well”, the catcher says “I don’t know anything about how they play the game in Arkansas but that’s how we play here in the Texas league. Care to know about the next pitch? Same as the first”.

“Yeah… right… sure”.

Don’t you just love it when GWB does exactly what he says he will do?… and that surprises the media and the Dems no end.

Personally, anyone from Long Beach, INDIANA is OK with me, even though he’s a Harvard man.

More On American Christians

Skip March joins in one the issue of the Judeo-Christian discussion in the post below: "What Are American Christians?"

He wrote:

I am jumping in late here, but better late than never I suppose. I have had a number of conversations with Christians and Jews about the relationship of the 2 faiths. To me it is clear that without the Jewish faith there would be no Christianity. Without going too deeply into theological discussion, Jesus never considered himself to be anything other than a Jew. His issue was with the religious hierarchy at the time which he felt was corrupting the faith. This is not unlike Martin Luther who considered himself a Catholic, but objected to what he viewed as various corruptions by the hierarchy, as in the Pope. Secondly Jesus also wanted to take the relationship with God to the level the Jewish scriptures articulated, not what was being articulated by the hierarchy.

As for the more open acceptance in the US of the closeness of the 2 faiths, there is little doubt that Europe has had centuries of anti-semitism, institutionalized by the Catholic Church, which took on cultural and political implications, too many to enumerate here. Those who came to the US from Europe were not without their biases for sure, but they understood the more destructive elements of European religion, politics, culture....things they were attempting to escape themselves. These were also people who held very closely their relationship to God, a one God that is the center of both the Jewish and Christian faiths

These things being said, it is the challenge of all individuals and then in turn the political, cultural and political institutions that they populate to ensure they abide by the values that they claim to embrace. Yes, you can be a Christian or a Jew and not embrace/live by Judeo-Christian values. Just as we can be American citizens, but not embrace American values as articulated by our founding fathers and documents.

I had a conversation once with a fellow worker, who claimed to be an American and a communist. I suggested that one could not embrace American values and communist values and went on to provided specifics examples, too many to enumerate here. In the end she seemed to agree with me that embracing American values means embracing the dignity and the worth of the individual while communism does not. I don't know that she completely agreed with me that communism actually destroys the worth and the dignity of the individual, but some progress made.

Whew..a lot of territory covered here. Hopefully I did not do an injustice to such an important and often emotional subject.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Finding Out The Intent Is The Only Way To Read

Stanley Fish in the NYT discusses Constitutional interpretation in "Intentional Neglect". He holds that pursuit of the author's intent in words is the only means of preceiving the meaning of something. Justices who refuse to pursue and follow the intent of the legislators are not "interpreting" the law. they are "rewriting" it.

He writes:

Rewriting is what is being done by those who talk about the "living Constitution" and ask, "Why should we be constrained by the dead hand of the past?" This makes no more sense than asking, "Why should we be constrained by wills and contracts?"

The answer is that without that constraint handed down by the past, law and predictability disappear and are replaced by irresponsibility and the exercise of power. If you can just make it up when interpreting the Constitution, you can also make it up when deciding whether or not to honor your contractual obligations, and so can everyone around you. In fact, if your question is "What do I want it to mean" rather than "What did they mean by it?" you can dispense with "it" and "them" entirely and just go right to the fashioning of the meaning you prefer.

And that is why the only coherent answer to the question "What does the Constitution mean?" is that the Constitution means what its authors intended it to mean.

As someone who drafts and analyzes contracts professionally, the idea is to state in the clearest way what the intent of the parties are. Where there is an ambiguity, the hope is the arbiter will pursue and discern the intent. Otherwise, there is no coherence to the document and parties cannot go forward in good faith.

That must be the goal of our judiciary.

Says Fish:

And that is why the only coherent answer to the question "What does the Constitution mean?" is that the Constitution means what its authors intended it to mean. The alternative answers just don't work: the Constitution can't mean what the text alone says because there is no text alone; and it can't mean what present-day society needs and wants it to mean because any meaning arrived at under that imperative will not be the Constitution's.

I have said it and have heard others say it as well: When people have laid down their lives in battle for the US it was in order to protect our Constitution. If so, then the so-called "activist judiciary" has done a disservice to our defenders.

What Are "American Christians"?

Dennis Prager wrote about the Torah's specific support for capital punishment in "Murderers Must Die". Wrote Prager:

One should not confuse Jews or Christians with Judeo-Christian values. Many Jews and many Christians, including many sincerely religious ones, take certain positions that are contrary to Judeo-Christian values (which I have defined at length: In a nutshell, they are Old Testament values as mediated by Christians, especially American Christians).

Then, as respects capital punishment and the Bible, he wrote:

When God creates the world, He declares a fundamental value and law to maintain civilization: "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God He created him." And the law is repeated in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

When all murderers are allowed to keep their lives, murder is rendered less serious and human life is therefore cheapened. That is not only the Judeo-Christian biblical view. It is common sense. The punishment for a crime is what informs society how bad that crime is. A society that allows all murderers to live deems murder less awful than one that takes away the life of a murderer.

Bill Suda asked the following: How does Dennis Prager define "American Christians" in this context?

Allen Gorin repeated Prager's initial paragraph for context and then explained:

Being a regular Prager listener--my wife downloads his daily programs and prepares dinner according to them--I'm guessing that Dennis is referring to intellectually honest American Christians; those who honor "original intent" in the religious realm. For example, American Christians of this mindset cannot possibly read the Torah, or Torah commentary (the Talmud), and conclude that homosexuality is to be treated as a normal, alternative lifestyle. Any values pertaining to homosexuality are grounded in this worldview. If one chooses to view homosexuality as normal, the intellectually honest approach (vis a vis the Torah) is to say that it is dead wrong on the subject.

Of related interest in the development of Judeo-Christian values is the distinction between American Christianity and its European version. American Christianity has been extraordinarily welcoming of Jews and Judaism. Many of the founders spoke Hebrew and revered the Old Testament. Jews have, in most respects, been full partners in the American experiment, and thus assiimilated well. Contrast this with a fact that Prager discussed during last evening's program: that European Jews, by and large, never really feel completely accepted and assimilated into their respective countries.

Why is this so? Prager opines that Americans--Christian and Jew--descend from immigrants, and thus don't place great stock in how many generations of family they can trace throughout American history. Not so with, for example, the British or French, few of whom are the descendants of immigrants to these respective countries.

Novak To Replace Rove

Scappleface has 2 stories worth reading.

One is that Bush is going to name (once he finds them) conjoined twins with an originalist judicial philosophy to replace O'Connor. This will excite the diversity crowd while satisfying conservatives.

The other story has Bush firing Rove over "the most devastating scandal to engulf a presidency in the history of the republic". He will replace Rove with Bob Novak. Then Scrappleface adds:

In related news, an unnamed source close to the prosecutor's office said the Bush administration coverup of the Rove scandal continues.

"The president's team is quite clever," said the anonymous source. "They're trying to bury us in information by giving us all that we've requested -- documents, testimony...everything. The fact that the White House is not being secretive with the grand jury or the prosecutor is the main evidence of criminal activity."

Love the satire.

UN's Color Code

Skip March provides us this link to Chrenkoff's UN color code. The colors range from orange which means "Give Them The Chair Of The Human Rights Commission" to yellow "Increasingly Concerned" to green "Deep Shame And Regret". I always thought the UN's response to anything was based upon Kofi's consultation with a Magic 8-Ball.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Isn't Yellow Cake the Bigger Story?

This is going to be my only mention of the Plame "controversy" in this blog. It is a BS story. Wilson is a bozo and he gets airtime like that fool who brought Rather the smoking gun memo.

The TV-whoring by Schumers and Company are the scary acts of desperate people. That they think they are making hay with the American voter is incredible (but they must think it is working).

Mark Steyn notes that the real story is how the CIA actually used Wilson to investigate a very serious threat to our country.

Regardless of Wilson's report, Says Steyn:

[A]bout everybody on the face of the earth except Wilson, the White House press corps and the moveon.org crowd accepts that Saddam was indeed trying to acquire uranium from Africa. Don't take my word for it; it's the conclusion of the Senate intelligence report, Lord Butler's report in the United Kingdom, MI6, French intelligence, other European services -- and, come to that, the original CIA report based on Joe Wilson's own briefing to them. Why Yellowcake Joe then wrote an article for the New York Times misrepresenting what he'd been told by senior figures from Major Wanke's regime in Niger is known only to him.

As I wrote in this space a year ago, an ambassador, in Sir Henry Wootton's famous dictum, is a good man sent abroad to lie for his country; this ambassador came home to lie to his.

Sorry a reporter got jailed but I wasn't the one screaming for a special prosecutor. For crying out loud, we send this buffoon to Niger to check on whether Saddam is buying "yellow cake" that goes into nukes?!! This should be what people are yelling about. But the marginalization of the Democratic Party continues.

NYT Decline-Can I Help?

Donald Luskin carries a link that analyzes the NYT circulation/stock value declines. No wonder they feel the economy is doing poorly. They are looking at their own bad financials and are projecting. It's like someone who has remained unemployed during this employment rebound. He thinks the job market is terrible.

As Luskin writes:

Read it and don't bother to weep.

And to think that my weekend subscription is keeping them afloat.

Dutch Tolerance and Welfare Helped Breed Terrorists

Leon de Winter, a Dutch novelist and political columnist for Elsevier magazine, discussed the problems created by a "tolerant" society that destroyed its "forms of traditional authority and heirarchy" while embarking on uncontrolled immigration of Moroccans to do their low-end work.

He wrote the following in a NYT editorial last week that the Dutch opened immigration to:

[Y]oung men from the Rif Mountains of Morocco, most illiterate and many with only a rudimentary grasp of spoken Dutch, to work in Holland's rapidly expanding industries. When they came to the country, often under long-term government work visas, they were faced with a highly educated but apparently decadent society in the grip of a cultural revolution. Many were astonished: was this country some sort of freak show?

As the 1980's developed into a tech and service economy, the unskilled Morrocans' were less needed. However, they were not returned to Morrocco.

Instead they were given extensive social benefits and their families were allowed to come from Morocco to join them. It was the birth of the ethnic-religious ghettoes that surround our affluent cities and towns.

And thus the delicate mechanism of Holland's traditional tolerant society gradually lost its balance. The news media, politicians and artists gnawed away at the traditional values of Calvinistic civic society, while in the bleak Muslim suburbs resentment grew among the Moroccans' Dutch-born children, who found the promise of an affluent life unfulfillable.

Much the same has occurred in Britain. The Muslim clerics live on state-supported welfare while indoctrinating the young against the West and specifically plot the acts of terror like we saw 2 weeks ago.

If there were less welfare programs, people would have to expend their energies in earning a living. The Muslim immigrant would either be too tired or not have enough time to plot attacks or would actually thrive in a market economy and pend their free time plotting how to increase their retirement portfolios.

I have an unemployed friend who has barely worked since 9-11. He has time to hatch up conspiracies of the republican conservatives while sitting at home. Every now and then he offers diatribes on economics, history, science and the constitution without having pursued even a rudimentary study of any of these subjects in his 4-year sabbatical. Thankfully, he is not likely to be a suicide bomber since he would have to leave to read a manual on making a bomb, he would have to leave his apartment to get bomb materials and then get to a target outside. Unfortunately, the terrorists have more motivation to leave the house than my buddy.

Feminists betrayed by O'Connor and The Prescription on Stopping terror

2 mentions:

1. Heather McDonald wrote an essay in National Review entitled "Girl Problems" on feminism's anger toward Justice O'Connor for failing to advance women's issues in every one of her decisions. This is what I have been saying about the incorrect perception of what the Supreme Court is designed to do. They do not address public policy or societal wrongs. That is for the legislature and the people to decide. If not, McDonald comments on my question: What is the need of a Constitution if justices can jegislate from the bench?

This dismissal of legal thought mocks our constitutional framework. If emotion and group identity are the main drivers in every branch of government, having a constitution is pointless, since it will never constrain political will. The Founders believed otherwise, and drafted a Constitution in the conviction that it would set enforceable limits on government power.

2. In Frontpage, the interview with Michael Radu contained the following on terror and how to try to stop it:

a) Stop being politically correct and define the enemy clearly - it is Islamism. If established Muslim groups persist in opposing common sense measures to counter terrorism, make it clear that that amounts to indirect support for it, never mind the declared intentions.

b) Completely reform the asylum and immigration policies;

c) Either legalize indefinite internment for non-citizen radicals, or extradite them. If that requires changes in the EU human rights legislation or UK rejection of it, so be it.

d) Criminalize recruiting and indoctrination of radicals by UK residents.

e) Learn from the French - yes, from the French...They have learned from the wave of Islamic terror in France in the mid-1990s. For instance, imams coming to France now must speak French; the process of training them in France has began; imams preaching anti-Semitism or the murder of "infidels" are often expelled….expeditiously; at government instigation, a French Council of the Muslim Religion (Conseil français du culte musulman - CFCM) has been established, institutionalizing the dialogue with the authorities; mosques, whether legal or illegal, are under permanent surveillance; suspected terrorists are detained for longer periods, and the simple intention to join or have association with terrorists is a crime.

Yes, I included a pro-French comment with limited blogging access. There may be hope for them.

Back on-line soon

My cable connection cannot be fixed until Tuesday afternoon so blogging will be sparse. For my 3 fans, keep the faith. Neal

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