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Friday, June 09, 2006

Canada's Wake-Up Call

The recent foiling of a terrorist ring in Canada, that its media seems unable to admit was made up of Muslim Canadians, may provide that country of hockey and peace a chilling dose of reality. Jonah Goldberg discusses how the application of multiculturalism did nothing to stop young Muslim men from plotting against a country suffering from terminal niceness. He writes:

Nearly all of the alleged Canadian plotters were raised in Canada and attended Canadian public schools. They were indeed homegrown.

Just a few weeks before the alleged Canadian terror plot was revealed, a sociology professor penned an essay in a Canadian newspaper boasting how well “multiculturalism works in Canada.” Canadians are blissfully immune to the backlash against multiculturalism in Europe and the U.S. caused by jihadi terror, argued Augie Fleras, and this has created a climate of progress and social peace. Fleras might want to revisit that.

Pink Floyd covered this phenomenon in "Sheep" from the "Animals" CD.

Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away,
only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air
You better watch out, there may be dogs about.
I've looked over Jordan,
and I have seen things are not what they seem.

What do you get for pretending the dangers not real.
Meek and obedient you follow the leader down well trodden corridors, into the valley of steel.
What a surprise! A look of terminal shock in your eyes.
Now things are really what they seem. No, this is no bad dream.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Move Before You Die

With the refusal of the Senate to vote on a permanent repeal of the estate tax, and see Don Luskin's site for the fake "yes" votes by a number of Democrats up for election, when we win the lottery, we can move to any of the following countries whose estate tax is nil (thanks to Cato):

Argentina 0
Australia 0
Canada 0
China 0
Colombia 0
Cyprus 0
Czech Rep. 0
Estonia 0
India 0
Indonesia 0
Israel 0
Latvia 0
Lithuania 0
Malaysia 0
Mexico 0
New Zealand 0
Portugal 0
Russia 0
Slovak Rep. 0
Slovenia 0
Sweden 0
Switzerland 0
Thailand 0

Source: American Council for Capital Formation based
on a 2005 analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Those are zeros, not letters. The US estate tax ranks 3rd internationally at 46% behind South Korea at 50% and Japan at 70%.

Another Human Being Is Dead

Michael Berg, the father of Nicholas Berg who was beheaded by Z, is quoted by Reuters:

"I have no sense of relief, just sadness that another human being had to die."

I am not allowed to comment.

The Spin Begins

I just saw Matt and Tim discussing Z's death.

The point made by Matt and concurred by Tim was Bush can turn his PR towards Iraq rather than the BS issues of gay marriage and the estate tax repeal. These issues were only on the front burner to solidify his base for the interim.

Guys, those are important issues to Americans. While Iraq teeters and totters towards wherever it winds up, there are other pieces of business to attend. However, should the great Iraq news distract the Administration's enemies from the general issues, then Z's death will result in a better Iraq and passage of the death tax repeal. Damn good.

From Mike Taylor:

From the blog of someone named "Nickle" on the Daily Kos early this morning:

"Tomorrow morning the president will deliver his few lines and a smirk. And somehow he will manage to convince the talking heads that this is a turning point (along with Mission Accomplished, Saddam's capture, Falujah, and voting). And all those people who had never heard of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before FOX interrupted their news about a shark attack will let out a giant "yee haw."

Completing major military ops, capturing Hussein, re-taking Fallujah and Iraqis voting WERE major turning points, Nickle. Your problem was that they were positive turning points for the US and Iraq.

My guess is that a greater percentage of Fox viewers knew who Zarqawi was than say, NBC "Today Show" viewers.

I didn't notice W smirking this morning. But I expect, in the near future, someone will hand the President Zarqawi's old AK-47. I'm sure that George will have that gun mounted on the office wall, right next to Saddam's old weapon. Maybe then he'll let loose with a smirk. He deserves to.

-- MTT

Sad News For Some of You

Condolences to those of you upset over the incredible news. Things will improve in some ways while you get a new pin-up boy. I have to believe that in some small way it is due to Coulter mojo. God Bless America!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Teach your Children Well

Allen Gorin adds to the discussion velow on teaching children of affluence:

Neal, Mike, and others:

This is a great issue for discussion! I've said many times, to my wife and others, that it is much more challenging raising good kids in a wealthy environment than in a middle-class one. I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone--typically a high-school dropout who became a multi-million dollar entrepreneur--say some version of "I want to give my kids everything I didn't have." The "everything" is usually material benefits, which deprives the kids of learning how to fend for themselves. These kids never develop character, discipline, and the ability to cope with failure. In a manner of speaking, these kids are set up to fail in life, and somewhere in their bones, know that their misguided parents have played a key role in this process. To add insult to injury, the rich parents often pile on with comments like "after all we've done for you.........!" Not to mention family and friends who see the unsuccessful kids as failures AND ingrates.

Neal raises the key question: what can those of us who have attained material success do to avoid the above-mentioned scenario with our own kids? Let me suggest a few guidelines:

1) Even as material wealth is attained, don't define yourself and your family's values according to such material wealth. While I'm neither a Christian nor a New Testament scholar, I recall a great line (I think from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount) which goes something like, "Lay not your treasure where moth and dust corrupt.............for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." This is, in religious lexicon, just another way of saying that it's foolish to make material wealth an important criteria for assessing the true measure of a man or woman.

2) Don't make material wealth your ultimate security, and communicate this value to your kids.

3) Let your kids take risks, and LET THEM FAIL. Hopefully, the failures will be small stuff, which will build character and minimize the chances of kids failing with the big stuff.

4) Don't be so quick to bail kids out when they fail. Let them learn accountability, and the art of picking themselves up off the ground when they've been knocked down.

5) Let kids earn their way to their own material successes, rather than leveraging mom and dad's "connections."

I could go on and on with this important subject, but I'll stop here. Let me end with a quick and recent story. My daughter is very talented in many ways, including web design. She had been working part-time for my partner and me--as web designer and website manager--in a new business venture. I say "had been working" because a short while ago, I convinced my partner that it was best if we fire Anna. She had been taking advantage of the fact that her boss was her Dad, and that she could always make commitments to finish work without actually following through in a timely manner. Many times I told her that she can't do business this way "in the real world," but it never really sank in until I fired her. After recovering from the shock--this was the first time she had ever been fired from anything--she now acknowledges her tendency to procrastinate, preferring to do what she feels like more than fulfilling her commitments. I predict that, one day, she will fondly recall that it was her Dad who fired her from a job for the first time--because I care about her, and the values she lives by.


PS An excellent book on this subject is "Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Children that the Poor and Middle-Class Don't." The author is Robert Kyosaki.

Family Lessons

My blogger friend Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek wrote an interesting post that discussed his family background. It was an assessment of his "Class Background". The following quote prompted my comment below:

Growing up, my siblings and I were aware that we weren’t wealthy, but we thought of ourselves as middle-class. Our home was comfortable (despite having only one bathroom!) and our family life (dare I say it?!) normal and loving.As I look back on my childhood, I appreciate my parents’ values.

Never, not once, did I ever hear my parents complain of not being rich; never was there any expressed or felt despair about driving mostly used and often rather decrepit automobiles; never was there any hints that the economic deck is stacked against us. Never did I suppose that I was cheated, robbed, or even unlucky. I know that my parents, and each of my siblings, feels the same way.

My Comment:

Funny that I should read this post today. Fox News had done a story about the biggest fear of the "wealthy" beings whether their children will wind up lazy rich kids (a la the Kennedys---indulge my never-ending joy in picking on them).

I was thinking this morning how I am now a solidly middle-aged professional with moderate means. Yet, the one facet of my life that tends to impress people (and myself looking back) were my 5 years as a Rhode Island dock-hand and part-time commercial fisherman. Both jobs entailed incredibly tiring manual labor, dangerous work conditions, appearing for work on time (though not necessarily sober) and decidedly unintellectual tasks. For me it was fun and paid the bills and bar tabs. I did this from the formative years---21 to 26. Then I began law school.
To my land-lubber cohorts who are mostly lawyers or businessmen, it is this romantic background that they lack, having gone right from college to post-grad studies, that they seem to envy.

I know this portion of my life turned me into a morning person, someone who could get up and do the work when it was required despite a lack of sleep, energy, health or a clear head. I spent time with real men and inculcated a firm conviction that the measure of a man is in his production, cooperation, recognition of hierarchy, bravery and integrity. In some ways it was my military boot camp.

So what do I do with my kids? They are living in a level of luxury that I never experienced. How do I ensure they do not become mini-Kennedys.

Mike Taylor responds with something he entitled "Take A Page From Andrew Carnegie:

"I should as soon leave to my son a curse as the almighty dollar."

Carnegie sold his steel interests in 1901 for $480 million. In today’s dollars that’s close to $11 billion. (For reference, Bill Gates is worth somewhere near $45 billion today.) Carnegie gave it all away. Two thousand eight hundred library buildings; 7,000+ church organs established in his name.

Tell your kids they’re getting nothing… and then buy a bumper sticker that says “Spending My Kids’ Inheritance” for the new RV.

That ought to lead them to believe that they need to work for a living… and if it doesn’t, there’s something really wrong.

-- MTT

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Reporters Have Faults?

From Pat Dollard a film-maker doing an Iraq documentary:

Welcome to the only thing sleazier than overbilling lawyers, overprescribing doctors shilling for pharamaceutical companies, greedy coporate executives, and used car salesmen: the American Journalist. Flawed and crooked and self-centered as the rest of us, but riding around on a high horse, pointing out everyone else's sins, but ignoring their own. This is the last great industry-wide scandal left uncovered in America. Because of course, they'd have to cover it themselves. And none of them have the bravery to take their own inventory, to list their own pathologically self-centered faults. They'd rather just go after yours. mine and those who disagree with them politically.

Can't have put it any better. Thanks to Belmont Club for this link.

Discussion With A Liberal

Liberal reaction to my critique of the drug war:

we're on the same page here- Gore Vidal wrote a crazy book after 9// claiming that the drug war has resulted in our terrorism problem- you got to read the whole book to understand the logic- our theories(yours and mine) about why we haven't had another 9/11 may be tested- according to the lead piece on last nites CBS news, law enforcement sources expect a terrorist attack in this country by the end of the year- truthful? or just trying to scare the voter for their Nov elections?- you just don't know anymore

My Response:

We know there has been none for 5 years. Just an accident I guess.

Liberal’s Response:

you know it was on the Bushman's watch that 9/11 occurred-- in both Afghanistan and Iraq mayhem continues- our military has its own 9/11 in Iraq -2,500 dead 17,000 wounded- Osama and his boys are still running free- everything the Bushman touches goes to (Pot) excuse the pun-my theory is he's created more terrorists with his Rambo approach- I only hope that the lull here at home continues, but I wouldn't bet on it.

My response:

Bush should have connected the dots.

But then you would have argued upon what basis he could suspect such a conspiracy or it was profiling innocents or the information was improper to use because it breached the Chinese wall between the FBI and local law enforcement. Only after the attack should it have been stopped by any means necessary. Then 5 years later we hear he has breached (of course legally acceptable per Presidential war powers granted by Congress and the FISA act) certain rights in monitoring phone records generally or specific calls to and from the Middle East.

But he has created terrorists?

I guess they are not people with brains and will. They cannot decide what is the proper course on their own. Just like Israel created Palestinian terrorists. Inaction for over a decade while terrorist acts escalated had nothing to do with prompting Bin Laden. By the way, I see his videos every 9 months. Quite a happy life he leads holed out in a cave for 5 years. I wouldn't choose to hide for 5 years.

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