Soaring food prices, driven in part by demand for ethanol made from corn, have helped slash the amount of food aid the government buys to its lowest level in a decade, possibly resulting in more hungry people around the world this year.See? There’s that blessed cautionary principle at work again! Hopefully the lefties feel just as good about themselves in their guilt-free green existence which only has good consequences.
The United States, the world’s dominant donor, has purchased less than half the amount of food aid this year that it did in 2000, according to new data from the Department of Agriculture.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Beyond the eternal confidence in it’s own superior wisdom and humanism, the European public will march, whine, berate any passer-by, and buy anything that says “America out of Iraq”... or “America out of ___”... for that matter.
The reality of the “love of stability” lies elsewhere. It’s provided to you courtesy of none other than Georges Boosh. A Berlin based think-tank found European analysts who think that unlike America’s angry left, and Europe’s adolescent-level thinking mush middle, that the US must stay in Iraq. For Europe’s sake.
Against Troop WithdrawalThey are, however, no less distracted by the press’ blame and dwell approach to affairs in Iraq:
While the American public and policy debate revolves largely around exit strategies and “redeployment,” there is apparent consensus among European policy analysts that American troops should remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future. In contrast to both European media opinion and the prevailing views of American liberals, our respondents supported sustained troop levels. Many consider the announcement of a timetable for withdrawal to be counter-productive and even outright dangerous, saying that lack of American involvement would drive Iraq into further chaos.
Dr. Reidar Visser, a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs who also runs the Iraq website Historiae, observed that the “main problem [with the current strategy] is the heavy emphasis on security instead of creative political initiatives to encourage national reconciliation.”As if that wasn’t really happening. Besides, the stock international functionalry-types’ thinking might not think of the approach being taken in Iraq: letting the Iraqis call as much of the tune of political control as possible. “Creative” solutions from abroad would be just that, and of all Saddam’s problems, the biggest one was that he was a dictator. It gave him the means to suppress, kill, declare random wars, meddle in the affairs of numerous Arab states, and so on.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Why is it the same kind of people who always oppose wars that are meant to end dictatorial rule and mass murder?
The new RSL became the British affiliate of the newly formed Fourth International. They maintained the Militant Labour League as an united front for those members who were involved in Labor Party entryism and published The Militant.How is it that it reads like the minutes of a British Trade Union Congress meeting from the 70s, or any event in the present day where Code Pink is involved. Some things never change.
The position of the WIL was swiftly vindicated when the Revolutionary Socialist Party left, most of the leadership joining the Independent Labour Party while younger members joined the Workers International League (WIL).
The group adopted a defeatist policy during World War II, which they modelled on Lenins Revolutionary defeatist tactics of the 1914-18 war but which was seen by their rivals in the WIL as being pacifist, and had some initial successes when the Shop Assistants' Union (later USDAW) adopted their position in 1940. This led the Labour Party to ban the Militant Labour League. In addition, the group became increasingly inactive as many younger members were conscripted into the British Army.
More importantly the group's position opposing the war became a major cause of factional strife both within the group and between it and the WIL. Three major positions developed which help to explicate the ensuing factional divisions outlined below. Firstly a Left Fraction formed which opposed the war on a basis all other factions described as pacifist. Secondly the leadership faction around D D Harber held a position that opposed the Proletarian Military Policy (PMP) of the WIL and was described by its opponents as semi-pacifist. Finally the WIL and tendencies leaving the RSL at different times adhered to the aforementioned PMP.
In the Mean time, I’m still waiting for Europeans to treat home-grown Jihadist that way they treat their home-grown neo-Nazis.
"Let's face it: scaring the terror masters in Tehran out of their wits is fun. It's so much fun, in fact, that an attack destroying Iran's nuclear facilities and the Revolutionary Guard command/control centers has been delayed, so that France (under new management) can get in on the fun too. On Sunday (9/16), Sarkozy's foreign minister Bernard Kouchner announced that 'France should prepare for the possibility of war over Iran's nuclear program.' All of this has caused Tehran to respond with maniacal threats."
I know that Finland is a nice place, but it’s a bit of a stretch to call it some sort of heaven on earth.
Yes, being born in Finland is like wining the lottery! Although I wonder if things privacy, purchasing power, conscription, immigration, xenophobia and racism are factors in this survey?Then again it’s based on a U.N. Human Development and Sustainability index. By that measure, lacking development and rapidly losing most of the features of a modern, functioning society, Zimbabwe would top the chart. The irony is that young people obsessed with aid donation of one kind or another will assume that societies like this are “given” or something you’re born with, and not built.
- via Phil
Thursday, September 27, 2007
As Robert Frost once quipped, "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel"
Why is it that employers are scared of the Board of Health, and afraid to violate child labor laws, but hire illegal aliens without fear of legal consequences?asks Ben Duffy in his column on illegal immigration.
It's because legal consequences are so seldom brought to bear on them. This problem is not difficult to solve, and we certainly don't need to grant amnesty to every illegal alien to do it. We simply need to enforce the laws we have now. Without that, we will never have true immigration "reform."He adds that
American liberals are far too quick to throw up their hands and declare the problem so daunting that we shouldn't even bother enforcing the law. … As Robert Frost once quipped, "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
When the left ceaselessly repeats the mantra "Bush lied," it may simply be projecting onto George W. Bush what comes quite naturally to the left
Few liberal activist groups tell the truth. Not because their members are liars -- in private life they may well be as honest as anyone else -- but because whatever the left advocates it deems more important than truth.Dennis Prager concludes:
when the left ceaselessly repeats the mantra "Bush lied," it may simply be projecting onto George W. Bush what comes quite naturally to the left — when it offers false Iraqi death statistics, false homeless data, false rape statistics, false secondhand smoke statistics, false claims about the percentage of gays in the population, and false claims of just about everything else the left cares about.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Can the world no longer afford it? Or is the world better off without France trying to live its’ old international ways?
Dominique Moïsi noted in a recent essay:
France is not Italy—namely a country in which a government can fall because of its foreign policy. In fact, in France it is more likely that foreign policy does not even play a role in election campaigns. In the case of the recent elections, this fact sheds light on a paradoxic continuity. Our country is traditionally proud of its international status. Does France’s national identity not at least partially depend on its international identity? Was not the slogan “I am involved, therefore I am” for decades an expression of France’s relationship to international issues? Some would rather say: Vive la Trance.
France’s citizens, however, have been emboldened through a campaign that more than ever has stressed individual demands (“What will France do for me?”) over collective ambitions (“What could we do for France?”). The international challenges of the day are increasingly brushed aside.
By all means, Fidel. Send Chavez more doctores:
CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuelan man who had been declared dead woke up in the morgue in excruciating pain after medical examiners began their autopsy.Meanwhile, back on the moldy sofa at “we want failed Marxism in America HQ”, this, or anything Wal-Mart does better than any other large employer of common-skilled labor does, just won’t do:
Wal-Mart said it would give each employee or family that signs up for coverage a grant of $100 to $500 to defray health expenses while charging premiums as low as $5 a month. It will eliminate expensive hospital deductibles and make 2,400 generic drugs available to employees for $4 a prescription — about 1,000 more than it sells to customers at that price. In other words, they monthly cost is less than a patient’s co-pay would be in blessed EUtopia. Of course that isn’t enough though. Gee kids, lookit... capitalism works.
Wal-Mart Watch, a group long critical of the company, said yesterday that “these plans are still unaffordable due to low wages or inaccessible due to waiting periods.”
- H/T to Georges
Monday, September 24, 2007
The NYT presents a view of Putin that reflects the public image Putin strives to project, but is not an accurate portrayal of the Russian presidency
Serge Schmemann's article A visit with Putin (Views, Sept. 17) presents a view of Vladimir Putin that reflects the public image Putin strives to project, but it is not an accurate portrayal of the Russian presidency.As an IHT reader indirectly points out, the mainstream media is as enamored of foreign strongmen and as willing to fall for their self-serving propaganda as ever.
According to Schmemann, the "enormously popular" Putin has led Russia "from bankruptcy and despair to enormous wealth and power." Russians, he tells us, "are suddenly living better than they ever have."Meanwhile, another reader states that
To be sure, the Russian president enjoys a popularity rating that any Western leader would envy. But polls reflect the constant barrage of pro-Putin propaganda in the Kremlin-controlled media and the traditional Russian craving for a strong state that assures stability, rather than an improvement in the lives of ordinary Russians. With the average hourly wage in Russia at around $3 an hour, only a tiny minority of Russians (many of whom are corrupt oligarchs favored by Putin) enjoy the fruits of Russia's oil-based prosperity. Social welfare benefits, including health care, have been steadily eroding since Putin came to power, and the crime rate has been rising, with violent crime more than doubling between 1998 and 2006.
Although Schmemann acknowledges that Russians will not be able choose their political leader when (and if) Putin steps down, he seems to dismiss this as insignificant in view of the fact that "stores are overflowing" and that Russians enjoy unprecedented "personal freedoms."
But what does personal freedom really mean, when people are denied the right to have democratic elections?
Surprisingly, given that Schmemann is himself a journalist, he ignores the tragedy that has befallen his profession in Russia, where the independent media are under constant siege by the Kremlin. Instead, he lauds Putin for bringing stability to Russia, despite the fact that more than 20 journalists have been murdered there since Putin came to power.
Michael Schwirtz's article on the Sovetsky Islands in Russia's White Sea (An uneasy mix: Religion, tourism and history, Sept. 19) missed out on the horrors of the White Sea itself, as recounted by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
During the Soviet-induced famine in Ukraine in the 1930s when at least 14.5 million people died, according to the historian Robert Conquest, many millions of Ukrainians were marched by foot to the White Sea, where they were loaded on to barges to be towed out to sea. Soviet gunboats then blasted them out of the water. No one knows how many millions perished. They too deserve mention and our memories.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
A Swedish doctor who was fired from his job in Norway for using a controversial 'anal massage' technique to cure various kinds of pain has resurfaced in Denmark where he has been working at a psychiatric ward in a Copenhagen hospital.Funny, isn’t it, that the more you see any nation or society socializing things out of the public realm and into the hands of the government, the more it’s rationed? The other thing you see is people turning to “alternative” and non-scientific solutions, and hiring on marginal services and loony practitioners due to that very same overvaluing of the thing they’ve just “given to the people”?
"Problematic doctors have been given free rein in Europe. We are currently working hard to change this situation," she added.Alas, pity him, you brutes! He’s got poop chutes to violate in the interest of mental hygiene.
In April last year a council in the Nord-Tröndelag area of Norway dismissed the doctor after only two weeks, when they realized that he was the same man who hit the headlines a year earlier when another local authority fired him.
The man described his dismissal in Norway as part of a witch-hunt against him,
The Norwegian counterpart to HSAN also had cause to warn the man after he told Swedish jokes to a group of Norwegians who were mourning a death.Oppressed, in need of sympathy, and, according to himself:brilliant!
The man said at the time that he considered himself misunderstood.
"I have a personality disorder, or rather a syndrome, a form of Aspergers. Just like Bill Gates or Einstein, for example," he told Aftonbladet.
"I have made it impossible for myself within the healthcare sector because I behave childishly sometimes. I am different, but cleverer."I’ll wish you all one simple thing: be well.