Friday, May 27, 2005
A Gem Among The Bogus Gold
In Case You Haven't Noticed
OK, But What About France?
There have been a couple of comments in favor of boycotting Spain and Old Europe. I must respectfully disagree. Remember, a boycott hurts the good people as well as the ones you don't like. If I may express my personal prejudices a minute about different bunches of Spaniards:
PP voters: You'll like 90% of them. Salt of the earth. 10% are way-out right-wing nuts, often super-Catholic.
CiU voters: At least 50% are wonderful folks. Half of the rest are almost as wonderful, but they're hung up on the Catalan thing. The other half of the rest are nuts, either far-out Catalanistas or wackjob Catholics.
PSOE voters: Half of them are pretty reasonable most of the time. The other half are either poorly-educated bigots or nuts.
Abstainers: Mostly working-class and not particularly interesting.
Others: Mostly nuts. Some PNV voters aren't too bad, but they're all Basque-wacky.
Urban white-collar: Generally reasonable and interesting folks, well-educated and cultured. 20% are political idiots.
Urban civil servants: Generally nuts. 20% of them are not political idiots.
Urban small business: Varies. Some are the most incredible people you've ever met. Some are the biggest assholes you can imagine. Most, of course, are somewhere in between.
Urban intelligentsia: As a rule idiots. And boring. To be avoided. Teachers are the worst.
Rural people: I love them.
Urban blue-collar: Friendly and open, and often good-hearted, but many are pretty much dopes. 20% aren't.
Underclass: Like underclass anywhere. Avoid them.
Immigrants: Wonderful people except for the Moroccan street kids and the Rumanian gypsies.
See? At least 40% of Spaniards are people you'd like to meet. And, of course, if you choose to deprive yourself of the riches of the Prado, the Alhambra, the Escorial, the Sagrada Familia, and Spain's other historical and cultural heights, you're only hurting yourself.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
A Tale Of Two Financial Cities
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
All Allende All The Time
In many ways, the young Dr. Allende was, indeed, in line with the Fascism-infected streams that were so prevalent during the first half of the last century. For example, he argued that mental illnesses, criminal behavior, and alcoholism were hereditary. Or further, he argued that homosexuality is an illness curable by implanting testicle tissue into the abdomen. Another example: Allende proclaimed that the hot climate prevented people in southern regions from acting morally. Referring to other studies, Allende wrote ominously about Jews in his dissertation saying, "The Hebrews are well-known committers of certain types of crimes including: fraud, deceit, defamation, but most notably usury."Youthful indiscretion?
(Farias) writes that the new revelations about Allende give more meaning to Allende's refusal to turn Nazi criminal Walter Rauff over to Germany in 1972, after Rauff had found refuge in Chile. Even attempts by the Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal to intervene with the president failed at the time. In a letter, Allende responded that the president was not allowed to get involved in judicial matters. Formally speaking, Allende was right. Chile's Supreme Court had previously ruled that Rauff -- who had been a senior official in the SS and headed the development of portable death chambers -- could not be handed over because the statute of limitations on his case had expired.He was an ardent socialist, but so was Adolph Eichmann. (Hat tip Davids Medienkritik)
Monday, May 23, 2005
The Death of Meaning: Same-Sex Marriage
Our lament, therefore, must not be for the loss of a word, for all words are, in themselves, purely conventional. Nor should we lament the redefinition of "marriage" merely because of the immediate moral, political, or policy consequences. As judicial review becomes literary deconstructionism, our lament must be for the loss of the possibility of a natural basis for human laws. The argument for same-sex "marriage" (and even much of the argument against it) elides the question of whether the noun "marriage" refers to anything in nature. Is the thing that marriage signifies a particular concept with an essence outside the mind and control of the observer—or is it a whim subject to infinite reinterpretation by lawyers and judges?(Hat tip to Orthodoxy Today)
Friday, May 20, 2005
Update On McCartney Case
(Read the comments on postings from The Slugger. They give a window into the conflict in Northern Ireland.)
One More Reason To Love Everything Ulster
No, not Everything Ulster, the other EU, the European Union. The French, German and Polish leaders today called for an end to the UK's rebate, negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in 1984 because Britain was paying an unfairly high contribution to the then EEC. Now the cheese-eating surrender-monkeys, the towel-throwing deck-chair theves (emphasis added - ed.) and ... well, Poland want us to go back to paying over the odds.Long live the Anglosphere!
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Coming Soon To A Theater Near You
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
The IRA In Ireland
Jim Cusack reports in the Sunday Independent on a case that bears such resemblance to the recent Short Strand Murder, including attempts to portray the victim in a negative light, that senior Gardai have labelled it "Robert McCartney Mark II". Wall of silence in probe into killing of 'an honest' manFive points:
GARDAI investigating the murder of a young man in west Dublin last month are encountering a "wall of silence" because witnesses have been intimidated by the IRA.
Nine people were arrested (emphasis added -ed.) last week in connection with the murder and none has given any evidence, leading gardai to describe the case as "Robert McCartney Mark II". All have been intimidated by the IRA and told they will be killed if they give evidence. (emphasis added - ed.)
While attempts have been made in certain newpapers to link him to a drugs feud, Gardai say that Mr Rafferty was honest and hard-working and was murdered because he had "faced down" an IRA man. He was one of eight people murdered in gun attacks this year and Gardai believe that the IRA were implicated in at least three of these deaths. The report also mentions that the IRA is seizing control of the Drugs trade in South Dublin. (emphasis added - ed.)
Lastly Mr Cusack also discusses allegations of SF connections, election workers, in one attempted murder and in respect of suspects in the Rafferty murder investigation.
- Those unfamiliar with the Robert McCartney case can find information here and here.
- Most of the comments point out the anti-republican slant of the reporter and newspaper, and declare the report a lie. They are evidently insufficiently "republican". This lack of zeal on behalf of "the republic"also extends to the GARDAI (the police in Ireland). No doubt the spirit of Cromwell whispers in their ear the master plan to subjugate all of Ireland and, in specific, the valiant lads of the IRA. Those countering these arguments ask what specific items are untrue. To quote, To those objecting, what would you regard as satisfactory evidence of witnesses being threatened? Witness testimony? It would appear that we can count on the same cooperation from the IRA that was given in the McCartney case. Perhaps, with sufficient pressure, the IRA will offer to execute the murderers as they did in the McCartney case. (see here)
- The theme of IRA contol of criminal activity is a consistent one. This is a better explanation for the IRA's involvement with FARC of Columbia than revolutionary solidarity.
- This certainly helps to explain Southern Irish politicians campaigning against Sinn Fein in the recent elections in Northern Ireland. (see here)
- Finally, give some thought to the analysis of Non-State Belligerents, as developed by The Belmont Club, as a prizm for viewing the actions of the IRA. (posted originally as Bombings In Baghdad And Beatings In Belfast .)
Monday, May 16, 2005
Context For The Ongoing Discussion of Islam And Terrorism
- Gates of Vienna gives us Dialogue with the Deluded:
Consul General Ya'acov Brosh merely stated the obvious, that "the majority of terrorists today were Muslims, although the majority of Muslims are not themselves terrorists." However, in doing so, he brought down the wrath of the correct thinkers upon his head.
- Davids Medienkritk gives us March Against Terror - May 14, 2005, Washington, D.C. (the promo) and March Against Terror: Big Message, Small Crowd (the event). Fade to bad sci-fi movie scene .....
"Where have all the people gone?" (twilight, sound of crickets chirping)The response of The Council on American-Islamic Relations - CAIR to a request for support of this march is quite interesting in view of CAIR's Not In The Name Of Islam campaign. (A search of CAIR's website for any reference to "Free Muslims Against Terrorism" or "FMAT" produced no results - more crickets chirping.) This is the reason for the existence of Anti-CAIR (specifially here) and many similar organizations, some of which are listed in their link list. (Website of Free Muslims Against Terror. Technorati search on Free Muslims Against Terror.)
- Related past posting: CAIR And Anti-CAIR 1/18/05.
Friday, May 13, 2005
The Ultimate Ad Hominem Attack
Cordex: Oil-For-Food For Thought Updated 5/13/05
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Are They In Venezuela?
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
On The History Of The Idea Of Progress
An Urban Liberal is someone who wants to free the working poor, but not until they've finished cleaning the bathroom. That's why Urban Liberals love gay rights. They get to feel like Martin Luther King without affecting the neighbourhood.The list was followed by the comments of Mr. Tom Cerber, quoted in full for our edification:
Some of the best commentaries on the origins of modern liberalism are in the form of histories of manners. As the medieval political order broke down, and with them the honor codes that sustained it, it was replaced by first the court society whose mores in turn were extended beyond the urban settings (i.e., London, Florence) to the rural areas and the lower orders. "Courtesy" (from court) and its later equivalent, "civility" (from civitas) were codes of manners for the new mode and order. The 1600s to 1900s saw a plethora of guide books on teaching children how to be polite courtesans. Erasmus wrote the one later authors would copy. The US Founders like George Washington wrote them.So remember this little history lesson the next time you advance an argument that will get you dis-invited to the
The point of this is that"courtesy" and "civility" became ways to shame and control the "backward" and those "less civilized." It would be used by progressives (the intellectual sources of Urban Liberals) to tarnish "reactionaries." In short, combined with certain versions of progressivism, "courtesy" and "civility" turn into a kind of Manichaeanism that divides the world into the civil and uncivil, or the liberal and non-liberal. This is why many liberals view the influence of socons in politics in such apocalyptic terms. Raise the possiblity of pregnant women marching in chain-gangs and whipped by the editors of the former Alberta Report, and the civil intimidate the "uncivil" to keep their mouth shut. And if that doesn't work, then file a human rights complaint against them.
(Hat tip to SDA.)
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Venezuela Watch 5/10/05
- On Weapons Purchases:
- Venezuela Reportedly Ordered 300,000 Assault Rifles 5/7/05
- The Specter of Russian-Made Fighter Jets in Venezuela 5/5/05
Most Would Guess Something Further North
Your Inner European is Italian!
Passionate and colorful.
You show the world what culture really is.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Canada To Invade Sudan
Martin won't allow Canadian troops into Iraq to support a post-war fledgling democracy, but he'll send them into Sudan to prop up a post-democratic dictatorship in Canada.Given the state of the Canadian military capability at this point. one might expect a big "BUT" at this point:
"We cannot invade Sudan. It requires United Nations action ... it requires political as well as military and aid matters," (Defense Minister) Graham told CBC.Kate's comment on that statement:
I'll allow the Monty Pythonesque absurdity of that disclaimer sink in for a moment...Read the reader comments, always a good time.
Open Source Business Intelligence
Sunday, May 08, 2005
A Bloody Irishman On Northern Ireland Elections
The lessons that both Paisley and Adams will take from this election are that the people want victory over accommodation. It threatens to reduce the GFA to nothing more than a footnote in the Troubles, since neither man has ever enthusiastically supported the Stormont Assembly structure. If that is borne out in the weeks ahead, the various militias will start feeling the pressure to re-arm themselves and start planning their war operations all over again. Indeed, one can argue that the IRA anticipated this result and started with its earlier armored-car robbery.(Gerry Adams results here. Ian Paiseley results here.) He also notes the strength of Sinn Fein:
Interestingly, Sinn Fein has suffered no such loss of credibility, despite the involvement of their IRA partners in a brutal, senseless murder and a spectacular bank robbery in the past few months. In fact, SF gained a seat at the expense of the SDLP in Armagh. Gerry Adams, longtime spokesman for the SF and publicly outed as a commander in the IRA just weeks ago, increased his margin of victory in West Belfast by over 4% at the SDLP's expense.This is quite a different result than I expected given that Republic of Ireland leaders campaigned for the SDLP (see here) and Sinn Fein looked quite dead because of the activities of the IRA (see here and here).
As Captain Ed expected, David Trimble stepped down as head of the Ulster Unionist Party. (Good analysis here, here, here, and here.)
Pay attention class, this may get very interesting. We will see if this analysis has any validity.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Turkey: The Modern Islamic State
Mader Says, "Vote Labour"
Before the polls close across the pond, and before my CrimLaw exam starts, I just wanted to chime in with my endorsement of Tony Blair's Labour Party in today's general election. Labour's re-election will in many ways ratify the death of England - the idea of England - and will contribute to the rise of a European Britain which will, in the long term, be doomed to social - and likely political - unrest.
But the Tories simply do not deserve to win. Their opportunism on the war alone renders them absolutely unfit to govern. But their stubborn refusal to run as principled Thatcherite conservatives - notwithstanding an initially-promising platform - confirms their institutional weakness. As England disappears, and as Britain goes continental, no small part of the blame may be placed on the weaknesses and failures of the Conservative Party.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Venezuela Watch 5/6/05
- NY Times article claiming decline in poverty in Venezuela.
- Poverty has actually increased 10%.
- Letter to editor pointing out error.
- Editor reply: no correction necessary. (Very dead tree media.)
And Then They Chose Zimbabwe
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
On Super-government and Citizen Interest
One of the "strongest cards" of these nullists (people who decide not to bother voting - ed.), he asserts, "may turn out to be Europe". So much of our law is now made in Brussels and all that remains for the Westminster Parliament is to defer to it and to permit Whitehall to enforce it with misplaced enthusiasm. Non-voters in this election complain, with some justice, that choosing domestic politicians makes not the slightest difference.
San Francisco Party Pictures
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Bombings In Baghdad And Beatings In Belfast
Monday, May 02, 2005
Venezuela Watch 5/2/05
Why Judges Matter
Coming to a courtroom near you soon! Oh wait - it's already here.