Archive for October 2004
School officials there have designated “no Halloween, costume-free zones” to stop kids from coming to school in costume. They say ugly witch costumes, with their pointy hats and crooked noses, are insensitive to real-life practicing Wiccans.
A real-life witch who lives in nearby Tacoma agreed that the superintendent in Puyallup must be off his broomstick.
“I see Halloween more as a holiday, a fun time for them. Some of us Wiccan have a deeper meaning under it, but I don’t think we should take away from the kids,” Wiccan Marjenna Gittings said.
Unfortunately, a similar thing happened at my kid’s school where the principal – who has appeared in this journal before (see Crushing of Dissent – 2nd Grade)- decided to cancel the Halloween Parade, for fear of offending some in “our diverse community”. So instead she pisses off “most” in “our diverse community”. I’m too busy to fight this one, but dang!
Okay, how else to explain this story from the Lancet?
The survey indicated violence accounted for most of the extra deaths seen since the invasion, and air strikes from coalition forces caused most of the violent deaths, the researchers wrote in the British-based journal.
“Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children,” they said.
While scientists often go to extremes to avoid bias, no attempts were made with this study. After all, we wouldn’t want the facts to get in the way of our bias now would we?
“I emailed it in on Sept. 30 under the condition that it came out before the election,” Roberts told The Asocciated Press. “My motive in doing that was not to skew the election. My motive was that if this came out during the campaign, both candidates would be forced to pledge to protect civilian lives in Iraq (news – web sites).
“I was opposed to the war and I still think that the war was a bad idea, but I think that our science has transcended our perspectives,” (emphasis added)Roberts said. “As an American, I am really, really sorry to be reporting this.”
Of course, under Saddam life was idyllic:
The most common causes of death before the invasion of Iraq were heart attacks, strokes and other chronic diseases.
Notice how there is no mention of infant mortality caused by the sanctions regime – which the Lancet along with Bin Laden – blamed for over a million deaths between 1991 and 2003. These causes of death are not found in this study. Poison gas, the Iraqi Secret Police, and Oday didn’t make the list. Neither did al Zarqawi – who pledged in January to start a civil war by targeting the Shi’a.
Survey methods? Blog polls are more scientific:
The researchers estimated the nationwide death toll due to the conflict by multiplying the difference between the two death rates by the estimated population of Iraq — 24.4 million at the start of the war. The result was then multiplied by 18 months, the average period between the invasion and the survey interviews.
Either the sanctions killed over a million children – or the USA did during the invasion.
Note to the AP writer: Where are the kids that died under the sacntions?
This is nothing but junk science peddled by ax-grinding “scientists” doing their best to influence an election. I’m beginning to wonder if putting Saddam back in power isn’t a bad idea after all.
Is it possible we are having a Dying Despots Month in October?
All we need is Kim Jong-il and we could have a possible Trifecta of Terrorists biting the dust this year – making it the best year for freedom loving peoples since 1989.
Arafat Holds On For Dear Life
Matt Drudge has broken a story that ABC News has been sitting on an al-Qaeda tape threatening to make American streets “run with blood”. Evidently the nutjob hiding behind a kaffiye is “American” Adam Pearlman aka “Assam the American” aka “Adam-the-self-hating-Jew-like-Noam Chomsky“. An ABC News VP has said that ABC News has held on to the tape until it confirms its authenticity.
The tape came out of Pakistan, has a threat on it by someone with an American accent. What more do you need to prove?
Al-Qaeda has a long history of empty threats. Here a link going back to Spring ‘02 when we dared them to “bring it on”. It has threatened numerous attacks in the USA, Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan. All for nothing.
Sun Tzu once wrote “a weak adversary threatens, a strong one attacks”. Why not broadcast the threats far and wide?
Unless you were afraid they would influence the election… Of course, ABC News isn’t partisan. Or is it?
10 Good Reasons Not to Vote For Bush
1.His administration has encouraged a military that is concerned more with public opinion than winning objectives. “Hearts and minds” becomes a viable strategy when “total annihilation” is the only alternative. This continues to be my greatest problem with President Bush and the way the Iraq War has been fought.
2.He has presided over the largest surplus-deficit swing in American history.
3.He encourages the outsourcing of jobs.
4.He supports dumping foreign labor in the USA to drive down wages.
5.He defends the ability for companies to incorporate offshore to save on taxes.
6.His support of free-trade is dogmatic and undermines his nationalist principles.
7.He weakened the EPA rules to the point where Christine Whitman (remember her?) quit the administration.
8.He has needlessly disenfranchised the gay rights community with support of the FMA.
9.He has alienated large segments of the population for no good reason. A uniter not a divider? Who was he kidding? Obviously some of those who voted for him 4 years ago.
10.His neutering of John McCain may have netted him the presidency, but his Machiavellian excesses during the South Carolina primary of 2000 have not been forgotten by many of McCain’s supporters – including me.
10 Good Reasons To Vote For Bush
1.I can forsee how he will govern over the next 4 years and while I have a significant difference of opinion with him on many issues, I believe that America will be safer under his leadership than anyone else’s.
2.He believes in attacking root causes of problems.
3.He is a staunch defender of Israel (much to the surprise of many).
4.He says what he means and means what he says.
5.He is a nationalist (although an economic transnationalist).
6.He ignores the criticism of his enemies (does he take it from his friends?) and does what he believes is the right thing to do. He is a principled man.
7.He has disrupted terror networks around the world.
8.He has devoted more money to AIDS research than any other world leader, past or present.
9.He sees the UN for what it is: a failed experiment dominated by undemocratic dictatorships that oppose basic human rights, democracy and a successful America.
10.He handled the crisis of September 11 with finesse.
Put the two lists together, and I’m on the fence. Then you add in this one fact – He’s NOT John Forbes Kerry - and it swings me over to his side.
W in ‘04
Just a note that we added Obsidian Wings to our blog-roll on the left.
The header graphic alone explains why.
Oh, and the posts are good too.
Yes they were swept by the Red Sox, but so what! The Sox beat the stinking Yankees, and if you’re going to lose, why not lose to a deserving team like the Boston Redsox – home of some of the best players in the history of the game?
From a life-long Cardinals fan to any Boston Red Sox fan, hearty congratulations to you and your team! You deserve the victory!
Just take back your Senator, okay?
Cardinals win! Cardinals win!
Babalu Blog has a lesson on what not to say to your Cuban born wife in the morning.
I’m also trying to think of a good caption for the photo below:
The Volokh Conspiracy has an interesting post on anti-semitism in the 1930s.
The poll also asked: “Would you support” “a widespread campaign against the Jews in this country”?
FDR voters: 13.0% yes.
Landon voters: 9.5% yes.
Dem voters for Congress: 14.7% yes.
Repub voters for Congress: 9.8% yes.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty startled. Volokh comments on the significant difference between Repubs and Dems on the issue (Dems are more anti-semitic). I’m shocked that anyone would support such a thing.
I just stopped by Den Beste’s site. As some of you may know, he has given up on blogging, which is fine with me as long as he takes up writing articles and books. Steven Den Beste has the rare ability of explaining complex scientific phenomena and showing how it relates to everyday life. He replaced a void in my life left by the death of Stephen Jay Gould, who himself replaced the great Carl Sagan. However for whatever reason he has decided to give up on the blogosphere.
I can’t say I blame him. He wrote that he felt USS Clueless was becoming a chore, and given his readership which numbered at its height hundreds of thousands, it must have felt like one helluva chore. I’ll admit that I’ve been plugging away at The Razor for 3 years now and have yet to enjoy similar success, and do succumb to the occasional “I’m writing for the Void”, but nevertheless come running back to write and sort my thoughts out on something that interests me.
I feel similarly about Day By Day. It has been on hiatus for six months just as it was about to hit the big time. Chris Muir called off the strip for reasons of a “family crisis”. The good news is that there is announcement saying that the strip will be back Dec 1. Has the Kerry campaign kidnapped his cocker spaniel and threatened to feed it to a hundred hungry squirrels unless he stopped the thoughtful – and Right-leaning – comic? Only Chris knows and he’s not talking (Don’t worry, Chris: Sparky will be back soon). Nevertheless I’ll be happy to see the misadventures of the Day By Day crew back on my monitor at work soon.
Like anything else, the blogosphere is changing. In some ways it’s good: we have seen the rise of Dean Esmay’s Dean’s World - which is hands down my favorite blog out there. We’ve also seen the humor of Allahpundit (who hasn’t posted in 9 days, hmmm…), as well as the power of the blogosphere to uncover an “institutional lie” (Rathergate). In some ways it is bad though: Instapundit has consolidated it’s hold as the “homepage” of the blogosphere. Andrew Sullivan has lost his senses. There has definitely been a big die-off over the past years of blogs, many of which appeared soon after Sept 11. Call it a DenBestian extinction after an Instapunditian Boom.
So we live in a blogosphere that has changed alot over the past few years. The Razor remains a part of that blogosphere, for whatever it’s worth – and it is worth alot to me. It is my mouth that allows me to scream at the world, and while it may not change it, who knows? Maybe, just maybe, it will.
I wanted to write something about The Razor’s 3rd anniversary, so I guess this is it.
“We have no right to tell other people how to live their lives.” “We shouldn’t force our culture on anyone else.” These are all variants of this argument: “We should not overthrow the status quo.”
And the people who believe this call themselves “liberal”.
Actually, the “we” in the above arguments really needs to be qualified as “The United States” – since it’s okay for anyone else to initiate change. When Yugoslavia fell into civil war in 1991, the USA stood back and let the EU handle the situation. How did they handle it? By handing over 8,000 Muslim men and boys to be slaughtered in Sbrenica, allowing genocide in Bosnia and the “change” of ethnic cleansing.
During the mid 1990s the USA was criticized for not intervening. Finally, when it did in 1995 it did so on the side of the Muslim region of Bosnia. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded that the year after the Dayton Accord was signed, Bin Laden’s group al-Qaeda struck the Khobar Towers complex in Saudi Arabia killing 19 American servicemen, ostensibly in defense of Islam. Al-Qaeda then struck the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in August 1998.
Similarly, in 1999 NATO, under American leadership, launched a 72 day air campaign against Serbia to protect Kosovo. Note that this attack occurred without a UN mandate of any kind since Russia had promised Serbia that it would veto any such measure.
What does this tell us? It tells us that the EU, United Nations, or any other trans-national group cannot act effectively without the backing and support of the United States. Since the American economy remains the world’s largest, economic sanctions will fail unless the USA takes part. Because the militaries of the EU have atrophied under the Cold War umbrella supplied by the USA, an aggressor has nothing to fear unless confronted by the US military. For example, France has one aircraft carrier that spends more time in dry dock than it does at sea. What does North Korea have to fear from France?
The majority of people who say, “We have no right to tell other people how to live their lives,” actually believe that the United States has no right to unilaterally tell other people how to live their lives. It’s okay as long as trans-national organizations like the UN or EU say it’s okay.
The problem is that by promoting this belief, they are sowing the seeds of something much more dangerous: cultural isolationism – or multi-culturalism taken to its logical conclusion. Cultural isolationism is the belief that cross-cultural norms such as human rights for gays, minorities and women do not exist. If Japanese society does not recognize that eating whale meat is wrong, then the world does not have the right to tell that nation to stop killing whales. If female circumcision is practiced in some cultures, we do not have a right to put a stop to it.
When someone says, “We shouldn’t force our culture on anyone else,” one should respond by asking if he or she supports honor killings in Brazil or crushing to death of gays in Afghanistan? Ask him or her if slavery should be allowed in Saudi Arabia, especially since it is allowed under Islam and continues today.
But why stop there? If we are unwilling to recognize universals such as human rights, why not allow slavery back into the American South? As a straight American male, why shouldn’t I be allowed to discriminate openly against gays and lesbians since my (former) religion, Roman Catholicism, allows it?
Enough reduction ad absurdum. The reality is that the meanings of “liberal” and “conservative” have flipped. Today’s conservative champions universals like human rights. People on the right distrust China for its human rights abuses much more than those on the Left who appreciate its Communist roots. I cannot understand how gays and lesbians (like my Kerry-supporting colleague) are so anti-Bush while he stopped the persecution of women, gays and lesbians in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
President Bush believes that the way to stop terrorism and secure America is to “drain the swamp” where terror breeds and spread democracy. This is a truly revolutionary doctrine, much broader in scope than anything imagined by Castro or Che Guevera. Bush understands at a deep and fundamental level that America can no longer be secure in the world as long as people aren’t free to choose their own destinies. People in the Middle East have been oppressed for time immemorial. They have never known freedom, and those that champion it are silenced – often permanently. They cannot choose their own destinies in the way that we can.
America has never imposed its values on a people: it has imposed human values on people. Today nations such as Germany, Japan, Bosnia, Philippines, South Korea, France, Italy, Great Britain are free because of America’s direct intervention to impose human rights on sometimes reluctant populaces. Ask any Japanese, is Japan today better off than it was 60 years ago?
America is doing the same to the Middle East. It is attempting the transformation of an entire region, and is being resisted by terrorists, autocratic regimes, and even those it liberated sixty years ago. If America fails in its revolutionary mission, the French and Germans can pat each other on the back for stopping American “hegemony” – the same hegemony that liberated their nation twice over the past 90 years. They can rest assured that should America fail in its attempt to transform the Middle East, there will never be a third.
I support the legalization of drugs as many libertarians do. I am also what 80’s punks would call “Straight Edge”: I don’t drink, smoke or do illegal drugs nor have I for many years. I believe that you should work to change the laws first before you break the law. Why?
One of the most compelling arguments against illicit drug use is that by buying illegal drugs for your “high that doesn’t hurt anyone else”, you are funding the assassinati0n of journalists and judges in Colombia. The money that you pay for a “dime bag” of pot goes to pay for bullets that often end up in youngsters playing in our inner cities. Your money funds the intimidation and enslavement of entire swaths of the 3rd World, yet you probably consider yourself “liberal”, “enlightened” and plan to Vote Kerry.
Dean Esmay believes that anyone who sees Michael Moore’s propaganda piece are just as guilty.
Michael Moore’s film “Fahrenheit 9/11” is now used as a recruitment film by terrorist networks. Mr. Moore is aware of this fact and has done nothing to even protest it, let alone try to stop it. His film has also created a serious morale problem for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly our younger ones, because Moore has arranged for it to be distributed over the Internet to them for free.
This film tells them that they went to war for no good reason, and horribly killed a lot of innocent people, simply to make evil men in the U.S. government wealthy and powerful.
In short, this film is no different from a Nazi or Stalinist propaganda film. It kills. Especially when it goes unanswered.
If you paid to see this film over the summer, or bought it on home video or DVD, you probably didn’t realize you’d have blood on your hands.
Do you feel dirty now, knowing that you supported the death of your countrymen and the enslavement of your fellow man by the Islamofascists? Well, Dean has a plan of absolution for you, so check out what he says you can do to atone for your crimes against humanity.
I’ve already begun entertaining ideas about this election. My bet?
If Bush wins in ‘04: John McCain vs. Hillary Clinton
If Kerry wins in ‘04: John McCain vs. John Kerry – or if Kerry’s impeached – John Edwards.
The good news for you Hillary haters is that a Kerry win will most likely knock her out of the running in ‘08 as the Kerry machine clears out the Clinton apparatus from the Democratic party. A Kerry win would also prep John Edwards for a run in ‘12.
Either way, the Presidency is John McCain’s if he wants it in 4 years. There has been talk about Cheney running in ‘08, which could be the only fly-in-the-ointment for him; however a Kerry win would prevent that from happening.
Ahh, politics… The names change but the game remains the same.