Bookmark me or the Baron will pull my heart plug thingy.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Is Dubya TOO successful?

I couldn’t believe it. George Herbert Bush lost to Bill Clinton, a consummate 68’er (follow this for to Newsisyphus for a post with an explanation of a 68'erl), not because he was a bad President, but because he was a good one. The Russian bear had been skinned and sent to Reagan’s California ranch, where, I assumed, a black lab curled up on it at his master’s feet. The Berlin Wall was not breached, but blasted into paper weights so ubiquitous that thousands of East German entrepreneurs first lesson in capitalism was that sometimes it sucked. So why vote for this Cold Warrior? I told my friend Clinton was a draft dodger, while Bush was a war hero, and her reply summed up the election:

“So what?”

Well, yeah. So what? It was the economy, stupid. You don’t vote for a man to say “Well done.” Well, I did, but most people don’t. Watching Bush Sr. try to defend his record, on the economy, on AIDS, and, well, on the fact that he was old, was painful. What could he say? That he and Reagan won the cold war? Saying that only emphasized that he was obsolete. I would have loved to hear him say “Now that we’ve defeated the evil empire I will turn my attention to the economy,” if only because it would have shown just how absurd the 1992 election was.

Is it too early to declare victory in the War on Terror? Yep. Is it too late to declare that The War on Terror will NOT decide Election, 2008? Nope. And Bush will have his tax cuts. And Bush will, most likely, have reformed Social Security. And Bush will, most likely, have stacked the Supreme Court with judges willing to interpret the Constitution, rather than contend that it is a sort of master rough draft, to be rewritten according to the fashion of the day. And Bush will, most likely, have enacted some Tort Reform.

And Republicans will run on… what?

No, seriously, I’m asking.

Friday, January 28, 2005

The Harkonnendog Awards

First a big thanks to all the new readers, especially those of you who have bookmarked this site.

It’s aloha Friday,
No work ‘till Monday…
(the above is the chorus from a popular song in Hawaii)

And no blogging until Monday. I’m a Monday through Friday blogger, I guess. And today I don’t have an essay or anything for you. The things take a couple days to percolate and I blew it a couple days ago… I got nothin’. But there are lots of other great places to go, so here are some places to visit:

If you scroll down a bit and look under the links section you’ll see this site is a Slimy Mollusk on the TTLB ranking system. (TTLB stands for The Truth Laid Bare- a political weblog that came up with a cool ranking system and has run with it) The system goes like this: (hat tip to The Panda's Thumb)

Higher Beings
Mortal Humans
Playful Primates
Large Mammals
Marauding Marsupials
Adorable Rodents
Flappy Birds
Slithering Reptiles
Crawly Amphibians
Flippery Fish
Slimy Molluscs
Lowly Insects
Crunchy Crustaceans
Wiggly Worms
Multicellular Microorganisms
Insignificant Microbes

It is cute and kind of cool, but in the end it is just a popularity contest. Still, you might want to visit TTLB here to get a list of popular blogs. They are popular for a reason, after all. Several newspapers have created best blog lists, but that’s like a bunch of dirty hippies creating a best physicist list while they change the bong water. The Weblog awards are compiled by bloggers and voted on by blog readers, so they are probably the best place to go for a list of great blogs. Last year’s winners are listed here at Wizbangblog.

But, if you visit here regularly, you probably like what I like. So I’ve made a list of my favorite sites-

The Harkonnendog Awards!

Best Blog to Read while Drinking Morning Coffee and Pretending to Work:

Best Blog for Satisfying Your Desire to Appease Your Paranoia regarding What The Muslims Are Up To:
Little Green Footballs

Best Blog for Satisfying Your Insecurity by Laughing at What the Liberals and the MSM are Up To:

Best Blog for Understanding the Little Details regarding the Big Picture on the War on Terror:
Belmont Club

Best Blog for those Living in Hawaii who Want to Laugh at People in Cold Places:

Best Blog for Understanding American Liberals and how to Combat (or better yet convert) Them while NOT being Mad at Them: (this should be Harkonnendog- that’s sort of the point of this blog)
(that sumbitch stole my award!)

Best Blog for Understanding All Liberals and how to Combat them while Being Mad at Them:
The Diplomad

Hmm… That’s about it. I also go to We Won’t Be Fooled Again and The Powers that Blog almost every day. They are listed in my links section to the right. You should check them out as well…
I haven’t yet put all the above sites into my links list. I’ll probably do that today or tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

Cernig suggested a web award for

'"Leftwing site Most Likely to be Readable by Rightwingers with High Blood Pressure?"or even "Leftwinger Who I Don't Think Is a Lunatic Even If I Think He Is Wrong"?'

and he is certainly right. And he is the winner. Hmmm.... I wonder if he planned that....

I'm going to call it:
Best Blog for Conservatives who Prefer to be Called Wrong Rather Than Evil by the Lefties who Disagree with Them (and of course are Wrong but Not Evil):

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Totalitarian Left, Part 3

Yesterday, after I published part 2 of this 3 parter, I surfed over to Powerline and found the following:

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/009328.php It discusses how authorities are trying to prosecute voter fraud in Wisconsin. I also discovered this: http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/jan05/295825.asp which outlines another pending prosecution. This is great news! (except, today’s entry was supposed to show conservatives are scared to prosecute voter fraud while liberals aren’t motivated to prosecute it.) Well, let’s assume the above are exceptions that prove the rule, (while hoping they are not (did I just lose you?) ) and move forward.

Conservatives are scared to prosecute voter fraud for 3 reasons.

1. The first is political correctness. Conservatives hate to be called racist. Democrat operatives know this, and therefore commit voter fraud in minority areas, knowing that conservatives, fearing the racist label, will be less likely to call a spade a spade. (See, the PC reflex exists even in you, dear reader.) Committing voter fraud in minority areas is a win-win for democrats. If the republicans don’t expose and/or prosecute the fraud the votes are counted, a la Washington State. If they do expose and/or prosecute the fraud, millions of kooks, minority and otherwise, will believe and perpetuate the lie that republicans disenfranchised minorities to steal an election, a la Florida.

But this is a mistake. Morally, it is a mistake because voter fraud should be prosecuted regardless of the political consequences. Voter fraud is the moral equivalent, almost, of murder. Keep in mind that minorities are disproportionally disenfranchised when conservatives refuse to clean out voter fraud in minority areas. This is the message to send to these communities: that they are being disenfranchised by the democrats, and that republicans are trying to stop that from happening. (Hey, it probably won’t work, but the cure is certainly no worse than the disease.)

2. The second reason republicans hesitate to prosecute voter fraud is the nature of the fraud itself. Democrats (the example at the top notwithstanding) are not stopping conservatives from voting, they are helping democrats vote more than once, or helping people who are not allowed to vote, felons, aliens, or the dead, to vote democrat. The nature of this fraud helps democrats frame the debate. When republicans cry foul democrats say they just want “every vote to count.” While the phrase is a good sound bite, the argument is encapsulate is utter bullshit.

Every illegal vote disenfranchises an opposing voter’s legal vote. If you voted for Bush, and a democrat operative helped a felon vote for Kerry, you were disenfranchised. If that operative registered 10 homeless schizophrenics using his home as their address, and voted for Kerry ‘for’ them, using absentee ballots, he disenfranchised every conservative on your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team. If he registered the local paper’s obituary page for the last 6 months and did the same, he disenfranchised every conservative you know. But, though these are not victimless crimes, the victims do not know their fundamental right has been stolen. They are not energized to fight for their right, because it is difficult to personalize voter fraud.

But this is a mistake. Every voter should consider his or her very own vote to be the one that was stolen. Nobody should assume it was the other persons. Again, consider voter fraud to be the moral equivalent of murder. Would you allow twenty murders to take place because, well, you are not dead? (Maybe in Rwanda or Darfur…) Of course not! Voter fraud should be prosecuted just as mercilessly.

3. Finally, conservatives are not prosecuting voter fraud because, by and large, they won.

But, as yesterday’s post points out, this is the only practical time to prosecute democrat voter fraud. Not prosecuting will only embolden criminals. Giuliani’s broken glass concept should be applied, across the board, in every suspected instance of voter fraud- whether it was perpetrated by democrats, greens, communists, or even conservatives.

A quick thanx to my readers. Thank you so much for visiting my page. Please feel free to comment or email me. Mahalo!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Totalitarian Left Part 2

Has the left gone totalitarian? The short answer is no, but the following Induction Bomb (follow this link and scroll down to part 3 for an explanation of an Induction Bomb) shows a disturbing trend.


Describes how voter fraud by democrats helped Gregoire win in Washington State.


Newsisyphus, again, nails it. This again regards Washington.


More voter fraud by democrats in East St. Louis.


Voter fraud In Milwaukee by- surprise- democrats.


Voter Fraud in St. Louis – carried out by democrat politicians

So what do we have here? Liberals- not the anarchist fringe, but Democrat party politicians- professionals- party activists- knowingly breaking the law and/or cynically disenfranchising voters. I don’t remember them doing this in the recent past. Perhaps the false accusation that Bush stole the election to win his first term caused the party to lose its perspective. Perhaps the Iraqi phase of the War on Terror has emboldened them. I would like to think so, to think the widespread Democrat party voter fraud is a crime of passion, as it were, and thus temporary. But I doubt it.

Liberals have used the judiciary to bypass the democratic process for decades. Bush will probably remake the Supreme Court in Ronald Reagan’s image during this term. It should be no surprise that, having lost their stranglehold on the judiciary, liberals are now corrupting the very process of democracy itself. The lack of support for the War in Iraq shows their disdain for sufferage. Afghanistan’s first election received a tiny fraction of the Abu Ghraib scandal in the MSM. Ghe Guevera, enemy of democracy, is a hero of the left. Why should anyone think the left really cares about democracy?

Am I overreacting? Let’s hope so. But the pattern is clear. There was more voter fraud during this election than the last. If the trend grows, or worse, accelerates, then the Democrat party may well win a presidency or a Senate majority in the next election through voter fraud. If or when that happens the fox will be guarding the henhouse. If the Democrat party has a vested interest in voter fraud, and is in power, and came to power through voter fraud in the first place, they cannot be expected to combat it.

If the left is not dominated by totalitarians now, it certainly is headed that way. But that is why we have a two party system, and a system of checks and balances. Surely the conservatives are actively pursuing these lawbreakers, right?

Wrong. More on this tomorrow.

Update: New Sisyphus is starting to piss me off. He says everything I want to say- better than I say it... Read this on how Al Gore has hurt America for another take on how and why liberals started thinking it was okay to disenfranchise non-liberals. And this for more about the democrat's general lack of respect for democracy.

But I have to disagree with Newsisyphus about one thing. He seems to think the democrats are blind to their own crimes, befuddled by arrogance or hubris or both. I believe they know exactly what they are doing. Again, I think what they are doing is a rational response to losing control of the judiciary.

(This is sort of analogous to the disagreement about 9/11. Some people think 9/11 was an emotional, irrational attack. Others, like me, think it was rational, and coldly calculated, given how the U.S. reacted to previous terrorist attacks. Tomorrow's post will look at whether or not the liberals are right. Thank god and George W. Bush the terrorists were wrong.)

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Totalitarian Left

Gil Kobrin has thoughts on the beating he took for exercising his right to free speech. A recap of the attack is available here from the Washington Post. He seems to have taken the assault in stride, and asks an interesting question about the nature of today’s left in this post at his group blog, We Won't Get Fooled Again. The following quote inspired today's post:

In fact, the entire episode - a group of protesters assaulted for holding signs dissenting from the majority opinion - points to prototypical fascist behavior. The question presents itself: Since when do ostensible anarchists act like fascists?
It would be prudent to point out that the violent behavior of the anarchists has, to date, not been exhibited by the Left as a whole. While Leftist protesters have spit and screamed at dissenters, they have rarely crossed the line into criminal assault. It is only the so-called anarchists who have regularly seen fit to stifle opposition with physical force. When analyzing such a phenomenon - "peaceniks" attacking people at a peace rally - three divergent possibilities present themselves as to the relationship between the (violent) Leftist minority and the (peaceable) Leftist majority: a) the former exists as a variance of the latter, b) they are independent entities that are united through common focus points (such as hatred of a particular president), or c) each entity exists completely autonomously, with no communication, aid, or support between the two. The third possibility, that there really is no relationship between the anarchists and the non-anarchists of the Left, is wholly untenable.

He’s right, of course. While the Leftist majority might roll its eyes and tsk tsk the violent leftist minority, it certainly has not purged itself of that element. The equivalent, on the right, would be a largely conservative or Republican led rally with Neo-Nazi groups in its train. This is unthinkable, not just because of the political consequences that would result, but because the values of the Neo-Nazis are antithetical to those of the right, and yes, the far right.

I have argued for years that fascists are not the far right- that the popular meme visualized as a line from left to right:

Communist; Far Left; Moderate Left; Centrist; Moderate Right; Right Wing; Fascist

is a false one. I recently argued against that meme on a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu forum I participate in regularly. Here's the operative quote from an argument I had with another forum member who goes by the name Sasso:

Sasso what you're missing is the fact conservative or right wing Americans believe in democracy beyond before all else.
Therefore comparing us to totalitarians is ridiculous.

Fascism and Communism are NOT REALLY DIFFERENT- they are two sides of the same coin. Believers in democracy are on a different coin altogether. And if you want to get more detailed- right wingers are much MORE interested in democracy than left wingers. Left wingers have spent the last 30 years doing end arounds through the judiciary to avoid people being able to decide the great issues of our times. Left wingers have abolished free speech in
Canada and are further stifling free speech in Britian. Left wingers have stifled free speec in universities since the early 90's.

Having said all that- CK and Dr. K are still allies against totalitarianism. Dr. K would kimura anybody who tried to stifle CK's right to vote- and CK would shoot anybody who tried to take away Dr. K's right to spout nonsensical communist (I know, redundant) propoganda.

Dr. K is the forum's resident Santa Cruz college professor loony leftist, by the way, whereas CK is a religious right Texan… Those two represent the far left and far right of that forum. Still, they are different faces on the same coin. Call it the democracy coin. Hitler and Stalin are on an entirely different coin, they are different faces on the totalitarian coin.

(By the way, vist that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu forum if you want to read comparatively civil political discourse… civil because, unlike most forums, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu forum has members who really do meet and beat the crap out of each other – albeit in tournaments or in training.)

But Gil Kobrin’s experience makes me wonder… why does the left tolerate self-proclaimed anarchists? Why do they allow violent protestors a place in their parade? What if Dr. K wouldn’t kimura a man to defend CK’s right to free speech? What if he would allow a bunch of anarchists to gang up on CK because he didn’t like what CK was saying? What if he joined in on the assault? At what point is the left no longer on the democracy coin? And what should we do to keep them there?

More on this tomorrow.

Update: Crazy Diamon makes an excellent point. How are a bunch of pacifists supposed to stop a bunch of violent anarchists from marching with them? It is funny if you think about it.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Dangerous Assumptions Part 3

Is the meme that foster care/adoption is better for a child than an orphanage a dangerous assumption?

This was the best of the articles I found regarding this subject. It starts off kind of wacky but provides the goods if you get through the first few sections.

A few things stand out from this article:

1. There has been some debate on this subject. Newt Gingrich briefly tried to champion orphanages in the 90’s. This is an argument against the meme being a dangerous assumption. However, given the MSM’s stranglehold on information during that decade, and their antipathy to Gingrich, the fact that there was a debate isn’t compelling enough to decide the issue.

2. Orphanages went out of favor during the 50’s and 60’s because studies showed “very young children” raised in them developed slowly and lacked social skills later in life. As a result,

In 1980, Congress passed the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, which established that the nation's goal was to prevent the removal of abused and neglected children from their homes and, if they were removed, to reunify them with their families as quickly as possible.

Let’s assume the studies mentioned above were accurate. Nonetheless, this is a compelling argument that the FC/A is better meme is a dangerous assumption. Studies of pre-teen and teenagers were not made. Then, the fact that the adoption of legislation happened during the reign of the '68 Generation automatically makes it suspect. Finally, no comparison studies were made. Is it wrong to assume that there may have been some correlation, rather than causation, between children who were put in orphanages at a young age and developmental problems? It makes sense to assume that at least some of these children were traumatized prior to being in orphanages. Or that some of them were genetically predisposed to having problems.

But a better argument that FC/A is a dangerous assumption is this declaration, which declares it is not. Written in 1995, perhaps in response to Gingrich- it screams dangerous assumption. Here are a series of quotes begging to be fisked:

· Many insecurely attached, institutionalized children lack empathy, seek behavior in negative ways, exhibit poor self-confidence, show indiscriminate affection toward adults, are prone to noncompliance, and are more aggressive than their non-institutionalized counterpart.

Let’s start with the word “many”. Could the author have been more vague? How about telling us the percentages? Wait, there really is no use to that, since “insecurely attached, institutionalized” is just as vague. It is a useless sentence. Are kids rotated from one foster care situation to another not insecurely attached? What percentages of children are rotated? Did these children have problems before they were institutionalized? Is the non-institutionalized counterpart securely attached because he or she was ABLE to attach, to take hold with a family, whereas the institutionalized child had problems making it more difficult? What percentage of foster parents can’t attach with child A, but do attach to child B? Is child A then sent to other foster parents?

· With few exceptions, children reared in poor quality institutions fail to sit, stand, walk, and talk by age four.

Is this an argument for foster care or for high quality institutions? Is this a tautology? Wouldn’t anyone label a place where children failed “to sit, stand, walk, and talk by age four” a “poor quality institutions?”

· Close examination reveals that even good institutions harm young children, leave teens ill-prepared for the outside world, and cost over three times more than a permanent, loving family.

Why are these “good institutions?” How do they harm young children? Do they harm them more than foster parents? If the standard of comparison is “a permanent, loving family,” what percentages of children go to such families?

In the end I cannot prove this meme is false. The only way to prove such a thing is to disprove, with compelling evidence, all the unproven claims made by the industry that thrives off of it. But I hope I have shown that, at least when it comes to children who do not fit in the “very young children” category, a dangerous assumption MAY BE at work.

Could I prove it is a dangerous assumption? Probably. Will I? No. I lack motivation to do so. Just like everybody else.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


I submitted a poem to Powerline, one of the best blogs out there, and they linked to me. Thank you, Powerline!
I don't have a counter on here but I suspect I may have been Powerlanched... er. Linanched... er... Planched... Powinanched...

I suspect there are a bunch of new visitors. You are very welcome! Please look around and bookmark my humble blog!

Some of the posts are two parters, so you'll need to go to part 1 to get part 2.

Some acronyms which may be unfamiliar to new readers:
PBR= Political Blog Readers
Induction Bomb=A series of articles that lead to a single conclusion. Read Is Blogging Bad for America (to your right in recent posts) for an explanation of that.
DA=Dangerous assumption. Read part 1 of that (again to your right) for a definition of that term.

Thanx again!

Dangerous Assumptions, Part 2

Welfare reform, the War on Terror, and the new food pyramid are reversals in policy that have resulted from the Dangerous Assumptions mentioned in Part 1 (finally) being proven wrong.

Some Dangerous Assumptions- DA for short- have not been as thoroughly debunked, but are right on the edge…

1. The earth is warming due to fossil fuels- or The Theory of Global Warming – Chrichton’s State of Fear may well put the nails in this myth’s coffin.

2. High self-esteem results in better achievement. I’ve read some studies that claim the exact opposite. But a large industry is built upon this dangerous assumption, and the entire education bureaucracy cannot collectively say “Whoops!” and start over. No Child Left Behind, however, has brilliantly bypassed the self-esteem myth. Schools can no longer claim they are doing their jobs because children feel good about themselves, because they can no longer claim that those feeling correlate to academic achievement. The academic achievement, or lack thereof, is in the numbers. The self-esteem industry claims the numbers lie, but parents and the general public have seen through this claim.

3. The UN is a force for good in the world. Most PBR (Political Blog Readers) stopped believing this myth long ago. But MSM (MainStreamMedia) devotees still have faith in the UN. Not for long. The MSM cannot hide the UN’s incompetence and inherent flaws forever. Several scandals are on the verge of becoming main stream at any moment. This is a dam waiting to break, and when it does the UN will be known for what it is… (See here for my The UN Sucks Induction Bomb: http://harkonnendog.blogspot.com/2005/01/united-nations-sucks-induction-bomb.html)

It is obvious that disproving DA earlier is better than disproving them later. The problem is that there are few people looking for them. Who could have fought to disprove the self-esteem myth when it was first posited? The children that would be hurt by the myth were mere gleams in their parents’ eyes. The parents saw no reason to question the myth- who doesn’t want their child to feel good about themselves? The scientists, or pseudo scientists, who could have and perhaps should have known better, had no motivation to speak out. Sociologists don’t get grants for finding reasons NOT to hire more sociologists.

The same dynamics were at work with all six DA listed. They were debunked because people were motivated to fight for the opposing viewpoint eventually. But this only happened after their self-interest in the issue became clear, and that only happened years after the DA ascended.

But the bell tolls for thee. DA hurt everyone.

Again, I encourage readers to list any DA, or suspected DA they can think of…

The one I have in mind is the idea that Foster Care and/or Adoption are better for children than Orphanages. This idea reeks of DA:

1. The people it directly hurts, (orphans) are powerless to fight against it.

2. No major studies were carried out to prove it was correct.

3. A major bureaucracy depends on its existence to continue.

I haven’t yet researched this issue. I’m throwing it out there, not only as an example of what to look for to discover DA, but to test my theory that DA have certain attributes…

More on this tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Dangerous Assumptions Part 1

First of all, I must, once again, point all readers over to Sisyphus’s blog. http://newsisyphus.blogspot.com His explanation of the ‘68 Generation is must-read blogging. Fantastic!

It also jump starts today’s entry: Dangerous Assumptions

For an idea to qualify as a Dangerous Assumption it must:
1. be accepted as truth, though it is false
2. be used to promote and enact legislation
3. result in doing much more harm than good

Here are 3 ideas which certainly were Dangerous Assumptions:
1. Welfare, by raising incomes, will end those pathologies associated with poverty.
2. Appeasing Islamists will lead them to stop attacking the West.
3. A low fat diet, high in grains and other high-carbohydrate foods, promotes health.

For a brilliant analysis of the welfare debacle go see Sisyphus’s post here: http://newsisyphus.blogspot.com/2005/01/welfare-reform-dependence-theory-and.html
A recap of that post is in one of yesterday’s posts but you should read the whole thing. Great read. Great blogger.

An analysis of Dangerous Assumption 2 is Alan Dershowitz’s book Why Terrorism Works. A review and related essay by Dershowitz are here: http://www.aijac.org.au/review/2002/2711/essay2711.html The excerpt below sums thing up rather nicely, though.

The reason terrorism works-and will persist unless there are significant changes in the responses to it-is precisely because its perpetrators believe that by murdering innocent civilians they will succeed in attracting the attention of the world to their perceived grievances and their demand that the world "understand them" and "eliminate their root causes." To submit to this demand is to send the following counterproductive message to those with perceived grievances: if you resort to terrorism, we will try harder to understand your grievances and respond to them than we would have if you employed less violent methods. This is precisely the criterion for success established by the terrorist themselves. Listen to the words of Zehdi Labib Terzi, the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s chief observer at the United Nations: "The first several hijackings aroused the consciousness of the world and awakened the media and the world opinion much more-and more effectively-than twenty years of pleading at the United Nations." If this is true-and the Palestinians surely believe it is-then it should come as no surprise that hijackings and other forms of terrorism increased dramatically after the Palestinians were rewarded for their initial terrorism by increased world attention to its "root causes"-attention that quickly resulted in their leader being welcomed by the UN General Assembly, their organisation being granted observer status at the United Nations, and their "government" being recognized by dozens of nations.

Dangerous Assumption 3 is analyzed here. Debunking this assumption would require an Induction Bomb… I swear I read an article that single-handedly debunked it through deduction, but this http://www.karlloren.com/diet/p109.htm was the closest thing I could find to that article. Here’s a quick excerpt that give you the flavor:

While the government has stood by this regimen for 11 years, some critics say it's no coincidence that the number of overweight Americans has risen 61% since the pyramid was introduced -- and almost instantaneously appeared on the sides of pasta boxes, bread wrappers and packages of other food products in the pyramid's six-to-11-servings category.

So, there they are… Three Dangerous Assumptions. There is no quantifying the amount of human misery which has resulted from their existence. It is horrible that they have been around so long- that they were ever assumed, and that they still have advocates despite overwhelming evidence. The path to hell is paved with good intentions, indeed. But this essay is not, simply, a list of Dangerous Assumptions. The point is to notice what they inherently have in common, what common circumstances led to their existence... to find red flags if you will, so that we may more easily identify current, non-debunked Dangerous Assumptions. More on this tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

MLK Day: A Day ON, Not a Day OFF!

Here's a little MLK story for y'all.

MLK Day, 2001, First Avenue, Seattle, WA, U.S.A.

Bar hopping with Trustfund Boy and Frat Boy- pure alkies. Tryin' to keep up. No friggin way. At least I was warm, though. My new North Face beannie kept the cold away, and this new to Seattle Kauai Boy had suffered quite a bit before figuring out that a bald head exposed to 40 mph 40 degree Farenheit wind = pain- no matter how warm the torso is.

2:15 A.M.: Trustfrund and Fratboy are negoitiating a er… favor… from a nasty fat er… favor giver… near Fratboy's apartment... I wander off. I was drunk enough to uh, favor her, an hour ago... now I'm too drunk for that... Homeless nasty lady walks up to me:

"You got any money, honey?" She called me honey. It made me feel special.

"I dunno sweetheart. Lemme check."

I reach into the wallet and find I have 40 bucks. It needs to last me a week, which isn't really that hard since I'm living off Trustfund's generosity... free rent, big breakfast, big dinner, and all I can drink... but still, walking the streets looking for a job requires Starbucks, and that's just one Double Vanilla Latte a day (with tip.) Then I see notice homeless ladies hat. It says:

MLK Day: A Day ON! Not a day off!

And I have a great moment. That hat is the money. It is the best hat ever in the world. Ever. (Did I say ever?)

"I'm not going to give you any money, sweetheart. But I'll make you a deal. I'll give you my beannie and $40 bucks for that hat."

"Okay, honey!"

Fratboy has wandered over. Through the murk of my drunken stupor a glimmer of suspicion: She said yes too fast. Maybe this isn't that great a deal? I ask Fratboy to play financial advisor because I'm too drunk.

Fratboy's considered response.... "GOOD DEAL!"

Bastard. I spent the rest of the night showing off the hat to every woman I could. And sharing the story. I did not score.

Time to Take a Breath

Time to take a breath…

LGF pointed to a GREAT post by new blogger http://newsisyphus.blogspot.com/ You should read the whole thing, but I’ll sum it up quickly:

1. There was a battle between welfare advocates and welfare reformers that began in the early 80’s.

2. Advocates said poverty caused a set of pathologies so welfare should raise incomes. Their policy had been in affect since the 70’s. Reformers said poverty wasn’t necessarily the problem- and that welfare increased the pathologies associated with poverty so that, whether poverty was a root cause or no- welfare was.

3. Reformers won in ’96.

4. They’ve been prove right.

5. All the above was a setup for hypothesis that we’ve created something analogous to welfare pathologies, in Europe, by providing their security and stability.

It makes sense, especially when you consider war. If Europeans believe war is a choice- they are right- because we’ll fight for them. If they believe peace without strength is possible-they are right- since we’ll provide the peace.

It isn’t a new idea, exactly, but it is a good one, and the entry lays it out very well. It actually lays out the history of welfare wonderfully. (Nice to have someone in the biz explain what really happened there.) But what struck me most was the tone. Newsisyphus wants to understand, to explain, and finally to help, rather than to castigate the Europeans or reaffirm that we are their superiors.

I used to be like that- when it came to liberals, and Europe- and Muslims (not Islamists but Muslims who don’t disavow or actively contend against Islamists). Then came election season, and I lost my way. It was a gradual process but I never noticed that I’d left my way for the Right way. I used to want to promote understanding- through the understanding that we are all good people who seek different ways to good ends- and then I became someone who wanted to promote conservatism.

Maybe I just needed some time to recover, and that post didn’t really bring me back to myself. But I think it was that post. So thank you Newsisyphus. You got one rock all the way to the peak. I’ll try not to roll down again.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Real Reason Liberals are Soft on Terror, Part 2

The Real Reason Liberals are Soft on Terror, Part 2

Liberals are soft on terror because they believe that arguing from emotion is legitimate. Arguments from emotion require neither logic, nor common sense, nor an intuitive recognition, nor proofs, nor deduction, nor Induction Bombs- they require only that one party feels really strongly about something.

An example of an issue that exists only because liberals believe arguing from emotion is legitimate is slave reparations. (I’m not going to explain why slave reparations make no sense. Take some time and look into the details and you’ll know why quite quickly.) The fact that liberal controlled colleges restrict free speech if it hurts people’s feelings is a result of liberal respect for arguments from emotion. The libs fascination with Marxism is another result. The idea that charity can be coerced is yet another. Modern liberal thought is so rife with arguments from emotion and the results of arguing from emotion, direct (as in bilingual education) and indirect (as in losing the Federal government because their ideas make no sense) that modern libs CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD without understanding how ingrained arguing from emotion is for them.

Given this, how can liberals be expected to combat Islamist terrorists? Who feels more strongly about anything than a woman who will strap her 14 year-old son up with dynamite so he can murder himself and other innocents? Nobody. Who whines, screeches, begs, and/or threatens more than Islamists? Nobody. The fact that this woman has been brainwashed into believing a bunch of crap does not matter. She feels strongly about it. The fact that her son is going to kill babies does not matter. She feels strongly about it.

Now I don’t think liberals support her for murdering her son, and a bunch of other people’s sons. But a liberal will bring up Israel’s retaliating to terrorist attacks as if that is relevant. Why? Because the wife of a murdering bastard cries, when she is widowed, just as much as the widow of a good man. To liberals their pain is equal- and their pain is equally legitimate, and therefore the retaliation was as despicable as the act that precipitated it. And if this widow murders her son and other’s sons to avenge her husband’s death… well, it was all a part of the cycle of violence.

What makes matters worse is the Islamists cynical manipulation of a liberal media which is all too willing to be used. Arafat the fascist, the terrorist, the embezzler, won a Nobel Peace Prize. Such a thing would be impossible without a media that is easily manipulated by Islamists. Nobody argues from emotion as well as Islamists, and nobody respects arguments from emotion as much as Western liberals. Liberals will always be soft on Islamists. They cannot be trusted to fight them.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Real Reason Liberals are Soft on Terror

The Real Reason Liberals are Soft on Terror

Ed.- Yesterday I broke the serious-post-followed-by-silly-post cycle. But I cheated, since the UN Induction bomb is really just a list of links. Thus a silly post is due. I’ve come to realize I lapse into silliness when I reach too far. (Not too high, since that implies I’m trying to prove something magnificent or, at least, insightful. Comparing the UN to a cheating girlfriend, or Islamist terrorists to Shakespeare’s Falstaff, probably qualifies for far, but not high.) Today’s post is a reach, but I’ll not lapse into silliness. I promise.

I can’t prove to you, now, that liberals are soft on Islamists. If you don’t already believe it, it would require a Liberals Are Soft on Terror Induction Bomb, and I don’t have time for that. This entry presupposes that liberals ARE soft on terror. So the question is, why? The following breaks down some areas where liberals and Islamists differ:

Gay Marriage:
Liberals- "Make it happen. By fiat if necessary!"
Islamists- "What gays do in the privacy of their own homes is an abomination. We will kill them."
Free Speech:
Liberals- "Yes! (Well, except on college campuses.)
Islamists- "Yes! As long as you quote the Koran. If you blasphemy we will kill you."
Liberals- "Of course!"
Islamists- "No Burkha; No penis; No life. We will kill you."
Liberals- "Even the dead should be allowed to vote!"
Islamists- "Sharia is the will of Allah. Allah's will trumps that of the people. Sharia rules, ore we'll kill ya'.
Death penalty:
Liberals- "NEVER!!!"
Islamists- "With ROCKS!!!"
Liberals- "Don't blame the victim. Keep her identity secret."
Islamists- "Kill the victim. She should have worn a looser burkha. Don't laugh or we'll kill you."

So you would think liberals would not be soft on Islamists. Yet they are. The following shows some areas where liberals and Islamists agree:

George Bush:
Liberals- "We wish Gore or Kerry won."
Islamists- "We wish Gore or Kerry won. (It would be easier to kill ya."
Liberals- "Israel needs to make peace with the Islamists. Even if that means they can't retaliate to terrorist attacks, when doing so would stifle the peace process."
Islamists- "Israel will have peace only when every Jew is pushed into the sea. But, we totally agree about the no retaliation thing. (Btw we're gonna kill u libs, too.) Pagans!"

Many conservatives believe the list above sums it up. Liberals are so focused on hating George Bush they have embraced the enemy of their enemy (George Bush, not Islamism, is that enemy). So they really can’t get excited about fighting Islamists. I mean, if the Islamists lose, Bush wins. Add a dash (the vermouth in the hate Bush cocktail) of sympathy for Palestinians, drink it down, and a liberal’s mind is numbed just enough to forget the first list.

I don’t buy it. That first list is entirely too compelling. Liberals are NOT stupid, nor are they ignorant. They are more than capable of recognizing realities and quantifying evil. Hating Bush is one thing, but being soft on terror is really a separate issue, and while liberals may conflate issues for advantage (Michael Moore and Patty Murray come to mind) that doesn’t mean those issues are conflated in their minds.
As for Israel, that’s a whole ‘nother entry, but suffice it to say that, if push came to shove, American liberals would side with Israel. I don’t think American liberals are anti-Semites, but I do believe their anti-Israeli stance is an indirect result of European anti-Semitism. Thus American liberals have learned to mimic having a symptom of a disease they’ve not (yet) contracted from their continental cousins. Israel is not that much of a factor.

So, having established that liberals should be hard on Islamists, and explained away (however weakly) two of the more popular reason given for why they are not, the question remains- Why aren’t they?

Ed.- The temptation to lapse into silliness is strong in this one. No! I’ll not succumb. Succumb sounds like succubus, hehehe- STOP IT! Get a hold of yourself man! Okay. I’m better. I wish I smoked or something. I hate Mark Steyn. How’s he DO IT?!? Okay… this is now a two-parter. I should probably do SOME work at work. Geeze.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The United Nations sucks Induction Bomb

It can be difficult for PBR (Political Blog Readers) to relate to non PBR because political blogs concentrate on what the MSM does not. I ran into this problem with my wife, when I brought up the UN. She, naturally, assumes the UN is a basically good organization that does good things. And she assumed, naturally, that I felt the same. Of course I don’t.

I stuttered, wondering how to explain to her how flawed, corrupt, wasteful, and incompetent the UN is. I considered using the word evil. It hit me, then, (though I couldn't yet put it into words)that I needed an Induction Bomb. Yesterday’s post http://harkonnendog.blogspot.com/2005/01/is-blogging-bad-for-america.html explored that idea along with some ramifications.

Today I present to you:
The United Nations sucks Induction Bomb

Let’s start with a couple of overviews…

Scandals may bring down the 'secular Pope'
By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor

I say it's odious, and the hell with it
Jonah Goldberg

Now here’s some info regarding UN relief “efforts” in Indonesia. These are all from The Diplomad, a great new(er) blog.

Friday, December 31, 2004
Things That Make You Say 'Blah!' The UN Response to the Tsunami

Saturday, January 01, 2005
UN Death Watch . . .

Sunday, January 02, 2005
The UN Begins to Act . . .

Sunday, January 02, 2005
UNsanity Update

Monday, January 03, 2005
almost fUNnny . . .

Tuesday, January 04, 2005
More UNreality . . . But the Dutch Get It

Saturday, January 08, 2005
UNbearable . . . .

Now let’s read up on the UN and Israel/Palestine:

Jerusalem Summit Condemns UNRWA
By Moshe DannFrontPageMagazine.com December 7, 2004

UNRWA is a disservice to the Palestinians

12/30/2004: UN Adviser Goes Nuts

As it turns out somebody already MADE an induction bomb talking about how the UN hates Israel. (but they didn’t call it an Induction Bomb, which makes sense since I made up that term)
This looks excellent, but I haven’t read all the links so I can’t vouch for it:

On the UN failure to stop genocide in Darfur:

Not Content To Wait For The UN

The UN Plan for "Safe Areas" in Darfur: Consolidating Khartoum'scampaign of ethnic/racial displacement and genocide
by Eric Reeves September 3, 2004

Darfur in the UN's Geopolitical Calculus:How the international community is acquiescing in genocide by attrition
by Eric ReevesNovember 23, 2004

Here’s a quickie about the UN in the Congo… (sorry about the tasteless pun)

Troops buy sex from abused girls with scraps of food
By David Blair

And finally, the one that really got people to start noticing the rest… UNscam, or The-Oil-for-Food-scandal:

Very U.N.-Attractive A leaked audit gives hints of the Oil-for-Food corruption. BY CLAUDIA ROSETT Wednesday, May 19, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

Russia Objects to Measure Supporting Investigation of Oil-for-Food Program
By WARREN HOGEPublished: April 17, 2004

April 23, 2004
Food for Dictators

April 27, 2004
About the Oil-for-Food Scandal

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Is blogging Bad for America?

It’s too easy to preach to the converted on political blogs.

Part 1. Variety and Specificity

Old Nana (this is apocryphal) says her home town had but one radio station. The terrible result was she had to listen to country, classical, and gospel, to hear her beloved Elvis. The wonderful result was she was exposed to country, classical, and gospel, in her quest to hear Hound Dog. If Nana was a kid today she could probably discover, on her satellite receiver, (radios? HAH!) a station playing Elvis 24/7.

Political blogs provide the equivalent variety and specificity of choice to Political Blog Readers (PBR). Nobody knows the ratio of PBR to political blogs. Are there 10,000 PBR for every would-be Daily Kos? Maybe the ratio is as low as 100-1. There may, in fact, be more political blogs than PBR available to read them. (Not encouraging, exactly, for those of us who like to write them.)

Given this plethora of choices, libertarian-leaning-conservative-sci-fi-and-gadget-fanantics-who-figure-gays-should-be-allowed-to-marry-but-legislatures-should-decide-that will end up at Instapundit, while libertarian-leaning-conservative-non-sci-fi-and-gadget-fanantics-who-figure-gays-should-maybe-be-allowed-to-marry-but-legislatures-should-decide-that will visit Powerline. (My apologies to the authors of those blog if I misinterpreted their stances). Of course that is an extreme example of specificity, and those two blogs share PBR and in fact link to each other pretty regularly. However, Daily Kos PBR read Powerline about as often as Quakers participate in Hamas rallies.

I imagine.

The point is that, given the MSM’s decreasing influence, more people will rely on bloggers who reinforce their views and fewer people will be exposed to opposing opinions. This will result in a more divided republic, and perhaps in what you could call a Kook Republic. I’ve little doubt that the left is controlled by the Far Left, or Loony Left, Moonbats, or Kook Left, and no doubt those Loony Lefties think the right is controlled by fascist, racist, Right Wing Ideologues, Hitler Dopplegangers, or other manifestations of the Kook Right. The fact that I’m sure, or, more importantly, that you’re sure, that the Right is right and the left is wrong about this, is immaterial. The internet allows us to surround ourselves with those who reinforce our own viewpoints. If you think the other side is run by kooks you are a kook, no matter what side you’re on. We are ALL Kooks.

Part 2. Inductive Argument

One might ask how a person can combat this. I don’t know. Blogs persuade through induction, rather than deduction. Go to Powerline and read their every article for a month and, through induction, you will have realized that:
1. The UN sucks
2. The MSM (MainStreamMedia) sucks
3. The liberals suck
You’ll know this because you’ll have read 30 or 40 instances where the UN, MSM, and various liberals sucked. Powerline won’t try to prove it logically, they will merely provide examples.

Inhabit The Daily Kos and, I imagine (why imagine? why not go there? health reasons) for a month and you’ll learn, through induction, that:
1. Dubya sucks
2. Rumsfield sucks
3. The war (any war, take your pick) sucks
And, again, you’ll learn this, not because the Kos (is that how he/she/it refers to hishersitself?) says so, but because you’ll have read 30 or 40 examples of them sucking.

Now, given this inductive learning process, the odds that Powerline or Daily Kos PBR will be open to opposing opinions are very low. For every example a liberal gives me that the UN is a force for good, I (and other Powerline PBR) will remember 30 or 40 examples of the UN effectively being a force for evil. The political gulf between Daily Kos and Powerline PBR, therefore, will only widen over time. (Unless The Daily Kos and Powerline blogs become more similar. However, if they did, more than likely they would lose substantial PBR rather than persuade their PBR closer to a respective center.)

Part 3. The Induction Bomb

So I don’t know how you can unKook a Kook, except, perhaps, by dropping an Induction Bomb on them. What is an Induction bomb?

Let’s say Sally, a loyal Daily Kos reader for years, has learned from Kos that the UN is a force for good. You will never be able to track down every bit of information, every story, every anecdote, every article, every claim, that led Sally to reach that conclusion through induction. (For one thing, she won’t even remember most of them.) You cannot, therefore, refute her sources.

You can however, present her with a number of excellent refutations of their logical conclusion. Tomorrow I will drop an Induction Bomb which proves, through induction, that the UN sucks.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Falstaff and Torture Part 2. (the silly part)… or How does Mark Steyn do it?!?

(I’m in week two of my 2005 blogging and a clear pattern has emerged. I write a serious post and then a silly follow up. After I write the silly one I find it unworthy of the first one. The weird part is that I think of the silly post first, and then write the serious post just to set up the silly one. There is probably some deep metaphysical correlation between this pattern and my life; something to do with underachievement or fear of failure or fear of success; but I don’t care to thresh it out. Anyway, the fact I’m writing an apologia for this entry BEFORE I write it bodes ill. Read on at your own risk. Better yet don’t read it at all.)

My last entry http://harkonnendog.blogspot.com/2005/01/falstaff-and-torture.html ended with:

You can’t exactly make a list of what is and isn’t torture. Or, rather, you can make any number of lists… but you can’t make a definitive list. Any interrogation is a dynamic dialogue (ask any parent trying to figure out whether or not their kid cleaned their room). No manual can cover every possible scenario- and if such a manual could be written nobody could use it. It would dwarf the U.S. tax code, for one thing. U.S. questioners require an intuitive guideline that does two things.
1. Covers all scenarios.
2. Stops the MSM from attacking people who use it. (This is especially important. If the MSM has stopped interrogation once it can do so again. Therefore the protocol used during interrogation should be designed to…well, to make people who say the protocol allows torture look silly.)

My idea is this: if Falstaff – yes, that Falstaff; fat; licentious; cowardly; huge-hearted; gregarious; scheming; one could go on forever- could hang with it, then it isn’t torture. Imagine trying to torture Falstaff by humiliating him. Hamlet you could humiliate. Falstaff grows greater with every deprecation, like the dreaded MotherofallEvil ship from The Last Element grew fat on ‘nucular’ missile strikes like Sally Struthers on Tasty Cakes on South Park or blah blah blah blah blah… Shall I even post this? I suppose I could post it to record, for posterity, (rofl!) how a dreadful idea cannot be saved from inherent…er, dread.

Okay. Given that, I’ll continue.

So. Have all the intelligence operatives read about Prince Hal’s beloved fat mentor in King Henry IV parts 1 and 2. Bring in the great Shakespearian critics- especially Harold Bloom. Once these operatives have mastered the nuances of Falstaff’s greatness instruct them that they may do whatever they imagine Falstaff would bear with (blahblahblah… shall I continue? Really?) his characteristic panache. (Oh this is awful. This will teach me not to try and get cutesy-stupid again.)

Falstaff would easily overcome all the “tantamount to torture” torture. In other words, no amount of humiliation or mild discomfort would really bother him at all. He is, simply, too large to bother with trifles. No doubt he’d bitch, but he’d enjoy the bitching. (Contrast this to Hamlet, the greatest whiner in all of Western literature, who doesn’t even enjoy his bitching.)

Ugh. If you read to this point I salute you and apologize. Well, I don’t apologize all that much. I mean you’ve probably heard The Titanic theme song forty times, so you’ve built up a callous. Right?

Friday, January 07, 2005

Falstaff and Torture

Lyndie England, 2004’s Cracker of the Year, has effectively made it impossible for the U.S. to interrogate prisoners. From Heather MacDonald via (the always great) The Belmont Club http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/:

Reeling under the PR disaster of Abu Ghraib, the Pentagon shut down every stress technique but one -- isolation -- and that can be used only after extensive review. An interrogator who so much as requests permission to question a detainee into the night could be putting his career in jeopardy. Even the traditional army psychological approaches have fallen under a deep cloud of suspicion: deflating a detainee’s ego, aggressive but non-physical histrionics, and good cop-bad cop have been banished along with sleep deprivation.
Timidity among officers prevents the energetic application of those techniques that remain. Interrogation plans have to be triple-checked all the way up through the Pentagon by officers who have never conducted an interrogation in their lives. In losing these techniques, interrogators have lost the ability to create the uncertainty vital to getting terrorist information. Since the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, the military has made public nearly every record of its internal interrogation debates, providing al-Qaida analysts with an encyclopedia of U.S. methods and constraints. Those constraints make perfectly clear that the interrogator is not in control. “In reassuring the world about our limits, we have destroyed our biggest asset: detainee doubt,” a senior Pentagon intelligence official laments.

Of course the MSM, especially The New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh, is responsible for exaggerating what happened at Abu Ghraib and for supporting the false meme that what happened there was not an aberration. To see whether or not you’re, well, infected with the meme, (and why you shouldn’t be) go here: http://www.mudvillegazette.com/archives/001989.html.

Now there is no middle ground. The MSM, generally a great believer in the benefits of NUANCE and SHADES OF GRAY, has framed the debate so that guards either serve suspected terrorists tea and crumpets or they are Torquemadas. (For an oddly pro entry on Tomas de go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torquemada.) This is familiar to anyone who has been called a KKK Grand Wizard for expressing reservations about affirmative action.

But the War on Terror will be long and the MSM’s victory http://harkonnendog.blogspot.com/2005/01/msm-strikes-back.html will pass. At that time the question will not be “Does the U.S. condone torture or not?” It will be “What is torture and what is not?”

You can’t exactly make a list of what is and isn’t torture. Or, rather, you can make any number of lists… but you can’t make a definitive list. Any interrogation is a dynamic dialogue (ask any parent trying to figure out whether or not their kid cleaned their room). No manual can cover every possible scenario- and if such a manual could be written nobody could use it. It would dwarf the U.S. tax code, for one thing. U.S. questioners require an intuitive guideline that does two things.

1. Covers all scenarios.
2. Stops the MSM from attacking people who use it. (This is especially important. If the MSM has stopped interrogation once it can do so again. Therefore the protocol used during interrogation should be designed to…well, to make people who say the protocol allows torture look silly.)

I can think of one such protocol off the top of my head, but it is kind of silly in itself… More on this later.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The MSM Strikes Back

If proving Dan Rather aired forged documents to discredit Dubya was the equivalent of Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star, Howard Raines is about to encase Glenn Reynolds in carbonite. (Charles from LGF is Skywalker in this analogy, btw, since his GIF blew everything up.)

Why? Because Gonzales is denying that he will condone torture. He didn't condone it, though. He hasn't. It is reasonable to assume he wouldn't. But his necessary denials prove that, despite the efforts of Skywalker (Charles from http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/), Solo (Reynolds from http://www.instapundit.com/), Princess Leia (Ann Althouse??? from http://althouse.blogspot.com/) and thousands of other rebels spread across the galaxy, er, internet- the MSM still has the power to frame the debate.

All Gonzales condoned was discomfort. He condoned not giving people blankets, and not turning the lights off during nap time. Here's the operative quote from Instapundit (sent to Han Solo from one of his readers, Jeff Cole. Wait a second... is that like a vision from Obi Wan Kenobe? Am I taking the analogy too far?)
Sorry. Here's the quote:

The ONLY previously proscribed interrogation techniques that have been sanctioned at the highest levels of our government post 911 are coercive in nature and specifically not intended to do bodily or psychological harm. Sleep deprivation, loud music, kneeling, withholding blankets. THIS is torture?

Clearly the hate America crowd- in this case the MSM and the democrats, have successfully framed the debate. It should be "What constitutes torture?" But it is "Shall America continue to torture? Are we torturers?" You either say no to discomfort or you are saying yes to raiding museum exhibits about the Spanish Inquisition.

So score one for Baron Harkonnen and (wait, wrong universe...) Score one for the bad guys. At least so far. Maybe it isn't too late to turn this issue around.

Next post: Will Glenn Reynolds be able to reframe the debate? Will he sleep with Althouse? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Cheat on the UN part 2.

Some readers have asked for clarifications regarding my post "Dump the UN? No, cheat on it." in the comments section. Yeah, right. I have one reader (Thanx NHB-Wannabe) and he didn't bother to comment. (Thanx for nothing.) But like Walt Whitman I contain multitudes, and THEY want clarifications. So here goes.

RE: The U.S. reserving the right to kick members out of LORDs. (League of Republics Democratic ... that acronym is the money, right?)

To clarify, the U.S. would only be allowed to do this if a member nation ceased to be a democratic republic. We couldn't kick, say, France out, because, say, France is full of cheese eating surrender monkeys. But we could kick Russia out if Putin's Russia continues to go where PUtin wants to take it. But the U.S. is judge, jury, and executioner. We decide. This way we don't have to worry about that whole Libya-being-on-the-Human-Rights-Commission thingy.

RE: The girlfriend metaphor. One of my personalities wonders if the UN has really been bad enough to dump, and requests clarification about where the UN would be if it was a girlfriend. And how serious is this girlfriend, anyway? Well, let's say you've said "I love you" to her, and meant it, but then you kind of regretted saying it. You're emotionally involved, you're serious about her, but you're not sure you should be. That's pretty much where we are with the UN, I'd say. Given that, here's a list of things such a girlfriend can do that make her dumpable, going from "You Shouldn't Dump But You'd Think About It" to "Dump HER YOU FOOL!!!"

1. Let's a guy approach her, convince her he "just wants to be friends," and accepts his phone number.
2. Asks you for some cash "to help me out" and spends it on her girlfriends' Christmas presents.
3. Let's a guy approach her, convince her he "just wants to be friends," and gives him her number.
4. Meets that guy she gave the number to for lunch. For brevity's sake, I'll call him... Zack. (No, there is and never was a Zack in my life, lol)
5. Asks you for some cash "to help me out," and spends your money buying Zack a shirt.
6. Has phone sex with Zack.
7. Has sex with Zack.
8. Has sex with Zack, in a hotel room she paid for with your money.
9. Has sex with Zack in your home and then helps him steal your money.

I'd say the UN has pulled a 9 on us, wouldn't you? You wouldn't? Well how about this...

10. Has sex with Zack and 6 of Zacks friends before helping them steal everything out of your house... and... er.. That was after she led them to ambush you in your entryway... which left you bleeding from the ears, unconscious... and then she stuck your pinky in warm water so you pissed yourself... er... is that enough?

Okay... so THAT'S where we are with the UN. And, let's face it folks, the sex ain't that good anyway.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Dump the UN? No. Cheat on it.

There comes a time when you either dump a loved one or relegate them to booty-call status. It's when you either know you can find somebody better or would rather have no partner at all. Sometimes it is damn hard to recognize when that time has come. So much has been forgiven... what's forgiving one more thing going to hurt?

A lot.

The UN is not just not helping. It's in the way. Imagine a UN that was a dynamic force for good. This UN:
1. stops genocides rather than ignoring or tacitly encouraging them
2. discourages terrorism rather than parsing it's definition into absurdity
3. promotes individual liberty instead of legitamizing dictators

Now, imagine there simply was no United Nations... Wouldn't the U.S. and other democracies get together to create an organization that would do what our fantasy UN does in the above scenario? Of course.

Why don't they? Well... because the real UN exists.

It is time to take 90% of what we give the UN and use it to create a new League of Democratic Republics. This one will require an invitation from the U.S. We'll call you, don't call us. Once you're in you get equal billing, but the U.S. reserves the right to kick your ass out. This one won't legitamize thugs with guns as legitimate governments. This one won't say targeting a baby carriage is not terrorism if a Jewish baby is in the carriage. This one won't give France veto power. Or Italy for that matter. Or, I don't know, Samoa.

Is it really possible to do such a thing? Why not? If W started it now it could hit the ground running by the end of his second term. Would it be expensive? Well, read this about what the UN is doing about the tsunami crisis.

We're already throwing money down a hole, and the hole only gets deeper the more we throw into it. When something really bad does happen we either fix it ourselves, since the UN is incompetent, or let it happen, since we assumed the UN would fix it until it was too late. So no, in the long term, in fact even in the medium term, it will save us money.

But, more importantly, it will do those things the UN should do, claims to do, is given money to do, but does not do. We should remain a member of the UN, we should give the UN lip service and some funding, but we should not have faith that the UN will ever be other than what it is now- a hindrance.

Update: 1/6/05
Dean's World agrees that the UN is not a positive force. And gives a good reason why people refuse to accept that it is no good.

Whenever I've found myself talking with someone defending the UN, it usually turns out to be an idealized theoretical version

I think that's everyone's experience. You still hear the same arguments being made about Communism. That alone should tell people something. Here's the permalink to Dean's World's post: He has a great quote from Mona Charon and more...