Saturday, October 12, 2002

Wrong Italian

Instapundit says that on Columbus Day we are celebrating the wrong Italian and links to a UPI story by Jim Bennett, who tells of being in Argentina for Columbus Day, where Columbus is widely celebrated as a hero of Hispanic America. Our hero in Anglo North America, Bennett says, should be John Cabot (Giovanni Caboti) who, in 1497, landed on Newfoundland. Even though the Vikings had a settlement at L'Anse au Meadow in Newfoundland, Cabot's landing marked the real beginning of the settlement of North America that gave the world so much political and scientific progress. So, OK, I can see celebrating Cabot Day. But Bennett fails to mention what that day should be. My trusty encyclopedia tells me it was June 24, though perhaps the landing was on what is now Cape Breton Island, not Newfoundland. Whatever. In any case, June 24 in Conundrum-land is now Cabot Day! No wonder they only talk to God.

Friday, October 11, 2002

"France will not be intimidated"
Of course not. Who could ever have imagined they would have been? Why would such a thought ever cross anyone's mind? France, our loyal ally for all these years, always first to support our actions against terrorism and to help root out Islamic radicals wherever they might be found, would never let anyone blow up a French oil tanker without the severest of penalties attaching. Would they? Boy, I bet those Al Qaeda death merchants are quaking in their boots right now!

Thursday, October 10, 2002

One job

The state has one legitimate job - to defend its people from threats internal and external. Looks like one country isn't doing the second job at all. How many other countries, in Europe and South America and elsewhere, rely entirely on the United States to defend them? And, in the name of "stability", we even defend Egypt, Syria, Jordan and, yes, Iraq, from attack by Israel, who could many times in the past have razed them flat, with good reason. And then they think they can savage the US rhetorically in every available forum. Perhaps it's time to openly declare that we will not lend any military or financial aid or assistance to any country that does not make a reasonable effort to defend itself and to root out terrorism. A sort of anti-terrorism alliance could replace NATO, whose usefulness is obviously at an end.
I like it

The Jerusalem Post has a logical suggestion which would have lots of good consequences. Funny thing is, I thought we already used Israel as a staging area and base for our operations in the Mideast. Guess not. The only possible objection I can see is that Israel has made a lot of compromises with fundamentalist Judaism which would not be allowed to any US state. But the overall point is great. If we're being blamed for siding with Israel all the time, why not go all the way and get all the benefits as well as all the harm from such an association?

Monday, October 07, 2002


I sent the following email to "":

How can you say my vote counts? When was an election last decided by one vote? If this ever happens, then one vote will count. In every election decided by more than one vote, a single vote does NOT count. Do I have to spell this out? It makes no difference to the outcome. Whether I vote or not changes nothing. Nobody gets into office, no referenda are passed or defeated based on whether I vote or not. I have no reason, whatever, then, to vote. Why should I?

Do I hear you saying, "But what if everyone thought like that?"? Well, what if they did? Each would be right, with reference to his own vote. The illusion that one vote counts has only one consequence: it gives power to politicians who make their living by swaying more than one vote, that is, by "making other people's decisions for them." But, hey, didn't your intro say we didn't want people to do that?

The site has a slick flash intro obviously aimed at the younger set. I worry about being so anti-voting. I don't really have any other system to suggest to replace voting, but that doesn't allow me to ignore its irrationalities. Maybe the best point I can make is that, because voting is so irrational, a government selected by such a system should have as little power as possible.
Somebody's not paying attention

This NYT article (via Jane Galt) chides the administration for not forcing the Turks to "address undemocratic practices" when we are enforcing a "democracy agenda" on Iraq by military means. Did the editorial writer ever hear of the "war on terror"? I could have sworn I'd seen it mentioned, even in the Times, that we were primarily interested in changing the Iraqi regime because they might attack us with WMD and could hand off these weapons to Al Qaeda, who we know would have no compunctions about using them on us. Reforming their political system is a definite minor objective of this long-delayed war. And however democratic Turkey might be, if it were threatening to use WMD on us, we would attack it as well. The idiotarians are blinded by their hallucination that America is only out to build an "empire" by imposing its version of democracy on everyone who opposes them. If they admitted for a moment that Iraq might actually pose a threat, their vision would evaporate.

And for the editor to say that 9/11 underscored for Americans the dangers of embracing pro-Western autocrats in the Islamic world without regard for how they rule at home makes no sense at all. Does this mean if we had invaded Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Syria et al., and converted them to democracy earlier, 9/11 would never have happened? Can anyone actually believe such nonsense? Was our big mistake after the Gulf War not failing to continue to Baghdad but failing to force the Kuwaitis to change to a real democracy? Does bin Laden have ANY respect at all for democracy? Who writes this stuff?

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Aggresseur Musulman

LeMonde is reporting that the guy who stabbed the gay Socialist Mayor of Paris was a Muslim who didn't like "politicians" or "homosexuals". Gee, I've heard of people being anti-gay but, hating politicians?? Weird. Of course everyone jumped to the conclusion the "attentat" was carried out by one of those "LePen rightists". You don't think there could be some reason to think that Islam had something against gays, do you? Certainly they would never, for instance, kill them by pushing walls over on them or anything. It'll be interesting to see how Chomsky, Sontag, Fisk and Said blame this on the US. Oh, and that little matter of blowing up an oil tanker in Yemen. I'm sure C,S,F &S will come up with a perfectly good reason why terrorists should target a FRENCH tanker. Time to crank up the appeasement machine, Chirac. You must have been slacking. Remember, don't make them mad! Say, wasn't Chirac also shot at during the Bastille Day parade and weren't eight - EIGHT - city councilmen killed in Nanterre recently? Time to pass another gun law!!