Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Stretching the Truth
by Lee

Here are a few examples of what I was talking about yesterday.  The Live8 experience, while commendable, is nothing but one enormous string of logical fallacies, specifically Appeal to Emotion and Appeal to Popularity, or some combination thereof.

Bono, lead singer of U2, said: “This is our moment, this is our time, this is our chance to stand up for what is right. Three thousand Africans, mostly children, die every day of mosquito bites. We can fix that. Nine thousand people dying every die of a preventable, treatable disease like Aids. We have got the drugs. We can help them.”

Claiming that debt relief is going to solve the malaria problem makes as much logical sense as claiming that cutting up your credit cards will rid your house of cockroaches.  The easiest, most effective, and cheapest way to combat malaria is with DDT, but the lunatics in the environmental movement have gotten DDT banned not only in western countries, but they’ve passed legislation banning western countries from selling it to third world countries.  What I don’t see is Bono calling on Greenpeace and the rest of the usual gang of environmentalist lunatics from backing off their junk science opposition to the use of DDT.

And as far as the AIDS crisis goes, who is this “we” that has the drugs?  You mean the drug companies who invest billions of dollars into these treatments and want to recoup that investment?  I think right now I’ll defer to something Andrew Sullivan, a man living with AIDS, wrote just the other day. 

“[A]lthough basic scientific research must be funded by government, the ‘evil’ pharmaceutical companies are, in fact, among the most beneficent organizations in the history of mankind and their research in the last couple of decades will one day be recognized as the revolution it truly is. Yes, they’re motivated by profits. Duh. That’s the genius of capitalism - to harness human improvement to the always-reliable yoke of human greed. Long may those companies prosper. I owe them literally my life.”

So when Bono talks about “we” have the drugs, what he really means is “Other people have the drugs, and since Africa needs these drugs we feel it’s right to steal their work by violating their patents and letting Indian pharmaceutical companies manufacture generic versions of drugs they had no hand in developing.” And if there’s one thing that will encourage drug companies NOT to invest money in a certain area of research it’s removing the profit motive.

Actor Brad Pitt said: “By the time this concert ends this evening, 30,000 Africans will have died because of extreme poverty. By this time tomorrow evening, another 30,000. This does not make sense.

“Let us be the ones who say we do not accept that a child dies every three seconds simply because he does not have the drugs you and I have. Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life. Let us be outraged, let us be loud, let us be bold.”

I will now quote a comment left yesterday by longtime reader Sean Galbraith, who nailed this particular piece of idiocy head-on.

“Today we were told that in Africa someone dies every 3 seconds.  Given the current death rate in the USA, someone dies in the US every 1 second (give or take).  Africa has almost exactly 3 times the population of the USA (887m vs. 295m). So, basically, USA has the same death rate as Africa.”

(Update: The death rate in America isn’t the same as Africa, it’s actually nine times greater.  This doesn’t, of course, mean that I’m ignoring the problem of needless death in Africa, far from it.  But using these types of meaningless statistics to try and promote a program of debt relief, when the causes for these deaths is so nuanced and complex, is just despicable.  They’re convincing the world that all will be well in Africa, and these children will stop dying, if only the G8 will forgive Africa its debt.  And if the G8 do so, this will not change the outcome for these children one iota.  The death rate will be exactly the same five years from now as it is today, because the reason these children are dying has virtually nothing to do with debt relief and everything to do with Africa being, well, Africa.)

But the organizers know that 99% of the people watching the event aren’t going to know something like that, which is why they make these appeals based on pure emotional drivel.  Again, they’re blaming all of the problems in Africa on poverty, when the poverty is just one of the symptoms of the larger problem of the astonishingly dysfunctional society that makes up Africa.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said: “I came here to show support for all the millions of people in the world who stand to benefit if the Millennium Development Goals are reached, especially the children who will be saved from malaria or Aids, who will grow up healthy, go to school and have the chance to earn their living and enjoy life. I also came to express my thanks to the artists who are devoting their time and talents to such a vital cause.”

Of course they devoted their time and talents, that’s easy.  They just aren’t doing anything else.

Posted by Lee on 07/03/05 at 03:40 PM in Celebrity Idiots  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Killing Whitey
by Lee

What liberal media?  Here’s the latest racist hate crime that you’ll hear virtually nothing about in our mainstream media.

A typo proved tragic for Michael Robb. The popular high school tennis coach was driving down a Seattle street when he stopped his car — possibly to help a young man waving him down. He was killed seconds later by a shotgun blast in what prosecutors say was a racially motivated slaying.

The teen charged in his death, Samson Berhe, had been questioned by police several times during the previous week — including just three hours before the shooting, about a nearby burglary. Officers repeatedly checked their records for outstanding warrants, but nothing came up. They let him go.

Berhe actually did have an outstanding arrest warrant — for car theft in 2002. However, it misspelled his last name as “Berne,” an error police say is the reason officers could not take him into custody before the shooting last Sunday.

Okay, so a typo let the racist murderer go free.  Let’s continue.

Robb, 46, married and the father of a 14-month-old daughter, was white. Berhe is black.

Aha!  So the perp was black and the innocent victim was white.  Is this a hate crime?

Charging documents said Berhe had often spoken to his neighbors about killing white people. A friend, Raymond Valencia, told detectives that Berhe had said, “I got to shoot a cop or shoot a white person, you know, before I leave this world.”

A neighbor, Anna Bell Perkins, quoted Berhe as saying, “I’m going to kill all the white people” — a threat he had made at least a dozen times. She said she saw him with the shotgun outside his home Sunday morning.

And there’s more.

During interviews with detectives Berhe called them “all you haters” and “all you (expletive) white people,” charging papers said. He refused to answer questions, but instead made faces, spit and drooled. He flexed his biceps and challenged detectives.

Odd, isn’t it, that there wasn’t a single use of the phrase “hate crime” in their entire article.  Can you imagine this incident taking place with the racial roles reversed, and the press not using “hate crime” to describe it?

Once again, hate crimes cannot be committed by anyone except white males.  Ever.  Oh, that liberal media.

Posted by Lee on 07/03/05 at 03:12 PM in The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Dead Reckoning
by Lee

I went to see the new zombie flick Land of the Dead.  It wasn’t as good as I had hoped (I liked the recent remake of Dawn of the Dead much better) but if you like zombie flicks this one is definitely worth checking out.  The practical effects (blood, gore, makeup, etc.) were quite good and thoroughly disgusting.  Romero is definitely the Orson Welles of zombie movies.

Posted by Lee on 07/03/05 at 02:03 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Money, It’s A Gas
by Lee

I just had another thought as to why this Live8 thing is pissing me off so badly.  It’s because I am being preached to not only by people who don’t have any idea what they’re talking about, but it’s by people who have the means and ability to do far more than any other individual person and don’t make any kind of personal sacrifice for doing so.  Let me elaborate.

Take someone like Madonna, for example.  Madonna is a singer.  She sings for a living.  (And bares her vagina for anyone willing to pay a buck, but let’s stick with singing.) Her big contribution to the cause of world poverty?  Spending one day out of her life doing what she does for a living.  Let me put it to you this way.  If someone came to you and said, “Hey, if you come in this Saturday and work one day for free, we could really do something about world poverty.” Who wouldn’t do something like that?  I, as your average working stiff, can’t do much on my own, but I would gladly go to work one day of my off time if it meant something really beneficial could happen.

The distinction here, of course, is that Madonna isn’t a regular working stiff, she’s a multi-gagillionaire.  She could very easily endow a charity with $20 million dollars to provide a poverty-stricken area of Africa with a hospital.  With proper management of the endowment she could do some real good to some poor people.  Now, look at people like Elton John, or Bono, the latter whose big contribution to world poverty was to fly around Africa with the treasury secretary a couple of years ago.  Do you see my point?  These pampered celebrity fucks are taking the moral high ground, expecting the G8 to excuse hundreds of billions of dollars in debt to these third world nations, yet the most they are willing to do on their own (where their money is concerned) is spend one day doing their job.  And let’s not kid ourselves, either.  They’re showing up in limousines with their full entourage, hanging out in the artists area with all of their song-and-dance ilk, telling each other what a wonderful thing they’re doing, then going home to their mansions, or taking their private jets back to America. 

These hypocritical pricks have benefitted more from free market capitalism than anyone, yet they are more than happy to look at the working man with righteous indignation and tell us how we need to “give something back.” How much has Oprah given back to the continent her ancestors came from?  She’s a billionaire, and could EASILY fund 20 hospitals in Africa.  Where are they?  Where is Oprah’s contribution to world poverty?

These people make me sick, simply because they expect everyone else to do something that they would never do themselves:  sacrifice.  It’s really easy to demand sacrifice when you’ve got more money than you could ever possibly spend.  Their idea of sacrificing is spending an afternoon doing their job.  What an inspiration.

Update: A few people in the comments to this post have pointed out that Oprah does make significant charitable contributions.  Okay, fair enough, I don’t know shit about Oprah.  I just pulled a few names out of my ass to make a point.  But my overall point is that, out of the hundreds of performers who are taking part in this thing today, how many of them have donated more than their time?  If these people are going to assume a posture of moral superiority by encouraging us to give to charity, I want to know how much of Brad Pitt’s $20 million that he got for his last movie he gave to charity.  Let’s remove the layers of transparency and let these people lead by example.  Bill Gates’ foundation is a perfect example, you can find out exactly what he gave money to and how much he gave.  If someone wants to keep their charitable contributions private, don’t come appealing to me to “give back” to a community that I never took anything from in the first place.

Posted by Lee on 07/02/05 at 08:17 PM in Celebrity Idiots  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

I Can’t Take It
by Lee

Well, I’ve had the vapid Live 8 on for 15 minutes, and I can’t handle it anymore.  To hear a bunch of preening MTV dickheads telling me how I should feel about African debt relief, not to mention a bunch of rock stars, 75% of whom will never be heard from in a few years, it’s just driving me crazy.  (Think I’m joking about the 75%?  Here’s a list of the performers and presenters who participated at Live Aid in 1985.  See how many of them you’ve heard from recently.)

For the record, I don’t have any problem with African debt relief.  But relieving the debt is only a fraction of the problem, and these clueless twats at this show are acting like debt relief is going to immediately change the world, and it isn’t.  Think of Africa as someone who really, really can’t manage their money.  If someone rings up $20,000 in credit card debt, is it going to solve the problem to just get the debt absolved?  Of course not, because the problem wasn’t the availability of credit, it was the inability to stay out of trouble in the first place.

We in the west give out money to these nations that has fewer strings attached to it than most tampons.  It’s time to change this practice.  Let’s dangle debt relief over their heads and DEMAND that, in return for the relief, we expect democratic reforms, free market reforms, access to the entire continent by aid workers, those sort of things.  We can help with debt relief, but not in the finger-snapping way that these ignorant MTV shitbags are claiming it will.

This reminds me of the Die Hippie Die! episode of South Park.  Remember the hippies at the hippie music jam?  “Wooooooo!  We’re using the power of rock to change the world!  Woooooooo!” Of course, none of them actually had any idea how to change the world, and none of them cared.  This is what 99% of the people attending or viewing this event think, that Africa would be fucking Disneyland if it wasn’t for the greed of the poopyhead leaders playing golf at the G8 conference.  It’s distilling a very serious issue down into a one-sentence concept.

I once said that liberals don’t believe in anything that won’t fit on a bumper sticker.  This is the perfect example.  “African Debt Relief NOW!” That’s a coherent policy for fighting poverty?  It’s nothing but one small piece of an astonishingly large problem.  If you want a better idea of what we’re facing, read this classic essay from Kim DuToit, a true African-American.  This is like treating AIDS with a band-aid.

I’m not saying that debt relief is a bad idea.  It’s a good idea, and overall I totally agree with it.  But if we have a list of the ten most pressing problems facing Africa right now, debt relief is number 10, and we still have the other 9 to deal with.  It would be like if you were in the middle of an earthquake, there was a tornado heading right towards your house, a huge flood was heading your way, a volcano had just erupted down the street, and some guy came up to you and told you that Congratulations!  We’ve absolved you of your $200,000 credit card debt!  I don’t know anyone who would turn down debt absolution, but how is that going to solve all the other problems or, in the grand scheme of things, improve your life? 

It isn’t.

What else can the G8 do?  Remove their astonishing levels of tariffs and subsidies for agricultural products.  We have these here in the US to a degree most people don’t realize, but we’re pikers compared to Europe.  Developing nations are, by definition, based on an agrarian economy.  (Think of the US before the industrial revolution.) Until there is development of resources and of capital and infrastructure, the best way that a country can pull itself from poverty is to grow something and sell it to someone else.  (This isn’t just for Africa, either.  Most of the former Soviet Bloc states are based on largely agricultural economies, because while Western Europe was flourishing under varying levels of capitalism and technology, Eastern Europe had the benefit of Soviet technology.  Which is to say, none.) So, if we want to help Africans, the best thing we can do is create a market for the stuff they can sell.  Right now that consists of two things, agricultural products and African artwork.  The African artwork market isn’t large enough to sustain a country, and they can’t sell their agricultural products here because of our protectionist tariffs.  The best thing we could ever do for Africa would be to remove these tariffs, but there isn’t a chance in hell of the G8 ever doing this, because there is WAY too much money involved in protecting industries and jobs back home.

This whole event is such feel-good bullshit, and this was exemplified by an interview I saw a minute ago.  They had some black female hip-hop performer (whose name I didn’t catch, and I didn’t recognize her) being interviewed by some MTV guy who probably graduated high school two years ago.  He asked her if she had learned anything from the experience of performing here.  “Yeeah, yeeah, yeeah.  I learned about the G8 about a week ago, you know, when I got asked to take part in this.” I, as someone who takes a serious interest in global politics, am supposed to take advice from some ignoramus who had no idea what the G8 was until A WEEK AGO? 

Give me a break.  Hear that clicking sound?  It was me turning off the TV.  I can appreciate the need for debt relief without being preached to by a bunch of brainless morons who know absolutely nothing about this issue.

Posted by Lee on 07/02/05 at 06:04 PM in Celebrity Idiots  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

20 Years
by Lee

Live8 has begun.

Paul McCartney and U2’s Bono rocked London’s Hyde Park with a rousing performance of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” on Saturday to kick off the main event in the Live 8 extravaganza rolling around the globe from Tokyo to Johannesburg.

A thunderous roar erupted from the crowd of 150,000 as the two performers belted out the first line: “It was 20 years ago today ...” - a nod to the mammoth Live Aid concerts that raised millions for African famine relief two decades ago.

It wasn’t really 20 years ago today, because Live Aid was held on July 13.  But boy, does that bring back some memories!

In 1985 I was living in Aberdeen, Scotland.  I was 15.  Like just about everyone else in the civilized world I was laying on my ass watching the concert on TV.  Dad came in and said he was going to the hardware store and asked if I wanted to go.  Sure, why not.

We got in the car and I put Radio 1 on to continue listening to the show.  We got to the store, Dad bought what he needed, and we took off back to the house.  Neither one of us was saying anything.  I was listening to the show and Dad was thinking about God knows what.  All of a sudden he side-swiped a couple of parked cars.  I looked out my side of the car (they drive on the left, remember, so I was sitting in the front left seat) and the side mirror was all busted and hanging off.  The weird thing was, Dad wasn’t making any attempt to slow down.

“Aren’t you going to stop?”

“No, why?”

“You just hit that car!”

Dad’s reply was classic:  “What car?”

Basically he had been so absorbed in his thoughts that he hadn’t noticed that he’d sideswiped a parked car, but when I pointed out the demolished side mirror he pulled over.  He got out, looked at the damage done to his car, and the expected stream of expletives came flying forth.  “God damn motherfucking son of a bitch.” He then had to walk back down the street a ways to survey the damage he had done to the other car, which was similar in scope to the damage to his own.  Eventually he found the owner of the other car, an old man of about 90.  The site of my father, a huge, hulking beast of a man talking to a tiny, frail, old guy of no more than 5’1” was priceless.  Dad gave him his address and insurance information and we went home, where Mom and I had a good laugh about the whole thing.

The very next day we were leaving the UK to go on vacation in America.  I don’t remember why, but Mom was taking the two boys (my brother and I) and going on her own, and Dad was going to meet up with us a short time later in the US.  We first had to fly British Airways from Aberdeen to London’s Heathrow Airport, where we were connecting to a PanAm flight to the US.  As we we walked through the PanAm section we passed a couple of longhaired guys.  I glanced over and thought to myself, “That guy looks like Ronnie James Dio.” It was about five seconds later that my 3-volt 15 year old brain registered the fact that it was, indeed, Ronnie James Dio, and the guy with him was his guitarist Vivian Campbell.  But the really cool thing was that, our of all the t-shirts I could have chosen to wear on the trip, I had on my Dio “Last In Line” tour shirt. 

As you can imagine I spazzed out.  “Mom!  Give me a pan and a piece of paper!  Quick!” She reached into her purse and grabbed her pen and the first blank paper she could find, the boarding pass for the BA flight we had just gotten off.  I turned around and Ronnie and Viv had seen me in the shirt and were waving.  I ran over, got their autographs, and started talking.  You couldn’t meet two nicer guys, which was surprising, since Dio had a reputation for being a real egomaniacal asshole.  They were on their way to Philadelphia, which I remember because that was the other city that had hosted Live Aid.  We talked for 10 or 15 minutes, during which time all kinda of guys, including a US soldier stationed in Germany, came up to meet the guys.  They couldn’t have been cooler.  Eventually they had to split and so did I, but the meeting was the highlight of the trip my 15 year old self.

20 years ago.  Un-fucking-believable.

Posted by Lee on 07/02/05 at 01:19 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Give Us Free
by Lee

The TV tonight has been peppered with this ad featuring some crusty old America-hating Marxist has-been Nelson Mandela begging the Western G8 nations to tear up Africa’s IOUs, essentially implying that their foreign debt is the only thing keeping these backwards, corrupt, despotic nations from being bastions of freedom and democracy.

Posted by Lee on 07/02/05 at 01:04 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, July 01, 2005

Never In A Million Years
by Lee

I wasn’t really surprised when Freddy Mercury announced he was gay.  When Rob Halford came out I was shocked, but immediately it seemed so obvious, with the chains and leather and studs and stuff.  But never, ever would I have seen this one coming.

Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister is a Rock n Roll icon. His legendary band MOTORHEAD has been going on strong for over 30 years, and there looks like no signs of the band, or the man faltering.

“I play Rock n’ Roll to the max,” he told VH1, “Motorhead are a Rock n’ Roll band, devoted to partying, booze, and sex”. Sex is something Lemmy Kilmister is renowned for. The man claims to have bedded thousands of women, including ladies from Penthouse and Playboy. Lemmy isn’t the most good looking of all chaps, but he’s definitely turns humans on, whether with his music or with his lifestyle.

But has his life been all women all the time?

“People have difficulties overcoming guilt”, Lemmy said, “One thing that makes us feel guilty is our sexuality. I know many good people who are gay or bisexual, and I’m proud to say that I can Rock and booze with the best of them. Why? Well, because I am one.”

You heard right, Lemmy has decided to come clean and spill the truth out to all his fans.

“My sexual urge for females was always a driving force to the music. Songs like ‘Limb From Limb’ and ‘Make My Day’ were written as odes to the female body. But sometimes we, as men, can not always find females to be the more… err… nourishing gender sometimes. Y’know what I mean? Sometimes this… feeling takes you over and you wanna experiment and try out new stuff. I am proud of being a bisexual, and this still doesn’t mean I don’t want a little bit of p**** on the side (laughs).”

“Prejudices are always hard to break. But I don’t give a shit about what others think of me. Motorhead has never been about the critics. It’s all the music. Just because I enjoy some guys doesn’t mean jack. I still churn out the music every fucking night, all the fucking time. I am proud of my fans, and they know that I always give 100%.”

Wow.  Words fail me.

Update: And speaking of Rob Halford, I have two tickets to go see Judas Priest and Queensryche next weekend at the Verizon Amphitheater.  My friend that was going to go with me has had to pull out at the last minute.  Any SoCal Priest fans out there?

Posted by Lee on 07/01/05 at 09:00 PM in Celebrity Idiots  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Insult Thread
by Lee

Anything goes.  Leave your sensibilities at the door.  Hit me with your best, most offensive shot, and expect it in return.

Welcome to Thunderdome.

Update: And just so I’m clear on this, NOTHING SAID IN HERE IS PERSONAL.  This is just insults for fun, to see who can come up with the most offensive insult of all time.  There are no lines here that are not to be crossed.  Leave your morals out here, and come on in.

Posted by Lee on 07/01/05 at 08:15 PM in Fun and Humor  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Cancer Hysteria #49,921
by Lee

Somewhere in the world Tom Cruise is jumping up and down on a couch and laughing his ass off.

As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration moved to examine a potential link between Ritalin and cancer, the scientists who first unearthed the connection stressed Friday that the finding was preliminary and should not be cause for panic.

The concerns about the drug, a stimulant that has been used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for decades, surfaced during a FDA pediatrics advisory committee meeting Thursday. The findings, by researchers from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, showed damage to the chromosomes of 12 children who had taken Ritalin for three months.

The advisory committee had been called to discuss yet another health issue surrounding the class of ADHD medications known as methylphenidates, to which Ritalin belongs: Some psychiatric side effects have been reported among children using Concerta, Ritalin and other versions of these drugs.

The study was financed by the L. Ron Hubbard Foundation to Enrich L. Ron Hubbard’s Heirs.

Posted by Lee on 07/01/05 at 08:13 PM in Science and Technology  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Strategerie
by Lee

Everyone knows that this is going to be the biggest political fight in years.  Here’s what I would do if I was Bush.  I’d pick a real right-wing ideologue and nominate him, knowing that the Democrats would go apeshit.  Why?  Because he’d be a throw-away candidate.  Let the Democrats go crazy, let them filibuster and obstruct government.  After the public is good and sick of the political posturing and gridlock, Bush withdraws the nomination and puts up a more libertarian candidate, a federalist in the Scalia/Thomas camp.  The Democrats wouldn’t have the balls to filibuster two candidates in a row, especially when Bush appears to have taken the high road by withdrawing his initial nomination and choosing someone more pleasing to the Democrats demands.

The Democrats have nothing but invective and obstruction.  Let the public see them in action.

Posted by Lee on 07/01/05 at 04:47 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Abortion Politics
by Lee

I told you it would all come down to abortion.  Here’s Planned Parenthood.

On the heels of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s resignation this morning, Planned Parenthood, the nationwide advocate and provider of reproductive health care services is rallying pro-choice activists everywhere and urging President Bush to select nominees who will protect and defend our right to make our own childbearing choices.

Don’t you love how they can’t just talk about abortion for what it is?  They refer to it in terms as “childbearing choices.” Bush is all about choice, as in the choice not to get pregnant in the first place.  Look, I’m not an anti-abortion guy, but I also don’t disguise what abortion is.  It’s a vile procedure in which a human fetus is killed.  It’s not a “childbearing choice.” Here’s how People for the American Way describe the situation.

President Bush has suggested that his models for future appointments are Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who are eager to overturn Roe v. Wade and its recognition of a constitutional right to privacy.

The Roe case is about a right to privacy?  Uh, no.  The Roe case was about divining the right to a medical procedure out of the right to privacy, which is utterly absurd on its face.  And besides, there isn’t an explicit right to privacy in the Constitution, only an implied right.  Again, they can’t refer to abortion as being a procedure where a fetus is violently sucked from its mother’s womb, it’s a “childbearing choice” and a “right to privacy.” And, of course, MoveOn issued a press release.

Don’t nominate and extremist who will undermine the rights of individuals and families as the President did in the Terry Schiavo case several months ago. Protect our rights.

The Schiavo case?  Why would MoveOn care about the Schiavo case?  It’s not like MoveOn has any respect for the constitutional limits on federal power, nor any long-expressed admiration for the protections of federalism.  (This was why I was so against the Schiavo meddling.) It’s because the Schiavo case concerned the right to life of an individual, versus the right of others to make decisions concerning the termination of that life.  In other words, it’s about the underlying concepts behind the “right” to an abortion.

See?  I told you so.

Posted by Lee on 07/01/05 at 03:48 PM in Abortion  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Seeking Justice
by Lee

Wow, I wake up to this.

Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court and a swing vote on abortion as well as other contentious issues, announced her retirement Friday. A bruising Senate confirmation struggle loomed as President Bush pledged to name a successor quickly.

“It has been a great privilege indeed to have served as a member of the court for 24 terms,” the 75-year-old justice wrote Bush in a one-paragraph resignation letter. “I will leave it with enormous respect for the integrity of the court and its role under our constitutional structure.”

Little more than an hour later, Bush praised O’Connor as “a discerning and conscientious judge and a public servant of complete integrity.” He said he would recommend a replacement who will “faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our country.”

Let’s see who Bush picks, whether it’s a rigid socially conservative ideologue, or more of a states-rights libertarian type.  The whole thing is going to come down to abortion, because that’s the main “right” that the left in this country wants to protect.  The Democrats will never, ever, support a candidate who is against abortion.  And since the MoveOn crowd is undoubtedly going to go into overdrive on this one, see if you can guess who said this.

George W. Bush is not going to appoint justices who would overturn Roe vs. Wade. He hasn’t done it in Texas, and that’s the only track record we have to look at. He’s appointed moderate justices who have upheld Texas abortion laws. He’s not a right-wing ideologue, he’s a politician, and he’ll do whatever he has to do to get elected. He reads the poll numbers, and two-thirds of the American public is pro-choice. It is part of our American culture, it will never go away. And in fact, all of the Supreme Court decisions lately that have upheld abortion have been because the Republican, Reagan-appointed Sandra Day O’Connor, Bush-appointed David Souter and Ford-appointed Justice Stevens have all been the ones upholding abortion. One of Clinton’s appointees, Breyer, is becoming very conservative.  We just don’t know.  Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren, and that became the most liberal court of the last hundred years. It’s a guessing game, and I’m not going to make my choice on presidents based on this sort of thing.

That, my friends, was the calm, reasoned, logical Michael Moore, in an 2000 interview.

Posted by Lee on 07/01/05 at 02:59 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sellos Raciales Negros
by Lee

Oh crap, I’ll bet the multiculturalists’ heads are exploding over this one.

he White House on Thursday objected to a postage stamp issued by the Mexican government, saying that “racial stereotypes are offensive no matter what their origin” and have no place in today’s world.

The stamp depicts an exaggerated black cartoon character known as Memin Pinguin, drawn with exaggerated features, thick lips and wide-open eyes. His appearance, speech and mannerisms are the subject of kidding by white characters in the comic book, which started in the 1940s and is still published in Mexico.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said it was “an internal issue for Mexico and the postal authorities that issued the stamp. With that said, I would like to make a couple of points. Racial stereotypes are offensive no matter what their origin. The Mexican government needs to take this into account. Images like these have no place in today’s world.”

Mexico said that like Speedy Gonzalez — a cartoon mouse with a Mexican accent that debuted in the United States in 1953 — the Memin Pinguin character shouldn’t be interpreted as a racial slur.

Activists have also called on the Mexican government to withdraw the stamp.

“One would hope the Mexican government would be a little more careful and avoid continually opening wounds,” said Sergio Penalosa, an activist in Mexico’s small black community on the southern Pacific coast.

“But we’ve learned to expect anything from this government, just anything,” Penalosa said.

Okay, check out the stamp.

image

By today’s standards, that’s pretty racist.  So, in order to be sensitive to American blacks—who are so thin skinned that the slightest thing causes them to run into a corner, curl into a ball, and cry—the Mexican government should recall these stamps.  However, according to multiculturalism all cultures are equal in merit, and no individual culture is permitted to judge another based upon the individual culture’s standards.  Obviously this isn’t racist in Mexico, so which American group does the multiculturalist pander to?  Do they suck up to the American blacks, pointing out how this is nothing but racist filth?  Or do they suck up to the American Mexicans, who should be proud of their national heritage?  And should the American blacks, in the interests of being respectful of other cultures and traditions, celebrate Mexico’s racist stamps?

Man, I love watching leftist idiocy implode on itself.

Posted by Lee on 07/01/05 at 01:04 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Power to the People
by Lee

If this blog report is accurate, I have never read a statement before that so perfectly crystallizes the difference between American thinking and that of our continental European cousins.

If it is bad it has to be America. That is the leitmotiv of Louis Michel, the European Commissioner of Development and Humanitarian Aid. Michel was interviewed today by the Flemish magazine Knack about the recent European Summit.

In the interview Michel, who is a eurofederalist and hence (one would think) a proponent of a federal European superstate which would turn the EU into a genuine United States of Europe, blames London for wanting to… turn the EU into the US.

“I only know that the British did not want the summit to be a success,” Michel says: “[The British] have a different kind of roadmap. They want Europe to be a purely economic space. If we follow them we risk turning the EU into a miniature copy of the United States. If we restrict the EU to a free market association without common rules, without this constitution, without shared political values, then Europe will no longer be able to make the citizens dream.”

He’s got it exactly ass-backwards.  The reason the Constitutional EU will be a failure is precisely because of the differente cultures there.  There is no “European” identity.  The members of each nation speak their own language—French or Italian or Spanish or Greek or German—have their own values, their own goals, and their own vision for their future.  Nobody sees themselves as being a European first and an Italian/Frenchman/German second, they see themselves primarily as what they are: French or German or British or Italian or Irish or what have you.  There is no singular set of values or language or culture that binds the people of Europe together.  The ONLY thing binding them together is their shared economic interest.

In contrast, the citizens of the United States see themselves primarily as Americans, and to a much lesser extent a New Yorker or a Texan or a Californian.  We have a common language, a shared culture, and largely similar values.  This is why there is cohesion in this country, why it works.  And Europe will never be able to replicate it for this very reason.

Commenting on the recent referendums Michel remarked: “It is said that the citizens are always right. Why do they have to be always right? Even I am not always right! But I am prepared to admit this. Why would the citizens not admit it? Politicians should not follow the citizens blindly, they should go in front of the people and show them the way.”

What this dunce fails to realize is that the idea isn’t that the people are always right, it is that the people should get what they want.  And that, generally speaking, the people are usually right.  Think of representative democracy as being the world’s largest futures market.  Everyone votes on what they think the best policy will be for the future, or who the best candidate is.  And if there is an error, the people will correct it the next opportunity they get.  Democracy is very much like the free market in that respect, it’s a fully self-correcting entity.  But here we see the elitist, left-wing, bourgeois mentality of the riff-raff listening to their political betters, who know better than the ignorant public what is best for society.  (Kinda sounds like the logic behind the Kelo decision, doesn’t it?)

If you want the people to trust in the EU, the EU is going to have to trust in the wisdom of the people.  And obviously that’s never going to happen.

Posted by Lee on 07/01/05 at 12:20 AM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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