Monthly Archives: April 2008

Tibet

China is claiming attacks from inside and outside and is embarrassed beyond belief by the constant interference by protesters against the Olympic torch procession. China is taking a hard line about things, threatening athletes who express opinions the Chinese government doesn’t like with expulsion from the games.

What I’d like to discover is where the radical anti-war groups are in this popular protest against Chinese tyranny in Tibet. This appears to be action by people who are truly concerned with Tibet, as contrasted with the La Raza and Code Pink rallies, which are led by groups like International ANSWER and the Revolutionary Communist Party. Are the usual anti-war groups showing up to protest against China? Or do they only protest against America?

Update
Zombietime and Ginna Allison have excellent photo reports on the fabulous torch relay disappearing act in San Francisco. Even David Copperfield would have had trouble making this protest disappear as well as SF’s thin blue line did the trick.

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Leftism is a Gnostic perversion of Christianity

And that’s not good. At all. So says Gagdad Bob in a brilliant essay, via Dissecting Leftism. Here is a taste.

Being that we all live in “Christendom” — that is, a culture shaped and animated (in the literal sense of “given life”) by Judeo-Christian principles — I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that we share its underlying assumptions about the “brokenness” of man and the world. But where the progressive goes off the rails is in supposing there is some secret political formula that can reverse the fall and restore us to wholeness. Thus, the ubiquitous frenzied moral passion that always animates the left. Leftists are always exaggeratedly pessimistic about the present state of the world, but “optimistic” in a crazed and manic way that steamrules over anyone who would dare delay the immediate implementation of paradise.

From Marx on down, the leftist fallacy follows from turning spiritual Truth on its head (or “inside-out”), so that man’s spiritual crisis is seen as a material one (e.g. “robber barons,” “global warming,” “global cooling,” “nuclear power,” “income disparity,” “corporate greed,” etc.) instead of a psycho-spiritual one. This is the “fundamental assumption” which adherents of all the variant progressive systems within our epoch unconsciously presuppose.

For example, the progressive would say that Palestinians aren’t evil, they’re just poor. Which precisely inverts the truism that they are poor because they are evil (except for the few who are extraordinarily wealthy because they are evil, having been enriched by the largesse of Western progressives who give them money because they think it will stop them from being evil, when it always does the opposite, thus ensuring a constant cash flow from backward progressives).

Read the whole darn thing.

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Good News from Afghanistan

Via Michelle Malkin, Ray Robinson argues that the biased western media is spinning progress in Afghanistan as failure (for instance by spinning the fact that the Taliban have been kicked out of towns and villages and live in the desert as the Taliban having control of vast swathes of [desert] land) and lists some of the metrics of progress in Afghanistan.

  1. The Afghan Army is growing in size, experience, and leadership capabilities.
  2. A recent study found that 90% of the Afghan population trusted the country’s military force.
  3. More than 4,000 km of roads have been built where only 50 km existed in 2001.
  4. The rehabilitation of the North-East power system has advanced and access of the rural households to electricity has been significantly increased.
  5. In 2007 alone, ISAF nations completed 1,080 civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) projects.
  6. 2,000 schools were built or repaired in the last five years and around 6.4 million children (including 1.5 million girls) are now in schools.
  7. Since 2001, both infant and under-five mortality has declined by 26% and 22% respectively.
  8. In 2001, 8% of Afghans had access to some form of healthcare. Now more than 80% of the population has access to medical care.
  9. The non-opium economy has grown at an average of 12% over the past four years; the number of poppy-free provinces has grown from six in 2006 to 13 in 2007.
  10. Afghan public support for international involvement in Afghanistan remains high with around 70% of Afghans supporting the presence of international forces.
  11. The majority of Afghans believe their country is going in the right direction and 84% support their current government (as opposed to 4% who would support the Taliban).
  12. They also maintain a positive view of reconstruction efforts with 63% saying that reconstruction efforts in their area have been effective since 2002.

Apology

I have spread plenty of bad news about Afghanistan and Pakistan here, and some of these posts have been the most popular posts on my blog for a long time. To some extent this is because of fascination with the evil propagated by some of the Afghans who match bin Laden and Zawahiri for evil, such as Hekmatyar and the Dadullah brothers, Mullah and Mansoor. But that is not an excuse for despairing in the face of the relentless media bias. I’m sorry I despaired and doubly sorry if I led any others to despair.

Do not despair, dear reader. Be strong, be faithful, know thyself and that which dwells in thy heart. Be an active consumer of the news. Don’t simply fall for what is in the news, especially do not do as I did and lend extra credence to local news from Pakistani and Afghan publications simply because the sources are exotic. News product from dictatorships and monocultures does not come from a free media. It is a different kind of product entirely.

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Reading List: Foundations of the American System of Government

Updated

The Internet in general, and WikiSource in particular, is a wonderful thing. This is a mostly chronological reading list on the foundational documents of the American system of government.

The Magna Carta (The Great Charter), 1297
The 1215 version imposed upon John was repealed shortly after being signed. The 1297 version remains in legal force in England and Wales to this day. It records the rights of the nobility and of freemen and restricts the rights of the King and his Government by holding them subject to the Law.
The Law of Nations
The Law of Nations is the science which teaches the rights subsisting between nations or states, and the obligations correspondent to those rights. States (be they city states or later nation states) have attributes that they get as larger parts above normal society. The Law is distilled from the historical actions of states that behaved admirably, tempering justice with mercy and reinforcing faith with reason. The Law of Nations is voluntary. Yet by becoming a state, the nascent state takes on the attributes of a state, like it or not: attributes such as embassies, treaties, truces, declarations, taxes, import duties, armies, militias, a mint, internal laws, etc. The Law informed the American founding documents, which left implicit many of its premises and conclusions.
The Articles of Association, 1774
The Articles of Association were a petition of grievances against Great Britain by the American colonies, and a compact among them to collectively impose economic sanctions to pressure a resolution. The Articles were drafted by the First Continental Congress in 1774 and were an important formative document in the history of the United States that perhaps hastened the American Revolution, though they were intended instead to alter Britain’s policies towards the colonies without severing allegiance. [link]
United States Declaration of Independence, 1776
The first of three Charters of Freedom declared the colonies independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain and explained the reasons why this must be. It was ratified on July 4, 1776. This is why July 4 is celebrated as Independence Day in the USA.
Articles of Confederation, 1777
The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, or, more commonly, just the Articles of Confederation, was the first governing document of the United States of America. The articles, which combined the 13 colonies of the American Revolutionary War into a loose confederation, were adopted by the Second Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, after 16 months of debate. The articles were ratified three years later on March 1, 1781. [link]
Constitution of the United States of America
The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. It was completed on September 17, 1787, with its adoption by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was later ratified by special conventions in each state. It created a federal union of sovereign states, and a federal government to operate that union. It replaced the less defined union that had existed under the Articles of Confederation. It took effect on March 4, 1789 and has served as a model for the constitutions of numerous other nations. The Constitution of the United States of America is the oldest written national constitution in use. [link]
The Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 pseudonymous articles written mostly by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. They were first published serially in New York City newspapers. A compilation, called The Federalist, was published in 1788. The Federalist Papers serve as a primary source for interpretation of the Constitution, as they outline the philosophy and motivation of the proposed system of government. [link]
Antifederalist Papers
The Antifederalist Papers were written pseudonymously by several patriots who believed that the Constitution without any enumeration of individual rights at all would be a prescription for tyranny. It was highly influential in the passage of the Bill of Rights and its attachment to the Constitution. They are arranged in one-to-one correspondence to the Federalist paper against which they argue. See here for more.
United States Bill of Rights, 1789
In the United States, the Bill of Rights is the term for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments explicitly limit the Federal government’s powers, protecting the rights of the people by preventing Congress from abridging freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religious worship, and the right to bear arms, preventing unreasonable search and seizure, cruel and unusual punishment, and self-incrimination, and guaranteeing due process of law and a speedy public trial with an impartial jury. In addition, the Bill of Rights states that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” and reserves all powers not specifically granted to the Federal government to the citizenry or States. [link]

Additional amendments to the United States Constitution
These are additional amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America added after the first ten amendments on the United States Bill of Rights (ratified in 1791) have been ratified . There are 17 additional amendments to date, ratified from 1795 to 1992.
Some Unsuccessful attempts to amend the United States Constitution
There have been over ten thousand attempts to amend the United States Constitution. This is a list of a few of the more recent or interesting ones.

Enjoy!

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Was the Iraq War in 2003 legal?

A Jacksonian covers the bases with his usual thoroughness.

Conclusion: Yes.

Explanation: Desert Storm 1 was a war undertaken to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. After Saddam Hussein asked for a ceasefire the war was in truce, but it was not over. The truce had terms, and Saddam kept on breaking them. Yet nobody did anything about it, until finally, in 2003, the US had enough, plus there was a realization that even distant threats can have terrible effects at home. The definitions of all these terms are defined in the ancient and venerable Law of Nations, which is a extra-Constitutional legal code that preceded the Constitution and paralleled British Common Law.

He covers the entire range of questions from an originalist perspective, from treatment of captured Air Pirates and other illegal enemy combatants (not soldiers, who must by the laws of war have a uniform to distinguish them from civilians) to what it means to seize a country’s embassy and kidnap its staff (an act of War).

Read it all.

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Paglia on Hillary’s Girly Men

Hillarious

April 9, 2008 | I would like to get your feedback on the subject of those who end up in Hillary’s orbit. Can you conceive of a strong, leader-type male ever working under her? An alpha, if you will. And if the answer is no, then why do you think that is?

The men you always see under her are to a person passive-aggressive, sadistic, mean, little, petty beta-male pieces of work who would not naturally succeed in a common male-type hierarchy. By that I mean an environment that values straightforward achievement rather than the darker political arts.

That statement is in no way meant to exclude women. In fact, I work with many women who succeed just as well in this environment. It is just a shorthand for an environment that values achievement and straight talk. Hillary’s persona is simply not compatible with another strong will, male or female — but definitely male, and that itself is a big red flag.

What kind of person would go to work for a Clinton in the first place? A naive true-believer? Everyone knows what they would be getting into: constant war rooms, personal attacks, spin, daily damage control, a boss prone to temper tantrums, placing your own integrity out on the ledge as a shill for a fundamentally dishonest person. I would argue that nobody who hasn’t already sold their soul years ago would ever want to be a part of that mess.

Your thoughts?

Chris Richard
Agoura Hills, Calif.

You have succinctly expressed one of the most unsettling aspects of Hillary Clinton‘s character and modus operandi.

I would have answered that, “Could you repeat the question?”

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Fame Behind Bars Open Post and Trackback

Ever feel trapped? Buried under a world of problems? Conspired against by everyone? Locked behind bars? Separated from the opposite sex? Unable to speak with your family? Was it ever so bad that Laura Branigan became your lifeline?

I didn’t think so. Me neither. Must have been two other guys.

This is an open post and trackback. Hold forth on any topic you like.

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Where is Scalia wrong on abortion?

Joseph Farah has an idea. The Preamble to the United States Constitution goes like this.

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

Note that the blessings of liberty are secured for ourselves and our posterity. Who would our posterity be? The answer is our posterity is our children, both those who are and those who are yet to be.

Add the Fifth Amendment’s “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” and the Fourteenth Amendment

“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Together, Farah argues, these guarantee the child in the womb the right of due process against the deprivation of life. Add in the Sixth Amendment, which defines how due process works.

“Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

Scalia has not found the subject of abortion in the Constitution. Farah believes he has found it. Not being a lawyer myself, I’m not sure I can tell a sound legal argument from an unsound one.

Anybody else know if from the originalist position Scalia is wrong on this and Farah is right?

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Pity Party: AngryJournalist.com

First, visit angryjournalist.com. Then come back. If you have an emotional feeling, think on it. What is it?

Some call the feeling schadenfreude. Some merely have a tough time wiping the big grin off their faces. Others feel sorry for those poor “journalists” who trained in college to do something that used to be a bottom-of-the-barrel job that guys got after they failed at their first career.

Others may feel inspired to imitate Dana Carvey. Well, I feel inspired to imitate Dana Carvey. Specifically, the Church Lady and her “superior dance.”

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.hulu.com
Good times…

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CPUSA supports Clinton or Obama, and Card Check

Joel Wendland writes for the Marxist electronic fishwrapper politicalaffairs.net

With the undiminished role of the labor-led people’s movement, Webb [president of the CPUSA] predicted the outcome could bring enormous change that puts people’s need before warmaking, sleaze and policies that put profits before peoples need. Such an outcome is possible regardless of whether or not Clinton or Obama wins, he stated.

The Democratic campaigns and the possibility for change have eroded disillusionment and apathy. The main dilemma of the left is to not be left behind in this upsurge, he said. If we are not engaged in this struggle to advance the people’s movement, we will be left behind.

This year the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) is powered by big labor and their demand for the Orwellian “Employee Free Choice Act,” also called “Card Check,” which claims to increase democracy in the workplace by taking away the secret ballot in unionization efforts. You read that right. It claims to increase democracy in the workplace by taking away the secret ballot! Its name is a bald-faced lie. Brian Faughnan notes in the Weekly Standard Blog that both Obama and Clinton are fanatics about the Card Check bill. They love it. And yet normal Americans are 60-80% opposed to Card Check, according to a poll taken by McLaughlin & Associates.

But this poll shows how unpopular Card Check is with ordinary voters. And while ‘Card Check’ or ‘Employee Free Choice Act’ may sound too abstract to form the basis of an effective attack ad, those phrases obscure the real issue: the right of a worker to vote on unionization without his boss or coworkers knowing how he voted.

In other words, the bill would encourage union organizers to use peer pressure and threats to force employees in non-union shops into signing up for unions. Without a secret ballot, there is no freedom of choice in voting. This bill would create vote fraud, plain and simple.

Vote fraud, another plank in the Democratic Party platform, along with support for Communist Party causes.

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