Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Offensive Side of Liberalism in Action...

Ann Althouse and her husband Meade are offended by this liberal group's willful and untroubled disrespect of a war memorial in the Wisconsin capitol building.  So am I.  They are also very surprised.  I am not; it seems all of a piece with mainstream liberalism's general dismissal of history and distaste for forthright patriotism.

A cure for their disease suggests itself: have them go live in some hellhole like North Korea or Libya for a year or so, with a typical native family. My bet is that they'd value their country and their culture a bit more after that experience...
Mark Steyn on the Wisconsin kerfuffle:
You don’t have to go to Athens to find "public servants" happy to take it out on the public. In Madison, politicized doctors provide fake sick notes for politicized teachers to skip class. In New York's Christmas snowstorm, Sanitation Department plough drivers are unable to clear the streets, with fatal consequences for some residents. On the other hand, they did manage to clear the snow from outside the Staten Island home of Sanitation Dept head honcho John Doherty, while leaving all surrounding streets pristinely clogged. Three hundred Sanitation Department workers have salaries of over $100,000 per year. In retirement, you get a pension of 66 grand per annum plus excellent health benefits, all inflation proofed.

That's what "collective bargaining" is about: It enables unions rather than citizens to set the price of government. It is, thus, a direct assault on republican democracy, and it needs to be destroyed. Unlovely as they are, the Greek rioters and the snarling thugs of Madison are the logical end point of the advanced social democratic state: not an oppressed underclass, but a spoiled overclass, rioting in defense of its privileges and insisting on more subsidy, more benefits, more featherbedding, more government.

Big Unions fund Big Government. The union slices off two per cent of the workers’ pay and sluices it to the Democratic Party, which uses it to grow government, which also grows unions, which thereby grows the number of two-per-cent contributions, which thereby grows the Democratic Party, which thereby grows government… Repeat until bankruptcy. Or bailout.
Mr. Steyn is now frequently on Ricochet's podcasts, fills in often for Rush Limbaugh, and has started back up his non-stop commentary and writing. As always, he's a keen and knowledgable observer, and his trademark wit and humor makes learning from him a pleasure. Sure is nice to see him back on the job...

Awesome PR Piece...

The World Needs a Cop!

An article on Bloomberg this morning caught my eye and started the ponder.  The beginning of it:
The U.N.'s top human rights body on Friday began an emergency session on Libya to decide whether to condemn and ostracize the North African country for its crackdown on anti-government protesters.

It is the first time that the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council has held a special session to scrutinize one of its members.

European nations were leading the effort to condemn the crackdown ordered by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime, order a U.N.-led investigation into possible crimes against humanity and propose suspending Libya from the council.

Observers say African and Asian nations are wary of setting too strong a precedent that could be used against other human rights abusing regimes in future.

Suspending Libya's "rights of membership" under the rules for the council would require two-thirds approval of all the 192 countries in the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Human rights activists said they expect a strongly worded resolution to pass, though it might be watered down by efforts to achieve the broadest possible consensus.

While efforts to ostracize Libya from the council are being driven by Europe, the United States and some Latin American countries, Asian and African nations will be wary of setting a precedent that can be used against them or their allies in future, said Peter Splinter of Amnesty International.

"This is a test of the council and the willingness of some of its more active members, such as Pakistan, South Africa, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, to take a principled stand on human rights," he said.

In Brussels, NATO also planned to hold an emergency meeting Friday to consider the deteriorating situation in Libya. It had received no requests to intervene said it would only do so if it were given a United Nations mandate.
Where to start with this?

My first thought: the atrocity unfolding in Libya is blindingly obvious and indefensible, and Libya's ordinary people are so clearly in need of substantive help – and yet the organization charged with identifying and leading the response to such abuses is paralyzed by internal dissent.  They can't even agree to condemn the atrocity, much less actually do anything about it.  It's hard to imagine a clearer demonstration of the utter futility of both the Human Rights Council in particular and the United Nations in general.

Related thought: this is the inevitable result of cultural relativism.  Together with its closely related disease (multi-culturalism), cultural relativism has made it impossible for the world to deal effectively with Libya, the Somali pirates, and the innumerable other plagues upon our modern world.  Our collective refusal to stand up and say “Yes, our culture is better than theirs!” (for this is the essence of cultural relativism) has left us unable to police the world.  And the world dearly needs policing.  We need a cop, and these days that cop needs to carry a big, big stick.

Just to pick on one example, how else could we deal with the Somali pirates?  Back in the early days of our republic, our founding fathers knew what to do: they sent the Marines to Tripoli to kick some pirate ass (which, of course, they did!).  To Thomas Jefferson, their was no doubt whatsoever of the moral superiority of the American culture over that of the pirates.  Tripoli needed a cop, and the Americans provided it.  Why is this same decision so apparently difficult today?  Surely no one actually believes there's a serious military risk for us in kicking some Somali pirate ass?  They're armed with AK-47s and RPGs, not M1A1s and nukes.

The world needs a cop.  Moreover, the world needs a cop that is unafraid of a declaration of moral superiority.

Now here's a scary thought for you.  There are people out there trying very hard to become exactly what I'm asking for: the world's cop, with a clear sense of moral superiority.  It's radical Islam.

I don't know about you, but personally, I'd much rather have our cop than their's...

Pouring Rain...

The dogs and I had our morning walk in the pouring rain today.  There is lots of standing water all over the place, which means the rate of rainfall is higher than the rate of absorption – and our soils here are incredibly porous.  We don't often see standing water like this...

While the four dogs and I were outside getting soaked, Debbie stood in our covered patio and laughed at us.  When we all got back in the patio, she and I toweled down the four dogs (who were all frisky and excited) and got them back indoors.  Now we've got the heater cranked up and we're drying off ourselves.

The forecast for tonight is the sort of forecast we ought to frame and hang on the wall.  Here's what “global warming” is doing for us: the forecast calls for 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) of snow tonight at our elevation.  Much more up in the mountains above us.  We've had dustings of snow in the past since we moved out here in 1999, but never more than a half inch (1 cm) – and it never lasted more than a couple hours.

If it really does snow tonight, I'm planning to head out into our yard tomorrow morning with my camera.  We have daffodils in bloom that should be quite beautiful in the snow, and of course there will be lots of other visual delights.  Then Debbie and I are going to try to get up into the mountains before the crowds show up...