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February 29, 2004

Dusty BDUs

I was chatting with some other Loyal Citizens from Rott last night, bouncing around poems and songs of the Civil War, listed here. It's hard to match much of what was written during that bloody struggle.

One that caught my eye was The Faded Coat of Blue, as we're a bit lacking in the song department. Note. On that Civil War site you can click on the little music symbol in the upper left to get a bad MIDI melody of each song.

I started out roughly with that song, and I ended up changing so much of it that it needs a new melody. So if anyone can find something to go with my lyrics, have at it. I'm still not sure it works though, but it's hard to write such sad songs without getting a bit emotional about it. So here's my hack attempt at updating one of the fine songs from the Civil War.

Dusty BDUs

My brave one sleeps in his dusty BDUs.
In a barren place far away died the heart that beat so true.
He fell wounded among our soldiers bold and brave
And though they tried their best his life they couldn’t save.

CHORUS: No more bugle calls for my lonely one.
Rest, noble spirit, on the plane ride home.
We’ll meet some bright day up yonder in the blue
When a robe of white is given for dusty BDUs.

His mother will miss him for all the coming years,
But as for him he is free of earthly fears.
But bless him and keep him so close in all your prayers
For he laid his life down into Jesus’ care. - CHORUS

Long years pass and we’ll always miss his funny style,
And our thoughts will keep the memory of his smile
We’ll gaze upon his picture and remember he was true
Standing tall and brave in his dusty BDUs. –CHORUS

February 29, 2004 in WarSongs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Aristide Flees Haiti - Taking Last Relic of Clinton Legacy

He's gone. I'd blogged about the inevitability of this a little while ago.

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigned and flew into exile Sunday, pressured by foreign governments and a bloody rebellion.

Bye bye now!

The Marines were arriving Sunday afternoon, expected to be the first wave of a U.N.-backed international peacekeeping force. France also said it was considering sending troops.

Oh, I'm sure the Marines will scrupulously avoid making snarky comments, but I'm not so sure the Haitians will refrain.

The head of Haiti's supreme court said he was taking charge of the government, and a key rebel leader said he welcomed the arrival of foreign troops.

The foreign troops will make things a whole lot easier. For one thing they can no longer be blamed for supporting Aristide, unlike when Clinton had us propping up the Marxist bastard at a cost of $3 billion dollars.

"I think the worst is over, and we're waiting for the international forces. They will have our full cooperation," Guy Philippe told CNN.

Well, sounds like it will be a fairly friendly deployment then.

As he spoke, rebels rode through Cap-Haitien in trucks, waving at hundreds of people who danced and sang in the streets in celebration.

Oh, he sounds about as popular as Saddam, doesn't he?

It was the second time the 50-year-old former slum pastor fled his country. Aristide was ousted in a 1991 coup, months after he was elected president for the first time. He was restored to power three years later by U.S. troops.

That was Bill Clinton's primary foreign policy accomplishment, by the way. Bill was in Port-au-Prince side-by-side with Aristide as recently as April 2003, still mining that legacy for all it's worth. I guess now his legacy is just down to the damned blue dress.

President Bill Clinton sent 20,000 troops to restore Aristide but insisted he respect a constitutional term limit and step down in 1995.

But he promised! Golly he did! But nobody seems to know where he's fled to, exactly. On top of that, the whereabouts of his wife, who is a Hillary pal, are also a bit uncertain.

It was not clear where Aristide's wife was. The ex-president and Mildred Trouillot Aristide had sent their two daughters to her mother in New York City last week.

One obvious sign that Aristide isn't real bright is that he doesn't seem to know not to hide his daughters near the Clintons.

February 29, 2004 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sword Dynamics

Here's my article on sword physics, for any who are interetested. It's explains what goes on without math, unlike my previous research effort on the study on the dynamics of rotational impact weapons. I abandoned the giant mathemtatical verion once I simplified the problem into the realm of the trivial, and the work never did have a target audience anyway, except for maybe a pimply faced kid in Nebraska.

The big one is a 152 page PDF.

Sword Dynamics

I received a lot of criticism in some quarters for my research, being dismissed as "yet another acadamic attempt to explain the infinite mysteries of the sword." Yep. Less than half the parts as a pair of scissors, yet somehow beyond human understanding... Where do they get these people?

February 29, 2004 in Science | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 28, 2004

Marriage Law - States A thru F

I went to this page of statutes to have a state by state look at marriage law. I was curious to see what same-sex marriage laws typically looked like. Starting with the A’s.

Section 30-1-19
Marriage, recognition thereof, between persons of the same sex prohibited.
(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Alabama Marriage Protection Act."

(b) Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman. As a matter of public policy, this state has a special interest in encouraging, supporting, and protecting the unique relationship in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and its children. A marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in this state.

(c) Marriage is a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman, which, when the legal capacity and consent of both parties is present, establishes their relationship as husband and wife, and which is recognized by the state as a civil contract.

(d) No marriage license shall be issued in the State of Alabama to parties of the same sex.

(e) The State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or was alleged to have occurred as a result of the law of any jurisdiction regardless of whether a marriage license was issued.
(Act 98–500, §§1, 2.)

AS 25.05.013. Same-Sex Marriages.

(a) A marriage entered into by persons of the same sex, either under common law or under statute, that is recognized by another state or foreign jurisdiction is void in this state, and contractual rights granted by virtue of the marriage, including its termination, are unenforceable in this state.

(b) A same-sex relationship may not be recognized by the state as being entitled to the benefits of marriage.

25-101. Void and prohibited marriages

A. Marriage between parents and children, including grandparents and grandchildren of every degree, between brothers and sisters of the one-half as well as the whole blood, and between uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews and between first cousins, is prohibited and void.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A, first cousins may marry if both are sixty-five years of age or older or if one or both first cousins are under sixty-five years of age, upon approval of any superior court judge in the state if proof has been presented to the judge that one of the cousins is unable to reproduce.

C. Marriage between persons of the same sex is void and prohibited.

9-11-109. Validity of same-sex marriages.
    Marriage shall be only between a man and a woman. A marriage between persons of the same sex is void.
History. Acts 1997, No. 144, § 1.

308.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or
recognized in California.

14-2-104. Formalities.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, a marriage is valid in this state if:

(a) It is licensed, solemnized, and registered as provided in this part 1; and

(b) It is only between one man and one woman.

Connecticut may or may not have a provision. Giving how confusing their web pages look, I doubt even they can tell.

§ 101. Void and voidable marriages.

(a) A marriage is prohibited and void between a person and his or her ancestor, descendant, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, first cousin or between persons of the same gender.

741.212 Marriages between persons of the same sex.--

(1) Marriages between persons of the same sex entered into in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, or relationships between persons of the same sex which are treated as marriages in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, are not recognized for any purpose in this state.

(2) The state, its agencies, and its political subdivisions may not give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any state, territory, possession, or tribe of the United States or of any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location respecting either a marriage or relationship not recognized under subsection (1) or a claim arising from such a marriage or relationship.

(3) For purposes of interpreting any state statute or rule, the term "marriage" means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the term "spouse" applies only to a member of such a union.

History.--s. 1, ch. 97-268.

There we go, States A through F! I think an amendment would like pass, especially considering how much law would have to go out the window, especially in states that drone on endless with statutes defining “the rights of the wife”. I don't think passage of an Amendment in the states would be an issue, especially since many of the states that haven't already passed such an act haven't done so merely because they didn't think it would become necessary.

February 28, 2004 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Arab Self Image

The Arab News of Saudi Arabia carried this wonderful piece today.

Anyone following the Arab media today, whether written or visual, will quickly realize that we Arabs have a very serious problem. The problem is that we have an almost pathological aversion to accepting any responsibility for our present condition. Never before have we been so weak or irrelevant. We blame all and sundry for this. It is a Zionist plot or an American plan or, an increasingly popular excuse this, the repressive regimes who rule most Arab countries. A stranger to the Arab world who was listening to us would come to believe that we are innocent victims of international hatred and contempt.

A very insightful and heart felt analysis. He continues later with

The constant and desperate search by the Arabs for a superman, a hero who will rise up and lead them to glory such as Nasser or — until recently — Saddam are symptoms of this serious illness. For it is upon the shoulders of such men that the Arabs want to lay responsibility. If these men succeed then well and good, but if they fail, then the Arabs can easily disown them and wash their collective hands of them. They can then continue to moan and wail about how they are never given a chance.

Indeed. When will Saladin return? Read the whole thing. It's short. It's perfect.

February 28, 2004 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Gay Marriage

Everybody has piped up one way or another on the subject of the gay marriage amendment, so I thought I’d throw my two cents in.

Regarding all the hyperbole that Bush is going to strip Gays of all their rights, I ask “How?” This is the same shrill screaming we hear about Ashcroft’s Patriot Act, which Ashcroft of course didn’t even vote for, which merely allowed him to treat terrorists like they were drug dealers. All it says is that the state will not legally recognize a marriage of a same sex couple, exactly like it’s been for the past couple thousand years. You can track cognates to “husband”, “wife”, “father”, “mother”, “grandfather”, and “grandmother” all the way back to IndoEuropean roots, but you’ll not find all the different words meaning “husband of husband” or some such construct. How can Bush be stripping away rights that have never been there in the first place? You can’t marry your sister, your brother, your mother or your dog, nor can you marry multiple people. It’s always been that way and it seems to work fairly well. You don’t even have to be in love with your partner, and in many marriages that’s the normal state of affairs. It’s a peculiar institution, but one that seems to work pretty well most of the time.

Bush also has absolutely no role in the Constitutional Amendment process, even less than Rosie O’Donnel does. He doesn’t have a vote in Congress, or in any of the several states. At least Rosie gets to cast a vote for someone with some say over this process.

Further, if such an Amendment were to pass, it would just ensure that gays have all he rights and priveleges they had under Bill Clinton, and even more than they did under Jimmy Carter, when many of the domestic partners provisions weren’t even in place.

Given that much of the public doesn’t support gay marriage (basically except for gays and divorce lawyers, who will end up eventually raking in most of the gay’s money) even Democrats would prefer that this issue would go away. However the actions of Mayor AnyTwosome Newsom in San Francisco have made that eventuality highly unlikely. And remember, many of these Democratic Congressmen are from the heartland, where defending marriage is a winning position. Thirty-eight states have already passed some form of marriage protection act, which already amounts to the Constitutionally required three-quarters of the states. Given that the numbers show that such an amendment could possibly pass, why were gay advocates trying to pull such a thing down on their own heads? And why did they do it as an act of defiance? If anything can push a wavering state legislature to vote for an amendment banning such marriages, it’s the very public flaunting of our laws and hurling of endless and overwrought accusations of racism, bigotry, and homophobia at the very people who will be voting on the issue.

Further, in writing up any such proposal for an Amendment, the advocates will look around at the members of the Congress and try to author something they can feel good about voting for. The win-win position for Congress would be a ban on gay marriages, but also a provision guaranteeing a nationwide recognition of some form of domestic partner status, thus advancing the gains made in some cities to the nation as a whole. But constant childish accusations of homophobia would make such a compromise position less likely, because most of the congressmen would be quite pissed off about the whole issue.

Marriage law is a complex, confusing, and difficult enough subject as it is. Consider the endless stream of bizarre court decisions we’d get concerning the multitudinous variety of situations arising in the break up of same sex couples. As they say, bad cases make bad law, and many of these cases wouldn’t make a very good precedent for normal families. We’re still arguing over “no fault” divorce. Try googling divorce and see what a legal morass you find in those 6,710,000 hits. While you’re staring at whatever page you end up on, just remember, there’s probably married people in hell staring at that very same page. That’s your future. Don’t believe me? The other people bouncing the hit counter didn’t believe it either. Yet there they are.

Got your nice domestic partner contract all drawn up? Good. Now toss it out the window, because you’re partner plops down the photos of you and someone else in divorce court they’re going to take your house. They’re going to take your car. They’re going to take all your albums. They’re going to garnish your wages for the next ten years. You’ll be dealing with divorce lawyers. That’s their job, and they do it oh so very very well. You might want to take a poll to see how many divorced men would support a constitutional amendment outlawing marriage entirely. It’d probably prove pretty popular. Oh if there was only the option to say “You know I love you honey, but we can’t actually get married because, well, it’s illegal… So just come over here and give me some nooky.”

Marriage. A question of faith. It’s not a fundamental right. To a great many it’s the firmest proof that Hell exists…

As things now stand I think the gay community could play their current position to quite a legislative victory, gaining nationwide recognition for domestic partner status and constitutional guarantees of anti-discrimination in other areas, with traditional marriage firmly off limits, but I don’t think they’ll pull it off. If you look at who’s driving their agenda and message you’ll find denizens of Berkeley and some of the other areas so far left as to be completely off the map. These are people who proudly describe North Korea as a socialist utopia. They possess all the political instincts of a cow in the later stages of BSE. From the same organizational pool of people who brought us shit-ins, vomit-ins, and protest marches repleat with people marching in clown suits carrying signs emblazoned with Adolf Hitler, all while wondering why the public was not responding positively to their message, we’ll get the “advocates” for the gay communities position. These types may be a small minority of the gay community, but they have a very loud voice, are good at drawing attention to themselves, and have neither the qualms nor the self-reflection to avoid routinely disgusting the rest of the nation. Those are the ones we’ll see on TV during the whole political process. Yes, the very same ones who now have us looking at a constitutional amendment to stop them. That’s the political skill level we’re looking at. I’m sure Congress will be receiving a whole lot of letters from those midwestern housewives who just spent their day watching cable news, their jaws agape.

With advocates like that who needs enemies?

February 28, 2004 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

How the Democrats Will Take Back The House

At long last, they have a plan! As this news article discusses, they're going to take back Republican strongholds by running Saudis for office!!! She does look sweet though. They're really cute without the veil. She's probably allowed to drive a car, too!

Al-Masri is running on a Democratic Party ticket in the 37th electoral district in California, which has been a Republican stronghold for over half a century. But Democrats have high hopes for her. “They are optimistic as they see my birth in Makkah as a good omen,” she said.

Only Democrats would be divining for omens at this point, and certainly only they and Bin Laden would think being born in Makkah is a good omen for fighting Bush.

Although Al-Masri opposed the US-led war on Iraq, her son Omar, 24, serves with the US forces there. That has attracted some media attention as Omar is a practicing Muslim, but he has defended his role in the military.

Well, fairly typical for a Democrat I'd say. I'm sure like many soldiers his son is a wee bit embarrassed about his liberal mom, though. But I'm sure he's doing quite a job over there.

Faryal now works as a teacher in American history at a Los Angeles high school.

I'd love to know what goes on in that class, not because she's Saudi, but just because it's in Los Angeles. Anyway, I'll just wish lot's of luck to the Democrats with their new "Saudi Strategy".

February 28, 2004 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Milosevic Acquittal Likely

Well, as this AP article relates, Slobodan Milosevic is likely to be acquitted of genocide.

When U.N. prosecutors opened their case against Slobodan Milosevic two years ago, they set out to get him convicted of genocide. The consensus today is, they failed.

And why are we not surprised? If Milosevic had been American officer, though, I’m sure he’d have been tried, convicted, and sentenced within a week.

Many Serbs would cheer it as vindicating their view that Serbia stands wrongly accused. Others likely will see it as a distortion of Europe's darkest chapter since World War II.

Oh, Europe can get a whole lot darker yet. Just give it time and those wonderful international institutions. All they’ll manage with Milosevic is to nail him on a bunch of lesser charges like “not doing enough to promote harmony and diversity”. They might get him on something involving bad checks and evading European VAT taxes too. Who knows? The US sent one powerful signal to thugs like him when we blew up his house. Now the European Organ’s of Justice, which of course just pound out endless and overwrought compositions, are signaling the next batch of genocidal national socialist war criminals that “We just talk, and you can probably walk.”

Balkan peace envoys testified that Milosevic knew Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic and his top general, Ratko Mladic, intended to slaughter Srebrenica's Muslims and did not stop them. Both men top the tribunal's list of most-wanted fugitives.
Or I guess they also sent the signal, “Yes, you can run. Yes, you can hide. And we’ll be down at the bistro bitching about Americans in case you need us for anything.” You might find it odd that Europeans can’t seem to find these two pieces of war criminal garbage, but always remember that this is Europe we’re talking about, where corruption is rampant and goes all the way to the top. Yes, I’m talking about Jacques Chirac and his cute little deal with Ratko Mladic.
The French President, Jacques Chirac, negotiated a secret deal to protect Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb general accused of Europe's worst atrocities since World War II, according to evidence submitted to the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
Now we can understand more fully how badly Hitler screwed up by ending up in a bunker instead of cutting a deal with De Gaulle to get a safe haven in France in return for art work looted from the Louvre.
Mr Chirac allegedly agreed to sabotage the extradition of Mladic to face genocide charges for his role in the planned extermination of Bosnian Muslims, including the massacre of 7000 men and boys in the UN safe haven of Srebrenica in 1995.
And since when have the French ever heard of a massacre they didn’t support? Heck, just look at French casualties in WW-I under Joffré, Petain, or Foch.
In exchange, Mladic handed over two French pilots held for 14 weeks by his forces after their Mirage fighter jet was shot down outside Sarajevo.
He probably handed them over because he just couldn’t stand their snide, sniveling, condescending remarks anymore. But it is nice to know that a European genocidal war criminal can get immunity just by capturing two, yes just two, French target drone pilots. Anyway, now that this is out in the open, you’d think we’d be able to find Mladic. Not so.
Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, have been at large in the French-controlled sector of Bosnia ever since.
They’re still “at large”, probably down at the bistro with their French drinking buddies.
The chief UN prosecutor has described it as a "moral disgrace" that NATO forces have not seized the two ringleaders of the Bosnian Serb extermination campaign.
No need to use scare quotes around “moral disgrace”. It is, after all, an article about Chirac.
Mr Chirac has also vehemently denied allegations that he blocked air strikes against Mladic's forces as they overran a battalion of Dutch blue berets in Srebrenica.
And the peaceniks wanted us to be “allied” with this guy. Amazing isn’t it? They indeed provide the best air support since the Bay of Pigs, but I’m still at a loss as to why they still put pilots in their French built Dassault target drones.

February 28, 2004 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 27, 2004

Entertainment in the Guardian

The Guardian Unlimited, bless their little hearts, provided me with tonight’s entertainment.

In May 1998, Indonesian mobs swarmed through the streets of Jakarta, looting and torching more than 5,000 ethnic Chinese shops and homes. A hundred and fifty Chinese women were gang-raped and more than 2,000 people died. In the months that followed, anti-Chinese hate-mongering and violence spread throughout Indonesia's cities. The explosion of rage can be traced to an unlikely source: the unrestrained combination of democracy and free markets - the very prescription wealthy democracies have promoted for healing the ills of underdevelopment. How did things go so wrong?

Oh, I might point a finger at the blathering, hate-filled, idiot leftists who keep telling people to kill the rich. Yes! Those people! Same one’s who wanted to eliminate the last traces of Jewishness from mankind, because Jewishness=Capitalism.

During the 80s and 90s, Indonesia's aggressive shift to free-market policies allowed the Chinese minority, just 3% of the population, to take control of 70% of the private economy. When Indonesians ousted General Suharto in 1998, the poor majority rose up against the Chinese minority and against markets.

That’s like saying the East German’s rose up against markets when they tore down the wall. The Indonesians rose up against the very non-free market nepotism and corruption of the Suharto regime, which had for decades ruled Indonesia with fear and a brutal iron fist.

The democratic elections that abruptly followed 30 years of autocratic rule were rife with ethnic scapegoating by indigenous politicians and calls for the confiscation of Chinese wealth. Today, the Indonesian government sits on $58bn worth of nationalised assets, almost all formerly owned by Chinese tycoons. These once productive assets lie stagnant, while unemployment and poverty deepen, making Indonesia a breeding ground for extremist movements.
Those would be tycoons who were in bed with Suharto, now wouldn’t they? That’s like saying Imelda Marcos concentration of footwear was the inevitable result of capitalism.
Conditions in the developing world make the combination of markets and democracy much more volatile than when western nations embarked on their paths to market democracy. The poor are vastly more numerous, and poverty more entrenched, in the developing world today. In addition, universal suffrage is often implemented wholesale and abruptly, unlike the gradual enfranchisement seen during western democratisation.
Did this author ever read anything by say, oh, Dickens? Or any other author during our path to markets and democracy? Can you say entrenched poverty, whole villages getting sacked and burned by rival city’s business thugs, and bizarre protectionist legislation, forced resettlement of people back to their farms, and many other ham fisted and counterproductive moves. It’s just a good thing we didn’t have any abrupt enfranchisement of the population in our past, or all those suffragettes would’ve cause total chaos and catastrophe.
But the most formidable problem the developing world faces is one the west has little experience with. It's the market-dominant minority - ethnic minorities which - for widely varying reasons - tend under market conditions to dominate economically impoverished "indigenous" majorities.
Looks like the campaign to eliminate all those pesky Jews actually worked on her planet. Just remember, capitalism=racism.
They are the Chinese in south-east Asia;
I’m sorry, but I grew up under the impression that China was in south-east Asia. *checks map* Yep. It’s right where we left it.
Indians in east Africa, Fiji and parts of the Caribbean;
And all over the United States too, so what’s her point? Are Indian’s the new Jews? If so, which Indians, since they’re so diverse to begin with?
Lebanese in west Africa; Jews in post-communist Russia;
Here we go again. I’m sure Russia’s struggles with capitalism can be dismissed as failures due to simple Jewish greed.
and whites in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Bolivia and Ecuador, to name just a few.
Wow! And here I thought that Bolivia and Ecuador were already filled with whites. You know, those guys from, uh, Spain, the former European superpower, unless you next want to argue why Italians aren’t white either.
In free-market environments, these minorities, together with foreign investors, tend to accumulate starkly disproportionate wealth, fuelling ethnic envy and resentment among the poor majorities.
The foreign investors already had disproportionate wealth, which is why they’re able to go off investing in other countries in the first place. And the envy doesn’t come about because some get rich, it comes about because liberal moonbats show up and scream “Capitalist Jewish Nazis are drinking your babies blood!” until they’re blue in the face.
When sudden democratisation gives voice to this previously silenced majority, opportunistic demagogues can swiftly marshal animosity into powerful ethno-nationalist movements that can subvert both markets and democracy.
That is what happened in Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and most recently Bolivia, where weeks of majority-supported, Amerindian-led protests resulted in the resignation of the pro-US, pro-free-market "gringo" President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. Ok, I’m confused. Indonesia spends decades under the iron fist of Suharto, prior to that Sukarno, and only now do we have “opportunistic demagogues”? And Zimbabwe has spent decades ruled by a genocidal Marxist maniac, Robert Mugabe, head of the ZANU-PF, but suddenly an “opportunistic demagogue” is a worry.
In another variation, recent confiscations by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, of the assets of the "oligarchs" Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky and Mikhail Khodorkovsky - all well-known in Russia to be Jewish - were facilitated by pervasive anti-semitic resentment among the Russian majority.
That and the fact that the Russian government used to seize everyone’s money. That is when Stalin wasn’t cooking up a plot to kill off Jews to spark WW-III, in between his ethnic cleansing programs and forced resettlements.
Iraq is the next tinderbox. The Sunni minority, particularly the Ba'aths, have a large head start in education, capital and economic expertise.
Well hopefully they’ll be able to generate some wealth, then, which wasn’t working to well under Saddam, when their economic expertise should’ve been even more in evidence.
The Shiites, although far from homogeneous, represent a long-oppressed majority of 60-70%, with every reason to exploit their numerical power. Liberation has already unleashed powerful fundamentalist movements which, needless to say, are intensely anti-secular and anti-western.
Unlike the Ba’athist Nationalist Socialist movement which was intensely anti-breathing and anti-western.
Iraq's 20% Kurdish minority in the north, mistrustful of Arab rule, creates another source of profound instability. Finally, Iraq's oil could prove a curse, leading to massive corruption and a destructive battle between groups to capture the nation's oil wealth.
What, they’re going to fight over a well now? Oh well, as long as it’s all about the oil.
Given these conditions, rushed elections could well produce renewed ethnic radicalism and violence; an anti-market, pro-nationalisation economic policy; and an illiberal, Islamist regime in which women can be murdered by relatives for the crime of being raped - already happening in Shiite Baghdad.
In short, in trying to get a market based and democratic government put in place, you might end up failing and falling back into dysfunctional, violent socialism, which just proves free markets and democracy are bad thing. Hmm… I must ponder that one.
Meanwhile, an analogous dynamic is playing out at the worldwide level. In the past 20 years, the US has come to be perceived as a global market-dominant minority, wielding wildly disproportionate economic power.
That might be because we work hard and have a functioning economic system, which tends to make one an economic power.
In the eyes of many across the globe, the US is the ultimate crony capitalist, ruthlessly using its minority economic power to dominate the politics and policies of other countries.
Well maybe that view was spread by all the idiot socialist utopians who keep screaming about the US being a ruthless crony capitalist. Their systems don’t work. Must be our fault.
From this perspective, it is not surprising that despite Saddam Hussein's barbarous record, international public opinion was overwhelmingly against the US going to war with Iraq. This opposition to the US was closely bound up with deep feelings of resentment and fear of American power and cynicism about motives.
I suppose this was because journalists and European governments were taking Saddam’s oil bribes to spread moonbat stories about American power and motives. ANSWER and its analogues were found to be almost invariably run by hard core Marxists, and in some cases former Soviet agents. It’s no wonder that they’d be spreading this view.
Unfortunately, latest developments seem only to be fuelling these suspicions. Neither weapons of mass destruction nor clear links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida have been found and it has become clear that, at best, the Bush administration was operating on an oversimplistic view.
This from someone who no doubt spent her time chanting “Bu$h=Hitler!” and “No Blood for Oil!” What are fuelling these “suspicions” are idiot conspiracy theorists that couldn’t connect two dots with a straight line.
Instead of a gratitude-filled Iraqi people cooperating with the US in a rapid transition to multi-ethnic free-market democracy (which ideally would produce a domino effect across the Middle East), Iraq teeters on the brink of lawlessness, and attacks on coalition troops are rampant.
Obviously she doesn’t read Iraqi polls or crime statistics from the US, where our police are attacked even more regularly than in Iraq, though usually not with a volley of RPG’s.
I recently received an email from an Arab-American woman working for a human rights NGO in Baghdad.
Oh, an NGO (Neurons Gone Out). I’m impressed.
In her words: "Deep ethnic and religious divisions certainly remain in Iraq, but ironically the one theme unifying the Iraqi people at the moment is their intensifying opposition to American and British occupation.
I love the “intensifying” part. They can’t say anything without implying “It’s getting worse!!!!” I guess the chief sign of all this intensifying is the drop in the number of attacks against us. Oh well, “QUAGMIRE QUAGMIRE!” and on we go through this oh so entertaining article.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of Arabs in the neighbouring countries are perched at the edge of their seats waiting for the US to fail.
She meant “journalists”, not the vast majority of Arabs, many of whom are now demanding democracy.
Many Arabs feel that any work in Iraq now - even humanitarian relief work - is feeding into the occupation of one of the strongest Arab nations."
Strangely enough, the Arab record on humanitarian relief work is abysmal. Even Afghanistan got nothing from them. The humanitarians who refuse to help in Iraq happen to be from Europe and America, and they won’t help because they’re largely staffed with anti-American Marxist Moonbats from Moronotopia.
What is to be done? Retreating from democracy in Iraq is not an option. Democracy and market-generated growth, in some form, offer the best long-term hope for developing countries. But there are many different versions of free-market democracy and the US has been exporting the wrong version - a caricature. There is no western nation today with anything close to a laissez-faire system.
At least no European nation. Of course there’s also no nation with anything like the Economic success of the US, either.
Yet for the past two decades, the US, along with international institutions like the World Bank and IMF, has been pressing poor countries to adopt a bare-knuckle brand of capitalism - with virtually no safety nets or mechanisms for redistribution - that the US and Europe abandoned long ago.
“Redistribution”??? Excuse me? Most of the aid money from the international institutions pretty much flows straight into the hands of whoever happens to be the thug of the day. Kleptocracy for me an you, but on the bright side they eventually all end up in France, for some reason.
The same has been true of democracy. Since 1989, the US has been pressing developing countries (with the glaring exception of the Middle East) to implement immediate elections with universal suffrage. This is not the path to democratisation that any of the western nations took.
Oh, I’m sure just allowing registered socialists to vote would be the way to go then. The US essentially got the right to vote in three lumps. The Europeans had a harder time because voting was tied up with property ownership.
Further, British and American democracy started locally, not nationally.
Her point is? Bueller? Anyone?
Most important, even today democracy in the west means much more than unrestrained majority rule. It includes protection for minorities and property, constitutionalism and human rights. A lot more is needed than just shipping out ballot boxes.
Thus all our haggling over that pesky Iraqi constitution, oh one who thinks democracy must mean mob rule. It’s true that failed attempts at democracy can be disastrous, but if she offered any prescriptions for this danger the editors of the Guardian must’ve snipped it out.

February 27, 2004 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dark Hearts - Deadly Sex

From something that even Joseph Conrad didn't envision comes this horrifying tale from the BBC.

Increasing numbers of people infected with HIV are deliberately passing the virus on to their partners on purpose, in order to make them more dependent.

From the rape squads and cannibals in the Congo, we segue over to AIDs rape.

In countries ravaged by conflict - for example Rwanda - sex has been used very effectively to terrorise and control.

The weren't doing to badly with the machettes, either. But now they sit around and dream up the "Dick-O-Death". Total disfunctional behavior from the people who are refusing polio vaccines.

But women can also use sex as a weapon.

No shit, Sherlock. But usually they don't use it as a lethal weapon.

If they have been infected by someone they can take revenge on another man and infect them, and that is also being seen.

Welcome to Killfest 2004. Everybody wants to fuck you. Everybody wants you to die from it.

"Some men force their women to have unprotected sex," says Bruce Errol. "Those women sometimes, when they find out they're positive, they tend to take revenge on other men."

Gives free love a whole new meaning doesn't it? Instead of "Make love - not war" we have "Make love thy war."

However, some of us are just as bad, as this story linked from Drudge illustrates.

Young men attending sex parties in Orlando, Fla., were reportedly drugged and injected with tainted blood inside a man's garage, according to a Local 6 News report.

How sick can we get?

According to court records, four witnesses said "Randall lured subjects [ juveniles ] to his residence via the Internet for the purpose of sex and once they were at his residence he would get them high" with drugs.

Well, getting them fucked up is a start.

The report also said Randall had a sex harness in the garage and "once the subjects were in the harness, Randall and other participants would have sex with them and videotape them."

Filming gang sex with the harnessed, fucked up person is next.

Then, "Randall would inject the subjects with the syringes of tainted blood."

And then injecting them with AIDs to finish the dirty deed. Goblins, trolls, monsters. But at least they can get married in San Francisco.

February 27, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack