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  1. <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?><?xml-stylesheet href="" type="text/css"?><feed xmlns='' xmlns:openSearch='' xmlns:blogger='' xmlns:georss='' xmlns:gd="" xmlns:thr=''><id>,1999:blog-15747110</id><updated>2014-10-05T04:18:24.359-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Wade&#39;s World</title><subtitle type='html'>Just leave it where Jesus flang it.</subtitle><link rel='' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href=''/><link rel='hub' href=''/><link rel='next' type='application/atom+xml' href=';start-index=26&amp;max-results=25'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><generator version='7.00' uri=''>Blogger</generator><openSearch:totalResults>29</openSearch:totalResults><openSearch:startIndex>1</openSearch:startIndex><openSearch:itemsPerPage>25</openSearch:itemsPerPage><entry><id>,</id><published>2006-04-13T10:40:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2006-04-13T11:02:47.486-04:00</updated><title type='text'>The Euston Manifesto</title><content type='html'>If &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;this&lt;/a&gt; is the future of the Left, we will be in pretty good shape overall:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt; We are democrats and progressives. We propose here a fresh political alignment. Many of us belong to the Left, but the principles that we set out are not exclusive. We reach out, rather, beyond the socialist Left towards egalitarian liberals and others of unambiguous democratic commitment. Indeed, the reconfiguration of progressive opinion that we aim for involves drawing a line between the forces of the Left that remain true to its authentic values, and currents that have lately shown themselves rather too flexible about these values. It involves making common cause with genuine democrats, whether socialist or not.&lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;That may not sound much different than the current configuration of the Left, but once you delve into the stated principles of the Euston Manifesto you find that American, democratic, &quot;liberal&quot; (in the true sense of the word) ideals take prominence.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;For example:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;2) &lt;strong&gt;No apology for tyranny.&lt;/strong&gt; We decline to make excuses for, to indulgently &#39;understand&#39;, reactionary regimes and movements for which democracy is a hated enemy - regimes that oppress their own peoples and movements that aspire to do so. We draw a firm line between ourselves and those left-liberal voices today quick to offer an apologetic explanation for such political forces.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;* * * [snip]&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;6) &lt;strong&gt;Opposing anti-Americanism.&lt;/strong&gt; We reject without qualification the anti-Americanism now infecting so much left-liberal (and some conservative) thinking. This is not a case of seeing the US as a model society. We are aware of its problems and failings. But these are shared in some degree with all of the developed world. The United States of America is a great country and nation. It is the home of a strong democracy with a noble tradition behind it and lasting constitutional and social achievements to its name. Its peoples have produced a vibrant culture that is the pleasure, the source-book and the envy of millions. That US foreign policy has often opposed progressive movements and governments and supported regressive and authoritarian ones does not justify generalized prejudice against either the country or its people.&lt;/p&gt;  &lt;p&gt;7) &lt;strong&gt;For a two-state solution.&lt;/strong&gt; We recognize the right of both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples to self-determination within the framework of a two-state solution. There can be no reasonable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that subordinates or eliminates the legitimate rights and interests of one of the sides to the dispute.&lt;/p&gt;* * * [snip]&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;9) &lt;strong&gt;United against terror.&lt;/strong&gt; We are opposed to all forms of terrorism. The deliberate targeting of civilians is a crime under international law and all recognized codes of warfare, and it cannot be justified by the argument that it is done in a cause that is just. Terrorism inspired by Islamist ideology is widespread today. It threatens democratic values and the lives and freedoms of people in many countries. This does not justify prejudice against Muslims, who are its main victims, and amongst whom are to be found some of its most courageous opponents. But, like all terrorism, it is a menace that has to be fought, and not excused.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;* * * [snip]&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;11) &lt;strong&gt;A critical openness.&lt;/strong&gt; Drawing the lesson of the disastrous history of left apologetics over the crimes of Stalinism and Maoism, as well as more recent exercises in the same vein (some of the reaction to the crimes of 9/11, the excuse-making for suicide-terrorism, the disgraceful alliances lately set up inside the &#39;anti-war&#39; movement with illiberal theocrats), we reject the notion that there are no opponents on the Left. We reject, similarly, the idea that there can be no opening to ideas and individuals to our right. Leftists who make common cause with, or excuses for, anti-democratic forces should be criticized in clear and forthright terms. Conversely, we pay attention to liberal and conservative voices and ideas if they contribute to strengthening democratic norms and practices and to the battle for human progress.&lt;/p&gt;  &lt;p&gt;12) &lt;strong&gt;Historical truth.&lt;/strong&gt; In connecting to the original humanistic impulses of the movement for human progress, we emphasize the duty which genuine democrats must have to respect for the historical truth. Not only fascists, Holocaust-deniers and the like have tried to obscure the historical record. One of the tragedies of the Left is that its own reputation was massively compromised in this regard by the international Communist movement, and some have still not learned that lesson. Political honesty and straightforwardness are a primary obligation for us.&lt;/p&gt;  &lt;p&gt;13) &lt;strong&gt;Freedom of ideas.&lt;/strong&gt; We uphold the traditional liberal freedom of ideas. It is more than ever necessary today to affirm that, within the usual constraints against defamation, libel and incitement to violence, people must be at liberty to criticize ideas - even whole bodies of ideas - to which others are committed. This includes the freedom to criticize religion: particular religions and religion in general. Respect for others does not entail remaining silent about their beliefs where these are judged to be wanting.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;etc.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;There are still many ideals proposed here that I, as a libertarianish type, tend to disagree with vehemently.  But the Euston Manifesto separates enough of the wholesome wheat from the distraction of the chaff to allow a rational and potentially fruitful discussion concerning such differences.  It creates the opportunity to home in on the similarities between leftish social justice, egalitarian, univeral human rights types and those whose ilk tend towards small government, low taxes, laissez-faire policies.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Indeed there &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;are &lt;/span&gt;myriad differences between these paradigms.  Constant accentuation of those differences, however, has led to entrenchment on the issues and little to no progress in harmonizing the similarities.  If there is a consensus reached oin the Left comparable to that set forth in the Euston Manifesto, I believe the similarities will start to get much more attention, and quite possibly, rational, thoughtful and fully-informed policies will result.</content><link rel="related" href="" title="The Euston Manifesto"/><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=114494046690550593&amp;isPopup=true' title='9 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='The Euston Manifesto'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>9</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-11-10T10:40:00.000-05:00</published><updated>2005-11-10T11:02:40.256-05:00</updated><title type='text'>Captain Den Beste is Back!</title><content type='html'>Wow.  Paleo-blogger &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Steven Den Beste&lt;/a&gt; is back &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;as well&lt;/a&gt;.  This is huge.  Everything that Steven writes is worth reading, pondering, quoting and discussing (well, except maybe the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;anime stuff&lt;/a&gt;, cuz, y&#39;know, I&#39;m just not INTO that).  Before he went on hiatus, &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;USS Clueless&lt;/a&gt; was a regular stop for me.  While it would sometimes take me days to get through one of Steven&#39;s posts (for the unititiated, they are notoriously long), the trip was always worth the price.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;For example, this post on &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Jacksonian foreign policy and world government&lt;/a&gt; (an unusally short piece) provides and excellent framework for understanding how an essentially isolationist country can take such bold, interventionist steps on the world stage without finding the need to be involved with (and, in fact, remaining quite antipathetic to) any sort of &quot;world government.&quot;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;And the post described by Steven as &quot;A &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;top-level              briefing&lt;/a&gt; on the cause of the war, how we got involved, what our strategy is to win it, and how well that is going&quot; is probably the most thorough description of just what the War on Terror is all about that you will find anywhere:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;The purpose of this document is to provide a high level strategic             view of the cause of the war, the reason that the United States             became involved in it, the fundamental goals the US has to achieve to             win it, and the strategies the US is following, as well as an             evaluation of the situation as of July, 2003. Most of what is here             has been explored in far greater detail in numerous posts made on             &lt;span style=&quot;font-family:Handel Gothic;&quot;&gt;&lt;b&gt;&lt;em&gt;USS Clueless&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/b&gt;&lt;/span&gt; (&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;;/a&gt;). [It was adapted from &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt; this entry&lt;/a&gt;.]&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;br /&gt;So go and read him now, and Welcome Back, Captain!</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Captain Den Beste is Back!'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-11-10T10:31:00.000-05:00</published><updated>2005-11-10T10:37:45.416-05:00</updated><title type='text'>Return of &quot;The Shape of Days&quot;</title><content type='html'>&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Jeff Harrell&#39;s Back! &lt;/a&gt; If you haven&#39;t been reading &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;The Shape of Days&lt;/a&gt;, you should be.  Jeff is simply one of the best writers out there and is a joy to read.  I got hooked on his &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Survivor reviews&lt;/a&gt; and was a bit dismayed to hear that he had fallen ill.  But now he&#39;s back with a brand new look and dispensing with some (obviously) pent-up energy.  So go and give him some love.  Now!</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Return of &quot;The Shape of Days&quot;'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-11-09T13:49:00.000-05:00</published><updated>2005-11-09T14:53:20.290-05:00</updated><title type='text'>&quot;But it’s not jihad, and never has been.&quot;</title><content type='html'>From Jim Dunnigan at &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Strategy Page&lt;/a&gt; comes this assessment of the Parisian riots (excerpted below):&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span id=&quot;mainpage_content&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;Thus, the street violence is partly a lark, because the kids know the cops are not going to use lethal force, and anyone who gets caught will, at worst, do maybe a year in the slammer (for burning cars looting stores). The drug gangs encourage the violence as a way to intimidate the cops. When the violence dies down, the gang bosses can threaten the local cops with a revival, if the cops do not back off (when it comes to the drug trade).&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;There are some Islamic radicals running around in all this, but they are a minority. The Moslem kids like to talk about respect and payback, but very few see this as a religious war. It’s become a sport, with various groups competing to cause the most destruction. Text messaging, Internet bulletin boards and email made it possible for the rioters to stay in touch and compare notes. The media coverage also encouraged the violence, giving the kids some positive (for them) feedback.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;But now, nearly two weeks of street violence have thoroughly embarrassed the government so much that curfews and more arrests have taken some of the joy out of these Autumn antics. But it’s not jihad, and never has been.&lt;/blockquote&gt;(h/t &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Instapundit&lt;/a&gt;)&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Those of you who have read my previous post (hint, &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;hint&lt;/a&gt;) will know that I disagree entirely with this assessment. However, for reasons I realize I did not make entirely clear in that post, I do agree with Mr. Dunnigan that the riots are not being primarily driven by radical Islam and its clerics ... yet.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;The structurally deficient and decrepit French system is largely to blame for creating the riotous situation it currently faces, and the seemingly self-destructive myopia with which the French government chooses to comprehend the unrest only serves to make things worse. The real problem is that France is in no position to address the problems underlying the immigrant discontent, therefore putting an unceremonious stop to the rebellion, and will only quell the violence with its own state violence. Such a solution not only allows the unrequited rebellion to fester, but encourages it to grow stronger.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;The end result, I fear, is that those rioters who have little or no fealty to France (or Western style democracy) will not only begin to find common cause with radical Islamicism (jihad) outside the country, but that they will increasingly find direction and purpose in the teachings and urgings of local imams (and others) who are antagonistic to the West in general. Consider for a moment that the French Revolution started with attempts mollify a starving peasant population and to create a new Constitution and ended with the Reign of Terror and &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Babouvism&lt;/a&gt; (and the birth of &quot;communism&quot;), and that the Russian Revolution started as a peasant revolt before being deftly steered by Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin into total (and bloody) state control by the Bolsheviks. What&#39;s to stop the same sort of revolution from taking place in modern France? Certainly not the ineffectual and apparently impotent French government.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Perhaps I am being overly dramatic, and in fact the riots will die out by themselves. Maybe this is all about poverty, French racism and bored youths. Judging by all the evidence, however, and in light of human history, I am not at all persuaded that we are witnessing anything other than a violent, bloody overthrow of the European welfare-state paradigm by those who wish to replace it with an equally statist radical muslim presence in the homeland of Rousseau.</content><link rel="related" href="" title="&quot;But it’s not jihad, and never has been.&quot;"/><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=113156541837815410&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='&quot;But it’s not jihad, and never has been.&quot;'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-11-07T23:09:00.000-05:00</published><updated>2005-11-09T13:13:42.343-05:00</updated><title type='text'>&quot;Rien&quot;</title><content type='html'>I haven&#39;t posted for awhile, for numerous unimportant reasons, the totality of which adds up to &quot;I&#39;m too busy.&quot; That is not the subject of this post, however, but instead &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;this&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size:85%;&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size:100%;&quot;&gt;Local authorities in France have been allowed to impose curfews in an attempt to end 11 days of riots, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin says. &lt;/span&gt;   &lt;p&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-size:100%;&quot;&gt;Speaking in a television interview, he called the violence &quot;unacceptable&quot; and outlined measures to curb the unrest that has hit 300 towns and cities. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-size:100%;&quot;&gt;He ruled out army intervention for the moment, but said an extra 1,500 police officers are to be deployed.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size:85%;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size:100%;&quot;&gt;The ongoing chaos in France (and &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Germany, Belgium&lt;/a&gt;, and &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Denmark&lt;/a&gt;) is getting worse, and I fear that it won&#39;t get better any time soon. The violence has been blamed on everything from poverty and islamic militarism to Interior Minister &lt;a href=&quot;,1518,383109,00.html&quot;&gt;Nicolas Sarkozy&#39;s tough stance&lt;/a&gt; on controlling the perpetrators:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family:Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family:georgia;&quot;&gt; The violence was sparked off a week ago when two teenage boys were electrocuted in an electricity sub-station, supposedly fleeing police, although authorities deny this. Nevertheless the French government has been widely criticized for its handling of the crisis. In particular comments made by the Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, referring to the rioters as &quot;scum,&quot; have unsurprisingly not done much to ease tensions. Critics also say his heavy-handed approach has done more to exacerbate than help the situation.&lt;/span&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size:100%;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family:georgia;&quot;&gt;Some have even blamed the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;&quot;hidden hands&quot; of &quot;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;unemployment, racial prejudice and widespread youth boredom&quot;&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt;It was just an excuse for kids to trash things,&quot; said Guendouz, 20, a French-born business student of Algerian origin.   &lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&quot;The politicians blame it on Islamists because the French are afraid of this religion. They think Islam equals bin Laden.&quot;&lt;/p&gt;    &lt;p&gt;&quot;Whoever knows who&#39;s behind this should come here and say it openly,&quot; shouted a defiant man in a Muslim prayer cap. &quot;The problem is there&#39;s nothing for youths to do here.&quot;&lt;/p&gt;    &lt;p&gt;Ahmed Hamidi, a white-bearded Moroccan electrician long resident in France, had no patience with politicians in Paris, which lies hardly an hour away but seems like another planet.&lt;/p&gt;    &lt;p&gt;&quot;All the politicians care about are laws for homosexuals and all those immoral things,&quot; he fumed. &quot;They are against headscarves, against beards and against the mosques.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;Despite claims otherwise, few in the European or American media are ready to suggest radical Islam as an underlying cause of, and unifying factor in, the Parisian riots. But is there a connection between the War on Terror, Islamofascism and the current riots in Europe? According to &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Captain Ed&lt;/a&gt; there is:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;The riots in France have little connection to the Islamist terrorist offensive against the West, if the American media coverage gives any indication. However, alert CQ reader Mr. Michael points out that both American and French media sources warned of coordinated Islamist action against France in the weeks before the riot. Agence France Presse even had a quote from the maligned Nicolas Sarkozy noting the imminent nature of the threat in its &lt;a href=&quot;;story_id=24044&amp;amp;name=Algerian+group+calls+France+%E2%80%99enemy+number+one%E2%80%99&quot;&gt;9/27 dispatch&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/blockquote&gt;Whether or not there is any direct co-ordination between Islamofascists in the Middle East and the riots, it is probably not a stretch to say that the North African immigrants in France feel more loyalty to their muslim brothers than to their host nation. In fact, some in France recognized and &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;sought to deal&lt;/a&gt; with just this problem in the past:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt; While it was soon realised that repatriation of this sort could not be the answer, France&#39;s media insisted that there was still a problem and instead began to discuss the &quot;integration&quot; of the country&#39;s Arab and Muslim population into the wider society. Television, in particular, began to look around for indicators of French Muslim feeling, and it latched onto a series of spokesmen for what was beginning to be dubbed the country&#39;s &quot;Muslim community.&quot; By the beginning of the 1980s, and following the victory of the socialist François Mitterand in the French presidential elections, media attention had begun to turn away from the problem of the integration of the older generation of immigrants into French society and towards that of the second and third generations, the sons and daughters of the originals. &lt;/p&gt;    &lt;p&gt; These young people, dubbed &quot;beurs&quot; in French slang and born and educated in France, were, the media believed, &quot;torn between two cultures,&quot; and there were questions about whether they were &quot;really French,&quot; or whether their loyalties lay elsewhere, usually in the countries of the Arab Maghreb. Indeed, issues of where the &quot;loyalty&quot; of France&#39;s Muslim population really lay, of the compatibility of their views with the wider French culture, and of the alleged connections between members of this population and sometimes violent events abroad, became the leitmotifs of media representation of French Muslims in the second and third periods Deltombe describes and thus well into the last decade and beyond.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size:85%;&quot;&gt;See also &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;here&lt;/a&gt;: (&lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;&quot;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;;font-family:sans-serif;font-size:85%;&quot; class=&quot;body&quot;  &gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size:85%;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;I do not feel totally French - quite simply because some people remind me this is not so at the slightest opportunity&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size:100%;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size:85%;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;.&quot;&lt;/span&gt;) as a counter to the claim above that the French media exagerrates the divided loyalty of the muslims there.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The results of the French &quot;intergration&quot; model are less than mixed. Instead, the immigrant muslim community has been left to fester amidst the general economic malaise that plagues a significant plurality of all young adults in France. This fact was of little consequence prior to 9/11 because the general unrest was unfocused and unconnected to world events. Since 9/11, however, battle lines have been drawn and sides have been chosen (mostly). Suddenly the dissatisfied and disaffected muslim immigrants in France (and elsewhere in Europe), already divided in loyalty and unhappy with the treatment they receive at the behest of their host Western government, were able to draw parallels between their perceived plight and that of the militant anti-western Islamists elsewhere in the world. What was once just a local police and social policy problem became part of larger struggle against the West. Just as water will penetrate your home at the weakest, most accomodating points in the foundation first, an invading culture will find its greatest purchase where the weakest and most ineffectual resistance is found.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;My view, and my deepest fear at this point, is that the spreading riots will play out like the 1848 Revolutions (being international in effect), except that instead of nationalism being a catalyst, it will be cultural identity. Where France in 1848 saw the middle class revolt against re-entrenchment of aristocratic control and violently react to perceived threats against their civil liberties, Paris today is witnessing a marginalized underclass of unassimilated immigrants seeking to supplant the currently entrenched culture with their own, and pushing back against perceived threats to their culture from Western liberalism. Make no mistake about it; the muslims do not want to assimilate or become more French. They hate the West and its dominant power. What they want is to transplant Middle Eastern muslim culture, wholly intact and intractable, into the West.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;To be sure, France&#39;s current policy of simply pretending that all immigrants are assimilated as soon as they reach French shores is an abysmal failure, and laws such as that banning head scarves are an affront to all freedom-loving peoples. But how much do the muslims want to assimilate? How compatible is French culture with that of her former colonies? I&#39;d venture not much.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Ignoring the problem by inventing &quot;hidden hands&quot; causes for the unrest and pretending that the muslim immigrants will become French if they are assumed to be so is the worst means of addressing the problem. A threat to one&#39;s culture, country, government or very existence can never be satisfactorily addressed if one pretends that threat is something else entirely. Blaming poverty, bored youths and &quot;hidden hands&quot; may sound nice, but it does not advance the ball. Instead, the failure to recognize the role that radical Islam is playing in riots will serve to exacerbate the situation and fan the flames of revolt. Before long, the country will have more on its hands than it can handle.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt; The French government&#39;s detachment from the country&#39;s burgeoning and increasingly restless immigrant population reminds me of another French ruler: &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Louis XVI&lt;/a&gt;. The title of this post (which translates to &quot;Nothing&quot;) is the sole entry in the King&#39;s diary on July 14, 1789 ... the day that the Bastille was stormed and the Revolution became a full blown movement to structurally change France&#39;s very existence. Continuing down this well-travelled road of ignorance and wilfull blindness will surely lead the Fifth Republic to the same fate as Louis XVI.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=113143264379523983&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='&quot;Rien&quot;'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-10-31T15:18:00.000-05:00</published><updated>2005-10-31T15:33:26.680-05:00</updated><title type='text'>TRAVESTY</title><content type='html'>What in freaking hell?!?!?!:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;   &lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;Capitol Report has learned about a provision tucked away in the Senate Budget Reconciliation Bill that would direct Medicaid money intended for Katrina affected states (Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana) to Alaska.        &lt;p&gt;The &lt;a target=&quot;_self&quot; href=&quot;;&gt;Budget Reconciliation package (PDF)&lt;/a&gt; contains $71.4 billion in new savings but it also spends $32.4 billion. Portions of that new spending were intended to be Katrina relief funds, but it seems Alaskan interests have once again succeeded in &lt;a target=&quot;_self&quot; href=&quot;;&gt;redirecting funds (PDF)&lt;/a&gt; to the state which has become famous for its &quot;Bridge to Nowhere.&quot;&lt;br /&gt;  &lt;/p&gt;     &lt;p&gt; In addition to providing money for Katrina states, the provision also changes the way Alaska receives federal assistance for its Medicaid services. By changing the federal funding matching percentage for Medicaid in Alaska, the provision will provide an additional $130 million in federal Medicaid funding for Alaska. This additional $130 million is a direct result of tampering with federal matching percentages that results in Alaska being relieved of Medicaid related fiscal burdens that all the other 50 states face.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;So, even though dozens of other states will face the same fiscal pressures as Alaska over the next few years, only Alaska is set to receive additional money.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt;Yet more evidence in support of federal term limits and of repealling the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;XVIIth Amend.&lt;/a&gt; (allowing for the direct election of Senators).</content><link rel="related" href="" title="TRAVESTY"/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='TRAVESTY'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-23T10:56:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-23T11:31:21.126-04:00</updated><title type='text'>&quot;Congress shall make no law ...&quot;</title><content type='html'>It&#39;s a simple phrase.  Why can&#39;t it be heeded?  It seems to be terribly misunderstood quite often and outright ignored at &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;other times&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt;Amid the explosion of political activity on the Internet, a federal court has instructed the six-member Federal Election Commission to draw up regulations that would extend the nation&#39;s campaign finance and spending limits to the Web.&lt;/p&gt;    &lt;p&gt;The FEC, in its initial rules, had exempted the Internet.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; Now some of you will immediately alight upon the notion that the FEC is in fact not Congress, but instead an independent regulatory agency. Fair enough, except that it was created by Congress and any enforcement or rule-making powers it has must come from Congress. For all intents and purposes of the U.S. Constitution, the FEC is Congress.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Some of you will then move on to a discussion of libel and slander laws and how we can&#39;t run around will-nilly shouting &quot;Fire!&quot; in crowded movie theaters. That would be a great point except for the fact that not a single one those libel, slander or defamation laws is FEDERAL. You see, Congress can make (and has made) laws concerning conduct on federal property, such that certain speech may be prohibited as to time and place. What Congress cannot do, nor has it ever had the power to do, is make any law controlling the&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt; content&lt;/span&gt; of one&#39;s speech because such a law regulates or inhibits free speech. &quot;But the States can do it then!&quot; I hear you lament? That&#39;s not only a dubious suggestion, it is also irrelevant to this particular discussion. Simply put, there is no technical parsing or legal wrangling which can defensibly argue that &quot;Congress shall make no law ...&quot; means something other than what it says.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Accordingly, I find the McCain-Feingold legislation patently un-Constitutional and any attempt to extend it&#39;s unlawful prohibitions to the blogosphere should be met not only with loud contempt but also with resilient defiance. On this point, I think &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Bruce McQuain&lt;/a&gt; gets it exactly right:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Now there are two schools of thought here. One that takes up Toner&#39;s theme that blogging should be exempt and that Congress should legislate that exemption under the auspicies of free speech rights.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;There are others who say that the argument gives credence to the right of the government to regulate bloggers that they really don&#39;t have under the First Amendment and that we should instead be telling them to butt out (under the provisions of the First Amendment) and essentially ignore anything they come up with. Or said another way, continue with business as usual, and if they pass a law restricting or regulating blogging, ignore it by engaging in massive civil disobedience.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;I&#39;m inclined toward the latter response for a number of reasons. First, I completely agree that it is a free speech issue and it is McCain-Finegold which is the problem here, not political blogging. The entire point of the free speech portion of the First Amendment was to protect &lt;strong&gt;political&lt;/strong&gt; speech. Now we see an attempt to regulate it. I see that M-F as an illegitimate law which infringes on the basic right of a blogger to espouse freely his or her political opinion as guaranteed by the Constitution.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;All that to say, I plan on ignoring any FEC regulations as they regard blogging.&lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Now, Bruce&#39;s defiance is much more meaningful in the grand scheme of things, given that &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;QandO&lt;/a&gt; generates far more hits than most sites, and infinitely more than this one. Nonetheless I too will actively resist and defy complying with any regulation coming from McCain-Feingold. And by &quot;actively&quot; I mean that I plan to flout the law as openly as possible, making my intentions well known that I consider this particular piece of naked power grabbing to be a flagrant violation of every American&#39;s Constitutional rights. I encourage others to do the same.</content><link rel="related" href="" title="&quot;Congress shall make no law ...&quot;"/><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112748924048614798&amp;isPopup=true' title='6 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='&quot;Congress shall make no law ...&quot;'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>6</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-14T16:12:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-14T17:04:51.973-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Bush to World: &quot;End Subsidies and Tariffs&quot;</title><content type='html'>I love &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;the message&lt;/a&gt;, but I&#39;m skeptical of the actual delivery:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;          &lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;div style=&quot;text-align: justify;&quot;&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt;Saying poverty breeds terrorism and despair, President Bush challenged world leaders on Wednesday to abolish all trade tariffs and subsidies _ worth hundreds of billions of dollars _ to promote prosperity and opportunity in struggling nations. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt; &quot;Either hope will spread, or violence will spread, and we must take the side of hope,&quot; Bush told more than 160 presidents, prime ministers and kings gathered for three days of U.N. General Assembly meetings aimed at combating poverty and reforming the world body.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;/div&gt; &lt;&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;First of all, I&#39;m deeply doubtful that Pres. Bush actual blamed poverty for terrorism and despair. That would, of course, be the left&#39;s row to hoe, and a complete departure from the &quot;they hate us for our freedom&quot; mantra on the right. Secondly, unless concrete plans are put forward to actually eliminate trade barriers, as opposed to softening or regulating them as with the Doha rounds or CAFTA, then the barriers are pretty much here to stay. That being said, Bush did make the following bold claim:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&quot;Today I broaden the challenge by making this pledge: &lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;The United States is ready to eliminate all tariffs, subsidies and other barriers to free flow of goods and services as other nations do the same.&lt;/span&gt; This is key to overcoming poverty in the world&#39;s poorest nations. It&#39;s essential we promote prosperity and opportunity for all nations.&quot;&lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Really? Because that would just peachy as far as I&#39;m concerned. In fact, why should we wait for other countries? Instead, let&#39;s just eliminate farm subsidies and trade tariffs altogether. Even if other countries don&#39;t follow suit (and it&#39;s virtually certain that there are many who won&#39;t), the U.S. will still be better off. Sure, farmers like ADM, Scotty Pippen and Ted Turner will take a short term hit (the destructive side of &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Schumpeter&#39;s&lt;/a&gt; &quot;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;creative destruction&lt;/a&gt;&quot;), but I think we can bear that burden. As poor farmers in Africa, South America and Asia pick up the slack they will grow wealthier. As they grow wealthier their demand for goods produced elsewhere, say here in the United States, will grow as well. Historically, such growth in poorer countries (sometimes referred to as &quot;creating new markets&quot;) leads to even greater growth elsewhere.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Quite simply, inhabitants of third world countries have few opportunities to create wealth, either for themselves (directly) or others (incidently). In wealthy countries like the U.S., wealth opportunities abound. When someone in the U.S. quits farming in order to pursue other, more wealth-producing opportunities, someone in a a country where farming is his best opportunity is able to maximize his wealth production. The end result is greater wealth production all around, both directly (former farmer and new farmer both earning more income) and incidentally (former farmer adding more of higher-valued product to market; new farmer adding food to market at lower cost to consumers). This is illustrative, of course, of the creative side of &quot;creative destruction.&quot;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Sadly, I&#39;m afraid that none of if will come to pass. A careful gander at the the President&#39;s pledge reveals that it is nothing more than typical diploma-speak: we are &quot;ready&quot; to eliminate the tariffs and subsidies &quot;as other nations do the same.&quot; In other words, &quot;we&#39;ll put our gun down when you put your gun down, but you put yours down first.&quot;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112673097913958695&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Bush to World: &quot;End Subsidies and Tariffs&quot;'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-14T11:19:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-14T12:58:45.963-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Al Qaeda  or Civil War</title><content type='html'>Unfortunately, Iraqis suffered another bloody day in Baghdad, where more than 150 people were killed.  From &lt;a href=&quot;;storyID=2005-09-14T133929Z_01_HO423204_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-IRAQ-DC.XML&quot;&gt;Reuters&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt; BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber lured a crowd of Shi&#39;ite Muslim day laborers to his minivan and blew it up in Baghdad on Wednesday, killing 114 people in the bloodiest of a wave of attacks which killed more than 150 across the capital.&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt; The bomber drew the men to his vehicle with promises of work before detonating the bomb, which contained up to 500 pounds (220 kg) of explosives, an Interior Ministry source said.&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt; It was the second deadliest single attack since the  U.S.-led invasion of March 2003.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;National Public Radio&#39;s take, &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;by Anne Garrels&lt;/a&gt;, was strikingly similar to Reuters.  The &lt;a href=&quot;;TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&amp;amp;SECTION=HOME&quot;&gt;Associated Press&lt;/a&gt; reports it this way:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt; BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- More than a dozen explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital in rapid succession Wednesday, killing at least 152 people and wounding 542 in a series of attacks that began with a suicide car bombing that targeted laborers assembled to find work for the day.  &lt;/span&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility&lt;/span&gt;.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt;Reuters also noted the Al Qaeda claim of responsibility, six paragraphs after the lede, but then immediately stumbles into the popular leftist spectre of civil war:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt; A police official said the attacks appeared coordinated. Iraq&#39;s al Qaeda claimed it was waging a nationwide suicide bombing campaign to avenge a military offensive on a rebel town.&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt; A statement on an Islamist Web site often used by the Sunni Muslim militant group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi did not mention a specific attack, but said the campaign was in reprisal for a U.S.-Iraqi offensive in the northern town of Tal Afar.&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt; &quot;We would like to congratulate the Muslim nation and inform it the battle to avenge the Sunnis of Tal Afar has begun,&quot; it said.&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt; Fears of civil war have grown ahead of an October 15  referendum on a new constitution for Iraq.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The AP also raises the civil war meme, albeit more subtley:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt;The blasts coincided with Iraqi lawmakers announcing the country&#39;s draft constitution was in its final form and would be sent to the United Nations for printing and distribution ahead of an Oct. 15 national referendum. &lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;Sunni Muslims, who form up the core of the insurgency, have vowed to defeat the basic law.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;  &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt;[snip]&lt;br /&gt;  &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt;&lt;p&gt;With the constitution finally going to the printers for distribution ahead of the Oct. 15 referendum, Hussein Al-Shahristani, a leading Shiite lawmaker, said the latest changes included an apparent bow to demands from the Arab League that the country be described as a founding member of the 22-member pan-Arab body and that it was &quot;committed to its charter.&quot;&lt;/p&gt;  &lt;p&gt;But that amended clause falls short of demands by Sunnis, who wanted the country&#39;s Arab identity clearly spelled and mentions of federalism be struck from the document. &lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;They argue such language could ultimately lead to the disintegration of the multiethnic nation.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;  &lt;p&gt;Still, the changes were significant after weeks of discussions on the draft. They included clarifying that water resource management was the federal government&#39;s responsibility and that the prime minister would have two deputies in the Cabinet.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Of course, there&#39;s nothing insidious about mentioning the ongoing Constitutional process in Iraq in a story about suicide bombing there.  But the the clear implication of both stories is that the suicide bombings are in some manner precursors to the impending civil war between the Sunnis and the Shi&#39;ites, and that the Constitutional process is a catalyst for that war.  However, if Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attacks, and in fact explicitly stated that they are in retaliation for &quot;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt;the recent killing of about 200 militants from the city of Tal Afar by U.S. and Iraqi forces,&quot; in what way does the Consitutional debate amongst Iraqis figure into the bombings? &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;body&quot;&gt;In other words, either the bombings were in retaliation for the Tal Afar offensive as claimed by Al Quaeda, or they were sparked by the contentious debate over the contents of the proposed Constitution.  The Reuters story mentions that Sunnis make up the core of the insurgency, but does that mean they are necessarily allied with Al Aqaeda?  So much so that they bombed a crowd of Iraqis to further the goal of repelling U.S. &quot;invaders&quot;?  The left has long claimed that Al Qaeda was seeking to foment civil war with its attacks, and that is likely true on some level.  But if that was the purpose of these particular attacks, then why claim a different reason, namely the assault on Tal Afar?&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; The truth is that civil war is not as inevitable as some would have you believe.  I don&#39;t mean to suggest that it&#39;s impossible or that it would comes as a great shock if the situation in Iraq were to devolve into a civil war.  But the window of where that was a great likelihood has passed with the elections in January and the subsequent campaign of inclusion seeking to draw as many Sunnis into the nation-building process as possible.  Judging by the numbers of Sunnis who registerd to vote on the draft Constitution (&quot;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Iraq&#39;s Sunnis  Register to Vote in Droves&lt;/a&gt;&quot;), that campaign has been largely successful, and there doesn&#39;t seem to be as great a potential for civil war as there once may have been.  To be sure, there are still Sunnis who will fight the U.S. and whatever Iraqi government that eventually results.  But it will take more than some holdouts to launch a full-blown civil war. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Moreover, the question still remains unanswered as to what the connection is between Al Qaeda, who took responsibility for the recent blasts, and the beginning of a civil war based upon Sunni dissatisfaction with the Constitution.  Neither the AP nor Reuters has answered that question, even as they implicitly raised it, nor are they likely to.  Instead, they will continue to conflate the two (Al Qaeda and Sunnis; War on Terror and Iraqi Civil War) in an effort to channel the blame for every horrible thing in Iraq directly to the feet of the United States and it&#39;s &quot;illegal&quot; war.  Nevermind the fact that prior to the Iraq War we were constantly reminded of how Bin Laden and Al Qaeda hated Saddam Hussein and the Ba&#39;ath Party because of their secularism, and of how there was never any connection between the two.  That the insurgent Sunnis and Al Qaeda appear on the same side of the ledger now is irrelevant and needless of explanation so long as it is clear to all that U.S. presence in Iraq and the Iraqi Constitution (a direct result of U.S. presence) are the source of all Iraqi ills.  So needless of explanation is the apparent comraderie between insurgent Sunnis and Al Qaeda in fact, that both the AP and Reuters consider it appropriate to include the complaints of one group in a story about the other&#39;s retaliatory strikes. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;One can only wonder what the spin will be once a Constitution is finally put into place and a permanent government elected.</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112671712594286790&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Al Qaeda  or Civil War'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-09T17:37:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-26T11:11:21.756-04:00</updated><title type='text'>&quot;More than a referendum, but less than an election.&quot;</title><content type='html'>Overshadowed by Hurricane Katrina and its political aftermath, the first contested presidential elections were held in Egypt and Hosni Mubarak was swept into victory with better than 88% of the vote. While an impressive number to be sure, only about 23% of the electorate actually voted, and charges of myriad electoral violations marred the victory:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt; Widespread violations were reported by voters, opposition groups and independent monitors during the balloting _ particularly strong pressure from officials and other on voters to back Mubarak. But the election saw none of the violence or overt vote rigging that has plagued past parliamentary elections. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt; Marie, the top judge on Egypt&#39;s highest court, said the vote was clean and allegations of violations stemmed from &quot;over-enthusiasm in a nascent experiment that will be the cornerstone in the construction of democracy.&quot; &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt; On Thursday, Nour demanded the election be repeated because of the allegations, but the commission _ which reform-minded judges have accused of being dominated by the government _ rejected the request. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt; Third-place finisher Gomaa said Friday his party would put together a list of the election violations it witnessed and present them to the commission. But, speaking to Al-Jazeera television, he acknowledged that the violations were not enough to affect Mubarak&#39;s victory.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt;Even so, as some (and &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;one&lt;/a&gt; in particular) like to say, &quot;democracy is a process, not an event.&quot; Judging by Western standards, the Egyptian election does not look like much. But when considered in context -- i.e., a country that has known only autocratic rule for the last 50 years -- this event is inspiring. When viewed in connection with the (i) Iraq elections and subsequent Constitutional process, (ii) the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Palestinian elections&lt;/a&gt;, (iii) the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Lebanon elections&lt;/a&gt;, (iv) the &lt;a href=&quot;;dos=35&amp;amp;art=2548&quot;&gt;Saudi elections&lt;/a&gt;, (v) the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Afghanistan elections&lt;/a&gt;, and (iv) the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Pakistani elections&lt;/a&gt;, none of which have gove perfectly (albeit some better than others) the &quot;process&quot; of democracy begins to appear. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; There&#39;s no question that Mubarak&#39;s re-election is not much more than a baby step in that process, but it&#39;s diminutive stature in the great annals of democracy should not dimish its importance. A two-inch putt counts as much as a 350 yard drive. The very fact that the autocratic grip on what has hitherto sufficed as an &quot;electoral process&quot; has been ever so slightly loosened should be recognized as a an awakening of hope for the Egyptian people, and for the populous of the Arab world in general. Taken as a sign that democracy is beginning to emerge in a land that has never truly known governance by the governed, it starts a fire in the bellies of Arabs elsewhere to see such reforms, however slight, in their own countries. It will take time, but the cries of &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;&quot;kifaya&quot;&lt;/a&gt; will grow louder and louder until the autocrats and dictators have no choice but to change.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;What results will most certainly have little resemblence to American, Canadian, European or even (hopefully) South American democracy. That&#39;s actually not very important. What matters most is that the political structure reflects, as accurately as possible, the will of the governed, as the those who are currently governed see fit to express it. If that means some countries are theocracy well, that probably does not bode well for us. However, an energetic democacy, &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;viz&lt;/span&gt; one that continually regenerates through frequent elections, would not be as foreboding since the governing body would constantly be held to account in meeting the desires of the electorate. The fact that this nascent process is beginning with elections, therefore, is encouraging in my mind.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;story&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</content><link rel="related" href="" title="&quot;More than a referendum, but less than an election.&quot;"/><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112630149777694355&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='&quot;More than a referendum, but less than an election.&quot;'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-09T11:27:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-09T11:59:09.450-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Levee Break, Part II</title><content type='html'>&lt;a href=&quot;,2933,168894,00.html&quot;&gt;Donald Trump&lt;/a&gt; (love him or hate him) puts his finger directly on the problem:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt;What I really look to, you know, when they look at blame, whether you blame presidents or senators or mayors or whoever, I blame the people that were looking after the so-called dam or the &lt;b&gt;levee&lt;/b&gt; (&lt;a href=&quot;javascript:siteSearch(&#39;levee&#39;);&quot;&gt;search&lt;/a&gt;), because, I mean, for a wall to break, for a concrete wall to break, where a city is dependent on that concrete wall holding back essentially the ocean, somebody is to blame.&lt;/p&gt;                                            &lt;p&gt;Now, it was built 100 years ago, but you would certainly think that this was examined once a year, like you do with airplanes and everything else. So, here is a city dependent on this concrete structure that should be strong enough to hold any kind of hurricane and any amount of water. It&#39;s all it is, is engineering.&lt;/p&gt;                                    &lt;p&gt;And for a wall to break — you know, when the hurricane passed, Neil, the people were in good shape. They were rejoicing in the streets. They said, we made it. We made it. It hasn&#39;t been that bad.&lt;/p&gt;                                    &lt;p&gt;And then, all of a sudden, the wall broke, and a tremendous, you know, millions and millions of gallons just poured in. And the water is what caused all of the death and all of the destruction. So, whoever was responsible for the maintenance of that wall should really pay a very, very heavy price.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; When &quot;The Donald &quot; makes more sense with his only statement (AFAIK) on the subject than the entire Democratic Party and the MSM have made with nearly two weeks of finger-pointing, you know somebody has an agenda.</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112628143835176908&amp;isPopup=true' title='2 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Levee Break, Part II'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>2</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-09T10:05:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-09T12:04:54.446-04:00</updated><title type='text'>When Were The Levees Breached?</title><content type='html'>&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Irish Eagle&lt;/a&gt; finds evidence in plain view that the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;levees were known to be breached&lt;/a&gt; on Monday morning, the same morning Katrina hit New Orleans:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;I know I&#39;m not the only one who is under the impression that the levees broke well after the storm had passed. It seems that this may not actually be true. If you read this &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;web diary&lt;/a&gt; of the storm from the &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;New Orleans Times-Picayune&lt;/span&gt; it seems pretty clear that the levees had failed before &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;9am on the Monday&lt;/a&gt;, that is just as the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;eye was passing&lt;/a&gt; New Orleans.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;[snip]&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;It may be because the city authorities initially thought the levees had been &quot;topped&quot; and not breached. Although, they had &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;confirmed a breach&lt;/a&gt; by 2pm on the day of the storm.&lt;/blockquote&gt;The significance of course, is that the whole &quot;New Orleans Dodges a Bullet&quot; meme began circulating within hours of the storm&#39;s passing, including two press releases from U.S. Senators:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;The &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;Times-Picayune&lt;/span&gt; reported that the two US Senators for Louisiana had issued press releases by 3pm, both of which give the impression that nothing all that serious has happened.&lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;The next day the &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;Washington Post&lt;/span&gt; was reporting the story as a &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;&quot;near miss&quot;&lt;/a&gt; as well:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt;NEW ORLEANS -- Announcing itself with shrieking, 145-mph winds, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast on Monday, submerging entire neighborhoods up to their roofs, swamping Mississippi&#39;s beachfront casinos and blowing out windows in hospitals and high-rises. At least 55 people were killed, authorities said.&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;For New Orleans _ a dangerously vulnerable city because it sits mostly below sea level in a bowl-shaped depression _ it was not the apocalyptic storm forecasters had feared.&lt;/p&gt; [snip]&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Katrina had menaced the Gulf Coast over the weekend as a 175-mph, Category 5 monster, the most powerful ranking on the scale. &lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;But it weakened to a Category 4 and made a slight right-hand turn just become it came ashore around daybreak near the Louisiana bayou town of Buras, passing just east of New Orleans on a path that spared the Big Easy _ and its fabled French Quarter _ from its full fury.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;[snip]&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;Calling it a once-in-a-lifetime storm, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin had issued a mandatory evacuation order as Katrina drew near. &lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;But the doomsday vision of hurricane waters spilling over levees and swamping the city in a toxic soup of refinery chemicals, sewage and human bodies never materialized.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;Forecasters said New Orleans _ which has not been hit directly by a major storm since Category 3 Hurricane Betsy struck in 1965 _ &lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;got lucky again&lt;/span&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&quot;The real important issue here is that when it got to the metropolitan area, it was weaker,&quot; said National Hurricane Center deputy director Ed Rappaport, who estimated the highest winds in New Orleans were 100 mph.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; What difference would it have made in the relief efforts? I&#39;m not entirely sure, although it may have created a greater sense of urgency among the remaining denizens (and possibly Mayor Nagin and Gov. Blanco) to get out of the city. Certainly the &lt;a href=&quot;;ex=1126324800&amp;amp;en=a32134100a277a2f&amp;ei=5094&amp;amp;partner=homepage&quot;&gt;die-hards who &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;still&lt;/span&gt; occupy parts of New Orleans&lt;/a&gt; would have stayed behind, but there may have been more emphasis placed on getting everyone out, including those at the Superdome and the Convention Center instead using those two venues as the place to deposit storm survivors who were scattered about town.</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112627573894846307&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='When Were The Levees Breached?'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-07T21:38:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-07T22:48:00.070-04:00</updated><title type='text'>A Damn Fine Point</title><content type='html'>&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Margaret Griffis &lt;/a&gt;has an interesting take, and one that&#39;s hard to argue with, on the disaster that is New Orleans:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;Make no mistake. When New Orleans appeared out from under Katrina, it was mostly cosmetic damage. Lines down, roof shingles scattered and the normal aftermath of a good sized hurricane. It was annoying but it wasn&#39;t a disaster. What happened in the hours AFTER Katrina was a completely &lt;b&gt;man-made&lt;/b&gt; catastrophe. It started years ago when people gladly accepted that the government &lt;i&gt;can&lt;/i&gt; protect them.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;[snip]&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;The government isn&#39;t a thin tissue preventing chaos, it only exaggerates it. In Mississippi where the borders aren&#39;t shut down, private citizens have already arrived with ice, water and food. Elsewhere, &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;private citizens&lt;/a&gt; have offered their homes and transportation all around the country. It&#39;s only by mutual consent that the whole country hasn&#39;t erupted into a battlezone in the wake of this national disaster. The government&#39;s magical pixie dust works only as long as you believe it does, then you realize it has always been up to you.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;I&#39;m not sure that I ascribe to everything that Magaret is pushing, but she makes a damn good argument that government was the source of the problem and not much help (and probably a hinderance) in the solution. When you consider the fact that Katrina itself didn&#39;t exact anywhere near as much damage as the breech of the levee (&quot;How has the [federal] government taken care of them besides selling them a weak levee?&quot;), and that the poor (read &quot;complete lack of&quot;) execution by the local and state authorities as first responders led directly to a great many of the deaths, Margaret&#39;s point makes a great deal of sense.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;[h/t &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;[email protected]&lt;/a&gt;]&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;** UPDATE **&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Jon Henke visited the same issue, albeit from a different angle, with some analysis of what &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;private markets could offer&lt;/a&gt; as an alternative to failed levees and evacuation plans.  Including a menagerie of linked posts, Jon offers the following:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;Via &lt;a href=&quot;; target=&quot;new&quot;&gt;Billy Beck&lt;/a&gt;, I find Walter Block writing &lt;a href=&quot;; target=&quot;new&quot;&gt;a good defense of the alternative&lt;/a&gt;: &lt;strong&gt;&lt;u&gt;Markets&lt;/u&gt;&lt;/strong&gt;   &lt;blockquote style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;First of all, the levees that were breached by the hurricane were built, owned and operated by government. Specifically, by the Army Corps of Engineers. The levees could have been erected to a greater height. They could have been stronger than they were. The drainage system could have operated more effectively. Here, the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board was at fault. ... Had they been, a lot of the inconvenience, fright, and even loss of life undergone in this city could have been avoided.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Then, too, these facilities may have fooled many people into thinking they were safer than they actually were. I know this applies to me. Thus, people were in effect subsidized, and encouraged to settle in the Big Easy.&lt;/blockquote&gt;  This is precisely the effect I addressed in the post on &lt;a href=&quot;; target=&quot;new&quot;&gt;Flood Budgeting&lt;/a&gt;. The New York Times—and Congress—weaved back and forth on how much money should be spent on flood control projects...based mostly on issues entirely unconnected to the &lt;em&gt;actual value&lt;/em&gt; of the money spent and projects undertaken. Neither the NYTimes nor Congress had more than a whimsical investment in New Orleans. They gambled...and lost nothing.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;As they say, read the whole thing, including the comments.</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112614474545873626&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='A Damn Fine Point'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-07T11:07:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-07T17:29:15.000-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Kudos For ABC News</title><content type='html'>&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;The Captain&lt;/a&gt; throws some roses at the feet of ABC News for finally asking the right questions and doing some of that research stuff:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;At least &lt;a href=&quot;;page=1&amp;amp;CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312&quot;&gt;one major media outlet&lt;/a&gt; has finally noticed that New Orleans had an &lt;a href=&quot;;tabid=26&quot;&gt;emergency response plan&lt;/a&gt; for hurricances and evacuations that somehow &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;never got implemented&lt;/a&gt;. ABC News yesterday asked why Mayor Ray Nagin not only did not follow the plan, but actively sent non-evacuees to a site that had no preparations to handle them ....&lt;/blockquote&gt;While that is interesting and commendable, I think the more interesting tidbit was this little bit of elicited information:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;ABC also asked Governor Kathleen Blanco&#39;s office about their response to the evacuation. They responded that&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt; they never asked for evacuation assistance from the federal government as part of their interaction with FEMA, only for assistance with shelter and provisions.&lt;/span&gt; They assumed that the city of New Orleans had followed its own evacuation plan.&lt;/blockquote&gt;(my emphasis added; CQ&#39;s emphasis deleted).  As I pointed out &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;here&lt;/a&gt;, Gov. Blanco made a specific request under the Stafford Act (as she was supposed to do) for relief supplies and support to &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;the tune of $9,000,000&lt;/a&gt; but never sought federal troops to help with the evacuation or dissemination of supplies within the city. Of course, before Katrina actually hit this was probably a reasonable request, but afterwards, why no call for FEMA help in the city?&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;** UPDATE **&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;From the comments, &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Porkopolis&lt;/a&gt; is putting together a sort of deductive timeline of events indicating what the local authorities, state authorities and FEMA did and did not do. He&#39;s looking for people to poke holes in his theory that the feds saved New Orleans&#39; bacon ... as it were. I&#39;m not so sure that FEMA isn&#39;t without fault here, after all it &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;is&lt;/span&gt; a bloated government bureacracy headed by a political appointee who doesn&#39;t seem to have any of the seemingly-required experience for his position. But Porkopolis does string together a fair indication of how things were &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;supposed&lt;/span&gt; to work if everything had gone according to plan, and it doesn&#39;t exactly paint a flattering picture of Nagin or Blanco (think &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Grant Wood&lt;/a&gt; meets &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Edvard Munch&lt;/a&gt;).</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112610618259269834&amp;isPopup=true' title='1 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Kudos For ABC News'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>1</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-07T10:05:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-07T12:52:18.260-04:00</updated><title type='text'>On Left-Libertarianism</title><content type='html'>Libertarians who attempt to align themselves along the traditional left-right political axis often find themselves out of sorts. There are no defining elements of either side that clearly align with the principles of freedom that typically inform libertarian views. However, the small-government philosophy of modern conservatism (at least as it is professed if not practiced) tends to draw many libertarians kicking and screaming to the Republican side of the fence. Others cite the emphasis on &quot;personal freedoms&quot; they find the left side of the spectrum to hold dear as the underpinning of &quot;left libertarianism.&quot; Thomas Knapp offers some analysis on what being a &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;&quot;left libertarian&quot;&lt;/a&gt; means in his view.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;The right values stasis. The left does not—it values change, or to put a prettier face on it, &quot;progress.&quot; Libertarians value liberty. To the extent that libertarians categorize themselves in terms of left and right, we can only align ourselves with the right when the status quo is liberty. Otherwise, we are naturally part of the left, doing our damnedest to steer its adaptive, &quot;progressive&quot; impulse in the direction of freedom.&lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;I finally chose to accept the &quot;left libertarian&quot; label only recently, based primarily on my perception that the status quo created by the left over the last 70 years and now defended with vigor by the right is at the point of crumbling. The left has handed that status quo to the right and is gallivanting off in search of new directions in which to lead society. I believe that libertarians are more fit, both by principle and inclination, to participate in the quest for a new liberty on the left than in the defense of an old creeping tyranny on the right.&lt;/blockquote&gt;I don&#39;t think I buy this at all.  At least not in this day and age.  It may have been true to an extent when Hayek wrote &lt;a href=&quot;;ct=res&amp;amp;cd=1&amp;url=http%3A//;amp;ei=yPYeQ7fBBZeW-gHStamuDA&quot;&gt;&quot;Why I am Not A Conservative&quot;&lt;/a&gt;, and certainly before the New Deal era, but I don&#39;t think it&#39;s an apt description today.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;How often do we hear the lament from the left that righties are seeking to undo the New Deal and Great Society policies of yesteryear? The howling emanating from the left about the sacred intergenerational bond between the old and the young represented by Social Security whenever much needed reforms are proposed is deafening and shrill. These are not the reactions of people seeking a &quot;new liberty&quot; but instead striving to preserve the status quo.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;In fact, the status quo is nothing more than the semi-socialist &quot;the state is your friend&quot; policies that were put in place over the last 100 years, beginning with Teddy Roosevelt (who defined himself as a Progressive) and ending with Lyndon B. Johnson (the Great Society) &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;[UPDATED:  and, of course, Nixon who ushered in the EPA and price controls]&lt;/span&gt;. Carter, Clinton and Bush II have all added to that creaking system in one way or another (although Carter did begin the deregulation process carried forward by Reagan). But it is the left that continually defines &quot;progress&quot; as policies that necessarily require government intervention and guidance. When they are not clamoring for leaving the welfare state untouched, the pushing for yet more government spending on programs they deem just.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;As &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Jon Henke puts it&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;For my own part, I tend to align with the Right, simply because I don&#39;t believe that the &quot;new liberty&quot; sought by the Progressives will resemble the &quot;old liberty&quot;. Moreover, I don&#39;t find the required constant revolution in search of new &quot;progress&quot; very appealing.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;The &quot;Right&quot; still defends—or, at least, sympathizes with—Enlightenment-era notions of liberty. I sympathize with Republicans because I believe they can be salvaged; I do not believe the Progressives will ever stop looking for new notions of &quot;rights&quot; long enough to reflect upon what was right about the old notion. If they did, they&#39;d have to stop calling themselves progressives.&lt;/blockquote&gt;I must admit that I grow less hopeful that Republicans can be &quot;salvaged&quot; with each new Congress and Presidential budget. But the constant push towards greater government intervention and control over citizens&#39; lives that comes from the left at least forces the right to counter with proposals that are, sometimes, more supportive of freedom than less. Moreover, it seems that the &quot;personal freedoms&quot; held so dear by the left are nothing more than special interest protections that have little to do with individuals and everything to do with voting blocs. Whether or not there can be such a thing as &quot;left libertarianism&quot; I don&#39;t know. But at this point, color me unconvinced.</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112610436144459355&amp;isPopup=true' title='5 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='On Left-Libertarianism'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>5</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-06T16:00:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-07T12:10:06.146-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Hockey News: Scott Stevens Retires</title><content type='html'>And 1 Million Flyers fans collectively heave a great sigh as they wish him a fond farewell! Seriously, Scott Stevens is one of the best defensemen to ever play the game, and any forward who had the audacity to skate through open ice with his head down could expect a hearty &quot;Howdy Do!&quot; from Mr. Stevens. Just ask &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Eric Lindros&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;Lindros&#39; head rocked like you would imagine a person&#39;s head in a car accident being rocked. His face went blank, body limp, but still held upright by the terrific force of the collision as if by an invisible rope, then dropping like one of those skyscrapers that are dynamited from the inside.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Lindros looked oblivious, defenceless, out on his feet as he feel earthward, his head then snapping off the ice.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;His helmet settled over his eyes as Lindros lay on his side his lips drawn into a tight line, arms in front of him as though handcuffed.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;[snip]&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&quot;Our jaws dropped like everybody else&#39;s in the building,&quot; said Devils forward Bobby Holik. &quot;He&#39;s done that to other guys, but this was the biggest, strongest guy in the league. I was in awe.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&quot;I still can&#39;t believe it. That&#39;s what legends are made of, a play that will never be forgotten.&quot;&lt;/blockquote&gt;I, for one, will never forget it. It hurt just watching it, and not that good kind of hurt like when you compulsively rub that bruise behind you knuckle. You know the one. No, it felt more like the whoosh of a freight train that rolls past you at full speed while you&#39;re standing quayside and conjures up those stories of people getting surreptitiously sucked under the steely wheels. That adrenal pang in your stomach that says &quot;hey, that was close, now back away.&quot;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Nor will I ever forget how that single play competely changed the momentum of that series. The Flyers went on to lose that seventh game in the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals, after being up three games to one with home-ice advantage. That 2000 Flyers team was something special too, in that they played well beyond themselves and found ways to win that couldn&#39;t be added up on roster sheets or tallied in scoring stats. They believed in themselves and their &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;ailing coach&lt;/a&gt;. They had no fear, and even lesser talent, with their superstar center Eric Lindros riding the bench for the playoffs, up until that fateful game.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;When Lindros intercepted a Scott Niedermayer pass at center ice and started to skate into the offensive zone, the crowd rose to its feet in eager anticipation. Already electrified by Lauren Hart&#39;s rendition of &quot;God Bless America&quot; (a Philadelphia Flyer tradition started with Kate Smith), Flyers fans sucked in their collective breaths as Lindros glided to the blue line, wondering, hoping, that the hated Devils would finally be cast off, and that the promise of another Stanley Cup (represented in the mostrous deal to acquire Lindros) was about to take that magical step across the threshold into the ante-chamber of championships, when&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;WHAM!&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Scott Stevens ended it all. The air rushed out of the building, heads fell, and we all knew ... it was over. Not only was that it for the game, for the playoffs, for the Stanley Cup dreams, and most likely (or so we thought) for Lindros&#39; career, that was the end of the magic that was the 2000 Flyers playoff team. With that crushingly clean blow, Scott Stevens shattered whatever mystical bond enabled a rookie goaltender (Brian Boucher) to go toe-to-toe with Martin Brodeur; that buoyed rookie defenseman Andy Delmore as he scored a hat trick (5 goals in the series) to pull ahead in the Pittsburgh series; and that propelled the entire roster through an amazing five overtime periods, the third longest game in NHL history, to tie the Pittsburgh series on the road. The Flyers feasted on the sweet ambrosia of &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Morpheus&lt;/a&gt;. Stevens brought them crashing to earth faster then you could say &lt;a href=&quot;;ct=res&amp;amp;cd=3&amp;url=http%3A//;amp;ei=ew0eQ6XvNqLi-AH_p5CcDA&quot;&gt;&quot;Icarus.&quot;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Where the Flyers found sustenance in forgeting who they were and concentrating on the heights they sought to attain, Stevens found his fortitude in the very ground where he left his opponents a wriggling mess. He was a man of ice, cold and hard: under his feet, coursing through his veins, bursting from his eyes, and steeling his resolve. Stevens never pretended to be something other than what he was -- a hitting machine. If you came into his territory without the courtesy of brief survey, a quick look-around, well, you&#39;d been warned. For that he reason he was feared by all the rest of the NHL, and fiercely loved at home in Joisey.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;I think I can safely speak for Flyers fans everywhere when I say, &quot;good luck with your retirement Mr. Stevens. May it be long and uneventful, yet full of enough interesting things to keep you off the ice permanently, unless ... did&#39;ya ever consider wearing the orange and black?&quot;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;** UPDATE **&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Keith Primeau&lt;/a&gt; gives life to my commentary above:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt;Doing his best to be diplomatic given the presence of Stevens&#39; teammate &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Martin Brodeur&lt;/a&gt; on a league-organized conference call to help promote the start of training camp next week, &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Philadelphia Flyers&lt;/a&gt; captain &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Keith Primeau&lt;/a&gt; explained that the Devils were simply a different team to play against when Stevens was out of the lineup.&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&quot;There was just a different feel without Scotty there,&quot; said Primeau, whose Flyers cruised past the Devils in five games during a first-round matchup in the spring of 2004.&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&quot;He&#39;ll be sorely missed on their behalf, not necessarily so much on our part,&quot; he said.&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;It&#39;s hard to imagine higher praise.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</content><link rel="related" href="" title="Hockey News: Scott Stevens Retires"/><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112604039659020137&amp;isPopup=true' title='4 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Hockey News: Scott Stevens Retires'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>4</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-04T23:22:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-04T23:28:14.403-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Katrina Timeline</title><content type='html'>This &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;timeline&lt;/a&gt;, put together by Rick Moran at &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Right Wing Nut House&lt;/a&gt;, of the events preceding, coinciding with, and subsequent to Katrina making landfall just east of New Orleans, will prove to be useful in the near future I expect.</content><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Katrina Timeline'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-04T00:46:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-04T00:51:41.186-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Renquist, C.J. -- R.I.P.</title><content type='html'>Such an event is huge is the most normal of circumstances.  I can&#39;t even begin to imagine the enormity of the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court passing away in the midst of (1) the most contentious presidential administration since Nixon, (2) the aftermath of the worst natural disaster to occur in United States history, (3) one nominee patiently awaiting a hearing, and (4) salivating attack dogs already desperate to find some sort of purchase with the squeaky clean nominee.  Historically speaking, this will be a summer to remember.</content><link rel="related" href=";TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&amp;SECTION=HOME" title="Renquist, C.J. -- R.I.P."/><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112580950118283873&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Renquist, C.J. -- R.I.P.'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-03T13:31:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-06T18:41:35.313-04:00</updated><title type='text'>U.S. Navy To The Rescue</title><content type='html'>While the charges of ineptitude and the finger-pointing continues apace, there seems to be a significant misunderstanding as to what role the military has played thusfar in the Katrina relief effort. One prime example is found in the &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;U.S.S. Bataan (LHD5)&lt;/a&gt;, which has been parked off the coast of Louisiana since Tuesday:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;The multi-purpose amphibious assault ship &lt;em&gt;USS Bataan       (LHD 5) &lt;/em&gt; began service Tuesday night and continued on Wednesday as the Maritime Disaster Service Coordinator for the U.S. Navy&#39;s role in the Hurricane Katrina search and rescue efforts in the immediate New Orleans area. Embarked helicopter squadrons have moved over 200 stranded personnel in two days of flying. &lt;p class=&quot;style21&quot; align=&quot;justify&quot;&gt;Crewmembers from Helicopter Sea Control Squadron 28 based out of Naval Station Norfolk and Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 based out of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi launched three MH-53 Sea Dragons and two MH-60 Knight Hawks Tuesday night and again at daylight Wednesday to help out where they are needed. &lt;/p&gt;       &lt;p class=&quot;style21&quot; align=&quot;justify&quot;&gt;The crews flew off Tuesday night towards New Orleans and were tasked by the on-scene rescue coordinators. “Our first mission was to provide food and water and to take some people to a safer haven and to help with the levee by providing sandbags,” said AS2(AW/NAC) Johnny Ramirez, MH-53 Aircrewman for HM-15. “We weren&#39;t able to complete our assigned mission Tuesday night because it got too dark and it was too risky to land anywhere with all of the water and power lines. Instead, we just flew Tuesday night to survey the area.” &lt;/p&gt;       &lt;p class=&quot;style21&quot; align=&quot;justify&quot;&gt;On Wednesday, a crew from HM-15 assisted with lifting numerous stranded citizens in a very short period of time. “My crew and I airlifted nearly 100 people from the roof of a building and onto a field where ambulances and busses were waiting for them,” said LCDR David Hopper, detachment Officer in Charge of HM-15. “Ten of those who we rescued couldn&#39;t even walk; my crewmen had to carry them.”&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p class=&quot;style21&quot; align=&quot;justify&quot;&gt;I have not heard or read anything about these (successful) relief efforts. You can find out more about the ongoing missions be conducted at &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;;/a&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p class=&quot;style21&quot; align=&quot;justify&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;**UPDATE**&lt;/span&gt;  Welcome &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Protein Wisdom&lt;/a&gt; readers!  Please have a look around, but, y&#39;know ... don&#39;t touch anything. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p class=&quot;style21&quot; align=&quot;justify&quot;&gt;Seriously.  Leave that alone. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p class=&quot;style21&quot; align=&quot;justify&quot;&gt;C&#39;mon, man!  I just got that ... fucking peasants!&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112576956876555825&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='U.S. Navy To The Rescue'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-03T01:29:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-03T01:59:20.010-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Kanye West - A Public Disgrace</title><content type='html'>This &lt;a href=&quot;,2933,168387,00.html&quot;&gt;sort of nonsense&lt;/a&gt; is not only ill-timed and unhelpful, it just doesn&#39;t find any basis in reality:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;Appearing two-thirds through the [Concert for Hurricane Relief] program [aired on NBC], [Kanye West] claimed &quot;George Bush doesn&#39;t care about black people&quot; and said America is set up &quot;to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible.&quot;&lt;/blockquote&gt;First of all, what possessed Mr. West to think that such comments would be helpful during a telethon to raise money for &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;a natural disaster&lt;/span&gt;?  While I understand that it&#39;s &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;quite popular to bash Pres. Bush and the Right&lt;/a&gt; over this horrible event, how does that help to raise money for the victims? Moreover, how do square Mr. West&#39;s rambling commentary with &lt;a href=&quot;;storylist=louisiana&quot;&gt;the fact that&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said &lt;b&gt;President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation&lt;/b&gt; for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.&lt;/blockquote&gt;There certainly may yet be some real blame to lay at the President&#39;s feet over this tragedy, but blanket statements that he doesn&#39;t care about black people, as well as the rest of race-baiting nonsense being bandied about, are down right irresponsible.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;**UPDATE**&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Mr. West displays his formidable mental acuity &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;here&lt;/a&gt; (he was, after all, recently dubbed &quot;the smartest man in pop music&quot; by &lt;a href=&quot;,10987,1096499,00.html&quot;&gt;Time Magazine&lt;/a&gt;).  (h/t to &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Michelle Malkin&lt;/a&gt;)</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112572670816131677&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Kanye West - A Public Disgrace'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-02T22:38:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-02T23:00:30.670-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Gov. Janus</title><content type='html'>As you may or may not know, the California Senate voted to &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;allow gay marriage&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 14px;&quot;&gt;SACRAMENTO, California (AP) -- The California Senate approved legislation Thursday that would legalize same-sex marriages, a vote that makes the chamber the first legislative body in the country to approve a gay marriage bill.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;   &lt;p&gt;The 21-15 vote sets the stage for a showdown in the state Assembly, which narrowly rejected a gay marriage bill in June.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; However, Gov. Schwarzenegger is apparently &lt;a href=&quot;,0,4562261.story?coll=la-home-local&quot;&gt;getting his veto pen ready&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;Signaling a likely veto if it does pass, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger&#39;s spokeswoman said he preferred to let judges sort out the legality of gay marriage; such a case is moving toward the state Supreme Court.&lt;br /&gt; &lt;br /&gt;[snip]&lt;br /&gt; &lt;br /&gt;Schwarzenegger&#39;s spokeswoman, Margita Thompson, said that although the governor supports domestic partnerships, &lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;he does not agree with legislatively allowing gay marriages.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; For once I agree completely with &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Kevin Drum&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;That&#39;s something you don&#39;t hear every day: the legislature should &lt;i&gt;avoid&lt;/i&gt; legislating and instead let the judiciary legislate for them.  Politics doesn&#39;t get much more gutless than that.&lt;/blockquote&gt;I don&#39;t agree with gay marriage either, but if my duly-elected legislature votes to grant such a privilege, oh well, too bad for me.  I can either live with it, move, or get active on the political issue.  Calling for a veto is absurd and clearly a pander to, frankly, voters like myself.  While I don&#39;t live in California, if I did this sort of veto-wielding does not garner my vote and in fact repulses me.  As Kevin said, it is simply &quot;gutless.&quot;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112571643066165800&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Gov. Janus'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-09-02T14:55:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-02T16:31:31.350-04:00</updated><title type='text'>The Blame Vane</title><content type='html'>In the aftermath of Katrina, as was probably expected by many, finger-pointing continues unabated and seemingly without much hinderance from reality. For example, while it may have been prudent for President Bush to have returned to Washington much earlier, not to mention symbolically powerful, the logistics of the relief effort are no better coordinated from D.C. than they are from Crawford, TX or San Diego, CA. In the same vein, even though Gov. Blanco inspires something significantly less than confidence based upon her efforts thusfar, and despite Mayor Nagin&#39;s &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;&quot;Kate Hale Moment&quot;&lt;/a&gt;, how much preparation could there possibly have been for a once in several lifetimes event?&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;My own view is that (a) at least some of the more nefarious element has hampered what ever preparations and plans were in place to the point that mass evacuation became impossible, and (b) the Mayor and, more importantly, the Governor were terribly slow to put any sort of plan in place. The federal response thusfar appears to be lightning quick when compared to previous natural disasters, according to this &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;commentor at Donald Sensing&#39;s site&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;Disclosure: I’m a volunteer coordinator for &lt;span class=&quot;caps&quot;&gt;MEMA &lt;/span&gt;(The Missouri Emergency Management Agency), I’ve been through three major floods and a few big storms that generated enough tornado damage to get the affected counties disaster relief – believe me when I tell you what we are seeing from &lt;span class=&quot;caps&quot;&gt;FEMA&lt;/span&gt; now is lightyears ahead of what I’ve seen from them in the past. Typically it took two to three days just to get the disaster declaration, then another two to three to get &lt;span class=&quot;caps&quot;&gt;FEMA&lt;/span&gt; deployed – of course by then the local guys had been on the ground working around the clock for five or six days and we were more than happy to dump everything in &lt;span class=&quot;caps&quot;&gt;FEMA&lt;/span&gt;’s lap. That’s the way the system is designed. Bush saw that and tried to skip a few steps to speed things up, he pre-declared the areas disaster areas.&lt;/blockquote&gt;Moreover, the feds simply don&#39;t have the power to just start sending troops into a disaster area. The State has to request such help first. Gov. Blanco made the requisite request for Pres. Bush to &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;declare a state of emergency&lt;/a&gt; for Louisiana on Saturday, August 27, 2005, but no military or federal law enforcement supports were requested:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;normal&quot;&gt;ENCLOSURE A TO EMERGENCY REQUEST&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Estimated requirements for other Federal agency programs:&lt;br /&gt;• Department of Social Services (DSS): Opening (3) Special Need Shelters (SNS) and establishing (3) on Standby. Costs estimated at $500,000 per week for each in operation.&lt;br /&gt;• Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH): Opening (3) Shelters and establishing (3) on Standby. Costs estimated at $500,000 per week for each in operation.&lt;br /&gt;• Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP): Providing generators and support staff for SNS and Public Shelters. Costs estimated to range from $250,000-$500,000 to support (6) Shelter generator operations.&lt;br /&gt;• Louisiana State Police (LSP): Costs to support evacuations - $300,000 for a non-direct landfall.&lt;br /&gt;• Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (WLF): Costs to support evacuations - $200,000 for a non-direct landfall.&lt;br /&gt;• Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD): Costs to support evacuations - $2,000,000 for a non-direct landfall.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Totals: $ 9,000,000&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Estimated Requirements for assistance under the Stafford Act:&lt;br /&gt;                         &lt;br /&gt;Coordination: $0&lt;br /&gt;Technical and advisory assistance: $0&lt;br /&gt;Debris removal: $0&lt;br /&gt;Emergency protective measures:  $ 9,000,000&lt;br /&gt;Individuals and Households Program (IHP): $0&lt;br /&gt;Distribution of emergency supplies: $0&lt;br /&gt;Other (specify): $0&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Totals: $ 9,000,000&lt;br /&gt;Grand Total: $ 9,000,000&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;normal&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;So, while it is tempting to blame the deepest, most visible pockets here, I&#39;m not so sure that&#39;s very accurate.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;**UPDATE**&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Further to what I&#39;ve written above, Bruce McQuain provides an&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt; excellent roundup&lt;/a&gt; of the  various places where  blame my properly lie.</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112569235854084811&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='The Blame Vane'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-08-31T13:12:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-09-01T09:50:50.723-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Katrina Aid -- Clearinghouse of Links</title><content type='html'>On the extremely rare chance that you have come to this site before, or instead of, going to ... well, anywhere else, please follow the links below in order to contribute to the relief effort for Hurricane Katrina:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Wizbang&lt;/a&gt;: Paul has actually been holed up inside the Superdome to ride out Katrina and he has a list of useful efforts for bloggers to engage in, such as --&lt;br /&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;   &lt;p&gt;We don&#39;t know how FEMA works. Somebody read the news reports on what FEMA is doing and what it is not... Somebody read their site and distill it for those of us who don&#39;t have time for red tape.&lt;/p&gt;     &lt;p&gt;Flood insurance? I know the feds handle it. Who do I need to talk to? What do they pay? &lt;/p&gt;     &lt;p&gt;Every natural disaster I send the Red Cross my standard $100 donation. I have no idea how to get money &lt;i&gt;from&lt;/i&gt; them. It is a grant or a loan?&lt;/p&gt;     &lt;p&gt;If I don&#39;t actually cancel my phones and my bill is auto-debit do they still bill me?&lt;/p&gt;     &lt;p&gt;If I shut off my phone will I lose my number?&lt;/p&gt;     &lt;p&gt;Heck- Somebody make an &quot;Evacuee survival guide&quot; with laser precision information on how to get help without clicking 50 links or waiting on hold 2 hours. If you can save 25,000 people 5 hours of looking up the same information, think of the power in that!&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;   Be sure to check out the trackbacks to that post for useful information, and also see Kevin Aylward&#39;s post, &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;Hurricaid&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; for making a direct donation to Paul.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Instapundit&lt;/a&gt;: Continuously updated post with links to various relief efforst and charity organizations, among other links.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Michelle Malkin&lt;/a&gt;:  Myriad posts &lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;(just keep scrolling)&lt;/span&gt; about and links to charities, relief funds.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;The Truth Laid Bear&lt;/a&gt;: &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Blog for Relief Day, Thursday September 1&lt;/a&gt; -- round up of links to blogs focused on raising awareness of and finding funds for relief efforts to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: bold;&quot;&gt;**UPDATE**&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;QandO&lt;/a&gt;: Links to some more charities, specifically some that will benefit soldiers with loved ones in New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast.</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112550921915504701&amp;isPopup=true' title='6 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Katrina Aid -- Clearinghouse of Links'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>6</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-08-30T09:59:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-08-30T10:08:25.370-04:00</updated><title type='text'>Vaclav Havel Speech</title><content type='html'>&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;President Havel&lt;/a&gt; is well worth listening to:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;Fifteen years after the collapse of communism. I am afraid more than at the beginning of its softer (or weaker) version, of social-democratism, which has become – under different names, e.g. the welfare state or the soziale Marktwirtschaft – the dominant model of the economic and social system of current Western civilization. It is based on big and patronizing government, on extensive regulating of human behavior, and on large-scale income redistribution.&lt;/blockquote&gt;The ever-shifting monikers for what is essentially collectivism (as opposed to individulism expressed through a rule of law that protects individual property rights) have taken on dizzying speed with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Alas, &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;&quot;a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.&quot;&lt;/a&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112541075219894680&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='Vaclav Havel Speech'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>,</id><published>2005-08-29T22:56:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2005-08-30T00:15:08.476-04:00</updated><title type='text'>File Under &quot;Who?&quot;</title><content type='html'>How much moral authority does &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;September 11th survivor Earl Johnson&lt;/a&gt; have?&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Apparently &lt;a href=&quot;;hs=Pfv&amp;amp;amp;lr=&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;amp;rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&amp;tab=wn&amp;amp;ie=ISO-8859-1&amp;q=Earl+%2B+Johnson+%2B+september+11th+survivor+%2B+crawford&amp;amp;btnG=Search+News&quot;&gt;not much&lt;/a&gt;.  (Compare &quot;&lt;a href=&quot;;hs=Pfv&amp;amp;lr=&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;amp;rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&amp;tab=wn&amp;amp;ie=ISO-8859-1&amp;q=Cindy+Sheehan+%2B+crawford&amp;amp;btnG=Search+News&quot;&gt;Cindy Sheehan + Crawford&lt;/a&gt;&quot;).&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-style: italic;&quot;&gt;via &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Lights, Camera, Protest!&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href=';postID=112537100123665926&amp;isPopup=true' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href=''/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='' title='File Under &quot;Who?&quot;'/><author><name>michael</name><uri></uri><email>[email protected]</email><gd:image rel='' width='16' height='16' src=''/></author><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry></feed>

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