The Third Rail

Friday, August 23, 2002

When an article begins with "World faces polyster crisis" you know it's a must read.

I wonder when the common Palestinian will realize he is being used to further the agenda of an elite who sacrifice nothing but constantly call upon others to give their lives.

Publication of this dialogue must have been rather embarrassing to Abdel Rantisi, given that it underscores an uncomfortable reality about the young suicide bombers blowing themselves up for the Palestinian cause: Not one has come from a prominent Palestinian family.

The rich and the well to do Palestinians will fight to the last poor Palestinian. This entire affair sickens me.

As a student of World War II history, I remember so many people writing that Hitler could have been stopped in 1936 when he reoccupied the Rhineland. Not stopping him there encouraged the Nazis enough to start World War II three years later.

Khidhir Hamza, former chief nuclear scientist for Saddam's nuclear weapons development program and another Iraqi defector, estimates Iraq now has "12 tons of uranium and 1.3 tons of low-enriched uranium" and asserts that Saddam will have "three to five nuclear weapons by 2005."

That's three years from now. We shouldn't wait.

Ha, ha, ha! And my friends called me insane when I told them I would never abandon the paradigm of the "4 basic food groups" for the new Food Pyramid. Now who's the fool! Bwu-ha-ha!

I couldn't even stand school lunches. I'd never listened to the government on how I should eat.

In the years after high school, some old friends started smoking marijuana and entered a subculture where listening to Phish became mandatory and the most inane conversations were viewed as insightful dialogues about life. Being the sober one in this group gave me a slightly altered perspective (the one good thing out of this affair was a new friendship with someone else who palled with that same group who was likewise unimpressed).

My opposition to their smoking was well known, and inevitably as part of their defense they would state how the Founding Farmers all grew hemp for paper and how many trees it would save if we used hemp now. My response was always asking how the composition of paper resulted in their smoking pot? The whole discussion was simply a ruse - and a bad one at that - to obfuscate that they were becoming boring, hippie losers.

A similar exercise exists about medical marijuana. I'm not against cancer patients avoiding horrible pain, so I'm been benevolently neutral during the whole debate. I just wonder how impassioned the stoners of the world will be about it once the word of this gets out.

Has everyone gone mad?

Libya is to be elected chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights - despite its links with terrorism and torture.

When the world has become as dysfunctional as this, you know a lot of people are going to die at some point. The current international system does not reflect reality, just a bizarre expressionist fantasy. Dr. Caligari is laughing at us.

I stopped reading George Will a long time ago, but I was pointed to this article.

The debate about regime change through preemptive war is reaching a rolling boil before the administration is ready to respond, so the war's first surprise has already happened.

Any competent President would have been ready for this debate the moment he decided to include Iraq in any "axis of evil" speech. Then again, what can we expect from Fredo when he's left in charge of the Corleone family? I'm expecting Moe Green to show up at the White House and slap him sometime.

Why the hell is this even the government's business? Spending $190 million to fight child obesity? Here's my solution for free: have one kid at every playground make fun of the fat ones. After all, we need the money to save us from anorexic, clove-smoking goths.

People who were never slaves seek money from people who never owned slaves. You don't think it might not be about "justice" at all, but merely about a free lunch? Let's ask a sympathetic observer on the scene:

One of the most jarring aspects of the rally was the alarming rhetoric flowing from center stage. "I heard black people get happy on pay day," shouted Hashim Nzinga, the national chief of staff for the New Black Panther Party. "Well it's pay day!" he continued excitedly, before introducing Malik Zulu Shabazz, the 34-year-old party chairman. Shabazz's group, it should be noted, has been denounced by members of the original Black Panther Party and its heirs for some of its more reactionary views and anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Shabazz followed Nzinga's stereotype-laden comments with a bit of race baiting: "You've heard of pin the tail on the donkey? Well now it's time to pin the tale on the honkey!"

In one of the rally's many low points, the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, of the House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn, New York, informed the crowd, "I don't care how many welfare checks you get, they will not pay you for the labor of your ancestors." He immediately followed this with the arguably contradictory adage, "just don't get a welfare mentality while you're collecting your checks!"

To the central question of the afternoon -- namely, "how much they owe us" -- the answer generally came back as some nebulous, astronomical and amorphous amount, oddly enough often invoked as an actual paycheck (something more mainstream reparations advocates have cautioned against).

Oh, yeah, these people are making their case very persuasive. Is Alex P. Kellog truly so clueless about what this is about that he thinks the whole reparation issue is thought of as "oddly enough... an actual paycheck?" Why, that would make it just a scam as opposed to a glorious moment when the Alex P. Kellog's of the world can woo the black man and woman with his white symapthy.

My favorite line:

"Knowing what I know about what my people did, I wouldn't be able to respect myself if I weren't doing everything I can to have this country and white people face up to the crime we committed and to right this grave wrong," said New Yorker Donna Lamb, 53, a member of Caucasians United for Reparations and Emancipation.

600,000 Americans died during the Civil War that ended slavery. I guess that wasn't a high enough price. Would she prefer the families of the dead men to have given money at that time (and if so how much), or just would have liked a higher body count to salve her conscience? Just how many Americans should have died so that the nation paid for the crime of slavery?

Found via Little Green Footballs. The best part:

The GLA refused to give permission to Al-Muhajiroun, a militant organisation that has called for terrorist attacks on western targets, to hold a rally in Trafalgar Square on Sunday, but it found that it had no legal right to do so.

Do you think they wanted Osama to blow up Trafalgfar Square while they were in it?

This man should be commended for the fantastic work he's done. He's the closest thing to William Shirer this war has.

Why can't I have magical powers like bloodthirsty North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Il?

Kim, who enjoys god-like status at home where he is known as the Dear Leader, hates flying and arrived in Russia, as last year, by armored express.

Back in Pyongyang, the official media sustained his image of a miracle-worker, telling his people Friday that on his trip to Russia last year his very presence had chased away rain clouds.

His fabled powers, however, failed Friday when torrential rain met him on arrival at Vladivostok rail station, forcing him to skip a scheduled welcome by Russian officials.

For those who know even less about Islam than I do, Sharia is Islamic Law. It's quite different from any Judeo-Christian Biblical law like the Ten Commandments. In Judaism, if I understand rightly, you always had the secular power of the King - David, Solomon, what have you, but there was always a higher law - God's - the people could appeal to if the King ended up tyrannical. In other words, Biblical law (like its secular counterpart Natural Law from which American political philosophy is based) does not serve to justify secular power, but to constrain it. Likewise, the centuries-long persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire (and Christ's admonish to render to Caesar what is his, and to God what is God's) there has always been a division between spiritual authority and the temporal. No matter the power of the Pope, he was no King or Emperor. Thus was established the precedent that people could govern themselves in assemblies.

Sharia is different because it's supposed to directly from God. There's no need for democratic assemblies because God has already given man a perfect law. Who can improve on that? Thus the ruler was merely suppose to enforce the law, not create it. Hence democracy is dangerous. Of course, even not considering whether Islamic law is preferrable, the lack of counterbalancing institutions enables corruption and tyranny. Hence the Islamic Republic of Iran where the people have voted in reformers that dominate the legislature, but they aren't able to change anything (what do you a call a government where people can vote who they want a slong as they don't change anything? It's not a democracy, I know that.)

Thus Tim Blair quotes this guy:

All these comments about Sharia law being barbaric and a crime against humanity make me angry. Sharia is a law for the community whereas western law seems to be for the criminal. Do you think that you would have all the crime that you have in the West if we had Sharia Law? I think not!
Ibrahim, UK

That's because in areas where Sharia is the law, there are no criminals on the street because they are all in the government. It's easy to have a low murder rate when the murderers kill their political opponents and don't count them in the statistics. Likewise, it's easy not to have crime, when all the thieves take your money by taxation instead of burglarly. And who needs prostitution when you can have a harem?

I judge laws and societies based on their results, not any fancy political theory. It's what happens when you're raised in farm country in the Midwest (I wasn't raised on a farm myself, but my friends were). We are richer, more free, and live in less fear in America than anywhere in the Middle East or where Sharia is in place. There's a reason for that