Quick Roundup 120

Monday, November 20, 2006

What is still missing here?

At the tail end of a lengthy article about criticism of President Bush from administration insiders is the following quote:

Most troubling, [Kenneth Adelman] said, are his shattered ideals: "The whole philosophy of using American strength for good in the world, for a foreign policy that is really value-based instead of balanced-power-based, I don't think is disproven by Iraq. But it's certainly discredited." [bold added]
Even after its shellacking, it would seem that the GOP isn't talking about an "American self-interest-based" foreign policy! Adelman, at least, seems to see only the same old false alternative between seeking "stability" and serving as the world's milch cow.

Dems to Work for Higher Fuel Prices

If the Republicans learned nothing about the purpose of warfare from their electoral defeat, the Democrats have learned nothing about economics since the Carter years. They're already pushing for a windfall profits tax and redistribution of wealth to the development of alternative fuels.

Yeah. That'll make fuel supplies go up and fuel prices come down.

Crime (Reporting) Stoppers

The Chinese government has decided, I guess, that censoring crime news is easier than oh, I don't know, better controlling crime!
"Reporting of cases that harm public security and cases of vicious crimes, such as kidnap and arson, will be subject to strict controls," he continued. "Detailed reports of detective work and investigations by the police will be banned and detailed descriptions and analysis of criminal methods and motives will also be banned."
Or, given that the Chinese government is essentially one big criminal gang, perhaps it is protecting trade secrets!

And Speaking of Censorship...

... I found by accident a service that permits people in India, China, and Pakistan to access blogs that have been blocked in these countries. Email your friends.

Political Assassination Attempt

If anyone had any doubts that Vladimir Putin represents a step backwards for Russia, the following should allay them:
Alexander Litvinenko, a former colonel in the Russian secret service and a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, was seriously ill under armed guard at a London hospital last night.

Mr Litvinenko, 50, who used to work for the Federal Security Bureau (FSB, the former KGB), fell ill after meeting a contact at Itsu, a sushi restaurant in Piccadilly. The woman journalist claimed to have information on the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, 48, the outspoken journalist who was killed at her Moscow apartment last month.
Human Sacrifice in Lieu of Argument

The following is bad news, and a bad idea for reasons I have outlined before. And it's old news, but get a load of this:
Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 if the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has his way.

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars and to bolster U.S. troop levels insufficient to cover potential future action in Iran, North Korea and Iraq.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said. [link dropped, bold added]
This is exactly backwards! First of all, it is not having a draft that prevents idiot politicians from indiscriminately launching wars that need huge armies, knowing full well that they will have however many bodies they need. If America needs defending, her citizens will volunteer, as they always have.

Second, Rangel basically wants to use the draft to turn young American men en masse into a "human shield" against Congress failing to carefully consider the decision to go to war at best and against acting decisively after an attack at worst.

What we need is for politicians -- like Rangel -- to behave responsibly. Instead, we see them demanding that we force our children to play Russian Roulette via a military draft. Rangel would risk the random sacrifice of young adults in the name of having a "speed bump" against going to war rashly rather than offer sound arguments as a bulwark against doing so himself! How the hell is this "better" than sending volunteers to war?

This is completely inexcusable.

Bomb Iran

The news isn't all bad. Here's a column by someone in the Los Angeles Times, of all places, urging us to bomb Iran.
After the Bolshevik takeover of Russia in 1917, a single member of Britain's Cabinet, Winston Churchill, appealed for robust military intervention to crush the new regime. His colleagues weighed the costs -- the loss of soldiers, international derision, revenge by Lenin -- and rejected the idea.

The costs were avoided, and instead the world was subjected to the greatest man-made calamities ever. Communism itself was to claim perhaps 100 million lives, and it also gave rise to fascism and Nazism, leading to World War II. Ahmadinejad wants to be the new Lenin. Force is the only thing that can stop him.
DeLay Legacy Has Silver Lining

Leave it to the left-wing media to make good news sound dreadful.

The headline of a Sunday story about how DeLay's gerrymandering of Democrats out of Congress a few years back affects the Texan congressional delegation now was as follows: "Put a number on DeLay's damage: 138 years of seniority".

I don't condone gerrymandering, but how is it "damage" that we have 138 fewer years looting experience in Congress? And that's not even counting DeLay's hand being slapped away from the cookie jar!

I'd have given the story a different slant and the above title.

-- CAV


Ian Hamet said...

The Chinese censorship of crime news isn't anything new. They rarely even report a crime until after there's been a conviction.

Thanks for the new method of reading blogspot blogs, though. It's MUCH quicker than Anonymouse.

Gus Van Horn said...

You're welcome! And thank you for stopping by!

Anonymous said...


I don't know if you caught this. But you were mentioned over at Phatic communion.


I followed that blog for a short time after you linked to it some time ago. But I dropped it. I was having trouble determining what he stands for. There's constant talk of 4th and 5th generational warfare. That blog's writer seems to look at everything in the world through the prism of "5gw" in what seems to be the same way that Kant looked at the world through the prism of his catagories.

Anyway, he's posted something on a supposed refutation of reason and mentioned you in the process, "the adamant Objectivsit with a capital O." If you do decide to comment on Phatic's post, could you breifly state what this guy's all about?

D. Eastbrook

Gus Van Horn said...


No. Curtis Weeks went on a very long spell without posting, so I haven't checked by there in awhile and I hadn't caught it. But no, I do not particularly feel the need to engage someone (the tdaxp guy) who argues that man has "instincts"; who uses the Internet to foist on the unwitting his opinion that rational thinking is "unhuman" or "maladaptive"; and claims -- via language no less! -- "that placing faith in language and what comes with it (logic, rationality, etc) is no more wise than placing our main trust in our ability to detect cheaters, our innate sense of what is attractive, or any other instinct".

But who knows? I may or may not become interested in replying later.... So I do thank you for the potential material.

I haven't read that post carefully, but it strikes me at least in part as a long-winded version of the argument that since human beings are capable of error, they are incapable of apprehending reality.

The author of Phatic Communion I met very early in my blogging career through a mutual friend. (The guy, in fact, who gave me the idea to begin blogging in the first place!) But no, I don't know what Curtis Weeks is about, either! You'll have to ask him!


Adrian Hester said...

Yo, Gus, nothing at all major, but I was slightly bemused, then slightly amused, by this: "Mr Litvinenko, 50, who used to work for the Federal Security Bureau (FSB, the former KGB)..." Somebody at The Telegraph must have gotten confused by the Russian acronym--it's the Federal Security Service (sluzhba). The b (same as in KGB) is what stands for "security" (bezopasnost').

Gus Van Horn said...

Wow! A testimonial from China and a correction on Russian in the comments to one post!

That's one for the books!