Quick Roundup 128

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The "Soft Bigotry" of Jimmy Carter

There is an article at RealClear Politics about Jimmy Carter's new book, whose title, Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid, just about says it all. The article itself is titled, "The Madness of Jimmy Carter", but I obviously think another title might have been better.

The book marks Carter's further disgraceful descent from ineffectual president and international do-gooder to apologist for the worst Arab tendencies. "It is imperative," Carter writes, "that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel." In the meantime, presumably, the slaughter of Jews can continue.

Israel can't be so blithe about the murder of its citizens, which is why it built the security fence. Carter calls it an "imprisonment wall," but it has been effective in preventing Palestinian terrorists from blowing people to bits -- the kind of attacks Carter characterizes as "(unfortunate) for the peace process." Twice recently, Israel has vacated occupied land, in Southern Lebanon and Gaza, only to see attacks against it launched from those same territories. But Carter always finds a way to point a finger at Israel. [bold added]
Carter's willingness to hold only Israel accountable in the "peace process" is, of course, based on his altruism. But in what way are the "Palestinians" unfortunate, and therefore entitled to the altruist spoils? It would seem that Carter finds Arabs to be inherently unable in some way to shoulder the ordinary burdens of adulthood. The above passage makes me think of the phrase "the soft bigotry of low expectations".

And oh yeah, Carter is busily concocting a conspiracy theory to account for why universities with significantly Jewish student bodies have been turning down his offers to pontificate free of charge. After all, it couldn't be due, perhaps, to the fact that Carter has nothing of any value or originality to say, could it?

Another Salvo from John McCain

John McCain, whose "campaign finance reform" bill has already shown him to be no friend of freedom of speech, has just proposed more regulation of the Internet. This time, his excuse is child pornography.
Millions of commercial Web sites and personal blogs would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000, if a new proposal in the U.S. Senate came into law.

The legislation, drafted by Sen. John McCain and obtained by CNET News.com, would also require Web sites that offer user profiles to delete pages posted by sex offenders.


Internet service providers already must follow those reporting requirements. But McCain's proposal is liable to be controversial because it levies the same regulatory scheme -- and even stiffer penalties -- on even individual bloggers who offer discussion areas on their Web sites.


But the reporting rules could prove problematic for individuals and smaller Web sites because the definitions of child pornography have become relatively broad. [minor format changes, my bold]
Great. Consider the fact that many prominent blogs, such as The Belmont Club and Jihad Watch offer unmoderated comments. All someone would have to do under this law to cause their proprietors headaches would be to start posting comments containing images (e.g., avatars) that could be construed as kiddie porn. One obvious solution for these bloggers would be to moderate the comments or shut them down entirely. McCain's proposal will, in this way, curtail the public debate. (Incidentally, this would also significantly harm the value such blogs could offer to future visitors.)

In addition, once images are banned in this way, why not go after hyperlinks to sites, or even language that can be considered lewd? This proposal is already a bad idea and it can easily lead to worse. It should be opposed.

Too "Smart" for Simple Economics?

I read the following exchange recently in Parade's most recent "Ask Marilyn" column:
How can we be running out of water? It never disappears. It just keeps moving through the water cycle. -- Jane Marriott (city unknown)

We are not using up the water on our planet. Instead, our burgeoning population is outgrowing the available supply. For example, the seas make up the bulk of Earth's water, but we can't use saltwater to drink, feed livestock or irrigate crops. The UN Commission on Sustainable Development says it takes about 150 gallons of water to grow enough wheat for one loaf of bread. We also need water for sanitation and industry. Yet only 2.5% of our water is fresh, and two-thirds of that freshwater is in the form of glaciers or permanent snow cover. Better water management will help contain the widening shortage but will not solve the problem. [minor format changes, bold added]
Marilyn could have added something like the following without hitting space limitations: "At some point, increased demand will make such existing technologies as desalination more economically feasible."

What? Is she afraid that a pack of Democrats will question her claim to the world's "highest IQ" if she doesn't toe the green line?

Intelligence is valueless if unguided -- through ignorance or fear of opposition -- by philosophical principles that correspond to the facts of reality.


My site's 75,000th unique visitor arrived today at 8:29 a.m. from Royal Oak, Michigan.

-- CAV


Today: Added note on visitor 75,000.


Anonymous said...

Marilyn needs to read George Reisman's "The Government Against the Economy." He explains that capitalism conserves resources through the system of prices. When a resource becomes scarce the price rises. This price rise causes two two things to happen: 1) consumers use less of the resource; and 2) producers produce more of the resource. These two reactions both work to bring down the price and conserve the resource. People acting in their self-interest conserve resources better than any bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. could do -- if the resource is a value to free individuals.

Gus Van Horn said...

Excellent points.

As fo the book, I might want to read it myself!