Friday, November 01, 2002

WWP'S HIDDEN AGENDA: David Corn, the editor of the Nation, a very liberal paper in its own right, has a very damning piece on the true agenda of some at the anti-war rally on Capitol Hill last Saturday. While most of the anti-war protestors there that day were probably not even aware, this was no ordinary peace rally.

In a telling sign of the organizers’ priorities, the cause of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the taxi driver/radical journalist sentenced to death two decades ago for killing a policeman, drew greater attention than the idea that revived and unfettered weapons inspections should occur in Iraq before George W. Bush launches a war. Few of the dozens of speakers, if any, bothered suggesting a policy option regarding Saddam Hussein other than a simplistic leave-Iraq-alone. Jesse Jackson may have been the only major figure to acknowledge Saddam’s brutality, noting that the Iraqi dictator “should be held accountable for his crimes.” What to do about Iraq? Most speakers had nothing to say about that. Instead, the Washington rally was a pander fest for the hard left.

If public-opinion polls are correct, 33 percent to 40 percent of the public opposes an Iraq war; even more are against a unilateral action. This means the burgeoning anti-war movement has a large recruiting pool, yet the demo was not intended to persuade doubters. Nor did it speak to Americans who oppose the war but who don’t consider the United States a force of unequaled imperialist evil and who don’t yearn to smash global capitalism.

This was no accident, for the demonstration was essentially organized by the Workers World Party, a small political sect that years ago split from the Socialist Workers Party to support the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. The party advocates socialist revolution and abolishing private property. It is a fan of Fidel Castro’s regime in Cuba, and it hails North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il for preserving his country’s “socialist system,” which, according to the party’s newspaper, has kept North Korea “from falling under the sway of the transnational banks and corporations that dictate to most of the world.” The WWP has campaigned against the war-crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. A recent Workers World editorial declared, “Iraq has done absolutely nothing wrong.”

There is nothing dishonest or wrong about being against the war. I too am against a war in Iraq. But if this is in fact the new "anti-war left", then there is certainly a problem. To be against the war means you're either a pacifist or you believe there are other means besides war that can accomplish better ends. But if you're sympathizing with ruthless dictators who often kill their own people in the name of "social justice", while you're off championing for human rights, then you're a lying hypocrite and something is seriously wrong with you.

Most of the protesters, I assume, were oblivious to the WWP’s role in the event. They merely wanted to gather with other foes of the war and express their collective opposition. They waved signs (“We need an Axis of Sanity,” “Draft Perle,” “Collateral Damage = Civilian Deaths,” “Fuck Bush”). They cheered on rappers who sang, “No blood for oil.” They laughed when Medea Benjamin, the head of Global Exchange, said, “We need to stop the testosterone-poisoning of our globe.” They filled red ANSWER donation buckets with coins and bills. But how might they have reacted if Holmes and his comrades had asked them to stand with Saddam, Milosevic and Kim? Or to oppose further inspections in Iraq?

Hopefully with dusgust.

(Note that I'm not trying to attack the anti-war protestors here. They were deceived by the WWP and many expressed their disgust when the rally wasn't so much about war as it was about the WWP's radical agenda. But there is certainly a problem if some of the protestors start falling for what the WWP has to say.)
THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE: Glenn Reynolds has a quote straight from a suicide bomber's parent:

"The Israelis are armed with democracy, knowledge and order," he said. "We need these weapons. Blowing up 100 buses and restaurants will neither destroy Israel nor bring us victory."

Couldn't have said it better myself. Why all the senseless and needless murder? Suicide bombings obviously haven't worked. If anything, it has made Palestinians more worse off. It's time for Palestinians and Israelis to return to diplomacy.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

EXPOSING MICHAEL MOORE: Ok. This will be the last Michael Moore fisking I will blog...ever...well at least for at least a week or so. Anyways, this is cream of the crop so far. It's quite possibly the most damning piece on Moore's credibility, or lack thereof, yet. Matt LaBash has the scoop and here is one of his many winners:

While most Moore critics stop at ridiculing him, since he is, both figuratively and literally, a fat target, I talked to his co-workers, acquaintances, and former employees, nearly all of whom made my editorial pronouncements look like a good-natured game of Slapjack. They called him "paranoid," "mercurial," "demanding," and a "fork-tongued manipulator." Though Moore's entire shtick is predicated on fighting the jackboot of corporate oppression, they detailed everything from his temper tantrums to his threatening to fire an assistant who sent a yellow cab instead of a limo to fetch him at the airport. They compared working conditions under Moore to "a sweatshop," "indentured servitude," and "a concentration camp." One of his former producers said it was like "working for Idi Amin--without the laughs." Another staffer simply said, "My parents want him dead."

Ouch. And as for the crapola propaganda fest that was Bowling for Columbine, LaBash had this to say:

Moore himself has said his is not merely an anti-gun film, but a larger film about the culture of fear that fosters our gun culture. "The American media," he told Phil Donahue, "wants to pump you full of fear." He says the media overstate everything from child abductions to the recession, which is a curious statement, coming from the author of so many sky-is-falling manifestoes. Just take a paragraph, almost at random, from "Stupid White Men," and you come up with: "Investors lost millions in the stock market. Crime went up for the first time in a decade. Job losses skyrocketed. American icons like Montgomery Ward and TWA vanished. Suddenly we were 2.5 million barrels short of oil--every day! Israelis started killing Palestinians again, and Palestinians returned the favor. By mid-2001, thirty-seven countries were at war around the world. China became our new enemy--again. . . . In short, all of a sudden everything sucked." It's enough to make you want to hole up in your basement with canned goods and a weapons cache.

The problem, yes the problem, is that Moore is a very good film maker. To deny it would be foolish. But because of his talents in this field, Moore can get his way. After all, he has control of the camera so you only get to see what he wants you to see. And considering Michael will do anything to get his way, that's all the audience is gonna get.

Read the whole article. LaBash pulls no punches.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CHADS: President Bush passed new legislation today, which Bill Camino thinks should be called "stupid voter" legislation.

I like the sound of that.

Monday, October 28, 2002

EVEN MORE ON GUN RIGHTS: I guess this topic is just very hot on the Blogosphere because of the DC sniper. Anyways, Glenn Reynolds has some good stuff on the issue today as well.

PS. Despite what it may seem, I'm not a gun freak. In fact I've never even touched a gun in my life. This is strictly a matter of principle and of facts.
MORE ON GUN RIGHTS: I think this article by Cathy Young posits two very important points. First, it shows the hypocrisy of some liberals who argue that there should be restrictions of gun rights, but there should be no restrictions on abortion rights.

Obviously, some sensible gun-control measures can help curb firearm-related crimes. The sniper shootings have renewed calls for ''ballistics fingerprinting.'' Under this proposal, every new gun would be test-fired and the markings from the bullet and the shell casing entered into a government database, so that a bullet or casing found at the scene of a crime could be matched to the weapon and the original buyer.

Such a database would help solve some crimes, though it would be useless if the weapon had been stolen. Yet the National Rifle Association opposes a national gun registry, fearing a slippery slope toward confiscation of firearms. An extreme position? Maybe. But the extremism of gun-rights supporters is akin to the extremism of abortion-rights proponents who oppose even minimal abortion restrictions. In both cases, they know that there are powerful activist groups that really do see modest restrictions as a first step toward a total ban.

One of the biggest problems I have with the liberal movement is that it isn't really pro-choice. Sean Hannity said it best when he said that the Left "isn't pro-choice, it's pro-abortion." I'm also "pro-choice" when it comes to matters of abortions as well. But as a libertarian, I believe in many other freedoms of choice as well, whereas liberals are not. These include reedom to choose a school of youe choice, (ie school vouchers), freedom to say whatever you want, (without having to worry about attacks on your political correctness), and the constitutionally protected freedom to own a gun.

Which brings me to the second point While it is almost depressing to fathom, the sad reality is that any individual who is hellbent on committing a crime is almost certainly going to be able to do it. If guns are banned completely, are knives next? So it seems as if the best way to prevent crimes is to arm the defenseless if they want that responsibility.
WORLD SERIES UPDATE: So the Angels won it. I should be excited I guess, but I was rooting for the Giants. I believe my friend put it best when he had this to say, "The Angels won. And everyone east of California didn't care." I think the ratings reflected this too.

To be fair though, this was a great World Series, as it did go to 7 games and was back and forth. The teams were very competitive and evenly matched. The games were all relatively close and new stars such as Francisco "K-rod" Rodriguez were discovered. Oh and hilarious moments like the one in this picture made it all worthwhile.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

HOLD THE BUTTON!: How long can you hold the button for?
POPULISM VS. ELITISM: A great take on the issue as always by none other than Steven Den Beste. Here's the money quote:

But that deep division to which I referred, elitism versus populism, comes down to this: do you believe that the "common man" is wise enough to make up his own mind and pick the right answer if he's exposed to all sides of an issue?

The elitists do not. From their point of view, the common man is foolish, stupid, gullible, careless and intellectually lazy (not to mention being uneducated and simplistic). If he is exposed to the wrong information he will be seduced by it and will make the wrong choice. Thus it is important for that small segment of the population which is sufficiently intelligent, sophisticated, well educated and wise to evaluate the issues, and then to only let the proles see arguments for the right answer.

At its most fundamental, this point of view is based on deep contempt for the majority of the population.

I'm a populist. I have confidence in my fellow citizens, and I'm not afraid to let them see all sides of an issue. I'm willing to present my opinions and to see opposing opinions also be presented.

No right is absolute, and that's the case for free expression. There are certain kinds of speech which are not protected in the US by the First Amendment, but those things are very well defined and very limited: "fighting words", any speech which directly threatens the life or heath of someone else (child porn falls under this), active promotion of sedition, and revelation of classified information pretty much fill the list. But outside of that, the way to deal with speech you don't like is to argue against it, not to suppress it.

This is the paradox of the new Left. A party that claims to be all about personal freedoms and equality for all does not seem to like it when someone disagrees with them. That's why we had all the PC bullsh*t in the 90's and more recently, cries of McCarthyism by many prominent liberal writers who are shown the error of their ways by dissidents who simply know the facts. While it is obviously demeaning to the psyche be proven wrong, suppression of your opposition's speech is not the way to handle it. And simply put, it's immature.

MORE EVIDENCE AGAINST MOORE: Here's a pretty damning opinion of Michael Moore's recent propaganda film, Bowling for Columbine. I hadn't even thought about the race issue while watching the movie, probably due in most part, because Moore neglects to even mention the taboo subject. While there is certainly a small correlation between the amount of social programs and degree of violence in a society, which seems to be where Michael puts the blame, Canada is primarily a nation of white people. Moore doesn't even bother to hint at this in his newest film. Moore decides to pander to his liberal audience, for fear of losing them due to certain facts which might get in the way.

Does the correlation between gun violence and minorities mean we should pay special close attention to minorities? Absolutely not. Most members of minority communities are good, freedom loving citizens. And they reach new levels of prosperity and political power each and every day in this country. But Moore instead tries to blame all of America's ills on white people. Don't believe it? Remember, this is the man wrote a book conveniently titled Stupid White Men.

And I still can't get over the fact this man does nothing to help the people he pretends to live among, even though he makes millions of dollars by selling propaganda films like this one to make money off them. Simply disgusting.
GAME 7: It's game 7 of the World Series! Stop reading this blog and start watching! (I can conveniently do both as my television as I live in the comforts of a dormitory.)