Friday, May 12, 2006

Indybay does not Care about the Palestinian People

“These criminal policies are linked to demands that Hamas recognize the
state of Israel, such recognition would be the end of a negotiating
process, it should not be a precondition. The Palestinian people have
affronted the US, the EU and Israel by electing a Hamas government. It
was not made clear, when they insisted on democratic elections in
Palestine, that these they should only be held if the result were acceptable to Israel.”

Again, no one is telling the Palestinians that they don’t have a right to elect any government they see fitting. The aid this ‘article’ is addressing is not guarantied to any people or government. There are stipulations which must be meet to receive it, and Hamas has failed to do so.

This ‘article’ claims:

“These criminal policies are linked to demands that Hamas recognize the
state of Israel, such recognition would be the end of a negotiating
process, it should not be a precondition.”

Bullshit. How in the world are you supposed to negotiate with an organization that still calls for the destruction of your nation and your people? Why should the west’s tax dollars be used to back a government that is openly aggressive to it?

The real unfortunate thing is that many Palestinian people will suffer, simply because Hamas will not step up to the plate and be a responsible member of the international community. Those who claim to support the Palestinian people need to demand that Hamas be responsible to the well being of its people.

Palestine has a democratically elected government; good for them. They have a right to express their political views, regardless of what they may be. They are not entitled to our money however, and as long as an organization like Hamas maintains its violent and anti-Semitic rhetoric, it will be isolated from the west and the funds we provide.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

$134,121? recently produced a survey that claimed a stay-at-home mother would receive $134,121 a year for their services within the marketplace.

Hogwash I say, and apparently so does Wendy McElroy.

McElroy wrote a piece about the inherent problem with the survey (which was reported throughout news outlets as a study), and why breaking this ‘study’ the week before mothers day reeks of advertising for She says:

“But the main offense is that doesn't 'get it.' Women who stay home are lucky enough to be able to choose personal benefits over economic ones; stay at home mothers have refused to value their time in dollar signs. When refers to sitting up with a sick child as 'over time', it commercializes and cheapens that act of love for both stay at home and working moms.
It is similar to placing a dollar value on intimate marital relations because, after all, those 'services' are available elsewhere for a fee.
When you define the value of family meals in terms of cold cash, then you've lost the importance of what's really going on. When you convert acts of love into acts for profit, you've lost at life itself.”

Africa's Problem

I recently had an argument with a co-worker about what strategy the world should adopt to best help the African continent out of its abundant tribulations. She felt that it was simply an issue of money; the more we threw at it, the better it would get. I feel that is a highly idealistic position that does not reflect the real issue behind Africa’s problem: poor government. Dean said it well:

“Africa's problem is not poverty, nor lack of international interest. Nor is it imperialism, for, with the exception of a few remaining French holdings, almost all of Africa's nations have been free of colonialism for decades.
Africa's problems are lack of true free governments: universal free speech, universal free press, and true free elections. Some nations have them, some don't. Those who do are gradually improving with time. Those that don't are deteriorating and increasingly dependent on aid and on organizations like the U.N. that serve them very poorly.”

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Disorganization Worries al-Qaida in Iraq

Some good news out of Iraq concerning the battle with Islamic insurgents operating within the nation. It seems they are having problems organizing effectively, and have been but a ‘nuisance’ to the Iraqi government (according to one terrorist). I would describe them as more than a nuisance, and hopefully there numbers will be reduced significantly in the coming year.

(via Dean's World)

Argue's Indymedia

There is an open letter by Steven Argue up at Santa Cruz Indymedia that demonstrates one of the big problems facing most Indymedia affiliates.

First of all, you should learn a bit about Steven Argue. He is a radical totalitarian communist who constantly calls Israel an illegal state, while commending dictators like Fidel Castro and . Do a simple search at Indybay for ‘Steven Argue’, you will get a pretty good idea of what this man stands for. He also served time in jail for assaulting a police officer.

Now, on to his ‘article’ up at SC IM. After reading through Argue’s posts for about a year now, I have come to take everything he says with a grain of salt. He constantly claims that this incident was a “homophobic police assault”. His own commentary does not support this claim. Sounds to me, based on Argues piece, that is was a traffic violation. I won’t say that a wrong was not done to this member of the city, but I am not going to jump to Argues ideological conclusion. Argue repeatedly uses undocumented ‘facts’ to support his wild claims in this piece, and I hope someone at the local precinct gets word of it. It is one thing to slam the police force, but to single out one officer by name and make these harebrained allegations is completely revolting.

If Indymedia were a legitimate news site, they would not allow this kind of undocumented slander to be published. One reader says:

“Your statements about officer Brierly are intentionally false and inaccurate. By displaying your malicious accusations in this public way, you are libeling the officer. You should maybe spend some of the time that you waste sitting on your collective asses all day on the Pacific Garden Mall and think about how your loud obnoxious behavior affects those around you. The officer is sent to calls like this because other people are COMPLAINING about people like you. Or better yet, why don't you get jobs so that instead of being destructive and obstructive, you can actually be productive members of society....or is that too hard?”

Another says:

“I would like to start by saying that I have known PO Brierley for 10 yrs. And please note I know how to properly spell his name, something the author of the original article did not do. In the 10 yrs of knowing PO Brierley as an officer and a friend, I have never known him to make any negative comments towards the gay community. As a person of a "protected class" I would feel safe and protected going to PO Brierley to report a crime or report a concern. This is far more then I can say about the convict who wrote this article. Yes, Mr. Argue you are a convict. You are a criminal who battered a SCPD officer. I find it offensive that you are writing these defaming accusations against PO Brierley. If PO Brierley chose to sue you for defamation of character I would be the first one in line to defend him. PO Brierley is trying to make this community a better place for all who live and work there. Why don't you do your part, and get a job and contribute to this community you claim to be part of.”

Argue contends:
“As summer approaches we need peace officers on Pacific Ave not Neanderthals.”

Way to be impartial Steven. I think we could use a few less children like yourself making issues out of small tribulations on Pacific. Of course police abuse is serious; but only if it is true. A number of these new regulations concerning vagrants in downtown Santa Cruz were not created for the hell of it. They were formed because a lot off riff-raff collect on Pacific and then cause problems for everyone else.

I am sure that Argue failed to mention some important facts concerning this case. This individual was not arrested for helping get a friends car out of the way or for being gay, and Argue knows it.

I would not be surprised if this article were taken down. Once Argue and Indymedia wise up to the fact that they could be held liable for there words and actions, we may see a change in the quality of their ‘news wire’.

But I won’t be holding my breath.

"If they think we’re irate and bad mannered now..."

Apparently, Britain has been rated "one of the most loutish countries in Europe".

These ‘new findings’ allow me to hark back to my college days. Many of the students had a problem with the way Europeans perceived Americans. I was told over and over again that Europeans hated Americans because we were self centered assholes. I was even told to not tell folks I was an American while traveling the continent, just to avoid any altercations.

What I learned after spending a few months in various parts of Europe, was that European loathing was not restricted to Americans. My Flemish family disliked the French, my French friends disliked the English, and my German cohorts disliked the Czechs. The Brits….well, they didn’t seem to care much for the Brits.

I am kidding about that last part; I do think the English were as nice as any of the other peoples I came across. I went to a very snobby and traditional University while I was in England, so I did run into some very stereotypical elitists, but for the most part, folks seemed to treat me like they would any traveler spending time and money in their country. I often talked politics with the people I cam across in class and in pubs, but no one took the “Americans are so stupid and belligerent” argument. If they had problems with American politics and society, they said so without sounding like a jerk. I proudly displayed an American flag on my jacket, and it never got me beat up or spit upon. On a few occasions, it ended up being beneficial.

I was proud to be an American, and willing to tell people that, but I also didn’t claim to be superior or know all the answers. What would be the point in traveling to a foreign country if you are not willing to learn from the folks you meet? I wonder what some Americans do and say that gets them into so much trouble when they travel Europe.

If anything, this poll should demonstrates that the Europeans feel the same way about Americans as they do about their other neighbors. So all of you folks who are worried about how we are viewed in Europe, relax a bit. Looks like they evenly disperse their distaste.

Heads up to An Insomniac for the info.

Degrees of Evil

There are two great pieces up at Left2Right. One focuses on some of the assumptions taken by Swedish researchers who reported that the brain activity caused in male homosexuals by human odors is more like that of heterosexual women than that of heterosexual men.

The other, which is also by David Velleman, takes issue with Ron Rosenbaum’s article, “Degrees of Evil.” Velleman says:

“The main thesis of Rosenbaum's article, and a theme running through his book, is that we must interpret figures like Hitler as having known that their acts were wrong, lest we end up underestimating their "degree of evil" -- or even letting them clean off the hook. I think that Rosenbaum's article was important because it articulated the muddled thinking of those who insisted that it was not just misguided but downright immoral to inquire into Osama bin Laden's reasons for attacking us.”

Every Bloggers Philosophy

"It is no use to keep private information which you can't show off."
- "An Author's Soldiering," 1887 - Mark Twain

I have come to see that Mark Twain has a clever comment for just about everything. God bless the man.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

When is Genocide not Genocide?

“Indeed, there is a hidden agenda in the efforts of some of those putting Darfur on the radar of Americans - several of them, in fact. Pro-Israel groups, Christian Zionists and neocons paint the Darfur situation as Arabs against Africans. This helps them in their efforts to paint all Arabs/Muslims as terrorists. And by labeling the conflict as genocide, they both deflect attention from Israel's mass murder of Palestinians and make the Arabs look just as bad as the Israelis.”

I hate to sound like Michelle Malkin, but major parts of the left have really come unhinged. The left is looking at very dark days in the future if it sticks to this anti-American nonsense.

In fact, another story at Indybay concerning Darfur states:

“Sadly, many of those clamoring for harsh measures against Sudan's government have innocently bought the pro-Israel propaganda on Sudan and betray a misunderstanding of the causes for the conflict.”

How could I have forgotten! It must be the fault of those evil Zionists! If there is a wrong in the world today, it must be the fault of the Jews.

Of course, this article was deemed suitable by the editors at Indybay, while any criticism of its overt anti-Semitism is deleted.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Before it Turns to Stone

A wonderful piece by Madeline Albright is up at the Washington Post. I may not always agree with her, but the brand of foreign policy that she advocates is pretty close to what I personally espouse.

“If Arab democracy develops, it will do so to advance Arab aspirations based on Arab perceptions of history and justice. The right to vote and hold office is unlikely to soften Arab attitudes toward Israel or to end the potential for terror, just as it has been unable to prevent terrorist cells from organizing in the West. Democracy should, however, create a broader and more open political debate within Arab countries, exposing myths to scrutiny and extreme ideas to rebuttal. Though some may fear such an opening, Americans should welcome it. For if we fail to value free expression, we forget our own history.” - Albright