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Showing posts from July, 2003
The Morality of Liberty

Part of what PM Tony Blair told Congress yesterday:

This is a battle that can't be fought or won only by armies. We are so much more powerful in all conventional ways than the terrorists. Yet even in all our might, we are taught humility. In the end, it is not our power alone that will defeat this evil. Our ultimate weapon is not our guns, but our beliefs.

There is a myth that though we love freedom, others don't; that our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture; that freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law are American values or Western values; that Afghan women were content under the lash of the Taliban; that Saddam was somehow beloved by his people; that Milosevic was Serbia's savior. Members of Congress, ours are not Western values. They are the universal values of the human spirit, and anywhere--anywhere, anytime ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictat…
California and the woe of budget

My state is in a world of hurt, and it is everyone's fault except the Governor's. Just ask him, he'll tell you. He isn't responsible for a damn thing. Which sounds like a good reason to recall him, if you ask me.

You see, I'm a big fan of personal responsiblity. If I screwed up, then I screwed up; no need to try and blame someone else. Which is why the phrase "society is to blame" has always made my skin crawl. No, you stupid bastard, you are the one who robbed the damn bank, not society; now stand there and take it like a man. (Oh, sorry, you already did! That's why you're here....)

Anyway, here's the governor of the largest state in the Union. We have fiscal wealth that rivals that of other countries (what, seventh largest economy in the world, or something like that). And we are in a world of fiscal hurt and it is not the fault of the state's chief executive. That doesn't make sense. If a corporate CEO …
Anti-American Pollsters

Opinion Journal has this editorial from Fouad Ajami, which reads in part:

In the days that followed the attacks of Sept. 11, a young Palestinian gave expression to the image America holds out in places where its shadow falls: the boy passing out sweets in celebration of America's grief wondered aloud as to the impact of the bombings on his ability to get a U.S. visa. He felt no great contradiction. He had no feeling of affection or loyalty for the land he yearned to migrate to. He grew up to the familiar drums of anti-Americanism. He had implicated America in his life's circumstances. You can't reason with his worldview. You can only wish for him deliverance from his incoherence--or go there, questionnaire in hand, and return with dispatches of people at odds with American policies. You can make foreigners say the sort of things about America you wanted to say yourself.Very good point. Something to think about when the next Pew survey comes out.