Monday, August 08, 2005

Iraq's Constitution

It may be going better than many suspect. Here's hoping that this editorial is correct.
The secularization of religious discussions in Iraq is already very far advanced--just compare the Iraqi clerical discussion of constitutional government at the time of Iran's 1905-1911 Constitutional Revolution with the debate today and you will quickly see how successfully Western ideas, first and foremost democracy, have redefined or submerged older Islamic ideals hostile to representative government. The democratic government Iraqis are trying to build will have much more real-world appeal and traction in today's Middle East than the very liberal democracy that many Americans in the occupation's Coalition Provisional Authority and in Washington wanted to build in 2003.

Shut Up and Fly the Thing

What with the Shuttle being the 70's station wagon of space, I guess it should come as no shock that astronauts aren't all, pardon the phrase, rocket scientists.
As for Eileen Collins’s comments themselves, a moment’s thought reveals them for the platitudinous claptrap we have come to expect from people who don’t know all that much about Spaceship Earth. She has seen “widespread environmental damage,” whatever that may be. “Sometimes you can see how there is erosion.” Huh? That is one of the most fundamental and basic processes on the planet. There is uplift and there is erosion — the two big players in the geological game. What are wind and rain and freezing and thawing supposed to do besides erode? “And you can see how there is deforestation.” Again so what? And why? Why do you suppose the trees get replanted in the vast clear-cuts of the giant timber companies, but not in mankind's common tropical forests?
Can you picture Neil Armstrong uttering such inanities?

Walter Williams, National Treasure

Once again, he states the truth plainly.
Property rights are human rights to use economic goods and services. Private property rights contain your right to use, transfer, trade and exclude others from use of property deemed yours. The supposition that there's a conflict or difference between human rights to use property and civil rights is bogus and misguided.

Make your "Pro Choice" friends' heads explode

I don't know (yet) who Robert P. George is, but he has stated my position well and even better than I by daring to apply those dear commodities, logic and reason.
There are three positions that can be defended without quickly falling into logical inconsistency. The first is that human beings are in no morally relevant way different from other creatures and therefore have no special dignity. The second is that human beings have an inherent and equal dignity; each and every human being possesses it simply by virtue of his or her humanity. The third is that some, but not all, human beings have dignity; those who have it possess it by virtue of some quality or set of qualities that they happen to possess that other human beings do not possess (or do not yet possess, or no longer possess).
Something I love about his posting is that the three logical positions can now have names: Granny Killers, Pro-Life, and Singerites.

Sad Day in the Blogosphere

Arthur Chrenkoff is no longer blogging. Another blog is boldly stepping up to see if it can continue reporting on the good news from Iraq. I wish them well.

So are the Sixties over at last?

David Brooks looks around and sees good news.
I always thought it would be dramatic to live through a moral revival. Great leaders would emerge. There would be important books, speeches, marches and crusades. We're in the middle of a moral revival now, and there has been very little of that. This revival has been a bottom-up, prosaic, un-self-conscious one, led by normal parents, normal neighbors and normal community activists.
I think he overstates the case for the unconstitutional, dim-witted "Violence Against Women Act" but, all in all, the column is one that should give you a lift. Even if it's a little one.

If it's OK to kill your own baby

then it's obviously OK to kill it because it's the wrong sex.
...the Gender Mentor Kit plus an early term abortion -- if the results are unfavorable -- would cost as little as $600.


I love Italy. The best vacation I ever had in my life was a month in Firenze (Florence). You've heard the joke that says Italy isn't really a Third-World Country, it's just that nobody has told the Italians? As with so many things Italian, this is both sad and funny. It could explain some lack of productivity, at least in the Po valley.
THE rivers of Italy are flowing with cocaine, say scientists who have adopted a new approach to measuring the extent of drug misuse. The biggest river, the Po, carries the equivalent of about 4kg (8lb 13oz) of the drug a day, with a street value of about £20,000.

Bolton Gets Key Endorsement

Wherein is also answered the question, "What kind of man reads the New York Times ?
Castro was simply reading from a (translated) New York Times article dated April 13th titled "Questioning Mr Bolton." Castro spent three-fourths of his time at the lectern reading from the article verbatim, spicing it up with exclamation marks and a few quips of his own. "See what kind of man this Mr Bolton is?" He asked while poking his finger skyward and arching his eyebrows. "This is one of those people who can walk on his long tongue, (much laughter here, for the same reason I mentioned above) They’d better watch him! This Mr Bolton is a Liar! A Cynic!--a Gangster!"