Monday, August 29, 2005

I've got such a lot of stories that I want to draw people's attention to today, that I am not going to put up a leading post first

Australians more culturally confident than the French?: This is a bit of an old story now but I am mentioning it because it has some personal relevance. Despite Eastern Europe now being in the EU, French police arrest and lock up Eastern European musicians and conductors who dare to give concerts in France. One of the ensembles arrested was led by Volker Hartung, a German from Cologne. Volker Hartung also tours Australia. I have myself enjoyed one of his excellent concerts of Baroque music. Funnily enough, all he got in Australia was generous applause. No sign of police anywhere!

Bolton brings a breath of fresh air to the U.N.: "An international alliance will confront US President George Bush to salvage as much as possible of an ambitious plan to reshape the United Nations and tackle world poverty. The head-to-head in New York tomorrow comes after the revelation that the US Administration is proposing wholesale changes to crucial parts of the biggest overhaul of the UN since it was founded more than 50 years ago. A draft of that plan had included a review of progress on the UN's millennium development goals — poverty eradication targets set in 2000 for completion by 2015 — and the introduction of reforms aimed at repairing the damage done to the UN's reputation by Iraq, Rwanda and the Balkans. But it was revealed this week that Mr Bush's new ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, was seeking 750 changes to the 36-page draft plan to be presented to a special summit in New York on September 14-16. Mr Bolton's amendments, if successful, would leave the plan in tatters".

California Conservative thinks that Australian conservative politicians have got more guts in speaking out about Islamic issues than American politicians do. I am inclined to agree.

The BBC recently ran a programme that was (gasp!) critical of Islam. The Muslim Council of Britain fired back with claims that the programme was biased and inaccurate. The BBC program is defended at length here by an Islamic expert. The transcript of the BBC programme is here

Write Wing is a good blog for brief links to lots of interesting news stories -- with particular emphasis on immigration/multiculturalism.

Rationality triumphant: Australian Leftists want to CUT taxes on the "rich": "The top rate of tax should be cut and the entire system overhauled to help middle- and low-income workers earn more, the Opposition finance spokesman, Lindsay Tanner, said today. Mr Tanner said Labor would promise voters tax cuts during the next election campaign as part of a policy to make tax fairer for everybody. He said he was in favour of slicing the top marginal tax rate of 47 cents in the dollar as part of major reforms to the taxation system. "We don't have a problem with the idea of cutting the top marginal tax rate provided the overall balance is fair," Mr Tanner told the Ten Network."

The troops see Iraq as no Vietnam: "Iraq war skeptics and critics have been invoking Vietnam almost from the day the fighting began.... But of all the ways in which the Iraq war is not like Vietnam, perhaps the most telling is the attitude of the troops. "When I was in Vietnam," retired Army Colonel Jack Jacobs, a 1969 Medal of Honor recipient who had just returned from a fact-finding trip to the Sunni Triangle, told NBC News in May, "if you asked anybody what he wanted more than anything else in the world, he'd say: to go home. We asked ... hundreds of soldiers, low-ranking soldiers, in both Afghanistan and Iraq ... the same question. And the response, to a man and a woman, was, 'To kill bad guys.' ... The morale is just over the top -- just really, really enthused about what they're doing. And I think the reason is they perceive that they're making progress. Success will do a lot to morale." Indeed it will, as the "Today" show's Matt Lauer discovered when he visited Baghdad last week. He tried valiantly to coax some Vietnam-style disillusionment out of the soldiers he met, but as NBC's transcript makes clear, the troops weren't having any of that"

The Sheehan stunt is orchestrated, like most Leftist stunts: "Cindy Sheehan kneels before a cross with her son's name on it, touches his picture, wipes her tears. It's an outpouring of emotion that is part of a scheduled news event organized daily for the television, radio and print reporters who crowd in to capture a mother's grief. Cindy Sheehan: "I'm never going to see him again, I'm never going to hold him again, I'm never going to hear his voice again." Sheehan's message hasn't changed since she got here, but the support staff interested in getting that message out to the world has grown considerably. Organizers are set up in a house trailer. Their meetings closed to reporters. Leading the group is Fenton Communications employee, Michele Mulkey, based in San Francisco. Fenton specializes in public relations for liberal non-profits. Their bills are being paid for by True Majority, a non-profit set up by Ben Cohen -- of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream fame."

High oil prices not slowing economy: "Wal-Mart noted that July results actually "came in stronger than expected." Retail sales are rising briskly across the board. The economy is not coming to a screeching halt because of oil. In fact, the real story is that oil prices are having so little impact. Oil is up 40 percent a barrel this year, and natural gas, used in electricity generation, is up about by about two-thirds. Prices at the pump for premium gas are exceeding three bucks a gallon. It's the minimal effect of these higher oil prices that is so annoying to doomsaying politicians and journalists. The single best indicator of an economy's performance, GDP, the output of all goods and services, is currently about 3.5 percent, and it's not slowing. It's accelerating. The U.S. has created 1.2 million new jobs in the past six months. The unemployment rate has dropped to 5.0 percent from 5.4 percent. Compare those figures with Europe's, where energy conservation through taxation is the norm. In France, GDP growth is an anemic 1.2 percent, unemployment 10.1 percent. In Germany, GDP has flatlined, and unemployment is 11.6 percent".

U.S. policy working: "According to the massive Pew Global Attitudes Survey, views of the United States have been improving. We're not exactly back to the days when Kuwaiti babies were being named George Bush, but the trends are in our favor. The share of people with a favorable view of America went up in Indonesia by some 23 points, in Lebanon by 15 points, and in Jordan by 16 points. Trends in France, Germany, Russia and India have been moving our way, too. But the news gets even better. Support for terrorism and Osama Bin Laden has been plummeting across the Arab and Muslim world (save for in Jordan, where the large Palestinian population plays a big role). Support for democracy, meanwhile, has improved. According to Pew, "nearly three-quarters of Moroccans and roughly half of those in Pakistan, Turkey and Indonesia see Islamic extremism as a threat to their countries."

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. And on Social Security see Dick McDonald


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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