Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Smart army man trumps scare-mongering media

An Australian military commander has tried to ensure truth does not become a casualty of conflict in East Timor, but embarrassed a TV network in the process. Australian commander in East Timor Brigadier Michael Slater appeared this morning in a live cross from Dili to the Nine Network's Today show, with helmeted and heavily armed Australian soldiers standing behind him. He was pressed by Today host Jessica Rowe about whether Dili really was as safe as the Australian military claimed, given the presence of armed soldiers at his shoulder. Pausing briefly, Brig Slater replied: "Jessica I feel quite safe, yes, but not because I've got these armed soldiers behind me that were put there by your stage manager here to make it look good. "I don't need these guys here. "It is not safe on the streets, as it is back home in Sydney or Brisbane - no it's not, if it was we wouldn't be here. But things are getting better every day."

Rowe apologised, saying she didn't realise the guards had been placed specifically for the interview. But Rowe ran into more trouble when she persisted with her line of questioning, and referred to footage of looting and violence. Brig Slater told her the pictures were a "couple of days old". TV rival the Seven Network gleefully circulated grabs of the interview this morning.




The war on poverty: "Four decades after President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty in 1964 it remains a compelling need in America. The US Census Bureau still measures poverty in great detail, and the total number of people living in poverty during each of the past 40 years has remained stubbornly high. After hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent to aid impoverished Americans, the conventional wisdom is that more than 35 million are still without adequate income. Conventional wisdom describes the 'poor' as a large and persistent group of families and individuals left out of the economic success of America. Enduring debilitating poverty, the poor -- a group of individuals larger than California's entire population -- are entitled to political advocates, specially funded programs, and government bureaucracies to coordinate benefits. Fortunately for America, the basic description of the poor is wrong. And therefore public policy based upon an aggregate view of poverty is inherently misinformed."

The death of the nation-state: "The disintegration of Yugoslavia, the second partition of Czechoslovakia and the breakup of the Soviet Union into 15 nations -- many of which had never before existed -- seem to confirm what Israeli historian Martin van Creveld and U.S. geostrategist William Lind have written. The nation-state is dying. Men have begun to transfer their allegiance, loyalty and love from the older nations both upward to the new transnational regimes that are arising and downward to the sub-nations whence they came, the true nations, united by blood and soil, language, literature, history, faith, tradition and memory. Imperial and ideological nations appear, for the foreseeable future, to be finished."

Federal Government regulations Created Hawaii's Asphalt Shortage: "An article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on Tuesday May 16, 2006 is a study in economics and the results of government interference in the marketplace. Detailing the shortage of asphalt the article reveals that government is, in fact, the cause of the shortage. The problem is that there are only two oil refineries in Hawaii and one of them, Chevron, has stopped producing asphalt. The reason given for this is that "the federal government is requiring refiners to produce gasoline and diesel that have a lower sulfur content" so Chevron has switched to a lighter type of crude oil. Tesoro, the company that owns the other refinery in the state, is waiting for a shipment of the proper type of crude to then produce the needed liquid asphalt. In the meantime the city of Honolulu has stopped repairing potholes and several projects around the state are on hold. Companies dependent upon asphalt for their products are closing and employees are being laid off."

This was written in the 18th century!: "There are no more Frenchmen, Germans, Spaniards, even Englishmen, nowadays, regardless of what people may say; there are only Europeans. All have the same tastes, the same passions, the same morals, because none has been given a national form by a distinctive institution. All will do the same things under the same circumstances; all will declare themselves disinterested and be cheats; all will speak of the public good and think only of themselves; all will praise moderation and wish to be Croesuses; they have no other ambition than for luxury, no other passion than for gold. Confident that with it they will have whatever tempts them, all will sell themselves to the first man willing to pay them. What do they care what master they obey, the laws of what State they follow? Provided they find money to steal and women to corrupt, they are at home in any country."

Second-rate British academics attack Israel: "The British government regrets the decision by the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) to vote in favor of boycotting Israeli academics and institutions, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Lord Triesman said Monday. "The British Government has a record of supporting academic freedom for academics throughout the world. We also recognize the independence of NATFHE. We believe that such academic boycotts are counterproductive and retrograde. Far more can be obtained through dialogue and academic cooperation," a statement read".

Iraq Less Violent than Washington, D.C. : "Despite media coverage purporting to show that escalating violence in Iraq has the country spiraling out of control, civilian death statistics complied by Rep. Steve King, R-IA, indicate that Iraq actually has a lower civilian violent death rate than Washington, D.C. ... Using Pentagon statistics cross-checked with independent research, King said he came up with an annualized Iraqi civilian death rate of 27.51 per 100,000. While that number sounds high - astonishingly, the Iowa Republican discovered that it's significantly lower than a number of major American cities, including the nation's capital. "It's 45 violent deaths per 100,000 in Washington, D.C.," King told Crowley. Other American cities with higher violent civilian death rates than Iraq include: Detroit - 41.8 per 100,000; Baltimore - 37.7 per 100,000"

There is a revealing, though somewhat dated, comment on "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan here



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

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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