Monday, November 20, 2006


Now and then people will characterize groups in various ways. Some of this is clearly prejudice-as when one ascribes to blacks, whites, women, those from Poland, or Latin Americans certain moral attributes which some of those from these groups may exhibit but which are certainly not innate to all members of the group. Thinking that all Mexicans are lazy or that Germans are by nature methodical or, again, that Americans are phlegmatic would be such prejudice. These are traits of individuals and while some in these groups may have them, many clearly do not. One needs to see if the ascription is justified instead of making it just because someone is a member of the group. One is, to put it somewhat differently, not morally good or bad because one is born black or Australian or Chinese. One is good or bad as a result of one's own judgments and actions.

But sometimes it makes good sense to ascribe traits to people in light of their membership in certain groups. This is so when they belong to the group as a matter of their own choice. If someone, as an adult, joins the Mafia or the Nazi Party, or becomes a Roman Catholic or a Muslim, and if it turns out that such membership amounts, in part, to agreeing to think and act in certain ways, then it makes perfectly good sense to expect members to favor the thinking and acting that goes with membership in these groups. And if such thinking and acting turns out to be morally or politically objectionable, holding such members responsible for what they have freely agreed to accept in terms of thinking and acting is justified.

Even if one is born into a religion or political party-as most of us are-we aren't forced to remain members in near-free countries but in time freely accept our membership, even if only by acquiescence. If my parents are Nazis or members of the Ku Klux Klan and they inculcate their vile ideology in me, if after I reach the age of reason I remain a member, this can certainly be held against me.

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Today's postings on AUSTRALIAN POLITICS should be of considerable interest to most readers of this blog -- with reports of both Leftist and Musim mayhem.

Europe summarized "In an article in the German daily WELT Jeffrey Gedmin, Director at the Aspen Institute Berlin, writes: " (...) When some Europeans say they like Americans, they tend to mean those Americans who seem most like European Social Democrats, and even then they airbrush out inconvenient details like the fact that Bill Clinton favoured the death penalty, that Hillary voted for the Iraq war, or that John F. Kennedy, that suave and promiscuous East coast liberal was also a staunch anti-communist, who frequently quoted from the bible. George W. Bush is the full package of everything that makes Europe squirm. He is anti-elitism. He's religion. He's morality and muscle. He's patriotism and self-confidence. He is very un-European."

New York oil price slumps: "The price of crude oil in New York sank overnight beneath $US55 per barrel, striking a level last seen in June 2005 amid concerns over the full implementation of a recent cut in OPEC oil output. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, plunged $US54.86 per barrel in electronic trade. That marked the lowest point since June 14, 2005 before Hurricane Katrina had devastated US Gulf Coast energy facilities and sent crude futures to then-record levels. The contract later stood at $US55.50 in pit trading, marking a fall of 76 cents."

Calls for Israel to control Gaza borders: "A member of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's cabinet called on Saturday for Israel to recapture a part of Gaza evacuated a year ago and dismissed moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as "irrelevant." Avigdor Lieberman, an Israeli rightist recently named minister of strategic affairs, told Israel Radio "we have to take back control of the Rafah crossing and the Philadelphi corridor", zones along the Gaza border with Egypt. Israel accuses the Palestinians of smuggling in tonnes of ammunition across from Egypt, and blames this for a recent spate of rocket fire at southern Israeli towns that killed an Israeli woman on Wednesday and seriously wounded a guard. Gunmen have stepped up rocket fire at Israel after the deaths of 19 civilians in a Nov. 8 Israeli artillery shelling on the town of Beit Hanoun. Israel apologised but said it was in response to Gaza rocket fire."

Burqa ban splits Holland: "The Dutch government's decision to ban the burqa in public places on security grounds has not only outraged Muslim groups but also prompted accusations of political opportunism from opposition figures. The move to outlaw "face-covering clothing - including the burqa" was announced last Friday by Rita Verdonk, the hardline immigration minister, five days before a general election. She said it was in the interests of "public order" and the "protection of citizens".

New Trident to go ahead: "The [British] government will signal within the next two to three weeks that it wants to continue with the submarine-based Trident missile system as the UK's nuclear deterrent, according to Whitehall sources, writes Michael Smith. Tony Blair has promised MPs a full debate on the issue and reportedly told a cabinet meeting last week that he wants the debate to begin quickly "because a decision needs to be made". The government has promised to launch the debate with a white paper outlining options, but defence sources said the key decisions have in effect "been made".

Can they do it? "The midterm elections that ended GOP control of both House and Senate turned on two overriding themes: the war in Iraq and corruption in Congress. Now, beginning with leadership elections this week, both parties are out to show voters they got the message. For Democrats, united in a keen desire not to slip back into the minority in 2008, a first step is the promise of a new style of leadership on Capitol Hill: open, bipartisan, and above reproach -- and an agenda anchored in the needs of the average American family. 'Voters rejected the Bush agenda, but they haven't yet embraced us,' said Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who was elevated Tuesday to No. 3 in the Democratic leadership after chairing the party's senatorial campaign committee to a victory few of his colleagues believed would happen. 'What we have here could vanish if we don't do the job.'"

MA: Imams arrested in alleged visa scheme: "Federal immigration agents arrested imams from two Boston-area mosques yesterday on charges they were involved in a scheme that provided religious worker visas to immigrants who used them to enter the United States and work instead as gas station attendants, truck drivers, and factory laborers. Hafiz Abdul Hannan, imam, or leader, of the Islamic Society of Greater Lowell in Chelmsford, and Muhammed Masood, imam of the Islamic Center of New England in Sharon, were among 33 people taken into custody nationwide after a multi-year investigation led by agents in Boston and New York, said Paula Grenier, a spokeswoman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement."



"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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