Friday, June 08, 2007


This time it was John F. Kennedy International Airport. Nothing new about big-city airports - seven years ago, Los Angeles International Airport was targeted. Nothing new about New York City, either. The World Trade Center was bombed in 1993, and finally destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. The United Nations complex, the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the FBI's Lower Manhattan headquarters, the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Terminal - they've all been on the hit list. Big Western cities, in fact, are the hit list. New York, L.A., Chicago, Washington, London, Paris, Madrid . . . on it goes.

And, of course, there is nothing new about the culprit. The story is always the same: radical Islamic terror. The storyline is the same, too. But an element of Western opinion always wants to obscure it, turning a blind eye to the ideology of hate that motivates these would-be murderers. The root-causes crowd has little interest in that root cause. No, it must be poverty (even when the terrorists turn out to be comfortable, well-educated, and fully employed); or the Palestinian issue (even though organizations like al Qaeda have barely mentioned the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and some terror targets, like Bali, had no rational connection to it); or, it goes without saying, George W. Bush and "his" war in Iraq (no matter how many attacks occurred before his presidency).

A growing chorus, weary of the war at home and abroad, some of its voices resistant even to the reality that we are at war, is quick to reject the use of both military force and heightened domestic surveillance. The War on Terror is, they maintain, a war only of ideas.

The enemy's ideas are frightful: for example, its notion that mass murder is a legitimate means of pressing a socio-political agenda. This is not an aberrational belief espoused by a fringe of jihadist operatives. It is mainstream in Islamic countries and disturbingly common among growing Muslim populations in the United States and Europe.....

But even if the grand design was beyond the cell's competence, an attempt could well have killed hundreds of people. As with the recent thwarting of a jihadist plot on Fort Dix, this intended atrocity appears to have been prevented by the cooperation of federal and local law enforcement, who managed to infiltrate the conspiracy with an informant - proving, yet again, that if we are to stop terror attacks rather than react to them, there is no substitute for human intelligence.

The deepest lesson here, though, is that we are at war with an enemy that hates us, that will stop at nothing - even death - to harm us, and that we must understand in order to defeat. That is the first step in the real battle of ideas.

More here


Why Aid to Africa Should End

"In "Aid: Can It Work?" a frustrated Kristof has detailed many a failed effort to convince Southern Africans, for example, "to grow sorghum rather than corn, because it is hardier and more nutritious." But because it has been given "out as a relief food to the poor. sorghum [has] become stigmatized as the poor man's food, and no one wants to have anything to do with it." Hand out infant formula to HIV-infected women so they don't transmit the virus to their babies via breast milk, and the women, without exception, all dump the formula before they reach home: "Any woman feeding her baby formula, rather than nursing directly, is presumed to have tested positive for HIV, and no woman wants that stigma." As a former AIDS counselor in South-Africa, I was told by my female clients what the use of prophylactics portends: African patriarchs don't like protection; African women risk battery, and worse, should they insist on their, "like, reproductive freedoms."

"In the heart of poverty-stricken Congo," avers Kristof, "wrenching malnutrition exists side by side with brothels, beer joints, and cigarette stands." Kristof admits reluctantly that the men spending their money in these fleshpots cannot be persuaded to put it, rather, toward their children. Kristof cites disturbing research suggesting education programs in Africa, also the cornerstone of anti-AIDS efforts, are ineffective. Giving people a pill, conversely, works quite well-only there is no pill against HIV/AIDS. In Africa, HIV/AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease afflicting heterosexuals, predominantly. The fight against it invariably entails the teaching of caution, restraint, and the curbing of instant gratification, to which too many Africans appear indisposed."

More here


Brookes News Update

The international consequences of the Federal Reserve: It now appears that the current account deficit might start to shrink as US exports expand. Nothing surprising here. It is an established fact that when a country's currency devaluates its exports will expand because their prices fall in terms of other currencies.
Stock prices and the phony `wealth effect': There's an awful lot of sloppy economic ideas in our papers being passed off as economic analysis, one of which is the stock-prices-growth fallacy. That share prices can be a very misleading indicator of economic health is something that is never referred to in the media
Luis Posada Carriles: Terrorist or Freedom Fighter?: On re-entering the US anti-Castro activist Luis Posada Carriles was charged as a terrorist by the Justice Department. Federal Judge Kathleen Cardone the case out, accusing the J-D of committing "Fraud, deceit and trickery". So the same government department that refused to act against Sandy Berger had an enemy of Castro arrested. Now ain't that curious
Can technology prevent a recession?: One of the major factors contributing to a misdirection of resources is the falsification of price signals by means of loose monetary policies of the central bank
Al Gore's insolent assault on reason: Gore calls for government control over political speech. Because reason is being `assaulted' by a free and unfettered debate in the media - and particularly by the fact that Gore has to contend with opposition from the right-leaning media
US economy: 2010 Dem tax hikes a ticking time bomb: Both the Senate and House of Representatives have approved the majority Democrats' budget proposal, which contains over $200 billion in tax hikes, the largest in American history. Under their budget, this decade's astoundingly successful tax cuts will be allowed to expire in 2010
US economy, immigration and the fallacy of cheap labour: There is little doubt that illegal immigration has had a negative impact on US wage rates, particularly of the unskilled. A study by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center concluded that the flow of illegals drove down local wages by 11 per cent


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here.

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) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The last sentence regarding Aid to Africa: "The fight against it invariably entails the teaching of caution, restraint, and the curbing of instant gratification, to which too many Africans appear indisposed."

I've often wondered if applying westend standards (which are preoccupied with things like insurance, retirement...i.e. the future) to the seeming indisposition of Africans to cooperate...misses the mark. With the constant threat of death...either through violence or disease or starvation...of your average African...asking them to look further into the future than, say, the day after tomorrow, is perhaps asking too much. When all day, every day, is spent searching for water, food, and wood to cook with, wondering why they can't forego instant gratification for long term benefits...seems rhetorical. No?