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Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.
-- Ronald Reagan

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Thursday, March 06, 2003
Think the Unthinkable - Mark Steyn

"'War without the UN is unthinkable,'declared Polly Toynbee, grande dame of Britain's Guardian, to Peter Cuthbertson of the Conservative Commentary web site the other day. But why? Why is it 'unthinkable?' Why not try thinking about it just to see where it takes you? No doubt, to Polly's mind, September 11 was also unthinkable. But it happened nonetheless. These days, everything's thinkable, everything's up for grabs. But once you recoil from the unthinkable, it's all too easy to slump back into the unthinking."

Here's another money quote: "The argument of the wise old birds and the EU and the Arab League is that a resolution of the Palestinian question is the key to a stable Middle East that somehow creating another backward repressive sewer state on a tiny sliver of the West Bank would transform the map from Algeria to Pakistan."

Leaflets dropped on Iraq

Check these out. Direct and to the point. Accurate too, which is refreshing for propaganda.

Area Man Seeks Confrontation, Gets One, Part II

The Smoking Gun has the complaint against that Albany T-Shirt Guy. Apparently our pacifist friends who "were just wearing t-shirts" had actually gotten themselves in disputes with other customers, thus drawing attention to themselves. Now, one could suppose that the peaceniks did not initiate any confrontations, but... Let's just say, when was the last time you met an activist who could keep his mouth shut? Wouldn't be much of an activist now, would he?

The Giant Sucking Sound

Thomas Sowell has some interesting demographic data

His thesis is that as affluent urbanites - i.e. liberals - make restrictions on development in the name of environmentalism, they reduce the supply of housing, and thus prices skyrocket.

Affluent and politically liberal-left communities like San Francisco and Monterey are places from which blacks have been forced out economically, even as they are cheered in political rhetoric. In San Francisco, for example, the number of blacks declined from more than 79,000 in the 1990 census to less than 61,000 in the 2000 census, even though the total population in the city increased by more than 50,000 people.

In adjoining -- and equally affluent and politically liberal -- San Mateo County, the black population fell from more than 35,000 to less than 25,000 during the same decade. Here too the total population rose by more than 50,000. More than half the land area of San Mateo is off-limits to building under "open space" laws.

In Monterey, another bastion of affluent liberalism and environmentalism, the black population in this community of more than 30,000 people declined from 937 to 749.

These are all bastions of liberal Democrats. In all these places, Ted Kennedy would be a middle of the roader, if not right of center.

But it's not just blacks who are getting the shaft: people with kids are getting priced out of the market too.

Regardless of race, people with children are likewise finding it hard to live where concentrations of limousine liberals force housing prices sky high with their severe land use restrictions under pretty environmentalist names. The number of children in San Francisco declined absolutely between 1990 and 2000, despite the overall growth in the city's population.

You can see where there are more children and less children in the average ages of local populations, which can differ by a decade or more. The average age in Merced County, out in the more conservative central valley, is 28 but in San Francisco it is 37. In very affluent communities like Beverly Hills, Malibu, and Woodside, the average age is in the forties.

So it looks like those liberal counties are behaving just like Europe, slowly dying off as the desire for children is outweighed by the desire for a comfortable life. No wonder SF seems like a foreign country sometimes.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003
Stalin's Obit in NYT from 1953

These are just the headlines and subheads:

Stalin Rose From Czarist Oppression to Transform Russia Into Mighty Socialist State

Dictator Ruthless in Moving to Goals

He Furthered Socialization and Industrialization of World's First Marxist Nation

Led World War II Effort

Hard, Mysterious, Aloof, Rude, He Outlasted the Dreamers and Solidified Power

No Mass Murder? No gulag? Times have changed, I hope.

Area Man Seeks Confrontation, Gets One

That's my take on the lawyer who got arrested at a mall in NY. I think this guy set the whole situation up, and the publicity is exactly what he wanted. "Monday's arrest came less than three months after about 20 peace activists wearing similar T-shirts were told to leave by mall security and police." My question is, was Mr. Peace part of that original demonstration that got booted? Or affiliated with it somehow? And I wonder what the mall security cameras reveal...

In any case, for legal stuff, look at Eugene Volokh and Instapundit.

Human Shield ad nauseum?

The following was sent to me from my friend Gary Barrett. It's a Reuters story, but I don't have a link for it. Here it is in its entirety:

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A New Zealand woman said on Wednesday she was willing to be crucified by President Bush if he pledges not to attack Iraq.
Mary Grierson said she had emailed the challenge to the White House and as an open letter to leading U.S. newspapers.

"Send your troops home and take me instead, on behalf of everyone in the world who does not want war and oppression," she wrote.

But the deal has a catch -- Bush would have to personally hammer in the nails.

"I don't think he would have the courage to do it quite frankly, but that is the measure of a man," she told Radio New Zealand.

"Can he follow through with this aim of creating more chaos in the world if he had to do it just to one person himself?"

It is not the first novel expression of protest in New Zealand against a looming U.S.-led war on Iraq.

Another woman spent NZ$2,500 ($1,409) last month on an anti-war newspaper advertisement directed at Bush in the hope it would be seen by the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and passed on to Washington.

New Zealand, which refuses entry to its ports for foreign warships that are nuclear powered or carry nuclear weapons, opposes military action against Iraq unless it is backed by the United Nations.

I quote Emperor Ming: "Show us this loyalty; throw yourself onto your sword."

Now, maybe if she sets herself on fire, then sits perfectly still while she burns, then I'll be impressed.

The Pentagon's New Map


Quick notes

Old Europe, Old Problem

American might is sailing away from Europe

Jonah Goldberg says democracy is not the same as freedom. Good point.

How Free-Riding French, Germans Risk Nuclear Anarchy

Monday, March 03, 2003
Why hate crime laws are bullshit

From today's Tongue Tied column.

Civil rights and anti-war groups in Miami are hopping mad over a Miami Beach scuffle, claiming the fight between a local teen and an Iraqi immigrant was a racially motivated hate crime, reports the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

The fight erupted outside a local towing company after Nasseer Idrisi refused to pay a $110 fine to get his car back, saying it had been illegally towed. When Idrisi began yelling in Arabic, a 16-year-old boy unloaded on him. The teen was arrested and charged with aggravated battery.

The Miami Coalition Against the War quickly called a news conference to decry "the apparent anti-immigrant and racist nature of the attack." March for Justice said it was going to march in front of the towing company.

The victim won't be marching, though. "My personal opinion is that it wasn't racially motivated," Idrisi said.

The protesters don’t care. "It doesn't matter what Nasseer believes," said Nidal Sakr of March for Justice. "It is for a judge and jury to decide."

So, the victim, who was there at the time, who has firsthand knowledge of what happened, shouldn't be believed. Instead, a judge and jury, far removed from the events, must decide what was coursing through the assailant's mind. And how are they to do that, I wonder? Divine intervention?

Enviro-Terrorist Watch

SHAC succeeds, further proving that Alan Dershowitz is right - terrorists prosper because they get results.

Witches casting spells for peace

This site is pretty comical, sent to me by my British friend Gary Barret. "They will also be casting spells to prevent earthquakes and dealing with evil spirits, daily newspaper Independentul reports." Well I do feel better now...