May 31, 2005
I woke up to the news today that Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been sentenced to nine years in prison.
Garry Kasparov wrote this back in March:
The arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky has little in common with the prosecution of corrupt businessmen in the U.S. He is being punished for trying to free himself and his corporation, the Yukos energy company, from state pressure. He wanted to follow the law, not the Kremlin’s corrupt edicts, and for this he was arrested. Imagine a Western court hearing a case in which the defendant’s lawyer was searched on her way out of visiting her client in prison, with all of her papers seized and admitted as evidence! This is business as usual in Mr. Putin’s Russia.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky will probably not get an Amnesty International campaign in his honor. They’re too busy condemning America (America, of all places!) for human rights abuses. He will not get the usual attention of leftists who think that criticizing Putin is somehow a reflection on Bush, because he is rich and because his business is energy. But we shouldn’t forget him as he is, more than just an unfortunate man caught up in a corrupt system, a symbol of the deep problems Russia has, and will continue to have, until they let go of Communism and live without the totalitarian system to which they’ve become accustomed.
Technorati Tags: Mikhail+Khodorkovsky Vladimir+Putin Yukos+Energy Garry+Kasparov
Ace and I will continue to ‘Hoist the Black Flag’ (it’s from a Mencken quote for those just joining us) today at 4pm EST on Rightalk.com. Our guests today will be my political hero, Herman Cain, and Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs. CALL IN NUMBER- 1-866-884-TALK (8255).
Update: Apparently, Dawn Summers will yet again be live-blogging it here.
Technorati Tags: Hoist+the+black+flag Right+talk Herman+Cain Charles+Johnson
Julien at The Point explains why he voted ‘no’ on the French referendum.
Richard North notes the effect of the referendum on internal British politics.
No Pasaran writes that America-hater Dominique de Villepin is now Prime Minister.
Sausage&Peppers- I met Matt on the Herman Cain campaign (where I also met bloggers Alex and Mark from ‘Save the GOP’ and Rachel May). Matt is a Yankee fan from Iowa who lives in Georgia. You don’t see those everyday.
May 30, 2005
When Ace and I were gearing up for our first show (it’s called ‘Hoist the Black Flag’, and you can listen every Tuesday from 4-5pm at www.rightalk.com and the show replays all weekend long), I was telling some friends that our first guest would be Michelle Malkin. My friends aren’t very political so they asked about her and her major issues. I explained that she was against illegal immigration and that was the focus of a lot of her writing and talks. They asked ‘why, is anyone for illegal immigration?’ They were surprised that there were people supportive of illegal immigration. The people in my story are immigrants, like me. Their parents waited for years to escape not just poverty but religious and political persecution. They aren’t friendly to the idea of someone breaking the law to get here.
I thought about their surprise that anyone can be supportive of illegal immigration when I heard about the protests at the ‘Illegal Immigration Summit’ in Las Vegas. What are some of the arguments of the pro-illegal immigration side? Here’s one by Miguel Barrientos, president of the Las Vegas Mexican-American Political Association: ‘They’re creating division among Americans. We don’t need it.’ Is no disagreement allowed on this issue, then? Obviously not, as ‘Racists, go home!’ is what the protestors shouted at attendees.
What is racist about thinking that illegal immigration is wrong? What is racist about worrying about the security of your nation’s borders, at a time when your country is at war with a shadowy enemy who is trying to infiltrate your country to destroy it from within? Minuteman organizer Chris Simcox spoke at the conference and, mentioning recent deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, said ‘There is no reason human beings, regardless of where they come from, should die horrible deaths.’ What’s racist about that?
Why is it that liberals insist that things like the inheritance tax are necessary to level the playing field (so that one person doesn’t start out with some extaordinary advantage, and someone else starts with nothing), but they never talk about levelling the playing field in other areas? Why shouldn’t attractive people be forced to have deforming plastic surgery so that they look like everyone else? What about talents that should be restricted, or perhaps energetic people should be forced to sleep 8 hours a day so they can’t work harder and get ahead of their more-rest-needing counterparts?
Why is it just money that we should be redistributing?
Technorati Tags: Inheritance+tax death+tax Danica+Patrick Robby+Gordon level+the+playing+field
May 29, 2005
Technorati Tags: Mitt+Romney Election+2008 Abortion+politics Mormon
On September 10, 2001, I didn’t think once about the Twin Towers. I didn’t think about the rotting Middle East and how it affected me. I didn’t wonder about our troop levels and whether we have enough military to fight a few different wars at once.
And then nothing was the same again. I wanted to hide under my bed. I didn’t want to take the subway because I was scared it would blow up. I didn’t want my brother taking the Brooklyn Bridge or the Brooklyn Battery tunnel to commute to school. Both felt like such obvious targets. I didn’t want to travel or go out. I just wanted to sit on my friend’s couch and ask again and again ‘how could this happen?’
There were those who saw the towers fall and reacted very differently.
They joined the military. They knew that war was coming and that it would last for a long while. These aren’t people who joined during peacetime to pay for college and these aren’t people who were drafted like in previous wars, though I respect all those people just the same. While the rest of us tried to get back to just worrying about our everyday lives, these men went off to fight our battles to allow us to do just that.
We know the names of some of them, like Pat Tillman who left his luxurious life behind and died in Afghanistan. There are so many others who did the same whose names we don’t have ready on our tongues. So, today I’m going to remember the men who saw the towers fall, saw the Pentagon get hit, saw that plane crash in Pennsylvania and didn’t spend the next few months getting drunk with their friends, trying to forget. They heard the call to war and they became warriors. On this Sunday before Memorial Day, I salute these men.
It is depressing to look back at history and see how regularly the same nice-sounding idea–”let’s take the land from the rich people who unjustly own it and give it to those who need it”–turns into tragedy for everyone. It’s even more depressing to realise that despite the seeming predictibility of the result, lots of people want to do it anyway.
Technorati Tags: Jane+Galt wealth+redistribution Robert+Mugabe Zimbabwe
May 28, 2005
Technorati Tags: Blogroll New+York+Bloggers Tennessee+Bloggers Texas+Bloggers
I have been unable to get into my gmail account for two days. I’ve emailed them several times but haven’t gotten a response. Please use ksheinin at yahoo.com for the next few days.
Adam McKay, who generally writes lefty rants over at that Huffington site, has a post where he tries to find common ground for both the left and the right. He notes that he doesn’t like large deficits, or tax-breaks for rich people and that he does like the environment. Turns out, he even likes the military and supported the Afghanistan war. Then, he gets into Iraq. He writes:
But for the life of me I don’t get the whole Iraq thing and how we’ve all forgiven the mistakes made by our leaders that led to 100,000 Iraqi deaths and thirty thousand U.S. casualties.
What, now? Iraq Body Count, a site that I believe overexaggerates its stats, has the Iraqi deaths at maximum 24766. As for U.S casualties, 30,000 is so outrageous I think he just randomly chose a number. Iraq Coalition Casualty Count has the number at 1656. That’s quite an error.
McKay’s next sentence is ‘What am I missing?’. Facts, buddy, facts.
Technorati Tags: Huffington+Post Adam+McKay Iraq+civilian+casualties American+troop+casualties
May 27, 2005
This week NYC Council unanimously passed Women’s Restroom Equity Bill which establishes a 2-to-1 ratio for women’s restrooms in new public venues including, bars, restaurants and concert halls. Whoo-hoo!
“It’s a women’s rights accomplishment,” said council member Yvette D. Clarke (D), the bill’s chief sponsor. “It goes to the quality of life that we are able to enjoy in the city.”
So, now it’s a ‘right’ to have extra bathrooms for women. For the record, it isn’t feminist to act as if women are too retarded to find themselves a bathroom or be able to wait until they can.
Technorati Tags: NYC+Council New+York+City+Council Women's+Restroom+Equity+Bill Yvette+D.+Clarke
I first saw Kudzu in Georgia. Mark Harris told me the story of how Kudzu was imported from Japan to stop erosion but ended up growing over everything and becoming unstoppable. This is Kudzu:
Maybe it’s because this is the current view from my window in NYC, but I found Kudzu to be quite nice.
It was brought to the South during the Great Depression to help control soil erosion, but it helped itself to everything else. It covers hills, telephone poles, ravines, abandoned headstones, slow cows.
Unable to kill it, stop it, or even make it chew with its mouth closed, Southerners have tried to pare it back by, among other things, eating it. Before it eats us.
Now, it turns out that Kudzu heightens the buzz from alcohol. I can see the vine suddenly developing legions of fans, can’t you?
“Guantanamo has become the gulag of our time,” Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan said.
Yeah, and um, my high school’s “Time Out” room was Auschwitz.
Liberals then did not tsk-tsk about the observation that the segregated south was a toxic, racist culture that had to change — nor did they explain to blacks impatient about “colored” water fountains etc. that really, this is a different culture after all, and we need to be delicate and understanding.
Certainly I realize that there are differences between the pre-Civil War south and Islamists today. The animosity of segregationists was focused on blacks; Islamists especially hate Jews, but also aren’t generally fond of Americans, Christians, women, homosexuals, Buddhist statues or the entire western way of life. And even at its worst, the segregated south wasn’t expansionist, at least not in the 20th-Century. When George Wallace stood in that schoolhouse door, he didn’t mean that schools across the entire planet should conform to his notions of separate but equal — or watch out for the suicide bombers.
Technorati Tags: Cathy+Seipp Segregationist+South Islamofascism Islamists