Bald Eagle Picture

10.12.2002

4:24 AM
Daniel Drezner defends Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize dispite the comments of the selection committee.

Sean Hackbarth |



4:19 AM
Sen. Robert Byrd's (D-WV) staff had to steal a copy of the constitution off a Republican desk so the Sen. Pork could have something to wave on the Senate floor. [via The Agitator]

Sean Hackbarth |



3:19 AM
Josh Chafetz has a suggestion for the GOP:

[P]aging RNC: ad campaign: fade in with footage of McDermott on "This Week," overlay with ominous-voiced announcer saying "The majority of House Democrats voted against taking on Saddam Hussein," list of Hussein's horrors on screen, while announcer ends with "This fall, do you really want to give control of Congress back to the Democrats?" McDermott's face morphs into Saddam's. Fade to black.

The GOP won't do something as politically astute as this. Why do something that the media would lable as "mud slinging" and "using war for political gain?" They won't even try to get another name on the ballot for the Montana Senate seat. Their loyalty to rules that have been disgarded and one-sided civility ends up being unilateral disarmament.

Sean Hackbarth |



2:33 AM
HUMOR: Iraq wasn't the only target of a Congressional resolution. ScrappleFace has the details.

"Use-of-Force Authorized to Stop Madonna Film"

Sean Hackbarth |



2:12 AM
Doesn't this Technology Review article sound awfully similar to a Eugene Volokh piece? Great minds do think alike. It's the best argument I've read on why Saddam must go.

"The Lowest-Tech Atom Bomb" [via InstaPundit]

Sean Hackbarth |



2:00 AM
Can the story of two astromomers measuring the distance from the North Pole to the equator be remotely interesting? Timothy Ferris thinks Ken Alder pulls it off with The Measure of All Things. The two Frenchmen stave off revolutionaries, poor terrain, and mental breakdown to complete a mission that should have taken only months but ended up consuming seven years of their lives.

"The Measure of All Things: A Quest to Revolutionize Standards"

Sean Hackbarth |



1:28 AM
Wisconsin's worst traffic accident killed 10 and injured 36. Fog caused car after car to smash into the pile resulting in something resembling the Highway of Death of Desert Storm.

"10 Die in Horrific Pileup"

Sean Hackbarth |

10.11.2002

1:54 PM
The Nobel Peace Prize committee should be ashamed for their myopic view of war with Iraq and with their awarding of the prize to promote their political agenda.

Today, Jimmy Carter was awarded the prize "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."

At the end of the press release, the committee said,

In a situation currently marked by threats of the use of power, Carter has stood by the principles that conflicts must as far as possible be resolved through mediation and international co-operation based on international law, respect for human rights, and economic development.

To the committee, Bush's threat of war with Iraq is only about extending the power of the United States. It has little to do with securing a long-term peace by preventing Saddam from building weapons of mass destruction and having them used on the United States. Instead of war, the committee likes constant talk by the United Nations that lets Saddam continue to evade international agreements he's made in the past.

Nothing is mentioned of Carter's failures as an national leader. They don't mention his bungling of a rescue attempt to free American hostages in Iran, or his limp response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (he ordered an Olympic boycott of the Moscow games).

Prize committee chairman Gunnar Berge called Carter's award a public criticism of Bush's international policy. "With the position Carter has taken...(the award) can and must also be seen as criticism of the line the current U.S. administration has taken on Iraq," said Berge. It's unfortunate that the committee couldn't just praise Carter on his own merits without giving the U.S. a "kick in the leg." The goal of U.S. national security policy is "to create a balance of power tht favors human freedom." So, while Carter can try to get along with freedom-hating thugs like Fidel Castro, Bush is doing what's needed to extend freedom.

"Carter Wins Nobel Peace Prize, Bush Rebuked"

"The Nobel Peace Prize 2002"

Sean Hackbarth |



4:46 AM
The GOP won't play hardball because Montana Republicans won't go to the courts to put a replacement on the ballot for Mike Taylor. They're looking for a write-in candidate. Candidates can file within 15 days of Election Day. So, the GOP abides by the law and will probably get creamed in Montana, but the Democrats ignore the plain reading of New Jersey election law and may win. The Republicans may have the moral high ground, but the Dems won't care as long as they control the Senate.

Taylor said he dropped out of the race because of a television ad showing him in early 1980s disco attire. Montana Republicans accuse the Democrats of using homophobia as a campaign tactic. A state Democrat agrees. He told the Billings Gazette the ad was an "overt and obvious appeal to the homophobic (voter) that is playing to that stereotypic imagery."

Some Montana residents didn't feel Taylor's pain. One person said, "It just looks like he's guilty, doesn't he? If he's not guilty, he'd just stand in for the fight. That's how I was brought up."

"Montana Law Keeps Taylor as Candidate, Official Says"

"Montana GOP Senatorial Candidate Drops Out"

"Perspective: Longtime Republican Strategy Backfires"

"Little Sympathy Shown for Taylor or Baucus"

Sean Hackbarth |



3:39 AM
Charlie Sykes may be new to this weblogging thing, but he's got another zinger. It's a letter from a 2nd grade class that opposes war with Iraq. Here's the start of the letter:

We do not support President Bush?s idea to go to war against Saddam Hussein. If Saddam fights, we could think about nonviolent ways to fight back, but we definitely shouldn?t start the fight . Please don?t drop any more bombs! If we start the fight, they might be more likely to use a the bomb that would blow up the whole country or world! Violence plus violence just equals more violence! Please don?t go to war because: 1) innocent people die 2) it?s not what God wants us to do 3) fighting just leads to more fighting which could lead to WWIII!

Sykes' reaction:

My reaction: There?s a bright line between education and indoctrination; a line that separates teaching children how to think from exploiting them for political purposes. Having second graders write a letter like this crosses that line. What makes it unethical is that it represents a breach of trust on the part of the teacher, who used her position to propagandize children too young to be able to develop their own worldview.

"Teach the Children Well"

Sean Hackbarth |

10.10.2002

2:01 PM
Montana Republicans are trying to pull a Torricelli. GOP Senate candidate Mike Taylor is down in the polls to Sen. Max Baucus. However, instead of ethical scandal ending his political chances, Taylor blames a television ad paid by the Montana Democratic Party that has video of Taylor "slender, sporting a full beard. He is wearing a tight-fitting, three piece suit, with a big-collared open shirt ala John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever." Taylor's top two or three shirt buttons are unbuttoned, exposing some bare chest and a number of gold chains." The Billings Gazette called the ad "Sleazy. Low. Tacky. Trashy. Crummy. Mean."

Former governor Marc Racicot may replace Taylor on the ballot. Orrin Judd supports a switch because he doesn't believe in "disarmament by the GOP." Of course this all depends on Montana election law and how lenient the state courts are. According to ABCNews, the GOP can't replace Taylor's name on the ballot because it's past a 85 day deadline. But such a hard, firm rule should have stopped New Jersey Democrats. Does anyone know the political make up of the Montana Supreme Court?

"Taylor Quits Senate Race; Racicot May Run" [via Drudge]

Sean Hackbarth |



1:21 PM
Sen. Russ Feingold spoke out against war with Iraq yesterday. He doesn't think President Bush has made his case. He mustn't have listened or read Bush's speech Monday night. Today on local radio, Feingold went so far as to say that 90% of the correspondence from constituents regarding the war was opposed. So, Feingold claims he's voting agaist an Iraq war because the people of Wisconsin oppose the war. A few hundred e-mails or calls (202-224-5323) from Wisconsinites in support of the war would nix Feingold's weak excuse.

Kudos must go out to Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Rep. Mark Green (R-WI) (read his speech), and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) for their support of the Iraq resolution.

"Feingold Says He'll Vote 'No' to Military Strike on Iraq"

Sean Hackbarth |



12:38 PM
Milwaukee talk radio host, Charlie Sykes started up a weblog. One of his first posts is his column in a chain of local newspapers. Sykes comments on the mob beating of Charles Young, Jr. While many minority leaders are making excuses for the actions of those "monster-children" others are looking at the cultural source.

But something new is emerging from the horror -- a debate has broken out in the black community over the issue of personal responsibility versus finger-pointing; and it includes some remarkably blunt truth-telling.

African-American leaders like Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. are rejecting arguments that economics ? or discrimination, or the lack of social programs -- account for the pathology of illegitimacy and brutality in the black community. Other social groups, he notes, have risen out of poverty by taking responsibility for educating and raising their children.

His message is also being echoed in some of the black press. Last week?s Community Journal included an impassioned column by managing editor Thomas Mitchell, Jr., who denounced the ?politicians, touchy-feely sociologists, psychologists, culturalists, apologists for ?wayward? youth, those who are against welfare reform, stricter law enforcement? and those who blame everything and everybody but the real culprits for what?s wrong with the Black community?.They?ll just keep making excuses for themselves and others of their kind until they wake up and realize it is not the system, the cops or White folks who are the enemy. The enemy is themselves.?

"Time to Take Reponsibility"

Sean Hackbarth |



2:50 AM
32-year-old Antonio Albert was arrested in South Bend, IN and charged with murder in the mob beating of Charles Young, Jr. Albert is accused of pulling Young from an apartment where he was trying to escape a mob of (mostly) kids.

A medical examiner's report said Young was legally intoxicated when brought to the hospital after his beating.

"32-Year-Old Charged in Beating Death"

"Man, 32, in Custody in Beating Death Case"

Sean Hackbarth |



2:21 AM
I'm going to make this rejoinder to Lynn brief. She's taken a lot of grief over her comments on religion. This should be a civil conversation that allows for the lack of perfect knowledge on subjects like theology and consitutional law. Not all of us are scholars loaded to the brim with minute details and nuance derived from years of study. We're just people exchanging insights and opinions.

Anyway, Lynn writes:

More than just certain tactics, I object to the whole attitude that evangelism is a "calling."

She then objects to a fundamental tenet of Christianity. Christ called his followers to "make disciples of all nations." A Christian acts on this commission. They evangelize because Christ told them to. There are many ways to make disciples. Some methods are more effective, and some are more obnoxious.

Let me tie this thought into another quote of Lynn's:

The nature Sean is defending is the urge to force others to live the same kind of lifestyle they would choose for themselves.

I don't think all Christians want everyone to conform to a common lifestyle. Missionaries don't try to make African tribesmen to live like suburban Americans. Christians want all people to know of the love of Christ. When Christ is allowed to enter the heart of a person that new-found belief must take into account the context of the new believer's environment. While staying true to Christian tenets (John 3:16), they must acknowledge the world around them.

Of course there are Christians who think they know the one correct way to live one's life. There are plenty of Christians who don't think people should watch certain television shows, watch certain movies, listen to certain types of music, or read certain books. I always shake my head when I hear a story of some obnoxious Christian wanting to ban Harry Potter because it deals with sorcery. They miss the series' theme of good beating evil.

Seeking to convince others about the Truth of Christ is the lifeblood for a Christian. A religion that has survived over 2,000 years and has billions of believers couldn't be that successful unless such passion was part of its cultural DNA.

Sean Hackbarth |



12:47 AM
Arnold Kling calls the awarding of the Nobel in economics to Kahnen and Smith to be a "slap for the University of Chicago." Kling writes, "Contrary to Friedman, this year's Nobel laureates believe that it pays to study the actual behavior of billiard players."

Sean Hackbarth |

10.9.2002

5:47 PM
Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-MN) on why he opposes a resolution giving President Bush authority to strik at Iraq:

Just putting it in self-interest terms, how would I have had the enthusiasm and the fight if I had actually cast a vote I didn't believe in? I couldn't do that.

This quote in a nutshell is why Paul Wellstone could win re-election despite his far-left voting record and his broken term limit promise. Midwesterners in general and Minnesotans in particular respect people who hold firm to their convictions. People may not agree with all of Wellstone's positions, but they'll say "He's an honest man who believes what he says." These voters also like mavericks who go down their own path. Remember, Minnesota elected the ultimate political maverick in Jesse Ventura. He not only bucked plenty of political tradition, but he told it like he saw it. Before Ventura, Minnesota was led by Gov. Arne Carlson, a man who said he was a Republican but ignored his own party during his terms in office.

But there's a dark side to Paul Wellstone: his supporters. At at "fair trade" rally in Duluth, MN, Wellstone pointed out a Republican recording the speeches. Here's what happened next:

The cameraman was jostled throughout the speech as activists held signs in front his camera and bumped into him.

At one point, after moving to a new location, the cameraman was pushed into an apparent union worker who responded with kidney-punches into the cameraman?s side.

Volunteers rushed to the scuffle and escorted away the cameraman, who held his hands in the air.

It's quite the maverick who allows someone to get violently accosted at a supposed peaceful rally.

"For Wellstone, Iraq Vote Is Risk But Not a Choice"

"Trade Rally Draws Mixed Crowd in Duluth"

Sean Hackbarth |



5:43 PM
Two Americans, Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith, won the Nobel Prize in economics. American dominance continues.

Reason interviewed Smith for their December issue, but because of his award, it's already available for us interested folk.

"Nobel Economics Award Goes to Two Americans"

"The Experimental Economist"

Sean Hackbarth |



5:19 PM
The number of abortions have gone down in the past few years. The National Right to Life Committee sees parental consent and notification laws, better persuation of teens not to have sex, and new technology which lets women see the very human nature of the unborn as factors for the decrease. Planned Parenthood sees cuts--presumably government-- in abortion funding, restricted access to clinics and fewer abortion doctors as the reason.

Elizabeth Cavendish, legal director of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League had the goofy quote of the day when she said, "We're seeing the results of policies that don't afford equal access to contraception." She was commenting on the finding that the abortion rate for poor women rose. What does she mean that there isn't "equal access to contraception?" Somehow, poor women aren't capable of buying condoms or going to some free clinic to get a prescription for birth control pills? Are poor women incapable of controling their sexual urges just because they're poor? Women deciding to kill their unborn children isn't as much a public policy issue as it is a moral/cultural issue. A woman has to be in a particularly dismal state to deny the humanity of her child and allow it to be killed. That dismal state is perpetuated by the Culture of Death.

"Abortion Rates Decline in Late 1990s"

Sean Hackbarth |



4:59 PM
Former FBI chief Louis Freeh was doing some CYT (Cover Your Tush) yesterday at Congressional hearings on the September 11 attacks. The FBI wasn't to blame because the attacks couldn't "have been prevented by the FBI and intelligence communities acting alone."

The criticism for the failure of our intelligence and law enforcement agencies isn't that the FBI, CIA, or NSA could have stopped the attacks alone. The problem is that the agencies didn't talk to each other and share information. Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL) put it well when he said, "When it comes to terrorism and fighting terrorism, with all due respect, I think there is a disconnect, and there was a disconnect."

"Freeh Defends Counterterrorism Efforts"

Sean Hackbarth |



4:27 PM
Lynn replied to my thoughts on religious people. Justin Katz also weighs in on the discussion. I'll try to post a rejoinder later tonight.

Sean Hackbarth |



2:04 AM
Lynn writes about her problems with religion:

At the top of my list is the moral imperative in some religions - Christianity included - to convert non-believers. Can faith that is forced on a person be true faith, or is it mere compliance? Here in the West believers can no longer torture and burn non-believers so they instead spend huge amounts of money to pursue and annoy anyone who does not share their beliefs, and as missionaries they prey on the most vulnerable people, providing food and other humanitarian aid as a lure. We all like to share our beliefs and given the opportunity will try to convince other people that we are right. I expect religious people to do the same, but not to the point where it becomes a crusade. The attitude that everyone must be converted is simply wrong and leads to acts of evil and violations of individual rights.

Converting non-believers does not constitute forcing faith upon another nor should it. Faith requires the person to accept beliefs taught to them and incorporate them into their hearts. Islam means "surrender," and that same idea can be taken to Christian conversion. By declaring faith in Jesus Christ as his savior, the convert surrenders that portion of their human reason. Dawkins would find this atrocious. To him, denying human reason in any form constitutes the gravest secular sin. The simple counter is that faith and God is beyond human reason. I'm of the belief that God cannot be proved or disproved. Belief in God is a matter of faith and an acceptance of a grand mystery.

Christians are called by Jesus to preach the good news (Gospel) to all of Humanity. What Lynn finds annoying, many Christians consider to be their calling.

Am I comfortable with the way many Christians attempt to persuade others to accept Christ? No. Part of it is growing up as a Midwestern conservative Lutheran (Missouri Synod). I'm not comfortable going up to strangers and asking them about their religious beliefs. The church I grew up in took the "Christian by example" approach. We took part in community activities, stayed on the straight and narrow, and lead wholesome lives. If someone asked why we seemed pretty well off, we would let them know that we placed Christ at the center of our lives. We didn't hide from our faith; we didn't deny the importance of our beliefs. Our life example was our way to letting others know the life-changing power of Christ.

Now, on to another of Lynn's objections:

The second problem with religion is closely tied to the first - government based on religion or the attempt to use religion to influence legislation. Too many religious people think that separation of church and state should only work one way - that the government must keep out of religion but that the church has no similar obligation to stay out of government. Some of these people will surely speak up and explain how the Constitution supports their point of view. First of all, it doesn't, but I'm not talking about the Constitution at all. I'm talking about a wise principle that is an important part of the foundation of all free nations. To pass laws based on religious beliefs, even if such passage does happen to be Constitutional, chips away at our freedom.

First, I must mention that the phrase "separation of church and state" is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. The phrase comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson.

To say that people of faith should not practice what they preach with regards to government is like saying a goldfish should just leap out of its fishbowl and start breathing air. It's a denial of their very nature.

I argue that basing laws purely on human reason is also basing them on religious belief. Look at how strongly Dawkins attacks religion and defend rationality. That passion is almost religious. And to claim that human reason is the sole source of wisdom is as irrational a faith as Christianity. F. A. Hayek pointed out the limits of human rationality and argued that using rationality beyond its limits (he dubbed it "scientism") led to Man's enslavement (see Communism and National Socialism).

Sean Hackbarth |

10.8.2002

3:41 AM
How many watches does Andrew Sullivan have? As of this moment, I counted four (McDermott, Anti-Catholicism, Right-Wing Envy, and Useful Idiot). Like I should talk. I haven't had a Paleo Watch update is a while. Well, it's off to find the latest from Anarchy Lew.

Sean Hackbarth |



3:11 AM
Glenn Reynolds comments on the CIA:

I'm not unhappy with the CIA because it's a big bad bunch of spies who topple foreign governments againstthewilloftheirpeople. I'm unhappy with the CIA because it seems to be displaying the kind of flexibility and innovation usually associated with the United States Postal Service.

In Afghanistan, the Agency's paramilitary arm did excellent work by all accounts. But there's no sign that the rest of the Agency has gotten its act together, and no sign that the dropped balls of Summer, 2001 are being addressed.

I'm still waiting for George Tenet to resign. September 11 was an intelligence failure, yet no one's taken responsibility. In order to fix the problem you must first realize there is a problem.

Sean Hackbarth |



1:47 AM
Here are some highlights from President Bush's speech last night:


Some have argued that confronting the threat from Iraq could detract from the war against terror. To the contrary, confronting the threat posed by Iraq is crucial to winning the war on terror.

and

Terror cells and outlaw regimes building weapons of mass destruction are different faces of the same evil. Our security requires that we confront both, and the United States military is capable of confronting both.


Liberating Iraq wouldn't detract from the overall Islamist War; it would be vital to winning it. An Iraq on the path to liberty would be one less country where Islamist terrorists could seek haven and weapons of mass destruction.


After 11 years during which we've tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.

The U.N. and the Clinton administration both failed to stop Saddam. We could continue doing the same-old same-old, but as time passes, Iraq would continue developing more potent weapons.


We work and sacrifice for peace. But there can be no peace if our security depends on the will and whims of a ruthless and aggressive dictator. I'm not willing to stake one American life on trusting Saddam Hussein.

That's a shot straight at Rep. McDermott (D-Iraq), who looks like he's gone off the deep end. [via Right Wing News]


Failure to act would embolden other tyrants, allow terrorists access to new weapons and new resources, and make blackmail a permanent feature of world events.

After 3,000 dead, the U.S. has to be strong. Looking weak would only encourage our enemies to strike us again.

The speech was good. The President plainly stated his case against Saddam. It wasn't groundbreaking. There were no smoking guns; no new evidence that would turn opposition opinion around instantly. Bush added thoughtful arguments to the debate over war. Since the anti-war crowd seems to be stuck with little but conspiracy theories centered on Big Oil, the debate is easily being one by Bush.

President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat

Sean Hackbarth |

10.7.2002

5:48 PM
Tomorrow's news today?

One of Glenn's readers pointed out a Independent story on Bush's speech tonight before he even gives it. Ken Layne adds to our knowledge of journalistic "preparation" with this nugget:

A couple years ago, I thought the wires might be more careful now that the whole world has access. Maybe newspapers would make sure these stories from the future stopped appearing on their Web sites. Nah. Why start caring now? During the 2000 GOP convention, when everybody was making a big deal about Internet journalists (remember them?) covering the stupid non-story, Reuters reported on Laura Bush's speech and how the delegates reacted. This was an hour before she spoke. AP did the same thing with Colin Powell's speech, with detailed quotes from members of the audience. Filed at 9:10 p.m., almost 90 minutes before he took the stage.

Journalism is a total scam. Even in an era of 24-hour news channels and raw wires on the Internet, there's still no shame at daily newspapers. Whole sections are prepared days or even weeks before they arrive in your "news" paper, and you'd be surprised how much of the "A" section for today's paper was done while you were having breakfast yesterday. Or earlier.

Part of the problem is the incessant need for speed. I know from my news consuming, when I see some newsworthy event happening on tv, I quickly jump onto my computer to get more the story from news websites. I crave additional information, and when it's not available yet, I get mad at the news organizations for not being fast enough. In response, the organizations prepare stories ahead of time with the limited information available. Then with a click of the mouse, news junkies' cravings are slightly eased. Then there's a problem when the story is released too soon as in the case of the Independent. The preparation wasn't the problem; the problem was story management. The newspapers' editors failed. And these people are some the most critical of webloggers because we don't have editors.

As for the GOP convention coverage, that was just laziness dishonesty. You can't have audience reaction to a speech before the speech takes place. This again is the failure of editors.

Sean Hackbarth |



2:21 AM
No! Arts & Letters Daily is dead! It's owned by the same company that owns the defunct Lingua Franca, and the bankruptcy auction is coming up.

A&LD was a marvelous, renaissance collection of high- and middle-brow articles and reviews. If a famous, infamous, or not-so famous scholar or author died, you'd find many obituaries. Without A&LD, I would have never found an article from the Socialist Worker memorializing the death of biologist Stephen Jay Gould.

Then there were the teasers. Few websites could make esoteric philosophy seem interesting.

Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, Locke and Descartes: their wanderings, wars, and struggles make Kant's look like nothing. Yet his story is every bit as gripping as theirs...[more]

This teaser points to an article on biographies of philosophers--at first glance, not breezy reading material.

There's this ditty:

The lovely, decayed city of Havana stands as a dreadful warning against monomaniacs certain of a theory that explains everything, including the future of humanity...[more]

It's full of sarcasm with plenty of truth.

Then there's this one:

Creativity. Beethoven was a very, very creative person. And so is Elton John. And so are you. Best of all, in Britain art is helping to build a better society... [more]. Not, says that boring old fart, Simon Rattle.

Even if the linked articles were dull as could be, you came away with a smile. A&LD took ideas seriously without taking them too seriously. For that, it will be missed.

Sean Hackbarth |



1:21 AM
With the anti-war protests across the country yesterday, can that crowd now stop claiming their dissent is being stifled? We hear you loud and clear; it's just that most of us don't agree with you.

"Rally in New York Protests Possible Iraq War" [via Drudge]

Sean Hackbarth |



1:12 AM
Courtesy of MSNBC's Weblog Central I discovered Warblogging.com's Index of Evil. It goes up or down depending on how many times weblogs mention certain people. You instantly guess it's a Lefty idea because it tosses in John Ashcroft with the likes of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and Mullah Omar. Where's Noam Chompsky, Kim Jong-il, or Fidel Castro? Now, there are some evil types.

Sean Hackbarth |



12:52 AM
Random Nuclear Strikes: a great name for a weblog. The mind behind it has an idea about U.N. resolutions:

I say fine. We will abide by the UN resolutions everywhere Saddam does. Anyplace he unilaterally chooses NOT to allow inspections, we should be able to unilaterally choose to bomb into rubble, and be applauded by the UN for our "sort of compliance" with the all powerful UN resolution. The UN is happy that their previous "inspections" got rid of ~80-90% of Saddam's weapons. Therefore, they should be equally happy if we leave 80-90% of Iraq unbombed into rubble.


Sean Hackbarth |

10.6.2002

11:48 PM
Historian Paul Johnson has Saudi Arabia in his sights after Iraq.

Instead, not only must he change the regime in Iraq; the question is: What further precautions must he take to make the U.S. reasonably safe? In the second half of the 20th century, the American government was obliged to answer this question by doing two very expensive and risky things. First, it had to build up a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons and continually update its delivery systems to maintain a balance of terror and/or first- and second-strike capabilities. Second, it had to construct a worldwide spread of alliances and bases to ensure its conventional superiority.

These measures are still necessary but they have receded into the background. The foreground is occupied by the need to eliminate regimes which, in one way or another, make international terrorism on a large scale possible and threaten to produce mass-destructive terrorism. Such states include not only all "the usual suspects" --Iran, Libya, Syria, Cuba, and North Korea (as well as Iraq)--but Saudi Arabia too, whose authoritarian monarchy pays protection money to terrorists and spreads the religious fundamentalism which lies at the root of the problem.

All these regimes need to be changed. By whose right, and with what authority, can the U.S. undertake such a wide-ranging program? It is this which takes us to the heart of the new, 21st-century form of geopolitics. The risk of great-power conflict is now small. The risk of nation-to-nation wars is diminishing. But the risk of colossal attacks on centers of civilization has increased, is increasing, and must be diminished.

He goes on to declare that the United States, as the dominant economic, political, and military superpower (dare I say "hyperpower?") is the world's protection from a Hobbsian world of international conflict.

We need a Leviathan figure now much more than in the 17th century, when the range of a cannon was a maximum of two miles and its throw-weight was measured in pounds. America is the only constitutional Leviathan we have, which is precisely why the terrorists are striving to do him mortal injury, and the opponents of order throughout the world--in the media, on the campus, and among the flat-earthers--are so noisily opposed to Leviathan's protecting himself.

"Leviathan to the Rescue"

Sean Hackbarth |

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When I'm not pondering the fate of the universe, I'm reading, writing, or selling books. Here you'll find comments on politics, culture, books, and music. Not necessarily in that order.

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