Sunday, December 12, 2004

Do Tolkien's Ents Reside In Europe?

Victor Davis Hanson thinks so. I think he has a point, but you should decide for yourself.

Global Warming: Who Cares?

In this article, Bjorn Lomborg provides a reasoned (albeit liberal) assessment of the Global Warming issue.
Global warming is real and caused by CO2. The trouble is that the climate models show we can do very little about the warming. Even if everyone (including the United States) did Kyoto and stuck to it throughout the century, the change would be almost immeasurable, postponing warming by just six years in 2100...

...We live in a world with limited resources, where we struggle to solve just some of its challenges. This means that caring more about some issues end up meaning caring less about others. If we have a moral obligation, it is to spend each dollar doing the most good that we possibly can.

So in a curious way, global warming really is the moral test of our time, but not in the way its proponents imagined. We need to stop our obsession with global warming, and start dealing with the many more pressing issues in the world, where we can do most good first and quickest.
I think Mr. Lomborg is spot on. Rather than spending hundreds of billions of dollars trying to put off the inevitable, we should be seeking to do the greatest amount of good with those billions. Then, we can debate what good we ought to be doing.

That is a debate worth having.

Who We Are Fighting In Iraq

William Kristol's article in the Weekly Standard provides information about the "insurgency" in Iraq that you will not see in the Left-stream Media. In part:

Several prominent mosques in Damascus, including the large Bilal al-Hashemi mosque, have reputations as staging posts for Syrian fighters, suggesting a logistical and financial operation beyond the ability of any one tribal leader. The US military believes there may be as many as 2,000 foreign fighters in Iraq, mostly from Syria...

...By Bush Doctrine standards, Syria is a hostile regime. It is permitting and encouraging activities that are killing not just our Iraqi friends but also, and quite directly, American troops. So we have a real Syria problem...

...The deputy prime minister of Iraq, Barham Saleh, wants to address the problem. He said last week, clearly referring to Syria as well as Iran, that "there is evidence indicating that some groups in some neighboring countries are playing a direct role in the killing of the Iraqi people, and such a thing is not acceptable to us."

U.S. military intelligence officials agree: They have recently concluded, according to the Washington Post, "that the Iraqi insurgency is being directed to a greater degree than previously recognized from Syria, where they said former Saddam Hussein loyalists have found sanctuary and are channeling money and other support to those fighting the established government."

A Second Opinion On Harry Reid

The Finger has previously pointed you to the outrageous comments Sen. Harry Reid made about the Honorable Justice Thomas. Armstrong Williams has weighed in on the issue in this USA Today article.

The United States now confronts a modern edition of Jim Crow. If you are born white, you may aspire to achieve greatness as a liberal, conservative, moderate, independent or otherwise. There are no intellectual no-go zones. But if you are born black, your ambitions will be crushed unless you ape black power brokers.

There was a time when diverse thinking in the black community was not feared like a demon. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois intellectually dueled over the most promising means to black equality under the law. In accepting intellectual diversity, blacks successfully steered major civil rights legislation. But then came the black monolith and incestuous black thinking. The hallmark of a so-called authentic black was the liberalism of yesteryear — begging for hand-outs, capitulating to claims of an inability to compete, griping over underrepresentation — like the troglodytes resisted Copernicus by clinging to Ptolemy.

He's a little hard on the troglodytes, don't you think?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Not Just Another Experiment

If you are interested in public policy and education, go to the Center.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Just to Clarify . . .

This has nothing to do with The Impudent Finger.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Beware (the) Naked Man

This "dog bites man" story is enough to cause a grown man cry.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

On Reasons For War: The Truth

Joel Mowbray has an excellent article at Townhall. Go read it and refresh your memory. He suggests you go to the original source.

So do I.

Who's An Embarrassment?

Democrat Senator Harry Reid of Nevada had the following to say in an interview with Tim Russert on Press the Meet, er, Meet the Press:

MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to judicial nominations. Again, Harry Reid on National Public Radio, November 19: "If they"--the Bush White House--"for example, gave us Clarence Thomas as chief justice, I personally feel that would be wrong. If they give us Antonin Scalia, that's a little different question. I may not agree with some of his opinions, but I agree with the brilliance of his mind."

Could you support Antonin Scalia to be chief justice of the Supreme Court?

SEN. REID: If he can overcome the ethics problems that have arisen since he was selected as a justice of the Supreme Court. And those ethics problems--you've talked about them; every people talk--every reporter's talked about them in town--where he took trips that were probably not in keeping with the code of judicial ethics. So we have to get over this. I cannot dispute the fact, as I have said, that this is one smart guy. And I disagree with many of the results that he arrives at, but his reason for arriving at those results are very hard to dispute. So...

MR. RUSSERT: Why couldn't you accept Clarence Thomas?

SEN. REID: I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written. I don't--I just don't think that he's done a good job as a Supreme Court justice.
Russert, being the hard-hitting journalist he is, didn't ask the obvious question, "So, Senator Reid, would you name one of Justice Thomas' opinions that you think was poorly written?" Why wouldn't he ask that question? Perhaps he thought that the "truth" of Sen. Reid's outrageous statement was so self-evident that no further questioning was necessary. Perhaps Tim is thinking about a potential anchor job at CBS and didn't want to risk going after such a prominent Democrat. In either case, Mr. Russert failed to do his job.

Why were Senator Reid's comments so outrageous? First, if he had read any of Justice Thomas' opinions (and I have) there is no way he could come to the conclusion that his opinions were poorly written or that he hasn't done a good job. Second, Justice Thomas' Constitutional philosophy is similar to Justice Scalia's. However, according to Senator Reid, Scalia is brilliant and Thomas is an embarrassment. I strongly suspect that if the political roles were reversed, there would be charges of blatant racism and Mr. Russert would have found a way to work in that follow up question.

So I guess that what Senator Reid is really telling us is, if you are a white conservative, you can be brilliant, but wrong. If you're a black conservative, you're not just wrong and ignorant. You're an embarrassment. I'm sorry, Senator, but in my book YOU are the embarrassment.

Friday, December 03, 2004

It Takes One to Know One

Speaking of Putin, he has criticized US foreign policy as "dictatorial." Consider the source. This puts his comments in context. Besides, he's probably just pissed off that he's not getting his Oil-For-Food payoff from Saddam anymore.

Help Wanted: U.N. Secretary General

Norm Coleman, one of two rising Republican stars from Minnesota (the other is Governor Tim Pawlenty), has called for the resignation of Kofi Annan. Unfortunately, his is a lone voice in a sea of spineless internationalist sycophants. Pick one.

The Oil-For-Food scandal underscores the inability of any international organization to be anything more than a glorified debating forum. They have no power to act on a global scale (nor should they!) and they are immune from any serious investigation or prosecution. The only way the UN membership will demand Kofi's resignation is if the USA threatens to pull all funding and withdraw from the UN. If there is no down side to keeping Kofi on the UN throne, he will finish his term as Secretary General and this scandal will become yesteryear's news. But not if Claudia Rosett can help it. Go and read her archived stories if you want to understand this scandal. She's been on top of this story from the beginning.

Only the Russians . . .

Hopefully they didn't use the good stuff.

Friends of Iraq Blogger Challenge

The Impudent Finger has joined the Northern Alliance's team in the Friends of Iraq Blogger Challenge. To join, go here. To donate, go here. Remember, you gift is tax deductible. Help support the troops by helping them help the Iraqi people. Give until your tax advisor tells you to stop.

Science Non-fiction

Hugh Hewitt's article, "Death by Committee" in the Weekly Standard addresses the biggest news story NOT reported in the Left-Stream Media. Froggy Ruminations ponders what will happen when government health care intersects with government sanctioned "mercy killing". I am reminded of two movies from the 1970s. Logan's Run takes place in a world where everything is perfect, until you turn thirty. In Soylent Green, human life has become so cheap that euthanasia is encouraged. They also take the idea of Reduce, Re-use, Recycle a bit too far. In light of the news from the Netherlands, these movies don't seem as futuristic as they once did.