Victor Davis Hanson: It's not always about the Benjamins
Victor Davis Hanson has written a rather sobering article
in critique of Senator Patricia Murray's comment on bin Laden 'philantropy' I don't have add other than to encourage you to read the article for yourselves.
What I appreciated most about the article is that thugocracies sneer at the West's generosity as proof of the decadence of democracies. Worse is that the generosity is often viewed-correctly in my mind- as payoffs to appease the bully. Democracies are flawed in that they need to be reminded from time to time that authoritarian regimes are nasty, brutish and callous. Only by standing up to them- and if necessary go to war- do the thugocrats cave in when realize that they miscaluclated.
Unfortunately, open socities are often tardy in realizing that it's their strength and resolve that cowers thugocracies not philantrophy.
Pourquoi l'Occident récèle des arabes
Cet article articule pourquoi les occidents soupçonnent de plus en plus que les Arabes et Musulmans sont des barbares. On ne fastidera Mme Tiouli ni chicaner si sa decision d'accepter l'accompangement par 3 homme cez soi a été prudent. Une société qui se prend pour civilisée exigent que les homme traitent les femmes avec respect et dignité et non pas se comporter comme des chiens à la recherche de chiennes en rut. Plus importanement, une société n'arrête pas une femme qui prétend d'être victime d'une viole ou d'assaut sexuel parce qu'un homme allège qu'il y a eu consentement. Les circonstances et les preuves démêleront ce qu'il aurait vraiment transigé entre les deux.
Bientôt le monde refusera d'envoyer leurs citoyens au Moyen-Orient et révoquera son hospitalité aux Arabes et Musulmans à séjourner ailleur.
h3>Happy New Year/Feliç Any nou/Bonne Année nouvelle/Feliz Año Nuevo
To my readers:best wishes for 2003
Political reforms in Canada: a response to Collin May
Collin wrote a thoughtful post on Canadian political reforms As a Quebecer, I can state that the desire to change the polity is progressively becoming an issue.
It's strange because when Charest took over the provincial Liberals, he gave a speech on the need to rethiking the Quebec Inc model. He was pilloried and decided to backtrack much to my disgust. Dumont proposed the same thing last year and the entire society is receptive. There are several reason why political reform in Quebec has more reception than in the past: first the Quebec development model of the last 40 years is spent. It may have been necessary to start the industrialization and modernization but since the 80s the model has exhausted itself.
Unfortunately due to the interminable constitutional squabbles, the reform of the state was deferred; indeed it became a rally cry by the PQ and other interest to colour any proposals for reform as playing into Ottawa's hands.
The other reason is the fiscal burden. I smirk at the American bloggers who decry their fiscal oppression. They have no clue what it is to be exploited by the state until they've lived in Quebec. People are fed up at paying first world taxes for third world services. Also there are the spending scandals. The gun registry fiasco didn't have the same resonance as the Caisse populaire's revelations that its new headquarters cost 320 million$ because none of the usual analyses or oversight was carried out. Considering that the Caisse pop manages the the taxpayer's pension funds, the reaction was swift. A new president was appointed and 8 VPs were fired.
While I'm cautiously optimistic that in the next provincial elections there be a debate on state reform; I'm pessimistic that nothing will be done once the winning party forms the government
Bousselier's cloning claims: I disbelieve
By now everyone's heard about the baby clone
I totally disbelieve that the cloning happened. It's the secrecy and the fact that Bousselier didn't have a sample of DNA so that other scientists could check. Next week for the sample? Plenty of time to fake and doctor the evidence.
What bugged me the most was the utter credulity of the journalists. They present this as if it were a fait accompli. Where's the vaunted journalistic skepticism and hardnosed questioning? In any case, it's only a matter of time before someone succeeds in cloning; while others will celebrate this as a momentous scientif breakthrough, I'll be shaking my head as the gates fall to the barbarians. Yup I'm an enemy of the Future® but as the inheritor of the medical abuses under the Holocaust and Communism as well as under democracies (McGill in the 50s took part in a CIA project that attempted mind control. Cameron- the doctor in charge of the project- took mentally unstable patients and permanently ruined any chance for their recovery) one would presume a certain humility or prudence from the life scientists. Unfortunately, the opposite effect has taken hold; the life scientists have become prepotent and annoyingly arrogant; as if they alone knew what's best for us.
Update: I found Suman's crack
about the Catholic church, its pedophilic scandal and its stand on cloning to be utterly egregious in its flippant gratuity and I'm insulted. The Church's position on cloning is rather prudential; the cloners are absolutely clueless as to the consequences of their genetic manipulations; yet promise the world a glorious future of regenerated hearts, restored limbs etc. That's bullshit. I see nothing more than a shrill God complex and a pathological desire to mess around with human genetics. Let me be gratuitious and point out that the enthusiasm over cloning smacks just like neo-Lyssenkoism. I still don't see the necessity to clone humans and there's no compelling scientific reason to undertake such experimentation. Guess that makes me a luddite, anti-science reactionary. Fine; but in the end, I'll be the one shaking my head grumbling: see I tolda.
Update II: Jesus Gil has post with additional links to the Raelian
I should mention that the Raelians hung around Catholic secondary schools in Montreal trying to have kids renounce their faith. The parents were so outraged that they sought an injunction. The Raelins agreed to stay away from the high schools but continued to target universities and CEGEPs (postsecondary institution unique to Quebec). That's fine as there are adults there and can decide for themselves