Dan has written a post on my comment of the new neocon manifesto provocatively entitled: The End of evil I'm grateful for Dan's thoughful exgesis of the newspaper article which reports on the book. For a rant, it sure reads sedate and moderate in its tone. Seriously though, I do highly recommend that you read his post and draw your own conclusions.
In the meantime, I will comment where I have some slight disagreements with Dan. I wrote that the neocons desire creating enemies where there are friends and sympathetic countries. Dan is more skeptical of my assertion. Fair enough. The reason I asserted so boldly of the neocons' attitude is Chile. Regular readers are aware that it's my hoary example whenever I bring up American officialdom's attitude towards those allied/sympathetic countries that expressed even the mildest of disagreements with the run up to the war. Chile's free trade agreement with the U.S. was delayed for several month, while Singapore's was ratified almost immediately. The reason for delaying the ratification of Chile's treaty was because it had expressed the mildest preference for continued inspections.
I pointed out that Chile is the most pro-American country in Latin America yet it was sanctioned for its innocuous disagreement with the U.S. Many countries drew a far different conclusion that what the American administraion had hoped for. Instead of being chastised, many countries simply realized that it's best not to deal the Americans until they've cooled off. The latest French decision to cancel flights from Paris-Los Angeles during Christmas eve and Christmas as well as unhesitatingly cooperating with American security officials indicates that America anger has, perhaps, subsided.
Dan reminds me that under Christain principle of subsidarity as well as the social contract theory that the state has a duty to protect its citizens from harm and to remove those groups, individuals and countries that threaten the former. So far, I'm in complete agreement with him. Where I disagree- and perhaps I've misread him- is whether the removal of such threats justifies the new doctrine of preemption that Bush has propounded and the neocons vociferously advocate. I'm deeply leery about this new doctrinal thinking. The subsequent revelations about the soundness of the intelligence on the status of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is very sobering; and, in a way, salutary. The lessons that I conclude from the intelligence part of the war reminds us that we must be very careful before undertaking invasive actions against another country or non-state actors. Iraq war wasn't illegitmate to me; yet I never accepted the justifications with respect to the status of the weapons of mass destruction.
To reiterate my recommendation, read Dan's post and peruse his blog. It's an enriching experience.
I came across this article from the Telegraph. My jaw hit the floor. Just what the hell are Perle and the neocons thinking when they wrote their manifesto?The title is so patronizing. It's not America's role to end evil; nor Caesar's in other countries.
Evil will end when Jesus returns in glory and the Last judgement occurs. Until then, we, humans, will struggle with our fallen nature for the foreseeable future.Consequently, ending evil isn't expected from the state; rather it has far more modest competencies to fulfil. So far, history records that the state has done lousy carrying out the role it's been created for. So how can neocons possibly expect Caesar to carry out a task for which he was never delegated with in the first place? Frankly the neocons need to repuidate their hubris before their attitude gets their country into serious trouble with their imprudence and impudence.
In the meantime, what's this obsessive hatred towards France? It's pathological. Really forcing European countries to choose between Washington and Paris is such a false dichotomy as well as an idiotic foreign policy goal that no reasonable American president could be dumbass enough to implement it.
The neocons ardently desire in creating even more enemies where there are sypmathetic or allied countries. That way, they can prattle on bombastically about how the U.S. is the saviour of Western civilization because the rest of the West is too blinded by its moral turpitude to protect their share of the heritage or be entrusted with such a solemn task.
Turning to Asia, blockading North Korea is counterproductive. Randall Parker's proposal to float radios by ballons or on the water as well as finding ways to undermine the regime's total control is much sounder. Totalitarian regimes require blockades and isolation to survive. Obliging them to open in some manner inevitably spell their doom.
I want to read this book because I simply disbelieve that the neocons have become this reckless in the use American military and economic force; this imprudent in driving away countries that still side with America and this naive that world's problems and man's imperfect nature are resolved by the perpetuation of benevolent American hegemony where a can-do spirit, a wide-eyed technophilistic optimism towards progress and the adoption of a rootless individualism that overrides the claims of community, family and society flourish and bring perpetual peace.
By most standards, Canada's gun-control program is a success: More than 2 million firearm owners (90 per cent) are now licensed and almost 7 million firearms (85 per cent) are registered. More than 9,000 people have been denied firearm licences under the new program
Right. So successful that 5 provinces, including, Quebec refuse to implement the registry in their juridiction.
Because of the virulent opposition of the gun lobby, the firearms program has been subjected to a burden of proof absent from other public-policy debates. Nevertheless, the facts, when accurately reported, speak for themselves. Firearm death, robbery and injury rates are the lowest they've been for more than 30 years. While it is too early to assess the impact of the licensing and registration system, the results are encouraging, particularly where rifles and shotguns are concerned.
What gun lobby? Unlike the American NRA, the Canadian countrpart isn't that well organized and face a lot of hostility from our political and media elites who fears evil guns™ and the crazed gun owners®. Of course we can't yet assess the licencing and registration system! It's not even online, is backlogged and cost us a friggin billion$ and still counting. As for the rifles and shotguns, well of course, can't exactly stuff one of those in a jacket pocket or holster them on your hips eh?.
Public-interest test: Police, public-health officials and groups representing victims of violence continue to support the law. According to the last Environics poll, three-quarters of Canadians continue to support licensing gun owners and registering guns, despite the controversy. In Quebec, the levels of support are the highest in the country - 85 per cent. While it is true only 45 per cent of gun owners support the legislation, 77 per cent of people living with gun owners support it.
Of course, those groups do; it's part of the great Canadian tradition of nagging nannyism® and the lust to boss around the ordinary people. After all, they can't be trusted to lead their own lives. Obviously, Quebec would have the highest support, the massacre at the Polytechnique was a deeply trautmatic event. Yet the Quebec government refuses to implement the gun registry within its own jurisdiction. Thankfully, no more massacres have occured since then
Role-of-government test: Governments have a duty to protect their citizens from harm and to regulate dangerous products. The United Nation's Special Rapporteur on Human Rights has said countries that fail to protect their citizens adequately from firearms through effective regulation might be failing their obligations under international Human Rights Law.
OK by that logic then, the state is reponsible for violating the human rights of the 14 women massacred at the Polytechnique because Quebec prohibits the university campus police from being armed and the cops proceeded far too cautiously to enter the building and by then it was too late. Even more chilling, citizens, according to Cukier's logic are disallowed from defending themselves should the state ever turn its guns on them. Private gun ownership is a bad thing® So it's best just to meekly kneel down and let the death squads fire the bullet into the back of our heads.
Federalism test: Licensing firearms owners and registering firearms appropriately rests with the federal government. Criminals do not respect provincial boundaries and firearms and their owners move from one region to another. The problems resulting from the patchwork system of regulation in the U.S. is a case in point. The Supreme Court of Canada, in a unanimous decision, upheld the federal government's right to license firearm owners and register firearms as part of its crime prevention powers.
Yes but there's a pesky bit of fine print in the constitution: property and civil rights are an exclusive provincial competency. Thus, that egregious juristictional overreach is a principal reason why 5 provinces, including Quebec, refuse to implement the registry in their jurisdiction. The feds need to be reminded that we live in a federal polity not a centralist one like Britian.
Partnership test: Throughout the implementation phase of this program, the Canadian Firearms Centre has consulted with all stakeholder groups who came to the table, including firearms owners, First Nations authorities, police officials, conservation and wildlife groups as well as public safety organizations. Partnerships to promote compliance have been particularly successful.
Sorry, I just picked myself off the floor after laughing my head off. There was no consultation; the gun owners were told that they'd be obliged to register their guns on pain of confiscation. In fact the entire 'consultation' process was to denigrate the gun owners as foaming mouth, bulging eyed crazies and the public needed to be protected from potential rednecks goin' postal. The registry is for the children and womyn®
Value-for-money-test: The introduction of the new program has required significant investment to address gaps identified in the old system. In spite of the rhetoric, two-thirds of the money was spent on screening and licensing gun owners, not on registering guns.
Under the old system, firearm owners required firearms acquisition certificates (FACs) only to acquire firearms, not to own them. Only a third of gun owners had valid FACs and only handguns were registered. Now all firearms owners must be licensed and all firearms registered. Police have immediate, on-line access to information, which is essential to taking preventative action.
The old system cost approximately $30 million a year to operate. The new system will cost $70 million a year, but public-safety experts maintain it is a good investment. The costs of firearm injuries and deaths have been estimated at $6.6 billion a year, more than $1.5 billion in Quebec alone.
Lemme see the original registry was supposed to cost us a mere 25 million; yet we now know through the Auditor general that registry ran into a minor budgetary overrun of a mere 15 0000% Further the same official we learnt that she refused to accept any financial statements or reports from the functionaries in charge of the registry because she couldn't vouch for their veracity. Further, cops don't have instant online access because (a) the computer system has been scrapped because its costs were simply out of control (b) the registry has a backlog of about 3 years and (c) 5 provinces including Quebec won't implement the registry.
Bullshit. Don't use estimate as facts and provide us with a timeline. 1,5 billion$ for Quebecers injured or dead because of firearms is a ludicruous amount unless there's a temporal context. She doesn't specify if the amount was paid out in years or decades
Efficiency (and effectiveness) test: Concerns about management and efficiency issues have been addressed over the past year. And as important as efficiency is, effectiveness is a critical issue. The preliminary evidence is strong Canada's approach to gun control is contributing to public safety. The rate of homicides involving firearms continues to decline in Canada, from 0.8 per 100,000 in 1989 to 0.48 per 100,000 in 2002. The overall homicide rate has also fallen, from 2.41 per 100,000 in 1989 to 1.85 per 100,000 in 2002 - but not as quickly as the firearms homicide rate.
The most dramatic decline has been in homicides involving rifles and shotguns. In 1989, 218 Canadians were murdered with firearms, compared with 149 in 2002. While murders with handguns have increased slightly (owing largely to problems with smuggled guns), murders with rifles and shotguns have plummeted, from 131 in 1989 to 32 in 2002. In 1989, 74 women were murdered with guns; in 2001 that number was 32.
If that's the case, then how can firearm deaths and injuries cost an estimated 6,6 billion$ for Canadians if the homicide rate has fallen since 1989? Further note how she provides a timeline for the decline of death by firearms but not for costs for firearm death and injuries? As for the dramatic decline in deaths by shotguns and rifle see fisked response #1 Besides the registry does nothing effective about pistols or the black markets for buying those weapons.
Affordability test: It's difficult to measure the benefits of prevention programs, until it is too late. More than 1,000 people die every year in Canada as a result of guns, compared with 3,000 killed in automobile crashes.
The costs of Canada's firearms program are dwarfed by the money governments invest in trying to keep our highways and roads safe. The government spent almost half a billion dollars to widen a New Brunswick highway after 43 people died over five years. Over the same period, more than 5,000 Canadians were killed with guns. The question is not can we afford to license gun owners and register guns, but can we afford not to
Whoa! Confusing contradictions alert! So more people die in highway accidents than gunshots in Canada; yet the second paragraph veers into cuckoo clock land. If New Brunswick has a higher death rate from gunshots well that's the province's problem. In the end, the number of deaths attributable to firearms, while tragic, doesn't require a heavyhanded federal presence in provincial jursidiction nor a gun registry that simply doesn't work. So yeah after blowing a billion dollars, we can certainly afford to dispense with that useless piece of shit. That amount could've gone to improve the country's roads and highways and made a much more significant impact on our lives.
While our system might not be perfect, it brings Canada in line with emerging international standards and keeps a path very different from our neighbours to the south, where there are as many guns as people and where more than 10,000 are murdered with guns each year.
Yeah peace'll break out all over Canada when the feds finally implement a UN treaty dealing with illegal sales of military small arms on hunters and shooters. After all, we all know that Kalashnikov designed the world's best BB rifle and the world is awash with too many of those. Why once that treaty is signed, Canadian bad guys and assorted ruffians will be easily subdued by singing Kumbaya.
Remember how after the war, when the Americans went back to the U.N. for a new resolution to govern Iraq and the Ferench inisted that sovereignity be returned to the Iraqis as soon as possible? Remember how many of the Ameerican bloggers and punditocracy sneered in mockery at the dumbass idea?
Well surprise! According to Andrew Sullivan's post, The NY Times and the Washington Post have published articles intimating that the Bush administration is looking to return sovereignty to the Iraqis in June. Sullivan postulates that the quicker turn over is due to international cooperation.
Maybe, but sure seems that once again events have vindicated the French. I won't gloat because Iraqis still face a formidable challenge but I'm satisfied that the Iraqis will govern themselves soon. That's the true test of democracy; in the Mideast everyone will scrutinize the experiemnt in self-rule. Others will actively undermine it. In the end, I do have hope that self-rule moderated by periodic, peaceful transfer of authourity wil take hold in Iraq and radiate outwards to other Mideast countries.
Pendant la fin de semaine, je lisais la press ?crite et ?coutais les nouvelles t?l?vis?es. Les sc?nes de devastaion que le tremblement de terre avait provoqu?s sont horrifiants. Une ville d'un 40 000 milles d'ahbitant a diparu et les autorit?s iranine ainsi que les experts en sinistres estiment qu'il aurait 20 000 morts.
Pensez-y pour un moment.
Le tremblement de terre qui avait s?cou? Los Angel?s avec la m?me magnitude de force il ya un semaine (un 6,5 si je ne trompe pas n'a caus?e que un 60 de morts. Papa est en d?saccord avec moi que cette sinistres annonce la fin des mullas. Etant don?e l'ampleur de la disastre et les nombre de victime qui rend le pire de toutes catastrophes naturelles dans l'histoire, les Iraniens ordinaires se poseront de questions de comment se fait-il que leur pays est capables de monter un programmes nucl?aire et m?me avoir tous les composants d'un engin atomique mais les autorit?s se sont d?montr?s de pr?voir une d?sastre de cette magnitude ni mettre en vigueur la moindre l?gislation qui aurait fortif? les b?tisse contre le choc s?smique.
Voil? ce qui distingue une soc?it? industraliz? d'un en voi de d?v?lopp?ment: le soin de l'infrastructure. L'un de plus grands probl?me de pays pauvre/en voie de d?v?loppement c'est leur atitude vis-?-vis l'infrastructre. Ce n'est pas sexy, c'est cach? de yeux du grand public donc pas de possibilit? de la vanter devant le monde, c'est bien plat (ennuyeux) de toujour la r?parer, et l'inspecter. ?a co?te une fortune et on doit la surveiller ? jamais et corriger le premier d?faut lorsqu'il se pr?sente imm?diatement.
Cependant c'est pr?cisement ces soins et habitude de surveillence qui permettent les soci?t?s industralis?es a subir moins de morts lors d'une suite d'une catastrope naturelle ou humaine. A Los Angel?s comme en Tokoyo les autorit?s ont p? l?gisferer de codes de b?timent qui prot?gent les b?tisses contre les tremeblemnts de terre mais ?galem,ment il les mmetre en force par des inspections reguli?res des chantiers, des amendes pour non-conformit? et autre sannction p?nales, et des ajustements de l??ons apprises apr?s un tremblement de terre. Voil? comment les mullas auront pu pr?venir la mort dans la ville de Bam.