I tuned in to Fox News earlier today to see a John Kerry campaign speech about the “war on terrorism.” After a eulogy for American soldiers (“I speak from experience” the notorious peacenik said) he said that a new policy in the war on terrorism was needed so that “their deaths are not in vain.” This is “a turning point in American foreign policy” he said, “a chance to show the world that we want their respect, not fear” and “a spirit of cooperation, not unilateralism.”
A few hours later, I went the Fox News website to read that Jassim Mohammed Saleh, a former general in Saddam’s National Guard, led Iraqi troops in his old army uniform today as they replaced U.S. Marines in Fallujah. Meanwhile, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has organized a militia in Najaf responsible for many of the 738 American and 1,200 Iraqi deaths. He has found refuge from our soldiers in mosques and “has gone freely back and forth to nearby Kufa every Friday for the noon prayers for the past three weeks.” A cease-fire restrained our troops for weeks, while the “insurgents” continued their attacks.
As I read about what was is happening in Iraq, I reflected on how wonderful it would be if Kerry’s accusations were true – if the goal of the Bush administration was to unilaterally instill fear in our enemies. The sad reality is that the opposite is true – we are “cooperating” with our opponents, holding back our forces, asking the UN for leadership and begging other nations to send in their forces.
Despite Kerry’s campaign promises, our reward has not been their “respect,” but a growing number of brazen fanatics who cheer at the moral weakness of their enemy and do not hesitate to attack our soldiers and the values we hold sacred – the lives of innocent civilians. In the bizzaro world of post 9/11, the leftist’s most scathing vilifications are precisely what we most urgently need, and the conservative’s most sincere justifications are the cause of our failures.
A Hamas suicide bomber blew up two armed Palestinians who tried to rob him at gun point in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas claimed the “stickup men” worked for Israeli intelligence, while Palestinian security forces said the two were ordinary thieves.
Rather than give up his explosives, the bomber detonated them, killing himself and the two robbers near the border fence between Gaza and Israel.
Palestinian security officials said the the gunmen were criminals who were involved in a car theft ring that brought stolen vehicles from Israel to Gaza.
Hamas said the bomber was on his way to try to infiltrate into Israel, accompanied by another Hamas member and a guide, when they were stopped by the armed men.
The robbers forced the bomber to lie on the ground and tried to steal the bomb, but the militant detonated it, killing all three. The other Hamas man and the guide escaped.
There have been cases of rival groups stealing each other’s explosives, but no group claimed the two gunmen, and their families did not go to the hospital to take the bodies, indicating that the two were not militants, who are revered in Palestinian society.
A Hamas official said that whatever their intention, the two should be considered agents of Israel.
“Anyone who tries to stop a fighter from doing his work is a collaborator,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity….
One for the humor/irony file: I just came across this review for Brave New World on Amazon.com:
Reviewer: A reader from Elmwood Park, Illinois United States
While cultural pundits try to convince you that some literature is better than ther literature, the truth is that all art is relative to individial tastes. Thus, it doesn’t take any sense to think that a novel like this one is really any better than say, Michael Crichton or Stephen King. Aesthetic standards can’t be grounded.
Thus, don’t listen to anyone who tries to distinguish between “serious” works of literature like this one and allegedly “lesser” novels. The distinction is entirely illusory, because no novels are “better” than any others, and the concept of a “great novel” is an intellectual hoax.
I prefer books with red covers. You may say the color of the book’s cover has nothing to do with it being good, but who are you to dictate what criteria I use to evaluate books. This book does NOT have a red cover, so in the trash it goes.
I’m very pleased to announce an online chat that I have organized with ObjectivismOnline.NET, the Ayn Rand Institute and the #AynRand IRC channel.
On Friday, April 23rd at 5:30 PM (Pacific) Drs. Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate will be guests of Objectivism Online for a one hour moderated public chat. The purpose of the chat is to meet students interested in Objectivism, The Ayn Rand Institute, or the Objectivist Academic Center, and to answer their questions. Non-students are welcome as well.
The chat will be hosted at the #AynRand IRC channel on Undernet. It may be joined over the web at www.objectivismonline.net/chat or using any IRC client.
For more, read the official announcement.
(If you would like to help promote the chat, please spread the word around on your own blog. You can link to the official announcement at http://www.objectivismonline.net/blog/archives/000115.html)
I would like to take a break from my INFO paper to mention three contemporary artists I recently discovered and can’t get enough of: Jack Vettriano, Robert LaDuke, and M. Kungl. All three have strong art-deco influences and an exaggerated, colorful, and essentialized style that is bursting with joy for life. And of course, all three have been soundly rejected by the art world. If you are looking for new posters/calendars, I highly recommend all three, especially Vettriano. If you are looking for prints/originals, Quent Cordair might be more to your liking. (And my gallery!)
(The unfortunate thing about artists that mainly sell posters is that they are not friendly about allowing high quality images of their work to be shown on the web. If you know of any online galleries by the above, please let me know.)
(Update: More about Jack at the AtlasSphere. Also see his gallery.)
Washington, April 9, 2004. A hush fell over the city as George W. Bush today became the first president of the United States ever to be removed from office by impeachment. Meeting late into the night, the Senate unanimously voted to convict Bush following a trial on his bill of impeachment from the House.