Monday, March 14, 2005

Over the past few weeks I've attempted to ressurrect this blog... but truth be told, too many heated altercations with those of opposed alignments have left something of an unpleasant taste in my mouth over the months. Also, for months - no, years - I've been running this blog and my LiveJournal simultaneously - the idea being, this blog would be solely dedicated to serious meanderings on politics and world events.

Today, I decided - no longer. a)I don't have what it takes to pass meaningful commentary on events when there are far more learned men (eg Wayne and Laurence), and b) even if I did, I don't seem to get any joy out of it anymore. We all -right and left - suspect there's something wrong with the world, we just choose to lay the blame differently. Two sides of the same coin. And when two sides care too much, nothing good can come of that concern.
The key to enlightenment is, perhaps, apathy. I figure I'll try it.

Anyway, I'll be sticking to more mundane blogging at my LiveJournal for those few out there who read my posts here. No doubt the rants and raves will continue over there, but I figured, perhaps it's better to rant and rave about the small stuff. Leave the politicking to the politicians.

A sad day, perhaps. I had hopes for this blog. Thought I could perhaps be an island, but in the end it just helped me realise who I really am. Just a man.
Who could ask for more, eh?

sl0th, signing out, for FifteenMinutes.

Friday, March 11, 2005

This is what the U.N needs : a good, square, kick in the teeth.
The U.N is a mess. Time to quit hiding behind diplomatic niceties. Time to say it like it is. And Bolton seems like the man for the job.

Monday, March 07, 2005

What have the Yanks ever done for us?

"ONE OF MY favourite cinematic moments is the scene in Monty Python?s Life of Brian when Reg, aka John Cleese, the leader of the People?s Front of Judea, is trying to whip up anti-Roman sentiment among his team of slightly hesitant commandos.

?What have the Romans ever done for us?? he asks.

?Well, there?s the aqueduct,? somebody says, thoughtfully. ?The sanitation,? says another. ?Public order,? offers a third. Reg reluctantly acknowledges that there may have been a couple of benefits. But then steadily, and with increasing enthusiasm, his men reel off a litany of the good things the Romans have wrought with their occupation of the Holy Land.

By the time they?re finished they?re not so sure about the whole insurgency idea after all and an exasperated Reg tries to rally them: ?All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us??

I can?t help but think of that scene as I watch the contortions of the anti-American hordes in Britain, Europe and even in the US itself in response to the remarkable events that are unfolding in the real Middle East today. "

Great article by Gerard Baker. Worth reading.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

As noted by a CNN reporter , I forget his name : something's in the air in the middle east. Protest demanding democratic reform appear to be gathering momentum. It started in Lebanon, with demonstrations leading to the pro-Syrian government resigning, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are nervously shuffling their feet and attempting to placate their people by holding sham elections (which in itsself is a massive step forward), and now protests in Syria are in full swing.

And you can thank George Bush.

I bet the liberal left is seething right now. I bet they'd see red if someone told them the Iraqi liberation directly affected the winds of change that appear to be gathering in the middle east. I'd bet they'd be chomping on their bits if someone like me said that Dubya will probably be remembered as a great US president as a result. Oh, they will continue snarling and frothing at the mouth, but already it's subdued. Iraq's successful election was met with stony silence from the left.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the M.E will finally be dragged kicking and screaming into the civilised world. No matter how hard the Left tries to stop it from happening.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Ted Rall relents? Holy crap. I bet there are hordes of flying pigs darkening the sky right now.

Some may know about Ted Rall's challenge to the right-wing blogosphere.

This is what he had to say on Feb 25 :

"So here's my challenge: Please email your worst, most vicious examples of liberal/leftie blogger vitriol (with links, natch), and I'll post 'em right here. If they exist, obviously.

If not, let's take as a given what we already know: that Republicans' first impulse is to punch people whose arguments they can't defeat with logic and to bomb countries whose people know something we don't."

By the Feb 28th, Monday, deadline, this was the rather sad 'rebuttal'.

"Well, color me unimpressed--with many of my fellow lefties.

(Although the self-categorization makes me uncomfortable. There are so many issues--balancing the budget, the right to self-defense, the Second Amendment, etc.--on which I don't hold doctrinaire left-of-center political positions. A better self-description would be left on economic issues, moderate on social issues, conservative on military matters--on the last point, my beef with recent American adventurism is that it makes us less safe and that our borders are totally unguarded. But long-time readers know all that stuff about me. And it could change, obviously.)

But back to the discussion at hand. I'll reiterate: I am surprised at the amount of vicious, specific threats of violence directed toward conservative personalities by supposed progressives. That kind of schoolyard bullying makes us no better than the Republicans we claim to despise for their "bomb first, ask questions later" approach to diplomacy. As everybody knows, I don't shy away from harsh language; I rather specialize in it. But I draw the line at threats, real or implied, against people with whom I disagree. Once you start to do that, after all, you've admitted defeat because you couldn't argue against your foe based on the merits of your point of view. And it's a gutter tactic running against the very essence of the First Amendment.

So. Does the left give back as much as the right? In my heart of hearts, I'd say the right-wing challenge didn't change my mind entirely. I think the right does it more. But, as a conservative blogger wrote elsewhere, it's much easier to notice when it's your side being attacked. I notice the attacks against progressives more, so they hurt more. Bottom line: it's impossible to quantify the hatred on both sides and determine who does it more.

Those of us who identify with the left must set an example by seizing the moral high ground on this point. While I still stand by my chapter in WAKE UP, YOU'RE LIBERAL about dirty politics, threats of violence are where we should not go. And we should call our friends on it if and when they do it.

Here are, as part of the challenge wrap up, some entries from over the weekend submitted by rigt-wingers. (No need to send more, folks, and thanks for playing! I, for one, feel enlightened if a little soiled.)"

He still says he thinks the right does it more, though. Yet mentions the hundreds of loathsome entries he received.
When you're led by your heart, belief is all you need. The hell with the facts.
Still, the fact that a slimeball like Rall relented even a smidgeon could certainly be heralded some kind of first. That crow probably don't make fer good eatin, nossir.

Mark Steyn's latest makes for some thought provoking reading. It's certainly hopeful. The short : he notes that maybe - just maybe - with Iraq's successful election in January, the oppressed civilians of the Middle East are waking up to the truth. That they don't have to take it (hums) No, they don't have to take it. They don't have to take it, anymore.

Here's hoping the sentiment lasts. Hopeful exuberance rarely stands up for very long against almost genetic religious indoctrination and oppression.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Looks like the cops are doing something right for a change.
Shootout on highway.
My stepdad was actually involved. This event occurred just up the road from where he lives. Hearing the gunfire, he did the rather brave(stupid?) thing of climbing in his pickup and driving out onto the highway to see just what the hell was happening and possibly assist. Whereupon he came upon the police searching for the suspects, and assisted in apprehending the last one. He also noticed that the police had no flashlights, so the next day he petitioned some of the other managers at FNB Namibia to help a good cause, went out and bought a couple dozen high-power handheld spotlights and handed them over to the police. Which was a nice thing to do, for sure.

Found this over at Fark :
Some Arabs embrace democratisation.

On a side note, I guess this post represent my tentative return to blogging. It's just been a busy last couple of months, hopefully things will mellow out enough to allow me some time during the day to reflect on things.

Friday, December 31, 2004

VDH offers some tips for lefties.

Great read. Heartily reccommended.