April 20, 2005

Providing Cover for Lebanese Democracy

Posted by Jeremy Brown

Though you read the newspaper and watch the news on TV, it shouldn't surprise you to hear that there is a huge pro-democracy movement taking hold in Lebanon. That's what Michael is currently documenting and making common cause with as I write this. History seems to be sowing the soil for this sort of bloodless revolution -- and we have reason to hope that this is what the Cedar Revolution will turn out to be.

It's not easy to apprehend the precise dynamics that make a movement like this possible, but I'm mindful of a comment by one of the democracy activists in Lebanon that was reported recently by Michael:

Later, inside a different tent, a young woman took me aside. And she said: "I must tell you something. If we didn't think we had American support we would never have done this. They would kill us. We need you. It is just a fact."

This resonates profoundly with my sense that, while Lebanese and Iranian democracy activists might not want to see U.S. troops invading or occupying their country, they need to be able rely on the fact that we've got their backs, so to speak. I don't think, prior to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, that American citizens could have made such a claim and expected anyone in the Middle East to believe it.

And there seems to be a sign this week that Syria is wary of violently opposing this democracy movement with its now credible support from the U.S:

BEIRUT -- Lebanon's prime minister formed a new government yesterday, boosting chances that a general election can be held on schedule, in line with demands by the international community and anti-Syria opposition.

But it's important that the protestors don't let up, and they could use our help.

It's outrageous that American news companies are not treating this as a major story, or are reporting it as a minor blip within a fatalistic perception of the hope for democracy in the Middle East.

The Lebanese Broadcasting Company seems to be under the impression that this call for a genuine election in Lebanon and for the the withdrawal of Syria is important enough to expect President Bush to agree to an interview. President Bush seems to think so too:

QUESTION: Thank you for your time, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: My honor, thank you.

Q: Recently there isn't a day that passes by without you mentioning Lebanon. Why now, this country that was under occupation for almost 30 years, became so important for the United States?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, there's a movement toward freedom around the world. And the Lebanese people have made it clear that they want to be free of Syrian influence, they want there to be free elections. And the United States of America stands squarely with the people of Lebanon.

[...]

Q: I'm sure, Mr. President, you heard what I want to say maybe thousands of times, and maybe from Presidents and Kings that come and see you here in the White House -- some people think that it's not in the best interest of America to have democratic Arab countries --

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

Q: -- because democracy and free elections may help anti-American groups, radical groups to come to power. What do you respond to that?

THE PRESIDENT: I respond to them and say, well, I guess they don't really understand me, and they don't understand my view of freedom, because I think freedom is embedded in everybody's soul... [*] ...I believe that a true free society, one that self-governs, one that listens to the people, will be a peaceful society -- not an angry society, but a peaceful society.

*note that I deleted a religious reference that, you would think, Bush dropped in to ensure that liberal atheists like me will have trouble convincing our friends to listen to what he is really saying. The good news: Lebanon is listening to what he is really saying!

Posted by Jeremy Brown at April 20, 2005 08:23 AM
Comments

It's so awesome how we're bringing democracy to Lebanon. It's not like anybody there was inspired by events they saw in Georgia or Ukraine. It was totally our invasion of Iraq. It's not like the invasion played a small role while other events also played their roles - all us, baby!.

It's especially important to remember that unlike 1991, when the US promised to support democracy in Iraq and then did nothing while thousands upon thousands of people were slaughtered, we've totally got their backs now. No one in Lebanon will think about 1991 - that one young woman totally speaks for every activist in Lebanon.

It's also very important to remember that even though violence so far has been minimal in Lebanon's transformation - as in Georgia, Ukraine, and even Kyrgyzstan and Egypt's baby steps. Despite the fact that all these countries are moving towards democracy without violence, this is a total vindication of Bush's policy of invading a country in order to bring democracy to it. I deny that there were any better, less violent ways to bring freedom to the Middle East.

So now that I've done my part in the great struggle for freedom, I will go oggle some Lebanese Freedom Babes. Meow!

Freedom!

Posted by: Proud Conservative at April 20, 2005 10:44 AM

It's outrageous that American news companies are not treating this as a major story, or are reporting it as a minor blip within a fatalistic perception of the hope for democracy in the Middle East.

It is. I'm also disturbed by the complete silence from most of the US media and most of the blogosphere about another struggle for democracy:
Police detained the husband of Pakistan opposition-leader-in-exile Benazir Bhutto on Saturday and held him for several hours to prevent a rally, dimming hopes for political reconciliation in the country.

Police in the eastern city of Lahore boarded an Aero Asia plane that brought Asif Ali Zardari back to Pakistan from a visit to his wife in Dubai and placed him under temporary "protective custody" at his house.

[...]

Zardari said about 70,000 PPP supporters had been detained to prevent them welcoming him. He said he would not be deterred from staging rallies.

"If I can't do it today, I will do tomorrow," he said.

Hundreds of police blocked roads to the airport to stop Bhutto supporters gathering there and used batons to disperse about 50, including women, who managed to evade the cordon.

If I were cynical, I'd say that there was a conspiracy of silence about a nuclear-armed dictatorship that's allied to the US. Being a realist, I instead think that people chose to write and read about what is of interest to them. Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 20, 2005 10:51 AM

Oops. Messed up that link. Here it is for real.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 20, 2005 10:53 AM

I stand by my earlier posts elsewhere that there is more going on than just liberal bias in the media silence. Why for example are NRO, Weekly Standard, Drudge, etc. seemingly not paying any attention to this? (check out their sites today) Apparently Terry Schiavo, the new Pope, and the Bolton nomination are far more important than the possible outbreak of real peace in the Middle East. 40 years from now of course this lack of perspective will all seem absurd (even the attention given the Pope because he's clearly a transitional figure). Instapundit at least has been giving events in Lebanon some attention, but apparently only because of MT's efforts. Just goes to show that Americans, well most people really, are parochial. Most Americans, even conservatives, do not really understand why Lebanon is important. There is a lot of educatin' to do.

Posted by: Vanya at April 20, 2005 11:10 AM


note that I deleted a religious reference that, you would think, Bush dropped in to ensure that liberal atheists like me will have trouble convincing our friends to listen to what he is really saying ...

So he's sincere when he talks about freedom and cynical when its religion? And anyway, deliberately editing a quote to change the spekaer's intended meaning, whether it appeals to your audience or not, is not ok.

Posted by: ScottM at April 20, 2005 11:38 AM

And anyway, deliberately editing a quote to change the spekaer's intended meaning, whether it appeals to your audience or not, is not ok.

It was just a bit about freedom being a gift from almighty God, which wasn't relevant. Or accurate. Or to the point. After all, you would think that profane sensibilites alone would be enough to promote freedom without dragging the supernatural into it.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 20, 2005 12:01 PM

ScottM:

"And anyway, deliberately editing a quote to change the spekaer's intended meaning, whether it appeals to your audience or not, is not ok."

DPU:

"It was just a bit about freedom being a gift from almighty God, which wasn't relevant..."

I'm with Scott. We're big boys and girls. Let us judge for ourselves. I actually found the full quote had a more coherent ring of authenticity - and I'm no Bush fan.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at April 20, 2005 12:16 PM

Proud Conservative:

It's so totally awesome that people feel free to express their opinions here. It's not like you're distorting my point in any way or mentioning the deaths of thousands of people in, like, a selective way or anything. So thanks. I'm super grateful for your thoughtful and well reasoned remarks.

ScottM:

You deliberately edited my words by excerpting a portion that you felt would make me look bad. That, I guess we're saying, is not OK.

In any event you are misunderstanding my meaning. I do think that Bush is being sincere when he says "I do believe there is an Almighty God, and I believe that freedom is that Almighty God's gift to each man and woman in this world." But when some people hear him say that, they are apt to translate it as something like {{I feel I have been spoken to directly by Jesus Christ and asked to be his avenging angel on Earth. I will exterminate the infidels until the world's oceans turn red with their satanic blood}} which I don't think is what he was trying to say. I omitted that portion so that readers would not think I was lending my approval to his religious references.

In point of fact the meaning of the statement from which I quote, if you include the religious reference, does not change, or I would not have omitted it.

But I think it's politically unprofitable for Bush to use religious language in that way. So I'm actually advising him to be more cynical in that I'm suggesting he edit his message to appease people like me.

As to the question of whether it's OK to excise part of a quoted statement: it's standard practice. But if you're removing something that you think others might find significant, then it's a good idead to bring people's attention to it, which I did. You, for instance, imply that I created a false impression of the meaning of Bush's statement, but you only cite the part where I mention having omitted something. You don't show the original quote, show my version next to it, then excerpt enough of the full interview for readers to make their own judgement. But they know where the text is if they'd like to do that, don't they. So I guess it's OK.

Posted by: Jeremy Brown at April 20, 2005 12:17 PM

It was just a bit about freedom being a gift from almighty God, which wasn't relevant. Or accurate. Or to the point. After all, you would think that profane sensibilites alone would be enough to promote freedom without dragging the supernatural into it.

kind of like this?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Posted by: chnnnvss at April 20, 2005 12:22 PM

kind of like this?

It's one thing to believe that certain things are rights, and it's quite another thing to believe they came from a big guy in the sky. Note the use of the word "Creator," not "Almighty God", "Allah", or "The Space Pope." In my case, I was created by the universe. Others may interpret those words differently, with which I have no problem.

At any rate, I don't fault Bush for having professed his beliefs in this way. I just think it was unnecessary and, as Jeremy has pointed out, detracts from his main point.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 20, 2005 12:40 PM

Confound that devilishly handsome Proud Conservative and his evil conservative ways.

Anyhoo, chnnnvss, just for the record, history isn't exactly replete with examples of the benevolent hand of God Almighty reaching down from on high to bestow Freedom, Liberty, and Democracy to His children below.

So, whether you believe that God has let humans work things out for themselves, or has actively opposed the pursuit of freedom, or has very quietly helped a little bit in the last, say, two hundred years out of the hundreds of thousands of years humans have been around, the way things look on the ground is: people, not God, and not very many or for very long, have managed to achieve freedom for themselves.

I don't think quotes should be altered, but I don't think quoting the Declaration of Independence is radical proof of God's intervention in human affairs on the side of freedom.

Posted by: The Commenter Formerly Known as Proud Conservative at April 20, 2005 12:43 PM

Jeremy,

I believe I included the entirety of your comments that were relevant to the point I was making. I was complaining about selective editing of quotes in order to shade the author's intended meaning, not discussing your post's main theme.

It is true that you identified the deletion and gave the source. However, I disagree with your contention that this kind of editing is standard practice. My understanding of the use of this kind of deletion is that it is appropriate when the intervening material is off topic or redundant for the current discussion.

However, my whole complaint is minor. The entire Bush text that you included was inspiring and useful. I just wanted to point out that I think Bush's actions are often genuinely related to his faith and his references to it, while they may be annoying, are not simply a ploy.

Posted by: ScottM at April 20, 2005 12:52 PM

TCFKAPC: "...just for the record, history isn't exactly replete with examples of the benevolent hand of God Almighty reaching down from on high to bestow Freedom, Liberty, and Democracy to His children below."

I will not get into a metaphysical debate, certainly not with one so able as you, sir, but I think it is easily demonstrated that the IDEA of an almighty being in favour of freedom and justice has been a powerful motivator throughtout history (from the Israelites in Egypt to Martin Luther King), and thus should not be lightly edited out.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at April 20, 2005 12:57 PM

Vino,

Excellent point, you are absolutely correct. I respectfully bow out of this one.

Posted by: The Commenter Formerly Known as Proud Conservative at April 20, 2005 12:59 PM

It's one thing to believe that certain things are rights, and it's quite another thing to believe they came from a big guy in the sky.

I don't mean to delve too deeply into philosophy here, but I think this issue raises some interesting questions. How are they "rights" unless you appeal to some higher authority? If we appeal to "the universe" here, why is democracy any better than Baathism?

I think this is the point that Jefferson (and Bush, in a much less eloquent way) is driving at: that humans are created to enjoy a meaningful, happy life in the creation (and therefore "self-evident"), and we shoud strive toward that end.

As Vino pointed out, this has been a powerful, and in my opinion, beneficial idea throughout history.

Posted by: chnnnvss at April 20, 2005 01:05 PM

Hi Jeremy - just picking nits here, but I suspect you might have left out a teeeensy-weeeensy little word in your post:

This resonates profoundly with my sense that, while Lebanese and Iranian democracy activists might want to see U.S. troops invading or occupying their country

Posted by: Independent George at April 20, 2005 01:15 PM

VV: I will not get into a metaphysical debate, certainly not with one so able as you, sir, but I think it is easily demonstrated that the IDEA of an almighty being in favour of freedom and justice has been a powerful motivator throughtout history (from the Israelites in Egypt to Martin Luther King), and thus should not be lightly edited out.

Well said, but it should probably be mentioned that the Bible is full of references to slavery, and that slavery was long justified by Christians as being ordained by God through His holy word. It goes both ways.

chnnnvs: How are they "rights" unless you appeal to some higher authority?

How do you appeal to God? He, She, or It, by nature, will not intercede in any way that prove existence. And it is possible to believe in rights granted by societal agreement.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 20, 2005 01:23 PM

DPUG:
Let me clarify. By "appeal" I meant "refer to", such as appealing to a "societal agreement" to define rights. In your example, the "societal agreement" serves as the higher authority.

But I think this gets back to Bush's & Jefferson's use of a Creator in the argument for liberty. You and I agree that freedom is a good thing. I would go on to argue that this feeling doesn't depend on what people have agreed on - it's a universal, "human" thing - something that everybody is born with.

Posted by: chnnnvss at April 20, 2005 01:57 PM

I would go on to argue that this feeling doesn't depend on what people have agreed on - it's a universal, "human" thing - something that everybody is born with.

I believe that some people are bothered by what you and I would refer to as freedom. Some people appreciate the structure that limits personal freedoms (see Singapore). Others are afraid that too much freedom allows abuse of others (see Pakistan). Some are afraid that personal freedom would result in chaos (see South Africa in the 1980s). And others just have a sneaking suspicion that someone somewhere is having fun, and wants an end put to it (see the Soviet Union).

I think that in times of total war, or when a catastophy of some kind befalls a nation, many people want less freedom, not more. I certainly don't think it's a universal desire, or we'd have seen a lot more of it in the last 5,000 years.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 20, 2005 02:09 PM

I believe that some people are bothered by what you and I would refer to as freedom. Some people appreciate the structure that limits personal freedoms

If freedom isn't a universal desire, and if it bothers some people, do you think those people should have the right to limit freedom for everyone?

Posted by: mary at April 20, 2005 02:28 PM

If freedom isn't a universal desire, and if it bothers some people, do you think those people should have the right to limit freedom for everyone?

No, I don't. Do you belive that some people should have the right to limit freedom for some other people? Do you, for example, believe in prisons?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 20, 2005 02:33 PM

Do you belive that some people should have the right to limit freedom for some other people? Do you, for example, believe in prisons?

I don't think prisons should be used to punish nonviolent crimes, but they are necessary for violent crimes. The limitation of freedom is useful as a punishment for crimes, or to keep some people from deliberately harming others.

That's different from "needing the structure" that limits everyone's personal freedoms because of vague fears of chaos or undefined insecurity.

Another example of some people limiting freedom for some other people - do you believe in socialism?

Posted by: mary at April 20, 2005 03:08 PM

Independent George:

Not. Thanks! If my post had been a computer program it would have returned the message 'fatal error.' I'll fix it.

ScottM:

I'm glad we both had the opportunity to clarify our points. Sorry if I was unnecessarily snotty, though.

To Everyone and No one:

I think that when people like George W. Bush say "the Almighty God's gift" they are referring to inalienable rights, or at least I think that's what Bush meant in that statement. And so the fact that he means it literally is precisely my point. In other words, that's why it's rational to expect that he will not cut and run with respect to supporting the Lebanese democracy movement.

Posted by: Jeremy Brown at April 20, 2005 03:09 PM

Jeremy: "I think that when people like George W. Bush say "the Almighty God's gift" they are referring to inalienable rights..."

Well, OK, look at it that way if you want. But I try to understand a person on their own terms.

I'm sure you would be amused, and perhaps slightly annoyed if I said " When people like Jeremy say "inalienable rights" they mean Almighty God's gift."

Posted by: VinoVeritas at April 20, 2005 03:15 PM

Another example of some people limiting freedom for some other people - do you believe in socialism?

You frequently talk about the various types of socialisms as though they were all the same. Are you talking about utopian socialism? Or Marxism? Or anarchism? Or syndicalism? Or social democracy?

All are socialist, and all have differing concepts of freedom. Specify the brand, and I'll tell you whether I agree with it or not.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 20, 2005 03:24 PM

I’m talking about the sort of socialism that sees a nation’s wealth as a fixed entity, that regards the wealth gained through capitalism as a form of theft, that favors security and equality over freedom, but is still a democracy; it's the kind of collectivism that has apparently changed the British character as described in this essay The Road To Serfdom. I guess it’s also called Social Democracy.

Posted by: mary at April 20, 2005 03:41 PM

I guess it’s also called Social Democracy.

Then with all due respect, I have to say that you need to do some reading, as every one of your points was wrong.

Good discussion going there for a while. It appears to have been derailed.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 20, 2005 03:49 PM

My description may be wrong (in your opinion) but The Road to Serfdom is pretty accurate. Did you read it?

Posted by: mary at April 20, 2005 04:00 PM

DPU, why should Mary play "20 Questions" to figure out which brand of Socialism comes closest to your heart? Come on, take a stand. Got a favorite political philosopher or politician you can get behind? Or is the only thing that really defines your worldview "not conservative"?

Posted by: Mark Poling at April 20, 2005 04:01 PM

DPU, why should Mary play "20 Questions" to figure out which brand of Socialism comes closest to your heart? Come on, take a stand. Got a favorite political philosopher or politician you can get behind?

Lets recap. We were having a pretty good discussion about the nature of freedom, whether it was a universal desire or an inalienable right, whether granted by a hypothetical supreme being or not.

Then some leading questions started being asked. Fine. If the intention is to actually ask questions in order to debate points, then they must be clear questions. Stalinism and Anrchism are both Socialist, and have extremely different views on individual liberty, and I agree with neither. The original question was the equivelant of "how long is a piece of string?" It can't be answered without clarification.

But I don't think that the question was asked honorably, as it was followed up with a simplistic caricature of social democracy which contained an implicit answer to the posed question.

But I might be mistaken, and it was an honest question. If so, the social democracy is a democractic form of government with certain features of the economy under direct government control, but the rest being a capitalist or market economy. The degree of individual freedom with a social democracy tends to be based on the type of democracy it is, just as in non-socialist democracies.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 20, 2005 04:15 PM

My own view is that Bush is somewhat confused in claiming that freedom is the Almighty's gift to mankind, primarily for the reason that he seems to imagine that western liberal democracy is somehow what the Almighty ordains for everyone. IMO he fails to distinguish between internal freedom and external freedom.

I actually do believe in something called "enlightenment" (I say believe because I have no personal experience of it and so I "believe in" the validity of 1st person accounts of those who presumably have experienced it - and I would include Jesus in that group). My understanding of this kind of freedom is that it is radical, inviolable, and incorruptible. It involves a revolution in consciousness such that the false is seen as false and stripped away, so that only pure truth remains. In other words, there is direct experience of God. People who claim to have experienced it apparently experience the ultimate freedom. External shackles cannot affect it. (nod to Krishnamurti whose seminal book was called "The First and Last Freedom").

But that kind of freedom cannot be confused with the kinds of external freedoms that man-made political systems imply. All such systems require compromises between freedom and restraint or else they collapse. They're just man-made compromises. The advantage of democratic systems is simply to allow people to conjointly choose the degree of external constraints they can live with in order to keep the society functioning in the most "humane" way possible, while permitting the maximum degree of freedom that doesn't collapse the whole house of cards. But IMO that idea of freedom doesn't have a whole lot to do with the Almighty, not in the sense that it is ordained by God (although it certainly calls to mind the "Golden Rule" as a prescription for everyday human society). However, the former sense of freedom most certainly is in some sense ordained by God because it's within the capacity of each human being to discover. And it seems to me that no matter the external conditions, noone can actually deprive the individual of the internal kind of freedom. The person can be killed certainly but even that doesn't do it.

Posted by: Caroline at April 20, 2005 04:25 PM

Caroline,

For me the term "God-given rights" means that we have been created as intelligent beings with free will, and that any form of social organization that eradicates our ability to act as such is contrary to these rights. Generally speaking, a liberal democracy with a market economy works well for our culture, but other cultures may create other systems. (That being said, the world seems, unfortunately, to be slowly becoming one homogenous culture.)

For the spiritual "elite" their God-given freedom will lead to enightenment, state of grace, call it what you will. For most of us, peace, a loving family and freedom from want and fear are our reasonable goals.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at April 20, 2005 04:58 PM

It's 2005 and George Bush still never ceases to amaze me. I don't agree with most of his politics, especially the domestic side of it. But I think there's no doubt now the man is the second coming of Woodrow Wilson. He has a Wilsonian worldview. He has Wilsonian religious beliefs. He even has the man's political instincts (i.e. the instincts of a politically suicidal man).

Posted by: Grant McEntire at April 20, 2005 06:40 PM

I agree Grant, the man always seems to be on the brink of disaster. The guy has lived his whole life that way. Watching Bush over the last few years is like watching someone crash a slugbug into a brick wall, but instead of dying he manages to plow through the wall only to find a kick ass kegger on the other side. It is almost too American to be real.

Posted by: Mike at April 20, 2005 06:57 PM

VinoVeritas: "For the spiritual "elite" their God-given freedom will lead to enlightenment, state of grace, call it what you will"

But it's not for the elite. Enlightenment knows no social boundaries. Apparently though it is hard as hell to achieve, as the relative paucity of human beings who have achieved it would attest. Having read a great deal about those who have achieved it though, most often those folks come from the lowest classes of society (the Buddha is a prominent exception to the rule). But Jesus was obviously an example that this "internal" freedom is available to even the lowliest among us. Wasn't that precisely the point about Jesus being a lowly and insignificant carpenter?

VinoVeritas: "For most of us, peace, a loving family and freedom from want and fear are our reasonable goals."

I agree completely - and having been raised in the Christian tradition, I do happen to believe that the Christian prescription of the Golden Rule, or "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" still represents the best prescription for ordering human society.

In other words, on the human plane, we need to order our societies in a way that maximizes freedom for everyone while still acknowledging the need for objective constraints on those freedoms. So, in invoking the Golden Rule, the rational human being should be able to acknowledge that they should be locked up for gross violation of other people's right to live free of fear and violation - assuming that they themselves would desire to live the same way - free of fear. Liberal democracy, given the last several centuries of historical evidence, has proven to provide the best balance of all these factors from a humanistic perspective.

We should do the best we can do from an earthly humanistic (Golden Rule) perspective that actually works in the long term. But still, we should never confuse such external freedom with internal freedom.

That said, there are certain things that fall way outside acceptable bounds of external freedom that we should fight like dogs against - death or imprisonment for apostasy for example - because apostasy means freedom to pursue INTERNAL freedom of conscience. Without internal freedom of conscience, an insufficient number of people will be able to find their way to enlightenment and live to tell the rest of us about it – and ultimately that has consequences for all of humanity.

Posted by: Caroline at April 20, 2005 07:48 PM

The idea that "some people should have the right to limit freedom for some other people" seems to be the definition of all types of socialism. (All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others)

The people who prefer to live in a socialist systems tend to be the people who run the socialist system or, as dpu said, people who are “bothered by what you and I would refer to as freedom” It was an honest question. The mention of ‘social democracy’ did remind me of the essay I’d read this morning, The Road to Serfdom, which really is worth reading.

The people who don't think it's in the best interests of America to have democratic Arab countries are also bothered in general by freedom, but they're not necessarily socialists.

Posted by: mary at April 20, 2005 08:48 PM

Oh Mary, that's so silly, and I hope you know that. The very notion of "civilization" is predicated on the loss of at least some, and in most cases many or most, freedoms.

Social contract? Laws? And so forth? Don't these count?

Posted by: The Commenter Formerly Known as Proud Conservative at April 21, 2005 05:23 AM

Mary - in the past I have linked to articles by Robert L Kocher who had a long series of articles at the Laissez Faire Electronic Times. Now, for some reason, access to the site is forbidden. I hope its temporary. His commentaries on leftists and socialists are utterly scathing. I've never read anything like them. He is trained in psychology and analyzes social pathology from a psychological perspective. He clearly thinks America is going down the tubes and he thinks Hillary Clinton, if elected president, will drive the final nail in the coffin. One of the only articles I can still find by him is a 4 part series at Free Rebublic. This link takes you to part 4 but if you scroll to the bottom you can start at part 1 and move forward.:

Hillary Clinton Must be Stopped

A quote from part 3:

"Hillary will complete the last link in assembly of a chain in which America was the last link and holdout...Within this coalition America has been declared as using an unfair amount of the earth's resources. Those resources will be reclaimed or reparations will be demanded. America, itself will be declared a world resource to be shared by the world's citizens...Socialist demagogues will demand confiscation of America's productivity (what little now remains of it) to make up for, and continue, the deficiencies of socialistic and similar systems. Under an extended version of pluralism, degenerate, irrational, or parasitic cultures will have a teat to support them in the style to which they want to become accustomed while they are simultaneously liberated from the logical consequences of their behavior or cultures. Individuality will be seized to become the property of the greater good of world equality as well as to the greater good of one-world oriented demagogues."

This was written pre 9/11. Too bad the guy isn't writing anymore. I'd be very interested to hear his thoughts on George Soros.

Posted by: Caroline at April 21, 2005 05:58 AM

I'm always amazed at the rhetoric coming out of both ends of the political spectrum.

"Bush is a fascist and 9/11 was the Reichstag and Rove is Goebbels and ahhhh!!!!!"

"Hillary (or Kerry, or whoever) is a communist who will destroy America and surrender to our Islamofascist enemies and ahhhh!!!!!"

Honestly, people on either side of the political divide might disagree with each other about the best way to achieve the same goal, which is typically the same on both sides: making lives better, defending America and its way of life, etc. We very likely live very similar lives, with the same daily concerns, the same hopes for our families, and so forth. We are, joyously, not all that different, which is one of the beauties of both being human and being an American.

Seriously, do you really think that Hillary Clinton wants to seize total power, eliminate individuality, and institute global communism? I don't even think that poorly of Bush, and he actually said that he wished he could be dictator.

Where does this frenzied demonization come from?

Posted by: The Commenter Formerly Known as Proud Conservative at April 21, 2005 06:07 AM

"I'm always amazed at the rhetoric coming out of both ends of the political spectrum."

Hear hear, TCFKAPC, hear hear.

Caroline, really. Even if you believe Kocher's blather, let's look at it from a pragmatic point of view for a minute.

Let's assume we are involved in a "culture war", as many seem to believe.

Let's also assume you are a compassionate person who believes in reason, as you have professed or implied in previous posts.

Surely you will agree that if we are in a "war" it is a good idea to encourage as many of the "enemy" to defect as possible.

Do you really thing that over-the-top rantings from a fruitcake like Kocher are going to convince anyone who doesn't already share that point of view?

Or do you think that all of the "enemy" are already irretrivably lost and bear the mark of The Beast, and it's all over but the shooting?

Posted by: VinoVeritas at April 21, 2005 06:54 AM

Oh Mary, that's so silly, and I hope you know that. The very notion of "civilization" is predicated on the loss of at least some, and in most cases many or most, freedoms.

Speaking of silly, why do you have such an awkward alias- “The Commenter Formerly Known as Proud Conservative” Are you conservative or not?

Some freedoms are always lost in any form of government, but the quote was "some people should have the right to limit freedom for some other people”

The “some people should have the right” is the key. There are some forms of government, like liberal democracy, where all people (in theory) have the right to choose to limit their own freedoms. Our liberal democracy tends to define ‘freedom’ as an individuals right to pursue opportunity. We tend to define ‘equality’ as the idea that all people should have the same rights and opportunities – not just “some people.”

There are other forms of democracy, like the British one, which are more collectivist. They tend to define ‘equality’ as the state sponsored elimination of “Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, and Idleness”. Under this system, all people have the right to equal security, not opportunity. It’s still a democracy, but since the state has the right to own and controls more aspects of people’s lives, there are fewer freedoms.

Under a less democratic form of government, collectivist societies have a more powerful state , fewer freedoms. Some unelected people have the right to control others’ lives.

While DPU believes that most people prefer to be oppressed in some way, I don’t agree. I think collectivist societies inhibit people from speaking out about their dissatisfaction, but, given a choice, most would prefer freedom.

Posted by: mary at April 21, 2005 06:56 AM

Mary,

Something tells me that there has been a misunderstanding along the way. Unlike you, I don't interpret DPU's statement to imply a notion that "some are more equal than others" in the Orwellian sense. Rather than fearing the socialist boogyman that DPU might represent, I interpret it this way:

In our society, we have "decided" that some people, the bulk of society, have the right to deprive from some people, typically criminals, most, if not all, of their rights.

Whatever happened to giving our fellow citizens the benefit of the doubt? Why assume, as a first impulse, that rather than describing our own trade-offs of some freedoms for some securities, that DPU believes in tyranny? When did that become the default assumption?

But Mary, all societies are founded on the notion that some people - the government - should have more power - "rights" - than others. We hold our government accountable through elections and by holding them to the same laws that we are held to. That doesn't mean, for example, that we're never controlled by unelected people - the police, the DMV, and so forth. That doesn't mean that our society doesn't deny plenty of rights to plenty of people - those under the age of 18, or in many states those convicted of felonies.

But all of that's not to argue about the nature of our society or another society - it's to demonstrate that it is possible, and very likely, that DPU was simply trying to describe the nature of the society in which he lives, and not to declare his eternal dedication to Tyrrany and Destroying the American Way.

My name is silly because I think all of this - this comment section, this blog, the "blogosphere", the entire discourse community surrounding it - is more than a little silly. Sure, it's fun, and interesting, but it amounts to no more than a bunch of people sitting at their keyboards typing furiously about What Must Be Done to Defeat Islamofascism without, you know, actually doing anything to try and defeat it. So my name is, in my own way, my attempt at deflating some of the triumphalism and self-importance attached to this sort of thing.

Posted by: The Commenter Formerly Known as Proud Conservative at April 21, 2005 07:26 AM

TCFKAPC and VinoVeritas-

you think Kocher is nuts?

Check this out:

Global New Deal

Posted by: Caroline at April 21, 2005 08:40 AM

Mary: Some freedoms are always lost in any form of government, but the quote was "some people should have the right to limit freedom for some other people”

...and...

While DPU believes that most people prefer to be oppressed in some way, I don’t agree.

I didn't say that. I asked you if you believed that. From that shaky base, you have built an enormous sandcastle of misinterpretation.

I believe that you and I both filled out a political compass quiz once that you posted on your blog. I don't remember where you scored. I came out closest to Gandhi. From that, you think I'm a Stalinist?

I bothers me that for many on these comment sections, simple disagreement isn't enough. People with simply differring opinions need to be portrayed as the greatest possible evil. As has been stated above, demonization is the order of the day. Case in point, this whole discussion. Whereas I actually believe in a far greater amount of democracy and personal liberty than either Canada or the US enjoys at the moment, I've now been cast as some kind of Iron Curtain-era communist bureaucrat.

Eh, fuck it. Who am I to interrupt a rousing slap-fight with a sock puppet.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 21, 2005 09:02 AM

Caroline,

So, I decided to do you the courtesy of reading the article to which you linked. Of course, this required disregarding the fact that it was written by three-time fellon and convicted perjuror Oliver North, but let's set that aside.

Let's also set aside the fear that Mr. North expresses at the idea of a tax on currency exchanges. This idea - referred to as the "Tobin Tax" in policy circles - is not a new one. Currency traders make their money off the fact that currency exchanges usually differ in value by a tiny fraction of a percent - but when millions or billions of units of currency are traded at the same time, lots of money is made. The Tobin Tax was proposed at a tiny fraction of a percent, or just enough to limit profits. I'm not sure why the right would view this as a bad thing, since that's how George Soros, the great boogyman, made all his money.

But the rest of it confuses me as well - this whole global redistribution of wealth thing. Let's say Kofi Annan really wanted to do this, and had the backing of the whole rest of the world. Mr. North says it himself: any plan would have to go before Congress, where it would be shot down.

I guess what you're asking us to do is imagine the horror of a Clinton presidency. Clinton, the evil socialist that she is, would, somehow, force Congress to implement her evil socialist policies.

But, here's my question: when, in recent memory, has any serious candidate for the office of the presidency ever said anything that could seriously be construed as an endorsement of socialism?

Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader don't count because they were not, in any way, serious candidates. So no cheating.

Remember, just because a liberal says "X, Y, and Z" doesn't mean that the alphabet is communist. I mean real socialism: talking about placing ownership of the means of production into the hands of the proleteriat.

Which, I suppose, means that Bush himself is a socialist, thanks to his private personal freedom accounts for social security.

Posted by: The Commenter Formerly Known as Proud Conservative at April 21, 2005 09:39 AM

But, here's my question: when, in recent memory, has any serious candidate for the office of the presidency ever said anything that could seriously be construed as an endorsement of socialism?

The Commenter Formerly Known as Proud Conservative, this is just begging for an avalanch of citations of evil draconian Clinton policies that people think are "socialist." As many people don't know what is and what isn't socialist.

(I'm frequently either amused or confused by the conservative contention that the evil Hillary Clinton, who by most political standards would be either in the middle or slightly to the right, is a socialist, and yet seem to adore the actual card-carrying-socialist Tony Blair. Eiether people don't know what the hell they're talking about, or political analysis has been reduced to "If they support the war in Iraq, they're right-wing, otherwise they're commies".)

BTW, mind if we call you "Commenter" for short? Or would you prefer CFKAPC?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 21, 2005 09:50 AM

Man, that's cool. Yes, by all means, call me "The Commenter".

From now on, I am The Commenter.

Posted by: The Commenter Formerly Known as Proud Conservative at April 21, 2005 10:26 AM

From now on, I am The Commenter.

Good name for a blog too.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 21, 2005 10:52 AM

TCFKAPC: "I guess what you're asking us to do is imagine the horror of a Clinton presidency. Clinton, the evil socialist that she is, would, somehow, force Congress to implement her evil socialist policies."

Actually I voted for Clinton twice and was fairly open to HRC even recently. Kocher is quite extreme in his rhetoric but he actually says alot of things that make sense - it is certainly becoming clearer by the day, e.g. that the rest of the world blames the US and Israel for much of the world's ills and we have a sizable percentage of our own citizens who appear to share that view. Also, we can see what is happening in Britain and France with their quasi-socialist systems and their open borders policies. Europe should be a cautionary tale for the US. Alot of people seem to think that HRC is campaigning as a centrist but will essentially govern from the left once elected.

I'm not trying to abandon reason here. I really am open to new information. I tend to read alot on the right mainly because most of my natural assumptions about how the world works are left of center so reading what the right has to say has been quite an eye-opener. One does get the impression, though, that the world has gone quite mad and I find Kocher's psychological insights into the source of the madness quite interesting.

Incidentally I did try to search around for other reports about the "Global New Deal" business and only found one other author who mentioned it so I don't really know what to make of that.

Posted by: Caroline at April 21, 2005 10:58 AM

"From now on, I am The Commenter."

Can your friends call you Commie for short?

;-)

Posted by: VinoVeritas at April 21, 2005 11:05 AM

Caroline: Also, we can see what is happening in Britain and France with their quasi-socialist systems and their open borders policies.

How are "open borders" a socialist policy?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 21, 2005 11:26 AM

Caroline,

All I ask for is something like a cooling-down, whereby everyone might give most everyone else the benefit of the doubt. Is Bush really Hitler? Is Hillary really Stalin? Have the people of the world really gone mad? Probably not. The rhetoric is just a tad overblow. Sure, there are plenty of people in the world who hold the US responsible for their problems. Know what? Some of them are right, and some of them are wrong, and some of them are just blowhards or demogogues. The overblown Left says "they're all correct". The overblown Right says "see what this handful of people says? They're representative of everyone in the world!" Of course, neither is right.

Vino,

Nyet, Comrade. We must, as they say, be subtle about this...

Posted by: The Commenter at April 21, 2005 11:31 AM

It bothers me that for many on these comment sections, simple disagreement isn't enough. People with simply differring opinions need to be portrayed as the greatest possible evil.

When I disagree with you, you imply that I’m demonizing you and then pretend that I called you a Stalinist. Yes, some people are over the top.

Some of my best friends and relatives are socialists (but not Stalinists) I’ve lived in countries that had social democracies. Life is generally easier, more predictable and boring under that form of government. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not what I prefer.

There are socialists and commies who support the war and/or oppose terrorism. There are some right-wingers who do not.

You said: I believe that some people are bothered by what you and I would refer to as freedom. Some people appreciate the structure that limits personal freedoms (see Singapore).

Collective societies are structured in a way that limits personal freedom. As you said, more structure=less freedom. More freedom=less structure. You call it structure, I call it less freedom or oppression. Like pro-choice vs. pro-abortion, the meaning is the same.

You said: I think that in times of total war, or when a catastophy of some kind befalls a nation, many people want less freedom, not more. I certainly don't think it's a universal desire, or we'd have seen a lot more of it in the last 5,000 years.

You don’t think freedom is a universal desire. I do. I thought that was what this discussion was about.

Posted by: mary at April 21, 2005 11:42 AM

DPU: "How are "open borders" a socialist policy?"

Open Borders support the aims of the One World global government that will be implemented before the end days. Of course the one world global government will be socialist in nature.

In fact the antichrist is already walking among us, according to a cardinal:

Antichrist is a philanthropist

Hmmm...I wonder if Soros is a vegetarian?

:-)

Posted by: Caroline at April 21, 2005 11:46 AM

Mary: "Collective societies are structured in a way that limits personal freedom."

I live in Canada where we have "socialized medicine", as Americans so quaintly call it.

A number of years ago we were on a family vacation and our young son broke his femur. We rushed him to a hospital in a small town where the bone was set, and the following day he was transported to a larger hospital where he stayed for about a week. We had no way to get him home - we only had a sedan at that time - so the doctor prescribed an air ambulance to bring him home. There were followup visits in our home city for several months.

Cost of all that to us? A few hundred dollars, mainly for my wife to stay at a Rotarian-run hotel next to the hospital, and for some pain-killers.

Was I happy to live in a "collectivist society" that denied me the freedom of being driven into financial hardship or bankrupcy by a medical emergency?

You bet your sweet ass I was.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at April 21, 2005 11:59 AM

When I disagree with you, you imply that I’m demonizing you and then pretend that I called you a Stalinist.

Then we're even. You pretended that I said "that most people prefer to be oppressed in some way."

You don’t think freedom is a universal desire. I do. I thought that was what this discussion was about.

That's certainly what it was about before the socialist boogyman was brought up. If you'd like to continue this discussion, I'd like to go back to the point of prisons. For example, the US has the greatest proportion of its population in jail than any other industrialized nation. Many of them have been put there because they were using drugs that the state has declared people should not use. I'd suspect that many people think this is okay (just to head off another misunderstanding, I don't think it's okay). And that's what I meant when I said that some people don't mind restricting the freedom of others if they see a good reason for it.

Singapore is another example (as it's a laissez-faire dictatorship, I really don't know why you brought up socialism when discussing it). People there seem to not mind trading off personal liberty in exchange for social and economic stability. Similarly, when a nation goes to war, all kinds of freedoms are removed by the government, but the population generally seems to think that an equitable trade-off in exchange for some level of stability and/or security.

These are my reasons for thinking that liberty is not a universal desire, along with the fact that modern concepts of liberty have only been a popular aim of a minority of cultures in the last 50 years out of 5,000 years of history. Once again, to head of another misunderstanding, I stress that I personally think that individual liberty is one of the most important aims that a culture should strive for.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 21, 2005 12:08 PM

Open Borders support the aims of the One World global government that will be implemented before the end days. Of course the one world global government will be socialist in nature.

No, seriously.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 21, 2005 12:11 PM

My name is silly because I think all of this - this comment section, this blog, the "blogosphere", the entire discourse community surrounding it - is more than a little silly. Sure, it's fun, and interesting, but it amounts to no more than a bunch of people sitting at their keyboards typing furiously about What Must Be Done to Defeat Islamofascism without, you know, actually doing anything to try and defeat it.

..umm..where is Michael Totten right now? What have the Lebanese bloggers & Iraqi bloggers like 'Iraq the Model' been doing for months? Are you paying any attention at all?

Posted by: mary at April 21, 2005 12:12 PM

Mary: Collective societies are structured in a way that limits personal freedom. As you said, more structure=less freedom. More freedom=less structure. You call it structure, I call it less freedom or oppression. Like pro-choice vs. pro-abortion, the meaning is the same.

That's a pretty simplistic view of freedom. Let's take an extreme example. Let's say that you have a laissez-faire economy with little in the way of bounding structure to control the flow of wealth. Further, let's say that over several generations, a minority of families accumulate most of the wealth of that society, and it ends up with a small class of super-rich who are definitely quite free, and an enormous underclass of poor who have little or no opportunity to become wealthy.

Are this underclass free? I'd say not. They don't have the resources to get out of their economic strata. They quite possibly have the same political rights, but they will be living very different lives than those who inherited their wealth. True, the rich may have the same rights to pick through garbage dumps for food, but I doubt they'll be exercising it. And while the poor may have the same right to healthcare, housing, and food, they probably will not have the means to purchase it.

Freedom means more than just a vote. It means equal opportunity.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 21, 2005 12:25 PM

Mary,

I'll admit that Mr. Totten has, in actually traveling to Lebanon, gone lightyears beyond the vast majority of other bloggers.

But, ok. Iraq the Moddle. Lebanese bloggers. People who are actually writing about actual events in their actual lives, I'll also acknowledge them as providing the service of actually informing people of actual events.

But...this blog before Mr. Totten got involved in Lebanon? Instapundit? LGF? Kos, Powerline, Atrios, anyone? It's called "discourse" and it amounts to................

Words!

Lots and lots of words. My favorite, and this is why I acknowledge actual people writing about actual events, is when people like us talk about the world like we actually know things when, and let's face it, we know a total of jack and shit about most of the things we endlessly discourse on. Right. Like we can peer into the soul of Hillary or Soros and see dreams of a One World State. Like we can read one article and three blog posts about Lebanon and suddenly be experts on Middle East history, culture, religion, politics. Like we know anything about anything.

Posted by: The Commenter at April 21, 2005 12:26 PM

DPU - I brought up the open borders in the context of Europe and socialism because they have essentially opened their borders and they provide all their immigrants with welfare. It's created a mess. The way I connect the two is that if you have an open borders policy, you wind up with alot of people who don't speak the language well, placing them at a natural disadvantage compared to the native population, and putting them at the low end of the economic sprectrum. However, they still need health care, education and other social services which we will ethically feel obligated to provide. That should increase the social welfare system.

Funny. I haven't read much about this - it's more intuitive so i just googled after writing that and the first article i came up with says just that:

Rethinking open borders

"Indeed, approximately 9.1 percent of immigrant households participate in various welfare programs versus 7.4 percent of native-born households. Immigrant households consumed roughly 13.1 percent of cash welfare benefits in 1990. Some immigrant groups have even higher welfare participation rates, such as Mexicans (11.3 percent), Dominicans (27.9 percent), Vietnamese (25.8 percent) and Cambodians (46.8 percent). Additionally, 83 percent of legal immigrants admitted since 1990 belong to affirmative-actionable groups. Again, open borders are likely to increase these numbers."

According to the article
"Since 1965, the pool of immigrants has been increasingly mismatched with the US labor market and characterized by deteriorating relative skill levels. In 1970, the average recent immigrant had 0.35 years less schooling than the average native-born American. By 1990, the average recent immigrant had 1.32 year less schooling. This educational gap has only continued to widen. While immigrants on average earned 3 percent more than native-born Americans in 1970, they earned 16.2 percent less by 1990. Immigrants who had arrived within the past five years earned 16.6 percent less than the native-born population in 1970, but this gap increased to 31.7 percent in 1990. With open borders, there is reason to believe that the importation of unskilled labor and attendant economic stratification would continue and perhaps escalate."

(If I weren't at work right now I would do further reading on this matter, as I'm sure there are alot of opposing arguments.)

Posted by: Caroline at April 21, 2005 12:41 PM

Caroline, there's proabably a lot that can be said about open borders. But one thing that you can't say about it is that it's socialist. If anything, it's laissez-faire, or libertarian. Ask Cuba if they have open borders.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 21, 2005 12:45 PM

"If I weren't at work right now I would do further reading on this matter, as I'm sure there are alot of opposing arguments."

I wish I had a job that cushy.

I'm off work this week, which is the only reason I've been posting more. I don't know how most of you people have so much time. I've got a wife, three kids, and a mortgage the size of a house.

But if any of you really do have that much time, why not re-incarnate the Abe Lincoln Brigade and go help Michael?

Posted by: VinoVeritas at April 21, 2005 12:51 PM

Someone on the internets said open boarders were SOCIALIST, and you disagree with them, and you are always wrong, liberal scum who hates america and wants our troops to die, so OPEN BOARDERS ARE SOCIALIST.

QED.

Posted by: FC at April 21, 2005 12:56 PM

Why do I find it amusing that it takes a Canuck to bring up the Abe Lincoln brigade in this context?

Spanish bombs, yo te quiero infinito
yo te quiero oh mi corazón
Spanish bombs, yo te quiero infinito
yo te quiero oh mi corazón

- Spanish Bombs, The Clash

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 21, 2005 12:59 PM

Someone on the internets said open boarders were SOCIALIST, and you disagree with them, and you are always wrong, liberal scum who hates america and wants our troops to die, so OPEN BOARDERS ARE SOCIALIST.

Ah. Good. As long as someone explains it clearly.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at April 21, 2005 01:01 PM

Good lord people. I didn't call anyone liberal scum. I did, however, also note briefly in my google search that the term "open borders" derives from something called "international socialism". But I don't actually know what that is so I'm not going to defend that claim.

VV: "I wish I had a job that cushy."

I spend a lot of time in front of a computer and work independently. Posting at work just means I stay later. And I don't have a mortgage the size of a house. Some of us actually try to live modestly and comfortably within our means. :-)

Posted by: Caroline at April 21, 2005 01:23 PM

Also, I didn't intend to say that open borders ARE socialist. I intended to say that open borders should logically LEAD TO in the direction of a socialist welfare state. E.G. we hear constantly about the increasing gap between rich and poor, that our public schools are a shambles, that X number of people don't have health insurance etc. If you have a total open door policy that allows alot of unskilled labor (in combination with poor English skills) how could that not happen? And so what do you do about it? You have to provide for these folks and their kids and you have to increase taxes to do it. And so you creep in the direction of socialism. Doesn't that just kind of make logical sense or am I missing something here? I'm not talking about stopping all immigration. I'm referring to an "open borders" policy.

Posted by: Caroline at April 21, 2005 01:50 PM

No, it dosen't make logical sense. You don't know what socialism is, and you think there's some kind of bright line of taxation at which point you "become" socialist. It's shocking that normal american lowertaxism can mutate into right-wing loonysville socialists are coming to get me kookism so quickly, but you've proven it.

Posted by: FC at April 21, 2005 02:49 PM

"Caroline, there's proabably a lot that can be said about open borders. But one thing that you can't say about it is that it's socialist. If anything, it's laissez-faire, or libertarian. Ask Cuba if they have open borders."

Ditto. The concept of 'Open Borders' is a Popperian concept, he of "The Open Society and it's Enemies" and is essentially laissez-faire and a favorite of Libertarians.

Posted by: Epitome at April 21, 2005 04:11 PM

"I’m talking about the sort of socialism that sees a nation’s wealth as a fixed entity, that regards the wealth gained through capitalism as a form of theft, that favors security and equality over freedom, but is still a democracy; it's the kind of collectivism that has apparently changed the British character as described in this essay The Road To Serfdom. I guess it’s also called Social Democracy."

Social Democrats do not view a nation's wealth as a fixed entity, they do not view capital as 'theft'nor do they nor do they value security and equality over freedom (nor is it even close) but they do place a higher emphasis on those things, than say a more right wing idealogy.

Posted by: Epitome at April 21, 2005 04:15 PM

Caroline,

I think the line has become blurred between "Open Borders", the Soros-funded NGO, and "open borders", the notion of unrestricted immigration. What unrestricted immigration leads to varies by local conditions. For example, for most of America's history, our borders were open to anyone. Currently, most of Europe has strict limits on immigrants, at least from outside the EU (within, EU citizens have freedom to cross internal borders), because of the number of people from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and south and southeastern Europe who are trying to get into the EU.

Different conditions, different outcomes. I don't think one can easily say "unfettered immigration will always lead to X".

Also, it seems to me that unrestricted immigration tends to break down existing social welfare systems. If the amount of money being paid out by welfare exceeds the amount of money being paid in - a problem faced in the developed world as the population ages - then the system tends to fail. More poor people using social services will likely lead to fewer, not more, social services.

The American economy currently depends on uneducated immigrants, legal or otherwise - despite the boogyman of the illegal immigrant who sneaks in and then sucks our coffers dry not working, most of our immigrants are some of the hardest workers in the country. Visit southern California and watch them work from dawn to dusk picking our grapes, weeding gardens, and so forth, working their fingers to the bone to have a chance to send their kids to school.

Posted by: The Commenter at April 21, 2005 04:23 PM

"The “some people should have the right” is the key. There are some forms of government, like liberal democracy, where all people (in theory) have the right to choose to limit their own freedoms. Our liberal democracy tends to define ‘freedom’ as an individuals right to pursue opportunity. We tend to define ‘equality’ as the idea that all people should have the same rights and opportunities – not just “some people.”

There are other forms of democracy, like the British one, which are more collectivist. They tend to define ‘equality’ as the state sponsored elimination of “Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, and Idleness”. Under this system, all people have the right to equal security, not opportunity. It’s still a democracy, but since the state has the right to own and controls more aspects of people’s lives, there are fewer freedoms."

You are confusing an economic policy with a system of government. Liberal Democracy is a form of government. Social Democracy is a form of economic policy. Great Britian is just as much a Western Liberal Democracy as the United States is. Things like the NHS and the Pensioners system and the welfare state are things wished for by the majority of the people, not imposed upon them by 'the state' any moreso than you social security is imposed on you. The flipside of this would be Chile and certain other South American and Middle Eastern countries that have Monarchist,Authoritarian or Theocratic forms of government but have economic policies that are mostly hands off and laissez-faire and offer little in the way of public goods.

I'm confused by your ire with Social Democracy and insistence on applying it to Great Britian in particular. Your own country is essentially the same. Do you pay into a Social Security system? Does your government provide health insurance to the Elderly? to poverty stricken children?, does your country provide it's labor force a minimum wage? does it have labor laws on amount of hours worked a week and provide over time pay when those hours are exceeded? Does your country provide a living wage to the unemployed? That is Social Democracy.

Posted by: Epitome at April 21, 2005 04:45 PM

"I'm not trying to abandon reason here. I really am open to new information. I tend to read alot on the right mainly because most of my natural assumptions about how the world works are left of center so reading what the right has to say has been quite an eye-opener."

There's nothing wrong with that. My assumptions are left of center as well, but to avoid getting my news from an echo chamber I read The Weekly Standard US News & World Reports, The Wall Street Journal and certain Conservative and Libertarian authors I find enlightening. There's a large difference between that and some of the bombastic, extremist xenophobic, screeds you've been linking by ultra fringe characters of the hard-HARD right and who's tone has more in common with 'The Nation' and Chomskyite publications of the opposite political aisle than say, National Review.

Posted by: Epitome at April 21, 2005 04:53 PM

Epitome and The Commenter - May I say that I appreciate your civility? Yes - I can see that open borders is a libertarian concept. My intuition was that it would inevitably LEAD TO an expanded social welfare state (not that it was in itself a socialist concept, although I am going to assiduously avoid the term "socialism" from here on out):-)

So I guess the Q is - who is correct:

a)The Commenter, who suggests "that unrestricted immigration tends to break down existing social welfare systems. If the amount of money being paid out by welfare exceeds the amount of money being paid in - a problem faced in the developed world as the population ages - then the system tends to fail. More poor people using social services will likely lead to fewer, not more, social services." or

b) James Antle – the author of the article I linked to above, who asks “Is anyone naive enough to believe that welfare programs will be repealed as we import more poor people”?

I guess that’s the question. I am open to all arguments for one or the other, although perhaps we’ve already derailed this thread far enough??

Posted by: Caroline at April 21, 2005 04:55 PM

"Also, I didn't intend to say that open borders ARE socialist. I intended to say that open borders should logically LEAD TO in the direction of a socialist welfare state. E.G. we hear constantly about the increasing gap between rich and poor, that our public schools are a shambles, that X number of people don't have health insurance etc. If you have a total open door policy that allows alot of unskilled labor (in combination with poor English skills) how could that not happen? And so what do you do about it? You have to provide for these folks and their kids and you have to increase taxes to do it. And so you creep in the direction of socialism. Doesn't that just kind of make logical sense or am I missing something here? I'm not talking about stopping all immigration. I'm referring to an "open borders" policy."

An open borders policy does not lead down a socialist road. If anything, the requirements of maintaining a socialist system would depend on severely inhibiting immigration so as not to put too much strain on the system. This is essentially what 'national socialism' and parties like Front National and the British National Party are about. Cautionary tales about a tide of unskilled labor with poor english skills and the services they need are more a warning about the neccessity of discretion in public spending and understanding the limits of social services, not on setting immigration quotas.

I don't think 'illegal' immigrants should be coddled as much as they are. But I do wish that with a crackdown on illegal imigration comes a much more liberal legal immigration policy. I also know that, depsite the strain they put on public services, illegal immigrants are an incredibly valuable resource to our economy. That's why libertarians as well as pro-business Republicans are reluctant to try and crackdown on it much. It's mostly the old line xenophobic Pat Buchanan conservatives "Illegal aliens are taking our jobs!" that are so amplified by the immigration issue.

Posted by: Epitome at April 21, 2005 05:07 PM

Caroline,

I just read (most of) the article to which you linked. Before I start, I guess I should point out that I don't advocate 100% open borders, as this would undermine security, but beyond the security issue I see no reason to oppose the free movement of people.

I guess the first thing with which I take fault is Antle's assertion that the US is now an "affirmitive action welfare state". I say this without bothering to look up the statistics, but if I'm not mistaken, since (Clinton's) welfare reform, hasn't the amount of money doled out through welfare gone down, rather than up?

Second, Antle asserts that immigrants make up approximately 10% of the population and utilize about 13% of cash welfare benefits (of course, that number comes from 1990, before welfare reform). Those numbers just don't frighten me. If they were using 20, 30, 40% of the money, then sure, but 3% more than would be representative? They're not exactly bleeding us dry.

More importantly is the fact that immigrants who start out as welfare recipients don't necessarily stay so. The whole point of coming here is to become wealthier, not to stay poor. For example, in Mexico the wealthy are typically descendents of Europeans, while the poor are typically descendents of Indians or mixed. It is the poorer Mexicans who come to the US, and wealthy Mexicans haven't exactly been too sad to see browner poor people leave the country. Unfortunately for them, those browner Mexicans have been returning to Mexico as a new upper class, wealthier than white Mexicans.

Antle is right in arguing, from statistics and from reason, that immigrants are more likely to require welfare, as they frequently have fewer skills and resources on arrival. However, I can't quite figure out the notion that this will continue in perpetuity. If more and more people arrive, and more and more of them demand welfare benefits, will wealthier Americans paying into the system continue to do so forever, leading to poverty for them?

I doubt that Americans would allow themselves to be taxed into poverty. Most people in welfare states pay high taxes but receive generous benefits as a result. When many of the benefits accrue to a small segment of society, people tolerate this so long as welfare outlays are low - and even before welfare reform we never spent more than 3% of our budget on welfare.

If these numbers skyrocketed to 10, 20, 30 percent of the budget, don't you think Americans would simply dismantle the welfare system?

Posted by: The Commenter at April 21, 2005 05:50 PM

The Commenter: "If these numbers skyrocketed to 10, 20, 30 percent of the budget, don't you think Americans would simply dismantle the welfare system"

I guess it might depend on whether the folks receiving the benefits are able to vote or not. If they could vote, they might vote for candidates who promise to continue the welfare system and who propose to increase taxes on the wealthier to do so.

You and Epitome have both given me something to think about. I will say, I do not have any kneejerk reaction about Democratic socialism (oops - I used the S word). Personally, I have no problem with paying my taxes. I was in favor of rolling back the tax cuts on the top 1% in the last election cycle. My only concerns involve what actually objectively works in fact economically. I know we're nowhere near Europe's level of social welfare. But glancing at the problems Europe is facing, it simply seems prudent to be careful not to head recklessly down the same path. That's all. It's why I referred to Europe as a "cautionary tale". I should have said a "cautionary tale in progress", as we don't yet know how the story ends.

I know this is a foreign policy blog but the immigration topic is so hot right now that it would be nice to have a post dedicated to it. (Hear that Mary and Jeremy? Michael, of course, is otherwise engaged...)

Posted by: Caroline at April 21, 2005 06:22 PM

Vino -

But if any of you really do have that much time, why not re-incarnate the Abe Lincoln Brigade and go help Michael?

Are you hinting that you would like to financially support volunteer efforts to help the fight for Democracy In Lebanon? I’ll go! Airfares are running at approx $1200 + round trip from NYC to Beirut. It would only cost you many thousands to send a couple of underemployed but deserving bloggers to Beirut.

If that’s too much and if you want to help out, you can make a direct donation to SOA. I’m sure you’ve already done that, but more is always merrier.

Posted by: mary at April 21, 2005 09:18 PM

Words!

Lots and lots of words. My favorite, and this is why I acknowledge actual people writing about actual events, is when people like us talk about the world like we actually know things when, and let's face it, we know a total of jack and shit about most of the things we endlessly discourse on.

I always thought that conversations and the sharing of information were an important part of life. Silly me.

Of course, I don't like to talk about subjects that I know jack shit about - like immigration. Caroline, the only thing I could say about immigration is that we should let the Mexicans in and kick all the Saudis out.

Posted by: mary at April 21, 2005 09:24 PM

Mary,

I did say that this was interesting and entertaining. What I deny is that it is earth-shattering in any way, that it is or will change the face of the world, that what we're doing is in any way actually important and not just another form of entertainment.

Considering the amount of uninformed analysis, the vitriol, the grandstanding, the partisan rhetoric and hackery, the echo-chamber quality, because of all these things about the blogosphere and many more, I am fully convinced that reading blogs (not all, but most) over the last few years has made me stupider, not smarter.

I just...can't...stop...reading them!

Posted by: The Commenter at April 22, 2005 06:01 AM

I don't see why there must be a choice between bloggers as redeemers of all humanity vs. useless time-wasting jackoffs. I'd be happy to think of myself as something somewhere in between.

If you don't think that people's actions -- present and future -- are shaped in part by words, by the discourse they are involved in or that they plug into on the internet or out in the real world (and I'm not sure there's a difference) then you're not paying attention.

The blogs are just one manifestation of the fact that, since 9/11, more ordinary people have a serious interest in what's going on in the world than has been the case for decades. You can't credibly deny that, at a time when most people are struggling to get a grasp on what's going on in the world, that the political debate on the internet has a function beyond entertainment.

It's my understanding that words -- and I'm not saying my words, mind you -- are important to people who are weighing whether or not they have the courage to stand up for what they believe in, or whether they have the strength to keep believing it in the first place.

At a memorial service for James Baldwin the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe said that Baldwin once received a letter from a man who had been a political prisoner in South Africa under Apartheid. Reading "Go Tell it on the Mountain" the man said, kept him believing his life was worth living and that it probably kept him alive. He passed the book on to another prisoner and it eventually made the rounds to everyone. Now that's James Baldwin, of course, so you'd expect him to have more impact than a blogger. But the collective blogosphere (and I include Iranian and Iraqi blogs) has an importance that is greater than any one blogger.

My point is basically that intelligently based optimism can be a source of strength for people who are doing things in the world. And writing things in an effort to rip the meaning away from people's work is a lousy thing to do. I've done it too and I'm not proud of that because I think that cynical and deflating words also have an effect on people's capacity to act constructively in the world.

And if the blogosphere is making you dumber then you're not using it right. The library can make you dumber too.

Posted by: Jeremy Brown at April 22, 2005 07:27 AM

Jeremy,

You've got me all wrong. Not only do I believe that behavior is shaped by discourse, I frequently feel that all we have boils down to discourse.

I also believe in Baudrillard's hyperreality. We have the false sense that we're plugged into some reality when really we're just staring at screens that show us pictures.

I think it's good that more people are interested. I think it's bad that more people are turning to pundits for expertise. Pundits are good at talking. Experts are good at knowing. The two are, generally, separate.

Posted by: The Commenter at April 22, 2005 07:37 AM

double-plus-ungood, et all.

RE: God and freedom.

I cannot believe I am posting this.

It is because God values the fact of freedom that so many people are not free. If God values freedom, then he thinks tyranny is wrong. If God is good, then he will not be a tyrant. People use their choices to limit or steal other people's choices. If God is good and freedom is good then God will allow us to be free to misuse our freedom. If God only allowed us to do what is right, then he would not be allowing us to be free. If you are only free to do what another permits, then you are not free. Therefore, for there to be freedom, there has to be the ability to sin. Tyranny is sinful, but God does not override our sins because he valued freedom.

Remember that story about the garden of Eden and eating a certain fruit?

Posted by: JBP at April 22, 2005 08:32 AM

JBP,

Are you sure you want to have this discussion in this forum?

Posted by: The Commenter at April 22, 2005 09:30 AM

Commenter,

Actually JPB's comments are a lot more on topic than some others. The original post WAS on the nature of freedom, and there was much discussion early on about the separation of church and quote.

JBP's post is, as I understand it, a very nice summary of the Catholic, and probably other Christian, theology on the nature of free will and sin.

I assume from some of your other posts, Commenter, that you are an agnostic or atheist, for which I bear you no ill will whatsoever. I was one myself once, and fundamentalism still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I don't know if JBP views the early chapters of the Book of Genesis as literal truth, or if he views it, as I do, as a profound teaching story.

But I think the poinnts he made are quite valid.

Anyway, I'm in a goofy mood today, so unless this thread gets interesting again, I'll probably just go back to making off-the-wall comments on the more recent thread.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at April 22, 2005 10:30 AM

Maybe I'm an atheist...

Or maybe I dislike the notion of knowing the unknowable mind of God...

Or maybe I question whether there is such a thing as "freedom" when it's impossible to know who authors our thoughts...

Or maybe like Sartre I believe the only choice we ever make is the choice to choose...

Or maybe I prefer to remain....mysterious....

Posted by: The Commenter at April 22, 2005 10:45 AM

Time for the big bloviating post no one will read. It's a Knemon specialty!!

"Is anyone naive enough to believe that welfare programs will be repealed as we import more poor people?"

On the off chance anyone will scroll down this far:

Sure, I'll bite. There is a theory that predicts just this.

It's the theory of ethnic solidarity as a motivation for welfare policies. (Mickey Kaus' site hipped me to this a few years ago, I think). Look at Scandinavia (and to a lesser extent the low countries) - relatively homogenous populations, historically strong support for minimax. (Think also about the Upper Midwest - Scandihoovians and Socialism are like peas 'n carrots).

When the perception of Joe Taxpayer becomes that his $ is going to 'them' instead of 'less fortunate people who look and think essentially like me,' he becomes increasingly unwilling to fork over the $.

Robert Kaplan touches on this in "An Empire Wilderness." As, I'm sure, lots of wonkier types have, complete with charts and graphs.

Not saying I believe this - and I sure as hell hope it isn't true - but it strikes me as the exact opposite of "naive."

**

On a related tip: Aristotle, in "Politics," goes through all the possible permutations of government. For the sake of completeness he mentions this one in passing, but dismisses it as impossible: if the majority were rich and the minority poor, it would be unclear whether the gov't should properly be classified as a 'democracy' or 'plutocracy.'

Technologically, this was impossible in his day, and for millenia thereafter.

But, when poverty is thought of not as a relative factor within society, but on a global scale, isn't this precisely what we have in America (and parts of Europe)? Sure, "wealth is concentrating" (if that's your way of looking at it) at the top, but you still have a huge demographic snake-swallowing-rabbit bulge in the middle, with a relatively small fraction of people who live in true want.

How long this is sustainable is anyone's guess.

Posted by: Knemon at April 23, 2005 04:00 PM

Knemon - you flatter yourself! I am the ultimate dead-thread head! But your language is so hip I actually don't have a clue as to what you are saying! In plain English, please, do you or do you not think that open borders will lead to an increased social welfare state in the US? And even if it did, would that be good or bad in the long run?

Posted by: Caroline at April 23, 2005 04:49 PM

Sorry - I often write in a way barely comprehensible to myself, when I go back and read it. My (annyoing) parenthetical (like this) tics don't help much.

Some people think that welfare states only work, in the long run, if the states' citizens see each other as a coherent group. Ethnic, religious, whatever, but normally ethnic. They think of their fellow citizens kind of like an extended family, and have more of a motivation to "help out those down on their luck."

When the composition of society changes, and the ideology holding the citizens together weakens (both of which seem to be happening in this country), support for 'welfare' in all its forms goes down, because people now see the welfare recipients as different from them - and morally (if not racially) inferior.

So, under this theory, unchecked immigration will weaken support for the welfare state.

I don't know whether an increased welfare state would be good or bad in the long run. These days I feel pretty 'conservative'/reactionary on a lot of things, so my gut tells me 'no.' If we could be iceland that might not be so bad, but since we're not a small, homogenous country but a continent-spanning, diverse megacountry like China and India, I'm less optimistic about our future.

As for all that Aristotle stuff, I don't know what I was aiming for there ...

We can haunt the remnants of the dead threads together. There's room enough for both of us ;)

Posted by: Knemon at April 23, 2005 05:04 PM

Knemon - you are one funny dude (or dudette? Nah - you're a dude...)). Somewhere in my random reading I came across the same point you made - namely that support for welfare policies decreases as the recipients come to be seen as more "other". My understanding is that there was a very long moratorium on immigration to the US which ended with the 1965 "Immigration Act" and since then, we are in the midst of massive immigration as hasn't been seen since about the 1920's. My opinion is that we can't just assume that all will go smoothly just cause we are a "nation of immigrants" and it worked in the past. That long moratorium on immigration most likely facilitated the "assimilation" of many people. But the political climate has obviously changed since that previous wave of successfully integrated immigrants. Now we live in the age of political correctness and multiculturalism and western guilt. It's just not the same environment that accounted for the success of the assimilation of the previous wave. Frankly - I'm not sure the kind of counter-pressure you're talking about - namely the political voice of the native population, can possibly withstand the overwhelming voice coming from the other side. Society has really changed that much. Already, it's becoming almost impossible to talk about such things, without being labeled racist. Especially if one sets aside purely economic interests and moves towards addressing issues concerning overall cultural impact on what we have heretofore understood to be the US. Uh unh - not permissable to discuss. That, in itself, I consider a pretty serious problem and a quite radical change in public discourse in the US.

Posted by: Caroline at April 23, 2005 07:01 PM

I am, indeed, a dude.

More Aristotle: the right choice is always a mean between two extremes. (maybe that's why I'm just a RINO when you get right down to it).

So while I agree that we need to be concerned about the effects of mass immigration, we also have to remember that the reaction of the political population can, has and will pose its own dangers.

We've got a precarious balancing act ahead of us: clearly some return to "assimilation first" priorities is necessary ... but we can't completely close the door, either. One of the big factors keeping us so economically dominant, even with our low birthrate and compromised educational system, is "good" immigration - economically dynamic, upwardly mobile, professionals, entrepeneurs. These people can be found in all groups of immigrants, but they're especially dominant among South and East Asians.

Don't wanna scare those people away. Need to make sure they keep on coming.

(note that this isn't a racist argument. It's a "classist" argument, but that's where I earn the "R" in my RINO.)

But to put on my optimist hat: if the rules of the game changed once, they can change again. Maybe not change BACK (and that's partly a good thing), but there may be a third way.

Akin to "South Park Republicanism" (the real reason Bush won, and a major change even from 2000), maybe we'll see a "South Park Americanism" (aka "America, F*ck Yeah!") evolve.

Some of the old way will never be recoverable - certain fields of cultural cohesion are gone for good. But there's still plenty good bits of this great bagel with cream cheese we call home. Pick it up, dust it off, and what's not to like?

Posted by: Knemon at April 23, 2005 11:56 PM

Hello nice page and it downloads very fast, enjoyed it very much, take care. The internet is a great place to showcase art and increase awareness in the variety of excellent work available.

Lodówki
Kuchnie
Zmywarki
Kamery Cyfrowe
Aparaty Cyfrowe
Telewizory Plazmowe
Telewizory Lcd
Pralki

Posted by: sony at June 5, 2005 04:08 AM

Hi,your homepage looks really good and gives great information!
Thank you very much! Greetings from me!!
Sony Creative Panasonic Philips Siemens Samsung Jvc lg Aparaty Cyfrowe

Posted by: Kamery Cyfrowe at June 11, 2005 04:55 AM

Have A Great WeekEnd

Posted by: viagra at July 1, 2005 03:26 PM

Order Viagra Online

Posted by: viagra at July 9, 2005 02:47 AM

Youll should use Direct TV Deals.
Youll should use Free Dish Network.
Youll should use Direct TV Offer.
Youll should use Direct TV Deal.
Youll should use Dish Network Deals.
Youll should use Direct TV Offers.
Youll should use Dish Network Deals.
Youll should use Direct TV Offers.
Youll should use Direct TV Deal.
Youll should use Dish Network Deals.
Youll should use Dish Network Deals.
Youll should use Free Direct TV Deals.
Youll should use Direct TV Deals.

Posted by: Free Direct TV Deals at July 17, 2005 01:21 PM

canon canon aparaty sony sony
lg telefony gsm samsung samsung siemens siemens kuchnie philips philips creative sharp sharp telewizory plazmowe panasonic panasonic kamery

Posted by: Telewizory Plazmowe at August 18, 2005 05:50 AM

Hi I have been given the task of getting links for our websites thathave good page rank on the links directories.In addition we have many categories so your site will be place on an appropriate page. If you would like to trade links please send me your website details.Best Regards,seopro@walla.com
http://www2w.bravehost.com vs the best casino http://casino.vmedical.us new online casino
casinos
casino
online poker
online gambling
online casinos
online casinos
online casinos
online poker
online casinos
online casino
casino
poker
casino
casino
casinos
online casino
online gambling
casino
poker
neteller casinos
online casino
online slots
online casino
online poker
online casino
internet poker
free online poker
texas holdem poker
poker
online slots
online roulette
online blackjack
poker

Posted by: Sign My GuestBook at October 4, 2005 07:54 AM

Take your time to check out some information dedicated to tamiflu purchase tamiflu purchase




http://www.dolev-yomel.com/tami1




tamiflu without prescription




http://www.dolev-yomel.com/tami2




tamiflu in canada




http://www.dolev-yomel.com/tami3




tamiflu price




http://www.dolev-yomel.com/tami4




tamiflu price




http://www.dolev-yomel.com/tami5




real tamiflu price




http://www.archipenko.co.il/tami6




buy tamiflu




http://www.archipenko.co.il/tami7




order tamiflu




http://www.archipenko.co.il/tami8




tamiflu online




http://www.archipenko.co.il/tami9




tamiflu




http://www.archipenko.co.il/tami10




tamiflu and no prescription




Tami Flu




online casino




casino




viagra



viagra

Posted by: online casino at October 27, 2005 05:18 AM

new online poker site ! http://poker.trinitytc.com

Poker

http://www.casino-los-angeles.com/poker

Poker

http://www.casino-los-angeles.com/bingo

Bingo

http://www.casino-los-angeles.com/netellercasinos/

Neteller Casinos

http://www.archipenko.co.il/freecasinos/

Free Casino

http://www.archipenko.co.il/cybercasino/

Cyber Casino

http://www.casino-los-angeles.com/bettercasinos/

Online Casino

Posted by: poker at December 12, 2005 09:18 AM

shpoem gos

Posted by: set at December 27, 2005 01:15 AM

MISS.JENNIFER.ALICE.KOSSA
RUE 31 PLATEAU.ABIDJAN
COTE"D"IVOIRE.
EMAIL:(jen_kossa24@yahoo.com.br)

Thanks and as we are chatting, here is my life history please, here is all about me and I am waiting to hear from you so that we can move ahead with this if you can assist me. I will send a pic of mine to you and i will like to have your's and your phone and fax numbers while replying.


I am MISS JENNIFER ALICE KOSSA the first DAUGTER of late Mr SMITH.J. KOSSA,Who was formerly the director of unilever company Abidjan.

I am an undergraduate in the university of Accura Ghana .Well the death of my father occured on 9th noverber 2004 bomb blast which took place in Abidjan cote D'Ivoire,my father was injuried seriously though he could not give up the same day, while my mother Mrs Jullite kossa.and and my little brother die at a spot,I left school to wittness what is going on,before my father last hour.

My father revealed to me as his first DAUGTER that he made a deposite of huge amount of money in one of the security company here in Abidjan ($8.5million)Einght Million Five hunderd thousand dorllers.with my name as the next beneficary.

Please dear all I need is your urgent assistance so that we can retrive this Fund from the security company and transfer it to your foreign account in your country.So I will join you there in your country for urgent investment with the fund.and also you help me get a school in your country where i will continue my education.

please contact me with the email address if you are willing to assist sincerely.Thank's and remain blessed in the lord

Due regards.

MISS JENNIFER ALICE KOSSA.

Posted by: MISS JENNIFER ALICE KOSSA at February 19, 2007 07:26 AM

上海网站优化
上海网站建设
复印机租赁
硼氢化钠
消防泵
真空泵
同步轮
化工试剂
化学试剂
大众搬场
铁艺
制服
攻丝机
流量计
保洁
上海公兴搬场
上海保洁

http://www.ce-r.cn
http://www.jx-net.net
http://www.shjxwl.cn
http://www.oameibang.com
http://www.kuanhao.cn
http://www.chinasongjin.com
http://www.shlutong.com.cn
http://www.pujiangvacuum.com
http://www.longzhaobelt.com
http://www.ce-r.cn
http://www.cesupp.com
http://www.dzbc114.com
http://www.china-glare.com
http://www.shgeya.cn
http://www.kangking.com
http://www.changen.net
http://www.shanghaizhenan.com
http://www.56771242.com.cn
http://www.shgx88.cn
http://www.66513369.com.cn

Posted by: W-J-X at December 6, 2007 07:29 PM

カード決済クレジットカード決済・インターネット決済代行ならJ-Paymentクレジットカード決済 クレジットカード決済 コンビニ決済(払込票) 電子マネー
水虫,人には知られたくない、頑固な水虫水虫や足の臭い。除菌,天然素材だから、忘れがちなまな板や包丁の除菌にもあんしん
自動車教習所 東京北豊島園自動車学校∥東京都練馬区にある広いコースの自動車教習所カラコンTealla~デカ目カラーコンタクトの激安通販toefl高校生のための成功する大学留学ガイダンス開催! 2007年12月28日(金) 年末年始講座開講! 2008年01月03日(木) TOEFLスピーキング年始集中講座開講! 2007年11月24日(土) 元NOVA受講生の皆様、入学金免除! 2007年12月15日(土) SAPS説明会開催!カップリングパーティー1対1で落ち着いてゆっくりお話できる少人数制のプチお見合いパーティーです。toefl 高校生のための成功する大学留学ガイダンス開催!ジュエリー通販ジュエリー総合通販サイト。人気商品多数取り扱い!渋谷エステビューティーサロンダイエットNARL超音波とEMSマシーンで痩せたい所をスリムに!更にタラソマスクで身体の代謝を高め美肌に。アロママッサージ六本木マッサージ忙しい現代では、「感じる」心や体も滞りがちですfeel」はストレスを脱ぎ捨て、息づく生命力と心身の五感を呼び覚ますペット 宿ペットと泊まれる宿Wans Styleは、ペットと一緒に旅行を楽しんでいただく為のサイトです。 クレジットカード 海外旅行保険コンタクトレンズ FX 刊板 製作価格比較富士通 FMV-BIBLO NF70X FMVNF70Xの情報一覧 メーカー FUJITSU 平均価格 ¥142,638 最安価格 ¥120,750 CPU Core 2 Duo T7250 メモリ 1024MB 標準HDD容量 120GB ディスプレイサイズ 15.4' プレインストールOS Windows Vista Home Premium 最大解像度 1280×800 発売日 2007/09/06ファッション 通販スピードマスター デイデイト/自動巻 ブルー 3523-80の情報一覧メーカー オメガ 平均価格 ¥183,892 最安価格 ¥118,000 タイプ 機械時計 適用範囲 メンズ 直径 39mm ベルト ステンレス・スチール(SS) 防水 3気圧 生活防水 備考欄 ■本体サイズ : 約38mm×38mm×12mm ■重量 : 約140g■SSケース・SS・サファイアガラス・オートマ 日常生活防水・トリプルカレンダー・最大手首周り約20cmゲームPlayStation 2専用メモリーカード(8MB)「ブラック」 プレイステーション2用周辺機器の情報一覧メーカー SCEI 平均価格 ¥2,198最安価格 ¥1,890タイプ 家庭用ゲーム機、フィットネス クラブパーティー ローン比較 賃貸

Posted by: cfv at December 18, 2007 01:59 AM
Post a comment













Remember personal info?






Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member



Testimonials

"I'm flattered such an excellent writer links to my stuff"
Johann Hari
Author of God Save the Queen?

"Terrific"
Andrew Sullivan
Author of Virtually Normal

"Brisk, bracing, sharp and thoughtful"
James Lileks
Author of The Gallery of Regrettable Food

"A hard-headed liberal who thinks and writes superbly"
Roger L. Simon
Author of Director's Cut

"Lively, vivid, and smart"
James Howard Kunstler
Author of The Geography of Nowhere


Contact Me

Send email to michaeltotten001 at gmail dot com


News Feeds




toysforiraq.gif



Link to Michael J. Totten with the logo button

totten_button.jpg


Tip Jar





Essays

Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, The American Prospect

The Men Who Would Be Orwell
Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

Looking the World in the Eye
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

In the Eigth Circle of Thieves
E.L. Doctorow, The Nation

Against Rationalization
Christopher Hitchens, The Nation

The Wall
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic

Jihad Versus McWorld
Benjamin Barber, The Atlantic Monthly

The Sunshine Warrior
Bill Keller, The New York Times Magazine

Power and Weakness
Robert Kagan, Policy Review

The Coming Anarchy
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

England Your England
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn