Soon after the fall of Baghdad I found a man who was blogging from that city. His name is Mohammed. His blog is Iraq the Model. I haven't had a link to an international blogger before today, I've tried to keep this little enterprise limited to issues that affect the State of Oregon.
Oregon is one of the best places in the world to live. It is true(pdf) that almost half of Oregon is considered frontier. More than half is considered rural. But when the Commune of Paris decided to pass Senate Bill 100, it insured that growth would only occur within the rat maze of Portland, Salem and Eugene. (There is the Albany/Corvallis nexus, Bend and Medford/Ashland nexus as well...but not really as important in state politics.)
Mohammed is a humble guy. I was a newby to the internet. But he had the courage to start blogging back in November of 2003. Here is his first post:
"The dramatic change that happened in Iraq will-as I think-have a great effect on the region &the whole world in the coming years and the (MODEL) that is going to be established in this country will change many concepts&beliefs, which were thought to be true for a long period. I would like -through this blog-to exhibit our points of view,WE:the Iraqis of the interior about this model, what we think about it & how we expect that everyone will take part by showing their ideas; because the more the opinions discussed the wider the horizon&the greater the chance we have to correct faults or avoid them.
I think that the new Iraqi model doesn't have much in common with the previous models presented to the world by USA(Japan&Germany) as these were basically found to deal with the international committees created after the 2nd WW. The idea here is about that those committees have become out-fashioned &incapable to bare the international responsibilities. So the Iraqi model will be the corner-stone in the new regional&global systems.
We have to bare our responsibilities to help establish the model, by doing this we're backing-up humanity in it's struggle against new ,serious challenges the major of these is the cancer-like growing terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction & the serious ecological & financial challenges. Our major problem lies in those tight-closed frames that we still live in,this is the obstacle on the way of humanity to achieve peace & prosperity.
I believe that the strict concept of nationality represents the main hindrance that blocks the road to globalization, everyone talks about independence &national dominion ,but the question is : Is there really an independent state? Can anyone live without the others? why do we have to act isolating ourselves from the others in a world where events and their echoes are no longer contained in their focus.
I see that we can be the 1st. state in the world that gives up these narrow concepts and let’s be the 1st. state that joins the UNITED STATES OF THE WORLD . I it’s time for the sun of national dominion to set,&for globalization to take place for the well-being of man-kind. No more hand-cuffs strangling the freedom of a man ,wherever he is; this CONTRACT between the citizen & the state is no longer valid, this situation should change;
I am asking the whole world here : If this is not the time,then when?"(sic)
When you look at the voting record of a guy like Blumenauer or Smith, ask yourself, who would you want to have as your friend? Blumenauer, Smith, or Mohammed? What is the price of the life of one child?
Please, ask them. Congressman Blumenauer, when it comes to Iraq, what is the price you've been paid to ignore the value of one innocent Iraqi child?
Senator Smith, what is the value of one child's life?
I'm not quite sure why Senator Smith calls himself a Republican.
Recently, his anger toward victory in Iraq has come to the forefront. As a Republican, I've kinda felt that certain basics were de rigueur for a Republican. Smaller versus larger government. Lower versus higher taxes. More limits on government instead of fewer limits on government. Private ownership versus collectivization. Again, I'm wrong in the case of Republican Gordon Smith.
Case in point: Privatizaton of Social Security. I hadn't known this until tonight. Searching for something else, I came across this link. It seems the Senator belongs to a Lefty group called the "Conscience Caucus". Take a look at the link. And ask yourself, wouldn't you rather have a Democrat like Lieberman? If Joe Lieberman was an Oregonian, I'd probably be a proud Democrat.
"Because it is tax season. . . Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do.
The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until on day, the owner threw them a curve. "Because you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20."
Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.
So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings). The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"
"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. Professor of Economics University of Georgia
For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible. "
There is that strain of Lefty that views our participation in freeing Iraq as an immoral intrusion, whether it's for oil, or some kinda neo-fascist Hitler/Bush thingy. But Gordon Smith was to have been an educated, articulate spokesman for Oregon Republicans in the US Senate.
How many innocent women, children, men in Iraq will have to die as a result of his vote to prematurely retreat from Iraq before he has any second thoughts? What is he willing to do to save the life of a child? One child?
I think of the children. What does Senator Smith think of? Getting votes from Lefties? If Senator Smith thinks votes from Lefties are more important than the lives of innocent children, I think it's important for you to know.
You and your family on going on a trip. At the airport you see suspicious men. Here are your choices:
You take your family and leave. It isn't worth the risk. To do less would be irresponsible. You lose the dough for the tickets, ruin your vacation. Family is mighty unhappy. 'K. Life isn't easy. But it is worth it.
Or, you report suspicious men to airport security. Airport and airline security investigates, tells you the suspicious men are harmless, and you choose to get on the plane or leave. Get on the plane means no loss of dough and vacation. Or, you choose the option above. You can always go on another vacation. Getting another life is not so easy.
Finally, you report suspicious men to airport security. Airport and airline security investigates and detains suspicious men. You get on your plane. Your family is safe. You have fun on your vacation.
Which one of these scenarios does Earl Blumenauer favor? None of the above?
A brilliant presentation on how Lefties think. Remember, Lefties do think. And this presenation will help you figure out how it is that Lefties can consistently think and end up at the wrong place. And why ending up at the wrong place, ultimately, doesn't matter.
I have a commenter who comes here from time to time--thanks for taking the time!--and leaves me with a chuckle, just about everytime. I chuckle because I'm always reminded of the Monty Python skit where a man pays for an argument, and gets instead, simple contradiction. And, typically, such contradiction includes, however gratuitously, an argument ad hominem.
I rely upon apodictic argument. Many rely upon ontological, even cosmological argument. The difference, to my way of thinking is one is provable, the other is not. But even if you rely upon the system of a Berkeley or a Kant, I can at least avail myself upon the thesis of logical consistency to argue affirmatively for those things I know as true. And any first year computer geek-to-be knows how important clean, clear logic is to be. Nobody loves loops.
But that, my friends, is where this "Moral Imperative of Indiscrimination" leads us, ineffably. There are no arguments to be offered, because none exist. There are no statements of fact, because facts require commitment. Ideas are popular, knowledge is not.
For those of us who had the pleasure to study under Professor Dale at Oregon State, we were made to struggle against the short path of belief to find the short path to truth. We, each of us, know so much. My inability to argue clearly is my failure. Your failure to argue clearly could be the product of your education, or lack thereof. That does not shorten the list of things which you know. Knowing, as opposed to belief, is consistent with the human condition. Putting your horses in traces is difficult the first time.
But once you do it, and you get the team of your ideas pulling in the same direction, you'll be amazed at the power of your own intellect. I can't tell you what you know. I can't tell you what to believe. But once you learn to discriminate between knowledge and belief your mind will be freer than it has ever been before.