Politics

I want the truth!

Link: Instapundit.com.

HOWARD KURTZ featured this comment from USA Today Baghdad correspondent Cesar Soriano:

    To all the Chairborne Rangers advancing the vast 'negative media' conspiracy from the safety and comfort of their parents' basements: If you think you can do better, I've got a spare bed in the Baghdad bureau.

This reminds of the exchange between Jessep and Kaffee in the movie, "A Few Good Men".
Cesar Soriano:

Son, we live in a world that has wars. And those wars have to be reported by men with pen. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Mr. Chairborne Ranger? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Iraq and America and you curse the Journalists. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That America's defeat in the War on Terror, while tragic, probably will save lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in that hotel. You need me there. We use

words like freedom of speech, peace, objectivity...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very information I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I'd prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a pen and write from the Baghadad hotel. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to.


Freedom of Speech and European Hypocrisy

Musilm countries have taken offense as Jyllands-Posten, a major Danish newspaper, published cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammed as fundamentalist.

The Danish Prime Minister, Mr Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said he could not tell newspapers what to print - or what not to. Catallarchy points out the European Hypocrisy:

Incidentally, if the muslims were clever (which I suspect they are not) they would fight back against the forces of European “freedom of the press” and “freedom of speech” by publishing cartoons denying the Holocaust. ("Holocaust denial is currently a crime in Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania and Switzerland.")

Continue reading "Freedom of Speech and European Hypocrisy" »


What is selfishness?

Satya Prakash asks a very pertinent question, What exact is Selfishness?

Selfishness - a virtue

What exactly is Selfishness?

The popular usage of selfishness is for a sinful adjective where one person behaves in total disregard to consequences of his/her actions on others. Such selfish person will be ever ready to do anything just to satisfy whims. But is there any positive aspect of selfishness; is it justifiable to be selfish? The answer lies in how we define selfishness.


The word "selfish" word is used in two contexts. The popular day-to-day
usage refers to those acts that violate or disregards one's obligation
to others. For example, if a friend has helped me during my hour of
need and if I now refuse to help him when he needs me, that would be
truly "selfish" on my part.

In philosophical term, "selfish" word refers more to the tendency of oneself to act in such a way so as to ultimately benefit himself/herself (not necessarily at the cost of others). It is more like a ultimate strategic objective. There is nothing wrong with this behavior. This is what Ayn Rand was refering to. Thus, if my friend has helped me in the past with the sole purpose of receiving a return favor from me in the future when in need, that would be an selfish act on his part. Obviously, there is nothing wrong in that.

Two usages are not consistent with one another. Those who ask others to act selflessly (second usage) cannot be more selfish. Think of it for a while. If I ask my friend to help me without expecting any return help (thus selfless act on friend's behalf), my friend can accuse me of being seriously selfish. Thus, when one asks others to act selflessly (under usage two) he/she is indulging in selfishness of variety one (planning to renege on one's obligations).


United Nations and India

Via Instapundit.com -, this update on oil-for-food scam at the UN:

The United States and its allies should threaten to cut the budget of the United Nations if it fails to end corruption and adopt badly needed reforms, the man who led the probe into the U.N. oil-for-food scandal said yesterday.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that he opposed a unilateral U.S. withholding of U.N. dues, but that a "de facto alliance" of nations demanding reform could cut through the world body's "culture of inaction."

The message, he said, should be: "Look, if the organization isn't ready to reform itself, that has budgetary implications."

The Iraq oil-for-food program has proven to be the biggest financial scandal in U.N. history, tarnishing the reputation of Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other top U.N. officials and fueling calls for a complete overhaul of the body's internal oversight and personnel practices.

India is trying to a get a permanent seat at the Security Council of UN. While it is a worthwhile endeavour, I don't understand why India is not demanding accountability at the UN! What's the point of gaining a veto power at a dysfunctional world body, anyway?


New York Times and corrections

This is getting interesting day by day. See this post Tim Worstall: New York Times Corrections Policy on some very embarassing errors made by various NY Times columinists:

2) Calame was most insistent that corrections must be appended to the specific column in which the error occured. Only in this manner will those using (those few) search engines and archives which carry the Times be able to see it. An errors policy which puts it on a later page, or one that puts the corrections box elsewhere in the paper will not do.

Shouldn't Lexis Nexis and DJ Factiva database demand from NY Times that any corrections be appended to the digital versions of the original articles instead of leaving it to the discretion of NY Times? Even search engines, such as google, can also demand the same thing from NY Times and other sources. Or maybe, google can put an extra tab, "Search in Corrections" on their home page.


Libertarian Party mourns the London attacks, but ...

I received an email from the Libertarian Party about the terrorist attacks in London.
Link: National Libertarian Party.

(Washington, D.C.)  This morning, the world learned of multiple terrorist attacks that have killed dozens of men and women in London and wounded hundreds more.  National Libertarian Party Executive Director Joe Seehusen issued the following statement:

 

"Today is not a day for politics or posturing.  Instead we should focus our thoughts and prayers on the victims and their families.  As the people of the United Kingdom mourned our losses on September 11th, we do the same for them today.  Our hearts go out both to those who have lost loved ones today and to all of the victims who remain."

 

He continued, "While we mourn today, we must continue preparing our thoughts to bring an end to the hate and fear that leads to such attacks."

Yup, this is not a day for politics or posturing! While London is still busy removing the dead and taking care of the injured, LP has already figured out the reasons that leads to such attacks (hate and fear)!


Taking Terrorism Bull by its Horn :: AO

The aim of the Terrorists, especially, "Muslim" extremists, is to bring rule of  "Islam"  to the Middle East and to the entire World. The Taliban style regime, which they want to establish would be very hostile to the interests of Muslim women. It will take away their freedom to own property, to educate themselves and to  work outside. The  "Muslim"  extremists consider themselves superior to women. Muslim women, being the prime target of  "Muslim" extremists, should have tremendous incentives to fight terrorism.

We should recruit more Muslim women in our intelligence agencies (as we have shortage of Arabic speaking agents), and military. Muslim women recruits will be extremely effective in places where terrorism is active, such as Iraq, Kashmir and elsewhere.  Imagine,  Muslim women law enforcement officers firing on Muslim extremists!  Such a picture will be a tremendous blow to the thinking of  "Muslim"  extremists that they are superior to women. It will also make fight against "Muslim"  terrorists an internal one: Muslim women against their oppressors. It will also give Muslim women a very good source of income and allow them to get training needed for leading financially and psychologically independent life. Thus, recruiting Muslim women in fight against terrorism will have effect of introducing more modernity in Muslim world.


India's population is an asset and not a problem.

It's high time we bury the Malthusian (See his book

) idea that World is running out of resources because of overpopulation. See this Times's article. Here's a site dedicated to puncturing the overpopulation myth. Detailed World population statistics can be found at US Govt.'s World Population Information site.

Overpopulation claim stands on three "legs":

Absolute population figure (World and individual country-wise)
In last 30 years human population has increased from  3.7 billion to 6 billion.

Population Growth Rate
However, population is growing at progressing slower rate. The growth rate has declined from 22% to 15% today. Estimates put World's population at 9 billion by 2050.

Population Density
India has almost the same population density (330 people per sq. km) as Japan (336). Hong Kong and Singapore, two properous city states, have population densities of 6500 and 5500 respectively. Netherland (464) and Belgium (336) are very close to India in population densities. All these countries are far richer and developed than India.

        All the above countries have a very high degree of urbanization (more than 80%)  compared to India's figure of 27%.

This shows that absolution population and growth is not a problem for India. Even population density is okay. What we need is more urbanization.