http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/01/Citing-Obamacare-40-000-Longshoremen-Quit-the-AFL-CIO In what is being reported as a surprise move, the 40,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced that they have formally ended their association with the AFL-CIO, one of the nation’s largest private sector unions. The Longshoremen citied Obamacare and immigration reform as two important causes of their disaffiliation. In […]
This month the Council on Foreign Relations released a “Policy Innovation Memorandum” titled “A Strategy to Reduce Gun Trafficking and Violence in the Americas.” The memo was authored by the CFR’s “Senior Fellow for Latin American Studies,” Julia F. Sweig.
According to Ms. Sweig, the “policy” that needs “innovation” is U.S. gun laws.
In brief: because too many people are shooting each other in Latin America. “The flow of high-powered weaponry from the United States to Latin America and the Caribbean exacerbates soaring rates of gun-related violence in the region,” asserts her memo.
“[R]ecent federal gun control measures have run aground on congressional opposition,” laments Ms Sweig.
“[T]hough the Senate rejected measures to expand background checks on firearms sales, reinstate a federal assault-weapons ban, and make straw purchasing a federal crime, the Obama administration can still take executive action to reduce the availability and trafficking of assault weapons and ammunition in the Americas[.]“
President Obama Saturday laid out the case for a military strike on Syria. He evoked the same rationales Secretary of State Kerry and others, including some conservatives, have been articulating for the last week. We’ve heard of “international norms,” “common understandings of decency,” the “international community” that codified a “normal prohibition against chemical weapons” in the Chemical Weapons Convention, the need to act to deter other rogue states like Iran, and the imperative to punish “crimes against humanity.”
Almost as an afterthought, the necessity of putting teeth into America’s credibility and prestige in order to defend our interests was mentioned by the President. And he vaguely asserted that the gas attack was a “serious danger to our national security,” though it’s hard to see how “making a mockery of the global prohibitions on chemical weapons” endangers our security. Terrorists and their state enablers like Iran and North Korea don’t abide by such “prohibitions.” But that fuzzy national security argument was swamped by the waves of delusional internationalism and dubious psychologizing about the motives and calculations of ruthless dictators and autocrats. The fact is, the only reason to use American military power and risk American lives is to advance our interests and defend our security. Evoking some fantasy “international community” complicates and confuses that critical criterion.
Start with the chimera of “international norms” and “common understandings of decency.” Such statements imply a universal moral standard shared by all peoples, one which international agreements and institutions codify. The proscription of torture, the protection of non-combatants, the humane treatment of the wounded and prisoners of war, and the ban against using certain kinds of weapons are the sort of presumably universal beliefs that are enshrined in international law.
But where is the evidence that such norms exist in fact rather than in language? Certainly not on the pages of history or your daily newspaper, which are filled with serial violations of such norms, including by signatories to these various conventions and agreements. What can be found is the eternal truth that nations pursue their interests by whatever means they can, and different peoples have different attitudes towards the legitimacy of violence and its acceptable victims, particularly in Muslim Arab lands. Thus nations sign treaties and join transnational institutions because they think doing so will serve their interests, not because they share some “international norm.” Their participation is based not so much on shared values, as on treaties signed because of perceived utility.
http://frontpagemag.com/2013/bruce-bawer/the-billionaire-and-the-terrorist/ On September 9, Norwegians will vote either to keep the government in the hands of a socialist coalition led by Labor Party Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg or to turn the reins over to non-socialists. The campaign has drawn an unusual degree of international media attention. I wrote the other day about Time Magazine’s report, […]
Any attempt by President Barack Obama to bomb Syria amounts to him “saving political face,” says former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in a blog post on Facebook, criticizing his intent to wage war without a strong rationale. http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/palin-syria-allah/2013/09/01/id/523286#ixzz2djgrKhHu Titling her post “Let Allah Sort It Out,” Palin, a Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008, railed […]
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/357369/red-monday-kevin-d-williamson We don’t need this quasi-Canadian, crypto-Communist holiday. There isn’t much good to say about Labor Day, except maybe that it could be worse — it could be on May 1, which would make it a full-on Communist holiday instead of a merely crypto-Communist one. For that we can thank Grover Cleveland, the last pretty-good […]
Check out the previous installments in P. David Hornik’s ongoing series exploring how Israel is perceived around the globe.
August 4: Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 1: The Whole World Against Us
August 11: Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 2: That Bird Could Be a Mossad Agent!
August 18: Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 3: From Woodstock to the Promised Land
In a recent blog post, British Jewish author and commentator Melanie Phillips took the European Union to task for deciding to boycott Israelis who live in East Jerusalem, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), and the Golan Heights.
Phillips clarifies why the EU’s designation of all Jewish life and activity in those places as “illegal” is legally, let alone morally, baseless. But if the EU and the UN regularly and ritually make this “illegality” charge, and pressure and punish Israel accordingly, Phillips claims that
the fault in large measure surely lies with Israel. For although some may find this incomprehensible, Israel does not make to the world the one case that matters—why Israelis are fully entitled under international law to build their homes in these territories….
And Phillips attributes that failing, among other things, to
Israel’s bleak and despairing judgement that the international community, composed of those who historically and presently were and are driven by obsessive hatred of the Jewish people and which finds expression for that hatred through vehicles such as the UN and EU, will always do the bidding of those who wish to destroy the Jews and is therefore impervious to reason and morality.
While I wouldn’t put it quite so strongly, I found those words noteworthy and insightful. It’s true, as many have complained, that Israel tends to be hesitant and diffident in making its case. Here I want to suggest three of the factors that have a discouraging effect.
http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/obama-indicts-obama/?print=1 One of the problems that Barack Obama has in mounting an attack against the Assad regime is that the gambit violates every argument Barack Obama used against the Bush administration to establish his own anti-war candidacy. The hypocrisy is so stunning that it infuriates his critics and stuns his supporters. Deriding the Iraq war […]
http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/ It’s an article of American faith that Japan is an incredibly strange place. The world has been mapped and GPS’ed to death ruining much of the thrill of discovery. There probably aren’t any hidden cities with remnants of lost civilizations lurking in the deserts of Africa or the jungles of South America. That just […]
A version of this column is scheduled for publication Monday, September 2, 2013, at worldtribune.com Syrian Crisis [Cont.] Pres. Barrack Obama’s sudden volte-face on a strike against the Syrian regime of Pres. Basher al Assad has only put on hold the enormous stakes in the crisis’ ultimate outcome. In one of those curious turns […]