Friday, September 22, 2006

The Friday Furo Questus

Been a little quiet around here, hasn't it?

I've been out of town on business; not a pleasant trip, but at least it is over.

And everywhere I've been, it's been raining. It rained last weekend here; it rained the entire time on my trip; and it is raining here now as I write this.

I shouldn't be complaining, for we need the rain, but this storm has wintry feel to it. Summer is over, fall is here, and winter is coming.

On the plus side, that meant I missed out on the freak show at the UN this week.

Questus Furore - A League of United Nations
After reading of A**d's* and Chavez's speeches earlier this week, and Chavez's grandstanding at his press conference yesterday, I just want to know one thing - how are we supposed to negotiate with these people?

And after seeing the ovation Chavez received, I can't help but think one other thing - is the UN worth keeping?

Its own members undermine its resolutions. (May I remind you that in 2002, France and Germany were trying to eliminate the sanctions against Iraq, even though Saddam was refusing to play ball.) It elects dictatorships to sit on the UN Human Rights Committee. It selects nations with nuclear ambitions to the non-proliferation panel. Its leadership is corrupt.

And day after day, representatives of the least free nations on earth castigate the representatives of those governments that are accountable to their people.

What's the point? Is the UN worth keeping, or is it time to consign it to the fate of the League of Nations?

I don't know. All I do know is that eliminating the UN is becoming a more platable option every day.

*I cannot reliably spell the Iranian president's name, so I am going to use this shorthand.

Questus Quickie - End of the Tomcat
The US Navy has officially retired the F-14 Tomcat.

Questus Quickie - Flyboys
Flyboys, a story of the Lafayette Escadrille, opens today. Yes, I will be there.

Recommended Reading
James Lileks talks about real fascism, and what is claimed as fascism.

"It's 1938 All Over Again."

"Being Nice Will Get Us Killed."

Denis Boyles, "The Pope, Faith and Reason." There's more on the Pope and his comments in this piece by Laurent Murawiec.

Stephen Johnson, "Trash Talk at the UN."

Day of reckoning for DDT foes?

Thought of the Week
"It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it. After discriminating, therefore, in theory, the several classes of power, as they may in their nature be legislative, executive, or judiciary, the next and most difficult task is to provide some practical security for each, against the invasion of the others."
James Madison (Federalist No. 48, 1 February 1788)

Churchill Quote of the Week
"The price of greatness is responsibility. If the people of the United States had continued in a mediocre station, struggling with the wilderness, absorbed in their own affairs, and a factor of no consequence in the movement of the world, they might have remained forgotten and undisturbed beyond their protecting oceans: but one cannot rise to be in many ways the leading community in the civilised world without being involved in its problems, without being convulsed by its agonies and inspired by its causes.

"If this has been proved in the past, as it has been, it will become indisputable in the future. The people of the United States cannot escape world responsibility. Although we live in a period so tumultuous that little can be predicted, we may be quite sure that this process will be intensified with every forward step the United States make in wealth and in power. Not only are the responsibilities of this great Republic growing, but the world over which they range is itself contracting in relation to our powers of locomotion at a positively alarming rate."

Sir Winston Churchill


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