21 July 2004

It's OK to wipe out European cultures


Former Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, setting out his plans to the European Parliament, said he also wanted to tackle Euro-apathy.


“I pledge to work actively for a Europe which is much more than only a market: I want a Europe which is also social and cultural.

Wait, isn’t that just globalization in miniature, wiping out local cultures? I thought the EUlite viewed that as a bad thing.

Posted by orbital at 8:46 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Let's go where facts don't matter


Several US states are filing law suits against five power companies challenging their gas emissions.

The case is to be launched in the federal district court of Manhattan using the common law of “public nuisance” to demand cuts.


The action would “for the first time put global warming on the litigation map,” a spokesman for Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said.

Yes, having lost in the law of nations, the court of public of opinion and losing ground rapidly in the court of scientific opinion, the court of law is the last refuge for the true believers.

Posted by orbital at 8:43 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

That site is blocked by our firewall


US Navy reports

Summer Pulse ‘04 exercised the logistics and shore infrastructure necessary to execute a large scale surge operation and stressed the operational concepts in the Navy’s Sea Power 21 strategy. It also served to strengthen maritime capabilities by improving Navy interoperability with more than 23 allies and coalition partners, as well as other U.S. military forces. U.S. Navy ships and aircraft participated in more than 13 exercises in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Arabian, Baltic, Mediterranean, North and Red Seas, and the Sea of Japan and Persian Gulf. [emphasis added]

LA Times reports

Quietly and with minimal coverage in the U.S. press, the Navy announced that from mid-July through August it would hold exercises dubbed Operation Summer Pulse ‘04 in waters off the China coast near Taiwan. [emphasis added]

This will be the first time in U.S. naval history that seven of our 12 carrier strike groups deploy in one place at the same time. It will look like the peacetime equivalent of the Normandy landings and may well end in a disaster.

For an article with this kind of sweeping claim (“If American militarists are successful in sparking a war…”) the LA Times couldn’t be bothered to actually check on this via the Pentagon website (not even a phone call required!)? Moreover, this isn’t an ancillary fact but the key of the article’s entire thesis. But still, apparently, not worth a quick check. But you know, it’s Old Media you can trust because of their editors and fact checkers.

Posted by orbital at 3:11 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Have the Palestinians figured out that actions have consequences?

[source, source]

The Palestinian cabinet has called on terror groups to stop the launching of Kassam rockets towards Israel.

The unexpected plea followed this morning’s Kassam attack in which a rocket landed on a home in a kibbutz in the western Negev, miraculously causing no injuries. It was explained as a desire not to give Prime Minister Ariel Sharon any pretense for taking over additional territory in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

So, in fact, grabbing bits of the West Bank with the wall is helping to create peace, even beyond the direct physical effects of the wall. Gosh, how could have expected that?

Posted by orbital at 10:01 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL


[source, source]

The United Nations has decided to move 20 people working in UN facilities in Gaza - about a third of its foreign crews - to the UN headquarters in Armon Hanatziv in Jerusalem. The other 40 non-Palestinians working for the UN in Gaza will remain at their jobs.

The transfer was ordered by Peter Hansen, UNRWA commissioner general in Gaza, who is also responsible for the security of all the UN organizations operating in the strip. According to a Hansen spokesman, the transfer of the 20 was the result of “the security situation in the area of the Erez Junction and Beit Hanoun, where IDF forces are operating and which endanger the movement of UN people entering and leaving Gaza.”

But other international groups operating in Gaza said that the real reason for the redeployment of the civilian foreigners is the deteriorating security in recent months, and particularly the events in Gaza last weekend when French aid workers were briefly kidnapped by armed Palestinians.

As noted, the UN people will be cowering behind the wall Israel built.

Posted by orbital at 9:57 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

If this is international law, let's have anarchy

[source, source]

The [International] Court [of Justice] has declared four new rules about the meaning of the right of self-defense in the face of terrorism today.

  1. There is no right of self-defense under the U.N. Charter when the terrorists are not state actors.
  2. There is no right of self-defense against terrorists who operate from any territory whose status is not finalized, and who therefore attack across disputed borders.
  3. Where military action is perpetrated by “irregulars,” self-defense does not apply if the “scale and effects” of the terrorism are insufficient to amount to “an armed attack…had it been carried out by regular armed forces.” (The scale in this case is 860 Israeli civilians killed in the last three years — the proportional equivalent of at least 14 9/11’s.)
  4. Self-defense does not include nonviolent acts, or in the words of Judge Rosalyn Higgins: “I remain unconvinced that non-forcible measures (such as the building of a wall) fall within self-defence under Article 51 of the Charter.”

But other than that, states can defend themselves, like Sudan is doing in Darfur.

Posted by orbital at 7:48 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL