February 19, 2014

Speaking of Anti-Poverty Policy...

That is one of the two "biggest challenges facing the world in the 21st century" according to Patrick McCulley at international rivers dot org, who posted [in 2004] Twelve Reasons to Exclude Large Hydro From Renewables Initiatives. Spoiler alert: None of the 12 reasons is "Large hydro is non-renewable." To the contrary, reason #12 admits that it is, precisely, renewable:

12 - Large hydro reservoirs are often rendered non-renewable by sedimentation

Dam reservoirs are depleted over time by sedimentation, a problem that eventually
seriously impedes or ends the ability of a hydro plant to produce electricity. The
great majority of annual sediment loads are carried during flood periods. The high-
er intensity and frequency of floods due to global warming are therefore likely to
increase sedimentation rates and thus further shorten the useful lives of reservoirs.

No word on the required maintenance or "useful lives" of wind, solar or small hydro.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:04 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

D'ja see Jon Caldera on this? If water and gravity are "renewable" then we make all the quotas and cannot continue the graft to wind & solar providers.

Posted by: jk at February 19, 2014 7:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Precisely. And that is, unapologetically, the direct basis for "reasons" number 1 and 2 and indirect basis for numbers 5 and 8 of the twelve, as stated in the summary list created by International Rivers Network in Berkeley.

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2014 1:09 PM

February 11, 2014

The Puppet-Master

While President Obama has been a lightning rod for controversial governance in the United States I have long believed that his policies, which are largely antithetical to Constitutional Americanism, were in service to the goals of some entity outside of his own ego and imagination. Whether or not any smoking gun linkage can be found or even exists, I now believe the entity best served by the Obama Administration's efforts toward "transformation" of America is the United Nations.

Your not-so-humble and proudly irreligious blogger takes umbrage at said body of corrupt global power-lusting kleptocrats' latest assault on liberty in the form of issuing it's own version of an encyclical, which deigns to compel the Pope to bend to the will, not of God, but the UN:

One need not share the church’s views on homosexuality, contraception, or abortion to understand that when governments or world bodies such as the United Nations venture into the realm of what faiths may or may not practice or preach, it constitutes a mortal threat to religious liberty. Here in the United States we have seen a conflict over the Obama administration’s efforts to impose a mandate forcing religious institutions and their adherents to pay for services that offend their faith. If upheld by the courts, that ObamaCare mandate would constitute an intolerable infringement on the First Amendment rights of religious freedom from government intrusion.

One also need not be religious to see the inherent danger of a government infringement on religious liberty, being a subset of general individual liberty. Jonathan Tobin concludes:

The church should unequivocally reject the UN Committee’s pronouncements about faith. So, too, should everyone who values and wishes to preserve freedom of religion for all people.

And everyone who values and wishes to preserve freedom of any kind for all people.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:41 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Hmm, a target-rich commenting environment...

A) The UN criticizing anybody on sexual abuse of children is like Ted Kennedy opening a combination sobriety clinic and defensive driving school. Its record is shameful and Tobin loses points for giving them a pass on that, even in a critical piece.

B) I've irked a couple non-irreligious ThreeSourcers by harshly criticizing the Pope's economics. Lack nuance, I do. But he courts the UN and its fellow travelers' favor when he wants to increase marginal tax rates on cap gains and eliminate preferential treatment for carried interest (sounds better in Latin...). But then he lacks moral authority to refute their positions on abortion, marriage, and sexuality. Lie down with dogs, your Holiness, thou shalt catch fleas.

"Religious Liberty?" If your liberties are plural and divisible, you'll find yourself with none.

Posted by: jk at February 11, 2014 5:01 PM

October 1, 2013

Now, a UN Shutdown . . .

The IPCC report boldly states in its executive summary that the science is settled but inside its many pages the supporting evidence is unsettling. Go to your favorite denying site for more information.

But go to the WSJ Ed Page for a plausible response:

One lesson of the IPCC report is that now is the time for policy caution. Let's see if the nonwarming trend continues, in which case the climate models will need remodeling. But that's far less costly than trying to undo grand global redistribution schemes like carbon cap and trade.

The other lesson is that amid such uncertainty the best insurance against adverse climate risks is robust economic growth. The wealthier the world is in 50 or 100 years, the more resources and technology it will have to cope if the worst predictions come true. But that requires free-market, pro-growth policies that are the opposite of the statist fixes pushed by the climate alarmists.

They use the flimsy intellectual scaffolding of the IPCC report to justify killing the U.S. coal industry and the Keystone XL pipeline, banning natural gas drilling, imposing costly efficiency requirements for automobiles, light bulbs, washing machines and refrigerators, and using scarce resources to subsidize technologies that even after decades can't compete on their own in the marketplace.


Posted by John Kranz at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

August 2, 2012

A Headline I Doubt Very Much

Odds of Syria peace get bleaker as Annan quits U.N. mission
UNITED NATIONS/GENEVA (Reuters) -- Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is stepping down as the U.N.-Arab League mediator in the 17-month-old Syria conflict at the end of the month, the United Nations said on Thursday, the latest sign that the outlook for a diplomatic solution is bleak. "Mr. Annan has informed me, and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Mr. Nabil Elaraby, of his intention not to renew his mandate when it expires on 31 August 2012," Ban said in a statement, adding that he and Elaraby were in discussions on appointing a successor to Annan.
Posted by John Kranz at 4:00 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It gets bleaker? This is possible? That sort of implies that the hopes of peace previously were previously less bleak.

I withdraw my demand that we exit the United Nations and make them pack their bags. We need to keep them around - for the laughs.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 2, 2012 5:04 PM
But jk thinks:

Possibly, Syria could get bleaker. My amazement is that somebody actually thought "It's going to be okay -- Kofi Annan is there!" And somebody is now distraught that the kleptocrat has gone home.

Posted by: jk at August 2, 2012 8:23 PM

February 23, 2012

Will they have Black Helicopters?

YOU PEOPLE THINK I'M CRAZY OR SOMETHING, BUT I TELL YOU THE YOO-ENN IS COMIN' TO TAKE AWAY YOUR...incandescent light bulbs?

Oh, please.

Philips and OSRAM are both part of the "en.lighten initiative," an organization that promotes policies in developing countries that encourage or require the use of fluorescent and LED lighting products. The group is slated to release a full set of policy recommendations for leaders in developing countries, but their website offers a preview of their general policy approach:

Yessir, that's what developing nations need -- more expensive light! These people should be boiled in some environmentally friendly oil -- putting crony capitalism and unearned profits ahead of helping people progress in poor nations.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:39 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"LEDs and CFLs tend to be more expensive than incandescent bulbs, so consumers would not likely make the transition of their own accord."

Well, that explains that ominous sentence if the paragraph prior: "It does not rely on market forces." Of course, it might help if the UN - and the American taxpayer, by extension - grab the check for the lights. Also, it appears that this isn't just enlightened do-goodism; they expect to make a few bucks in the process. Crony Capitalism: The World Version.

When they pry 'em from my cold, dead lamp sockets...

Here's a nifty idea: for a cheap source of light and warmth, why not just light a few UN manuals on fire instead?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 23, 2012 7:14 PM

November 2, 2011

Palestine

And this leads me [Jay Nordlinger] to one of my favorite stories:

It was told to me by Bernard Lewis, the great Middle East scholar. He had invited Golda Meir to speak at Princeton. When she faced the students and the rest of the audience, she said, "Look, you know my views. I've been in public life for a long time. I won't give a speech. Why don't you just ask me some questions instead?"

In the course of the session, someone said, "Prime Minister, why is it that the PLO belongs to UNESCO while Israel does not?" She said, "Well, let's think about it. 'UNESCO' stands for 'United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.' Obviously, the Palestinians have more to contribute to education, science, and culture than we do."

This must be one of the finest uses of sarcasm I know of.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:21 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2011

A Post in which I Call "Bull****!"

Professor Reynolds links to this article on World Contraception Day (Don't forget to bring donuts into work!), based -- I think -- more on the salacious headline than the information contained.

LONDON (Reuters) - Young people across the globe are having more unprotected sex and know less about effective contraception options, a multinational survey revealed on Monday.

The "Clueless or Clued Up: Your Right to be informed about contraception" study prepared for World Contraception Day (WCD) reports that the number of young people having unsafe sex with a new partner increased by 111 percent in France, 39 percent in the USA and 19 percent in Britain in the last three years.

Hmmm, quite a problem. Young people's rights are at stake. Did not John Locke write eloquently 400 years ago about life, liberty, property, and Trojans™?

What can we do? Spend more money, perhaps? If only we could ask an unbiased source...

"What young people are telling us is that they are not receiving enough sex education or the wrong type of information about sex and sexuality," spokeswoman for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Jennifer Woodside said in a statement.

"The results show that too many young people either lack good knowledge about sexual health, do not feel empowered enough to ask for contraception or have not learned the skills to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies or STIs (sexually transmitted infections)," she said.

World Government has so much to accomplish and so few resources.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:30 PM | Comments (0)

July 6, 2011

"Go Green" for World Government

Colorado's GOP candidate for governor last year was ridiculed for suggesting that the UN had designs on World Government. Now a new UN report admits it.

The press release for the report [calling for a "technological overhaul" "on the scale of the first industrial revolution" to reach a "goal of full decarbonization of the global energy system by 2050"] discusses the need "to achieve a decent living standard for people in developing countries, especially the 1.4 billion still living in extreme poverty, and the additional 2 billion people expected worldwide by 2050." That sounds more like global redistribution of wealth than worrying about the earth’s thermostat.

The entire article is a series of jaw-dropping objectives from Turtle Bay. It's worth a click.

If the Obama Administration is liberty's Imperial Cruiser, the United Nations is its Death Star.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:43 PM | Comments (0)

May 4, 2010

WHY WHO?

We recently had some side chatter about the efficacy of the UN and NGOs in relation to the Noocyulur talks that President Obama had led.

I was yelling at my Kimdle® over the weekend. As President Wilson and "The Major" are pursuing the League of Nations, I'm yelling "No! Don't do it!"

I heard about this yesterday but was waiting for a detailed look from a credible source. The WSJ Ed Page delivers:

Greetings, comrades. World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan has returned from Pyongyang with wonderful news. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is making great strides in health care, with one "household doctor" for every 130 households. Thanks to on-the-spot guidance from Dear Leader Kim Jong Il, North Korean doctors selflessly choose not to emigrate and have even conquered the decadent West's problem of obesity!

All right, we exaggerate. But only the part about the Dear Leader. Ms. Chan's surreal statements last Friday, as reported by several wire services, really did include praise for North Korean health care and the lack of obesity. "They have something which most other developing countries would envy," the global health administrator gushed. In her guided tours, she saw few signs of malnutrition, and the people in Pyongyang were the same height and weight as other Asians.


That's hardly consistent with the reports of other visitors, or the accounts of North Koreans fleeing starvation [...]


What is the value of supporting and offering legitimacy to an organization that would deliver such a report? Why, I've a good mind to ask the Iranian delegation on the UN's Women's Rights Committee to look into this and see if these stories are legitimate...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:26 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

In addition to obesity, North Koreans are protected by "Dear Leader" from that other scourge of developed nations: nighttime light pollution.

Posted by: johngalt at May 4, 2010 3:22 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahahahahahahaha! I thought of pointing out that their skilled physicians did not rely on light like our bumbling butchers, but I prefer yours. Awesome.

Posted by: jk at May 4, 2010 3:33 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Some jokes from North Korea: http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/ever-heard-north-korean-joke-3459547

Chang Man Yong works on a collective farm in North Korea. He goes fishing, gets lucky, and brings a fish home. Happy about his catch, he tells his wife: "Look what I've got. Shall we eat fried fish today?"

The wife says: "We've got no cooking oil!"

"Shall we stew it, then?"

"We've got no pot!"

"Shall we grill it?"

"We've got no firewood!"

Chang Man Yong gets angry, goes back to the river, and throws the fish back into the water.

The fish, happy to have had such a narrow escape, sticks its head out of the water and cheerfully yells: "Long live General Kim Jong Il!"

Posted by: AlexC at May 4, 2010 8:45 PM

March 12, 2010

International Club for Meddling with Local Government

One of moderator Amy Oliver's questions at last night's CO-4 GOP debate was about an international organization called the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives, or ICLEI. They've changed their name to ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability.

Apparently they encourage local governments to impose environmental regulations all over the world. They describe "members" as "the strongest allies of ICLEI by contributing a yearly membership fee, but also by hosting ICLEI offices, financing events or contributing staff time to projects and activities." That would be staff time of the local governments they work for, paid by local tax dollars.

The online membership directory is unavailable: "Please accept our apologies. We are presently working to update our membership information pages. This page will be available again shortly."

They do, however, list the 1124 local governments these members come from. They include:

Arvada, Aspen, Boulder, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Denver, Durango, Ft. Collins, Frisco, Golden, Gunnison County, La Plata County, LAFAYETTE, Loveland, Manitou Springs, San Miguel County, and Westminster in Colorado.

Haverford Township, Lower Makefield, Meadville, Montgomery Township, Mt. Lebanon, Narberth, Nether Providence Township, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Radnor, Upper Dublin Township, and West Chester in Pennysylvania.

Find your town. Complain to your city council. I DON'T WANT MY TAX DOLLARS, IN THE FORM OF STAFF TIME, SPENT ON ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:13 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2007

United Nations: ATM For Dictators

Melanie Kilpatrick of the WSJ Editorial Page has dug up -- against typical UN intransigence -- information pointing to a new UN corruption scam. While not of the magnitude of Oil-for-Food, it is cut from the same cloth.

U.N. Cash for Kim

Well, one reason is because we still don't know how wide or deep this scandal is, especially if it extends to other U.N. programs operating in North Korea. Another is that any cash to Kim contradicts U.N. and U.S. policy and helps ease pressure on the dictator to give up his nukes. And then there is the matter of the U.N.'s own credibility and failure to reform. In the wake of Oil for Food especially, why would U.N. officials allow this program to continue?

The generous explanation is incompetence, or perhaps the kind of feckless idealism that really believes such a program helps poor Koreans apart from Kim's regime. But given the U.N.'s recent track record of indictments for corruption, more venal motives need to be investigated. And it is also worth asking whether outright hostility to the U.S. policy of trying to isolate Kim has also played a role.


Looking back on the Iraq war, it is easy to focus on WMDs or Hussein's cruelty. Yet the only way that war could have been averted would be if the U.N. had not been perpetrating the Oil-for-Food scam. An honest UN would have ensured that sanctions hurt Iraqi leadership. Had fewer people (and governments) not been making large amounts from U.N. perfidy, more nations may have been united in standing up to Saddam Hussein.

Now we see that Kim Jung Il has been propped up by the U.N. as well, keeping him in western movies and nuclear weapons while his people starve. It seems that Larry the Cable knows the true nature of the UN ("the most worthless sumbitches of all time"), yet I read the other day a serious individual suggesting that Iraq be handed over to them.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:06 PM

December 4, 2006

Bolton to Resign

Bummer.

    Unable to win Senate confirmation, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton will step down when his temporary appointment expires within weeks, the White House said Monday.

    Bolton's nomination has languished in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for more than a year, blocked by Democrats and several Republicans. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a moderate Republican who lost in the midterm elections Nov. 7 that swept Democrats to power in both houses of Congress, was adamantly opposed to Bolton.

    Critics have questioned Bolton's brusque style and whether he could be an effective bureaucrat who could force reform at the U.N.

    President Bush gave Bolton the job temporarily in August 2005, while Congress was in recess. Under that process, the appointment expires when Congress formally adjourns, no later than early January.


Here's an idea.

Don't fill the seat.

Let it languish empty.

Make the Democrats beg for a nomination.

Then send Bolton.

In anycase, what will the difference between an empty American seat and a filled American seat be? The UN is a mess and no one is serious about anything over there.

John Miller says how 'bout Rick?

    How about Rick Santorum for the UN job? Yeah, there'd probably be a confirmation fight. And he may want to take a breather after 16 years in elected office. But it's worth thinking over.

That's a great idea.

On foreign policy, he's like Bolton without the mustache.

Surely the Senator can cash in some of his bi-partisan chips.

Posted by AlexC at 10:22 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Santorum would be a great pick. There is usually enough comity between Senators that he could be confirmed.

Could he grow a moustache?

Posted by: jk at December 4, 2006 10:44 AM
But johngalt thinks:

There are MANY things that UN Ambassadors are serious about. Let us make a list:

1. Amassing personal wealth.
2. Institution of a "world tax" via the Anthropogenic Global Warming Hoax.
3. Amassing personal wealth.
4. Advancing statism through gun control.
5. Helping cronies amass personal wealth (although this is really just a prerequisite to numbers 1 and 3).
6. ...

I can't think about this any more. It's too sickening.

Posted by: johngalt at December 4, 2006 3:08 PM

November 20, 2006

Bolton

UN Ambassador John Bolton, not long for the UN, lashes out publically against it.

(Again)

    "Many of the sponsors of that resolution are notorious abusers of human rights themselves, and were seeking to deflect criticism of their own policies," he said.

    "This type of resolution serves only to exacerbate tensions by serving the interests of elements hostile to Israel's inalienable and recognized right to exist."

    "This deepens suspicions about the United Nations that will lead many to conclude that the organization is incapable of playing a helpful role in the region," Bolton continued.

    "In a larger sense, the United Nations must confront a more significant question, that of its relevance and utility in confronting the challenges of the 21st century. We believe that the United Nations is ill served when its members seek to transform the organization into a forum that is a little more than a self-serving and a polemical attack against Israel or the United States," he said.

    "The Human Rights Council has quickly fallen into the same trap and de-legitimized itself by focusing attention exclusively on Israel. Meanwhile, it has failed to address real human rights abuses in Burma, Darfur, the DPRK, and other countries," Bolton charged.

    "The problem of anti-Israel bias is not unique to the Human Rights Council. It is endemic to the culture of the United Nations. It is a decades-old, systematic problem that transcends the whole panoply of the UN organizations and agencies," he continued.


More please.

Posted by AlexC at 1:54 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

I wonder that this could not be a good political issue for the GOP: we need a tough advocate at the UN and Ambassador Bolton has shown himself to be tough and effective. The Democrats out of pure partisan spite, will not allow him to keep the job.

Posted by: jk at November 20, 2006 2:31 PM
But AlexC thinks:

So what's Lincoln Chaffee's excuse? ;)

Posted by: AlexC at November 20, 2006 3:20 PM
But jk thinks:

I think the technical term is "asshat."

Posted by: jk at November 20, 2006 3:59 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Squeaker of the Mouse Pelosi and her attack chihuahuas want what every good, Socialist-leaning Democrat in Congress wants: a yes man at the UNtied Nations. Bolton doesn't fit that bill, so he's out (for now). The Republicans would indeed do well to stick this in their back pocket for 2008.

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at November 20, 2006 9:01 PM

November 9, 2006

Speaking Of Chafee

Remember John Bolton? That man who's mustache intimidates the third-world?

    On Thursday the White House resubmitted Bolton's nomination to the Senate, where the appointment has languished for more than a year. Bush appointed him to the job temporarily in August 2005 while Congress was in recess, an appointment that will expire in January.

    Sen. Lincoln Chafee (news, bio, voting record), R-R.I., who was defeated by Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse on Tuesday, told reporters in Rhode Island on Thursday that he would continue opposing Bolton. That would deny Republicans the votes they would need to move Bolton's nomination from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to the full Senate.


Done.

Only hope is getting Joe Lieberman to caucus with the GOP.

Posted by AlexC at 4:02 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I hope that a Democratic 110th Senate might confirm Ambassador Bolton as a quick, introductory olive branch before they close down the entire legislative branch -- naive?

Posted by: jk at November 9, 2006 4:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Look! A pig flying, right outside. See it?

Posted by: jk at November 10, 2006 12:16 PM

October 14, 2006

North Korean Resolution

RedState provides a list of the provisions of the United Nation's North Korea Resolution.

  • Demands North Korea eliminate all its nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

  • Requires all countries to prevent the sale or transfer of materials related to Pyongyang's unconventional weapons programs, as well as large-sized military items such as tanks, missiles and helicopters.

  • Demands nations freeze funds overseas of people or businesses connected with North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

  • Allows nations to inspect cargo moving in and out of North Korea in pursuit of non-conventional weapons.

  • Calls on Pyongyang to return "without precondition" to stalled six-nation talks on its nuclear program.

  • Is not backed up by the threat of military force.

I'm not war mongering by any means, but that last item there pretty much guarantees that this will fail.

Posted by AlexC at 4:51 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Send in Hans Bricks!

I am not disappointed because nothing, nothing, nothing good will come out of the Security Council. Either China will successfully pressure them or we will do a coalition of the willing someday.

Posted by: jk at October 14, 2006 7:32 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Cross-posted over the weekend!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at October 16, 2006 8:01 PM

October 9, 2006

UN Security Council to Discuss North Korea

I expect a strongly worded resolution promising a another strongly worded resolution if the North Koreans don't start playing nice.

Posted by AlexC at 10:14 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

If that doesn't work, we'll resolution your ass.

Posted by: jk at October 9, 2006 11:50 AM

September 18, 2006

UN Does Something Right

Stop the presses! The WSJ Ed Page reports that the World Heath Organization (Who) the World Health Organization has approved the use of DDT in the fight against malaria. An agency under the Untied Nation's aegis has chosen science and human lives over Rachel Carson.

Even if WHO's decision won't change those minds, its stamp of approval on pesticide use matters in the public health world. Other organizations, ranging from the World Bank to Aid for International Development to Doctors Without Borders, look to WHO for guidance and will now likely reassess their own guidelines. The U.S. is typically the largest donor to these international agencies, and the recent efforts of Republican Senators Sam Brownback of Kansas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who have called for DDT intervention and more responsible allocation of aid dollars generally, no doubt played a role in WHO's decision.

One insecticide won't end malaria, and DDT's proponents don't claim it will. But by keeping more people alive and healthy, DDT can help create the conditions for the only lasting solution, which is economic growth and development. It's encouraging that even a U.N. health agency seems to have figured that out.


Now if we can do something about their love of tyrants.

UPDATE: Stephen Moore, in WSJ's Political Diary, gives props to Senator Tom Coburn for his leadersihp.

Mr. Coburn serves as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, a perch he used to press international organizations to recommend DDT once again as a way to fight the mosquito-borne diseases that kill millions of people. Last week, the World Health Organization finally put DDT back in its arsenal. "The new WHO position paper on house spraying for malaria control is a revolutionary document," Sen. Coburn applauded. "The junk science and stigma surrounding DDT -- the cheapest and most effective insecticide on the planet -- have finally been jettisoned."

Posted by John Kranz at 10:10 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

The WHO has apparently read your post on "The Left's Breeding Problem" (today, above). If the collectivists of the world aren't giving birth to more constituents then they'd better do everything they can to prevent their greatest constituent group, i.e. indigents, from dying off. Even if it means crossing their partner in crime, the global environmentalist cult.

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2006 2:34 PM

June 5, 2006

East Timor

Wretchard brings the East Timor incident into perspective.

    Twelve innocent persons killed by a mistake in judgment, not by a teenaged soldiers, but the senior foreign commander on the scene who ignored the advice of his advisers. This caused an incident that almost threw an entire country into civil war, though there were tensions before that. And what was the foreign response? Don't cooperate with the investigation; then deny you said you wouldn't cooperate with the investigation. The finally cooperate when you've got no place else to run. But oops. This isn't a rogue state -- like America. This is the UN. Look to follow this story on page 55.

Posted by AlexC at 9:57 PM

April 18, 2006

UN to the Rescue

Associated Press reports -

Israeli UN Ambassador:

"A dark cloud is looming above our region, and it is metastasizing as a result of the statements and actions by leaders of Iran, Syria, and the newly elected government of the Palestinian Authority" ... Recent statements by the Palestinian government, Iran and Syria, including one by Hamas on Monday defending the suicide bombing, "are clear declarations of war, and I urge each and every one of you to listen carefully and take them at face value."
(emphasis mine)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan:

... called the escalating violence "very worrying." He also announced that the Quartet of Mideast peacemakers - the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia - would meet in New York on May 9 to discuss how to move the stalled roadmap to peace forward.

Whew! What a relief. The "roadmap to peace" is still alive!

This is breathtakingly naieve. It's like making sure the good china is safely arranged in the cupboard before that tornado on the horizon hits your house.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:36 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

If Russia, the EU, and the UN are all in on it with us, I'm sure it will work out.

Posted by: jk at April 18, 2006 7:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Surely you jest. Surely. Please tell me you're kidding!

The sturm und drang over America's "unilateral" serious consequences of Resolution 1441 had one purpose: To neuter American resolve should a similar situation arise. That eventuality is now coming to pass, as Russia and France and China knew full well it would, and where is "cowboy" Bush? Kowtowing at the UN, that's where.

Fortunately the people most directly under threat of anihilation in the next 12 months ARE taking this seriously. The Israeli ambassador spoke of "clear declarations of war." Here's hoping the assumption Israel has nuclear weapons is really true because the way things are going in Washington and New York, they ain't gettin' any help of any consequence any time soon.

Posted by: johngalt at April 19, 2006 3:33 PM
But jk thinks:

I think everybody but Secretary Annan is kidding, jg, I'm not really sure about him.

Posted by: jk at April 19, 2006 6:35 PM

April 17, 2006

UN, Hard at Work

About those top ten stories...

    Under threat of United Nations Security Council sanctions for its own nuclear program, Iran has been elected to a vice-chair position on the U.N. Disarmament Commission, whose mission includes deliberations on preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.

    ...

    It happened on the same day that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised his people "good news" about the country's nuclear program.

    The following day, Iran announced that it had managed to enrich uranium, a key ingredient in the production of a nuclear bomb.


No, it's not a joke.

(tip to Tammy Bruce)

Posted by AlexC at 9:21 PM | Comments (1)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Makes perfect sense. I mean, who knows more about how to hide nukes than these guys!? Same reason we should have had Pol Pot and his ilk chairing the Human Rights commission.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at April 18, 2006 1:15 PM

March 14, 2006

UN Human Rights Council

Only the UN could possibly come up with a plan to make the Human Rights Commission worse -- and more laughable -- than it is. Laughable implies a southparkian ability to laugh at genocide, corruption and continued poverty.

But the tough reformers on Turtle Bay seem to have found a worse scheme. The WSJ Ed Page sez: (Paid link)

The United Nations General Assembly is scheduled to vote tomorrow to establish the Human Rights Council, which is intended to replace its discredited Human Rights Commission. Amnesty International is for it, as is Secretary General Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, the European Union and most of the U.N.'s member states. So it all but goes without saying that the Council -- at least as it is currently conceived -- is a moral disaster waiting to happen.

Forty-seven member states will sit on the council (streamlined from a bloated 53) and geographic representation will ensure that Africa, Asia and the middle east will get a 26 seat majority between those bastions of democracy and human rights, while "the U.S. dukes it out with France, Malta and Luxembourg for a place at the table." No permanent members, so the US might be completely unrepresented.

These people cannot reform themselves -- let John Bolton and Claudia Rosset lock themselves in a room and redraw the UN Charter. This organization is far too corrupt to reform itself from within.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:04 AM | Comments (1)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

It may be in our best interests to make ourselves very close friends with India. They seem to be the last reasonable country with a population that is not dying off left on the planet.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at March 14, 2006 1:46 PM

March 7, 2006

UN Taxation

The real problem with the United Nations is that is has no teeth (or balls) to do anything.

Except lust for money.

From US Congressman Ron Paul website "Texas Straight Talk"....

    The latest UN tax scheme was revealed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January. At this conference of the world’s financial elite, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) unveiled a UN plan to take seven trillion dollars from developed nations for use by the UN to save the rest of the world from all of its problems.

...
    Where will the seven trillion dollars to fund the latest UN scheme come from? Much of it is to come from a UN-imposed fine on countries that in the UN’s judgment are polluting too much. This attack on productivity will slow our economy and lead to a loss of jobs in the United States. The UN global tax plan also resurrects the long-held dream of the “Tobin Tax,” and doubles the targeted income from such a tax to a whopping three trillion dollars.

    The "Tobin tax," named after the Yale professor who proposed it, would be imposed on all worldwide currency transactions. Such a tax could prove quite lucrative for the UN, given the vast amount of currency that trades hands at certain times. It also might be a politically acceptable starting point, because most average people do not engage in cross-border currency transactions. A dangerous precedent would be set, however: the idea that the UN possesses legitimate taxing authority to fund its operations.


Here's why I like Congressman Paul.
    I also introduced H. R. 1017 in the current Congress which would permanently prohibit United States contributions to the United Nations if that organization develops, implements, or publicizes any proposal to tax Americans.

    Of course, my preference is that the United States end its participation in the corrupt UN entirely, and I introduce HR 1146 in every Congress to do just that. But until my colleagues are willing to take this important step, I will continue to offer measures like my amendment last year to help protect your hard-earned money from the greedy hands of the globalist United Nations.


(tip to Government Bytes)

Posted by AlexC at 3:11 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Rep Paul is a supply-sider's dream. But he is an isolationist who has opposed the President. The Almanac of American Politics says:

"His isolationist views on foreign policy have made his voting record on those issues indistinct from many liberal Democrats. He was the only Republican to vote 'present' on the resolution expressing support for the military forces at the start of the war with Iraq. He supports virtually no role for the U.S. government overseas--from military defense to international trade; he calls himself a 'non-interventionist,' not an isolationist. In a July 2003 speech in the House, which he called 'Neo-Conned!', he harshly attacked the Bush administration and its supporters."

Little too close to Pat Buchanan for me...

Posted by: jk at March 7, 2006 8:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What you are describing is a Libertarian.

Posted by: johngalt at March 8, 2006 3:14 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup. He ran as the USLP Presidential candidate at least once. This is why I steal Martin Friedman's line and call myself a little-l libertarian and a big-R Republican.

Posted by: jk at March 8, 2006 3:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

As you should, and as do I. And here was an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate why. Thanks AlexC!

Posted by: johngalt at March 8, 2006 3:33 PM

March 3, 2006

Carter - UN Ambassador

He made a mess of things when it was his turn at the wheel, now he's getting the way 25 years after he had his chance.

    President Carter personally called Secretary of State Rice to try to convince her to reverse her U.N. ambassador's position on changes to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, the former president recalled yesterday in a talk in which he also criticized President Bush's Christian bona fides and misstated past American policies on Israel.

    Mr. Carter said he made a personal promise to ambassadors from Egypt, Pakistan, and Cuba on the U.N. change issue that was undermined by America's ambassador, John Bolton. "My hope is that when the vote is taken," he told the Council on Foreign Relations, "the other members will outvote the United States."


Undermined by Ambassador Bolton? Perhaps you are undermining him, and the negotiations of our country.

Egypt, Pakistan and Cuba aren't exactly my idea of great places or paragons of human rights.
What is he doing?

You had your turn, President Carter. Now it's someone else's.

Posted by AlexC at 12:19 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

It's abundantly clear that President Carter is not yet satisfied with his legacy as the 39th president. He's working pretty hard to add to that legacy in the "out years" and I predict that history will be none too pleased when he's finally done. His name may yet replace that of Benedict Arnold in American lexicon.

Posted by: johngalt at March 3, 2006 3:13 PM

March 2, 2006

Thrashing the UN

I'm no John Bircher, but I'm really scratching my head at the necessity or the utility of the United States as part of the United Nations lately.

Marc Steyn is obviously doing the same thing and goes after them in Hilldale College's Imprimis pretty hard.

    What should replace the UN? Some people talk about a “caucus of the democracies.” But I’d like to propose a more radical suggestion: nothing. In the war on terror, America’s most important relationships have been not transnational but bilateral: Australia’s John Howard didn’t dispatch troops to Iraq because the Aussies and the Yanks belong to the same international talking shop; Tony Blair’s reliability on war and terror isn’t because of the European Union but in spite of it. These relationships are meaningful precisely because they’re not the product of formal transnational bureaucracies.

It's quite a long read, but most excellent.

Covers Bosnia, Kosovo, Darfur, the Tsunami, rapes, Oil for Food....

Posted by AlexC at 8:17 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

The Steyn piece was great. (Imprimis is a free subscription in hardcopy that I heartily endorse.

HE is dead on about the bilateral and smaller groups. I will go with the internationalists enough to suggest that we keep the UN but I would strip it of most of its budget and all of its power.

Posted by: jk at March 3, 2006 10:13 AM

February 8, 2006

Nobel Nominee

Yeah, unapologetic murderer Tookie Williams was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

And so was John Bolton.

    Two Americans who played a major role in exposing Iran's secret nuclear weapons plans have been nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

    United Nations Ambassador John Bolton and longtime Iran investigator Kenneth R. Timmerman were nominated for their repeated warnings and documentation of Iran's secret nuclear buildup and revealing Iran's "repeated lying" and false reports to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    Bolton was formerly U.S. Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security and was author of the Proliferation Security Initiative, an international effort to interdict shipments of weapons of mass destruction and related materials, which led to the eventual breakup of the secret nuclear network directed by Pakistan nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan. Bolton repeatedly warned of Iran's nuclear plans.


If nomination for a Nobel Prize was a good enough reason to get Tookie off of death row, wouldn't nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize be good enough to get John Bolton an actual appointment with the US Senate for confirmation?

I bet Senator Voinovich was crying again when he heard this news.

Posted by AlexC at 7:15 PM

February 4, 2006

Iran to UNSC

NY Times:

    The 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency voted here on Saturday to report Iran's nuclear case to the United Nations Security Council, a move that could change the course of international diplomacy toward Iran and open the door to international punishment of the country.

    Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, oversaw the resolution's creation.

    The resolution, which passed by a vote of 27 to 3 with five abstentions, reflects increasing suspicion around the world that Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons.

    Cuba, Syria and Venezuela voted against the resolution, which would also delay any concrete Security Council action against Iran for at least a month. Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya and South Africa abstained.


Belarus has basically degenerated into a mob-run state, Indonesia, Algeria and Libya have large Muslim populations. The only surprise in the list of voting abstention is South Africa. What is their bone to pick?

Let's hope the Security Council shows up on time to draft their harshy worded memo threatening more harshly worded memos.

Posted by AlexC at 1:55 PM

February 3, 2006

Bolton In Charge

Who would have thought that those diplomats on the UN Security Council would be tardy?

    John Bolton, Washington's U.N. ambassador, tried to open his first meeting as head of the Security Council at 10 a.m. sharp on Thursday -- and was irked to find no other diplomats showed up.

    "I brought the gavel down at 10. I was the only one in the room," Bolton said. The United States has just assumed the rotating presidency of the 15-nation council for the month of February.

    "I believe in discipline. I think daily briefings constitute a form of intellectual discipline. Starting on time is a form of discipline," Bolton told reporters. "I failed today."

    "I took a list of when they (council members) came in," Bolton said. "We started just before 10:15."


Manhattan parking must've been a bitch!

Posted by AlexC at 12:14 PM | Comments (4)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Uh oh, Bolton's got a list. There will be detentions and the offenders told to write "I will not be late to meetings" 100 times.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at February 3, 2006 2:27 PM
But jk thinks:

I dunno, ac, hard to expect people to actually show up at ten am. I can't imagine a meeting in the pricate sector starting so early, can you?

Silence, I object to your humor. Ambassador Bolton seeks to remind this lazy body that its work is important and that its work and members should be respected -- I have no problem with his call for punctuaity.

Posted by: jk at February 4, 2006 1:22 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Wait a minute JK, YOU object to ME making fun of the UN? This body that you basically think of as totally corrupt and worthless now is important with important work to do? Is all we need to do to fix the UN is get John Bolton in there to take names and enforce discipline? As Alex says, they need to show up on time to maximize the effectiveness of their strongly worded memos?

Posted by: Silence Dogood at February 5, 2006 9:36 AM
But jk thinks:

I suspected you were making fun of John Bolton (which is okay of you confine your remarks to facial hair).

We spend gigabucks and waste so much time at the UN, I like the idea of the US's having a serious ambassador.

Posted by: jk at February 5, 2006 10:05 AM

December 27, 2005

Maybe Kofi Will Buy Me a Car

I posted last week about UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's outburst and refusal to answer a reporter's question.

Said reporter, James Bone, has a guest editorial in the Wall Street Journal today. He covers the outburst -- but more importantly gives the background for what prompted the question.

It was with some amusement that I found myself the target of a decidedly undiplomatic tirade by the U.N. chief at a news conference last week. The usually mild Mr. Annan erupted in an ad hominem attack, calling me "cheeky" and belittling me as an "overgrown schoolboy." Although I have covered the U.N. in minute detail for The Times of London since 1988, and have known Mr. Annan for almost all that time, he suggested I was not a "serious journalist."
[...]
This is where the missing Mercedes comes in. The Mercedes was purchased by Kojo Annan in his father's name four days before the Hotel de Crillon meeting--and about two weeks before Cotecna won the U.N. contract. The use of the U.N. chief's diplomatic status qualified the car for a $6,541 discount on the purchase price and a $14,103 tax exemption when it was imported to his native Ghana.

Mr. Volcker's investigators found a memo on the computer of Mr. Annan's personal assistant asking him to authorize a letter to Mercedes. "Sir, Kojo asked me to send the attached letter re: the car he is trying to purchase under your name. The company is requesting a letter be sent from the U.N. Kojo said it could be signed by anyone from your office. May I ask Lamin to sign it?" the assistant wrote.

Neither Kofi Annan, his aide Lamin Sise, nor his assistant, Wagaye Assebe, can recall what happened, and the original documents have disappeared--but somehow the Mercedes was purchased with the diplomatic discount anyway. Abdoulie Janneh, the U.N. official who arranged the tax exemption in Ghana was recently promoted to U.N. under-secretary-general, in charge of the Economic Commission for Africa.

Amid the clutter of unanswered questions, one query has the virtue of simplicity: Where is the car? I have been asking this for weeks at the U.N.'s daily briefing. It was this question that triggered Kofi Annan's outburst. He clearly wants me to shut up. I'm afraid, Mr. Secretary-General, that would be the wrong thing for me to do. Every schoolboy knows that.


Remember, Democrats and lachrymose Senator George Voinovich thought that John Bolton was somehow too mean to represent our nation's interest in this august body.

And remember that the anti-war crowd has no better plan for what could have happened than that we would "let Sanctions work." A few more years and I might have gotten a car with the UN discount...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:40 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Mercedes' "diplomatic discount" is one thing, but what about the $14,103 tax exemption? It's that sort of thing (tax evasion) that got Al Capone busted when none of his other voluminous crimes could be pinned on him. If the U.N. is immune to even tax prosecution then it is clearly an organization with NO limits.

As for Kofi's outburst, it is entirely understandable. In order to circumvent punitive, confiscatory taxation he pulled some strings. It's a natural human trait - selfishness - and proves that even those who condone and levy such taxes against others are loathe to submit to their own rules.

Here we have evidence of two corrupt institutions of society: Subjective tax policy and the United Nations. Both will become extinct when the chicanery that preserves them eventually peters out.

Posted by: johngalt at December 27, 2005 5:16 PM
But jk thinks:

I think you're being very cheeky to bring this up...

Posted by: jk at December 27, 2005 6:49 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Political chicanery is in danger of petering out?

Posted by: Silence Dogood at December 29, 2005 11:11 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps that's a bit of a reach but, as an optimist, I believe that the intelligence and rationality of the masses will tend to increase rather than decrease. As this happens it will be more difficult to pull the wool over voters' eyes.

I'm judging subjective tax policy and worthless bureaucracies, as machinations of socialist ideology, to be ultimately unsustainable against the irrepressible force of individual selfishness. In other words, socialist policy has to be continually propped up by new and not yet discredited explanations, while individual selfishness is self-sustaining (except in individuals who completely abandon it.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2005 5:06 PM

December 22, 2005

Trust these guys?

I saw video of this on FOXNews. UN SecGen Kofi Annan is asked a question, becomes petulant and attacks the interrogator.

I tried to imagine an elected official in the US behaving this way. But as a UN official, Annan is --of course -- responsible to no one. Claudia Rosett (who else?) has an article on this latest Annan misstep:

The broad answer is that the U.N. Secretariat, despite all the recent talk of reform, evidently remains a place of secrecy and privilege, run by high officials who don’t mind talking about their global goals and grand legacies, but find it highly irritating to be held to normal standards of good governance or subjected to anything resembling the workings of a free press. And in this particular case, given the ferocity of Annan’s reaction, one has to wonder if there is even more to it.

The real reminder here is not the misuse of privilege, it's the absolute unaccountability of anybody at the UN. If a reporter cannot ask them a question, they can certainly not be trusted with anything of any importance.

I don't want to go black-helicopter, but the Democrats still insist that we could/should have/can still do more through the UN. If the organization cannot be fixed, it needs to be discredited so that Americans stop believing that it is an alternative to anything but enforceable parking tickets.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:50 PM | Comments (2)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

I agree wholeheartedly about the lack of accountability at the UN, but I have to wonder, given our current President and Sec.of Defense, can you really not image petulance and derogatory attacks by a US official on the press?

Posted by: Silence Dogood at December 23, 2005 12:15 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes. I don't know if you saw the exchange or were able to get the character of it from the story, but I can really not imagine President Bush nor Secretary Rumsfeld insulting a reporter and refusing to answer the question.

Helen Thomas's outrageous, fever-swamp questions were always treated seriously in Presidential Press Conferences. I always wanted to see the President treat her like Annan treated Bone, but he never did

A politician can duck a question, spin off an answer to different question -- all manner of trickery. But you would not see someone insult the questioner and move along. Governor Bush in the 2000 election refused to answer cocaine questions but he treated each new instance seriously.

Posted by: jk at December 23, 2005 4:38 PM