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The diplomatic mess will likely take years or even decades to go away. The Gulf spill, by contrast, will clean up fairly quickly once the oil leak is shut off. It's still nowhere near as bad as the spill deliberately caused by Saddam just before he was driven out of Kuwait, and that spill only took a couple of years to clean-up.
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Re: the people who get self-righteous about canning: Buy local, act evil "But new research by Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong at the University of Toronto levels an even graver charge: that virtuous shopping can actually lead to immoral behavior. In their study (described in a paper now in press at Psychological Science), subjects who made simulated eco-friendly purchases ended up less likely to exhibit altruism in a laboratory game and more likely to cheat and steal." Matthew 6:1-4 "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2010 on The Inevitable Canning Backlash at Al Dente
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Way too many city folk are hot house plants, they need a dose of farm life to get connected to parts of reality they don't even suspect exist. Everyone needs a little exposure to farms and business, so they don't think food appears by magic in the grocery stores, and so they have some appreciation of what it takes to create jobs and wealth.
Toggle Commented Aug 27, 2009 on Let's Go Get Dirty Down on the Farm at Al Dente
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Spengler argues that Radical Islam is a reaction to encroaching modernization. Islam is tied to a Traditional lifestyle in ways that Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity are not. One impact of this is that the Islamic fertility rate is declining, and fast. Islam cannot adapt, because it cannot be re-interpreted. Whereas Judaism can simply look at the Torah's prescriptions for living in an ancient society as quaint, outdated in detail, though still valid in fundamental principals, Islam cannot view any part of the Koran in the same way. Since Islam cannot change, it's adherents must either accept it's eventual extinction, or else take up arms against the world, to force in into a form in which Islam can continue to survive. So we would be in conflict with Radical Islam regardless, globalization itself is all the casus belli needed. Muslims can be divided into several categories, based on how likely thay are to make war on us. 1. The Radicals - Those who area making war on us, and their active supporters. 2. Radical sympathizers - passively support the Radicals 3. Inert - any tolerance of the Radicals is based on fear of them. 4. Allies - have had exposure to rule by the Radicals, and are thoroughly six of it. 5. 'Moderates' - on their way to becoming Post-Muslims, whether they know it or not. While Islam is part of their identity, they do not strictly adhere to it. Category #1 we are just going to have to keep killing until they die out. But we don't want the Radicals to push us into making #3 through #5 our enemies too.
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A couple of years ago, there were a pair of blogs I read regularly that were by FSO's. One important detail about State that they revealed, is that State's personnel practices insure that the Arabist clique cannot be purged, the Administration basically has no ability to fire, or demote non-appointed personnel. And that is the way Congress has set it up. Purge/reform of State is not possible, apply the Internet philosophy: treat State as damaged and route around it. The only creative solutions I've come up with is identifying the problem individuals and appointing them to higher-status, lower-significant positions. Ambassador to Lichtenstein, for example. Most of the problem is with stay-in-Washington types who have been suborned by the prospect of cushy jobs with Saudi Arabian funded "institutes". China, I understand, is following the Saudi example. That's the dynamic creating Arabists, but the organizational culture at State is now self-reinforcing. Sen. Pat Moynihan once seriously proposed the abolition of the CIA.
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2007 on America's Intelligence Failures at ShrinkWrapped
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