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"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer

Weekly Muse
My humble opinion on current events

November 11, 2001

What I Believe Part 2

Last week I expanded on my own personal and political views and philosophies. Due to space constraints (the column was already quite long), I left some topics uncovered. We'll make up for that this week, but this time integrate my beliefs with news from the past week.

I believe the right to buy, use, and sell private property is one of the fundamental principles necessary for a free society. Without private property, everything is owned by the state. This provides citizens no incentive to work and prosper or even take care of the property. Look at the former Soviet Union. It's got numerous environmental problems after decades of state ownership of property. In fact, it wasn't until a few months ago that the Russian citizens acquired the right to buy and sell land, and that only applied to urban land. 

Most people do not spoil their own backyard. They take care of their property with the hope of selling at a profit or passing it along to children or grandchildren. This is a good thing. 

One of the major beefs I've got with the modern environmental movement is its hostility to private property. It seems every solution involves government control or taking of private property. Many environmentalists don't even think you should have the right to buy the car you want - they would willingly outlaw SUVs tomorrow if they could. What they propose to do about the millions of privately-owned SUVs already out there (confiscation?) I haven't heard. But the idea shows the contempt many environmentalists possess for basic freedoms and civil rights.

Another indication is the recently completed international conference in Marrackech, Morocco. The delegates from 165 participating countries agreed on several rules to enforce the Kyoto Protocol, which requires industrial (aka wealthy and free) nations to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide an average of five percent from their 1990 levels by 2012. The U.S., in its wisdom, did not participate.

Some scientists believe that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that warms the earth's temperature. Human activity, such as driving cars and operating manufacturing plants, produces a lot of carbon dioxide. So, the theory goes, if we can reduce our carbon dioxide output, we can reverse climate change, or global warming. 

First of all, such an attitude is sheer folly. It is the height of human arrogance to believe we can affect anything as powerful and uncontrollable as climate changes. The entire known history of the earth is replete with global climate changes - from ice ages to droughts to heat waves. Most of these have occurred before the Industrial Revolution, before we started producing all that carbon dioxide. In fact, nature produces far more carbon dioxide than humans do. To think that reducing our tiny amount would affect world temperatures just does not make sense.

But that doesn't stop the global warming alarmists. They think governments should force its citizens to change their way of life and and give up their freedoms. That's what makes them dangerous. They can believe in their theory all they want, but they are in a position to impose it on the rest of us.

The Associated Press story mentions a few of these rules:

"Old houses should have their electrical wiring redone, their windows triple glazed and their walls insulated to conserve energy. Solar panels may appear on more rooftops, and new refrigerators will run on one-tenth the energy of old ones. 

"The rules could lead to more public transportation and changes in city planning to scale back the use of cars."

Notice the way the AP writer wrote those sentences. They make it sound as if all of these changes will happen by themselves, with no cost or force involved. The opposite is true. If this conference had its way, the United Nations would force sovereign nations to force its citizens to pay for the pricey rules on their homes, and force city officials all over the world to completely rework their cities to "scale back the use of cars," an innocuous phrase that really means forcing people to give up their privately owned vehicles. These rules kill freedom and civil rights to deal with a threat that remains unproven.

I believe the United States should ignore these rules and the conference. After all, it wasn't that long ago (the late 70s) that many scientists were warning of a new ice age. What has changed so dramatically in less than thirty years?

Deal on missile defense?

I believe the chief function of the federal government is to protect its citizens from harm. Freedoms don't amount to much if they are constantly under attack. Safeguarding the country's safety is the best way to safeguard liberty.

I believe the United States should construct a missile defense shield as soon as possible. It is immoral to leave this country so vulnerable to a missile attack, especially when we know that rogue countries and terrorists are actively pursuing their own nuclear and biological missiles, and may indeed already have them. The terrorist attacks of September 11 demonstrate there are evil people who care nothing for others who will do anything to destroy America. We must have a better defense against such enemies.

The Left has long opposed a missile defense, saying that on the one hand that it won't work, but on the other hand it will start a new arms race. Both propositions can't be true. Lately, they've objected to missile defense because the Russians don't like it.

Well, that may be changing. A story today quotes Russian president Vladimir Putin saying he's "very optimistic" that a deal can be reached with President Bush on missile defense.

This is all well and good, although I don't think we need Russia's approval to defend our country. But I wonder what excuse the Left will make now to leave our citizens at risk.

Anne Robinson is good for America

I do not watch much TV, besides sports, but once in a while I will watch The Weakest Link. I like the hard questions, the fast pace, and the cutting wit of Anne Robinson.

Ms. Robinson is a British babe best known for her caustic attitude toward contestants. For those not familiar with the show, each contestant answers questions to raise money in a pot, which the eventual winner receives. Correct answers usually leads to more money. After each round of questioning, contestants vote off the weakest link, or the doofus who blows the most questions.

However, a pattern has emerged. Several times, in the later rounds with fewer contestants, any dullards still playing gang together to vote off the smart ones, hoping to avoid going head-to-head with a superior intellect in the final round. 

Ms. Robinson does not approve of this tactic. She urges contestants to "have the courage" to vote off the weakest link. In fact, after one contestant, a military person (I forget which branch), admitted that she voted to eject the best player to avoid the competition, Ms. Robinson responded: "Did they teach you to act so dishonorably in the military?"

Ms. Robinson believes there is a right way and a wrong way to play the game. If she believes a contestant is playing the wrong way, she lets him or her have it. 

In short, she is the Dr. Laura of game show TV.

Another thing I like about her: she doesn't suffer fools. She blasts anyone for giving a dumb answer. We Americans not only suffer fools but exalt them. We watch their movies and their TV shows. We elect them to high office and cheer them on the sporting field. 

The fact is, we need more people like Anne Robinson, not just on TV, but in our politically correct colleges and universities, in our state legislatures and corporate boardrooms, and in Congress.

I remember reading that the show may not succeed in America (it originated in England) because Americans may be put off by Anne Robinson's style. I hope that's not true. If it is, I believe that says more about our sorry state than Anne Robinson's attitude.

Slick Willie strikes again

Former President Bill Clinton raised quite a stir in a speech he gave to college students at Georgetown University. He claimed we are paying a price for slavery and America's treatment of its Indians. If that were the case, countries like Mexico, whose ancestors wiped out entire Indian populations, and Brazil, which imported more slaves than any other country, would be hotbeds of terrorism.

They're not, of course. But Clinton didn't stop there. He also blamed the Crusades. "In the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it and proceeded to kill every man, woman, and child who was a Muslim on the Temple Mount. I can tell you that story is still being told today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it."

First, the obvious. No American participated in the Crusades, which occurred about one thousand years ago. So that's a weak excuse.

Secondly, the Crusades were primarily a defensive war. European Christians were trying to prevent the Moslem hordes from conquering the known world. The Moslems were the aggressors. In fact, they made it to Central Europe before finally being repulsed. It's also important to remember that the Christians lost the Crusades. The Moslems won! So why do apologists for terrorists and idiots like Clinton blame the Crusades for extremist Muslim atrocities? Because the Crusades are convenient. That's all. They've successfully turned a Moslem victory into a bogus example of Christian evil and imperialism to serve their own evil purposes.

I believe history is too important for political shills to distort and turn into propaganda. Learn the facts. Don't be snowed.

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