Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Link dump
Written by: Beck

At home for Thanksgiving, skimming the web on a 26.4kbps modem... not pleasant. So rather than my "normal" posting, I present to you one nice long linkdump. Here's to hoping you enjoy being dumped on. Money quotes galore to follow.

First up: Ukraine! John O'Sullivan has an article in the Chicago Sun-Times about the various winners and losers in the ongoing Ukrainian election fiasco. Money quote:
The final losers are the U.N. and Kofi Annan. The U.N. has been invisible. As Kofi Annan has been trying to keep his head above oil, he has issued his usual appeal for restraint. But this crisis has brought forth the heroes of the Cold War from retirement -- Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa and Margaret Thatcher -- to encourage the orange revolutionaries. And Annan cannot begin to compete with their moral authority or the legitimacy they can bestow.
Le Sabot wants to remind people not to lose sight of what the election is really about amidst all the West vs. East punditry.
The events in Ukraine are about a people fighting free of the grayness, corruption, abuse and fatalism of the post-Soviet era. All of you, Right or Left, need to see them as people. Yes, there are geopolitical ramifications. But they should be so incredibly secondary to the humanity of the Ukrainian people -- these are flesh and blood human beings who are fighting to be free of a vicious, grinding system.

People are proud to be Ukrainian, proud that their country is now known for something other than mafia, dead journalists, and corruption. People who a week ago were convinced of their own powerlessness are now standing fearlessly, singing together, "We are many, we are one, we can't be stopped!"
John Hawkins posts an interview with the always impressive Jed Babbin. You get one guess as to whether or not I agree with Babbin.
John Hawkins: So given that, there are a lot of conservatives who'd like to pull out of the UN. Would that be a wise move in your opinion?

Jed Babbin: My answer to that is yes, but the idea is that we can’t just walk out of the UN and slam the door behind us. That would be foolish. America is the sole superpower at least at this moment. We can’t afford to cut ourselves off from the rest of the free world and even from the rest of the bad guys in the world.

We want to be in a position where we can sit down with the democracies of the world and address problems in good faith. To do that, we have to create a political atmosphere where the democracies can follow us out of the UN without their presidents and prime ministers committing political suicide.

So what we have to do is gradually create that atmosphere so that when we leave the UN, and hopefully it will be sooner rather than later, the other nations of the world who are democracies can follow us.
Finally, at Samizdata, Brian Micklethwait, in a post on ministerial misbehavior in Britain, makes an observation on the distinction between libertarianism and libertinism which people often fail to make.
Some people, of the sort who confuse (or who like to pretend for propaganda purposes that they confuse) libertarianism with libertinism, might expect a libertarian like me to rejoice at any collapse in marital fidelity. But my libertarianism is about the right to choose what promises you make, not about the right to break them with impunity, to the point where you are not even to be criticized for such cheating.

And other more subtle-minded persons might expect a libertarian like me to rejoice that the state of modern morals (or immorals) is making politics so much harder to do with any dignity.

But cynicism about public life is one thing and the belief that the government should do a lot less than it now does - that public life ought to be smaller, so to speak - are two quite distinct matters. I wish they were not distinct matters, but sadly they are. Libertarianism is a strong and forthright attempt to see the affairs of the world governed far more in accordance with morally upright principles than it is at the moment. The sort of ideas I saw proclaimed on my television this evening are far more likely to lead people to believe that any such principles are either sentimental hot air or else an exercise in hypocritical manipulation and to dismiss them with a resigned shrug, than to believe that these principles are right.
That should be enough reading to keep you all busy for a day or so. Or at least the better part of an hour.

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