Monday, May 28, 2007

Thanks to Cox and Forcum for pointing out that not only did the Administration meet with Iran on Memorial Day, but it chose such an auspicious occasion to end a diplomatic freeze that had lasted--justifiably--for almost 3o years.
I had a Grandma once who was the most amazing cook. I still remember how she made everything from scratch. My wife does largely the same, although the recipes are Russian while my Grandma was of German descent.

I knew there was reason I married my wife.*

*She doesn't necessarily keep up with this blog. But let me just say, in case she reads this: there are MANY reasons why I married my wife. Her cooking is just one of them.
Old Faithful!
It's not like this is Hitlerian, or anything. I have a fundamental problem with government studies, as such, because they're not a legitimate government function. But if such studies are going to be done, then I have no inherent problem with these. The only objection I can think of is that some patients will receive the lesser of the treatments to be studied--but then again, that's what the studies will identify.

The fact that they're done "without the patient' permission" is not terribly relevant, because the only other option is that the patient simply be allowed to die. And ultimately, particularly in trauma cases, doctors and nurses perform all sorts of treatments without our consent, by necessity--even were we fully conscious, we'd not often have a great deal to contribute to such decisions, and certainly not within the required timeframe.

Update: I forgot to mention. This post was prompted by a misleading Digg headline, which should come as no surprise.
The anti-intellectual property crowd likes to argue that making music available for free will increase the overall sale of music. They've had years to demonstrate this, given rampant piracy (i.e., music that's available for free).

However, so far, it doesn't seem to be working.
My hat's off to Medgadget for their Memorial Day's post. Short, but sweet.

The medical community in general, both civilian and medical, should certainly be honored on this day for their remarkable advances in trauma care. The fact that so many more American service members are injured rather than killed is a testament to their efforts, regardless of the politics involved.
This is truly pathetic, and makes a mockery of Memorial Day. American service members who have died as a result of Iran's war against America are turning in their graves.
I agree that body counts and arbitrary "milestones" (e.g., over 100 killed; why is 100 an important number? Why isn't 1?) show the media's anti-Administration stance. More important, though, it's yet another in a general pattern of attempts to create out-of-context emotional responses as a method to influence public policy. It's a tactic of both the Left and the Right (consider the anti-abortion movement, with its gruesome pictures of dead fetuses), but the Left gets the most traction in the press.
Hat tip to Instapundit: I'm going to start using a little more often. They're willing to recognize a purely American holiday.

Unlike Google, of course.

Update: Apparently, Microsoft is unwilling as well. That's disappointing.

Update squared: I'm probably not being fair to Microsoft in mentioning that also didn't recognize Memorial Day. Google stands out in this because it's their shtick to recognize holidays on their home page; they just don't recognize truly American holidays. Microsoft, on the other hand, never does so, to my knowledge, therefore making Memorial Day for them like any other day.
Lest anyone accuse me of being unfair, I'm linking here to Boing Boing, which in non-typical Leftist style is posting about Venezuala's Chavez and his on-going oppressions. I'd have to search Boing Boing, though, to discover how often Boing Boing has posted on Chavez's various efforts to destroy free enterprise in Venezuala. My guess: not so often.
I haven't posted on the Darfur situation because 1) I don't understand it, 2) I don't think I want to, and 3) I'm guessing it's just more of the same depressing African tribalism (maybe with a touch of jihad thrown in?) that perpetuates suffering in that part of the world and for which multiculturalism has no answer. But, it looks like the UN is getting serious: it wrote a letter!

Some choice clips:

"U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has put his personal diplomatic clout on the line to end the bloodshed in Darfur." I'm impressed. Any man who would put his personal diplomatic clout on the line is a man to be feared.

"Ban has asked the Security Council to hold off on sanctions to give President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir time to respond to an all-out diplomatic drive outlined for the first time in the confidential letter, which was delivered Friday." That sentence is surreal in its many evasions. What exactly is an "all-out diplomatic drive"? And is it really time for one? Surely that's a little harsh--someone might get their feelings hurt.

"The letter is also meant to signal a last chance for Bashir to stop attacks by Arab militias widely believed to be supported by the government." I just knew there was some jihad in there somewhere.

And receiving the prize for long and impossible-to-pronounce names: Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem, Sudan's ambassador to the UN.

All in all, I think this story sums up everything I need to know about Darfur. If the West has any measurable interest in resolving this situation, it should bypass the UN completely and utterly destroy the perpetrators. As it stands, though, this appears to be the typical internecine squabble that has little bearing on the West.

The fact that Darfur is a darling of the Left merely demonstrates the Left's hypocrisy--why are the people being slaughtered in Darfur any more deserving of relief from their dictator than the Iraqis were from Saddam Hussein? Probably, it's simply because the UN, and not America, is running the show. And because it's letters, and not bullets, that are being sent over.
Here's a fascinating, if depressing, account of Mr. Putin. Earlier, I posted about Putin and his plan to "retain influence" in Russia's governance.

Iran, China, North Korea, Russia... It's all very sobering on a dreary (for Southern California) Memorial Day morning.
I see that, true to form, Google has declined to honor an American holiday and those men and women whose efforts have made their business possible. I'm sure that when International Footrest Day comes about, they'll be quick to put up their traditional cutesy artwork.
And so it's Memorial Day, a time to reflect on those American men and women service members who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world. Fighting and--if it turns out that way--dying for one's values is the greatest expression possible of one's rational self-interest, and so one must stand in awe of those with the courage to have done so.

Here's to all of those men and women.