18 February 2007

Random Thoughts while in Flight

A few thoughts hammered out while flying between Sydney and Honolulu.

President Bush gets hammered for months, years in fact, for repeating the “stay the course” line over and over again while the situation in Iraq deteriorated. When he (finally, belatedly) changed course and introduced the “surge” of troops (which is a misnomer, but it sells), he is hammered by his detractors for putting more troops in harm’s way. It seems that the only change which was acceptable to Bush’s detractors is one of withdrawal and defeat. The “Iraq Study Group” was the gospel, the AEI report blasphemous.

Tolerance is a hallmark of popular multiculturalism. Everyone is equal, all lifestyles are to be “celebrated,” and we’ll all get along once we all learn to mutually “respect” each others’ “life choices.” But suppose someone feels that a lifestyle is immoral. Let’s suppose also that this person, or this family, holds this opinion within themselves; they adhere to this belief, they pass on this belief to their children, but they do not grandstand about it, they simply do not accept a certain lifestyle as equal, for moral or religious reasons. Why should their belief be trampled on? Why is their point of view of a lesser kind than someone else’s? Yet let this kind of “intolerance” gain media attention, and all sorts of invective and venom will fly their way for practicing such “intolerance” even if it is kept largely private and at home.

If government has a problem reacting to threats and emergencies (like hurricane Katrina, the changing threat in Iraq, “global warming”, the “war on drugs”, etc.), why does it make sense to expand government’s role in long-term projects like universal health care and increased social security?

Why is it that the church of global warming cherry-picks localized phenomenon to “prove” itself and then works to force others to act globally?

How is it that globalization and an increasingly interconnected world seems to be creating more “tribal” or “nationalistic” feelings, attitudes and focus? Is the knee-jerk reaction to a perceived loss of identity to refocus on the most immediate, the most tangible identity available?

What would the world look like is we “dis-integrated,” if the people’s of the world retreated within their own local, tribal, national borders? Would we be friendlier towards each other, having less opportunity to intrude on each other?

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