Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Liberty . . . Who Needs It?

Three recent headlines in the Nyok Times have got my dander up: U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster, British Parliament Votes to Ban Smoking in Public and A Bit of Good News for Blair: ID Cards for Britons Advance.

The American reaction to the Palestinian election mystifies me. I'd thought that, from our POV, it was all to the good: a people exiled for sixty years and unofficially "represented" by the weasel Arafat and his gang of thieves and cutthroats has finally instituted new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. All experience hath shewn, that few events are more certain to put the kibosh on civil strife. It hath also shewn, that nothing is more likely to civilize Hamas than turning it into the Establishment. Never before has there been so much reason to hope for a world with both peace in the Middle East and a State of Israel.

But America, the global champion of democracy (so long as somebody we like can be elected), is mulling over ways to interfere in the Palestinians' internal affairs, undo what They the People have done, and generally scuttle the Palestinian ship of state. Islam will be perfectly justified in taking steps to sabotage our next Presidential election. It would only be fair.

Meanwhile, the Brits are following in "Uncle Joe" Bloomberg's steps, and instituting a national ban on smoking. The excuse offered, that pub workers are entitled to a smoke-free workplace, is the same silly excuse that Bloomberg used. What in Sam Hill prevents these pub workers from seeking work elsewhere, if they so desire? Not a goddam thing. If smoke-free pubs and restaurants were truly needed, the marketplace would provide them. That the marketplace has not done so suggests that nobody wants 'em, at least not enough to put his money where his mouth is. The marketplace can give gummint cards and spades and still beat the pants off it, when it comes to building a free and just society, because the marketplace, unlike gummint, has the ability to tell whether a situation is really a problem or not. If the marketplace can't be bothered to fix something, it never was a problem to begin with.

Meanwhile, the Mother Country plans to eradicate liberty, by introducing national ID cards. If we're going to coin a term for these things, we'd better do it now, before we lose the power to coin expressions altogether. I nominate Winstons. And I don't mean cigarettes, bub!

When the revolution comes, blood will flow in Downing Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.


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