Monthly Archives: June 2005

Live Aid / Live Eight

I came across a very interesting article in the Prospect (UK) about the original Live Aid funds. It touches on a corrolary to what I believe is Friedman’s Law, to wit the government can’t give anything away.

But did the mobilisation of public opinion through celebrity endorsement really play the positive role with which it is now credited? To ask this question is emphatically not to turn hagiography on its head and to demonise either Geldof or Live Aid. There is no smoking-gun evidence demonstrating that Live Aid achieved nothing, or only did harm. But there is ample reason to conclude that Live Aid did harm as well as good. It is also arguable that Live Aid may have done more harm than good.


With the exception of MSF, what neither the relief world in general, nor the UN, nor Geldof and his Live Aid team have ever come to terms with is that the Mengistu regime—finally ousted in 1991—also committed mass murder in the resettlement programme in which Live Aid monies were used and in which NGOs that benefited from Live Aid funding were active. The Dergue was in control, and it did with the UN and the NGOs what the Nazis did with the International Committee of the Red Cross: it made them unwilling collaborators.

A very interesting article. I had no ideas of the similarities to the Ukranine in the 30s. RTWT.

The Karl Rove Quote

Interesting commentary from Instapundit, and I agree with him that this was a very well done political trick, which the dems seem to be buying, hook line and sinker. More commentary at Winds of Change.

Michael Totten brings us the quote of the week with “It’s like watching a leper challenge a hemophiliac to full contact karate.

Some what prescient is this Andrew Sullivan column about the whole matter. Rove has done a very good job of exploiting the principal-agent problem going on with the Dems right now.

Rapid fire Friday

  • Tupac Shakur arts center opens – and so very close to me. Meanwhile the guy who created the first schools for blacks in this state can’t even get an elementary school named after him.
  • Poll: In wake of Iraq war, allies prefer China to U.S. – To thine own self be true America. If all of the aid we donated both publicly and privately in the wake of the Tsunami didn’t help anything in these countries, then not much will. Immigration is a much better metric than polls anyway.
  • The One Campaign – solve Extreme Poverty and Global Aids (why are they extreme and global?) via nagging and fashionable wristbands. It’s so cool, after all Bono and Angelina Jolie are for it. Brought to you by people who don’t understand the difference between stock and flow.
  • Palestinian Woman Heading for Treatment at Israeli Hospital Caught Carrying Explosives – really! To Quote:

    At the Shikma Prison in Israel’s Negev Desert, where the Shin Bet security service allowed Israeli TV reporters to interview her, al-Biss said she was determined to carry out a suicide attack against Israel because of its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

    “My dream was to be a martyr,” she said, adding that she was recruited by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a violent offshoot of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement. “I believe in death.”

    Sitting calmly across from an Israeli TV interviewer, the young woman with large brown eyes and curly dark hair pulled back in a ponytail said her decision had nothing to do with her disfigurement, which might make her less desirable as a bride.

    “Don’t think that because of how I look I wanted to carry out an attack,” said al-Biss. “Since I was a little girl I wanted to carry out an attack.”

    RTWT. She takes a bit of it all back, worth reading.

  • The Two Blogospheres – an interesting article by Mathew Yglesias
  • ScriptCenter: ATM for Drugs – much more on this later, but definitely a step in the right direction.

On this day, I am again a licensed motorist!

And all it took was two days at the DMV. Oh the fun.

I go there at yesterday at 2:40 in the afternoon, and I’m five people away from being called when they close.

I get there at 1:30 today, and walk out at 4:45. The actual process took a mere 3 minutes.

As one might imagine, there was very little of interest happening. I went to the DMV at South DeKalb mall, where the only interesting things were

  • The two people behind me debating the terms of a plea bargain
  • A minor confrontation between a countrier than thou hipster and a guy in a bad toupee (toupee was trying to cut in line)

All in all, a waste of time.

Items of the day

  • Funnies one liner – John J. DiIulio for his characterization of the the Bush administration as “the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis
  • This post by the Agitator :

    Better people who are well-employed decide for the urban poor that they don’t need those jobs. And that they should be shopping at more tasteful stores, anyway.

    I think that maybe — just maybe — anti-Wal Mart sentiment has more to do with an aversion to the white, rural ethnology the store sometimes represents than its labor practices. We can’t have our Ethiopian restaurants and esoteric bookstores blighted by NASCAR culture.

Public piety

I have long believed that people are hard wired to practice religion in some form, and this current article on “So Long to Gas Guzzler Guilt“. The article is about a company called “Terrapass” that trades in pollution credits to make up for the auto emissions of environmentalists

The company is a for-profit enterprise, but caps its profits at a maximum of 10 percent of revenues.

Those revenues so far, Arnold says, are “itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny.” The company started selling TerraPasses in November and had sold about 620 as of last week.

If you buy a TerraPass, the money will be used to purchase smog allowances on the Chicago Climate Exchange. The Climate Exchange allows polluting companies that produce less than a certain amount of airborne pollutants to sell credits to other companies that then allow them to go over the limit.

The overall limits are reduced over time making it more costly to exceed them. Organizations and companies that buy pollution credits reduce the overall supply of credits and also make it more costly for companies to exceed the limits.


Since car drivers are under no legal compulsion to try to compensate for their tailpipe emissions, the TerraPass will only appeal to those who feel some guilt about their driving, and want to do something about it.

Not surprisingly, few SUV drivers have been buying them. Most have gone to owners of fuel-efficient cars that produce relatively few pollutants.

That initially surprised Arnold.

“We fully expected to target SUV drivers with SUV guilt,” he said. “It just doesn’t exist”

Instead, he’s been traveling to environmental fairs pitching the idea to those who, for the most part, drive fuel efficient small cars and gas/electric hybrid vehicles.

“Environmentalists have a very conflicted relationship with their cars,” said Arnold.

As for himself, Arnold doesn’t own a car. He commutes to work by bicycle.

The need to show piety is deeply ingrained in us.

An interesting blog find

Via Tom Palmer, comes the interesting blog Right Watch, which is dedicated to keeping an eye on the self-styled “Paleo – Libertarian” section of the American political landscape, the Paleo libs being those who identify strongly with the later thought of Murray Rothbard and (improbably) the Confederate States of America. While a small group, they do seem to speak for a somewhat larger group of anti-war right wingers.

I’ve seen these folks in print for a while, and one thing always jumps out at me. For all their pro-CSA rhetoric, they have no visible connection to the actual South. One does not see any mention of a Southern birthplace or education on their bios. Any actual tie to the South, old or new, is conspicuous by it’s absense.

A day behind on the blogging

I’m almost caught up on the blogging, now. I went twice around Stone Mountain yesterday with Mike and Erin (happy birthday Erin!) and afterwards we had German good with Mary and Ed.

Then I fell asleep incredibly early for me (around midnight). When I woke up at 5:50 this morning I thought I’d slept through to the next night.