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View Full Version : UN Plaza: From Clooney to Madonna


Bloggingheads
02-03-2008, 03:40 AM

InJapan
02-03-2008, 04:46 AM
Appreciate Matt Lee's reports - though for me perhaps they are having the opposite effect to what was intended.

gwlaw99
02-03-2008, 11:13 AM
I don't think Obama is a Farrakhan supporter, but Goldberg should at least get his facts straight before using the word "Rediculous" several times.

Here is Goldberg
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8496?in=00:24:16

It was actually the official magazine of the church his mentor runs. The magazine is run by his daughter. They gave Farrakhan their lifetime achievement award (not an interview).

Pastor Wright also traveled to Lybia with Farrakhan in 1994 for a solidarity meeting with Khadafi.

Here is what Wright thinks of Farrakhan

"When Minister Farrakhan speaks, Black America listens," says the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, likening the Minister’s influence to the E. F. Hutton commercials of old. “Everybody may not agree with him, but they listen… His depth on analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye opening. He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest. "Minister Farrakhan will be remembered as one of the 20th and 21st century giants of the African American religious experience," continues Wright. "His integrity and honesty have secured him a place in history as one of the nation’s most powerful critics. His love for Africa and African American people has made him an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose."

http://volokh.com/posts/chain_1200320823.shtml

bjkeefe
02-03-2008, 04:05 PM
As a partial consequence of listening to this diavlog, I am ever more convinced that celebrities taking on political issues is not an entirely bad thing.

As another partial consequence, I am ever more convinced that the UN is a combination parking place and back entry for people who only care about going to fancy parties and lining their own pockets. I still think it's better to have an international forum to air grievances, especially in the sense that talking is usually better than fighting, but boy, Matt has pushed me well toward the UN-haters camp. That whole resistance to mild financial disclosure thing is a disgrace.

Baltimoron
02-04-2008, 02:04 AM
Thanks for the investigative work.

Baltimoron
02-04-2008, 02:28 AM
Appreciate Matt Lee's reports - though for me perhaps they are having the opposite effect to what was intended.

and

As another partial consequence, I am ever more convinced that the UN is a combination parking place and back entry for people who only care about going to fancy parties and lining their own pockets. I still think it's better to have an international forum to air grievances, especially in the sense that talking is usually better than fighting, but boy, Matt has pushed me well toward the UN-haters camp. That whole resistance to mild financial disclosure thing is a disgrace.

I'm coming at this from two experiences. Firstly, as a college sophomore I was fortunate enough to participate in the Model UN program at Harvard. My team played the US delegation that year during a weekend-long simulation in Boston. Secondly, I had two classes referencing international organizations as a grad student. I started out very skeptical and actually blitzed the discussion with a proposal for eliminating the UN. I ended the class with reform ideas instead. I've adopted a soft realist stance, in which the UN is acceptable as an aid to American foreign policy in the margins. This is what FDR had in mind when he conceived of the UN, with an eye on why Woodrow Wilson failed. The UN makes US moral leadership easier.

I learned not to be so scared of the UN in Boston. I found I could create programs at will, and get all the accolades for doing the right thing. But then, at the last moment, I could adjust all the nuts and bolts details to render the reforms meaningless but still leave myself a photo-op. All I had to do was basically go without sleep for three days, keep all my allies and enemies drunk and otherwise sated, and outlast Russia and China.

Neo-Cons just lack a sense of humor about the UN. It's best to keep the stupidity in one building rather than let it pop up unawares around the world. It's also more cost-effective than dealing with every challenger in the world like clashing rams. There would still be a Group of 77 the US would have to deal with if the UN left the planet. The international dynamics don't change with or without the UN, either. The US just doesn't know how to deal with increasing parity among nations.

It doesn't surprise me that America is frustrated about diplomacy considering how much State's budget has been slashed. When the White House stops hiring athletes to trumpet Phys. Ed., or handing out awards to washed-up performers at the Kennedy, I'll ask that the goodwill ambassadors check their credentials. It's necessary nonsense, and neo-cons are just killjoys.

piscivorous
02-04-2008, 03:03 AM
and
... It doesn't surprise me that America is frustrated about diplomacy considering how much State's budget has been slashed. When the White House stops hiring athletes to trumpet Phys. Ed., or handing out awards to washed-up performers at the Kennedy, I'll ask that the goodwill ambassadors check their credentials. It's necessary nonsense, and neo-cons are just killjoys. (my bold)

According to the Office of Management and Budget the statement of yours above is incorrect. If you go to the Office of Management and Budget's WEB site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2008/hist.html) you can download an Excel spreadsheet Table 4.1—Outlays by Agency: 1962–2012 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2008/sheets/hist04z1.xls) which shows that in 1999 the Department of State budget was (all figures in millions of dollars) 6,557. Adjusting for inflation using The Inflation Calculator (http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi) that would be $7823.68 in todays dollars. The estimated outlay for 2007 is 16,803 or more than twice as much as Mr. Clinton's last full budget Year.

In fact you will find that The Department of State budget increased every year of President Bushes two terms with nearly a 4 billion dollar increase this fiscal year.

Baltimoron
02-04-2008, 03:21 AM
(my bold)

According to the Office of Management and Budget the statement of yours above is incorrect. If you go to the Office of Management and Budget's WEB site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2008/hist.html) you can download an Excel spreadsheet Table 4.1—Outlays by Agency: 1962–2012 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2008/sheets/hist04z1.xls) which shows that in 1999 the Department of State budget was (all figures in millions of dollars) 6,557. Adjusting for inflation using The Inflation Calculator (http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi) that would be $7823.68 in todays dollars. The estimated outlay for 2007 is 16,803 or more than twice as much as Mr. Clinton's last full budget Year.

In fact you will find that The Department of State budget increased every year of President Bushes two terms with nearly a 4 billion dollar increase this fiscal year.

Touche!

So, let me redirect. State's budget has not been slashed but it's total budget outlays are historically minute. Defense's percentage outlays dwarf State's, and still Defense's outlays continue to increase. State and Defense should be near parity.

Thank you for the information. The truth is worse than I assumed.

piscivorous
02-04-2008, 03:32 AM
I suggest that in the future you worry more about the accuracy of your comments in stead of trying to make mine better as you can bet that I will be looking them over for say honest and "talking points."

Baltimoron
02-04-2008, 05:44 AM
You'd probably eat a dove after roasting it on a olive branch! Thank you for the link. It doesn't change anything, including what I think, about YOU!

My only error was using the word "slashed". Even Newt Gingrich argued that State needed a bigger budget. State is first-line; Defense is last resort. Leading with Defense is like using a hammer to pound a screw. The argument is, that health programs for vets and active duty members are rising along with civilian programs, and pensions is further driving the budget up. It's fixed costs, like GM's, that are related to manpower. Both capital and manpower have to be reduced, if a decent budget for necessary Defense and State expenditures is ever to be found. That debate has been going on since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Again, you attack the part of the argument with the error, and you stay silent on the rest. Either you agree that the UN is necessary, or that State and Defense should share equal billing, or you're just a worthless hack looking for the worst you can find in your opponents. The links are good, but they're only beneficial within the parameters of a debate, not as a hit on another contributor. That's what the blogosphere is for, not YOUR childish attitude, or the snide comments no one likes. I was fairly sure you'd react defensively. It proves my point about you. You're just a dime a dozen on the internet, possible proof the whole network probably makes its users worse-off than without it.

Bring it on! Hopefully, all the other readers and this site will benefit! Is there a more presentable conservative out there?

Baltimoron
02-04-2008, 07:48 AM
It seems President Bush's budget proposals attempt to address State's diplomatic shortages (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ibKXx4XCDAJ2oC6x6-16y1ecqvTwD8UJDO780) (and here (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jXjLIwbn2hxxOV7UxkV0VaMkVH0AD8UJ10AO1)).

The department's last major hiring drive occurred between 2001 and 2004 when former Secretary of State Colin Powell launched the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative that boosted staffing by 1,158 positions over those three years.

But, I have to ask, how were those shortages created?

ohcomeon
02-04-2008, 08:52 AM
Baltimoron - While I don't always agree with you, sometimes I find myself shouting "Go! Go!" at my computer while I read your comments. This is one of those times.

piscivorous
02-04-2008, 11:34 AM
While I don't have time to do your homework for you I do remember that Secretary Rice's view of opening numerous small stations, throughout various countries, to facilitate "grass level" diplomacy as opposed to the old model of large embassies has something to do with it.

piscivorous
02-04-2008, 11:55 AM
You'd probably eat a dove after roasting it on a olive branch! Thank you for the link. It doesn't change anything, including what I think, about YOU!

First when I find myself in a hole the first step I take in getting out is to stop digging it deeper; yet it appears that a fancy Harvard education and much more experience than me has failed to teach you this simple lesson.

Second if you had ever done any dove hunting you would know that it is only the breast of the dove that you roast and hickory or some other hard wood works best for roasting them.

Third I am not here to seek your love and approval so I really don't give a rats ass what YOU think of me.

Fourth I hope that you are not contemplating applying for employment with the expanded State Department because at this point your diplomatic skills are sorely lacking.