A bunch of UN bureaucrats threaten to pitch a hissy fit over America's administration of the Internet:
When hundreds of technology experts from around the world gather here this week to hammer out the future of the Internet, the hottest issue won't be spam, phishing or any of the other phenomena that bedevil users everywhere.
Instead, ending U.S. control over what's become a global network will be at the top of the agenda for many of the more than 2,000 participants expected at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, which begins Monday.
Yet to many foreign government officials and technology gurus, the United States has too much control over a tool that's used by more than 1.4 billion people worldwide. Brazil, China and other countries have proposed transferring oversight to an international body.
We Americans created the Internet, expanded it, left it untaxed, and left it basically unregulated. Butt out, you sniveling socialist cockroaches. Or would you rather give up a quarter of your juicy budget?
A mere two days after a tsunami killed nearly 40,000 people in Asia and Africa, the Bush administration has made an initial pledge of $15 million for relief efforts in Asia. But that's not fast enough for some people:
"The United States, at the president's direction, will be a leading partner in one of the most significant relief, rescue and recovery challenges that the world has ever known," said White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy.
But U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being "stingy" with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised.
"It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really," the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. "Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become."
"There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy," he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe "believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more."
Where to begin?
- In what probably comes as a surprise to Mr. Egeland, tax revenue can't be instantly increased here in America. We have this messy and inconvenient thing called a republic, where tax increases are debated by the taxpayers' representatives, followed by something called a "vote."
- An appeal to Christmas spirit coming from a European technocrat makes about as much sense as an appeal to modesty coming from Paris Hilton.
- Taxpayers can and do give more. It's known as "charity", something Americans are known for worldwide. Forcible taxation isn't the only source of revenue known to humankind.
- If my memory's correct, American taxpayers already cover something like 1/4 of the UN budget, including Mr. Egeland's salary. That sounds like a good source of money to tap, in an effort to begin rectifying our "stinginess." When Mr. Egeland offers to cut his own salary or make a public and "non-stingy" donation, I'll treat him more seriously.
- Three words: Oil For Food.
Somebody give this guy a balled up sock, a roll of tape, and an instruction sheet.
UPDATE: David Limbaugh points out more ingratitude from our betters at the NY Times, who call America ... wait for it ... "stingy."
UPDATE 2: Amen to Cliff May.
UPDATE 3: Stingy? Feh.
I'm no animal rights wacko, but the "art" created by Nathalie Edenmont turns my stomach. She kills animals, chops 'em up, mounts their parts, and then takes photographs of her handiwork. So far, she's killed white mice, chickens, rabbits, and at least one cat. The Wetterling Gallery in Sweden (what a surprise) hosts her work, and they see no problem with it. Over in Los Angeles, the LA Art Show showed her craptacular work last year.
I'm getting very tired of this "let's-shock-the-straights-and-call-it-art" attitude from pretentious leftists. The irrational part of me hopes Miss Edenmont meets the business end of a cranky tiger with hunger pangs, but the rational part of me knows she'll find plenty of admiring upper-class twits to support her work. Ah, well.
Here's a gallery of her "art", but don't click the link if you've got a weak stomach.
Hat tip: cowsarenotshoes
Please, you ridiculous British busybodies, do it again. We need more Bush votes in Ohio. Now if only we can get John Kerry to speak French on the stump ...
UPDATE: Mark Steyn agrees.
Talk about an effort doomed to failure. If it weren't so pathetic, and if I didn't live elsewhere in Ohio, I'd be annoyed. Instead, I'm mildly amused at the thought of undecided voters in Clark County deciding to vote for Bush just to annoy the bejabbers out of some stuffy British busybodies.
Clarification: I realize that The Guardian doesn't explicitly advocate sending anti-Bush messages to Clark County voters. However, when you know that the newspaper's slant and the biases of its readership tilt way over toward the left, you can bet the ol' homestead that the vast majority of messages will be anti-Bush.
UPDATE: Take that, you nosy foppish twits.
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