The irrelevance of the United Nations, as illustrated by the Secretary General

March 2, 2011

There are many examples to choose from, if one wishes to show why the United Nations is a waste of taxpayer money. Its record in resolving international crises is abysmal: Bosnia, anyone? And don’t get me started on its corruption by and covering for Saddam Hussein in the run-up to Gulf  War II. Oh, but what about human rights, you say? Isn’t the UN set to expel Libya from the Human Rights Commission? Aside from asking why Libya was ever on anything named “Human Rights Council,” take a minute to look over its membership and then try to tell me the HRC is anything but a bad joke — on the world.

Anyway, if you want something that captures the essence of the uselessness of the United Nations, it’s this: the Secretary General, Mr. Ban-Ki Moon, has come to Hollywood to lobby the film industry to make movies about global warming:

We kid you not. As the real world seemed to be coming apart at the seams, Ban Ki-moon swept into Tinseltown during Oscar week to urge the entertainment industry to produce more movies, TV shows and music about — drumroll, please — global warming.

During a daylong forum, some 400 writers, directors, producers, agents and network executives were briefed on recent heat waves, floods, fires and droughts that have been blamed on man-made climate change.

With all that’s wrong in the world today, this feckless buffoon has gone before our cultural movers and shakers (who are all too willing to buy in) to beg for propaganda films about a problem that does not exist. But, hey, if it works and he convinces everyone to SAVE THE PLANET NOW!!!, it will mean lots of new transnational bureaucratic jobs, international conferences in swanky resorts,  and even more taxpayer money funneled to, you guessed it, UN bureaucrats. What a deal! (For the UN)

Meanwhile, Libya’s collapsed into civil war against a brutal tyrant and Somali pirates are murdering travelers on the high seas — and giving money to allies of al Qaeda, a global terrorist organization. Oh, and Mexico is headed toward becoming a failed state while North Korea and Iran build nuclear weapons.

But Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has his priorities.

And you’re paying 22% of his tab.

via Fausta

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Harry Reid, Nanny-Stater of the month

March 2, 2011

Recently, US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was invited to speak before the Nevada legislature. What did he talk about? The national debt? America’s budget woes? Other issues of national import?

Nope. Nanny Reid devoted his time to a cause that must have left his listeners scratching their heads. In a state famous for its small-government libertarian attitudes, Harry Reid wins Reason.TV‘s coveted Nanny of the Month award for arguing for a ban on legalized prostitution:

Talk about a kill-joy! And what’s he got against a girl making a living, eh?

Seriously, regardless of what one thinks of prostitution*, this was hardly a topic a United States senator needed to scold his legislators for, although Harry does seem to enjoy scolding. Prostitution typically falls under a state’s police powers; the federal government has no role in this, other than preventing cross-border sex trafficking. But that’s not at issue here: Nevada allows counties to license brothels as they see fit.  Reid’s hectoring is simply another example of federal officials inserting their noses into places they don’t belong, trying to impose one-size fits all policies to social issues where there may be strong regional differences in opinion. It’s not only nannyish, it goes against our federal system of divided powers.

So, knock it off, Harry. Let Nevada handle its own problems, and you deal with the national issues your voters elected you to deal with.

*For the record, I favor decriminalizing prostitution both because it is a consensual act† between individuals that shouldn’t be government’s concern and because I support a broad private right to make a contract between adults, including sex in return for payment. I also think that many of the problems associated with prostitution (STDs, white slavery, pimping) would be eliminated or greatly lessened by decriminalization. And it would allow more law enforcement resources to be directed toward genuine sex crimes, such as child pornography and child prostitution.

†On the other hand, I don’t agree with the idea of the legalization of hard drugs, since I haven’t been convinced that the social costs would be outweighed by the gain in individual liberty. Yet another reason why I’ll never be a “Big L” libertarian.

UPDATE: Edited to fix some really sloppy typing. Yeesh.