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Old 04-03-2002, 08:17 PM   #1
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Caution!!! An intellectual critique of Bono


Bono and his band of bandits
By Ilana Mercer
Posted: April 3, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern


© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com


What an obscenity democracy is!

The latest victory our democratic institutions can boast, the latest lien we've apparently authorized against our paychecks, is a commitment to more foreign aid.

American voters have allegedly delegated to the president and Congress the right to allow bureaucrats and administrators abroad to take a shot at their wallets. The democratic license extends to faceless bandits at the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank; you name it, they all can take a stab at your pay stub.

Since the beneficiaries of foreign aid reside in Washington, Geneva, Brussels and assorted mansions dotting Third World landscapes, it takes a great deal of cash to maintain them in style. Which is why, worldwide, the U.N. is seeking approximately $166 billion annually in foreign aid.

It doesn't take much skill to loot the voter. Cued by our democratically-elected representatives, Bono, a chap who fronts a three-chord band of unimpressive droners has now joined The Mob in clamoring for your cash.

Like our elected representatives, U2's Bono doesnít care that forced transfer of money is always theft. To the wealthy Bono, the fact that more than half of U.S. voters support the theft is enough to render the robbery permissible.

My dear friend, economist Walter Block, offers a particularly animated illustration of the democratic principle at work. Here it is, moderately adapted for my purposes:

"Suppose two hoodlums break into my apartment and are in the process of walking off with my TV. When I object that they are stealing, they agree to hold a referendum on the issue."

Bono, the philosophical bandit, says, "How many object to taking Ilana's TV?" I raise my hand. Bono then asks, "How many favor this action?" Bono and his accomplice, World Bank President Jim Wolfenson, outvote me.

Bono, who's oblivious to the immorality of democratically-approved distribution, thinks you won't even feel the pinch. So what if the average American family now pays government more than it spends on housing, food and medical care. So what if you work for government until roughly May 18 of every year. Big deal: What's another hour or so of bondage?

If "for the children" used to be your cue to head for the hills, now, hold on to your wallet when politicians pronounce that a new spending scheme is part of a terrorism-fighting strategy. Having capitulated to the yammer about poverty being a cause of terrorism, President Bush is aiming to make foreign aid part of an official anti-terrorism strategy. This fatuity promises to end for good the debate on the corrupting effects of foreign welfare, because anything that ostensibly fights terrorism is sacrosanct.

With your kindness and your moolah Bush thinks he will call off the Islamist mullahs!

Foreign aid, however, will occasion no such epiphany in murderous hearts because at the heart of Islamist terrorism is a violent and brutal belief system. Its vision is of an Islamic Renaissance through conquest. What the president's Pocahontas worldview will achieve is to re-victimize the victims of Islamic aggression.

The ethical arguments against foreign aid notwithstanding, foreign aid, like any welfare entitlement, cripples the recipient by putting in place incentives that reinforce sloth and corruption. Third World nations are poor because they have failed to adopt the institutions of capitalism. Their governments are growing by the day, many industries remain nationalized, taxes are prohibitive, regulations are rampant and price controls a cause of endemic shortages.

Private property rights, the cornerstone of prosperity and justice, are, at best, precarious in Third World countries:

It took economist Henando de Soto and his team roughly 289 days, "as well as $1,231 in payment fees, to legally open a small garment shop in Peru, an objective that took a single morning in the U.S." Similar conditions exist in other Third World countries into whose corrupt coffers Bono, Bush et al. will plow your funds.

Foreign aid infrastructure, moreover, is directly responsible for growing the political class in these countries at the expense of the productive private sector. As the size of government increases, the growth of real GDP decreases. Indeed, to the World Bank is owed the dubious distinction of propping up despotic governments and undermining free market reforms in the Third World.

Bush has gone from preaching "trade not aid," and being charmingly unaware of celebrity, to instituting trade tariffs, and giving Bono a pledge to increase U.S. foreign aid by 50 percent over three years.

This, after all, is the essence of democratically-sanctioned theft.

It is also why an unknown sage once said, "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."

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Ilana Mercer's work has appeared in the Calgary Herald, Insight Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, the Financial Post, the Colorado Gazette, Report News Magazine, LewRockwell.com and other publications. For more information about Ilana Mercer, please visit her website.

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NEWS:


Bono and his band of bandits
By Ilana Mercer






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E-MAIL ILANA MERCER | GO TO ILANA MERCER'S ARCHIVE

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Old 04-03-2002, 08:36 PM   #2
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I'm trying to find the intellectual part. Perhaps the hysteria and rhetoric is masking it.
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Old 04-03-2002, 09:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
I'm trying to find the intellectual part. Perhaps the hysteria and rhetoric is masking it.

Actually Sula, speaking of intellect, I am glad you replied. Ok here's the deal:

I think that this article is written by an intelligent person(if you get a chance, go to the writer's website: www.ilanamercer.com
She has written some interesting stuff and she has an even more intersting backround.

Anyway, I dont like to be ignorant and simply dismiss something because it mocks or disagrees with U2 or Bono.

Mercer comes across as an educated, well-thought writer in this article. Yes, she seems so damn conservative that Rush Limbaugh would blush!!! (oh, U2 honored on MTV as I am writing this!)----sorry!
--g-d that was great at the MTV awards...


Anyway, back to what I was saying. Mercer does make some good points based on the facts. Her comment about U2 being "unimpressive" irked me the most. I wrote a lengthy response to her article--i dont know why I let others get to me if they mock or disagree with something I like--but I cannot retreive it.

The point is, I wrote to her that if U2 is unimpressive, then who is impressive?(I went back to read some of her other music articles on her website and apparently she likes progressive muscic and has high standards in everything and likes Dream Theatre and Rush and also dislikes Pearl Jam(apparently she likes virtuoso's like Rush and Dream Theatre).

She seems to be on her high horse a little bit. I also vehamently disagree with her correlation of foreign aid and theives. That is absurd. Although there are corrupt governments in these 3rd world nations, sending $ is not robbing others.

I dont, I am a little frustrated b/c I think she makes sense and as they say, "the truth hurts"....I hope this thread gets going b/c I think it is very intellectually stimulating and important.


[This message has been edited by MBH (edited 04-03-2002).]

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Old 04-03-2002, 10:01 PM   #4
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When I read trash like this, I am almost embarrassed to be a Republican.

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Old 04-03-2002, 10:34 PM   #5
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Private property rights, the cornerstone of prosperity and justice
*blink* hey, there goes the moron-light!
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Old 04-03-2002, 11:07 PM   #6
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(By the way, MBH, this should be in FYM.)

It all depends on your philosophy. There is also a very good school of thought which believes that taxes are the price you pay for living in a civilized society (Adam Smith? John Locke? I'm not sure.)

While I don't enjoy paying my taxes any more than the next person, I also realize that taxation is almost inevitable. I understand that I do have the privilege of living in a country such as the United States, and that while my federal income tax might be paying, say, Strom Thurmond's salary (perish the thought!), they might also be paying for school lunches for poor children or a few boxes of microscope slides for the National Institutes of Health. And if I could know that *all* of my tax money were going to help the starving, dying millions in the Third World, I'd sleep a little better at night.

Very idealistic and naive of me, I know, but, well...



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If you cannot live together in here, you cannot live together out there, let me tell ya. --Bono

You've got to cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice... --Bono
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Old 04-03-2002, 11:39 PM   #7
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I think the person who wrote the article never heard of the Marshall Plan. Foreign Aid does work.
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Old 04-04-2002, 12:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by MBH:
I think that this article is written by an intelligent person
I guess even every intelligent person is allowed one 'critique' full of crap
but this one was ridiculous



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Old 04-04-2002, 01:28 AM   #9
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Even this woman we could say makes good points, I think the article is very narrow minded, and is just taking in consideration the tax payers, to me it sounds like the speech of a politician.
What is not taking in consideration is where the deterioration of these countries will take the world, and what will be the costs later for this same tax payers when the moment comes.
People that live in countries where they have no hopes for a dignified living are the ones that have to search for alternatives, example turn their lands into drug plantation, joining extremist or terrorist groups.
Imagine a wealthy drug producer or a terrorist recruiter offering a better living to these people, people that is starving, whose familes have no hope, this people will do anything, from dying if is asked to killing innocent people.
To see these problems from only one point of view, can be dangerous, and writers should be aware of that, because they may lead public opinion into dead ends for the humanity, sadly even I can't say anything against the woman that writes this article many writers have too much interest involved.

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Old 04-04-2002, 10:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by rafmed:
Even this woman we could say makes good points, I think the article is very narrow minded, and is just taking in consideration the tax payers, to me it sounds like the speech of a politician.
What is not taking in consideration is where the deterioration of these countries will take the world, and what will be the costs later for this same tax payers when the moment comes.
People that live in countries where they have no hopes for a dignified living are the ones that have to search for alternatives, example turn their lands into drug plantation, joining extremist or terrorist groups.
Imagine a wealthy drug producer or a terrorist recruiter offering a better living to these people, people that is starving, whose familes have no hope, this people will do anything, from dying if is asked to killing innocent people.
To see these problems from only one point of view, can be dangerous, and writers should be aware of that, because they may lead public opinion into dead ends for the humanity, sadly even I can't say anything against the woman that writes this article many writers have too much interest involved.

Good post! Yes, she is being very narrow-minded. She seems to not give a damn about the common man and those who are suffering drastically on a daily basis--that is very narrow-minded, ignorant and selfish.

I understand that she doesn't want much of her hard earned $ just thrown away or "stolen" as she so naively put it. However, what other choices are there?
Investing in 3rd world nations would never work b/c of the risk factor. Sending in military to these nations would also render astronomical costs and significantly more lives lost.

To characterize "Bono and his Bandits" as a theif is inaccurate, self-serving, ignorant....oh it is just ludicrous! To rob someone is to forcefully, irrationally, unjustically, violently take something from them. Bono presented a problem and presented possible solutions for the problem. The fact that a conservative President and so many conservative politicians to aid Bono says more than just "oh look, I'm cool b/c I'm hangin w/ a rock star"

Feel free to write to this woman, and check out her site to get a better idea of where she is coming from(she used to be very liberal, believe it or not!)--an educated population is a more sensible and tolerant one....
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Old 04-04-2002, 11:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by MBH:

Actually Sula, speaking of intellect, I am glad you replied.

...

Anyway, I dont like to be ignorant and simply dismiss something because it mocks or disagrees with U2 or Bono.
Yeah, MBH, I hope you didn't think that I was dismissing the article out of hand because it is critical of the band. I really did read it. But at least in this instance, the author seems to have a great deal of previously formulated misconceptions that she uses to build her "case" and the way she goes about it didn't particularly strike me as very objective or intelligent. The tone seemed rather shrill to me...not something I look for in quality journalism.
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Old 04-04-2002, 04:02 PM   #12
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1. Is it just my imagination, or does everyone who writes an article bashing bono's humanitarian efforts also have to mention how much his band sucks? Isn't it possible for someone to dislike Bono's politics, but still feel the band is decent, though maybe not their bag?

2. Why did she include this quote at the end: an unknown sage once said, "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."
Isn't the whole point of this article her problem with "democratically-approved distribution?" If voting is as impotent as she says, why would her little "Bono and Wolfenson stole my TV" scenario be a problem? In fact, in her little scenario, voting seems to change a lot. It changes the ownership of her TV. It seems she's saying first that democracy shouldn't be allowed to rule our system of taxation, but then she says that voting doesn't do anything. I don't get it.

3. I agree that foreign aid, like any welfare entitlement can cripple the recipient, but I don't think it has to. I also think her commments about bureacracy, regulations, and prohibitive taxes in 3rd world countries are exaggerated generalizations.
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Old 04-04-2002, 06:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
Yeah, MBH, I hope you didn't think that I was dismissing the article out of hand because it is critical of the band. I really did read it. But at least in this instance, the author seems to have a great deal of previously formulated misconceptions that she uses to build her "case" and the way she goes about it didn't particularly strike me as very objective or intelligent. The tone seemed rather shrill to me...not something I look for in quality journalism.
Oh, no Sula. Generally speaking, many people--not you in particular--tend to speak with their heart instead of their head. Many people automatically dismiss something just because someone said something negative about something that they like. I was not referring to you(I tended to do this in the past, dismiss things if they didnt agree with me)

Anyway, the writer seems to be quite elitist: she has a lack of concern for deprived humans(at least it seems that way), she listens to high-quality, virtuoso music(if you dont like this article, check out the one about the fender bender on her website, whoa...) and she also refers to intellectuals to enforce her values.

Whatever. She makes some good points but her rhetoric and exaggerations(robbery?--I think not) nick at her credibility.
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Old 04-04-2002, 11:21 PM   #14
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I guess we just have to hold out and see how all the issues Ms. Mercer has raised pan out for the people the debt campaign is "supposedly" supposed to help the most.

What's good about this post is it's coming from someone who has the INTEREST to actually look into POLITICAL issues surrounding something that BONO has put his heart into more than his brain. BONO has admitted to the public several times about his bleeding heart...however, I understand his search to try to find a way to make his dreams real and practical in a seriously debased world...which is what Ms. Mercer and Bono AGREE on; the world being corrupt.



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Old 04-05-2002, 09:41 AM   #15
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase:
[B]1. Is it just my imagination, or does everyone who writes an article bashing bono's humanitarian efforts also have to mention how much his band sucks? Isn't it possible for someone to dislike Bono's politics, but still feel the band is decent, though maybe not their bag?

Great point, Spiral! I've noticed that as well. Mercer is just the latest in a long line of writers who not only find fault with Bono's political causes/ideals, but also dislike U2(Juan Rodriguez, Mercer, et. al.).

I think it is more than just coincidence that these people criticize Bono AND also dislike U2. In other words, it is easy to mock or criticize someone or something that you already have a pre-determined opinion on. It would take more guts to ridicule someone who you actually like. In my opinion, once the writer reveals a disliking for the artist, it hurts their credibility. It seems that the writer doesn't like the artist so therefore he or she can easily continue to write a piece mocking them even more. Pathetic.
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