Monday, January 27, 2003

Yet another excellent peice from Bill Whittle. It really is too good to excerpt.

My favorite post in the comments section:

We're invading Iraq, and putting down their dictator. Let the world pick sides as they wish.

Posted by: trevalyan on January 27, 2003 06:53 AM

Damn straight.

{Just a bit of advice ignore the posts from Mark Tinsley. They are extremely long and a complete waste of time. I'll sum them up-- we shouldn't invade Iraq because it's: a violation of the UN charter, will kill Iraquis (innocent), is hyppocritical for the US to do so, the US helped create Saddam, special interests are the driving force behind The Battle of Iraq so that they can profiteer, the US invasion of Panama was just as bad as Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the US allows Israel to have WMD, the US has WMD, ad nauseam. It got so bad that Bill had to block him from the comments section.}
Over at the Independent is this article from Bruce Anderson.

Here's something interesting from the Anderson article:

The French sought solace in Europe. They hoped to obtain a surrogate for empire in the EU, by harnessing its economic power to French purposes: a French jockey on a German horse. We British found our solace in the special relationship. We hoped that it would not only prove to be an equal partnership, but one in which we could provide the intellectual direction: a British jockey on an American horse. They might have the moneybags; we would supply the brains.

Thus far the French horse, though less powerful, has proved more biddable. The American nag will tolerate no foreign jockey. Far from being a partnership of equals, the special relationship has barely been a partnership at all. The Americans have been happy to have us with them, but only as long as we did their bidding. In terms of broad retrospect, the special relationship may seem harmonious; the detailed history makes it clear that the UK found it much harder to manage than most of our politicians were prepared to admit at the time. With the possible exception of the Falklands, there has been no instance of America supporting the UK when it was not in their interests to do so.

WTF? Did you see how unselfconciously he stated that the UK saw the US as a horse to be ridden? LOL, then he's incredulous that we refuse "foreign jockeys." Finally he bemoans that the UK has had a harder time controlling their steed than the French does Germany.

Let's make something clear, WE WILL NOT BE RIDDEN! It's not just foreign jockeys that are rejected either.

Was it the Cold War Realpolitiking that enabled such a gross mis-evaluation of American character and intent?

Well, we are no longer restrained by Soviet-containment. If the Old World still desires relevancy then they need to recognize, and quick, the true America. If not; then they can join the calvacade of also-rans.

RANT IN A NUTSHELL: We are not your fucking junior partners. We could be the masters of the world if we so desired; but we DON"T. Your Socialist induced anemia has left you powerless to exert any real influence over the world. The US has been forced to clean up the mess that your failed European Empires have left behind. So get back in bed grandpa and rail on about the Jews and Cowboys. We'll take care of it. Here's a cup of tea; don't spill it on yourself.

Atlas awakens and his shoulders begin to twitch. Are they worth the effort?

(link via Instapundit and Atlantic Blog)

Friday, January 24, 2003

Ein Breira

I ran across this story on the comment section to this post on Tacitus(thanks Brian). The young Arab displays the attitudes that I discussed here. Mr. Ganor has a website also.

This is a true exchange between an Jewish Israeli
and an Israeli-Arab student from Hebrew University
that was written up in Jerusalem Insights #394.

Conversation on the Beach

By Solly Ganor
Herzliya, Israel,
Friday, December 6, 2002

About half a mile from where I live in Herzliya, on a hill
overlooking the Mediterranean, stands an old mosque. It
was built during the Middle Ages and a Moslem holy man is
buried on that site. The holy man's name was Sidney Ally
and that is how the mosque is known to this day. The beach
bellow, stretches all the way to Herzliya to the South, and
Netanya to the North.

I often go there for walks because from its heights one has
a panoramic view of the sea and the whole area. There is another
reason why I go there; from that hill, at certain weather
conditions, the Mediterranean turns into a color of blue that
can not be seen anywhere else.

Last Friday, as the wind began blowing from the East, the Medi,
as we call our sea, began calming down. It flattened the waves
coming ashore until it became as placid as the Kinneret during
the summer. It was then that the deep blue color, as if by a
magic wand, emerged from the depth of its waters.

It wasn't the first time I saw it and I always witness that
phenomenon with rising spirits. " If there is so much beauty
in this world, then there is hope for us humans yet." I said
to myself.

The silence was interrupted by a noisy bus full of Arab
worshipers who arrived to the mosque for their Friday services.
They wore the traditional Arab garb, and entered the mosque
quietly. Some of them threw me hostile glances. Their arrival
brought me back to our desperate conflict with these people for
the piece of land we call Israel, and they call Palestine. Only
a few years ago at Camp David, we deluded ourselves that they
are finally ready for peace; Israel and Palestine living next to
each other for the mutual benefit of both peoples. But that was
not to be. They are still not ready to relinquish their old dream
to oust us out of the Middle East.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" I heard a voice behind me speaking
English. As I turned around I saw a well dressed young man of
about twenty five, looking wistfully at the sea. By his accent
and looks I realized that he was an Arab, probably one of the
lot that arrived by bus. A quick visual scan of his body assured
me that he didn't come to stab me, or blow himself up.

I nodded. "Yes it is beautiful". Well, we have at least one thing
in common, I thought.

And then I had a second thought. "Here stands an Arab youth next
to me, in the heart of Israel, calmly admiring with me the sea.
There was not a shadow of a doubt in his mind that something bad
would ever happen to him here in Israel.

I tried to imagine myself standing that way in Ramalah, and having
that conversation with an Arab youth. Then I remembered a scene
filmed by an Italian TV correspondent in Ramalah last year.

Two Israelis, who by mistake took a wrong turn, found themselves
among a mob of Palestinians. They were brought to the Palestinian
police station where they were lynched and their mangled bodies
were thrown out of the window, to the cheering crowds below.
They kicked them and beat them until they were an unrecognizable
mess of flesh." The Italian TV crew, who filmed that scene, had to
run for their lives to escape the mob. Fortunately, they were able
to sneak the film out and show it to the world, one of the few films
that were ever shown of the Arab atrocities.

But the world isn't interested in Arab atrocities. They are used to
them and they don't make good news.

For a while we stood in silence admiring the view.

"Didn't you come with the others to pray?" I asked just to make

I was curious about him. Why did he join me? It wasn't just to
watch the view, of this I was sure.

"I know what that old fool will say by heart. He is of the old
school and preaches moderation. Fortunately, his time is over."

" You don't think that moderation is a good idea?"

" What has moderation ever done for us? We have been moderate
long enough. We are growing weaker while you have grown stronger.
It is time for us to act."

I was a little surprised by his belligerent tone right from the
start. Usually Arabs are polite in the beginning of a conversation.

" Do you think that you were moderate up to now? Would you call
five wars the Arabs launched against us, moderation? I wonder
what you would call hostility?"

He gave me a sober look.

" Hostility is what you are getting now. Our young people are
blowin themselves up in all of your major towns, taking with
them hundreds of your Israelis. President Arafat has promised
you a million 'Shihads' to march on Jerusalem. The march has
already began, and it won't be thanks to Arafat. He is another
old bungler.

Things are changing. Until now you had the upper hand, but no more!

Our "Shihads," are the answer to your atomic bombs. If necessary,
one "Shihad" can be an atomic bomb, here in Israel, in America,
in Europe, or anywhere the Jews and the Crusaders live. We don't
need millions of dollars worth of sophisticated labs and expensive
scientist. What we have is cheap and efficient. That is because we
are not afraid to die. We have finally found your soft underbelly,
your Achilles Heal. You Judeo-Christians worship the sanctity of
life, while we don't mind dying for Islam" The last sentence he
said with certain pride in his voice.

From the way he expressed himself, I realized that he is a student.
As if confirming my thoughts, he told me that he is a student of
political science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. " Do all
the Arab students studying at the Israeli universities share your

" Absolutely! A few may be oriented towards the West, but the
overwhelming majority are for the new emerging Renaissance of

Then he smiled and said, " You might as well enjoy the beautiful
view from "Sidney Alley" while you can. You won't be able to do
so for long. If I were you, I would pack and leave for safer

I gave him a long look.

"Thanks for the advice, but I remember another Arab who gave the
same advice to us in 1948, when the British were pulling out. He
may have been your grandfather, for all I know. He lived in a
village somewhere around here and he was a friend of a Jewish man
named Peytan whom I knew as well.

Peytan lived in Kefar Shemaryahu across the road. One day the Arab
neighbor came visiting Mr. Peytan and strongly advised him to pack
and leave. At the same time, he brought out a measuring tape and
began to measure the room they were sitting in.

'What are you doing?" Asked my friend.

"Look, you are going to lose your house anyway. There is no way
that six hundred thousand of you can stand up to the combined
might of six Arab regular armies, not to mention our Palestinian
battalions. We can actually kill you with our hats!"

Yes, that is what he actually said: "We can kill you with our hats.

" We have been good friends for a long time. You might as well give
me your house rather than to someone you don't know."

"His advice reminded me of your advice. Yet during the 1948 war,
that was forced on us by you, your 'grandfather', not only didn't
get the house in Kefar Shemaryahu, but he lost his own house and
became a refugee. And now he is blaming it on the Jews. Fifty-five
years later he still sits in the camp. His views haven't changed much.
He still wants not only his house back, but he wants the house in
Kefar Shemaryahu, of his Jewish friend as well. Will he ever get it?
I doubt it."

" Yes, he will get it! And you know why? Because in 1948 they were
all cowards! Today, our generation is proving that we are not!
Eighteen determined men with carton cutters who were not afraid
to die, defied the big American might, causing them thousands of
dead and trillions of dollars worth of losses. We found out that
we can bring the Western capitalist system to its knees, and we
shall do so! It is a shameless selfish system that causes endless
human misery around the world, especially in the third world
countries and for Islam. It is time for it to go!" It was obvious
from the way he said it that he didn't say it for the first time.

"Communism, Nazism, Fascism, they all were defeated by the Western
Democracies, what system do you propose to replace it with?" I
asked. I was beginning to get irritated with this young Arab.

" Islam!" He said fiercely.

" Islam?" I asked. " Islam? What did Islam ever do for the
countries under its rule? It brought nothing but poverty
and misery to the masses, while bestowing fabulous riches
to the rulers. All you have to do is look around you.

Israel, that was in 1948 a pauper state, barely able to feed
its population, has grown into a modern self sufficient state.
We have absorbed a million Jews from the Arab countries, who
fled for their lives leaving all they possessed behind, while
your Arab brothers with their billions of petro dollars let
the Palestinians rot in refugee camps.

While we progressed in the last fifty years, the Arab states have
only regressed. As a matter of fact, the Arab masses are worse
off than when they were under the British or the French rule.
How many Nobel prize winners has Islam produced? How many new
inventions to benefit mankind? Practically zero!

How many Einsteins, Freuds, Salks and Rubinsteins has Islam
produced? Zero! From a once vibrant Arab civilization, that gave
us Algebra and the concept of the zero, Islam has plunged you into
a pit of fanaticism, illiteracy, poverty and corruption, and you
would like to force the world into the same abyss?. "

For a while he looked at me perturbed. " We all make mistakes.
But Islam with all its faults is a thousand times more preferable
to the abomination that is the West." He finally said quietly. Then
he gave me a fierce look and said: "If you had said in any Arab
country about Islam, what you have just said to me, you would be
a dead man!"

" I am sure I would. And if you had said in any Arab country
denouncing their corrupt regimes the way you are denouncing
Israel, you would be a dead man too.

Yet, here you are, studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem,
allowing yourself openly to speak of subversion and treason against
the State of Israel, without any fear of being arrested, let alone
being killed for it. Doesn't it say something to you?"

" Yes, it says that you are weak, and that weakness will be your
undoing." he said seriously.

" Isn't there a way our two nations could ever come to terms
and make peace?"

Again he gave me that serious look. "Yes, there is a way. We are
not like the Nazis who gave you no other choice but death. We give
you the chance to convert to Islam, then you will become a part of
us and our people will live in peace."

For a while we stood in silence looking at the sea.

"You will never defeat us because we have a secret weapon, the same
weapon that saved us from you in 1948." I said.

" Yes, and what is that, your atom bomb?" His tone was derisive.

" No. In Hebrew it is known as 'Ein Breira'.

"Ein breira? That is your secret weapon? It means 'there is no other
choice.' Why, we too can say the same thing."

"But that is not quite true. We have 'no other choice' because you
challenge our very existence in this country, whereas we don't do
that. We are quite willing to coexist with you as a Palestinian
state and an Israeli state, side by side. You don't.'

There was nothing more to be said. The sun was dipping towards
the horizon in the West, and the sea lost it's deep blue color.
The magic was gone. It was time to go home.

"Good bye. I have to go inside the mosque. I promised them a
lecture." He said walking away.

I could imagine what the lecture was all about. We didn't offer
to shake hands. After all, you don't shake hands with your sworn
enemy. I walked home depressed.

If there was a way out of this conflict, I didn't see one.

The only way out of this conflict is to break the magical thinking inspiring the "Renaissance of Islam." My only hope is that it won't require us to pursue genocide in order to do it.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Dr. Carrigan responds again. Follow this link for the context.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Dr. Carrigan responded. Follow this link for the context.
Via Tacitus comes this article from Salon.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and America's decades-long failure to act as an honest broker in it, is the root cause of worldwide Muslim rage against the United States. Until that conflict is resolved in a way that provides justice for Palestinians and security for Israelis -- and only the United States has the power to make this happen -- the vast anger felt by Muslims around the world at America will continue to fester. And that anger will continue to be a breeding ground for terrorism.

I beg to differ. The "root cause" is a culture rooted in a Medieval interpretation of Islam. It's the pre-modern Musilms that are angry. How can the US be an honest broker to people who still hold a grudge from the Crusades?

I respectfully disagree with those who think that they are ashamed of their lack of progress. Their ashamed that a bunch of Infidels are on their land. They are humiliated that they were made parts of the various Western Empires. To them the Crusades never ended. They want the West utterly defeated, just like Europe wanted the destruction of the Ottoman Empire. They focus on the US because we support Israel, as well as defile the holy land. They hate us because we have the power to thwart their counter-Crusade.

As for the Palestinians; since when did they want peace? Their every action says otherwise. What they want is the destruction of Israel. They want their own homeland. Whether or not they have a claim to a historical Palestine is irrelevant. They believe that they do and act accordingly. They're not going to listen to the Infidels and the Great Satan say otherwise. They had a great deal with the Israelis by any rational measure but they just started the Intifada. The Palestenians are religious zealots and could care less about the peace process. They are fully convinced that Allah will grant them victory. In fact the "peace process" has encouraged that zealotry. In their mindset they are winning because they haven't been crushed. To understand this just imagine the Israeli/Palestinian power relationships reversed. The Palestinians would be aggressively pursuing a Carthaginian peace; and they, unlike the Israelis, would have absolutely no qualms about it.

Israel wants to exist and the Palestinians want their extinction, or at least their expulsion. How is US power supposed to broker an equitable peace? Should we ask, or compell, Israel to migrate? Even if we completely withdrew our support from Israel there would be no peace. Well maybe the peace of a graveyard. The Israelis are fully capable of executing the Samson stratagey if necessary.

It's important that I state that I am not de-humanizing Muslims. I am fully cognizant that they are fully human, in fact all-to-human. It's just that they are human circa 700 AD. You can't treat a pre-modern peoples as if they weren't. That's why negotiations have failed. That's a modern conception. These opinions are not true of all Muslims, naturally. Many have been able to modernize and co-exist peacefully. What I am discussing is the "breeding ground of terrorism." The Liberal and Islamo-fascist notions of "justice" are not the same. We fail to realize at our own peril.
MMMMMMM..........Now that's some good supposin'.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003


Here's a little taste:
All secular humanists are atheists, but all atheists are not necessarily secular humanists. Worldviews that merely reject the existence of God are not necessarily the same as the humanist worldview. To be a humanist, one must be committed to the positive belief in the possibilities of human progress and to the values central to it. In other words, a nihilistic atheist is not a humanist, because he is not optimistic about humanity's future.

I guess I'm not a secular humanist because i'm more of an ambivalent atheist. There's reasons for optimism and pessimism. I lean toward optimism because I recognize a fundamental drive for happiness in the human psychological make-up. There's also room for pessimism when I also realize that the will to be deluded is just as strong at times.

I e-mailed Dr. Carrigan the following:

In your article you said the following:

The two most common evidences for the existence of God are the very existence of the universe itself, and the intricate design of the universe. These arguments are called the cosmological and the teleological arguments respectively. Basically, the cosmological argument argues for God on the basis of the presence of the universe. If there is a universe, then there must have been a Universe Maker, God. The teleological argument argues for God on the basis of the design of the universe. If the universe looks like it has been designed, then there must have been a Universe Designer, God

For the sake of this discussion I'll concede your argument. How do you make the logical leap from Universe Maker, Universe Designer that it was God who did these things? Why is the god of Abraham automatically designated as the creator of the universe? Is there any supporting evidence for this?

Isn't it just as probable that some other entity could be the Universe Designer?

I haven't been able to get an answer that didn't devolve to a Scripture/God tautology.

I'm hoping that you can help me and appreciate your taking the time to respond to this inquiry.

Thank You,


I'll post his response if I get one.

UPDATE (22JAN03): Here's Dr. Carrigans response:
Levendus--Great question. The classical arguments for the existence of God
to which you refer are not exclusively arguments for the existence of the
God of Christianity. These arguments are designed to be arguments against
atheism and for theism (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Non-theistic world
views like atheism, agnosticism, and all eastern religions are ruled out by
the evidence of these arguments. There are series of other rational and
empirical arguments that connect the argument for the existence of God to
argument for the existence of the God of Christianity. Hope this helps.
Please feel free to inquire further. --cjc

Here's my response:
Thank you for your prompt response. I just have a brief follow up question.
How have you established God as the deity of the theistic argument; instead of a member of Graec-Roman Pantheon or one of the animistic entities still worshipped to this time?

Thank You,


UPDATE (23JAN03): Once again Dr. Carrigan responded quicker than I could have hoped. His reply:

L--your observation is correct in the main. I suppose the arguments to which
you refer could be used to support a small number of deities in the G-R
pantheon, or perhaps even some spirits in animism, but the fact still
remains that these arguments are arguments primarily against atheism and
agnosticism. There are other arguments against the henotheism, polytheism
and animism to which you refer. There are also other arguments against the
associated philosophies of monism and pantheism that usually are associated
with earth or nature centered religions.

If you are a UU-ist that is also an atheist or agnostic, then arguments for
the existence of God are directed to you. But, if you are a UU-ist that is
not an atheist or agnostic, then these arguments are not germane to your
point of view.


Here was my reply:

Once again I would like to thank your for your prompt reply. I really appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions.

In your last response you said:

There are other arguments against the henotheism, polytheism
and animism to which you refer. There are also other arguments against the
associated philosophies of monism and pantheism that usually are associated
with earth or nature centered religions.

Can you give me a citation to, or a thumbnail sketch of, those arguments

Thank You,


MMMMMMM....ham,cheese and Frito's sandwhich. Just in case I wasn't getting my unRecommended Daily Allowance of nitrates and assorted un-nutrients.
Culled from Slashdot:

A new type of PDA display:

This paper builds on that work by suggesting two-handed interaction techniques combining pen input with spatially aware displays. Enabling simultaneous navigation and manipulation yields the ability to create and edit objects larger than the screen and to drag and drop in 3-D. Four prototypes of the Peephole Display hardware were built, and several Peephole-augmented applications were written, including a drawing program, map viewer, and calendar. Multiple applications can be embedded into a personal information space anchored to the user's physical reference frame. A usability study with 24 participants shows that the Peephole technique can be more effective than current methods for navigating information on handheld computers

Then there's the new StorCard. A device that has 100MB to 5GB hard drive the size of a credit card:

Created by a company with the same name, StorCard can contain from 100MB to more than 5GB of data on a plastic card. At first glance, it looks like a credit card, and even has a magnetic strip like a credit card, for potential use in standard credit card readers.

The hard disk data, however, is accessed on a tiny spinning disk inside the thin card.

"The card actually has moveable parts inside its thin shell," says Bill Heil, vice president of StorCard.

A spinning wheel made of Mylar is engaged when the card is inserted into a StorReader, a USB-connected drive or PC Card that reads and writes to the StorCard. The reader is expected to retail for under $100 and the cards for under $15 each, Heil says.

Go here for the company's product info. I think I'll put off buying one of those key-chain drives for awhile.

Micah Alpern has a sweet roundup of virtual keyboards. Check it out before you buy one of those prtable keyboards for your PDA.

Gato rocks.
The penis has more bandwidth than a cable modem.

My wife turned down my generous introductory service package. She said that I may have more bandwidth put I keep downloading the same old content. Due to restrictions from a previous agreement with her, I'm prohibited from pursuing other possible subscribers. I think I may have to persue anti-trust litigation.

(link via Instapundit)

UPDATE: OOOOOOOO......Blood lible... now she's saying that perhaps my bandwidth needs to be throttled back in order to prevent the downloads from being too fast.
Boortz was on Donahue last night but walked off. I missed the show, dammit, so I didn't get to see why he left. Follow the link for his side of what happened.

It's too bad he walked off while he was off camera. It would have been much more dramatic if he had done it right in the middle of one of Donahue's interruptions. I would like to have seen the look on Donahue's face.

Read this to get an idea about how I feel about reparations.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Totalitarianstock 'o3

Anyone who can coin such an apropos summary of saturday's protests is definitely tops in my book.

PS the headline is his not mine.
This is what causes me to feel like this.


{link via Instapundit}

UPDATE: I spent all morning just on the comments to this post. They were really good. I really like the way that the ANSWER UIs were kept in focus. Many tried to shift the debate but they were brought back. GJ: Gary, Aaron, Vero, GulGnu and Jeanne. I still can't believe that Raimondo responded. I doubt that he will again though. I hope I'm wrong, he was great.
I forget who I got the link for this peice from but it is a good one. In it Kay Hymowitz gives some explation to the appaling, but increasingly common, hypocrisy of the feminists in their silence about the suffering of Muslim women. It is becoming increasingly clear that leftist movements have no objective standards. What seems to be the rule for their good/bad categorization of all acts is whether it serves their quest for power. In which the first objective is overthrow of the existing power heirarchy by any means necessary. Even at the expense of those they were supposedly organized to assist in the first place.

This is what aggravates me the most about these utopians. They claim that they are for the down-trodden and oppressed but are quick to turn a blind eye to the depredations of real oppressors as long as it is politically expedient.

For shame. History is already judging you and you are completely oblivious. Wankers.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Via Gato and the Cranky Hermit comes this site about International A.N.S.W.E.R.
Gato rocks.
From Instapundit comes the following:

This peice from Reason about the coming revolution in Neuropharmaceuticals. This is a must read peice. It's so good that to excerpt it would diminish it. Well except this:
Fukuyama wants to "draw red lines" to distinguish between therapy and enhancement, "directing research toward the former while putting restrictions on the latter." He adds that "the original purpose of medicine is, after all, to heal the sick, not turn healthy people into gods." [emphasis mine]

BULLSHIT!! That's exactly what we want. Sure these things start out as therapies, but are then transformed into enhancements. Who doesn't want to be a god? {note not the GOD, just a god}

What's really curious is that I don't resent people like Fukyama. I think that they might even be necessary. I am willing to entertain that they serve as a retardant that keeps human development from happening too soon. As long as they have influence and receive consideration I believe that it demonstrates that mankind is not ready for a supernova of ability.{think about the dot com bubble. Sometimes boundless enthusiasm has negative results} I think that they give humanity the time necessary to develop the psychological/moral/ethical dispositions necessary to being gods. In our struggle against the forces of stasis we prove that we are ready for the dynamic future that calls to us.

UP! Up into the abyss moochachoes!

Go on over to LGF. Sit back and scroll around for awhile. It's all good.
Instapundit has some reports, with pictures, from the D.C. and San Francisco protests. Follow his links for even more coverage,

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Jane Galt has a good response to those who see the latest divedend tax proposal as a boon to the "evil rich." make sure to read the comments for even more info.
Woodlief has this post on his experiences as an abortion protestor. If I had to describe the tone I would say soft. Just describes, gives some opinions but doesn't preach the hell fire and brimstone.
Steve over at Happy Fun Pundit is a little put-off by Sen. Clinton's recent appointment to the Armed Services Committee. Make sure you read the comments.

Scroll around you will not be disappointed.
The Volokh Conspiracy has this post on Julian Bond's "Just spoils of a just war" comments on affirmative action.
I think my earlier post on AA is a nice compliment to Mr. Volokhs. At the very least it shows that I'm not completely out there.

Friday, January 17, 2003

This is pretty good peice at Porphy's.

It started me thinking.

What happens to EU member states if they secede at some later date? Will the EU government bring them back into the fold ala Lincoln.
Considering the poor state of Europe's military, is that really a concern. Or will the remaining EU member states merely denounce them with words?

I don't know but it is worth finding out.
Via Hit & Run comes this article. It's about the dampening of outrage in the Peter Townshend scandal. Yeah everyone's in a wait and see mode. I don't think his guilt is evident enough for punishment yet but I think he's lying.

I would really like to know what he hoped to gain from his "research." Why would he actually have to look at that filth?

Besides I could have sworn that he released a statement comparing internet kiddie-porn to lines of coke at a decadent cocktail party.

C'mon. I realize that he's an idol to a lot of you boomers but damn. IMHO, with no facts, he surfed the porn sites, like every male, and ran across one of these sites. The temptation became too much to bear and he caved. Oh and the bit about how he didn't download any images, which is false but I can forgive that-- I'm sure a Rock God can't be expected to be a geek, and sounds like he had a rationalization in mind when he did it. Something like, "I'll look but no downloads-- that would be really wrong."

Once again, punishment should await a lot more proof.

PS: I wonder how many pedophiles are waiting to see if his defense works.

PPS BIAS ALERT: I have a five year old daughter and am not a fan of The Who. Don't hate 'em just not a fan.
No really, get off. Stop being so selfish.
OK, everyone off the net. You're slowing down my connection.
Now this is just frickin' hilarious.
link via Instapundit.
Gato has got some good ones, like this, this, this, this, this, and this.

Gato rocks.
Thanks to Mr. Den Beste, mare see meel, I can now indent. I feel like a dumb-ass, this should have been self-evident.
Via Instapundit comes this from Spinsanity. It's about the Democrats tarring Bush as anti-Civil Rights when all he is doing is opposing Affirmative Action. I think Spinsanity is spot on when the state that the debate hinges upon whether Affirmative Action, which was enacted after the Civil Rights legislation, is actually a part of Civil Rights or something seperate. For my two cents worth, it's different. One is process oriented and the other is results centered.

Make that four cents worth: I am against Affirmative Action. It's just another Lefty social-engineering scheme, and it shifts costs inappropriately. Why am I, and others whose life got started after its enaction, culpable for the evil misdeeds of people who committed their crimes before I was even born ('69)? AA's supporters can pontificate to their head falls off that minorities must be healed from the trauma that the legacy of slavery has inflicted on them. I didn't have anything to do with it. Besides as Sowell has pointed out (Vision of the Annointed et al.) their solution has had the exact opposite in effect. This policy has had about as much efficacy as Recovered Memory therapy.

I do not feel morally responsible for the actions of people I had absolutely no influence over. Why do I have to involuntarily bear the burden of recompense? To those who say that I benefit from the legacy of privilege of being white, I say "fuck off." I went to a predominantly black public school system (Dayton, Oh) and am not phased by your theoretical knowledge of the "black community." {And am disgusted by the mercenary and harmful actions of "black leaders."} I come from a humble background, Appalaichan/Cherokee descent-- Appalaichans, the lumpen proletariat of Brittainia. There is a lot, until my generation, of social-pathology in my family tree. I can tell you that the problems within the black community, except for overt racism, are not exclusive to them. What they face is the same as anybody else who makes the same decisions. Choosing chemical addiction, crime, child abuse/neglect, indifferent or hostile attitude toward education and work, lack of self-criticism, produces similar, if not exact, effects in any social group. There's nothing special about blacks, they're just schlubs like everyone else. Why is the discrimination they face so crippling when other groups have been able to triumph over it? {and howahh! to those who have/do} {And what's up with the hypocrisy the left shows when it comes to Asians? I guess they don't rate mascot status}

All that I feel responsible to do is to continue to ensure that all Americans have their rights protected and that racists, and other dumb-asses of their ilk, are thoroughly denounced as well as costed for their idiotic beliefs as far as the law will allow. I'm not racist and refuse to be treated as if I was one just because some evil assholes shared my skin pigmentation.

Treating racism as a thought crime is not going to work. You can't physically force people to hold, or not hold, certain opinions/beliefs. The Romans fed Christians to the lions and look at where each stands today. Hell, we still have flat-earthers. The only way you could possibly achieve your aims is by brutal repression and a complete clamp down on all communication. What scares me is that I'm positive that a significant number of your cohort are prepared to do this.

The AAers and the race-pimps, thanks Boortz, are pursuing a quixotic campaign at best. What's worse is that they are going to take a noble cause into the diminishing returns zone, ala MADD, and paradoxically re-enforce the very forces they are fighting against.

These people have transformed from human benefactors into Trollocs. Assholes.

Lileks has a pretty good take-down of this peice of crap from Le Carre.

Finally, this little quote from a piece Le Carre wrote for the Nation:

Do governments run countries anymore? Do presidents run governments? In the cold war, the right side lost but the wrong side won, said a Berlin wit.

Perhaps it's amusing in the original German.

But. I remember the Soviet dissident we put up in our house in '83; he'd been imprisoned for ungood wrongthink, and injected with a wide variety of chemicals to pacify his anti-Soviet tendancies. Contrast: I have a newspaper column in a quasi-major metropolitan daily. I could, if I wished, spend the next year railing against the Bush administration, three times a week. Nothing would happen to me. Nothing. My editors would not complain.The publisher wouldn't take me aside. The guvmint would not come calling. It would never occur to me that I'd suffer any professional repercussions from changing my happy-fun column into a 24-7-365 anti-war diatribe - and if you think I'm mistaken, trust me on this: you have no idea what you're talking about.

That's life in the "side that won." The wrong side, as a "wit" had it.

I'd mail LeCarre all the copies of his books I owned, postage due - if I hadn't dropped them off at the Salvation Army the last time we moved.

I did something similar with the Chomsky books I owned. Well, actually I ripped them up and put them in a plastic bag along with a note (for future archeaologists) explaining why I did it.
From Glenn Reynold's new site comes this peice about the Eldred v.Reno decision.

For more about the Eldred v. Reno decision check out this Herculean post from Jack Balkin, and then this follow up post.

UNNECESSARY COMMENT: I do not know how Mr. Reynolds does it; professional career, young child, Instapundit, music producer, husband, a now a new site. I swear he's a 'borg and must blog from his regeneration alcove.
The Dissident Frogman has this to say about North Korea and the EUIs adoration of it.

I wonder, are the EUIs Myrddraals or Trollocs?
Here's another one from USS Clueless. It's about Indonesia's indignation at being added to the list of countries who's visitors to the US must be fingerprinted.

All I can say is that you can live in denial in your own nation if you want. But don't try to make us follow you to hell.

Oh what I wouldn't give to hear GWB say this to the EU's Mediocracy.
From SGT Stryker's comments to the previous post comes this little gem, post-modern religionists. I've discussed the faith of the Glob Socs/TNPers in a previous post. I really like this new term so expect to see it used in a lot in the future.

Update: damn my archives are screwed up. I'll put the link in when they are working again.
Steven Den Beste takes on the Caspian oil pipeline conspiracy theory. He also discusses Hamdi's status as a traitor, and the claim that GWB mishandled Tora Bora.

I won't excerpt it because I wouldn't be able to do the peice justice. Just read it, you'll be glad you did. Make sure you read the comments at the end they're all good.

PS Well I won't except for this:

You put forth some very coherent and interesting arguments sometimes, but other times you DO just go off the deep end.

Believe me; you haven't seen the deep end.

But Steve, there are many who would like to :)

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Via Juan Gato comes an amusing diversion. If you have youngins bring 'em to the monitor, they'll love it.
Vampires beware..................dawn approaches.
So this is why Marx's undead corpse still roams the Earth.

But this is absolutely implausible. Any realistic assessment of any possible scenario will inevitably conclude that nothing that al Qaeda can do can cause the collapse of America and the capitalist system. The worse eventuality in the long run would be that America would be forced to break its hallowed ideal of universal tolerance, in order to make an exception of those who fit the racial profile of an al Qaeda terrorist. It is ridiculous to think that if al Qaeda continued to attack us such measures would not be taken. They would be forced upon the government by the people (and anyone who thinks that the supposed cultural hegemony of the left might stop this populist fury is deluded).

Exactly. Matter of fact the left is going to be in for a big surprise if they try to get in the way. {think jury nullification-- what is a man capable of if he's confident that a jury of his peers are not going to punish him]

This next is my favorite

America-bashing has sadly come to be "the opium of the intellectual," to use the phrase Raymond Aron borrowed from Marx in order to characterize those who followed the latter into the 20th century. And like opium it produces vivid and fantastic dreams.

Whats that sound...... Oh it's just stakes being sharpened.
Mmmmmmmm. Warm snugly quilts. I love winter.
This is why I hate the so-called "progressives." You proclaim your compassion for the world's down-trodden but you are in fact the enablers to history's greatest purveyors of horror. Even if you aren't personally capable of the terror of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol-Pot, or Kim Il Jung, you build their death machine; the Socialist State. Within your ranks lurks a Stalinesque monster biding his time. He awaits the day that you worshipfully hand him mankind trussed up for the slaughter. WHY CAN'T YOU FUCKING SEE THIS??? How can you not see that every "Glorious Revolution" has ended in the gulag? Don't you understand that only psychopaths want to wield the power you so blindly concentrate? Isn't it obvious that once he triumphs that you will not be able to do anything? How many of Stalin's friends were surprised when the black marias arrived?

Did Ghandi, Jesus, Buddha, Mother Theresa, or Albert Switzer ever persue power? Hell no! They lived their compassionate inclinations and led by the moral power of their example. Can you see Jesus storming the Bastille? Or Mother Theresa breaking a few eggs for the dictatorship of the proletariat?

You wail about the mote of suffering that the West has inflicted but are oblivious to the beam that your ilk has crucified HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS upon. Your road to the glorious Worker's Paradise consists of bones and is sealed with human misery.

Why, why, why, WHY? Why haven't you realized that your professed beliefs achieve the complete opposite when put into practice? How does your heart not break when you contemplate the tragedy your philosophy has wrought? Is the warm fuzzies you get from feeling morally superior worth it? An ocean of tears would not be adequate to express the anquish that your victims have suffered.

I hate you all. Even an eternity of torment would not dampen my hate for you. All I want is for your existence to end. You have proven yourself to be the greatest threat that mankind has ever faced. Therefore, your extinction should be its highest wish.

For those who haven't found their why yet; the world needs vampire slayers.

UPDATE (17JAN03): Check this out.

- Socialists invented the death camps.
- Socialists developed the death camps.
- A bunch of Capitalists "cow-boys" liberated some death camps and wiped out some (National-)Socialists.
- Other Socialists still run death camps.

And guess who's going to take care of the problem again?
Most probably the same bunch of Capitalists "cow-boys" (their sons actually).

The Vampire Hunter Brigades (VHB) are coalescing.
This guy is ever so clever. Really.

When the progressives are left sitting choking on the ashes of their reverie I hope I get to tell them how it went wrong. You were given your shot but you sucked. We don't buy your excuses nor do we accept your self-appointed status as savior of the world. Now go fix me a turkey pot pie beatch.
Ian Murray just got a raw deal. Without any warning he was terminated for blogging. Visit his site and hit the tipjar. He has a wife and daughter. Let's show the world that the blogverse takes care of its own.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

From the Best of the Web comes this little number that should leave you morally shell-shocked.
This sums it up

Ryan's decision harms the innocent, helps the guilty and is a slap in the face of the victims of violent crime and the jurors who made the difficult decision to sentence defendants to death. But as Sam Evans, Debra Evans's widower, tells, "He is not very concerned with individuals, just with issues."

Via Instapundit is this post from Jack M. Balkin. If you're interested in the Roe decision and why it hasn't been overturned, and isn't likely to be in the near future, keep scrolling. Also check out this link to his book Cultural Softaware: A Theory of Ideology.
Good opinion peice at The Guardian. Can't believe they actually printed it.

The moral disgrace of the liberal-Left wing of the anti-war movement lies in its failure to put pressure on the Prime Minister to uphold the values it pretends to believe in. The Iraqi opposition had a right to expect support. The alternative it offers to Saddam's secular tyranny is not Islamic theocracy. The INC and the London conference of exiles both want a democratic Iraq that gives a voice to the suppressed Shia; a federal Iraq that allows autonomy for the Kurdish minority; and a secular Iraq that can contain the differences between Sunni and Shia Islam.

When I put this programme to my democratic and secular comrades, they turn nasty. I hear that the peoples of Iraq will slaughter each other if Saddam goes; that any US-sponsored replacement will be worse. They may be right, although the second prediction will be hard to meet. What is repulsive is the sneaking feeling that they want the war to be long and a post-Saddam Iraq to be a bloody disaster. They would rather see millions suffer than be forced to reconsider their prejudices. (emphasis mine)

This is what sends me into a beserker rage when I hear these bastards equivialating genocidal monsters with any leader of the democratic West. The corpse-stink of hypocrisy that they can't, or won't see (er smell). Their political opponents are worse than the monsters who set up the soylent green slaughterhouses. I swear I can't wait until the Great Purge. A few more hig-impact terrorist attack, or probably one nuclear strike, and we can debride the body politic.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Blogin' around:

Via Instapundit, Orson Scott Card's thoughts on handling the Korea affair diplomatically.

Tim Blair has this link to an Ottawa Citizen article about Kanuck nihilism.

Innocents Abroad has this link to an essay by David Brooks. His point, contrary to Democratic expectations blah zay appeals to economic class envy do not work. He's right, and I should know I am at the bottom of the heap baby, but they won't listen. That's OK a few election cycles of impotence might open a few eyes.

Monday, January 13, 2003

Via Instapundit comes this article from Jim Bennett about American Empire. My favorite part:

It is more likely that the mild hegemony currently enjoyed by the United States as a by-product of its technological, financial, and social successes is as much empire as most Americans are willing to contemplate, or pay for. It is also more likely that the future lies in the further development of the international cooperative links such as NATO and the North American Free Trade Agreement into organizations that are more loose commonwealth than empire.

This was from the end of the article which was a really good read.

It also bears repeating that a lot of the Empire epithets are just a rhetorical device. If there wasn't an anti-empire inclination in American politics, why bring it up? Besides, if we really did have Imperial pretensions, the left wouldn't have the guts to call us on it.

Parting thought: IF we ever did establish an empire, the American polity would have to be dragged kicking and screaming to it. The only rational for it, IMHO, would be to secure economically essential resources (like oil) and to stabilize failed states that present a threat to security or too glaring a human tragedy to be ignored.
Have switched to a new template. I hope this one is better. Only took an hour to make changes :) Them HTML tables screw me up. I have hard time keeping track of where everything is going. I guess it's time for more html learning.
Woodlief has a really good post inspired by his reading of Whittaker Chambers' Witness. Here are some excerpts:

"I saw that the New Deal was only superficially a reform movement. I had to acknowledge the truth of what its more forthright protagonists, sometimes unwarily, sometimes defiantly, averred: the New Deal was a genuine revolution, whose deepest purpose was not simply reform within existing traditions, but a basic change in the social, and, above all, the power relationships within the nation. It was not a revolution by violence. It was a revolution by bookkeeping and lawmaking . . .

Now I thought that I understood much better something that in the past had vaguely nibbled at my mind, but never nibbled to a conclusion -- namely, how it happened that so many concealed Communists were clustered in Government, and how it was possible for them to operate so freely with so little fear of detection. For as between revolutionists who only half know what they are doing and revolutionists who know exactly what they are doing the latter are in a superb maneuvering position.

At the basic point of the revolution -- the shift of power from business to government -- the two kinds of revolutionists were at one; and they shared many other views and hopes. Thus men who sincerely abhorred the word Communism, in the pursuit of common ends found that they were unable to distinguish Communists from themselves . . . For men who could not see that what they firmly believed was liberalism added up to socialism could scarcely be expected to see what added up to Communism. Any charge of Communism enraged them precisely because they could not grasp the differences between themselves and those against whom it was made." [emphasis mine].

This to me captured exactly what I observed on a much smaller scale, and with much less than Chambers had at stake (for the Truman administration was moving to imprison him, in order to protect Alger Hiss, and thereby itself), during my years of undergraduate and graduate schooling. The people on the left with whom I tangled were generally in one of two camps: those who sincerely felt for the poor and sick, and who had no understanding of how free markets are not in general a cause of such conditions; and those who were motivated by hatred and envy of the wealthy (or white, or both).

The latter are the executioners of Stalin's era -- they know little of the system they advocate, but support it because it enables them to put bullets in the brains of enemies, the list of which ever grows. The former are the busy worker bees of Socialism, many of whom, in the countries where Communists came to power, eventually found themselves at the mercy of the executioners, precisely because their strong sympathy for the downtrodden rendered them incapable of silence when it dawned on them that they served monsters rather than saviors.

{I'm sorry that the excerpting sucks-- I haven't figured out how to indent yet}

And here's one that set my gears a whirring - which is a little ironic considering the title of his blog- :

At the same time, I think we are missing something. As Chambers observed, one cannot be a witness against something alone; one must be a witness for something. We are good at showing that the idiotarians well deserve the moniker, and we champion liberty and markets as valuable means to human ends, but I wonder if these ultimately satisfy. We still face a yawning spiritual void that was the essence of the totalitarian project from the beginning. Chambers believed that this was the real battle -- it was not between Communists and anti-Communists, but between Communists and Christians, for the soul and passion and hope of mankind. Would he put faith in himself, or in God? It is an interesting and pertinent question, I think, regardless of which one chooses

I posted a comment to this post that was a little rambling. I would like to expand and hopefully clarify.

I agree that there is a struggle for the "soul and passion and hope of mankind." I just disagree that it's not just between Communists and Christians. They are definitely combatants but they are not the only nor even the primary ones.

What I believe has happened is that the Age of Enlightenment shook the foundaions of faith. For some it made belief in the Abrahamic God no longer tenable but not faith as such. For others it was no longer possible to have a faith based on metaphysical speculation. For the first group they may have had their faith in God shaken- if not destroyed- but the desire for the paradise of Heaven was still active. Some went the Socialist route others explored other spiritualities. What was the 19th century but a huge experiment in alternative living? A search for a new goal, a new meaning to life, something to believe in. If you look at the Socialist Utopia aren't you struck by its Christian character? Other members of the first group explored various Christian sects. Hence the Holy Fire that raged through the eastern seaboard during the 18th century.

The second group, alot of them became pessimists and nihilists. These people are livid at the universe for not providing them with a pre-determined purpose in life. This is the recruiting ground for the Stalinesque executioners. These are the people who can see gulags and quip "can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs." They are the Myrddraal servants of the Dark One (Ressentiment) and they know how to control their Trollocs. {It's a Robert Jordan reference for those who aren't familiar with the series} A small group are trying to deal with their fathlessness without succumbing to ressentiment. They stand in opposition to all who want to inflict their metaphysical beliefs on others. {and for the record I do consider Socialism to be a faith}

Nietzsche wrote about this. He foresaw the crisis of spirituality and the rivers of blood that would be spilled because of it. He also tried to put forward his own cure for pessimism--- the overman. Because of the way he wrote and the fact that he had to be translated he was easily misunderstood. {Note I am not a Nietzsche disciple, he has inspired me but even he must be overcome. His greatest gift to me is the insight that behind every philosophy is a type of living asserting its right to exist.}

The crisis is fading and the masters of ressentiment are being exposed for what they are. As the improvement of mankind's lot improves self-interest is changing targets. It is becoming more evident that the popular fronters only superfically have the interests of the beknighted at heart. As experience and historical evidence mounts they are being seen for what they always were, the newest aspirants to the "master" class. A counter force is gaining in strength, a desire for a truly masterless society. Will this new desire become triumphant, who knows. History has shown that beyond tribal groupings "masters" have continually vied for supremacy. Has mankind become sufficiently wearied of this age old struggle? There is definitely room for hope.

{Damn I just ralized that I didn't really address those who were able to maintain the Christian faith. I can't add it to the above but here's my thoughts. Despite the whirlwind of doubt brought on by the Enlightenment you have maintained your faith. Some applaud others chide. {I'm indifferent ultimately, but impressed on a certain level} Although trite there probably is a God shaped hole in every person's soul. But isn't myopic to believe that only God can fill it. How many deities have filled this space over the span Homo Religious? Imagine what it would be like if someone fervently tried to get you to fill your God-space with Leprechauns. That's the position that the faithless are in. There's a need but you can't fill it at will. That's the tyrrany of the intellectual conscience. Back to the point, you really haven't maintained the faith unchanged. Do you honestly think that you practice the Christianity of your predecessors? Christianity adapted just like everything has to if it wants to remain potent. The social milieu has evolved and so has its intstitutions.

Coexistence between the faithful and the faithless is possible. All it requires is a willingness to live-and-let-live. Can you restrain your impulse to rule? If not, well then it's a bitter battle ahead.}

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Here's a site that all you Anarchist Cookbook, Terrorist Handbook, Improvised Munitions phreaks will find useful.
This is interesting. I would also like to see them throw in some extras:

An appetite supressant, it sucks to be on patrol or, worse, in a defensive position and you are starving. Hunger is a major distraction.

A mild euphoriant, nothing major just a little good-times juice to make the strain of waiting a little easier. I mean the Vietnam vets did it but the weed and H have lingering effects:)

Anything, I mean anything, that can make a person feel like they ain't freezing to death.

Maybe God doesn't play dice with the universe.
Now this is just too cool. Just think this guy has devoted a career to studying ice. It jsut goes to prove the superiority of modern western culture. There's such a super-abbundance of intellectual capability that someone could devote research resources to ice. That I think is the grand refutation to all of the West's naysayers.
Via Juan Gato:

Mel Brooks as futurist!

Read this too buwahahahahaha. It'll get you too.
Tim Blair posts some new poetry inspired by A. Motion's Causa Belli. My favorite is:


Roses are red
Violets are blue
All your stupid Islamofascist friends are going to be hunted down and killed like the vermin they are and their remains will be left to rot in the gutter and be fed on by rats and cockroaches and they will spend their eternity in the hottest corner of hell with their 72 "virgins" consisting of aging former members of really bad boy bands with not a good-looking goat or camel in sight
And so are you.

There are lots more that are just as good. Go read it. There's even a contributor form my neck of the woods, Cincinnati.

UPDATE: Steve join in the fun, here and here.
Unfucking believeable!!!!! Canada's PMs (pimp masters) have decided to turn out the citizenry and there's a sleazy john licking his chops. It's shit like this that makes my blood boil when I read some fucking socialist bastard criticizes the federalism of the US. It's precisely to prevent things like this that dispersed power is essential.

I think it's time to open the enrollment books on the Axis-of-Evil club. Where are the idot Anarchists when you need them.
The folks over at HFP have an exclusive interview with Conyers and Rangel. In it they explain their proposal for the initiating a shared sacrifice, the practice that has made America great.
Scroll up for reflections of their early days. Veevaa HFP!!

Friday, January 10, 2003

Uh-oh looks like another Raskolnikov is psyching himself up to reach what is beyond his grasp. I thought I was just going to be reading another banal anti-American peice but I was wrong. It starts out that way but soon rockets off into la-la land. Take special note of all the name dropping. Why he's ever so smart.

It's works like this that garner our anti-intellectual rap. Just because we see through craptacular peices like this we are branded simpletons. I guess I'm a dolt because I can't give a Klingon marriage toast also.

To be honest, I would rather study blueprints of the Enterprose than waste my life reading Lacan or Laclau.

What the hell I'm feeling generous right now. Zizek ole buddy, here's why Europe is under de facto American Hegemony.
The European governing elite has made their countries into bitches. {Not the citzenry as individuals but their collective expression== the State} No one has anything to fear from you. Europe can't do shit to anyone. De Facto and De Juere Europe is irrelevant. They can no longer inflict consequences on anyone.

The last hold that Europe had on America was American desire for European goodwill. In the wake of 9-11 we did some soul-searching and began to question our relationship. It's becoming more and more evident that a schism exists. Europe has a socialist outlook and we do not. The Cold War caused us to overlook this glaring difference, but not anymore. The fact of the matter is we are asking ourselves what do we care what you think of us? Increasingly the answer is not very much. Let's face it, you {the governing elite} suck. What have you done lately that gives you the right to criticize others? What are your modern accomplishments? Just where the fuck do you get off telling us how we should order our lives. Get your shit together and then maybe we'll listen. Until then shut the fuck up and get with the program. If you don't like it then do something, punk-ass bitches.

{Note: There are no relevant socialists. The only reason the Soviet Union was paid any attention was because of the nuclear missiles and our realization that they would use them if push came to shove.}

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Stuck at the damn desk again. I can surf but have to use a Pentium 90 MHZ, Win 95 to do it.
Happy Fun Pundit has some new posts.

The other 'stimulus' the Democrats have in mind is to tax people who create wealth, and give it to the states for infrastructure development. Because we all know that when governments get windfall money they spent it more efficiently than would the businesses it came from. Excuse me - I just felt a stimulus to retch.

I almost choked when I read this. Never,never, never drink or eat while reading these guys.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Been away for a while. Had some things that needed my attention.

Over at Armed Liberal is this post. AL has the warm fuzzies about turning everyone into conscripts for a couple of years so they can give back to the community.

This has set me off a little. {Just for the record I have no beef with AL, I actually like his site just disagree with his compassion-centered ethics.}

I do not owe the community squat. Everyone does what they do and reaps the rewards (or not) on the time-table they were aware of when they did what they did. {Damn that sentence sucked but i hope the point was discernible}. Besides this whole giving back meme sort of violates the altruistic ethic, doesn't it? I thought that charity was its own reward. Is an act charitable if you are coerced into doing it? I think history is pretty clear that this path leads to the gulag.

And just to be a smart-alec pain-in-the-ass, would there be conscientious objectors?

BTW, one of the commenters (??) obviously didn't get Heinlein's earning of the franchise in Starship Troopers. Federal service was not compulsory in his milieu, you just didn't get a franchise until you had invested in, via federal service, the society. What he was trying to do was introduce a mechanism to avoid the tragedy of the commons that an unearned franchise creates. Re-read the book John.

BTW II, that bastard Paul Verhoeven absolutely ruined what could have been a great movie. Once agin he projected his WWII obsession into a work that had absolutely no similarity to that war. Virginia should take the money she was paid for the rights and set up a Kick Paul Verhoeven In the Nuts Foundation. Hell I would even become a donor as well as a volunteer. Verhoeven couldn't have created a greater affront if he had dug Heinlein up and skull-fucked his corpse. {I'm a littele peeved at Verhoeven}

Friday, January 03, 2003

Over at Porphy's:

Porphy corrects Den Beste on some historical points.

This hilarious movie review.

This peice of incandescant idiocy and a very well done Mysting.
Via Instapundit comes thisarticle. I haven't read LOTR in a long time but I don't recall a heavy Christian influence. But then again I do recall that I had some problems with it. I just hate any work that makes the heroes triumphant merely because they are good. {This is why I hate Star Wars BTW}. You could be the most moral person in the world but if you don't have the capabilities to defeat evil you WILL lose. IMO the universe is amoral and only ability and fortuity matter. So if that is a significant component then yeah he probably incorporated some Christian a priori assumtions.
Steven Den Beste has another essay up. It's about diplomatic negotiations and so much more.
Here's an excerpt:

Europe has been trying to set an example by being internationally active in diplomacy, while at the same time having no ability to project military force. And it hasn't been working at all well. As a general principle, if all you have are carrots, or only feeble and laughable sticks, then you don't have any way to make "reject" unpalatable, so the only way you can make "accept" more palatable is to pile lots more carrots on the scale than you would really like to, and in fact in some cases the Europeans have found themselves having to give away the farm in order to get an agreement.

Worse, they're finding that in some cases they have no carrots to offer, and also have no sticks, and as a result their intended negotiating partner refuses to even talk to them. (EU's Solana believes he knows how to settle the problem between the Israelis and Palestinians, but the solution he proposes involves major concessions by Israel. Solana has nothing to offer Israel which it thinks would offset that cost, so quite naturally Israel refuses to deal with him.)

When Europe has faced cases where it has no adequate carrots with which it is willing to part, and no sticks to apply, and wants an agreement anyway, the only remaining solution is whining, which has been notably unsuccessful.

There's an even more in depth contemplation of the nature of carrots and sticks, and their use. It is a must read.
Steven Milloy has '02's junk science oscars up. Check it out.
Link via Hit & Run.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Via Hit & Run comes this link. It's about squishy neo-Luddism. I would comment more but people like Ms. Fox make me thermo-nuclear with rage. GODDAMN LITERARY-CONCIOUSNESS!!!!!
Steven Den Beste has new essay. In this one, be warned it is long but well worth it, he deconstructs arguments opposing war. If your moral system countenances self-defense then alot of it will be self-evident, but superbly expressed.

This essay is a must read if you continually have to argue against knee-jerk pacifists, and their crypto-pacifist fellow-travellers.

Read this post too. It compliments the above link.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Bill Whittle has an essay about American Empire that is definitely worth the read.

Here's an excerpt:

Accusations of “Imperialism” are flung at us so frequently, and met with so little defense, that it is actually shocking to see how easily such a simplisme charge can be overturned.

To be Imperial is to possess, or hope to possess, an empire, and these slanders have been made for about a century now. The Cambridge International Dictionary of English defines “empire” as “a group of countries ruled by a single person, government or country.” Oxford paperback dictionary calls it “a large group of states under single authority.” Cambridge goes on to define “imperialism” as “a system in which a country rules other countries, sometimes having used force to obtain power over them.”

ANY rational person can see that the United States does not meet these qualifications by any stretch of the imagination. What nations do we rule? Whose legislative bodies can we overturn with a wave of the hand? Where on this planet do people live under an American flag who do not wish to? And as Jonah Goldberg correctly points out, where are our governors and our tax collectors so that we can siphon off the meager wages of our Imperial Slaves? What kind of empire does not have these imperial mechanisms?

The full essay is way better than this excerpt. There's even a very interesting discussion the comments.

IMO, if we we had Imperial pretensions our accusers wouldn't utter a single word. These people love tyrants or at the very least keep their negative opinions to themselves.
Via Porphyrogenitus is this article from John Derbyshire. It's some commentary about the halcyonic reverie for liberty gone by from Fred Reed and G. Gordon Liddy.

Here's an excerpt:

Liberty is a wonderful thing, but like every other good, it has a price, and the price for many people was too high. They traded in their liberty for some security, creating the America and the Britain we have today. Nobody twisted their arms about it. They accepted the trade gladly, willingly — indeed, many of them fought bravely, and some even died, so that the trade could be accomplished. The older, freer way of things was, as Fred puts it so succinctly, "self-eliminating."

The rest of the article is really worth the read. The above caught my attention because I too have thought the same. Whenever I come across someone lamenting the loss of some idyllic yester-year I think the same way. The people of that time willingly left the old way behind. Most likely because it sucked compared to what they thought they could gain from the change. Sure some things were lost but it should be kept in mind that they mostly were traded away.

Also, those who sing the praises of the greatest generation also fail to keep in mind that these were the same who enacted the Great Society.

It is nice to know that someone else besides me knows that liberty is not an absolute to most people.