Friday, June 07, 2002

Good WSJ piece on why reform efforts for the FBI and CIA are doomed to failure:


"George Bush, the members of Congress and the Beltway press would do the nation a large favor if they agreed to make clear to the American people that above all else these two agencies are bureaucracies. Worse, they are very large political bureaucracies. Worse still, if such a thing can be imagined, these big public bureaucracies have existed for decades; the FBI since 1908 and the CIA since 1947. They are the redwoods of the Beltway, immovable and indestructible."
I definitely agree with John that the Kashmir crisis is crazy. But I was thinking of something. If you assume that a war between India and Pakistan is inevitable at some point in the next 20 years then wouldn't it make sense for them to go to war now, while they have relatively low yield nukes? Both sides have between 60-120 hiroshima sized bombs. If they have a war in 10 years then they may have 500 10-20 megaton bombs each, as well as biological weapons. So instead of the war costing about 10 million lives as current worst case projections suggest, a war might cost 200 million lives. I guess there are two questions that need to be asked about this, a) is a war inevitable and b) if there is one big war between the two now, will that preclude a future war from happening? To the first question I think the answer is probably yes, given how much both sides hate each other. With so much hate being bottled up for so long, it is probably only a matter of time before someone seriously loses their cool and does something they probably shouldn't. One caveat to this is if Pakistan suddenly gets a free market democratic government established and people are too busy making money to want to die over a piece of scenic but relatively worthless countryside. The second question is a bit more tricky. If India ends up annihilating Pakistan and just absorbing it, it will have to deal with an annoying insurgency forever but that would be a pretty low intensity conflict if that happens. If however, both sides lose millions but nothing actually gets accomplished, then the hatred will have only grown and the chance for a future war actually increases. There seem to be a lot of ifs around but no answers. We certainly live in interesting times.
Here is an extensive interview with my favorite gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson.
Here is a speech by the Haaretz Daily editor in chief in which he criticizes the international press coverage of the Israeli vs. Islamo-fascist conflict.
And now for something completely ridiculous. Because of California's three strikes law a man is facing life in prison for helping his 15 year old son make pot brownies. It really is the People's Republic of California.
From the Advocates for Self Government:


Tax Cuts Explained

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill
for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go
something like this. The first four men -- the poorest --
would pay nothing; the fifth would pay $1; the sixth would
pay $3; the seventh $7; the eighth $12; the ninth $18. The
tenth man -- the richest -- would pay $59.

That's what they decided to do.

The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed
quite happy with the arrangement -- until one day, the owner
threw them a curve.

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going
to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20."

So now dinner for the ten only cost $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our
taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would
still eat for free.

But what about the other six -- the paying customers? How
could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would
get his "fair share?"

The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if
they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth
man and the sixth man would end up being *paid* to eat their
meal.

So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to
reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he
proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2,
the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12,
leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of his
earlier $59.

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first
four continued to eat for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare
their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man.
He pointed to the tenth. "But he got $7!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved
a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got seven times more than
me!"

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $7
back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We
didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night he didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat
down and ate without him.

But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered
something important. They were $52 short!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college
instructors, is how the tax system works. The people who pay
the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction.
Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they
just may not show up at the table anymore.
Why the Kashmir crisis is so frightening: the Indian side and the Pakistani side. My daughters have been waking me up in the middle of the night for the past few days because of they are scared of the thunderstorms. I just thought some other folks should be awake with me.
The ever estimable Thomas Sowell on global warming and Kyoto.
Here's a somewhat long piece I received today from a friend. All I can add to it is...Yup.


An Open Letter to the Palestinians from an Agnostic
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 18:03:29 -0700


Speaking Truth to the Powerless: An Open Letter To The People Commonly
Called "Palestinians".


Greetings to any Palestinian who may be reading this. My name is David
White. I am a citizen of New Zealand, a small, Western, nominally Christian
country in the South Pacific Ocean. I am not Jewish, or Christian...I guess
I'm vaguely agnostic.


Writing this letter is a good way for me to discuss the horrible mess in
the Middle East, spell out as many relevant points as possible concerning
the state of the Palestinian people, and to see what can be made of them. I
don't speak Arabic, so I can only communicate with English-speaking
Palestinians. There aren't many here in NZ, though, and I haven't yet met
any. I don't know how many will ever see these words, but, here's hoping
someone does.


I have a post-graduate university education, and I suppose I could be
called an intellectual. Unfortunately, many such people have supported
abhorrent ideologies such as Nazism, and continue to support Communism, so I
refuse to describe myself in this way. I don't want to considered as just
another "trendy leftie" academic, as we would say in NZ. So, unlike many
university-educated types, I am anti-totalitarian, pro-peace up to a point,
pro-democracy, pro-capitalism (except the capitalists running Enron), and
skeptical about the "cult of victimhood." I'm quite safe here in New
Zealand, and no-one I know has been killed by a Palestinian.


My perspective of Palestinians is something like this - you're Arabs (of
course), mostly Muslim, but with a Christian minority. Many of you live
outside Gaza/West Bank, mostly in Jordan and other Muslim countries, with
some groups living in Western countries as well. You feel that you have been
wronged by Israel and are fighting to destroy them.


As for my perspective on Israel, I see them like this. They are a mainly
Jewish, small, free-market democracy with a large Arab minority surrounded
by hostile Arab dictatorships. They have an ancestral claim to Israel, their
state was created as a refuge from persecution, they have a right to exist,
and, having survived a holocaust in Europe, they should not have to sit
still and wait for another one in the Middle East.


A Down Under Overview. Over the last few months, the conflict in the
disputed territories of Gaza and the West Bank has turned into a war between
the Palestinian people and Israel. (I will not apologise for using the term
"disputed", as I believe it reflects a rather complicated situation more
accurately than "occupied").


Your interpretation, as far as I can tell, seems to be something like this:
You have no state of your own, and you are fighting a war against those you
call "Zionist oppressors" and "colonial imperialists", in order to create a
Palestinian state. Accusations of massacre and human rights violations by
the Israeli Army are being tossed around like confetti. Your leader, Yasser
Arafat, vows to "martyr" himself rather than "surrender", and that bungling
and incompetent organization, the United Nations (again, no apologies for
venting personal opinions), is trying to do what it is constitutionally
incapable of doing, i.e. "saving future generations from the scourge of
war".


The Israelis see things differently, of course. For them, it's a simple
battle for survival. They offered you a state, and you attacked them
instead. They have occupied Palestinian towns, have fought it out with
various armed groups, and desperate attempts are being made by the US, other
Arab countries and the UN to break the so-called "cycle of violence". As a
result, the Palestinian situation at the moment generally, can be explained
by putting it into New Zealand idiom.


Put bluntly, the Palestinian people are buggered. Munted. Stuffed. Rooted.
(American equivalent=screwed. British equivalent: done over). It's like
this: Yasser Arafat turned down the Israeli offer of a Palestinian homeland
in Gaza and the West Bank. You want, or Arafat claims that you want, a
Palestine "from the river to the sea;" in other words, "all or nothing".


There is one insuperable obstacle to this- Israel. No matter how eloquent
your arguments or numerous your martyrs, no matter how many European
diplomats are angered by, or UN resolutions are passed against, Israel, the
Israelis are not going to pack up and leave. The only way you will get the
Palestinian state you want is to destroy Israel.


This is what you have been trying to do since 1948, and the current
"intifada" launched in 2000 is your latest effort. However, the Israelis are
not standing there and letting you kill them. They are fighting back, and if
they have to choose between their own survival and yours, guess which choice
they'll make.


A Vast Wringing Of Hands, A Great Fluttering Of Diplomats. That has been the
overall response to the disaster you have created for yourselves. You, the
Palestinian Arabs, are obviously hoping for some kind of international
intervention to save you. As we in New Zealand would say, "Get Real!".


The European Union and the UN have demonstrated on numerous occasions in the
past their incompetence and total incapacity to take any sort of firm action
without American leadership. Ask your Muslim brothers of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
about how effective the EU and the UN were in protecting them without
American intervention. In spite of the impression that American diplomatic
efforts have created, the US will not take sides against Israel, and will
eventually abandon its futile attempts at evenhandedness. If they do join
forces militarily with Israel in their war against terrorism, your fighters
will be snuffed out like candle flames.


As for your "beloved Arab brothers" in the Middle East, they make a great
deal of noise about your "liberation struggle", and have sent money and
arms, but have not sent a single tank to save you. Their diplomatic
proposals are ones that could have been offered at any time, and are aimed
at benefiting them, not Palestinians. The Egyptians themselves will not
declare war on Israel unless they receive $100 billion to cover their costs.


Do you really believe that the rest of your Arab Muslim brothers think you
are worth that much? Do you really believe they will put your interests
ahead of their own? Although your friends and Arabs in Europe are passing
sanctions and burning synagogues in your support, not a single EU warship
has sailed to your aid, and not a single NATO aircraft has dropped a single
bomb on your "Zionist oppressors".


I have noted that large numbers of people, including university educated
intellectuals support the Palestinian cause. Don't be misled by this. No
matter how many western intellectuals, news media and international
organisations may support the Palestinian struggle, none of this matters
because America stands by Israel.


The Unbearable Burden of Life

How did you get into such a mess? As you
yourselves would say and have indeed said on many occasions, it isn't your
fault. It's always the "Great Satan" America, and it's "Lesser Satan",
Israel, that you blame for all your woes. Everything that you do, such as
your "martyrdom operations", are described as the products of your "rage" at
being "dispossessed of your land", and of your "helplessness" in the face of
"Zionist" might.


There are only 300 million Arabs against over 5 million Jews! How unfair!
How unjust, that so many can do so little against so few!
A number of Western commentators have put Arab failures down to numerous
cultural factors, not the least being Islam. Your religious beliefs in
martyrdom and jihad, coupled with a total inability to accept any blame for
your own predicament, have combined to do you great and lasting damage.


Look closely at why Western countries such as Israel have succeeded, and
Muslim countries have not. Western countries are free-market democracies.
Muslim countries (other than Turkey) aren't. Surely that should tell you
something.


Why I Stand. As I said, I do not, and I will not, support the Palestinian
cause. Why not? I have a number of reasons, and here they are:


1. You have made it clear beyond any shadow of doubt that you intend to
destroy Israel and kill or drive out its Jewish population. This is
genocide, pure and simple. You justify this by saying that Israel has
committed many crimes against your people, and that you seek "justice". I
say this in response- NOTHING WHATSOEVER is an acceptable justification for
genocide. Loss of land, humiliation at being militarily defeated others have
suffered these and moved on to create new nations and opportunities for
themselves.


Examples abound- the Germans thrown out of East Prussia in Europe, 1945, the
Nationalist Chinese who fled to Taiwan in 1949, to name but two. Germans and
Taiwanese have coped with military defeat and the loss of land. They haven't
warred with their neighbours, nor have they launched terrorist attacks upon
them. Both countries have more wealth than any Arab nation. Why can't
Palestinians cope? Are Germans and Chinese better able to deal with
adversity than Arabs?


2. You have accused the Israelis of "genocide" against you. Here's a
question for you: Israel has atomic bombs and powerful military forces. If
they really, truly wanted you all dead, they could easily do it. Why haven't
they? If the Israelis went all-out, you would be, as we say in New Zealand,
"dog tucker". Why did they spend so much time negotiating with your leaders?
Because Israel wants peace and secure borders. You refuse to give them even
those. You plan genocide and accuse Israel of the same crime. Prove it!


3. The use of terrorism. Killing people for being Jewish is despicable.
Terrorist attacks on innocent civilians are also despicable. (At this point,
I'd like to pause and get a question of nomenclature cleared up, regarding
those Palestinians who kill themselves and others with explosives strapped
to their bodies. You call them "martyrs". Western media sources and
academics debate the precise term to use in describing them. Others,
including the Israelis, call them terrorists).


I have a better, more appropriate term. I prefer to use the word
"kamikazes". The original kamikazes appeared in 1944, in the war in the
Pacific. They were Japanese Navy and Army pilots, organised into "Special
Attack Units" with orders to crash their planes into American warships, in
the hope of destroying them - "one plane, one ship". Their initial impact
was similar to that of the Al-Quaeda attacks on New York and the
Pentagon-shock and horror. (I noted that many Palestinians appeared on
Western TV celebrating the September attacks). Note: The American response,
in both cases was not the one hoped for.


Once the shock had worn off, the US set out to destroy the kamikazes, and
terrible destruction was rained down on Japan, ending only with 2 atomic
bombs. You know what is happening right now in Afghanistan to the Al-Quaeda
group).


4. Using children as suicide bombers. Anyone who teaches children to kill
themselves in suicide attacks is not worth supporting under any
circumstances. For you to do this to your children is an abomination. A
commentator on a Web magazine said that if the Palestinians laid down their
arms, they would get peace and land. If the Israelis laid down their arms,
they would be killed. You know that is true, even if most of Europe doesn't.
Your cause is evil, because it seeks destruction at any price. Genocide is
not justice. Sacrificing your own children for the sake of your leader's
personal ambitions is wicked.


That's why I cannot support you. That's why I stand with Israel.


Palestinian Past or Future? The Second World War in Europe ended with
Hitler's suicide. He was replaced by Admiral Doenitz who quickly made peace
with the Allies. Japan's leader, Emperor Hirohito, decided on surrender
rather than see his nation destroyed.


If Arafat chooses surrender, though, will the rest of the Palestinians go
along with it? If he dies, will the war end? If the answer to both of these
questions is No, then the Palestinian people are doomed. Do you really
prefer death as a people? Do you fully comprehend what you are doing? If you
are indeed aware that the path you have embarked on leads to destruction,
and if you have freely chosen to walk in that direction, then as a people
you are truly beyond hope.


Are Palestinians really going to be a "Kamikaze Nation"? Are you really
going to give Israel no other option except your destruction? If they must
choose, then as Israeli historian Martin Van Creveld said, "better a
terrible end than terror without end".


Do not think that kamikaze tactics can get you what you want. The Israelis
can tell you all about Masada, if you ask them. Remember what happened to
the Japanese at places like Okinawa and Iwo Jima. Palestinians deserve
better than the current mess you are in now - but before you can be given
anything, you must offer a sincere peace, you must stop teaching your
children to hate, you must stop believing that "victimhood" justifies
everything and - above all other things - GIVE UP ISRAEL! Accept that you
will never go there again except perhaps as workers or tourists. Accept that
Jews are human beings. Accept the verdict of 1948 and learn to live with it.


Invest in banks, not bombs. Build computer chips, not Kalashnikovs. Teach
science & math, not hate. Look to the future, not the past. Stop blaming
Americans and Jews for all your problems, and take responsibility for your
own actions. Read those parts in the Quran about living with the "peoples of
the Book".


Golda Meir, the former Israeli Prime minister, is quoted as "saying" there
will be peace in the Middle East only when the Arabs love their children
more than they hate Israel ". Every time I see pictures of Palestinian
children waving guns and wearing dummy explosives, then I can only say she
is right. The alternative to peace is not victory but death.


Think about it- before it's too late.


From an Infidel to Those Who Submit, and are living in the Holy Land - May
God grant you steadfastness in the face of things that cannot be changed,
the capacity to cope with those that can be changed, and the wisdom and the
ability to tell the difference.


David White Auckland, New Zealand

Good piece by Victor Davis Hanson in NRO on the Western disinterest in unfolding events in Kashmir.


"In short, there is nothing to be gained on the cheap by signing petitions for Kashmir, rallying at Berkeley for or against India, or praising or condemning Pakistan on television. Instead, Kashmir is very deadly business, where the lives of millions may well hang in the balance — and where easy and smug proclamations pale beside the specter of vast cities in ashes."

Emotional machines. Next step: distraught machines.
Lileks raves about Episode 2. I must say, I enjoyed it much more than Episode 1 which seemed like it was intended for a 10 year old audience. But I still have to give the nod to Spiderman as my fav action pic of this summer season. We'll see if MIB2 can displace it.
Some stuff you just can't make up. This adds entirely new dimensions to the definition of Chutzpah. Four of the hijackers tried to get US government loans to finance their operations before the 9/11 attack.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Here is an interesting article in Salon on Netflix and the possibility of that model being embraced in the music industry. Can I tell you that I just love Netflix? It is an incredible and easy service. Here is my current queue:

The Man Who Wasn't There
Fawlty Towers: The Complete Set : Vol. 1
Metropolis
Kids
Faust
Alice
Fawlty Towers: The Complete Set: Vol. 2
Novocaine
From Hell
Behind Enemy Lines
Malena
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears
Fawlty Towers: The Complete Set: Vol. 3
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

The following is a blog from Curmudgeonly & Skeptical and is why I think the Simpsons is soooo brilliant on so many levels.

LIFE IMITATES THE SIMPSONS? On last night's ubiquitous Simpsons rerun, Bart was given a vision of the future.

Krusty the Clown: Why don't we start with a joke?


Q: What's the difference between Pakistan and a pancake?
A: I don't know any pancakes that were nuked by India!


(silence)


Krusty: What, too soon?
Here is another anti-EU opinion piece in the Spectator (UK).
George Will has a good Op-Ed on arming airline pilots in the Washington Post today. I don't quite understand this debate. If terrorists take over a plane, currently our only recourse is to shoot it down, killing everyone aboard. So what exactly would be the harm of allowing a pilot (many of whom have military training) to carry a firearm in the cockpit? If it works just once it seems like it would be worth it.
Global warming is a controversial topic, with people generally arguing about whether it a) is actually happening and b) if it is happening, is it because of pollution or is it just part of the natural cycle of the Earth's climate. Something that doesn't seem to get too much press though is the question of whether global warming would be good in the first place. According to a recent EPA report it actually could be quite beneficial to crop yields in the US. And I have to say, Im sure the Russians would love it. The frozen tundra which is Siberia could become an agricultural paradise. The people of Canada might actually not have to deal with snow in June. Is that so wrong??? And I really like it when the average winter day in New York has a high in the 50's.
Why is it that government's response to the failures of bureaucrats is simply to create more? Bush is expected to announce the creation of a new intelligence agency. I'm still trying to figure out how much value the terribly named Office of Homeland Security is adding.
Hysterical rantings about global warming and Kyoto from Bob Herbert


"Seas are expected to rise, causing an additional loss of coastal wetlands. Storm surges will pose a greater threat to coastal communities. We'll have to endure more stifling heat waves, and the disruption of snow-fed water supplies. Some treasured ecosystems, such as the Rocky Mountain meadows and certain coral reefs and barrier islands, are likely to disappear entirely.


In addition to acknowledging that the earth is already sizzling, the report made it clear that human activity — the burning of fossil fuels that release heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere — was the primary culprit."


Is the earth sizzling today? Are we enduring more stifling heat waves than in the past? Before you prepare for the coming cataclysm or petition your congressman to agree to cut our standard of living by 25% so we can conform to Kyoto requirements,
maybe you should look at this report which cuts through some of the hyperbole. Weather is a very complex system which we are not good at predicting a week out, but the global warming camp would have you believe that they can accurately model weather patterns for the next 100 years. Not only that, but that they can separate human caused warming from the natural warming trend we have been in for the last 300 years. Also keep in mind that 30 years ago we were being warned from many of the same sources of the coming ice age.
Here is a good column on why Islam hates democracy.
Here are 72 questions about the 72 virgins that Muslims are supposed to be awarded with in heaven if they die in a Jihad. Here are a few that I like:

When they're deflowered, do they get replaced by new virgins or are they "born again"?
What do you call a relationship with 72 women, a menage-a-soixante-deux?
If the virgins start hogging the remote, is he in hell?
I think William Safire is my favorite NYT columnist. Here is today's tirade.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

I don't know if this is real but the Voluntary Human Exctinction Movement is either a brilliantly funny site or incredibly depressing. On the bright side at least there isn't a Mandatory Human Exctinction Movement (though Earth First comes close). Thanks to Instapundit for the link.
I think the idea to photograph and fingerprint visitors from the Middle East is stupid. What exactly do they intend to do with this info?
NY Post reports today that 23 known terrorists got into the states undetected, what will they do with the fingerprints when they get them, run everyone through a crack FBI security check? That said, Eugene Volokh has a very good piece on why this is not an ethical issue.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. I see why registering visitors from countries which might be harboring terrorists might be necessary in this time of war. But that old Ben Franklin quote about giving up liberty for a little temporary safety keeps rolling around in my head. It probably would only give us the illusion of safety anyway. If the government spending billions of dollars every year still can't stop thousands of tons (at least) of cocaine from coming into the country every year, it probably can't stop a small but determined band of terrorists.
Check out the new Joss Whedon SCI FI series premiering this fall.
Hard Science from the Onion.
Here is a very good piece against a complete ban on cloning from Gerald Ford, Homer Simpson's favorite living President. In it he states:

"We have recent precedent to help guide us through the forest of scientific and political uncertainty. During my presidency, similar questions were raised about research into recombinant DNA. After careful deliberation, safeguards were devised to ensure that this promising new line of inquiry would be closely monitored. It was a measured response to a sensitive issue, and it has resulted in advances that were unimaginable in the 1970s. A quarter-century later, would anyone turn back the clock? Would anyone discard vaccines traceable to recombinant DNA research? Would they dismiss the promising new strategies to prevent or combat AIDS, diabetes and cancer?"

What women really want. My wife married me for my mind.
Ready for the holodeck?
Robert Locke on why the citizens of Europe should do away with the bloated, bureaucratic, anti-democratic idiocy called the EU as soon as possible:

...

The EU seems to have a unique talent for bringing out the worst in its member states. It is like the universal alloy of medieval alchemy: a mixture of all metals that turns out to have the liabilities of each and the virtues of none. Each of its member states has its own dishonorable reasons for participating in it.

...

Another motivating factor behind the EU is the determination of French bureaucrats to rule Europe. France, because of her history, the structure of her government, and her educational system, produces the most ambitious bureaucrats in the world.

...

The other great aim of EU supporters is that it be their last chance to salvage the statist, over-regulated, socialistic economic policies that have been pushed to the wall by the worldwide free-market revival of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

...

The EU is a mortal threat to the civil liberties of those who live under it. It is currently trying to impose on those member states, like Britain, whose citizens currently have a right to trial-by-jury, a legal system known as Corpus Juris - a judicial system under which Trial by Jury and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty will be abolished.

...

The bureaucracy of the EU has a well-earned reputation for heavy-handedness, arrogance, incompetence, and deafness to the public. The European Commission is seriously corrupt. So much so, in fact, that in the Spring of 1999 the entire commission had to resign due to corruption charges. After this, of course, many of them kept on working for the EU in other posts. The Brussels headquarters has become a feather bed for the unelectable political cronies of all the member states.

...

So what’s the solution to the EU? Simply disband it. Let the nations of Western and Central Europe engage in free trade with one another. That’s it. For once, a complex problem has a simple solution.
Also fine pieces by Diane Ravitch and MoDo. NYT batting 1000 today.
Since 9/11 Thomas Friedman has become one of the best mainstream commentators on the Middle East. Another right-on piece in todays NYT Op-Ed
Even left-liberal, anti-gun columnist Richard Cohen sees the sense in arming pilots. Why doesn't Mineta get it? Somehow the FAA thinks it is more
dangerous to give the pilots a weapon than it is to put them in control of a modern jet.
I know its no challenge anymore to find something to make fun of the french about but I couldn't resist after reading this story. Someone should tell them that the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre happened before slasher flicks.
Does anyone have any doubt that even if the FBI had decided to act in order to prevent the 9-11 hijackings that they would have been sued by the ACLU and likely stopped? I used to be a big fan of the ACLU. And in some cases I still am, being the huge fan of the first amendment that I and any other blogger would be. But this suit is totally nonsensical. It would be rather ironic if, fearing lawsuits, airlines screen everyone BUT those most likely to commit a hijacking.
Good piece by Walter Williams on the increasing attack on property rights here
After another homicide bombing in Israel, I have to say that I find this commentary in the Guardian (UK) to be incredibly unbelievable. Why is it that they talk about Israeli war crimes but they don't talk about Palestinian ones? They shoot students studying the torah. They blow up 80 year olds shopping with their grandkids. And teenagers waiting to get into a club. And when the Israelis decide to try to defend themselves by going after the terrorists directly, the world is up in arms and calling the Israelis Nazis. Why does nobody point out that there wouldn't be any Palestinian civilian casualties at all if the terrorists didn't use them as human shields and more importantly, didn't decide to use every chance they get to kill Israelis.
Welcome to the our new blog. This is a collaborative effort, we believe in a common sense approach to politics combined with a healthy sense of cynicism and skepticism. We are also techheads who believe we are in the greatest period of technological change and advancement (and yes we do believe for the most part that it *is* advancement) ever experienced and that for those of us alive now the coming changes in the next 20-50 years will be astounding.

Stay tuned!