Saturday, August 03, 2002
Friday, August 02, 2002
I just discovered this site. It's a hoot, it lets you take pictures of animals and merge them with the heads, legs and tails of different animals. Great fun for your kids (or yourself if you don't have any or even if you do).
"Because of Libyan sponsorship of a terrorist attack in Berlin in which one American soldier was killed, President Reagan ordered the bombing of Qadaffi's home and offices in Tripoli, a city of one million people, on April 14, 1986. Among the areas struck was the residential neighborhood of Bin Ashur, killing 37 people and wounding 93, many of
them civilians. Among the casualties at Qadaffi's home were his 15 month-old daughter Hana, who was killed, and two of his sons, ages 3 and 4, who were wounded."
And to defend this Reagan said "today we did what we had to do. If necessary, we will do it again."
And even the New York Times wrote an editorial defending the action saying, "for the United States to have failed to act [after concluding that Libya was sponsoring terrorism
against Americans] would have said to the world: 'Go ahead. Shoot. Bomb. Kill. This tiger never bites.' There have been times in the shadow war of terror when the tiger could do no more than snarl and twitch his tail--and there will be others. On Monday, American sent a justifiably different message. The tiger bites." (April 16, 1986)
So why can't the Israelis do the same? Okay, its not the same. Salah Shehade (who recently became familiar with the business end of a one ton bomb) had masterminded dozens of attacks on Israeli citizens and probably had a lot more blood on his hands than Qadaffi ever did.
""Europeans have done something that no one has ever done before: create a zone of peace where war is ruled out, absolutely out," Karl Kaiser, the director of something called the Research Institute of the German Society for Foreign Affairs in Berlin explained to the Chicago Tribune. "Europeans are convinced that this model is valid for other parts of the world."
Rarely have so many inaccurate statements been crammed into so few words.
"This miracle of Europe is underperceived in America," Klaus Scharioth, political director of the German Foreign Ministry tells the Tribune. "Once, we were a continent of borders and of wars. Now you can go from Denmark to Portugal without being stopped once or having to change your money. I think it's a miracle. Why is it that this European miracle is underperceived?"
The answer is simple: Europeans underperceive the fact that while their bureaucrats haggled in their comfortable hotel conference rooms over wine corks, clever cheeses and other Euro-whatnots, the United States was acting as their bodyguard. Americans -or at least the Americans running this administration -believe that the "European miracle" couldn't have happened without an American-led security umbrella. The Europeans have accomplished a great deal, to be sure. But they couldn't have done it without tanks."
"Few, if any, Israelis rejoiced last week at the news of 14 Palestinian civilians, including nine children, killed together with arch-terrorist Salah Shehadeh in Gaza. There may have been those who felt that the elimination of Shehadeh was worth it, even in retrospect, given the magnitude of the attacks he was planning. But even they were saddened by the loss of life. (I hesitate to use the word "innocent" when referring to those who likely viewed Shehadeh as a hero.)
Not one Jew rushed out into the street to pass out candies, shoot off machine guns, or ululate in celebration of Palestinian deaths. Even upon the death of our most bitter enemies, Jews are instructed not to rejoice (see Proverbs 24:17), and we all grew up removing 10 drops from our wine cups at the Pessah Seder in memory of the Egyptians drowned in the sea.
No medals were awarded in a festive public ceremony to the pilot who dropped the bomb on Shehadeh's house, like the public ceremonies organized by the Palestinian Authority on July 18 to honor the families of suicide bombers and subsequently broadcast on PA TV.
There comes a point, however, where empathy for others becomes something else entirely. When the empathy for one's enemies is stronger than for one's brothers, it becomes unnatural, inhuman. Much of the Israeli breast-beating last week falls into this category. "
"I think we ought to look at people who are trying to avoid U.S. taxes as a problem," Mr. Bush said to reporters on Wednesday. "I think American companies ought to pay taxes here, and be a part — good citizens."
Since when is trying to reduce your tax bill un-American? When did paying the maximum amount of tax you can become the hallmark of a good citizen? This country was founded on tax avoidance. When did we become so enthralled with government that trying to pay less tax is considered a vice. Are the honeybee and mohair subsidies that important. Maybe if we weren't throwing $1.2 billion into the Amtrak black hole, giving farm subsidies to Ted Turner and Sam Donaldson, or wasting money in the innumerable ways government bureaucrats and politicians think up, we could reduce tax rates so that companies would not feel the need to reincorporate elsewhere.
"It is unfortunate that Abdullah has hitched his throne to Saddam's wagon," Mr Chalabi declares. "He is under pressure from Saddam to do something about Hassan's decision to show solidarity with the Iraqi people by visiting the conference we held in London on July 12." Hassan's appearance at this meeting was laden with symbolism, for Hassan would be a prime candidate for any restoration of the monarchy in Iraq. The only explanation for Abdullah's "bad manners" towards his uncle is that "he is so much under the thumb of Saddam". Mr Chalabi claims that Abdullah has been friendly with Uday, Saddam's son, for a long time: before Abdullah's accession, they were fishing companions, and Uday presented the new king with three Porsches. Mr Chalabi accuses Abdullah of evading sanctions and playing a "double game" with the West, allowing intelligence agencies to recruit Iraqi agents in Jordan, but also passing sensitive information to Saddam, including warnings of an impending coup in 1996. "King Abdullah has become Saddam's lawyer in America. He defends Saddam and uses every opportunity to warn off any American attempt to help the Iraqi people liberate themselves. I think it is time that people here know what their supposed friends are doing to shore up Saddam's regime."
Thursday, August 01, 2002
-30 to 40 years old
Wow, way to narrow it down.
TO BE LIBERAL
*To be a liberal, you have to believe the aids virus is spread
by a lack of funding.
*To be a liberal, you have to be against capital punishment,
but for abortion on demand, in short you support protecting the
guilty and you support killing the innocent.
*To be a liberal, you have to believe that the same school
teacher who cannot teach your fourth grader how to read is
qualified to teach you fourth grader about sex.
*To be a liberal, you have to believe that trial lawyers are
selfless heroes and doctors are overpaid.
*To be a liberal, you have to believe that guns in the hands
of law abiding Americans are more of a threat then nuclear
weapons in the hands of the chi-coms.
*To be a liberal, you have to believe that global temperatures
are less affected by cyclical documented changes in the
brilliance of the sun and more affected by Yuppies driving
*To be a liberal, you have to believe that gender roles are
artificial, that being gay is natural.
*To be a liberal, you have to believe that business's create
oppression, government creates prosperity.
*To be a liberal, you have to believe that self-esteem is more
important then actually doing something to earn it.
*To be a liberal, you have to believe that there was no art
before federal funding.
*To be a liberal, you have to believe the military, not
corrupt politicians start wars.
*To be a liberal, you have to believe the NRA is bad because
they stand up for certain parts of the Constitution while
the ACLU is good because they stand up for certain parts
of the Constitution.
*To be a liberal, you have to believe that standardized
tests are racist but racial set-asides aren't.
"Later, life turned down, and George Shultz came to me and asked me if I would run the wage price controls for the United States of America. (laughter) It was the country's first peacetime experiment. As I recall, it was not Milton Friedman, but H. L. Mencken who once said, "For every human problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong." Richard Nixon found it. Early on, I figured out that the key to success was not to even try to manage wages and prices. Senator Proxmire's law, I think written on the back of an envelope, was only a paragraph or two, and it embarrassed the President because inflation was coming along and the President wasn't stopping it. So he passed a law saying that the president shall have the right to control wages and prices. I put the law on the floor in my office, next to my desk. And then every time The Wage Board, or The Price Commission, or The Health Services Board, or The Rent Board, or The Construction Stabilization Industries Board, any one of those alphabet boards that were spawned by this Economic Stabilization Act — every time they issued a regulation, we stuck on top. Before too long it started working its way up to the ceiling. As a reminder for everybody for the potential damage we were doing."
"Liberty means the right to do wrong. The proper function of government is preventing some from interfering with the liberty of others. Beyond that, individuals are at liberty to make their own moral choices. Liberty does not mandate that one advocates or approves of specific choices others make. Liberty does require the choices be made. On moral issues, free people may do what they can to change other people's minds — they have no right to use the power of government to make up others' minds for them.
Liberty will never lead to a utopia – yours, mine or anyone else's. The "perfect" society cannot tolerate the imperfection enabled by liberty. The imperfection enabled by liberty cannot yield a perfect society. A utopia necessarily requires that the liberty of some be sacrificed to the will of others. From Pax Roma to a pure Aryan Germany or a Communist worker's paradise to the Metropolitan Council's "Blueprint 2030," utopian efforts have always been and always will be the spawning ground of tyranny."
Read the whole piece.
Dogs smarter than previously thought. The news on politicians is not so good.
"There was a broad consensus among the varied experts that if President Bush decided to use military force to remove Mr. Hussein — as many in Congress expect — the Pentagon could not assume that the Iraqi military would collapse without a fight or that Iraqi opposition forces could carry on the fight alone. Rather, the experts said, the military would need to deploy tens of thousands of ground troops as well as many aircraft, ships and armored vehicles to ensure victory."
Oh my god, you mean there might actually be fighting after an invasion and this fight might actually require a military???
Wednesday, July 31, 2002
"Chirac complained to Peres about what he claimed is a campaign against France in the United States, where France is portrayed as anti-Semitic. Chirac claimed that the campaign, while carried out in the US, is being orchestrated in Jerusalem, and demanded that the accusations against France regarding anti-Semitism cease."
So he is claiming their is a Jewish conspiracy to make him seem anti-Semitic? Generally people who aren't anti-Semitic don't go around telling people the Jews are out to get them.
Please place a '1' next to all the programs/ideas you support and sum them all up. Scroll down to find out which famous world leader you most resemble
__ State sponsored education.
__ Mandatory community service for youth (aka "volunteerism").
__ State support for the arts.
__ State run daycare for all.
__ National health care.
__ Quotas to correct the racial improprieties of the past.
__ Tough gun control laws.
__ Lessen the impact certain financiers have on politics.
__ Vegetarianism on Ethical Grounds.
__ Public Works programs for the unemployed.
__ A cap on corporate profits.
__ Bans on cigarette smoking.
__ Price supports for agricultural products.
(See comments for some scores, feel free to add some of your own)
Tuesday, July 30, 2002
"Saudi Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabir was found dead in the Rub al-Khali desert on July 30, Agence France-Presse reported. According to the SPA news agency, the prince and two other men were found near their car and had died of thirst. Fahd, 25, was the third Saudi prince to die in the past week. Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz died July 22 of a heart attack at the age of 43. The next day, Prince Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki al-Saud, a cousin of Ahmed and one year younger, died behind the wheel as he was driving to the funeral."
I do realize that there are thousands of Saudi princes around and all that but 3 dying in such short order (of things other than old age) seems a bit suspicious.
" Demanding "clean" air and water is like demanding "safe" sources of power. There are no such things. There is air and water containing greater and lesser amounts of other elements and compounds, some of which represent varying amounts of danger that can be removed at varying costs.
Some of these elements and compounds are dangerous pollutants, which can be removed to a great extent at relatively modest costs. But to remove that last infinitesimal fraction of pollutants means skyrocketing costs to avoid ever more remote, or even questionable, dangers.
Some things that might be lethal in high concentrations may be easily handled by the body's natural defenses when there are only minute traces in the air or water. Unfortunately, such complications do not lend themselves to political slogans or to ideological crusades that can energize zealots in environmental cults or Chicken Littles who demand absolute "safety.""
Veronica Webb's eco-friendly electric car turned into a fire-spewing death machine the other night, burning down her Key West house and killing her beloved dog, Hercules. Despite her long devotion to various green causes, the six-month pregnant supermodel says she's through with electric cars after her Chrysler Gem overloaded while charging late last Monday night, sending flames through her air conditioning system and consuming everything in its wake. "We got the car because it was supposed to be great for the environment, but no one ever warns you how dangerous they are."
If a fat man walked into an empty room and then two skinny guys walked out, you might be perplexed. Now physicists have spotted the equivalent result in photons flying near an atom. A group publishing in the 5 August print issue of PRL has identified rare instances in which a single photon splits in two, dividing the original photon's energy between them. [more]
Monday, July 29, 2002
"You do not get through Harvard Business School by exhibiting the kind of ignorance and distaste for capital markets or the fundamentals of economic policy that the authors paint Bush as displaying. The liberal press likes to pretend that attending HBS is pretty much like getting into the right nursery school; come from the right family and your admission and easy passage is pretty much assured. Not quite. Even in those more free-and-easy days, Harvard graded on a forced curve; 10% of the class flunked. 4 flunking grades and you're out. If you're the kind of idiot these Time folks are trying to make out, you will flunk out no matter who your father is (and remember, at the time, his father wasn't even Vice President). It's not like, say, majoring in English. And it's pretty damn rich coming from two reporters who almost certainly couldn't make it through one quarter of business school.
[I am under no illusions about the difficulty of business school as compred to, say, a graduate program in Physics. However, I have been an English major. I have taught GMAT courses to media types. Your average newsweekly reporter couldn't muster the math score -- median averages equate to getting a 720 or 730 on the SAT -- to get into a top-ten business school, much less master the basic calculus and statistics necessary to stay there.]"
Right after the planes smashed into the World Trade Center, San Francisco State University Professor Laurie Zoloth returned from an East Coast visit by a uniquely American and prosaic conveyance -- a Greyhound bus. Her traveling companions were neurologists and fellow academicians, all embarked on an unexpected continental road trip because the nation's air industry had been paralyzed by international terrorism.
It was an exhilarating interlude, said Zoloth, director of the university's Jewish Studies Program -- a genuine journey of discovery, one that planted seeds of change in the way Zoloth viewed herself, her religion, the nation, the world.
"We spent the entire trip talking about neurology and brain function, about free will, about the essential elements of good and evil," recalled Zoloth, a woman with a facile tongue and a sense of humor that rides the balance between dry and absurd.
"I was tremendously gratified by what I saw as we drove across the country, " Zoloth said. "Everywhere we went there was enormous solidarity, the sense that we were all in this thing together."
But that all changed when Zoloth got back to San Francisco State -- a historically liberal school in what is arguably the nation's most liberal city.
Here, she found that the climate for progressive Jews such as herself was suddenly different.
"I was horrified," Zoloth said. "First, a senior member of the faculty, a person I consider both bright and thoughtful, approached me with a theory that was making the rounds -- the CIA and Mossad had collaborated on the bombing and had given Jews working in the (World Trade Center) towers advance warning. She allowed she considered it a credible theory. I was stunned."
Sunday, July 28, 2002
To be fair, the article says they are following a precedent set by Reagan and Bush #1 who got part of their legal fees reimbursed. So I guess the bigger outrage is once again the privileged status of elected officials. I wonder how many people ruined by enormous legal fees paid while defending themselves against overzealous prosecutors, out of control IRS agents, ridiculous asset forfeiture cases (how these are not clearly unconstitutional is beyond me, a complete violation of due process protections), etc... ever get any of their legal fees reimbursed.