Saturday, August 10, 2002

HappyFunPundit defends Walmart. I agree.

Friday, August 09, 2002

Idiocy worthy of Chomsky. Adrian Hamilton in the Independent (also publisher of Robert Fisk) suggests ways to take down that great rogue nation...America.

"It is no friend of democracy, having announced its refusal to deal with the only two elected leaders of the Islamic world – Khatami in Iran and Yasser Arafat in Palestine, the latter the only Arab leader ever elected with western observers checking the process. The country has armed and succoured state terrorism and assassination by the Israelis. It has installed the worst sort of warlord gangsters in Afghanistan and, according to "intelligence", been party to upsetting (albeit briefly) the elected president of Venezuela. The world cannot afford to await its next move."

Those great statesman Arafat and Khatami. And Arafat was elected with western observers no less so he must be the legitimate leader. I'm sure he would have urged the invasion of Britain in 1939 also to prevent their interference with that great German elected leader, what was his name again, Holter, Hilter...something like that. And Khatami another fine choice, has he had his hired Arab goons fire into the mass crowds of protesters yet. And let's not forget the gangsters installed in Afghanistan, nothing like the enlightened government they had before. (Oh and he seems to have misspelled "succored", they apparently don't use those evil Microsoft spell-checkers at the Independent, or maybe it's just one of those odd British spellings like "colour", don't those Brits realize how many u's they are wasting. The cost in additional dead trees and ink must be staggering)

"The problem remains the practicalities. Whereas in Afghanistan the allies could rely on a local opposition force on the ground, no such scenario can be relied on in this case. The Spanish speaking minority in the south might be induced to rise up. There could be assistance from Minutemen in the mountains. But the democratic opposition is too defeated and divided to provide much help. The answer could be an "inside-out" strategy using special forces to take Washington and a few key nuclear bases. Provided the rest of the country was left to get on with its business, there would probably be little internal opposition to a seizure of the capital."

Hmmm...Spanish speaking minority, does he mean all those folks from Mexico who risk life and limb to get here. I would like to elect him to lead the charge against one of our key nuclear bases, I'm sure our boys at the bases don't get nearly enough target practice.

"That leaves the substantial problem of an "exit strategy". There is no point in a repeat of 1812. But the experience of America in Japan after the Second World War could provide a model. A period of occupation of five to 10 years could provide an opportunity to inculcate ideas of true democracy, with a fair electoral system based on absolute majority, abolition of the death penalty, introduction of unions into hi-tech industries and a break-up of the Zaibatsu, the overweening corporations such as Microsoft, Exxon and General Electric."

Fair electoral systems based on absolute majorities? Apparently they don't read anything by Locke, Hume, Jefferson, Madison, Burke over there at the Independent. They don't quite seem to understand that this government was explicitly designed not to be ruled by strict majority which is just specific form of despotism of one group over another. It was meant to leave room for minority voices and checks against government power. As for introduction of unions into hi-tech industries, as far as I know the unions have been trying to do this for years. Who does Hamilton think is stopping them, some evil government cabal? No, it is mostly a complete lack of interest on the part of folks who work in the industry who are mostly highly paid with excellent benefits packages who see no reason to send part of their income stream into the coffers of organized crime in the form of union dues. And let's not forget the requisite dig at those evil corporations, I know I am much more worried about GE and Microsoft than I am about the federal bureaucracy. After all Microsoft can seize my assets at any time, force me to use their services, throw me in a small cell, oh no...wait, that's the government. Actually Microsoft can't really force me to do anything. I am using one of their products now, but it is of my own free will. I could just as easily be using one of Apples products or Linux or Unix or I could write my own. But they're big and *gasp* a business so they must be evil. Offering people products that do useful things for them at an ever decreasing price is a horrible, horrible thing. It will be much better when the state directs what we need and supplies it for us. After all look how well it worked for the Soviets.

See Sasha Castel, Hoy, LGF and Andrea Harris for additional comments.
What to do if you ever become an evil overlord.

1) My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.

2) My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

3) My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

4) Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

5) The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

6) I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.
This is breaking news. Charlton Heston has announced he has developed symptoms consistent with Alzheimers. I wonder how long it will take for the liberals to start making tasteless senial jokes. Poor guy. I hope he doesn't completely succumb to that terrible disease for a long time.
Here is an article on one the real legacy of Rachel Carson. If there were any honesty in public discourse she would be regarded as the primary cause of one of the greatest human tragedies in the 20th century instead of a great environmental icon. She and her followers were responsible for the almost complete worldwide ban on DDT. The numerous adverse health effects she ascribed to DDT have since all been shown to be incorrect or wildly exaggerated, meanwhile the real threat of malaria, which DDT was the main weapon against, has taken tens of millions of lives since the early 1970's after experiencing dramatic decreases through the 50's & 60's. South Africa which ended DDT use in the 90's due to environmental pressure had an explosion in malaria cases subsequently. Ecuador, which has increased use of DDT since 1993, is the only country reporting a large reduction (61 percent) in malaria rate. Keep this in mind as you listen to environmentalist end-of-the-world scare stories.
Hillary is refusing to give back $27,000 in campaign contributions received from Sam Waksal according to the NY Post.
I've already gotten a few responses of "Go Bloomberg" to my previous post on how I severely disagree with Bloomberg's plans to ban all smoking in bars in the city. I am not against there being non-smoking bars, I just think they should be voluntary. Why don't we have a competition between non-smoking bars and smoking bars and see who wins? Let people vote with their feet. Realize that if this law passes, that means that if all the patrons of a bar and all the people that work there say they have no problems with smoking or smokers, they can still not let people smoke. That just doesn't seem right to me.

Another problem I have is the fact that "when he lobbied for his cigarette tax, he insisted that he did not care whether the city made or lost money, but rather that the tax would keep children from smoking." That's just great. We are in a recession and our Mayor doesn't seem to care. He'd rather forward his own social engineering agenda.
Joe Eszterhas has an anti-smoking Op-Ed in the New York Times. He says, "I think smoking should be as illegal as heroin." Actually so do I, I think both should be very legal. Don't people realize that banning smoking will not stop people from smoking? It will just strengthen the criminal element as they will have one more item (and a very popular one at that) to sell. Smoking is an easy target. I am one of those people who hates walking behind someone who is smoking on my way to work in the morning. But I also realize that there are a lot of other things that are bad for you that I wouldn't want to see banned. Fattening food will be next. Just you wait.
This is pretty cool. A lab crow was smart enough to deliberately bend a straight wire into a hook and use it to extract food from a container.

I now hate Michael Bloomberg. He wants to ban all smoking in bars and restaurants. I was there when California did the same. I never thought it could happen here. He's already severely hurting the corner delis with his unreasonable tax on cigarettes as they get a large portion of the money they make from cigarette sales and sales are down 50% after the tax was passed. Now in case any anti-smoking activists are reading this, its too early for you mollusks to celebrate, as cigarette sales may be down in the city but they are skyrocketing on indian reservations and out of state.
Check this out. This really pissed me off. On the BMW web site they have a middle east dealer locator and they show the West Bank as part of Jordan and Israel is labeled Palestine. Wasn't it enough that they used Jewish slave labor. They now have decided to endorse the wiping of Israel off the map. Looks like things haven't changed much at BMW.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Steve Chapman offers two plans for saving the world.
Cynthia McKinney on Zimbabwe: (via Indepundit)

“To any honest observer, Zimbabwe's sin is that it has taken the position to right a wrong, whose resolution has been too long overdue--to return its land to its people… When we get right down to it, this legislation is nothing more than a formal declaration of United States complicity in a program to maintain white-skin privilege… It is racist and against the interests of the masses of Zimbabweans.”

This woman really does have the smallest brain in Congress and that is quite a feat.
John Cole explains NY Times environmentalism.
Tales of socialized healthcare.
One of my readers pointed out this article which had appeared back in January in Frontpage Magazine. Its point is really the same I was trying to make yesterday, that just about all nations have been created through territorial conquest. Here is a great passage:

"It follows that the Israelis hold their land in title derived from the British abandonment to them in 1948, at which point they conquered it against the Arab attempt to do the same. The British title derives from the surrender of these lands by Ottoman Turkey. The Ottoman title derives from the fact that the Ottomans were the native inhabitants of the territory, but of course it doesn’t, because they weren’t. They were invading Turks, no more native to the area than the British. They, in fact, conquered it from the Mamluks in 1517. Who conquered it from the Crusaders in 1291. Who conquered it from the Fatimids in 1099. Who conquered it from the Seljuks in 1098. Who conquered it from the Abbasids. Who conquered it from the Byzantines. Who inherited it from the Romans upon division of the Empire in 395. The Romans had conquered it from the last Jewish kingdom in 63 BC. The Jews had originally conquered it from the Canaanites. Before that, it had also been under the ownership of the Egyptians, who conquered it around 1450 BC, and then the Assyrians, followed by Persians and Greeks. Some of these conquerors were mere military overlords, some of them deeply penetrated the social and demographic fabric of the area. All came and went, to varying degrees."
Gladly, the Spectator is not as squeamish as the NY Times when discussing Mr. Mugabe.

Or for just when it's cold out. Japanese product translations. Very funny. (via Sea Doc)
So looks like Einstein may have been wrong and the speed of light may not be constant. Honestly, I never did totally understand why that had to be true, other than for the purpose of making the equations work easier. Remember the cosmological constant?
Quote from Volokh Conspiracy on the Socratic method:

"Note that this is also an illustration of the authentic Socratic method, which, fortunately, law schools do not in fact use: The teacher gives the answers in the form of questions and the student responds “Yes, Socrates.” Or perhaps the even more authentic Socratic method is for someone to ask people tough questions, until they kill him. "
This must really put Hitler on the NY Times shit list? Oh yeah, he ordered the deaths of millions of people but his real evil nature is revealed by the fact that he was *gasp* wealthy. Hmmm...he had virtually complete control over the German economy for 12 years but that fact that he made a few million reichmarks from sales of "Mein Kampf" is a revelation. Are there any other political figures we know of who have made lots of money from book deals? Bueller? Anyone?
Was the French Revolution caused by Louis XVI's enormous penis (bracquemart assez considérable)? A case of class penis envy? Actually the researcher claims that failure to consummate his marriage to Marie-Antoinette (who apparently also had a particularly small vagina) delayed the military alliance between the Bourbons and Hapsburgs and the delayed alliance led to the Revolution.
Thou churlish pottle-deep bugbear!
Thou mewling fen-sucked malignancy!
Thou spleeny plume-plucked rampallion!
Generate your own Elizabethan curses here
23 Cubans who were part of a delegation visiting Canada for the Pope's visit have defected. The Cuban bishop who was in charge of the delegation said they were pressured into staying and exhorted them to return. Hmm.. I'm sure it was undo pressure that made them defect it couldn't have anything to do with the police state with the nonexistant economy they left. The Church really is in it's end days when one of their bishops, who should've been helping more people get out, instead asks them to return. (I am probably being too hard on the bish since he most likely had a gun to his head (or some equivalent threat) when he issued the statement.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Mark Steyn muses on the nonideological folks at the NYT and elsewhere:

"So supporting "internationalism," "multilateralism," abortion and racial quotas means you're "moderate" and "nonideological"? And anyone who feels differently is an extreme ideologue? Absolutely. The New York Times is rarely so explicit, at least in its "news" pages, but the aim of a large swathe of the left is not to win the debate but to get it cancelled before it starts. You can do that in any number of ways -- busting up campus appearances by conservatives, "hate crimes" laws, Canada's ghastly human-rights commissions, the more "enlightened" court judgments, the EU's recent decision to criminalize "xenophobia," or merely, as the Times does, by declaring your side of every issue to be the "moderate" and "nonideological" position.
You'll notice, incidentally, that I haven't used the word "liberal" to describe the left. "Conservative" has been carelessly appropriated by the media to mean no more than the side you're not meant to like. John Ashcroft is a hardline conservative, but so, according to the press, is the Taliban and half the Chinese politburo and the crankier Ayatollahs. So I think we conservatives ought to make an attempt to reclaim the word "liberal." We believe in liberty, and in liberating human potential. I don't know what you'd call a political culture that reduces voters to dependents, that tells religious institutions whom they can hire, that instructs printers on what printing jobs they're obliged to accept, that bans squeegee kids unless they're undercover policemen checking on whether you're wearing your seatbelt, etc., etc. But "liberal" no longer seems to cover it."
Great quote from YalePundits in a piece on Helen Thomas' idiotic sputterings:

"That one sentence illustrates so much idiocy and blindness that I'm literally dumbfounded. I am stunned and quantifiably less intelligent after processing that thought."
A team of Australian physicists has proposed that the speed of light may not be constant or that the charge of the electron may not be constant. If either is shown to be true it would mark a major upheaval in modern physics. I'll keep an interested eye on this but until I see some more detailed and reproduced experiments, I'll assign it to to the "likely measurment error" pile rather than "paradigm shift" pile. (link via MWQ)
Count de Monay dissects Begala.
If the U.N. peacekeepers are like 1920's Chicago cops, what are the ICC judges like? [more]

"During her time in Bosnia as an investigator, Ms Bolkovac, 41, uncovered evidence of girls who refused to have sex being beaten and raped in bars by their pimps while peacekeepers stood and watched. She discovered that one UN policeman who was supposed to be investigating the sex trade paid £700 to a bar owner for an underage girl who he kept captive in his apartment to use in his own prostitution racket.
Richard Monk, a former senior British policeman who ran the UN police operation in Bosnia until 1999, said: “There were truly dreadful things going on by UN police officers from a number of countries. I found it incredible that I had to set up an internal affairs department to investigate complaints that officers were having sex with minors and prostitutes.
The ruling yesterday will cause further embarrassment to the UN over the behaviour of its peacekeepers. In March investigators disclosed that British aid workers and the UN contingent in Sierra Leone were demanding sex from teenage refugees in exchange for food and money. The UN’s refugee agency, which carried out the inquiry, told of “a shameful catalogue of sexual abuse”. " (Link via Transterrestrial Musings)
So it sounds like Rumsfeld really upset some of the anti-Israel folks by saying what he thought the other day. One person was quoted as saying:

''The idea of calling into question the illegitimacy of the acquisition of territory by force is odd to say the least. It runs a little bit off the reservation.''

So does that make the United States an illegitimate entity? How about the United Kingdom (the angles and the saxons were invaders from the continent)? Actually just about all the Arab countries would then be considered illegitimate as Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian peninsula and not places like Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon.
DaddyWarblogs takes on the U.N.:

"And to think that a whole swathe of wet leftie know-nothings (including Assad's man in the UNGA) called Jenin an instance of Israeli 'brutality.' Do any of them really know what brutality looks like? Were Israel to act like just another Middle Eastern shitpile, there wouldn't be a terrorism problem in Israel because there wouldn't be any terrorists because they, and their families, and their neighbours, and their neighbours' neighbours would all be dead or deported to Jordan. Why send in the IDF on foot into Jenin going from house to house when they could simply have used the Assad method: encircle the town with tanks and artillery pieces and simply reduce it to rubble? Why bother with the specific targetting of militants when it would be far more thorough to simply do what the Kuwaitis did after the Gulf War, and expel a few hundred thousand Palestinians? When Israel occupied Lebanon there was outraged condemnation. Now that Syria occupies Lebanon no one is interested. While Hafez al-Assad was flattening Hama, the UN were too busy fulminating about the IAF's attack on Iraq's nuclear reactors to notice."
"Why don't you take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You'd forget all about them. And instead of feeling miserable, you'd be jolly. So jolly." That's from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, where the authorities got the masses to go on "Soma holidays" in order to make them easier to deal with. Unfortunately it seems, that is exactly what the school authorities are doing to children these days by forcing them to take Ritalin. Check out this story. In this case, school officials went so far as to file a medical-neglect and child-abuse complaint against a boy's mother with the state's Department of Children and Family Services after she stopped medicating her child, a 3rd grader, with Ritalin, even though he was having a negative reaction to the drug. I never really understood how anyone could give children mind-altering drugs during a period when their minds are still developing. It reminds me of a funny-because-it's-true Onion piece titled "Ritalin Cures Next Picasso":

WORCESTER, MA—Area 7-year-old Douglas Castellano's unbridled energy and creativity are no longer a problem thanks to Ritalin, doctors for the child announced Friday. "After years of failed attempts to stop Douglas' uncontrollable bouts of self-expression, we have finally found success with Ritalin," Dr. Irwin Schraeger said. "For the first time in his life, Douglas can actually sit down and not think about lots of things at once." Castellano's parents reported that the cured child no longer tries to draw on everything in sight, calming down enough to show an interest in television.

Particularly fine Lileks piece today.
I have noticed a remarkable similarity between liberal views and those of five-year olds.

Here are some of the things my 5 year old believes (see if you can spot the similarities to liberal views)

1) She thinks everything in the world exists already and the only problem is distribution. I.E. How more of the stuff can get distributed to her.

2) She always wants what her sister has at any given moment even if she could care less about it 2 minutes ago.

3) She wants the government (me and my lovely wife) to solve all her problems and protect her from all harm but fails to see that this requires that we put severe restrictions on her activities.

4) She thinks the government is an endless source of largesse.

5) She also thinks that government redistribution is preferable to free and open trade.

"J won't let me play with her Barbie"
"Why don't you try offering her one of your toys in exchange?"
"No. J let me play with the Barbie"
Smack! "Waahh"
"Why did you hit your sister?"
"She pushed me first."
"But you tried to grab her doll."

6) She always believes others have more than her.
"J got two Barbies for her birthday and I only got one, it's not fair!"
"But you got the big Barbie house you asked for."
"But I want two Barbies!"
"But you got a Barbie and big house"

7) Don't think they should really have to do any work to get what they want.
"Can we watch a cartoon now?"
"As soon as you put your dish in the dishwasher?"
"Can you do it for me?"
"No, you're perfectly capable of doing it yourself."
"But it's too hard!"
"Well then, putting on a cartoon is too hard."
"OK!" Throws the dish in the dishwasher with a harrumph.

8) She thinks she knows everything and that everyone should behave as she prefers.

9) She dismisses or disregards logical arguments and prefers to deconstruct everything you say.

10) When she can't deal with the sense of your argument she reverts to name-calling.
A fine op-ed in todays NY Times about the impending famine in Zimbabwe caused by their despot in residence, Mr. Mugabe. The piece is only marred by what must be required NY Times PC editorial guidelines:

"...In May, a law was passed decreeing that any commercial farmer who continued to farm 45 days after being given notice to stop would face imprisonment.

On Friday, that law will be used to evict thousands of commercial farmers and their workers. Fear and desperation pervade the country. All the signs are that President Robert Mugabe is determined to hold on to power at any cost, including the destruction of the nation and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans."

Well, from news reports (and here) I have read only white commercial farmers have been ordered to stop. This is part of a Mugabe plan to redistribute white farmland to blacks in South Africa. Now while most of the commercial farmers are white, to fail to mention this tidbit in the op-ed seems disingenuous at best.
Michael Kelly discusses what would happen if truth-in-packaging rules were applied to reporters:

" WASHINGTON -- In a climate where the "dismal science" seems ever more aptly named, Wall Street's relapse into the land of the diminishing Dow has sparked fears of a so-called double-dip recession -- fears that are quite justified and have their roots in a systemic and decade-long abuse of the public trust by corporate malefactors and their political enablers.

(Full Disclosure: The author knows diddly about the stock market. He went through college on a journalism program, for God's sake. He last understood the mathematics curriculum in the fourth grade. Like most journalists, he only vaguely and dimly grasps the economics of his own business. He did not know the difference between a bull and a bear market until he was in his mid-thirties. His father-in-law has several times explained to him the concept of a "put," yet it remains to him a mystery. His wife handles all aspects of the family's financial life. He does not even have his own checkbook. He has an ATM card, which he frequently loses.) "
Looks like Taiwan just pissed off China when the President of Taiwan declared in a speech that "the two are separate countries." Excuse me but unless you have been in an opium dream for the last 50 years, how can you possibly argue with that statement? I never did understand how China could claim Taiwan was still a part of China, nor could I understand how the rest of the world community could refuse to recognize Taiwan as a separate entity. They have separate governments, foreign policies and economic systems. What I really love is this statement from the PRC's official government China Daily which states "If we want to strive for peace, we have to be fully prepared for military action." Sounds like the closest thing to Stalinist logic I've heard since Andropov died. Don't they have peace with Taiwan now?
Within a year the Des Moines Area Community College's West Des Moines campus plans to be entirely paperless. And no, that doesn't mean they don't have to write papers anymore.
Good essay on the misguided attempt to solve every problem by passing new legislation.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Not that I really need it but here is another reason for me to dislike the State Department. Sometimes I wonder if they really don't care if Jews are murdered, even if they are Americans.
According to Daniel Pipes, Israel is winning the war against the Palestinians.
Here is something cool we might get to use on the Iraqis: Microwave weapons that produce a split-second spike of energy powerful enough to damage electronic components and scramble computer memories.
Finally some social research I can endorse whole-heartedly. (Note to my wife, just kidding dear).
I've commented in the past about the deafening silence of NOW on the treatment of women in Arab nations. Now I'd like to know why the PETA folks are not complaining about this? (link via LGF)
This blog is a comment on John's post on bikinis vs. burkhas. It really is funny how members of the left confuse the difference between what is voluntary and what is required. Women who choose to live large and not exercise are freely allowed to do so, and more power to them if it makes them happy. Considering that very few women fall under the category of ultra-thin, it is obvious that women are free to choose whether or not they want to fit into a bikini. The worst "punishment" they face is that fewer men are likely to want to make a pass at them. In Afghanistan under the Taliban, on the other hand, it is essentially a capital crime not to wear a burkha. These people need to learn the word "perspective."
News Flash
The Saudi's are not our friends. I suspected they were screening their calls when I constantly got their answering machine. I'm glad someone in Washington has finally figured this out.
In the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts, the governor who pushed through a cut in the amount the state will pay drugstores for Medicaid drugs is shocked that the three largest drug chains, Walgreens, CVS and Brooks have announced that they will stop filling Medicaid prescriptions in the state. She is exploring legal options to force the companies to stay in the Medicaid program. And when they declare bankruptcy, she can explore legal options to force their employees to work for no pay and their landlords to forgo their rents I suppose.
More evidence that the highly publicized gang-rape ordered by a tribal council was not just a random, unrepresentative event. I wonder what Joan Jacobs Brumberg and Jacquelyn Jackson, who wrote the, now infamous, piece for the Boston Globe (sorry I would link to it but the Globe has moved it to their premium archives) last November comparing burkas to bikinis and arguing that Western women were little better off than Islamic women forced to wear burkas would have to say about this.
For those who keep worrying about the effect guns have on children ("won't someone please think about the children!") please take the following into account:

"Gun accidents involving children are actually at record lows, although you wouldn't know it from listening to the mainstream media. In 1997, the last year for which data are available, only 142 children under 15 years of age died in gun accidents, and the total number of gun-related deaths for this age group was 642. More children die each year in accidents involving bikes, space heaters or drownings."

I wonder if we are going to start hearing about a BMX bike and space heater control lobby. Also, I still don't see why, if these people really care only about the safety of children, that they just make the punishments for negligent parents harsher. Why should the insist on taking all guns away from everybody, including childless people who simply want to be safe in their own homes. It all seems very similar to our mentality in airports where former Presidential candidates, Barbara Walters and 80 year old congressional medal of honor winners are severely inconvenienced because we want to protect ourselves from people who are obviously of a very different profile. In the words of Homer Simpson, "that's not America, that's not even Mexico!"
Here is some additional evidence of the negative effects of gun bans. England which effectively banned all private gun ownership a couple of years ago (and also severely limited other types of self-defense) has experienced a huge increase in gun crime.
Very interesting article examining the psychology of the anti-gun crowd:

"Another defense mechanism commonly utilized by supporters of gun control is denial. Denial is simply refusing to accept the reality of a given situation.9 For example, consider a woman whose husband starts coming home late, has strange perfume on his clothes, and starts charging flowers and jewelry on his credit card. She may get extremely angry at a well-meaning friend who suggests that her husband is having an affair. The reality is obvious, but the wronged wife is so threatened by her husband's infidelity that she is unable to accept it, and so denies its existence.

Anti-gun people do the same thing. It's obvious that we live in a dangerous society, where criminals attack innocent people. Just about everyone has been, or knows someone who has been, victimized. It's equally obvious that law enforcement can't protect everyone everywhere 24 hours a day. Extensive scholarly research demonstrates that the police have no legal duty to protect you10 and that firearm ownership is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family.11 There is irrefutable evidence that victim disarmament nearly always precedes genocide.12 Nonetheless, the anti-gun folks insist, despite all evidence to the contrary, that "the police will protect you", "this is a safe neighborhood" and "it can't happen here", where "it" is everything from mugging to mass murder.
In my experience, the common thread in anti-gun people is rage. Either anti-gun people harbor more rage than others, or they're less able to cope with it appropriately. Because they can't handle their own feelings of rage, they are forced to use defense mechanisms in an unhealthy manner. Because they wrongly perceive others as seeking to harm them, they advocate the disarmament of ordinary people who have no desire to harm anyone. So why do anti-gun people have so much rage and why are they unable to deal with it in appropriate ways? Consider for a moment that the largest and most hysterical anti-gun groups include disproportionately large numbers of women, African- Americans and Jews. And virtually all of the organizations that claim to speak for these "oppressed people" are stridently anti-gun. Not coincidentally, among Jews, Blacks and women there are many "professional victims" who have little sense of identity outside of their victimhood.

Identity as Victim

If I were to summarize this article in three sentences, they would be:

(1) People who identify themselves as "victims" harbor excessive amounts of rage at other people, whom they perceive as "not victims."

(2) In order psychologically to deal with this rage, these "victims" utilize defense mechanisms that enable them to harm others in socially acceptable ways, without accepting responsibility or suffering guilt, and without having to give up their status as "victims."

(3) Gun owners are frequently the targets of professional victims because gun owners are willing and able to prevent their own victimization."

Monday, August 05, 2002

Here is another case of zero tolerance gone too far. While security personnel were looking through an 80-year-old's wallet at an airport he said "you better look at it real good; there may be a rifle in there." And he got arrested.
An asteroid is about to pass close enough to earth that we will be able to see it with binoculars. Do we need any more signs that we need to get the space program moving???
Looks like AOL is cutting back on its pop-up ads. I hope it catches on since those things are so annoying. Though I have to say that it no longer makes any difference to me since I got this pop-up ad filter. It really works like a dream (and no I don't work for the company that makes it).
I just got a glimpse into the Left's mindset. I was just discussing gun control with an anti-second amendment co-worker and while telling me how strongly he felt about gun control he said "I don't care about the other side, I don't care about the facts." Apparently, even though study after study shows that more freedom to own and carry firearms correlates with lower crime rates (and higher crime rates go along with stricter gun control) my co-worker can't see "how that possibly could be true." So when we publish studies and blogs and such things are we really just publishing these things for ourselves? It doesn't really seem to change the minds of the left, no matter how strong a case we make. Oh well, at least blogs have the positive attribute of letting me vent allowing me to avoid turning into one of those old men on the street corner with a paper bag who screams about socialism.
Looks like some Democrats are pissed off that their Jewish constituents don't want to support candidates who oppose Israel.
It looks like Jason vs. Freddy is finally going to become a reality!
Amusing article on how Godzilla figures into the Japanese psyche.
The estate of John Cage has threatened to sue the group Planets for ripping Cage off because their latest album has a 60 second section of complete silence on it. Cage's estate complains that they are ripping off Cage's piece 4'33" which consists of 273 seconds (hence the title) of silence.
Here is an interesting analysis of military unit mobilizations and what that means for our plans in relation to Iraq.
Nerd joke:
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't."
And they produce an intense craving for chips and other munchies.
From Merriam-Webster:

fascist - a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

Hmmm... maybe Max just misunderstood and the reader was referring to Gore in his comment.
Check out this Op-Ed on the accounting scandals by the irrepressible Walter Wriston. Here are a few key passages:

"Scholars will recall that in the beginning, the Roman empire operated with laws recorded on just 12 tablets which every school child had to memorize. Over time, as laws proliferated, the 12 tablets grew to some 3,000 brass plates stored in the capital and read by nobody. American accounting rules have outdone in a few years what the Romans took 13 centuries to produce."

"Everybody is in on the act. The Financial Accounting Standards Board has, at last count, enshrined generally accepted accounting principles into three volumes comprising some 4,530 pages. Some of the FASB rules run to over 700 pages on how to book a single transaction. It should surprise no one that two skilled accountants, looking at the booking of the same transaction and using their knowledge of the same rules, come out with different results."

"It happens all the time in legal matters. Learned judges hearing the same testimony and reading the same briefs often render split opinions of 5-4 or 2-1. It is rare that they are castigated by the media or Congress for failing to agree unanimously, but in the accounting profession a difference of opinion is often reported as if a fraud has been committed."

"Congress, which suddenly has become expert on the nearly 5,000 pages of rules governing private-sector accounting, prevents our own government from using GAAP. The reasons for this hypocrisy is clear. If GAAP were used by the federal government, the reported surplus last year of $170 billion would have to be reported as a deficit of $580 billion."

This is a story that has gotten remarkably little play in the mainstream media. Tom Daschle has slipped into a spending bill legislation exempting South Dakota from environmental regulations and lawsuits in order to allow logging to prevent forest fires. Now as strange as it seems I actually find something I agree with Daschle about, these exemptions should be in place, the real question is why should it apply only to South Dakota. Why not Arizona, New Mexico and all the other places suffering damage from forest fires? Where is the vitriolic outrage from the NY Times editorialists? It would seem that there are serious constitutional issues at play here having Federal legislation which assigns special exemptions to single states not to mention the bald-faced political hypocrisy evinced by Daschle (that part not a surprise to some of us).

Sunday, August 04, 2002

This reader seems to think that I am a "goddamn fascist". The comment came as a response to my prior blog on Gore's corruption. My question is, how exactly is considering the Clinton administration corrupt make me a fascist (unless my typo in that blog was the reason, but then I would just be totally confused so I'm going to assume it was about the content and not the presentation)? It seems to me that if this was the only criteria needed to make one a fascist, then major sections of the country and even many members of the liberal press are goose-steppers at heart. Just to make sure I haven't been brainwashed in my sleep without my knowledge, I just took the World's Smallest Political Quiz. Everything seems alright to me as I came out as someone who is deep in libertarian country. So I would invite the commentator who described me as fascist to take the test himself. Something tells me he would fall under the Authoritarian banner. I would also invite him to look up "fascist" in the dictionary. According to the dictionary, a fascist is someone who promotes a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, and suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship. Since I am a strong supporter of local governance, laissez-faire economics and free speech I seem to be the exact opposite of fascist. So I guess this incident is just another example of how the left tends to prefer name-calling to the actual discussion of ideas.

Gore, a member of one of the most corrupt administrations in American history, is today lecturing Bush on how to increase confidence in the integrity of government. Visit any Buddhist temples lately Al?