Saturday, January 11, 2003

Joseph Sobran has a good essay on the dangers of state power.

Yes, yes, I realize that Bill Gates is far richer than I am. It bothers me not at all, because he has no power over me. I can refuse to buy his products by exercising my own free will. But even the pettiest state official — a bullying policeman, for example — does have power to coerce me. I have no choice about doing business with the state. It can take my money without giving me anything in return. And after all, what can it give me? It produces nothing.

But can’t the rich use their money to buy power — by influencing elections? Certainly. But the problem is not the money, but the state. It’s usually corrupt and uses its power corruptly. If there were no state, or if it could be strictly limited to a few powers, it couldn’t become an instrument of the rich. “The way to get rid of corruption in high places,” the libertarian Frank Chodorov said, “is to get rid of high places.”

(via C&S)

Friday, January 10, 2003

Also in today's WSJ, Casper Weinberger addresses Reps. Rangel and Conyers call for a reinstutued draft.

The congressmen never mentioned that the burden of defending the country is resting on the shoulders, white, black, brown, etc., of those who want that "burden," and whose volunteering gives it to them.

If some statistical genius has computed that our all-volunteer force may have slightly more black and Hispanic volunteers than is "proportionate" -- (to what?) -- I would reply that that simply demonstrates that there is a higher degree of patriotism among black and Hispanic youths of draft age than among whites of draft age. That should be a matter of praise and gratification. But no! The congressmen simply ignore the fact that however "proportional," our military is what it is because it is made up of people who want to be there.
Daniel Henninger has a good editorial in the WSJ today about Medicare/Medicaid.
An article by Ivan G. Osorio in NRO, says that Hugo Chavez's former personal pilot claims that Chavez has been funneling money to Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Who would've thought that Fidel Castro's dear friend Chavez would do such a thing. Like the miscellaneous other dictators around the world, Chavez has found that oppressing your own people and trashing your countries economy isn't satisfying enough anymore.
Check out this email that a friend of mine got from IBM (who he now works for thanks to a merger):

Allow me to introduce myself - I am your Practice Administrator and Professional Development Manager in our new organization. First, let me welcome you to the IBM team!

I'm sending this note in response to the Recourse Action announced today. I would prefer to speak to you in person but I do not as yet have access to business phone numbers to reach you. As you may know, BCS issued a letter of intent regarding a resource action to all employees in affected skill groups on December 27. Many of the employees who received that note have not been selected to be surplused. You are part of an affected skill group, but you are not surplus.

If you would like to discuss this (or any other issue), please contact me. Thank you.


I love the euphamisms. "Resource Action" instead of layoff and "surplused" instead of "laid off". These guys would have been great propagandists under the Soviets.
Victor Davis Hanson has an article on Iraq and North Korea up at NRO.
Kristof seems to have run out of real issues. He has a piece called "The Secret War on Condoms":

Yet the U.S. is now donating only 300 million condoms annually, down from about 800 million at the end of the first President Bush's term. Consider Botswana, which has the highest rate of H.I.V. infection in the world — 39 percent of adults. According to figures in a report on condoms by Population Action International, the average man in Botswana gets less than one condom per year from international donors.

First, if he is against a war on condoms, does that make him a peace activist? Is he going to have sit-ins waving a Magnum banner? Second, oh my god, the average man in Botswana only gets one condom per year from international donors! Call your Congressman. People in neighboring Zimbabwe are being starved and hacked to death by their government and Kristof is upset about not enough free condoms paid for by US taxpayers. And let's be real here. Even if you increase the number of condoms by a factor of 10, then the average man in Botswana is still only getting 10 condoms meaning he is likely still having unprotected sex the rest of the year. So in order to be effective we would probably have to give away 30 billion condoms annually and somehow I don't think Ma and Pa Kettle from Bumfuck, Idaho would really be happy having so many of their taxdollars spent so that some horny guy 10,000 miles away can have safe sex. You know, I don't see how its our responsibility in the first place to ensure non citizens have the ability to have safe sex. It really is there responsibility to be careful. I mean, as AIDS is as pervasive as it is in Southern Africa, then doesn't that mean that the people are aware of the risks of unprotected sex, so it's their own fault they are infected. I'm sure some reading this think I'm a heartless bastard (especially Ryan) but really I don't see why I should have to pay for someone else's right to do stupid things without consequence. And somehow, it seems to me, that as there is an endless amount of human stupidity that we would quickly bankrupt the world trying to do so in earnest.
Blogroll
Just a maintenance note, I've updated our blogroll to the left to use blogroll.com. I've also cleaned out blogs that haven't posted in a few months or that have announced they are retiring.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

You gotta love Canadian politicians:

Bill Blaikie, a candidate for the leadership of the federal New Democratic Party, came under attack yesterday over his statement that George W. Bush, the U.S. President, spends "every minute of his life" thinking of ways to kill Iraqi children.
Here is a great piece on why the bottom half of the American populace will get very little tax relief in Bush's tax plan:

THE DEMOCRATS are right. There is a class of Americans that doesn't pay its fair share, or anything approaching its fair share, of federal taxes. And now that group is about to get another tax break, thanks to President Bush's proposed stimulus package.

But the Democrats are wrong as to who that group is. The group that doesn't pay close to its fair share is the bottom half of American workers who collectively paid less than 4 percent of federal income taxes in 2000.

Citizens for Tax Justice complains that the proposed Bush tax cuts -- which would reduce federal income taxes and eliminate taxes on stock dividends -- will net $289 for the average taxpayer this year, but more than $30,000 for the top 1 percent of taxpayers. Director Robert S. McIntyre complained that Bush apparently believes "the rich don't have enough money."

Of course, the reason the Bush plan doesn't give more tax relief to low- income Americans is that they don't pay much, if any, in income taxes. That's even true of middle-income Americans.

The top 25 percent of American earners paid 84 percent of federal income taxes in 2000; the top 1 percent paid 37.4 percent.

As R. Glenn Hubbard, chairman of the president's Council on Economic Advisers, explained in a speech last month, "the income tax is paid almost entirely by the relatively well-to-do."

And while the left bemoans that richies have been getting too big a break in income taxes in recent years, the percentage of federal income taxes they pay has grown steadily since 1970, when the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 16. 7 percent of the income tax tab.


Here is another example of bias at the Associated Press. It is in relation to my post on the Israeli-Syrian border incident where Syrian troops shot at Israelis and had one killed and one captured. Check out this passage:

"Israel turned over to the UN a captured Syrian and the body of another man, officials said Thursday, a day after a shooting incident near the ceasefire line between the two countries... The Israeli army later confirmed that that the victim's (emphasis added) body had been handed over and that the prisoner was transferred later. "

How is he a victim? If they are just trying to be objective and wait until all the facts were in, wouldn't they have referred to him as "alleged infiltrator" or "alleged assailant"? The only thing he is guilty of is stupidity. What person who has all his marbles would fire on an Israeli commando unit???
Compare the idiocy cited below about the zero tolerance gun policy with Joanne Jacob's description of how actual bullying is handled by school officials.
More school idiocy, a 13 y/o student has been expelled for a year, under the schools zero-tolerance gun policy, for looking at a laser pointer his friend brought to school. The school declared the laser pointer was a gun facsimile. Soon the title of this blog will be the only place to find any common sense in this country.
I wonder if my Israel-Syrian war predicton will come true? A couple Syrian soldiers shot at Israeli soldiers after crossing the border into Israel. The Syrians missed and the Israeli's killed one and captured another. This is the first such incident in two decades.
England's gun laws are surely working...but for who ? Could imprisoning a farmer for using a gun on a burglar in self defense be part of the problem. As the old saving goes. "When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns." And, I might add use them with impunity.
Evan Thomas has a profile of N. Korea's resident psychopath-in-charge in Newsweek.

It is all a grotesque charade. His fantasyland is a charnel house. While he lives like a brandy-swilling 18th-century French nobleman, more than 2 million people have died of starvation in North Korea over the last decade. Political prisoners are beaten or left to die in Soviet-style gulags. Kim himself is the last Stalinist, a weird, vicious remnant of communist oppression that has collapsed everywhere else on the planet. Kim Jong Il’s North Korean horror movie would all be a remote tragedy to the out-side world, except that Kim’s props now include weapons of mass destruction—chemical and biological and, soon if not already, nuclear weapons.
Robert Samuelson on the 'American Spirit'.

Something gives the United States an edge. It may be national character. In “Our Times,” Sullivan asked what the country’s “distinctive characteristics” were. Here are some of his answers: “freedom of opportunity for the individual”; a “zeal for universal education”; “a determined faith in [representative democracy]”; “adaptiveness, a willingness ... to dismiss the old and try the new”; “a responsiveness to idealism”; “independence of spirit.” Similar phrases are used today.
Jeff Jacoby argues that Israel's restraint in the face of the Tel Aviv attacks will only increase the frequency of future terrorist acts.

For years now, violence has paid. In the 1970s, the PLO's hijackings and mass murders won it international recognition and attention. The mayhem of the first intifadah yielded the Oslo agreement, which legitimized the PLO and gave Arafat and his lieutenants a dictatorship in Gaza and the West Bank. The stepped-up terrorism of the Oslo years - the years of the grossly misnamed ''peace process'' - culminated in former Prime Minister Ehud Barak's astonishing offer of full sovereignty, dismantled settlements, and shared control of Jerusalem. The bloodshed inflicted by Hezbollah led to Israel's unilateral retreat from southern Lebanon.
Excellent piece on anti-Americanism by the Left by Michael Gove in the London Times.

Knocking America off its superpower pedestal has long supplanted taking control of the commanding heights of the economy as the idea which holds the Left together. Forget Clause Four. That was a dead red letter. It’s opposition to Uncle Sam which is the glue in the Left coalition, the brew which puts fire into bien-pensant bellies, the opium of radical intellectuals. And the crack in Osama bin Laden’s pipe.

Anti-Americanism provides the drumbeat for the protesters who march at every significant left-wing rally. Whether the protest is nominally against war, global capitalism or environmental degradation, the real enemy is Washington. Every significant Left intellectual, from Harold Pinter through Dario Fo to Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky has made criticism of the American imperium his defining belief. But Yankee-phobia now extends far beyond the protest march and the academy.
...
It is a myth that America is a trigger-happy cowboy state over-eager to throw its weight around, a myth that America seeks to use its undoubted military power to establish an exploitative empire, and a myth that America thrives by impoverishing and oppressing other nations.

A trigger-happy starter of wars and provoker of enemies? The truth is that the US has been painstakingly slow to involve itself in foreign conflicts. It hung back from involvement in Bosnia and Kosovo until it was clear that Europe could not manage alone. It refrained from dealing properly with al-Qaeda when that network attacked US embassies in 1998 and, even after 9/11, it waited until a huge international coalition had been assembled before striking back. In Iraq, it refrained from finishing off President Saddam Hussein in 1991 out of deference to its Arab allies. And with North Korea, it has practised diplomacy in the face of nuclear provocation since 1994, out of respect for its regional allies. Even now, in dealing with the dangers posed by Iraq and North Korea, the diplomatic route is followed out of deference to others.

An imperial exploiter? The truth is that America seeks to disentangle itself from anything which smacks of neocolonial occupation. It is anxious to bring the boys back home from the Balkans and Afghanistan. The real criticism of weight is that the US should do more on the ground to help failed states rebuild, as it did in Japan and Germany after the Second World War.

Which takes us to the myth of America the locust state, the predator on the poorest nations of the Earth. The truth, as the US writer Charles Krauthammer has pointed out, is that America’s influence for good in suffering states is directly measurable in three very different examples. After the Second World War three devastated nations were divided. In each case one part of a culturally unified nation fell under America’s political influence. And in each case — South Korea versus North, West Germany as against East, Taiwan as opposed to Communist China — the territory which took the American path enjoyed greater freedom and prosperity.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

So a bill may be introduced to bring back the draft. And here is the kicker it would require military or national service for men and women, ages 18 to 26, without exemptions for college or graduate studies. Let's not even go into the morality of this. But just think about the inefficient use of labor by not exempting students. Why should people who would be invaluable to society as an engineer or astrophysicist but be useless with a firearm be made to join the army? Think about how negative the effects on our society would be if people who would be making great contributions suddenly are dead? I'm sure some people will argue that the lives of the stupid are not less valuable from an ethical standpoint. But you know, in a volunteer army, they joined up willingly so as the guy from Airplane! said "they bought their ticket, they knew what they were getting into."
Rumor of a new character being added to 'Return of the King': Jar-Jaromir. :-)
A pair of British researchers said they had worked out a simple equation to quantify happiness that could put an exact figure on the emotional state.

P + 5E + 3H

Where P stands for Personal Characteristics (outlook on life, adaptability and resilience); E for Existence (health, friendships and financial stability) and H represents Higher Order (self-esteem, expectations and ambitions). The article doesn't mention how to assign values to these variables however.

I guess Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill are rolling in their graves right now after spending most of their lives trying to work this out.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Quick check below. I think hell just froze over. The Chinese will no longer guarantee a job for life and private companies will be now able to issue bonds.
Speed of gravity measured and Einstein was right.(Courtesy Lucianne.com)
The real reason we must defeat Saddam...and it's not oil.
Pym Fortune's predictions about the need to assimilate immigrants into western culture if western culture is to survive is played out in France's housing projects.
Something funny:


The Difference Between Love & Marriage

Love is holding hands in the street
Marriage is holding arguments in the street

Love is dinner for 2 in your favourite restaurant
Marriage is a Chinese take-out

Love is cuddling on a sofa
Marriage is deciding on a sofa

Love is talking about having children
Marriage is talking about getting away from children

Love is going to bed early
Marriage is going to sleep early

Love is a romantic drive
Marriage is a tarmac drive

Love is losing your appetite
Marriage is losing your figure

Love is sweet nothing in the ear
Marriage is sweet nothing in the bank

Love is a flickering flame
Marriage is a flickering television

Love is 1 drink and 2 straws
Marriage is "Don't you think you've had enough!"

Love is regular sex
Marriage is regular arguments

Love is wanting to be together
Marriage is wanting to be alone
With the tort vultures circling fast-food joints, Paul Campos has an interesting article in TNR about the actual health damage (or lack of it) done by being overweight.

...Perhaps the most comprehensive survey of the literature regarding the health risks of different weight levels is a 1996 study by scientists at the National Center for Health Statistics and Cornell University. This survey analyzed data from dozens of previous studies involving more than 600,000 subjects. It concluded that, for nonsmoking men, the lowest mortality rate was found among those with BMI figures between 23 and 29, meaning that a large majority of the healthiest men in the survey would be considered "overweight" by current government standards. For nonsmoking women, the results were even more striking: The authors concluded that, for such women, the BMI range correlating with the lowest mortality rate is extremely broad, from about 18 to 32, meaning that a woman of average height can weigh anywhere within an 80-pound range without seeing any statistically meaningful change in her risk of premature death.

Given the silcone implant trials, however, I doubt the lack of evidence of any actual harm inflicted will have any impact on trial outcomes. After all, personal responsibility has already been removed as an impediment to tort cases. This months Reason has a good piece by Walter Olson on the increasing ill-informed juries being carefully selected by trial lawyers.
Theodore Dalrymple is worried about the increasing control over everyone's lives the British bureaucracy has.

Despite years of unprecedented prosperity, a larger proportion than ever before of the population is dependent, or partly dependent, upon the state as provider. Only this week, an unmarried woman with three young children by the same man told me that when she asked him for money to buy them shoes that they needed, he told her to take a loan out from ‘the social’; that, he opined, was what it was there for. He had in any case made it abundantly clear that under no circumstances would he part with any money for the upkeep of his children, and so far had been as good as his word.
...
Not only are such people severely lacking in ethical standards, but they also live in permanent fear of the power that they have ceded to the state; and no one who has any dealings with the bureaucracy of welfare, child support, housing and so forth can be left in any doubt as to its power to grind people up and spit them out. Hedonistic egotism, fear and resentment form the character of a large proportion of our population, and it is a character that is ripe for exploitation. They have made themselves natural slaves.
Did you know that Drew Barrymore had been married for a little over a month back in 1994 and for 5 months in 2001? How screwed up is that? I can't wait until she has kids. They should make the Osbourne children appear sane.
It looks like the crack epidemic is back, this time its not taking hold in Harlem but on the New York Times Op-Ed pages. In today's issue Amy Chua writes:

The combination of laissez-faire capitalism and free elections can create political and economic instability. Venezuela is only the most recent illustration.

On what planet is she living on? According to the Index of Economic Freedom, even before Chavez took power in 1998, Venezuela was hardly a laissez-faire capitalist society. It's score of 3.4 for both 1997 and 1998 puts it in league with such capitalist powerhouses as Algeria, Russia, Moldova and Mongolia. And it is just a smidgeon ahead of the People's Republic of China which has a score of 3.6! So I hardly think that a country which has an economic freedom score on par with countries who have just recently emerged from Communism and is just a smidge ahead of a Communist nation could in any universe besides Bizarro be considered laissez-faire. And I'm sure the French would be very upset to hear that they have accepted an anglo-saxon-esque laissez faire system as they have scored 2.4. Just as a reference, the United States received a score of 1.8, which is about as close to laissez faire as we seem to get (unfortunately). Where do these people come from and how come they keep getting professorship's in the Ivy league?
Sorry if some of these items are a little old, I am still catching up on post-holiday reading. Michael Kelly has a fine piece from last week of news stories we might see next year if hell freezes over. My personal favorite:

PLAINS, Ga., March 17 -- In a move that stunned veteran narcissistic personality disorder observers, a smiling Jimmy Carter today announced that he had decided to return the coveted Peace Prize awarded to him last year by the Nobel Committee.

"I may be the most vainglorious, self-regarding, preachifying old coot since Henry Ward Beecher, but even I know when a joke has gone too far," said Carter. "Let's consider my contributions to world peace. In 1991, as the United States was on the very verge of war, I secretly lobbied the presidents of the United Nations Security Council nations, and also the heads of the Arab nations, to try to persuade them to scuttle my own country's efforts to build a coalition and defeat Iraq. Imagine if I had succeeded -- why, we now know Iraq was within months of building its first nuclear weapon when the war began!

"Then, I butted into Clinton's disaster in Somalia, to put together the surrender to that charmer Mohamed Farah Aideed after his boys killed 18 of our soldiers and dragged their beaten bodies through the streets. And we now know that the spectacle of the Great Satan knuckling under to a guy whose entire army consisted of 10 second-hand Jeeps directly encouraged Osama bin Laden to believe that America was ripe for capitulation on a much greater scale -- if you killed enough Americans.

"And the clincher -- Korea. Yep, I'm the boy who freelanced the 1994 agreement with the head-case of that horror show to stop his nuclear bomb program, in exchange for a whole bunch of aid from us. When reporters asked me then if it was really reasonable to expect Kim Il Sung to keep his word, given that he never had before, I said: 'This is something that's not for me to judge.' Well, of course, neither that nut-job nor his nut-job son honored the deal for one second. So now, eight years later, another American president has inherited another fine mess I got us in.

"Please, take it back, and stop me before I negotiate again."

Monday, January 06, 2003

For our readers who think this blog stinks, researcher Pamela Dalton has created what she claims is the foulest smell on Earth.

First up was a bottle that smelled vaguely like blue cheese. "It's actually a vomit smell," Dalton said.

"Vomit is a very ambiguous odor, because it has elements of food in it. There's a lot of variation in how people respond to it."

Then Dalton offered a whiff of the storied Who Me? It smelled like the repellent odor added to natural gas, with a heavy dose of spoiled mushrooms.

After a pleasant sniff of vanilla and orange - a palate cleanser, so to speak - Dalton pulled out a bottle marked Bathroom Malodor, mixed according to a government formula. The odor was invented so that makers of bathroom cleansers could test their products.

Pee-ew! That was bad.

Bathroom Malodor had a strongly fecal smell, with sharp notes of spoiled eggs and an undertone of rotting rodent. After a few whiffs, the stomach churned and an odd feeling gathered at the back of the throat.

In the tests with various ethnic groups, Bathroom Malodor was the hands-down winner as the most widely reviled smell. "We got cursed in a lot of different languages," Dalton said. "It was: `Get that out of here!' "

Combining the worst of Bathroom Malodor and Who Me?, Stench Soup is so distasteful that it chases all thoughts out of the mind. In informal tests, Dalton's colleagues have found it to be the most obnoxious odor of all.
Right Wing News has a list of their top 100 movie quotes of all time. Here is a selection of 10 from their list that I really like (in the order of their listing on RWN):

1. Lois Einhorn: "I can make your life a living hell." Ace Ventura: "I'm not ready for a relationship right now Lois." -- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
2. "You ain't leading but two things right now: Jack and Sh*t. And Jack just left town." -- Army Of Darkness
3. Hedley Lamarr: "My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." Taggart: "Gal-darnit, Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue prettier than a 20-dollar whore." -- Blazing Saddles
4. "Like maple syrup, Canada's evil oozes over the United States." -- Canadian Bacon
5. "All every woman really wants, be it mother, senator, nun, is some serious deep-d*ckin'." -- Chasing Amy
6 "You get me slapped with a fine, you argue with the customers and I have to patch everything up, you get us thrown out of a funeral by violating the corpse, and then to top it off, you ruin my relationship. I mean, what's your encore? Do you, like, anally rape my mother while pouring sugar in my gas tank?" -- Clerks
7. "My friend here is trying to convince me that any independent contractors who were working on the uncompleted Death Star, were innocent victims when they were destroyed by the Rebels." -- Clerks
8. "God has a hard on for marines, because we kill everything we see." -- Full Metal Jacket
9. Max: "My teacher tells me that beauty is on the inside." Dad: "That's just something ugly people say." -- Liar Liar
10. "Now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." -- Space Balls
Bureaucratic Foulup of the Millennium

Apparently the German television license fee agency, which I believe collects taxes on television sets (!), sent many angry letters in an attempt to collect the fee from an 8th century saint:

Father Karl Terhorst said the agency had sent letters demanding payment of the monthly 16.15 euro fee to a woman named "Frau Walburga St." at the address of the Roman Catholic Church in Ramsdorf, 80 miles east of Cologne.

"At first I just ignored the letters," Terhorst said. "But after the last letter demanding payment threatened the saint with 'legal action' and a 1,000-euro fine, I figured it was time to write back."

Terhorst informed the GEZ that St. Walburga, born in 710 in England, was an abbess and missionary who played an important role in St. Boniface's organization of the Frankish church. She headed a monastery, and was later made a saint in 880.


Saints are trully amazing people. Imagine owning a television over 1,000 years before they are even invented!
I have a question. There is currently an argument about whether the war with Iraq is about oil. I'm not saying the war is about oil but so what if it is? Oil is an extremely important resource that we need to keep the economy moving and is currently dominated by enemies of the United States. Considering a soccer match has served as a pretense for war, I'm not going to be too upset if it really is about oil.
In honor of the outgoing House Majority Leader, here is a selection of quotes by Dick Armey:

"I said, 'Ron [Dellims, D-CA] you know, you and I are alike, actually -- I spend that money like it's my money, and you spend that money like it's my money." (Apr 24, 1998)

"Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that it be the will of Congress that the bass bite early and often throughout the weekend in Texas." (May 28, 1996)

"The average politician, if he got run over by a train, would stand up and say, 'I got the best of that deal.' I don't believe anything politicians have to say." (Dec 4, 1995)

"The difference between the House and the Senate -- we can't pass anything unless everybody's here. They can't pass anything unless everybody's gone." (Jul 25, 2000)

"I'll have my regular press conference later -- and I can refuse to respond then." (Apr 21, 1998)

"They're like Al Capone dividing up Chicago -- Bugsy gets prostitution, gambling and loan sharking on the South Side, somebody else gets numbers in the North, and so on. It's the same thing in the [agriculture] committee, only they do it with peanuts, feed grains, milk, the Midwest, California, Texas, et cetera." (May 20, 1990)

"If I were in the President's place I would not have gotten a chance to resign. I would be laying in a pool of my own blood, hearing Mrs. Armey standing over me saying, "How do I reload this damn thing?" (Dec 1998)
- When asked by a reporter whether he would've resigned if caught in an affair with an intern

"Three groups spend other peoples money: children, thieves, and politicians. All three need supervision."

"If you want government to get off your back, you've got to get it's hands out of your pockets."
Quote of the Day:

"Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!"

Golda Meir
1973
So Fatah's Al Aksa Martyr Brigades just killed 22 people in Tel Aviv (FYI, James Lileks has a very good piece on the subject). Remember that Fatah is the organization that Arafat has direct control over so he is personally responsible for this act of murder. I'm really getting sick of talk about the peace process. It's a figment of the world's diplomats imaginations. Once the United States has all its troops in place in the region, I think Israel should go into the West Bank and Gaza Strip and reoccupy the land given to those murderous bunch of thieving pieces of crap from Tunisia (I bet many Palestinians would be privately happy as their lives were better under Israeli occupation). Anyone threatens you, you shoot them (just to clarify, as I've gotten a comment on this, I mean anyone who threatens you with firearms. I am not in favor of ethnic cleansing. If they don't bother us, we shouldn't bother them). Anyone who has any links to any terrorist organization, you arrest. This is war, it's time to stop pussy footing around. It's either us or them and I choose us. And what exactly are they worried about? Inflaming world opinion? Even Israel's "allies" in Western Europe are refusing to supply them arms. So who gives a rat's ass what they say about it? I think just about every country in Europe has voluntarily expelled its Jews at one point or another, so really, they have no right to say anything on the matter. Also, given the fact that they condemn Israel even when they show restraint, what are they going to do when they don't? Double super duper condemn them? Call them murdering kikes (which I bet they already do in private)? And what about the UN? Have they ever had an effective fighting force at their disposal? The European UN troops were completely ineffectual when they had to go just 10 miles down the road into Yugoslavia and couldn't do anything to stop anyone. The only thing that stopped the Serbs was the US, and barring a coup d'etat mounted by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, I don't see them supporting Arafat and his goons.

Are we worried about a larger regional war? Syria would be no match for Israel. It would be even less of a match than it was in 1967 and 1973 as their economy is bankrupt after the Soviet Union disappeared and took its funding with it. I really doubt they have the spare parts necessary for a conflict that lasted more than a day. Or how about Egypt? They do have a nice sized army and its relatively modern. But size isn't everything. Their officers still lead from the rear as they want to stay away from who they view as "peasants" at the front. I bet even the Italians could beat them in a fight. And imagine what would happen to their economy if the US stopped propping it up with billions of dollars. And let's not forget that Israel has an estimated 300 to 400 nuclear weapons. Not many leaders want to risk nuclear annihilation. There is a lot of talk about martyrdom, but if you notice you rarely see anyone from the leadership or their families becoming martyrs in the name of the "Palestinian Cause".

And anyway, the world has always been against the Jews, it is nothing new. If the Jews can survive World War II, the Jews can survive just about anything. Plus, wouldn't it be better to go down fighting instead of while sipping a cup of coffee at a cafe?

Jeez, aren't I pissed off today? Maybe I should rename myself Grouchy Young Yuppie in New York?
Check out the New York Times editorial on Affirmative Action:

But 25 years of distortion and political warfare over this issue have made it difficult for most people to speak clearly on the subject or even to recognize affirmative action when they see it. Loaded terms such as ``quotas'' and ``reverse discrimination'' have made it all but impossible to see affirmative action as a constructive and vitally important policy for the United States.

This is just hilarious. I love the use of "loaded term" to describe two very descriptive adjectives for affirmative action. I bet at cocktail parties when affirmative action is brought up and someone who isn't a fan of the program mentions his opposition on the basis of reverse discrimination, the only thing these people can come up with as a counter argument is calling it a "loaded term" like that is a counter argument. Let's look at the definition of quota:

quo·ta
n.
1. A proportional share, as of goods, assigned to a group or to each member of a group; an allotment.
2. A production assignment.

3a. A number or percentage, especially of people, constituting or designated as an upper limit: a country with strict annual immigration quotas.
3b. A number or percentage, especially of people, constituting a required or targeted minimum: a system of quotas for hiring minority applicants.


Seems to be pretty right on to me, at least other than the part about it being a production assignment. Now let's look at discrimination:

dis·crim·i·na·tion ( P )
n.
1. The act of discriminating.
2. The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment.
3. Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice: racial discrimination; discrimination against foreigners.


#2 is definitely right on. So to the New York Times, accurate definitions of terms is somehow "loaded"? And excuse me but isn't the New York Times decrying others using loaded terms kind of like the pot calling the kettle black???

Sunday, January 05, 2003

A rant from Canada to clear your sinuses. Most of it applies to America as well.
The politically correct puritans continue their attack on the First Amendment. Here's an example of how far its gone. Be careful of what you say in public. Especially if you say it in English. (courtesy of Lucianne.com)
For any who think diplomacy is the preferred route to take with Iraq and believe negotiating with Saddam would be any more effective then negotiating with Kim Il-Sung was in 1994, read this superb profile of Hussein by Mark Bowden from the May 2002 Atlantic, which under Michael Kelly's editorship is quickly becoming the best monthly magazine in the country. It's a long piece, but take the time to read the whole thing.