Mon - November 1, 2010

Making the world

"The world is made by the people who show up for the job."
— Lois McMaster Bujold in the novel Cryoburn

Proving once again why she is one of my favorite novelists and quote sources.

Posted Mon - November 1, 2010 at 01:49 PM  

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Wed - September 22, 2010

"liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented"

"I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made under the shadow of the policeman's club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave."
— H.L. Mencken

One of those quotes that has defined my life. Chose for yourself and accept the consequences. That is what freedom and liberty are really about.

But please, don't accept my word for it.

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
— Patrick Henry

Or if you prefer the more modern version.

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
— Ronald Reagan

Make your choice, don't let someone make it for you. May KFYHO guide your choice. Remember the only way you can keep your freedom is to make sure no one takes it from your neighbors.

Posted Wed - September 22, 2010 at 01:57 PM  

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Fri - September 3, 2010

Stop him before he quotes again!

"One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
— Thomas Reed

Posted Fri - September 3, 2010 at 12:24 PM  

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Enough with the God-given destiny stuff

"No more sacred civilizations, Monsieur. They are too delicate and too costly. Besides priests are no more trustworthy than anyone else."
— Eglantin L'Audace from The Order of the Twelfth Apostle, Gnosis No. 41, Fall 1996

Posted at 12:23 PM  

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Mon - June 7, 2010

In Dodd We Trust

And the prize for the most idiotic thing said this week goes to Senator Chris Dodd.

"…passage of such a requirement would restrict home ownership to only those who can afford it.”

Yes, it's a "biased" source. But he said it.

In related news, more than 90% of all new home mortgages issued during the first and second quarter of 2010 are underwritten by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Between them, those two "entities" underwrite more than 50% of all home mortgages in the United States.

Yeah, that's going to end well.

And the commercial mortgage bubble hasn't burst yet.

Posted Mon - June 7, 2010 at 01:13 PM  

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Mon - April 12, 2010

The veneer of science

Radley Balko put this one up last week at The Agitator.

The problem goes back to the fact that forensics isn’t really science. With the notable exception of DNA testing, most fields in forensics were invented and developed by police agencies, not scientists. So they have evolved over time not to better seek out the truth, but to help law enforcement personnel prove a hunch or theory. Hence the general absence in most forensics of critical components to the scientific process like peer review and blind testing. The forensic evidence is then still presented to juries with all the gloss, polish, and impressive-sounding vernacular of hard science.

That last sentence with some minor changes could also apply to almost all the arguments that claim catastrophic global warming.

The evidence is then presented to (people) with all the gloss, polish,
and impressive-sounding vernacular of hard science.

I think Mr. Balko is on to something big here. I can't count how many arguments I've seen that are wrapped in the trappings of science without actually using science.

Posted Mon - April 12, 2010 at 01:17 PM  

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Tue - February 2, 2010

Human computing

"The bulk of humanity doesn’t want a computing experience it can tinker with; it wants a computing experience that works."
— Jefrey Zeldman, Flash, iPad, Standards

That's it exactly, the computer as an appliance.

Posted Tue - February 2, 2010 at 06:59 AM  

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Mon - January 11, 2010

Official Thinukum

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
Patrick Henry

I think you could say he called that one right.

(And no, I'm not going to say ANYTHING about health care. Nope, not going to happen. Not at all.)

Posted Mon - January 11, 2010 at 02:21 PM  

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Mon - January 4, 2010

Last week's official thinkum (running a bit late)

If it's about reforming health care, then why do they want to change and control health insurance?

Pay no attention to what the politicos say, watch what they are doing. Very carefully.

Posted Mon - January 4, 2010 at 01:15 PM  

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Wed - November 4, 2009

From the Motley Fool

Is the "fix" better than the disease? Bernanke's Fed has lowered interest rates to record lows to rejuvenate the same terrible behavior that got us into trouble in the first place. To juice the economy, the Fed's encouraging banks to make new loans, even when there are still plenty of bad loans out there. Overly indebted consumers and businesses have not yet deleveraged, plain and simple.

Meanwhile, the massive bank bailouts have partly made their way into bankers' pockets, thanks to a continued abundance of lucrative pay and bonus packages. We were all told that bailing out the banks was a necessary evil to ensure economic survival. Apparently, some of us are "surviving" better than others.

With economic friends like The Fed, who needs enemies? (Unless, of course, you're a bank executive.)
Alyce Lomax, The Daily Walk of Shame: The Fed

Should you be worried? Yes. Not all the home loan problems have surfaced yet, commercial mortgages are lined up behind that, with pension shortfalls to follow. As the dollar continues to fall, all these problems will much much worse.

There's a real possibility that there may not be a dollar in a year or so.

Posted Wed - November 4, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

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Mon - June 15, 2009

Taxes increasing by $600 billion, cuts of $400 billion. It's not really about your health

Health-care overhaul legislation being drafted by House Democrats will include $600 billion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said.
Laura Litvan, House Health-Car Proposal Adds $600 Billion in Taxes

It was never ever about managing the "health care crisis."

It was about getting re-elected.

The rest is all hype.

Posted Mon - June 15, 2009 at 12:23 PM  

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Tue - June 2, 2009

Fight the "pointy-heads"

I don’t believe the pointy-heads give a damn about climate change or gas mileage, much less about whether I survive a head-on with one of their tax-sucking mass-transit projects. All they want to is to make me hate my car. How proud and handsome would Bucephalas look, or Traveler or Rachel Alexandra, with seat and shoulder belts, air bags, 5-mph bumpers and a maze of pollution-control equipment under the tail?
P. J. O'Rouke, The End of Our Love Affair with Cars

Still one of my favorite living authors. Great article too.

Posted Tue - June 2, 2009 at 01:00 PM  

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Wed - May 6, 2009

For Obama, it's about control

One of the best explanations I have seen so far. Hat tip Brain Terminal.

Typically, lenders who make money available to a company in return for a first claim on the company's assets get about 80 cents back for every dollar they lend should it hit the rocks. Others to whom the company owes money, but who have no claim on the assets -- workers, suppliers, junior lenders -- get much less.

Yet Obama forced the senior lenders to take something like 30 cents for every dollar they'd lent Chrysler. Many lenders -- the big banks who'd taken federal bailout money -- rolled over. But some hedge-fund managers pointed out that they have a legal, fiduciary responsibility to do the best they can for their investors (which include pension funds) and decided to take their chances with a bankruptcy judge.

Never mind that this is their long-established legal right. Obama is furious with these "speculators," and hinted that he knows where they live and will get even when the new financial-industry regulations are drafted.
Irwin M. Stelzer, Chrysler Cut-Up's Contract Killers

Don't doubt, this is all about your freedom. Your freedom to do as you wish with your money. Your freedom to expect contracts to be enforced under the uniform rule of law. Your freedom to pursue your own interests. Your freedom to choose your own risks and to assume the rewards.

Obama is about control.

The choice isn't very hard to make.

Make mine FREEDOM!

Posted Wed - May 6, 2009 at 02:34 PM  

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Wed - April 22, 2009

Not nearly enough

Here is an interesting set of facts. If the government increased the top tax rate from the current rate of 35% to 100% (yes, that's right 100%), it would only collect an extra $400 billion this year. In other words, confiscating all the income that is currently taxed at 35% would not raise enough revenue to cover any of the annual deficits projected in the next 10 years. There is no way that tax hikes on the rich alone can pay for proposed spending in the current budget.
— Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein, Tea Party Economics

Hat tip Brain Terminal.

Posted Wed - April 22, 2009 at 01:46 PM  

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Mon - April 20, 2009

"When's the last time you had to fight someone under the influence of marijuana?"

"Over the past four years I've asked police officers throughout the U.S. (and in Canada) two questions. When's the last time you had to fight someone under the influence of marijuana? (I'm talking marijuana only, not pot plus a six-pack or a fifth of tequila.) My colleagues pause, they reflect. Their eyes widen as they realize that in their five or fifteen or thirty years on the job they have never had to fight a marijuana user. I then ask: When's the last time you had to fight a drunk? They look at their watches.

"All of which begs the question. If one of these two drugs is implicated in dire health effects, high mortality rates, and physical violence--and the other is not--what are we to make of our nation's marijuana laws? Or alcohol laws, for that matter."
Norm Stamper, Thoughts on Pot vs. Alcohol from a Former Police Chief

Hat tip Daring Fireball, a computer/Macintosh site.

Posted Mon - April 20, 2009 at 01:55 PM  

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Sun - April 12, 2009

Guest Article #3 - Rebooting our System

Rebooting our System

By Donald Meinshausen

We are facing some big problems now. Somehow we have installed some big programs on our system that are not working. They are taking up too much of our memory or even distorting it. It usually starts like this. Spam appears on our screen in nice graphics, cleverly written bearing the names of institutions that we trust promising free stuff. Sometimes they want us to answer lots of questions. We understand that as necessary marketing. So we unwittingly install it. We find the messages then are empty promises, half-truths and lies. Then there’s the big trouble.

Maybe it was a design flaw unseen by those who wrote the code. Some say it might even have been designed to work that way. I don’t think that because the gates are open you blame Gates. The problem is much older than that. There are people who will examine any code to find a weak spot and exploit it.

At first we have an excitement of the new application. Later we find out that maybe they know too much about us for our comfort. What is worse is those programs and games require so much expense and memory to run that we find it difficult if not impossible to run the programs we value or even those we depend on to make a living. Then we can find out our own system is being taken away from us and made into a bot of someone we do not even know. It does not even respond to us. Then there are the malicious viruses that seem to be indistinguishable from these who just want to hurt over our programs and distort our memory. Big, badly designed systems breed viruses somehow. Systems do crash this way.

I can easily deal with some silly messages; advertising, propaganda and such these are easily ignored and deleted. That’s freedom of speech; but takeovers? No way. Don’t these people understand that we users of this once valid and exciting system are not and never have been a stupid machine awaiting their commands? They are the servers, not us! We are rather individuals in many, many niches and wanting to be largely left alone. This boorish, invasive activity of theirs will only lead to us hacking at their system and even cracking! We demand to be free of these assaults. The sanctity of our information systems is important for our intellectual, cultural and even personal survival and should be protected and will be by its users. There is no emerging class so powerful when it comes to changing or destroying the system than the technorati. And we are all learning these processes to serve processes to those who would process against us.

Installing defense systems against these attacks is a growing expense and consumes much memory. Recognition programs and anti-virus routines can be turned against their user. Sweeps can destroy good information. We have also become suspicious of even honest offerings, free offers, legitimate bargains and surveys. This is bringing to a sad end the early days of trust and openness.

We installed this system to improve communications, lower the costs of commerce and to meet our information needs and the system was the best in the world at first. Since we in America are the trendsetters we should be careful of our role. Do we want thieving commerce, inane promises and wasteful programs that destroy systems to become emblematic of our leadership and iconography?

Consumers are happy to use any software that suits their need, even from providers that have been problematic such as Dell, as long as they become responsive to their customers. So it’s not too late for these “leaders” to reform. And we will give loyalty and revenue to those that listen to complaints and act on them. People who complain on blogs can be an ally in exposing errors, waste and bad customer service in their system.

The bloggers can also be their biggest headache and cause loss of market share by venting in their blogs about the hidden costs, waste of time, and violations of privacy in the offending programs. Most damagingly the bloggers can hype the better systems in the marketplace. They can, on the other hand, provide valuable suggestions, test prototypes, give plugs and endorsements and be an asset. You can’t buy loyalty like that or even good publicity.

But do these bureaucratic system managers who burden us listen? No, as the system gets worse we are even more besieged by even more of these “free” offers that range from dubious to dangerous. Programs are designed with those few who have large needs and burden all others with their requirements. Our systems can’t handle all the ones the system gave us years ago. And most of them have been proven over long experience to work badly. The programs corrupt easily and are written with such long and confusing language that needs so many patches. There is even a line of thinking that these programs are designed so badly so that we will continuously need their updates and expensive experts just to explain how we can get around these things. What about a routine that eliminates programs that don’t work? It could be at first embarrassing but would be a great help.

What is astounding is that much better programs are available to deal with all types of needs and put together by world-recognized experts. They are cheaper, take less memory, more effective and have been field tested all over the world. They practically run themselves. These are on the shelf in the marketplace and have been for many years. The one big size fits all for all time mentality of the current system will not work indefinitely and has to stop before it stops progress. No more top down system designs.

One reason that Google has done better than Yahoo is that Yahoo wants to take you where Yahoo wants to go and Google wants to take you where you want to go. The more options for the user in a system the more bright people you will attract and the brighter the users of your system will become. The system also becomes brighter as well. Google does this and so do other innovative companies and we become not frightened of their bigness and revenues. Google also keeps prices low for its advertisers and that attracts loyalty and discourages competition. Such innovation and customer service and low costs is not what is happening now with the current system operation.

Remember when this system was young. It was a large commanding place with limited access. It was an institution designed for a few information gatherers and decision makers only. It had ramps leading up to them since the machine was designed to be on a higher level to show its elevated status and to hide and give a place for the elaborate connections underneath. Before that in a simpler time it was primitive. Without technology, each would with great efforts had to find his own way to obtain and process information. Some seem to be returning to a decentralizing direction while still incorporating the newer processes.

There was also a class of priests who ran the system that even had its own costume and spoke a jargon all its own. It read from the machine’s entrails the prophecies that the leaders would unquestioningly follow. And at first it was shrouded in secrecy. Now there is a growing end to secrecy as more learn how to use it.

Now the new network has grown diverse and informal. Everyone now can be connected. Therefore people can have new paths that incorporate new openness that the tech gives it. That is as long as they can break free from the system.

The system has grown so large that it becomes contradictory in what it does. It is now hurting more than helping. It’s good to see that we have colored icons, contrasts and a greater wealth of information and so much diversity in it. But there is also the threat of a 1984 society. Was the internet invented to discover who should be interned and net them? Still we must preserve the massive information access we have today. No one really wants to go back to primitive times when information was not accessible and guarded by the few.

But our system is being overrun with programs that are written to include those who do not want to be part of them. It is based on obsolete code and concepts. Simple, many and small decentralized networks work better as information becomes greater and more complex. After all who knows what the future will be so autonomous experimentation is in order. Better networks are built on platforms that are accessible and adaptable. They are based on simple easier to understand code that we agree to use. They enable people to help themselves based on their own needs. Rather than coming from one big source it should be able to come from all users. Open, free collaboration rather than secrecy means that the customer is involved and helps the system rather than being alienated or hostile. A good system asks us to give value to it as we get value from it in free exchange. It also understands that competition is necessary to keep it honest and efficient. It must give us more value at an ever-decreasing price. More importantly a good system maintains value. Historically the value increases while cost decreases. It should in the end require less and less from each user to keep each application running. “Small is the next big” as is said in hot new book on the information revolution;” What would Goggle Do?”

The people who write the predatory programs are still using focus groups rather than reading the right blogs. These are the ones that not only complain but also point out options that have worked in the marketplace. If the system does not listen their customers will encourage competition. If the system listens to their consumers everyone will start winning.

Of course things do seem to be in a complete state of flux or even revolution and may always be that way. Some experts are maintaining that even the concepts of intellectual property are disappearing. They also say we need a new operating system, more based on freedom as well as a new management style. Some go further and say its better that we have free programs that get away from big systems. Progress will happen when we can all freely work on and share the same programs. Some say that such ideas have always worked in this field as collaboration works better than ownership. I am not sure but I am OK with it and this area is growing in some regions. I do acknowledge our intellectual debt to these decentralist radical developers who have 60’s values. No wonder they don’t dare drug test these guys.

So there is this conflict among us oppressed users between those who think that as long we get rid of unnecessary programs the system can be saved and return to the original deign of the operating system versus those who want to go to leave the current providers of this predatory software completely and go to a more open system where traditional ways and intellectual property rights are not so respected. Both think that the owners and management of those currently running the system is incompetent and/or evil.

We also can fight the new evil programs by constantly upgrading the identification of this invasion and the software necessary to fight it. How is a very hard question to answer because of the resources this can require. The answer will be a combination of saving the system, identifying and fighting invasions as well as trying to replace it and making this new region more difficult to capture. As long as I can get out of a system without much trouble and there are other systems that I can get into easily this is our best option. We need healthy competition, even among ourselves. We need more options to what we have now. People have always taken programs and adapted them for their own use. Some businesses are doing very well using these approaches with an emphasis on being customer wish driven. That can be seen as a sign that it’s a good application unless it becomes too bothersome.

Maybe we are having all these problems because of all the new users and the increase in technology. Maybe we have to have differing value systems within the system and a data base access that accommodate new users coming from so many different cultures and values. The market with its innovations and decentralizing cultures has always provided answers. I just can’t give a better answer yet.

And now the system in order to implement even more programs wants to put in a power boost that could short circuit everyone. This could destroy all the programs, including our memory and the operating system. I’m going to press charges. This is battery. We are going to all have to put in more surge protectors. This stimulus package is crazy.

This is all getting so complicated. I’m tired of talking about bloated and avaricious government. When will all this stupidity and the taking away of our wealth and liberty end?

And I’m not even going to begin to discuss the problems I’m having with computers. I seem to have this fixation on parallel processing.

Please reply with your comments to [email protected]

Dear editors and readers:
Did you get it?

This article is Copyright © by Donald Meinshausen.
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this in any form without written permission from the author.

Disclaimer - The views expressed in the article are the author's own, I am not responsible for them. I do believe that article is worth careful thought, and I'd like to thank Donald for agreeing to let my Pagan•Vigil website host the article.

Posted Sun - April 12, 2009 at 02:45 PM  

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Mon - March 23, 2009

"Human rights are potientially disasterous"

"I've been wondering about the distinction between human rights and liberties for some time now and in recent weeks have come to the conclusion that a human right essentially defines an entitlement and therefore a duty on government (and perhaps on others), while a liberty defines a restriction on government (and perhaps on others). I've also concluded that human rights are potentially disastrous."
— Bishop Hill, Human rights and liberties

Hat tip The Devil's Kitchen.

Posted Mon - March 23, 2009 at 01:15 PM  

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Sun - March 22, 2009

Sounds like the Obama Plan to me

"The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects - his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity."
— Henry Hazlitt

Hat tip William Anderson at the Mises Economics Blog.

Posted Sun - March 22, 2009 at 01:32 PM  

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Fri - March 20, 2009

Does anyone know what's going on? Can they be trusted to give a straight answer?

Never in the last half century have so many had so little trust in their financial institutions, Wall Street, the Congress, and the government. I have about as much faith that my retirement portfolio statement is accurate or based on real information as I do that the executive and legislative branches will do tomorrow what they promised today.
—Victor Davis Hanson, The "Depression" for Us Idiots

Watch the politicos pull the institutions down. Long live the Free Market Rebellion.

Posted Fri - March 20, 2009 at 12:09 PM  

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Sun - February 15, 2009

They did nothing

"Here is the true economic miracle of the 80’s and 90’s:  Not Reagan’s tax cuts or Clinton’s economic plan or Alan Greenspan in the Fed.  It was the fact that the government, with the American economy sweating under some very difficult conditions (worse than they are today, but you would never know it in the press) and under strong threats from Japan and Europe, basically did … nothing.  There was all kinds of pressure to create an American MITI  (seriously, it seems like a joke today, but the push was strong).  We did not.  The American economy was allowed to restructure itself."
Warren Meyer, A Failure of Nerve

He's absolutely right. Read the rest of the article and he proves it.

I was doing some spot checking the other night because I was considering writing something on how much government intervention slows down economic recovery. Obviously I haven't done a detailed study, but from what I can tell so far there is a pretty strong link.

The more government messes with the market, the longer it takes to bounce back.

Posted Sun - February 15, 2009 at 02:11 PM  

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Thu - February 12, 2009

Today's Latin lesson

There are three phrases in today's lesson. Remember them well.

Cui bono. -- Whom does it benefit? (including the profit?) (From Cicero).

Cui prodest. -- Who profits? Who gains? "Whom does it benefit?" (Short form for cui prodest scelus, is fecit in Seneca's Medea - the murderer (could be) the one who gets advantage from the murder).

Is fecit, cui prodest. -- "Done by the one who profits from it."

Now go read about the bailout stuff again.

Posted Thu - February 12, 2009 at 02:16 PM  

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Tue - February 3, 2009

Solitude's End

One of those pieces that just makes you think. Solitude, hmmm.

But we no longer live in the modernist city, and our great fear is not submersion by the mass but isolation from the herd. Urbanization gave way to suburbanization, and with it the universal threat of loneliness. What technologies of transportation exacerbated — we could live farther and farther apart — technologies of communication redressed — we could bring ourselves closer and closer together. Or at least, so we have imagined. The first of these technologies, the first simulacrum of proximity, was the telephone. "Reach out and touch someone." But through the 70s and 80s, our isolation grew. Suburbs, sprawling ever farther, became exurbs. Families grew smaller or splintered apart, mothers left the home to work. The electronic hearth became the television in every room. Even in childhood, certainly in adolescence, we were each trapped inside our own cocoon. Soaring crime rates, and even more sharply escalating rates of moral panic, pulled children off the streets. The idea that you could go outside and run around the neighborhood with your friends, once unquestionable, has now become unthinkable. The child who grew up between the world wars as part of an extended family within a tight-knit urban community became the grandparent of a kid who sat alone in front of a big television, in a big house, on a big lot. We were lost in space.

Under those circumstances, the Internet arrived as an incalculable blessing. We should never forget that. It has allowed isolated people to communicate with one another and marginalized people to find one another. The busy parent can stay in touch with far-flung friends. The gay teenager no longer has to feel like a freak. But as the Internet's dimensionality has grown, it has quickly become too much of a good thing. Ten years ago we were writing e-mail messages on desktop computers and transmitting them over dial-up connections. Now we are sending text messages on our cellphones, posting pictures on our Facebook pages, and following complete strangers on Twitter. A constant stream of mediated contact, virtual, notional, or simulated, keeps us wired in to the electronic hive — though contact, or at least two-way contact, seems increasingly beside the point. The goal now, it seems, is simply to become known, to turn oneself into a sort of miniature celebrity. How many friends do I have on Facebook? How many people are reading my blog? How many Google hits does my name generate? Visibility secures our self-esteem, becoming a substitute, twice removed, for genuine connection. Not long ago, it was easy to feel lonely. Now, it is impossible to be alone.

As a result, we are losing both sides of the Romantic dialectic. What does friendship mean when you have 532 "friends"? How does it enhance my sense of closeness when my Facebook News Feed tells me that Sally Smith (whom I haven't seen since high school, and wasn't all that friendly with even then) "is making coffee and staring off into space"? My students told me they have little time for intimacy. And of course, they have no time at all for solitude.

But at least friendship, if not intimacy, is still something they want. As jarring as the new dispensation may be for people in their 30s and 40s, the real problem is that it has become completely natural for people in their teens and 20s. Young people today seem to have no desire for solitude, have never heard of it, can't imagine why it would be worth having. In fact, their use of technology — or to be fair, our use of technology — seems to involve a constant effort to stave off the possibility of solitude, a continuous attempt, as we sit alone at our computers, to maintain the imaginative presence of others. As long ago as 1952, Trilling wrote about "the modern fear of being cut off from the social group even for a moment." Now we have equipped ourselves with the means to prevent that fear from ever being realized. Which does not mean that we have put it to rest. Quite the contrary. Remember my student, who couldn't even write a paper by herself. The more we keep aloneness at bay, the less are we able to deal with it and the more terrifying it gets.

I have to admit, I don''t understand the Twitter thing. But I compare my online activity to my older stepsibs (stepsis is 7 years older, stepbro 10 years older) and there is a huge difference. Even allowing for the fact that I've always been more of a reader than they were, I've got a huge online presence and they don't, except for maybe email. Mom's even more reserved than that.

To be sure, I know older people who have a bigger presence than me, and mostly under their legal name, but they are the exception.

I honestly don't understand the appeal of Facebook or Twitter. But I have to admit, I do check the visitor logs of my blogs. Sometimes if one of my lists doesn't reply right away, I go check to see if I am still a member. And I've talked about this before with some of my online friends (hey juliaki) whether an online relationship really constitutes friendship.

Maybe it's a little hypocritical if I do the semi-hermit bit and I still have internet connections. What does it say when my solitude is mainly enforced by heavy drapes and a vine covered fence?

Like I said, stuff to think about.

Posted Tue - February 3, 2009 at 01:30 PM  

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Tue - January 27, 2009

Two quotes for consideration

The first is a classic headline.

Obama's So-Called Stimulus Scheme: Good for Government, Bad for the Economy

Watch the video, it's pretty good.

The second one is just classic.

The government supporters need to realize that something as rare as the free market couldn't possibly have destroyed the entire economy. It takes something ubiquitous, like government control, regulation, meddling, and interference.
— Kent McManigal, Blame Sasquatch

Sometimes blogging is just too much fun. Those two really tickled my funnybone

Posted Tue - January 27, 2009 at 03:44 PM  

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Sat - January 24, 2009

Limbaugh responds to Obama

"To make the argument about me instead of his plan makes sense from his perspective.  Obama's plan would buy votes for the Democrat Party, in the same way FDR's New Deal established majority power for 50 years of Democrat rule, and it would also simultaneously seriously damage any hope of future tax cuts.  It would allow a majority of American voters to guarantee no taxes for themselves going forward.  It would burden the private sector and put the public sector in permanent and firm control of the economy. Put simply, I believe his stimulus is aimed at re-establishing "eternal" power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy. If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of this TRILLION dollar debacle."
— Rush Limbaugh as quoted in Limbaugh Responds to Obama

Now I do not agree with everything Limbaugh says, it seems to run somewhere between a third and two-thirds.

But why is the President making this about Rush Limbaugh?

I don't think the Imperious Leader can make the case for his stimulus.

Posted Sat - January 24, 2009 at 02:42 PM  

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C.S. Lewis on tyranny

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
— C.S. Lewis

Smart man.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Posted at 02:31 PM  

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Thu - January 15, 2009

The meltdown - summarized

"The Fed has been creating new vehicles right and left for nearly 18 months, so the problem isn't a lack of liquidity. The problem is that too few people want to use the liquidity the Fed is creating. They don't want to lend money, or take risks, in part because they never know what Mr. Bernanke and the government might do next."
Leadership and Panics, The Wall Street Journal

I'm still waiting for Obama to show something different.

Posted Thu - January 15, 2009 at 01:30 PM  

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"I am not a number — I am a free man!"

Ah, blasted blue blazes.

Patrick McGoohan died Tuesday.

To me, he'll always be The Prisoner. Not Number Six, but the man who resisted everything an overreaching state tried to toss at him.

A worthy inspiration.

Posted at 07:17 AM  

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Thu - January 8, 2009

Sure sign that your currency is in trouble

Part of the problem, Green said, is that the government has changed the money so much to foil counterfeiting. With all the new bills out there, citizens and even many police officers don’t know what they’re supposed to look like.

Moreover, many people see paper money less because they use credit or debit cards.
— Joe Lambe, Fake money isn't what it used to be

I'm not saying a word. But I am thinking it real hard.

Posted Thu - January 8, 2009 at 07:17 AM  

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Wed - January 7, 2009

So much for Ben Stein

I'm not going to give the quote. I won't even link to it directly. I will give the link to Radley Balko's site, which is where I found out about it.

This has not been a good year for Stein in my opinion. He already earned a prominent place on my Watch List with his film, this latest just means that I won't give his utterances any consideration at all.

Posted Wed - January 7, 2009 at 02:37 PM  

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Tue - January 6, 2009

Giggle quote of the day

The feminist, pro-gay, secular left in Britain (i.e. Danny's "liberal opinion") is now siding unequivocally with misogynist, homophobic religious fanatics. I can understand (all too well) why Neanderthal elements of the socially-conservative blogosphere are anti-Israel, but what is the left's excuse?
— The Last Ditch, Waiting for the One

I loved it!!

Posted Tue - January 6, 2009 at 03:33 PM  

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Mon - January 5, 2009

Best quote of the year so far

I wonder when someone will notice Obama was never fully vetted either.
— Tammy Bruce, Barkey Appoints Richardson to Under the Bus Secretary

A classic quote.

Posted Mon - January 5, 2009 at 02:39 PM  

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Tue - December 9, 2008

"Federal Inflationary Policies Mask Real Problems"

ABC News likes to take control of your computer and their sites load v-e-r-y——s-l-o-w-l-y, but this John Stossel article delivers the money shot.

How can the economy straighten itself out if it is being systematically skewed by government inference with prices? We are in the mess we're in precisely because of earlier government interference. Easy mortgage terms and guarantees contrived a housing boom and irresponsible lending that could not be sustained. The consequences have shaken the foundation of the financial industry. But instead of freeing the market and allowing the errors to be corrected, the government is seducing the economy into a whole new set of errors. That will lead to the next bust.

Of course I agree, and I still want to know why ANYBODY is trusting government to fix this when government usually only makes things worse.

Posted Tue - December 9, 2008 at 06:54 AM  

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Mon - December 1, 2008

True quote to remember

"The free market punishes irresponsibility. Government rewards it.”
— Harry Brown

Liberty Maven reminded me of that one. It's a good one, probably one of Brown's best.

Posted Mon - December 1, 2008 at 06:52 AM  

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Demonizing your idealogical opponent

"If I could outlaw one rhetorical and stylistic device I think it would be comparing your idealogical opponent to Hitler, Nazis, and fascists*. It cheapens the true horrors of WWII and the Holocaust, and instantly destroys any chance for a civilized debate. The political left and right both employ this "scorched earth" tactic of demonizing the other side, and some religious leaders aren't much better."
— Jason Pitz-Waters, The Bay Area Fascists?!?

Do I have to say I agree?

Posted at 06:24 AM  

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Thu - November 20, 2008

"If it weren't for the government..."

"The government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, then hand you a crutch and say, 'See, if it weren't for the government you wouldn't be able to walk.'"
— Harry Browne

One of the best things he ever said.

Posted Thu - November 20, 2008 at 03:40 PM  

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Fri - November 14, 2008

A great way of saying "thou shalt not initiate force"

I'm running behind, but here's one for you to think about today.

"Liberals and conservatives both believe the government should force peaceful people, at gunpoint if necessary, to live the way *they* think they should. Libertarians are against this. We think people should be free to do as they wish with their lives and property, as long as they aren't harming anyone else."
James W. Harris, Editor, Liberator Online

There's truth in those words.

Posted Fri - November 14, 2008 at 01:44 PM  

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Thu - November 13, 2008

Tolerance, but only if you are politically correct

"That's when you know America is truly supportive of diversity of opinion, when children must whisper for fear of being ostracized, heckled and crucifixed."
— John Kass, Tolerance fails the T-Shirt test

"70% of black church going californians who voted this cycle voted for prop 8. As they overwhelmingly supported America's first chance to elect a person of color and strike a death blow to racism, they also went out of their way to misuse their votes (no doubt at the behest of their immoral and hateful pastors and clergy) to isolate and punish a small minority of citizens, and to deny them basic civil rights.

"They voted to deny over 70,000 californian children coverage of the insurance benefits of their gay parents. They voted to destroy the constitution that Obama will hopefully uphold against their wishes, by making sure that church and state remain separated. They voted to "uphold the sanctity of marriage" by making a mockery of it. They showed themselves every inch as bigoted and ignorant as their white christian right wing counterpartners who voted for mccain-palin and bush-cheney."
— Rosanne Barr, 70% of black church going californians

"Using that standard, someone can only earn worth if they sacrifice to benefit a victim or a group of victims. Oh, and intentions matter. If someone meant to sacrifice but hasn't quite followed through yet, they are still morally superior to someone who hasn't promised to sacrifice. And the amount that you personally have to sacrifice is inversely proportional to the amount of attention you can get focused on the problem.

"Since intentions matter often matter more than results, solving the problem isn't as important as either defining your victimhood or showing the proper concern and sympathy. Whenever possible, the problem shouldn't be solved (and should be prolonged) just so people can stay victims or show compassion.

"This introduces yet another politically elite class who derive their social worth by defining the victimhood of others.

"If someone can define you as an oppressor, a person who either personally benefited from making victims of others or a member of a class who benefited from the unwilling exploitation of an underclass, you have no moral worth whatsoever. An oppressor can only redeem themself by sacrificing everything they possess for the oppressed.

"No wonder I get annoyed by it, the fundamentals pretty much violate every personal belief I have."
— NeoWayland, Why I MARGINALLY prefer conservatives over liberals

I've only one other thing to say on this subject.

Why do they keep proving me right?

Posted Thu - November 13, 2008 at 12:22 PM  

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Wed - November 5, 2008

Best small "L" definition I've seen of libertarian I've seen in a long time

Yep, I emphasized it.

“Big-L” (as in the party) Libertarians seem to attract an uncomfortable mixture of conspiracy theorists, isolationists and pacifists. The Libertarian Party is the political equivalent of a Star Trek convention. Contrast that with “small-L” libertarians (as in adherents to the political philosophy) who tend the be the type of people you’ll have the most fun breaking laws with.

I consider myself a libertarian for two reasons.

First and foremost: for the betterment of the human race. True, these aren’t easy days to proclaim oneself an unashamed capitalist. But whatever governmental market distortions led to the current financial crisis, the simple fact remains that no single system has brought more material comfort to more people worldwide than capitalism.

In America today, people we consider poor have a standard of living that would’ve been thought of as middle-class a century ago. Sure, we can to do better for more people, but there’s only one historically proven way to do it: capitalism. By definition, government can’t create wealth. Only private economic activity can. The more economic activity, the faster the growth, and the richer even the poor become. The larger the share of the economy that flows through the government, the longer it’ll take for the engine of capitalism to grow poverty into extinction.

The second reason I’m a libertarian is because I believe that the individual should be afforded the maximum personal liberty in cases where no other individual’s rights are being abridged. In their private lives, people should be allowed to set whatever personal boundaries their consciences allow and require. And while I believe that people should abide by some form of moral code, it is not the function of the state to impose one person’s moral code on another. If you want to convince someone else to live by your rules, you’re free to do so in the private sphere. But government is too big a bludgeon to be used for such a function.
— Evan Coyne Maloney, Holding My Nose and Pulling the Lever

The rest of the piece is pretty good too.

Posted Wed - November 5, 2008 at 07:25 AM  

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Tue - November 4, 2008

"The Lost Years & Last Days of David Foster Wallace"

I've never read David Foster Wallace.

But gods, I can sympathize with the depression episodes.

Mine never required medication. I suppose that is something. There were days when I would wake up and spend an hour coming up with a reason not to kill myself that day. Mostly because it was too much trouble.

I still have bad times, but they aren't suicidal bad anymore.

Wallace's life was a sad story and too short.

I really wish I could say more.

Hat tip Daring Fireball.

Posted Tue - November 4, 2008 at 07:24 AM  

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Tue - October 14, 2008

Let the private market work...

"Just something to think about when someone tries to tell you that only the government can make the investment necessary for innovative technologies like satellites, computers, or the internet. The private market, either due to outright restrictions or the siphoning away of talent by the federal government, is often not given the chance."
Is government really a better technology incubator than the private sector?

Another worth your time.

Posted Tue - October 14, 2008 at 07:24 AM  

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Tue - September 30, 2008

"...until values reach realistic levels."

Great bit from the Financial Post.

Bailout or no bailout, the stock markets were heading lower as financial markets continue to undergo massive asset revaluations. No matter what elaborate new rescue packages Congress, the Bush administration and the U.S. Federal Reserve bring to the party, the market is going to continue marking stock prices and other assets down until values reach realistic levels.

This is not, nor can it be, the beginning of the end of the U.S. or world financial system. It's simply how the financial market works, how it should work. And it is working, whatever the games being played out in Washington and whatever their belief that governments can resolve the crisis.

This is how the system fixes itself WITHOUT government intervention.

Of course, without government intervention, it never would have gotten this bad to begin with...

Posted Tue - September 30, 2008 at 01:34 PM  

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Thu - September 4, 2008

Best quote about Palin I've seen so far

Daniel Henninger nails it.

The angry woman-as-victim drives them nuts. They hate victimology. As one woman said, "The point is that across the ages women have been doing pretty much what Sarah Palin has been doing: bearing children, feeding families, bringing in an income, working to improve their communities."

Another woman said, "Her story reflects a more normal reality" of active women; "the harder you work, the luckier you get." Hillary Clinton still plays the victim card. Sarah Palin gives off no victim vibes. These women mentioned her grit, determination and character.

Strength WITHOUT victimhood is sexy. It's the type of person that gets my gears going faster. It's why Bill Cosby resonates and Jesse Jackson just makes noise.

Posted Thu - September 4, 2008 at 05:04 AM  

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Tue - January 22, 2008

"Behave yourself and don't hit your sister"

"Libertarianism is what your mom taught you: behave yourself and don't hit your sister. "
Dr. Kenneth Bisson

One of the simplest (and best) definitions I have ever seen. We libertarians can be pretentious, it's good to know that some of us can be refreshingly direct.

Posted Tue - January 22, 2008 at 04:41 AM  

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Wed - November 28, 2007

American assetts

...America’s fundamental economic strength is rooted in the most stable of assets — its values. The U.S. is still an astonishing assimilation machine. It has successfully absorbed more than 20 million legal immigrants over the past quarter-century, an extraordinary influx of human capital. Americans are remarkably fertile. Birthrates are relatively high, meaning that in 2050, the average American will be under 40, while the average European, Chinese and Japanese will be more than a decade older.

The American economy benefits from low levels of corruption. American culture still transmits some ineffable spirit of adventure. American students can’t compete with, say, Singaporean students on standardized tests, but they are innovative and creative throughout their lives. The U.S. standard of living first surpassed the rest of the world’s in about 1740, and despite dozens of cycles of declinist foreboding, the country has resolutely refused to decay.
— Karl Lembke, The strong US economy, November 27, 2007, Rite Wing TechnoPagan

I still say that considering everything the American economy has had thrown at it in the last decade or so, the real news is not the bumps but the ongoing trendlines.

Posted Wed - November 28, 2007 at 02:07 PM  

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Mon - November 26, 2007

Sage advice on the "holiday display" mess

"My basic take is that if people are so passionate about this, put up a display in your yard, go to church, go to synagogue, go to your religious institution and celebrate. That's where the energy should be, in meeting God this time of the year rather than publically debating what symbols to put up."
— Rev. Timothy Schenck, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Briarcliff Manor, as quoted in Briarcliff tries to solve the 'holiday display' dilemma, New York Journal News, November 25, 2007

Hat tip Wild Hunt Blog via this Religion Clause entry.

Posted Mon - November 26, 2007 at 07:02 AM  

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Sun - November 25, 2007

Politics and faith - Updated

There are some people who believe faith doesn't belong in politics. But it does, and it is there inextricably. The antislavery movement, the temperance movement, the civil rights movement, the antiabortion movement, all were political movements animated in large part by religious feeling. It's not that it doesn't matter. You bring your whole self into the polling booth, including your faith and your sense of right and wrong, good and bad, just as presidents bring their whole selves into the Oval Office. I can't imagine how a president could do his job without faith.

But faith is also personal. You can be touched by a candidate's faith, or interested in his apparent lack of it. It's never wholly unimportant, but you should never see a politician as a leader of faith, and we should not ask a man who made his rise in the grubby world of politics to act as if he is an exemplar of his faith, or an explainer or defender of it.

We have the emphasis wrong. It's out of kilter. And the result is a Mitt Romney being harassed on radio shows about the particulars of his faith, and Hillary Clinton--a new-class yuppie attorney and board member--announcing how important her Methodist faith is and how much she loves wearing her diamond cross. For all I know, for all you know, it is true. But there is about it an air of patronizing the rubes and boobs.
— Peggy Noonan, People Before Prophets,, November 23, 2007

Great point. And it is one that I wish more people would recognize.

It's also one that is essential to the foundation of this blog. It's perfectly possible to be a "person of faith" without inflicting that faith on all your neighbors. When a politico tells you to vote for them BECAUSE of their religion, you should tell them to get stuffed. Religion doesn't guarantee virtue. And there are very few things in this world that are more dangerous than an elected official who can hide behind "holy teachings" while wrapping themselves in a flag.

Religion can't be allowed the coercive power of government, government can't be allowed the moral justification of religion. I can't put it any more clearly than that.

Otherwise YOUR freedom is at stake.

Posted Sun - November 25, 2007 at 03:37 PM  

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Sun - November 18, 2007

Real economic costs of global warming "prevention"

Lets look at history as our guide.  Most of the European countries and Japan signed onto the Kyoto Treaty to reduce emissions to 1990 levels.  They have taken many expensive steps to do so, implemented many more controls than in the US, and have gas prices as much as double those in the US.  During the period since 1990, most of these countries, unlike the US and China and India, have been in a deep and extended economic recession, which tends to suppress the growth of fossil fuel consumption.  Also, the CO2 numbers for countries like Russia and Germany benefit greatly from the fall of the old Communist Block, as their 1990 base year CO2 numbers include many horribly inefficient and polluting Soviet industries that have since been shut down.  And, given all this, they STILL are going to miss their numbers.  These countries have experienced reductions in economic growth orders of magnitude greater than this 0.12 percent quoted by the UN, and that still is not enough to reduce CO2 to target levels.  Only outright contraction of the world's economy is going to suffice [note: A strong commitment to replacing coal plants with nuclear might be a partial solution, but it will never happen because the people calling for CO2 controls are the same ones who shut down our nuclear programs. Also, technological change is always possible.  It would be awesome if someone found a way to roll out sheets of efficient solar cells like carpet out of Dalton, Georgia, but that has not happened yet.]
Warren Meyer, Analysis of "New" UN Climate Warming, Coyote Blog

I'm almost willing to give odds that someone will try to discredit Meyer before looking at his points.

Posted Sun - November 18, 2007 at 02:38 PM  

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Tue - November 13, 2007

"Why the hell not?"

Let's face it: if you're living in a society in which anywhere from one-quarter to one-half of the population can't meet their basic needs through their own efforts -- where a half-trillion dollar enterprise is needed to "help the poor" -- then there is something fundamentally wrong with your society; and redistributing wealth, from those who have managed to succeed to those who have not, is avoiding the real problem. Whether the problem is the legions of overpaid bureaucratic parasites, the erosion of savings through inflation, confiscatory taxation, the countless costs of busybody legislation, or all of the above, you need to fix the underlying cause before you can ever really help people.

Put another way: if transfusing a few units of blood doesn't help the patient's condition, you'd better start looking for the bleeding....not look for more blood donors.
— Wendy McElroy, Helping the Poor -- Small Scale

The lady nailed it.

Posted Tue - November 13, 2007 at 02:26 PM  

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Fri - November 9, 2007

A turning point for feminism and American politics?

But even better, and more startling, people began to giggle. At Mrs. Clinton, a woman who has never inspired much mirth. Suddenly they were remembering the different accents she has spoken with when in different parts of the country, and the weird laugh she has used on talk shows. A few days ago new poll numbers came out--neck and neck with Barack Obama in Iowa, her lead slipping in New Hampshire. There is a sense that Sen. Obama is rising, a sense for the first time in this election cycle that Mrs. Clinton just may be in a fight, a real one, one she could actually lose.

It's all kind of wonderful, isn't it? Someone indulged in special pleading and America didn't buy it. It's as if the country this week made it official: We now formally declare that the woman who uses the fact of her sex to manipulate circumstances is a jerk.

This is a victory for true feminism, in its old-fashioned sense of a simple assertion of the equality of men and women. We might not have so resoundingly reached this moment without Mrs. Clinton's actions and statements. Thank you, Mrs. Clinton.
— Peggy Noonan, Things Are Tough All Over, OpinionJournal

I am all for equal rights. Not superior rights, not for extra rights because your group has been victimized in the past, and not special rights just because.

I want the politics of victimhood to end so we can get on to the important stuff.

Posted Fri - November 9, 2007 at 04:26 AM  

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Tue - November 6, 2007

Being first is not enough

"However, it's really rather pointless to try to establish an inventor of desktop widgets, search, bookmarks, windows, and backups. In many cases, its not the first idea that matters, but rather the first good implementation. Apple can in many cases claim credit for delivering the first usable instance of many technologies, and often the most elegant."
— Daniel Eran, WWDC Secrets Paul Thurott Hopes You Miss, August 11, 2006

Only too true. While Apple does do their share of innovation, the company has built their business on just making it work elegantly.

Posted Tue - November 6, 2007 at 01:30 PM  

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Mon - October 22, 2007

Greenpeace goes for the panic, AGAIN

Yes, I am still having posting issues. But I am going to try anyway.

This is the heart of the matter: that Greenpeace is using the iPhone (and Apple before, in Macworld) as an instrument to get more publicity, and Greenpeace's video (as well as the targeting of a widely known corporation and über-media-darling like Apple) is clearly designed to take advantage of the iPhone's popularity to Greenpeace's own benefit. Failing to address or ignoring facts as the actual law doesn't make Greenpeace look good either. As Greenpeace rebuttal points out, the law is the law. Apple or anyone else can't hardly be considered guilty of anything if the laws don't tell them that what they are doing is harmful for the environment (if it is, in fact, harmful. We, the media, and we, the public, want to know the straight facts.)

Like Greenpeace says, other manufacturers are at fault. Why do a video about Apple and the iPhone first instead of publishing their findings as a whole report, including the other manufacturers, with references, clear methodology and, hopefully, in a scientific journal or publication so it can be peer reviewed; then make an announcement and crush any company they want? Doesn't Greenpeace think that this will give their allegations more weight rather than making them look like publicists cashing in on the latest fad? While we take the piss here in the Giz quite often, we do believe that serious accusations require serious methodology, not showmanship.
Jesus Diaz, Gizmodo, Greenpeace Responds to Alarmist Claims, Admits Targeting Apple Grabs Headlines

Posted Mon - October 22, 2007 at 03:28 PM  

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Sun - October 14, 2007

...Progressives stop trusting individual decision making

However, when we move to fields such as commerce, progressives stop trusting individual decision-making.  Progressives who support the right to a person making unfettered choices in sexual partners don't trust people to make their own choice on seat belt use.  Progressives who support the right of fifteen year old girls to make decisions about abortion without parental notification do not trust these same girls later in life to make their own investment choices with their Social Security funds.  And, Progressives who support the right of third worlders to strap on a backpack of TNT and explode themselves in the public market don't trust these same third worlders to make the right decision in choosing to work in the local Nike shoe plant.
Warren Meyer, Coyote Blog: Progressives are too Conservative to Like Capitalism

Interesting paradox. And one I have been thinking about the last few days.

Posted Sun - October 14, 2007 at 01:20 PM  

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Thu - September 20, 2007

"I would never accept that job..."

More later if my logic board holds out, but I loved this quote.

Much of the opposition to factory wages in Asia can be boiled down to members of the American middle class saying "I would never accept that job at that rate, so they should not either."
Warren Meyer, American Middle Class Snobbery, Coyote Blog

I'm always a fan of truth and individual choice.

Posted Thu - September 20, 2007 at 05:08 PM  

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Tue - July 3, 2007

In honor of the spirit of the 4th

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Just a reminder about what it is really about.

Yes, I know that there is more to it, but this is the part that still resonates today.

I don't intend to post on July 4th. I've better things to do on the holiday. I will be back on the 5th.

Posted Tue - July 3, 2007 at 09:57 PM  

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Sat - June 23, 2007

Senate disguises farm subsidies as energy bill

"The evidence is absolutely unequivocal that corn-based ethanol doesn't reduce net energy use, since it takes at least as much energy to grow and produce as it provides.  It is even worse as environmental policy, since it almost certainly increases total pollution and CO2 production, particularly as ethanol is produced with Midwestern coal-powered electricity.   In addition, it is going to cause marginal lands and open space to be brought into corn production, reversing a 70-year trend in the US towards increases in wilderness and forested land.  It is going to increase fuel costs to no real purpose.  This is dumb, dumb, dumb.  So stupid that I can't even get the energy to criticize the new CAFE standards.  If they really wanted to meet their goals, a carbon tax would have been cheaper and more effective, but that would have taken political guts."
— Warren Meyer, Senate Passes Massive Farm-Subsidy Bill, June 22, 2007

Probably the best summary of the whole mess I have seen.

Let's not forget what this will do to food prices.

Posted Sat - June 23, 2007 at 03:09 PM  

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Tue - June 12, 2007

Is the fix in?

The media has neutralized the one useful thing about our two-party system. The major candidates don't oppose each other. They oppose the candidates in their own parties with the courage to say we're all screwed.
—Johnathon David Morris, Fixing the Presidential Debates

Dissent has become unpatriotic. You are no longer allowed to question the party orthodoxy. Lieberman proved that, and it is happening again with the debate on the Senate immigration bill.


Posted Tue - June 12, 2007 at 05:13 AM  

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Fri - June 8, 2007

Racism Lives (in the U.S. Senate)

"My god, It sounded like our senate leader was speaking about a talented monkey he came across. The admiration in his voice that a man, who happens to be Hispanic, could sing and talk, too! Like sitting on the porch of the plantation, marveling at how those Darkies could dance. Absolutely astounding. Reid's racism is based in the same pit as Bush's--this idea that some people just won't make it without the benevolent White Man's help. It's patronizing, condescending, and yes, racist. Yet not a peep from La Raza, MALDEF or anyone in the Senate itself."
— Tammy Bruce, The Small Brown Man Who Can Sing and Talk, June 8, 2007

What can I say except she is right?

Posted Fri - June 8, 2007 at 09:32 PM  

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Tue - May 22, 2007

This headline says it all

Edwards charges $55,000 to speak to UC Davis students about poverty

I don't even need to read the article. This tells me more about the man than I need to know. And the columnist is not happy with him either.

Posted Tue - May 22, 2007 at 02:15 PM  

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Sat - May 19, 2007

The delayed cost of political correctness

"Besides, if the potentates of political correctness come after conservative commentators like Limbaugh today, they'll come after liberal commentators tomorrow."
— Clarence Page, Satire about Obama isn't the same as Imus' flub , May 9, 2007

This guy gets it. He doesn't agree with Rush Limbaugh, but he thinks silencing Limbaugh for a joke is a really bad idea.

Inflict government on someone else today, and don't be surprised if someone else inflicts it on you tommorrow.

Posted Sat - May 19, 2007 at 04:50 AM  

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Fri - May 18, 2007

"Freedom is about authority."

"We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."
— Rudolph Giuliani, speech on crime and law enforcement in New York City, March 16, 1994

You know, the more I look at Giuliani, the less I like him. Friends back on the East Coast warned me, but I didn't listen.

Hat tip Nobody's Business.

Posted Fri - May 18, 2007 at 05:02 AM  

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Thu - May 10, 2007

Bush Muddle

"The GOP muddle is George Bush's fault. After more than six years of the Bush presidency, the Republican template is broken. Largely this is the result of presiding over a war presidency for nearly two terms. The war has dropped virtually all else in the nation's political life into the footnotes. One has to wonder what the political legacy of the Bush presidency would have consisted of without September 11 or the Iraq war."
Daniel Henniger, After the Bush Muddle, May 10th, 2007

I am one of the very few libertarians who thinks that the War On Terror was necessary, but I think the whole political correct angle made it much more complicated than it should be. Bush Muddle is a good way of putting it.

Posted Thu - May 10, 2007 at 05:08 AM  

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It's only fair

"Those records are public and thus fair game, but if a media outlet provides the names of those who have gone through the often tedious process of state licensing then they should also publish the names of all living criminals who have committed crimes with illegally possessed weapons so that the public can make a comparison between the two lists."
Dyre42, What Gun Closet?, May 9, 2007

If you haven't checked out Dyre Portents yet, you should. It's made me think a bit.

Posted at 04:46 AM  

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Tue - May 8, 2007

" require that businesses discriminate against undocumented aliens"

"However, this is the irony I find amazing:  State, Federal, and Maricopa County law require that businesses discriminate against undocumented aliens.  I can be fined and sent to jail for not discriminating against them.  Maricopa county, which runs this particular community college, employs a sheriff that revels in anti-immigrant rhetoric that probably runs more extreme than even Pat Buchanan and who prides himself on how many illegal immigrants he has rounded up this week (he.  In this context, how can it be illegal to advocate for enforcement of current law?  How can it be illegal to advocate for policies aggressively pursued by your own employer?"
— Warren Meyer, Free Speech and Immigration, May 8th, 2007

Another of those bits that prompts an "Amen" even if I am a Pagan.

Posted Tue - May 8, 2007 at 04:03 PM  

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Mon - May 7, 2007

"SWAT teams in cammies"

I can't really think of any reason for a paramilitary police team to wear camouflage other than to mimic the military. Which, for the umpteenth time, isn't a healthy aspiration for the domestic peace officers charged with protecting our rights to have. All goes back to that "mindset" problem.
— Radley Balko, Your "What Country Are We Living In?" Photo of the Day, May 6, 2007

Be sure to read the rest of the article and look at the picture.

Posted Mon - May 7, 2007 at 05:00 AM  

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Sun - May 6, 2007

Rights are balanced with an obligation

"Anyone familiar with accounting understands the concept of double-entry bookkeeping, in which every credit is balanced by a corresponding debit. So it is with rights, each of which is balanced by a corresponding obligation. In human society, the governing bodies which protect our rights operate under a social contract. Those who violate the social contract forfeit their rights, and may be deprived of property or freedom or even life itself. Governments that violate the social contract may be overthrown."
— Maynard, Animal Rights, Human Rights,

I don't agree entirely, but I do think this is a starting point.

Posted Sun - May 6, 2007 at 01:13 PM  

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Thu - May 3, 2007

I agree entirely with this one

"We've no problem with Christians, Muslims or any other religious people provided they don't try to force their views on everyone else in the world.  We just think there are a lot more gods than just one..."
— Joe Hennon in an interview with Expatica Belgium

Hat tip Wild Hunt Blog.

Cross posted to both Technopagan Yearnings and Pagan Vigil.

Posted Thu - May 3, 2007 at 05:25 PM  

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Thu - April 12, 2007

Is this for real?

SHARPTON VOWS MORE: 'It is our feeling that this is only the beginning. We must have a broad discussion on what is permitted and not permitted in terms of the airwaves'...

I have a problem here. Except for an unlinked quote on the Drudge Report (which I copy/pasted above), I haven't been able to find a mainstream news source for this quote. And yes, I know it is pushing it calling Drudge mainstream.

The most reputable source that I have found so far is this bit from Rush Limbaugh, and that will disappear behind his subscription wall on Monday afternoon.

As I see it, there are three likely possible reasons for this.

One, Sharpton did not say this and it is part of the conspiracy to discredit him.

Two, he did say it but news outlets all over the country did not see it as newsworthy.

Three, he did say it but the news is being sanitized.

If it is real, then it is hard to see what Al Sharpton is calling for except widespread censorship of the news. Except for modern liberal and progressive content of course.

So tell me, which one do I assume? How do I cover the story?

Posted Thu - April 12, 2007 at 07:17 PM  

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Looking beyond the obvious

What drives me most crazy is when socialism's advocates answer criticisms about socialism's consistently dismal long-term results by saying "but it will work if only we can get the right people in charge" (usually this means the speaker and his/her cronies).  If you are a Star Trek fan, you will understand why I call this the 'John Gill Fallacy.'"
— Warren Meyer, Why Does Socialism Sometimes Seem to Sort of Work, At First?, Coyote Blog, April 12, 2007

That's the important question, isn't it? Read the rest, it's worth your time.

Posted at 04:15 PM  

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Sat - April 7, 2007

A major reason why Windows sucks big time

"The problem is a lack of respect for the consumer. The manufacturers don't act as if the computer belongs to you. They act as if it is a billboard for restricted trial versions of software and ads for Web sites and services that they can sell to third-party companies who want you to buy these products."

"I'm distinguishing these programs, sometimes called "craplets," from the full-featured, built-in Sony software meant to enhance the computer, or from entire, useful programs Microsoft builds into Windows, such as music and photo organizers."
Walter S. Mossberg, Using Even New PCs Is Ruined by a Tangle of Trial Programs, Ads, Personal Technology, April 5, 2007

As I have said before, Apple is selling the user experience. Hardware and software are secondary to that.

Your computer should belong to you, not the company that manufactured it or the company that provides the operating system.

Posted Sat - April 7, 2007 at 04:40 AM  

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Fri - April 6, 2007

Is this where we are headed?

"Please sir, remove your hand from her bum. No public affection on city streets is permitted."
— Radley Balko, Britain Gets Yet Creepier, The Agitator, April 5, 2007

Even if it is a kid's voice coming out of the camera, I can't see it as friendly.

Posted Fri - April 6, 2007 at 04:51 AM  

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Thu - March 29, 2007

Criminalizing objectionable behavior

"Across the USA, legislators are criminalizing everything from spitting on a school bus to speaking on a cellphone while driving. Criminalizing bad behavior has become the rage among politicians, who view such action as a type of legislative exclamation point demonstrating the seriousness of their cause. As a result, new crimes are proliferating at an alarming rate, and we risk becoming a nation of criminals where carelessness or even rudeness is enough to secure a criminal record."
— Jonathan Turley, Justice? What a joke.,

A strong reason why government should not try to inflict morality or ethics on citizens.

Posted Thu - March 29, 2007 at 01:20 PM  

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Sat - March 17, 2007

I could live with that

"I'm not prepared to go there yet, but I wonder if we shouldn't just take off the limits and have full disclosure with harsh penalties for not reporting everything on the Internet immediately."
— Fred Thompson, former Senator and possible GOP presidential candidate, speaking on the failure of McCain-Feingold campaign reform, as quoted in Lights, Camera...Candidacy at

I have to say that while I do not agree with Senator Thompson on many, many issues, I prefer him to most of the Republican candidates out there.

We won't talk about the Democrats yet.

Posted Sat - March 17, 2007 at 04:47 AM  

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Fri - March 16, 2007

"Christopher Hitchens on free speech"

"My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and kiss my ass."
— Christopher Hitchens, speech at Hart House, November 15, 2007

Even when I don't entirely agree with him, he is provocative.

Personally I do think that faith and "religion" (for lack of a better word) do have a place in life, but only if freely chosen and not imposed. And it doesn't matter if we are talking radical Christian, radical Islam, or radical green, faith is worth exactly the amount that is given without coercion.

Hat tip to Nobody's Business.

Posted Fri - March 16, 2007 at 05:01 AM  

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Tue - March 6, 2007

"Best Care Anywhere"

"Folks on the left are already gearing up to blame the current Walter Reed mess on the current administration, thus scoring points off Bush (fine with me) while not having to question the inherently poor quality of government-managed health care systems."
— Warren Meyer, OOPS, Coyote Blog

I do think that government health care has a problem. Like Warren Meyer, I think it predates the current administration.

It's not a Republican problem, and it is not a Democrat problem.

It is a government problem.

Treating it as anything else just means more of the same.

Posted Tue - March 6, 2007 at 06:16 AM  

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Fri - March 2, 2007

We let them regroup

I agree with her. Emphasis in original.

"People wonder why we're having trouble in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has nothing to do with our military being 'stretched too thin' or the enemy being supermen, or America being distracted from Afghanistan by Iraq. We can chew gum and walk at the same time, thank you very much. There is an even more ominous reason why savages like the Taliban can regroup--it's because we and our allies let them.

"The truth of the matter is, as the president became more affected by worldwide leftist rhetoric, and became obsessed with fighting this war as politically correct as possible, we stopped fighting an offensive war, and our allies have followed our lead. Until the other day, that is. Proving they know Taliban leadership operates and plots and plans with impunity in their country, with great fanfare Pakistan finally swept into the "lawless" tribal area of Quetta and arrested various Taliban cavemen, including one of Mullah Omar's inner circle, and Taliban leader."
— Tammy Bruce, Facing the Enemy Only When Forced,

I still think the Bush Administration blew it and we will be picking up the pieces for years. We could have done it, but we were guilted into pulling the punch.

That's the failure.

Posted Fri - March 2, 2007 at 03:51 PM  

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Fri - January 12, 2007

Modern fundamentalist art

"...My tentative theory: As religious art traditionally uses eroticism to channel worldly desires toward spiritual concerns, contemporary fundamentalist art uses eroticism to channel sex -- the visual currency of power in an advertising culture -- away from women and toward men. Either that, or it's a vast gay conspiracy."
— Jeff Sharlet, Ron DiCianni, Paintings, Call Me Ishmael

Hat tip Letter from Hardscrabble Creek.

Posted Fri - January 12, 2007 at 03:00 PM  

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"Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd."
— Robert Anton Wilson, Final blog entry, January 6, 2007

Robert Anton Wilson died early in the morning on January 11, 2007.

Hat tip The High Weirdness Project.

Posted at 04:27 AM  

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Fri - January 5, 2007

She nails the description perfectly

"'Me, too!' is pretty much what President Bush's response has been to the agenda of the new Democrat Party Congress. Not exactly what I'd call visionary, determined leadership. It's rather pathetic when a Republican president, parroting Dem goals, makes him finally sound slightly Authentically Conservative."
Tammy Bruce, President Bush the Neo-Gumby

After the news of the last couple of days, I agree with her

Posted Fri - January 5, 2007 at 05:45 AM  

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Thu - January 4, 2007

More freedom means it costs less

So, exceptional period or not, markets mean competition. Bigger markets mean more competition. More competition means (a) relentless innovation and (b) lower prices. What's not to like?

Heaven knows what obscene taxes and tariffs Europeans must pay on their cars. A few weeks ago, in the Netherlands, I sat in pretty much the exact SUV I ended up buying for around $28,000, except that the engine in the Dutch vehicle was much less powerful. The price tag? I kid you not: $54,000.

Socialism sucks; long live the United States.
— Rogier van Bakel, Bought a New Car Lately?

I usually don't quote from the same source twice in one day, but I will make an exception.

I loved the quote.

Posted Thu - January 4, 2007 at 05:24 AM  

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Wed - January 3, 2007

And so that is where the dollars went

Unfortunately, I have realized that if you add up every person in the United States's list of least-bad government programs you get ... the totality of the US budget.  Each program has a supporter that thinks that program is a kind of cool exception in the morass of government waste.
— Warren Meyer, Smaller Government, the Final Frontier

He's absolutely right. Do you think we can get Congress to listen?

Posted Wed - January 3, 2007 at 05:38 PM  

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Mon - January 1, 2007

Mistakes. They've made a few...

"Then something changed. The administration began to fumble nearly every challenge it faced in the Middle East. It started right around the time Condoleezza Rice's policies as secretary of state began to take effect."
Brett Stephens, Why We're 'Not Winning'

Certainly not the only reason by a long shot. But one that is too coincidental to ignore.

Posted Mon - January 1, 2007 at 05:32 PM  

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Thu - December 28, 2006

Zero thought about security and privacy

As I said before, the people who are designing these systems are putting "zero thought into security and privacy issues. Unless we enact some sort of broad law requiring companies to add security into these sorts of systems, companies will continue to produce devices that erode our privacy through new technologies. Not on purpose, not because they're evil -- just because it's easier to ignore the externality than to worry about it."
— Bruce Schneier, Tracking Automobiles Through Their Tires

I may disagree with the notion of a law to "protect" us, but Mr. Schneier has a point. The "gee-whiz!" factor is outweighing the need for privacy and security. Just because it is an unintended consequence doesn't excuse the disaster.

My first reaction reading this was to wonder if tires would broadcast to any local police if your tires were over or under inflated. It seems to be a logical extension of the seat belt laws, with just as much justification.

Posted Thu - December 28, 2006 at 12:28 PM  

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Tue - December 19, 2006

The Quote Cliches

Sometimes I swear I can answer all the news items in a single day by trotting out a quote or two.

"The more you tighten your grip, the more planets will slip through your fingers."
Star Wars

"The last, best hope for freedom."
Babylon 5

"Can't stop the signal."

"There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

"I am not a number. I am a free man!"
The Prisoner

And that is just the fiction.

"This country was founded by religious nuts with guns."
— P.J. O'Rourke

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom"
— Benjamin Franklin

"Mindful human beings require freedom and personal responsibility to live satisfying lives."
— Charles Murray

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed—and thus clamourous to be led to safety—by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
— H.L. Mencken

"Life reverses local entropy."
— Isaac Asimov

"Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense."
— Mark Twain

I don't mean to think in cliched solutions. But I keep running into cliched situations.

Posted Tue - December 19, 2006 at 11:48 AM  

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Mon - November 27, 2006

How far should they go

Emphasis added.

"And that's the point that Radley has to keep repeating to the dimwitted apologists for our drug war. They just don't seem to get the fact that it is the policy that is completely and insanely out of control. The calamitous policy that says that it is somehow appropriate to use military home invasion techniques for drug charges.

"To use armed invasion as a sanctioned method to arrest someone for marijuana offenses is as insane as if we had police fire rocket propelled grenades at cars exceeding the speed limit."
Pete Guither, Context for Kathryn Johnston, Drug WarRant, November 26, 2006

If the police are allowed to break the law while "enforcing the law" and the citizens are not allowed to defend themselves or criticize, are you free?

Posted Mon - November 27, 2006 at 03:07 PM  

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Wed - November 22, 2006

Accepting bias

"Rather than pretending bias doesn’t exist — which is what the old-world journalistic notion of “objectivity” does — bias should be considered a built-in flaw of an imperfect system. And if each of us, as news consumers, is aware of the flaws in the system, we can account for them when evaluating what we’re told by the media.

"Only journalists who don’t want you to know the full story will try to hide their beliefs from you. The honest ones will expose their biases to the world and let the public make informed evaluations of their work."
Evan Coyne Maloney, Bias & Objectivity, November 22, 2006

Posted Wed - November 22, 2006 at 05:01 PM  

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Sun - November 19, 2006

Summing up the power of the state

"The issue is not whether public schools are good or bad, but rather whether I am allowed to disagree with you without getting shot.”
Stefan Molynuex, The Gun in the Room, November 14, 2006

Simple and to the point. Hat tip to Strike the Root

Posted Sun - November 19, 2006 at 05:02 AM  

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Sat - November 18, 2006

The War on Drugs creates corruption

"Informers are not needed in crimes like robbery and murder because the victims of those crimes have a strong incentive to report the crime. In the drug trade, the crime consists of a transaction between a willing buyer and willing seller. Neither has any incentive to report a violation of law. On the contrary, it is in the self-interest of both that the crime not be reported. That is why informers are needed. The use of informers and the immense sums of money at stake inevitably generate corruption--as they did during Prohibition. They also lead to violations of the civil rights of innocent people, to the shameful practices of forcible entry and forfeiture of property without due process."
Milton Friedman, It's Time to End the War On Drugs, January 11, 1998

Hat tip Nobody's Business.

Posted Sat - November 18, 2006 at 08:15 PM  

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Wed - October 18, 2006

Flub of the week

"The only way accountability doesn't exist is if you believe that the military is not committed to it."
— Tony Snow, White House Press Secretary

I haven't really blogged about it yet, but I find the new law authorizing military trials for terrorism suspects to be frightening.

Not because it expanded the President's power. When Congress authorizes war, the President always gets more power.

No, my concern is because the law now gives the President extensive powers separate from his war powers. Powers that apparently have no legal limit, war or no.

Posted Wed - October 18, 2006 at 04:49 AM  

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Thu - October 12, 2006

The freedom for which they fight

"This din [religion] is a universal declaration of the freedom of man from slavery to other men and to his own desires, which is also a form of human servitude. It is a declaration that the sovereignty belongs only to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. It challenges all such systems based on the sovereignty of man, i.e., where man attempts to usurp the attribute of Divine sovereignty. Any system in which final decisions are referred to human beings, and in which the source of all authority are men, deifies human beings by designating others than Allah as lords over men."
— Sayyid Qutb, Milestones

This is just one of the ideas that Rebecca Bynum cites in her excellent article, Freedom: True and False. I encourage you to read it.

Posted Thu - October 12, 2006 at 04:31 PM  

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Sat - October 7, 2006

Friedman on Hong Kong

"The success of laissez-faire in Hong Kong was a major factor in encouraging China and other countries to move away from centralized control toward greater reliance on private enterprise and the free market. As a result, they too have benefited from rapid economic growth. The ultimate fate of China depends, I believe, on whether it continues to move in Hong Kong's direction faster than Hong Kong moves in China's."
Milton Friedman, Hong Kong Wrong

I still think that Hong Kong will become known as The City that Ate a Country. I'm sorry to see the turn away from laissez-faire economics.

Posted Sat - October 7, 2006 at 04:58 AM  

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Fri - September 29, 2006

"Willie Nelson" on his arrest last week - update

“It’s a good thing I had a bag of marijuana instead of a bag of spinach, or I’d be dead.”
— Willie Nelson, on being arrested

Very true. And it shows his priorities are straight.

UPDATE: Okay, this one was too good to be true and I didn't check it with Snopes before posting it. I should have. It is not true and I goofed.

Posted Fri - September 29, 2006 at 04:50 AM  

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Tue - September 26, 2006

"If Bill Clinton is so smart..."

"I don't get it. If Bill Clinton is so smart, why has he made his failure to get Osama bin Laden the big story of the week twice in the last month?"
— Deborah J. Saunders, Angry white man meets 'the smirk'

Excellent question. And the rest of the article is pretty good too.

Posted Tue - September 26, 2006 at 02:12 PM  

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Wed - September 6, 2006

Wish I could hear this one

"I mean, guns and drugs are the same issue, but try convincing either the left or the right of that."
Penn Jillette, macigician, performer, and die hard libertarian, who just got his own radio show

I'm a fan. I hope he gets a syndication deal soon.

Posted Wed - September 6, 2006 at 07:44 AM  

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Thu - August 24, 2006

Who helped create the health care mess?

As the author of the first HMO bill ever to pass the Senate, I find this spreading support for HMOs truly gratifying. Just a few years ago, proponents of health maintenance organizations faced bitter opposition from organized medicine. And just a few years ago, congressional advocates of HMOs faced an administration which was long on HMO rhetoric, but very short on action.

The current revival of the HMO movement should come as no surprise. HMOs have proven themselves again and again to be effective and efficient mechanisms for delivering health care of the highest quality. HMOs cut hospital utilization by an average of 20 to 25 percent compared to the fee-for-service sector. They cut the total cost of health care by anywhere from 10 to 30 percent. And they accomplish these savings without compromising the quality of care they provide their members.
— Senator Ted Kennedy, March 3, 1978

I bring this up not to embarrass Senator Kennedy, but to point out once again that when it comes to regulating the free market, good intentions almost inevitably bring about disaster.

It's going to take a long time to dig out of the health care mess, mainly because it is an article of faith that government must have a supervisory role in any health care plan.

Government regulation created the problems.

And the only offered solutions are more government intervention and regulation.

We have to forget the myth that people are entitled to health care. People will always want more if someone else is paying for it, and the only way to keep discipline is for people to pay for their own choices.

People are entitled to their own choices and the consequences. Nothing more, nothing less.

Posted Thu - August 24, 2006 at 04:27 AM  

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Thu - August 17, 2006

Coyote Blog on Anti-Trust

"Anti-trust is not about the consumer.  It is about one company trying to use the government to sit on its competitors."
— Warren Meyer, In Case You Thought Anti-Trust Was About Consumers, Part 2

The whole article is worth a read.

Posted Thu - August 17, 2006 at 08:24 AM  

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Tue - August 8, 2006

When there is a pounding on your door

"The lesson here for we civilians is rather troubling: If you have the misfortune of being related to or an acquaintance of someone wanted on drug charges, it's perfectly acceptable for heavily-armed paramilitary police units to tear down your door and invade your home. And if -- being innocent and all, and having no reason to think the police would invade your home -- you understandably mistake those raiding officers for criminal intruders, well, you deserve what you get. It's your fault."
— Radley Balko, Accountability Part Three

Additional Technorati Tags

Posted Tue - August 8, 2006 at 04:39 AM  

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Fri - August 4, 2006

"It's never my fault"

In America, when you pull dumb shit and you get hurt, it's always someone else's fault — and an army of trial lawyers are only too happy to help prove it.
Rogier van Bakel, Friday, August 4, 2006

Isn't that the truth.

Posted Fri - August 4, 2006 at 02:33 PM  

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Tue - July 25, 2006

Coercing consent

"Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard. It seems trite but necessary to say that the First Amendment to our Constitution was designed to avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.
"There is no mysticism in the American concept of the state or of the nature or origin of it's authority. We set up government by consent of the governed, and the Bill of Rights denies those in power any legal opportunity to coerce that consent."
— Justice Robert Jackson

Sometimes we need to remind "those in power" that the only reason they have power is to defend the rights of the individual.

Posted Tue - July 25, 2006 at 07:19 AM  

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Mon - July 24, 2006

"Even the folks at Graceland are whispering"

Welcome to Crazyland! It used to be known as Memphis, Tennessee, the place where Elvis was Lord, but thanks to Alton R. Williams, that nice city on the edge of the Mississippi is now a disgrace. You know that something's amiss in the heartland when even the folks at Graceland are whispering, “Tacky.”
Kim Ficeria, Don't Quote Me: The "Christianization" of Lady Liberty

I'm still amazed that someone could take a fantastic statue and turn it's meaning completely on it's head. Somehow their "Liberation Through Christ" is very exclusive to their kind. That should tell them that something is wrong.

What is liberty if it is reserved for the Elect?

I'll stick to the original, thanks. Even if it does get made into souvenir salt and pepper shakers.

*wanders off humming Neil Diamond's Coming to America*

Posted Mon - July 24, 2006 at 04:58 AM  

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Their rules or our rules

"Muslim guerrillas take it a step further: "Civilians" are a weapon to them -- as much a part of the fight as the AK-47 or RPG they carry."
— Ralph Kinney Bennett, Maybe Now We'll Get It, TCS Daily

All military action is not created equal. If we didn't care about civilian causalities, they couldn't be used as weapons against our armed forces.

Posted at 04:28 AM  

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Tue - July 11, 2006

This one sparked an argument

It's mine by the way.

"Vice-President Nixon was to the right of President Kennedy. President Nixon was to the left of President Kennedy."

You would not believe the sparks.

Posted Tue - July 11, 2006 at 07:05 PM  

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Mon - July 10, 2006

Today's quote on the Drug War

Here's what we know for sure regarding the gateway theory:

1 Over 99% of those who never try marijuana will not become addicted to heroin.
2 Over 99% of those who do try marijuana will not become addicted to heroin.
— Pete Guither, Drug War Rant

Let me take this moment to tell you where I stand.

I do not support vice laws. I do support laws that punish people who hurt individuals.

I do not do drugs. I don't even drink. My family has a history of alcoholism, especially the men.

But there is no reason why my self-imposed restrictions should govern your behavior.

On the other hand, drive while DUI and cause an accident, I will cheerfully support making you pay through the nose.

I may be more sexually adventurous than some of you reading this. But there are people who are much more kinky than I am. None the less, people have the right to choose.

On the other hand, don't expect sympathy from me if you broke your marriage vows or lied to your partner. And if you force someone without their consent or seduce a minor, I might even support radical surgery on you to prevent it from happening again.

My philosophy is simple. Do what you want so long as you don't force anyone else. Cross that line and I will try to stop you. There are no other "moral" laws that I can support.


Posted Mon - July 10, 2006 at 05:51 AM  

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Thu - July 6, 2006

Global Warming Quote

"The trouble with the global warming debate is that it has become a moral crusade when it's really an engineering problem. The inconvenient truth is that if we don't solve the engineering problem, we're helpless."
— Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post July 5, 2006 Page A13

No, I am still not convinced that the evidence shows anything unusual in the weather.

But if we did treat it an an engineering problem, we could start judging the costs of the tradeoffs instead of promising a possible reduction in the rate of global warming at a catastrophic economic cost.

Hat tip to Rite Wing Technopagan.

Posted Thu - July 6, 2006 at 07:22 AM  

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Mon - June 26, 2006

The death tax

"When billionaires back the death tax, keep in mind that they have no intention of actually paying it. They are being "generous" with other people's money. This is the way in which the superrich wage class warfare against the merely affluent."
— James Taranto, Best of the Web Today

Remember, "progressive" laws tend to be used against those least able to resist.

Posted Mon - June 26, 2006 at 02:33 PM  

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Fri - June 23, 2006

Senator Flip Flop

"I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election, the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy. Their sudden embrace of accelerated Iraqification and American troop withdrawal dates, without adequate stability, is an invitation to failure. The hard work of rebuilding Iraq must not be dictated by the schedule of the next American election."
— Senator John Kerry in a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations on December 3, 2003

Hat tip Best of the Web Today,

Posted Fri - June 23, 2006 at 05:57 PM  

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Tue - June 13, 2006

Partisan politics can still give us truth

I've no idea if this is even going to work today, but I guess I am just stubborn. I want the site to be up, so I am going to assume that the cable will work well enough for me to do a site update.

So here's today's quote, in the assumption that I will actually be able to post it.

"Republicans favor small government but embrace big government when they have the power to control it. Democrats favor big government but insist that it can work only when they have the power to control it. Politicians in both parties, then, seem to see government as a means to the same end: their own political power. Little wonder that voters are suspicious of government."
– James Taranto, Best of the Web Today

Government is not your friend, no matter who is in charge.

Posted Tue - June 13, 2006 at 04:38 AM  

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Wed - May 24, 2006

Today's quote on immigration reform

"Mr. President, legalization is an essential corollary to the implementation of employer sanctions. As we institute new enforcement policies, legalization allows us to wipe the slate clean, to deal humanely and responsibly with the problems of the past as we begin to deal more effectively with future illegal migration"
— Senator Ted Kennedy, 1985 Senate floor debate on the Immigration Reform and Control Act

So what makes the debate today any different?

Posted Wed - May 24, 2006 at 05:01 AM  

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Tue - May 9, 2006

Sat - April 22, 2006

What about nine years BEFORE hurricane Rita?

"I don't want to be partisan at a time like this, but this is why the Republicans are going to be out of business. Nine months after the hurricane, to have this? This is ridiculous. This is not the America we grew up in."
– Howard Dean, DNC chair and former Presidential candidate

Why don't the Democrats talk about all the massive amounts of money that went to New Orleans before Rita and how it was spent on things other than the levees?

Why don't they talk about government promising to save everyone and failing on that promise?

Could it be because then they would have to admit that the massive government doesn't do what they have told everyone that it does?

What we have in New Orleans is a failure in government, and before the hurricane stuck it was specifically a failure of the Democrat party.

Nor is it a coincidence that the areas that HAVEN'T relied on the Federal and State governments to rescue them are much further along in their recovery.

Posted Sat - April 22, 2006 at 04:34 AM  

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Wed - April 12, 2006

Surrender to the fanatics

Posted Wed - April 12, 2006 at 04:39 AM  

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Fri - March 31, 2006

Wed - March 22, 2006

Student riots in France

Posted Wed - March 22, 2006 at 03:35 PM  

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Fri - February 24, 2006

Did you know? "Freedom of speech" means some things are off-limits

"The right to free speech is not absolute. It does not give a right to defame Prophet Muhammad or any other" religious figure.
Mazhar Rishi, Council on American-Islamic Relations

That statement is wrong on so many levels.

Let's start with the most basic. Every single example of "religious law" that I have ever seen isn't directly from the Divine. It's from humans who claim to speak for the Divine. Flawed humans who are not above putting their own spin on things.

Second, this assumption makes the expression of your beliefs totally subservient to everyone else. For example, the Prophet Muhammad had a child bride. By the standards of many religions today, that is abhorrent. Without the right to criticize, you can't even even question the morality in relation to modern beliefs.

Third, it places all law under religious interpretation. In the U.S. at least, we have a long (and mixed) history of separating church and state to the benefit of both. Since I am pretty sure that Muslims don't want to live under Jewish law, I think we can say that there are grounds to keep religion and secular government apart.

Fourth, like it or not, criticism is one way to test an idea's merits. Good ideas tend to withstand criticism, bad ideas tend to buckle under the pressure. Want to kill your religion? Keep it in a glass case where no one can touch or question it.

Posted Fri - February 24, 2006 at 04:39 AM  

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Fri - February 17, 2006

Great question

Posted Fri - February 17, 2006 at 04:53 AM  

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Mon - February 13, 2006

Best Joke I've heard today

From a open thread.

I certainly am torn with this whole incident with Cheney.

I mean, on the one hand accidents happen.

But on the other, the guy he shot was a lawyer.

I am SO torn!

Say goodnight, Gracie.

Posted Mon - February 13, 2006 at 11:10 PM  

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Thu - February 2, 2006

My nomination for Quote of the Year

Free countries do not ban blasphemy.
— Andrew Sullivan

I can't put it any better than that.

While I will agree that the original cartoons were in bad taste, that certainly doesn't justify what happened in response.

No matter how deeply and fervently you believe, your religion doesn't apply to anyone who has not chosen it. Demand the power to force someone's faith to change, and you grant that very same power over your faith. I question the validity of any faith that must be forced rather than freely chosen.

Unfortunately, there is a push to back down and apologize. It even looks like that is going to happen.

Which means the next time there is an excuse, things will get worse.

Posted Thu - February 2, 2006 at 04:46 AM  

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Mon - January 16, 2006

Reverend Martin Luthor King, Jr.

Excerpted from his speech given on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

As a libertarian and a Arizona native, I've been accused of not paying attention to civil rights. That is not true, both Arizona and libertarians have taken a bad rap.

I believe with all my heart that liberty can not be given, it must be earned and defended. I oppose affirmative action because it is obviously racial quotas. I refuse to judge anyone by the color of their skin.

Dr. King's dream was worthy and honorable.

And it is not the dream that is at the heart of "civil rights" today.

I would fight for Dr. King's dream.

Posted Mon - January 16, 2006 at 06:16 AM  

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Thu - December 15, 2005

I have to agree with this one

For Kurds, democracy is the best revenge

Headline from the Jerusalem Post.

And more than enough to bring a smile to my face.

Posted Thu - December 15, 2005 at 05:24 AM  

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Wed - December 14, 2005

Five in the morning

"One of the most important signs of the existence of a democracy is that when there is a knock at the door at 5 in the morning, one is completely certain that it is the milkman."
Winston Churchill

Hat tip to Radley Balko

Posted Wed - December 14, 2005 at 05:12 PM  

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Fri - November 25, 2005

Myth or Reality?

James E. McWilliams takes a serious look at how the Pigrims thought and why they would have been scandalized by what we eat at Thanksgiving.

Great article, thought provoking and worth reading.

Posted Fri - November 25, 2005 at 05:15 AM  

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Mon - November 21, 2005

The U.N. and the internet

If the U.N. establishment believes free speech is arrogance, we can be confident that U.N. control of the Internet would be calamitous.
Pete du Pont,, November 21, 2005

He's right. I've no doubt that the U.N. and those nations threatened by freedom will continue to push for U.N. control and possible taxing power though.

Posted Mon - November 21, 2005 at 04:44 AM  

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Fri - November 18, 2005

Too true

One of the best jokes I've seen in a while.

Three guys are in a jail cell. They start to talking and find out that they're all gas station owners.

The first one says, "I set my prices at a couple of cents higher than my competitors. I'm in here for price-gouging."

The second one says "I set my prices at a couple of cents lower than my competitors. I'm in here for predatory practices."

The third one says "I set my prices at the same price as my competitors. I'm in here for collusion!"

Hat tip to Jay Aldrich via The Agitator.

Posted Fri - November 18, 2005 at 04:40 PM  

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Sat - November 5, 2005

A thought from a radical capitalist

"Special interest politics is a simple game. A hundred people sit in a circle, each with his pocket full of pennies. A politician walks around the outside of the circle, taking a penny from each person. No one minds; who cares about a penny? When he has gotten all the way around the circle, the politician throws fifty cents down in front of one person, who is overjoyed at the unexpected windfall. The process is repeated, ending with a different person. After a hundred rounds, everyone is a hundred cents poorer, fifty cents richer, and happy."
— David Friedman, The Machinery of Freedom

One of the best explanations I have seen.

Posted Sat - November 5, 2005 at 05:56 PM  

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Thu - November 3, 2005

The fallen dream

"And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!"
— Reverend Martin Luthor King, Jr.
August 28, 1963

Somehow I don't think this is what Dr. King had in mind.

"Another minus is that the nomination lessens the court's diversity. O'Connor herself had expressed the desire that her successor be a woman. O'Connor seems to have grown wiser about diversity as a result of her Supreme Court experience. She came to see the virtues of having a court that looks like America - doubtless a big reason she softened her opposition to affirmative action in recent years.

In losing a woman, the court with Alito would feature seven white men, one white woman and a black man, who deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America"
— The Editorial Board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal
October 31, 2005

What happened to "content of their character" instead of "color of their skin?"

Posted Thu - November 3, 2005 at 04:57 AM  

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Fri - October 14, 2005

Robert Louis Stevenson on liberty

"To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive."
— Robert Louis Stevenson

Makes sense to me.

Posted Fri - October 14, 2005 at 07:32 PM  

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Sat - September 24, 2005

Simple to remember

"Libertarianism is what your mom taught you: behave yourself and don't hit your sister."
— Dr. Kenneth Bisson

See, "plays well with others" actually means something.

Posted Sat - September 24, 2005 at 04:50 AM  

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Wed - September 21, 2005

Religious freedom and politics

"Libertarians are the only politicos who talk about religious freedom — and really mean what they say. Conservative Republocrats think freedom of religion means you can freely pick your sect of Christianity. And the Democrooks want everyone to be warm and fuzzy together while they seize your guns so you can't do anything about it when they give away the contents of your wallet."
— Kathryn A. Graham

The rest of the thought provoking article is here. Enjoy.

Posted Wed - September 21, 2005 at 04:55 AM  

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Wed - September 7, 2005

When government responds to disaster...

"Rarely has it been so clear how much we, the ordinary people of this country, are better than our rulers. I hope that lesson is not lost on anyone, of any political persuasion."
Nick Weininger

Well said. Wish I had put it that well.

Hat tip to Radley Balko, who has a heckuva column up on FOX today.

Posted Wed - September 7, 2005 at 04:33 PM  

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Tue - September 6, 2005


"Liberals and conservatives accuse libertarians of being utopian dreamers. And yet the liberals and conservatives continually dream up these fantastic government programs that somehow are going to work better than all the failed government programs of the past."
Harry Brown

Liberty is about choices and the willingness to accept consequences. Nothing more, nothing less. Anything that takes away those choices is not freedom or liberty, even if it's "for your own good."

Posted Tue - September 6, 2005 at 05:33 AM  

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Fri - September 2, 2005

Someone hasn't been paying attention to their briefing books

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm. But these levees got breached. And as a result, much of New Orleans is flooded. And now we are having to deal with it and will."
— President George W. Bush

Considering some of the things that have turned up in the last couple of days, that has to qualify as one of the most idiotic statements of the century.

Hat tip to Radley Balko at The Agitatior.

Posted Fri - September 2, 2005 at 09:48 AM  

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Sat - August 6, 2005

The result of government controlled economics

"When a government takes over a people’s economic life it becomes absolute, and when it has become absolute it destroys the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning of the people it governs."
Maxwell Anderson

Just something to think about when they talk about all the pork Congress dishes out.

Posted Sat - August 6, 2005 at 09:05 AM  

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Mon - June 13, 2005

Dwight D. Eisenhower on human rights abuses

"As usual, individuals with no responsibility in the matter, their humanitarian impulses outraged by conditions that were frequently beyond help, began carrying to America tales of indifference, negligence, and callousness on the part of the troops.  Generally these stories were lies.  The thousands of men assigned to the job of rescuing the DPs and organizing relief for them were Americans.  They were given every facility and assistance the Army could provide, and they were genuinely concerned in doing their utmost for these unfortunate of the earth.  But because perfection could not be achieved some so-called investigators saw a golden chance for personal publicity.  They did so at the expense of great numbers of Americans who labored night and day to alleviate the average lot of people who had suffered so much that they seemed at times beyond suffering."
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe

Hat tip to William Katz at

Posted Mon - June 13, 2005 at 05:48 AM  

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Fri - June 3, 2005

John Kerry on Iraq

I was going through my quote file for another project, and I turned up this little gem.

"I don't think anybody can deny that we would have liked it to have threatened force and we would have liked it to carry the term 'serious consequences will follow.' On the other hand, the coalition is together. I mean the fact is there is a unanimous statement by the Security Council and the United Nations that there has to be immediate, unrestricted, unconditional access to the sites. That's very strong language. And it also references the underlying resolution on which the use of force is based. So clearly the allies may not like it, and I think that's our great concern – where's the backbone of Russia, where's the backbone of France, where are they in expressing their condemnation of such clearly illegal activity? But in a sense, they're now climbing into a box and they will have enormous difficulty not following up on this if there is not compliance by Iraq."
John Kerry, CNN Crossfire
November 12, 1997

It makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Posted Fri - June 3, 2005 at 05:18 PM  

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Fri - May 27, 2005

Edward Kennedy on filibusters

"Again and again in recent years, the filibuster has been the shame of the Senate and the last resort of special interest groups. Too often, it has enabled a small minority of the Senate to prevent a strong majority from working its will and serving the public interest."
Senator Edward Kennedy, 1975

Just remember what he said then and what he says now. Then ask yourself what the difference is.

Posted Fri - May 27, 2005 at 08:33 AM  

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Sat - May 21, 2005

Ferris Bueller on beliefs

"It's not that I condone facism....or any 'ism' for that matter.  'Isms' in my opinion are not good.  A person should not believe in an 'ism', they should believe in themself.  I quote John Lennon, 'I don't believe in Beatles...I just believe in me.'  A good point there.  After all, he was the walrus.  I could be the walrus, I'd still have to bum rides off of people!"
— Ferris Bueller's Day Off

One of the great all time arguments against isms of any kind.

Posted Sat - May 21, 2005 at 02:45 PM  

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Wed - May 11, 2005

Happy Towel Day!

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels.

"A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an intersteller hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you -- daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

"More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

"Hence, a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)"
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams was an author best known for the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. He died May 11, 2001.

His stories seriously warped my sense of humor as a young man. Sadly, I've never recovered.

Just like others who have been important to me, I celebrate his life every year on his birthday and passing day.

Here's to you, Douglas, a most improbable man. You were a cool frood who never quite knew where your towel was, but you were bloody brilliant all the same.

Posted Wed - May 11, 2005 at 06:43 AM  

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Mon - May 9, 2005

Rulers and Masters.

"In every generation there are those who want to rule well - but they mean to rule. They promise to be good masters - but they mean to be masters."
Daniel Webster

And of course, they only promise to do it for "your own good."

Posted Mon - May 9, 2005 at 09:15 PM  

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