Thursday, March 31, 2005

Fatalities in Iraq

Lunaville has an interesting post on Iraqi fatalities during the Iraq War.

That is all.

Brain Bisection and the Trinity

I haven't read through this enough or thought about it enough to figure out how much I agree or disagree with the arguments used, but the idea of using brain bisection (cutting of the corpus callosum) as an analogy to help clarify the doctrine of the Trinity.

That is all.

NRO on Schiavo

Wesley J. Smith brings up the same point I did earlier in this article on Terri Schiavo.

Here's a link to my post.

Namely, he brings up the concern that people want to define as many human organisms as "non-persons" as possible in order to be able to harvest organs or conduct experiments on them (although Mr. Smith emphasized the harvesting of organs and I the research).

That is all.

Cheery News

"If American forces aren't pulling out of Iraq in a year, a draft will be needed to meet manpower requirements, military analysts warned Wednesday."

Oh, goody.

But Bush has said he doesn't want a draft, and the military insists that no draft is coming.

Well, we know we can trust the government, don't we?

That is all.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

More on Lebanon

I should point out here that I am not denying that the Maronites probably were more benign than the Muslims. And it is regrettable that the Muslims pushed the Maronites out, although I think that Syria played a much smaller role in this than native Lebanese Muslims.

The point is, Syria is not the cause of the demographic and ethnic problems in Syria, and there is no way to solve the demographic issue in a way as to restore Maronite rule without either an apartheid state directed against the Muslim majority, or a blood bath to reduce the Muslim population.

I don't seriously believe that Farah can seriously believe that getting Syria out of Lebanon will solve all of its problems.

However, in order to maintain the fiction that peace is the natural state of Lebanon when foreigners are not occupying it, Farah is trying to explain away all of the endemic ethnic problems of Lebanon by claiming that any Lebanese who support Hezbollah are actually Iranian.

This will allow him to justify supporting a system in which the Maronites are grossly over-represented by either claiming that most of the members of the dominant group (Shiites) aren't really Lebanese and so don't count, or to justify making the Maronites less over-represented (and the Shiites less under-represented) by reducing their proportion of the population to reflect their share of the parliament rather than the other way around.

I am not suggesting genocide necessarily. What I am suggesting is that Joseph Farah wants to transfer a large portion of Lebanon's population to Iran, Syria, or some other place. This will, of course, result in a bloodbath, even if genocide is not the goal.

That is not all, I have more thoughts for later.

That is all.

Question on Joseph Farah

Does anyone else think that the reason that Joseph Farah has always been such a big supporter of Israel has to do with his desire for the Maronites (with whom Israel is allied) to regain control in Lebanon? (After all, he regrets Israel leaving Lebanon).
(Based on his statements about how good Lebanon was before the civil war
"Beirut was once known as the Paris of the Middle East. Lebanon was a shining beacon of freedom and tolerance in an otherwise intolerant Arab world.", i.e.when the Maronites were in control, and on his desire to eliminate much of the Shiite population of Lebanon, this would seem to be his goal).
After all, he is a Christian of Lebanese origin, and would have ethnic allegiances there.

That is all.

Yet Another Reason to Hate the ACLU

Michelle Malkin gives us the skinny on ACLU vs. the patriotic "Minutemen".

That is all.

News from Iraq

Juan Cole has a bunch of news from Iraq.

Of particular interest: Apparently, Chalabi may be making another run at the prime ministership. This may explain why he bowed out earlier.

Cole also mentions guerilla attacks on Abrams tanks, the inability to form a government yet, and the increasing number of Iraqis in prison.

That is all.

Objectivists

An interesting article on LewRockwell.com about Leonard Peikoff's successor.

I'm not an Objectivist myself (being Christian, I doubt they'd have me anyway), but they are interesting people.

That is all.

I'm not Sure What this Means

But I am one of only two blogs (Steve Sailer's is the other one) included in the links of the Gays for Life Blog.

That is all.

To be Christian and in Iraq

This is disturbing, but not entirely unexpected.

Apparently, the fall of Saddam has made it easier for Muslims to attack Christians openly.

This should give pause to all of thsoe who think that Lebanon will become a beacon of peace and tolerance once Syria leaves.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

BackWaterReport on Schiavo

Some interesting posts here and here.

I think it is the best response to those who argue "Why not let Terri die and go to heaven?" yet.

That is all.

The Larger Issue

Christopher Manion discusses the issue of passive euthanasia as it relates to the coming Medicare crisis.

Forgetting Terri Schiavo for the moment, he produces some scary possibilities here of a world in which people are NOT ALLOWED to extend their lives, even if they can pay for it.

Bad news, bad news.

That is all.

Withdrawal? Maybe Not.

Berlusconi may not be withdrawing troops from Iraq after all.

That is all.

More on Sgrena

This article on Giuliana Sgrena gives an interesting claim that I haven't heard before:

"Sgrena also says that the US soldiers fired at them from behind, which of course contradicts the claim that the soldiers fired in self-defense."

If so, this means that these photos (which I have linked to) do not disprove that the car was shot at several times.

That is all.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Scary Look at a Diseased Mind

This post is rather scary.

Apparently, Adam Yoshida feels that the US has the right to kill a lot of Chinese to make certain that we exercise our God-given right to the world's resources. This isn't because their attempts to obtain resources have been immoral or involved stealing stuf that was ours. No, just becasue we are "better" we should have the right to kill and steal form the mto maintain our position.

Of course, Mr. Yoshida thinks that we have the right to force people to sell us oil and that "might makes right," so he's pretty much nothing more htan a bully, anyway.

That is all.

Schiavo and Medicare

The Best Analysis of Schiavo vis-a-vis Medicare and without the drama of Richard Poe.

The essential question: does the state really believe that Michael Schiavo is telling the truth about Terri's last wishes, or does it just want to stop paying for her without admitting that it is trying to stop paying for her?

Gary North writes:

"Schiavo's executioners are not saying up front: 'If you become a vegetable, we will vote for those who will pull the plug on you, so you had better stay healthy enough to feed yourself.'"

In other words, he thinks that the state will choose to give guardianship to whoever agrees to "pull the tube." In other words, if Schiavo's husband had wanted to keep her fed and her parents had asked for the tube to be pulled, the state would have awarded custody to the parents.

This is different from the suggestion on Steve Sailer's website that it all has to do with the qualiy of the lawyers of each side.

Of course, North also has harsh words for the "keep Terri on a feeding tube" people who are unwilling to consider the economic issues and who think that there is some magical bundle of money somewhere to pay for it all.

One of the best articles on Schiavo so far.

That is all.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Bob Murphy on World War II

Bob Murphy has some interesting thoughts on World War II.
Part I
Part II
In fairness, it should be pointed out that he is a pacifist (see also here and here), in case you are looking for biases. But his writing does give some food for thought whether or not you share his conclusions.

That is all.

Schiavo and Social Security

Richard Poe brings up an interesting point about Schiavo and issues regarding care for the elderly.

Unfortunately, in typical Richard Poe fashion, he uses too many rhetorical flourishes and winds up sounding way too self-important.

That is all.

Happy Good Friday, Yesterday

I hope eeryone had a good Good Friday.
And a Happy Easter to all.

That is all.

New Metrics on Deaths in Iraq

There is a new metric of Iraqi police and guardsmen killed over at ICasualties.

That is all.

News from Iraq

Some interesting tidbits from Juan Cole.

More.

And more.

That is all.

More of that Sailer Good Stuff

Steve Sailer has some more of those popsts that keep his reader's coming back!

A note about Australia that sort of deflates Art Chrenkoff's constant droning about how proud he is of Australia's contribution to the war in Iraq.

Facts that most people never hear about the Terry Schiavo case.

How the Terry Schiavo case relates to the Bush tax cuts. More specifically, to the sunset provisions of those cuts.

That is all.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bad Precedents, Bad Examples

Larry Elder points out that Iraq War is not the most unpopular war for Americans to ever enter into.

Big deal.

Many of the wars Elder cites (1812, Mexican-American, Spanish-American, World War I, and Vietnam) were either disasters or grossly immoral, or both.

In any case, if his goal was more than just to prove that the Iraq War isn't that unpopular, and to prove how wonderful all of these unpopular wars have turned out to be, he is really off-base.

That is all.

Ulterior Motives

Much of the venom from the left on the issue of Terry Schiavo (not to say that there isn't venom from the right as well, but that's a topic for another post) seems to based on the idea that the left is standing up for mere principle, while those who want Terry Schiavo on a feeding tube are motivated really by ulterior motives such as religious concerns. Not that in all cases the motives are ulterior, but rather that any secular argument by the pro-feeding tube people is a decoy for their real, religious motivations. For example read this.

Of course, we are to believe that the side who wants to let Terry die is motivated by their good hearts and their desire to obey her wishes.

Obviously, in formal logic arguing by ad hominem, including arguments from motivation, is fallacious. But as Thrasymachus points out, in the real world where we have to trust other people's interpretations to be unbiased and honest, and where analyzing and determining all the facts ourselves is impossible (how many people commenting on the case have personally gone through all of the data on Terry Schiavo?), it is necessary to determine the reliability of other people's arguments based to an extent on how much we trust the people. (Obviously, a full scientific investigation is better, if you trust the scientists doing it, but sometimes it is difficult to have a full investiagtion that you can be confident in when the issue is controversial).

In that vein, it is important to note that those who want the feedinfg tube pulled may have an ulterior motive for their desires as well, beyond any concern for Ms. Schiavo or either of her families.

First, for many in the scientific community, there is a great advantage to being able to use living human organisms in research (I use the term human organims to refer to any collection of human cells that was once a sentient human being or has the capacity to become one, or that could have become one, so the term would include zygotes, persistent vegetables, and brain-dead people). Therefore, there is likely to be a motivation by many to define as many human organisms as possible as not being truly persons (i.e. a human organism but not a human being).

Secondly, as Steve Sailer points out, people lingering around tends to decrease hte amount of inheritance. People cheering on the removal of the feeding tube may, in many cases, be hoping to set a precedent if their parents one day threaten to squander their inheritance by not dying in a timely manner.

Which is not to say that there aren't honest people on both sides as well.

But there seems to me to be too much concentration on the motives of the pro-feeding tube people and not enough on the anti-feeding tube people.

That is all.

Shiite Insurgency Imminent?

Interesting concerns brought up by Scott Ritter.

Art Chrenkoff shows polls that suggest that a theocracy is not on the horizon.

On the other hand, he has a fawning interview with Stephen Schwartz, so considering his lack of discrimination in the people he trusts, I don't entirely trust that his source for this poll is accurate.

That is all.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Pomegranate Juice, the Magic Elixir

Ooo! This is a good article.
It reminds me of this post of mine.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to LewRockwell.com.

That is all.

No, It's not from The Onion

This article is so weird, it's hard to add anything to it.

Hat tip to Steve Sailer.

That is all.

Christianity and Iraq

Interesting article on Christianity Today about problems Christians may have in "democratic Iraq."

That is all.

Ilana Mercer

An interesting article by Ilana Mercer.
I'm afraid that I am even less sanguine than Ilana Mercer. I am far from believing that the Iraq War will, in the future, be justifiable even by a consequentialist morality.

That is all.

The Trends of the War

The pro-warriors are chortling that the "tipping point" has finally come in the war in Iraq.
(See here
here, and here for examples).
However, remember that they felt the same way February last year when the coalition fatality rate went down for a month. then came Fallujah.

The moral of the story is that if you truly believe that something is wrong (such as the war) don't let temporary events sway you. Yes, if Iraq is a prosperous, democratic society 5 years from now, that would refute or at least bring severely into question my beliefs. But to let one's principles be altered by day-to-day or even month-to-month events is not good.

I think that the war was a bad idea, and I am holding fast to that.

That is all.

The Best Piece on Schiavo so Far

By Noah Millman.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Juan Cole Opines on Hariri Assassination

Juan Cole thinks that Hariri might have been assassinated by Al Qaeda.
In fariness, I should point out that he is offering it as a possibility, he isn't saying that Al Qaeda did it.

Basically, Al Qaeda's motive in doing so would be to remove a politician who is friendly to Saudi Arabia. Remember, overthrowing the Saudi princes is the primary goal of Al Qaeda.

I had considered the possibility that the Saudis might have done it myself, as a way to de-stabilize Syria and thus weaken the Shiite position in the Middle East. I don't think I blogged on this, although I had blogged an alternate theory that some faction in Lebanon had done it.

That is all.

On Conflicts of Interest

Tibor Machan makes a good point.

Why do we assume that government-funded scientists are more impartial than corporate-funded ones? Doesn't the government have an agenda (more control) that it is pushing?

That is all.

Terry Schiavo

National Review Online offers a good perspective, in my opinion, of the Terry Schiavo case.

That is all.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Changes to the Glaivester Blog

I have switched to monthly archiving.

That is all.

Largest Number of Insurgents Killed in Months

This is an interesting story, and sounds like good news for the US.

However, before we start celebrating, we should remember this story, where the military claimed to have killed 54 insurgents, and Iraqi hospitals claimed the dead to number only 8 and that at least 2 were civilians.

I don't know if anyone has ever officially resolved that, but it makes me skeptical about the latest report.

That is all.

Don't Use the (Stephen) Schwartz!

Here are a set of antiwar.com blog posts about the nuttiness of one Stephen Schwartz:

1, 2, 3, 4

I mention him because back when I used to post in the FrontPageMag comments section, Schwartz more than anyone else irritated me and I found him noxious. Perhaps it was his defense of Clinton's decision to go into the Balkans, or maybe the fact htat he tried to link Miloslevic to bin Laden, which, considering the fact that Miloslevic was in trouble for actions committed against Muslims, made no sense unless Schwartz was simply trying to conflate all of the interventionists' bugbears into one.

In any case, I am pleased to link to a bunch of posts demolishing this crazy man.

That is all.

Was the Fix In?

Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of British MI-6, claims that the US "fixed" the case against Iraq to suit the policy.

I am shocked, SHOCKED! (Apologies to Claude Raines, and to Steve Sailer who has made the use of shocked, shocked in blogs popular).

That is all.

Interesting Article

An interesting article on MSNBC about the twists and turning points of the Iraq war.

That is all.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Changing Strategy or Changing Targets?

According to this Yahoo! news report, the insurgents have shifted their strategy from attacking US and coalition troops to attacking Kurds, Shia, and Iraqi Security Forces.

Not mentioned is the possibility that the reason that US tropps are not being attacked is maybe that we have moved them all "back ot the bunkers" so to speak.

As I indicated before, attacks on Iraqis have decreased over the past week or so, although this may be due to lack of reporting. If the insurgency has actually become more subdued over the last week or so, I suspect it is probably just that they are taking a breather.

We will see.

That is all.

Friday, March 18, 2005

On Casualties

Coalition fatalities are down this month, and unlike last month, the number of Iraqis being killed by violence does not appear to be particularly high, at least for the last week.

Neocons will no doubt either credit the elections or the unrest in Lebanon for causing this happy occurrence (in the latter case, they'll claim that Lebanon has distracted Syria and/or Iran from directing the insurgency).

My feeling? I think that we are having a short breather. Things will get worse, so we'd better use this time to prepare for when the fecal matter actually hits the rotating blade again.

That is all.

Is Separate More Equal?

Rich Lowry has a good article on National Review Online.

Essentially, he questions whether trying to teach boys and girls "equally" (i.e. in the same way) actually increases gender imbalances in learning, because different styles work for eaxch sex.

That is all.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Logic of Polygamy

While there could be breach of contract issues, can anyone argue that anti-adultery laws could survive the right of privacy?
And if we acknowledge the right to commit adultery, can we deny people the right to polyamory, where one person ha many sexual partners even if only married to one of them?
And if polyamory exists, how can we deny polyamorists equality by not letting them marrry all of their partners?

That is all.

On "Whiteness"

On Steve Sailer's blog, there is a reply to his thoughts about Nascar.

In essence, Steve is asked to acknowledgethat white people have had it too good and deserve to be questioned more.

The big thing here that is ignored, in my opinion, is the fact that crusades against "whiteness" usually hurt not the white elite, but the lower-class whites. Working class white people tend to love elite whites (by which I mean ones with the greatest political power and influence, not necessarily the wealthiest ones) because they see them as their standard-bearers, when in reality they couldn't care less.

Working class whites love Bush because he is "one of them," except that (a) he isn't, and (b) he wants to give all of their jobs to Mexicans.

I tend to think that notions such as "institutional racism" may exist, but to a much lesser extent than we are led to believe, and that the main goal of such labels are to make certain that there is always something forthe civil rights lawyers to make a living on, because the definition of "institutional racism" is so fuzzy that one can never disprove a charge of institutional racism, or that the liberals need to pass another item on their agenda to fight it.

Hey! Institutional racism is the WMDs of the left!

That is all.

Thoughts on Michael Ledeen

Michael Ledeen claims that: "In fact, according to Iranians with whom I have spoken, there were monster demonstrations in eleven provinces and 37 cities, and many thousands — one source said more than 30,000 — people were arrested, some only briefly, others shipped off to the infamous prisons and torture chambers of the regime."

Perhaps, but remember, Mr. Ledeen also claims that his friends have told him where the WMDs are, but for some reason our government is refusing to look for them (so apparently the Bush administration is doing nothing to prove that its asseritons about WMDs were true).

"Last August [in 2003 -Gl.] I called [David Kay] in Baghdad to tell him that I had a person — a good person, like himself, a person I trust — who was prepared to take him to an underground laboratory from which a quantity of enriched uranium had been taken a few years ago, and smuggled to Iran. Wow, he said, let's go look. Have the guy call me, we'll check it out... But, as I say, the CIA never went to look."

Read the whole article for the whole story. But doesn't anyone else think that it is ridiculous that the government wouldn't pursue a lead that could help them prove their story? Even if you don't trust the CIA, Michael Ledeen had been talking about how corrupt, or at least inept they are for more than a year and a half before his contact with David Kay back in August 2003. (here and here and here and here for more on the fact that Ledeen doesn't trust the CIA, whether because he feels it is corrupt or inept - there is also a link to an article "why muzzle Saddam's Foes" but it goes to the wrong article) If he had good information, why not pass it to someone like Wolfowitz or Rumsfeld or someone in the Defense Department, who presumably would make certain it was looked at. (And don't tell me he couldn't get to them; if he could talk to David Kay, he could have talked to someone in the DoD). Why would Mr. Ledeen only contact a person whose action was predicated on the decision of an organization (the CIA) that Ledeen so thouroughly distrusts (at least Ledeen seems to imply that David Kay's inspection of the WMD site was predicated on the CIA's go-ahead)?

A more simple, and in my opinion, better, explanation is that Michael Ledeen's "good person" is trying to trick him. An even better explanation is that Michael Ledeen is LYING.

That is all.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

On Lebanon

Other than Joseph Farah's ethnic cleansing scenario, the most likely goal of ending the Syrian occupation of Lebanon is to replace it with a US, UN, or Israeli occupation.

The idea that getting Syria out will magically lead to peace and democracy in Lebanon is ridiculous.

The idea that the Muslim Lebanese will agree to letting the Christians have constitutionally-guaranteed overrepresentation in parliament is likewise ridiculous.

Of course, the neocons know this, and so they are already preparing to blame Syria when violence breaks out.

"Assad is likely to counter by having his agents and Hezbollah foment violence against pro-democracy demonstrators to justify his claim that a Syrian military presence is needed to keep Lebanon from lapsing back into civil war." - "Hack" Kelly

And once they have done that, they will likely legitimize overrepresentation in the parliament by denying the legitimacy of the claims of Lebanese Muslims:

"During renditions of the Lebanese national anthem, Lebanese in the crowd noticed that many of the participants were Syrians unfamiliar with the words." - Washington Times

"Those Syrian guest workers, it follows, are pretty likely to show up at a rally in support of Syria, particularly because the withdrawal of Syrian troops might seriously complicate their lives in Lebanon -- a story we'd like to hear more about." - Columbia Journalism Review

"The answer is simple: Many or most of those rallying in favor of Syria are not really Lebanese at all... But there is another occupying force in Lebanon today – tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of Iranians or Iranian-backed militiamen and civilians who have emigrated with the express purpose of using Lebanon as a base of operations and to establish an Iranian-style Shiite theocracy." - Joseph Farah

The solution will presumably be that US, UN, or Israeli troops will be sent in to enforce the old system. Or maybe Joseph Farah will get his way and we'll expel or exterminate the "surplus Muslims."

So in other words, what is being pushed here is that WE or our allies occupy Lebanon, not that it truly become independent.

And as John Laughland points out, why should we assume that only Syria is willing to stage events to keep control of Lebanon? Why is it so inconceivable that the US or one or more of its allies or both might be involved in the anti-Syrian protests and anti-Syrian activities in recent days?

That is not all. Not nearly by half.

On Jeff Gannon and Bush

The thing that people who defend Bush on the Gannon affair and who accuse the critics of Jeff Gannon of "homophobia" (For example, the neocon blonde bimbo) don't seem to understand is that the real issue here is governmental manipulation of the media.
The concern here is whether the Bush administration is trying to push propaganda disguised as journalism.
The typical neocon response is that due to the liberal media, all journalism is propaganda anyway, so they have every right to make their own.
Well, I hate to say this, but there is a big difference between a news report being biased and between it being controlled by the government, or the administration, it is reporting on. That Sean Hannity is biased in favor of Bush if far different than Jeff Gannon apparently being given special access by the administration (presumably) in return for reporting propaganda, just as there is a difference in a court case between a judge being prejudiced by his personal beliefs and having a personal conflict of interest.
It is in this light that I give this link to an entry on the antiwar.com blog where Bush essentially says that the administration bears no responsibility if the administration gives propaganda ("prepackaged stories" called "video news releases") to the media and the media does not disclose the source.

Here is the link.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On Hostages and Troops

Apparently the US has impressed on Italy the importance that it let hostages die rather than pay ransoms.

Italy's response.

That is all.

Chalabi the Uniter?

According to Riverbend, Chalabi may be the force that unites Iraqis of all diffferent political, strips and religious persuasions.

They all think he's a crook.

Well, except for the Iraqis Michael Al-Rubin and Barbara al-Lerner.

That is all.

More According to Andrew

"Once you have accepted that there is no moral difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality, the arguments against same-sex marriage collapse. And since the only coherent moral difference is the likelihood of non-procreative sex, and that is now the norm in traditional heterosexual civil marriage, there is no moral case against allowing gay couples to have civil marriage. The rest is fear and prejudice and religious conviction. None should have a place as a legal argument in the courts."

Then there is no argument against marrying one's close relatives either, as long as one does not have children with them. At the very least, homosexual incestuous marriage must be allowed, as inbreeding would not be an issue.

That is all.

According to Andrew

Andrew Sullivan believes that there is hypocrisy in lamenting Al Qaqaa:

"But it's also true that you cannot both lament the plundering of al Qaqaa and other sites and insist that there were no WMDs in Iraq before the war. Both sides have some reckoning to do."

Well, if the only evidence that there were no WMDs is that we haven't found any, maybe.

However,
(a) Al Qaqaa contained explosives, not WMDs.
(b) That there was systematic looting does not imply that he looting would be so effective as to remove all usable WMDs from Iraq.
(c) If there were usable WMDs, why would the Iraqqis hide them or move htem to other countries rather than (i) use them on the US, or if they liked the US and wanted to be "liberated," (ii) show them to the US to prove their existence?

I'm not certain that Al Qaqaa is the big screw-up that the Kerry supporters thought it was, but there is no hypocrisy in thinking that we let our guard down but doubting that the Iraqis maneaged to conceal stocklpiles of WMDs completely.

That is all.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Funny Quote from Cochran:

From the latest print edition of The American Conservative:

"Compared to [the Iraqis], the Italians of World War II were unkillable demons of battle."

Hee hee hee.

Steve Sailer Does it Again

Another intriguing article, this one on the possibility of covert white ethnic pride.

That is all.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Sgrena v. Hariri

Matthew Barganier weighs in on the shooting of Giuliana Sgrena and Nicola Calipari.

His point: It is unlikely that the US would have attempted to assassinate her because, even if we assume that the US military is morally capable of doing so, such an action would have too many drawbacks and too little benefit.

For the same reason, the attempts to blame Syria for the assassination of Rafik Hariri make no sense - or rather, the arguments that Syria killed him make no sense - that people who hate Syria wish to blame Syria makes perfect sense.

That is all.

On the Lefkow Murders

It was previously thought that white supremacists/separatists were behindthe deaths of Judge Joan Lefkpw's mother and her husband. I myself thought that "it seems to me most likely that some of [Matthew Hale's] fellow travelers did this.."
It now appears that this is not the case.

That is all.

Steroids

My personal take on steroids in sports is that they represent an unfair advantage and ought to be banned.
However, this is not the job of the federal government. It is the job of the individual sports league. If the weightlifting league or the baseball leagues want to let the Schwarzeneggers and the Cansecos use, then that is their right. But personally, I would take steps to prohibit steroid use were I a commissioner in one of those sports.
As steve Sailer has pointed out, sports have rules and there is nothing untoward with the league determining that steroids are an unfair advantage, anything more than there is wrong with people running a cross-country running meet determining that you cannot use a motorcycle to "run" the course.
On the other hand, it should be the league's call, not the federal government's.

That is all.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Vampire, Doctor, Poker Babe

Kristin Lehman has a Yahoo! Discussion Group.

That is all.

On Rathergate

I apparently haven't posted it on my blog, and quite likely nowhere else on the net either, but my theory as to how Dan Rather and others at CBS justify the publishing of forged documents (as well as how various liberals who defend them choosing to publish justify the publication) is that they feel that the content of the notes were true, so it doesn't matter whether those notes were genuine or not.

In other words, it's like a cop who plants evidence, but feels that the person he arrested was guilty, he just couldn't prove it, so planting evidence to make certain that the correct verdict is obtained is OK.

Obviously, this is a morally bankrupt position, because determination of the truth needs to be based on the evidence. Once evidence is determined based on what someone feels the truth is, in essence evidence itself becomes worthless, as it is simply a tool for propaganda rather than a means of confirming or refuting claims. In other words, if someone is willing to manufacture evidence to support a predetermined conclusion, on what basis can the conclusion have been made?

Bill Press, on WorldNetDaily, defends Dan Rather using the argument I outlined previously: we all know that Bush dodged the draft, so what difference does it make whether we found the actual documents or used forged ones? After all, the forged ones were probably what hte real documents looked like, so what harm was done?

The harm, Mr. Press, is that "everyone knows" is not a substitute for evidence, and the conclusion should follow the evidence, not the evidence follow the conclusion.

To be honest, the Byzantine intricacies of whether or not Bush did his duty in the guard bore me. Some feel that he was given special treatment and let out of some requirements, others insist that whenever he appeared to get away with shirking, he was within regs (e.g. he didn't complete a flight test, but the proper plane, the type he had trained on, was not available at the time).

I don't care. I have nothing against anyone who did anything (short of violence) to get out of being enslaved by the military and Shanghaied (or Saigoned) to Vietnam.

Moreover, I am not particularly upset about the use of the forged documents; networks make mistakes, and sometimes jump the gun and don't check their sources. Not that the documents should have been used, but I am willing to forgive it if it was an honest mistake.

However, I am deeply disturbed by the attempts to justify the use of the forged papers, and by Rather's unwillingness to admit that he had been duped (assuming that he was not complicit in the fraud). To use a fraudulent paper unwittingly is one thing, and understandable; to refuse to retract anything or apologize after it has been discovered that the paper is false is something altogether different, and outrageous.

That is all.

Was I Right About Joe Farah?

Earlier I suggested that Joseph Farah had a solution to Lebanon's demographic problem.
Well, he is coming awfully close - he essentially wants to expel a large number of Shiites.

Now, I am not certain of his claims that Hezbollah-supporting Shiites are Iranians rather than Lebanese Arabs (in fact, I am uncertain how much support from Iran Hezbollah gets), but this should be something that can be checked. Any readers want tot take me up on this? If they are mostly native Lebanese Arabs, then Farah is essentially advocating ethnic cleansing in order to get his ethnic group (Lebanese Christians) back in control (apparently his solution to the discrepancy between the demographics of Lebanon and the representation proportions in the parliament is that they should be brought into balance, but by making the population reflect the parliament rather than letting the parliament reflect the population).

Of course, one of Farah's statements seems to me to be rather dishonest:

"There were always Shiites in Lebanon. But before the Iranian revolution, they were a peaceful people, easily assimilated into the country's diverse population of Sunnis, Druze and Christians."

Were any of Lebanon's peoples ever peaceful?

It seems to me that "democracy" and "freedom" are for Farah codewords meaning: making sure that my guys are the ones in power.

That is all.

Hack Kelly: We Should Occupy Lebanon

Reading between the lines of Jack "The Hack" Kelly's latest screed, what he is essentially suggesting is that the US and its allies (including France in this case) should taker over occupation duty rom Syria and assume the role of keepers of the peace (i.e. we will prevent hte outbreak of a second civil war like Syria has been doing for the past 15 years).

Of course, maybe I'm being cynical. After all, the Lebanese Cedar Revolutionaries will likely welcome us with open arms, won't they?

Probably. But they also welcomed the Israelis back in the early 80s. I somehow doubt that their love will be more long-lasting this time.

That is all.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Farah has Gone Insane

According to Joseph Farah, we should use tactical weapons to get bin Laden, even if it doesn't actually accomplish anything.

I'm not against the idea that we should get bin Laden, but not if it requires us to nuke someone and if it also doesn't really affect anything.

I think we need to put more effort into finding him, but we should do it the smart way (espionage), and not get sidetracked with visions of nuclear revenge. I get the impression that Farah's entire solution to bin Laden is to kill a whole lot of Muslims on the assumption that that will somehow smoke him out. In fact, his entire solution to the terrorism problem seems to involve a lot of making war and masssive attacks on countries, so it's not surprising that he thinks of the same things when talking about finding bin Laden.

That is all.

Miscarriage of Justice

Intriguing and outraging article by Vin Suprynowicz.

That is all.

On Lebanon

Lawrence Auster has a clear head when it comes to Lebanon, and of the civil war and its causes.

My guess is that Joseph Farah and others who blame everything on Syria are planning on blaming Syria when unoccupied Lebanon re-erupts into a civil war (oh, everything was peaceful! Syria deliberately stirred things up to make it look like the occupation was justified!) and then suggesting an Israeli occupation to end it.

Farah definitely is upset that Israel left, although to be fair he implies that it would have been all right if they had given the Christian militias sufficient warning.

Of course, in reality I have a feeling that he has a solution for the demographic imbalance - let's just say that it is one he has suggested elsewhere in the Arab world. And let's just say that I wouldn't be surprised if he suggests that we don't give much of a warning or evacuation period.

That is all.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

More on Giuliana Sgrena

Arthur Chrenkoff has some pictures which seem to indicate that Giuliana Sgrena's account (particularly the part about 300-400 bullets) is somewhat less than accurate.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Three Cheers for Malcolm X!

Some good quotes from Mr. X on the LewRockwell Blog.

That is all.

More Wit and Wisdom from Steve Sailer

This is a gem:

"Holding elections doesn't solve the problem that some men will always feel the only thing preventing them from winning elections are the current boundaries."

That is all.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Selling the War; Selling the Enemy

This article gives a good explanation, of our primary failing in Iraq. Our army is designed to fight traditional command-and-control hierarchical armies. so it keeps interpreting the Iraq War in that light.

All this business that the real villains have to be states like Iran and Syria, or that Zarqawi is behind the resistance, and all of the assumptions that once we capture Zarqawi we will deal the insurgency a fatal blow (whenver they announce excitedly how close we are to capturing Zarqawi, the subtext is that doing so will somehow cripple the insurgents), comes from assuming that the enemy is the one we were trained to face.

One thing I disagree with Tom Engelhardt and Michael Schwartz on, though, is that we cannot defeat the insurgency with the army we currently have.

Even a decentralized guerilla resistance can be defeated by an army with the technology we have. The problem is, it would rob us of our humanity to end it. Because the only way to end it with the army we currently have is to simply start wiping out the ethnic groups most associated with the resistance, i.e. the Sunni Arabs.

If we are willing to go to some big Sunni Arab towns, round up the residents, and kill 100,000 of them, and then in order to control them in Northern ethnically-mixed towns, arm the Kurds and tell them it's open season on Sunni Arabs, I'm certain a lot of them would be willing to reduce the Sunni Arab population for us. I'm not certain about the Shiites, as they are Arabs and somewhat closer to the Sunni Arabs, but if they thought it would increase their power, and if we made some veiled threats about what we would do if they made common casue with the Sunnis, we could probably get them to help us on that, too.

Of course, none of this would mean that we wouldn't start getting trouble from the newly ascendant Kurds and Shiite Arabs, or from other countries.

However, it would stop the current insurgency, and I have a feeling that if casualties start going up again, eventually we will begin to move toward this option.

And that will NOT be good.

That is all.

Correction: Matt Hale a Separatist, not a Supremacist

In a previous post I referred to Matt Hale as a "white supremacist."
According to his mother (as interviewed by Greta van Susteren) he is a white separatist, not a white supremacist (i.e. he believes that the races should be separate but does not believe that whites are superior to non-whites).
White supremacists, white nationalists, and white separatists (I am none of these things) are different things, and I'll try to post about that in more detail later.

In any case, whether or not Matt Hale is violent and whether or not he has anything to do with the murder of Judge Lefkow's husband and mother, I do not wish to misrepresent his views and I apologize to anyone who was offended by my referring to him as a white supremacist.

That is all.

Henley's Theory

Jim Henley has the best explanation so far about the US military firing at Giuliana Sgrena.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Bloggers v. McCain-Feingold

An interesting post by Richard Poe. Unfortunately, Mr. Poe refuses to acknowledge the responsibility of George W. Bush for this, as HE WAS THE ONE WHO SIGNED MCCAIN-FEINGOLD.

But of course, Richard Poe can never, ever criticize President Bush.

Look at his original post criticizing the Supreme court for upholding McCain-Feingold. Note the total absence of criticism for Bush.

Anyone who read much of his blog in the weeks up to the election knows that he refused to say anything bad in any way about Dubya. And he hasn't seemed to change at all now that Bush is eleceted and in fact wants to continue the dynasty by electing his brother.

Considering that his undying loyalty to El Presidente, his call to liberal bloggers to renounce Hillary Clinton and George Soros seems rather hypocritical. And of course, he sees Clinton and Soros as the source of all this evil, rather than seeing them as one tentacle of the statist octopus, which consists of all people who see the government's role as to shape society. His concentration on Soros and Clinton, in my opinion, distracts us from the real issue, which is the cancerous nature of governments in general.

I think Henry David Thoreau had something to say about this.

That is all.

Interesting Article

Apparently due to a "glut" of adoptable black babies in the US, a lot of black babies are now being adopted by foreigners.

On the whole I am glad that someone is adopting them, as it is always good for babies to have parents.

On the other hand, the fact that there are not a lot of people in the US who want to adopt black babies is rather sad, particularly when there are so many couples who are waiting to adopt but who are unwilling or unable to adopt black children.

I would say that is all, but I think that there will be a lot more to be said on this subject after giving it some more thought.

Casualties for March

Coalition fatalities for March are at 14 so far,
11 of which are hostile (10 if you don't count the friendly-fire death of hostage negotiator Nicola Calipari).

At this point last month (February 6), there were 12 fatalities, (10 hostile, 2 non-hostile).

On the other hand, looking only up to February 4 (the last fatalitiy listed for this month is March 4, and it will another day or two before we find out whether there were any fatalities on March 5, and March 6 isn't even over for another 3 to 4 hours (using Iraq's time zone).

So by February 4, the stats were 8 dead (7 hostile, 1 non-hostile).

That is all.

John Batchelder a Liar

I saw John Batchelder on Fox News this morning.
According to him, the Syrians want to keep troops in Bekaa Valley becasue that's where Saddam's WMDs were hidden. Also, they were going to help Hezbollah to commit terrorist acts there in order to justify the Syrian occupation of Lebanon.

What is happening is this:

(a) The WMD issue is a ploy to give us an excuse to attack Syria, or else something the neocons made up in order to explain the Syrian's reluctance to leave Lebanon; in otehr words, it gives us a reason to demand strongly that Syria leave completely. Therefore, if Syria doesn't for security reasons, or because they are afraid that their absence will cause Lebanon to fall apart, we can impugn their motives and thus justify attcking them.

(b) The business about Syria destablilizing Lebanon is just another in a long series of neocon lies to excuse the likely result of ending the Syrian occupation; civil war. Part of the reason for the occupation is that Lebanon has a long history of its various ethnic groups killing each other. In order to impugn Syria, the neocons have to explain the civil war as caused by Syria, as I explained earlier. In order to maintain this assertion, and in order to make Syria's occupation appear entirely unjustified, and in order to avoid the US taking the blame if and when Lebanon falls back into civil war, any unrest after Syria leaves has to be blamed on Syria.

Batchelder also stated that Iran might have bought a small nuclear weapon to detonate in Lebanon and blame on Israel. Seeing as I see no benefit to either Israel, or Syria, or Iran, from such an occurrence (Iran and Syria would be targeted for sure if such a thing happened, and if Israel wants to push us into war with Syria, it can do so without causing a nuclear explosion in their backyard, which would also kill a lot of their Lebanese Christian friends), I think that if a bomb explodes, it is unlikely that any of those countries would do it; therefore, I'm not cetain what he is trying to cover up with that statement (assuming he is covering for a likely nuclear attack in Lebanon and not just trying to scare us with WMD stories).

That is all for now.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

About Giuliana Sgrena

Pier Scolari, her boyfriend (not to be confused with Peter Scolari of Bosom Buddies and Newhart fame), claims that she was deliberately attacked because she had information that the US military didn't want to get out.

My immediate thought is that I'd like to hear what the information is that is supposedly the reason she was shot at. It seems to me that unless she has something REALLY big, it will be a hard story to sell. If she had been killed, then whatever she knew could possibly be lost, and so there would be no way to prove things one way or the other.

However, as she has survived, I expect her to make public whatever it is she knows or for her boyfriend to retract the statement. The fact that I opposed this war does not mean that I will accept every theory by every antiwar person based entirely on their say-so; I want proof.

So I call on Pier Scolari and Giuliana Sgrena to put up, or apologize.

That is all.

Friday, March 04, 2005

And Now for Some Eye-Candy

Here is a sexy but work-safe picture (unless you work for a company that makes IBM-style PCs or PC components).

I think I'm in love.

That is all.

I Hate John McCain

Bradley A. Smith (the Federal Election Commission guy, not to be confused with Bradley R. Smith the Holocaust-denier) explains how McCain-Feingold may stifle internet political speech.

That is all.

Another Reason we Shouldn't Have Gone to War in Iraq

One consequence of Vietnam was that we took in a large number of Hmong refugees.

Considering some of the problems that the Hmong seem to have brought to the US, do we really want to be involved in a war in the Middle East that will evnetually require us to resettle all the refugees created by the conflict, or by the new regime(s), or who might have feld anyway but who might now see an opening to go to the US?

That is all.

HR 418 - REAL ID - Even VDARE Skeptical?

This article by Bryanna Bevins confirms my suspicions that the REAL ID bill is not a good idea, even though it theoretically will help us to stop illegal immigration.

That is all.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Hmmm...

I can't help but notice that Suzan Mazur, in an article on Counterpunch where she criticizes extralegal polyamy in Utah, Arizona, ans a few other states, does not simply condem nthe way polygamy is practiced in these states, but seems to attack polygamy per se.

My question: isn't equating polygamy and taking child brides the same thing as trying to equate adult homosexualtiy with same-sex pedophilia?

And like it or not, some form of legalized polygamy is inevitable if marriage iscontinually construed as a "right," without restrictions based on who the partners are.

Do to issues of age of consent, it is unlikely that the US will ever legalize "child brides" as a matter of federal policy (although actually, some states have very low age of consent laws if the parents agree to let their children get married - I think I read on Andrew Sullivan that people as young as 12 can get marrried in Massachusetts). However, there is no principled reason to oppose polygamy in general once you have declared that the sex of the partners is irrelevant.

And I am again reminded of Steve Sailer's comment that people don't see polygamy as a civil right because the only people interested in it are white religious people and civil rights don't apply to them.

That is all.

Thoughts on Lefkow, Hale, Duke, and O'Reilly

I suppose I should have some thoughts on the murders of the husband and mother of Judge Joan Lefkow.

I don't know if I have anything really novel to say; the killings were a bad thing, and whoever was behind it should be, in my opinion, executed.

I do find it interesting that Matt Hale, the leader of a white supremacist group who had tried to have her killed earlier, was angry at her not because she was trying to enforce racial civil rights, but because she was trying to enforce intellectual property rights. Which shows that white supremacists are really no friend of capitalism - unless he belongs to the anarcho-capitalist school that denies intellectual property, but for some reason I doubt that he was fighting on that sort of private-property principle.

He probably isn't behind this current murder, as he is practically incommunicado with the outside world, but it seems to me most likely that some of his fellow travelers did this. Of course, it is possible that it had nothing to do with this. But hopefully the investigation will turn up the answers before too long.

On a side note, I saw David Duke recently on The O'Reilly Factor. O'Reilly should really learn to adjust his style, at least occasionally, because when arguing with a white supremacist, you REALLY don't want to look like you're the raving lunatic.

However, I had another observation. David Duke is beginning to look like some sort of monstrous frog of sorts. Certainly his eyes give the appearance that he is in a vacuum, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Total Recall" when he is exposed to a vacuum. Considering that he used to be a relatively attractive man, I wonder if this doesn't prove my mother's assertion that as you get older, you begin to look like who you are.

Something for Matt Hale to think about, for sure. At 33, he still has time to avoid going bug-eyed, or whatever other hideous deformity may someday strike him if he continues to let hate be his raison d'etre.

Contra Morgan Spurlock

Les Sayer wants to prove that if you choose the healthier items on the menu, an all McDonald's diet does not have to be a death sentence.

An interesting proposition from the standpoint of trying to eliminate the biases in a single experiment (i.e. Morgan Spurlock's).

That is all.

Quick Thought

When I have more time, I will try to get my "topic archives" updated. Then I will try to make a list of all of my predictions so that people can see how accurate or inaccurate a prognosticator I am.

American Fatalities Top 1500.

500 fatalities in 6 months. If the rate of American fatalities over the next six months is the same as over the past six months, my prediction will turn out to be accurate.

That is all.

Deja Vu

The two-minute, or now more like two-week hate against Syria, as Paul Michael Wibley suggests, is uncannily like the neocon's insistence that Saddam was planning on using chemical and biological weapons to extort the US into letting him conquer the Middle East.

David Frum has one thing right. The pressure is on Syria to appease us. And as the neocons always point out, appeasement never solves anything. Like with Saddam, we will increase our demands until we reach a point where they cannot comply, and at that point, we will forget about sanctions, etc. and conquer the country.

The idea that Syria will have a revolution and will turn US friendly or that we can get a government we like without invading is ridiculous. What we will get are Muslims who want to throw all of the Christians out of the country, and they will start to do so like they are doing in Iraq.

And Joseph Farah will be shocked, SHOCKED! that this is going on.

How he thought we were to prevent it in Iraq, I have no idea, although probably he thought that we could enforce religious tolerance by simply killing lots of Muslims if the Muslims proved recalcitrant.

Paul Michael Wibley suggests that we cut off oil Syria's ability to export oil through blockade or sabotage to their pipelines. Anyone who thinks that this will lead to an internal revolution and the replacement of the Assad government apparently believes that Fidel Castro is not still president of Cuba.

What will happen if we cut off Syria's oil exports is the same thing that happened when we cut off Japan's supply of oil imports in 1941. we will be provoking them into a desperate attack on us, which will be the springboard for us to attack them.

That is all.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Little Frummer Boy at it Again

David Frum has once again returned to his ridiculous neocon pronouncements.
My take on his blogpost is that he is trying to blame Syria for any violence or civil war that happens after or during Syrian withdrawal, so that we have an excuse to atack Syria even if it complies completely.
Also, while he talkes about the Syrian-backed militias as a problem in Lebanon, he doesn't mentin hte fact that Lebanon had long had lots of native militias before hte Syrians won in 1990, and doesn't consider the possibility that a non-Syrian backed militia will start trouble once the Syrians leave. Or maybe he wants to blame that on Syria if and when it happens.

My prediction: after Syria vacates Lebanon, the civil war will start again.

And I thnk that Syria is much less involved in the Iraq war than Mr. Frum is claiming.

That is all.

And Who Will Have Won, when the Soldiers Have Gone?

Juan Cole and Justin Raimondo share their takes on the situation in Lebanon.

The general agreement seems to me to be that the demographics of Lebanon prevent a return to the exact system that Lebanon had before the civil war borke out. So those using Lebanon's hisotry as proof that it can exist as a democratic nation are leaving out important points.

(Title from the Human League's "The Lebanon")

That is all.

Paging Eason Jordan

Danny Schechter believes that the press may have been targeted after all.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Syria and Lebanon

The general neocon position is that Lebanon used to be a vibrant democracy, then the nefarious Syrians started a civil war, used it as an excuse to occupy the country, and are now preventing Lebanese democracy from reasserting itself.

This is what Hack Kelly and Joseph Farah, are saying.
In fact, it has been a consistent refrain of Mr. Farah for a long time, that the democracy of Lebanon was stable, and that the Lebanon of the 1950s would return if only Syria were out of the way.

A more realistic look at the situation can be found from Steve Sailer and Gary Brecher.

The Lebanese democracy was never stable, and only existed because the Christians were numberous enough to maintain a three-sided power-sharing truce with the Sunnis and the Shia. This fell apart because the Shia (and I think the Sunni as well) got more numerous.

Seeing as the Syrians initially intervend in 1976 to protect the Christians from the Muslims, I wonder why Joseph Farah thinks that things will get better when the Syrians leave.

Presumably, his goal is not an independent Lebanon, but that Israel will wind up occupying it. I remember in 2000 that he was outraged when the Israeli troops left. (I'll get all of the links later).

Of course, Israel no longer wants Lebanon, it's too much trouble. So maybe Farah is hoping that Israel will cause Lebanon to be less trouble by killing all of the uslims there. Or maybe he is delusional enough to believe that without Syria, Lebanon will not put up any resistance.

Or maybe Farah just doesn't think.

That is all.
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