Friday, April 29, 2005

Limes and Coconuts (Coke, you nuts)

Here are the original lyrics to the song from the Coke commercial.

That is all.

Why is God Silent?

An interesting article by Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo on why miracles, seemingly so common in Biblical days, are no longer occurring.

Two points I would like to add:

(1) I am not convinced that miracles are not occurring. Although admittedly, skepticism would be a kind way todescribe my reaction to this.

(2) The Bible covers a fairly large period of time. The idea that highly visible miracles were occurring every day in "Biblical times" is not, I believe, a warrantedd conclusion.

That is all.

Hack Kelly on Lebanon

Hack Kelly writes about the "return of democracy" to Lebanon with the end of the Syrian occupation. I think that he basically touts a lot of hope and fancy as fact, but I don't feel like analyzing his article in depth right now. I'll try to do so later.

That is all.

On Social Security

My major problem with the big conservative push for private accounts is that it tends to dodge the issue.
The problem of Social Security is how to fund its obligations. Personal accoutns may provide a supplement to some retirees, but they won't in themselves solve the problem. If everyone getting Social Security were to put 20% of their taxes into an account and receive 20% less benefits in the future, it would reduce the size of the problem as deficist would only be 80% as big when they started coming (although surpluses would be 80% as big as well), but everything would be proportionally the same. We'd still have to solve where we'd get that extra 80%.

Actually, the problem would be proportionally worse, most likely, as those who choose personal accounts are probably going to be disproportionately those who would have contributed the most and gotten the least from the old system. In other words, the people most likely to choose private accounts are the ones who are net givers, not net takers.

The implication of the private account system, as I understand it, is that the private accounts are meant to make up for cuts in excess of the amount of money put into them. In other words, someone who diverts 20% of his payroll taxes will get (for example) a 50% cut, not a 20% cut.

All of that plus the fact that in the short term, it will all be loss for the Social Security system. If private accounts don't go into effect for people within 10 years of retirement, then for the first ten years the private accounts will drain money from the revenue side of the system, without reducing the benefits in a similar way. In short, spending will stay the same while revenue goes down. And even after that, the reduction in spending (by reducing benefits for those with private accounts) will be very modest for the first few years, as only the youngest Social Security recipients will be geting money from their accounts.

When Bush says that for people near to retirement, the system won't change, I have the same skepticism as people have when he announces that there won't be a draft because is plans don't include one. Sure, if we assume that the plan you lay out is realistic. But if your plan does not conform to the facts, then I don't trust that you will be able to stick to it. If revenues from Social Security are greatly reduced in the first years after the private accounts go into effect, then benefit cuts for those near retirement may be the only way to keep the plan going. What then?

Of course, there is probably a way that Bush can avoid cutting benefits and still get his accounts. Higher taxes. Just like there is a way that he can keep control of Iraq without a draft. Mass murder of Sunnis. In both cases, I am less than thrilled by the prospect.

I don't have a problem with private accounts per se. But I do have a problem with the fact that so many "conservatives" portray it a a free lunch, a way to save the Social Security system without causing anyone any pain.

That is all.

Press vs. Bolton

Bill Press lays out his case against John Bolton.
Hmmm... some of his reasons I agree with (I don't like the fact that Bolton sexed up intelligence), some I disagree with (I am fine with Bolton hating the UN), and some Bill is probably right about but goes about describing the wrong way (it's likely a bad idea for Bolton to call King Jong-Il a "tyrannical dictator" during negotiations, but let's be honest, that's what Mr. Jong-Il is. Bolton's problem there was a lack of subtly or discretion, not inaccuracy).
[Of course, I should point out that I haven't read much about John Bolton, so for all I know Bill Press may be misrepresenting some of his remarks or taking them out of context].
In any case, I don't really trust John Bolton, but he would probably be better than Maddy Albright.

That is all.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Maybe it was all about the Oil after all.

How else to explain that the neocon's pet is the new oil minister?

Is that all?

Engelhardt and Schwartz Agree with Me.

Michael Schwartz and Tom Engelhardt's latest article seems to be supporting two points I have made in the past.

First, a major reason for decreasing US fatalities in Iraq is that we have hunkered down in our bases. This is why attacks are increasing on Iraqi civilians and security forces while American casualties are decreasing.

Second, if Bush wants to continue in Iraq and to avoid the draft at the same time, he may decide to resort to killing Iraqis in massive numbers (and more indiscriminately) in order to pacify them - if we are to substitute our superior technology for increased manpower, we will also have to accept the fact that the only way to do this is to allow the technology to do what it does best - massive, not necessarily precise, destruction. Our technology allows us to fight with fewer people, but likely will require larger collateral damage than boots on the ground would.

That is all.

Glaivester is A-Changin'

If any of you have visited Glaivester in the past, oh, hour or so you may have noticed some changes. I have turned the font to Times New Roman, and am in the process of figuring out how to change a bunch of the stats for my blog by changing parts of the template and seeing what happens.

Comments on whether or not you like the changes would be appreciated. I am willing to go back to the old format if my readers prefer it, and am willing to entertain suggestions for how the Glaivester blog would look better.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Polygamy and the US

With all of the discussion over whether gay marriage will lead to legalized polygamy, there hasn't been nearly enough speculation on what the consequences of legalized polygamy would be.

The general concern about polygamy is that as it will likely be mostly polygynous (i.e. men having many wives), there will be a large number of men left without wives if it becomes widespread.

Historically, such circumstances lead to opportunistic homosexuality and an unhealthy level of competition between men (as in men will not cooperate with each other).

Would that happen in our society? I think not. Rather, I think that to the extent that polygyny becomes common, polyandry (women having many husbands) and group marriages will also occur. For simplicity's sake, I am going to ignore bisexual polygamy (i.e. one person married to people of both sexes), so that I can consider all polygamous marriages to fall into the polygyny/polyandry categories (group marriages can be looked at member-by-member and thus reduced to multiple examples of polygyny and polyandry). Because it is irrelevant to my analysis, I will also ignore issue of how different group marriages operate (e.g. is every man married to every woman and vice-versa, or are some of the men married to only half of the women, et cetera).

So the big question here is why would polyandry occur in the US when it rarely has occurred in societies which accept polygamy?

Here are my answers:

(1) Our society is more tolerant of female sexual promiscuity than many others. Not that people don't still think of promiscuous women as slutty, but come on, people are fascinated by Paris Hilton. And it's not like someone is ready to stone her for anything she's done. Generally, most societies have prohibited polyandry even if they accepted polygyny. If polygamy became acceptable in the US, it would be unthinkable to restrict it to polygyny.

(2) People have fewer kids. Essentially, this means that women could regulate the number of children they have to coincide with the number of husbands they have. She could have one child with her first husband and then insist he had a vasectomy. At that point, he won't have more children no matter what, so he's not in competition with other men (except to the extent that he is in competition with them for the amount of attention his child gets). Men would be more willing to share a wife if they knew that they would have as many kids whether or not she had another husband; in contrast, if women were having twelve to twenty babies over their lifetime, a second husband would not increase her total number of children, and so would likely mean that each husband would father fewer.

(3) Women are considered to have a lot more rights vis-a-vis their husbands. Essentially, this means that for women who would rather stay home than work outside, a woman with multiple husbands could insist on a certain amount of support from each of them - which would also, by the way, be a substitute for finding a rich husband. This would potentially mean that a poor women who wishes to stay at home could marry four or five men of modest means and have each of them support her to a degree, instead of trying to find one successful man.
For women who are more career-oriented, the multiple husbands could split the childcare responsibilities; a four or five income household could more easily sacrifice one income than a two-income household.

The only potential drawback is that women with multiple husbands might have to have more sex than they would feel comfortable with, but if they find the advantages of multiple husbands alluring enough, the pharmaceutical industry could probably whip something up for them. Or maybe that problem will be solved by sexually-revved up women on steroids.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

T & A or P & A?

With "P" standing for Pecs, of course. (UPDATE: And "A" could stand for "Abs," now I think of it. Plenty of Pecs and Abs.)
Apparently girls are now using steroids, although it sounds as if they are doing it in lower doses than males.

I'm sure Andrew Sullivan is pleased. Although some of the effects might not please all men. Namely, the fact that "hung like a hyena" may become part of the lingo to describe some members of the female population.

That is all.

John Shelby Spong

I don't care if he believes this. But I do care that he calls himself a "Christian." If you believe that we need to alter the Bible, then find some other religion.

Particularly because he doesn't just question the Bible on sexual or inclusion issues. He doesn't believe in fundamental doctrines like the divinity of Jesus.

That is all.

I'm Number One! For Real this Time!

And for a change, it's not due to misspelling!

Search for "Gender-Neutral Statutory Rape" with or without the quotes, and I'm the first name that comes up! (A post dealing with Mary Kay Letourneau).

That is all.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Rabbi Boteach on Priestly Celibacy

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on why as a Rabbi, he questions the utility of priestly celibacy.

An interesting, well-thought-out essay that avoids the tendency toward whining that the liberal critiques of celibacy have had. Perhaps this is due to, rather than in spite of, the fact that he himself is Jewish rather than Catholic. Most of the liberal critiques of priestly celibacy that I have heard seem to come from lapsed Catholics, who in essence are upset at the Church for restricting them when they were young, and who want, after a fashion, either vindication or revenge.

Boteach, on the other hand, can look at the issue without all of the personal baggage that lapsed Catholic critics usually carry with them.

In any case, I personally am not in favor of priestly celibacy, or, for that matter, with priesthood. I do not believe that we need other humans to act as middle-men between us and God. Jesus, who is both God and man, serves as that bridge in His very nature. Of course, I am a Baptist, so my beliefs would veer away from the Catholic Church's on this issue.

UPDATE: I am not in favor of mandatory celibacy. I am not against voluntary celibacy. Thanks to Nate B. for his comment, which reminded me of this.

That is all.

Mouses and Capital

Stephen Carson explains how capital made the mouse available to the masses.

That is all.

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline

Apparently, Britney Spears and Kevin Federline are pregnant. Wow. BOTH of them. I'm impressed.

Seriously, women get pregnant. Men do not. Men can say that they are "Expecting a baby," but saying that the couple "is pregnant" is sort of a politically correct way of denying the fundamental biological reality that the women is the one carrying the fetus in her body. Also, it is all right in my opinion to say that "we had a baby," but not that "we gave birth." Not that men shouldn't take an active role in child-rearing. They should. But men shouldn't pretend that they are actually the pregnant ones until Junior becomes a reality.

On another issue, I disapprove of the whole way this relationship came about. Maybe I don't know all of the facts, but something seems unseemly to me when you get engaged to someone whose ex-girlfriend is still pregnant with his baby (although Shar Jackson [and Kevin Federline, of course] gave birth before Britney married him).
As for Mr. Federline, (or is it Mr. Spears now?) to leave your pregnant girlfriend and marry someone else is... well, slutty, or whatever the male equivalent of slutty is.

I'm sorry if I appear judgmental, but Ms. Spears is not just another person. She has a large number of people who love her and who try to be like her. It is important to point out that what is happening here is unseemly, not for the purpose of ostracizing her, but for the purpose of making certain that her behavior is not seen as something to emulate. Nor for that matter, is Mr. Federline's.

And now I look forward to going to sitemeter and finding out how many people came to this page from a google search of "Britney Spears" and "slutty."

That is all.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Emmanuel Goldstein Al-Zarqawi

I haven't read 1984, but from what I have heard, Emmanuel Goldstein was the name of a person whom Big Brother used as a bogeyman. He was the bad guy that Big Brother had to unleash the people's rage on.

I wonder at times whether that is what Al Zarqawi is. See here and here.

In any case, that thought occurs to me with this line from an article by Cliff May:

"Abu Musab Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, also has condemned democratic institutions as 'un-Islamic.' 'We have declared a bitter war against the principle of democracy and all those who seek to enact it,' Zarqawi said..."

I'll leave commenting on Mr. May's article in general to Clark Stooksbury.

That is all.

Iraqi Casualties

Looking at the hostile-non-hostile fatality rate, one might get the impression that the insurgency is winding down.

However, acording to this, 20 "civilian contractors" have been killed so far in April, compared to 6 in March, 1 in February, 7 in January, 7 in December, 16 in November, and 12 in October (I'll try to make a more complete list later). Some of these are apparently true civilians (e.g. truckdrivers), where others are essentially mercenary soldiers.

Limiting it to Americans, the stats are: 8 this month, 4 in March, 0 in February, 1 in January, 6 in December, 6 in November, and 5 in October.

And according to the stats that the Iraq Coalition Casualties site compiled on Iraqi deaths (this page will only display one month at a time), 168 Iraqi police and military have been killed so far this month, 200 in March, 103 in February, and 109 in January. (Earlier stats not yet available). we'll see how April's totals go as the month wears on.

But definitely, the change in targets does not necessarily show that the insurgency is decreasing. It could show that they are weakening and can't attack coalition troops, but it just as likely could mean that coalition troops have pulled back and so are not in the line of fire.

In any case, it seems to be shaping up that this month will be more deadly for the Coalition than March was.

That is... all for now.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Friday, April 22, 2005

Bryanna Bevins on the Supreme Court

Bryanna Bevins makes a good point about how the Supreme Court has made decisions that encourage the breaking of our immigration laws.

One point though:

She uses imprecise language in asserting that:

"In 2001 (and again last year), the Supreme Court ruled that criminal aliens could not be held for more than six months if their home country refuses repatriation."

She should have mentioned that the six months refers to after they have served criminal sentences for their crimes. In other words, someone who gets sentences to 25 years for a murder will not be released 6 months after his arrest or his sentencing, but 6 months after serving his 25 years in prison.

Still, it's wrong that illegal aliens can be effectively legalized because they committed a crime.

That is all.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Familiar vs. the Logical

I notice that we tend to assume that what is, is okay, and we would rather live with a lie and call anyone crazy who uses logic rather than question our assumptions.

I remember a thread back when I usd to post at FrontPageMag's comment boards where I posted that the Draft is tantamount to slavery. A bunch of people asked how I could be so crazy as to suggest that, and one poster, "Big Bubba" as I recall, kept calling me a "mindless twit." (He used this epithet whenever he didn't feel like actually supporting his ideas with logic). Only one poster who disagreed with me somewhat gave a rational response. He felt that the draft was more like involuntary servitude, being temporary.

I also tend to think that this tendency drives this post by Glenn Reynolds, where the fact that we have had troops in Europe for 60 years because we didn't have an exit strategy in World War II is a good argument against needing an exit strategy. Hass he ever considered that maybe that was a BAD outcome that we should try to avoid in future wars? That maybe subsidizing Europe's defense so that they could spend more money on socialism was a BAD policy?

No, of course not.

"This is all because Ike went in without an 'exit strategy.'"

Yes. Which shows the folly of not having one.

That is all.

Jim Henley on Giuliana Sgrena

The problem with this administration in turning the world against us isn't that they aren't kowtowing to France and Germany, or that they don't rely on the UN; it's that they even treat our allies like crap.

See here and here for Jim Henley's thoughts on the subject.

That is all.

The Ambler on Truth

Two quotes that Kevin Michael "The Ambler" Grace has noticed and put on his blog: here and here.

Who cares if the truth will set you free when you love your chains?

That is all.

A Conservative View of the Filibuster

Clark Stooksbury makes a good point.
Eliminating the filibuster would set a dangerous precedent.

And if definitely would be more of a boon for liberals than conservatives.

A lot of liberals feel the same way. Which is why they like the idea. Which is why it shouldn't be done.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Good and Bad Conspiracy Theories

The magazine of the John Birch Society dispels some of the pernicious and silly (if not intentionally deceptive) ones.

That is all.

Oh my God! They picked a Catholic to be Pope!

The best line on the controversy over Ratzinger's "extremism", by Colby Cosh.

That is all.

Michael Rubin Again

Michael Rubin's concerns for Iraqi sovereignty would be touching if he weren't trying to install Ahmad Chalabi.
Link
link
link
link.

That is all.

Legalized Polygamy?

An interesting article of view from Meghan Basham on the issue of gay marriage and polygamous marriage.
In an earlier thread, I was asked if gay people shouldn't have something.
My tentative response is that we need to make it so that contracts can address a lot of the issues that gay marriage is intended to solve. In other words, people should have more freedom in choosing who they want to be able to visit them in the hospital, who gets notified if they die, etc. A lot of the problem currently come from the fact that contracts other than marriage are often not enforced. As for tax issues, I think that we need to devise a tax systme that doesn't discriminate on the basis of marriage myself. A spouse can be a dependent, and perhaps dependent #1 gets a bigger deduction than dependents #2 onwards, regardless of relationship. In any case, a lot of the problems meant to be solved by expanding marriage could be solved by altering current aspects of contract law, etc., and eliminating one-size-fits-all rules (only family allowed to see someone in certain situations, etc.). As for benefits from the company you work for, that can be solved by letting employers decide what benefits they want to give, and letting the market decide which choices are good ones.

That is all.

The Nature of Homosexuality

This article by Dennis Prager is interesintg.
It brings up a few issues in my mind.
Firstly, there is the question of the difference between male and female homosexuality.
Anna Montrose claims that she in essence "chose" to be gay. Does this mean that homosexuality is not inborn?
Well, according to Steve Sailer, Lesbians are less likely to think of their homosexuality as inborn than are homosexual males (although the greater tendency toward bisexuality in women compared to men, who are more likely to be gay or straight, would be more consistent with a genetic explanation than male homosexuality).

Second, though, there is the question of whether or not homosexuality is entirely inborn, or whether living in a non-gay-friendly culture tends to mean that only those who are irrevocably gay are gay. In other words, is it that sexuality is immutable for everyone, or just that everyone who could be changed already has been?

Of course, this also ties in with how we define homosexuality; are we just talking behavior, or are we talking in terms of orientation? In other words, (a) does culture and environment have an effect on sexual orientation for some people, and (b) what effect does it have on behavior, i.e. on homosexual sex by non-homosexuals?

Which brings up the interesting question: if it turns out that tolerance of homosexuality increases the number of homosexuals or the number of people engaging in homosexual behavior, but a certain percentage of homosexuals will occur no matter how intolerant the culture, will society choose tolerance and greater homosexuality, or accept the fact that the innate homosexuals will forever be a marginalized group?

Of course, if one sees no moral distinction between homosexuality and heterosexuality, then increased homosexuality would not be a problem, so greater tolerance would be chosen. If homosexual behavior is seen as an absolute evil, then intolerance would be the obvious choice; to protect those who can be "saved." If one sees the inborn-ness of homosexuality as determining its moral status, then the issue is more complicated.

In any case, it has occurred to me that most people are so committed to talking about homosexuality as inborn vs. innate that no one has discussed whether there is a middle ground, and if so, what are the repercussions.

That is all.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Thoughts on Ratzinger

As a Protestant, I don't really care who is Pope rom a religious perspective, but from a cultural perspective I think it is a good thing that a conservative was elected. Of course, as Lawrence Auster reminds us, "conservative" is a relative term.

That is all.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Abortion, Crime, and Steve Sailer

Yet more of that Steve sailer good stuff.
Have you subscribed to The American Conservative yet? If no, why not?

That is all.

Mike Rogers on the Draft

Opinion from LewRockwell.com's Tokyo correspondent.

That is all.

More of that Sailer Good Stuff

An article on IQ, the stress of getting to the "right" college, and our "Equality Uber Alles" regime.

As always, an excellent article by Steve Sailer.

That is all.

Thoughts on 300,000

In a previous post, I may have made too much light of the estimate of 300,000 in Saddam's mass graves.
I am sorry if that was taken as insensitive to the people who were killed by Saddam.
My concern, however, was that the 300,000 number tends to get bandied about as if we had discovered 300,000 bodies in Iraq, rather than simply being an estimate. Perhaps it is correct, but I just think that the pro-warriors are a little too credulous every time someone accuses Saddam of something.
Given the neocon's record, I think that that is understandable.

That is all.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Stooksbury on Imminence

Interesting blogpost by Clark Stoksbury. It is particularly important to read Steve Sailer's comment at the bottom.

The whole WMD/sanctions/"non-coopeartion" by Saddam issue gives a lot of grist for hte Glaivester blogmill. But that's something I will get to in a later post.

That is all.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

More Interesting News on Giuliana Sgrena

Interesting post by Jim Henley.

Back on March 29, 2005, he first noted the interesting fact that Sgrena claims to have been shot from behind, a fact that I am proud to say I noticed around the same time on my own.

That is all.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner is Insane

This is truly scary.
I don't want kids getting drugs, but these are the actions of a police state.

That is all.

Neocons and the United Nations

At the LewRockwell blog, Norman Singleton makes a point about why paleoconservatives should not ally with the neocons in their supposed mutual goal of eliminating the UN. The neocons don't have a problem with the UN as a world governmental body, they just want its policies to make the world government do what they want it to do, as this article by Frank Gaffney reveals.

Note: I'll probably alter the link as soon as a permalink becomes available.

That is all.

More on African AIDS

"GayLikeaFox," who is the writer of the Gays for Life blog, has posted a disagreement with the article by Michael Fumento that I had linked to in a previous post.

I haven't researched enough to know who is correct, but the argument that GayLikeaFox presents seems at least as plausible as Michael Fumento's argument.

By the way, Gays for Life has been added to my blogroll.

That is all.

UPDATE: This post also relates to my concern that we don't confuse circumcision of males with female genital mutilation. As I recall, FGM increase the risk of transmitting venereal diseases, which is the opposite of what male circumcision does.

Friday, April 15, 2005

From the Too Much Information File

"In deference to my relationship (and my sanity), I'm not blogging in the early hours any more. I'm spooning."

-Sully.

That is all. (Oh, God I hope it is).

I Hate Larry Craig

In a recent interview with Lou Dobbs, Larry Craig tried to make it sound as if border problems were insoluble without "getting a policy that makes it possible to control immigration," i.e. reducing the number of illegal aliens by re-defining them all as legal aliens. Maybe not quite that, but something very similar.

As evidence, he pointed out that we increased spending on border patrols by 2.5-3 billion on border patrols over the past three years (I think that he meant 2.5-3 billion total, not per year).

Idiot. We spend what? Ten billion a month in Iraq? Spend one-tenth of what we are spending on Iraq on the border and we wouldn't have a border control problem.

Larry Craig is a traitor to the US.

That is all.

Added Two New Blogs to my Links

Thrasymachus and Hard Right (A. C. Kleinheider).

That is all.

UPDATE: Thanks to daveg for pointing out a type. The "Hard Right" link should now work.

Thoughts on Predictions and the Dow

The stock market is going down, which brings me to my New Year's Prediction that the market would go below 10,000 this year.

Which also brings me to my need to update my blog.

What I will need to be doing is re-making my "By subject" archives. I will have to update the ones I have, plus add new ones. I will try to do this after I have finished getting my Master's degreee, which should happen in about a month.

I will try to make a list of all of the predictions I have made so that you (my readers) can determine how accurate I have been. This should help to avoid the problem that Matt Yglesias pointed out that people tend to be ale to sweep their predictions that don't pan out under the rug and to laud their correct predicitons. (I'll give a link when I find the post).

In the meantime, here were my original predictions for 2005. I'll try to blog on what I have been right about, what I have been wrong about, and what predictions that are still in the future I would now change. I'll try to blog aobut it LATER.

That is all.

AIDS, Straights, and Africa

Interesting concerns brought up by Michael Fumento.

That is all.

I Love Justin Raimondo

No, not in that way. He's gay and I'm straight. I mean I love his
sarcasm. He's a great writer.

That is all.

Circumcision and Female Genital Mutilation not Comparable

Note: this post may be a little graphic, but I can't imagine that it is anything you couldn't read in a newspaper. Don't read it if the topic of ritual female genital mutilation (a practice common in Africa) bothers you.

This article on VDARE by Marcus Epstein brought up one of those important thoughts that I have from time to time.

In the US, it should be imperative that we stop referring to all female genital cutting as "female circumcision." Moreover, we ought not to talk about banning "female circumcision."

Circumcision, or the removal of the clitoral prepuce, is being used here as a euphemism for removing the clitoris and a large portion of the labia. The former case is comparable to circumcision in males, the latter case is more like cutting off the penis and to removing a large portion of the scrotumand stitching it together to make it tighter.

The danger if we do not distinguish the two is that opposition to female genital mutilation will used to ban male circumcision.

My feeling is that actual circumcision (removal of the prepuce of either the penis or the clitoris) should not illegal, but clitorectomy or labectomy should. (If anyone knows why the former procedure would be more damaging to the female, please let me know).

That is all.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

My Caesar's Bath Meme

Like Noah Millman, I will participate in Caesar's Bath Meme without an invitation (so naughty of me, I know).

Basically, list five things everyone else likes that you don't see what the fuss is about. In my case, I actively dislike some of htese things.

(1) Desperate Housewives. I've never seen it, but the whole idea of it strikes me as something that Peggy Bundy would watch. Ugh.

(2) Friends. I saw a piece of an episode back in 1995. Ross's wife's Lesbian lover was oing Lamaze with him playing the pregnant woman. I hated it from there on out and have never seen more than ten seconds of any episode.

(3) Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Watched a few episodes. Never really liked it. When I want to see vampires, I'll check out Forever Knight. I have all of the episodes (except maybe "Dead Air) on tape.

(4) Sex and the City. See #1. If I want to watch a show about sex in New York City, I'll watch one about perverts getting caught and punished.

(5) And just to get off the subject of TV shows: the word "meme." Not that I mind the word so much, but seeing it used as often as those little blue guys use the word "Smurf," gets annoying.

Oh, and by the way, I'm not passing it on. So there.

That is all.

More on Female-on-Male Statutory Rape

On my recent post on the California sex scandal daveg brought up a good point:

" The one issue that is overlooked in this debate is pregnancy."

This is a point that I had brought up myself in relation to the Mary Kay Letourneau case.

Yes, I agree that there should be some penalties on a teacher who has sex with an underage student. But when they are 17, I don't necessarily see jail time as a solution. Perhaps forfeiting all rights to child support woulod be appropriate, and certainly there should be some punishment (that is, if 17 is underage, as it is in California). Perhaps probation. And repeated violations would be enough to cause a prison sentence.

Nonetheless, I would not consider the behavior to be potentially traumatic to the boy the way I would if the boy was, say, 15. And definitely when the boy is 13, I have no problem using the term "rape" to describe it.

That is all.

On Fallujah

An interesting article about the progress, or relative lack thereof, in Fallujah.

Hat tip to Lunaville.

That is all.

On the Bankruptcy Bill

I don't know enough about the banruptcy bill to make a statement on it.
But if, as I have heard, it protects rich people who declare bankruptcy while putting the screws on the poor and the middle class, that is not right.
Anyone who goes through bankruptcy ought to be in roughly the same position as anyone else with equivalent situation (e.g. age, number of children, etc.) who goes through it. I'm sure there are some exceptions, special situation that require special consideration, but in general a person making $5 million who goes through bankruptcy ought to be put into the same situation of near-poverty as a person making $30,000 a year who goes through bankruptcy. (I am willing to believe that people who go bankrupt because of things they are not responsible for [e.g. medical bills instead of a spending spree] should probably get special consideration, although rich people in this situation should again get exactly the same consideration as poorer people in the same situation.

Does this mean I resent the rich? Only if they try to default on their obligations.

That is all.

"Paris Hilton" Tax Cut

The thing I don't like about the movement against repealing the state tax is that so much of it is driven by resentment.

Why should Paris Hilton be able to inherit so much tax-free? And I don't care if it forces small businesses to close when the owner dies! screams Matt Yglesias. (Not a direct quote).

Well, by the same token, Miss Hilton seems to have sex with a lot of people whom we might argue do not deserve to have sex with her. I suppose the government should force her to have sex with more deserving people at least some of the time?

Oh, no, this would not the same thing as rape - it's the government that would be forcing her to do it, which, of course, makes all of the difference in the world.

I'm not as upset with people who support the estate tax on utilitarian grounds, such as Steve Sailer (will link to specific article when permalink made available) and Clark Stooksbury. But those who just hate the wealthy annoy me. Who are they to say who deserves their money and who doesn't, as long as they don't steal it?

That is all.

On Mass Graves

Chrenkoff:
"Somewhere out there, still unexcavated is a giant mass grave containing the credibility of all the "peace advocates", the "compassionate" and the "concerned" of the West."

Translation: So far, we've found nowhere near the predicted 300,000 in mass graves so far.

Not that Saddam didn't kill a lot of people. Here's a reasoned post discussing the issue.

Of course, a lot of those deaths occurred because we encouraged the Kurds and Shiites to rebel, which changes issues of culpability a bit.

That is all.

I Just Love Word Games

Don't you?

That is all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Alice's Restaurant

Thsi is an interesting story.
Hmmm... the man was a reservist - as in eligible for service in Iraq.
Alice's restaurant, anyone?

That is all.

Amazing

How a society ruled by a dictator can be made to sound like a democratic paradise, if only you rationalize hard enough.

None of this is to be taken as an indication that I support the ograbme (see question 5) on Cuba, however.

That is all.

Bad Feeling About This...

Why do I have a feeling that this won't be particularly faithful to (or as good as) the book?

That is all.

Estate Tax

Sorry, I disagree with Mr. Sailer (permalkink to come) and Mr. Stooksbury on the estate tax (free registration required to read WaPo article). Personally, I think that an aristocracy is not such a bad thing to have. Having someone to rival the power of the state isn't such a bad thing.

But they are correct that we need desperately to reign in spending.

That is all.

Estate Tax

Sorry, I disagree with Mr. Sailer (permalkink to come) and Mr. Stooksbury on the estate tax (free registration required to read WaPo article). Personally, I think that an aristocracy is not such a bad thing to have. Having someone to rival the power of the state isn't such a bad thing.

But they are correct that we need desperatel to reign in spending.

That is all.

Agasint the Draft

An important article for those of us who wish to stop the draft before it happens.

Personally, I still think that the politicians will avoid a draft as long as we have the technology to simply wipe out lots of Iraqis.

Insurrection in Fallujah/Baghdad/Tikrit/wherever? Hey, Kurds, we got these flamethrowers for you. Remember when the Sunni Arabs ruled you? Want some payback? Here ya go!

That is all.

The Coming Civil War in Iraq

You have been warned.

That is all.

Time Out for Fun...

Rankine 911 has some new posts.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tax Policy for the Benefit of the Tax Preparation Companies

Ann Althouse has some interesting information.

If true, it means that the tax preparers have some level of control over tax policy.

Taxes can be a way to get revenue, a way to enact social policy, or a way to give breaks to one's friends - but using taxes as a way to benefit the tax preparation companies is... well, it's astounding.

Not that the IRS is at fault, per se. The tax preparation companies apparently threatend to sue. But then again, the government runs the courts, so the government could presumably find a way to prevent that.

There are other suggestions as to why the IRS lacks a tax preparation form in the comments.

That is all.

Prager on Gay Marriage

An interesting argument from Dennis Prager on why gay marriage is more of a threat to marriage than divorce.

My one concern: he seems to feel that marriages are not by nature permanent; not that they can't be, but that it is not necessarily a failure for a marriage to end in divorce.

This may seem a strange position for a conservative to take, but I think that the Jewish position on marriage and divorce may be different from the Christian position. At least, if the followers of Hillel have more clout than those of Shammai. Or it may be that Dennis took this position as his personal belief, and it does not reflect a split between conservative Christians and conservative (as in culturally conservative, not as in the denomination) Jews.

But I do agree that gay marriage is a threat to traditional marriage, because it radically redefines marriage.

That is all.

Government Spending and Linear Algebra

Interesting bits of new about Congress, particularly the ladeling out of pork and gravy in the emergency military spending bill. (Free registration required, I think).

For those of us with math minors, its also interesting to read about the "best connected" Congressmen, and read that the determination was made using "eigenvalue centrality."

Ah, eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Takes me back to my days in Linear Algebra.

That is all.

An Amnesty Proposal that Bush Doesn't Support

Interesting tidbit of new here.

All of the comments I might make were already made by Jim Henley, so I really have nothing to add.

That is all.

Frighteningly Similar

It's frightening, but other than his Catholicism (I'm an evangelical, denominationally a Baptist, myself), I find myself to be very similar to The Ambler, aka Kevin Michael Grace.

A few recent thoughts I have mentioned myself:

Prison rape is a terrible injustice that we have allowed to occur.
The weary banality of terms such as "valiant battle with cancer."
(thought of my own - do we ever hear of people who survive cancer as having had a "valiant battle?" Link

A lot of the "great writing" that you have to learn in school is carp. Particularly if it is written by Saul Bellow.

Nostalgia has been his "besetting sin since [he] attained consciousness." Although in my case, it came on a little later, say, second grade (i.e., 1986).
In any case, I have the entire Generation One run of Transformers on DVD, as well as every available Inhumanoids DVD, so I know nostalgia.

In any case, once I finish my Master's thesis and get a job, I may donate to his blog.

That is all.

The Things You Find

And by "you," I mean "I," of course.

Every day, I check my account at sitemeter to see who has visited m site and whence they came. (You can do it as well, my stiemeter stats are open to the public - just click on the little sitemeter icon to the right of the title of my blog). Occasionally, using this to backtrack leads to interesting discoveries, such as the fact that search engines tend to turn my website up whenever someone misspells "Warren Cuccurullo."

Well, going back through, I discovered someone had gone to my site from the sitemeter stats of Kevin Michael Grace.

Well, I also noticed on his stats that someone had linked to him by searching for "The Vagina Monologues" and "Gigle."

Long story short, here is a posting that contians a review of "The Vagina Monologues."

Enjoy.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Demonstrations in Iraq

The protest of the occupation in Iraq is somewhat worrying.

Although - as Fox News loves to point out - this type of protest was not possible under Saddam, I don't think that this protest is good news for us.

That is all.

Good Ol' Benito...

Here's an article talking about our good ol' friend Il Duce*.
A defense by the Little Frummer Boy.
Steve Sailer's thoughts.

Oh, so it's Benito Garozzo?

Oh, so Mr. Ledeen is a big bridge fan.

And here I thought that he was a necromancer...

That is all.

* Yes, I know that Mr. Gancarski has defected to the war party.

More Mark Steyn Lyin'

I had earlier stated (I'll find the link later) that the neocons were going to use the list-based voting in Iraq as a way to prop up Chalabi.

Good ol' Mark Steyn makes my case when he talks about Chalabi:

"He came out pretty near the top in the January elections and he's a big player in Iraqi politics."

Uh, in case Mark forgot, the list Chalabi was on came out on top becaue he managed to get himself installed on the most popular list, not because a lot of people voted for him specifically. As for getting on the list, let's remember that there were no democratic elections to determine who would be on what list; people voted for lists that were already made out for them; and in some cases, whose members were not revealed ot the public until election day.

Incidentally, the fact that all of the big players in Iraq were distrusted by our intelligence agencies, and that our intelligence agencies were the ones skeptical of all of their claimes, and of the pro-war propaganda in general, nicely deflates the idiotic claim that the intelligence, and not the administration's deception, was at fault for the faulty findings about WMD in Iraq.

That is all.

Dubya is Vincente Fox's Bitch

An excellent article on the corrupt president South of the Border (in fact, of the whole corrupt system).

And of course, Bush cannot wait to kiss Fox's rear end every chance he gets. (Unless you believe that Bush was playing word games with Fox, decrying "vigilantes" but not specifically criticizing the minutemen, whom he may not see as vigilantes -someone suggested this, but I forget where).

In any case, considering Bush's gung-ho attitude toward amnesty, I'm unwilling to believe that Bush has any sympathies for the Minutemen, and so I will interpret his meaning in the most obvious way - as a statement against the Minutemen.

In any case, I agree with Justin Raimondo that we are unlikely to see a major neocon movement to "bring democracy to Mexico" anytime soon.

That is all.

Buy the American Conservative

If for no other reason, then for Paul Gottfried's analysis (April 25, 2005, should be on newstands now) of European use of "anti-Fascism" as a way to promote post-Marxist lefitsm. (In a review of a book by John Lukacs).

That is all.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Does Anyone Else Notice This?

Does it bother anyone else that Bechtel is a lead contractor in both the reconstruction of Iraqi water services and in
the Big Dig in Boston?

Perhaps some of the Republicans so committed to defending the record of the companies rebuilding Iraq; so committed to denying that there is major corruption and to saying that all of these companies are working on the up-and-up to make life better in Iraq, ought to consider whether or not they want to defend the men behind Teddy Kennedy's pet project.

And the Democrats who are so committed to talking aobut how evil Halliburton is and how evil Cheney is ought to consider the involvement of one of the same companies in Ol' Teddy's favorite tunnel project.

That is all.

A Real Benefit of Racial Diversity

Steve Sailer's article on American vs. British white working classes (American whites score far better than British ones) is very intereting.

Mr. Sailer talks about the obvious reasons for America being more conducive to law and order: more gun ownership, more rights to self-defense, more religion, as well as less obvious ones such as the existence of working-class affirming country music.

The most striking aspect of the article, though, is Steve's hypothesis of one way in which racial diversity has greatly benefitted Americans:

The bad effects of certain social policie tends to show up among blacks before they show up in whites, serving as a "canary in a coal mine," and causing the policies to change.
At the same time, higher crime rates among blacks have discouraged white crime rates because of, well, racism. Associating crime with blacks makes it less attractive. (Racism will accomplish what appeals to morality won't? And people say mankind isn't sinful...)

I'm sure that all of the black people in prison and in gangs and in broken homes are thrilled that they were able to partially shield white America from the consequences of the social policy of the white elite.

That is all.

California Statutory Rape Case not a Big Deal

The coverage of the female teacher who had sex with 3 17-year-old male students is overblown, in my opinion. while I do take the issue of statutory rape by females seriously, there is a vast difference between a 13-year old like Villi Fualaau and a 17-year-old. Or even between a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old.

In fact, in 35 states, 17-year-olds have already reached the age of consent.

Not that the teacher did not behave inappropriately; and she should be fired. And I do think that a restraining order on her keeping her away from the boys she had sex with would probably be appropriate. But this does not strike me as a big scandal the way that Deb LeFave or Mary-Kay Letourneau did.

By the way, this made me interested in seeing what the Age of Consent was for each state. So I did a Google search. But I wanted to be careful what sites I clicked on, because I didn't want to inadvertedly look at a site which was designed to facilitate ephebophiles [people who are sexually attracted by underage adolescents] in finding permissive states .

In any case, here are two tables from websites that appear to be above-board: the first is from Jan's Place, which wants to help stop pedophilia, and the second from a website giving teenagers advice about sex and abstinence.

Jan's Place (Updated 1999 - at least that is the copyright date.
Teen Advice, Q&A Age of Consent Chart (Updated August 2001)


That is all.

Manipulating Democracy

This is highly troubling.

If true, it suggests that all the talk of democracy in Iraq may be a little overblown, and that all of the people who gush over how we have finally given the Iraqis the opportunity to choose their own destiny are either naive or blowing smoke.

But then, we alrady knew that, didn't we?

That is all.

Iraq is so Secure... HOW Secure is it?

Matthew Barganier makes a good point:

If Iraq is so secure, how come there are no flights to Iraq, whle there are flights to Iran, and even Zimbabwe.

Jim Henley notes that Mark Steyn's celebrated trip, where everyone loved Americans and he was embarrassed to admit to being a Canadian, he or his paper had hired guards to protect him.

That is all.

Good Stuff from David Lindorff; and my Solution

If you ignore the stuff about "tax giveaways," David Lindorff makes a good point about so-called "rising oil prices":

It's the decline of the dollar, not the rise of the value of oil, that is the real issue here.

How to solve it?

Get the government to stop spending so damn much.

We need to pull out of Iraq as quick as possible (Lindorff would agree with me here), eliminate the prescription drug benefit (not here), and eliminate federal funding of education (probably not here either, he'd rather increase taxes). For a start.

That is all.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

More on Administration Deceit

While I disagree with the leftist talk against "homophobes, anti-abortionists, and capitalists," and while I think that some of the neocons did have good intentions, I think that M. Junaid Alam makes an excellent point about the Silberman-Robb Commission Report whitewash (the one that said that intelligence was "dead wrong" but which exonerated the administration of putting any pressure on the intelligence community - in fact denied that any political pressure was put on them at all).

Obviously, more than incompetence was on display here. The intelligence agencies deliberately distorted the intelligence, and only someone with naivete the size of a blue whale would think that Bush was forced into war with Iraq, that he was open-minded and the intelligence convinced him to go to war. Anyone who is honest with themselves knows that the fix was in on September 11, 2001, or even before.

So, as Mr. Alam says, either the intelligence agencies were so paranoid that they deliberately distorted the intelligence, which benefitted Bush and his goals, or else the administration pressured them into distorting it.

Considering how much venom has been dished out against the CIA by the neocons for its failure to supprt Ahmad Chalabi or its to be sufficiently pro-war, or how much has been ladled out to the State Department for the same offenses, I seriously doubt that the intelligence community was paranoid, at least not towards Iraq.

So we all know who is to blame for the intelligence failure lying.

That is all.

On the Issue of Israel

I thought that this would be a good time to clarify my position:

I don't think that the Iraq war was engineered by Israel or that it was done solely for the benefit of Israel or that it was AIPAC's brainchild.
Rather, I think that the interests of those who want the US to taje out Israel's enemies for it coincided with the interests of those who want a US empire, who want US economic interests to control Middle Eastern oil, and the messianic democratists.

The point is, that when taking someone's biases and ulterior motives into account, one should realize exactly what one's motivations are. Accusing a US imperialist like Richard Poe or James Woolsey of fudging facts because they are supposedly under the influence of Israel is ridiculous. In the case of uber-democratist Paul Wolfowitz, it also is an insult, as it questions his sincerity, which I for one believe is real. Similarly, accusing Richard Perle of being naive about the prospects of an real Iraqi democracy functioning gives him too much credit for generosity to the Arabs.

That is all.

"Democracy" in Iraq is Just Outsourcing

Interesting article by Neve Gordon.

Essentially, the idea is that "Democracy" in Iraq is just a ploy to get Iraqis who are sympathetic to the US (or who think the US can give them power) to do all of the hard lifting while we control the resources of Iraq. Or more precisely, while those with political connections control the resources of Iraq. So we can reduce the expense of occupying Iraq, while making certain that US economic interests are protected.

That is all.

The Schiavo Slippery Slope

I don't know how accurate this report is (it is in WorldNetDaily after all).

If it is accurate, though, then it is scary. Very scary.

And it sort of adds steam to Steve Sailer's concerns that people are eager for old and inconvenient relatives to die, although the inheritance angle does not appear to be mentioned in the article, so it does not confirm it.

That is all.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Sorry for No Posting

And for appearing to wait so long to update my previous post.

Blogger has been down for almost a day.

Now it's back up, I'll try to start posting again.

That is all.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

More Excrement from Michael Ledeen

While Michael Ledeen's assessment of intelligence reform does not appear to be all wrong, his statements regarding WMDs srike me as last-ditch rationalizations at best, and bald-faced lies at worst. Okay, let's remember that Michael Ledeen suggested without irony that France and Germany were trying to get the US attacked by terrorists and that the people of the French and German governments would be willing to overthrow them for a more pro-American government:

"If this is correct, we will have to pursue the war against terror far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East, into the heart of Western Europe. And there, as in the Middle East, our greatest weapons are political: the demonstrated desire for freedom of the peoples of the countries that oppose us."

Right. And it's the countries that opposed the war in Iraq where the governments chose to take a position on the war that was opposed by ~ 80% of the population.

In any case, he makes two mistakes.

First, he assumes that "all the intelligence services of the world" agreed with us that there were WMDs. This ignores the fact that most of them were highly dependent on the US or their intelligence (link another link yet another (go to section marked document 34(I remember hearing this from several sources, that is, several editorials making this point; if a Glaivester reader could point me to more, this would be helpful)). Israel probably did an independent investigation, but come on, Israel has a vested interest in getting Saddam out of power, as long as the US stays in Iraq so that Iran's power is still balanced.

Second, he asks why people trust the Iraq Survey Group's findings (that the Silberman-Robb Commission Report's conclusion that there were no WMDs is based on) when it is drawn from the same intelligence community that failed us in the first place (whether or not there were WMDs at one point, the fact that we can't find them now indicates that there was some sort of failure, according to Ledeen, because even if there were WMDs, we weren't able to prevent them from being moved out of the country).

This assumes that the intelligence community failed because of incompetence, when in reality they were pressured and/or co-opted with ad hoc intelligence organizations such as the Office of Special Plans (also see here and here to come to the conclusion that would support the invasion, just as the commission has been pressured to cover up the fact that there was political pressure. Or maybe more likely, the committee was created with teh intention of giving the administration a whitewash (after all, the commission was appointed by President Bush).

So again Michael Ledeen claims that the weapons were moved to Iran and Syria:

"Aging readers of NRO may recall that, months before the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I wrote that WMDs were being smuggled to Iran and Syria. Others, including people on the ground, have said the same or similar things. On what basis are those hypotheses dismissed?"

On the basis that some of the strongest claims were made by parties with an interest in accusing Syria and Iran. Note this article that talks about "intelligence sources" saying that "incriminating" WMDs were transported to Lebanon in WorldNetDaily, but doesn't specify who the sources are, and this more honest editorial that talks about the sources as being Israeli. (Come on, Israel wants to destroy Hezbollah, which has a stronghold in the Bekaa valley. Israeli intelligence says that we will find the WMDs in the Bekaa Valley? So we need to remove Hezbollah from its stronghold to investigate the potential WMDs? Hmmm... wow, that's convenient). Not that there aren't others supposedly making the claim, but most of them seem to be defectors or the like who (a) aren't reliable, and who (b) don't seem to know whether or not the convoys into Syria contained WMDs. The WorldNetDaily article mentions US intelligence monitoring of convoys, and also makes some claims without attribution, but much of that is either of questionable reliability (depends on the reliability of WorldNetDaily's sources) or doesn't address the issue of whether the convoys had WMDs, or both.

Moreover, as I have stated before, I doubt that they were dismissed. That the military would deliberately obscure evidence of WMDs, contrary to its interests, is bizarre. Methinks Ledeen simply wants an excuse for us to "get tough" with Syria and Iran, which, whatever he says, will lead to full-scale war.

Let me be more succinct.

MICHAEL LEDEEN IS A LIAR.

That is all.

Article by Richard Poe

Count on Richard Poe to bring up eschatology and his overzealous love of the Bush family.

Yesterday I heard Michael Savage say that he thinks Bushes want Hillary to win because "they can work with her," (anyone with a link to an internet article where he says this will earn my gratitude if they post the link for me).

If this is true, I'd love to see what Mr. Poe would say about it.

That is all.

Changes to Glaivester

(1) I put my sitemeter bar to the left of my title
(2) I have added some links to the upper left side of my blog; these links are mostly for me, to allow me easy editing of my blog
(3) I have altered my "blog description" by replaving the "Krull quotes" with something of my own.
(4) Archives are now monthly instead of weekly.

That is all.

Yushchenko and World Government

Trouble for those of us who oppose attempts at world domination, regradless of whether they are performed by others or by the US.

That is all.

AdScam Censorship

Colby Cosh and Wendy McElroy on the Canadian cenosrship of the Adscam scandal.

"it would actively help free the hands of Canadian webloggers and reporters if our foreign cousins were to be aggressive about "publishing" the substance of the Brault testimony outside the reach of Canadian law."
Says Colby Cosh.

Well, as a US blogger (I will refrain some saying American, because I consider Canadians to be "Americans" - as well Mexicans, Brazilians, etc., pretty much anyone who lives in the Americas. I am a United Stateser. I'll try to help.

Well, here is a link to an article in the American Spectator.

Here is a post on Captain's Quarterly that I assume is being censored.

If anyone can give me a link to material that is expressly forbidden (i.e. that directly deals with the testimony of Brault and which is explicitly banned by Canada), I will post the link and maybe some of the material (subject to copyrght issues, obviously).

As a United Stateser, I am happy to thwart government attempts at censorship of politically embarrassing information.

That is all.

A Protestant Contemplates Pope John Paul II

Very interestin analysis of Karol Wotjyla by Gary North.

That is all.

Blockbuster and Fraud

An interesting article on monopolies, both market-driven and state-driven, by Harry Goslin.

Still, I have one bone to pick with him.

I do think that Blockbuster's actions in charging "restocking fees" after claiming an end to late fees does deserve some form of government civil sanction, whether through reguilation or through lawsuits by priovate individuals.

This is not because I oppose "late fees," it is a good thing to charge customers more when they rent for a longer period of time. Nor do I mind changing the term to "restocking fees." If a business decides that using euphemisms improves their business, that is their right.

The problem is deceptive advertising, or, to put it more bluntly, fraud. To claim that Blockbuster was ending "late fees" when it was just renaming them is fraud.

Of course, the savvy consumer should have noticed that something was up when Blockbuster said it was "ending late fees." Unless blockbuster was letting customers rent indefinitely for the cost of a 5-night rental (or however long Blockbuster rents for), doing so made no business sense. I smelled that something was up. nonetheless, the fact that the fraud only affected stupid people doesn't change the fact that it was fraud.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Josh Frank's Mistakes on the Minutemen

Josh Frank doesn't understand why the border-protecting "minutemen" need arms if they don't intend violence against illegal aliens and only want to report their presence to the immigration authorities.

How about becasue some of the illegals who don't want to be reported might attack them?

He also says that these people are looking at the wrong enemy, when NAFTA is a big reason why so many Mexicans "need" to go to the US.

This ignores the fact that many in the closed-border crowds are paleoconservative "Buchananites" who probably hate NAFTA as much as the lefties do, and who look at Bush as a butt-kissing (Vincente Fox's butt) traitor.

He also repeats many of the usual canards, e.g. "jobs that Americans aren't willing to do." (Ignoring the fact that without so much immigratn labor, US businesses woulod either pay more or automate (like Japan), which is in the end more efficient).

In any case, I fully support the Minutemen.

That is all.

Question for Glaivester Readers

The sitemeter icon with the statistics ought to be to the right of the big Glaive symbol on the title.
Sometimes, though, I notice that it migrates to the comments section of my first post.

Has this happened to any other Glaivester readers?

Kathryn Lopez and Bull Excrement

Kathryn Lopez spouts the usual neocon line on Iran. (I am assuming that this is Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review, if anyone can confirm or refute, it would be appreciated). If we just give a little moral support to the "Iranian people," they will overthrow the mullahs and stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. And if Iran gets a bomb, the mullahs wil be in power forever.

B.S.! Helping the "Iranian people" will only lead to a major crackdown, Iranian attacks on US interests in Iraq, and eventually (sooner rather than later) to a full-scale war with Iran. Whether the neocons are naive or dishonest on this I can't say, ut.. Oh, Hell, who am I kidding? She quotes Michael (I kiss Chalabi's butt) Rubin. Liars, liars, liars.

What she ignores is the fact that even if Iran gets the bomb, that won't necessarily prevent the youth from overthrowing Iran if they really want to. Look at the Soviet Union. Also, she assumes that the youth won't dislike the idea of the US trying to prevent Iran from getting a bomb. If they really do want to overthrow the governemnt, they might not like the idea that we will make certain that once they take over, they won't have nukes.

Final;ly, as the War Nerd has said, the Iranian dispute is a family dispute. Just becasue the youths of Iran don't like the Mullahs doesn't mean they want us to interfere in their country.

That is all.

A Draft Coming Up?

Apparently the need for more soldiers is growing.
The Bush administration seems to think that technology will obviate the need for more soldiers, but I question how feasible that is until we can get fully funcitonal combat robots.
Unless, of course, what Bush means is that we will simply nuke 'em into submission.

That is all.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Bush Lied. Clinton Lied.

And most importantly, George Tenet lied.

Gordon Prather on WMDs.

That is all.

Right to Vote and Subtexts

Why do I think that the sybtext of Greg Moses' protest against requiring photo IDs to vote is that he doesn't really care if illegal immigrants get to vote (which is a big part of why people want these laws?

I have a feeling that he thinks that everyone in the world who wants to should be able to vote on America's leaders, citizenship or no. Anyhting else is "white privilege."

As for concerns that someone will vote more than once, I'm not sure whether he really doesn't think it is a big issue or doesn't care.

And just to show that I am not simply a partisan hack, I am also disturbed by the paper-trailless voting machines, and by the fact that one of the companies was headed by someone with strong ties to the GOP. I don't know that there was wrongdoing, but the regulations need to be such that such wrongdoing is not possible. That there may not have been a problem this time around does not mean that we shouldn't protect ourselves from the possibility in the future.

That is all.

On VDARE today

An article by Joe Guzzardi on the impact of open borders on our schools.

An article by Steve Sailer on the downside of enforced gender equality. (Not that England's "lad" problems don't have other causes as well).

That is all.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Once More on Schiavo

I have to admit that if Schiavo had a clear living will asking that no feeding tue be administered, I would have wanted her wishes carried out, unlike some other conservatives.

Not that I necessarily think that it is moral to refuse a feeding tube, but I don't see a feeding tube as something that should be forced on someone.

In any case, in the case of Ms. Schiavo, without any recorded wishes on her part, I think we should have erred on the side of life.

If I am in a vegetative state, I want food and water.

That is all.

Juan Cole: Wrong on Abortion

I find it interesting that Juan Cole can't seem to admit that the religious right is against abortion because it considers it to be murder. Rather he believes that it is all about trying to control other people's bodies. The fact that their (the pro-lifers') position on the Schiavo case is more consistent with a belief that people should be preserved even if they are apparently not sentient than with a desire for men to control women is explained by saying that the pro-lifers "feminized" Michael Schiavo. So let's add a bunch of theories to explain the Schiavo case so that we can put abortion into our neat little women-against-men paradigm, shall we?

Here's an idea. Perhaps the pro-lifers really think that abortion is murder, eh? And they think that Terri Schiavo was really alive and should not have been starved. Whether you agree or disagree with pro-lifers values, to add complexity when it is unnecessary strikes me as a major violation of Occam's razor.

Also, his arguments that some pro-lifers don't even care if the life of the mother is in danger ignores the fact that most pro-lifers don't take such a position.

In short, Mr. Cole is wrong.

That is all.

The Coming Civil War

William S. Lind believes that the neocons want a civil war in Lebanon.

I think he is probably partly right, at least as far as we are talking about Israel-First neocons rather than messianic democratist neocons. However, I disagree with him that (a) Hezbollah will win a civil war, and (b) that the neocons simply want to destabilize all of the governments in the Middle East.

I think that the neocons are planning not on simply destabilizing Lebanon, but on making certain that their allies in Lebanon (i.e., the Maronites) win. I think that if civil war breaks out, the neocons will do everything in their power to help the Maronites, up to and including getting US troops involved.

If there is a concern that Syria will cause trouble for us if we are in Lebanon, we will see increased pressure for us to invade Syria as well.

Of course, invading Syria won't stop the Lebanese civil war in itself, as contra Krauthammer, not everything bad in Lebanon is caused by Syria. Nonetheless, Syria may not react well to American troops in Lebanon, so an invasion of Lebanon will likely lead to an invasion of Syria. Come to think of it, an invasion of Syria would probably also lead to an invasion of Lebanon, as Lebanon will likely destabilize whenever Syria leaves, whether "voluntarily" or because Syria collapses or is conquered, and that instability would likely cause problems for us in Syria (i.e., if we have our troops there) when Lebanon falls apart.

I think that that is actually the neocon goal, though, to get us to invade both Syria and Lebnaon and to conquer them, or for us to hand them over to the neocons' allies. All they need is to get us to invade one, and then we can be forced into the other.

Run, Uncle Sam, Run!

That is all.

Death this Past Week

So, this week Johnny Cochrane, Terri Schiavo, Frank Perdue, and Pope John Paul II died.

No real point, just thought it bore mentioning.

Friday, April 01, 2005

"Dead Wrong," is bush to Blame?

Let's see, do I believe Rich Lowry that the President has been truly exonerated or Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese that the report, by a commission, appointed by Bush, whitewashed the facts?

Hmmmm...

Tough call.

And that, is all.

A Jew Approaches the Issue of Vegetarianism

A very interesting article about the slaughter of animals for meat in Jewish World Review.

As a meat-eating Gentile, I can't say that I agree with all of the theology; and some of the theology haven't had time to think enough about to determine whetehr or not I agree with it. Nevertheless, it provides a very interesting perspective, and I think that there is much truth in it.

(And of course, I am against laws that prohibit the kosher slaughtering of animals).

That is all.

More on the Draft

Frank Speiser has a good article about the draft on LewRockwell.com.

Essentially, the problem with those who advocate a draft for the purpose of expanding the aniwar movement is that they are trying to convert people who are pro-war by HOLDING THEIR CHILDREN HOSTAGE.

This point was made previously, in Counterpunch, I believe (but I haven't been able to find the article, I'm afraid).

In any case, to advocate something as distasteful as a draft in order to prove a political point is highly immoral (unless, of course, it is done hypothetically in an argument for illustrative purposes; arguing that a draft would call people to account is one thing; to suggest it should actually be done is quite another).

That is all.
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