Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Huh?

"Hack" Kelly is up to his usual nonsense.

Apparently, we are to believe that there is ethnic strife in Iran (not hard to believe), which is threatening the reign of the mullahs (I'm somewhat more skeptical), and which will have an even greater effect because of all of the Iranian under-30s who are desperate to overthrow them, by revolution if necessary (much mroe skeptical), and install a government that does whatever the U.S. wants (okay, that part I inferred, and it is hogwash).

But even if everything he says is true, the rest of hisarticle is rather a non sequitur. He quotes someone who plainly denies that the U.S. has played a role in fomenting this ethnic strife (which, if it had, would have been done presumably as a means to effect regime change). Yet, he says that this is why Iran is so desperate now to negotiate with the Americans, and why such negotiations would be "throwing a lifeline" to the regime, instead of letting it be overthrown in the coming civil war as would be the righteous thing to do.

Huh? HUH? What "lifeline?" Why would us trying to negotiate a way to get Iran to stop enriching uranium have any effect on domestic revolutionaries? The two issues to be negotiated are Iran taking steps that could lead to it acquiring nuclear weapons and the possibility of American military action to counter such. The ostensible goal in any meeting would be for Iran to distance itself from the possibility of getting nukes and for the U.S. to move away from military action. Unless the U.S. is behind the revolutionaries, and our agreeing to drop our support of them is a condition of the negotiations, they would have no effect on Iran's internal affairs.

In fact, it would be possible to negotiate with Iran on nuclear issues while still covertly supporting opposition groups. So, in realiy, Kelly is simply making up a dumb excuse as to why the U.S. ought not to talk to Iran. Put another way, he is trying to use the false hope that we can get everything we want without lifting a finger if we are just ornery enough (the people of Iran will do all the work for us in gatitude for our snubbing the hated mullahs) as a way to get us into a situation where we will be forced into an actual war with heavy commitments. It's the calssic con where someone tries to float a real low price at you, only to find all sorts of fees and charges that get aded after you've committed yourself.

"Hack" Kelly has once again proven himelf to be the jerk I always knew he was.

That is all.

Why I Read Udolpho and Sixteen Volts

While I disagree with them on some issues (the existence of God, for example - I believe in Him, they don't; Udolpho apparently doesn't like Macs, and I get the distinct impression that both are more favorable to the War in Iraq and to domestic surveillance than I am), I find Udolpho and Sixteen Volts to be very good blogs to read.

Why? Because more than anyone else, they strip away the pretensions that a lot of the leftists tend to celebrate.

Take for example, this post by Ilkka Kokkarinen (Sixteeen Volts), suggesting that a lot of leftist positions come from the fact that the people espousing them can't, like, get their lives staight and want to blame someone for it.

Udolpho's post on "choice for men," is also a favorite of mine, because it sums up what I had previously been trying to express to some leftists I was corresponding with nicely, succinctly, and obviously.

There is also the fact that one of the most frustrating things is trying to have a respectful discussion with someone who refuses to respect you. Once you realize that a lot fo these people you are arguing with are losers, and feel the way they do because they are losers who cannot make it in the real world and therefore decide that the problem must be with the real world rather than with them, it is quite liberating. When you realize that you don't have to respect people who would just as soon see you subjected to forcible indoctrination of their ideas, but can call them out as losers, suddenly you feel much, much freer.

That is all.

Why Gay Marriage is a Bad Idea

As Lawrence Auster points out, the real problem with same-sex marriage is that it ultimately results in delegitimizing normal marriage. First, the whole terminology is forced to change to accomodate same-sex marriage ("husband" and "wife" are out). While leftists may claim that this is good, because using the same terms for both partners makes the marriage more "equal," (as if the term "wife" must make the woman lesser), the fact of the matter is that gender is a real thing, not a social construct, and there is a lot of damage in trying to force people to ignore their gender.

But the most disturbing thing is that the leftists ultimately want to de-normalize heterosexuality. Heterosexuality is part of the backbone of our society; the heterosexual family unit is what holds us together. When we get to the point where gays demand not just tolerance or acceptance as alternate sexualities, but that heterosexuality ought to be considered an alternative rather than the primary form of sexuality, you begin to witness the breakdown of society.

That's why "heteronormativity" is a good thing, no matter how much resentful people who do not live in the real world dislike it.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Lesbianism Sure is Complicated

Maybe the reason people are most comfortable with "heteronormativity" is that it is far less Byzantine than homosexuality/transgenderism/etc.

Update: On a more careful reading of the post, I suddenly realize what specifically it reminds me of that makes it seem so silly. This debate is essentially like those of science fiction fans who prattle on endlessly about how the Klingons are different that tne Romulans, or who discuss who would win if, for example, Galactus and Unicron had a battle. Not that such topics are not interesting, but there is something bizarre about the idea that they ought to have a whole lot of political/social import.

That is all.

More on Leftist Definition of "Racism"

Reading this public school webpage, it is hard not to get the impression that the real goal here is the demonization of white people and the destruction of white people's culture. Also, there is a strong push to use the accusation "racism" as a club with which to impose socialism or other collectivist ideology.

Which brings me back to this earlier post.

So what does "racism" mean?

Anything less than the advocacy of the genocide of whites.

It's because of things like this why I don't really care if I am called "racist" anymore.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to Wendy McElroy.

That is all.

Monday, May 29, 2006

New Blog of the Week: Four Color Commentary

Four Color Commentary, a Comics blog, is my new Blog of the Week.

Visit it. Please.

That is all.

Errors or Part of the Plan?

Tom Engelhardt and Michael Schwartz have an interesting article up on LewRockwell suggesting that a lot of the "mistakes" that were made in the invasion and occupation of Iraq were not bugs, they were features.

That is to say, the real plan in Iraq is to destroy the local institutions so as to make Iraq entirely dependent on foreign corporations for its reconstruction and then maintenance. If, in the process, the companies engage in unethical profiteering (by doing a project in the most expensive way possible), well then that is a price that the administration is willing to pay with taxpayer money (and that they would be even more willing and eager to pay if Iraq had enough oil revenues for us to claim a share in return for our magnaminous reconstruction of the country).

Apparently, only the U.S. embassy seems to be a priority for finishing on time and with any degree of quality.

That is all.

Stoking Antisemitism?

Jim Henley reports on an interesting story: it is being claimed that in at least one case, interrogators of detainees at Gitmo tried to use the Jewishness of the detainees' lawyer as an interrogation tool, suggesting to the detainees that they cannot trust their lawyer because he is Jewish.

While even if true, this could just be a ploy to try to keep a wedge between the lawyer and his clients, it does strike me that encouraging Muslim antisemitism would very much help those who wish to see us at war with the Middle East. So it is not unreasonable to suspect that those who want to see the U.S. conquer the Middle East would have an additional reason to encourage this sort of thing.

That is all.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The People Make the Politics

The Audacious Epigone explains the immigration situation quite well.

Long story short: Our politics largely reflects our populace. The idea that immigrants are just blank slates upon whom we can program the U.S. political philosophy (and that therefore the level of immigration and the ethnicity of the immigrants we let in should not matter to us) is a false one.

That is all.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Problems in Iraq

Patrick Cockburn discusses where Iraqi "democracy" is no what it is cracked up to be. He also points out the fact that the more problems there are in Iraq, the easier it is for Bush and Blair to spin the situation:

A frustrating aspect of writing about Iraq since the invasion is that the worse the situation becomes, the easier it is for Tony Blair or George Bush to pretend it is improving. That is because as Baghdad and Iraq, aside from the three Kurdish provinces, become the stalking ground for death squads and assassins, it is impossible to report the collapse of security without being killed doing so.

That is all.

Bye-Bye, Middle Class?

We need to get more frugal, amongst other things, says Bill Bonner, or we will become extinct.

That is all.

Wonderful Link

Four-Color Commentary, a Comic Book Blog.

They are fellow Spider-Girl fans.

Please visit them. Please.

That is all.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Few Thoughts

In about a week, I am moving for my new job.

It may be awhile before I get internet service, so posting may be light for the first week or two of June.

Do not worry; I will return.

Due to my contract, I do not want for this blog to in any way be considered a business venture rather than a hobby. For that reason, I have been removing my advertisements, and by next week, I will also have taken down the "donate" button on my site; so if you want to donate to my site, this will be your last chance for awhile. I have never made much on this blog anyway and its main purpose has always been to get my ideas out there, so it's no big deal.

Go here to donate.

For my fellow bloggers and other website administrators who have been looking for donations, and whom I have been in essence ignoring on that front for the past two years, (yes, Messrs. Sailer, Rockwell, and Raimondo, I'm thinking of you) I will likely be donating to ISteve, Lew Rockwell.com and AntiWar.com again in a few months.

That is all.

Throwing Cold Water on Us

Yep, the White House is now rapidly moving away from any claims that we are going to reduce troop levels this year. When these claims originally came out, I did mention that they "had an out." Looks like they are using it.

Quelle surprise.

Let's be honest; claims that we are going to be reducing troop levels are simply little bits of propaganda to placate the masses and to give the pro-war-bots something to proclaim to their readership. Later, they always retract the calim, with the hopes that people will have forgotten about it by now.

Gosh, troop reductions in Iraq are a lot like the enforcement of our immigration laws!

That is all.

Right Girl on New Orleans

Can't disagree with this.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sorry about Lack of Posting on Iraq

There just hasn't been a lot to post on the past few days. The new government continues to get set up, but there have not been any particularly notable events in that regard. There has not been an attack with major coalition fatalities for the past few days, but the trend has not yet lasted long enough to mark a definite reduction in violence. And immigration has pretty much taken center stage.

When something comes up that I feel like posting on, I'll tell you.

That is all.

Hack Kelly: Appeaser

Jack Kelly is against Europe appeasing radical Muslims. He also, in a piece about Kyoto, manages to ((in the 4th paragraph from the bottom) criticize Canada for appeasing the Quebecois separatists.

So why in his latest piece does he use a blatantly appeasement-oriented argument for why we need to let in more "guest workers?

If you read the piece, one of the main reasons why he thinks we need to admit more guest workers is so that Mexicans will not elect Andres Lopez Obrador, a leftist, to the presidency.

Kelly at least pays the usual lip service to enforcement, but let's face it, if the guy believes the law will really be enforced once the open-borders crowd gets what they want, he's an idiot.

Oh, wait. He is an idiot.

That is all.

Monday, May 22, 2006

STOP THE INVASION

Contact your Senators (contact info) and tell them to vote against Senate Bill 2611. Tell them in no uncertain terms that you:

Do not want people who are here illegally to be legalized.
Do not want a "guest-worker" program.
Do not want to increase the volume of legal immigration.
Do not want any sort of amnesty.
Believe that Bush's plan and S. 2611 are an amnesty.
Want an "enforcement only" bill.

Contact your Congressmen (contact info) and tell them:

You are calling in regards to a possible conference committee on S. 2611.
Tell them the same positions as above, but also tell them that if S. 2611 passes, then they ought to refuse to go into conference.

Tell them that amnesty is unacceptable.

That is all.

Great Minds Think Alike

What if we were talking about rape instead of illegal immigration, asks Dennis Mangan. This is a great post, reminiscent of a recent post of my own.

Actually, Mangan has an even better take on Bush's "non-amnesty" than my take:

Frist also denied that the President's proposal amounted to amnesty for rapists. "Rapists will not be able to simply marry any woman who comes along. They'll still have to go through courtship and marriage licenses. Therefore this is not an amnesty."

That is all.

On Infant Mortality

A defense of the idea that the U.S.'s higher infant mortality rate is real and not a statistical artifact.

I'll have to consider how I think this should affect policy.

That is all.

GEORGE W. BUSH IS A LIAR!

"Bush Lies, Base Dies," writes Mickey Kaus. Steve Sailer concurs, as does Lawrence Auster.

Power to the [American] people! Impeach the traitorous Bush!

That is all.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Reductions? Maybe Not.

Some of the recent decrease in troop strength in Iraq is apparently being reversed.

It's a small amount for now, but we'll have to wait and see if this bodes poorly for hopes to reduce troop strength to 100,000 by the end of the year.

That is all.

The Stupidity of Larry Kudlow is Awesome

This piece by Larry Kudlow is one of the biggest pieces of B.S. I have ever read.

Where to begin?

First, he scoffs at a fence with the commonly used argument that because it won't stop everybody, why bother?

The best example of this is this incredibly stupid line from Robert D. Feinman's "immigration myths" webpage on his website:

The INS estimates that roughly 40% of the illegal immigrants living in the U.S., originally entered the country on non-immigrant visas (such as H-1B, L-1, etc.). These non-immigrants have become "illegal" immigrants by overstaying their visas. These people didn't jump a fence or swim across the Rio Grande, they flew in and entered legally. Building a wall won't change this.

So that means that approximately 60% living here illegally came here illegally, a very large portion of which presumably came in through the Mexican border. In fact, this may be an underestimate; let's remember that people who come here legally and then overstay their visas have some level of documentation, and presumably there is also documentation when they leave the country, so we should be able to get a good idea who has come here and not left. People who come here without any documentation are much harder to track, so we likely have underestimated their numbers greatly.

The message appears to be that if you cannot stop all illegal immigration with a fence, it must be worthless. I doubt that liberals would use that type of reasoning with any wealth-redistributing social program.

Back to Kudlow:

In his case, he is just being totally dishonest because he doesn't want to do anything to curb the immigration of a new generation of helots for him and his wealthy friends.

Second, this brilliant economist is aghast that we are trying to limit the number of workers coming here legally. He then suggests that the productivity of skilled H1B visa applicants would offset any costs from unskilled H2B applicants (although why we need to admit the latter is something of a mystery. Why do we need to let in a "bad immigrant" every time we let in a "good immigrant?" Does not compute. (He also insists that H1Bers are "crucial to America's competitiveness," which is meant to imply that we do not have enough native workers to fill those jobs. In reality, of course, the goal is simply to create a class of peons who can avoid taxes and be exploited while skilled American labor becomes unemployed and unemployable.

Next he says:

Why legislators fail to understand the economics of this problem is beyond me.

Which is an incredibly ironic statement, considering the economically dishonest things he says later. (Not ignorant - I'm sure he knows that a lot of what he says is untrue). Back to that later.

His next line of argument is that due to differences in wages between the U.S. and Mexico, there will be immigration into the U.S., and nothing can be done to stop it. This sort of handwaving is rather disingenuous when you consider that (a) no one has tried to stop it, so we don't know, and (b) he displays no concern about trying to solve this problem by, you know, pressuring Mexico to reform? Why Kudlow supports trying to force reform on Iraq by invasion and occupation, but cannot bring himself to suggest that Bush even put diplomatic pressure on Vincente Fox is beyond me.

Next, he dazzles us with this incoherent paragraph:

The anti-immigration crowd also gets it wrong when it points out that the Senate compromise bill would increase the number of immigrant workers in the U.S. by roughly 61 million over the next two decades. This Heritage Foundation analysis has the fear-mongerers predicting a Mexican takeover of the United States. But we need these workers.

So the Senate bill will not increase by 61 million over two decades, but we need them anyway? It sort of seems like he is switching arguments in mid-stream. Notice also how Kudlow does not address the prediction of a Mexican takeover, but rather asserts simply that "we need these workers," implying essentially that yes, there will be a Mexican takeover, but that is a price he is willing to pay to get those workers.

Then he insists that we need the extra workers to support Social Security. Other than the fact that such an argument ignores what we will do about the immigrant's need for Social Security in twenty more years "(apparently he is assuming that they will graciously forego any Social Security benefits when it is their turn), the fact is that this is not true. If there are demographic problems with Social Security that can only be dealt with under the present system by constantly importing new workers in some gigantic pyramid scheme, then there is a structural problem that needs to be dealt with. Robert Locke has done some good work on this here (see #8) and here (do a control-F or apple-F for the phrase "Most of us will die in poverty.".

This, however, is where Kudlow forgets economics, culture, and everything, and just says something mind-numbingly DUMB:

Let’s also not forget that immigrants come here to work, raise families, and assimilate. They would in effect become a much-needed churchgoing blue-collar middle class — an all but forgotten demographic that is crucial to a healthy America.

What evidence do we have that the Mexicans in the U.S. are assimilating? Oh, wait, they are assimilating. To black cultural norms. How does he suppose that a gaggle of unskilled workers is ever going to form a middle class when we import so many that no one will earn over minimum wage?

In short, Kudlow just lies, lies, lies, and lies in this paragraph, and is stupid enough to assume that people will believe him - or else he is a fan of Adolf Hitler's philosophy of "never lie unless you lie big."

Next he adds that he agrees that these immigrants need to learn English. Good luck on forcing that. What if a lot of them have trouble learning it? What enforcement provisions will he use to make certain that anyone who stays here learns it fluently enough to speak it? Then he quotes Reagan: "[Immigrants] renew our spirit . . . and they add to the unity of America.”

Which is another way of saying that American culture (and by extension native born Americans) is stagnant and senescing, and that native borns are simply not enough to keep the U.S. competitive and vibrant. This is a direct insult to native borns. Reagan was a great guy, but some of the things he said were wrong. There are certainly benefits to immigration at certain times and in reasonable numbers, but added unity is not one of them. In any case, this was said back in the 80s, when immigration was much smaller in magnitude than it is now. In the current context, where we are talking about 60 million new immigrants in 20 years, stating that immigrants add to our unity is a total load of B.S.

And then he jumps on the Bush's Lies Bus:

Hotheaded conservative populists who equate temporary workers and a long-term path to citizenship with amnesty are dead wrong, and their calls for deportation are lunacy. Imagine U.S. security forces somehow putting immigrants and their families onto armed busses and shipping them back to Mexico. What would that say about our country?

Dead-of-night deportation raids smack of totalitarianism, not Americanism.


First, the proper punishment for being here illeglaly is deportation. If you don't deport, it is amnesty. Moreover, the aliens care about residence more than citizenship. This plan gives essentially automatic residence, even if the immigrants never get citizenship, so IT IS AMNESTY! Kudlow's assertion that it isn't amnesty are simply assertions. He doesn't offer any argument to back them up. Even if he wants to argue that deportation is un-American, he should be honest enough to admit that he thinks that we need an amnesty. Instead, he is basically asserting that because he finds deportation distasteful, and because the American people don't want amnesty, then letting the illegals stay cannot be amnesty, because what he wants cannot posibly be against what the majority of Americans want.

Kudlow is a dirty liar.

In any case, deporting all 11 or 12 million illegal immigrants is unnecessary. All that is necessary is to deport some of them, and to prosecute enough employers who hire them so that they can't get jobs. They will deport themselves. (We aslo need to make it easier for businesses to check their employees immigration status on a regular basis without getting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on their backs).

Besides, what is so "un-American" about deporting people who do not belong here, who are here because they broke the law? What Larry Kudlow calls "Americanism" is actually anti-America, what Lawrence Auster refers to as "The American Creed’s War on America ." Nota bene: Kudlow wants to use "Americanism" as a reason why we need to replace the current population of the U.S. and its culture with an alien culture. The only thing that defines America, according to Kudlow, is its politics and its openness and tolerance (not that a Latin American U.S. will likely have the same politics or be as tolerant or open). The specific culture and people that occupy it are dispensible.

Kudlow is a disgusting little man and a pathetic excuse for an American.

Next, Kudlow asserts that after excusing law-breaking in the past, Bush will enforce the law in the future. Liar.

Finally, he asserts:

As a recent Wall Street Journal editorial points out, Reagan wondered aloud about “the illegal alien fuss.” He signed a bill in the mid-1980s that legalized immigrants, and in the next twenty years the U.S. prospered as never before.

Yeah, like the aliens were the cause of that. Rather, they are the reason why California is now a Democratic stronghold. And considering that the laws were not enforced after Reagan amnestied the aliens, why should we believe that Bush will enforce them if he gets his amnesty? Why should we assume that Kudlow's assurance that, under Bush, "henceforth, in the future, temporary workers will finish their jobs and go home before applying for permanent status" is anything but a lie to get us to go along?

Answer: we shouldn't. Kudlow knows it wasn't enforced before, and that it will not be enforced in the future. He does not expect to see it enforced. He just thinks that the majority of dumb American yahoos are too stupid to see what a good thing illegal immigration is, and so they need to be lied to for their own good. Or more likely, he sees them as untermenschen who are standing in the way of him getting a new slave class, who need to be lied to so that they can be crushed for the benefit of him and his fellows in the upper class.

In short, Kudlow is a liar, and if the folks at National Review are real Americans, they should take a clue from Polipundit and stop publishing him.

That is all.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Real Leftist Agenda on Race, and Their Illogic

Sara Anderson pretty much admits the truth of my contention that the reason leftists want to open the borders and give citizenship to illegals is to replace our current population with non-white (or at least non-non-Hispanic white) socialists.

What I find funny, though, is this quote, because it is true, just not in the way she means it:

What I find to be brain-meltingly frustrating about arguing with people like this (see also here - and FYI I post on Plastic as yellownumber5) is that they seem to think that it's merely a coincidence that it's white Christian dudes who have snapped up the majority of the positions of power and the majority of the wealth in the world. Given that we do know about some blatant and some less blatant instances of bias - racism, sexism, etc - and that we don't know of any reason why white Christian dudes should be a lot better off than the rest of the inhabitants of this planet, the "it just so happens" mentality seems pretty fishy to me.

What the idea that she is trying to get across is that the reason why "white Christian dudes" have snapped up the majority of power and wealth in the world is because of racism, white supremacism, and oppression of people of color.

Where this fails, of course, is in the fact that white people would need to get the power in the first place in order to impose these things. So how did they get the power in the first place?

In fact, unless you are going to argue that it is a coincidence, you are going to have to argue that the prevalence of white males in positions of power is because they have some propensity that makes them achieve more. Either that, or you have to argue that somehow, before they initially achieved power, they originally exercised white power through being dishonest and stealing it, breaking treaties, etc., and that they were better at this (or simply more immoral and willing to do it more) than other races.

(This of course, is a racist way of looking at whites; as the one and only race where people break treaties and are dishonest - but of course, looking down on whites in such a way is considered to be acceptable, even admirable racism).

While it is undoubtedly true that whites have done immoral things to get power in some cases, it is ludicrous to suggest that we were the only ones. Moreover, even if you were to argue that all "white power" in the world was stolen, the fact remains that we had some trait in addition to dishonesty than enabled us to get away with it.

Let me explain:

What makes a thief really successful is not his level of dishonesty, it is his competence. Being more dishonest and less inhibited than the next guy won't help you if you are a total moron. Likewise, even if you want to argue that whites used murder and theft to rule the world, the fact remains that we had the strength to subdue the other cultures and not the other way around.

There are only two ways to argue that white people's dominance does not indicate a special talent in whites: either it is a coincidence, or else every other race in the world is too honest and good to do it.

Other than being racist against whites, the second possibility also has implications that are insulting to non-whites. If non-whites were able to achieve the same level of technology, tc. as whites, and were only dominated by whites because of their (i.e. whites') trickiness and dishonesty, then non-whites must be incredibly gullible for whites to have been able to dominate so many of them.

So the point is that blaming racism for whites being so dominant in the world is rather ridiculous, because racism could not be institutionalized until after whites had gained dominance. So there is no sensible way to decry whites for being dominant without in some way admitting that they are more competent (on average). So Sara Anderson is in some ways admitting to some of the ideas she despises.

Of course, very little in this world is static, so white people's current dominance (or their competence) is not assured to continue. Nor does this dominance mean that whites are morally more valuable than others, or that non-whites should not have their rights protected, etc.

But I am tired of hearing whites have to apologize for their existence and their culture, and of hearing them vilified.

That is all.

Thoughts on Contraception

Unlike Jill Stanek, I have no problem with contraception per se. I do have a problem with preventing a fertilized ovum (i.e. one that has undergone karyogamy) from implanting, but not with pre-karyogamy birth control (i.e. birth control that prevents the sperm from penetrating the ovum or which prevents the nuclei of the ovum and sperm from merging). [More on this here).

Let's analyze her argument, though:

I base my thinking on several Biblical concepts. The foremost concept is that God is always described in Scripture as the sole procreative decision-maker. To my knowledge, every incident in Scripture describing pregnancy or barrenness gives God complete credit.

If that premise is true, who has the right to say no to God? Who can say they have a better grip on timing than God?


The idea that God is the sole procreative decision-maker is semantically difficult. Yes, pregnancy cannot occur without God allowing it to happen, and God could miraculously cause pregnancy to occur regardless of what precautions a person takes. But this does not mean that as it happens, people have no control over pregnancy occurring.

Put another way, if people have choice about when to have sex, then absent miraculous intervention they are making procreative decisions. Moreover, saying that God was described as the procreative decision maker is exactly that, a description. That is to say, it is a descriptive, not a prescriptive statement (i.e. it explains what did happen, it did not make statements as to what should happen).

Contraception has had some troubling effects on society, I will agree with that. It did enable the sexual revolution, and despite what a lot of people say, that was a bad thing. But that does not mean that contraception has had only evil results or that it itself is evil.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to Feministe.

That is all.

Ellen Goodman, Be Honest

In her most recent column, Ellen Goodman argues against a "guest-worker program," not as I argue, because we should be letting in fewer people, but because it is discriminatory to let in people with no intention of making them citizens. Ms. Goodman apparently thinks that we should let in lots of immigratns from Mexico and naturalize them:

But an ''appreciation of our history" will tell you that we were built and constantly renewed by newcomers who came to call the United States ''my country" and defined themselves as citizens. Not as guests.

Why doesn't this bitch just say what she means? America's current population is too conservative and too white (non-Hispanic white) for her tastes, so she wants to replace us with leftist Mexicans.

I hate leftists.

That is all.

What "Racist" Means to a Leftist

"Racist" simply means that you are not working toward the destruction of the white race.

It is not enough for a most leftists that you treat everyone fairly. You have to hate white people, and if you are white, you have to loathe yourself and constantly prostrate yourself in apology for your racial makeup.

If you point out that the leftists want to detroy the white race, they ridicule you and call you names, but note that they never actually refute you about the results of leftist policies. They just insist that a lot of them are white, so they can't possibly hate white people.

But their policies speak for themselves.

Admit it, folks. Kamau Kambon just said what a lot of you were thinking.

That is all.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Farah Excoriates Bush on Immigration

And for once, I am in complete agreement with Ol' Joe.

That is all.

Baltimore Couple Arrested

Here and here are some interesting articles on the story of a Baltimore couple arrested for "trespassing" on a public street. Here are a list of more links.

The first thing that jumps out at me, from seeing the picture of hte couple in the first link, is that I would really, really like to see what race the cops that arrested them were. Maybe I am dead wrong, but I have a strange feeling that I know what the answer is. If I am correct, I'll comment more.

That is all.

Welcome Google Searchers

It has come to my attention that a lot of people are coming to this blog from Google searching for "Tony Snow" and "Tar Baby."

The post you are looking for is right below this one.

(New posts will appear below these two posts for the next few days).

If you like my commentary, see these three recent posts on Iraq, (I'm against it), these three posts on immigration reform (I'm for reducing immigration for at least the next few years and for deporting those who are currently here illegally), or this post on the ridiculousness of claiming to believe in evolution while denying evolutionary psychology.

Also, see the "Greatest hits" articles, listed and linked to on the left-hand side of the blog.

That is all.

B'rer Tony and the Tar-Baby

UPDATED! UPDATES ARE IN BOLD
A comment on this entry brought it to my attention that I had not indicated that I am aware of the metaphorical meaning of "tar baby," nor had I mentioned the context of Mr. Snow's use of the term. I assure you that I do know what Mr. Snow meant; a "tar-baby" refers to a situation that someone is using to bait you, and that, once you take the bait, will be difficult to extricate yourself from. It has a similar meaning to the term "quagmire." In this case, what Tony Snow was saying was that he would not answer the question, because he didn't want to get trapped into a debate where anything he said could be turned against him:

Q You might repeat the same thing, but why not declassify this? I mean, the President did talk about the surveillance program a day after The New York Times broke that story. This would seem to affect far more people, and it did sound like the President was confirming that story today. He was answering Terry's question --

MR. SNOW: Well, if you go back -- if you go back and you look through what he said, there was a reference to foreign-to-domestic calls. I am not going to stand up here and presume to declassify any kind of program. That is a decision the President has to make. I can't confirm or deny it. The President was not confirming or denying.

Again, I would take you back to the USA Today story, simply to give you a little context. Look at the poll that appeared the following day. While there was -- part of it said 51 percent of the American people opposed, if you look at when people said, if there is a roster of phone numbers, do you feel comfortable that -- I'm paraphrasing and I apologize -- but something like 64 percent of the polling was not troubled by it. Having said that, I don't want to hug the tar baby of trying to comment on the program -- the alleged program -- the existence of which I can neither confirm nor deny.


Let me also be clear here that I think that the brouhaha over this is stupid and ridiculous. I have my problems with Tony Snow, particularly with the fact that during the last month or two of his radio show he seemed to be taking the same pro-amnesty, immigration-expansionist [i.e. the opposite of restrictionist] position as Bush, and with his cheerleading of the Iraq War, but I am not going to attack him for such an innocuous comment.

This is a ridiculous thing to have a controversy over. I have simply noted it because I wanted to be one of the first ones to note that he had made a comment that would cause a controversy.


I heard Tony Snow mention the term "tar-baby" in his recent press conference.

The term refers to an "Uncle Remus" story, where B'rer (Brother) Rabbit attacks a little doll made of tar for not saying "hello," to him, and winds up getting stuck (the doll was a trap by B'rer Fox).

There is presumably a racial overtone to the term Presumably the term can be used as a racial epithet (although it is obvious that Mr. Snow was not using the term in such a way) as it is obvious that the "tar-baby" would be seen as black. I do recall a Saturday Night Live skit with Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase which seemed to give the impression that it was used as racial epithet, although I have never heard it used that way in any other setting.

In any case, I bring this up because I suspect that Tony Snow's use of the term may upset some people, and if there is a controversy, I want to be one of the first people to have noticed it (or to have noted the possibility of such a controversy arising). I won't predict that there will be a controversy though, because I do not know if there will be one.

UPDATE: The controversy has begun! Also see here, here, here, here, and here.

That is all.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Glaivester Predictions

Predictions for 2006:

(7) The market (i.e. the Dow Jones) will not break its previous record of 11722.98 (01/14/2000), and will close below 11,000 on the last day of the market year (i.e. December 29).

Recent losses in the Dow of around 400 for this week (anyone know where I can find a list of the ups and downs for the Dow for any day I want, not just for today?) keep this prediction well within the realm of possibility.

(8) By the end of 2006, gold will be over $650.00 and silver over $10.50.


Well, as of this writing, silver is $13.12 an ounce and gold is $685.00 an ounce, so let's say I feel pretty good aobut this prediction.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Ilkka Kokkarinen's post on predictions. He suggests that people should be willing to put up some money on the things they predict so as to risk losing it.

Myself, I make predictions as a test of my deductive ability more than anything. So I'm not going to bet anything on the outcome of my predictions, as I make them primarily so that I can see later on how accurate I was or wasn't. I expect my readers to give my predictions weight (or not) based mainly on my track record, for which purpose I have tried to keep tabs on my prognostications. So whatever you want to make of the things I predict you have the information to determine whether I tend towards accuracy or mistakes.

That is all.

Boy, Was the End of White Rule in Zimbabwe a Good Thing

Women in Zimbabwe can no longer afford feminine hygiene products, and so have an increased risk of STDs and urogenital infections.

Why?

The shortages have been caused by the relocation of manufacturers from Zimbabwe to South Africa due to the current investment crisis.

Translation: Mugabe has been confiscating so much property that no one wants to invest there.

Yeah, what a good thing the end of white rule was for the Zimbabwean people!

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to Feministe.

That is all.

Depleting the Reserves

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan appear to be depleting the reserves according to MSNBC.

Probably we will now start hearing neocons crow over how great the re-enlistment rates are again and about how high morale is amongst the soldiers who are actually there.

So let me reiterate from a previous post:

I am unconvinced that troop morale is high, due to the fact that, as stated before, the troops do not have the luxury of honesty, and due to the fact that another supposed indicator of the high morale and attractiveness of our military, high recruitment numbers, have been belied by the facts that the army has (a) reduced its goals, (b) started accepting dumber applicants.

Moreover, the high reenlistment numbers, often used to show how good soldier morale is, may be due to what amounts to coercion.


Thanx and a tip o' the hat to AntiWar.com (link should start working tomorrow).

That is all.

Sit Out the Conference

Auster has an intriguing proposal to save the country from a massive Latin American influx and to (maybe) win the 2006 elecitons for the G.O.P.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Request

I just discovered when looking at flickr that they want any picture linked to from an external site to also serve as a link to the flickr page containing the picture. I don't like this, because I like to use graphics as links and also I like to use graphics in my title, which I would rather not use as links to the photo hosting site. So I am going to try to move all of my pictures off of Flickr.

Does anyone know a good photo-hosting service that is Mac-compatible that does not have a requirement such as this? (Preferably free, but I would be willing to pay a small fee - I don't photo host very many items).

I would use blogger's photohosting but their system is a real nightmare if you want to use pictures in templates or want to be able to access them (or in fact if you want to do anything other than put them in an individual post exactly once). Moreover, their sizing system seems to be fairly arbitrary and imprecise.

That is all.

Why I Hate Barbara Lerner

If you want a good example of why people hate the neoconservatives, this piece by Barbara Lerner really showcases the reasons why I find her so distasteful.

First, she proceeds to admit that things are not going as well as they ought to be in Iraq, although this year she has been reticent to criticize for fear that it would embloden the enemy.

Then, she tells us where she feels we went wrong and how we could have done better in Iraq.

(1) Install Ahmad Chalabi.

Lerner's essential statement here is that it perfectly okay for Rumsfeld not to plan for the occupation of Iraq, because he ought to have handed it to the Iraqi National Congress (INC) and let Chalabi run the country.

This is ludicrous. I can think of no reason why this would have improved anything. Chalabi had neither the military forces to maintain order, nor the popular support to make the population more friendly toward us than they were with Bremer at the helm. I have already explained this in more detail here.

All of the things that Lerner claims we would need to do to support Ahmad Chalabi (de-Baathify the government, tame the Shiite militias) ultimately amount to no more than saying that we ought to have been more brutal in our treatment of the Iraqi people in order to force them all to swear fealty to Ahmad-the-Thief.

She also states:

Afterwards, we should have given them whatever additional time they needed to gradually work out and apply a new set of rules for their own Iraqi brand of democracy.

Which is another way of saying that we ought to have made Chalabi the dictator-for-life. Whether "given them whatever additional time" means simply that, according to her plan, we wouldn't push Chalabi to hold elections anytime soon, or whether it also means that we would keep our troops in Iraq to prop him up for as long as Chalabi requests is unclear.

Needlenose has another good explanation for why this would be a stupid idea:

Lerner, meanwhile, is sufficiently removed from the rationality God gave a cabbage to realize that the reason Rummy & Co. didn't actually put the INC dictatorship scheme into motion was the same reason her chosen scapegoat, Paul Bremer, couldn't get his plans off the ground: a rather obstinate grand ayatollah named Sistani, who could have responded with a single fatwa saying, "I don't think so -- Homey don't play dat," and shifted the U.S. occupation into helicopters-on-the-rooftops mode overnight.

Of course, Lerner had a solution for that, which we will get to below.

(2) Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill.

Our second big mistake... was our failure to recognize irredeemable Iraqi enemies as such, and to take bold, decisive military action against them, and especially, against their leaders... Quick, crushing military action against men like these would have sent the right message to all our Iraqi enemies, Sunni and Shiite alike: Violent resistance is immediately fatal and ultimately futile.

In other words, we ought to have instituted a reign of terror and killed anyone who opposed us, and their entire family, and any civilians who were in the way, and maybe the whole town the person was from while we were at it, in order to show we mean business.

She also repeats the execrable lie [a half-truth is the worst kind of lie - Draal as quoted by Delenn on Babylon 5] that the Iraqis in Fallujah in March of 2004 "lynched American civilians." They were only civilians in the most technical sense; they were mercenaries. She feels that the roops were held back too much from responding in that case - they should have "wiped out" the "Baathist generals" behind the mob. What she doesn't mention is that this would also involve wiping out all of Fallujah as well.

This, of course, is how she likely would deal with the Sistani problem Needlenose brought up - kill him and his family and everyone he knows, and install another imam who issues a fatwa to obey the Americans.

(3) Attack Syria and Iran

Lerner repeats the highly improbable neocon claim that they are driving forces, if not the driving forces, behind the insurgency. Realizing that we hadn't the troops to invade either of them, she asserts that with massive air raid we could have stopped their supposed infiltrations without having to commit ground troops. I think that it is highly unlikely that such an attack would not set up a situation where ground troops and possibly a full invasion force would be needed. Which, if I am right, brings up the question: is she stupid or is she lying?


After explaining what we should have done, she says that what we need to do now is to bomb Iran and "Hezbollahland" in Lebanon (presumably meaning any area that is not Maronite - like Joseph Farah she appears to have a final solution to the demographic problems of Christian Arabs in Lebanon). From this and other statements I also infer that she wants us to bomb Syria.


So in short, her solutions are to install unpopular puppets, to keep them in power through mass slaughters, and to expand the war to at least two and maybe three neighboring countries.

Is it any wonder I find her detestable?

That is all.

The Big Lie

One of the big lies promulgated by the pro-warriors about Iraq is that Al Qaeda is a major player in the insurgency, and that defeating Al Qaeda in Iraq is equivalent to defeating the insurgency.

Of course, some pro-warriors have admitted that there is a non-Al Qaeda insurgency occasionally, but then proceed to act as if stopping Al Qaeda would put the kibosh on the destructive part of the insurgency.

In that vein, Cal Thomas and "Hack" Kelly have recently penned columns touting a recent letter from one Al Qaeda operative to another (presumably the latter is an AQ highr-up) bemoaning how difficult their situation is in Iraq.

The message? Victory is around the corner! Yay, we're winning!

There is a little problem, though.

Coalition combat fatalities were up in April and continue to be high in May, in fact, menstrualized (menstualize:month::annualize:year) this month's hostile death toll would be around 90. Wounded numbers for March and April are higher than for the previous two months, and sort of in the low middle-range overall, but are still fairly robust. And the Iraqi civilian death toll is still pretty high, and the security forces death toll is likely to be within the same range it has been in over the past six months (albeit on the lower end).

The point is, the insurgency may be shifitng its focus slightly and may have decreasing effectivenss in some areas, but there is little evidence that its overall destructive power has been lessened. Considering that the letter is already at least a month old, it does not appear that any of the trends that the writer was noticing had any effect on the overall power of the insurgents.

So I think that the reliance on this letter as proof that the insurgents are losing and on the lack of media coverage as evidence that the media is ignoring the "good news from Iraq" constitutes stretching the evidence quite a bit.

That is all.

It Is Not Rape to Force a Woman to Have Sex with You if You Do Not Get Her Pregnant and Force Her to Keep the Baby

You know, by the same principle that it is not amnesty to let illegals stay in the country as long as they do not get automatic citizenship.

That is all.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Amnesty is Not "Amnesty"

A few thoughts on Bush's speech tonight.

It was pretty good until he got past the first section (increased enforcement).

For him to say that not deporting illegals is not amnesty as long as they don't get an automatic path to citizenship is like saying it isn't rape if you don't make her keep the baby.

I wouldn't like his plan if it were followed. I certainly don't like it when I doubt that the enforcement part will be enforced.

Any mention of a temporary guest worker program has to deal with the twin issues:

What if they don't want to leave at the end of the "temporary" period?

What if they have kids while they are "temporarily" here? (That is the point behind my facetious "spay and neuter" proposal).

That is all for now.

What Does the Alleged Rape Victim Having Had Sex with Her Boyfriend Mean?

The revelation that the alleged victim in the Duke Rape Case had sex with a man other than one of the accused has brought out several feminists who correctly ask how this is relevant to the case, as well as several non-and anti-feminists who claim that this is proof positive that the alleged victim is lying.

Well, I do agree that the fact that she may have had sex with someone around the same time as the alleged rape does not affect her credibility, it is relevant in that it might explain where the damage to her private areas came from. If she had had rough sex with someone else around the same time as the alleged rape, it might have caused some of the tears that are being used as evidence that she had had sex.

Certainly this would be of little or no relevance if this were a case where the issue were her consent or lack thereof, that is, if everyone agreed that sex had taken place. But that is not the issue; the boys deny having had sex, consensual or non-consensual, with the alleged victim. Therefore, the defense would need an alternate explanation as to why the evidence points to her having had sex around the time of the alleged rape. This provides such evidence.

That is all.

Iraq According to "The Good Hitchens Brother"

Ol' Pete explains the situation.

That is all.

Post by the "Good Hitchens Brother"

An interesting post on Iraq by Ol' Pete.

That is all.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Debt

Interesting concerns mentioned on TPMCafe about American indebtedness.

That is all.

Chalabi as Panacea

In a previous post, I wrote:

Obviously, the neocons did have a plan, as explained by Barbara Lerner: Install Ahmad Chalabi and company, and then let them handle the transition to a new government. Despite the talk by some neocons that had we followed this plan, all would be well, and so the DoD and the Chalabiites are faultless for our problems in Iraq, this is not really a serious suggestion...

The problem with this is that there is little evidence that Chalabi had enough support in Iraq that he would have been able to have prevented the current crisis through persuasion, and the Iraqi National Congress did not have enough troops to really secure things (Lerner's laughable suggestion is that his 10,000 troops would have done the job). The recent election indicates that had we installed him, and if subsequently his 10,000 were not able to restore order through force, he would not have been able to have relied on his popularity with the people to keep control of the country, for such popularity simply didn't exist.

Moreover, Lerner's suggestion that Ahmad Chalabi, Jalal Talabani, and Massoud Barzani would have had enormous prestige allowing them to coast into office is based upon the highly dubious assumption that the Sunni Arab minority would trust two Kurds and a Shiite, and that the Shiites would want two Kurds leading the country. Or that the Shiites would see Ahmad Chalabi as a genuine Iraqi statesmen rather than a craven opportunist.

The idea that Chalabi would "put an Iraqi face" on the occupation is rather iffy. Seeing as he was exiled for over 40 years, there is no particular reason why he would be seen as being particularly Iraqi. This is not to criticize his family for leaving Iraq; it is simply to state that it is unclear that he would have any "Iraqi credentials" that would make anyone see him as "one of us." This also presumes that there is such a thing as "an Iraqi face" in the sense that anyone or any group could command the respect of all of Iraq's major ethnic divisions.

Whatever we tried to do in relation to Ahmad Chalabi, chances are, we would still be the ones responsible for maintaining order through our troops and then training the Iraqi Security Forces. As for claims that putting "an Iraqi face" on the occupation by installing an interim government of Kurds and exiles instead of a coalition provisional authority, this relies on the dubious belief that the Iraqis would distinguish a direct occupation from an occupation run through our hand-picked lackeys or puppets.

Let's be honest here. Ahmad Chalabi's biggest cheerleaders are extremely gullible neoconservatives of the "Israel-first" (#4) variety (aka the Richard Perle wing)** who want him installed (see also here because he said nice things about Israel, including not only the obvious (i.e., recognizing Israel) but also things as ridiculous as pushing the creation of an Iraqi-to-Israel oil pipeline. Israel's pereceived interests, that is, a desire amongst neoconservatives to do what they feel is in Israel's best interests (along with an extremely heavy dose of credultiy toward any Arab who claims to like Israel), is the driving force behind Chalabi.***

That is all.

** I am not using "neoconservative" as codeword here. Yes, the neoconservatives I am referring to in this case are probably mostly Jewish (in fact, her Jewish-sounding surname is why I suspect Israel to be the motivation for Ms. Lerner); but I said "neoconservatives" rather than "Jews" not to hide my actual meaning, but because it is not unlikely that there are people in the "Israel first" wing of the neoconservatives who supported Chalabi for that reason who are Gentiles. So I am not trying to be coy or antisemitic here.

*** Note that I did not say that Israel was the driving force, nor that the Israeli government actually see his installation as being in their interests.

Another Blog to Watch

The blog of Michael Cadwallader of Cheshire.

That is all.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

New Blog of the Week

As soon as I get up the graphics, The Lawson Review will be my next "blog of the week."

That is all.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Video Games

Udolpho's recent post reminds me of the fact that I was breifly brought back into video-gaming back in 2003-2004 (in the 80s and early 90s I loved playing video games). The reason? A man was coming into my university every week and selling old used Ataari 2600 and Nintendo Entertainment System games. In particular I loved the Atari games. I bought a whole bunch that I had wanted to play since I was a kid.

Atari 2600 - mmmmmm... now that's good gaming!

That is all.

Loyalty to the King Over Competence

Is anyone really surprised?

That is all.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

America and Iraq

Ol' Lyin' Eyes Ziel has up an interesting post about the increasing diversity in the U.S..

An interesting and important point he makes is that increased diversity will not necessarily make us more tolerant and productive as the multi-cultis pretend it will.

It strikes me, though, that this asininity is also reflected in neocon claims such as Barbra Lerner's that Iraq is ripe for democracy because of its ethnic diversity (which I suppose will force it to be a tolerant country).

Which just goes to show that multi-cultis and neocons are cut rom the same cloth.*

That is all.

* Or at least the neocons pretend to be from that cloth. In reality, it is difficult to ascertain whether or not Lerner actually thinks that Iraq's ethnic makeup can help to promote actual democracy; because when she talks about "democracy" she really just means "neocon puppets [or those who pretend to be] in charge." More on that later.

Is Evolution Your Science or Your Religion?

Udolpho once said of "choice for men:"

This idea very neatly divides those who truly find abortion unobjectionable and those who just like it because it gives women whatever they want.

I think a similar thing can be said for evolutionary psychology:

This idea very neatly divides those who truly believe in evolution as a scientific theory from those who simply want an alternate belief system to believing in God.

Or, as I said back last November:

Whenever someone denigrates evolutionary psychology, what they really mean is "I thought the whole point of evolution was just to deny God. I didn't think it was actually supposed to tell us anything."

That is all.

Interesting Discussion on Rape in Television

An interesting discussion over at The Hathor Legacy about the portrayal of female-on-male rapes on television shows.

I may make a posting on this issue soon.

That is all.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Thoughts on Hayden

I don't really care a lot about the fact that a military man has been nominated to head the CIA. Yes, I can see the concern that the administration is trying to put a bunch of lackeys in charge of everything, and I can see why, given the fact that the DoD intelligence agencies helped to make the false case against Iraq, people would be wary of putting a Defense guy in there.

But really, though, it's the civilian leadership that is untrustworthy, more than the soldiers. So I don't see a lot of problems with putting a general in charge of the CIA per se. Of course, this doesn't mean that General Hayden is a good choice, but I don't see his military career as being a detriment.

That is all.

Illegalfirmative Action

Peter Kirsanow discusses how illegal aliens can get preferential treatment over native-born citizens.

That is all.

On the Other Hand...

Hope?

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to Penraker.

That is all.

U.S. Government is on the Side of the Illegals

The U.S. Border Patrol is notifying the Mexican government where the Minuteman patrols are.

Bush is a TRAITOR.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to Steve Sailer and to the VDARE blog.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Nature as a Guide

Zuzu over at Feministe has posted about an article indicating that the ideal of the animal mother as loving and fiercely protective of all her children is largely, if not mostly, untrue. Presumably the point is to deny that "traditional family values" are important, by pointing out how few things in nature live up to them.

I eagerly await the day that they apply the same analysis to rape, say, for example, in orangutans?.

That is all.

Insanity

Iraq War talking points are to be inserted into USDA speeches?

One would think that the administration might realize that such beat-you-over-the-head propaganda techniques are likely to be counterproductive, but no.

Let's just hope that they don't start taking advie from Andrew Klavan and start subsidizing theatrical movies that push the administration's line on the war.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to Jim Henley and Yggy.

That is all.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Thought on Drug-War Propaganda

Looking at a bunch of drug pamphlets at school today when I was substitute teaching, I was struck by how much propaganda (in the negative sense of the word) was contained therein.

There was a booklet on steroids, and it tried extremely hard to make it look as if there were no benefits to taking steroids. It mentioned all of the things that steroids could not do (make people heal faster, etc.), and mentioned all of the nasty side effects (shrunken testicles in men, enlarged clitores in women), and then tried to give the impression that hard work and training could produce performance results that were just as good as those produced by steroids.

No where was it discussed how steroids improved performance, what particular reasons people take them for a sport (i.e. football players do it to bulk up, runners do it to increase the muscle-to-fat ratio, ballplayers do it largely to strenghthen their arms and to improve their swing), or any other information that would give some context as to why people took steroids. Moreover, the general implication of the booklet that steroids will not improve someone's game is a lie, judging by the open secret of how many baseball players are setting new records due to steroids, and by East German dominance of women's short-distance running at the Olympics.

Now of course, using steroids to enhance one's performance in sports in bad; it is cheating, it is dangerous, and it sets up a system where those who don't use feel pressured into it because otherwise they are at a disadvantage.

But to pretend that the performance-enhancing properties of steroids do not exist, or to ignore them in order to downplay them is ludicrous. In my view, such a propagandistic approach, where it is okay to lie if telling the truth might encourage steroid use, is both bad and stupid. This is because using a "noble lie" in order to prevent people from using steroids ultimately breeds distrust in your target audience. No one is going to take warnings about the side effects of steroids seriously when they are being told by someone who will lie whenever he is scared that the truth will encourage steroid use. If you don't level with people, you lose their respect.

That is all.

More on Hack Kelly

Looking at my previous post, another thing just occurred to me. It is claimed by Michael Smith in London's Sunday Times - quoted by Jack "the Hack" Kelly in his latest article - that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi "is attempting to set up his own mini-army and move away from individual suicide attacks to a more organized resistance movement."

If this is ture, might that sort of change in tactics indicate not that Zarqawi is taking wild risks driven by desperation, nor that he is an idiot, but that he has actually amassed a large enough force that an organized resistnace has become a plausible option? I don't think that such a report on an enemy's plans would fill me with confidence. But then again, I am not committed to spinning any news from Iraq as evidence of success for our side.

That is all.

Hack Kelly is Here Again

Hack Kelly is once again claiming that we have turned a corner, with Al Qaeda determining that it will shift tactics in Iraq.

The problem with this news is that it assumes that Al Qaeda is a significant presence in Iraq. Kelly admits as much:

It's important to remember that though al-Qaida (thanks to the suicide bombers) has been responsible for most of the bloodshed in Iraq, it accounts for only a small proportion of the total number of insurgents.

But this assumes not only that suicide bombings are a leading cause of Iraqi deaths (which appears to be mostly true, although a large number of deaths seem to be due to large scale (>10) execution-style killings), but that most of the suicide bombers are part of Al Qaeda (which I wil define as being under the command of Zarqawi, either directly or through one or more people of intermediate rank).

I don't see the evidence.

Moreover, the statistics indicate that the carnage has not subsided. The May death tolls so far would, if extrapolated to the whole month, mean 1000 Iraqi civilian deaths, 170-180 Iraqi police/military deaths, and 100 coalition hostile deaths. Granted, things will likely slow down some, but unless the insurgent attacks abruptly go away, we are probably still talking >750 Iraqi civilians, >150 Iraqi security forces, and > 65 coalition soldiers.

These claims that "the insurgency is desperate" are at least two and a half years old (see here*, and here**), and tend to be based on forcing the evidence to fit the theory rather than basing the theory on the evidence. And the fact is, the insurgents are killing almost twice as many coalition troops as they were in October 2003. At a certain point, these claims of the insurgents' last gasps cross the line into self-parody.

That is all.

* Money quote: Suicide bombings are more often an indication of rising desperation on the part of the attacker than of faltering grip on the part of the government. (Whereas now desperation would be indicated by moving away from suicide bombings).

** Money quote: It is possible the Iraqis were targeted chiefly because they are easier to get at than the Americans, which does not speak well of the capabilities of the terrorists, no matter how many journalists soil their undergarments whenever a bomb goes off. This just before the deadly, deadly month of November 2003.

Racism More Deeply Ingrained than Thought?

Toddlers found to display "racist" behavior.

Gosh, perhaps a sense of kinship to those who are more closely related to one, for good or for ill, has a biological basis after all, and was not just an invention of the evil white male to help him to oppress the rest of the world.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to Lawrence Auster.

That is all.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Rummy Gets Caught

Larry Johnson on Ray McGovern asking Donald Rumsfeld embarrassing questions, and catching him when he dissembles.

Update: I may have jumped the gun a little in looking at Ray McGovern as the voice of truth in this situation. Sorry. I should have checked out the story more carefully, but I was trying to make my posting quota for the day.

That is all.

Wendy McElroy on Rape Allegations

Wendy McElroy questions what is the actual percentage of rape allegations that are false.

This is of particular import considering that a lot of people are basing their conclusions of the Duke rape case (see the first two boxed quotes) on the belief that only two percent of allegations are false. Ms. McElroy has stated that she has been unable to find the primary source for this claim.

That is all.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

No Amnesty for Oil

Steve Sailer discusses claims that we need to give illegal aliens amnesty to prevent Marxists or other leftists from taking over. In particular, the idea that this might make it harder to access the oilfields of Latin America is brought up.

To which I can only say:

NO AMNESTY FOR OIL!

That is all.

Thinking About Scientology

The recent discussion on religion got me thinking about why Scientology is so ridiculed.

Although I don't really know a lot about their beliefs, from what I eard they do strike me as somewhat bizarre. Of course, many will argue that this is no more bizarre than ethical monotheism (i.e. the idea of an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good God - which, in the interests of full disclosure, I believe in). I would not agree with this idea, but I also have not formed a good counterargument to, so I will not argue the point one way or another.

But it does strike me that even if we consider ethical monotheism to be normative, there is no reason why Scientology would be more bizarre than Hinduism or Mormonism. Yet, neither of those belief systems seem to evoke the scorn that Scientology does. I suppose that one might argue that Scientology makes more fringe-ish claims regarding empirical and immediately and obviously practical issues than, say, Mormonism; and it does not have the long history of Hinduism, but then what about Christian Science? The belief that all medicine is unnecessary and that all disease is the result of bad thinking infringes much more on most people's lives than a denial of the benefits of chemical treatment for psychological problems.

So why does Scientology get so much more reviled?

My theory is that it has to do largely with the fact that it seems like so many Scientologists are vapid, mega-successful celebrities, who joined most likely because they were bored, because they have no direction in their lives, and because they have already made so much money that there is little point in making more except as as a way of getting status.

I suspect that if the most famous Scientologists were a few Senators and Representatives, and some well-known CEOs, rather than John Travolta, Isaac Hayes, and Tom Cruise, people would not ridicule it as much. (Not saying that it does not deserve ridicule, just that I think it does not necessarily deserve it moreso than some other belief systems).

Of course, the fact that L. Ron Hubbard wrote Battlefield Earth may have something to do with it as well.

That is all.

Bush Doesn't Really Know What He Is Doing

This is very - unsurprising.

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McCain: Screw Free Speech

Robert from the Argument Clinic reminds us why McCain must never be president.

That is all.

On Glenn Reynolds and More

Jim Henley's thoughts.

That is all.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Another TV Show I Like

I really like the sitcom Frasier.

That is all.

Rush Limbaugh

I suppose I should say something about this.

I suppose that I am glad that Mr. Limbaugh was not punished severely for being addicted to drugs. All of the other charges against him essentially reduced to that, if you think about it; any charges of money laundering or of obtaining fraudulent prescriptions are essentially charges that he circumvented rules that were mainly set up in order to prevent people from getting drugs. It wasn't as if the charges were that he was stealing someone else's money to buy the drugs, or anything.

I do find it laughable that Rush and his friends still maintains that there is nothing wrong with giving government copious surveillance powers, provided, of course, that they are not turned onto him or Tom DeLay. But not enough that I would like to see an injustice done Limbaugh in order to teach him a lesson.

That is all.

Thoughts on God

Udolpho has some interesting thoughts on the famous, if spurious, quote:

When a man stops believing in God, he doesn't believe in nothing, he believes in anything.

He essentially states why believing in God should not be considered more bizarre than any other belief. Perhaps. I'm not certain that there is any objective yardstick to measure bizarreness.

But I think he misses the point when he states:

Looking at that quote, is one really to believe that the source of superstition and absurd beliefs is…atheism? This seems rather unlikely; it is much more probable that being trained since birth to accept practically everything a man in a loose bathrobe tells you is what really softens the mind to future spiritual flakiness.

I don't think that anyone is saying that atheism is the source of superstition. Rather, what is being said is that supernaturalistic belief systems are largely hardwired into the human race as a whole and that attempting to get rid of the most prominent ones will simply cause the vast majority of people to fall into others. I would doubt that even most self-proclaimed atheists are rationalistic materialists of the Carl Sagan model. Getting everyone to become a rationalistic materialist is a pipe dream, and sometimes it's better the god you know than the one you don't.

In any case, I find the materialistic world view to be amusing, because the obvious endpoint of such a view is that we don't exist (which is what Dr. Blackmore is arguing, whether or not she admits it). By "we don't exist" I mean that persons do not exist, and that what I consider to be me and what you consider to be you are no more real than any character from a TV show. We are simply collections of behaviors and reactions; no more persons than a computer, we simply process and store data.

That we exist would appear to me to be somewhat axiomatic; it seems to me that the Blakemores of the world ultimately deny human consciousness (which she is doing, however many rhetorical devices she uses to pretend she isn't) because they cannot understand it materialistically, and they cannot abide the idea that there is anything beyond their comprehension.

Nonetheless, it seems to me that without some level of belief in something outside of the material world, and without some level of belief in an immaterial soul (not necessarily one that either pre-exists or outlasts the body), there is no real basis for believing that persons and consciousnesses exist.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Riddle Me This

Which is rarer:

Female-on-male adult rape (i.e. not pedophilia or statutory) or white-on-black gang rape?

Steve Sailer in his recent column discusses the search for the "Great White Defendant," and the way that Law & Order and its various incarnations seem to match the same ethos. It hsould also be pointed out that they have had at least one episode dealing with a female rapist (three female rapists, in fact -although one is dead). (This doesn't include at least two episodes with female pedophiles)

That is all.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Partition

Juan Cole weighs in.

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Talkin' Turkey

Problems in Kurdistan?

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

That is all.

What's Happening in Darfur is Terrible. That Doesn't Mean We can Fix It.

Raimondo on the issue that turns antiwar leftists into hawks.

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Ol' Sully Dances Around the Issue

And to my mind, the most fascinating development of the last two decades has been the conversion of freedom-loving California from a Republican stronghold to a Democratic bastion. Reagan's home became Clinton's base. Tells you something about where Reagan conservatism now lingers, I think.

-Andrew Sullivan, "Blue-State Britain; Red-State Iran?"

I suppose he is insinuating that the Democrats are more like Reagan conservatives than the Republicans, or somethign to that effect.

In any case, his interpretation of California's conversion is daft. Actually, the reason California has become Democratic is because there are so many Latinos immigrating there, and so many conservative whites moving out. California has changed, it's not simply the same state responding to different politicians.

That is all.
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