Monday, April 30, 2007

Scary News for Gun Owners

Chicago's corrupt Mayor Daley is attmpting to register guns nationwide. And to use registration to confiscate guns in Chicago.

This is why it is bad for the government to require that records be kept of gun purchases. It leads to registration, which leads to confiscation.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to Sondra, Protein Wisdom, and Ilkka.

That is all.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

More on Abortion

Apropos of my previous post, this article (thanx and a tip o' the hat to Penraker, although I won't bother to find the specific post right now) states that it is getting harder in Britain to find doctors willing to perform abortions.

How long will it be, I wonder, before someone starts passing laws requiring docotrs (or at least OB-GYNs) to perform abortions if they want to keep their medical license? And if they do, which side do you think that the "pro-choicers" at Pandagon, Feministe, and Alas will come down on?

And if they come down on the side of requiring doctors to provide abortion, will they refer to the position of allowing doctors to opt out as "anti-choice" and abortion mandates as "pro-choice?"

Time will tell.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pro-Abortion, not Pro-Choice

Isn't it interesting how the people who call themselves "pro-choice" in the end want to restrict everyone else's choices to get their way?

In this post at Pandagon, Amanda Marcotte celebrates a Mexico City abortion law that, among other things, requires all public and private hospitals to perform abortions.

So if you don't want to provide abortions, you can't open a hospital.

How many Catholic church-run hospitals are in Mexico City? If there are any, how long until this mandate causes some of them to shut down?

But of course, that's what "choice" is all about for the Pandagon/Feministe/Alas crowd - not simply about not having others interfere with your decision to have an abortion, forcing everyone else to provide you with one. (Not that all pro-choicers or all feminists feel that way, mind you).

That is all.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

All News is Good News from Iraq

Penraker introducing a long quote from Bill Roggio, says:

One major takeaway is that we are back to Al Qaeda bombings being the principal threat - not the sectarian violence. That still occurs, but is much diminished. This is, of course a great stride forward.

Who wants to bet that if the violence continues or gets worse, next he will be telling us that some other entity is responsible for it, and that that is the really good news? He might even suggest that it is sectarian violence, but at least we stopped Al Qaeda!

That is all.

An Unorthodox Thought on Gonzalez v. Carhart

The best (and likely only legitimate) reason for a Supreme Court justice who wanted to strike down the federal partial-birth/intact dilation and extraction abortion ban in Gonzalez v. Carhart to do so would have been to have pointed out, as Dan Tarrant did, that it is a federal law and the federal government is not authorized to regulate abortion (even if abortion is murder, murder is still an issue for the states).

Of course, I don't think anyone did that because none of the people who voted to strike it down believe that the states have any business regulating abortion, and indeed probably do not believei n the separation of powers doctrine anyway. To strike down the ruling on that basis would open a can of worms in regards to federal law.

One might, of course, wonder why none of the conservative justices voted against it on that basis. The answer, of course, is that they have also been raised on the ethic of federal omnipotence.

Do I think it should have been struck down on that basis? Or does the 14th amendment equal protection clause mean that it would be unconscionable discrimination not to protect the unborn?

I probably would strike it down on that - and only that basis - and send the matter to the states, but I would have to think more about it to be certain.

That is all.

More Hypocrisy

I'd be more inclined to take these worries about atheists being persecuted seriously if the commenters weren't essentially agitating that religious people ought to be persecuted.

That is all.

Feminists Can Be Such Hypocrites

Jill over at Feministe is whining about how, in the recent decision on partial-birth abortion/intact dilation and extraction, the Supreme Court Judges let their personal religious beliefs, rather than the Constitution and judicial precedent, decide the case.

This would impress me if I thought that the folks at Feministe gave a flying fig about the constitution or precedent.

But let's be honest, what is really upsetting poor Jill is that case was decided against the way she wanted it decided. If she really cared about judges letting their personal beliefs get in the way, shouldn't she consider for a moment the fact tha Roe v. Wade was decided largely not on the merits of the law but based on the fact that the judges wanted to make abortion legal? If she cared about precedent, shouldn't she also be decrying Brown v. Board of Education, which upset the precedent set in Plessy v. Ferguson?

Shouldn't she write about how upset she is that campaign finance reform was considered constitutional by the Supreme Court or that it validated lots of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's projects which are nowhere in the Constitution authorized?

If she thinks the decision is a bad one, fine. If she believes that this procedure should not be prohibited, fine. If she thinks that the judges would have been right to have struck down the law, fine.

But please don't pretend that you have a problem with judges making decisions based on their personal beliefs when that is how abortion got legalized (and how half of the left-winger's agenda got passed since the 1930s*) in the first place.

That is all.

*Either from the Court imposing its own views (e.g. Roe v. Wade), or from the Court validating unconstitutionl policies (e.g. Roosevelt).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Implications are Everything

Does anyone else notice that in this post about a woman being arrested for the mere suspicion of an attempted abortion, no one seems to consider the possibility that the reason that the polcie went so far overboard may be because this incident (presumably) didn't happen in the U.S. with people who have U.S. ideas of justice and probable cause?

The woman is reported to be Indian, and the newspaper report is from a Bahrainian newspaper. Whether this happened in India or to an Indian alein in Bahrain, or happened elsewhere is not clear. But there is precious little evidence here to support the idea that something like this will happen here.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Udolpho has the Best Footnotes

On Obama:
Does Obama have all his facts there? WHO THE HELL CARES, HE HEALS MY SOUL WITH WORDS OF HOPE!

No, it was the audacity of his hope that healed me.

That is all.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Auster and Wardlow on Race

Mean Mr. Mustard and one of Lawrence Auster's commentors make an excellent point.

When we get to the point where "racism," a term that used to refer to hatred or violent hatred of other races, is used to refer to anyone who doesn't want the white race (by which I mean people of European ancestry - the actual color of one's skin is not the issue here) to disappear, then eventually you end up making white extremism more popular, because when you force people to choose between extremist hatred of others and hating their own, they will naturally hate others first.

Or, as one of Mustard's commenters said:

If normal, healthy impulses are held to be synonymous with extremism, then people will come to think of extremism as normal and healthy.

This is why I was so "snarky" in this post. Of course, people like Betacandy can qualify the term "racism" all they want, but unless they declare racism (as long as it is not hatred) to be morally neutral, they are still saying that morally, white people should be indifferent to the survival of their race. I dislike the idea that a concern for European-American survival is termed the same way that a desire to, e.g., deny freedom to African-Americans is.

"Racism" is a loaded term, so using it to refer to any preference towards one's own, or simply to the act of wanting one's own to survive, ultimately denigrates the morality of such an impulse, regardless of how unjudgmental or morally neutral to try to make the term seem. (So, by the way, does referring to such an impulse as "narcissism").

(Also by the way note that this has nothing to do with one race being better than the other - one can want one's own to survive merely because they are his own - he neither need feel animosity toward others nor superiority toward them.

That is all.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another Thought on Iraq

Another problem with Charles Krauthamer's appraisal of the Iraq situation (see my first post here), and one that seems to occur regularly with Iraq War pundits, is the assumption that the Iraqi insurgency is equivalent to, or largely overlaps with, Al Qaeda.

Why? Because, as Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, the Australian counterinsurgency adviser to Gen. David Petraeus, has written, 14 of the 18 tribal leaders in Anbar have turned against al Qaeda. As a result, thousands of Sunni recruits are turning up at police stations where none could be seen before. For the first time, former insurgent strongholds such as Ramadi have a Sunni police force fighting essentially on our side.

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, a major critic of the Bush war policy, now reports that in Anbar, al Qaeda is facing “a real and growing groundswell of Sunni tribal opposition.” And that “this is a crucial struggle and it is going our way—for now.”

Amongst pro-war pundits, there often seem to be statements that the Iraqis are rejecting Al Qaeda or something to that effect, with the implication that doing so puts them either on our side or at least away from being violently opposed to us.

This doesn't seem to make sense to me, as Al Qaeda, even if it is the greatest threat to the U.S. of any of the terrorist organizations, is not, as far as I can tell, the major contributor towards violence in Iraq. While people turning away from Al Qaeda is a good thing, I don't think that it should be seen as a sign of any major success in the mission of Iraqi pacification.

As for the increased Sunni police recruitment, this could be a mixed blessing, depending on whether the they wish to fight on our side as Krauthammer suggests, or just to have a police force to try and keep up with the Shiites.

That is all.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Krauthammer and Reality

Charles Krauthammer is insisting that we are (for a change) making progress and that this is the worst time for people to pull us out of Iraq, when we are actually finally winning.

As nice a claim as this is, one has to remember that it has been repeated throughout the war, with it never actually coming true. If, a year from now, we are worse off than we are now, doubtless some hawk (maybe even Krauthammer himself) will be pushing the line that "this time we really mean it" and insist that we just need to hold on a little longer.

But of course, are his claims accurate?

Well, coalition hostile death rates in Iraq have been fairly high since about October of 2006, with the least bloody month being November (67 hostile deaths). Currently, we are on our way toward a >100 death toll for this month.

Unfortunately, this is not as good a metric for success or failure right now, due to the surge, as it was for much of the war. It is highly likely that the increased death toll is at least partly from our more aggressive tactics in confronting the insurgents, which would mean that it does not necessarily indicate a strengthening of the insurgency. Of course, unless the death toll goes down within, say, three or four months, it will begin to indicate something less than success, as the agressive confrontation with the enemy will be shown not to have significantly weakened him.

Media-reported civilian deaths have also remained high since July of 2006, although this may be a function of better reporting rather than increased violence.

Nonetheless, Krauthammer's optimism seems long on secondhand claims and short on specifics. He largely deals with contradictory evidence by mentioning it but dismissing it (Thursday’s bridge and Green Zone attacks show the insurgents’ ability to bomb sensitive sites. On the other hand, pacification is proceeding. , by acknowledging the possibility of failure but then saying, essentially, "but let's not talk about that" ([Terry McCarthy] concluded that “nobody knows if this small safe zone will expand or get swallowed up again by violence. For the time being though, people here are happy to enjoy a life that looks almost normal.”), or by simply ignoring it, as Daniel Larison points out.

Obviously, the recent explosion in the parliament building puts our ability to provide security in very serious question.

Is it possible for us to pacify Iraq? Certainly. But it would take many more troops, a much more dismissive attitude toward Iraqis (if they don't do exactly as we want, we can kill them or imprison them with impunity, including those in charge of the government), and a much larger and harder commitment in general, not just a 10% or 20% increase in troops.

Of course, that brings up the question, would what it would take to win be worth it?

That is all.

Why Ann Coulter is Despicable

Because she called John Edwards (by implication) a "faggot," when "ambulance chaser" would have been so much more accurate and appropriate.

That is all.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thoughts on Duke

(1) I believe that the boys who were accused of raping the alleged victim were innocent.

(2) I have no idea whether the alleged victim was attacked by someone else, weasn't attacked but is mentally unstable and thinks she was, or was lying out of malice.

(3) I am >90% certain that MikeNifong acted out of malice and/or self-aggrandizement.

(4) It would not surprise me if I were to find out later that the alleged victim had second thoughts about going ahead with the accusations at some point and was threatened by Nifong (e.g. he'd prosecute her for making a false charge or perhaps find some peccadillo out of her past to prosecute her on) if she didn't keep to her story.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Imus Encourages Black Dysfunction

I'm not particularly inclined toward Imus in the recent controversy.

While I think that Jackson and Sharpton should shut the Hell up for once and not try to get in on a piece of the action this time, what Imus said was pretty bad.

No, not the "nappy-headed" part. Black people have curlier, kinkier hair than whites or Asians. Get over it.

The "ho" part.

In essence, he called the basketball players whores, or prostitutes.

Granted, a lot of black people refer to women this way, and it permeates a lot of rap and hip-hop music.

On the other hand, popular black culture in the U.S. has become rather a cesspool.

Think I sound racist? Go to Hell. When a large segment of black culture is dedicated to the notion that "pimpin'" should be an aspiration, it is a cesspool.

The idea that women are collectively "hos" or that they should be thought of as such is an idea that should be discouraged. If the black community in the U.S. won't do it itself, then it's time for whites to stand up and yell them that it is not acceptable. And if some people call us racist, we should tell tehm to go to Hell.

The last thing that blacks need from whites is for the whites to encourage and emulate black dysfunctionality.

Because whites usually have the resources to be able to step away from the dysfunction before it engulfs is. Blacks usually don't. So they suffer the consequences of a breakdown in civility and civilization far more than we do.

And that is one area where "white privilege" really is an issue.

That is all.

Monday, April 09, 2007

"If Our Country is like to Die, Let it Die"

Lawrence Auster on a despicable aspect of modern liberalism.

That is all.

BMI and Socialized Healthcare

Liberals are constantly stating that the U.S.'s high rates of health problems, higher infant mortality rates, and high rates of health spending are entirely due to thge fact that we do not have a completely socialized health care system.

I wonder, though, how much of it is due to things like the fact that we have the highest body-mass index in the world (at least in the developed world).

That is all.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

For Those Who Are Interested

What is the significance of the resurrection, you ask?

Well, as an evangelical Christian, here is my answer:

Well, the short form of the gospel is this:

No one is perfect. No one is holy. Our falling short of this is called "sin."

God demands holiness. Therefore, our sin separates us from Him. In the current world, sin permeates the world, so there is sickness and death and rebellion.

God, in His physical presence aspect (God the Son) dealt with sin by becoming a man - Jesus of Nazareth (the Messiah, or Christ). As a man, he lived a perfect life. He eventually was crucified, and in dying on the cross, he paid the penalty for mankind's [by which I mean all humans'] sins. Being infinite God, he was able to pay the sin penalty in a finite amount of time (as opposed to being separated from God for all eternity, which is the penalty for any other human), and being human he was able to pay the penalty for humans at all.

As sin is the root cause of death, and as Jesus took all sin upon Himself, he would have to remain dead as long as any of that sin remained unpaid for. Therefore, raising Himself from the dead proved that he had taken care of sin once and for all.

(Of course, there is a catch. For his payment to be effective for a person, it has to be accepted. Which is why one must believe in Jesus to be saved).

That is all for this post.


Happy Easter to all.

That is all.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Some Thoughts on those Sailors

While I am not in favor of going to war with Iran, and am not as anti-Iranian as most, I nevertheless am more inclined to trust the UK's account of things than the Iranians', and also think that some commentators (including Sailer and Raimondo) are being a little too trusting of Iran's statements on the issue.

That is all.

Good, I Was Wrong

pparently the captured and released British sailors are recanting their claims that they had strayed into Iranian waters. So this is no longer accurate. Good.

That is all.

Illegal Aliens are "Cheap" Labor

No, they are not.

That is all.

More on McCain

Wendy McElroy has a good post about McCain's mendacity.

That is all.

The British Captured/Abducted/Kidnaped/Etc. Sailors

Update: This post is no longer correct. The sailors have recanted.

(edited for conciseness)

I am not as upset as some are by the fact that these people spoke against their own country while captured. I am, however, upset that now that they have been released, they are not going on television and saying "Iran? Screw You! Remember those things I said? Lies! You're a bunch of S.O.B.s!" recanting.

Or something to that effect.

That is all.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Macro and Micro-Evo Psych

One of the complaints that I have heard about evolutionary psychology is that it is hogwash because you can come up with an explanation for almost any behavior; that is, given practically indistinguishable environments, you can explain why someone always does (a) or never does (a). It doesn't lend itself to falsifiable predictions.

The problem here is that this is confusing micro-evo psych and macro-psych. Miro-evo psych is the attempt to find "natural selection" explanations for specific behaviors or to come up with general rules for what behaviors different circumstances will produce.

Macro-evo psych, on the other hand, is the simple statement of these four principles:

(1) Much of human behavior is geared toward the natural drive to reproduce one's genes.

(2) Much of human behavior is influenced by one's genes, and therefore genes that influence behavior that leads toward reproductive success tend to predominate. It is through this mechanism that survival/reproductive strategies become partially hardwired into us.

(3) Successful survival/reproductive strategies are partly consciously chosen and reasoned out. They are partly influenced by society. But they are partly driven by instinct that is largely genetic.

(4) The genetic/heritable components of behavior will persist despite changes in culture and environment for as long as the genes do.

Although it is not a principle of evo-psych per se, the major policy implication of evo-psych is that any social policy aimed at changing behavior needs t take into account how much of that behavior is hardwired and then figure out the best way to deal with the fact of this hardwiring. Moreover, any social policy at all must take this hardwiring into account when one is trying to work out the policy's implications.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Speaking the Unspeakable

Heather MacDonald provides some context for all of the hysteria over suposedly racist policing.

Until we are willing to address directly the fact that African-Americans commit far more criminal acts per capita than European- or Asian-Americans (Latinos almost certainly commit more crime per capita than the European- or Asian-Americans too, although the government dopesn't keep direct statistics of it) we will never really deal with the problem.

The current way of dealing with the issue is to try to avoid saying anything directly about black crime rates, while acting surprised at how many black men are in jail or prison. In other words, tacitly approving of the liberal explanation for the discrepancy (institutional racism) while never trying to correct the supposed flaws causing it.

I think honesty would be a better policy. We can argue about why there are so many more criminals per capita in the black community, but let's at least discuss the fact that there are.

That is all.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A Good Point

Lawrence Auster posted an old Sam Francis quote recently:

If the only problem with illegal immigration is that it’s illegal, if you’re not willing to say mass immigration by itself is a problem, then why should we have any laws against it at all?

This is a more succinct way of saying what I said here.

That is all.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

John McCain, Liar

All of those radio talk show hosts (I can't find links right now, but I remember hearing one of them talk about it) and bloggers link link linkmaking fun of Michael Ware and Wolf Blitzer for their incredulity at John McCain's statements that Baghdad was getting so much safer (see transcript), are, once again, all wet.

Of course Baghdad is realtively safe to walk through if you have the entourage that McCain has.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to Mona from Unqualified Offerings.

That is all.

More White Privilege and Institutional Racism

Can you believe how badly our country oppresses blacks?

That is all.