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Economics, History, Politics, Pop Culture, and World War IV.
My blog will continue at: http://isaacschrodinger.typepad.com/
Update your bookmarks, yes both of you.
Andre Champagne Cellars is introducing a new improved screwcap bottle for champagne that allows drinkers to re-cork the bottle, which will allow them to have just one glass and keep the rest fresh.
Another rationale for laws restricting land use is that "open space" is a good thing, that it prevents "overcrowding" for example. But preventing people from building homes in one place only makes the crowding greater in other places. This is just another fig leaf for the self-interest of those who want other people to be forced to live somewhere else.I am surprised by many liberals who support "open space" laws since these laws make life expensive for everyone. Obviously, the poor are the hardest hit by this compassionate policy. The liberals should rethink their support because of their concern for the poor. I almost said 'because it's bad economics' but then most liberals still think that there is nothing wrong with socialism. If the wretched Soviet Union didn't open their eyes, then my words will have little effect.
Muslim women are not allowed to have any libido. It is not pious for women to have sexual feelings. In fact the genital mutilation is designed to take away any sexual pleasure from them. Women are not supposed to enjoy sex. If they have any libido, there is a risk that they may fornicate and commit sin. Women must only provide satisfaction to their husbands and deny all their own sexual needs. According to a tradition: Allah's Apostle said, "If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning." Bukhari 4.54.450 It is hilarious to think that the angels have nothing better to do than sit around and curse the poor woman all the night for depriving them from watching the live porno show.I intially laughed at that but then the misery and suffering of Muslim women is no laughing matter.
In one sense this is all truly very funny. But in another, much larger sense, it is a tragedy.Yes, it is and thank you Ali for being so bold in telling the truth.
Backed by the self interest of their landed and commercial elites, and inspired by revolutionary ideas, the colonists had a dream worth pursuing. They were prepared to die for this dream - and to kill. They did: and they won. On September 11, 2001, nineteen Arab hijackers too demonstrated their willingness to die - and to kill - for their dream. They died so that their people might live, free and in dignity.Ah, Shahid rhetorically reduces the revolutionary colonists to suicidal murderers with a dream. Even then, the twisted analogy isn't complete, so he concocts a dream for the 911 terrorists. The terrorists died so that their people...Wait a minute, what is this 'their people'? You're talking about terrorists not Muslims since these 911 dreamers didn't represent the mainstream Muslims. Right? But then the logic doesn't work. Why should the Islamist terrorists live, free and in dignity? They should be six feet under, decomposing and in pigskin. So, you must be referring to Muslims as 'their people'. But then how does incinerating thousands help Muslims live, free and in dignity?
The attacks of 9-11 were in many ways a work of daring and imagination too; if one can think objectively of such horrors. They were a cataclysmic summation of the history of Western depredations in the Middle East: the history of a unity dismembered, of societies manipulated by surrogates, of development derailed and disrupted, of a people dispossessed.Yes, the words 'daring' and 'imagination' came to my mind as I saw the Twin Towers fall. 911 was a summation of the history of Western depredations in the Middle East. Of course, if only the West had not conquered the Middle East and Afghanistan and pillaged it,...oh wait, never mind. Saudi Arabia, to this day, employs thousands of Westerners to maintain it's oil facilities. There are simply not enough educated Muslims to maintain said facilities. If it were not for these Westerners, most Saudis would be riding camels instead of BMWs. When exactly were the Muslims united? A Muslim might be a Sunni, Shia, Ismaili, Salafi, Ahmadi, Sufi, just to name a few. I have yet to mention the tribal aspect of the Arab world. Oops, some unity. Grow up, and stop blaming surrogates and other phantom menaces. The Arab and the Muslim world is in a dump because of their lack of freedom, gender aparthied, religious intolerance, rabid antisemitism, ironclad belief in conspiracy theories, education from demented madrassas, and xenophobia of the West. By the way, marrying in the family doesn't help either.
Above all, the question that the hijackers of 9-11 pose to their Islamic compatriots is this: "What have you risked to oppose your own tyrants, your own ruling cliques, tribes and sectaries, who are so easily co-opted by foreign powers, who have worked so treacherously to enslave their own peoples, who sell off their national treasures, and who have secretly worked with Israel to complete the dismantling of Palestinian society?"I didn't know that the 911 terrorists were sooo deep, man. I'm slightly confused though. Were most of the 911 terrorists opposing their tyrant the US or their original tyrant the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? On second thought, the answer doesn't matter. The foreign powers helped Israel dismantle Palestinian society. Hmm, didn't know a Palestinian society existed. If it did, Arafat was the pillager-in-chief.
"We engage in this violence against the United States," they say, "because you force us to, because you have failed to act against the American surrogates in your own countries. Because you have failed to act politically and with courage, we send you this message of horror, of shame. We advertise your shame before the world. We announce the failure of a billion and a half people - keepers of the Quran and heirs to a moral civilization - to overthrow the craven ruling classes who commit treachery against their own societies, their own history, every day that they cling to power."There you go again, making the 911 terrorists representatives of all Muslims -- keepers of the Quran and heirs to a moral civilization. Bwhahaha. Ahem, moral civilization: where an old male can marry four pre-teenagers, fornicators and adulterers are stoned to death, drinking booze gets you decapitated, questioning Muhammad's behaviour gets one hanged, homosexuals are thrown off cliffs head first, females are treated like cattle, slavery is permitted, non-Muslims are treated as garbage. Moral = an Islamist's wet dream.
One thing is certain now: the Islamic world will change. Will it be the change the Americans and Israelis want? Will the Islamic world be smashed into a collection of micro-states - ethnic, sectarian and tribal entities - allied to and dependent on the US and Israel for their survival? Or will the Muslims oppose this new 'civilizing mission' and regain the freedom to shape their destiny in ways that allow the integral Quranic society, just, inclusive, creative, seeking knowledge, taking the middle road, to once again enrich our common human sojourn on earth?There are already over 45 Muslim-majority states. How can the US, with Israel of course, smash it into smaller pieces? Put it another way, the Muslim world isn't united to begin with. One cannot 'regain' something, one never had. Once again, the sugarcoated rhetoric about the Quran. Enrich = one's face being stomped by a Quran. I wonder why so many Muslims are leaving such an enriching experience behind to migrate towards the West? Shahid's entire article is repugnant. You should read some of the other comments as well.
It [the UN] is the only body that has the moral authority.Another ostrich takes it's head out of the sand to speak. Hmm, I wonder how much the UN is going to skim off the Asian quake and tsunami victims?
It is not enough to identify a malfunctioning market, or a market failure, and then call for action (usually by the State) to correct it. One also needs to loook at whether that action will make the problem of failure worse.Yes, one needs to very carefully look (or loook) at the costs alongside the benefits to gauge the policy's effectiveness. Many people are simply mesmerized by the benefits and, when the policy is implemented, are shocked by the incredible costs.
One of the looniest, most overboard mainstream media outbursts of the year, reminiscent of the kind of borderline psychotic ranting you find in the comments of Democratic Underground or Daily Kos.Indeed. Pej links to the article as well and Lord have mercy, the brightest Volokh annihilates Coleman's piece. A sample:
Wow, they won an online poll! And they wanted to win it, and tried to get its readers to vote for them. Therefore, they're lying when they say that they didn't expect being named Blog of the Year by Time Magazine. The penetrating logic astounds me.Coleman, an ankle-biting journalist. 2005 is gonna be a lot of fun. Update: Evan Coyne Maloney weighs in on Coleman's meltdown.
...I always thought the purpose of journalism was to describe noteworthy events, to tell what happened. No, in Coleman's world, the purpose of the media is to "toot their horns in the service of [...] the downtrodden." Of course, they get to decide who's downtrodden, they get to decide how the downtrodden should be served--it always seems to be through the election of liberals or the support of big government programs--and they get to decide what facts to leave out and what details to spin in order to further their goals.Yes, they do; the Blogosphere is breaking up their monopoly on facts and Coleman is simply lashing out because as time passes, his profession has less power and influence. This hit piece on Power Line is an indication of Coleman's, um, impotence.
...the methodology of violence is similar: The use of murder, suppression of dissent, and cult of the personality all used for centralizing power in a mythical strongman. And if we can believe his boasts about what he wants to do to the US and Israel, then we can see an embrace of genocide as well, his problem being only means not intent.Go read the entire answer.
Abdullah asked me where I spent the Eid. "I stayed here." "You stayed here? For the entire Eid?" he asked incredulously. "What'd you do?" "I brought back some books from vacation. They ate up a lot of the time," I said. "Books?" Abdullah said, a look of benign horror spreading across his face. I might as well have said I spent the week eating spiders. "When Ramadan is over, everyone runs from Riyadh," Abdullah said. "Everyone runs to Bahrain. You should run with them."Bahrain is very close to where my family lives in Saudi Arabia. We've been to Bahrain multiple times for boring vacations. The first time for me was in 1998. And yes, I brought two books to read because I'm the geek/nerd in my family. I remember one of them was a Brave New World. I finished it in two days. Mercifully, I was only in Bahrain for a few more days after that since I was leaving for America (FUCK YEAH) to continue my education. The last time we went to Bahrain, the price of the Bahraini visa was 50 Saudi Riyals or 5 Bahraini Dinars. The exchange rate between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain is fixed at 10:1 and everyone accepts Saudi Riyals in Bahrain. For some obscure reason, the Bahraini Dinar has 1000 cents instead of the usual 100. Bahrain should just adopt the Saudi currency rather than waste money printing it's own useless one. Anyway, the Bahraini visa is valid for a week and one can easily get further visas while in Bahrain. It's a nice way for the Bahraini government to milk the Saudis at the border. The rich Saudis race in their Mercs or BMWs during the weekends to get hammered in Bahrain. Of course, some go to Bahrain for other, ahem, activities as well (nudge nudge, wink wink). But don't you dare question their piety. It took us about 3 hours to complete the trip from our place, through useless customs, to the place in Bahrain. We rented an apartment for a few weeks and did practically nothing. Most goods in Bahrain are quite expensive. We were shocked by the cost of a regular haircut in Bahrain since it was actually lower than Saudi Arabia's. Your average haircut cost in Saudi Arabia is 10 riyals whereas the cost in Bahrain is 5 riyals (approx. US$1.50). My family didn't do much in Bahrain, other than watch non-stop TV. We receive 3 or 4 TV channels in Saudi Arabia but in Bahrain we get over 10. Yippee. There isn't much to do in Bahrain unless you're a repressed horny Saudi. Bahrain's population is less than half of Toronto's. And Bahrain is a country!
Last year, I was strolling down the boulevard de Maisonneuve in Montreal and saw across the street a Muslim woman, covered from head to toe in black, struggling home with her groceries past a "condom boutique" whose front window was advertising massive discounts on a, er, item of useful gay-sex paraphernalia. I wish I'd had a digital camera: there, in a single image, were the internal contradictions of the multicultural society.Recognizing polygamy will be one of the first steps towards welcoming Sharia.
...France is striving to impose its strain of anti-Americanism on other European states that have traditionally preferred the trans-Atlantic partnership to French or Franco-German domination of their Continent's affairs. The principal vehicle for enforcing the latter over unwilling states — notably, Great Britain and nations Don Rumsfeld has described as "New Europe" — is the new European Constitution. If this draft constitution is ratified by voters in Britain, France and a half-dozen other countries, the European Union will have authority to "define and implement a common foreign and security policy, including the progressive framing of a common defense policy." The U.S. can forget about "special relationships" and strong bilateral ties, let alone "coalitions of the willing," with states bound by such a compact.Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. talks about the history of French perfidy and how that is manifesting itself today with France being very cozy with China. I once wrote a small research paper on China, and was amazed by how China transformed itself from a communist state to a fascist one over the past 25 years. This transformation brought economic relief to only a few Chinese since most of the inland Chinese are still extremely poor. I don't consider China an economic threat but politically the situation is very bleak since you only need a few power hungry madmen to start a war. The mix of western technology and zealous totalitarianism is very dangerous. As usual, the French don't give a damn.
If a drug is not safe, neither is the illness for which the drug is prescribed. Nor are alternative drugs likely to be perfectly safe, since nothing else is. Life involves weighing alternative risks, whether in football, pharmaceutical drugs, or a thousand other things.Precisely, this concept of trade-offs is ignored or not understood by lot of people who continuously demand perfection. They don't realize that to achieve their ever increasing demands the costs become too high for many people including the businesses who often times have these demands regulated upon them.
"The king was a moderate Muslim much like the vast majority of those who practice Islam, the world's fastest-growing religion but also one exploited by the terrorists who have attacked America."Hmm, King Hussein of Jordan was a moderate. I didn't know that moderate Muslims supported Saddam Hussein when he assaulted Kuwait in 1990. When you have a moderate like King Hussein and a fascist like Saddam Hussein in agreement on conquering a tiny helpless country, you need to re-evaluate your definitions of moderate and fascist. Or take your head out of the sand.
"But in many respects the king's and the terrorists' cause were one: Righting an unjust world in which millions of people who practice Islam suffer, often at the hands of governments empowered by America and its policies."Let's get this straight: the only cause of the king was to stay in power and the terrorists' cause is to usurp power. For as long as I have been alive, America has been helping Muslims. In the 90s, America helped Muslims in Kuwait by sending 500,000 troops, and later helped them in Bosnia, and Kosovo. In this century, America has helped Afghanis start a democracy where none existed before. Americans and the allies have provided food and medical care for millions of needy children there. Over a million refugees have come back to Afghanistan. Since last year, Americans have been spending billions of dollars to help the Iraqis build their country. But let's assume that American policies are hurting Muslims. How exactly does flying jets into buildings, killing tourists at a resort, gleefully raping and murdering school children, and blowing up innocent Iraqis help right that?
"Reporters found little to suggest that Islam encourages violence, despite the impression Westerners might have because of exposure mostly to extremists. In fact, its venerable history suggests that Islam, like most religions, promotes peace and charity."Right from the beginnings of Islam, Muhammed ordered the peaceful killing of the entire Jewish tribe in Mecca. Muslims then, peacefully, subjugated peoples in Asia, Africa, and Europe. A few years ago, the Taliban peacefully shot women in stadiums. Today, people are peacefully beheaded for alcohol consumption in Saudi Arabia, girls are peacefully stoned to death in Iran, and across much of the Muslim world women are peacefully killed by their families for bringing dishonor to them. So, remember that Islam promotes peace.
"Using America's influence with the Israelis to play a constructive role to help settle the Palestinian conflict would be the single most effective step the U.S. could take to win the war on terrorism and to deter another attack in the U.S. It would defuse the most powerful propaganda weapon in the radicals' arsenal."Why should the U.S. change it's strong support of Israelis to support the very people who danced and celebrated while thousands of Americans died on September 11, 2001? Obviously, that's what you meant by a constructive role since the U.S. is not playing such a role right now. The U.S. is the only country that stands between Israel and another holocaust. The U.S. is a moral nation and as such she will never support the agents of darkness.
"In some countries, such as Egypt, reporters found an Islamic cultural resurgence rising from a population sick of ineffective government, corruption and recurring humiliation of Arabs by the West. In other nations, such as Iran, reporters found Islam imposed top-down by a religious government that rules its citizens with an iron fist. In both cases, though, American policy does little to ease the problems of the average Muslim. In Egypt, U.S. policy helps perpetuate a government that is a democracy in name only. In Iran, U.S. opposition to the nation's nuclear ambitions undermines the support of a growing moderate Islamic movement, a youthful faction that rejects the more conservative practices of the nation's ruling imams."Since when did it become the responsibility of the U.S. to ease the problems of the average Muslim in Egypt and Iran? When the U.S. does help Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. is a NAZI-like resource-hungry state. Therefore, the terrorists in these countries are brave insurgents. When the U.S. doesn't help Muslims in Egypt and Iran, their hatred is warranted. The U.S. can't win, it's always America's fault. At least be consistent; the U.S. promoting democracy in Iraq and not promoting democracy in Egypt can't get the same asinine reaction from you and the Muslims. Or can it?
"Indeed, for every militant killed or captured by the U.S. or another government, Pakistan churns out dozens of potential recruits to take his or her place. A possible effective countermeasure is American aid to promote education reform in Pakistan, a nation whose importance in the fight against Islamic extremism is hard to overstate. But precious little Pakistani or American money finds its way into education reform."Right, American aid for reform. Just like the $2 billion in aid Egypt gets every year or the billions of aid money Palestinians have received from the U.S. They're both great models of miserable failure. Most of the money that Pakistan is going to get will be, ahem, lost in the bureaucracy. Some of it that does get to the schools will be given to the madrassas. The only effective way to reform these institutions is to give these countries the shock and awe treatment. That way the U.S. can monitor the flow of money and quickly capture frauds and replace them. Hey, isn't that happening in Iraq? Can you not see that the current U.S. foreign policy is the most effective and the least bloody? After more than two decades of giving peace a chance, the ruins of such thinking were brought to NYC on 911. Enough, time to give war a chance.
"The U.S. should adopt policies that make Muslims as comfortable here as Christians."What might be those policies? Maybe, covering up women so that they look like dementors, banning women from getting driver's licenses, banning barbies for their unIslamic look, non-muslims paying the dhimmi tax for protection, banks banning interest on money, homosexuals and fornicators being stoned to death, banning books written by Jews, drinking alcohol punishable by death, hanging those who criticise such policies, you know all that good stuff. When it comes to Islam, the media should stop their auto-fellatio and report the facts.
"Some 150,000 men have registered to vote in elections scheduled to begin in the capital Riyadh on Feb. 10. Officials had estimated that at least 400,000 men would sign up before registration closed Thursday. Woman were barred from voting."It's considered an improvement when only women are barred from voting. This is just a show from the desert version of Mordor. All government functions are controlled by the members of the ruling family. The kingdom is never going to relinquish it's power willingly. After the elections, the executions will continue as scheduled, women will still be treated as cattle by the mutaween (religious police), and the Shia will be repressed as before. What a joke.
"Parents don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to buy the “right” toy to jump-start an infant’s “cognitive skills” or play Mozart to a dribbling three-year-old — and contrary to what many women have been told these last few years, they also don’t have to be a stellar model of career success for their children to admire."That quote is from Mary Eberstadt from the Q&A at NRO. On the few occasions when the conversation between friends and acquaintances has turned to parenting, my opinion has raised amused, sometimes shocked, eyebrows. I am in favor of a stay-at-home parent and homeschooling. That, in their opinion, translates to me condemning my future kids to being socially retarded and wasting my future wife's life. Of course, my comment referred to a stay-at-home parent, not necessarily the mom, but I find it odd, to say the least, that a woman's life is wasted if she chooses to be a stay-at-home mom. Sadly, this attitude is quite common. Kids are simply looked at as a nuisance. Practically everyone I know in my age group has said that they'll have at most two kids. No wonder the population of the West is declining.
"This, us, them, God bless. Amen."Dig in.
"Furious students and faculty members at the Borough of Manhattan Community College are demanding that the school abandon plans for a certificate program on security management. They view it as an endorsement of the Bush administration’s Department of Homeland Security."This college is in Manhattan. Do these furious faculty members have an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Unadulterated Stupidity? And since when did security become a "right-wing" issue? As time passes, the less respect I have for academia and "intellectuals". I feel sorry for the students who are being fed this dangerous nonsense. Via LFG.
"One of the most blatant lies of the 2004 campaign was when AP reporter Scott Lindlaw, a long-time Democratic partisan, falsely reported that a crowd of Republicans in Wisconsin booed when President Bush announced that Bill Clinton had just been hospitalized with a heart problem."I heard the audio and there was applause when Bush wished Clinton a speedy recovery. Now, the AP is lying about Rumsfeld's response to questions.
"Apart from the model of our forefathers who crushed and then lifted up the Germans and Japanese, we could find no better guide in this war than William Tecumseh Sherman and Abraham Lincoln — in that order. The former would remind us that our enemies traffic in pride and thus first must be disabused of it through defeat and humiliation. The latter (who turned Sherman and Grant lose) would maintain that we are a forgiving sort, who prefer restored rather than beaten people as our friends."I am currently reading the memoirs of Sherman and hope to learn from his wisdom.
"There are plenty of third-world revolutionaries today, but very few who wave the hammer and sickle. Again, it is not that mankind ceased being naïve or duped, and woke up to the absurdities of Marxism and the mass murder that typically followed its implementation. Rather, very few wished to be associated with a losing ideology that offered no arms, patrons, or money — but a lot of misery, humiliation, and ridicule. This war against the Islamofascists and autocrats of the Middle East is no different."Indeed, it is the same. If you want one source for your World War IV info, then VDH is your man.
"...the demand for Rumsfeld's scalp is also predicated on supposedly too few troops in the theater. But here too the picture is far more complicated. Vietnam was no more secure with 530,000 American soldiers in 1968 than it was with 24,000 in 1972. How troops are used, rather than their sheer numbers, is the key to the proper force deployment — explaining why Alexander the Great could take a Persian empire of 2 million square miles with an army less than 50,000, while earlier Xerxes with 500,000 on land and sea could not subdue tiny Greece, one-fortieth of Persia's size."As always, his column is rich with history.
"In reality, he [Rumsfeld] has carefully allotted troops in Iraq because he has few to spare elsewhere — and all for reasons beyond his control."Precisely. We can't blame Rumsfeld for issues that are beyond his control.
"And who pushed to re-deploy thousands of troops out of Europe, and to re-station others in Korea? Or were we to keep ossified bases in perpetuity in the logic of the Cold War while triangulating allies grew ever-more appeasing to our enemies and more gnarly to us, their complacent protectors?"No, sir. It's about time those soldiers in Europe moved out. I found it particularly rich of the, oh-so-anti-American, Germans to complain about American troops leaving. Yeah, they're perfectly willing to take American dollars while providing idiotic and acidic commentary to the Americans. Serves them right. Go read it all now.
* "There are a lot of long faces today." -- New Yorker editor David Remnick, who really should consider John Kerry's feelings before speaking * "George Soro." -- caption typo in the Washington Times. Hey, who wouldn't be sad after wasting millions on a campaign to oust George W. Bush?
"There are some hints that the outcome of the case was virtually predetermined. When during the trial Scot began to read Qur’anic verses that discriminate against women, a lawyer for the Islamic Council of Victoria, the organization that brought the suit, stopped him: reading the verses aloud, she said, would in itself be religious vilification. Dismayed, Scot replied: “How can it be vilifying to Muslims in the room when I am just reading from the Qur’an?”"The dumb government in Victoria has just set a very dangerous precedent. This is the same case that was linked to last Saturday.
"This fascination with computer models is something I understand very well. Richard Feynmann called it a disease. I fear he is right."I think of Feynman as the most lively and diligent scientist of the 20th century and it's nice to know what his opinion was about this "science". The whole lecture by Crichton is worth reading.
"I did write a long, angry paragraph about how I blamed this webpage on sodomite penetration of the venerable postal service (just typing the words now stirs something horrid in my cold, gristled loins) and I warned you all, warned you, that unless we put CHRISTMAS atop the page in 72 point type we are doomed to go the way of ancient Rome, lost in a swirl of sybaritic vapors and unable to resist the Huns with thier hordes of gay Jewish trial lawyers, or something like that. But I took it out. The truth may set you free, but it gets you called to the editor’s office, too."Go read it all.
"The Daily Telegraph describes how some European agencies actually refuse to look at mass grave sites to avoid being party to the punishment of war criminals."Ladies and gentlemen, here we have these Europeans being, de facto, pro-fascist. The United States has to carry almost the entire burden, of fighting the forces of darkness, because no one else will.
"Do you raid a mosque, which serves as a terrorist ammunition storage? Do you return fire, if you are attacked from a hospital? Do you storm a church taken over by terrorists who took the priests hostages? Do you search every ambulance after a few suicide murderers use ambulances to reach their targets? Do you strip every woman because one pretended to be pregnant and carried a suicide bomb on her belly? Do you shoot back at someone trying to kill you, standing deliberately behind a group of children? Do you raid terrorist headquarters, hidden in a mental hospital? Do you shoot an arch-murderer who deliberately moves from one location to another, always surrounded by children?"Yes, to all. If we hesitate, then more blood will be spilled. Our restraint will only, embolden the Islamists and, invite more deadly attacks. We must say yes to these questions to save more lives in the end. That is the cruel arithematic of war.
"All of these happen daily in Iraq and in the Palestinian areas. What do you do? Well, you do not want to face the dilemma. But it cannot be avoided."No, it cannot. All that Harari says is correct. I want to diverge here slightly to talk about Israel. When the Intifada started, or the normal relations continued, Israel said that it would not target political leaders. This meant that Hamas, which is committed to the complete and utter annihilation of Israel, was free to plan murders of Israelis and it's leadership was immune from attack. I, for the life of me, never understood this stupidity. We're not even talking about any of the mentioned dilemmas but targeting gloating genocidal Hamas leaders. Finally in 2003, Israel changed it's policy and started killing Hamas leaders. Of course, the media went nuts but that was expected. I thought it was particularly rich when they cried about the wheelchair bound psycho. Since when does a disability confer some kind of innocence or pity upon a mass murderer? I still think that Israel is too soft. The United States, for example, would never take the kind of assaults that Israel endures every day. We would read about Hamas in history books if it had tried to attack the U.S. the way it constantly attacks Israel. My point is that the dilemmas do exist but that the West is much softer than that. Leaders of western countries worry about killing leaders of neo-Nazi groups. We have to be a lot tougher now to avoid passing on these dilemmas to future generations. I also think that we'll save more lives by being harsh today. We really need someone in the mold of Sherman or Patton to get the job done.
"Because the Social Security system is fundamentally insolvent over the long term, and gets worse every year, raising taxes only helps for a short time."That's precisely why Bush's proposal is necessary. Democrats should propose solutions, rather than simply ignoring the problem and "owning" Social Security as an issue.
"Mr. Bush had a delightful put-down in his press appearance last week with Silvio Berlusconi. The Texan said foreign nations need only purchase more US goods to narrow the gap. This was his polite way of telling them to grow faster."Indeed. Update: Larry Kudlow's optimistic column at NRO.
"Moyers was to television what Chomsky is to the world of political writing: a debased and fanatical authoritarian paranoic with no capacity for self-examination, self-criticism, or even the basic humanity necessary required to admit that your opponents may not, in fact, be demonically, apocalyptically evil."Go read the whole thing.
"Of course we're worried. The Russians were more rational than the Muslims whom he confronts. They cared to live! But we are proud of him. Both of his courage and common sense. He understands the true nature of the danger the West faces."Couldn't have said it better myself. Via LFG.
"Under Hussein, says Omar Fadhil, who works for a government clinic, he made the equivalent of $1.25 a month. Now, in the same job, he earns about $160 a month."Link via the Blogfather. Update: Chrenkoff gives us another update on the good news from Iraq.
"More beanie babies were collected by students from St. Martin's Lutheran School in Annapolis. And cheerleaders from Saguaro and Horizon high schools and from the Desert Storm Elite gym in Scottsdale, Arizona, have also participated in the "Beanies for Baghdad" action. 800 teddybears, meanwhile, have arrived from North Dakota to the Forward Operating Base Speicher, with thousands more to come."That's so heartwarming; ordinary Americans giving strangers comfort out of the goodness of their hearts.
"That's not what it sounds like when a man is stabbed in the back." "I beg your pardon?" "Well, when I was serving in British Intelligence during the war, you often had to sneak up on a German, and when you stab the chap, it's more of a gasp than a--" "Okay! Uh, great. Do it your way."Wow.
"No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step, and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science . . . the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome."I marvel at the greatness of Churchill. Not only did he see and warn about the dangers of Nazism but Islamism as well. Islamism is not new. It's just that in the modern world, the extremism of the Islamists can bring down towers in NYC, kill numerous tourists in Bali, murder ordinary Spaniards at a train station, extinguish young souls at a Russian school...The West has no choice. It must destroy Islamism. Otherwise, our children will inherit a new Dark Age.
"Democracy is based on compromise,..., and Islam does not compromise. If he could vote for an Islamic state, he would, with Saudi Arabia as the model."But, of course. A country where the punishment for stealing is having your hand chopped off and the possession of drugs, and yes alcohol is a drug, is punished by death is a model country. I can understand when people talk about Canada, Germany, Japan, or any Western country being better than the U.S. but this is simply unhinged. This is a complete and outright rejection of freedom. The following is from Part 2:
"Two weeks after 9/11, Sheik Muhammad Gemeaha, then the imam of the mosque on 96th Street, abruptly moved back to Cairo, where he promptly told the Arab media that Muslim children were being poisoned by Jewish doctors in American hospitals, and that Zionists had masterminded the attacks on the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon." "When I asked Vincent what he thought about al-Yaqoubi’s statement, he answered, with a touch of defiance, that he felt just fine about it. "I do wish the American troops would be defeated,"..."Anti-semitism is, sadly, mainstream in the Muslim community. It is not just limited to Cairo. I have personally heard and read about it in Pakistani newspapers, in Saudi Arabia and in Canada as well. I still don't understand; why would someone be attracted to extremism and totalitarianism? How could someone grow up in a free society, a society where they're free to change their religion, and then reject that very freedom? Why, oh why, do people embrace murderous indeologies?
I don't think so. My logic will be clear once the arguments/questions in bold are fisked/answered:
But, the minimum wage helps the poor earn more income. Assume that you have a business and all your employees work at $5/hr. The government sets the minimum wage at $7/hr. Then, there are 4 ways you can deal with the minimum wage.
But, the minimum wage insures that an employer won't take advantage of his employee(s). This is a free market we're talking about here. Both the employer and the employee take advantage of each other and come to an agreement about the wage. The market decides the wage. Set the wage too low, and you won't have enough employees. Set it too high, and you'll be flooded with resumes. It's as simple as that. For example, the wage for working 8 hours a day in a shoe factory differs from market to market. In China, it would be close to $0.5/hr. Whereas, in the U.S. it would be something like $5/hr. If one were to have a minimum wage of $5/hr in China, most of the shoe factory workers would lose their jobs.
Why would the government keep on raising the minimum wage? Why doesn't the government just provide more welfare? For politicians to provide more welfare means that they either have to cut spending or raise more revenue. For most politicians, revenues are increased when taxes are hiked and tax hikes are politically not popular. There is no cost for the politician who supports the minimum wage. The costs are incurred by the fired employees, the business itself, and the poor. The politician gets the support of the employees who've had their wages artificially increased. The workers who lost their jobs might put the blame on their heartless employer. It's an easy win for any politician.
Hmm,... Hmm, indeed. The people who are hurt the most by the minimum wage are the poor. The poor workers are mostly unskilled. It's not helpful to make the entire economy off limits to them since any wage is better than none. A vast majority of workers don't perpetually work at the minimum wage. That job is usually their first. The experience and the discipline helps them to climb the financial ladder. At present, less than 3% of the labor force in the U.S. works at the minimum wage. If the minimum wage was not present, then more of the poor would be employed. That initial experience would help them to earn more in the future.
"[The minimum wage is] the most anti-black law on the books." -- Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize in Economics (1976).
Government should have no business in enforcing a wage limit regardless of whether it's upper or lower. It distorts the free market. Some are paid more than they are worth, some become unnecessarily unemployed and some who might have gotten a job in the near future are left unemployed. The minimum wage hurts and, in some cases, destroys business. Therefore, the minimum wage is not a compassionate policy. Supporting the minimum wage might make you feel good but it's the result that matters. If you wish to help the poor, then think and don't support such feel-good laws.
Sources and further reading: The Minimum Wage Good Intentions, Bad Results by Roger Koopman. Minimum Wage Causes Maximum Pain. The Sin of Wages by Steven E. Landsburg. "Show Me The Money: The Minimum Wage Debate" at Uncommon Knowledge.
November 30, 2004.
In early November 2004, Yasser Arafat's condition improved and stabilized. He was dead. Arafish was responsible for creating tremendous misery for the Palestinians, more than any other person or entity.
Muhammed Amin al-Husseini was born in 1893. He was jailed in 1920, by the British, for instigating an Arab attack against Jews. He was made Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1922. He used propaganda and anti-semitism to kill Jews around Jerusalem. He even met, his ideological ally, Adolf.
"The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan. ... He was one of Eichmann's best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chamber of Auschwitz." -- Dieter Wisliceny, Eichmann's deputy, at the Nuremberg Trials.
Of course, in the Muslim world, the Mufti was treated as a religious and political hero. He died in exile in 1974. His place, as hero, was taken by his nephew Mohammed Abdel [blah blah] al-Husseini, better known as Yasser Arafat.
Arafish, the moral monster, feasted off the suffering of the Palestinians. The U.S. and the EU gave his government hundreds of millions of dollars every year during the 90s. Where did the money go? The money went to his bank accounts and cronies. The Palestinians suffered as the sole representative of the Palestinians continually raped them.
Arafish was a brutal dictator. He was elected, in the same sense as Saddam Hussein, by thuggery. He won because he had the most guns and ammo. Summary executions for anyone thought to be an Israeli spy (anyone who criticized him) were quite common. It is sickening to see his glorification by the international media. Example CNN. Then, there is always France.
Arafish cultivated the anti-semitism of the Palestinians. The rest of the dictators of the Middle East enthusiastically supported him. These dictators directed their state-controlled newspapers and television channels to blame Israel for the misery of the Palestinians. The Arabs in the Middle East, as a result, see Israelis as blood thirsty Muslim killers. The majority of Arabs see Israel defending itself as aggression while a suicide bombing on a school bus is considered kosher. That is Arafish's legacy.
Even Saddam, a secular socialist, understood the Arab hatred of Israel. He got a lot of Arab street cred, by firing 39 scud missiles into Israel, in 1991. Today, the majority of the Arab world would want Hamas, a terrorist organization, to replace Arafish.
All Arafish wanted was the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and all of Israel. He didn't mention, in English, that he wanted Israel. He always stated the "the right of return" for the Palestinians. This "right" allows about 3 million Palestinians to enter Israel as citizens. Arafish failed because he never achieved his dream; the destruction of Israel. Israel is prospering and continues to defend itself from barbarians. Whereas, Arafish rots in hell alongside his uncle.
Sources and further reading: Arafat the monster by Jeff Jacoby. Arafat's Legacy by Charles Krauthammer. The man who "was always right" by Gene at Harry's Place. Who was the Grand Mufti, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini? A Gangster With Politics by Bret Stephens. Arafat's Bedroom Farce by Daniel Pipes. A rant by David Warren. Arafat's Swiss Bank Account by Issam Abu Issa. Thoughts on Arafat, Palestine and Events in Ramallah by Athena.
November 27, 2004.