Thursday, November 2, 2006


Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Yes. Even I have my limits!

Add numerous extra obligations to a massive dose of election fatigue and you get a somewhat abbreviated weekly roundup! I very nearly decided not to post it at all this morning, but realized that what I have found might, put together, bring some welcome relief from the upcoming election.

There is nothing here about the election or John "effin'" Kerry past this point.


The Undercurrent has posted a preview (in the form of a few articles) of its upcoming November issue.


Through the Harry Binswanger List, I was reminded of an article I'd run across a few days ago about the popular myth -- now being used to sell the idea of government favors for American ethanol producers -- that Brazil's independence from foreign oil is due to its cultivation of a domestic fuel ethanol industry.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva didn't celebrate the oil independence milestone out in an Amazon sugar field.

No, he smashed a champagne bottle on the spaceship-like deck of Brazil's vast P-50 oil rig in the Albacora Leste field in the deep blue Atlantic. Why? Brazil's oil independence had virtually nothing to do with its ethanol development. It came from drilling oil.
I recall that after the fall of communism, ecological disasters -- real ones -- were turning up all over the old Soviet Bloc for awhile. And then Kyoto, I believe, exempted developing countries from its emissions obligations. And now we see that Brazil, that worker's paradise always held up to the United States as some kind of great "progressive" example, has been (shudder) drilling for oil! No one bats an eye or even says anything about it until seven months later!

That activity ( drilling ... Shhh!) has been all but banned in the United States! If you need a reason to doubt the sincerity of the left when it claims that its efforts to throttle American economic might are motivated by a desire for such things as "clean air", add this to the pile. And then try looking at the pile!


Dave Harriman's well-regarded "Physics by Induction" course is being made available to the public.
[Harriman's] unique approach is to teach physics historically, thereby teaching it inductively. From the early Greeks to Copernicus to Newton, this course presents the essential principles of physics in logical sequence, placing each in the context of the earlier discoveries that made it possible and explaining how each was discovered by reasoning from observations.

Cox and Forkum have just announced the availabilty of their latest book, Black and White World III!


I seem to have found a new whipping boy in Arnold Kling, a "former" member of the far left who has "converted" to Libertarianism and frequently posts articles to TCS Daily.

In his latest affront to the cause of individual rights, he discusses which form of government intervention would be best to combat the unsubstantiated threat of anthropogenic global warming. Quick! What's missing from the two excerpted paragraphs?
For this essay, I want to take as given the report's assessment of the cost of global warming. Also, I will take as given that the strategy of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, which I call the de-industrialization strategy, would cost one percent of global GDP each year. I want to suggest exploring an alternative strategy for fighting global warming, which I call the climate engineering strategy.


I also will concede that I am not entirely comfortable putting the world's climate in the hands of scientists who attempt to engage in climate engineering. However, that discomfort is nothing compared with my fear of putting our future in the hands of international bureaucrats who are eager to embrace de-industrialization and to engineer a reduction of world GDP of $400 billion a year.
Our Libertarian fails to mention that he also "takes as given" that we should simply forfeit our freedom and property to busybodies -- who would tax us at best and forbid us to enjoy industrial society at worst -- all because of an overhyped, undersubstantiated climate phenomenon! Even if industrialization did cause global warming, such solutions are wrong because they threaten individual rights.

Mr. Kling, your "discomfort" is nothing compared to mine when I consider that you, who so quickly forget the importance of freedom, are regarded as one of its defenders!

Why not talk instead about freeing ourselves entirely from governments that will take any excuse they can get to push us around?


Back in World War II, we had a foe in Japan whose soldiers and citizens were so fanatical that they held military glory as a higher value than their own lives. Our leaders wisely decided to bring the war to them, ultimately showing them through the power of atomic weaponry what this really meant. They learned and we won.

Today, we have a foe in Islamic totalitarianism whose soldiers are so fanatical that they didn't even wait for things to get desperate before they became suicide bombers. Our leaders have done little to bring the war home to them. In fact, our enemy is far closer to bringing home to us the lesson of complaisence than we are to showing them what war really means.

Iran, the cradle of this movement, is being permitted to lie undisturbed as it feverishly develops the cpability to build nuclear weapons. There is, nevertheless, a significant portion of its citizenry who do not necessarily oppose America. So why haven't they overthrown the mullahs? Because the mullahs are insulating them from the full consequences of accepting their rule:
I live in a country where alcohol is officially banned, but where the art of homemade spirits has reached new heights. Sharing my astonishment about the cocktail book with some friends with better connections to the Islamist regime, they explained the government has a silent pact with the educated and affluent in Iran's big cities, who render politics unto Caesar, provided that Caesar keeps his nose out of their liquor cabinets.

In other words, the well-to-do Iranian drinks and reads and watches what he wishes. He does as he pleases behind the walls of his private mansions and villas. In return for his private comforts, the affluent Iranian is happy to sacrifice freedom of speech, most of his civil rights, and his freedom of association. The upper-middle class has been bought off by this pact, which makes a virtue of hypocrisy.
The subtitle of the article sums it up best: "How can you have a revolution when everyone is watching TV?"

Until we give them a reason to get up out of their couches and work for regime change, they probably won't.


"Funny that out of all of my brother's wristbands, this one is first to break." -- Kyle Rosenburg

(via This is Broken)

-- CAV