Sunday, February 26, 2006

DANISH RECIPES ON MARCH 4

The Carnival of the Recipes #81 will have a Danish theme. Here is an excerpt from this week's edition:

Next week the Carnival moves onto Egoist and emphasizes a Danish theme. I think I will submit a recipe for Freedom Roses of President Bush, otherwise known as delicious red, white and blue pinwheel Danishes. Just to get you in the mood, I've saved the best for last with this week's Danish themed recipes. Mensa Barbie has a wicked looking 4 Cheese Danish Tart. KeeWee has Danish Dumplings called Bleskiver. (SunComprehendingGlass.blogspot.com, 02/26/06.)


From Sissy Willis's post, The taste of freedom:

Update II: Blogfriend Martin Lindeskog of EGO is hosting the Carnival of the Recipes with a Danish theme a week from today. That's March 4, Feast day of St. Casimir, Prince of Poland (b. 1458), according to Answers:

When Casimir was thirteen he was offered the throne of Hungary by factions discontented with king Mattias Corvinus. Casimir, who was eager to defend the Cross against the Turks, accepted the call and went to Hungary to receive the crown.

It is an ancient wound. But meanwhile -- like music -- food is the language we all understand, so we invite you to put on your chef's hat and send in your Danish-themed recipes to Martin ASAP. (Sisu.typepad.com, 02/24/06.)


[Editor's note to Sissy: Thanks for the suggestion...]

Further instructions will be posted on the following blogs:


[Editor's note to Roger L. Simon: Yes, we will serve drinks! Cheers!]

You could submit your entries in several ways, e.g., via Blog Carnival or Conservative Cat's Carnival Submit Form.

TOM AND JERRY

The cartoon war is spreading... Tom and Jerry are the next characters in line.



Morris doesn't understand the term "dirty mice"... Morris is looking forward to chew on Danish recipes on March 4.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

DANISH PASTRY

EGO will host next week's edition of the Carnival of the Recipes, so I thought it could be in order to link to different Danish pastry recipes. Personally, I am not so fond of Danish pastry ("Danskt Wienerbröd" in Swedish). I prefer other variants of the dough, e.g., croissant or strudel, but I will eat a Danish pastry as a symbolic gesture on March 4. Check out That's My Home for a Basic Danish Pastry Recipe (Quick Method).

Friday, February 24, 2006

EGO IS FEEDING THE FAT CATS

Due to a hectic schedule, "blogging will be light next week"...

  • Attending a course in logistics (Supply Chain Management) between February 27 - March 2.
  • Getting the keys to our business facility on March 1.



In the meantime, don't forget to feed the fat cats...


Morris

Check out Friday Ark #75 at the Modulator.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

PROPHECY BY EGO: DANISH PASTRIES NEXT WEEK

I have a prophecy: Next weekend, members of the blogosphere will deliver plenty of tasty things, e.g, "Roses of the Prophet Muhammad" (a.k.a. Danish pastries)...

In the meantime, do you care for a Turkish Delight or a Rum & Berry Danish Tart?

Related: My post, DANISH RECIPES ON MARCH 25.

United Arab Emirates: Madness Or Genius

Martin continues to make the mistake of allowing me access to his wonderful blog. Thought I would invade with this which is also at my blog. Thanks Martin.

***
1. The Madness

Jihad Watch asks:

The situation in the Islamic world, compounded by the Administration's inability or unwillingness to come to grips with the reality of the jihad ideology, indeed make it quite likely that Dubai Ports World will be sending at least a few mujahedin to work in these American ports, and that they will be able to work there unhindered. After all, no one in Washington is yet even asking the right questions of self-proclaimed moderates about where they really stand on jihad and Sharia issues.

This is odd. Even odder, Bush is threatening a veto. Has he vetoed anything in six years? Any kind of veto on absurd spending? No. But this?

"After careful review by our government, I believe the transaction ought to go forward," Bush said. He added that if the U.S. Congress passed a law to stop the deal, "I'll deal with it with a veto." [Reuters]

Why does this not make me feel better?

"My presumption is, and my belief is, that the president and his secretary of state and the Defense Department and others have adequately cleared the Dubai government organization to manage these ports," [Jimmy] Carter told CNN. "I don't think there's any particular threat to our security."

So has the president gone mad?

2. The Genius

Or is there a much, much bigger picture? Look at this map from Lonely Planet:



What do you see? I see our troops in Iraq to the west of Iran. I see our troops to the east in Afghanistan. I see our fighter planes to the north of Iran. And now I see our troops and ships working out of...the United Arab Emirates to the south of Iran.

Can you say surround?

Also, back in 2004 I quoted a small Playboy article entitled "What Would A Second Bush Term Hold For U.S. Policy?".

"Clues can be found in 'Rebuilding America's Defenses,' a think-tank report released two months before the 2000 election by the Project for the New American Century. It provided a blueprint for what would become the Bush administration's militaristic foreign policy. From the report, here's what's left to do: (1) Retain "forward-based forces" in the Gulf. (2) Focus on Iran. Though Iraq 'provides the immediate justification' for 'a substantial American troop presence in the Gulf,' Iran is cited as an equal threat...."

If this not madness and in fact part of a military deal, that would explain why Bush is so adamant and threatening to veto. It may also explain why Senators Schumer and Clinton are going crazy. They may see what Bush is doing.

We shall see whether this is madness (and my worst fears about the Bush family coming true) or genius (that W is not his father and does have some American cowboy spirit).

UPDATE: Not much change on the March 07 Airstrike Against Iran contract.



See more at intrade.

AROUND THE WEB ON 2-22-06

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Next week, I will be on the road for at least part of Monday, and hosting out-of-town guests later in the week. Blogging will likely be lighter than usual. It is quite possible that I will post my weekly roundup in a late and/or somewhat abbreviated form, if at all.

Tycoons, Especially, Take Note

The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism is soliciting donations in order to file amicus curiae briefs.
Since its inception, the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism has filed several amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs with American courts, including briefs on the Microsoft antitrust case, the Nike commercial speech case, the University of Michigan affirmative action cases and a case involving the application of the antitrust laws to the US Postal Service.

The reason that the Center elected to file the briefs is academic: the decisions of the US Supreme Court and lower courts affect the freedom and prosperity of every American. Additionally, as the most intellectual branch of our government, the courts are the realm where Objectivists are particularly well-suited toward having a positive impact.

Building upon CAC's groundbreaking legal advocacy, I propose a new effort to submit amicus curiae briefs on every key case before the Supreme Court that impacts the right of Americans to live for their own sake and to profit from their own work. I solicit the financial support of Objectivists who believe in fighting for their freedom....
I ask my readers to consider donating to this worthy cause, and to inform others of this fund drive.

Oh! Now they have a name.

Nick Provenzo also points out an article about a newly-identified species of conservative, the "crunchy conservative", that opposes capitalism and espouses environmentalism. From the Wall Street Journal:
Four years ago, [Rod] Dreher[, a columnist and editor at the Dallas Morning News] coined the term "crunchy conservatism" (as in crunchy granola) to describe hybrids like himself: political right-wingers with countercultural sensibilities. Now, in a book based largely on interviews and his own experience, he explores the type in depth. But "Crunchy Cons" is not a pallid work of sociology. It is a rousing altar call to spiritual secession from an America that Mr. Dreher sees as awash in materialism, consumerism and "lifestyle-libertarian" thinking.
In other words, we now have an example of a conservative which is the diametric opposite of a capitalist.

Long-time readers of my blog will find only the fact that this species has finally been named to be new information. Consider: (1) a recent global warming junket to Alaska by John McCain and his potential presidential running mate, Lindsey Graham; (2) an article called "What would Jesus cut?" I blogged awhile back; and (3) a children's book/national treasure hunt which sounds like it would be right up a crunchy-con's alley.

Madness or Genius?

Andy Clarkson has a very interesting post up at The Charlotte Capitalist on the Dubai Ports World controversy, in which George Bush and Jimmy Carter have become strange bedfellows, and opposed by apparently every other American politician.

If Dubya does has something up his sleeve, Carter would be the perfect stooge to serve as cover. But he is, in the meantime, also scaring the bejesus out of everyone who cares about this country.

Toonophobia

John Cox and Allen Forkum, whose coverage of the Moslem cartoon riots has been both thorough and heroic, have outdone themselves with the below cartoon and commentary.


They quote the following from Christopher Hitchens:
The silky ones may be more of a problem in the long term than the flagrantly vicious and crazy ones. Within a short while -- this is a warning -- the shady term "Islamophobia" is going to be smuggled through our customs. Anyone accused of it will be politely but firmly instructed to shut up, and to forfeit the constitutional right to criticize religion. By definition, anyone accused in this way will also be implicitly guilty. Thus the "soft" censorship will triumph, not from any merit in its argument, but from its association with the "hard" censorship that we have seen being imposed over the past weeks. A report ($$) in the New York Times of Feb. 13 was as carefully neutral as could be but nonetheless conveyed the sense of menace. "American Muslim leaders," we were told, are more canny. They have "managed to build effective organizations and achieve greater integration, acceptance and economic success than their brethren in Europe have. They portray the cartoons as a part of a wave of global Islamophobia and have encouraged Muslim groups in Europe to use the same term." In other words, they are leveraging worldwide Islamic violence to drop a discreet message into the American discourse.
I thank Cox and Forkum for their brave and able defense, on the ideological front, of our freedom of speech.

Review of Thomas Paine

Jennifer Snow has posted a nice review of a collection of Thomas Paine's writings over at Literatrix.
My initial impression is that this man was the absolute nuclear generator of quotes; even more so than Ayn Rand, and she is eminently quotable. The reason that both were very quotable is, in my mind, that both spent their time turning a vast complexity of information into simple, memorable principles. They are different, though, in that when you quote Ayn Rand, you have to remember that you are summoning up a vast context for your quote and be careful not to oversimplify the case. Thomas Paine's quotes generally require little or no context, and he frequently manages to oversimplify the case without the interference of any outside agency.

His writings are fascinating because they outline, in exquisite detail, the essence of the American character with all its strengths and flaws. He is adept on the attack, especially in revealing the inanity of other views, but he is not very good at defending his own ideas; his defense consists frequently of announcing that his idea is the only alternative to the ridiculous. He rejects fanatical religion for a secular lifestyle but still maintains the air of theology. He attempts to moderate freedom with progressive social programs.
It is lengthy, but I am sure you can see why you should read it all.

Finished, On Hold, and On the Way

Myrhaf, whose blog I have really enjoyed over its short existence, has decided to stop blogging in order to devote more time to other pursuits. Stop by to wish him well.

Felipe Sediles reports that you should disregard any milk cartons with his picture on them. Among the many things that are distracting him from blogging are his upcoming PhD candidacy exams. Stop by and tell the lad to get his priorities straight say "Hi!"

David the Machine, who sometimes comments on my blog and recently helped me with my new blog template, is getting ready to start blogging. No posts yet, but the template is pretty nice. Stop by from time to time for, "status reports of the progress of [his] continued enlightenment in all things: animal, vegetable, or mineral." I'm looking forward to reading his new blog.

-- CAV

Updates

Today: Corrected a typo.

Monday, February 20, 2006

PRESIDENTS DAY

How do you celebrate Presidents' Day?

Mr. David M. Shribman thinks that you shouldn't call it "Presidents Day"...

Related: My post, AMERICA'S BEST AND WORST PRESIDENTS.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 2-15-06

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Dick Cheney: Hazardous to Your Health!

Bothenook, who recently commemorated his 39,997th visitor, has been a blast to read lately. I particularly liked this post, where he showed a photo collage of "Ten Ways Dick Cheney Can Kill You". A commenter notes that the collage has been around for awhile, but I'd never seen it until now. Also, a couple of comments from this post on Cheney's hunting accident were very funny.
Adrian Hester: Yo, Gus, it's a shame about the hunting accident, but at least they got to Cheney before he gutted the guy.

Bothenook: my new motto is going to be the bumpersticker i saw today in sacramento: "I'd rather go hunting with Cheney than driving with Kennedy".
And did I mention that this Cox and Forkum cartoon made me laugh out loud?

Have a Blast(off)!

Forget paperclip chains and balls of rubber bands! Rockets are the wave of the future in office supply tomfoolery. (HT: reader Hannes Hacker)

Publish or Perish

And no, this isn't career advice for residents of the ivory tower. It applies to anyone who uses and cherishes his freedom of speech. Thanks to Myrhaf, I have been reminded of this superb piece on the cartoon riots by Robert Tracinski.
The central issue of the "cartoon jihad", the Muslim riots and death threats against a Danish newspaper that printed 12 cartoons depicting Mohammed, is obvious. The issue is freedom of speech: whether our freedom to think, write, and draw is to be subjugated to the "religious sensitivities" of anyone who threatens us with force.

That is why it is necessary for every newspaper and magazine to re-publish those cartoons, as I will do in the next print issue of The Intellectual Activist.

This is not merely a symbolic expression of support; it is a practical countermeasure against censorship. Censorship especially the violent, anarchic type threatened by Muslim fanaticism effective only when it can isolate a specific victim, making him feel as if he alone bears the brunt of the danger. What intimidates an artist or writer is not simply some Arab fanatic in the street carrying a placard that reads "Behead those who insult Islam." What intimidates him is the feeling that, when the beheaders come after him, he will be on his own, with no allies or defenders that everyone else will be too cowardly to stick their necks out. [bold and link added]
And this is precisely why I have made Mohammed my blog's official mascot. The Islamists are telling me that I, who love to write, must beg their permission to write what I please. This isn't writing, and a life where one must ask some superstitious, flea-bitten, malodorous, cave-dwelling imam permission to do what one loves is not living.

Unless we all stand up to these brutes, we will be given a choice of death or "life" by their permission (in other words, living death). The former is preferable, and must be risked in order to have what they wish to deprive us of: our free lives (but I repeat myself).

These "men" are cowards. This is why they make threats against us in the hopes that we will simply do as they say, which is to give up our freedom, to die bloodlessly. The only solution is to stand up to them, to make them come after us and suffer the consequences of doing so, or to leave us alone.

Islam is as Islam Does

I am not a big fan of the movie Forrest Gump, but I find myself borrowing from a formulation made famous by its line, "Stupid is as stupid does." I use it here as a succinct way of noting that how something acts is a clue to its identity. To quote Leonard Peikoff:
The third axiom at the base of knowledge -- an axiom true, in Aristotle's words, of "being qua being" -- is the Law of Identity. This law defines the essence of existence: to be is to be something, a thing is what it is; and leads to the fundamental principle of all action, the law of causality. The law of causality states that a thing's actions are determined not by chance, but by its nature, i.e., by what it is. [my bold]
Many people wonder whether we should ask whether Islam is evil. Well, Islam answers that question every day through the actions of its followers. And so it should come as no surprise that followers of the same religion known for mass murder, terrorism, hatred of free speech, and oppression of women would come out against another great value open to man: romantic love.

Myrhaf and Bothenook both point to links documenting yet another example of Islamic depravity. The second link leads us to this post by Tim Blair, which I quote in its entirety.

Happy Valentine's Day! To celebrate, Ganesh Sahathevan sends a translation of this cheery Valentine message from Malaysian news agency Bernama:

Islam forbids the celebration of Valentine's Day, said Muhammad Ramli Nuh, the deputy chairman of the Committee for the Development of Islam Hadhari, Terrenganu State.

He explained that celebrating Valentine's Day may be perceived as an affirmation of an enemy of Islam because Valentine, or Valentinus, was involved in the planning and attack on Cordoba, a Muslim civilization.

Hence to celebrate Valentine's Day is to affirm the acts of one who destroyed the Islamic civilization of Spain.

Sounds like a good reason to celebrate even more. And here's another:

He added that Valentine's Day meetings could also lead to couples engaging in forbidden activities.
Every time I think Islam has finally succeeded in defining itself as the epitome of life-hatred, it tops itself.

Update: Via the Myrhaf link (and Michelle Malkin) comes this gem:
"We will not let anyone sell these cards or celebrate Valentine's Day," said Asiya Andrabi, the group's leader, as she held a burning poster in her hand. "These Western gimmicks are corrupting our kids and taking them away from their roots."

She said that the raids were carried out "not to harm anyone but to make them realize that this is against Islam's teachings."

Want a clue as to what is sacred? Just observe whatever it is that Islamists attack.

What can one do?

Amit Ghate, who has been doing a splendid job of covering the cartoon riots at his blog, explores what we can do about the threat that Islam poses to -- excuse the redundancy -- our lives and our liberty.
On the intellectual front, getting the right ideas out into the general culture is paramount. If one is inclined to writing, letters to the editor and editorials are one way to express the ideas, but so is passing on good essays and editorials to friends and acquaintances who might be interested. Contacting your government representatives is also important, whether it be to criticize such actions as the US State Department's mealy-mouthed statement on the situation, or to inform them that you consider freedom of speech an inviolable right -– and any failure to defend it will be remembered at election time. Forwarding them intellectual ammunition can also be valuable.

Finally, for those not involved in direct intellectual campaigning, if you have the means, you might consider using the principle of the division of labor to support and fund those intellectuals who are defending your values. In this light, a contribution to ARI seems appropriate. (I'm unaware of any other organization that take a consistent and fundamental stand on these types of issues, but obviously if they exist, they too should be supported.)
Thanks, again, Amit!

***

Several Must-Read Reviews

Several of the Objectivists on my blogroll have posted reviews on their blogs recently. I conclude this week's roundup by recommending them.

Jennifer Snow posts on Robinson Crusoe:
[L. J.] Swingle[, who wrote a terrible introductionction,] also dwells uselessly on Crusoe's supposed exploitation, both of his natural resources and of the savage he later acquires for his "slave", Friday. I have to say that on reading the book I recieved quite a different impression. Such exploitation consisted of: killing numerous wild animals to protect himself and his stores, and saving a man who was the captive of cannibals from certain death. I know I would be eager to enter into the service of someone that assisted me in that way, especially since he so obviously knew how to provide sustainence for us both. It's called having a job. In a world full of dangerous and untrustworthy men, I'd be in a hurry to cling to the honest ones that I'd found.

Swingle's failure to grasp that Defoe's work is as applicable to the modern day as to any other time is just another demonstration as to how detached modern intellectuals are from the business of living. [bold added]
Ouch! I agree with the commenter who says she would have written a better introduction. Jennifer also has a nice write-up on Quent Cordair Fine Art.

Gideon Reich, who normally pontificates from his armchair, took the podium at Rule of Reason to write a review of Andrew Bernstein's The Capitalist Manifesto. (If the link is broken, go here and search "Bernstein")
As recently as the late 1980s, intellectuals were still discussing the supposed approaching convergence between communism and capitalism. It was claimed that the capitalist United States was suffering from an inadequacy of social services, while the Soviet Union failed to protect personal freedom. Faced with such problems, it was argued that the US and Soviet systems would eventually meet halfway, with the US becoming more socialist and the Soviet Union less totalitarian. It wasn't until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 that the absurd notion of "convergence" was finally discredited along with most remaining hopes of establishing a so-called socialist paradise. Partly as a result, there was a resurgence of interest in capitalism and the reasons for its success, and a host of books have since been published seeking to explain various aspects of the capitalist system.

What was missing, however, was a single volume that presented the historical origins, moral justification, and practical success of capitalism. Such a volume would correct the misconceptions most people still have of capitalism's origins and early history, and answer their misgivings over the justice of laissez-faire. Andrew Bernstein's The Capitalist Manifesto succeeds admirably as such a book.
And earlier this week, Diana Hsieh pointed to an excellent interview of Andrew Bernstein that appeared in the Baltimore Sun. It's all very good. Here's a teaser.
Why do you say capitalism is the only system that defends individual rights? How do socialism and other systems impinge on liberty?

What true capitalism does is limits the power of government. ... Individuals are free to pursue their lives as they see fit, so long as they don't engage in criminal actions. ... Socialism and other political systems, they're basically examples of statism. There is no Bill of Rights guaranteeing individuals certain inalienable rights, and the government is permitted to violate individual rights constantly, whether they steal your money through taxation or they don't like your religion or what class you come from, so they arrest you and put you in a gulag. These are dictatorial forms of the government, and the government has no legal restrictions on its ability to initiate force against its own citizens.

Defenders of statism will often say things like, "Well, they don't have crime in the streets in China." But the point of course is that the criminals are in the government. The communists or the Nazis may make the streets safer temporarily, but they murder 20 million - or in the case of Mao, 50 or 60 million - of their own citizens. ... Statism is extremely hazardous to your health.

Stalin said that one human murder is a tragedy, but a million is a statistic. It's so vast that people just can't wrap their wits about it, so communists can get away with it because it's just numbers to people.
Note to self: Get this book. Yesterday.

Myrhaf reviewed yet another book I need to get yesterday, Ayn Rand: My Fiction-Writing Teacher by Erika Holzer.
Being a philosopher as well as a novelist (and a good introspecter), Ayn Rand understood better than anyone the thinking a writer needs to do to create good fiction. She understood that she could not do Holzer's thinking for her and instead pointed her in the direction of the work she needed to do.

People with a shallow or rationalistic understanding of Objectivism might be surprised that Rand advised Holzer to write about things she had strong feelings about. Rand urged fiction writers to be selfish and write about what excited them. Otherwise, writing feels too much like a duty and if anything gets done the product is lifeless.
I'd like to thank my fellow Objectivist bloggers for taking the time to write these very informative reviews.

-- CAV

DANISH RECIPES ON MARCH 25

Beth Donovan of She Who Will Be Obeyed! has given me the opportunity to host the Carnival of the Recipes #84 on March 25. Please mark your calendar. [Editor's note: The International Waffle day is on 3/25.] Further instructions will follow in the near future. The carnival will be inspired by the Buy Danish campaign and you are more than welcome to send recipes with a Danish (Scandinavian / Nordic) theme. For some examples, check out Mensa Barbie's Ginger-danish Ice-cream post from the latest carnival (#78) at the Physics Geek and my post, DANISH BACON.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen



[Editor's comment: I wonder if we could create a special Anders Fogh Rasmussen recipe...]

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

LUPERCALIA

From the article, Saudi lovers suffer blues over red roses:

Valentine's day is a bonanza for florists around the world. But selling red roses is complicated in Saudi Arabia, where religious authorities tell young people not to imitate western culture, especially when the celebration is related to a Christian saint. (FT.com, 02/13/06.)


I wonder if the members of the American Family Association are aware that Valentine's Day has its roots from celebrating the god of fertility...

Here is a quote by Dwayne Bell:

It seems it's much more important to Christian totalitarians to not fall behind the Islamic totalitarian tyrannies in the world. Not only are the AFA and its supporters completely unconcerned what living under a religious dictatorship would be like for our children and grandchildren, it would appear that this is their ultimate goal.

In light of the fact that internationally right now the U.S. is siding with Islamic thugs over the Dutch free speech activists, do we have long to wait for similar violence domesticly from totalitarian Christians? (BodyInMind.com, 02/11/06.)


Recommended reading: My post, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

Glenn Reynolds says:

Sweden is rethinking its economic model in favor of one that's more friendly to small businesses and startups. (InstaPundit.com, 02/09/06.)


Here is an excerpt from the article (Sweden looks to fuel growth via economic, market reforms) Glenn Reynolds is linking to.

The non-socialist alliance's main goal is to lower taxation on labor and wealth, but it seeks to abolish unnecessary rules and regulations for those who start up their own company. Easing the path for Swedish entrepreneurs is a key issue on both sides of the political spectrum. Since the peak years between 1997 and 2000, the number of entrepreneurs has gone down dramatically with 20,000 fewer people starting up their own company in 2005. (MarketWatch.com, 02/09/06.)


I would be happy if this is really the case, but I think it is a long way to go... It is soon election time in Sweden and the debate is heating up between the politicians in power and business leaders.

The Social Democrats' party secretary Marita Ulvskog has accused Sweden's biggest companies of intentionally withholding investment in order to make the government look bad in the run-up to the election in September. Instead, she says, they are choosing to lavish billions on shareholders. (TheLocal.se, 02/08/06.)


IdeaTank will organize lectures and meetings on how to change the business climate. This week we had a meeting with the real estate owner, signing the contract. We will have the keys to the premises on March 1. We want to open for the public as soon as possible, but it takes time to deal with different agencies. The Companies Registration Office has taken about a month to handle our application. After we have got our "organization number," we have to send the blue print and a detailed list of the place to a similar agency (environment and food) like FDA. We are not allowed to start our business until a bureaucrat has come on a visit, checking our place. This procedure could take several weeks. We have to come up with our own "critical control point" program. There are new rules in the EU since January 1, 2006.

[Editor's note: If you know of a good content management system, please feel free to leave a comment or send an email. My business partners have set up a TikiWiki at our Blue Chip Café site.]

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 2-8-06

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

If You Wanna Keep Your Bookmarks...

Zach Oakes has written up a quick review of several "social bookmarking" services he recently tried out.
My computer (like all Windows machines I’ve ever used) is starting to slow down, freeze, and not respond to mouse movements, so I’ve decided to protect the most valuable data I have on it.

My files? Hell no. My bookmarks. I have about 1000 of them, and I would rip my hair out if I lost them. So I investigated social bookmarking sites where I could upload them and keep them safe (setting the bookmarks as private, of course - I have no interest in sharing them).

Me? Nah! I don't use bookmarks that much myself, but I enjoyed reading the review and I figure that plenty of my readers might like the information.

A Couple of Posts Worth Bookmarking

(Or at least remembering....)

I mentioned them already, but here are two good roundups on the Moslem cartoon riots.

Mark Steyn on the "Courage" of the Left

Willy Shake reminded me of an item I meant to blog recently, a Mark Steyn piece on the Moslem cartoon riots. Steyn is one of my idols. He is always very funny and always on target. What I liked most was the bit right after what Willy quoted:
The cartoons aren't particularly good and they were intended to be provocative. But they had a serious point. Before coming to that, we should note that in the Western world "artists" "provoke" with the same numbing regularity as young Muslim men light up other countries' flags.

When Tony-winning author Terence McNally writes a Broadway play in which Jesus has sex with Judas, the New York Times and co rush to garland him with praise for how "brave" and "challenging" he is. The rule for "brave" "transgressive" "artists" is simple: If you're going to be provocative, it's best to do it with people who can't be provoked. [bold added]
That one sentence in bold captures the common denominator behind so much of what the left (and not just its "artists") does like clockwork -- unless there's an important point to be made. Take Google, with its leftist bromide about "do[ing] no evil" as an example. With which country's government is it fighting tooth and nail, and with which has it agreed to help keep the proles -- er, its customers -- down? Hint: If I had to pick only one of these battles to fight, it wouldn't be this one.

So much of the left's posturing is just that. Its days as a force for the defense of freedom of speech, and of individual liberty are over.

But Some American Papers Did!

Eric Scheie at Classical Values reports that a few American papers finally have published cartoons of Mohammed.
In a post which has drawn comments from all over the world, I had originally chided the Inquirer for not publishing the cartoon, and said I'd apologize for my post's title -- ("Cartoons your newspaper won't let you see") if they did. Much to my surprise, the Inquirer first linked to the cartoons, then ran the hard copy above, which I scanned and put into the post. Despite the fact that the post continues to draw comments, it's no longer on the front page of the blog, hence the need for a new post. With a new title! (As Michelle [Malkin] notes, the Inquirer is joined by the New York Sun, the and the Riverside Press Enterprise.)

It was very brave of the Inquirer to do this and I agree with Michelle:
The point that needs to be hammered again and again is that the newspaper did not publish the cartoon to deliberately offend Muslims or to make an anti-Islamist statement, but to inform. Which is what newspapers, may I remind them, are supposed to do....
It's about time. Will others follow suit?

Look at the Protestors

Bothenook points to an excellent pictorial by Varifrank on the protests. This makes some excellent points besides being funny.


This guy was probably born into poverty in the Middle East and was forced to leave the country of his birth to survive, only to arrive in Christian infidel England where he was given asylum, human rights and a monthly stipend from the good people of the United Kingdom and Her Majesty, the Queen. All that work and sacrifice, just so he could go into "Shiny Londontown" and protest "freedom"; something he probably craved to do every day back on the streets of Cairo, but never had the right to do and if he did his fellow righteous Islamic brothers would have simply had him killed for speaking out. But here he is, enjoying more freedom and wealth than he has ever known in his life, so what does he decide to do? Thats right, in the words of Groucho Marx "he's against it". Of course he has no intention of returning to a place that has no freedom, because "that would be wrong".

Irony, thy name is "Ali" (or is it: Confused, thy name is "Ali"? or Blithering Idiot, thy name is "Ali"...).
The others are also quite good.

Two Good Quotes

Bruno T. Raymundo brings up two quotes at his blog, The Simplest Thing. Each is from a different context than the cartoon riots, but each is relevant to them and to the greater conflict of which these are just a battle.

First, there's this quote by Tolkien, which I agree, conveys the right spirit for the times.
Hold your ground, hold your ground. Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight! For all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!
And then there's one from Ayn Rand's Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, published over forty years ago.
The only power of a mob, as against an individual, is greater muscular strength -- i.e., plain, brute physical force. The attempt to solve social problems by means of physical force is what a civilized society is established to prevent. The advocates of mass civil disobedience admit that their purpose is intimidation. A society that tolerates intimidation as a means of settling disputes -- the physical intimidation of some men or groups by others -- loses its moral right to exist as a social system, and its collapse does not take long to follow.
Back then, it was the (then-) New Left, today's establishment ally of the Islamofascists, who were staging the violent protests. This is not a coincidence.

Some Reading Recommendations

Andy over at the Charlotte Capitalist has a good list of books on the history of ideas you might want to peruse.
If you are interested in today's politics, it is important to understand the power of ideas. It is extremely helpful to have concrete examples of how ideas drive actions. That is the realm of the history of ideas. How cultures have viewed reality, how men know things, and how men should act have driven history.

Competing philosophies have dominated in various eras. At the bottom of this post is a listing of Wilhelm Windelband's eras. The ... list of books cover some or all of the eras.
Punishing the Press

Submarine blogger Bubblehead won some national media exposure for himself when he and a WaPo writer butted heads.
In summary -- yes, it was kind of silly to focus on Arkin's factual errors in his original post. But, as I said in the comments to that post, I really couldn't figure out what the point was he was trying to make. Now that he explained that it wasn't about the cost of the Virginia class boats, I can figure out that I still don't have a clue. That's OK, though... I've posted lots of stuff that confuses my readers. I'm just not representing a major newspaper.
Heh!

Odd, but Fascinating

And on a completely different tangent, Bubblehead points to a fascinating story about a communicable cancer that is threatening the Tasmanian Devil. Here is his quote from a BBC article.
"But while many scientists had suspected a virus, Anne-Marie Pearse, a researcher for the state of Tasmania who co-wrote the article in Nature, found abnormalities in the chromosomes of the cancer cells were the same in every tumor.

"Pearse and her colleague Kate Swift discovered that, while the normal complement of chromosomes in the devil is 14, the tumours contained 13, which were grossly abnormal. These chromosomal rearrangements were identical in tumours from all 11 animals studied by the scientists.

"This offers support for the idea that the disease apparently began with a single sick devil, probably in the mid-1990s, that directly spread the cancer cells by biting other animals. The authors propose that cancer cells are dislodged from one animal and essentially transplanted to another as a result of bites inflicted around the mouth.

"Devils jaw wrestle and bite each other a lot, usually in the face and around the mouth, and bits of tumor break off one devil and stick in the wounds of another," said Ms Pearse.
This reminds me of a cell line used in cancer research that is very difficult to control and tends to contaminate other cultures.

The Loony Left

Myrhaf notes that an establishment Democrat is spouting conspiracy theories.

-- CAV

Sunday, February 5, 2006

FUTURE CARNIVAL

Morris forgot to enter this week's edition of the Carnival of the Cats.



[Editor's comment: Maybe the fish is from Bornholm?]

It could be the case that EGO will host an edition of the Carnival of the Recipes in the near future, if the organizers could find an open spot. It will then be a Danish theme...

Saturday, February 4, 2006

RELIGION OF PEACE

In the news:


EGO is joining Michelle Malkin's list, The Muhammad Cartoons Blogburst. [Via Gus Van Horn.]


Image source: Muhammad Cartoon Gallery at Human Events Online.

Do you think that the "Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy" could lead to a terrorist attack in Denmark?

Gideon Reich of the Armchair Intellectual is taking a look on the current "war on terror" situation. [Via the Secular Foxhole.]

Here is an excerpt from Amy Alkon's post, Bowing To The Barbarians.

Yeah, and my atheistic religion forbids the murder of innocent people, but the other side isn't exactly pulling out the stops for the likes of me. I just love this: fighting terror with...turning tail and scurrying back in our own spider holes.

Here's Mohammed with the bomb/turban on his head. A whole bunch of the cartoons are here (kudos to MSNBC.com for making them available). I'm sorry, but should we be offended by the cartoon itself, or because there's so much truth to it? Too little, too late of "moderate" Muslims coming out for the supposed peace their religion is based on, and too many readings from their Koran and followers of their religion advocating violence. There are a few nuts on the Christian "Right" blowing up abortion clinics, but, by and large, there's no other religion than Islam where so many people are advocating the murder of anyone who doesn't think just like them. Fucking primitives. (AdviceGoddess.com, 02/04/06.)


You could read my take on religion in my post, THE BATTLE OF IDEAS: REASON VERSUS FAITH.

Personally, I am bit concerned about my blog's high search ranking regarding the World Wide Web HQ of Hamastan, but I have to publish this cartoon:


Image source: Oyster's post, Frankly, We're Afraid of Offending You (Please Circulate) - The Jawa Report.

I haven asking the same question as Andrew Dalton of Witch Doctor Repellent: Just wait till they find out about Cox & Forkum ...


Image Problem

Posts that contain Jyllands-posten Mohammed per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

Related: My post, HATE, FAITH & FORCE.

UPDATE 02/05/06:

In the news: Mob torches Danish embassy in Beirut over cartoons - The Jerusalem Post.

Read the following posts:



A Right to Blasphemy


UPDATE 02/06/06:

In the news: Iranian paper runs Holocaust contest - The Jerusalem Post.

Iran's biggest-selling newspaper has chosen to tackle the West's ideals of "freedom of expression" by launching a competition to find the 12 "best" cartoons about the Holocaust, the Associated French Press reported on Monday. (JPost.com, 02/06/06.)


UPDATE 02/08/06:

In the news:


Undeniable


UPDATE 02/09/06:

In the news:


From the article, Sweden dragged into cartoon row:

"We have freedom of the press in our country and everyone has to take responsibility in the context of freedom of the press, and I appreciate very much the responsibility shown by the Swedish media," said Freivalds, following a meeting of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee at Stockholm’s Royal Palace. (TheLocal.se, 02/09/06.)


From Michael Moynihan's post, Disgusting. [Via InstaPundit.]

According to Dagens Nyheter, the Swedish security services (Säpo), in collusion with Foreign Minister Leila Freivalds, have forced the website SD-Kuriren offline for publishing the Jyllands-Posten cartoons (SD-Kuriren is the house organ of the hard-right Swedish Democrats). (Spectator.se, 02/10/06.)


[Editor's comment: I am glad that my blog is not hosted in Sweden...]

From my post, THE DARK SIDE OF SWEDEN.

Did you know that Sweden had censorship laws in place during the WWII? Torgny Segerstedt, chief editor of Göteborgs Handels- och Sjöfarts-Tidning, took a stand against Nazi Germany. Segerstedt wrote an article with the title, Herr Hitler är en förolämpning (translation: "Mr. Hitler is an insult"), on February 3, 1933. ...

Related: Read the report by the Stephen Roth Institute. Check out the result of the election in Sweden. Do you see an ominous trend? (EGO, 10/20/02.)


Must-See TV


UPDATE 02/10/06:

In the news:


Recommended reading:


For more on the Danish cartoon story, check out the "Image of Muhammad" theme at Watch.

UPDATE 02/14/06:

In the news:


Overboard


UPDATE 02/22/06:

In the news: Websites defaced in protest of Prophet Mohammed cartoons.

Thousands of websites were defaced as an act of protest against the published controversial cartoons of Prophet Mohammed, a website keeping track of global website defacements has shown.

According to Zone-H.org (www.zone-h.org), more than 2,000 web servers worldwide were attacked since February 16, 2006, after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten decided to publish the cartoons in September 2005. (Inq7.net, 02/21/06.)


Toonophobia

DANISH BACON

[Editor's note to Punctilious of Blog o'RAM: How about having a Carnival of the Recipes with a Danish theme?]

I republish my post, BACON AND HAM TOAST, as a contribution to the "Buy Danish" campaign. I suggest that you drink a beer from Carlsberg brewery with the toast and then serve a Danish pastry, e.g., a Kringle, as dessert.


Source: Tammy Bruce's post, Support the Danes/Buy All Things Danish.

Here is an old time favorite, bacon & ham toast:

Ingredients:


Directions:

  1. Put the egg white, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce in a bowl and stir it together.
  2. Spread the sauce mixture on two slices of bread.
  3. Put ham slices, bacon strips, and tomato slices on the bread.
  4. Sprinkle chile pepper flakes.
  5. Add the cheese and then put the other slice of bread on top of everything.
  6. Put the sandwich in the toaster grill. (EGO, 10/15/05.)



Tulip bacon from Denmark.

Related: My post, BOYCOTT.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 2-1-06

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

One's Own Fairy Godmother

I like the way Jennifer Snow puts it when she considers the importance of one's own effort in effecting a personal transformation.
From Ovid's Metamorphoses to fairy tales to modern rags-to-riches tales, the thread is always there. Change is what humans are all about.

In fairy tales, though, the transformation is always at the impetus of some outside source, some spell or fruit or fairy godmother that rewards the deserving or forces the wicked into some serious soul-searching.

...

When you do, you'll find at the end that, surprisingly, you did have that ingredient after all. You conjured it up out of thin air. You are your own fairy godmother.
Nuke Detection

I'm not talking about bombs here, but people. (Nuclear-trained submariners are often called "nukes".)

Every once in awhile, Bothenook writes up a post about his Navy days that makes me wish I were back, and that's not even accounting for the decade younger I'd be.
as an aside, but related. i used to keep a 3 way main steam stop bypass valve on my desk at work. i could always tell who was truly a nuke or not within seconds. if you came to my desk, saw the valve, and DIDN'T pick it up, take it apart, and put it back together while standing there talking to me, you probably weren't a nuke.

there just seems to be a natural curiosity in the breed. most of them would ignore the wooden puzzle box, but were unable to leave the valve alone
That one made me chuckle.

Naval Research is Discriminatory?!?!

Grant Jones reports on the threat posed by leftist academics to military research at the University of Hawaii.
The claim that unclassified military research somehow violates Hawaii's anti-discrimination law was floated last year by UH law professor Jon Van Dyke. Since this argument is patently absurd, Keever is now linking it to alleged classified research and alleged required security clearances.

While working for various defense electronic companies I have had security clearances. At the lower level of clearance the company itself runs a background check. Background checks on public school teachers are more thorough than these low level clearances. Even at a higher level no civilian is ever asked about their sexual orientation.

Soon the university's Board of Regents will be deciding on whether to accept the UARC proposal. The academic leftists are right; the future of the institution will be determined by the Board's decision. The University of Hawaii Manoa has recently dropped to third-tier status according to U.S. News and World Reports. The university responded that this is "not quite the distinction we want." If the Board votes down the UARC, it's a distinction they had better get used to.

...

With its vote the Board will be sending a message to the state and nation. Does the university represent the people of the state, the overwhelming majority of who support the Navy and its mission, or is the university to be controlled by a small cabal of anti-American leftists? Let's hope for the sake of the university and the people of Hawaii the Board votes in favor of the U.S. Navy.
***

This week, I have two pairs of posts that mention the same subject. One of each pair is serious, the other not. I like all four posts, so I offer...

A Study in Contrasts I: The State of the Union

Nick Provenzo pointed out that Bush's State of the Union Address might drive one to drink ...
So not unlike President Clinton's State of the Union addresses, President Bush is expected to rely upon the "micro-initiative" to sell his agenda. How pathetic.
... while Bubblehead proposed a way to at least have fun doing it.
So, everytime Mother Sheehan is shown while President Bush is discussing military issues, take one drink. If she's shown while the President is honoring our fallen heroes, throw the bottle at the TV...
As it turns out, Mother Sheehan was absent, but the microinitiatives were allowed in.

The absence of Mother Sheehan, mentioned before beginning of the speech by the crew at Fox News was its high point, but things quickly went downhill from there. I was especially unhappy when Bush came to within an inch of ripping Iran a new one, only to induce cognitive whiplash with his sudden shift into HIV/AIDS.

But would we, as Provenzo would have us ponder, necessarily be better off, in terms of the battle of ideas, with John Kerry in office? That's an interesting question.

A Study in Contrasts II: Copyright Law

I discussed a fantastically bad "defense" of copyright law I ran into recently...
To refer to the fact that child pornography and snuff films are illegal as "social censorship" is doubly wrong. (1) It ignores the fact that one man's rights do not supercede another's. And (2), it uses the name of a violation of the rights of one man to refer to what is actually a protection of the rights of another! This would be like pointing out that policemen sometimes have to kill criminals, and saying that sometimes it is necessary to have "social murder".
... while at Save the Humans, Jason Roth demonstrates fair use.
Now, in my opinion, it's doubtful that some non-profit company or government agency paid for an original photo. There's no need to retake a photo that could easily be purchased cheaply from a third party. So, here's what I'm wondering. Do you think, when the chick signed the contract with the stock photo company, that she knew she would be a poster child for safe sex?
He then photoblogs on the possible consequences of posing for stock photo companies.

In my post, one William Rees-Mogg compares copyright law to censorship -- with a straight face -- as his argument for Google, now that it has shown support for censorship, to respect copyright law. Try again, Mr. Rees-Mogg.

Coincidentally, my employer exercises its property rights to bar access to "pornographic" sites like Save the Humans, meaning that I can't access Roth's handiwork from ... work.

A Russian Answer to Anti-Missile Defenses?

Vigilis discusses Bulava missiles at Molten Eagle.
Will Russia place the new missiles on its submarines? Putin said the new missiles were capable of carrying nuclear warheads. He wouldn't say whether the Russian military already had commissioned any such missiles., but as Molten Eagle note 4 days ago here, Russian is laying the keel of the third strategic submarine of the new Borey-class, constructed to carry the new solid-propellant, 10-warhead maneuverable Bulava missiles.
Apply the Thirteenth Amendment to Me!

Andy over at the Charlotte Capitalist makes the following excellent point about the income tax.
Today In History in 1865. This was a great moment for all Americans -- black and white. It continued the trend against slavery throughout the world brought on by the Enlightenment and capitalism[.] ...

What is slavery?

the state of a person who is a chattel of another

Just a few amendments later:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Hmmm...what happened to forbidding involuntary servitude? Not buying it? Take a look at how much of your paycheck goes to "social services" at the federal, state, and local level. You are not paying for those "services" voluntarily.
Diana Got Fan Mail!

Diana Hsieh over at Noodle Food shares with us an email with an interesting list of reading recommendations. The sender's general tone showed that he is as well-versed in the art of persuasion as he is in Middle Eastern affairs. He recommends, not just with a straight face, but with an angry scowl:
1) The Zionist Connection by Dr. Alfred M. Lilienthal
2) The Question of Palestine by Edward Said
3) The Fateful Triangle by Noam Chomsky
4) The Great War For Civilization: The Conquest of The Middle East by Robert Fisk
5) What Price Israel ? by Alfred M. Lilienthal
6) The Other Side of The Coin by Alfred M. Lilienthal
7) Pity The Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon by Robert Fisk
I particularly recommend also perusing the reader comments. (e.g. "What, no "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion"? A careless oversight by Mr. Hardesty, I'm sure." Hee hee!)

I don't get such quality hate mail, but I do occasionally get a comment that makes up for that fact.

The Meme Game

Elizabeth at Hence, the Elizabethan has joined the Meme Game I played recently. She even answered the Beer Question I added as an improvement. She is a fellow guest blogger at Ego, where she does some memorable cat blogging from time to time.

Joined in Progress:
Just after I composed this post (but before publication), Lubber's Line threw his hat in the ring, including the Beer Question and following Alex's lead with "Four Cars I Have Owned".

Stop by and visit the other players, listed here and here.

-- CAV