Sunday, April 30, 2006

SPRING TIME

I am still waiting for the spring to come... It is cold and rainy weather. Today is Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustav's 60th birthday. I wonder if he will get a greeting from the Sultanate of Brunei... It would be fun to play a "Republican game" this spring.

A warning to the members of the "working class" who will participate in the May Day demonstrations. Morris is watching you! [Editor's comment: Look at his eyes!]



Talking about demonstrations, Pajamas Media will follow the "illegal immigration" march on May 1. For my take on the issue, please read my post, IMMIGRATION REFORM.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

SHARIA LAW IN SWEDEN

In the news:

Sweden's biggest association of Muslims demands the right for Swedish Muslims to practice their own laws.

Special laws for marriage and divorce, and public schools teaching Arabic and religion to Muslim children in homogenous groups. These are two of the requests in a letter sent to all the political parties in the Parliament yesterday by the Muslim association. (Radio Sweden, 04/28/06.)

From the Associated Press:

Mahmoud Aldebe, head of Sweden's largest Islamic organization, SMF, said Muslims should be given time off work for Friday prayers and Islamic holidays and that imams should approve all divorces between Muslim couples. (JPost.com, 04/28/06.)


Read the comments at Little Green Footballs.

Lost in Sharia


Related: My post, SHARIAH LAW IN AFGHANISTAN AGAINST BEAUTY PAGEANT.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 4-26-06

Cross-Posted from Gus Van Horn

Song of the Day: Taps

Diana Hsieh has a very lengthy, but extremely worthwhile post on her long and systematic betrayal by Chris Sciabarra. This passage, I think, best characterizes his modus operandi.
As Chris says, the "fundamental differences" between us "on many, many significant questions" are fairly obvious. However, my views on important particulars, such his "dialectical" interpretation of Ayn Rand, are not at all obvious to bystanders. Moreover, I did not choose to remain silent about those particulars because I regarded them as unworthy of discussion, but out of concern to honor my prior friendship. Chris knows that. He also knows that our friendship was based upon his deceptions and manipulations. He knows that he's been whispering unjust lies about me behind my back. Yet he's content to keep me bound and gagged by my promise to him. A semi-honorable man would have released me from that promise in this blog post, so that we could duke out our differences in the open. Then again, a man with genuine confidence in the value of his work would not have accepted that promise in the first place.
As someone who has been betrayed, she has my sympathy; as a writer, my respect. And as one whose opinion, that "promoting the highest standards of objectivity in scholarship on Ayn Rand and Objectivism is ... of particular pressing importance", is essentially the same as my own, she has my thanks.

And be sure to peruse the comments. Nick Provenzo makes a particularly good point about how such opponents of the Ayn Rand Institute so frequently paste supporters of ARI with the charge that they demand "loyalty oaths". I think this fits in quite well with an observation on Diana's part that some of Sciabarra's behavior towards her was a form of psychological projection.

I look forward to reading her eventual critique of Sciabarra's Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical.

And what do I mean by the title of this section? You may have to dig a little. Dig?

Alida Valli, RIP

Via Randex, I have learned that the actress who played Kira in the bootleg movie version of Ayn Rand's We the Living made in Fascist Italy, has died.

Gas Fumes


Cox and Forkum very nicely sum up the hypocrisy of every American who complains about the oil companies raising prices for gasoline.

I vaguely recall reading an economist somewhere who lamented the fact that the word "wage" is used instead of the less-loaded phrase "labor price". That four-letter word certainly does provide a convenient cover for statists who seek to increase government interference with the economy when prices for other commodities go up.

24

Help my shipmate! Willy Shake has a cat whose weight is "the same number of pounds as the title of a popular TV show on Fox".

I have a cat with a similar problem, but with the added twist that I have an older cat who needs food around all the time. So my advice to Willy, if he doesn't already do this, is to give his cat limited quantities of food twice or three times a day.

So if anyone has any ideas he -- or I -- can use, leave a comment or drop a line, and thanks in advance.

Soviet Submarine Base Pictures

There's one and links to more over at The Stupid Shall Be Punished. Sez Bubblehead: "The pictures at Fun Mansion really look like the base was straight out of a James Bond movie..." I agree.

Iran is the New PLO

Hmmm. Yasser Arafat harasses Israel with murder and mayhem for decades -- and gets them to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza. So is it really any big surprise that Iran is building nukes and threatening to launch them at Israel -- and calling for them to withdraw from Israel altogether?

The president of Iran, depending on what moment it is, will deny the holocaust, threaten Israel with one, or tell the Germans to "let go of [their] anti-Judaism". Read the whole thing and ask yourself why the hell anyone at all would seriously consider negotiating with (which entails speaking with) this regime. It is incredible that this has gone on for as long as it has.

How do you say ...

... "without a clue" in Portuguese?

Contradiction Required

Mike's Eyes quotes from a Q&A from the Sunday print edition of The Detroit News.
Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac to prove his faith, and he did so without knowing that God would send an angel to stay his hand at the last moment. In order for Abraham to pass this ultimate test he had to hold two contradictory beliefs at the same time. He had to believe that the God of love and justice would never ask him to sacrifice his innocent, beloved son, but he also had to believe that the God who gives life deserved to be obeyed completely. In holding both beliefs, Abraham passed the test and was not required to sacrifice Isaac. [Mike's italics]
I'd say that it was his mind -- though not in so many words -- that Abraham was asked to sacrifice.

Being Intoxicated is No Excuse

I've been meaning to point to this for awhile. The General quotes from a very good legal opinion.
The rationale behind our long-standing rule as to voluntary ingestion of intoxicants and drugs is apparent. An individual who places himself in a position to have no control over his actions must be held to intend the consequences. Such a principle is absolutely essential to the protection of life and property.
Read more if you want to see a legal opinion which actually uses the phrase "inestimable gift of reason"!

Note that if this was an April Fool's joke, it was posted 11 days too late!

Archivist to Speak at NYU

Mike at Passing Thoughts notes that there is to be an interesting talk by an ARI archivist on "The History of the Objectivist Campus Club Movement" to be held, ironically enough, at NYU, which recently would not permit its campus club to display images of my blog's mascot.

-- CAV

Sunday, April 23, 2006

ZUZANA DRABINOVA

FYI: The woman in the new Body In Mind ad is Zuzana Drabinova.

Recommended reading: Leanne Bell's article, How to be a chick magnet.

Related: My post, INTERVIEW WITH DWAYNE BELL.

GOOD LIFE WEEKEND 16

Here is another reason to send a thank-you message to Christopher Columbus. Here is an excerpt from Nancy O'Donnell's article, In the garden, habanero is hot, hot, hot.

If you love habaneros, you might want to consider thanking Christopher Columbus as many historians believe he may be responsible for discovering these spicy little gems and introducing them to European gardeners upon his return to Spain. Today habaneros are commercially grown throughout the Yucatan where annual harvests of 1,500 tons, not pounds, tons, are the norm. (AZcentral.com, 04/11/06.)


BEAUTY QUEEN FIGHTS AGAINST THE MULLAHS

Nazanin Afshin-Jam has started an "online petition to save a young Iranian woman who has been sentenced to death for killing an attempted rapist." [Hat tip to Dwayne Bell of SuperBeauty.org.] Listen to her song, Someday (The Revolution Song). [Via Regime Change Iran.]

BIN LADEN WHEREABOUTS

Is Osama bin Laden hiding under the mat?

CAFFE LATTE INDEX

I have to follow the Tall Latte Index, now when I am entering the coffee business. Starbucks has not opened its doors in Sweden yet, but it is probably only a matter of time. Sweden is #2 on the list of coffee consumption per capita. We have about 200 coffee bars in Gothenburg and the citizens spend circa SEK 400,000,000 per year. If I understand the index correctly, my initial price idea of SEK 25-30 for a cup of caffe latte, should be in the right price range. The "only" problem now, is the declining retail price in Sweden and the over valuation of the Euro against the Dollar. Please tell me the price of a cup of coffee at your local place. You could use The Economist's Big Mac index for the currency calculation.

Here is a new photo from Blue Chip Café.



My coffee supplier will soon give me a barista course on how to brew the Perfect Cup... [Editor's note: Ego is wearing a stylish Entrepreneur t-shirt from Solo Tees. Talking about t-shirts, I will set up a Blue Chip Café online shop in the near future.]

Related: My post, OPEN THREAD POST: 75 REASONS FOR BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

HOW TO SURVIVE EARTH DAY

Have you managed to avoid the tree-huggers? [Editor's comment: Beating (biking) around the Bush?;)] Didn't you read my warning (BE WARNED: ANTI-MAN DAY ON APRIL 22) from last year? Be careful so you don't end up Meeting Doctor Doom... [Via TIA Daily.]

From Robert Tracinski's commentary, The Environmentalist Plague:

The core idea of environmentalism is not clean air and water. Its central idea is the worship of untouched, "wild" natureto which man is the ultimate threat who must be eliminated. Don't believe me? Check out the link below, a chilling description of how yet another environmentalist views man as a cancer on the earth and longs for a killer virus to wipe us all out. (TIADaily.com, 04/21/06.)


Recommended reading:


Farce of Nature

Friday, April 21, 2006

MISS USA

Did you watch the Miss USA competition? [Hat tip to Body In Mind news.] During my years in Ohio I visited the neighboring state, Kentucky, a couple of times.

Related: My post, NEW MISS SWEDEN COMPETITION.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 4-19-06

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Multiculturalism vs. Justice

Nicole Gelinas has a disturbing blog entry up at City Journal in which she correctly identifies "hate crime" legislation as "targeting ... criminals ... for what they think" and then notes an additional problem in the application of such laws: that the inability to read minds makes such laws impossible to enforce.
[Broderick] Hehman's [black] attackers [who shouted "Get whitey!"] get the benefit of the near impossibility of proving what someone is thinking, while [Nicholas] Minucci [who is white and may have said "nigger"] does not. But don't blame the police: the murky facts of each case show that the hate-crimes law is impossible to apply in the first place.
I am glad to see someone at City Journal has taken an interest in so-called "hate crime" legislation. This is a good thing, because many on both the left and the right support such laws when it suits their purposes.

Pragmatism vs. the War Effort

I have a question for our Commander-in-Chief: How can we expect Iran to take our blustering about possibly using nukes seriously if he is going to let the army forbid the use of Israeli bullets by American soldiers in Iraq?

And how will this subordination of American military preparedness to Islamic sensibilities give us Americans confidence that protecting our lives is his highest priority?

And why should such media outlets as Comedy Central or The Boston Phoenix feel safe stretching their necks out to "offend" Moslems? (See next subentry.)

Pragmatism vs. Freedom of Speech

Beck at Classical Values took the trouble to write Comedy Central to inquire about their recent, disgraceful decision to refuse to air a depiction of Mohammed in a recent South Park episode. I found the following two points especially illuminating.

First, Beck's letter:
I'm extremely disappointed that you caved to the very tactics which the recent South Park episode so bravely and astutely railed against by censoring out the image of Mohammed. You were presented with a chance to do something extremely principled and to defend the very freedoms of expression which make so much of Comedy Central's programming viable. I don't think it would be unfair to say that less than 10% of your programming would be acceptable to the very extremists you caved to. Small concessions today cannot help but lead to far more substantial ramifications in the future. As the episode itself points out, every interest group on the planet will now be encouraged to attempt to pressure you to self censor anything which they find offensive. I am extremely disappointed and discouraged by the cowardly decision made by Comedy Central.
Second, from the network's reply:
It was with this in mind we decided not to air the image of Muhammad, a decision similar to that made by virtually every single media outlet across the country earlier this year when they each determined that it was not prudent or in the interest of safety to reproduce the controversial Danish cartoons. Injuries occurred and lives were lost in the riots set off by the original publication of these cartoons. The American media made a decision then, as we did now, not to put the safety and well being of the public at risk, here or abroad.
This sounds very much like the recent decision by The Boston Phoenix not to print the Danish cartoons -- except that Comedy Central seems to regard the decision as not terribly important and later even spins its decision as "responsible".

In light of our government's repeated failures to make principled stands for freedom of expression, some cowardice is understandable. But Comedy Central is unlike the Phoenix in that it doesn't name the lack of government protection as the problem, choosing the pragmatic tack of seeking to hit public relations gold instead. This is not something to spin. The time to demand that our government provide protection for our First Amendment rights is now.

For example, ...

Protest in DC

Nick Provenzo, who has also blogged on Comedy Central's decision, has decided to stage a protest in Washington against our government's inaction. And, if you can't be there, consider donating to the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism. (I wonder: Not that my taxes are all that complicated, but are such donations tax-exempt?)

Medical Malpractice and Islamic Law

Paul Hsieh has been doing lots of interesting blogging over at Noodle Food lately. This bit on the penalty under Islamic law for a physician's killing a patient by mistake was quite amusing.

Tax Day Roundup

Martin Lindeskog has a post up about taxation, which links to an informative article by Richard Ralston on "How Government Spending Damages Your Health".

Hilarious Sea Story

When I was in the Navy, my fellow officers seemed convinced I was secretly writing a novel about my experiences. If I had, it would have been a comedic work. But it would have been incomplete without a story like this, by Bothenook. (Which is probably why I never wrote it!) He details an elaborate scheme by which he and some of his shipmates save the entire crew from the horrors of -- blecch -- instant coffee.
see, we made a huge deal about our bringing our own personal coffee, stored in our own personal storage spots under our bunks. that was the only way we could get away with it. if the command figured out we had navy coffee, stored in the engineroom and not in our personal storage, taking place of candy, smokes, skivvies or whatever else you might take to sea with you, we would have been stomped flat.

but, make it sound like you were willing to sacrifice your own couple of cubic inches of storage to bring real coffee... hell, now you are a hero.

and since the rest of the crew all bought it that this was coffee bought out of our own paychecks at the grocery store, they didn't abuse our stash.

the whole thing was an elaborate exercise. we didn't have ziplock bags then. so when it was time to replenish the coffee, i would climb outboard the main engine carrying a 12 x 24 green poly bag, open a can, fill the bag, then tape the bag shut.

when people saw the coffee in taped bags that laid relatively flat, they bought the whole "personal space" line.
I love it! Read the whole thing!

-- CAV

Sunday, April 16, 2006

EASTER CAT

Morris is not traveling to "blåkulla" (Blocksberg / Brocken in German). He is staying at home, resting after a "long Friday"... [Editors note: He is not a member of the Pope Benedict XVI Fan Club.]

Saturday, April 15, 2006

TAX DAY

Have you filed your taxes? Read Richard Ralston's article, Health Care on Tax Day: How Government Spending Damages Your Health.

What will you do on Tax Freedom Day on April 26? Here is an excerpt from Patrick Graham's article, When do you start working for yourself?

The highest tax burden can be found in Connecticut, which won't celebrate Tax Freedom Day until May 12.

In fact, in general the Tax Foundation found that the lower tax burdens were in the Southern states, while states in the Northeast had some of the highest tax burdens.

Just one more reason to proudly proclaim: Southern by the grace of God.

So, if you don't have your taxes done, get on it. You are quickly running out of time.

And get back to work. There are still a couple of weeks to go before you can start keeping some of what you earn. (WaltonTribune.com, 04/15/06.)


Here is an interesting historical tidbit from ShopFloor.org: The Manufacturers' Blog:

April 15 is also the anniversary of Leonardo DaVinci's birth and the day Lincoln died. McDonald's served its first hamburger on this date, so there's a manufacturing connection for you die hards. (blog.nam.org, 04/15/06.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 4-12-06

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

It is time to attack Iran.

Martin Lindeskog and I agree that the time to knock out Iran's incipient nuclear capabilities is now.

And Amit Ghate points out a superb Mark Steyn article on that very subject.
[W]e face a choice between bad and worse options. There can be no "surgical" strike in any meaningful sense: Iran's clients on the ground will retaliate in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and Europe. Nor should we put much stock in the country's allegedly "pro-American" youth. This shouldn't be a touchy-feely nation-building exercise: rehabilitation may be a bonus, but the primary objective should be punishment -- and incarceration. It's up to the Iranian people how nutty a government they want to live with, but extraterritorial nuttiness has to be shown not to pay. That means swift, massive, devastating force that decapitates the regime -- but no occupation.

The cost of de-nuking Iran will be high now but significantly higher with every year it's postponed. The lesson of the Danish cartoons is the clearest reminder that what is at stake here is the credibility of our civilization. Whether or not we end the nuclearization of the Islamic Republic will be an act that defines our time. [bold added]
In a reply to a comment on my blog posted, presumably, by one of these youths, I had this to say.
My life is being threatened by the activities of your government, which seems intent on causing some kind of military confrontation. My choice is either to let your government threaten my life and those of the ones I love -- or support a war to defeat it.

This is a choice your leaders are forcing me to make. I choose to live, knowing full well that decent people like you -- people probably very much like me in many ways -- will die as my country defends my life.

If you understand this, then you will see why you must redouble you efforts to depose the regime in Iran or, if that is not possible to you, to flee.

You have my sympathy, but I cannot allow my sympathy to cost me my own life. [bold added]
We Americans can be generous to a fault. This last point is especially important for some of us to remember and for others to realize now. We simply cannot fool ourselves into thinking that any goodwill we might naturally feel towards the Iranian people will be met with anything besides nuclear and terrorist attacks from the government they have not removed from power in more than a quarter century.

2006 World Cup Hosted by Saudis, Delegated to German Dhimmis

Until the West decides to stand up for itself, it is going to be impossible, apparently, even to read news reports about what should be an enjoyable event without hearing about how the Moslems insist on how it should be done.
The German resort town of Bad Nauheim is doing everything they can to accommodate the wishes of their new overlords: Hotel cleans up for Saudis.
Photos of naked women are being removed from the Hotel's health spa. I guess the Germans are basing how they submit to their overlords on the fact that there was no rioting in Indonesia over the recently-lamented lack of nudity in the Moslem version of Playboy.

Interesting what kinds of pictures make the blood of a Moslem "man" boil, isn't it?

Just Asking...

Why doesn't Blogger's spell checker recognize "blog" and terms based upon it? Grrr!

Submarine History

Bubblehead wishes our submarine force a happy 106th birthday.

Lubber's Line marks the 43rd anniversary of the loss of the USS Thresher.

Automobile lovers, take note!

Submarine blogger Alex Nunez informs me that he'll be live-blogging the media preview of an auto show in NYC at his other blog today and tomorrow.
I will be covering the NY Auto Show media preview days tomorrow and Thursday at my carblog, NoonzWheels (URL below). Please check in periodically for the latest on the goings-on at the show. I will actually be on site as a credentialed member of the media, and it should be pretty fun (I even get to graze on the reporter food in the media center). If you're into cars at all, please stop by.
Veksler on Immigration

While I do not agree with David Veksler's opposition to the idea of citizenship, but I thought he made some very good points in this comparison of immigrants from dictatorships to escaped American slaves.
I am referring primarily to the Cuban, but also the Chinese, Haitian, and many other immigrants who are denied entry or forced to return to dictatorships. Some are political activists seeking freedom of expression, but most simply do not wish to live as property of the state, and will do anything to live as free men and women.

These would-be immigrants have shown by their actions than they are far better Americans than most people born in the U.S. While most Americans don't even bother to vote, they abandon their entire life and culture and often risk everything to embrace the American dream. Upon coming to America, they are usually far more successful than their native born-counterparts. By any rational standard of justice, these immigrants deserve to be here far more than the millions of welfare slobs, America-hating hippies and intellectuals, and all the union workers and assorted privileged moochers who believe that their livelihood comes from a divine birthright rather than the unbridled genius and hard work of self-made men.
Cox and Forkum illustrated the point made in the second paragraph very well recently.

Last (Booty) Call!

It looks like my state representative, Al "Booty Call" Edwards, is on his way out the door.

And I know where he shouldn't let it hit him on the way out!

JAP DIP

"Just Another Peaceful Day in Islamic Paradise." Here are three developments I ran across this morning without even looking for them.
  1. A deadly terrorist bombing has killed dozens in Pakistan. (HT: Michelle Malkin)
  2. Islamists are in a power struggle with the secular military in Turkey.
  3. An Egyptian web site has posted a "hit list" of Moslem apostates, which includes some prominent Westerners.
I'm sure there's more, but I haven't got all day.

To end on a light note...

I really enjoy reading Toiler's descriptions of the writer's life at Acid Free Paper. Even when he discusses writer's block!

-- CAV

Sunday, April 9, 2006

NUKE IRAN

In the news:


Here is an excerpt from Seymour Hersh's post, The Iran Plans. [Via Regime Change Iran.]

The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. (The New Yorker, 04/12/06.)


Do you think that George W. Bush has the guts to order a strike against the mullahs in Iran? Joe Gandelman of the Moderate Voice has an extensive roundup in his post, Hersh: Bush Plans On War With Iran Using Tactical Nukes.

I wonder if Hans Blix will visit Iran...

Blixatron

PLAYBOY IN INDONESIA

In the news:


From Pieter Dorsman's post, First cartoons, now Playboy. [Via Andrew Sullivan.]

The last time I purchased a copy of Playboy was in the late 90s because Fay Resnick was in it, believing it would become a valuable collector's item. If you live in Indonesia you may want to stock up on the country's new local Playboy edition because it may not be on the shelves for very long: (PeakTalk.com, 04/07/06.)

CAT, PLANTS AND BUSINESS

Morris is jumping around...



and the plants are growing...



Here is another photo from Blue Chip Café.

IMMIGRATION REFORM

What's going on with the debate on immigration reform? Could it be true that the majority of Americans want closed borders? If this is really the case, I hope the situation will change in the near future. Both Pat Buchanan and "Gustav W. Bush" have ancestors from foreign countries...

I recommend you to read Harry Binswanger's white paper (Immigration Quotas vs. Individual Rights: The Moral and Practical Case for Open Immigration) on open immigration.

Related: My posts, IMMIGRATION, GREEN CARD LOTTERY, THE BUSINESS ASPECT OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, FORBES ON IMMIGRATION and THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY.

Here is an excerpt from Nicholas Provenzo's post, Welcome to the Second Carnival of the Objectivists!

American-in-spirit Martin Lindeskog recalls his one-man counter protest of the ant-war left in Sweden. Would someone please get this man a green card and bring him to America so he doesn't have to suffer these imbeciles any more. (Rule of Reason, 04/07/06.)


[Editor's note to Nicholas Provenzo: Thank you! :)]

Mucho Caliente


Tag: .

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 4-5-06

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

An Elegant Date, 4-5-6

I agree with Isaac Schroedinger that it is, but 3-4-5 was a Pythagorean date!

Harry Binswanger on Immigration

Bruno an "American-in-spirit" points to Harry Binswanger's piece at Capitalism Magazine advocating open immigration.
This is a defense of phasing-in open immigration into the United States. Entry into the U.S. should ultimately be free for any foreigner, with the exception of criminals, would-be terrorists, and those carrying infectious diseases. (And note: I am defending freedom of entry and residency, not the automatic granting of U.S. citizenship).
Via Passing Thoughts, I have learned that the piece has already been picked up by Immigration Daily.

Interesting, tangentially-related tidbit: Did you know that our President has Swedish ancestry?

Celebrating the Beautiful

Moslem clerics may say that "Reality is a mistake, we must rectify it," but I have a feeling that Andy would disagree. He not only accepts reality, he is busy celebrating the moral and the beautiful over at The Charlotte Capitalist. I especially like his post on "Russian Mardi Gras".

Iranian Weapons: All in our Minds (So Far)

Bubblehead gives the low-down on Iran's "super-fast" torpedo.
Us submariners know that such claims are either spurious (radar evading -- not hard for a submarine firing an underwater weapon) or ridiculous (a supercavitating torpedo that can "evade sonar detection"?). Vigilis has more background on the Russian Shkval supercavitiating torpedo on which this alleged weapon is supposed to be based, but even if they did make something like this, the things are basically unguidable, and are really only useful for firing down the bearing of an incoming torpedo in hopes of getting your opponent to move, or, if it's armed with a nuclear warhead, as a "revenge" weapon.
Good for propaganda purposes -- unless your opponent is a country that has freedom of speech and is home to a retired submariner who likes to throw the BS flag.

And then Cox and Forkum illustrate another of Iran's weapons, the Blixatron.


That one is only effective against a country that accepts the notion that the United Nations -- which has dictatorships from around the world as members -- has even a grain of moral authority.

Finally, Mark Steyn points out (via Unconsidered Trifles) the deadliest weapon by far in the Iranian arsenal: the unwillingness of so many in the West to speak plainly about the fact that many Moslems favor jihad.
To win a war, you don't spin a war. Millions of ordinary citizens are not going to stick with a "long war" (as the administration now calls it) if they feel they're being dissembled to about its nature. One reason we regard Churchill as a great man is that his speeches about the nature of the enemy don't require unspinning or detriangulating.

If I had to propose a model for Western rhetoric, it would be the Australians. In the days after Sept. 11, the French got all the attention for that Le Monde headline -- "Nous sommes tous Americains" -- "We are all Americans," though they didn't mean it, even then. But John Howard, the Aussie prime minister, put it better and kept his word: "This is no time to be an 80 percent ally."

Marvelous. More recently, the prime minister offered some thoughts on the difference between Muslims and other immigrant groups. "You can't find any equivalent in Italian or Greek or Lebanese or Chinese or Baltic immigration to Australia. There is no equivalent of raving on about jihad," he said, stating the obvious in a way most political leaders can't quite bring themselves to do. "There is really not much point in pretending it doesn't exist." [bold added]
Read it all! As that old Pogo line goes, "We have met the enemy and they are us."

Now. Let's start the bombing before Iran gets some weapons more directly under its control.

RAWR

In Naval Nuclear Power School -- the only place I have ever had to pass a final to lift an average for a class (thermodynamics) into passing range -- test grading is especially brutal. An acronym I never got myself was RAWR, short for "right answer, wrong reason".

NNPS wasn't some slacker college course where a student could just slap down whatever he knew on paper to get partial credit. Quite to the contrary. Your underlying reasoning had to be good. This meant that even if you somehow regurgitated the right "short version" of the correct answer to a question, if what you said demonstrated that you did not know the way to get there, you lost points. All the points. Why? Because in the real world, you can't guess correctly all the time. Only a thorough knowledge of the relevant facts and the applicable principles will carry the day.

Paul Hsieh's post on "Why it's important to agree on the fundamentals" reminded me, indirectly, of that. His point carries RAWR into the arena of ideas as he points out why Objectivists make it clear we are not Libertarians. A Libertarian might, for example, oppose taxation. But then, since the Libertarian movement can't be bothered with silly details like, "Why is taxation wrong?" or even "What is liberty?" that same Libertarian might also be against our government having a military, or even against us having a government at all. Both of these stands contradict the first since the purpose of (and need for) a government is to protect individual rights. Individual rights ultimately derive from man's nature as the rational animal, his consequent need to think in order to survive, and the fact that the initiation of force by other men can prevent someone from benefitting from the use of his intellect. But without such an understanding, the Libertarian who guesses "correctly" about taxation misses the mark on other issues, to the ultimate detriment of his professed cause.

A Sexy Campaign Poster

The Gaijin Biker, of "Freedom is Sexy" fame, has the first (and only) sexy political campaign poster I have ever seen. It's from the Ukraine, the only land where you can cast your vote for a hot chick on a motorcycle!

Mother Paris?

Zach Oakes asks a question I have had before: Does Paris Hilton's facial expression ever change?

Perhaps the motion picture director who is thinking about casting her as Mother Teresa should ask the same thing!

The Sick Man, Europe

Amit Ghate has posted some interesting graphs showing how detrimental big government can be to economic growth.

-- CAV

Monday, April 3, 2006

OPEN THREAD POST: PLUCK THE DAY

I am busy this week with a course in logistics, setting up a web site for a café & bar in Gothenburg, and working on our start-up company. I will set aside some time for reading the first issue of the Objective Standard. I received the magazine in the mail today.

I recommend you to read Pluck the Day? by Jason Roberts.


Tomato and chile pepper plants.

GEORGE W BUSH IS A SWEDE

I wonder if the Swedish media will change its attitude toward America, now when they have found out that George W Bush is a Swede... ;)