Tuesday, June 27, 2006

NEW BLOGS: NAMESDAY AND ML MARKET

I have started two new blogs:

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Friday, June 23, 2006

PHILOSOPHY SOCCER

Greece will not play against Germany this year, but in an old Monty Python sketch, the Greek team won an important match, philosophically speaking. [Via The Secular Foxhole.] The problem in today's culture is that you could see ominous parallels in many areas. Read Burgess Laughlin's column, THE NEXT 10 OR 20 YEARS?, from 2004.

Monty Python - International Philosophy


Technorati: Popular YourTube.com Movies.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 6-22-06

Cross-Posted from Gus Van Horn

50-50 Odds on a Roundup Next Week

If excusing oneself for a spell of light blogging is a membership requirement, then I'm about to join the club with Andy and Mike. Over the next week, I will be working on a major project and travelling, so the odds of my posting anything here are slim to none until late Monday. After that, we'll see. In any event, I am excusing myself now from the next mid-week linkfest in case I need the time.

But I shall return, unlike Alex, who has joined a group blog. Or, perhaps, Myrhaf (HT: Blair), who claims to have beaten his addiction to writing, but recently posted an update. Only to "quit" again. No. Not quite. He is "not blogging regularly again", you see.

That blog was one of my favorites and I must confess that I wouldn't mind seeing Myrhaf "not blog regularly" on a more frequent, if not regular basis! What? Did he really expect to post without hearing some smack outta me? On a more serious note, I am glad things are going well for him!

Close, but no Cigar....

Houston, compared to most other American cities, is a capitalist paradise. But one will occasionally get a reminder in the news that it still has a long way to go. In the latest such story, we learn that Harris County had considered privatizing its impressive, 83-mile-long toll road system. Unfortunately, Commissioner's Court has decided to rest on its meager laurels of having opened the nation's first all-electronic tollway that was designed as such.

I would have loved to be able to brag about our city being almost completely encircled by a private superhighway!

Islamocapitalism?

Articles like this one at TCS Daily really annoy me. The article reminds me more than anything else of the kind of rationalistic "arguments" I saw throughout my Catholic education. Namely: Someone wants to show that the Faith supports some position he likes and so goes into all kinds of theological and historical minutiae in "support" of his point. The big problem with this approach -- aside from the fact that one can find an authority to support almost anything one likes -- is that it fails to see the forest for the trees.

But for some items that the reader may find to be of historical interest, this essay is a complete waste of time. So what if Moslem societies have had quasi-market economies in the past? So have communist countries, and so must any society of more than a dozen or so to the extent that it can survive at all. One can not run a large economy by central planning, heavy regulation, or confiscatory taxation.

And so what if one can, say, bend the religion's famous prohibition against interest (which is just payment to the lender for his willingness to assume risk) into a prohibition against "unreasonable" interest? Is the market or Islam to determine what is reasonable? And is such reasoning heretical or not? How would we go about proving this, and is proof more important than blind faith?

This is a religion whose followers constantly issue threats against their coreligionists for not obeying its dicta to their satisfaction, and against non-Moslems who refuse to convert. How the hell is that "compatible" with a system premised on allowing men to act freely on their own best judgement so long as they do not violate the rights of others?

It is not.

How Kelo can you go?

Another TCS Daily article discusses an even worse law in Britain, and points to a list of abuses that have occurred in the United States iu the year since that odious Supreme Court decision.

For example: "In Hercules, CA, the city council on May 23, 2006, unanimously voted to seize property acquired by Wal-Mart, in order to prevent the retail giant from opening a store in town."

Robert Tracinski at RealClear Politics

Yesterday, Robert Tracinski reported via TIA Daily that he has become a regular (biweekly) contributor to the popular political web site RealClear Politics. In his first regular appearance, he discusses altruism as the morality behind the desolation in "Palestine".
Only one prominent intellectual in the last century -- Ayn Rand, the great intellectual defender of individualism -- has been brave enough to name the moral lesson. Rejecting the morality of sacrifice, she declared that "The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live," while in her classic novel The Fountainhead, her hero laments that "The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing." Ayn Rand remains a controversial figure, scoffed at by both left and right. But this phrase, "perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing" -- could there be a better description of the Palestinians' suicide bomb society?

Look at the horrific plight the Palestinians have chosen, and you can observe the real meaning of a culture of self-sacrifice. Look at America, by comparison, and you can see the life-affirming benevolence of a culture of rational self-interest. [bold added]
Read it all. Cox and Forkum have more on the subject, specifically on the weak-kneed Western "embargo" on war funding -- I mean, "humanitarian aid" -- for Hamas.

Help the Tsunami Victims!

Diana Hsieh tells of a way to get double the bang for your buck if you donate to the Colorado Books Project, which will bring Ayn Rand's revolutionary ideas into more high school classrooms. Academia remains devastated by an intellectual tsunami that struck in the18th century.

North Korea

I haven't covered North Korea in much detail lately, but that's okay. Amit Ghate points to a good threat summary.

ABC...

... hits a new low in "science" reporting.

Literatrix Punts on a Book!

"And here we have a first for my blog: a book so awful I have given up on trying to finish it."

Hmmm. That reminds me: I never was able to force myself to finish wading through Shut up and Sing! (But then I did foresee that very possibility!)

Toiler can't write mad.

I have the opposite "problem": Some of my best and fastest writing happens when I'm good and crocked off. The level of concentration is trance-like. The writing is superb. And I achieve catharsis.

But it is vitally important for me to fact-check after I've calmed down a bit as I can miss important details! (That one I learned the hard way.)

WMD Roundup

Eric writes about the predictable leftist reaction to recently-reported findings of WMDs in Iraq so I don't have to.
Frankly, if incontrovertibly clear evidence of WMDs were discovered ..., I think there'd be a huge outcry questioning the timing -- and a huge chorus along the lines of WHY NOW? Either Bush planted the evidence (BUSH KNEW, PART II?), or he knew all along but Karl Rove advised him to wait for election purposes, and if these arguments failed to gain sway, there'd always be the accusation of incompetence. (The WMDs were there all along, but because of Bush's bungling leadership and poor military strategy, they weren't found when they should have been.)
He also has plenty of links if you like that sort of thing.

We're in big trouble ...

... when we're having to import foreigners to remind us of the merits of our own countries.

Oh shit! I'm Hitler!


(HT: Abe Lincoln)

-- CAV

Saturday, June 17, 2006

ASK ABOUT SEARCH ENGINES

The Economist has an interesting article on different search engines. [Via InstaPundit.]

SOCCER FANS AGAINST THE MULLAHS

In the news: Iran out of the Cup but still very much in - Indian Express. Read Stefania Lapenna's post, Iran-Portugal: The Protesting Fans, Again.

ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL AKA SOCCER

Do you follow the world tournament of a sport called association football, a.k.a soccer? [Editor's note to FIFA and the Olympic Committe: We will NOT serve pizza or a "World Cup of Tea" at Blue Chip Café...]

Did you watch the game between USA and Italy? [Editor's comment: I wonder if Ferrero SpA will send a Kinder Surprise chocolate toy egg to the Italian team.] I look forward to read the commentary by Gus Van Horn and Bruno of The Simplest Thing...

IS THE MOB RULING CHICAGO?

Here is an excerpt from Jonathan Hoenig's article, Chicago's Mob Rule.

Although Al Capone is long dead, it's apparent that Chicago is once again becoming a city of mob rule. Once a city famous for its scrappy support for capitalism and individual rights, the slow creep of socialism is transforming it into a highly regulated paternalist state where what you eat, where you shop, and how you drive are all up for grabs. In Chicago, providing you can get enough votes in the city council, anything goes. (Smartmoney.com, 05/01/06.)


How is the situation in your city?

Related: My post, LIST OF CITIES.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 6-15-06

Cross-Posted from Gus Van Horn

Not Even Wrong

Paul Hsieh reports the publication of a book that offers a blistering critique of string theory in modern physics, and comments on its title, Not Even Wrong, which is taken from the worst of Wolfgang Pauli's three levels of insults for colleagues talking nonsense. (The other two were, "Wrong" and "Completely Wrong".)
Pauli's "Not even wrong" is the closest I've ever seen in mainstream science to the Objectivist concept of the "arbitrary".
Is this a positive sign for the culture? It would be if this phrase "crossed over" into the popular vernacular -- with its actual meaning intact, of course!

Clueless in Vienna (and Berlin, and Madrid, and Moscow, and Jakarta ...)

Amit Ghate at Thrutch on a world poll showing that "America in Iraq" is regarded as a bigger danger than Iran: "If that doesn't show how futile and ridiculous it is to look for permission from some 'global consensus' before we act in our own self-defense, I don't know what would ...."

Is the opposite of hair-splitting ...

... tearing your hair out?

Mike's Eyes See the Real Villain

I don't recall ever having heard anyone make this particular point about the high dudgeon feigned by liberals over rising oil and gas prices.
The price of gas is determined by the price of crude oil, which is being bid upon daily by nations all around the globe. Most of these bidders are governments not private oil companies. The OPEC cartel controls most of the oil out of the Mideast. Most South-American oil companies are state owned and Russia recently nationalized their oil industry. Yet the Levins and Ms. Stabenow want you to believe it's all the fault of evil, greedy private enterprise, and that governments are faultless, especially ours. [bold added]
The rest of his post is worth reading, as well.

Italy's Outrage Against the Truth

Andy cites a passage from an article on Oriana Fallaci's trial for "'outrage' to religion" in Italy.
[The] judge [who] ordered Fallaci to stand trial on charges of violating an Italian law that prohibits "outrage" to religion ... cited a passage that reads: "To be under the illusion that there is a good Islam and a bad Islam or not to understand that Islam is only one ... is against reason."
X-Men III Plot Crimes

Toiler explains something that was bugging me about that movie: "I know we're not dealing with high drama here, but even the most base drama should get this right: the physical situations don't ultimately determine the man-made in a story; it's the other way around."

An Ayn Rand Favorite

Robert Tracy posts the Rudyard Kipling poem, "When Earth's Last Picture is Painted", which Ayn Rand especially loved.

Sistani's Escape Clause

I have heard much made of Iraqi cleric Ali al-Sistani's recent fatwa to the effect that Moslems should obey Canadian laws. However, Jihad Watch reports that news stories written in English have failed to mention one little detail.

A reader there translates from a French news story about the fatwa: "The Ayatollah Al-Sistani orders Muslims of Canada to respect the laws of their host country, 'insofar as religious values are not ridiculed.'"

Well. At least Sistani was honest about Sistani's intentions....

Hmmmm.

So now Republican Congressmen support a minimum wage hike and a California court made a ruling friendly to gun owners? Tell me again why should I vote Republican. This would be the Democrats' answer. If only the Republicans could be half as convincing....

As it is, sitting out the next election seems the best "choice".

Diesel Boat Gumbo?

Apparently, I'm not the only blogging ex-submariner who posts gumbo recipes on the Internet....

Tweaking a Classic

Here is a new ending to an old commercial that I saw a lot of during the last World Cup! (And LL's post title would be an apt description for what the U.S. national team will have to play in order to keep from packing its bags early!)

-- CAV

Sunday, June 11, 2006

SUMMER CAT

Morris is now more outdoors than indoors. He is enjoying the summer weather.


Morris: "I want out!"

RELIGIOUS RIGHT AGAINST CANCER VACCINE

Here is another example on how the religious right is pushing its agenda. Here is an excerpt from Danny Fortson's article, Moral majority take on GSK and Merck over cancer drugs.

Conservative groups, including the influential Family Research Council (FRC), have voiced concerns that immunising young girls against the virus that most regularly causes cervical cancer, Human Papilloma- virus, may lead to sexual promiscuity. "We would oppose any measures to legally require vaccination or to coerce parents into authorising it," wrote the FRC in a recent letter to the US government. "Our primary concern is with the message that would be delivered to nine- to 12-year-olds with the administration of the vaccines. Care must be taken not to communicate that such an intervention makes all sex 'safe'." (News.independent.co.uk, 06/11/06.)


Related: My post, THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT IS DEBATED IN WALL STREET JOURNAL.

Friday, June 9, 2006

WHO IS NEXT IN LINE AFTER AL-ZARQAWI?

Good to hear that Al-Zarqawi is exterminated. Don't you think it is time to focus on the leaders of the terrorist headquarters in Iran? Here is an excerpt from Michael Ledeen's article, Iran Connects the Dots.

Zarqawi was a very important man in the terror network. I first noticed him some years ago, reading the German and Italian press. Several terrorist cells in those countries had been rounded up, and court documents showed that in both countries the network had been created from Tehran, by Zarqawi. Thus, years before we went into Iraq, Zarqawi was already a major player in international terrorism, and in recognition of his skills he was sent into Iraq as one of the organizers of the terror war against us and the Iraqi people. (Aei.org, 06/09/06.)


Listen to Prodos's interview (The Case for War Against Iran) with Robert Tracinski.

Message From Above


Related: My post a year ago, IS ABU MUSAB AL-ZARQAWI DEAD AT LAST?

Thursday, June 8, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 6-8-06

Today's busy, so stay tuned for a roundup in "terse mode"....

Canadian Jihad



Cox and Forkum have a very good roundup on the recent arrests of seventeen terrorists in Canada who were planning to deploy fertilizer bombs and to decapitate the Prime Minister.

Coming Soon: Gus Get Paid for while Blogging

Well! Now that road rage -- erm "intermittent explosive disorder (IED!) -- is a mental illness, I suppose that this road rage victim -- um "survivor" -- has carte blanche to blog all day at work. After all, wouldn't this put me under the "protection" of the Americans with Disabilities Act", and make me into a "lawsuit bomb"?

[Disclaimer: The above joke was made in a desperate, if misguided attempt at self-therapy by a man afflicted with IED, and was not intended as vocational or legal advice. In fact, as a special member of the Caste of the Disabled, he cannot be held responsible for anything he does, ever again.]

Review: Markets Don't Fail!

Gideon Reich reviews a book on economics at Rule of Reason.
In his text, Simpson addresses some of the most common claims of market failure, examining issues such as monopolization, externalities, environmentalism, and public goods, just to name a few. In each example, Simpson lays out the strongest case of the interventionist side -- and then proceeds to utterly demolish it. An illustrative example is his coverage of externalities. He begins by clearly defining the term "externality"....
Review: Everything Bad is Good for You

Jennifer Snow reviews a book whose hypothesis that many activities in the popular culture are good for you, a point Glenn Reynolds also made in one of the chapters of An Army of Davids.
In a world where prophetic warnings against the dumbing effects of popular culture are rampant, Johnson's view seems more than a little crazy. However, he points to a number of trends that seem to support his viewpoint, trends he refers to as the "sleeper curve". One of the most intriguing is his mention of the Flynn Effect: an unusual and unexplained rise in IQ scores over the past 30 years.
What is it about lions?

One of the great shorthand metaphors for persecution of Christians is being thrown into a lions' den. That being the case, is this a case of "self-persecution"? David Veksler quotes a Reuters report.
A man shouting that God would keep him safe was mauled to death by a lioness in Kiev zoo after he crept into the animal's enclosure, a zoo official said on Monday. "The man shouted 'God will save me, if he exists', lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions," the official said.

"A lioness went straight for him, knocked him down and severed his carotid artery."
For those of us still in this "veil of tears", this should sound like "deja vu all over again".

Sounds Like Pile of Akaka to Me

Grant Jones has a pair of updates on the racist Akaka Bill that would bestow special privileges on certain citizens of Hawaii based on their race.

But color me less than sanguine about a veto threat by Bush, who has yet to exercise that executive power even once!

Barbarism in Brazil

Bruno has a very disturbing report on a recent storming of the Brazilian Congress by leftist thugs.
This kind of action is becoming very common in Brazil, as the leftist government is lenient toward such movements and even supports (and is supported by) them. They fall in a contradictory situation: they can't fail to condemn such barbarous acts of terrorism, yet they can't erase their past, in which they called for the same kind of actions!
Checking the Box

Has the Software Nerd discovered his bureaucratic "roots"?

Funny thought, but don't do it at work, even if you can, say, make good on a Churchillian boast about Indian ancestry. Unless you really want to discuss your opposition to affirmative action with your boss or have to come up with a clever way to avoid doing so.

Trust me.

Hmmm. Did I just say not to check the box even if it's true?

Heroes at Harvard

Craig Biddle discusses some exciting research at Harvard. The blue states do have something going for them, after all. And this was quite well-put.
Hallelujah! Kudos to Hyman and the whole team at Harvard (and hellfire to Bush and his fellow religionists who oppose such crucial research in the name of the same fantasy that prevents them from eliminating the Iranian regime).
Fun with Science

If the feds, in the name of "fighting terrorism", are going to ban chemistry sets and model rockets -- rather than "ban" the Iranian regime by whatever means are necessary -- then perhaps budding young scientists will have to make their own chemicals and build their own rockets.
Popular Science's How 2.0 has a round up of Theodore Gray's articles from the past 3 years, tons and tons of experiments and how-tos - " Ever yearn to make your own silicon? Preserve a snowflake on a microscope slide? Fuel a rocket ship with sugar? Theodore Gray undertakes these and many more mind-bending projects in his monthly PopSci column, archived here for your entertainment. Just remember that Gray is well trained in lab safety procedures--if you decide to try these experiments, you should be, too."
Thank goodness for the Internet!

Mike's Eyes are seeing red.

Mike takes a look at our idiocy concerning Iran.
So we are giving "rewards" to thugs in return for the thugs' promise not to be too thuggish with us! There is no difference between this "package" and the package reached by a homeowner who offers to give some of his money to a thief in return for the thief's promise not to try and steal the rest of it.
Precisely.

No Teacher for Yale's Star Taliban Recruit

Too bad.

Buh-bye!

Eric over at Classical Values says, " It isn't often I can agree with the enemy, but join them in thanking God."

In my case, I'll take "God" here as a figure of speech intended to designate the American military.

How's that for ending on a light note?

-- CAV

Saturday, June 3, 2006

ANTI TERROR RAIDS

In the news: British police in Gothenburg 'terror' raid - The Local.

British police busted into a Swede's apartment in Gothenburg and confiscated books, mobile phones and computers, Aftonbladet has reported.

The man, Abu Usama el Swede, told Aftonbladet he didn't know why British police with the help of the Swedish Security Service (Säpo) raided his home. (TheLocal.se, 05/30/06.)


Will we see more anti-terror raids in the near future? Go to Pajamas Media and read about the terrorist ring in Canada.

IS A PC AT A CAFE A GAMBLING MACHINE?

We will start a petition against the crazy suggestion to label every computer at a café as a gambling machine. We have a couple of computers for our guests / club members that are designated for educational purposes, e.g., learning how to use different Microsoft software programs. But, theoretically speaking, every PC, laptop, mobile phone, is a potential gaming / gambling machine according to this new court case. What will be the next step?

From The Register:

An internet café in Örebro in Sweden has been closed after the local council argued that its twelve PCs were occasionally used for gambling and it therefore needed a gaming permit.

When protesting didn't help and both the country administrative board and the administrative court ruled in favor of the cafe, the case was taken to the administrative court of appeal in Jönköping, which yesterday ruled that a PC - even in an internet café - automatically becomes a gaming machine if someone plays games with a financial stake on it. (theregister.co.uk, 06/01/06.)


I ask the same question as The Local: When's a computer not a computer?


Blue Chip Café, Gothenburg, Sweden.

HUNGER STRIKE IN GOTHENBURG

Today I talked to Omar Dafalla. He is on a hunger strike since May 21. [Editor's note: I will visit Gustaf Adolf square tomorrow again and take a picture.] They will arrange a manifestation outside the immigration agency on June 8. [Editor's comment: I will not participate due to the fact that certain political parties (socialists and communists) are involved in the demonstration. See a related post.]

Here is an excerpt from Jan Jekielek's article, Desperate Sudan Refugees Hunger Strike in Sweden.

Desperate after repeated rejections by the Swedish Migration Board to grant them asylum, seven Sudanese men have been on hunger strike in Gothenburg's Gustaf Adolf square since May 21. Another man, who already received a deportation order, is said to be participating while in hiding at an undisclosed location. (TheEpochTimes.com, 06/02/06.)


For a background on Sudan and neighboring countries, read It's Mad Max Time at Strategy Page. [Via InstaPundit.]

UPDATE 06/04/06:

Pictures from Gustaf Adolf square.

HUNGER STRIKE
"Hunger strike."

HUNGER STRIKE, DAY 15
"Hunger strike, Day 15."

GUSTAF ADOLF STATUE
"Gustaf Adolf statue."

GUSTAF ADOLF SQUARE
"Gustaf Adolf square."

Thursday, June 1, 2006

NUKE THE DEAL WITH IRAN

Why cut a deal with an enemy of the Western world? Here is an excerpt from Andy Clarkson's post, Diplomacy With Iran.

Now that is an interesting offer -- we will talk, if they end uranium enrichment. What's in it for Iran? Nothing. Is this a ploy so that the Bush Administration can say they wanted to be diplomatic while at the same time making an offer Iran would refuse? We'll see. (CharlotteCapitalist.com, 06/01/06.)


Here is an quote from Robert Tracinski's commentary, Appeasing the Appeasers:

Within a day of Condi's proposal, the international debate is not—as she had planned—over whether Iran should suspend its enrichment. Instead, as I suspected, the debate is over whether the Bush administration should drop its preconditions for talks with Iran. In other words, having appeased Iran's European appeasers, we are being asked to make even more concessions.

To their credit, both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Sun have identified the proposal as a crucial error. The other good news, according to a New York Times report on the internal White House debate, is that President Bush approved this proposal because he expected it to fail, allowing him to "check off the box" of diplomacy before he can "confront Iran." (TIADaily.com, 06/01/06.)


In the news:


Related: My posts, CONDOLEEZZA RICE AND HER IRANIAN LOVE AFFAIR and RICE IS GETTING SOFT AGAINST IRAN.

AROUND THE WEB ON 6-1-06

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Germany 2006

I'm getting excited about the World Cup, which will be starting in just over a week in Germany. Having followed America's national team since 1998, I have been pleased with the general trend. Our team continues to improve and America is slowly gaining respect around the soccer world as a force to be reckoned with. I agree with Rick Moran that this year's squad is the best we have ever sent to the World Cup. However, I also I share his concern that we may yet still go home after the first round!
The jaw dropping skills of several of our younger players -- some of whom didn't make this year's team -- promises that the future of soccer in America is bright indeed and that the center of gravity of the sport may be shifting slowly from overseas toward the United States as far as the talent pool is concerned.

But for this team, the future is now. Featuring an offense with blazing speed and proven scorers, Team USA will be able to outrun almost any opponent they are likely to face. A solid, if unspectacular defense is anchored by one of the finest keepers in the world. And with a mixture of youth and experience, the chemistry of the team may help in overcoming a brutal draw that features games against the 2nd ranked Czechs and 11th ranked Italians as well as the relatively unknown team from Ghana.
If you're a soccer fan, read the whole thing. (HT: The Commissar)

"Sign from God" Missed

I just love how the very people who claim that their God meddles in our daily affairs are also the first to give what they'd ordinarily claim to be a sign of His wrath a strong positive spin. (HT: Rob Tarr)
Worried about the safety of her family during a stormy Memorial Day trip to the beach, Clara Jean Brown stood in her kitchen and prayed for their safe return as a strong thunderstorm raged through Baldwin County.

Suddenly, lightning exploded, blowing through the linoleum and leaving a pockmarked area on the concrete. Brown wound up on the floor, dazed and disoriented by the blast but otherwise uninjured.

"I said, 'Amen,' and the room was engulfed in a huge ball of fire," she said. "I'm blessed to be alive."
Hmmm. So why weren't Pat Robertson and Hal Lindsey talking about how "blessed" America was after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina? The ingrates!

Of course, "signs from God" are really "ordinary events" packaged with "orders from mystics", which is why they never seem to tell their "readers" to change their ways.

Media Silent on Protests in Iran

Over at Chapomatic, Chap sez, of the recent very underreported civil unrest in Iran:
You see any news of the spectacular, huge, big, not inconsequential protests in Iran that have been going on for at least a week now?

No?

Do you remember the last Iranian revolution swept that country partly because the embassy takeover was covered nonstop in the news?

It's an information war there, too. How can a people become free when their information is suppressed? It's a lot harder, like spreading a fire when the oxygen's being pumped out of the room. Belarus almost made it four months ago, and didn't, partially because nobody brought the news to the rest of the world. Oh, there are reporters out there; it's just on page A-14 below the trouser ads.

Note to press types who like to Squeak Truth To Power: If you want to avoid war with Iran, then here's a chance.
The deafening silence says a few things to me. Foremost, it says the following, in the context of other general trends during the war.

The anti-war posture of the press, nearly all leftists, is just that, a posture. War is not "good for absolutely nothing" as the song goes. It can further the cause of freedom. The media and the left in general are not categorically against war. They get behind "humanitarian" missions that sap our nation's resources, remain silent when an oppressive regime like Iran's takes clear steps in preparation for war, and actively campaign against anything that might end tyranny, like the invasion of Iraq. Taken together, it is a pretty safe bet that the press will more likely cover anything that might harm the cause of freedom and more likely spike anything that will aid the cause, if such coverage might alter the outcome.

We are quite fortunate to have alternative media, like the blogosphere, and should do all we can to protect it. Speaking of which, Chap also provided a great link to an excellent roundup on the discontent in Iran among its citizens.

It is reassuring to know that the regime over there might be in trouble. After all, the Bush Administration certainly seems to be in no hurry to show it the door.

Michael Moore Sued

I have my doubts about whether the huge damages sought against Michael Moore stand any chance of being awarded, but a G.I. he implied was anti-war in his "documentary" is suing him big time.
A veteran who lost both arms in the war in Iraq is suing filmmaker Michael Moore for $85 million, alleging that Moore used snippets of a television interview without his permission to falsely portray him as anti-war in "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Sgt. Peter Damon, a National Guardsman from Middleborough, is asking for damages because of "loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation," according to the lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court last week.

Damon, 33, claims that Moore never asked for his consent to use a clip from an interview Damon did with NBC's "Nightly News."
As much as I despise Moore, I think that these damages would be excessive, and I would much rather see our tort system reformed than a court victory like this.

But then, aren't lefties like Moore big fans of "empowering" the "little guy" by lawsuit abuse anyway? Failing real justice here, I'll settle, so to speak, for the poetic variety.

Where's the popcorn?

Blogging Alternatives to Google

I was recently dismayed by Google's apparent willingness to place Moslem "sensibilities" over the objectivity of its news search results. Not only does such a move compromise what has been the best search engine around, it potentially bodes ill for the future of this blog, which is hosted by a Google subsidiary, Blogger. There would be no point in blogging if I had to walk on eggshells about Islam, or any other subject, were Google to start "policing" its blogs.

Since then, I have given my mind a standing order to be on the lookout for viable alternatives to the various blog-related services I obtain from Google. This morning, I learned about one and was reminded of another.

First, via Instapundit, it seems that ask.com has finally rolled out a long-promised blog search engine. Users of Bloglines may or may not recognize this as the search engine they know and love, but under the hood, it is, according to this technology review.

Second, Bruno has reminded me of one possible alternative for blog hosting by moving his blog, The Simplest Thing, to the thinkertothinker.com site. Note to self: Also, at least play with Wordpress. It appears that importing archives from Blogger might be less of a headache than I thought it might....

"Sign Pollution" through Government Funds

David Veksler writes about and illustrates yet another example of government-funded idiocy.
This is what happens when you accept government funds to build a park: this intersection of two trails in a Ft Worth park has no less than eight caution signs. That peaceful-looking path must be some death trap. [link dropped]
I don't know whether Veksler intended to allude to anti-billboard ordinances with his title, but it reminds me that here in Houston, billboards are regulated to cut down on "sign pollution".

One of them isn't work safe in the Bible Belt....

Myron has an posted enormously helpful list of the "Top Ten Things Men Know for Sure about Women".

-- CAV

Updates

6-3-06: Corrected credit for lightning bolt story from Amit Ghate to Rob Tarr.