Saturday, September 30, 2006


It has passed one year since the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. The outcome of the cartoon "crisis" is that the leaders of the Western world have backed down once again, thinking that appeasement is the best option. You could sum it up in one image:

Maybe it is time for another CARNIVAL OF THE DANISH RECIPES?

It is time to post the cartoon again:

In the news:

Related: My posts, RELIGION OF PEACE.

UPDATE 10/01/06:

How about getting a "Dashboard Mohammed"? [Via Michelle Malkin.]

UPDATE 10/09/06:

In the news: Denmark rocked by new cartoon row - BBC.

You have to read about Cox & Forkum's coup against the International Holocaust Cartoon Competition in Iran. My guess is that the participant named "A. Rami" from Sweden is the same person as the guy behind Radio Islam.

The Ahmadinejad Code


Have you read Napoleon Hill's book, Think and Grow Rich!? I am participating in a workshop by Michael Dlouhy (Mentoring For Free), discussing this book.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Bleg 1

Ever since changing jobs, I've had less time than I used to to keep up with my favorite blogs. I have been using netvibes, but it slowed down my browser so badly this morning that I had to close it, losing all my work.


I want to switch to another feed aggregator and if you use one you really like, I want to hear about it so long as either (a) it can run in a web browser (like netvibes -- or should I say "better than netvibes"?) or (b) if it is a stand-alone application, it is native to or has been ported to Linux. It should also cost me nothing or a low, one-time fee to use.

Bleg 2

I will be rearranging the blogroll soon. Rather than using the present division by frequency of updates, I will do one of two things. (1) I will lump all blogs together, except for newly-added blogs. (2) I will divide blogs into three broad categories (aside from newly-added blogs): "Milbloggers" (mainly fellow ex-submariners), "Fellow Travelers" (Objectivists and those sympathetic to Objectivism), and "Friends and Benefactors" (big guns like Instapundit, friends who aren't in either of my two "communities", and reciprocal linkage.

Which do you prefer and why? And if you like the second scheme, would you suggest different names for any of the categories?

New Yorkers Told What to Eat

Ed Morrissey gives us an update on something I noticed earlier in the week.
...New York City decided that consumers and food preparers couldn't be trusted to make their own decisions. The health board imposed trans-fat limits on restaurants in the Big Apple, transforming the debate from health to politics...
The Big Apple, as I said earlier, has been heading this way for awhile.

.667 may be a great batting average, ...

.. but it is not good enough in philosophical matters, as Andy points out at The Charlotte Capitalist.
[Radio anchor Jeff Katz said] something like, "If you take religion out of the equation, all you have left is moral relativism."

Jeff's point being: There is only one choice for morality and it is religion. Without religion, there is nothing -- no other alternatives.

Jeff made the mistake that most make -- that there are only two choices. The mistake begins with metaphysics. Jeff''s options are two variants of the primacy of consciousness -- that either the universe is controlled by a supernatural force or by the whims of men on an individual or group basis.
He then posts links to his fisking of The Purpose-Driven Life, for anyone who might have missed it.

Venezuela Update

We in the United States recently got to see why Hugo Chavez is known in some quarters of Venezuela as "El Loco". But at least he's not in charge here. Indeed, it might be easy after his antics to dismiss him as irrelevant. As The Counterterrorism Blog points out, that would be a mistake.
Chavez's financial support has been key to supporting extremist allies from Argentina to Cuba and everywhere in between. Venezuela has received thousands of Cuban doctors, sports trainers, and other operatives. When Bolivia, under new President Evo Morales, allied with Venezuela and Cuba, Boliva too began receiving Cuban doctors. No doubt some of these programs do some good (they are also a safety valve for Castro - doctors use the trip to Venezuela or Bolivia to slip Castro's grasp.) However, it appears the Cuban agents are mostly organizing citizen militias that Chavez and Morales can rely on in a civil conflict.

But the biggest worry is the guns. Over the summer Hugo went on an arms buying spree in which he purchased high-performance jets and helicopters (not terribly useful for a nation with no real enemies) and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles. Chavez also obtained a license so he could manufacture his own assault rifles. The first client for these weapons will probably be Chavez's own Bolivarian Circles (his citizen militia) and the second will be the FARC. But beyond that there are numerous latent, and not so latent, conflicts that could erupt throughout the region. In Peru, defeated Presidential candidate and Chavez ally Ollanta Humala, is founding a movement which is best described as Inco-fascist. A few months ago, Sao Paulo, Brazil was wracked with massive gang violence which left over two dozen dead. Highly organized and extremely violent Central American gangs operate across national borders and into the United States. The combination of financial support, technical know-how, and tens of thousands of easy to use, extremely deadly, assault weapons could turn these low-level conflicts into civil war and insurgency. [links dropped]
This bothers me, and I've been keeping an eye on Chavez for some time.

Bill Clinton makes a comeback of sorts.

It would appear that Bill Clinton's famous outburst during a recent interview with Chris Wallace has put the "Comeback Kid" back on the political map -- by drawing attention not just to his failures against Islamofascist terrorism, but also to his cozy ties with certain unsavory characters.

First, via Glenn Reynolds, I learned of a Dick Morris piece referenced by Gateway Pundit. As of now, the second link does not work and I cannot find the original of the article on Clinton's possible ties to the emir of Dubai -- though it appears here.
Last February, Sen. Clinton was out front in condemning DP World, a Dubai government-owned company seeking to take over key operations at American ports. But, at the same time, Bill was advising the emir to hire his former press secretary, Joe Lockhart, to get the deal approved.

Back then, Lockhart denied working for the emir. And when Bill's role became public, Hillary claimed that she had no idea that he had any involvement in the DP World issue.

Now, it turns out that the emir's Dubai International Capital Corp. hired Lockhart's company, Glover Park Group, by last April to help with another U.S. deal -- a takeover of two defense firms. (Besides Lockhart, Glover Park's partners also include Hillary's chief political gurus, Howard Wolfson and Gigi Georges. Dubai paid the firm $100,000 for its services.)

Oddly, the lobbying contract came through a California law firm -- Morrison, Foerster. One of that firm's partners is Raj Tanden -- whose sister is Neera Tanden, Sen. Clinton's former legislative director and still a top Hillary adviser. No six degrees of separation here.
And then, of course, we have a timely reminder that Clinton pardoned some Puerto Rican terrorists in order to help his wife get elected to the Senate. Joe Connor, man who lost his father in a terrorist attack on a pub in New York, wrote the piece. (If I recall correctly. I read this yesterday.) As of now, this article appears to have been pulled, but it was referenced at RealClear Politics just yesterday as "Clinton Didn't Kill Terrorists, He Pardoned Them". These three missing articles are almost enough to make me wonder what the hell is going on.)

Privatization? In Sweden?

Martin Lindeskog blogs on the article, "Sweden's shift to right points to privatisation".

Mmmmm. Barbecue!

Bothenook recently visited Austin, a city I haven't visited in years, and reviews a couple of barbecue places I might want to check out whenever we finally do make the trip.

And if you might be in Austin some time soon, you might want to see what he says.


I made this once. The man knows his barbecue. Trust me.

Updates on the Eurpoean Front

Little Green Footballs reports on two developments: Ramadan rioting in Brussels and Germany's debate -- At least there is one! -- over self-censorship.

Is California Half-Crazy or Half-Sane?

Greg Perkins's opinion is that the glass is half-full rather than half-empty with regard to California's recent idiotic decision to sue automakers over "global warming".
Remember the recent lawsuit regarding Intelligent Design in the science classroom (a.k.a., "Scopes II" or the "Dover Panda Trial")? The top theorists and proponents from the ID movement were put on the stand and under oath, where they were definitively exposed as dishonest, fraudulent, creationist pseudo-scientists with a religious agenda. Dover was a crushing blow to the ID movement: confident and influential from long taking epistemological liberties in the court of public opinion, they were finally brought into a context where obfuscation, shoddy reasoning, and populist appeals carry no weight. (I highly recommend reading that decision. Written by a Bush-appointed judge, I didn't expect much and ended up impressed with his ability to grasp and relate the scientific and philosophical issues. His obvious anger at their mendacity was icing on the cake.)

So the Church of Global Warming wants to be put on the stand? I say that's great! Prepare for another Dover.
Mother Earth, I hope he's right!

Andy B on YouTube!

The PSU Objectivist Club has footage of their recent visit by Andrew Bernstein available for your viewing pleasure!
Yup, excerpts from the September 11th lecture we hosted are finally available online. View it above or visit the YouTube page here. Here's the breakdown:

Why small nations can be wealthier than large ones. (1:38)
Why we're the fattest people in history. (2:30)
Why conservatives can be knuckleheads. (2:59)
Why we should boycott China. (3:36)
Why Ayn Rand opposed Libertarianism. (5:18)
Why we're not running out of resources. (7:29)
And finally…a leftist making a fool of himself. (8:58)

Vote Republican

I think I will do what Zach Oakes and Robert Tracinski plan to do. Quoth Tracinski:
The best thing we can do in this election is to crush the left--because the Democratic Party adds nothing of value to the American political debate.
That will be me, holding my nose with one hand and casting votes with the other.

Where's a daisy-cutter when you need one?

This is how I would have titled this entry at Principles in Practice.

Classic Top 100 List

Bubblehead, whose blog recently turned two, puts out a list of "100 Reasons Why McDonald's is Better than Submarines". My favorite? "33) If McDonald's catches fire, you LEAVE."

-- CAV

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I got an email from Shawn Zehnder Lea of Everything and Nothing regarding the Carnival of the Recipes:

Next week's Carnival theme will be Harvest, with your host Pumpkin Spice (aka Bernadette at Booklore): Please send in all of your recipes for the fall season, including jams and jellies (or things that use them), soups, stews and cranberry stuff. If anyone wants to make some pumpkin bread, Peggy has a hankering for a slice. And with cooler weather, hot drinks are always a good idea. Just think chai...

I am thinking of creating a hot and spicy chai tea drink. Here is one of the ingredients:


UPDATE 09/30/06:

I will add this hot chile pepper fruit in the chai tea and test if you could drink it. The fruit has dried and I will crush it in Jamie Oliver's Flavour Shaker and then mix it together with the tea. I will post pictures later on.


UPDATE 10/01/06:

From Booklore's post, Carnival of the Recipes Harvest!

Why not celebrate autumn with a warm drink? The Egoist has an idea to spice up your chai. Let us know how that turns out, because as a mild aficionado myself, I won't be trying it. (, 10/01/06.)

The chai tea had a sting to it and I felt a burning sensation in my throat...

The heat is on!

Crushed chile pepper fruit, using Jamie Oliver's Flavour Shaker.

Let the tea brew for about five minutes.

Time to drink!

Chile pepper chai tea with salty crackers.


During the great lecture by Lee Sandstead, a sad thing happened. My digital camera (Canon Powershot A310) got stolen. I was concentrating on Lee's lecture when someone entered the building. He was standing behind me for some time and then left. He had a partner in crime who took away the attention and distracted one of my colleagues. I wonder what the robber did with the camera. He probably sold it in order to get drugs or booze. I haven't been to the police yet. I don't have high hopes to get my camera back, but at least I could get a conversation with the officers regarding the crime situation in the center of Gothenburg.

I can't afford to buy a new camera at the moment, so I will rely on my Qtek 9100 (High Tech Computer) mobile phone camera. Here is a photo taken with the mobile camera:


You are welcome to comment on the post with suggestions on digital cameras.

UPDATE 09/25/06:

Welcome InstaPundit readers. Thank you very much for your comments. Please keep 'em coming. I will add a couple of the cameras at my wish lists at Amazon and Froggle as a reminder.


I really hope that we are "at the crossroads" in Sweden and we are ready start to privatize state owned businesses in the near future. Will the Alliance learn from the history and other countries? We could look at Hungary and the rest of Eastern Europe as how to get the business climate "flying high"... So, which companies are on the list? Here is an excerpt from the article, Sweden's shift to right points to privatisation.

There won'’t be definitive list of privatisations until long after the party's officials have taken their places in the ministries at the start of next month. But local bankers see the mortgage provider SBAB, real estate firm Vasakronan, and drinks manufacturer Vin & Spirit (which makes Absolut Vodka) as first in line. (, 09/24/06.)

Could we have an Absolut vodka with Pernod / licorice flavor in the near future? Maybe it is time to celebrate with a HOT AND SPICY PICK ME UP DRINK?


Friday, September 22, 2006


In the news:

Police said Thursday they arrested a leading member of a motorcycle gang for allegedly orchestrating two car explosions in the Swedish city Goteborg this week.

No one was killed in the two explosions, which police said were retaliations from the biker gang Bandidos against a taxi driver and a man in the Goteborg restaurant industry. (IHT / AP, 09/21/06.)

The Bandidos gang leader on the west coast is originally from Iran. [Editor's note: Swedish media has identified him as "Mehdi Seyyed".]

The criminal elements of the biker gangs are trying to control the wardrobes and entrances at different restaurants in Gothenburg. That way they could sell drugs and collect "protection fees"...

Do you have problems with motorcycle gangs in your area? I hope the new government will make personal safety an issue of top priority and give the police more resources.


Thursday, September 21, 2006


Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Amit Ghate has been relatively quiet lately, but he links to some really good reading material by Noah Stahl, who is writing regularly at Iowa State Daily.


I love this Cox and Forkum cartoon about the latest round of rational persuasion from the Moslems.

I am glad to see that Phil -- Orenstein, anyway -- got the last word in their roundup.


It's official: Angelina Jolie will star as Dagny Taggart in the cinematic version of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, which I see has a page at the Internet Movie Database.

Rumor has it that the actress is very excited about her role in "this exciting steam punk masterpiece" and plans to reprise elements of her character Franky from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, including the eye patch.

Rumor also has it that when David Kelley, who hints that he will safeguard the fidelity of the film to the novel and to its underlying Objectivist philosophy, was asked about the patch and other ideas for changes to the heroine proffered by Jolie, he was unperturbed. Sources say he just shrugged and said, "Nine out of ten new ideas will be mistakes, but the tenth will let in the light."

When asked whether an eye patch that "let in the light" was a mistake, he urged openmindedness.


Zach Oakes regales us with a second installment of "The Internets is Broken". He saves the best bit of Digg user wisdom for last:
Oakes your posts really do show you to be rather fascist-thinking - you seek to degrade others through manipulative argument and, as a result, make yourself look like you're correct. Like a child who makes fun of others to feel better. Why would be so needy? You've posted some seriously low-blows on here man. Be my guest and get sued for libel or slander at some point. [bold added]
Why do people whine about bloggers who "make themselves look correct"? Do they ever stop to think about why someone would bother posting something he thought was incorrect? Or do they simply care so little about truth that the question never occurs to them?

I suspect that they feel that certainty is impossible and take comfort in the excuse that the notion grants them from having to think very deeply about anything. Then they run up against an Oakes and hear something they don't like, along with an argument even they can't evade. Rather than considering the argument, they undercut it by bashing the whole idea of certainty.

People wake up to alarms, shut them off, mumble incoherently, and fall back to sleep all the time, too.


Nick Provenzo reports that Founders' College has cleared a major regulatory hurdle: It "has received degree-granting authority from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia" and thus can begin recruiting students.


Grant Jones makes some interesting points as he explores Christopher Hitchens's take on the Pope's recent remarks on Islam.

Jones notes that, "Hitchens, in the panel discussion, frames the issue not just as reason versus unreason but also as religion versus secularism."

Consistent with this age of greyness, this is both good and bad news.


I really must learn the secrets of Paul "The Oppressor" Hsieh! Look what he made Diana write about their marriage -- and on her own blog no less!

Willy Shake has some good news: Victor Davis Hanson has a blog!


Mike N and Andy both post on some recent good news you might not have heard: DDT is finally making a comeback!

Mike notes, "You'd think that something that could save the lives of millions of people a year would be front page news. Evidently it's not newsworthy in the Detroit area."

Maybe it's because, as Andy rightly points out, that, "The banning of DDT was the largest act of genocide in the history of man," and the liberals would have too much explaining to do if word got out.


I'm again plugging The Inspector's lineup of commentary on the recent fifth anniversary of the mass executions -- committed in the name of Islam and with the blessings of many Moslems -- committed in America in 2001.

The juxtaposition of so much good commentary is very thought-provoking. For example, I made a new connection when I came across the following excerpt of Jennifer Snow's post:
[T]his attack that is a disgrace to any creature that has ever laid claim to the title of human being. It is the essence of horror--delivery, unarmed, into a fate that you can forsee but not act to escape.
In my own reflections, I realized that:
The only thing I can imagine that could be an uglier, more unholy thing than what those reprobates did that day would be to do what they demand -- to join them in doing to myself what they did to my lost countrymen.
What I felt, but until I visited The Intellectual Watchman, I had not quite made explicit, was the following:

Since reason is man's means of survival, the demand by Islam to submit -- to cease making independent judgements -- is the demand to embrace a forseeably subhuman fate. The Islamists are threatening us with the concretization of what it would mean on the abstract, long-range level to accept their religion -- as a means of cowing us into accepting it! *

This is the evil essence of Islam.

We can refuse to submit. The full extent of the power of the Islamists lies in (1) the fact that they can make us have to kill them in order to refuse their "offer" and (2) our own desire to live and let live. In other words, Islam's great contribution to history is that it has made the blood of its followers the price we must pay to continue living our lives.

When we in the West finally understand this and realize that whatever we have to do to end this threat is not our fault, we will finally be prepared to fight Islamofascism successfully.

* This is made as effective as it is in no small part by the collapse of philosophy and abstract thought in the West: What will convince someone who cannot think in abstract terms? Put another way, physical danger is appreciated and the greater danger, of bad philosophic ideas, is easily dismissed.


Martin Lindeskog has some reflections on the recent elections in Sweden, including ramifications for the rest of Europe.

Among other things, he notes that the Pirate Party failed to win any seats.


I wonder if that put a damper on "Talk Like a Pirate Day"....


The Counterterrorism Blog considers the recent coup in Thailand in light of its ongoing Moslem insurgency.


Isaac Shrodinger has something that hearkens back to a simpler time when some people would "find" demonic messages in records when they were played backwards -- and be dismissed as crackpots.

Hmmm. Why am I fighting the urge to start a betting pool for when the "Coke Riots" kick off?

-- CAV

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


It is scary to read that the Sweden Democrats, a party with its roots in a "kampf~organization" called "Keep (S)chweden Swe~disch," is gaining popularity by the voters. In some local areas, e.g., in a few cities in the south of Sweden, they got 20%. The party is founded on "ethno-nationalism," i.e., collectivism. If they had got 60,000 more votes, the party would take a seat in the Parliament. They will get SEK 45,000,000 in "public financial support" from the state.

From The Local:

At the national level, the Sweden Democrats could still theoretically win seats in the Riksdag. Many districts in Skåne, where the party is traditionally strong, remain to be counted, meaning the party could technically pass the 4 percent threshold necessary to enter parliament. More likely is that the party will stay above the 2.5 percent level, meaning it will qualify for state support. (

"Voluntary party support!" Clip from Martin Borg's movie, 1200 miljarder.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Fredrik Reinfeldt, the new prime minister in making, said the following at his first day at work:

Fredrik Reinfeldt met Björn von Sydow in the Riksdag first thing on Tuesday, and told the speaker of Sweden's parliament that he wanted to lead a majority government. (, 09/19/06.)

Here are some reactions from the international press. The members of the Tories in the U.K. are getting new hope and the socialists around Europe are not feeling as safe as before. The government in Denmark has now got a "sister."

Here is an excerpt from The Korea Times (Sweden's Case: Belated Arrival of Globalization in Welfare Paradise), zooming in on the real problem.

The center-left's setback after a decade in power is due to high unemployment and low public-sector efficiency. This is natural in some ways for a country where unemployment benefits account for up to 80 percent of salaries and "too many people" work for the government and state firms. Not a few would rather remain idle if the income gap remained at just 20 percent, while the government takes half of earned income as taxes. The center-right's alternative came at the right time. (, 06/19/06.)

I am glad to see that the Pirate Party failed to enter the Parliament. Here in my hometown, I see warning signs that the Social Democrats are still in power and that another socialist party got a seat in Gothenburg. I will write more about the local politics in the near future.

UPDATE: Rob Sama sent me a note with a link to an article in the Wall Street Journal. I am not sure that the Alliance headed by Fredrik Reinfeldt, will take inspiration from Margaret Thatcher, not at least in an explicit way. You are welcome to send me more news articles and other stuff that you think could be of interest.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I look forward to visit Hungary soon again. I have to ask my friends in Sopron about President Ferenc Gyurcsany's lies.


I agree with JAF's comment that the political system will not change dramatically after the Alliance's victory. But personally, I got convinced by a few of my best friends to go and vote, instead of sitting at home. It was more of getting rid of Göran Persson and the socialist nomenklatura, than of voting for a new fresh alternative.

I tried to find a candidate I could trust and then voted accordingly. I have sent Göran Lindblad an email and told him about my decision and I pointed out what I am looking for when it comes to actions. It took a pretty long time to figure out how to vote for a specific candidate and making a "check mark" for that person. In reality, I had to take a document with the Moderate party name and then write his name. I first had to ask the election workers outside the voting both and then ask the voting personnel inside the building how to do it in the right way. They had to call someone to get the correct instructions. I also got a call on my mobile phone when I was standing behind the voting booth. The whole boring election process got pretty interesting due to this. I made comments that I wanted to find a candidate who was in favor of free enterprise, open immigration and a hawk against dictatorships around the world. The election workers from different parties tried to help by giving me suggestions of names. I also made a remark what I thought about the ominous trends and ugly elements in the political arena. Here is a picture from the voting station.

Swedish election

In the news:

Sweden's governing party is voted out after 12 years - International Herald Tribune.
Swedish centre-right starts govt talks - Swiss Info.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


The Alliance is now leading according to several polls. I think it will be a close race. [Editor's comment: I will not be sad if Göran Persson and his socialist members have to look for a new job on Monday...]

It is scary that the "Feminist Initiative" is getting support from Jane Fonda, and that an anti-immigration party is starting to get closer to the 4% level. I am thinking of sending out a signal to these elements, by "personal voting" for a specific candidate who is in favor of immigration and have no problem to let beautiful women in bikinis attend his personal campaign kick-off... Thanks to my friend, Bengt-Ake Harrysson, for mentioning Göran Lindblad. Read Göran Lindblad's speech (The Crimes of Communism Should be Condemned) at the National Press Club. The candidate is ranked highly by the Federation of Private Enterprises.

Resources: How Sweden's election works and How do you vote?

UPDATE 09/17/06:

The ballot will close in less than five hours, so I have to go to the election booth soon. I will update this post during the evening with incoming results from the counting of the votes. Here is the last paragraph from the article, Why should the world care how Sweden votes?

But the Swedish Moderate Party is less important for the European Right than the Social Democratic Party is for the European Left. The latter's total dominance of Swedish politics and society has given it almost totemic importance. Defeat for Persson on Sunday will send a chill wind through the ranks of Europe's socialist parties. (, 09/17/06.)

In the news: Sweden's Social Democrats under threat in election - Reuters.


UPDATE 3:20 PM EST / 9:20 PM CET:

It has been about 90 minutes after the voting procedure and the figures are coming in. At the beginning, it looked like the Alliance had a big margin, but now the prognosis is very hard to calculate and it is better to wait for the results.

UPDATE 4:50 PM EST / 10:50 CET:

Socialist parties 171 mandates - Alliance 178 mandates. It looks like the Alliance will win, but we have to wait for the final result until Wednesday, counting the votes from expatriates and votes via mail. In my area, Gothenburg, the Social Democrats and the Left Party could still be in power.


From Radio Sweden:

The opposition center-right alliance has narrowly won the Swedish elections. In his concession speech, Prime Minister Göran Persson announced he would be resigning his post as leader of the Social Democrat party. (

5691 of 5783 voting districts counted.
Participation: 80.4%.

Moderates 26.0%
Center 8.0%
Liberals 7.5%
Christian Democrats 6.6%

Social Democrats 35.3%
Left 5.8%

Greens 5.1%

Misc. parties 5.7%

UPDATE 5:30 PM EST / 11:30 PM CET:

Welcome InstaPundit and Pajamas Media readers! I will come back tomorrow morning (European time) with comments from mainstream media and a short analysis and summary. I will also post a history on my personal voting procedure.


If you haven't seen Michael Paxton's documentary, Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, check out this sample.

[Hat tip to Jerry Nilson.]

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I have decided that I need to add more fuel to my soul. I will start studying the history of Western civilization. The Story of America starts on September 19. I am still a "poor" capitalist, so I gladly accept donations for my studies. You could send an amount via PayPal, or even better, sign up yourself and get a discount and I receive a referral bonus at the same time. For more information, read Diana Hsieh's post, Teller (of Penn &) on Powell History.


Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Before beginning this week's linkfest, I will note that I finally got a chance to tackle some blog template issues last night. I am pretty sure thanks in part to Myron (and a bit of plain, dumb luck) that I have finally licked a small but annoying display problem that would crop up only in Firefox. Since recently setting up a home network, I can now very easily make sure things look right on Windows (which my wife and about 75% of my visitors use) and Linux (which I use). But we don't do Macs here in the Van Horn household....

So if you're a Mac user and my blog suddenly looks goofy, please write me and let me know. (And if you're reading this at Martin Lindeskog's, please do stop by my blog and take a look.) Of course, if you're using Windows and things are askew, maybe I have a weird computer configuration at home and need to know there's a problem....

I'll be making other edits -- mainly updating and rearranging the blogroll -- over the next few days. But last night's efforts are the only ones that really risk breaking the CSS template. And then I'll be done wrestling with Blogger's unwieldy template editor for the next few months. Yipee!

Help Isaac Schrodinger

Isaac Schrodinger is a citizen of Pakistan and an apostate Moslem who presently resides in Canada, where he is refugee claimant. As Michael van der Galien recently pointed out (via Glenn Reynolds), he is fighting for his life.
As all of you who have read (some of) his articles will know, Isaac is very critical about radical Islam. He witnessed the results of a culture of radical Islam, he saw the effects of this ideology of hatred and ignorance, how people are forced to live, first-hand. As a result, he understands that Muslim extremists do not just pose a threat to the West, but also to every single person living in 'Muslim countries'.

As a result, it should be obvious to anyone with any basic knowledge about this subject, it is not exactly safe for him, an apostate, to live in a country in which Muslim extremists have quite some power. He came from Pakistan, was educated in Saudi Arabia, later in the United States and now lives in Canada.

He is currently involved in the battle of his life: in January 2007 one judge will decide whether he should be granted refugee status in Canada or be deported to Pakistan.

He met with the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada yesterday. You can read his account of how it all went here. [bold added]
I hardly have the reach of Instapundit, but you never know when the right pair of ears will hear something. If anyone who happens by can relay to Isaac news accounts of Pakistan's persecution of apostate Moslems (as evidence in his favor), would like to donate so he can hire an attorney, has any familiarity with Canada's immigration process, or would simply like to offer a word of encouragement, please stop by Isaac's blog.

From reading rather extensively over time from his blog, I have no doubt that this is a good man. I think he deserves to stay in the West. He has my support and I hope he will have yours.

A Pakistani Truce with the Taliban

With "allies" like these ...
As the Asia Times reports, the recent decision by Pakistan to negotiate a truce with the Taliban in several provinces has helped faciliate this by unblocking the flow of money to bin Laden and his network. While the Taliban may not be militarily active in those regions, in technical compliance with the terms of the agreement, the cessation of hostilities has made it far easier for bin Laden to regain his financial footing and project control further than he has been able to in some time. In fact, this consolidation has been going on for several months, taking advantage of the easing of Pakistani pressure during the negotiating process.
... who needs a nuclear Iran?

Presidential Signing Statements

Yesterday, I decried an "escape clause" in California's recently-signed emissions legislation.
Before you heave a sigh of relief that the measure has an "escape clause", consider what this means: All parties involved knew going in that this measure is a body-blow to California's economy. Rather than spare their state even the possibility of such a blow -- by simply not passing the bill -- they have decided to place more arbitrary power in the hands of an executive, who will then use that power to buy votes at election time.
This reminds me of what I recall from the time as being a tendency by President Clinton to over-use executive orders. But until I visited Separation of State and Superstition by chance yesterday, I had never heard of Presidential Signing Statements (a type of executive order), in which the Chief Executive ...
... issues a legal document , known as a signing statement, to go into the federal register along with the bill. In the signing statement Bush issues executive orders declaring which parts of the bill he disagrees with and intends NOT to follow.
Blogger David and a lengthy article I haven't finished yet explain how such statements can be more powerful than vetoes, permitting the President to avoid protracted fights with Congress over pending legislation -- and yet still pretty much get his way. For example, we have the following from a list of some of Bush's signing statements:
Dec. 23, 2004: Forbids US troops in Colombia from participating in any combat against rebels, except in cases of self-defense. Caps the number of US troops allowed in Colombia at 800.

Bush's signing statement:
Only the president, as commander in chief, can place restrictions on the use of US armed forces, so the executive branch will construe the law ''as advisory in nature."
So the President can sign a bill and then more or less retroactively line-item veto parts of it. Aside from perhaps explaining why Bush has chosen to veto only one bill over his entire term so far, doesn't this sound just like what some conniving southern governor would do behind the public's back? Oh wait a minute! This man was a southern governor at one time!

I am less suspicious of Bush's motives than that blogger is, but the precedent this sets, if I understand it correctly based on the limited information I have so far, is a very bad one for the same basic reasons I objected to California's "escape clause".

Quote of the Day

I'm currently reading Ayn Rand Answers, which is a selection of answers given by Rand during Q&A sessions following her speaking engagements. Not only is it fascinating to observe a great thinker in action, but exchanges like this also show that it can sometimes be a riot.
Q As an opponent of welfare, what do you propose to do with welfare recipients?
A They're not my property to dispose of.
When you're done laughing, think carefully about this answer. It is just as profoundly on the mark as it is funny.

Inspecting the Traffic Mess

Via The Charlotte Capitalist, I got wind of an article on mass transit over at The Intellectual Watchman.
Every time you sit in a traffic jam, it is important to remind yourself: It does not have to be this way. This is the fault of men who could have chosen otherwise; New Urbanists and Environmentalists have made it this way.
Fantasy Meets Reality

A short time after I started blogging, I said of the politics of much or the left:
It could be that Dr. Kool-Aid doesn't regard himself as liberal at all. In discussing media bias, Bernard Goldberg makes an interesting observation: "Conservatives must be identified because the audience needs to know these are people with axes to grind. But liberals don't need to be identified because their views on all the big social issues ... aren't liberal views at all. They're simply reasonable views, [emphasis added] shared by all the reasonable people the media elites mingle with at all their reasonable dinner parties in Manhattan and Georgetown." If this is true, Dr. Kool-Aid sure feels the need to warn a lot of people about a whole slew of uncontroversial issues. If that were the case and I were in his shoes, I'd head for the hills. [bold added]
Evan Kirchoff similarly notes a discrepancy between leftist words and leftist actions on a day-to-day basis.

So if the "useful left" doesn't really believe its own propaganda on one level, how might one explain this (HT: Isaac Schrodinger)?

Put another way: Is it more depraved to be a suicide bomber or one who is so evasive of reality that he will party with his executioner as if his remaining alive and free so far is "evidence" enough that his executioner is really his friend? I think the latter is far more dishonest, and far worse.

I will not submit.

Michelle Malkin supplies us with a nice list of definitions (HT: TIA Daily) pertinent to the current war. Among them:
  • Sharia. This is the set of Islamic legal principles and traditions that our enemies seek to impose on us. It's a path that leads inexorably to the subjugation of women, stoning of adulterers, "honor killings" of rape victims, bans on beauty pageants, cinema, and the viewing of soccer matches, death threats against authors, filmmakers, cartoonists, and apostates who renounce Islam, and calls for beheadings of all who insult their faith.
  • Dhimmitude. The official state of inferiority of non-Muslims under Islam; the bowing and scraping of vanquished infidels to their intellectual and military conquerors. You saw it in the immediate post-9/11 appeasement of Muslims angered by the name "Operation Infinite Justice" (it was an insult to Mohammed). You saw it in the cowards of the mainstream media unwilling to defend free speech during the Mohammed cartoon rage. You saw it in the mau-mauing over the faked Koran-flushings at Camp Delta. You see it in our government's persistent pandering to grievance-mongering groups yelling "Islamophobia" and filing lawsuits at every turn.
All I would add is this clarification: "'Dhimmitude' is the form of Islamic slavery used to intimidate non-Moslems to become Moslem, whereupon any who make such a mistake will discover that 'sharia' is the form of Islamic slavery under which they will remain for the rest of their lives. The fight against Islam is the fight against slavery."

And I'm not a tee shirt guy (except on summer weekends), but I do plan to order a couple of these nifty tee shirts, just because I'm so sick of seeing savages prance around in headscarves and unkempt beards and being unable to counter-offend with the same degree of ease. (HT: Michelle Malkin, who says that, "All proceeds will be donated to the Families of Freedom scholarship fund for children and spouses of those murdered on September 11[, 2001].")

Pulling the Plug

Myron makes me laugh out loud:
During the course of the conversation I told her that I never wanted to exist in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and taking fluids from a bottle. She got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all my beer.
Good thing my wife doesn't follow blogs too much!

-- CAV

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


It looks like Dr. Leonard Peikoff's article, End States Who Sponsor Terrorism, has received attention from jihadists, al Qaeda ideologues and Islamists. Here is an expert from Hassan Nafaa's article, Runaway administration.

When I was researching for this article, I looked for material that may help me identify any change that may have occurred in recent US foreign policy. I found an article written by Leonard Peikoff, founder of the Ayn Rand Institute. What caught my eye was not just the title of his article, "End States Who Sponsor Terrorism", but that it was published first 2 October 2001, right after 9/11 and immediately before the war on Afghanistan. The article was republished 9 September 2005, on the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. This says volumes about the vision of the US rightwing, and its persistence.

Peikoff believes that the appeasement policies pursued by successive US administrations towards the Islamic world are responsible for the latter's belligerence, which climaxed on 9/11. Fifty years ago, Truman and Eisenhower's abandonment of oil rights tempted the Muslim world to take its first stabs at freedom. The second stab came from Khomeini's Iran, where US diplomats were held hostage. President Carter, Peikoff goes on, wavered in his response, which encouraged the Muslim world to shed American blood. The first killers were Palestinians who hijacked planes in the late-1960s, before being joined by others eager to get in on the game, Peikoff argues. (Al-Ahram Weekly, issue #811.)


How could Bush & Co. allow mullah Khatami to visit America? This is definitively a propaganda victory for the evil regime in Iran. At least some individuals dared to protest against his visit.

Check out Richard Miniter's video presentation, Murderer In The Cathedral.

Murderer In The Cathedral


The Swedish election for the Parliament will take place on Sunday, September 17. The political campaigns have heated up with some scandals popping up at the "right" moment...

But first, take a moment and read my post, ELECTION ON SEPTEMBER 17 IN SWEDEN, for some background information on the Swedish general election, 2006. After I had posted the mentioned post, Gerard Van der Leun, Editor-In-Chief, Pajamas Media, asked some questions regarding the political climate in Sweden, trends in Europe, fringe parties, e.g. the Pirate Party and the Greens, etc. I answered as follows:

I wouldn't say that Sweden is a leading force in political trends. Sweden has been an isolated landscape for a long period of time, with about 50 years of socialist governance. The opposition has been in power only for 8 years in the 80's and that didn't turn out well, so the Social Democrats took back the leading role again. This time around, the opposition is leading with about 5% and is more of an alliance than separate parties.

Social Democrats - The leading party with about 30 - 40%.

Left (former communist) around 10% before, now only 5%.

Green party. Environmentalists. Around 5%.

Moderate party. Conservative without the religious talk. The biggest opposition party. Around 25%.

Liberal party. Social liberals.

Center party (former farmer party).

Christian Democrats.

And then you have smaller parties that wants to jump into the fight...

It is a fringe group according my view, and they are dangerous. Look at them as anarchists. Green party is a bunch of strange characters and they have got lots of attention, relative to their small size of supporters. Green party has its roots in Germany and is now an international organization. Same thing could happen with the Pirate party, starting up activities in other countries, e.g. USA.

So, are you ready for some dirty politics? First out is when Lars Danielsson, Prime Minister Göran Persson's closest party man, cut sacked due to his incompetence in handling the consequences of the tsunami disaster. Next scandal has to do with members of the Liberal Party entered the Social Democratic Party's computer network. Here is an excerpt from the article, Liberals 'wanted journalist to dig the dirt'.

The Liberal Party wanted the media to chase scandals about the Social Democrats, and handed a journalist login details to the governing party's computer network. That is what former press secretary Per Jodenius told police during questioning. (, 09/12/06.)

Not really a scandal, but could it be a coincidence that Al Gore is stopping by Stockholm and pushing for his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, at this moment in time? Could it be that he wants to highlight the environmental issues during the last period before the election?

Monday, September 11, 2006


Five years ago, I sat in an office in the Midwest (Troy, Ohio), when a colleague came and shouted to us: - "Turn on the radio!" I listened and got terrified. During the lunch break I called my parents and some of my friends in Sweden. Then I tried to contact individuals in New York City, e.g., financial trader, Morris Markovitz.

From my post, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: DON'T FORGET, DON'T FORGIVE...

I took the above picture on my first trip to New York City in 1996. Financial trader Morry Markovitz arranged so I could visit the commodity exchange at the World Trade Center. It was a great experience to walk around on the trading floor and watch capitalism in action! (EGO, 09/11/03.)

Refresher Course

Here are some links from Scott Holleran's newsletter, Concord Crier:

Confronting Terrorism V

Related: My post, NO POSTS ON SEPTEMBER 11.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006


You could now buy The Fountainhead (El Manantial) and Atlas Shrugged (La Rebelion de Atlas) in Spanish from the Ayn Rand Bookstore.


I am back with a short post, giving you a preview of what is coming in the next few days.

  • Dirty politics. My coverage of the Swedish election on September 17.
  • No more photos? My digital camera is stolen.
  • The heat is on. Chile peppers and paprika.
  • Exercise of mind and body. The theory and practice of strength training.

In the meantime, please check out my updated post, LEE SANDSTEAD IN GOTHENBURG.

Ego at Blue Chip Café. Photo by Avinesh K Ghai.