Monday, December 31, 2007


Today we got a little snow. I hope it will not "rain cats and dogs" in the near future... [Editor's comment: In Sweden you say iron nails instead of cats and dogs.]

[Editor's note: Check out Marina of]

As an inspiration for the new year, please take some time and read Rudyard Kipling's poem, If. Here is the first part:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

(Capitalism Magazine, 02/13/2000.)

For more on Kipling, read the post, "Boys need an arena" by Sissy Willis.

More inspiration: The Special Holiday Edition Of The Carnival Of Cities at Norway - An American In Oslo An Expat And Expatriate Traveling The World. [Editor's note: Please give me a list of your favorite cities.]

Happy New Year!

In the news: Good Riddance Day!


I have updated the EGO template with some new features. [Editor's note: A nice upgrade of the layout will occur during next year. It will be a top of the line thing and the perfect "icing on the cake". For a "mysterious" clue, read my post, WARCRAFT...]

I have added the feature "popular pages today" under the Post from the Archives section. Feedjit gives recommendations ("Visitors to this page also liked") in the List of Links category if you want to browse the web. Talking about recommendations, check out Bloggers Blog. (Via Feedjit Blog.) [Editor's comment: Do you agree with Greg "Daily Gut" Gutfield's post, Blogs Are Overrated? My wish for the new year is that Ahmadinejad is ending his blogging due to a natural cause...]

You could now see where my readers are coming from the live traffic feed and map. [Editor's comment: Globalization, baby! EGO blog could reach for the 200,000 visits milestone if I count the start of 2008 according to the Chinese calendar on February 7... ;)]

Talking about rats, have you seen Ratatouille?

Check out the following blogs and carnivals:

Sunday, December 30, 2007


The New England Patriots team is still going strong... I learned to enjoy watching American football during my studies in New Hampshire. Right now, I am wearing a sweater with the text: Super Bowl XXXVI Champions New England Patriots.

In the news: Perfect scoundrels: why the US just loves to hate the New England Patriots - Times Online, UK.


Saturday, December 29, 2007


I didn't drink "pantyhose" milk tea (cha chaan teng) during my visit to Hong Kong in 1992.

James Pomfret gives a report (Hong Kongers crave their iconic pantyhose tea) as follows:

The drink, a Chinese take on English tea-drinking traditions, is brewed in a long cotton "sock" or filter resembling a beige pantyhose, rather than a female undergarment itself.

Over the decades, pantyhose milk tea has become a city-wide institution, craved daily by regular Hong Kongers as well as film stars and tycoons who flock to the city's best tea-diners. (Reuters, 12/27/07.)


After I watched the new ad by Pizza Hut, I had to republish a pizza recipe, inspired by my visit to Hungary. [Editor's note: Go to Rókalyuk ("Foxhole") in Sopron.]

PIZZA (09/15/05)

I took a recipe (pizza dough and tomato sauce) from a magazine specializing in Italian wines, and then added my own ingredients.

Pizza with Hungarian sausages

Dough (6 pizza pies)

* 1/2 package yeast
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoon sugar
* 2.5 dl water (lukewarm)
* 0.5 dl olive oil
* 6 dl flour

1. Put the yeast in a bowl and mix it with the lukewarm water, sugar, and salt.
2. Add olive oil and flour in batches, and make it into a dough.
3. Put a cloth over the bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour.
4. Take out the dough and cut it into pieces.
5. Roll out the dough.
6. Put the pizza pie on a cookie sheet.

Tomato sauce

* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 tablespoons tomato puree
* 1 can of crushed tomatoes
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon basil
* salt and black pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic.
2. Then the ingredients are "soft," add sugar, tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, oregano and basil.
3. Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes.
4. Add some salt and black pepper.


* Salami
* Beer sausage
* Paprika (bell pepper)
* Chile pepper
* Tomato
* Olives
* Grated cheese

1. Add the tomato sauce, cheese, and the toppings on the pizza pie.
2. Put the baking plate in the oven for circa 15 minutes at 275 degrees Celsius.

[Editor's comment: Which is your favorite pizza restaurant / chain? We have Pizza Hut here in Sweden, but I haven't tested in Gothenburg yet. Cyrano Bistro is one of my favorite pizza places in Gothenburg. Back in America, I went to Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's and Donatos. ]

In order to stir things up a bit with a non-political correct attitude, here are two great quotes:

Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demiglace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. (Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential, page 70.)

Many of our readers rightfully pride themselves on their rationality and objectivity. Certainly, they bristle at the thought of irrationality affecting their lives, or worse, being accused of irrationality by others. And yet, most every one of our readers persist in at least one form of irrationality: the mindless obeisance to a tradition: the American dining etiquette.

Clearly, human beings possess two hands. But, to place one hand aside and engage in the disturbing and hindering process of transferring one utensil from one hand to the other, over and over again, while neglecting a perfectly useful hand – smacks of irrationality. Two things are striking about this habit. It clearly violates European etiquette – brought to Europe by the Greeks - that tells you to keep both hands above the table wielding gracefully knife and fork. European etiquette is objective as it is well reasoned out to make the most effective use of hands and utensils at a table setting. Secondly all Americans eat the American way (black, yellow, red, white) which is amazing if you think of the different ethnic origins, cultures, and value systems. (The Irrational Exhuberance of American Dining Etiquette by Harry Roolaart. 2005.)

[Editor's comment: I have a funny memory from the first time I had pizza in college and I asked for a fork and knife. My fellow classmates looked at me in a strange way... They informed me to eat the pizza slice directly with my hand.]


Thursday, December 27, 2007


From Scott A. McConnell's article, What is the Meaning of New Year's?

What then is the philosophic meaning of New Year's resolutions? Every resolution you make on this day implies that you are in control of your self, that you are not a victim fated by circumstance, controlled by stars, owned by luck, but that you are an individual who can make choices to change your life. You can learn statistics, ask for that promotion, fight your shyness, search for that marriage partner. Your life is in your own hands. (Capitalism Magazine, 01/01/04.)

After reading Jean Moroney's newsletter, The Thinking Directions Occasional Update #19 ("To resolve or not to resolve"), I am not really sure that I am ready to make new resolutions until I have resolved more things on my old lists. You could test the resolution by asking the following questions:

  1. Is the goal concrete and specific?
  2. Which steps should you take in order to achieve the goal?
  3. What do you have to cut from the list of old activities, replaced with this new goal?

Here is an excerpt from Jean Moroney's article, New Year's Resolutions:

The deeper problem was that I experienced a conflict between doing administrative work for the business, and doing intellectual work to develop my ideas, which is what really interests me. When I used willpower to do more administrative work, it generated even more administrative work—work which then took me away from thinking and development. (Thinking Directions, 01/19/06.)

I am still still struggling with cleaning my desk and going through my to-do lists. I will get that done, sooner or later...

Have you read Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward by James O. Prochaska et. al.?

Here are some further thoughts and mental notes regarding my plan to achieve my core values in life.

Continue with part-time studies and activities, e.g., in supply chain management, project management, financial trading, speaking and leadership skills. Keeping contact with the new world in the search for partners for our meeting place, Blue Chip Café & Business Center.

Develop my blogging to a higher level, with regular talk radio shows. [Editor's comment: According to Dane Carlson's Business Opportunities Weblog, EGO blog is at moment worth about $50,000. Time to monetize my blog! ;)] Try to do something with my interest in spicy stuff. In combination with a healthy dietary supplement, start to exercise more, e.g. taking long walks listening to inspirational speeches. [Editor's note: Do you have suggestions on listening devices and internet sources for audio material?]

Keeping in touch with friends from my trips to around the world, e.g., Hungary. Down the road - when all the "pieces of the puzzle" are in place - searching for the right one... [Editor's note: Maybe I will find my future romantic partner on the dance floor? I have "two left feet," but I want to take dance lessons someday... I got very inspired by the documentary on Herräng Dance Camp.]

Read Sasha Cagen's post, What's Your New Year's Resolution? I want to end my post with a quote from Alex Epstein's article, A New Year’s resolution ought to be a good thing:

This New Year's, resolve to think about how to make your life better, not just once a year, but every day. Resolve to set goals, not just in one or two aspects of life, but in every important aspect and in your life as a whole. Resolve to pursue the goals that will make you successful and happy, not as the exception in a life of passivity, but as the rule that becomes second-nature. (Vernon County Broadcaster, 12/26/07.)


This Day in History informs me about Charles Darwin's discoveries on board the ship HMS Beagle, starting on December 27, 1831. [Editor's comment: I wonder if the schools in Kansas have a special class on this day...]


I am happy to hear that a daily newspaper has "installed" a quality editor. [Editor's comment: The mainstream media is starting to get it, don't you think? ;)]

Somewhat random or rather not... related news: Rush Limbaugh stands up for dismembered lion - The Local.

Recommended reading: Total Quality Management at Check out the blog network details for Pajamas Media.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I got David Eberhard's book, In the Land of the Security Junkies ("I trygghetsnarkomanernas land" in Swedish) as a Xmas gift from my brother. The author argues that the lack of action by the government during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake is the final evidence of a general inability to take action in Sweden and that a national panic syndrome is built into the society. Here is an excerpt from Ivar Ekman's article, Swedes as 'safety junkies': An accident in the making?

"Sweden is suffering from a national panic syndrome," said David Eberhard, a Stockholm psychiatrist who is writing a book about what safety has come to mean to the Swedish national psyche. "And the consequence of this is that we've become safety junkies."

The first sign of backlash against an ever-safer Sweden came in 2004, when the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet set off a furor with a profile of the Danish psychologist Bent Hougaard, who had coined the term the "curling parent." The reference is to the sport of curling, played on ice, in which players frenetically sweep the ice to remove any obstacles in the way of a heavy stone gliding toward a target. Modern parents, the article suggested, similarly remove all obstacles for their children, depriving them of the important insight that difficulties and dangers are natural parts of life. (International Herald Tribune, 01/24/06)

[Editor's comment: What is the term for "curling parents" in other countries?]


Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Do you want to help me achieving a new milestone before the end of 2007? The blog is reaching for 200,000 visits. My traffic has dropped recently and nowadays I have about 50 visits per day on average. [Editor's note: As a comparison, InstaPundit has about 200,000 daily visitors.]

Other milestones in my life:

  • 1997 - I started my studies (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - 3 Years Honors Degree Program) at Southern New Hampshire University (former New Hampshire College). I plan to attend the alumni event in 2010.

  • 2005 - I finished an advanced vocational education and training course called International Project Coordinator.

  • 2006 - I started Blue Chip Café & Business Center together with two partners. It has been a hard struggle with the start-up company. The current board of directors have decided to regroup the resources and focus on the core business and develop the business plan. We are standing at the gateway to success and therefore interested in getting in touch with international businessmen for our future franchise concept.

View Martin Lindeskog's profile on LinkedIn

Here is a quote from Dianne Durante's post, Holiday Cheer: Celebrating the Spirit of Achievement.

The Spirit of Achievement is a fitting reminder that in America, the country that comes as close to Ayn Rand's capitalist society as any nation ever has, we have transformed the December holiday season into a celebration of happiness and prosperity. Stroll through the grand lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria, admire its palatial decor and its lavish holiday decorations, and count your ... achievements. (Forgotten Delights, 12/21/07.)

Related: My post, 2005 WRAP UP.


Here is a trailer for the forthcoming Atlas Shrugged movie. [Hat tip to E.A.]

[Editor's comment: Is this an official trailer? Maybe Maus Merryjest could answer this question...]

For more comments on the film, read the following posts:

I don't have high hopes for the movie due to certain "elements" involved in "producing" the film. For a clue, read the following excerpt from Diana Hsieh's post, Ed Hudgins Does Stand-Up Comedy:

I can't imagine that TOC's leadership would be eager to remind its donors of the old boondoggle -- unless attempting to change the name, perhaps in conjunction with the supposedly impending movie of Atlas Shrugged. (If that happens, it'll be worse than you think: imagine DVD inserts for more information from The Atlas Society and a bonus feature of commentary on Objectivism from David Kelley.) Of course, changing the name of your organization twice in less than two decades is no way to inspire confidence in your donors. In fact, it suggests that you don't have the slightest idea what you're doing. Perhaps that's why the first name change (from Institute for Objectivist Studies to The Objectivist Center) was announced with much fanfare, whereas this second name change seems to be sneaking in the back door. (NoodleFood, 05/08/06.)

But to end on a positive note, I think that a movie based on Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged, will be good for the publisher Penguin Group in the near future and for the Ayn Rand Institute in the long run.

[Editor's note: Will you join the Facebook group, I was an Objectivist before Atlas Shrugged was a movie?]



Comment by Andy Clarkson:

This doesn't seem like a real trailer. Isn't that the voice of Edward Herrmann?
Seems like someone jammed something together from an audio book and Second Life (or something similar to it.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007


I have joined the Gothenburg Toastmasters Club. Toastmasters International has a group on Facebook.

Read Diana Hsieh's post, The Value of Community.


A few days ago I received a flyer by a Swedish section of the so called "Truth Action organization". You could find plenty of 9/11 conspiracy theories floating around on the internet. Related: My post, 911 REVISIONIST MEETING IN BERLIN.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Individualism versus collectivism in three photos.

Quote by Henrik Ibsen: "The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone."

Interesting name for a shop. Located in Oslo, Norway.

Demonstration by anti-abortionists in Gothenburg, Sweden. They could have a connection to the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.



Morris is a "day watchman"!


Here is a tapas dish made with homegrown chile pepper.

  • 2 cans of artichokes.
  • 1.5 dl olive oil.
  • 2 lime fruits.
  • 2 garlic cloves.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Dash of black pepper.
  • 1 chile pepper fruit.

Cut the artichokes in four pieces. Pour olive oil in a bowl. Grate the lime and put the green peel in the bowl together with the pressed lime juice. Cut and mince the garlic, add black pepper and salt. Cut the chile pepper and add the pieces in the bowl. Let the dish marinate for several hours.

UPDATE 12/17/07: Check out the Carnival of the Recipes: Holiday Open House Edition at Everything And Nothing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I have claimed my id Lyceum. For a background, read Anne Zelenka's post, The Next Social Network: WordPress. [Hat tip to J.E.]

Martin Lindeskog

English posts that contain Openid per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

Sunday, December 9, 2007


From High Volume Sales Rep's post, The Hooters of Coffee Shops.

What goes better with a hot cup of latte? It's skin at Coffee Nation, a small town coffee shop located in Salem, OR, where the baristas serve hot lattes in bikinis. According to Adam Marshall, founder of Coffee Nation, plans are on the table to expand into other areas through franchising. (Badgett's Coffee eJournal, 12/08/07.)

[Editor's comment: Could this be a way of heating up the business at Blue Chip Café? ;)]

The competition between the coffee places is heating up. Read this post from October: Dutch Bros Putting the Squeeze on the Bikini Barista.


[Editor's note: Are you thinking of getting The 2008 Lavazza Calendar?]


Follow John Cox's instruction on how to draw George W. Bush.

[Editor's comment: John's lecture gave me inspiration to play around with cartoon drawings again. I created simple action series in my youth.]


I am not a movie buff, but I intend to watch The Golden Compass. Have you read the trilogy, His Dark Materials?

Here is quote from Scott Holleran's review, Directional Fantasy Loses Its Way.

With an air of theatricality, fun and fantasy—battling the Vatican-ish Magisterium's minions—The Golden Compass recalls everything from Pirates of the Caribbean and Escape from Witch Mountain to The Lord of the Rings. But it lacks cohesion, as if it's mandated to include each literary invention without regard to intelligibility. The Golden Compass lets the needle spin around and around. (Box Office Mojo, 11/30/07.)


One item for my upcoming New Year's Resolution list [via Blogger Buzz] is to implement David Allen's "stress-free productivity" system called Getting Things Done.

Right now, I am still at the first stage to collect all my stuff and put in the in-basket. I have put inbox, file (someday / maybe), reference and project labels on big cartons. I have to clear my desk and and my "short-term-memory" once and for all. And then I have to try to stay in the right workflow (collect, process, organize, review and do).

Recommending reading material:

Resources and tools:

Getting Things Done at

Gubbing Things Done by Mike Elgan. Check out the web-based list applications, and Vitalist.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


I think it is time for some "Chuck Norris action" in the Middle East. Here is an excerpt from Robert Tracinski's article, NIE Report is Propaganda Victory for Iran.

This report has virtually foreclosed the possibility that President Bush will use military force against Iran before he leaves office--even if he wants to do so. Even in this day and age, when Congress no longer has the courage to declare war on our enemies and cedes the initiative on the use of force to the commander in chief, the president still has limits on his power. He must at least have significant support in Congress before he launches any new military assault--and this report will wipe out any such support for strikes against Iran. (Real Clear Politics, 12/06/07.)

[Editor's note: I have to paraphrase Michael Ledeen's slogan: "Faster, Please!" with replacing the kind word with a strong word... "Faster, Dammit!" I usually don't use harsh and swear words, but you have to speak up, before it is to late...]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


[Editor's note: I want to send a thank-you-note to John Cox and Allen Forkum. Thank you very much for the book, Black & White World IV.]

Talking about giving and thanks, how did you celebrate Thanksgiving? I will spend a moment on December 4, thinking of Berkeley Plantation.


Thursday, November 22, 2007


You Are an Iced Coffee

At your best, you are: hyper, modern, and athletic

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you're out with friends

Your caffeine addiction level: medium

You Belong in the USA

People either love you or hate you
And you really don't care what anyone thinks
Big and bold, you do things your way

[Via Gus Van Horn.] Related: My post, OPEN THREAD POST: MEME GAME.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Check out Art Of Robert Tracy. It is a book with 70 of his selected works from 1980 - 2007. [Editor's comment: I wonder if my favorite piece, Cat in Window, is included...]

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I went to Oslo on Thursday, November 8, for two speaking events (Why 9/11 happened and what the appropriate US response should have been and the State of the Ayn Rand Institute) with Yaron Brook. [Editor's note to B-Å.H., C.H., C.W. and Karl Martin Mertens: Thanks for your generosity and hospitality!] Read Simon Thorbjornsen's post, Yaron Brook in Town.

I would feel a huge relief if the "commander in chief" could get hold of a person like, Paul Tibbets, and then give a clear order to bomb a certain area...


We will start a course on how you start your own business. We picked the domain name, "" ("start (your) own").

Recommending reading: Startup How-To Guides at


I am back. The title is taken from the Turkish word, Corbaci. Check out the new boss in town! The chile harvest is not only late in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Thanks in advance for your support! I look forward to hear from you. I could tell you more about my personal situation then.

Feel free to give me feedback and comments on this video email message. [Editor's note: I have used a program called Talk Fusion.]


UPDATE 11/11/07: Read my post, The Third Place.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


If you haven't read Atlas Shrugged yet, it is time to do it now! If you have read the #1 novel ranked by the Random House readers, please write a comment.

Recommending reading:

The Historic Significance of Atlas Shrugged by Robert Tracinski. Fox News.

Transfiguring the Novel: The Literary Revolution in Atlas Shrugged by Andrew Bernstein. The Objective Standard.

The Influence of Atlas Shrugged by Yaron Brook. The American Daily.

The appeal of Ayn Rand by Onkar Ghate. Enter Stage Right.

'Atlas' at 50 nothing to shrug at by Debi Ghate. The Orange County Register.

The Radicalness of Atlas Shrugged
by Onkar Ghate. Hawaii Reporter.

See the reaction (The Solid-Gold Dollar Sign) by Time Magazine in 1957.

Fifty years later, Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged' still going strong by Bill Virgin. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Happy Anniversary, Masters of the Universe by Leigh Buchanan.

Atlas came to Irvine by Teri Sforza. The Orange County Register.

"Francisco's Money Speech" by Ayn Rand. The Capitalism Magazine.

Here are posts by some bloggers:

Atlas Shrugged: a 50th anniversary celebration by Andrew Medworth.

Happy Birthday “Atlas Shrugged” by Robert Tracy.

Happy Birthday, Atlas Shrugged!
by Rational Jenn.

Will you attend the fiftieth anniversary exhibit of Atlas Shrugged? Click on the GoodSearch banner and support the Ayn Rand Institute.

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

UPDATE 10/11/07:

In the news: A Celebration of Self by Sara Dabney Tisdale. U.S.News & World Report.

Check out the Objectivist Carnival: Atlas Shrugged Week.

Ayn Rand Centenary

Monday, October 8, 2007


Time to celebrate Columbus Day. I am thinking of sending an application in order to join the Vasa Order of America. If you feel like a viking for a moment, how about celebrating Leif Erikson Day.

Monday, October 1, 2007


[Editor's note to John Cox & Allen Forkum: Farewell! I look forward to meet you guys someday in the future.]

Final Bow

A Dream Becomes A Nightmare

[Editor's comment to John Cox & Allen Forkum: See you at the gallery... Bring copies of your Black & White World books.]

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Leif Edvinsson visited Blue Chip Café & Business Center on September 20. He was interviewed by TilliT (meaning "trust" in Swedish) TV. The interview was conducted in the form of a talking circle session with Mikael Engström (TilliT), Jack Johansson (AlltArMojligt.Nu) and Leif Edvinsson (UNIC). Leif Edvinsson gave the following comment:

Trust's happy live news is a new positive form of Reuters. (translated from TilliT's site, 09/20/07.)

[Editor's comment: It definitively is a great need for an alternative news source if you read about "Retuersgate"...]

Professor Leif Edvinsson received The Brain of the Year Award in 1998. Check out Tony Buzan's site for more information.

Have you read Corporate Longitude: What You Need to Know to Navigate the Knowledge Economy by Leif Edvinsson?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


It is hard to write something positive on a day like this (or publish anything at all for that matter). It was hard to compile yesterday's post, but I had to do it.

I stumbled upon philologist Marina on YouTube. She is really "hot for words"....

Talking about positive stuff, here is a quote from TilliT's (trust in Swedish) web site:

We are a team in Sweden working for the big event for sharing happy news in the world at We have now the opportunity to spread happy news all over the world on the World Press Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden, 1 - 4th of June 2008. (

[Editor's note: Full disclosure: TilliT has booked office space at Blue Chip Café & Business Center for a period of time.]

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Remember September 11, 2001. I will update this post during the day. Read my post, THE 9/11 ATTACK FIVE YEARS LATER.

Tuesday Morning


Here is a quote from Edward Cline's post, September 11th: Six Years and Counting.

Today is the sixth anniversary of 9/11, a day that has become less a day of infamy in men’s minds and more of a fading memory, not only among politicians – most of whom, Republican and Democrat, are too concerned with how to best straddle themselves on the fence yet still look appealing to voters – but among most Americans. Most Americans are living now in the enfeebling purgatory of disillusion, mistrust, and moral exhaustion. (The Rule of Reason, 09/11/07.)

From Good Morning: Tuesday, September 11 by James Lileks:

Where were you when you heard? Are you tired of being asked to remember? (, 09/11/07.)

Debunking the 9/11 Myths: Special Report - Popular Mechanics. [Via InstaPundit.]

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I wonder that the members of the management team of iDate in Las Vegas, Nevada, were thinking they could accomplish by this kind of tricky and automatically "sweeping" invitation system. I am sure that their slogan ("stand out from the crowd") will be implemented by their actions, but I am not sure it will be positive reactions from other social networks around the world. I am guessing it will result in a negative "ketchup effect" and a backlash against them. This incident has given me food for thought and I will take this into consideration when we create our new Blue Chip business network online, including a community with a forum.

[Editor's note to my contacts in my Gmail address book: Quechup has automatically sent out invitations from my address book. I am sorry if I have caused you any form of inconvenience. I will contact everyone who replied to "my" email invitation and registrated at Quechup. It will take some time...]

Here is an excerpt from C.C. Chapman's post, Quechup Just Spammed My Address Book. [Hat tip to Barry Campbell.]

I got an invite to check out Quechup from a podsafe artist that I dig so I figured I’d check it out, sign up and see what happens. None us need another social network site, but I also think signing up for an account just to check it out is a good thing.

I had it check my address book and it found a whopping 2 people on the network I knew. I sent them friend requests and then proceeded to check out the rest of the site.

Fast forward a few minutes and my inbox starts filling up with auto return messages, out of office messages and all sorts of other things. I couldn’t figure out what was going on and it turns out that this system WITHOUT MY PERMISSION just sent invites to my whole address book. (, 09/01/07.)

More reading material:

Are You Getting Quechup Spammed? by Pete Cashmore of Mashable - Social Networking News. [Via Mea Culpa. by Hugh Macleod of Gapingvoid.]

Quechup? No, Thanks by Anna Creech of Blogcritics Magazine.



Saturday, September 1, 2007


I agree with Howie of The Jawa Report. The Muhammad Dog sketch is more of a chicken scratch than a sketch of a dog with a face of Mohammad (read "Moo-ham-mad"). [Editor's comment: Please feel free to send me better sketches of the so-called the "last prophet of God". We have to keep the mullahs on their toes...]

[By Lars Vilks. Source: United Associations For a Free Iran.]

Here is an excerpt from Lars Ströman's (editorial writer of the Swedish newspaper, Nerikes Allehanda) article, The right to ridicule a religion.

"I think the drawings are good. But there is also a sense of fear here at the local heritage centre that it will lead to problems and conflict," says Märtha Wennerström, responsible for the art exhibition in Tällberg (SvD 21/7).
So art galleries are allowing themselves to be frightened by a diffuse threat. They are giving the message that it is easy to be frightened into silence.

The right to freedom of religion and the right to blaspheme religions go together. They presuppose one another. (, 08/28/07.)

Related: My post, RELIGION OF PEACE.


Related: Allen Forkum's post, Opus Akbar.


UPDATE 09/05/07:

In the news:

Vandals burn copies of Nerikes Allehanda - The Local.

Swedish Muslim group plans to sue newspaper for Prophet Muhammad drawing - International Herald Tribune.

Lars Vilks has received a death threat from a woman on the west coast of Sweden - Göteborgs-Posten.

UPDATE 09/16/07:

Media and Prime Minister rally around cartoonist
- The Local.

Sign the petition, Support Free Speech, Support Lars Vilks.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Here is an excerpt from Richard E. Ralston's opinion-editorial, What Michael Moore Forgot to Tell You.

Michael Moore's comedy-drama Sicko presented a great deal of misinformation—too much to summarize in a short column. Besides, if anyone in the audience really believed that all Cubans receive superb health care when Mr. Moore's cameras are not running, there is not much I can say to help them. However, those who saw the film should at least be aware of some of the information that was left out. (Americans for Free Choice in Medicine, 08/28/07.)

Read Scott Holleran's review, Medical Profession Distorted in Emotionalist Diatribe.



Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn.

In the process of straightening out my blogroll last night, I uncovered enough interesting stuff to make a larger roundup than usual, so here goes....

Another Look at the "Fair Tax"

Sunday, I linked to a Wall Street Journal article that savaged the 2008 version of the Flat Tax, the "Fair Tax". Although my fundamental criticism of this tax is sound (i.e., that it is not based on principled opposition to the welfare state and will not result in a substantial shrinking of the welfare state), this article by proponent Neal Boortz indicates that the Journal may have been incorrect in some of its criticisms.

But that doesn't mean that there isn't enough demagoguery to go around:
Bartlett also joins other critics in another blatant falsehood about the FairTax. Here's a sentence from his column: "If a product costs $1 at retail, the FairTax adds 30%, for a total of $1.30. Since the 30-cent tax is 23% of $1.30, FairTax supporters say the rate is 23% rather than 30%." In another paragraph Bartlett also says "Imagine paying 30 percent to the federal government on top of the purchase price of your next house."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. If a product costs $1 at retail .... It costs $1, with the FairTax already included. This is so easy to understand, you almost get the idea that people are intentionally trying to confuse the facts here. That $1 item Bartlett is referring to costs $1 at retail today! But instead of including the FairTax in that price, all of the embedded taxes from every business and individual involved in bringing that item to the marketplace are included. You remove one, you add the other. And that bit about 30 percent to the federal government on top of the purchase price of your new home? Another lie. The embedded taxes are so high on the price of a new home today that when they are removed and the FairTax added, that home could be a percent or two cheaper! Come on, Bruce.
Boortz may or may not be right about his last point, but he is either remarkably obtuse at arithmetic or not being entirely straightforward about the percentage of a product's purchase price that would go to the feds under his proposal: His $1.00 price is for 77 cents' worth of product with a 23 cent tax. In other words, the percentage of taxation for this purchase is 23/77, or just shy of 30 percent.

Come on, Neal.

I have no dog in this fight. Each side is wrong and incompetent or dishonest.

Consumer Protection

Cox and Forkum illustrate the actual benefits of the government presumably being best able to protect consumers by running an entire economy.

Rather than companies scrambling to solve these problems to remain competitive, we have a government making comments hostile to the free flow of information. And corporations are supposed to be evil, eh?

An Inconvenient Theory of Government

It is a long read and it will make you sick to your stomach, but Nicole Gelinas of City Journal wrote a worthwhile article on the exorbitant costs of the "cap-and-trade" schemes that are seeing so much support from conservatives of late.
Keep in mind that half of America's power comes from coal. Coal is dirty, but it has been good for us economically. Building and running an old-fashioned coal-fired electricity plant is more than 35 percent cheaper, per kilowatt of power produced, than building and running a natural-gas-fired plant, which emits far less carbon dioxide, and nearly 20 percent cheaper than a nuclear plant, which emits no carbon dioxide, according to Tufts University economics professor Gilbert Metcalf. Coal also costs less than wind or solar -- by 40 percent and 70 percent, respectively -- even though they're subsidized by tax credits. [Translation: 70 percent is likely an underestimate. --ed] Nor do we need to worry about running out of coal or reeling from an international supply shock. We've got at least several hundred years' worth of the stuff right here in the U.S.
What's even worse than the middle of the article are its beginning and end. At the beginning, you hear a litany of people who should be opposed to environmentalist legislation, but who are folding like cheap lawn chairs.

At the end, you learn why, straight from the mouth of Gelinas herself: Conservatives increasingly do not understand that the purpose of the government is to protect individual rights.
If it's true that a consensus about global warming really exists, not just in press releases and on op-ed pages but in the back rooms of power, too, the politicians and the business leaders wouldn't be afraid to suggest such a tax. They would insist on it.
Really? Why not look to alternatives to taxation, including inaction on the premise that the changes will be slow enough to permit individuals to mitigate the effects for themselves.

The government should act only if individual rights are threatened by the actions of others.

Thomas on "Vanishing England"

This column on England's hastening disappearance is morbidly interesting enough already just for the facts it reports, but I found the following passage most revealing of all:
The problem for Britain and the United States isn't just the change in demographics. It is the reluctance of both countries to inculcate the beliefs, history and, yes, religious ideals, which made our nations so successful that others wanted to come and be a part of them. The difference between many of the current immigrants and those of the past is that the previous ones wanted to become fully American or fully British. The current ones, in too many cases, would destroy what makes our countries unique. And the "leaders" of Britain and America refuse to stop it. [bold added]
This comes after Thomas details how the welfare state has caused the problem: Would some of these immigrants even show up without the promise of the dole and free housing? Were education not run by an entrenched bureaucracy of multiculturalists, would it not be flexible enough to respond to demands for the inculcation of the Enlightenment heritage of Britain? And if the government were primarily concerned with protecting individual rights instead of group "sensitivity", would increasing lawlessness be a problem?

Thomas does not ask these questions, but he does inject a plug for religious instruction. He is blatantly wrong here. If England is doing anything Thomas wants, it is practicing the "virtue" of self-sacrifice to others too consistently to remain alive for long. Given that that is the central ethical tenet of Christianity, one wonders what Thomas is so upset about.

England must renounce self-sacrifice to survive, but it will be unable to do so by becoming religious.

School Prayer Challenged in Texas

I was happy to learn that the Americans United for Separation of Church and State is challenging a Texas school district's inexcusable attempt to smuggle school prayer into its graduation ceremonies under the guise of "democracy".
"Graduation ceremonies should welcome all students, regardless of their beliefs about religion," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "Religion is personal, and decisions about it should never be the subject of a 'majority rules' vote."

The school district policy allows a yearly vote by seniors on whether to include prayer in graduation ceremonies. In 2007, three of the district's four high schools decided in favor of prayer. Americans United charges in its lawsuit that school officials organize, oversee and attempt to manipulate the votes on whether to include prayer at the ceremonies.
The difference between a democracy and a republic, for the information of Round Rock ISD, is that in a republic, the rights of the individual are protected from brute majority rule. Perhaps this lawsuit will also serve as a refresher course on American government for them.

The Future of American Literature

Toiler has an interesting post on this subject over at Acid-Free Paper. He comments on a professor's argument to the effect that technical writers represent the future.

And Adrian Hester weighs in as well.

Carol's Place

Joe Kellard writes about an old haunt of his at The American Individualist.
My best memories of the Long Island and city music scenes my friends and I followed back then was those early Zulu Groove shows at our adopted hangout.At each gig, Victor (guitar/keyboards/lead vocals), Rob (bass) and Tim (drums) packed the small venue with admiring and curious bar-goers hungry for good, original music. And between songs, the comedic Victor bantered with the crowd, unleashing his off-beat, sometimes dark humor, providing lots of laughs and great tunes as our posse of guys and gals drank the nights away.
That piece made me wish I had a similar place (an the time to enjoy it) here in Houston.

Individual Rights Do Exist

If you read nothing else from today's roundup, read Andrew Medworth's post on whether human rights actually exist, which he wrote in response to a column that claims that rights do not exist.
There are a number of dreadful philosophic errors at work here. It is impossible to mount a full defence of rights in the space of a blog post, but I shall try to give the essential aspects. The worst of the errors implicit in Bartholomew’s view is an epistemological one: it relates to the question of what it means for a concept or an idea, such as "rights", to "exist". Philosophers call this the "problem of universals", and it is one of the central issues in philosophy. [bold added]
This reminds me of a conversation I had awhile back with a former philosophy major
who asserted that men do not have rights. I never learned exactly what he meant by that, but since I am likely to talk about this again with him some time, I will be better prepared to answer him should he be making this type of error.

Medworth's answer is long, but worthwhile.

Not me!

In his final post at The Primacy of Awesome, Mike asks the same question I was wondering the other day when it seemed that all I saw at Randex was one item after another about some connection or other between some video game and Atlas Shrugged.

Gun-Related ... Bullets

I enjoyed many of these sayings about guns that Bo posted over at a geezer's corner, especially the first:
"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." -- Thomas Jefferson
One problem with aphorisms is that they lack context (e.g., #2 in the list), and so can be shoehorned into meanings not intended by the originator. But at least with many quotations, the body of thought of the author provides additional context.

With Jefferson, we know that he's talking about self-defense -- or at least those of us with decent educations do. It is sad to think that if we do not take up Jefferson's eternal fight for civilization, the meaning of much of what he said could be lost to the ages even if some of his words survive.

A Goldwater Event

Bill Brown went to one and blogged it.
[Goldwater's] son made an excellent point about the seeming contradiction between his conservatism and his late-in-life support of gays in the military, abortion, and the separation of church and state. He said that his father never changed his views, only the agenda changed. If they had been issues in the sixties, he would have came out just as he did. I desperately wanted to ask his son about Goldwater's statements against the religious right and his views on Ronald Reagan, but I never got the chance.
In some recent civil rights reading, I got the impression that Goldwater was considered somewhat racist. I will have to look into how much of this impression was due simply to his insistence on small government. Opposition to welfare is not the same thing as racism.

Betting on the Chargers

Dan Edge handicaps the upcoming NFL season.

Poll: Who's Your Favorite Columnist at The Onion?

I caught up with my favorite Onion columnists, Jim Anchower and Larry Groznic, a couple of weeks ago and thought it would be funny to conduct the following poll.

Who is your favorite regular columnist for the Onion?
Smoove B
Jackie Harvey
Dept. Head Rawlings
T. Herman Zweibel
Larry Groznic
Jim Anchower
Jean Teasdale
Gorzo the Mighty
H. Ulysses Zweibel
Free polls from
If you need a refresher, go here.

-- CAV