January 01, 2010
We will never know who these "CIA employees" were who were killed in Afghanistan. They will never be publicly recognized. Their families will not be openly lauded for their sacrifice.
They served in silence and have died in silence.
But I am thinking about them today, and silently thanking them for their service to our country.
December 16, 2009
The fictionalized version of his post is the tale of the Twentieth Century Motor Company, of course.
And someday, someone in our new American health care system is gonna smash in Millie Bush's teeth too...
December 13, 2009
Then someone like Wright explains that the violence would not have happened if the Americans were not there.
Here's a clue.
The enemy knows what they are doing.
They are not simple or child-like brown people who don't know better or who are being tossed, to and fro, by events that are beyond them.
They may or may not believe their own propaganda, but they do understand psychological warfare and engineer the massacre of children with the explicit knowledge and understanding of just *how* they can jerk *our* chains.
So... "We are sorry that there are dead Muslims, that we shot into a crowd of them, that we planted IED's, that we blew up that Mosque, that we were forced to go through your village and dispense justice and left the bodies in the street to be found."
And the thing is... America and the West has NOTHING to combat this with because we simply refuse to do so. We have no one who's job it is to broadcast our side of the story, to put the information out there over and over that by far the most Muslims killed are not killed by us but are killed by those we are fighting. And it's the truth! It's the truth, so why doesn't our media push it voluntarily? Why don't they make certain that every person knows the atrocities committed by Muslims on other Muslims. Why don't they?
When we have found and documented rooms with shackles and blood on the walls...
The response to a dead and *gutted* woman in Iraq who had spent her life working to help people there was an insipid "oh, dear" followed by... "but they made a prisoner at Gitmo look at pornography."
The response to butchered and defiled Americans was "screw them". The response to defiled, dismembered and tortured to *death* American soldiers was "OMGAWD we poured water on someone's FACE!"
Someone is enabling this sort of thing, abetting, and participating.
And AQ is *sorry* that Muslims asked for it, oh well... lets blow up more Muslim kids and blame it on America.
December 02, 2009
And that's what I thought of when I saw Terrorism That's Personal. (Warning: graphic content that will make you cry.) No one threw acid on me or tried to kill me.
I was allowed to not marry him.
Many women in this world are not allowed to make that choice. Or when they do make that choice, they must live with the consequences of wanting some control over their own lives. Blindness, disfigurement, even death.
My heart is sick for these women.
December 01, 2009
If anything, Climategate can at least give me another talking point to get us off the bozo flow chart and back onto the Ought one. The science is most certainly not settled, so any decisions you make For The Children based on the "consensus" are flawed.
But what do I know, I don't even recycle.
Slightly related, I enjoyed this comment on Althouse's post (via Boxenhorn).
But no, he goes for the "Republicans are dumb and don't like science [read, because they are religious and therefore are all creationists]".
We're even better at making their arguments for them!
And here's a great summary of Climategate itself. (I just discovered that the link doesn't go directly to the comment, so I am reposting it here.)
Understand, this is a really hard question. We don't know what the actual global temperature is. We are supposed to figure that out by looking at the temperature data and adjusting it accordingly. But if you don't know the final answer how do you know the adjustments are correct? That is a hard question.
But we will never know if the adjustments were done properly because the CRU destroyed the raw temperature readings. They only have their adjusted or "value added" readings. But there is no way to tell now if those readings are correct.
The whole proposition that the world warmed over the last 100 years is now in question. For all we know, the world could be cooler now than it was in 1900. We have only CRU's word and adjustments to go on. And CRU has been revealed to be a complete fraud. Basically, climate science has to start over from square one.
November 17, 2009
Read the whole thing.
November 15, 2009
And also nervous:
Reading Rand always reminds me of this Daniel Quinn quote: "We know that the pious don't go to church every Sunday because they've forgotten that Jesus loves them but rather because they've not forgotten that Jesus loves them. They want to hear it again and again and again and again. [...] there are truths, of a different human order, that must be enunciated again and again and again -- in the same words and in different words: again and again and again."
I like to be reminded that someone like Rand lived, and wrote, and thought.
November 04, 2009
Tonight proved conclusively that we're not going to turn out just because you have a (D) next to your name, or because Obama tells us to. We'll turn out if we feel it's worth our time and effort to vote, and we'll work hard to make sure others turn out if you inspire us with bold and decisive action.
Read the whole thing. I promise I am not being snarky. I think this is great. I want both parties to say what they mean and mean what they say. I hate how everyone runs as a moderate and tries to tweak their message so it doesn't offend anyone. Or conversely, when they pretend to have principles and then get in office and abandon all their promises. I want both parties to stand for different principles and then voters can decide which one they align with, not this election trickery where they all try to out-center each other.
I am 100% certain that I don't agree with Markos on any of the issues that he brings up: "health care, financial services, energy policy and immigration reform." But he wants a candidate who represents his views and doesn't just pretend to represent them in order to get elected. I completely agree with this.
Wouldn't it be nice if both parties stopped hiding who they really are and started standing for principles?
Imagine if we really had two distinct choices on election day...
November 01, 2009
Clinton's blunt remarks came during a pow-wow with half-dozen combative senior Pakistani journalists who harried her about US policy in the region.
"Al-Qaida has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002," she finally asserted when challenged about Washington’s tough prescriptions for Islamabad. "I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn't get them if they really wanted to."
After having publicly doubted the bona fides of her hosts, she added, as an afterthought: "Maybe that's the case; maybe they're not gettable...I don't know. As far as we know, they are in Pakistan." At one point during the exchanges, when a journalist spoke about all the services rendered by Pakistan for the US, Mrs Clinton snapped, "We have also given you billions."
It's about time somebody told it like it is.
But I also giggled at Mark Steyn's take:
October 26, 2009
My dental insurance costs about $140 per year. I have never had any dental work done besides cleanings, twice a year at $70 each.
These two insurances work in remarkably different ways. The dental insurance covers every time I walk in the door, even just to have some nice lady floss my teeth for me. The car insurance doesn't cover anything routine and doesn't even cover some big things, like when my windshield broke last year.
And yet, I think about the dental insurance so much more often, for some reason. I am always irritated about breaking even. I keep telling myself that it will pay off once we have kids, or once I need a root canal or something. In the meantime, I get annoyed every time I break even. I start to think that I could get by with one cleaning per year and save the remaining $70. I want to feel more in control of that money, as if I am paying directly for a service instead of paying for insurance.
Maybe, with the car insurance, it's the fact that I don't have a choice to cancel it. I don't often imagine all the money we threw down that hole, but it's a lot. What if we could have it all back?
And don't even bring up all the money we've spent in life insurance...
But that's what insurance is: paying small amounts up front so that you will be eligible for the windfall payment at the end if bad luck strikes. It's a gamble. In the case of our vehicles, we have lost the gamble so far. All the money we've paid in has gone to fix other people's cars for the past seven years.
Such is life.
Health insurance seems to be a misnomer then, because it doesn't seem to work like other insurances, at least not car or life insurance. People seem to want to pay a small amount every month but get a large amount of benefit out every month too. They want to pay $100 and get $300 worth of prescriptions. That's not insurance, that's just redistribution. That's just "making someone else pay", as Patrick McIlheran titled his recent article. He explains why the proposed Obamacare system won't work:
When stated so succinctly, it should be obvious that this system cannot work. You cannot pay $800 for $10,000 worth of benefit without having someone else paying $800 for zero, for a long time. That's how the gamble works in life insurance.
And while we all hate the stories of people who lose their jobs and then get cancer -- and trust me, I hate them pretty bad right now -- the solution, in my opinion, is not that insurers need to cover pre-existing conditions. The solution is to have health insurance that is independent from your job, just as your car or life insurance is. Then it doesn't matter when you get cancer; if you've paid in, you have "won" the gamble.
Mandatory insurance coverage is not, by definition, a gamble. If you can wait to apply until after you have cancer, then why would you ever pay in beforehand?
It seems obvious to me that that system can't work. So why are we trying to implement it?
October 23, 2009
Via Amritas, that has kept me thinking all day. Because you know I'm always up for comparing Atlas to real life.
First, I am not sure I agree with Auster's summary of D'Anconia's strategy. I do indeed think he "gave a damn." His actions were deliberate and his method was calculating. He lost everything to bring about the collapse of the system, including the woman he loved. His sabotage was intensely personal and heartbreaking. But it was a deliberate choice because he DID give a damn. And yes, his failures made him look bad, but the trashing of his reputation was deliberate as well. He sacrificed everything he was in order to stop participating in a system he abhorred. At least that's the way I remember D'Anconia.
Conversely, I don't think Pres Obama would ruin his reputation to achieve his ends the way D'Anconia did. I think all Obama has is his reputation. I don't think he would give up money and power and his good name to bring about...whatever it is he is working towards (and there is much debate about that.) In short, I don't think he has half the integrity or fortitude as D'Anconia did. What Obama wants is wealth redistribution, which is the moral equivalent of stealing from one man and giving it to another, and then patting yourself on the back for helping, as CVG once said. He's not sacrificing anything of his own for his goals. Hell, how many times have people pointed out that he could start by helping his aunt and brother if he cares so much about all people living equally?
My opinion is that Pres Obama doesn't have the moral conviction that Francisco D'Anconia did, and that he wouldn't sacrifice one iota of his own wealth or reputation for his worldview.
October 19, 2009
Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law.
It makes no sense to have a state law that makes something legal and a federal law that trumps it. For me, it's a simple Tenth Amendment issue and a fight or flee issue: if you need medicinal marijuana, move to a state that offers it; if it offends you, move away. I don't think it should be a federal law at all.
So good job, for now, of clarifying a ridiculous conflict in laws. Let the states decide.
Now to work on teasing apart inter- and intra-state commerce...starting in Montana...
But a very good point is made by Wesley Smith...
October 18, 2009
October 03, 2009
September 28, 2009
That's WAY too much travel in nine months.
Create your own visited map of The United States
But seriously, I think I have to drive to Kentucky just on principle.
September 15, 2009
September 12, 2009
I thought this was worth watching and thinking about yesterday...
August 09, 2009
Daniel Hannan speaks to The Heritage Foundation
Great bit comes at the end, in response to a question about why we'd pass cap and trade if it's failed in Europe:
August 06, 2009
BigD, you are not alone. This is for you...
July 30, 2009
-send tonnes of food to low carbon footprint 3rd world countries leading to a population boom (Daniel Quinn has written some good stuff on this - more food, more people);
-then subsequently invite them to high carbon footprint countries (my country having the highest immigration rate in the world).
This provides a handy excuse to call for a stop foreign "aid", and to stop immigration, while retaining moral highground versus the left. If they really cared about AGW and really believed it to be the greatest threat to humanity, they would stop feeding "surplus" carbon producing humans, and also stop transferring them from low carbon footprint societies to high carbon footprint societies.
It's a fun argument to make against AGW freaks; public policies must mesh together; in my country's case we committed to reducing total carbon emissions to 6% (I think) under the Kyoto accord while simultaneously increasing our population through immigration by about 7% during the implementation phase. You can have the world's highest immigration rate while also fueling a population explosion in the third world, or you can fight AGW, but you can't do both, not at the same time. Public policy debates with leftists rarely present such easy rebuttals to what is so dear to them.
Hey, if AGW gets us off the hook from foreign aid and gets us zero immigration, I'll be Al Gore's biggest fan, but for some reason I'm quite certain that's not their end game.
I think it would be hilarious to hear that brought up in a global warming debate.
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