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Monday, November 23, 2009

Murder, British style...

Murderer Jane Andrews absconds from prison
Jane Andrews, the former aide to Sarah, Duchess of York who was jailed for life for murdering her boyfriend, is on the run after absconding from East Sutton Park open prison in Maidstone, Kent.
She ran off, eh? I guess there was no way to predict such a thing? Open. Prison. For a murderer.

And there's this...
Policeman jailed for 18 years for murder of fiancée
Apparently the good constable told her he was calling off the wedding because he really dug some other chick he had just impregnated. She started crying and, well, who can put up with that?
Then there are the comments of the judge:
"I have some understanding of the position of what you found yourself in. I believe you did not face up to the situation when you should have done."
Some understanding of the position? Which position? Ditching the fiancee three days before the wedding in favor of the ho he knocked up, or wanting to hit a woman five times with a hammer for starting to cry? Judge is a fucking idiot.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wehner on the Palin 'Fuss'

Over at NRO's The Corner, Pete Wehner shares some thoughts on Sarah Palin, half of which I agree with:

(W)hat Palin has revealed about some of her critics is, in the words of my colleague Yuval Levin, "the unfortunate and unattractive propensity of the American cultural elite to treat those who are not deemed part of the elect with condescension and contumely."
A reader responds and addresses the other half.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monism and Pluralism

When you can't think of anything intelligent to post, it's good to have friends that write smart stuff a guy can link to.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hardboiled

There was a time when men knew how to take a punch, handle a gun or a dangerous dame, and wear a good hat the right way.

In the last couple weeks I immersed myself in classic hardboiled fare: reading Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man, Raymond Chandler's Farewell My Lovely; and watching the original The Narrow Margin and Last Man Standing, the Bruce Willis re-make of Hammett's corpse-littered Red Harvest.

Good stuff, all of it. It was fun to hang out for a while in a world where men don't get facials, women don't get tattoos, and cigarettes don't have filters.

While my noir jag may be fading, adventure in far off lands is coming on strong: I watched Gary Cooper in 'Beau Geste' last night, and 'The Lives of a Bengal Lancer' is on the other side of the disc...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hitchcock, Dogs, Celebrities, and Politicians

Supposedly Alfred Hitchcock once denied saying actors were like cattle; his true opinion was that actors should be treated like cattle. I don’t know if Hitchcock ever really expressed either opinion but the latter one, being more intelligent, is the one I’d bet on.

Several weeks ago Frank J. Fleming wrote that politicians should be trained like dogs, strictly following the model laid out by famous 'Dog Whisperer' Cesar Millan. Fleming’s polemic struck a chord with me. Since then, the exploding cesspool of celebrity support for child rapist Roman Polanski has further led me to believe Fleming’s epiphany has wider application. It should not be limited to the political class. I have always loved and respected Hitchcock, but it seems to me Fleming is correct in this case: celebrities’ treatment needs are far more canine than bovine. Society would benefit greatly by training not only politicians, but also celebrities, in the same way we train dogs.

Celebrities, just like dogs and politicians, need to be regularly exercised, and consistently disciplined, in order for them to be useful to human beings. Otherwise, since they don’t think like human beings, their behavior will degenerate to the completely unacceptable. Once it gets to that point, they must be brought up short and - because some dogs, politicians, and celebrities can grow fairly powerful – bringing them up short can be an unpleasant affair. For instance, if a mastiff is allowed to grow up unruly, and then one day it attempts to jump at an infant, a human must do whatever is necessary to protect the infant, regardless of any harm that may have to be done to the dog. In such a case the dog may feel ill-treated (if dogs - or politicians or celebrities - can be said to ‘feel’ in the same way humans do) but that’s too damn bad. Just because a dog was never trained properly is no reason to let it hurt a human. Better by far of course to train the beast from puppyhood and thereby avoid the necessity of a Dr. Watson/Hound of the Baskervilles finale.

As to celebrities in particular, if Roman Polanski had been properly trained, he might never have raped that child when he was in his 40’s. Likewise, had Polanski been properly disciplined right on the spot, other celebrities in the pack might not have stupidly concluded that what he did wasn’t wrong. Waiting 30 years to discipline Polanski confused the celebrities, just as it would confuse your cocker spaniel if you slapped it on the snout today for crapping in your living room last week. Dogs, politicians, and celebrities need instant feedback or they cannot learn.

Now we have a big mess on our hands. Celebrities are running around defending child rapists, and their more limited intelligence cannot figure out what’s wrong. This is all due to bad training methodology on our part. It’s almost certain that some members of the current celebrity pack are beyond help and should be turned over to Michael Vick for disposition. It also seems clear to me that future celebrities will need a far more consistent discipline if there is to be any chance – even a slim one – of salvaging the breed at all.

Dennis Miller on Roman Polanski's Defenders

"If you feel you've got something so wise, so precious, so singularly sagacious, that you want to tag it onto Polanski's atrocity to "shed some light on it," light is in fact your biggest problem because you've got your head shoved so far up your tuchus that they're gonna have to cut in switchback trails to get to it."
Just so.
(H/T Big Hollywood)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Decline Is a Choice

Charles Krauthammer: "Nothing is inevitable. Nothing is written. For America today, decline is not a condition. Decline is a choice."
(H/T Powerline)

Barrack Obama Elected Pope!

Just kidding of course. He only won the Nobel Peace Prize.

It seems 2009 - I mean the entire frick'n year - has now officially jumped the shark.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Movie Review: "Easy Virtue"

Watched Easy Virtue last night. Neither my daughter nor wife would admit to putting it in the Blockbuster queue. I gave it half a star.

According to the movie's marketing folks: “A glamorous American woman enters into a spirited battle of wits with her disapproving English mother-in-law in this period romantic comedy.”

Well, that’s one way of putting it.

SPOILERS ALERT:

Here’s another way to look at it: In modern Anglo-American cinema, if it seems at first that the father of a household is the only reasonable member, the audience is being set up. It took less than 15 minutes to realize Dad and Daughter-in-Law would be running away together in the final frame. The only questions were: one, how much would the plot have to strain believability to make this ending seem less depraved to the audience than it should; and, two, how many clichéd cheap-shots could be aimed at English aristocracy before the fade-out. The answer to the second question is, quite a lot of cheap shots, including pretty much all of the usual: stupidity, blood-thirstiness, sexual repression, blah, blah, blah, you could write the list yourself.

The first question is a bit tougher: how do you run off with your husband’s father without seeming to be the skank you in fact must be? This question is indeed so much tougher the movie doesn’t bother to try to answer it. It settles for the ‘why-don’t-we-just-agree-we’re-different?’ scene between the young husband and wife, and a truly laughable (not to be confused with 'funny') ‘final-straw’ scene between the older couple.

The term “easy virtue” is a somewhat archaic way of referring to women who were, in the opinion of society, quicker than they should be in allowing themselves to be bent over a piece of furniture. It’s possible the makers of this execrable film intend the title to apply to the sensibilities of the audience as well.

French gay soccer team snubbed by Muslim team

Hard for a sophisticate to know sometimes who he should be reviling more, the homophobic Muslims, or the islamaphobic homos? Modern living is so complicated.
(H/T Mark Steyn at NRO)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kashmiri Girl Power

"An Indian farmer’s daughter disarmed a terrorist leader who broke into her home, attacked him with an axe and shot him dead with his own gun."
Between the stray dogs and the middle-school girls, Kashmir is getting to be a dangerous place for Paki terrorists. The will of Allah is inscrutable.

UPDATE: Apparently she's 21 years old so she's not in middle-school (and she's too old for Roman Polanski).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Book Review: Iroquois Diplomacy on the Early American Frontier

My latest book review at Amazon:
Shannon is much more even-handed than we have come to expect in histories involving Native American interaction with whites. The Iroquois are not always the good guys in this telling, as indeed they were not always the good guys in fact.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why can't I think of lines like this?

"There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs."

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Verdict on Honduras

"The Law Library of the Congress of the United States (LLC) has issued an opinion on the removal and expulsion of Manuel Zelaya as president of Honduras. The LLC’s conclusion: Zelaya’s removal was legal but his deportation from the country was not."
This is not a shock. There has been mention in the press (not enough, to be sure) that Honduras government seemed to have acted mostly legally in Zelaya's removal. What could possibly have possessed the Obama administration to publicly and strongly support a crazy man, legally removed from office?

Update: LLC Report in PDf:
(H/T Washington Examiner)
The Constitution no longer authorizes impeachment, but gives Congress the power to disapprove of the conduct of the President, to conduct special investigations on issues of national interest, and to interpret the Constitution. In the case against President Zelaya, the National Congress interpreted the power to disapprove of the conduct of the President to encompass the power to remove him from office, based on the results of a special, extensive investigation.

Friday, September 25, 2009

French 'cowboy up', U.S. sings Kumbaya

I bow to no man in general bigoted contempt of the French but, when even they're suggesting we're pussies, some self-evaluation might be called for.

Oddly, I didn't see this report in the U.S. press. (Kidding. There's nothing odd about the U.S. press ignoring this.)

From the Telegraph:
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, came close to mocking his American counterpart for the good intentions, which Mr Obama had heralded as an "historic" step towards nuclear abolition, even though it set no specific targets or fresh mandates.

"We live in a real world not a virtual world," the Frenchman told the 15-member council. "And the real world expects us to take decisions.

"President Obama dreams of a world without weapons ... but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite.

"Iran since 2005 has flouted five security council resolutions. North Korea has been defying council resolutions since 1993.

"I support the extended hand of the Americans, but what good has proposals for dialogue brought the international community? More uranium enrichment and declarations by the leaders of Iran to wipe a UN member state off the map," he continued, referring to Israel.

The sharp-tongued French leader even implied that Mr Obama's resolution 1887 had used up valuable diplomatic energy.

"If we have courage to impose sanctions together it will lend viability to our commitment to reduce our own weapons and to making a world without nuke weapons," he said.

Mr Sarkozy has previously called the US president's disarmament crusade "naïve".

(H/T: Maura Flynn

Iran's Nukes (the ones they aren't making anymore)

In November of 2007, the U.S. National Intelligence Community judged with "high confidence" both that "Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program (in 2003)" and "that the halt lasted at least several years." Now it turns out that during the transition between the Bush and Obama administrations (in late 2008) the incoming president was briefed about Iran's covert nuclear facility that is causing all the fuss today.

The 2007 NIE report essentially made it politically impossible for the Bush administration to aggressively confront Iran. After all, our own intelligence community was stating Iran had stopped developing nukes. But one year after issuing such a dramatic, policy-impacting report, the same intelligence community briefs the new administration that it possesses knowledge of Iranian covert nuclear facilities.

Is it just me or is there something very wrong with this picture? Just like in the Valarie Plame "scandal" it seems to me that instead of believing the Bush administration was "politicizing" intelligence, there is reason to wonder whether anti-administration actors within the intelligence community were themselves issuing politically-minded intelligence reports?

You can read the 2007 NIE here.

Honduras Update: You can't make this stuff up

"Honduras' fallen leader told The Miami Herald he is being subjected to mind-altering gas and radiation -- and that `Israeli mercenaries' are planning to assassinate him."
Well, sure. Mind-altering gas. Israeli mercenaries. Of course

So, not only has the U.S. government backed a guy that was lawfully impeached and deposed by the entire legislative, judicial, and military arms of a democracy for blatant attempts to become a dictator, but it also turns out that he's, well, nuts.

And people were worried about Sarah Palin making foreign policy mistakes?

(H/T: Powerline)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spot the problem...

Headline:
Criminally insane killer disappears from B.C. psych hospital

Paragraph 1:
"A man convicted of two murders in northeastern B.C. has disappeared from a psychiatric unit(.)"

Paragraph 3:
"(He) left the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital ...with authorization but has not returned." (emphasis added)

So who's crazier, the homicidal maniac, or the retarded idiots in charge of keeping homicidal maniacs off the streets?

'Witchcraft' killers of albino boy to be hanged

The only part of this story that isn't a weird, pathetic indictment of human nature and ignorance is the 'hanging' part, which is good.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Honduras Mess

Commentary in today's Wall Street Journal.

So, about those climate models...

A couple articles today in National Review OnLine:

Garbage In, Gospel Out
"Longer-term forecasts (more than 5 years) are futile because so-called experts can make anything they want up (.)"

The Dog Ate Global Warming
"Imagine if there were no reliable records of global surface temperature."

About time India did something useful with some of those stray dogs

From Times of India: On the border, stray dogs are Army's new best friends

Anyone who has been to India knows what a huge number of stray dogs there are. They are literally everywhere. When I was in Hyderabad I figured you could probably go to any part of the city with a varmint rifle and a box of low-velocity .22's, and you would be able to fill the bed of an F-150 with dead dogs in about an hour.

But using them against terrorists is an even better idea.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How American Health Care Killed My Father

Not my father. The title is from this article in last month's The Atlantic.

I think David Goldhill makes an important contribution to the debate.

The Knights Templar were framed

Don't know why this occurred to me recently but in case you weren't aware, the Knights Templar were not suppressed and disbanded for anything they did wrong. They were suppressed because, as is usually the case, a political leader wanted more money and power. The Vatican documentation (from 1308 - as in, the year 1308 AD) is here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Leonard Cohen recovers ...

...after collapsing onstage in Spain

I didn't know Leonard Cohen was still touring. The resaon he's still touring is a crying shame. I guess a retirement is never truly "safe". Hell of a song-writer and, considering he's 75 years old, a hell of a man.

I hope he's okay.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Acorn's "Röhm-Putsch"

Looks like Congress is moving fast to help the administration throw Acorn under the bus. The organization certainly seems to deserve it but the suddenness is breathtaking. And the two kids that made it happen have re-set the standard for citizen-activists of any political persuasion.

It was eventually bound to happen and probably sooner rather than later. Acorn as an organization has been such a volatile crew that it either has to be used continuously, or it has to be disappeared. There isn't any maintenance state for an outfit like this. If you breed and train attack dogs you either use them to attack things or you put them down. You can't keep 'em around as family pets or use them as seeing eye dogs.

The Acorn people should have read their history better.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Watchmen Movie: Best Dialog

Ozymandias: "It doesn't take a genius to see the world has problems."

The Comedian: "Yeah, but it takes a room full of morons to think they're small enough for you to handle."

Since the wife was out of town this weekend I got to indulge my addiction to action movies without committing to watch a romantic comedy in exchange. So I watched Watchmen. The movie itself was every bit of the glorification of stupid socialist/secularist mythology I expected. The action was 'eh' and the only sex scene was okay (Confession: as a normal male I can effortlessly ignore ridiculous body-armor costumes and stupid plots if the girl is naked and pretty enough).

But I loved the Comedian's line at the top of this post. It should probably be sent via email to everybody in Congress (and the President, of course).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Health Insurance Whining

At National Review Online a commenter wrote to Mona Charen about the lack of affordability of health insurance.

The writer complained,
If you're a 29 year old software designer and you want to live in a one-bedroom apartment reasonably near where you work and you want a car and cable TV and a lifestyle that approaches normal for a college grad with a white collar job, you need to be making a lot more than 300% of the poverty level before you can shell out for health insurance.

This is pathetic. I’d rather have a private apartment than have to share with room-mates, but I have no right to demand society subsidize my preference. Long commutes are a drag but, again, why would I expect other people to pay the rest of my bills so I can afford a higher rent in a location closer to my work? Car? What kind of car are we talking about? One of my vehicles is a 1988 Bronco II with a couple million miles on it that I bought for a thousand dollars in 2000. Does the writer think other people should pay his health insurance so he can lease a more expensive one?

Cable TV? Don’t even get me started. And the infantile whine about “lifestyle that approaches normal for a college grad with a white collar job”! Here’s a clue, skippy: The life ”style” you can afford is the one you can, well, afford. If you need someone else to pay your health insurance so you can spend your own money making sure no one mistakes you for some blue-collar working schlub, I submit that you suck ass at priority-setting.

This kind of crap really burns me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Walkabout in Vizag

A former colleague still stationed in India posted some video on YouTube. He was just taking a walk in the city of Visakhapatnam (more commonly known as Vizag). It's on the east coast, on the Bay of Bengal.

Brings back memories.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Book Review: Sea of Faith

I just posted a review at Amazon of Sea of Faith: Islam and Christianity in the Medieval Mediterranean World by Stephen O'Shea.

I didn't care for it much:
Elegant attacks on medieval Christianity are half of what makes Mr. O'Shea a fashionable writer. The other half is his fawning treatment of Islamic despots based on their urbane coolness. One gets the impression that for O'Shea the depredations of, say, Mehmet II are more than made up for by Mehmet's building of a hip and cosmopolitan city in Constantinople (right after he and his army slaughtered, raped, and pillaged the original Christian population).

Friday, August 21, 2009

How many Yanks does it take to save a squaddie?

Michael Yon's impressive description of battlefield wound treatment in Afghanistan.

Did I say "impressive"? Astounding, more like

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oh no! Blackwater again!

More sloppy AP reporting.

Headline: AP source: CIA hired contractor to kill al-Qaida

Paragraph 1: "The CIA hired private contractors from Blackwater USA in 2004 as part of a secret program to kill top-level members of al-Qaida(.)"

Paragraph 8: It was unclear whether the CIA had planned to use the contractors to capture or kill al-Qaida operatives or just to help with training and surveillance.

So if anyone bothers to read that far, they find AP doesn't know whether their headline is actually, you know, true.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Aliens! I forgot all about them.

Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who infiltrated American military websites searching for proof of alien life, has lost his High Court appeal against extradition to the US.

What with war, terrorism, racial politics, socialized medicine, etc., eating up all the headlines, I'm glad someone is still paying attention to the more amusing nut cases.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Gates Affair - "Contempt of Cop"

About time we start seeing some reasonable commentary about what I believe the real "dialog" should be concerning the arrest of that pissed off racialist professor in Cambridge.

Wow - Have I not posted in that long?

Boy, two months can go by pretty fast when you just don't feel like posting.

Some random thoughts:

Michael Jackson: Fun music; creepy fellow. I think when they make the movie version of his life the role should go to Johnny Depp wearing the same make-up Heath Ledger wore in that Batman movie.

Global Warming: Those not convinced of AGW are now "traitors"? Wow. The warmenists are shrieking like Women's Studies professors invited to the pole-dancing contest at Greek Night.

Perez Hilton: Why am I even aware he exists, and would the media please stop reminding me?

Sarah Palin: If she committed political suicide by resigning as governor of Alaska, why can't her opponents shut up? You don't waste ammo on the dead. Could it be because her approval ratings are still roughly tied with Barrack Obama's? I'm just asking.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Albert Jay Nock

This is the first time I've ever heard of Nock. Seems worthwhile to look up some of his writing.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cultural Illiteracy

An excerpt from the preface of the new paperback edition of Mark Bauerlein's "The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Are they nuts?

Is the NRSC Going to Abandon Toomey?
(Hat tip: Instapundit)

A Chilling Effect on U.S. Counterterrorism

Instapundit links to a Stratfor post concerning the recent release of memos detailing CIA "enhanced interrogation techniques".

Over at Knight's Castle Glenn Knight has been posting on the 'torture debate' and I left a comment concerning a Slate article Glenn linked to.

My position: I have no trouble with the techniques the U.S. used to get information from these prisoners and the release of these memos was a terrible and stupid idea. It's in keeping with the current administration's policy of trying to separate itself from just about all of previous American history and it will do us harm in both the short and long term.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gurkhas have right to live in Britain

At the Telegraph: MPs vote to give Gurkhas right to live in Britian in defeat for Gordon Brown

Mr Cameron said: "Today is a historic day where Parliament took the right decision. The basic presumption that people who fight for our country should have a right to live in our country has been set out very clearly.

Gurkhas have served the British crown since 1815 and have amassed battle honours including 26 Victoria Crosses.

The guess I don't understand why Gordon Brown would oppose it?

So Spector switches parties...

How could they tell?
Specter's defection to Democrats roils Republicans

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stuck on writing...

I just read a post by John J. Miller at NRO's Corner where he mentions attending a talk given by Irving Kristol. Kristol gave some advice to young writers. I'm not young but I guess I still want to be a writer (or at least be able to write well). The advice was simple:
Write every day (practice, practice, practice) and read good writing.
I suppose I should get started. I haven't done either of those things for a while now.

How Rome Fell and the Moral for the USA

Instapundit links to this Professor Bainbridge post on the fall of Rome.

Reminds me I dropped off at Chapter 17 when I was reading Gibbon and should pick it back up.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

French court orders ban on Chinese body parts show

About time. I suppose this ruling will be overturned pretty quickly but I was wondering if I was the only one to think these displays are depraved.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Barack Obama’s India-Pakistan Mess

"(W)hether he realizes it or not, President Obama just sided with Pakistan and against India, and put America’s foreign policy position on the side of a country that is sheltering al Qaeda. The Obama Administration has sided with the tyrant to the North and the terrorists to the West. The Indians have noticed."
(Hat tip: Instapundit)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pirates!

This is just depressing.

UPDATE: U.S. crew retakes ship hijacked by Somali pirates
Much less depressing now.
ANOTHER UPDATE: US crewman: Somali pirates hold captain hostage
Jeesh.

EXCELLENT UPDATE: American Ship Captain Richard Phillips Rescued Safely From Somali Pirates

Three Somali pirates dead (75%): those Navy SEALs are not people to have a gunfight with.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Same Sex Marriage a constitutional right in Iowa

When democracy doesn't get you what you want. Ruling is here. (HT: NRO's Corner)

I haven't read it through yet.

UPDATE: Link has been fixed.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cap & Trade: Taxing the Air

We all actually exhale CO2, right? It's part of breathing. This "pollutant", besides being a by-product of virtually all animal life on the planet, is the critical gas required for teh existence of all plant life on Earth.

So if I understand Cap & Trade (a state mandated "market" for CO2 emissions) the government has finally figured out how to tax breathing. They've just done it on the back end.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Finacial Meltdown Primer

As a layman I've had the toughest time figuring out what exactly is going on in the credit crisis. Here's a Policy Analysis by Jagadeesh Gokhale at CATO. Being CATO it leans heavily to the free market (as do I). Agree or disagree it gives some basic definitions and explanations that I have had a hard time understanding from other accounts.

(HT: John Hood at NRO's The Corner)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Steyn vs The Gubernator

Mark Steyn shares some thoughts on the concept of fiscal conservative/social liberal.

But the reality is that almost every “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” politician turns out to be fiscally liberal — in the same way that, if you mix half a pint of vanilla ice cream with half a pint of horse manure, it’s not hard to figure which taste will predominate.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

US Treasury secretary attacks oil, gas tax breaks

From Reuters:
WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - U.S. oil and natural gas producing companies should not receive federal subsidies in the form of tax breaks because their businesses contribute to global warming, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress on Wednesday.
Can this get any more perfect? A Treasury Secretary that doesn't pay his own taxes, and has been a public no-show in a global financial crises that his boss says is the worst since the Great Depression, decides to come out swinging against a mythical "pollutant" that causes unprovable temperature changes.

The lunatics are now officially and gleefully running the asylum.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Modern Diplomatic Folly

In today's Telegraph we find Darfur: ICC issues arrest warrant for Sudan president

Assuming the president of Sudan did everything the International Criminal Court prosecutor alleges, I think it is still a horrible idea to take this sort of action.
For one thing, I'm not sure - and I don't know that many people are - who the ICC answers to. Who are these guys and who the hell are they to issue arrest warrants for people acting (however badly) as officials of sovereign nations within the borders of those nations? Do they really think they have the "authority" to arrest George Bush if they decide the war in Iraq was "illegal" by some not-as-yet defined standard? Can they arrest Barack Obama for not closing Guantanamo fast enough to meet the wishes of various unknown "international" bureaucrats?

For another thing, since this "warrant" will never be acted on, doesn't it make the international community look ridiculous and effete to issue it? Who is going to serve it? The French Foreign Legion? We know full well no one is going to serve it and this warrant will be nothing but a reminder to the oppressed and helpless masses under power of ugly dictators across the world that the "International Community" is nothing but a joke, and their rulers will do with them what they please. It will simply reinforce the hopelessness of their positions.

However I suppose it does make the poseurs of international global organizations feel better, which is

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Why didn't I think of this?

Working women almost certainly caused the credit crunch

Does the woman in your life really need a job?
(Hat tip: Instapundit)

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Bible on the "Stimulus" Package

In the Book of Numbers (14:18) the scripture reads: "(H)e punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

Someone also once said: "People get the government they deserve."

Our government's current spending binge leads me to think these two proverbs can be combined: Sometimes people leave their grandchildren the government they themselves deserved.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's a tiger got to do to get some respect?

More animal rights lunacy, this time in India:

Maneater shot dead, at last
It was declared a maneater after it killed a boy in Barabanki in December, but the order was revoked after protests from wildlife organisations and environmentalists. It was again declared a maneater after it killed a man in Faizabad on January 9. The last man it killed was a forest guide, Raghu Raj, on January 15.
You would think eating a boy would get an animal declared a 'maneater' right away but apparently we now have to give the tiger a chance to change its ways before we do the needful?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Re-Writing Stem Cell History

Washington Post Staff Writer Rob Stein reports:
At the National Institutes of Health, officials have started drafting guidelines they will need to start funding human embryonic stem cell research that has been off-limits for nearly eight years.

Well, sort of. In fact federal funding for embryonic stem cell research has - I believe - always been off-limits. The Bush administration allowed research on a small group of stem cell lines, in effect starting government funding of embryonic stem cell research. I'm pretty sure that previously (as in, during the Clinton administration) there was no federal funding of embryonic stem cell research allowed at all.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fact vs Opinion

In a comment to my post below Glenn writes:

"My problem with the Israeli attack on Gaza is two-fold. First, as far as I can tell, the Israelis made no serious attempt to identify combatants before they started blowing things up. Second, I fail to see any possible relationship between the Israeli actions and the cessation of rocket attacks. This was an indiscriminate tantrum which killed 1,300 Arabs and 13 Israelis."

I have a problem with both folds of Glenn's problem and of course with his conclusion. To the first point I understand the Israelis indeed took great pains to identify combatants, and to the second point the Israeli action did force Hamas to stop their rocket attacks. My own conclusion is that far from being an "indiscriminate tantrum" it was rather as precise a military operation as it could possibly have been given the density of the population and Hamas cowardly propensity to use as much of their own population as possible as human shields against the Israelis.

Some time ago at the old Cafe it was Glenn that first pointed out to me (I know, it's something I should have realized long before) that new information we consider to be fact is often (even usually) greatly influenced by our pre-existing opinions. This new information - which we now consider factual - then reinforces the original opinion.

This tendency is probably at play here. Glenn is a smart man and I don't consider myself that stupid either. Yet here we are, looking at the same information, and walking away with completely different opinions on the matter because we perceive two completely different versions of what the true facts are.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gaza Family Martyr Business

For when you see those Palestinian "civilian" casualty numbers: A very depressing read. (via Jonah Goldberg at NRO)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Canada on Gaza

Are the Canadian's getting less pansyish these days? Have I been judging them too harshly all along? Is something else going on? I don't know.

The National Post carries the official positions of the Conservatives, Liberals, and New Democrats concerning the current unpleasantness occurring in Gaza. Only the New D's are objectively rooting for Hamas to get a free pass. Both Liberals and Conservatives seem to agree with the common-sense propositions that a)Israel ought to be able to defend itself against rocket attacks and b) the rocket attacks must cease before Israel can be reasonably required to stop defending itself.

I'm starting to like these guys better again. Which is good.

Israel in Gaza

Interesting on-line article by Robert Kaplan in The Atlantic.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ann Boleyn

A couple weeks ago we rented the movie The Other Boleyn Girl. Since I don't know much about Ann Boleyn - and had never heard of her sister - I went to the library and checked out "Ann Boleyn, A Biography" by Marie Louise Bruce. I can't find a link to the book on-line. It was published in 1972 and seems to be out of print.

I enjoyed both book (excellent and informative) and movie (Hollywood brain rot but enough to get me interested in the real Ann Boleyn). Of course the movie took great liberties with the facts of Mary's and Ann's lives. Historical movies usually tell more about the period in which they're produced than they do about the period the story is supposed to cover.

Ann Boleyn was an extraordinary person, both in the movie and in life; and the real Mary Boleyn was - well, let's just say - not the girl in the movie.

Note on the usual, gratuitous, anti-Christian cheap-shot required in all standard Hollywood productions: According to Bruce, Ann was not charged with witchcraft, and witchcraft was not a felony in England in 1536. The charges of Treason and conspiring to kill the King were quite enough to have her condemned. It's typical whoever made the movie thought it necessary to add a new charge to Queen Ann's indictment.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

A bit of metaphysics for 2009, from the Eighth Psalm:

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet(.)

Somebody (Chesterton maybe?) said the problem with atheists is that once a person stops believing in God, he can start to believe in anything. How does one stand his ground if one doesn't know where it is?

Imagine trying to argue fashionable metaphysical foolishness with the psalmist? That mankind should be considered, say, a 'virus' on the 'organism' of Mother Earth, or that humanity is simply another species with no more 'rights' than dolphins? We all start with assumptions when we look at the world, and it's good to remember what our assumptions are. One can do much worse than start with the Eighth Psalm. Many do.