""Ultimately, this is going to happen," said physicist Geoffrey Landis of NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. "It's being taken seriously now at NASA."
Landis -- who also is an award-winning science fiction author -- said a starship will likely be a "small city in space," containing perhaps 200 people on a 200-year voyage to a nearby star that has Earth-like planets.
I have no doubt it will happen. I do doubt that it will take as long as they say. Time after time science has set up limits to how fast we can go and how far we can go, and science has always been wrong. At the turn of the century, people thought that if humans went faster than a mile a minute any vehicle would disintigrate. Powered flight was a mad dream. Fifty years later, the sound barrier was said to be impassable. That went by the wayside too. Centuries earlier, science knew that the world was flat. Given that the limits have always been knocked down before, why should we regard the speed of light as an impassable barrier?
Moira Breen received a great letter in response to one of her previous posts on "modern love".
"Jonathan Gewirtz focuses on deficiencies in understanding of reality:
The modern "liberal" is distinguished by his inability to understand life's tradeoffs and willful ignorance of human nature.
"Outside" magazine runs occasional stories featuring men who leave their families to be full-time mountain climbers, idiots who camp alone in Pakistan and are killed by bandits, and so forth. These stories are typically accompanied by hand-wringing about the human condition, and admiration for those self-centered free spirits who can't quite decide between their families and careers as lone adventurers.
Of course the mature view of life is correct: you can't have it all; you must choose; there are unique costs and benefits to each choice. But such thinking is anathema to liberal sentimentalists, and therein lies the cause of many individual and social problems."
Yup. The first line says it all. Clear and concise.
Damm right. I love that cartoon. It's my first web request when I get on a computer in the morning. I won't be satisifed until Sluggy Freelance is a weekly TV show with a Burger King meal tie-in and stuffed Bun-Bun dolls are decapitiating the latest Disney cutesy animal in the aisles of Toys-R-Us.
For those who don't already "Worship the Comic", there's a handy dandy viewer's guide here.
Then there's a few great Sluggy stories starting here, here and here.
An in depth exploration by Adil Farooq. (via Instapundit) This essay is scary as hell. I won't excerpt it because the entire article is important. Highly, highly recommended. The machinerery of fanatic recruitment is exposed in detail. It's just like any other cult.
The Resource Monkey has started his own blog. From what I can tell, it won't be as political as BCM, but more a repository of wierd and wonderful news from around the world. He apparently also wishes to spread nasty rumours about the BCM.
"As Sandline International proved in Sierra Leone once when they dramatically improved the security situation before their good work was largely undone by the amoral drones in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, private military organisations can be a valuable and stabilizing factor in many parts of the world. It is interesting that there are progressive elements in the British government who see this. Not surprisingly many socialist Labour MPs are horrified at the thought of non-state owned military formations even existing, as if somehow only being a state makes the use of force moral. Yet if the 20th century showed anything, it is that nations are far more likely to use force to murder their own citizens than to fight foreign wars. Third world armies in particular are notorious for endemic human rights abuses and rather than protecting the societies that fund them, in fact pose the primary threat to them.
Highly professional modern mercenary outfits could give many small nations the best of both worlds: first world capabilities without third world problems. Also the hiring nation is not forced into being a neo-colonial supplicant that results from accepting British, American or (particularly) French military 'assistance'. Similarly for countries like Britain or the US to contract out certain military operations is not just a return to practices that were common in the 19th century but give more 'casualty sensitive' nations like the US a good way to bring stability without making worthy objectives hostage to opportunist politicians looking to boost their exposure with every returning flag draped coffin. Companies like Sandline and Executive Outcomes are almost certainly the face of low intensity warfare in the future regardless of short term opposition because they make such eminent sense."
"Here's where I want to give you a fact that is shockingly underreported: Microsoft proved to Judge Jackson in the antitrust case four years ago that Internet Explorer is integrated into the Windows operating system. What is commonly reported is that in 1998 Princeton University computer science professor Dr. Edward Felten and his "two young assistants" came up with an Internet Explorer uninstall
program that kept Windows intact that he demonstrated for the court. The shocking part is how Microsoft VP Jim Allchin immediately proved that there were almost a dozen ways users could still access Internet Explorer after running Felten's "uninstaller" and how portions of the Windows operating system were damaged in the wake of Felten's program. Allchin's evidence was not demonstrated live in the courtroom, proved the government's expert witness wrong and therefore must not have been deemed newsworthy by the majority of the tech press.
Still, four years later, the states are claiming that Internet Explorer is not really an integrated part of Windows and Microsoft needs to show them the millions of lines of programming code to prove it. Microsoft replied that it was ridiculous to freely hand over their valuable intellectual property to the people that passionately hate them.
Headlines From Yahoo News "World" Page ISRAEL ATTACKS WEST BANK VILLIAGE Fri Feb 15, 6:51 AM ET - (AP) JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli forces swept through a West Bank village early Friday, killing a Palestinian, hours after Palestinians set off a huge bomb in Gaza, destroying a tank and killing three soldiers, threatening a new round of escalating violence.
Those imperialist Israelis at it again! What beasts! If one were to just scan the headlines instead of reading the whole article, a very definite impression is made.
ISRAELI: UN SHOULD RESTRAIN ANTI-SEMITISM Thu Feb 14, 5:39 PM ET - (AP) UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Israel's deputy foreign minister urged U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday to stop a new kind of anti-Semitism which demonizes the Jewish state rather than Jews themselves and is threatening prospects for Mideast peace.
Yeah, I guess demonizing the Jews would be okay, just don't smear the state. Remember guys, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was written before Israel became a state. Note the difference guys, duh. Yeah, that would be just fine, no problems there at all. Nope.
Utterly unbelievable. I note these were both written by Associated Press, so the blame rests with them.
Maybe it's a cheerful commentary on the state of things in the U.S. that the No. 1 domestic terrorist group identified this week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation is not al Qaeda or the Aryan Nation. In fact, it's not a group claiming to act in the name of Allah at all. No the most dangerous homegrown terrorists we have are fighting for the bunnies: The Earth Liberation Front.
ELF, that firebombing group of environmental whackos, got the top honors with responsibility for some $43 million of damage in 600 acts of violence since 1996. So much for the war against terrorism being a war against Islam.
That's a point of pride for the group, which boastfully puts up the Justice Department's tally of its tale of destruction on its Web site. There's little of the self-delusion and nicey-nice rhetoric often found among other hippy-dippy activists. ALF unapologetically posts commentary that its "attacks on medical research continue today" and are aimed at producing "millions of dollars worth of damages and delays in the development of new treatments and cures."
People have been caught up enough that they have gone to Nigeria, with sometimes tragic results.
"Persons who have traveled overseas to investigate or consummate this scam have made a tragic mistake. Once you are overseas, there are a variety of ways the Nigerians will get to you. Typically, the Nigerians will bribe the customs officials when you arrive so that you do not have to pass through Customs. This is a huge mistake, for then you are a foreigner in Nigeria without a passport -- a very serious offense. The Nigerians can then threaten to turn you into the authorities until you cough up money. Even after you have paid them money, the local police are about as likely to then run this extortion racket themselves, with the result that you will not get out of the country until they have gotten every last dime out of you, and maybe not even then.
The US Secret Service reports that in June of 1995 an American who was pursuing one of these scams was found murdered in Lagos and that numerous other persons have been reported missing."
"Personally, Valentine's Day has always had a very special meaning for me. It's the day when you reflect on those you love, and why every women I date eventually just wants to be friends and why all the women I like go out with some asshole who treats them like dirt and how all the couples taunt me with their sickening kissy-kissy displays in public while I'm over here all alone and AAAAAAUGH!!!
[Editor's note: after spending some time in a secure "rest" facility, Damian has made a full recovery. In fact, he's down at the post office right now, randomly sending out perfume-scented valentine's day cards signed "Guess who?" Divorce law is a very lucrative part of his practice.] "
"Still, the man who searches for a conservative soulmate will eventually be rewarded. It may be a chance encounter at the Hallmark store as you brush hands reaching for the same get-well card to send to Rush Limbaugh. Perhaps you'll spot each other across the crowded dance floor during a mixer at the Fraser Institute. Before long, you'll be shopping for his-and-hers sealskin boots and popping boycotted grapes into each other's mouths.
For those who still don't understand why the search for a conservative love partner is worth the trouble, perhaps the best explanation comes, oddly enough, from a self-described liberal quoted in Andy Lamey's story: "Conservatives are better dressed, they enjoy life more and they're always vindicated by history."
And as any conservative will tell you, being vindicated by history is the biggest turn-on of all."
So, with that in mind, I'm off to Starbuck's tonight. We'll see if I can read a few women's handwriting and start something interesting.
"So what's the deal with Canadians and masochism? First, Damian Penny sends me an e-mail lamenting the fact that, unlike me, he's yet to receive bonafide hate mail (surely some of you folks out there can muster up some vilifying twaddle for Mr. Penny's sake, no?). Now the BC Monkey wants to be called vile.
Okay, guys. You're both a couple of rotten bastards. If you died tomorrow, I bet even your own mother wouldn't shed a tear. Not only are you vile, you're also stupid, your feet smell bad, and you can't dance. And if that weren't bad enough, you're Canadian, for goodness' sake. Maybe some day scientists will have you studied. Until then, sod off."
Why Thank you, that's the closest I'm getting to a Valentine this year, so I'll take it!
Apparently Heather Reisman is having the comfy chairs taken out of Chapters/Indigo stores. A heroic group of Freedom Fighters have arisen to meet her. I've expected that Heather would do something like this. Something about Indigo has always just turned me right off.
This is wrong. WND is a pitbull in its approach to reporting, and I wish there were more news reporting organizations that took their attitude. I am confident that WND will eventually gain the accreditation and I intend to help make it happen. First, by spreading the word, and second by writing the Deputy Director Responsible, Joe Keenan. I urge you to do the same.
"Evidently what the people-in-need are asking for is a lot of federal projects named after Senator Byrd.
Some items funded by taxpayers – but still somehow named after "Robert C. Byrd" – are: The Robert C. Byrd Highway; the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam; the Robert C. Byrd Institute; the Robert C. Byrd Life Long Learning Center; the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program; the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope; the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing; the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse; the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center; the Robert C. Byrd Academic and Technology Center; the Robert C. Byrd United Technical Center; the Robert C. Byrd Federal Building; the Robert C. Byrd Drive; the Robert C. Byrd Hilltop Office Complex; the Robert C. Byrd Library; the Robert C. Byrd Learning Resource Center; the Robert C. Byrd Rural Health Center.
And then it got late, and I had to stop researching. But it appears that every slab of concrete in West Virginia is named after Bob Byrd."
I thought people were supposed to die before they get public buildings named after them?
"For nearly two generations, this royal family has squandered the biggest transfer of wealth to any single country probably in history. Without business smarts or plans to move toward a modern, open society, Saudi Arabia's only official opposition party has become the al-Qaeda led by bin Laden whose popularity among e unemployed young men in that country is growing, according to polls.
As I watched them in action, I couldn't help compare these royals to the Czar and his courtiers before the Russian Revolution. The Bolsheviks were also highly educated and middle-class idealists who perpetrated terrorist acts until they finally took control and imposed their unfortunate ideology on Russia's proletariat.
A collection of memorable quotes from the US media last year. I'd call it an embarrasing collection, but I have no doubt that those who voiced these words stand by them without any concept of embarrassment.
"Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on NBC, December 11, 2000: "If Bush is elected and it's proved on a hand count that Gore actually carried Florida (not to mention the popular vote), what will the country say? 'Oops' isn't going to cut it. ... However agreeable and successful he turns out to be, the new president is doomed to be seen by many Americans as a bastard."
Bill O'Reilly: "I want to ask you flat out, do you think President Clinton's an honest man?"
Dan Rather: "Yes, I think he's an honest man."
O'Reilly: "Do you, really?"
Rather: "I do."
O'Reilly: "Even though he lied to Jim Lehrer's face about the Lewinsky case?"
Rather: "Who among us has not lied about something?"
O'Reilly: "How can you say he's an honest man?"
Rather: "Well, because I think he is. I think at core he's an honest person. I know that you have a different view. I know that you consider it sort of astonishing anybody would say so, but I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things."
Fat chance there will be Congressional hearings on Global Crossing donating over $400,000 to the Democrats before receiving a $400 Million defense dep't contract.
Remember, only Republicans can be bought with campaign contributions. Even if the donating company secured absolutely no benefit from the politicians donated to, there is still obviously guilt. (Bush/Enron) If a company donates to the Democrats and gets a fat public contract, well, that is just coincidence. Shame on you for thinking anything improper occured.
" Loophole-Spotter: According to WaPo's Eilperin and Edsall, the House sponsors of campaign finance reform have agreed to a "millionaire opponent" amendment under which candidates facing a wealthy opponent could raise three times the normal amount from individual contributors -- and benefit from additional coordinated expenditures by the national party -- after their rival had spent $350,000 of personal wealth on the campaign.
So how about this: you're running for Congress. You get one of your rich friends to nominally "run" against you. His name is on the ballot, but he spends $350,001 ineffectually -- maybe on sweetheart contracts with campaign consultants who are friendly to you, maybe on TV ads that are awfully nice to his "opponent," namely you. But because of his "opposition," you get to triple your hard money collections and get "additional coordinated expenditures." Presto! -- you can now clobber your real opponent. .... "
"His (Rock's) discussion paper says: "Relative to the U.S., the world's benchmark economy, real incomes per capita in Canada have been steadily falling over much of the last two decades."
Of course, their prescription to get us out of a mixed economy slump is- More Government Programs!
"it (the plan) calls for encouraging industrial innovation, increasing scientific research leading to commercial applications, the creation of a new generation of elite scholars, addressing the skill and knowledge gaps in the workforce and giving far-flung communities the chance to participate in the new economy through access to computer and communication technologies.
The plan came with no cost estimates (emphasis mine) and a warning that up to 10 years will be needed for the government to keep all its new promises."
Since being elected in 1993, Jean Chretien and the Liberals have consistently downplayed economic trends such as declining productivity, the brain drain and the growing income gap between Canada and its most important economic partner.
Mr. Rock is the first federal Cabinet minister to give voice to the concern, often expressed by business leaders, that Canada has lost a competitive edge to the United States.'
"It is nice to use the U.S. as a benchmark but there is no reason why we can't do better than the U.S. -- that is our objective. We want to be the best in the world, second to none," Mr. Rock said in an interview after presenting the government's long-awaited innovation strategy.
Well, actually there is a very good reason why we haven't and can't do better than the U.S, Mr. Rock. You are part of that reason. Your kind have overtaxed the people and the businesses of this country. Industries are preserved from having to adapt to new technologies by receiving your subsidies. Companies find lobbying for new government grants and programs to be more cost efficient and profitable than researching and innovating new products. You have squandered this country's economic vitality in a quest for what is good for the Liberal party over what is good for the nation. Do you expect to be trusted to fix it now, with the same tools you wrecked it with?
Advantage:Banana Counting Monkey for my post yesterday on how our prosperity is not guaranteed.
Other titles contemplated for this entry: "Flying Pigs spotted across Canada, land at Pearson Int'l Airport"
BCM // 9:24 AM
"Second, I've just received my first bonafide piece of hate mail. I would repeat it for you here, except for the fact that the most intelligent sentence written in the entire letter was "You are a stupid F*****g c**t".
This is what really bothers me about the far left. They tend to be self-righteous and so sure in their belief that they are correct, that they think they are somehow above the human failures and fallibilities that make things like war an unfortunate necessity. Countries battling with each other are no different than two individuals who might exchange fisticuffs because, say, one calls the other a "stupid f*****g c**t".
As far as those of you who like sending e-mails peppered with four-letter words like "f**k", "s**t" and "Gore" are concerned, keep 'em coming. I can take it.
More good words from a few days ago;
'You know, it really amazes me that there are people over the age of twenty that think that we could have settled everything if only we sent an envoy to Afghanistan to hug the Taliban. And afterwards, we could all sit down in a circle eating soy-based organic muffins while talking about our feelings. Group therapy and psychodrama is not going to curb the sort of virulent hatred that is directed toward the U.S. from these people. Besides, that's so early nineties."
Charles asks if Arafat is coming unglued. I don't think so. He's been telling whoppers for eight years. No matter how obvious the lie, we believed him. The "partner for peace" had to be preserved. Arafat isn't unglued, he's relying on past experience.
Moira Breen has a few choice words to be said to a Columnist who wants the sexual freedom of the Sixties and bemoans any choice requiring responsibility or choice. I loved the following passage.
"Or perhaps she does dimly perceive some benefit in loyalty and stability? If so she is railing against having to suck it up and choose. It's often remarked (see: John Walker) that the problem with people today is that they have "too many choices". But having a wealth of alternatives isn't the problem - the problem is incomprehension of the nature of choice. John Walker wanted to join a terrorist organization and now wants what comes to those who didn't take that path. Ms. Kipnis wants to live as an adolescent for the rest of her life (and no one will stop her), but stamps her foot at not being considered mature. Choice A leads to X. Choice B leads far in the other direction and ends at Y. This is unbearable to the foot-stampers.
"Now, with Japan mired in its third recession in 10 years, almost no one mentions Japan except as an example to avoid emulating. It has suffered deflation each year since 1999 and faces the ignominy of an official devaluation of the yen. Interest rates are close to zero but because consumer prices are falling, real interest rates remain high and add daily to an accumulated private, corporate and public debt of some US$30-trillion. Deflation discourages consumer spending because money on deposit increases in value as prices fall, and real debt balloons. Without consumer spending, without economic activity, the country gets sicker and sicker.
Japan's debts are expected to be 40% larger than the national economy two years from now. Tokyo has borrowed so much to prop up failing banks and companies that a third of the national budget is spent servicing debt. Japan's pristine credit rating is under threat, its main stock index has fallen by three-quarters since 1989, the yen has lost 63% against the U.S. dollar since 1995, industrial production is down 13% since last year, and unemployment, at 5.6%, is at its highest for half a century.
Remember Argentina as well in this sorry list. I notice in Canada an attitude that while we may be less competitive than the US, we're still O.K. Everything will keep on going as it has and we'll never lose our standard of living. Argentina was once one of the most developed, wealthiest countries in the world and is now one of its beggars. Our economic status is not assured.
In the short term, government intervention in the economy looks like a great deal. You get more social services, industries get subsidies, declining industries don't have to change or compete with imports and something "gets done" about most every problem in the nation. It even works for a while. Canada is a good example. Japan is the ultimate example.
Canada has had a good run with it's mixed economy. For thiry years we ran up debts, increased taxes and expanded social services at every step. Only in the last decade when the deficit interest payments became intolerable did the government slow down it's expansion. We started with a dollar that was stonger than the USD and an average standard of living that was higher then the US. Now we have a dollar that only buys less than 2/3 of a USD. Anyone who saved during this binge has been penalized. We have a medical system that is collapsing. People have to wait weeks or months for the care they need. Our living standard is 20% below that of the U.S, and the gap is going to grow dramatically over the next decade.
In the meantime, we had several years of being called "the best place in the world to live" by the U.N. We did indeed get a higher standard of living for our extra spending. We have a massive debt spread over the various levels of government, representing a mortgage on our future as a result. We aren't the only ones. Many of the first world nations followed this path, especially in Europe.
There are certain principles of life that are universal. There are some amendments and differences in timeframes, but the underlying rules remain solid. The rules of wealth are some of them.
Anyone can enjoy a higher standard of living if they want to. I could almost double my standard of living today if I chose. All I'd have to do would be to start spending my savings and running up my credit cards. I'll be making a bill that I have to pay off sooner or later, but as long as I keep getting raises from my job as I have in the past, there won't be a problem. I can enjoy life now, and get the things I want. That guy next door who is saving his money and studying has a terrible life in comparison to what I have now.
Of course, in a year of so, I've spent my savings and I'm paying huge interest payments on my credit cards. I haven't expanded my skills so the raise I was expecting never came. The bills are becoming a struggle, but I won't give up the lifestyle to which I've become accustomed. Sooner or later I can stop spending and concentrate on getting out from under the debt, or I can go bankrupt.
The guy next door saved his money and expanded his skills. Turns out he can now afford more than could even when I ran up the credit cards.
The same thing applies to nations, although the timeframe is a lot longer.
Canada, Japan and much of Europe have run up their credit cards and chosen the short term boost to their standard of living. The bill is being paid now, in the form of slower economic growth, higher unemployment and smaller increases in the standard of living.
We are heading for a future in the near term where the US has the kind of economic supremacy in standard of living that they have in military terms. The poor in the US are going to have a relatively higher standard of living than the middle class of the rest of the first world.
,i>Our standard of living is not a guaranteed entitlement. It is not a government program. It is a specific result of saving and investing and capitalism. None other.
""We are facing an uphill battle with Iraq and we can't be sidetracked," one U.S. official said. "Our campaign on Iraq would improve Israel's strategic position more than any air strike on Palestinian buildings."
No word on how not retaliating against attacks will affect Israel's strategic position.
North Korea:A British diplomat says North Korea isn't so bad. He cites that many of the North Koreans he's met have seen The Sound of Music, read british magazines and have seen James Bond movies. No word on how many people he's met who have seen three square meals a day.
The Europeans prove that they just don't get it.
"The number of European embassies in North Korea has risen from five to 13 in the past two years, underlining the difference in approach towards Pyongyang between Europe and the more hardline US, which accuses North Korea of exporting weapons of mass destruction.
European embassies in Pyongyang act as a buffer between North Korea and the US. "We've been telling [North Korea] that they must distinguish between rhetoric and reality and that they must not over-react," said Mr Hoare. He said there was no sign of tension on the streets of Pyongyang since Mr Bush's "axis of evil" speech nor any visible evidence of preparation for military conflict, despite North Korea's condemnation of the remark as "little short of a declaration of war".
"See! We're relevant! We're important! There's still a role for diplomacy with tyrants!"
The Europeans could use a little more acquaintance between rhetoric and reality, perhaps even moreso than the North Korean leadership, as demonstrated in full by the next line.
"People go round with smiles on their faces," said Mr Hoare. People seemed to be better-fed than in previous years - given 250g of rice per day by the government - and there was no sign of dissent against Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader, he said. "People are socialised in a way that means by the time they are adults, they accept a lot without question."
Is that the EU's envy I hear?
Mr Hoare admitted that the relative comfort and contentment of people in Pyongyang was not matched in more remote areas of the impoverished country and said it was possible that forced labour camps existed in mountainous areas.
But Britain's lobbying on human rights issues has had limited impact. "They have a long way to go in understanding our concept of human rights because they think they live in a paradise."
Right. First you tell us that they have seen James Bond movies, so they have an idea of what the west is like, and then you turn around and tell us that the North Koreans believe they live in a paradise. What, do they think that James Bond is science fiction in the order of Star Trek?
Can we have some logic here? The issue isn't whether or not the North Koreans want their MTV, but that their leaders want to develop missiles that will be able to reach many other countries in the area, and eventually North America. The issue is the people in "the more remote areas of the impovierished areas of the country" where forced labour camps may "possib(ly)" exist. The issue is freedom for a people who have suffered Stalinist rule for over half a century. You fucking hypocrites, the US who you are so eager to denigrate has done far more to feed the people of North Korea than it's own government has for years through food aid. Do you really think you are making yourself look good by sucking up to this regime? What the hell does this show about you that given the choice between the two countries, you qualify any support for the US while proclaiming that North Korea is just misunderstood.
"People go around with smiles on their faces."
Hey, people in the hills are starving, noone can crticise the government, noone can leave, there are labour camps throughout the country. But hey, that's alright. Everything's okay here. After all, the people are smiling.
They smile in Afghanistan now too Mr. Hoare. Do you see any difference between the two, I wonder?
"The House and Senate are currently debating a multibillion-dollar farm bailout bill--legislation that is dishonest, counterproductive and boldly hypocritical. Back in 1996 the government inaugurated a supposedly radical--and "final"--$40 billion Freedom to Farm Act. The sponsors' premise then was that in exchange for "freedom" from acreage and money restrictions on federal charity, farmers would agree to the phase-out of subsidies altogether.
Legislators who drafted that bill have now broken their word and during a time of war are back for more. "
"Just this one more donut, and I'll never have another again! Tomorrow I diet for good!"
And the interim result of the mixed economy;
"Finally, let America learn from California that it is unwise for government to promise compensation beyond what it can fund and for calamity it cannot rectify. Here our state budget has nearly doubled in five years. We are broke with a $12 billion budget deficit. And yet our taxes are at an all-time high to pay for all sorts of new agencies to provide all sorts of new entitlements for all sorts of new aggrieved groups--but at the price of a transportation system in shambles, dismal public education, and electricity that is as cheap when unavailable as it is costly when plentiful. "
(Sacrcasm ON) Well, obviously they should raise taxes. (Sarcasm OFF)
I don't approve of anyone being censored. Even the most horrific bastard should be allowed to have his say. The rest of us have the responisiblity to argue against whatever such a person says, but not a right to silence his voice.
A person who expresses an opinion should be prepared to have it criticised publically, and not necessarily in polite terms. I doubt that the voices that find themselves being disapproved of after so long holding the whip hand are likely to learn this lesson.
Any chance the media will be agitiating for the government to go after PETA the way they do the right in the US? Remember the various writers who suggested that the US should ignore Al-Queda and look to investigate right wing fundamentalists and anti-abortionists instead?
“I openly hope that it comes here.”
— Ingrid Newkirk, PETA Co-Founder, on her desire for a USA hoof-and-mouth epidemic
From an ABC News article on PETA
"now occupies several stories of a headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. It employs 130 people, has 700,000 members, revenues of $17 Million, and has opened small branch offices in Britain, Germany, Italy and India."
"How long do people have to wait for elective surgery and diagnostic testing before we call it a crisis. Two years? three years?
One guy in Winnipeg got bumped for cardiac surgery five times last year.
Many wait up to two years for elective surgery and have to stand in line for four to six months for diagnostic testing, such as ultrasounds and CT scans. Hallway medicine continues. We're short 1,400 nurses.
Major hospitals such as Seven Oaks General don't have the resources to provide someone with an urgent ultrasound test after business hours.
And we're forced to send hundreds of cancer patients out of province every year because we can't service them here.
And, it the category of "Perfectly obvious to everyone except European Governments, the U.N and Red Cross"
"Mr. Bush's decision may well save American lives. Most crucial, it allows the U.S. to interrogate the detainees, who may have information about other attacks. POWs are required to give only their name, rank and serial number and must be repatriated after hostilities end. It would be an act of national suicide to put these men back in circulation when their declared objective is to kill more Americans. "
Rent Control is another perfect solution of the left. It ends up causing a further shortage of what it was intended to secure. This generates the justification for further state interference and entrenchment of the exisiting rent controls. Another wonderful feedback loop that ensures the housing activists are perpetually employed.
I'm always amazed at the left's blind ability to not notice or learn from experience. If the housing shortages in cities worsen after rent contol is imposed, as has happened time and again, they never seem to make the connection that rent control is the cause. Much likelier they know and don't care. It is existing tenants who stand to benefit from the controls and who are the ones who push for it. But of course, this form of looking out for their own interests is never considered selfish. Amazing that.
The devotion to rent control strikes me as similar to other leftist ideas, such as unionization and protectionism, which protect small minorites at cost to others in society. Any new potential renters and landlords are simply out of luck after the controls are imposed. Much in the same fashion as lower cost producers in the developing world and those who don't want to work on a union's terms.
"That shitty medium-sized country. Lionel Jospin, prime minister of that shitty medium-sized country France, continues to criticize the U.S. for actually considering continuing the war on terror beyond Afghanistan, which flies in the face of multilateralism. Among other things, Jospin argues that we can not "rely on the predominance of military means" to deal with aggression.
Seriously, just stop and consider all of the problems that Jospin says we must deal with: "You have got to tackle the root causes, the situations, poverty, injustice." How many of these were caused by France in the first place? It would be easier to count those that weren't caused by that shitty medium-sized country. The French were brutal colonialists. To this day, France's former colonies are as a group the poorest, sorriest collection of nations on earth. Half of the U.S.'s international policy efforts center on cleaning up the messes that France created during her brief (but not brief enough) stint as a major nation. Vietnam? A former French colony. Instapundit has been writing about the horrors of Algeria recently? Another legacy of the inept French.
Face it, Lionel. It's been nearly 200 years since the rest of Europe smacked your shitty medium-sized country into irrelevance. And I don't think you guys were too keen on that multilateral effort. It's time to accept the past, and to stop being bitter that France has a global importance equivalent to that of, oh, Louisiana.
Teen Terror Cell kills woman in Jerusalem Peace park. Utterly disgusting. The woman and her boyfriend were walking through the park early friday afternoon and are attacked by four 14-16 year olds with knives. They split up and the attackers chased the woman. Utterly grotesque cowardice.The Israeli security forces shot and wounded one of the attackers while he fled. Another died in custody from an apparent heart attack. Three are in custody.
The palestinian reaction to this attack?
Palestinians officials, including Gaza Preventive Security Service chief Muhammad Dahlan, were quick to accuse Israel of "murdering a 12-year-old boy in cold blood," a claim repeated in Palestinian media reports.
The boy's father, Ziad Abu Mialeh, said, "The truth is different. My son was killed after they stopped him."
I have no sympathy whatsoever for the father of this boy. My heart goes out to Moran Amit's family.
The report of the rocket attack has them falling in a kibbutz farm field. I want to know which Kibbutz. I have a personal interest in it as two years ago I was a volunteer on one of the Kibbutzim there, Kibbutz Holit. It was about two kilometres from Gaza and two from Rafah border crossing. In the evening you could see the PA airport's control tower silluetted against the sun from the Kibbutz. I worry about the people there.
When I was there, it was relatively peaceful still. There was an IDF watch post on the edge of the Kibbutz and a fence around the perimeter and casual patrols around the circuit by Kubbutz members at night. The only incident was a few Palestinians breaking into the kibbutz office and stealing the petty cash box. I can't imagine that security there is anywhere near as casual now. I hope that the world never has cause to know the name of Holit.
NAPERVILLE, Ill. — In what is being described as a major victory for the so-called "visitability" movement, two cities in disparate parts of the country this week started requiring all new homes to be accessible to the handicapped.
The change means wider doorways, lower light switches, higher electrical sockets and reinforced bathroom walls to accommodate the installation of handrails in homes in Naperville, Ill. and Pima County, Ariz. (the handrails are not required). The Arizona ordinance includes the significant additional requirement of a zero-step entrance."
"I thought homes were for the owners," said Richard Epstein, a law professor at the University of Chicago. "I mean, giving preference to a tiny fraction (of the population) who may never be invited to a house over people who use it every day seems to be bizarre."
"This takes away other people's property rights," said J. Mark Harrison, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Illinois.
Builders, however, take issue with such nonchalance. Pasquinelli Builders, which has met the standards at houses in a suburban Chicago subdivision, said the price tag for the additional work can be as high as $3,000.
"That may not sound like much, but it's real easy to spend somebody else's money," Harrison said.