Banana Counting Monkey

Saturday, March 09, 2002:

More Tests Than You Can Possibly Shake A Stick At

I took the What Mythological Creature Are you? test by !

A COPPER Dragon Lies Beneath!

I took the Inner Dragon online quiz and found out I am a Copper Dragon on the inside. My Inner Dragon is the mighty warrior of dragon-kind. It's just that simple. Coppers show up when someone's about to die. Coppers don't mess around, and they don't play evil games like Red Dragons. They don't bother with magic, like Gold Dragons. They exist for a purpose, and they serve it well.

But what sort of a dragon would I be if that really was the whole story? I also like to stomp my enemies, start the occasional war, and spend lazy hours preening my battle aura. My favorable attributes are strength, physical abilities, thriftiness, warmth, and longevity in battle. Just in case some puny human (or coniving Red Dragon) thinks they can get the drop on me, I've got a concealed breath weapon - gigantic masses of Fire. Hey, it's the tried and true way to cook a cow in 0.75 seconds.

You are Dracula. The original. The guy who started it all. Go you.

Find your inner vampire.

BCM // 9:11 AM

Friday, March 08, 2002:


If you've never read the Francisco D'Anconia "Money Speech" from Atlas Shrugged,
here it is. Read it.

Via Fredrik Norman's new site,

BCM // 2:09 PM


So Close, Yet So Far

Ted Rall unwittingly
blunders right by an insight into his own situation.

Unfortunately, unless there is a major intellectual breakthrough, we Americans are likely to continue the provocations that got us into such trouble in the first place.

Substitute "I" for "we americans" and your current situation becomes clear , Ted.

BCM // 2:04 PM


April 1st, Before Noon, Right?

"(Ted Rall's new book, a graphic travelogue about his recent coverage of the Afghan war titled "To
Afghanistan and Back," will be published in April.) "

Via Give War A Chance Via PejmanPundit

BCM // 2:00 PM


Wow. It's The End OF The World As We Know It

Instapundit has no new posts for the day, 437PM EST.

BCM // 1:35 PM


Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?

Oh Yeah. Damm That Feels Good.

Via Give War A Chance

BCM // 12:19 PM



I've seen
this lady. Many Times.

BCM // 11:56 AM


Dammed if You Don't, Someone will Be Dead If You Do

Steven DenBeste
discusses the arguments that the US should be trying to come to a ceasefire or take as many prisoners as possible during Operation Ananconda. The long and short of it is that we should be trying to kill as many of the Al-Queda as possible, because if they escape or are taken prisoner and eventually released, they will attack us again.

I couldn't agree more. My addition to the scenario of taking prisoners instead of killing the Al-Queda is to project a bit into the future. (this will apply to the prisoners at Guantanamo as well)

Let's say that we in a few year's time, release the prisoners. Inevitably, they return to haunt us and attack, causing another WTC. The rest of the world will adopt a number of responses, all of which will blame the US. A) The released prisoners were brainwashed CIA stooges who attacked at the direction of the CIA in order to justify a new war on Terror. B) It's the US's fault for not hanging on to them in the first place. C) The prisoners were so mistreated in US prisons that it was inevitable (and understandable) that they retaliated against the US.

This is why pirates were sentenced to death in ages past. Once they serve their time, releasing them only frees them for new attacks against your interests.

BCM // 10:34 AM


Blogger Back On Line

The interruption of Blogger this morning was clearly not "maintenance" as they maintain, but an undemocratic attempt at the suppression of Dissent!!!! Our free speech rights have been trampled! Jackboots in the streets! Black Helicopters in the skies! The interruption of out Blogger is only the beginning of the Police State that we will have by next friday!

**Ahem** No, I don't have an addiciton. Everything is fine. I can live without Blogger.

BCM // 10:15 AM


Thursday, March 07, 2002:


James Lileks relates that the radio host Mike Gallagher was defending Ted Rall earlier today. Lileks notes that Gallagher also takes Jack Chick's tracts seriously. Can there be anything more Ignominious than being placed in the company of Jack Chick? I really don't think so. I've encountered Chick's little publications and being a gamer, I find his rant against Dungeons and Dragons an absolute hoot. One of the gaming stores I go to has a stack of them and hands them out for laughs.

Today, Lileks also joins Steven DenBeste in explaining to europeans exactly why the war is necessary and why the US is not going to stop and talk about the whole war thing.

BCM // 2:05 PM


Dammed By Their Own Words

Calstuff posts a link to MECHa's response to the recent theft of the Cal Patriot's print run.

It speaks for itself. I have nothing to add.

BCM // 1:45 PM


Only In California

At least, I hope this would only happen in California...

Bad Karma Too, Man: California town nixes police/fire station for faulty 'energy'

Okay, have they considered that disrupting energy (namely fire) is the general idea behind having a Fire Department?

BCM // 12:18 PM


Difference Between Them And Us

In the Idiotarian world,
Andrew Sullivan and Virginia Postrel would be labelled "sell-outs" for being successful enough to get advertising from Amazon placed on their sites. To the Blogsphere, it's a non-issue, unless mentioned in congraulations.

BCM // 10:32 AM


Canadian Dollar

Sweet Sunlight!

$0.6322 USD, Down 0.0005.

Now, if we can see a sustained rise in the dollar over the next year to $0.66 or better, I will like that. I won't consider this an achievement, but simply a bare minimum in regaining what we've lost. I can imagine the round of self congraulation that would come out of Ottawa if we reached that level.

BCM // 9:53 AM


Locked and Loaded Headlines

"Harris still Unrepentant"

Metro daily newspaper [no link available], on Premier Mike Harris of Ontario, soon to retire. The articles refers to Mike's Common Sense Revolution of cutting taxes, reducing welfare entitlements, education reform, municipal reform and health care reform.

BCM // 5:54 AM


I Love Texas, But...

Why are battles
like this stil being fought? Geez.

Bill Zedler, a Republican state representative candidate, formed Decency for Arlington last summer to keep the new Hooters from opening in a shopping area in a heavily residential district. The group has said Hooters' atmosphere could corrupt students at the nearby high school — and attract sex offenders.

"I wouldn't want my wife to go to (the nearby drug store) to fill a prescription late at night because of the kind of men she might run into in the parking lot," said Barry D. Johnson, the group's co-chairman.

Okay, how about the Decency to mind your own #$%&*!!! business?!?

Opening a Hooters restaurant isn't going to lead to depravity you twit. There's a wonderful society that makes sure that such restaurants don't open, and even better yet, that there's no booze. It's called Saudi Arabia. Would you feel safer having your wife go to the drugstore late at night there? Oh wait, I forgot, women can't drive in Saudi Arabia.

I like George W Bush. Generally I like the Republicans, except when they get on the preachy morality squad high horse. All I want for Christmas is a party that embraces free trade, individual rights and classic liberalism. is that so much to ask? In Canada I have the exact same problem, but I can only dream of a party that is as capitalist as the Repubs. Every party in Canada favours the same model of government (socialist intervention), simply differentiated by degree.

All I want is a political party with the motto laissez faire.

I should get back to a more realistic set of wishes, like winning the lottery.

BCM // 5:50 AM


Grabber of the Day

The Headline "
U.S. Military to deploy laser cannon in the War on Terror " guaranteed that I'd read the article, but the first line of the article makes going to the article entirely worthwhile. As I link this, I haven't even read past the first paragraph yet.

"Before every Chomsky-worshipping pseudo-intellectual in the world with an IQ of 298 starts screaming in anguish over the 25 American military casualties (I dare you to bring me a UC Berkeley poly-sci professor that hasn’t told his class: “Afghanistan is George Bush’s Vietnam!”) or the alleged “hundreds” of Afghan civilians killed by the cowboy tactics of the US Military (Type in “Taliban casualties” in any Internet search engine and you’ll see that most of the stories are about how the US killed hundreds” of Afghan civilians living next to Taliban ammo depots and that the US should not “target” civilians) since the War On Terror began in October 2001, let me give you a couple of things to consider:"

[Ok, now I've read it. It ain't Star Wars, but it does end up being like "Chariots of the Gods". Go Thou and read likewise....]

BCM // 5:31 AM


Wednesday, March 06, 2002:


Fine, no sense in getting depressed about things [reference previous post], time to lets the frustration bleed into increased venom with which to go after the idiotarians.

Idiotarianism: It would be a religion, except they don't believe in that sort of thing.

BCM // 6:57 PM



There are so many things on the current situation I could link to or discuss. I really don't want to. I have reached the point where I am so incredibly sick of all of the reporting on the issue, the instant acceptance of anything said by the Palestinians, the generally accepted moral equivalence, the violence and all of the lives that are being torn apart.

I'm amazed and endlessly dismayed at the credulity of so many people in accepting that any time an arab leader uses the words "peace" and "Israel" in the same sentence that a serious and workable proposal is being made. Learning from experience seems to be a completely foreign notion. Hell, experience implies memory, of which there is none, except for any allegation against the Israelis.

The barbarians are at the gates, and I feel that I am watching helplessly, witness to events I cannot change or alter. In hindsight, this was all inevitable, that the Palestinians would try to turn Israel itself into a Vietnam, or more accurately, Lebanon. What is to be said? What is to be done? Just criticising idiots doesn't do much good.

BCM // 1:52 PM


Star Trek Post: More Lycra Totalitarianism

On TechCentral Station,
discussing a recent episode of Enterprise where the crew is willing to sacrifice an entire race for to sake of "allowing evolution to run its course".

Of course, allowing evolution to run its course was the argument the Borg used on the Federation, but the Federation had a different answer to that type of evolution when it was their hides in question.....

BCM // 1:22 PM


A Great Suggestion

By Stanley Kurtz on
The Corner

I’ve written on both scandals here on The Corner, and thereby played some small roll in spreading the story, but it’s really Kevin Deenihan’s CalStuff blog that enabled the rest of us to spread the story. What if we had at least one good conservative blog at every college that now has a campus conservative newspaper? Right now, there are a tremendous number of PC outrages on campuses across the country that no one ever finds out about. It’s increasingly clear that one of the best things about the Internet is the end-run it allows us to make around the iron control of the liberal media. With conservative blogs on campuses across the country able to link quickly to national blogs and to campus newspapers alike, we could break through the barrier of politically correct campus censorship and rapidly expose any number of scandals. The general public would quickly start to act as a counterweight to the campus Left. Look at Berkeley. As a result of all the blogging, the campus conservative paper has collected thousands of dollars in contributions, reprinted its stolen press run, and spread knowledge of reverse racism on campus nationally. Let a hundred bloggers bloom!

Fantastic Idea. If I were still in University, I'd be all over it.

BCM // 1:05 PM


Right To The Wall

The Australian's Alan Wood
on environmentalists

"Most young Australians, like most young people in the West today, know the planet is in peril, its ecosystems collapsing, global warming about to engulf us, poverty and inequality spreading and globalisation making everything worse. How do they know? Because they are subjected to a great deal of propaganda that tells them so."

Via Tim Blair

BCM // 12:17 PM


Nightmare Time

Andrew Sullivan gives voice to the fears of a nuclear attack on US soil.

For the first time since September 11, I’ve been having nightmares. I can’t get out of my head the knowledge that Islamo-fascists and their allies may well have the wherewithal to detonate a dirty nuclear bomb in a major city in the near future. I live blocks away from one likely target. So do hundreds of thousands of others. If the terrorists succeed, they could render Washington or Manhattan uninhabitable for decades. They could make the White House and the Capitol off-limits to human beings for a century. And our defense against this? Extremely limited. I’m taken to task sometimes for being impatient with those who keep questioning the need for this war, the necessity to move against the axis of evil that wants to destroy us. What I don’t understand is how they can be so complacent. Don’t they see the greatest danger this republic has ever faced is now in front of us? Don’t they understand that neutralizing Iraq is not some kind of interesting proposal in an unnecessary war – but the bare minimum to prevent a holocaust in the very heart of this country’s democracy? I’m not given to panic, but I can see nowhere any hard evidence that debunks the possibility of this scenario. In fact, the more you think about the amount of nuclear material out there that’s unaccounted for, the inevitable limits of prevention in an open society, and the evil fanaticism of our enemy, the more terrifying our predicament really is. I think this is 1940. I think this is just beginning.

I agree that the threat of a smuggled nuclear device is the greatest threat we have seen. I grew up in the eighties and I remember the Cold War and the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction. MAD was ultimately based on rational calculation. If you attack me, I'll die, but my retaliation will take you with me, therefore the best strategy is not to resort to nuclear weapons. The fanatics we are dealing with now are not subject to MAD. First, there isn't an identifiable target to immediately retaliate against as there would be in a missile attack from another nation. Second, MAD relies on the other party desiring to live. As we've seen, this doesn't apply to the Islamofascists. MAD also relies on the "game" being a one-off. Once the war starts, destruction will be so great that there isn't much consideration of moves after that. In this case, the attackers can make many attempts. I don't believe the attackers are going to be motivated or dissuaded from their course by any concern for their people, so there is every incentive for them to keep trying. If they succeed, I'm afraid that Glenn Reynolds may be right in his analysis of the consequences.

I remember Walter Russell Mead writing a piece last fall noting that the only opponent to kill American women and children in significant numbers was the American Indian, and that the response was near-extermination (since many of those were my ancestors being exterminated, I'm not necessarily approving this, but that's neither here nor there at the moment). He predicted that this would be the American response to Islamic terror if it weren't contained early. I think he's right. I think that squashing this stuff now will save lives, compared to what will happen if an American city is nuked. The big danger in the next few months isn't being too violent, and inflaming the "Arab street" with a desire for revenge. It's not being violent enough, and inflaming the "Arab street" with the belief that victory is possible.

I remember the feeling, the dread of nuclear war back in the eighties. The dissapation of that threat for the last decade was one of the greatest gifts that I didn't recognize at the time. Now, it's gone, and I don't know when or if we'll ever get it back.

BCM // 6:30 AM


Canadian Dollar

718am quote, $0.6257 USD, down 0.0037.

Hitting a bit of resisitance around the $0.63 level.

BCM // 5:46 AM


The Future of Japan Goes "Kaboom!"

Brian Micklethwait writes an
excellent piece detailing Japan's method of evolution and forecasting a similar evolution to take the nation out of its current troubles. Very interesting reading.

BCM // 5:45 AM


Tuesday, March 05, 2002:

Respect, The Nature Of

Back in university economics, I have two different profs over two years. The first had a habit of talking in a terrible monotone that just went on and on with no emphasis on any individual syllable. This had the unfortunate effect of inevitably putting me to sleep twenty minutes into the class. Which was unfortunate, because of my hearing problem, I always sat front and center, where she could not possibly miss my dozing. I tried digging my nails into my palm, large coffees, taking a quick walk out of class to stir the blood, nothing worked. She never said a thing, and as nice as she may have been otherwise, I never respected her.

Then there was Professor Skaith. One fine day in early October, just after lunch, his Industrial organization class started. I sat in the front of the class as usual, having just come from a filling lunch. The seat was right in the path of a afternoon sunbeam. One of those nice warm, comforting ones that lull you to sleeeeeeppppp.....

Professor Skaith noticed that one of his students had fallen asleep. Without breaking his lecture, he casually took a few steps over to me, gave me a sharp kick on the shin, snapping me into complete alertness. He then walked off, continuing the lecture.

I never fell asleep in his class again, and I respected that man.

BCM // 1:23 PM


AlQueda Weblog?

An Internet site supporting Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaida terrorist organization
claims that the group plans a “war of attrition” on U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.


“All the mujahideen leaders and all the mujahideen are still ghosts as far as the enemy is concerned, as are the places where they might assemble, be pursued, or arrested.”

Why yes, the US soldiers do consider them ghosts. Dead men walking who will be moving on to another plane of existence very soon. Given the battle near Gardez, perhaps these boys are a bit behind the curve. Guess what? Your secret rallying point wasn't a secret, it was a rat trap.

BCM // 12:45 PM


American Cultural Imperialism

BCM's Blogger ad was bought out by an Yanqui Cultural Imperialist who uses the CIA corporate code-name of Marc Webster!

While we at BC are happy to be liberated from Pyra's corporate oppression, but it is expected that Sheila Copps will be passing new laws to keep Canadian Blogs under full Canadian control. Fortunately BCM is two years too late to go IPO (3000 hits! It must be worth eight million!) and is thus in little danger of takeover.

BCM // 12:26 PM


The Diaries of Iseema Bin Laden

Check it out if you need a good laugh.

Via MuslimPundit.

BCM // 10:49 AM


US Campus Updates

At Berkeley, the author of the article on MECHa in the Cal Patriot has
posted a statement of his reaction to the theft of the Cal patriot print run.

I would like to state that, although it is unfortunate that the California Patriot was stolen, along with its theft is also the theft of my right to speech. This is a particularly egregious abridgement of a fundamental right guaranteed by our government and constitution. Just as the First Amendment protects the hate speech of MEChA, so too does it protect my fundamental right to speak the truth about MEChA.

Remember the incident at Georgia State University a few weeks ago where the campus leftists started protesting a Campus Republican membership drive? Well, there was a discussion of it last night on FOX's Hannity and Colmes show. Related by Neal Boortz

"So … here we are last night on Hannity & Colmes. One of the GSU college Republicans was there – sitting right next to the leftist female who began the protest with her little “racist” sign. We don’t know the female’s name. She wouldn’t allow Fox to use her name on the air. Instead, she wanted to be referred to as “Annie Potts.” Evidently she thinks she looks like the television actress of the same name.

Hannity played with little “Annie Potts” like a cat plays with a ball of yarn. Perhaps the most amusing segment was when he tried to get her to express an opinion about her leftist friends seizing materials from the display set up by the college Republicans. Was this a violation of free speech rights? At first “Annie Potts” said “I don’t have an opinion about that.” Hannity pressed. “What do you mean you don’t have an opinion? You don’t have an opinion about the First Amendment?”

“Annie Potts” was cornered. At this point she says “I do have an opinion, I just chose not to express it at this time.”

“Annie Potts” also suggested that it was racist to display a picture of a cop killer if the cop killer is black. It would not be racist, according to “Annie” if the cop killer was white.

BCM // 9:35 AM


Willful Ignorance

"Worst Day Of The War"

Screaming front page headline, Toronto Globe And Mail, referring to the casualties sustained by US forces yesterday.

It would seem that in the mind of the Globe's editors, Sept 11th wasn't part of the war. Only the US' actions count as part of the war.

BCM // 9:19 AM


Good Government

For those who still believe that government is society's white knight, I submit the following displays of idiocy and abuse.

In Prince Edward Island, the government has
banned pop cans of any type for years.

In the Washington Times, commentary detailing some of the abuses of the "eminent domain" powers of government.

BCM // 6:42 AM


Monday, March 04, 2002:

And This Only Merited An Aside?

The left in England is busy
eating its own if they don't toe the party line on the US war on Terrorism.

ALLEGATIONS of censorship are roiling through the world of Left-wing magazines as disgruntled writers say they have been muzzled in trying to challenge their editors' post-September 11 anti-Americanism.

Typical. What really stunned me was the casual aside in the article:

In the current issue, one columnist offers his New Statesman earnings to anyone who will kill President Bush though, given the notorious stinginess of the magazine's payments, that is unlikely to prove a tempting offer.

I'm speechless.

Other interesting things on the NS homepage: "Let Mugabe Win".

Via Instapundit

BCM // 7:10 PM


USD Weakens

Canadian Dollar Close $0.6289, Up 0.0006.

British Pound, Euro, Yen, Peso, Swiss Franc all strengthen as well.

BCM // 2:16 PM


Video Game Movies

Steven DenBeste
comments on the upcoming "Resident Evil" movie and video game movies in general.

I have to agree with him on "Mortal Kombat" as the best of the video game movies. Yes, it was brainless fun, for all the reasons he mentions. It may have been pretentious, but that is why I liked it as well. They resisted the temptation to be campy. The movie also looked gorgeous on the big screen in surround sound. To this day the soundtrack has an honoured place on my CD rack. I, too, was hideously dissapointed with the sequel. I'd dragged a friend to the opening night. Within five minutes of the start of the movie I was profusely apologizing for bring him.

After mentioning a few other movies, Steven asks "Is there any computer game which actually could conceivably turn into a reasonable movie?" Sure, there's lots of them. First there haven't been that many video game movies. Mortal Kombat, Wing Commander, Tomb Raider, Mario Brothers and now Resident Evil. Yes, most of them have been crap, but what is the ratio of bad movies to good movies coming out of Hollywood nowadays? I'm guessing that the ratio is fairly similar to the ratio of good video game movies to bad ones. When the movies are terrible, its a question of execution. Bad acting, directing and failure to translate the story effectively. It's much the same as translating novels to the big screen. You've got your source material and the expectations of the fans to deal with and make into a servicable movie with different constraints, like a two hour time limit and a budget.

Well, since he did ask, I think anything based on the Mechwarrior games would work well as a movie. The Game setting has supported over seventy novels in the last fifteen years. As long as the setting and the 'mechs are used as the dressings of a plot instead of a substitute for a plot. When I watch Star Wars, the ships and aliens are great, but the characters and the story are the meat that makes the movie awesome. Contrast the Empire Strikes Back with Episode I for a thorough demonstration of this principle. If the studios bring us a story of revenge, honour, betrayal and all of those other great things that make a captivating story, it can be set nearly anywhere and use anything for the props to make it. Oh yeah, and good actors, a good script and a good soundtrack......

Well, maybe it isn't so easy....

BCM // 12:24 PM


Wanton Denial Of Reality

This is utterly disgraceful.
The profiling system worked on Sept 11th. Nine of the nineteen were flagged. The people using it just didn't take the appropriate action. Want to bet that they were only thinking about how important it was for them not to be racially insensitive by acting as if the profiling system had a reason for tagging the terrorists?

BCM // 10:24 AM


Quote of the Day

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

Robert F. Kennedy

BCM // 6:53 AM


Movie Non-Recommendation

Schwarzennegger's new movie, Collateral Damage. It's not bad, it's just completely unextrodinary. It's not "I hated that movie", it's "Well, I really wouldn't mind having those two hours back." It was like a two hour episode of a tv show you're watching just to pass an hour or two and relax after a long day's work.

The most dramatic thing I noticed about the weekend trip to the movies was that the theatre has now upped the price of a movie yet again. A good theatre will now run you $13.50 a ticket in prime time. It's getting to the point that you have to invest to go to the movies. Start an investment fund for your kids now! Not for their education, but so that they can take a date to the movies when they reach their teens!

BCM // 6:53 AM


Weekend Hangover

Canadian Dollar 8am quote $0.6256, Down 0.0027.

Strange, I'm looking on another system, and it's giving me a 921am quote at $0.6290, up 0.0015. This just doesn't add up. Double vision? Or just serious volatility?

Still, comparing against other world currencies, all I see is the red of decline.

BCM // 6:28 AM


Sunday, March 03, 2002:

Campus Posters

Happy Fun Pundit took a fieldtrip to the wilds of Berkeley. He has
posted copies of a few of the posters he found there.

I thought the anarchist poster was notable for it's text, which was perhaps unintentionally revealing.

for the anarchist, there is no difference between what we do and what we think, but there is a continual reversing of theory into action and action into theory.

Why yes, I can see that. The similarity of the Anarchist thought process to eating, digestion and elimination is quite noticable. There really isn't much difference between what they do and what they think.

I've been walking near University of Toronto for various reasons and seen similar posters. I've always found them amusing. The writers seem utterly convinced that the World Socialist Revolution is just weeks away and that capitalism is on its last failing legs. The Worker's Paradise will rise soon after the next Committee for XYZ (Insert revolutionary- progressive word-of-the-week here) meeting takes place. The fervent belief kinda reminds me of the South Sea cargo cults in the depth of conviction and the lack of understanding displayed.

BCM // 9:54 AM


What, You Mean Naomi Klein Is Wrong?!? Impossible, I Say!

According to a new study,
Globalization reduces Child Labour.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Liberalized trade policy can lead to decreased child labor in developing countries, according to a recent study published by a think tank.

The study, "Does Globalization Increase Child Labor? Evidence From Vietnam," published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, an independent policy research organization, found that increased rice prices in Vietnam that resulted from the removal of export quotas during the 1990's lead to a significant decrease in overall child labor.

Given that many recent globalization efforts have focused on agricultural trade, the study highlights some of the key points in the debate surrounding worldwide trade liberalization.

Gee, how completely unexpected, as people get wealthier, they start to keep their children out of the fields. What a suprise. It didn't happen that way here at all did it? Every North American family farm still keeps their children in the fields 24/7, don't they?

The idea that increased prosperity wouldn't lead to this is another example of the soft bigotry of the left. The bigotry that considers human freedom and democracy a western creation, appropriate and desired only by the west, and racial intolerance something that is expected from developing countries and to be indulged by the developed world. When the west become sufficiently prosperous, our children came out of the fields and factories. Are other cultures so alien that we expect them to keep their children at manual labour as they get richer? Is our experience of developing our own economies supposed to be completely inapplicable?

Cultural rules may be different in many cases, but the rules of economics seem fairly universal, given a chance. I say "given a chance" advisedly. As I write this, I'm thinking of all of the girls around the world denied any education simply because of their sex, despite their nations' prosperity. Saudi Arabia comes immediately to mind. Cultural and government practice can restrain and supress basic economics, but not invalidate it. While on that subject, the benefits the study found for the girls was worth noting.

Surprisingly for the researchers, older girls received a greater portion of the gains: the percentage of 14- and 15-year olds working at least seven hours a week decreased from 94 percent in 1993 to 70 percent in 1998. At the same time, the percentage of girls attending school more than doubled, increasing to 64 percent from 30.5 percent. This overall trend in increased school attendance was seen in both sexes across age levels.

The report issues a number of caveats.

He [Edmonds] also noted that in countries, where the production of major agricultural products is much more concentrated--such as in Latin American economies and African coffee-producing nations, or in Brazil, where subsistence farming is typical -- the correlation would not be nearly as pronounced. Trade liberalization for a given product might not affect the average farmer in such places, he said.

"I can think of lots of countries where, if agricultural markets were liberalized, the benefits would not be distributed in the population," he said. "If trade integration raises the price in these countries, and that is a big "if," I wouldn't expect the average household to directly benefit."

I'm glad you can think of that, Mr. Edmonds, but I'd draw your attention to something else you said in regards to your study.

"We went in thinking that we would see big increases in child labor related to increases in money to be made," Edmonds told United Press International. "But we were surprised to see the opposite."

You were wrong this time, why not do a few more studies in those other markets and find out?

The West went through a period of using child labour, particularly ,oh, the few thousand years before the advent of capitalism basically eliminated child labour in the west inside of a century and a half. Simply passing laws will not do the job. Where there's an economic necessity, the black market will spring up to fill the need. The only real way to eliminate child labour is to achieve a level of prosperity where it is no longer needed or effective. And no, prosperity is not a government program. It is not a set of laws and IMF loans.

The irony of using Vietnam to study this issue will undoubtably be lost on the remanants of the 60s, but to me, it's good for a smile.

(Via Instapundit)
BCM // 8:57 AM


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