Wednesday, December 22, 2004

One Use of Blogs

If one Googles something and comes up with no references, one can blog on the topic and supply at least one Google hit.

For example. I spent two summers at Camp Koapaka in the Kohala District of the Big Island of Hawaii in the mid 1960s. Prior to this posting if one Googled "Camp Koapaka" one got no hits.

But perhaps now...

Camp Koapaka nestled by the seashore
guarded by the mountains of Kohala.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Helpful Hints for First-Time Ethernet Installers

The one thing that the helpful hints on home networking didn't tell me (because it was too obvious) is that you can't just connect a Cat5 Cable between two machines. Like the old days of Serial /Null Modem Cables, you have to flip the signals or they won't work. That means a Crossover Cable to connect two machines or (more usually) an Ethernet Hub or Switch between or among them.

You can't believe how long it took for me to figure this out before told me.

Monday, December 06, 2004

More Evidence of the Galactic Postal Union

In Hayford Pierce's Galactic Postal Union stories, his import/export capitalist protagonist Chap Foey Rider discovers the existence of the Union when he observes that letters are delivered faster the further away you send them. So he sends a letter to Alpha Centauri and gets a response immediately.

I observed further evidence of the phenomenon last week when I mailed 4 identical envelopes on Saturday 27 November in New York to London, Colorado, Hawaii, and Hong Kong. The London, Colorado, and Hawaii envelopes were delivered on 1 December. The Hong Kong envelope was delivered on 30 November.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Celebrity Bastard Baby Update

Important notes on the Celebrity Bastard Baby front.

[The term Celebrity Bastard Baby (CBB) was invented by Michael Medved to refer to the get of unmarried celebs in PopCult.]

In a rare Hollywood event, Julia Roberts and Daniel Moder produced twins who were not only born within a lawful marriage but were (even rarer) actually conceived within a lawful marriage.

This blessed event, and a great article in the Washington Post on unfortunate celebrity baby names, led me to wonder who was the first CBB?

Now we're not talking about the bastard children of ordinary civilians or the famous bastards of the past. Before one can have a CBB, one has to have celebrities (in the modern sense) which means one has to have mass PopCult to produce them. So we have to have movies, radio, TV, etc. We also need a "moral retrenchment" that encourages the famous to produce bastards. Both of these requirements mean that we have to seek the first CBB after WWII.

The answer turns out to be an easy one (for those mature enough to remember the incident) , but the first Celebrity Bastard Baby wasn't one baby, they were twins. Here they are today (with their older sister Pia and younger brother Roberto).

Mom was, of course, Ingrid Bergman.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Satan on Board

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Consequences of De-Christianization
LONDON, NOV. 13, 2004 ( Britain's Royal Navy stirred the waves last month when, for the first time, it gave official recognition to the practice of Satanism...

The article quoted a Royal Navy spokesman as saying that Cranmer's unconventional beliefs would not cause problems on board ship. "We are an equal-opportunities employer and we don't stop anybody from having their own religious values," he said.
Presumably since the Royal Navy has become such a diverse institution, it would have no objection to a Catholic chaplain in the service conducting an exorcism, to drive the devil off the ship.
Sophie Masson, in a commentary published Oct. 27 in the Sydney Morning Herald, considered the religious implications. The Church of Satan, she noted, says that "we are our own gods." Moreover, they hold that all traditional sins are virtues, that altruism is a myth and that the Christian virtues are just hypocrisy. ...
Traditional sins like murder, rape, etc. A faithful Satanist (another contradiction in terms) would be incapable of conforming his behavior to whatever passes for The Articles of War in the modern Royal Navy. A Satanist can only exist in any human society to the extent that he is not a Satanist. If one were to meet a genuine Satanist, natural law principles would seem to permit you to kill him on sight since a Satanist has declared war against all of creation. Are not Satanists Ferae Naturae and thus the natural 'game' of all mankind?

Friday, November 05, 2004

Bush's great challenge

The Boston Globe makes a discovery:
Democrats, for their part, need to understand that many conservatives have beliefs about abortion, gay marriage, sex education in schools, and other issues that are deeply held and deserving of respect.
I guess if you just tell people things they don't always get it.  Sometimes you just have to hit them over the head with a two-by-four.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Volunteer Sector vs the Commercial Sector

Sidelight from the Washington Post's wrapup of the Bush vs. Kerry ground game in Ohio:

Bush's organization may have been the more cohesive and coordinated. It included 85,000 volunteers -- nearly four times the number in 2000 -- that concentrated on what Paduchik called "volunteer to voter"...

Kerry's effort was large but balkanized. It included the Democratic Party's own campaign workers, plus labor union members and other nominally independent groups called 527s (named for the portion of the federal tax code they are organized under). One of the largest of these groups was America Coming Together, which organized thousands of paid workers to register voters and knock on doors. ACT, which was started with seed money from billionaire George Soros, spent more money in Ohio than any other state, according to campaign finance records.

I guess these capitalists just can't match the power of the voluntary sector.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Southern State?

Andrew Sullivan quotes the AP:

The 10 Southern states with some of the highest divorce rates were Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, ...

Since when was Arizona a "Southern" state?

Monday, November 01, 2004

Tax Cuts are not Payments

When discussing Alan Keyes' proposal to cut taxes for the descendants of
slaves or general proposals to reduce taxes, lefties have a tendency to
think of these tax cuts as a payment

Cutting the taxes of a group (descendants of slaves) is not a payment to
them but the forbearance of an exaction from them.

Since taxes are coercive and the ideal would be the elimination of all
taxes (all coercion) for everyone (though the ideal may not be
possible), any reduction of taxes on any basis should be a good thing as
it brings the polity closer to the ideal state.

Tactically, of course, it would also anger non-included groups and might
cause them to support broader tax cuts for everyone. At worst, such
feelings would merely result in a reversal of the slave descendant tax cut.

I realize that the clause "the ideal would be the elimination of all
taxes" obviously rings true to libertarians but it should logically be
true for all men save those who believe in the value of coercion for its
own sake (an inhumane position).

Thursday, October 28, 2004

You Too Can Commit 'Mail Fraud'

The Daschle Campaign has claimed that the South Dakota Republican Party is responsible for an attack mailing because:
"We believe well over 1,000 churches have received this mailing, so the idea that a couple of college kids in their dorm rooms did this is incredibly absurd," Pfeiffer said. The complaint charges that students used the state Republican Party's resources to get out the message.
So I fired up and entered the category "Churches" and selected the state "South Dakota" and immediatetly had 2233 hits. You can too by clicking here. Then it's a simple matter of cutting and pasting the entries a page at a time into Excel, firing up a few macros to unpack the addresses into a a flat database file, and running it through mailmerge in Word to print the envelopes. Less than one day's work for one person.

The Dems should really try and keep up on 1980's office technology. It's hurt them a few times in this campaign.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Oathbreaker for President

Eugene Volokh does his usually masterful job determining whether Article 3 of the 14th Amendmet could bar John Forbes Kerry from becoming president. The relevent part of the 14th Amendment says:

No person shall ... hold any office ... under the United States ... who, having previously taken an oath, as ... an officer of the United States, ... to
support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in
insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the
enemies thereof.

Professor Volokh concludes:
If Kerry's purpose was not to help the North Vietnamese, but to help the United
States or to help maintain U.S. compliance with its own laws and policies
related to military conduct, then he's not covered. And I have no reason to
think that Kerry's purpose was indeed anything other than to help the United
States, whether or not his actions in pursuit of that purpose may have been
misguided or excessive.
That may settle the issue of how a court is likely to decide an Article 3 suit brought against Kerry (and if he wins, one will surely be brought since I think any "US person" would have standing) but it does leave undiscussed the other issues involving the oath Kerry took when he became an Officer of the United States.

Kerry's service oath can be seen on this page from his service record. I've clipped the relevent potion here.

He took the traditional oath which reads:

I, John Forbes Kerry, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies forign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Neither is their Matrimony Lawful

A few months ago, Jonathan Rauch appeared on Michael Medved's show to discuss his book Gay Marriage. In the course of a reasonably friendly conversation, Rauch quoted the famous opening lines of the The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony from the Book of Common Prayer (BCP):
DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony;
This was a version of the sentimental argument in favor of Same Sex Marriage (SSM). You've seen all the pairs of brides in white, the tuxes, the flowers, etc. More of an emotional (if one's emotions work that way) than a logical augment in favor of SSM.

Rauch stopped reading the formulary with the word 'Matrimony' because rest of the ceremony is not very supportive of SSM.

For the benefit of those Mods who're completely unfamiliar with the Western concept of marriage that existed for 2,000 years or so, here's the complete formulary from the 1662 BCP which is still one of the official (by Act of Parliament) liturgies of the Church of England [emphasis added].

DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.

First, It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name.

Secondly, It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body.

Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity. Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.

I REQUIRE and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgement when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.

Now this ceremony may not speak to the peculiar tastes of Mods but it does tell us a great deal about the traditional understanding of marriage and its use has been a bit more widespread than the Apache Wedding Prayer.

The BCP wedding service has been controversial for quite a few years. Here is an excerpt from Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers (1937) in which Lord Peter Whimsey and Miss Harriet Vane are engaged to be married and are fighting over the details of the service with his sister-in-law Helen. As his mother (the Dowager Dutchess of Denver) records in a letter:

16 SEPTEMBER Helen obligingly presented us with a copy of the new form of marriage service, with all the vulgar bits left out--which was asking for trouble. Peter very funny about it--said he knew all about the "procreation of children" in theory though not in practice, but that the "increase of mankind" by any other method sounded too advanced for him, and that, if he ever did indulge in such dangerous amusements, he would, with his wife's permission, stick to the old-fashioned procedure. He also said that as for the "gift of continency," he wouldn't have it as a gift, and had no objection to admitting as much. At this point, Helen got up and left the house, leaving P. and Harriet to wrangle over the word "obey." P. said he would consider it a breach of manners to give orders to his wife, but H. said, Oh, no--he'd give orders fast enough if the place was on fire or a tree falling down and he wanted her to stand clear. P. said, in that case they ought both to say "obey," but it would be too much jam for the reporters. Left them to fight it out. When I came back, found Peter had consented to be obeyed on condition he might "endow" and not"share" his worldly goods. Shocking victory of sentiment over principle.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Tora Bora

John Forbes Kerry has mentioned Tora Bora and Osama frequently implying that not capturing Osama represents a major tactical and strategic failure.  His knowledge of geography and war seems a bit limited:
  • You can never guarantee the capture and killing of a given man.
  • We still don't know exactly where Osama was in November 2001.  Tora Bora, Pakistan, Iran, somewhere else in Afghanistan.
  • No one has or had enough troops to "surround" everywhere OBL could have been in the northeast mountains of Afghanistan (if he was there).
  • Even if OBL was up against the Pakistan border, he was not surrounded.  The Pakistan border was right there and on the other side was Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province which is not under the control of the central government.  See bottom of this map.  He could have crossed at any time.
  • The US would have had to invade Pakistan to "surround" OBL.  They would have destroyed the current government there.
  • OBL may be dead.  So Bush's strategy may have worked.
  • Here's a free sound bite for the Administration:  "Osama bin Laden was never trapped in Tora Bora because he could escape at any time into the ungoverned Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan.  Pakistan couldn't stop him and we couldn't have stopped him without invading Pakistan which is completely against US policy."

Friday, October 15, 2004

Reach Exceeds Grasp

From Monday's New York Times:

Congress Close to Establishing Rules for Driver's Licenses

The Senate version of the intelligence bill includes an amendment, passed by
unanimous consent on Oct. 1, that would let the secretary of homeland security
decide what documents a state would have to require before issuing a driver's
license, and would also specify the data that the license would have to include
for it to meet federal standards. The secretary could require the license to
include fingerprints or eye prints. The provision would allow the Homeland
Security Department to require use of the license, or an equivalent card issued
by motor vehicle bureaus to nondrivers for identification purposes, for access to
planes, trains and other modes of transportation.
As one of the characters in Robert Heinlein's novel Have Spacesuit Will Travel remarked, "The government can't even require a man to be able to read and write."

Domestic driver's licenses and non-driver ID cards are only available to US residents. So these requirements could only apply to US residents. Four million native born US citizens are not US residents and thus not eligible for these cards. Additionally, 5.5 billion other people are non-US citizens and non-US residents and thus ineligible for US domestic driver's licenses and non-driver ID cards so they won't have to use them either. Which means that US transportation systems will continue to be open to those with other sort of documents (usually passports).

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Safe World?

The first question of the 3rd Presidential Debate:
SCHIEFFER: Gentleman, welcome to you both.

By coin toss, the first question goes to Senator Kerry.

Senator, I want to set the stage for this discussion by asking the question
that I think hangs over all of our politics today and is probably on the minds
of many people watching this debate tonight.

And that is, will our children and grandchildren ever live in a world as
safe and secure as the world in which we grew up?

What world was that? The world of WWI; the Great Depression; WWII; The Cold War (WWIII); the '60's (riots, assassinations, aircraft hijackings, invasions, Vietnam); the '70's (Nixon, Carter, social decay); the '80's (last gasp of WWIII combined with the first shots of WWIV). And don't mention the '90's or the '00's!

As an early baby boomer, I could always blame my birth cohort's peculiarities by saying, "What do you expect, we spent our entire childhood 30 minutes away from nuclear annihilation?"

It strikes me that most of those living grew up in insecure times.

Mary's Choice

Andrew Sullivan writes on Kerry and Mary:

All Kerry did was invoke the veep's daughter to point out that
obviously homosexuality isn't a choice, in any meaningful sense.

I'm not sure how Ms. Cheney's sexual preference proves that homosexuality is immutable.  Just because one's child grows up to become a communist, a Demoncat, or a golfer; one can't automatically blame a genetic root.  Obviously homosexual behavior can't be strongly genetic since all of Mary Cheney's ancestors (and all of Andrew Sullivan's ancestors) were at least functionally heterosexual.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Rhetorical Question from Ronnie

At the end of World War II, one nation in the world had unprecedented power, had not suffered any damage to its industrial complex, had the greatest military force the world had ever seen put together, the United States. The rest of the world was war-weary. The United States also had the only bomb that had been
demonstrated. We had the atomic bomb, that great weapon. Now, the United States disarmed, the United States made no effort to impose its will on the rest of the nations. Can you honestly say in your heart that had the Soviet Union been in a comparable position with that bomb, or today's Red Chinese, in a position with
that bomb, and with that great military force, that the world would not today
have been conquered by that force? But this country did not.


Town Meeting of the World: "The Image of America and the Youth of the World"

With Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Gov. Ronald Reagan
As Broadcast over the CBS Television Network and the CBS Radio Network
Monday, May 15, 1967, 10:00 - 11:00 pm. EDT
Charles Collingwood, Host

The aftermath:

As he was leaving the TV studio, Bobby growled at his aide Frank Mankiewicz, "Who the f--- got me into this??"

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

A Nation Divided

From the VP debate transcript:

EDWARDS: Thank you.

The president said that he would unite this country, that he was a uniter, not a divider.

Have you ever seen America more divided?

Not from the VP debate transcript:

CHENEY:  Senator Edwards,  I think that you'll find that America was more divided than it is now in the 1860s when Democrats from North Carolina were waging war on the United States in an attempt to keep people like Gwen Ifill enslaved."

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Road to Whipsnade

Today is the 73rd anniversary of C. S. Lewis' conversion to Christianity:

On September 28, 1931, at age thirty-two, Lewis was "riding to the Whipsnade zoo in the sidecar of Warren’s motorcycle. ‘When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did.’" According to 1 John 5:1 and 5, all those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are "born of God." To Arthur Greeves on October 1, 1931, Lewis wrote: "I have just passed from believing in God to definitely believing in Christ-in Christianity."

Lewis had been an atheist for many years until 1929 when he converted to Theism and then after a few years and some chats with J. R. R. Tolkien and other members of The Inklings, he made the final step aboard his brother's motorbike.

The Whipsnade Zoo is now the Whipsnade Wild Animal Park.

He later became the greatest Christian Apologist of the 20th Century and died the same day as John F. Kennedy and Aldous Huxley.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The New York Times -- Where Men are Men

Vestiges of style-book traditionalism linger in the New York Times. Remember the long fights over 'Ms.' and 'longtime companion'? Well, today's Times preserves 'Man' when speaking of an exclusively male grouping. See:

CBS Appoints 2-Man Panel to Investigate Guard Report

Google "2-Man Panel" OR "Two Man Panel" in Google News and you get precisely three relevant hits -- one from the New York Times and two from conservative news source Newsmax (there are five other hits concerning panels to investigate problems with the Nigerian and Malaysian Olympics teams).

A search for "Two Person Panel" gets more than 1100 hits on the same topic.

Nice to know that the Times is keeping an occasional tradition alive.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Not Much to Celebrate on Celebrate Bisexuality Day (2004)

Bisexuals have much less to celebrate this year than last. Their Lesbian and Gay allies have thrown them off the sleigh in their pursuit of Same Sex Marriage.

SSM doesn't help Bi's. OSM doesn't help them either. Only official, state-licensed polygamy, polyandry, communal, group, clan, or line marriages would.

But SSM promoters have promised that they will never, ever, consent to legalizing polyamory so poor Bi's are SOL. They'll never get their 1024 guaranteed federal benefits. They'll never be able to visit their partners in hospitals.

They will be outside the glass looking in as mono-sexuals celebrate the weddings that Bi's can never have.

Perhaps they should consider leaving the L, G, B, T, Q, C, etc. coalition that has rejected them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Mel & Vatican II and I

Andrew Sullivan wrote a while ago:

I'm tired of people believing that Gibson is representing Catholicism. He isn't. He is a rebel against Catholicism, specifically the reformed, open, repentant Catholicism of the Second Vatican Council. Gibson doesn't recognize the authority of the current Pope; he doesn't recognize the current mass - the central ritual of Catholics across the world. People are mistaken in believing that he merely prefers the Latin mass; he doesn't. He favors the Tridentine mass, a relic.

But look on the bright side.  If one accepts the Council of Trent, one not only rejects Vatican II but also Vatican I.  So no Papal Infalibility.

I don't know why Andrew dislikes the Tridentine Mass.   It must be a British thing. 

I Need a Program

There just aren't any programs for people like me. We right-wing anarchist Anglicans are woefully underserved by our government. There are programs out there for all sorts of tiny subgroups like performance artists and sugar producers but nothing for me.

And it's not as if I couldn't justify a few subsidies. Take your average libertarian or right winger (I'm in both camps so I know whereof I speak). Libertarians and right wingers are much less likely than the average American to sign up for all normal government programs. They are more likely to pay for their and their children's own education. They tend not to go on public assistance or sign up for Medicaid. They are disproportionally represented in the .8% of Americans (258,000) over the age of 65 who are uninsured.

Like smokers who die young, libertarians and right-wing nuts save the States and the Feds Giga bucks annually (or we would if there were more of us). So what we need is a program to produce more.

If the Feds were smart they'd start teaching the individualist philosophy in the schools as a means of reducing future spending. Then I'll be able to say with perfect seriousness, "Mine is just an alternative lifestyle. I understand they're even starting to teach it in the schools."

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

FEC Says Books May Not be "Media"

FEC commissioner hints that book publishers may not be "Media" and thus exempt from campaign finance laws:

Campaign Laws Could Suppress Partisan Books -- FEC COMMISSIONER: MEANING OF 'PRESS' NEEDS CLARIFYING

On Friday, the [Federal Election Commission] commission ruled unanimously that a conservative advocacy group called Citizens United was not entitled to a press exemption to promote a documentary or book entitled "The Many Faces of John Kerry, Why This Massachusetts Liberal Is Wrong for America."

The group did not have a "commercial interest" in promoting the book, and it had planned to pay to air the film, rather than to make money off it. It also did not have a history of book publishing, and its activities would not be part of a "normal, legitimate [media] function," the commission found.

Election-year books such as "Bush Must Go: The Top Ten Reasons Why George Bush Doesn't Deserve a Second Term," by Bill Press, and "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry," by John E. O'Neill and Jerome R. Corsi, contain the kind of "express advocacy" against specific candidates that cannot be paid for by corporate funds. "These could be subject to government regulation (and potentially suppression) under the campaign finance laws, because they appear to expressly advocate the defeat of a clearly identified federal candidate, and are produced and promoted by corporations," wrote Mr. Smith in a little-noticed concurrence to a commission advisory opinion last week.

This article is referring to this FEC Advisory Opinion. In his concurrence, Chairman Smith (who may just be tweaking campaign spending restrictionists) writes:
As the documentary and book advertisements are not protected by the press
exemption of 2 U.S.C. 434(f), it would appear that they are also not protected
by the general press exemption of 2 U.S.C. 431(9)(B)(i), which uses
substantially identical language. That being the case, if they were to expressly
advocate the election or defeat of a federal candidate, the production and
distribution costs would seem to entail numerous violations of the law,
including the ban on corporate expenditures, 2 U.S.C. 441b; the disclosure
provisions of 2 U.S.C. 441d; reporting requirements of 2 U.S.C. 434; and perhaps
various organizational and registration requirements of 2 U.S.C. 432 & 433.

Authors, their publishers, and the public at large should consider the
implications of applying the press exemption in this narrow fashion.
Documentaries and books as such are not specified as exempted activities in the
Act, which refers in pertinent part specifically to, "a news story, commentary,
or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcast station?;" 2
U.S.C. 434(f)(3)(B)(i), and, "any news story, commentary, or editorial
distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper,
magazine, or other periodical publication? ." 2 U.S.C. 431(9)(B)(i). Thus, under
a narrow approach, it may be that the publication and promotion of a number of
popular books are vulnerable to a similar result
So, basically, if the "media exception" is restricted to news, commentary, and editorials then book publishers who almost by definition don't do news, commentary, or editorial but rather exclusively commercially distribute the works of others may be subject to the new law.

This sees book publishing as a form of advertisement (like the Pennysaver newspapers) which corporations cannot do without following campaign law guidelines.

The argument is unlikely to actually restrict book publishers because of respect for tradition but "newscasters" like NRA may have more difficulty.

Typewriter Photo of the Day - The SG-1

It's been a great week for America's typewriter fans. Who'd have thought that my knowledge of '70s "document production systems" would be so significant in understanding the vital issues in this election.

In yesterday's fascinating (old media) Dallas Morning News story, LtC Killian's secretary, "Marian Carr Knox, who worked from 1957 to 1979 at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston", said:

the typeface on the documents did not match either of the two typewriters that she used during her time with the Guard. She identified those machines as a mechanical Olympia typewriter and the IBM Selectric that replaced it in the early 1970s.

She spoke fondly of the Olympia, which she said had a key with the "th" superscript character that has been the focus of much debate in the CBS memos.

Her manual office (not portable) typewriter was presumably an SG-1, -2, or -3. So in celebration of the one-week's anniversary of Rathergate, I present the Olympia SG-1:

Olympia SG-1

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

(Crowded) Slippery Slope in Wisconsin

The Mechanisms of the Slippery Slope working their magic:

Whole lotta love: 'Polyamorists' go beyond monogamy

Sitting in the shadow of an oak tree, John Wise described how the gay rights movement is laying the groundwork for polyamorists to acquire legal status for their three-, four- and more-way relationships.
"They're out doing the heavy lifting for us," Wise, a New Jersey attorney and father of two teenage children, said of the gay rights movement. "They're bringing us the equal protection that we're entitled to."
"We're queerer than queer," said Wise's wife, Nan, a psychotherapist who is writing a book she hopes will normalize the idea of three or four adults living in a committed sexual relationship.

"We're the new gay," she said, referring less to the sexual orientation of polyamorists - most whom are neither gay nor bisexual - than to the way society perceives them.
Like many of those at this conference, Whitnable said the polyamory movement is where gays and lesbians were in the 1950s and '60s - a community lacking mainstream cultural acceptance, let alone legal standing.

"Polys are following the same path," he said. "At the moment it's just about awareness."

When will all of this get around to libertarian acceptance? We lack mainstream cultural acceptance too!

Rathergate as Crime Facilitating Speech

The CBS document forgery case is a perfect example of crime facilitating speech that is absolutely vital to a discussion of important public issues.

Any would-be forgers out there who read and follow all the links listed in this Little Green Footballs post will be well equipped with advice on how to improve their forgeries.

Yet the disclosure of this specific information is necessary if the public is to judge the authenticity of the documents and make up its mind on the issues presented.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Reuters Believe it or Not

The publishers of Ripley's Believe It or Not always used to say that the claim of theirs that the most people refused to believe was that, "Charles Lindbergh was not the first man to fly non-stop across the Atlantic but the 67th."

Reuters topped that the other day:

Pentagon Says Guantanamo Prisoner Improperly Held

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon has determined for the first time that one of the nearly 600 Guantanamo Bay prisoners was improperly held by the United States as an "enemy combatant" and will be released to his home country, the Navy secretary said on Wednesday.

Reading that lede, you might think that the unidentified prisoner was the first man released from Gitmo but he was, in fact, the 157th.

Reuters gets to that in the final paragraph of the story:

Under other procedures, 156 other Guantanamo prisoners have been released or sent to their home countries for further detention, the Pentagon said.

Presumably, those who were released fully were determined not to be enemy combatants just like this week's lucky detainee. Apparently, there was some form of due process there even before the Supremes stepped in.

Artistic Repression in Ashcroft's America

A burning question

Following complaint, Suffolk plans to fine theater if 'Cabaret' actors continue to light up cigarettes

Cabaret is a show about a decadent time. It takes place in pre-Nazi Germany, when the clubs were full of booze and sex and - cigarettes!

But the state Clean Indoor Air Act bans tobacco from just about everywhere, and the Suffolk County Health Department intends to fine Bellport's Gateway Playhouse if the actors light up during the current production. In fact, the company has already been fined $500 for smoking during a performance of Fosse last week.

Soldiers Die -- Women and Hispanics Suffer Most

Remember Mort Sahl's joke headline:

"World Ends, Women and Minorities Suffer Most"

In this morning's Today's Headlines e-mail summary from the New York Times, we find the following gem:

For 1,000 Troops, There Is No Going Home


The roster of the dead in Iraq is a portrait of a military in transition, with ever-widening roles and costs for the country's part-time soldiers, women and Hispanics.
The story itself reports that the 24 deaths among female soldiers is higher than any conflict since WWII (8 women service members were killed in Vietnam and 16 in the Gulf War). Female deaths are 2.5% of total deaths though women represent 15% of armed forces personnel. Note that the invaluable Iraq Coalition Casualties website lists an additional female civilian casualty.

The Times then goes on to blame Hispanic deaths on the National Council of La Raza:

Five years ago, the National Council of La Raza, an advocacy group for Hispanics, released a scathing study of Hispanics in the United States military. The central finding was that the military was not employing as many Hispanics as it should.

In 1996, the study said, Hispanics 18 to 44 made up more than 11 percent of the civilian work force but accounted for less than 7 percent of the military's active forces.

The military took notice, and the Marines, in particular, began a serious recruiting effort aimed at Spanish-speaking markets, said Lisa Navarrete, vice president of the advocacy group.

"They took it very, very seriously," Ms. Navarrete said.

By 2004, Latinos accounted for 9.2 percent of all active-duty forces and about 10 percent of those forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 122 Hispanic service deaths at more than 12% of the total are higher than Hispanic service rates but lower than the Hispanic population at 13-14%.

Two groups not mentioned in the Times, non-Hispanic Whites (usually called 'Whites' by the NYT) and African Americans. Can we guess why?

The CNN chart that breaks the casualties down by race has not been updated since August 14th but the percentages then stood:

  • non-Hispanic Whites - 70%
  • Hispanics - 12%
  • Black - 13%
  • Asian - 2%
  • Other & Unk - 3%
The latest racial breakdown of the armed forces that I've been able to find is from about 1995 when the percentages stood:

  • non-Hispanic Whites - 68.7%
  • Hispanics - 6.3%
  • Black - 19.6%
  • Asian - 3%
  • Other & Unk - 2.3%
So we see that deaths of non-Hispanic whites track their percentages in the military and the general population pretty well but blacks are overrepresented in the military but underrepresented on the casualty lists (probably because of overrepresentation in the support MOS's).

Since those numbers don't match the Times' orientation, they were not remarked upon.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Shoot 'Em

Republican politicians are better than Democrat politicians because they don't support gun control so if you don't like them you can just shoot them. -- P. J. O'Rourke

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Sometimes Voting Works

They told me that if I voted for Goldwater we'd be at war in Vietnam. I voted for Goldwater and, sure enough, we're at war in Vietnam.

-- It was the '60s. You had to be there.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Worse Than the War?

New York Post columnist John Podhoretz is talking about Senator Zell Miller on today's Michael Medved Show . He says that he was on a panel with Miller and said something about WWIV being the most important problem facing the nation, but that Miller disagreed. What Miller said (third hand) is something like:

"Today, if you are an Evangelical Protestant, an Orthodox Jew, or a Conservative Catholic; you cannot win confirmation as a Federal Judge."

He considered that a worse problem.

Things George Has Not Banned

If you haven't been keeping track, you may be shocked to learn that W has not banned:
  1. Abortion
  2. Stem Cell Research (Embryonic, Cord Blood, or Adult)
  3. Same Sex Marriage
  4. Left-wing Nuts
  5. Sodomy
  6. Suicide
  7. Blasphemy
  8. Immodest clothing worn in public
  9. Fornication
  10. Lewd cohabitation
  11. Lascivious carriage
All of the above are legal and common.

Monday, August 30, 2004

In Honor of the NYC Demonstrators

"Kill a Commie for Christ"

-- Courtesy of the National Commission for the Preservation of Ancient Right Wing Slogans.

[I know, I know, the above is a left-wing satirical attack slogan. But I've always liked to adopt such attacks as a straight rhetorical device. After all, I always thought that the Chad Mitchell Trio's Barry's Boys was a real compliment.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

John Young Makes the Times and Gets FBI Visit

New York Architect and Cypherpunk John Young made the New York Times today (with photo) over his posting of natural gas pipeline maps on his Cryptome site.

Force or Violence

SENATOR: Mister Witness, do you advocate the overthrow of the government of the Yew-nited States by force or violence?

WITNESS: Well, Senator I've never quite thought about it in those terms before but if I had to choose, I guess I'd choose 'violence'.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

What to Tell the Truant Officer

Some years ago, my daughter was asked by a woman in a shop why she wasn't in school. She gave the answer I had previously suggested, half in jest. "My daddy doesn't believe in your schools. He says they're controlled by the communists." Further deponent sayeth not.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Religious Oaths for Computer Security and Digital Commerce Applications

"I swear by Almighty God that I have not given any cryptographic keys or other electronic access devices under my control to any other person or entity including government employees."

-- Suggested oath from the forthcoming paper "Religious Oaths for Computer Security and Digital Commerce Applications" by Duncan Frissell, JD and Robert Bader, DD.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Back to the '50s

Register Communists not Firearms!

-- Courtesy of the National Commission for the Preservation of Ancient Right Wing Slogans.

Committing an Unknown Crime & an Unknown Sin

Now legalized by Lawrence v Texas (but still sinners) young ladies of the '90s discover that they have committed a Sin, But Cannot Speak its Name:

"My mom went down to the library and looked [fornication] up in the dictionary," said Amanda Smisek, a 17-year-old-girl recently charged with the crime along with her boyfriend. "Nobody ever told us it was illegal for two people of the same age to [have sex]." "Forn-if-cation?" asked another puzzled 17-year-old. "What's that?"

-- Emmett, Idaho teens discussing jurisprudence in the wake of a prosecutor's decision to prosecute fornicators who apply for public assistance (with children).

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

An Anarchist Lawyer

Q. How can you, an anarchist, be a lawyer?

A. My father was a physician. That doesn't mean he believed in disease.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Love in the Naughties

Police work in the new age:

Journal of Forensic Sciences -- Autoerotic Fatalities with Power Hydraulics


We report two cases in which men used the hydraulic shovels on tractors to suspend themselves for masochistic sexual stimulation. One man developed a romantic attachment to a tractor, even giving it a name and writing poetry in its honor. ...
Such behavior has constitutional protection under Lawrence v. Texas, does it not?

Thanks (I think) to Eugene Volokh.

Great Moments in American Cinema

Susan Sarandon (as Sally): "You're so smart. I can't remember my Social Security Number. I bet you can remember your Social Security Number."

Burt Lancaster (as Lou): "I don't have a Social Security Number."

--Atlantic City (1980)

January 1, 1965 in New Jersey

Moderns will find it hard to credit that the sun rose on the Garden State on January 1st 1965. Why will they be shocked? Because on that day New Jersey had neither a state sales tax nor a state income tax.

During that first month of 1965, schools opened and closed, streets were filled with the flow of traffic, crimes were committed and punished, people were born and died. And all of this occurred in the absence of state sales and income taxes.

How was it possible?

That's not important. What is important is that it happened. It was possible. It is possible now (in Alaska & New Hampshire for example). It could even happen again in New Jersey or in your state.

All you have to do is imagine it.

And while you're imagining that, imagine how the United States managed without a Federal Income Tax from 1789 until 1916!

Monday, August 23, 2004

School Principal Says Gays are Violent

In a visicous slander on the alternatively sexed, San Diego School administrators called homosexuals prone to violence.

Gay, straight teens polarized; suit filed

August 22, 2004

The animosity between gay and straight students at Poway High School was so
volatile last spring that school officials said they had to prevent a teenager
from wearing an anti-gay slogan on a T-shirt in class.

Administrators feared that violence might erupt over the shirt, according to legal papers that for the first time detail the school district's side of a controversy that has spilled into the courts.

Mods vs. Trads

Mods are much less likely than Trads to form lasting family relationships, they kill themselves and others much more frequently, they suffer more from drug and substance abuse, they are more prone to disease, they even have a higher accident rate, they have lower family incomes, their MMPIs are much more jagged, their life expectancy is shorter, and they score lower on tests designed to show levels of personal happiness or satisfaction.

Sounds like a maladaption to me.

Law Schools and the Solomon Amendment

Good Slate article on the Pentagon vs. Law Schools over invidious discrimination against the alternatively sexed.

Too bad the schools' adhearance to priciple doesn't extend to eschewing government funds. They were warned in the 1950s by a gathering of university presidents that federal funding would bring federal control. I guess they didn't believe the obvious.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Hardball Grammar

Wednesday night's Hardball with Chris Matthews included a vicious grammar exchange that people of my ilk like but that most professional rhetoricians eschew:

The first segment featured the late presidential hopeful Howard Dean and Republican Representative David Dreier talking with Chris about Bush's Germany and Korea troop withdrawals and Kerry's response thereto.

KERRY (via clip): "this hastily announced plan"

DEAN: "hastily conceived

DREIER: And you let him get by with his opening statement, which
was just absolutely outrageous.

MATTHEWS: OK, what did I let him get by

DREIER: You know what he said? He described what you just went
through as a “hastily drawn” plan.


DREIER: 2001
... Rumsfeld ... talked about Western Europe and Asia...the Korean peninsula.
And that was something that was in the works long, long ago. And you let Howard
Dean get off with his opening statement by describing this, and you know it
wasn‘t a hastily drawn-up plan.

MATTHEWS: It is—it is—and I do give you
leeway in that regard because it is a political season. I give people the right
to any adjective they want to anything they want to talk about.

Yes, well, but let me—that was an adverb, by the way, not an adjective. But

MATTHEWS: Hastily drawn?

DREIER: Hastily. Hastily.

MATTHEWS: It wasn‘t a gerund?

DREIER: Yes. Exactly.


Hastily announced, hastily conceived, and hastily drawn are verb phrases used to modify the noun "plan". A gerund is a verb converted to a noun (ending in -ing like singing, speeding, traveling etc.).

Dreier's grammatical criticism is technically correct (hastily is an adverb modifying the verbs announced, conceived, and drawn) but the phrases themselves modify a noun so pointing out that hastily is an adverb is being a bit pedantic.

But that sort of thing is my second favorite sin too (after Sloth) and I like to see it done on TV on a back-and-forth show like Hardball with a bullying host.

Matthews' "gerund" question is a common rhetorical gimmick in modern discourse where the speaker deliberately suggests a word that neither he nor the audience is supposed to know so that they can bond in their collective ignorance.

The Strange Case of the MV Queen Victoria

On 31 March 2003, Cunard (ie Carnival) announced the 2005 launch of the Queen Victoria.

Originally ordered as the fifth in a series of five 'Vista' class ships for
sister company Holland America, the contact was signed over to Cunard before the keel was laid and Holland America then ordered a further ship for delivery to
them in 2006. The lead ship in the series Zuiderdam entered service in December

Cunard held to a 2005 launch of the rebadged ship as late as 11 July 2003.

But then on 05 April 2004, following the success of the QM II, Cunard announced the 2007 launch of a 'new' Queen Victoria and transferred the earlier QV to P&O Cruises.

Apparently, Cunard wanted a ship more like the QM II which is not just a large modern cruise ship but reflects some of the Cunard Transatlantic Liner tradition.

Another Carnival innovation -- they are both a Corp and a Plc connected to each other in some creative fashion and listed on the NY and London stock exchanges:

"Carnival Corporation & plc is a global cruise company with a portfolio of 12 distinct brands comprised of the leading cruise operators in both North America, Europe and Austrailia. Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises, AIDA Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises, Ocean Village, Swan Hellenic, and P&O Cruises Australia are all included in this group.

Together, these brands operate 75 ships totaling more than 123,000 lower berths with nine new ships scheduled for delivery between April 2004 and mid-2006. It also operates the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, Holland America Tours and Princess Tours. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only entity in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices."

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Proof Anglicans have a Sense of Humor

I know Anglicans have a sense of humor because whenever I tell this joke, Anglicans laugh:

I was destined to be an Anglican.

How do I know? My family comes from a small village outside of Genoa and if you find it on a map, you discover that it's halfway between Rome and Geneva.

So naturally I had to become an Anglican.

Friday, August 13, 2004

New Jersey Governor Says Adultery is Wrong

In a public statement that shocked many of his political persuasion, the Democrat Governor of New Jersey James McGreevey said:

I am also here today because, shamefully, I engaged in an adult consensual affair with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony. It was wrong. It was foolish. It was inexcusable.
Given the circumstances surrounding the affair and its likely impact upon my family and my ability to govern, I have decided the right course of action is to resign.

His callousness for the feelings of the millions of adulterous Americans was unusual among modern public figures. The norm for those who announce their alternative sexuality is to say that they had dump the wife and kids to be true to their natures. Mods have a problem with concepts such as: "Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above."

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Many Parents Unaware of Teen Sex, Study Finds

Not the Onion but Reuters.

Aug. 12, 2004 — WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Many parents seem to be in the dark about the sex lives of their adolescents, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

They found that 84 percent of parents they surveyed did not think their teenager was sexually active -- despite a recent government study showing that nearly half of ninth through 12th graders aged 14 to 18 have had sex.
Who'd a thunk it?

More shocking data from the same story:

Black teenage girls are more likely have sex and are more at risk of sexually transmitted diseases than white girls the same age, said Laura Salazar of Atlanta's Emory University.
I learned that from watching Good Times!

Rosie Exiled to Lewd Cohabitation

Bad news for Rosie O'Donnell and 8000 others.

Yesterday she was (presumptively) lawfully wed. Today she and wife Kelli Carpenter are back in the familiar status of lewd cohabitation (a state they have individually and collectively inhabited for much of their adulthoods). Good news for the couple -- they can get their $82 license fee back.

[I hate it when I google a term to get a definition and the first item is a post of mine.]

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Bar Pickups

Young ladies, your parents may have attempted to discourage you from getting picked up by strange men in bars. Generally, it doesn't work out.

In certain bars at certain times (the Slip Inn -- Sydney Australia -- 15 September 2000) for certain people (Mary Elizabeth Donaldson) it does, however, work out.

Free UK Phone Number

Who can resist a free UK phone number?

UK2me is a service that will assign (map) a UK National Rate phone number [maximum cost 7.91p/min] to any phone number in the US or Canada.  That means that if you call the UK (0870) number, it will ring at the US number it has been mapped to.  (I even got a wrong number call for a UK insurance company today.)

The call is completed as a Voice Over IP call over the Internet.  The voice quality is very good.

This is a free service and you do not need to "own" the US phone number to assign it.  All that you need to do is to go to the website and enter the US number and you will be given a UK number.

J2 charges $15.00 a month for a UK voice mail or fax number.  UK2me is free.

Under telecoms deregulation in the UK, UK2me gets a cut of the cost of calls to UK National Rate numbers.  This is how they can do it for free. Note that depending on one's specific telephone plan, time of day, and day of week the actual cost of a UK National Rate call will be less than the maximum amount listed above.

Monday, August 09, 2004

All About Love

Let's Parse this Puppy: The Seattle Times: Letourneau released from prison today

After serving most of a 7 1/2-year sentence for child rape, Mary K. Letourneau was released from prison early this morning, and within hours the former pupil she was convicted of raping filed a motion to lift the no-contact order that would keep the two apart.

The attorneys for the former student, Vili Fualaau, who was 12-years-old at the time of the crimes, filed a motion in King County Superior Court this morning seeking to have the no-contact order lifted.

The term "child rape" is a modern reformulation of what was formerly called statutory rape but is actually more properly referred to as unlawful sexual intercourse. Mods hate to use direct descriptives because they would be forced to recognize that what they are doing is to actually outlaw a specific sexual act. Trads didn't have that problem because they outlawed plenty of sex acts and they knew that statutory rape didn't mean forcible rape but just meant sex with those under the age of consent.

"Mr.. Fualaau is now 21 years old," the three-page document says. "He does not fear Mary K. Letourneau. He is now an adult and is now requesting that the court allow him to associate with other adults of his own choosing, specifically Mary
K. Letourneau so long as no crime is committed."

This was inevitable. True love cannot be denied.

When Letourneau , 42, and Fualaau were having sexual encounters, she was 34 and he was 12.

Though contrite at times, she has steadfastly maintained that their unusual union was strictly about love. While in prison, in violation of the no-contact order, she sent Fualaau more than 20 letters, which were mostly affectionate. In one, though, she threatened him with "castration" if he ever dated anyone else.

Perhaps they should move to Massachusetts. The Bay State is very accepting of alternative domestic arrangements. Mary K. seems a little intense, however.

Yesterday morning at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Fualaau told KING-TV reporter Linda Byron that he still loved Letourneau. Fualaau was on his way to New York City with a friend for national media interviews.

The Road to Fame and Fortune.

October 1995: Mary K. Letourneau learns her father is dying of cancer, an event that a therapist later says was critical to her state of mind when she became sexually involved with Vili Fualaau.

Ah therapy!

In the years since the relationship, Fualaau has acknowledged that he has consumed illegal drugs and alcohol, been fired from a fast-food job, assaulted his mother, dropped out of high school, been arrested for car theft and spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

He and his mother, Soona, received approximately $200,000 from various tabloid, book and movie deals, including a book published in France. But the money was spent on elaborate parties, trips and hotels.

Fualaau's father has spent much of his life in prison and has 18 children by five women. During the 2002 civil trial, Fualaau was asked how he felt about
Letourneau. He said she was the best thing that ever happened to his life.

I guess that Vili had a few problems before he met Mary K. How does someone manage to be dedicated enough to both "spend much of his life in prison" and father 18 children by 5 women. I'm no sure I could do it.

Perhaps if all of those involved had to work for a living instead of receiving government largesse, they might have been a bit too busy to produce and abandon so many children.

Since this article was written, the court has decided to lift the no-contact order that would have kept the lovebirds apart Still to be decided, who gets the two kids they have produced so far? That will be an interesting custody case.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Libertarian Anarchists Should Remember They're Anarchists

The recent contretemps has posed many challenges for libertarians.

The split between minarchists and anarchists has widened, both camps have suffered from internal splits over WWIV, and libertarianism has suffered a decline in what little prestige it had managed to achieve in the larger world of ideologies.

I place myself generally in the anarchist pro-war camp (and yes there is such a camp).

My general advice to those libertarians to whom I've spoken has been the same advice I've given to the pro-war forces in general: "Remember when I told you that there would be difficult days ahead? Well this is one of them!"

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Clinton's Self Help Advice for Ordinary Citizens

Are you an "ordinary citizen" of the US who just doesn't have enough money and power? Would you like more money and power without having to work hard to get them?

William Jefferson Clinton gives you easy advice in his Monday night address to the Democrat National Convention:

They [Wascally Wepublicans] believe the role of government is to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those who embrace their economic, political and social views, leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves on important matters like health care and retirement security.

So if you want to be showered with money and power, all you have to do is embrace the economic, political, and social views of the Republican Party.  Sounds like easy work to me.     So what are those views?  Who knew -- they even have an Oath!  Read it and sign on the bottom line and wealth and power will be yours. 

Stem Cell Research

At least George has almost adopted the libertarian position on stem cell research.

He banned Federal funding of embryonic stem cell rearch.

Now if only he'd ban all Federal funding of stem cell research.

That is the libertarian position, isn't it?

In practice, not much stem cell research of any kind is going on with Federal funds.  Isn't that a good thing?

Two Wedding Dresses

For fans of wedding dresses:

Mrs John Kerry (May 1970)

Mrs John Kerry (May 1995)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Official Survival Advice

Fans of government survival advice can compare two separate booklets of such advice produced by the UK government a generation apart: 

Protect and Survive (1980)

Preparing for Emergencies (2004)

Unmentioned by either booklet -- the topic of Survival Guns

Monday, July 19, 2004

Why We Hate Them

Since September 11th, Muslims have been troubled by the question of why we (Kafirs) hate them.

As my previous post explained, in one sense Western attitudes are understandable. Is not the unconquered territory of the West the Dar al-Harb or the House of War while the region which has accepted God's commands is the Dar al-Islam or the House of Islam (of submission/Law/Salaam/Peace). Is it not logical that we unconquered outlaws would hate the Realm of Law.

But perhaps there's more to it. Perhaps the "Kafir Street" has a long memory.

When the Prophet died in 632 A.D., the Arabian Peninsula was not occupied by foreign oppressors (foreign oppressors have generally sought lusher territory). The Children of the Prophet were being left in peace. And yet in the 120 years following 632, Muslim armies attacked and conquered two-thirds of Christendom including 3 of that faith's 5 holiest cities.

In those days, the Christian World consisted of the ring of settled land around the Mediterranean. Britain was not fully converted. Germany, Scandinavia, and Russia were not in the church. The Five Archbishoprics of the Ancient Church: Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Jerusalem and Rome were the spiritual centers of the Faith.

In a rapid and unprovoked series of attacks, the House of Peace conquered Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia. Then in succession Iran, Tripoli, Cyprus, and Armenia. Muslim naval forces destroyed the Byzantine fleet and occupied Sicily. Islamic armies put Constantinople under siege for seven years. North Africa (including Carthage), Spain, and the Sind (India/Pakistan) came under Muslim control. Later Central Asia and the northern half of India were subjugated.

In the course of this campaign, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Antioch were captured. Constantinople held out until 1453. Churches were converted into mosques. Over time, Muslim rule was extended along the sea lanes of Southeast Asia as far as the southern Philippines. Kafirs recaptured Spain by 1492 but the other conquests remained remarkably stable. Perhaps we infidels are still upset over those military losses.

Now recently various academics and progressives (but I repeat myself) have complained about how bad the Crusades were. Such analysts neglect the fact that they were a response to Muslim aggression. They attacked Christendom first and conquered big chunks of it -- not the other way around.

Then there's the issue of discrimination against Christians (and all other non-Muslim faiths) which may rankle. There are mosques in Canterbury, Rome, Geneva, and Moscow (even Salt Lake City). But there are no churches (or Synagogues) in all of Saudi Arabia. Priests in the Sudan are prohibited from possessing communion wine. Pakistani Christians are regularly executed for their faith. Maybe the Kafir Street merely seeks to redress this invidious discrimination in the same way that the EEOC does in the US.

Or maybe it's the general human rights problems of the Dar al-Islam. Europe abolished slavery by around 1200 or so. The European colonies (including us) abolished it by the middle of the 19th century. Saudi Arabia abolished it in 1962. Sudan has been too busy killing its black population for the last 40 years to get around to abolishing it at all. The Arabian peninsula imported more black African slaves over the years than North America did. The descendents of our slaves are called the Secretary of Defense, etc. Where are the descendents of Saudi Arabia's slaves? And forget about the status of women -- the Dar al-Islam certainly has.

But perhaps the answer is even simpler. Perhaps Kafirs hate their enemies. It is axiomatic that if war is declared, one is at war. War was declared on the Kafirs of the world in 1996. The Kafirs didn't pay much attention for a while (which must have been very upsetting to some) but finally the message got through.

Hatred of one's enemies is easy to understand. It's something that brings all of mankind together.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Gratuitous Atomic Cannon Post

When I was looking for a nuclear weapons photo for a previous post, I immediately thought of the only live firing of an atomic cannon (in the US, that is). So I hunted up the famous photo of Shot Grable 10 (isn't the Net convenient?) and found that most of the images were poor scans. Finally I "borrowed" a good one and thought I'd actually post so you don't have to follow a link to see it. This is an actual photo of an actual atomic cannon firing an actual atomic shell. No editing or fakery involved.

Operation Upshot Knothole
Shot Grable 10
Frenchman's Flat, Nevada 25 May 1953
Mark 9 Gun Weapon - 280mm
Range 7 miles

Stop and Identify Statutes

Thanks to those dedicated Supreme Court Clerks, we have a list from page 3 of the Supreme Court's decision in Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial Dist. Court of Nev., Humboldt Cty of those states that have "Stop and Identify" statutes that punish those who undergo a police Terry Stop and refuse to identify themselves.

They are: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin.

If you're not in those 20 states, the newly drafted Hiibel Rule doesn't apply to you. Of course, more states may enact such statutes now that the Supremes have OK'd them.

Remember too that Mr. Hiibel only had to pay a $250 fine for violation of the statute so one could just think of it as a privacy tax.

Here are the cites to the specific statutes:

Ala. Code §15?5?30 (West 2003); Ark. Code Ann. §5?71?213(a)(1) (2004); Colo. Rev. Stat. §16?3?103(1) (2003); Del. Code Ann., Tit. 11, §§1902(a), 1321(6) (2003); Fla. Stat. §856.021(2) (2003); Ga. Code Ann. §16?11?36(b) (2003); Ill. Comp. Stat., ch. 725, §5/107?14 (2004); Kan. Stat. Ann. §22?2402(1) (2003); La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann., Art. 215.1(A) (West 2004); Mo. Rev. Stat. §84.710(2) (2003); Mont. Code Ann. §46?5?401(2)(a) (2003); Neb. Rev. Stat. §29?829 (2003); N. H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§594:2 and 644:6 (Lexis 2003); N. M. Stat. Ann. §30?22?3 (2004); N. Y. Crim. Proc. Law §140.50(1) (West 2004); N. D. Cent. Code §29?29?21 (2003); R. I. Gen. Laws §12?7?1 (2003); Utah Code Ann. §77?7?15 (2003); Vt. Stat. Ann., Tit. 24, §1983 (Supp. 2003); Wis. Stat. §968.24 (2003)

Monday, July 12, 2004

If Bush Were Hitler...

You may have heard that George W. Bush is Adolf Hitler and the US is Nazi Germany and "The Most Dangerous Nation" on Earth.

No one's said this to me in person but an obvious retort would be, "If Bush were Hitler, we'd be busy shoveling your corpse into a pit right about now. Since I observe that we are not, Bush must not be Hitler."

But what if I'm wrong? What if Bush magically became Hitler and the US magically became Nazi Germany? What would happen?

1) Canada is toast. The Pentagon dusts off the old Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan--Red from the 1920s and the amphibious assault on Halifax and the armored columns pouring north from New York towards Toronto and Montreal would make quick work of the Canadian Defense Forces.

2) One carrier battle group (out of our 12) would sail out of Hampton Roads to challenge the combined naval forces of the EU (assuming they are capable of combining). Fifteen minutes later...

3) The marine guards from the US Embassy in Paris (assisted by infiltrated crewcut "tourists" who flew in on Air France from Dulles) capture the Elysee Palace. Similar seizures occur in Brussels and Berlin.

4) Unconditional surrender demands are received by the national governments of some 192 countries backed up by nuclear targeting of some of the more significant capital cities of those countries. Beijing is accidentally incinerated. Offers of surrender pour in.

5) The heretofore secret FEMA civil disorder control squads fan out in Seattle, Portland, the Bay Area, the West Side of LA, Boston, certain islands off the Massachusetts coast, and Manhattan to offer mental health services to various actors, filmmakers, commentators, and academics. These mental health services which had been sadly neglected in the "bad old days", became available under the recently enacted Secret Emergency Order 2004-23432-2345 establishing a single-payer National Health Care System.

6) Reflecting the Great Leader's famed concern for the natural environment, the EPA issues strict regulations concerning the handling and disposal of human and animal remains. Previous high-pollution methods such as incineration are replaced with modern irradiation and conversion into compost for use in agriculture and in the National Parks.

7) Under the guidance of the Great Leader, Christianity experiences an unprecedented flowering as His careful study of other faiths causes Him to adopt some of their techniques of proselytizing. He borrows conversion by the sword from Islam which serves to swell the ranks of believers.

8) Medina and Mecca are accidentally destroyed in a tragic B2 training accident. The Great Leader in compensation agrees to accept from Islam the burden of ruling the Christian Holy Cities of Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Istanbul (now Constantinople) conquered so long ago.

9) The Great Leader, showing his concern for the confusions inherent in the many Christian denominations, guides The Faith to a new form of Methodism that is reconciled with its Anglican roots. The Great Leader sacrifices Himself for the spiritual needs of His people and becomes Head of the Church and Defender of the Faith.

Contractions of Rights by Amendments

In a discussion of the Federal Marriage Amendment, Instapundit Glenn Reynolds writes:

It's true that the Constitution has been amended to do other things besides expand rights, for example, but the only contraction of rights -- Prohibition -- was swiftly repealed. Other amendments have either been on unrelated topics, or have expanded rights.

What about:

13th Amendment - Reduced the rights of slave owners.

16th Amendment - Reduced the rights of those earning income to be free from unequal taxation. [The 16th Amendment in particular was a very significant rights deprivation. I find it hard to believe that Glenn and Andrew Sullivan have ignored it as a counterexample. It certainly made massive monetary exactions possible.]

17th Amendment - Reduced the rights of State Legislators [to elect Senators].

18th Amendment - Reduced the rights of drinkers [as you noted].

19th Amendment - Reduced the rights of male voters [by dilution].

22nd Amendment - Reduced the rights of Presidents to run for more than 2 terms.

23rd, 24th, & 26th Amendments - Reduced the rights of non-DC, financially comfortable, and older voters respectively [by dilution].

Some of the other Amendments probably reduced rights as well but I'm too lazy to do the analysis. For example -- I might prefer that the President and Congress not be sworn in until March but the 20th Amendment deprived me of same.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Cut Medical Costs -- It's Trivial!

If you're worried (in a political sense) about the cost of medical care, you don't have to. Dramatically cutting medical costs is cheap (if not easy).

1) Shut down the FDA. It adds hundreds of millions of dollars to the cost of drug and medical device development. We all have access to enough information these days to decide what's good and what's not. After all, surgical techniques are unlicensed. Any surgeon can start cutting away any way he likes. He's free to develop new techniques and start using them without government permission. If that's reasonably safe, and it is, why not go the same way with drugs and medical devices?

2) Eliminate the prescription drug system. If all drugs could be bought directly by patients, they wouldn't have to pay off physicians to obtain prescriptions. They can self-prescribe. Saves a great deal of cash.

3) Open immigration. Much of the cost of medical care consists of the labor cost of both skilled and unskilled custodial care. Open immigration for health-care workers will reduce those costs by increasing the supply of labor.

4) Hospital deregulation. If the supply of hospital beds increased, the cost would go down.

5) Doctor deregulation. If the supply of doctors increased because restrictive licensure was eliminated, the cost of their services would go down.

6) Insurance deregulation. If insurance contracts were not being added to by state legislators in the interest of gaining freebies for their constituents without having to spend money, health insurance would be a lot cheaper. It's not accidental that a one-minute trip over the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania would drop your medical insurance costs by thousands of dollars a year. If one is not forced to buy mental health coverage, contraception, or first dollar coverage, one can spend much less for insurance and is -- therefore -- much more likely to possess it.

Anarchists, War, & Gay Marriage

I'm shocked, shocked and appalled, to note that some libertarian anarchists oppose the invasion of "other countries" and that some others do not oppose civil marriage for homosexuals (and by inference) heterosexuals.

If one does not believe in countries, sovereignty, borders, weapons control, or immigration control; one can hardly object to armed strangers traveling from point A to point B (in the absence of trespass on private property).

One can, of course, object to "invasions" of other "countries" that involve travel paid for by tax dollars. And one can object to common law crimes committed by the "invaders" against the residents of the zone that they have traveled to.

It is a challenging question of libertarian theory, BTW, as to how careful one has to be to protect innocent life when one is fighting a revolution or defensive war. This is a very difficult problem because artillery tends to go astray from time to time and anarchists do not (collectively) prohibit such risky behavior as the private ownership of nuclear weapons.

As for the civil marriage question...

Libertarian anarchists cannot in good conscience support the extension of civil marriage licenses to homosexuals. State licensing of sexual congress and/or family formation is a major human rights violation whether done to hetero- or homo-sexuals.

As with military conscription, libertarian anarchists should not favor the extension of a form of oppression to another group (say, women) in the name of equality. If oppression of one group is wrong, extension of the oppression to a new group (who had heretofore been exempt) is likewise wrong.

The whole concept of government regulation of domestic relations (dom rel law) is an outrage.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Self-Hatred Among the Demon-Cats

Kerry's Celebrity Fund-Raiser Is a Huge Bash

Paul Newman decried "tax cuts for wealthy thugs like me" as "borderline criminal."

The comedian John Leguizamo, who is half Puerto Rican, said the notion of Hispanics supporting Republicans was "like roaches for Raid." And Whoopi Goldberg, after joking about refusing to submit her material to campaign censors, made an extended sexual pun on the president's surname.

"This campaign will be a celebration of real American values," Mr. Edwards promised, saying that voters "deserve a president who knows the difference between what is right and what is wrong."

Mr. Kerry, inviting his and Mr. Edwards's adult children onstage for a sing-along of "This Land Is Your Land," told the crowd that "every single performer" on the bill had "conveyed to you the heart and soul of our country."

Accused Army Deserter Leaves for Reunion : Accused Army Deserter Leaves for Reunion

PYONGYANG, North Korea July 8, 2004 — An American accused of deserting his Army unit 40 years ago to defect to North Korea left Pyongyang on Friday with his two daughters to be reunited with his Japanese wife in Indonesia.

Soga was abducted by spies and taken to the North in 1978 and then repatriated to Japan nearly two years ago. She had to return home alone because Jenkins, who allegedly deserted his Army unit in 1965, would face extradition to the United States and a court martial if he were to join her in Japan.

I would think that if he decided to return to the US, the Feds should decline to prosecute. What punishment for desertion could be worse than time served -- 40 years in North Korea!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

One Minute to Literacy

For the past few years, the National Endowment for the Arts has taken it upon itself to measure our interest in what it calls "literary reading".

Literary Reading in Dramatic Decline, According to National Endowment for the Arts Survey

Fewer Than Half of American Adults Now Read Literature

July 8, 2004

New York, N.Y. - Literary reading is in dramatic decline with fewer than half of American adults now reading literature, according to a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) survey released today. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America reports drops in all groups studied, with the steepest rate of decline - 28 percent - occurring in the youngest age groups.

Now the NEA's standard for literary reading is pretty low: The 2002 SPPA asked respondents if, during the past 12 months, they had read any novels or short stories, plays, or poetry. A positive response to any of those three categories is counted as reading literature, including popular genres such as mysteries, as well as contemporary and classic literary fiction. No distinctions were drawn on the quality of literary works.

Thus you have an opportunity to achieve official certified government literacy in less than a minute. Simply read the following Rudyard Kipling poem and the next time the NEA calls (this is an annual survey) you can report yourself as literate:

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

by Rudyard Kipling -- 1919

As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I Make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market-Place.
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings.
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Heading said: Stick to the Devil you know.

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: The Wages of Sin is Death.

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: If you don't work you die.

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew,
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four --
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man --
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began --
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire --

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.

Can VoIP survive Congress?

Declan McCullah asks Can VoIP survive Congress?

The answer is "yes". If the Feds get too uppity, I'll just run my own SIP server and switch my own damn phone calls.

And as for "interfacing with the PSTN", I'll spend the whole $59 + $39 for PCPhoneline's Sip Gateway and Port Converter and connect my own damn VOIP calls to the PSTN.

No taxes and no CALEA problems.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Happy 4th of July

Freedom - English (German root)
Liberty - English (French root)
Freiheit - German
Liberte - French
Libertas - Latin
Libertad - Spanish & Portugese
Uhuru - Swahili
Kuokoa - Hawaiian

Monday, June 28, 2004

Most Successful Documentary?

Say, isn't The Passion of the Christ likely to be the most successful documentary film of all time?

I think it was intended as a documentary.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Why Massed Demos Don't Work in America

The commies are upset that all of their demonstrating doesn't get them anything here in the US. They seem to have more success with these tactics in other countries.

Right wing nuts are sometimes upset that right wing nuts can't seem to stage large demos like the commies do. P. J. O'Rourke jokes that right wingers don't demonstrate as much as commies because they all have jobs.

A large demonstration is supposed to change minds by what is, in essence, a show of force. One side collects and deploys these thousands of bodies in a quasi-military movement and observers are supposed react like good primates to the demonstration of power and change their political views.

Unfortunately for commies, this gimmick only works if the observers feel intimidated. A mass of men may be frightening in muscle-age communities but machine- and information-age observers react differently.

An undisciplined mass of sloppily dressed men, womyn, the differently gendered, and victims of color is not calculated to impress. Those who see these demos on TV screens are removed from the scene and unlikely to be frightened.

And the commies of America have given up the gun. They have deliberately disarmed themselves. Commies are overrepresented in the 60% of American households that have no firearms. (All stats are from Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms May 1997.)

Whereas right wingers are heavily armed. They are (greatly) overrepresented among the 10 million Americans who own 50% of US guns.

The effect of this is that armed individuals are unlikely to respond to the "argument" represented by a massed demonstration. Since those with arms are capable of "putting the street under fire" whenever the need arises, unarmed commie mobs do not evoke a primate dominance-subordinance reaction in this country as they do in other countries.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

What to Say to the FBI When it Comes to Call

Portland Attorney (and vindicated Madrid bombing suspect) Brandon Mayfield may not be a wildly successful attorney but he certainly knows what to say when the FBI shows up.

On May 6, Mr. Mayfield heard a curious knock on the door of his law office, on the first floor of a beige office building in Beaverton, a Portland suburb. It was about 10 in the morning and Mr. Mayfield, who had opened his still-fledgling solo immigration and family law practice a few years ago, was not expecting anyone.

At the door were two agents with the F.B.I., a pair Mr. Mayfield described in an interview as "good cop, bad cop," "tall one, short one," a burly male agent and a diminutive female agent. Reading from a list on the search warrant, which was contained in court records unsealed last week, the agents told Mr. Mayfield they were searching for, among other things, "explosives, blasting agents and detonators."

The court records show that the agents confiscated a large number of items from the office, including computer disks, bank statements, yellow Post-it Notes and confidential client files. Meanwhile, agents were confiscating things from the Mayfield's home, including a .22-caliber handgun and .22-caliber rifle, his Koran, and what was described in the search warrant return report as "miscellaneous Spanish documents," which turned out to be Spanish homework belonging to Mr. Mayfield's children, family members said.

In the office that morning, Mr. Mayfield, not yet understanding the gravity of the situation, was almost dismissive of the agents. He recalled telling the agents, "If you have questions, put them in writing, I'll review them and I might get back to you."

This did not go over well, Mr. Mayfield recalled, and soon enough, he was frisked and handcuffed and marched out to a Ford Explorer that would take him to the federal courthouse in downtown Portland.

"If you have questions, put them in writing, I'll review them and I might get back to you."

Memorize that sentence and put it to good use.