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Friday, April 30, 2004


More on China 

It's one matter to be vaguely aware that the Chinese economy is expanding. It's another to come across a statistic such as this: With just over fifth of the world's population, China last year consumed 55 percent of the world's total output of concrete.
From the Corner

Thursday, April 29, 2004


Bill Moyers 

Bill Moyers is the smug paleo-liberal who gets subsidized by my tax dollars. Slate has published a kind of goofy guide to "gurus"(Deepak Chopra, Dr. Phil, Oprah, etc.). Bill Moyers is listed as the guide for "earnest lefties" this is part of their synopsis
What he says: "Is 'we the people' a spiritual idea embedded in a political reality—one nation, indivisible—or merely a charade masquerading as piety and manipulated by the powerful and privileged to sustain their own way of life at the expense of others"?

What he means: Republicans are evil.
Indeed.

The spectre of overpopulation... 

Is looking less and less menacing. Recently I've read a few science fiction stories that assumed overpopulation, depletion of resources, blah, blah, blah... It pretty severely undercuts the story when you know the premises are so very shaky, and should be known to be so by anybody who has done any research on the subject. Of course the sanctimoniously solemn tone with which the authors present this conventional wisdom(as opposed to real insight) doesn't make it any better.

So, it was with interest I read a recent review of a new book by Phillip Longman called the Empty Cradle. I already knew that fertility rates were below replacement rates in Japan, Europe, and China(The world's most populous country). I discovered that even some arab countries, Tunisia and Lebanon, are now below replacement levels. New Delhi, capital of India, actually has below replacement levels, and relies on an influx of people from the surrounding countryside to maintain population growth. Brazil and Iran are apparently both heading for sub zero population growth. The United States is essentially at zero population growth(minus immigration).

It will be interesting to see when these facts filter down into the conventional wisdom, and to see if they have any effect on the rhetoric of the doom-mongers.

Fear Factor 

I think this can be filed under "Pop culture is filth"(as John Derbyshire would say)
Mr. Larsen brandished a 2-foot-long plastic tube about an inch in diameter. Taking a big swig of bottled water -- think of it as "blended up worm chunks," he told everyone -- Mr. Larsen loudly emptied his cheeks into the tube, with the water spraying, for the most part, into a garbage can. On the show, he explained, another contestant's mouth would serve as the receptacle. That person would then have to spit the worm purée into a glass. The pair that fills the glass the fastest wins.

"I like it!" said Executive Producer Matt Kunitz, "especially the noise the spitting makes."
(From the WSJ)

Cool stuff 

Liquid body armour. Sort of like Gore-tex, but different.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Quagmire! 

In one of the worst incidents, troops fired teargas and stormed a mosque near the provincial town of Pattani, killing over 30 gunmen holed up inside. An angry crowd gathered to watch as soldiers dragged their bodies from the bullet-riddled building.
More trouble in Iraq?
No. Thailand.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004


Why they hate us 

Aside from the odd Noam Chomsky reference(Couldn't you find a source a little more reliable?) This is an excellent discussion of sentiment in the arab world.
A taste-
Is Arab anti-Americanism just an irrational phenomenon manufactured by presidents-for-life, kings, and military dictators who rule their countries without legitimate political authority? Yes, but there are also really bad U.S. policies in the Arab world—none of which seem to trouble most Arabs.




On Kerry 

He's a man who just wants the issue to go away. He's annoyed, frustrated, angered by this issue. He desperately wants to change the subject.

Bad news, Senator: you brought it up. I agree with Michael Totten: it was thirty years ago, much of the electorate was either in diapers or wasn't even born, and frankly, most of us just don't care. But we do care about inflated braggarts, and in case you haven't noticed, we in the blogosphere have turned your constant references to your service in Vietnam into something of a running joke. You keep banging away at your time in 'Nam as though it deserves some sort of kid-glove treatment in the media. Which I daresay the media would be more than happy to provide if you didn't appear intent on riding your military service into the White House.
Soundfury


Thursday, April 22, 2004


In other news- 

Weekly world news channels Scrappleface-
Member nations of the European Union have announced plans to discontinue their status as individual countries in order to merge into one giant theme park!
"Our stagnant continent has been a virtual museum for decades," explains an unnamed EU representative. "Many could argue that we already were nothing more than an amusement park. The decision to legally become a large theme park is really only a formality."

Wednesday, April 21, 2004


This is really horrible 

Poke it. Poke it!

Perspective 

Robert Musil provides some.

Boots on the ground 

Don't always agree with their leaders
But ordinary soldiers said the overwhelming majority of their comrades opposed Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's sudden decision to bring home the 1,432-strong contingent based here and in the nearby Shiite Muslim holy city of Najaf.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004


Columbine 

Fascinating psychological profile of the Columbine killers.

Monday, April 19, 2004


The Passion 

Orson Scott Card has his say.

Springtime 

You wouldn't expect heavy snow in central Nevada in mid April, but there it was. Between Eureka and Austin, white-out conditions, snow accumulating on the road. I was a little freaked, but I made it home.

Monday, April 12, 2004


Examiners needed.... 

Study Suggests More Frequent Breast Exams Needed

There's a joke in there somewhere....

Racism? 

Excellent article in the Claremont Review.
Important bits
In effect, these critics want to have it both ways: they acknowledge that these views could in principle be non-racist (otherwise they wouldn't be a "code" for racism) but suggest they never are in practice (and so can be reliably treated as proxies for racism). The result is that their claims are non-falsifiable because they are tautological: these views are deemed racist because they are defined as racist. This amounts to saying that opposition to the policies favored by today's civil rights establishment is a valid indicator of racism. One suspects these theorists would, quite correctly, insist that people can disagree with the Israeli government without being in any way anti-Semitic. But they do not extend the same distinction to this issue. This is partisanship posturing as social science.
.....
But the commonality, the philosophical link, is swiftly identified once the Democrats leave the stage. In study after study, authors say that "racial and economic conservatism" married white Southerners to the GOP after 1964. So whereas historically accidental events must have led racists to vote for good men like FDR, after 1964 racists voted their conscience. How convenient. And how easy it would be for, say, a libertarian conservative like Walter Williams to generate a counter-narrative that exposes statism as the philosophical link between segregation and liberalism's economic populism.
.....
In sum, the GOP's Southern electorate was not rural, nativist, less educated, afraid of change, or concentrated in the most stagnant parts of the Deep South. It was disproportionately suburban, middle-class, educated, younger, non-native-Southern, and concentrated in the growth-points that were, so to speak, the least "Southern" parts of the South. This is a very strange way to reincarnate George Wallace's movement.

Sunday, April 11, 2004


Miss USA 

The miss USA contest has begun. The guys at PowerLine have selected Miss Tennessee as their favorite. My personel preference is for Miss Oklahoma.

Judge for yourself.

Mac vs. PC 

A somewhat large file to download, but very funny.

Saturday, April 10, 2004


Paul Krugman Top Ten 

Signs he is losing his mind.

Friday, April 09, 2004


What if? 

Bush had acted? This is pretty good.

Thursday, April 08, 2004


New Zealand 

All the pictures are now up.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004


Colors 

Fun Test. (I got %100, how well can you do?)

Tuesday, April 06, 2004


I agree wholeheartedly 

"I don't want to hear anyone complaining about the deficit unless they immediately begin to list ways of taking things away from old people and making them work harder and longer. Otherwise you aren't really bothered by the deficit at all."
Harsh, but true.

Pictures 

All right, I've got a bunch of my New Zealand pictures up here. I actually have everything scanned in. I just have to build the pages. Also, I'm going to put a permanent link to my pictures page below and to the right.

Riding through Chernobyl 

Interesting hobby.

Monday, April 05, 2004


Did you know... 

That the Rosenbergs were executed 51 years ago today? That makes today National Kill a Commie Day! Whooo Hooo! (from Frank J)

Racial Profiling 

Abstract of a paper by Stephan Michelson
ABSTRACT: The phrase “Driving While Black” may refer to the hypothesis that police officers make excessive highway stops of minorities or to differential treatment of drivers after such a stop, based on their race. This article reviews studies that claim to confirm the former hypothesis. It finds their conclusions unsupported. Specific problems with the studies include (1) disparity between the way data on the race of speeders are collected and the officers’ view of the driver, (2) faulty definition of the population of speeders from which stops are selected, (3) incorrect statistical procedure (single pool test where multiple pools test is called for), (4) failure to exclude cause—be it speeding or other infraction—as the basis for stops, and (5) failure to account for differential police allocation to more “troubled” areas. The “Driving While Black” hypothesis might be correct, but the lack of statistical support for it is particularly troubling as these faulty studies have been presented as evidence in litigation.
Full paper doesn't appear to be available on line. Further discussion by David Post.

Fake Hate crime- 

At the Claremont Colleges.

This is following on the "hate crime" of the HMC students burning a cross. Sounds bad, huh? Actually, they apparently stole a cross that was supposed to be "art" and burned it in the fire pit. Nobody(other than the ones who burned it) knew anything about it being burned until they found the remains in the fire pit. Do I really need to explain the whole burning cross thing? If somebody sets a cross upright in a prominent place where people can see it and sets it afire, that could be construed as racial intimidation. If somebody tosses a cross in a fire pit where nobody can see it and burns it, this is not racial intimidation. The students who did this were guilty of vandalism, and they should be punished, but I don't see racism. It seems as if the racial component of that story was wholly created by concerned "activists".

This is where Kerri Dunn comes in. The news story quotes several people saying how they can't believe she could have done this. She comes long after my time and obviously I have no experience with her, but reading the full description in the story, I find it very believable. She comes across as exactly the sort of irresponsible, emotionally adolescent person who seems to make up the outrage community. The part where she gets angry because students aren't outraged enough is very telling. People like this don't so much hate racism as much as the love being outraged about racism. If the racism doesn't exist, they have to create it, whether that means ascribing racial motives where there are none, or creating incidents from scratch, if need be.

New York Times Magazine misrepresents Bush environmental record. 

What a surprise. From Easterbrook.

Sunday, April 04, 2004


Multiculturalism 

I like this.
”Multiculturalism is a recipe for disintegration and instead we should have a common culture that also embraces differences.”
-Roger Scruton
In the Guardian.

Trouble in Deutschland 

In the Telegraph. (From MWQ)

Friday, April 02, 2004


Awkward interruptions 

Tim Blair-
Still, it wasn’t as bad as the time I was on radio from my old newspaper office in Melbourne, trying to revive interest in the dying thing I was editing, when an enraged reporter burst in and screamed: “This story idea of yours is [expletive deleted]! You think it’s so good, you do it yourself!”

I tried to blame that on my “aviary”, too. Didn’t work.


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