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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terry Schiavo 

has Died.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

University Faculties tilt Left 

Evidence is out that backs this common assertation.

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When Terry met Jessie 

Sometimes conflict can forge odd, and seemingly unlikely alliances. For once, Jessie and I are on the same side! The Schiavo case has been beaten into the ground by both sides, (Excellent editorial here , a somewhat off economic analysis here and Andrew McCarthy on legal ramifications here) but I have gathered from heated exchanges with the liberal student body that most people are forming there opinions based on faulty information. Terry Schiavo is not on life support, contrary to what many people will attempt to tell you. Anyone who has ever seen a newborn being breastfed, or even a person on a glucose IV Drip has seen exactly what is going on here, or at least was. And as for the shaky "Consistent Vegetative" diagnosis, we have only to look to some of the worse-off cases in elderly homes to glimpse cases that could pass for the same (although I wonder, if some "pro-death" folks got there way, how long they too would be around). Unfortunately, it seems that Jessie's intervention will be too little to late, and for once its a shame.
Joining conservatives who have rallied to the Schindlers' cause, the liberal Jackson said he would call state senators who opposed legislation that would have reinserted Schiavo's feeding tube and ask them to reconsider.

"I feel so passionate about this injustice being done, how unnecessary it is to deny her a feeding tube, water, not even ice to be used for her parched lips," Jackson said. "This is a moral issue and it transcends politics and family disputes."
Terry is close to gone, if reports from her husbands lawyer(Midway through article) are any indication. But this is not a vindicating cause of the tube removal, but rather a inhumane and grisly outcome. Jackson cuts to the heart of the issue: this is not depriving extraneous treatment, but basic human needs. Stop feeding me, and I too will die. And as many have noted, placing a gun to her head and streamlining the process would hardly be acceptable, but it is both quicker and less painful, and about the same thing as what is happening now. For the sake of brevity, although not wit, I'm not going to rant about the specifics, others have done it better than I could. But the simple fact remains that Terry is not dead; removing the feeding tube is not allowing her to die, it is killing her.

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Spring Quarter 

We're back at college, so blogging should be nice and steady for the next couple of months.

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Over at NRO 

Steven Vincent has an excellent article about some of the causes and ripple down effects of the Democratic agitation in the middle east. I think he underplays the influence of the internet, however, both in the middle-east and throughout the non-democratic world. Not to pat ourselves on the back or anything, but the blogosphere is as responsible as anyone else for the amount of attention both the Ukrainian and the Syrian incidents received. Much more fundamentally, the free flow of information across the internet is something completely alien to the environment of stifling religious-legal intermixing and strict state controlled media. Governments are powerless to silence it, although they definately try. Pro-democracy advertisements from the Iraq elections were even available online, an inspiring sight even here in the west. The impetus for change is already present, especially in the youth of these areas who are no longer content to live in a bubble of theocratic stagnation, and the availability of media and information are helping to catalyze the growing movements across the middle east region. All that is necessary now is the spark to ignite popular upheaval, and the hope that President Bush will stand by his pledge.

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Be Warned 

Over at Chicago Boyz, In-Cog-Nito characterizes Agence France Presse's suit against Google as a "shot across the bow" by the MSM.
Pretty smart move. If they sued a helpless individual, they would get the free speech/uproar factor. Sue another media company with deep pockets, and no one really cares. It becomes a technical fight by lawyers. Fight it out, and get a ruling on the side of copyright protection. Then use this ruling as a saber to rattle down the road.

It's pretty tempting to think this way. But I think that this opinion credits the MSM too much. It's not as if old media is some sort of unified, international monolithic entity, and it's extremely unlikely that the sort of planning that In-Cog-Nito and others attribute to this move actually went on. What this suit is indicative of is a MSM, especially in France, that is painfully behind the times and ultimately bewildered by what's been happening in the past couple of years. Will it be useful for anti-blogger forces down the road? Certainly. But that sort of thing is inevitable. We just have to be prepared to defend our rights when it comes along.

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Just one word 

about Terri Schiavo: You don't kill a convicted criminal by starving him to death. Why do it to a victim?

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

More Democracy on the march... 

The world just seems to keep proving the Neo-Cons right. Before mentioning that "yes, Zimbabwe is a democracy," I would note that Hussein Iraq held elections as well, yet few would call that a democracy.
In 2000, the MDC candidate was run out of town and his house torched. His supporters were allegedly tortured at ruling party headquarters.

Clearly there are some things wrong here. Yet in the weeks preceding the election, the political climate has opened, and unprecedented amounts of freedom have been afforded opposition candidates. Why?
The US calls Zimbabwe one of the world's least democratic nations...The globally isolated government may have encouraged a more open climate, observers say, because it seeks more international legitimacy.
Think these two aren't related? Its time for opponents of the Neo-Con policy to wake up and smell the freedom, long fermenting and finally being unleashed in the less-than-savory corners of the world. Still can't see it, better think again...

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Thought of the Day 

Kind of silly, but I laughed at this. It's excerpted from some advice John Scalzi wrote on being a writer:
I Don't Care If You're a Better Writer Than Me.

Because why should I? Yes, words drip from your pen like liquid gold skittering across the finest vellum ever pounded out of a lamb. Trees weep with gratitude that their deaths afford you the paper upon which you will cast your thoughts. That's very nice for you. Meanwhile, I've got my own books to write, projects to develop and clients to make happy. Your preternatural ability to weave filigreed musings into deathless prose impacts my life not at all.

I of course accept your superiority to me in the great hierarchy of writers -- clearly, confronted with your brilliance, how could I not? I just don't care. Unless you intend to spend all your time trying to thwart my career because you can't bear to contemplate my muddy work sullying the field of endeavor over which you float, carried by the angels, simply as a practical matter what you do and what I do will have very little to do with each other.

I suspect my feeling here will be echoed by other writers. Be as brilliant as you want to be, friend. Just don't expect the rest of us to look up from our toil to stare agape as you waft by.


UPDATE: Here's some more hilarity from Scalzi as he dishes out advice to wannabe writers:
Don't Be An Ass.

Did you know that writers, editors and publishers will forget their own names and the names of their children, spouses and pets before they forget the tiniest of slights that you as a fellow writer might inflict upon them? It's true. Verily, they could be in the throes of an advanced, prion-twisting affliction that wipes their memories clean like a Magna-Doodle in an MRI, and yet if your name is but whispered from across the room, their eyes will blaze and they will exclaim "that bastard!" before lapsing back into the blank darkness. That being the case, why would you go out of your way to antagonize these people unless it is absolutely necessary -- which it almost never, ever is?

In this life, and in this field, you're going to have enough problems as it is. Don't make any more enemies than you have to. Try to be nice. And if you can't be nice, then shut the hell up and go stand in the corner with your drink and leave all the rest of us alone. Yes, yes, you're right and everyone else is wrong. That -- like your immense talent -- is a given. But just because you're right doesn't mean you should be a dick about it.

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The Truth is Out There 

13 things in science that do not make sense...

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Finals Week Chugs along 

Loyal readers, in a few days we will be done, and the posting will resume in bulk;)

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How we won Iraq 

A laundry list of reasons why Iraq is on track...

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Scalia: "[W]e have rendered the Constitution useless" 

He's right. Judicial fiat rules the day.

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Jackson is Innocent 

Humour me while I discuss a not-so-important matter: If what this report says is anywhere near accurate, Jackson is the victim of a family that is trying to steal his fortune and his freedom from him.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Anti-Syrian Protests in Lebanon are enormous 

Instapundit has pictures.

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Lebanon resistance will not be silenced 

The glorious opposition massed again today, in an incredible display (Check out the pictures). This thing is not going away, and this latest demonstration is a clear counter to those who thought that the sheer size of the pro-Syrian rally would deter the movement, or that the pro-Syrian march represented the will of the people. The problems continue for the dems and Euro-lefties alike, as they realize that they were, as usual, more wrong that they could have thought. The current trend seems to be grdually hedging back to the US's side, by slowly changing stances (see the IHT article, scroll pages at the bottom). More importantly, a pro-democratic outcome can only spell more trouble for Hezzbollah, despite some commentators thoughts to the contrary: Hezzbollah is a largely pro-Syrian terrorist group, and these two traits will not, or at least should not, bode well in a democratic Lebanon.

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Post something on AIM... 

...and AOL has perpetual rights to it. Wow. What slime they are... I'm never using it again now.

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Sunday, March 13, 2005

That '62 Sedan Was a Real Bomb 

Just like that headline...

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The newspapers of the country... 

...in a roundup of the influence and mindset of those that read them. Quite funny.

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Who's black? 

In England, they don't know. Probably don't know here, either...

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Here's an update 

Laugh a little:


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The fastest way to kill off your readership... 

...is to say you're taking a short break. Sheesh. Please come back when finals week is over=)

In the meantime, read about Israel's plans to strike Iran's nuclear reactor...

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Blogging will be light 

It's finals time here at the UofC, so the blogging from all of us will probably be light for the next week and a half or so. Please keep coming back, we'll try to post updates when we can, and will definately be back in force after exams are over=)

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Lebanon, Hezbollah and Freedom 

The effects of Bastardized Islam were evident again today, in the form of the "pro-Syrian" protests in Lebanon. Pro-syrian here seems to be a not so veiled euphemism for anti- American.
The rally, organized by the armed Shiite Muslim party Hezbollah, filled a huge plaza in central Beirut ...Hundreds of chanting protesters held aloft pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad and placards reading, in English, "All Our Disasters Come From America" and "No for the American Intervention." While providing stark evidence of the size of Syria's support in Lebanon, the rally also underscored Hezbollah's deep concerns over foreign demands that it give up a potent arsenal that is a legacy of civil war..."I say to the Syrians, 'We are the Lebanese who are loyal, decent people,' " Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's secretary general, told the raucous crowd. "Syria is not only present as an army. It is present in the heart, the mind and the future of Lebanon."


In an statement of strange terrorist to terrorist appeasement, Nasrallah betrays his true intentions. Without Syrian support, Radical Islamic doctrine continues to fall, a goal of not only the US but of all free people.(incidentally, has it occurred to anyone that the US has hardly "intervened" at all, despite a recent assassination!?!) Like the insurgency in Iraq, these people are fighting to keep alive a dying dogma, a backward doctrine blind to progress and the will of the people. Its no surprise that the Sunnis make up the bulk of the Pro-syrian support. The spread of democracy has been opposed in every place it has recently blossomed by those who would benefit from its undoing. We all know what will happen if Syria leaves, and democracy is allowed to grow: there will be no place for terror and radical doctrines. The anti-Syrian protestors started something, and lets hope it gets finished.

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Quote of the Day 

Nothing is worse than war?
Dishonor is worse than war.
Slavery is worse than war.
- Winston Churchill (quote found here)

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Yeah, it's trite, but... 

...I'll say it anyway.

That's no moon, it's a space station!


(via Vodkapunit)

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Are we on the verge of a classical music rennaisance? 

Possibly, expecially since modernism seems to have killed itself off. There's certainly a void to be filled--look at the new reaches of banality that pop and rock reaches every month. There is room for good music; I hope a new generation of composers can awaken the publics interest in classical--this'll lead to both an appreciation of the new and the popular and the old and the popular. And I'll have more people to talk about the music I love with=)

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The Greatest threat to academic freedom... 

...comes from within the academy. It's the culture of being 'innofensive' that's destroying academic freedom, says Frank Furedi.

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The iLife 

Technology ain't so great all the time, says Andrew Sullivan.

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Dartblog 

Check out the musings of a kindred spirit at Dartmouth...

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Alternate Quote of the Day 

I want to die peacefully, in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming, terrified, like his passengers.
- from here...

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True Fame... 

...is being on the side of a StarBucks cup...

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In Praise of Wolfowitz 

Brooks delivers a peroration on the chief of the neocons, saying we should give him his due.

Hey, Brooks, just to let you know, I've been on this velociraptor's side since back in the day...

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This may be a bit innapropriate... 

...but some of you will find it funny:
Time and again in the last two centuries, France has refused to come to grips with its diminished status as a country whose greatest general was a foreigner, whose greatest warrior was a teenage girl, and whose last great military victory came on the plains of Wagram in 1809.
- from here...

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What's the opposite of Schadenfreude? 

Gluckschmerz.

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Quote of the Day 

The past is never dead. It's not even past.
- Faulkner

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Monday, March 07, 2005

Reclaiming the Marshes of Iraq 

Here's a good story of people working to undo damage that Saddam's regime wrought.

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If they had checked their hearts... 

...instead of yelling nay for the last few years, questions like the following wouldn't be necessary:

Every good human being knows democracy and freedom are right when they stop the useless invective and think for a moment... (Via Glenn Reynolds; "HEH" is right--hopefully more of the sweet taste of victory will caress our palates in the future as more in the world learn of freedom; But, I'm not gloating just yet...)

Here's a bit from the news story that accompanies the above image:
It is barely six weeks since the US President delivered his second inaugural address, a paean to liberty and democracy that espoused the goal of "ending tyranny in our world". Reactions around the world ranged from alarm to amused scorn, from fears of a new round of "regime changes" imposed by an all-powerful American military, to suspicions in the salons of Europe that this time Mr Bush, never celebrated for his grasp of world affairs, had finally lost it. No one imagined that events would so soon cause the President's opponents around the world to question whether he had got it right.
Read the whole thing, it's quite an elegant summary of the change in political climate concerning Bush and his policies.

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'Reed's Rules' 

Here's why the House's rules don't allow a tyranny of the minority; read especially if you're a history nut, this is good stuff.

(As an aside, I've always been fond of the nickname that Washingtonians have called the chair's ability to make a ruling to override philibusters--the 'nuclear option').

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The Chicken Vac 

This strikes me as verging on cruelty...

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Chimpanzee Mauling 

Sadly, I'm not kidding...

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If oil prices... 

...are unrealistically high, as says a Saudi representative that claims there is no global shortage, what's causing the high prices? Is the oil market predicting a wave of revolutions or invasions in the Middle East?

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Yet another reason why Ted Rall... 

...is an idiot.

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Inspiration of the Day 

Chew on this one for a while:
Hell is God's great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice.
- G. K. Chesterton, taken from The Case for Faith

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Communal Farms 

What a great idea, Hugo; such an economic setup clearly worked for Stalin and the CCCP...

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Quote of the Day 

I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.
- John Locke

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Usage Police APD 

'Beg[ging] the question' is a bad idea, at least according to one expert at Random House...

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

May you be born... 

...in interesting times, indeed.

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I really dodged a bullet... 

...being born in 1983, because from the looks of it, 1978 was a strange, alien, disturbing time. I don't even think being alive to see Star Wars debut would have made the inhuman suffering worth it...

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Reforming the CIA 

Some very good ideas in this article that I hope someone notices.

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A World Without Israel 

Israel is not the source of strife in the Middle East, as this article clearly explains.

There are reactions to it here, including a piece by Juan Cole that I have yet to read but I'm sure is a real scream...

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The Overstretch Myth 

Foreign Affairs (access required) has a very interesting article on why the US current acount defecit is not a threat to it's global economic hegemony.

Read the whole thing, but here's a section that explains that even a rapid flight from US dollars would be mitigated by man factors and would not lead to a US economic collapse:
Whichever perspective on the current account one favors, the United States cannot escape a growing external debt. The "hegemony skeptics" fear such debt will lead to a collapse of the U.S. dollar triggered by a precipitous unloading of U.S. assets. Such a selloff could result -- as in emerging-market crises -- if investors suddenly conclude that U.S. foreign debt has become unsustainably large. A panicky "capital flight" would ensue, as investors raced for the exits to avoid the falling dollar and plunging stock and bond prices.

But even if such a sharp break occurs -- which is less likely than a gradual adjustment of exchange rates and interest rates -- market-based adjustments will mitigate the consequences. Responding to a relative price decline in U.S. assets and likely Federal Reserve action to raise interest rates, U.S. investors (arguably accompanied by bargain-hunting foreign investors) would repatriate some of their $4 trillion in foreign holdings in order to buy (now undervalued) assets, tempering the price decline for domestic stocks and bonds. A significant repatriation of funds would thus slow the pace of the dollar decline and the rise in rates. The ensuing recession, combined with the cheaper dollar, would eventually combine to improve the trade balance. Although the period of global rebalancing would be painful for U.S. consumers and workers, it would be even harder on the European and Japanese economies, with their propensity for deflation and stagnation. Such a transitory adjustment would be unpleasant, but it would not undermine the economic foundations of U.S. hegemony.


The conclusion explains what the real threat to US economic hegemony for the long forseable future is, a sentiment that I wholeheartedly agree with:
Only one development could upset this optimistic prognosis: an end to the technological dynamism, openness to trade, and flexibility that have powered the U.S. economy. The biggest threat to U.S. hegemony, accordingly, stems not from the sentiments of foreign investors, but from protectionism and isolationism at home.

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The committee that runs the world 

It's not just a conspiracy theory, it's reality...

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Must-read article 

On Einstein, Godel, time, science, math, thought, and man...found here.

Here's a taste that I found extremely fascinating:
Some thinkers (like the physicist Roger Penrose) have taken this theme further, maintaining that Gödel’s incompleteness theorems have profound implications for the nature of the human mind. Our mental powers, it is argued, must outstrip those of any computer, since a computer is just a logical system running on hardware, and our minds can arrive at truths that are beyond the reach of a logical system.
If this conjecture is true, it would be absolutely breathtaking. But then, of course, it could just be that when a logical system like a computer reaches a certain complexity it can do the same sorts of things our mind does (after all, our mind could just be an extremel complex logical system). But then again, it could be something much more like the conjecture states.

And again, I find more evidence for God in the universe... =)

UPDATE: Here's something a bit less serious and much more funny from the same article:
“There it was, inconceivably, K. Goedel, listed just like any other name in the bright orange Princeton community phonebook,” writes Goldstein, who came to Princeton University as a graduate student of philosophy in the early nineteen-seventies. (It’s the setting of her novel “The Mind-Body Problem.”) “It was like opening up the local phonebook and finding B. Spinoza or I. Newton.” Although Gödel was still little known in the world at large, he had a godlike status among the cognoscenti. “I once found the philosopher Richard Rorty standing in a bit of a daze in Davidson’s food market,” Goldstein writes. “He told me in hushed tones that he’d just seen Gödel in the frozen food aisle.”

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Ouch 

This is devestating satire:


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Quote of the Day and more... 

Only the dead have seen the end of war.
- Plato*

*This attribution may be be false, as this link explains.

I quote this because I watched "Black Hawk Down" tonight with my girlfriend; the above quotation appears at the beginning of the film. I'm glad I watched the movie; every time I see the film it leaves me lost in my own thoughts once it's over. It is a profound work in my opinion.

The movie is so elegant for a couple of reasons. The first is the breathtaking cinematography. Not only is the action well-filmed, almost every shot is absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful, deep blacks and bright, breathtaking colors. The second is that it is a very simple film. It doesn't try to take issue with the politics surrounding the battle of Modadishu. It simply chronicles the events of the battle and explains them with the simple theme 'leave no one behind'. It's about the brotherhood of war, and war itself. It's about the heroism and courage of soldiers, and not any one soldier himself.

I hadn't seen the film for a few years, but it's given me renewed appreciation for the sacrifice that our forces have sustained during their operations on the United States' behalf in the world in recent years.

There's something about thoughtless bravery that just leaves me in awe, and this film portrays this perfectly. Watching "Black Hawk Down" leaves me wishing that I could be as those soldiers were and are, and hoping that if called I may be able to be so.

God bless the brave soldier.

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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Baby Name Histogram 

This is really cool. And there's a blog that goes with it. (Via Oxblog).

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A reporter by any other name 

Yesterday's news, I know. But I want to comment on the recent ruling on the Apple leak case.

I understand that the judge in question here is attempting to protect Apple's copyrights. However, it's pretty plain that he's not concerned about protecting the freedom of speech rights of most Americans. While allowing Apple to achieve market surprise, the ruling also restricts the newest and most vital of news sources, the blogosphere.

In a way, this is one of the only things that can slow the blogosphere down. If the government protects the Olde Media with rulings and legislation like this, all it does is subsidize inefficiency. As bloggers increasingly gain nortoriety and sources, rulings like this will only hold us all back.

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Quote of the Day 

Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.
- Ronald Reagan

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Friday, March 04, 2005

Military Resources 

Over at globalsecurity.org, there is a great summary of the US military of the past and present. I recommend checking it out...

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Re: FileSharing 

(Read the original post if this makes no sense) Jason hit the nail on the head here, and that's exactly my point. Even the idea that they would "adjust" the copyright laws to "protect artists" in the digital age sounds a lot like "adjusting" gun laws to "protect children." In reality both involving infringing on legitimate legal practices for a purported humanitarian/philanthropic/legal purpose. This sort of hedging is only delayig the inevitable. As for the likely outcome, I find it hard to believe that the Court would side with MGM on this one. Another interesting note:
Twenty-three briefs were filed Tuesday in support of StreamCast and Grokster. Among them was a group of computer scientists that includes David Clark, one of the original designers of the Internet. Also signing on is the National Venture Capital Association, a trade group representing 450 firms that account for about 85 percent of all new business funding. (emphasis added)

"Existing copyright laws provide severe penalties for such direct infringement," wrote Michael K. Kellogg, in a brief for the venture capitalists. "But the entertainment industry has never been satisfied with attacking direct instances of infringement."


Ouch...burned!

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Oops 

The Daily Show does a good job lampooning CBSs airing the unblured face of the presiding judge of Saddam's trial...

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I'm glad I'm an American 

One of the next-best countries in the world (one in which I"d live if I couldn't live here) seems to be pretty screwed up:
If the Royal Family is no longer protected by mystique, but rather is a group of hereditary celebrities competing with other celebrities for space on the front page, what can protect it from the kind of carping criticism that must ultimately destroy it? Can it claim to incarnate the nation, and thus act as a focus for patriotism? But British patriotism is dead — although a nasty form of nationalism remains a minority interest — while Welsh and Scottish patriotism consists mainly of self-pitying hatred of the English. There is no quicker way of emptying a room in Britain than to play the national anthem, which causes the acutest embarrassment. How can a God in whom no one believes be invoked to spare the life of a woman to whom all now believe themselves equal or even superior?
If I can understand why one would support one's monarch out of patriotism more than a Britain, especially when it's a monarchy that treated its country pretty well for the lst 400 years, and I'm an AMERICAN (one of a country that founded itself on a hatred of nobility), there's a problem for jolly old England...

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What have they ever done for us... 

Wisdom from Monty Python...

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Filesharing, Gun rights, and the Digital Revolution 

Intel weighed in recently on the issue that should be of concern to all conservatives: the March 29 supreme court hearing of MGM vs Grokster (list of briefs and petitions here). The decision in this case will either uphold or strike down the landmark betamax case, which ruled that Sony was not liable for copyright infringement committed with their recording equipment.

So why does this matter to anyone other than we college students? The implications of this suit will extend far beyond the realm of digital file sharing. If the court were to reverse the previous ruling, or propose new limitations and infringe upon it, the are opening the door to third party liability suits of the worst kind. (READ: Gun manufacturers). The anti-gun lobby is already salivating at the prospect of suits against gun manufacturers; ruling that the provider of a technology is liable for its use will only open the door to such litigation.

More importantly, it represents another chance for judicial activism to propose a legal precedent contrary to the will of the people. The idea that Ford motors should be responsible for the actions of a drunk driver is outlandish, but this case enjoys support among many simply because file-sharing is such a hot topic. Taking this one step further, this could be equated to the rise of the blogosphere (which suffered a hit today in an unrelated story), which the MSM fought tooth and nail and will continue to decry as it fades into an irrelevant second place. Digital media is the wave of the future, and it is the trend we are headed toward, not against. I can't help but think that the RIA missed the boat on this one. Had they gotten in on the mp3 craze at the beginning, licensing the music themselves, not through third party shams like iTunes that leave the artist with a Dime or less, they could have saved face and profited from a seamless transition to the age of digital media. As it stands, the Record industry and Hollywood elite stand like the monolithic CBS, painting itself as the angry grouch impeding progress and harassing Americans, and shooting itself, once again, in the foot.

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Assuming your heart doesn't stop... 

...Mr. Derbyshire. Lucky man.

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The Decline of Civlilization... 

This is twisted, yet I'm strangely amused. Probably because I find rabbit tasty...

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Key Iraq wound: Brain trauma 

Interesting, and unfortunate--a new injury is occuring because body armor is causingi troops to survive blasts that would have in the past killed them... It seems like it would be pretty hard to cure such an ailment, but we can hope and pray...

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125 Years Old 

Amazing. She may look unsightly, but the report says she is mentally sound. If one lives that long, think of all of the knowledge one could fill one's brain with in that time... Like Glenn Reynolds says, aging is a disease, one that needs to have a cure found...

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Blogging Good for the Brain? 

Stephen Green links to a story on this. But I seem to disagree. Instead of blogging, I could be studying ancient Greek or doing extra reading for my classes. But, I guess if one is out of school, blogging is probably better than not reading current events...

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Islamic Terrorists... 

...kill more muslims than infidels. Well, after seeing the last year of the Iraqi 'insurgency', that seems to be about right.

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Quote of the Day 

A censor is a man who knows more than he thinks you ought to.
- Granville Hicks

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Quote of the Day 

I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.
- Woody Allen

(This is tangentally related...)

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

New Nickel 

I concur with Oxblog, this nickle is really sharp looking.

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Greatest Moments 

You can vote for your favorite clips of the Daily Show. But before you do, watch all of them, they're priceless.

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Domino Effect Redux 

Domino effect indeed. First the Grey Lady, then Jon Stewart. What next...?

In Jon Stewart's interview transcript that I linked to above, I particularly like the following quote:
This could be unbelievable! ... [buries head in hands] Oh my God! [audience laughter] He's got, you know, here's-- ... He's gonna be a great--pretty soon, Republicans are gonna be like, "Reagan was nothing compared to this guy." Like, my kid's gonna go to a high school named after him, I just know it.
If things go so well that this happens, the world will be a much better place=)

UPDATE: Right now you can see the clip with the above from Jon Stewart here.

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The Domino Effect 

I thought, in light of recent posts by my blogging brothers here at MaroonBlog, this comic from Cox & Forkum was appropriate:


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Quote of the Day 

Late, but here it is anyway:
I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."
- Richard Feynman

(Little aside: what do you get when you combine Einstein and Feynman? Feynstein! I guess Sir Issac Feynstein is the perfect physicist... You can blame one of my nerdy friends here for causing me to have to mention this ridiculousness...)

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Ramblings concerning Nietzsche 

I responded to a comment below concerning the Nietzsche quote I posted that I thought some of you who are philosophically-minded might like to read.

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Neo Con explained 

Check out this interesting story explaining and defending the Neo-Conservative foreign policy. A must read. Incidentally, there was an interesting talk given this week at UC about the same topic, by the wily and wity Christopher Hitchens (Maroon article, excuse the lack of journalistic ability).

(Thanks, WMD)

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Re: Syria and Lebanon 

The opposition is keeping the pressure on, and it appears to be working.
Diplomats, meanwhile, said Egypt and Saudi Arabia are trying to win Syrian acceptance of a timetable for a complete withdrawal by April. The Arab mediation calls for Damascus to announce a withdrawal timetable "as soon as possible," another diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
No surprise there, considering the statement from President Bush two paragraphs later:
President Bush on Wednesday demanded in blunt terms that Syria get out of Lebanon, saying the free world is in agreement that Damascus’ authority over the political affairs of its neighbor must end now.

More importatnly, the United States has broad UN and European backing on this issue. There are prospects for multiple victories here.
First, the demand for a free democracy in Lebanon can only be called a victory for free people everywhere, and we have only to look to Ukraine, and to the source of middle east Democratic agitation, Iraq, to see the result of a collective cry for freedom. The statements by Egypt and Saudi Arabia also represent victories of a more strategic sense. True, both are allies in so far as they recieve billions in aide from the US every year, but its no secret that they are hardly waving the red white and blue in Riyadh. Its always nice to see that the uppity litle snots on the block are being kept in line. Perhaps equally important, the universal backing that the President has recieved will only help to mend sore ties between the US and Europe. Iran and Syria may be the issues over which alliances are rekindled. Also note Secretary of State Rice's powerful words regarding the suicide bombing in Israel. The US and its growing coalition are mounting evidence against Syria. Perhaps the Washington Post article said it best when it quoted one diplomat as explaining the Egyptian and Saudi intervention as designed "to save Syria from a serious conflict that will pitch it against the whole world." Damn right.

(Ed: I'd hate to be North Korea at a time like this)

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Inspiration of the Day 

The LORD hates ... a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
- Proverbs 6:16-19 (Click the link to see what inspired this quote choice)

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Hey you! 

If you're in to ancient texts, ancient greek, the Bible, or combinations of those, than you should check out this site. It's great, especially for someone like me who's learning to read ancient greek (and the Bible in ancient greek).

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Quote of the Day 

But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
- Friedrich Nietzsche

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