Saturday, April 29, 2006


The economy rarely ever gets better than it is right now. I wonder if people will soon figure out that they're living in very good times...

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What a way to go... 

I may have figured out the best way to liquidate bin Laden when we apprehend him...

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Audience is now Deaf 

The story behind the THX "Deap Note".

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A Photo History of Netflix Mailers 

Because of popular demand. I aim to please.

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A special kind of hell 

So, I was reading this article on the London Times' website about British attitudes towards intellectualls. In doing so I came upon this gem:
It is no accident that the two most important public intellectuals in America — Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens — are both British.
After I finished choking on my tea (Earl Grey, ironically), I couldn't bring myself to finish reading the article. If the author really thinks that Andrew Sullivan is one of the two most important 'public intellectuals' in the country, why should I trust anything else he writes?

Man, what kind of hell would we all be living in if that statement from the Times was actually true? Clearly, the author of the above piece confused celebrity with importance, and made almost no consideration of substance... To see what I mean, refer to Jonah Goldberg's forthcoming book What the hell happened with Andrew Sullivan.

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This phenomenon sounds a lot like what occurs on grade school playgrounds, or in junior-high and high school social settings. However, the difference is that it is a persecution by very educated people.

I think it'll be quite useful to keep this term and research about it in the back of my mind--being prepared is always prudent.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

The Joys of Shaving 

An excellent essay on shaving and more.

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Elizabeth II's Birthday 

I like to think that there is much in common between the English-speaking nations of the world (Britain, the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, pseudo-nation Hong Kong, and India). However, at least in the case of Britain, I was slapped in the face with a sentiment that is completely foreign to the American mindset: "Long live the Queen! And long may she reign over us!"

I found that phrase at the end of quite a good article commemorating Elizabeth II's eightieth birthday; however, when I came to it I couldn't help but cringe. Why would I cringe, especially because I really respect the British people's sentiment and loyalty to the Queen? I think the simple answer is that the founding generations of these great United States did a very thorough job in imbibing their new nation with a general distrust and unlove (at the very least) for monarchy and for the words "King" and "Queen" when applied to real political leaders. I have much less of a problem with nobility and aristocracies (although those of the smart and wise are those that I support, not mindless hereditary types), but that's probably just becasue I am generally an elitist (although I do love the common man, I still can't help but feel disgusted at the general ignorance and stupidity of most people--but that's not my point). However, the thought of monarchy just makes me cringe, even now as I write this.

Long live the Anglosphere (and what does that mean?--probably a great fealty to John Locke, at least as interpreted by Allan Bloom), and may it dominate a free world for centuries to come. However, this little phrase reminds me that there are still minor differences--even a powerless Queen in a distant land that should bother me not the least leaves me cringing uncontrollably--between the great inheritors of the Western philisophical tradition. God Bless America--ah, that's so much better.

Now I'll go read the Declaration of Independence to purge myself...

What American can't help but smile and feel noble and uplifted after reading these words:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
I know I can't.

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Esprit d'Escalier 

What were Larry Summers' last words on leaving Harvard University? "Kiss me, Harvey".

I laughed histerically at that. Yeah, I'm a geek...

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

un po' di rispetto, eh? 

From Mr. Nordlinger:
When I need cheering up, I like to think of that glorious moment when Charles de Gaulle told Dean Rusk that he wanted all American troops out of France, pronto. Replied Rusk, "Would that include the ones buried in the military cemeteries, General?" This must be the greatest riposte in American history.

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The Brick Testament 

This is awesome...

Check out the Lego version of the last supper especially, heh.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

On Geniuses 

They have peccadillos like the rest of us. Here's an amusing example:
Richard Feynman, a Nobel prize-winning physicist who helped develop the atomic bomb and figure out the source of the shuttle Challenger explosion, visited strip clubs nearly daily near his home in California. He mainly worked on lectures and equations there. But for breaks, Feynman would watch the dancers and draw them. His wife, his third marriage by this time, was fine with this.

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On Geniuses 

They have peccadillos like the rest of us. Here's an amusing example:
Richard Feynman, a Nobel prize-winning physicist who helped develop the atomic bomb and figure out the source of the shuttle Challenger explosion, visited strip clubs nearly daily near his home in California. He mainly worked on lectures and equations there. But for breaks, Feynman would watch the dancers and draw them. His wife, his third marriage by this time, was fine with this.

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It's the gas prices, stupid 

Apparently, Americans determine presidential approval by gas prices, or something that is directly related to gas prices...

You know, the fact that the economy is in such good shape that the stockmarket goes up the day oil goes to eighty bucks a barrel should mean something, but apparently most people just don't get that (I mean, the economy has to be ridiciulously robust to take such a hit in energy prices and to grow at over 4.5%--if oil was low, it'd have to be approaching the best ever in the last several decades...)

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I wish I had $500 

And no, not for liquor... This looks much more intoxicating.

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Brit Hume's Journey 

The WaPo has posted this article on Brit Hume's political journey to the right. I haven't had a chance to read it yet (it's a bit long and I have class soon), but I thought I'd post it up now so some other might read it (and so I won't forget to read it=)

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To Bomb, or Not to Bomb 

You must read this article on Iran.

As has been said before many times by Victor Davis Hansen, the choice is between a lesser evil of blowing the Iranian program to hell now and dealing with the consequences, or doing nothing and courting very possible futures that are much, much worse.

Personally, I'd rather deal with the evil we know now, than with the genocides that could easily occur in the future.

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On the Pulitzers 

AKA "Prizes for Excellence in the Compromising of National-Security Secrets".

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Happiness and Rationality 

This post on how the brain tends to immitate people that are around you is a must read--it also delves into the well-documented phenomenon that happy people tend to be more rational than those that tend to be angry.

I think, lately, this helps to explain politics a lot. The left tends to be quite angry right now (and hence, often much less thinking and rational--and you know hearing that would just make many lefties more angry). However, many on the right seem to have a positive "the world is not perfect but it's not so bad either" kind of view (now, obviously, there are many, many exceptions to this dichotimy; however, I think overall it stands up well). That's how I approach things. The world is screwed up in a lot of ways (Iran trying to get nukes, for example), but it's also pretty good. But, I know history, so I know things could be worst beyond anything I've every experienced in my life. But, sadly, most people know little or no history...

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Monday, April 17, 2006

If JP Morgan were alive... 

An old column from Niall Ferguson that I stumbled across and found interesting...

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If we were spending 37 percent of GDP on defense spending, we'd be colonizing Mars right now...

Those figures are very handy when someone says that the wars of the last few years have been expensive. In terms of the size of the US economy, they have been remarkably cheap.

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I like sovereignty. 

Why don't other people?

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Let's cut some taxes 

Here's a list of some taxes that Mr. Murdock argues should be cut to help the GOP in November, as well as the pocketbooks of most Americans Also, an excerpt:
Congress also should terminate the luxury tax on beer. That's right, beer. In 1990, as part of his notorious "Read my lips" tax hike, President G.H.W. Bush doubled the federal excise tax on beer from $9- to $18-per- barrel. While the luxury taxes on furs, yachts, and private airplanes were repealed, the Tax Code still treats beer like champagne. According to the Beer Institute, 44 percent of beer's retail price consists of taxes. As Steve Stanek wrote in the September 2005 Budget & Tax News, "The beer industry estimates the excise tax increase has resulted in the loss of nearly 60,000 jobs in brewing, distributing, retailing, and related industries." Congress should chug a few, then halve this levy back to $9. Better yet, stop taxing beer.

With such votes behind them, Republican lawmakers confidently can face their own base. If not, GOP voters will snooze November 7 and let spineless, spendthrift Republican congressmen confront enraged Democrats — like Christians tossed to the lions.
Only like?

Anyway, I'd really like it if beer dropped in price by a bit, since the ale I like is not cheap (compared to, say, Coors or Bud).

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Why Harvey Mansfield is awesome 

Lopez: Are their policy preferences that come with being manly? Can you be for restrictive gun regulations and manly, for instance?

Mansfield: One could be manly and favor gun control. Guns are less manly than swords.

Don't you love how the word "manliness" rolls off the tongue?

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This delighted me, almost as much as Vodka 

A little ditty on Vodka in Russia:
Etymologically, vodka in Russian means "little water." And because the average Russian guzzles a world-best 5.2 gallons per year, a little water has gone a long way in damaging the collective body politic. A few years ago, the Finnish physician directing the Russian office of the World Health Organization explained: "If you did this in Finland, half the population would be dead in a year. This is clearly not normal."
The rest is as well written, and as funny.

Na zdarovye!

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I know this is old, but it's just great. If more liberals were like that, I'd sleep better at night.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Is he or isn't he? 

Is Robert Kagan a Straussian or not? When I read the above linked piece, I get the impression that he's being terribly ironic and is really saying that he is a Straussian. Is that really what he means, or is he just being ironic enough to get someone who thinks people often write esoterically to bite? (This way madness lies...-edI know, I know...!)

Andrew, read Kagan's piece and tell me what you think. So far, every time I run into an opinion of that article, it seems that people (like at Powerline) take Mr. Kagan at his world. However, because of so many seeming hints in the article, it seems that he's being terribly ironic (Allan Bloom putting a cigar out on the hand of a child at a poker game?! He can't be serious about that, which leads me to believe that much of the rest is also ironic. Also, when he says that he never understood a word of Strauss--that seems to be ironic as well...)

Am I crazy, or is he REALLY saying he's a Straussian? That's what I thought when I was being terribly pompous and wrote this post about Kagan's piece. Of course, that very night I had been carefully reading Thoughts on Machiavelli, so I might have just been drunk on Strauss at the time.

UPDATE: If any readers (the few brave souls out there--all 8 of you) care to weigh in, I'd be delighted.

Another UPDATE: Just in case you haven't read Strauss, or didn't really 'get' it when you did, this article here provides a really useful summary of much of Strauss' arguments. And then, of course, you can always go and read Bloom.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Some info on illegal aliens 

"By the way, if you don't get picked [for the work crew that day] you go do what idle young men always do a long way from home: fight, drink, gamble, whore, thieve and generally get into trouble.
Read the rest.

And if you think this take is unfair, read Shakespeare. That guy understood the young male mind very well.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Iran moving to have capacity to build bombs in 16 day cycles 

Some anonymous State Dept. official Stephen Rademaker is saying this...

IF it's true (and that is a big if--although, what do you do if it really is true and you don't act?), it's about to hit the fan.

Time for the US Air Force to earn its keep. I, for one, welcome massive and decapitating air strikes on Iran. They couldn't be directed at a more deserving enemy.

UPDATE: Well, given that the source isn't anonymous (I misread the article originally), but the US State undersecretary for int'l security and non-proliferation, this seems like it could be the shock needed to justify impending air strikes.

But, unless on the inside of the Bush administration, one can only really hope they'll act appropriately and blow Iran 'back to the stone age'. Really.

Read the whole article.

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“Ayatollah, Don’t Khomeini Closer” 

To not decapitate the Iranian government now is to merely court very bad things in the future:
Once again, we face a choice between bad and worse options. There can be no “surgical” strike in any meaningful sense: Iran’s clients on the ground will retaliate in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and Europe. Nor should we put much stock in the country’s allegedly “pro-American” youth. This shouldn’t be a touchy-feely nation-building exercise: rehabilitation may be a bonus, but the primary objective should be punishment—and incarceration. It’s up to the Iranian people how nutty a government they want to live with, but extraterritorial nuttiness has to be shown not to pay. That means swift, massive, devastating force that decapitates the regime—but no occupation.
Iran, as the above article explains, has shown complete contempt for international norms. To try to engage the government through such routes is futile and dangerous. As the article says, the only result will be more westerners dead, and even more bold wackjobs in Tehran.

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Want to consume an afternoon? 

Read the posts comprising this debate revolving around Leo Strauss and 'Straussians'...

It probably won't be so interesting if you haven't read Strauss. If you have, it's great (in a self-flaggelating kind of way).

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Quote of the Day 

Well, it's more of a short exchange. However, you should check it out anyway--it exhibits a really hard-core British conservative.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"Gun control is bullshi*t" 

Good stuff. While I may disagree with most of Penn and Teller's politics, this makes me like them alot more. Especially because it is so persuasive--you can never discount the power of effective rhetoric.

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Quote of the Day 

My centre is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent, I am attacking.

--Marshal Foch, in a dispatch from the Battle of the Marne, which stopped the German advance into France at the beginning of WWI.

Check out the article I found that quote in, which is an interesting analysis of the failures of France and Italy as of late, and the muddled future that Europe seems to have.

Also, an interesting factoid: "Since [1789], France has had five republics, two monarchies, two empires, two occupations, and one dictatorship."

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Fact of the Day 

While listening to the radio this morning while doing a biology lab report, I heard an interesting fact:

The crime rate in London is currently seven times that of New York City.

Surprising, isn't it? Well, surprising if you didn't know how well a police force and government that is soft on crime synergizes with a populace that is not allowed to arm themselves with firearms for protection.

Currently in London, if you make a death threat, burglarize a business or home, commit assault, or molest and underage child, you are given a warning and a ticket, and then let go. That's it.


The report ended by saying that England and Wales, of the developed parts of the Western world, are the most unsafe due to crime.

But many English will accuse us of being foolish Americans. Who's really the fool?

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Let's Annex Mexico! 

That's what Glenn Reynolds argues is the best solution to the immigration problem from the south.

Hmmm...I guess even more warmongers are throwing caution to the wind.

Of course, one could make a good argument that if the US were to strike Mexico, it would roll over even faster than it did last time around...

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Re: Re: On Condi's Music 

Exactly. The reason I like her so much is not just because I agree with her politics. It's because she's absolutely brilliant. However, she also seems to be a good leader. Brilliance and leadership are a rare combination at the level of her abilities. I hope for the sake of the country that she runs for POTUS, but she probably won't. That too is probably also due to her intelligence--why have your reputation ruined by a hostile press when you can instead be playing Brahms? I'd go with the Brahms myself.

She also seems to have good taste--the Brahms Quintet in f minor is a great piece.

Also, a little note: she inspired me to practice my violin for the first time in about two months.

Hmmm... Bloom, in _The Closing of the American Mind_, says that you should have heros that you emulate. Given that Ms. Rice is a scholar, a statesman (I'm not saying stateswoman), and music lover, she certainly has virtues that I want to emulate. Of course, the fact that I name a woman as a hero I want to emulate might be a bit of a problem given Mr. Mansfields arguments in _Manliness_, but I could counter by saying that Condi, like Ms. Thatcher in the past, is a bit of a manly woman (in the best sense you can take that--not insulting at all). Which reminds me, at the end of this not-so-little rambling digression: When Reagan said that Thatcher was the best man in England, I don't think he meant it as just a joke. I think he meant it as a high compliment and salute to her leadership.

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Re: Condi on Piano 

After reading the NYT story about Condoleezza Rice's pianist pursuits, I am somehow emboldened enough to attempt to usurp, albeit temporarily, Jason's strangle hold on the quote of the day.
People often ask her, Ms. Rice said that day, whether playing chamber music is relaxing. "It's not exactly relaxing if you are struggling to play Brahms," she explained. "But it is transporting. When you're playing there is only room for Brahms or Shostakovich. It's the time I'm most away from myself, and I treasure it."

She continues to remind me why she is the most under appreciated woman in politics, exhibiting a depth of intellect, character and class which her democratic peers are woefully lacking.

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A lighter topic 

Yet another reason why Condi should be President. And this reason isn't what you'd think--I had no idea she was such an accomplished amateur pianist.

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This is disgusting treachery 

If this isn't treason, what is?

UPDATE: Just to be clear--I like immigration. Bring 'em in by the millions (I also highly support taking the world's 'first round draft picks' by granting visas very liberaly to engineers, scientists, and scholars--after at least a cursory background check, of course). Because LEGAL immigrants are in love with America, for if they weren't they wouldn't spend years jumping through the bureaucratic hoops to get here and become citizens; my cousin recently married a russian girl, and that was very tasking process getting her here so they could get married. Also, my ancestors are legal immigrants (Broander is swedish, but I also have scottish, welsh, and jewish roots), so of course I support LEGAL immigration.

Illegal aliens are NOT Americans. They are criminals. And when illegal aliens go out asserting political rights that belong to CITIZENS ALONE, they are being seditious. And for that, they should be kicked out. And those that try to play the demagogue to these criminals are themselves seditious and bordering on treasonous.

Legal--yes. Illegal--never.

Again, we come back to the statement of our time.

I've made my choice--I prefer to keep my nation intact, instead of allowing it to dissolve into globalist, relativistic nihilism.

Another UPDATE: Now that I'm calmed a bit--what really irks me about all of this is that there isn't a politician calling for a border that isn't leaky, punishment and deportation (at least for the criminals among them) for the illegal alien lawbreakers, AND much larger numbers of legal visas, from Mexico but especially from the rest of the world. Simply because we're next to Mexico doesn't mean we shouldn't have control over our borders, and the ability to retain our sovereign right to determine who may be future Americans. The more the mearier. Make it easier to be illegal, and tougher to be illegal. And no amnest (and I'm not dense enough to call something that is amnesty by any other name, despite what John McCain might want me to think).

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Quote of the Day 

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it, and if one finds the prospect of a long war intolerable, it is natural to disbelieve in the possibility of victory.
--George Orwell

I think the implications of such a theory in todays climate, given my opinions written in the past, are obvious.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

This is not good... 

Scroll down a bit at this link...Lions are apparently eating people in great numbers in the souther countries of Africa. Apparently they've learned that people are rather tasty, and are even dragging them out of their homes. Ack.

I have to say I laughed at that. It's morbidly hilarious . Someone get those people some guns.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thoughts from a warmonger 

I guess I too am a warmonger:
All of this has been great for warmongers, but now, after three years in Iraq, three years of torched Bush and Blair effigies, it’s time to look ahead on the busy warmongering schedule. These imperialistic quests can be divided into two categories: threats to global security, and countries suffering from Invasion Ego (the overwhelming belief that the United States wants to attack you, and will drop every other pressing military need in order to do so). Sometimes these two overlap. Some countries are annoying ankle-biters and some are giant pains in the arse. All deserve close scrutiny from warmongers big and small.

Tops on the list is definitely Iran. I love the Iranian people, and global opposition to the mullahs is dedicated and vast, but that little Nazi turkey has to go. In fact, I wouldn’t just like to topple the regime in Iran, but I’d like to make Mahmoud Ahmadinejad my house slave. (That makes me a warmonger and an ACLU nightmare.) Lockdown at Gitmo would look like a Carnival Cruise after Mahmoud was finished buffing and organizing my shoe collection. Every day he’d have to watch Schindler’s List. And Iranians would be able to have fun again without fear of being smacked by religious police.

I wonder if she's single?

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Monday, April 03, 2006

A Highlight of My Day 

I wish I had tickets...

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A Useless fact 

Next Wednesday at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00AM, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.

That won't ever happen again --- ever.
Better have a party...

UPDATE: This fact is proven even more useless because this strange instance will happen again every century...

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Sunday, April 02, 2006


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The statement of our time 

Democracy, immigration, multiculturalism: pick any two.

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'Flight 93' Trailer Pulled 

Sad, really. People want to ignore and forget what happened. That's why support for US efforts to secure itself are growing more unpopular. If the MSM would show the video of the airplanes hitting the WTC every day, we'd win the war easily, because support would not wane.

Going back into the bubble of western materialism without any thought for the people that want to kill everyday Americans will only lead to more days like 9/11 (I don't object to materialism and capitalism per say [and democracy and liberty as well], I merely object to living that life without thought to what it takes to maintain it, and what it takes to protect it against the real threats that exist against it). I wish more people would have some perspective, and some sense.

Never forget. Because Lord Acton got it right.

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Dr. Doom--for real? 

Apparently a couple hundred members of the Texas Academy of science have genocidal morals that make the Nazis look tame by comparison. A certain Dr. Eric Pianka, at a recent scientific conference before the Texas Academy of Science, advocated the killing of 5 billion humans of the world's population by means of the very lethal and very painful Ebola virus. The virus that liquifies your internal organs. He recieved a standing ovation from the audience.

Yeah. There are a lot of crazy people in elite academic positions. Too bad they don't get the publicity they deserve. Not because their ideas are anything but crazy and evil in a very real sense (and if advocationg killing billions of innocent people is not crazy and evil, those words have no real meaning). But because people need to know that there are these crazy and evil people out there indoctrinating others who may cary out their mad theories one day.

Islamofascism a threat? Hell, that's small potatoes compared to this insane secular genocide.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Immigration Common Sense 

Couldn't have said it better myself. More to come on the whole issue next week.

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