Contradictions

Christopher Hitchens points out a few problems concerning the compatibility of religious-right doctrine with that of freedom. To wit: The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100%. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. . . . Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some god-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.” “Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother.” And he said, “All these have I kept…

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One Way or Another, Freedom Will Reign

Arthur Herman has a short but powerful remembrance of the ending of WWII 60 years ago this week. He sums it up like this: This is in fact the basic lesson of the Second World War: that political freedom unleashes a material and spiritual power that dictators only dream about. That dream of power ended for Hitler in the rubble of Berlin; it would end for Stalin’s successors 44 years later in that same city, with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today it is ending for Osama bin Laden and Zarqawi in the streets of Baghdad and elsewhere. They should have learned the lesson of their predecessors: that the future still belongs to freedom. (via McPhillips)

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“Science” Class

So, they’re debatin’ about whether to teach just science in science class, or to teach both science and superstition in science class. Well, I’ll only point out that if y’all were customers and the schools were providing you those services you order and are willing to pay for — you know, the sort of tawdry “business thing” that goes on a few billion times a day around the world — then you’d all be gettin’ what y’all want rather than some hybrid concoction-in-compromise that no one wants. I mean, when you go to Burger King, do you get to “have it your way,” or does your burger have to conform to someone else’s good-burger standards? When will “we” all quit being such a bunch of fuckin’ idiots?

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“Culturism”

Some years ago, I came up with that term (ask my wife), and according to Google and Merriam-Webster Online, it doesn’t exist as an English word. So, I’m claiming it and defining it; here and now. What I mean by it is: Culturism: 1. The judging of one or more cultures as superior to one…

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“Seeing Is Believing”

You might already know that the Airbus A380 double-decker passenger jet (largest in the world, now) just completed its maiden flight. Good for you guys. That it’s funded by some silly government-business alliance, such that little-old-ladies end up bearing part of the risk of your venture is something I just have to overlook, for now. I’m not perfect. Go enjoy some photos and videos.

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Well, That Didn’t Take Long

It was predictable. I was not the only one to point it out. There were others, too. I even wrote a whole summary of the thing. See, it’s simply a giant contradiction in terms to talk of upholding principles in the immediate breath prior to talking about negotiating compromises of those principles in the political arena. It’s just that simple. So, I posted this, yesterday. There are additional comments at that Q&O entry, if you care to go read them. But really, here’s the one that I think is most relevant to the issue at hand (edited a bit here for better clarity): Bruce, let me get to the crux of why this whole posturing on “illegal” immigration has bothered me since your first entry on it. Today, I was reading your pub and came across this, on pg. 2: We believe that when given a set of policy choices, the choice that maximizes personal liberty, offers the least amount of necessary government intervention or regulation, and provides rational, market-based incentives is the best choice. Note that your creed seeks not only to limit and reduce unnecessary government intervention, but necessary intervention as well (presumably in lieu of market solutions)….

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Religious Darwinism

Radley Balko does an outstanding job ridiculing the religious position on a cancer vaccine, as reported in this New Scientist article. I guess even the religious can’t escape Darwin. Seems they’d rather hope for natural selection to gradually weed out the act of premarital sex by means of its female practitioners dying early from cervical cancer, before they have a chance to propagate their genes. Of course, on the flip side, the theorized increase in premarital sex resulting from increased numbers of vaccinated young females having no fear of infection will just result in more offspring who are likely to also engage in premarital sex, and before you know it, people will be deciding their own values in such personal matters. God forbid.

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Sigh

So what am I supposed to think about this. Apparently, the argument that Sowell (whom I usually agree with) is making is that the only reason “illegals” do jobs that “no Americans will do” is because they are willing to work for less, and in their absence, employers will need to pay more, up to the point where Americans will do the jobs. Or, presumably, somewhere between the cost of “illegal” labor and “legitimate” American labor may lie the labor-cost point where employer-capitalists are better off investing capital in increased mechanization and automation. Bruce McQuain, much to my disappointment, seems to applaud this argument, even though it rests on a sneer: “illegal.” Well, let me be the one to stand up for libertarianism, then. The freedom & liberty position, first and foremost, respects the rights of the employers here; i.e., the capitalists; i.e., the owners. Libertarian doctrine holds that employment arrangements are between employers and employees, and it’s nobody else’s business. Here’s what I wrote in two comments to that Q&O entry: So let me get this straight. “They do jobs Americans won’t do” is flawed because if we kept out the “illegals,” then the market price of labor for…

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Insight

Regular readers know that the one blog most oft linked to here (by far, I’d imagine) is Billy Beck. It’s to the point that I even don’t link a few things I would otherwise want to. You know, originality and variety and all that. Never mind. I can only tell you that I’ve been reading this guy for over 10 years, and I can’t think of a single instance where he didn’t give it straight up. In this world, that’s tough. It’s so easy to go along. Anyway, if you think you might be “entertained” (though not his intention) by a self-described “ex-biker and touring stage-lighting director” firing a professional academic philosopher, then go right ahead and read this. Enjoy.

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Hold ‘Em [Up]

When a small group of residents of the small town of Palmer Lake, Colorado got together at a local establishment to play a little hold ’em, they ended up holding ’em up–their hands, that is–as they were robbed at gunpoint. Who were the perpetrators of the crime? Well, for one, the Colorado Springs Metro Vice Unit. And in addition to those jackbooted thugs, there was also the Palmer Lake Police Chief, Dale Smith. One of the victims of the crime, town board member Trish Flake, described the assault by the aforementioned criminals: “It was broad daylight right by the front door,” she said. “I think what hasn’t been reported is the aggressiveness of it. They came in with guns drawn, lasers trained on people’s heads. They swarmed in screaming, ‘Put your hands over your face and don’t move.’ I don’t think I’ve ever been that frightened in my life.” Put yourself in their place for a minute. You come home from a hard day at work, greet the wife & kids, do some chores around the house, and then head off to a local public restaurant to meet up with your buddies for your weekly poker get-together. Then, the crime,…

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A New “Theory”

Has anyone explored the “theory” that Jennifer Wilbanks might have been en route to meet up with a mail-order husband? Maybe this guy: I’m definitely a classic romantic. I like a candlelight dinner, some quiet background music, and a couple hits of ether. I prefer a woman that has insurance and a car would be great as I need to make the occasional trip to Mexico to pick up “souvenirs”. Country: New Mexico, U.S.A.

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Photos Galore

OK, from way back ’round Christmas and New Year, when we we able to get back into our mountain cabin (after a great big fire and rebuild), I been gettin’ emails with questions such as “do you have electricity?” “Running water?” “Plumbing?” Ah’right, got some pics for ya. (BTW, I did blog this back at the New Year.) We moved back in on December 23, 2004. Here’s a shot of the “great room” on the 24th, complete with Christmas decs left by the previous owner (who left nearly everything, but that’s a different story). There’s dad & mom, waiting (impatiently) for more family to arrive for the holiday. Of course, mom wouldn’t be mom without preparing more food than we could eat for both Christmas and the New Year. For the discriminating, yes, those are hickory cabinets and the counter tops are hard-wood, 2″-thick cutting board. I encourage people to use them by taking a meat cleaver and making indiscriminate chopping marks randomly. Formica is a curse. Here’s a shot of the cabin a couple of moths later from the top of the stars. Advance to this last weekend. The cabin sits on 1/3 acre, and it has not been…

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Let’s All Get A Life

In hopes that the “Jennifer Wilbanks Story” will quickly recede, I offer the following advice: To John Mason, the groom-to-almost-be: Get a life, John. Second, count your lucky stars. You could half excuse this sort of stunt from an 18-yr-old child bride being handed off from some oppressive home-church partnership into your overbearing hands. This chick’s 32, and any 32-yr-old who can cause so much carnage over getting cold feet can do just about anything. Run away, John. Don’t be so pathetic. To “The Authorities:” Get a life. Also: Go Fuck Yourselves. It was you who were ejaculating all over the cameras in dire hopes that this would be another high-profile who-done-it murder investigation, with all the attendant press-conferences and cameras and attention. It was you with your whores in the entertainment industry “news” media that pumped this whole thing up. Unless she was under some continuing physical abuse, or threat of same, which seems quite unlikely, the bride-to-almost-be is simply a stupid dimwit. Knock off the ridiculous talk of a “criminal investigation” (you fuck-wads) and the talk of suing what’s her face for the “costs of searching.” She didn’t force you to be such idiots. She didn’t force you…

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Fair is Fair

This is just a quick hit. I’ve got a few entries in the wings, but that will have to wait until a bit later. Busy. In the meantime, with reference to an entry or two ago, fair is fair. So, John Lopez shows us just why republicans and conservatives are generally every bit as stupid as democrats and liberals. You’ve got to laugh. Get this quote from the L&P blog John links to: The hammer and sickle is an odd touch. What’s next? “Stalin: Enemy of the State.” Jesus. God save me from this sort of Hannityesque, blind redneck “patriotism.” What a bunch of fools.

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