Friday, July 15, 2005

True character.
With a tip to Michelle Malkin, take a look at this:
During a routine patrol in Baghdad June 2, Army Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer, a medic, was shot in the chest by an enemy sniper, hiding in a van just 75 yards away. The incident was filmed by the insurgents.

Tschiderer, with E Troop, 101st “Saber” Cavalry Division, attached to 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, was knocked to the ground from the impact, but he popped right back up, took cover and located the enemy’s position.

After tracking down the now-wounded sniper with a team from B Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Iraqi Army Brigade, Tschiderer secured the terrorist with a pair of handcuffs and gave medical aid to the terrorist who’d tried to kill him just minutes before.
Such restraint. I don't know if I could be so nice to someone who just shot me in the chest.

They have video showing Tschiderer [spell that 5 times fast!] taking the shot and getting right back up. Rock on.
Bad, bad people come in all forms.
Like T-ball coaches:
A T-ball coach allegedly paid one of his players $25 to hurt an 8-year-old mentally disabled teammate so he wouldn't have to put the boy in the game, police said Friday.

Mark R. Downs Jr., 27, of Dunbar, is accused of offering one of his players the money to hit the boy in the head with a baseball, police said. Witnesses told police Downs didn't want the boy to play in the game because of his disability.

Police said the boy was hit in the head and in the groin with a baseball just before a game, and did not play, police said.

"The coach was very competitive," state police Trooper Thomas B. Broadwater said. "He wanted to win."
No [bleep]. Jerk!

But then there's this:
If Downs is convicted of any crime, he won't be allowed to be a coach next year, Forsythe said.
Say what? If he's convicted of putting a hit on any player - much less his own - the SOB should be banned for life.
Yeah, but the tunnel scene!
Glenn Beck is going off about the Gene Wilder version of Chocolate Factory saying it's better than the new one. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't, since I haven't seen the Johnny Depp version yet. But I'll tell you this: I'd like the Wilder version a lot more if not for that freaked-out, horrific tunnel scene. That just does not belong. Gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

This is not comforting.
From the Village Voice:
How true that was, because basically this is what the Qur'aan says.

Surah 2

190. And fight in the Way of Allah against those who fight you.

191. And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Fitnah (reversion to polytheism, turning a disbeliever after one has believed in Allah) is worse than killing.

Surah IV-Women

if they (Disbelievers) turn back to enmity then take them and kill them wherever you find them, and choose no friend or helper from among them. (v 89) The Mujahideen understand this to mean exactly what it says. There are no boundaries. The Crusade is global and so the Jihad has to be global.

Surah 2 section 194:

The sacred month is for the sacred month, and for the prohibited things, there is the law of retribution (redress, equality in retaliation) (Qisas). Then whoever transgresses the prohibition against you, you transgress likewise against him. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with the pious.

This means you do to the Crusaders what they do to you. Islam allows retaliation-like for like. This means that the relatives of the Iraqis who were beaten to death in Abu Ghraib have the right to beat to death the crusaders who killed their loved ones. The Muslims who had their transportation, hospitals, water treatment plants and industries bombed continuously since 1991 have the right given by Allah to do to the Kuffar what the Kuffar did to them! This is what happened in London today.
Tip to LGF.
I majored in mathematics and now I'm a programmer.
So this makes sense:

Your Career Type: Investigative

You are precise, scientific, and intellectual.
Your talents lie in understanding and solving math and science problems.

You would make an excellent:

Architect - Biologist - Chemist
Dentist - Electrical Technician - Mathematician
Medical Technician - Meteorologist - Pharmacist
Physician - Surveyor - Veterinarian

The worst career options for your are enterprising careers, like lawyer or real estate agent.

And I guess I'll never be a lawyer. Dang.

UPDATE: Is it just me, or does the scientist in that image look a bit diabolical?
How dare Stifler play Bo
I saw the preview for the new Dukes of Hazard flick that stars Sean William Scott, Johnny Knoxville and Jessica Simpson and I wasn't impressed. I have no plans to see it, for it appears to be a sleazed-up version of one of my favorite shows as a kid. Well, Cooter agrees:
Ben Jones, a former Georgia congressman who played the wisecracking mechanic on the popular series from 1979-85, said profanity and sexual content in the film make a mockery of the family friendly show.

"Basically, they trashed our show," said Jones, who now lives in the mountains of Washington, Va. "It's one thing to do whatever movie they want to do, but to take a classic family show and do that is like taking "I Love Lucy" and making her a crackhead or something."

Jones said he read a script of the movie, which is scheduled to be released next month, and that it contained profanity, "constant sexual innuendo and some very clear sexual situations."
Uncle Jesse must be rolling in his grave.

That being said, I would love to have one of these, painted orange, doors welded shut with a Confederate flag on the roof. Vroom vroom.
Science schmience!
From Slashdot:
CNN has a report on new research to confirm claims made in initial, well-publicized studies. According to the new study, about a third of all major studies from the last 15 years were subsequently shown to be inaccurate or overblown.
Wait, doesn't that mean there's a 33% chance that this particular study is inaccurate or overblown?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Freedom isn't free (of responsibility)
Julian Sanchez on the parentalist (not paternalist) impulse: the suspicion "that we ourselves are not competent to make our own choices, to yearn for someone to relieve us of the burden of choice":
When we make trivial choices - what to have for dinner, what movie to see, which CD to buy - what we most value is the freedom to select without constraint from many options. Yet when it comes to our most central choices - what kind of person am I to be, what work will I find rewarding? - we may take as least as much satisfaction in the feeling of responsibility for our choices, in knowing that we have shaped a life that is ours even when we have chosen badly.

Classical liberals have become good at explaining how the market order they favor promotes freedom and happiness. They have been less adept at explaining why - at least past a certain point - people ought to want that freedom, which when genuine is always at least a little frightening. In the face of the parentalist impulse, we may need to develop the case that our bad choices, the choices that make us unhappy, are as vital and precious as the ones that bring us joy.
Or, to quote Captain Kirk assuming he was thinking of the pain from realizing the consequences of bad choices (yes, I know I'm reaching, darn it!):
Damn it, Bones, you're a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away. I need my pain.
This'll keep you busy for a while
Cool time waster - it'll make you think. Tip to Derbyshire.
Rewarding terrorism
LGF notes Hollywood plans to make a sympathetic film about a guy that used to be a terrorist in al Qaeda - even served time in Gitmo - and is now in Canada. The fellow stands to make $500,000 or so from the thing. That's simply Wrong (yes, with a capital W).

Oh, and the studio hopes to get Johnny Depp to play the lead role.

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

So they do hate us for what we are.
Ronald Bailey over at Reason:
Liberalism is based on respect for the autonomy of individuals, which is expressed through institutions of voluntary cooperation such as democratic governance and free markets. Liberal societies also stress freedom of conscience, the rule of law, and freedom of speech. Thus liberalism requires mutual recognition and respect for the beliefs of others. Non-liberal societies, both traditional and totalitarian, do not respect the differing beliefs of others and instead demand conformity with a unitary vision of the how people should live.

Opponents of liberalism like bin Laden are fully aware that liberal tolerance undercuts the traditional totalitarianisms they fight for by making all such totalitarian systems of belief voluntary. If an individual chooses to change her beliefs and her way of life, she is free to do so, and her religious, political, or cultural community cannot force her to remain. Thus the traditional sources of authority—families, chieftains, priests—are undermined as people seek new ways of shaping their lives.
In other words, they hate us for who we are, for what we believe in. And the influence of our culture over theirs will only continue to grow.

Bailey continues:
So would terrorist bombs stop going off in Madrid and London if the United States and its allies withdrew their troops from the Middle East entirely? Perhaps there would be a respite, but a showdown between the world's remaining traditional totalitarianisms and the expanding sphere of liberalism is inevitable. It is no more possible for Islamic fundamentalists to long maintain and cultivate a separate non-liberal civilization than it was for the 17th-century Tokugawa Shogunate to close Japan to the West permanently. Von Laue concluded, "The outcome of the cultural power struggle seems predetermined: who can resist the lures of Western wealth and self-indulgent life styles, or of freedom, or of advanced technology?" In the long run no culture can, but that unfortunately doesn't mean that bombs will not go off for some time to come in London, Rome, New York and Los Angeles.
Join the RLLF!
There is no Radical Lutheran Liberation Front because they don't want to be liberated. In a church that is stodgy enough to frown upon applause during a worship service, any sort of violence would be certainly be considered non-traditional and downright rude.

Besides, liberated from what? Endless church basement coffee hours?
Just say No to national ID cards.
John J. Miller argues that a national ID card program wouldn't help national security and just become a hassle for the law-abiding. Everyone else, not so much:
Given all this, it’s hard to see a system of national identification as anything but a midwife for so much of what conservatives oppose. Preventing terrorism is monumentally important, of course, and I might shed my libertarian objections to national I.D. cards if I thought they would make us safer. But I’m convinced that they would do little besides raise the cost of government, burden businesses with another unfunded mandate, and exasperate just about everybody — except the illegal aliens and terrorists they’re supposed to frustrate.
A race-based government in Hawaii?
Noted by Michelle Malkin. There was also an article on this in the recent print edition of National Review. It's bizarre - a bill to allow Native Hawaiians to have their own separate government. It blows my mind.

This is right (in reference to a similar bill):
To borrow from Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in Adarand Construction vs. Pena (1995), in the eyes of the law and the creed of the United States, there is only one race in the nation. It is American. And to be an American is to embrace the values of freedom, individual liberty and equality acclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Gettysburg Address. S.344 would create a distinct race of Native Hawaiians subject to a race-based Native Hawaiian government with the purpose of creating and preserving non- American values: namely, "Native Hawaiian political and cultural identity in accordance with their traditions, beliefs, customs and practices, language, and social and political institutions."

Native Hawaiians hold no more right to a race-based government than countless other racial or ethnic groups in the United States. They are no more entitled to secede from the jurisdiction of the U.S. Constitution than were the Confederate States of America. Enacting S. 344 would surrender the intellectual and moral underpinnings of the United States.
Darn tootin'.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Ah, James, don't go all moron on me.
In today's Best of the Web, Taranto talks about the NYT:
Today the Times weighs in against expanding the USA Patriot Act to allow terror investigators to use a procedure called an administrative subpoena to gather information. We gather that conservatives by and large support this proposal while liberals oppose it, which itself would be evidence that Rove was right. But our jaw dropped when we read this paragraph:
The bill's defenders note that administrative subpoenas are already allowed in other kinds of investigations. But these are generally in highly regulated areas, like Medicaid billing. The administrative subpoena power in the new bill would apply to anything the F.B.I. deemed related to alleged foreign intelligence or terrorism, and could, in practice, give the F.B.I. access to almost any private records it wanted.
So in the Times' view, it's worth making some compromises on civil liberties when something really weighty is at stake, like Medicaid funding. But terrorism just doesn't rise to that level of importance.
No, that's not what they're saying at all. It's clear the point is the NYT is concerned that the expansion of the administrative subpoena can be used to grant the government access to any private records it wants. Before it was very limited in scope, but now the fear is there will be no limit to what personal information the government can obtain.

Get a grip. Terrorism or not, there need to be limits.
You gotta fight for your right to party.
With a tip to Right Thinking:
A man arrested when police showed up to break up a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house has filed a lawsuit, arguing he had a constitutional right to get drunk on private property as long as he didn’t cause a public disturbance.

Eric Laverriere, 25, of Portland, Maine, was taken into protective custody by Waltham police and locked in a cell for nine hours until the effects of the alcohol wore off.

Legal experts said his lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Boston, is the first to challenge a state law allowing police to lock up drunk people against their will for their own protection.

Laverriere argues that the Massachusetts Protective Custody Law was written to combat public drunkenness and that the police had no right to use it to take him from a private residence. He also says he had planned to spend the night at his friend’s and wasn’t going to be driving anywhere.

“One thing people should be able to do is drink in their own house,” Laverriere told The Boston Globe. “That’s the beauty of the land of the free."
I agree - you have the right to get drunk on private property (assuming the property owner is cool with it, of course). I'm not sure why this would even be controversial.
V.D.H. on 15 years of war in Iraq
Over at NRO:
Just as there was no third war with Germany or second war with Vietnam, there will probably be no fifth war with Iraq. We have finally learned our lesson: Victory or defeat and a change of circumstances — not breathing spells with dictators, U.N. resolutions, realpolitik truces, no-fly zones, or cruise missiles — finally end most wars.

Either the conditions that start a war — in the modern era usually some sort of autocracy that creates mythical grievances and is appeased in its desire for cheap victory — are resolved or they are not. Iraq War IV will prove that there will be no more Saddams — or that there will be plenty of them and the United States can't do much about it.

But at least this final war in its ambitious goal to end the cycle is honest, and so will be decisive in the way the other three were not. If War IV is now the costliest for the U.S. and the most controversial of the series, it is because it is for all the marbles and offers a lasting and humane solution — and every enemy of the United States in the Middle East seems to grasp that far better than we do.