Saturday, November 16, 2002

"THE DISMAL SCIENCE": As an economics major at American University, I found this particularly interesting. Anyway, here's a fascinating and very important series of articles explaining how economics helped to eliminate the racial divide that plagued many nations for centuries.

Friday, November 15, 2002

THE CASE AGAINST SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE: Al Gore recently came out and said he wanted a "single-payer" health care system (read: completely socialized health care system). Well here's the case against such a system from the New Journal from a man who grew up in Canada and knows why these systems don't work.

How to compare the two systems Canada and the United States? What’s the verdict on the Canadian system’s convenience and zero out-of-pocket costs against America’s often confusing, often costly, administration but superior quality of care? Here’s my conclusion: Canada has the best healthcare system on earth – so long as you don’t get sick!
IT'S NOT ABOUT OIL: Mark Proudman explains to the irrational anti-war crowd that it is NOT about oil.

If the real objective of U.S. policy was simply to get cheap oil, it would only need to lift the blockade of Iraq, thus letting the enormous Iraqi oil reserves onto the market, and probably driving the price of oil below US$10 a barrel. The problem, of course, is that the money would go into the coffers of Saddam Hussein, and would then get spent on nuclear weapons.

I'm only against such a war with Iraq because I believe in diplomacy first. I believe in achieving peace at the bargaining table first, and war as a last option. But for some to simply ignore and dread that there might have to be a possible upcoming war, claiming it is merely a war for oil are either propagandizing or irrational, and probably both.
ARE YOU A LIBERTARIAN: Brink Lindsey asks the question. This is the new breed of libertarians, those who have abandoned isolationism as a response to September 11th, realizing that the world is shrinking. While I don't agree with everything Lindsey says, I think he's pretty darn close to how I feel.
STUPIFADA: Hey, c'mon now. "Crazed Palestinian gunmen" have feelings too you know.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

SORIANO SCREWED: Alfonoso Soriano of the new York Yankees got screwed today. He lost out to Miguel Tejada of the Oakland Athletics in the Most Valuable Player race, and even finished third to Alex Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers. While I would have no problem if the voters decided to make Rodriguez the MVP since he clearly had the best statistics, the voters decided to go with the typical best player on a playoff team rationale for voting. So if being the best player on a playoff team was the criteria for voting, Soriano was the better candidate. Compare Soraino's stats to Tejada's stats. The only major statistical category that Tejada excelled over Soriano was runs batted in, which is hardly by coincidence considering Tejada batted in the middle of the lineup while Soriano was a leadoff hitter.

Someone got screwed...
DAWSON BUDDY BUSTED: Joshua Jackson was arrested on Saturday and charged with assault after an altercation with a security guard after the Carolina Hurricanes game he attended.

Good. I never liked that stupid show anyways.
WHAT THE TIMES REALLY THINKS: Well I thought it was funny.

Monday, November 11, 2002

BEANE A NO GO: Billy Beane is not going to the Red Sox. Phew.

For those who don't know, Beane might be the smartest GM in baseball, and definitely the most successful, given his Oakland Athletics' payroll. Remember folks, the Red Sox sucking streak continues at 84 years and counting...
WHY SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE IS A BAD THING: Don't get me wrong. I believe in socializing basic health care (read: health care that is the difference between life or death). After among our liberties are "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". But socializing all health care leads to nightmares like this.

The 53-year-old man, who lived alone with his dog named Buck, had previously attempted suicide and already sought care at the Sherbrooke University Hospital Centre last month.

He asked for help again late Saturday night, dialing 911 from a park around midnight.

"We noticed that he really had problems and we sent him to the hospital emergency," said Marc Berube, a police spokesman in Sherbrooke.

Quintal was assessed by a nurse and told to wait in a small examination room at the same Sherbrooke hospital.

He remained there throughout the night.

"He saw a nurse and he was very calm," said Jocelyne Faucher, a doctor and hospital administrator.

"It wasn't a crisis situation."

Quintal was waiting for a general emergency-room doctor since there are no specialized emergency psychiatric services at Sherbrooke, the newspaper reported.

He eventually got tired of waiting.

Quintal walked out of the building unnoticed by hospital personnel, leaving some of his belongings behind.

After setting off on the path toward his house, he jumped off a bridge overlooking the Magog River, the newspaper said.

Sad. Truly sad. And just one of the many reasons why Michael Moore is a "Stupid White Man." (Ok...I'll stop soon...I promise...Maybe.)

Sunday, November 10, 2002

VIRGIN FISKING: Eric Raymond is no longer a Fisking virgin! And who better to tear apart than Mr. Robert Fisk himself? Here he pulls apart two of Fisks' dumber arguments, (and it's hard to believe the man can be this dumb.)

"Targeted killing" — courtesy of the Bush administration — is now what the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon can call "legitimate warfare". And Vladimir Putin, too. Now the Russians — I kid thee not, as Captain Queeg said in the Caine Mutiny — are talking about "targeted killing" in their renewed war on Chechnya. After the disastrous "rescue" of the Moscow theatre hostages by the so-called "elite" Russian Alpha Special forces (beware, oh reader, any rescue by "elite" forces, should you be taken hostage), Putin is supported by Bush and Tony Blair in his renewed onslaught against the broken Muslim people of Chechnya.

We note for the record that should Mr. Fisk be captured by terrorists, he would prefer to be rescued by non-elite forces; perhaps a troop of Girl Scouts waving copies of The Guardian would satisfy him. I would defer to Mr. Fisk evident belief that "non-elite" rescuers would increase his chances of surviving the experience, were it not that I dislike the sight of dying Girl Scouts.

I'm a cynical critic of the US media, but last month Newsweek ran a brave and brilliant and terrifying report on the Chechen war. In a deeply moving account of Russian cruelty in Chechnya, it recounted a Russian army raid on an unprotected Muslim village. Russian soldiers broke into a civilian home and shot all inside. One of the victims was a Chechen girl. As she lay dying of her wounds, a Russian soldier began to rape her. "Hurry up Kolya," his friend shouted, "while she's still warm."
In other words, Russian soldiers behaved like al-Qaeda terrorists, and this is a bad thing.

Excellent, Mr. Fisk; you appear to be showing some sign of an actual moral sense here.

Now, I have a question. If you or I was that girl's husband or lover or brother or father, would we not be prepared to take hostages in a Moscow theatre — Even if this meant — as it did — that, asphyxiated by Russian gas, we would be executed with a bullet in the head, as the Chechen women hostage-takers were — But no matter. The "war on terror" means that Kolya and the boys will be back in action soon, courtesy of Messrs Putin, Bush and Blair.

Ahh. So, Mr. Fisk is taking the position that the Russians' atrocious behavior in Chechnya justifies hostage-taking and the cold-blooded murder of hostages in a Moscow theater. Very interesting.

Let's follow the logic of just retribution here. If the rape of a dying girl in Chechnya by Russian soldiers justifies terrorizing and murdering hostages in a Moscow theater, then what sort of behavior might the murder of 3000 innocent civilians in Manhattan justify?

Couldn't have said it better myself. Robert better watch himself. He's in danger of becoming as stupid as Michael Moore. And no, that never gets old.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT: James Morrow tells it like it is: the anti-war crowd is a shadow of its former self. It no longer has any moral high ground. While I am also personally against a possible war in Iraq, I would never associate myself with the current anti-"war" crowd that currently protests throughout the world. The problem with the current anti-"war" crowd is that they're not really anti-war. They're anti-American. Anti-Semitic. Anti-Israel. Pro-Communism.. Yes, you heard that right.

Here's the money quote from James:

Plenty of people have been discussing the weekend's "anti-war" (in scare-quotes because we all know they were "anti" a whole lot more than just the war) protests in Florence and their links to old-school communist types. (Jesus, didn't we deal with that particular brand of idiocy in the last century?) I'm surprised, though, that not as many people as I would have thought have caught on to the anti-Semitism as well. Last night, the two very short flashes they played on the Channel 9 News showed signs that clearly read, in English, "Victory to the Intifada" and, more bluntly, "FUCK ISRAEL."

Are all anti-war protestors so blatantly racist and full of hate? Obviously not, but often the organizers of such events are, as I've already detailed on this page here.
ANTI-SEMITISM ON CAMPUS: An excellent article on the increasing anti-Semitism on college campuses throughout the world, and most disgustingly, at American Universities. While I personally don't believe in any sort of censorship, it is the responsibility of these universities to condemn the acts once they have been committed. Failure to do so essentially suggests that there is agreement on the issue.

And I hope that is not the case...