Thursday, July 28, 2005

UK Legalizes Murder by Doctors

Via K-Lo at The Corner:

More evidence of why Socialized Medicine - actually Fascist Medicine as it is directed by the state - is a horrible idea:
The [General Medical Council] argued that the original ruling put doctors in "an impossibly difficult position" as it would oblige a doctor to provide treatment that the patient demands, even if the professional is that it would be futile. The GMC believes that a patient does not have the right to demand any particular form of treatment.[emphasis mine]
Once again, the only inviolable rule is the Golden one, and not Jesus's version. Since the patient ain't payin', he don't call the shots. The doctors get to play God because the state doesn't want to spend money on people who will never again contribute to the Exchequer's office.
So next time someone spins that lie about how superior Socialized Fascist Medicine is, ask them how they would have felt if Terri Schiavo's tube was removed by the insurance company doctors against the will of both husband and parents.

Egyptian Bloggers to Host Candlelight Vigil

Via Instapundit:

Egyptian Bloggers have won permission to hold a candlelight vigil to protest the Sharm El Sheikh bombings. Here's hoping that it is well attended, well covered, and peaceful. I'll be lighting a candle in solidarity here in Florida. Hopefully, my two readers will do the same.

On a serious note, I think it is important to spread the word and encourage these things.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Iran Watch

Like a Cubs fan in September, Like Charlie Brown and the football, hope springs eternal for those of us who wish for a popular uprising from the Iranian people. Gateway Pundit has a photo/video roundup of ethnic riots in Iran. The Iranian government has killed at least a dozen protesters in the last few days. I hope I'm alive to see the government thugs get theirs. The sooner the better.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

5 Illegal Egyptians...

$8000, and a map of the NYC subway system. Yes even in the tolerant state of New Jersey, this will get you detained.


Because all newly employed, ship jumping street vendors have $8000 cash on hand.

All joking aside, cudos to the Newark PD. Now find everyone who helped get these guys into the country and go for the grand slam. Since these guys are here illegally, does that mean that we can ship 'em to Gitmo? You know, make it a DHS case?

46 Years Too Long

Fidel Castro and anyone in Cuba who doesn't want to end up beaten, shot, or sent to prison for 're-education' are celebrating Revolution Day. Fifty-two years ago Fidel and his amigo Che launched a revolution. Forty-six years ago Fidel took power and hasn't looked back.

Just in time for Dia del Revolucion, Castro's government has come out with a new propaganda phrase. Vamos Bien, which translates loosely as "we're coming along well" or "we're doing well", belies that fact that there are more blackouts than ever as the Cuban power grid continues to age gracelessly.

Apparently, anti-government types are getting fiesty, but I'm still betting on the Cubs winning it all before we see a home-grown revolution in Cuba (or Iran) for that matter.

In honor of Revolution Day, buy a 'Commies aren't cool' shirt from these guys. Note: This is an unsponsored link, but if a shirt came in the mail, I wouldn't send it back.

North Koreans Starve While Kim Fiddles

North Korea has resumed talks with the US, South Korea, Japan, Russia, and China. I'm strongly in favor of this, but until Kim is gone and some other form of government takes his place, problems will continue to abound.

As talks resume, we find out that North Koreans are still starving due to government mismanagement and total isolation from the rest of the world. According to Google Earth its 120 miles from Pyongyang to Seoul. In the last 50 years, Seoul (and South Korea) has become one of the most connected places in the world with a strong, stable, mature economy. Pyongyang and the North has become a starving, ignorant, and belligerent backwater. Could there be a longer 120 miles in the world today? If there was ever a better case study of the effects of totalitarian fascism vs. democratic capitalism, I've not seen it.

We Have Liftoff

Space Shuttle Discovery has successfully launched. Godspeed ladies and gentlemen. May your mission be a success and may you come home safely.

UPDATE: John Miller expresses my view perfectly in a post at The Corner.

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Sad Day for the BSA

Four adult Boy Scout leaders died in an accident at the National Jamboree today. It is a tragic day. However, the Jamboree will continue. I think that's the best thing that could happen. Unfortunately, life doesn't stop for tragedy. An organization that creates capable, responsible young men has to teach that hard lesson, too.

Say a prayer for them tonight.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Well, it looks like Jimmy Hoffa's boys and the SEIU, along with two other unions are leaving the AFL-CIO. The best part is here:
The boycott means the unions will not pay $7 million in back dues to the AFL-CIO on Monday. If all four boycotting unions quit the federation, they would take about $35 million a year from the estimated $120 million annual budget of the AFL-CIO, which has already been forced to layoff a quarter of its 400-person staff.

And hopefully, less money to stand in the way of CAFTA and other free trade initiatives. Also, two masters to whom our friends on the left side of the aisle must bow and scrape in order to keep up fundraising. And at least some are admitting it:
Gerald McEntee, president of a government employees' union with more than 1 million members, accused his boycotting colleagues of aiding labor's political foes. "The only people who are happy about this are President Bush and his crowd," he said.
Count me as a member of 'his crowd'.

Vive La Lance!

I saw that painted on a road in Austin seven years ago. I've been following the Tour ever since. Congratulations to a fellow Texan.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A "Not In Our Name" Sign I Could Get Behind

Via Instapundit:

From an anti-terror rally Friday in Antelope Valley, California:
Asema Sultan immigrated to the United States from Pakistan 24 years ago and has lived in Palmdale for 15 years.

The sign she carried said: "Not in our name."

Notice who shows up in support:
Around 8 p.m., a man wearing an Army shirt walked through the rally and offered a firm handshake to al-Khatib.

"Last time I saw this was outside of Baghdad," said the man, who identified himself only as an Army corporal from Palmdale. He served a tour of duty in Iraq that ended in January 2004.

"Right now, people are biased against them," he said of the rallying Muslims. "I wish I would see more of something along this line."

He added, "Next to supporting the troops, this is equally good."
Yep that's right, one of those troops that the Left wants to support by demonizing their mission and only reporting their shortcomings.
Hey, maybe this is a "support the troops" initiative that the Left could get behind. All sorts of strangeness. Seriously, though, I'm glad to see this and hope it gets wider support.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Cosmos 1 a Victim of Soviet Era QC

The probe revealed there was enough telemetry data to determine that the Volna's first stage engine did not complete is planned 100-second burn before jettisoning from the rest of the vehicle. Instead, the engine -- powered by nitrogen tetroxide and unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine -- shut down 82.86 seconds into flight, and the planned separation of the first and second stages did not occur. Officials deemed the engine problems were caused by a "critical degradation in operations capability of the engine turbopump."

That's what you get for trusting Soviet Navy technology. I'm sure it sounded like a good idea at the time, but they've been having trouble keeping their ships afloat. It might not have been the best idea to trust rockets that have to be lower on the maintenance list.
Sigh. Another blow to the private space industry. I still intend to stand on the Earthside of the moon and watch a solar eclipse before I die.

Further Thoughts on Marriage

Lee Harris writes on the WSJ OpinionJournal page today an essay that says what I was trying to here.

This paragraph makes the point I was striving for:

If gay men and women want to create their own shining examples, they must do this themselves, by their own actions and by their own imagination. They must construct for themselves, out of their own unique perspective on the world, an ethos that can be admired both by future gay men and women and perhaps, eventually, by the rest of society. But there can be no advantage to them if they insist on trying to co-opt the shining example of an ethical tradition that they themselves have abandoned in order to find their own way in the world. It will end only in self-delusion and bitter disappointment

Basically, pursuing marriage (an institution dedicated to the bearing and raising of children) by a couple who has no chance, is an exercise in frustration.

While I could care less one way or another whether couples who cannot or will not have children enjoy the spousal advantages currently bestowed only on married couples, whether they be of the same sex or not; I am quite committed to the idea that our society remain committed to children raised by "parents who [are] so unshakably committed to the values of decency, and honesty, and integrity, and all those other homespun and corny principles", and continue to offer societal and governmental incentives to them.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

FGWs Continue Attack on Boy Scouts


The Litigating Arm of the FGW* has once again struck a blow against an organization that creates principled, capable young men. That's right the American Communist Litigation Union sued the Boy Scouts to keep them from using US Government property because the Boy Scouts acknowledge duty to "God, Family, and Country" not "Government, Family, and Socialism".
A federal judge ruled late last month that the Pentagon funding is unconstitutional because the Boy Scouts are a religious organization, requiring Scouts to affirm a belief in God. The case was initiated by the American Civil Liberties Union
Despite the fact that Boy Scouts routinely turn out capable young men who go on to become leaders in their chosen fields, and teach real actual survival skills, (see this recent article for example) the FGW continues to attack these heretics because they believe in a god more powerful than the Government.

UPDATE: No sooner do I get the post up than Mr. Johnson has the update:
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist introduced legislation this month stipulating that no federal law, directive, rule, instruction or order should limit any federal agency from providing support to the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, including meetings held on federal property.

*For an explanation of FGW see here

In 5 Days You, Too Can Understand Nanotech

According to the Foresight people who really do understand this stuff, Nanotech for Dummies is due out on Monday. I don't want to seem diparaging, but what's next? Rocket Science for Dummies?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Fundamentalist Government Worshippers

I originally posted this during the Republican Convention last year. I have updated it recently to describe another trend I have recently observed:

This seems like a good name for the reality-impaired wing of the Democratic Party (and those too far left to associate with the Democrats). You might know them by their actions. They believe that Government, not God is the ultimate power in the world. And anyone who claims differently is a heretic to be treated as heretics always have.
You may have seen them in New York at the Republican National Convention. They were the ones who couldn't play by the rules and protest with quiet dignity. Not that vociferous protest is wrong, but you didn't see anyone trying to disrupt John Kerry's speech at his convention.
These fundamentalists play by many of the same rules as other fundamentalist groups. Rerun the Miami and Seattle WTO talks and tell me these guys aren't fanatic ideologues.
Listen to them talk. Bush is 'evil', Halliburton is 'evil', the war in Iraq is 'corrupt'. And why are they so angry? Because the High Priest worships another God besides Government. He's breaking a commandment. 'Thou shalt have no gods before me'.
I think people must be very careful about this. Fundamentalism leads to rationalization, not rationality. Fundamentalists feel that they are chosen, beyond the law, and infallible. This leads to all sorts of trouble. I don't know the solution, but the description of the problem feels right. Fundamentalist Government worship is that missing link that leaves those of us who are not Government worshippers confused at some of the statements and actions of the far Left. It describes the visceral and irrational hatred of religion, speaks to the worship of the UN (it's a really big Government), and answers the need for more Government. (God will provide if we tax the pagans enough)

UPDATE: I think that this post may be more relevant today than it was when first written eight months ago. On every issue of the day, blocking anything proposed by Bush or the Republican leadership is more important than offering productive counterproposals or leadership. The 'we may not win, but you'll lose' attitude is characteristic of Fundamentalism. It is far more important to battle heresy and save souls than actual improve lives in the here and now.

UPDATE II: Actually, upon reflection these people are just fundamentalist Communists. After all, to my knowledge it was the Communist Manifesto that put forth the idea that Government was the superhuman power that would manifest paradise on earth if only it was properly invoked and worshipped.

How The Pill Created the Gay Marriage Lobby

Bombastic title, no?
This a post guaranteed to piss off just about everyone who reads it. Not that I need to worry because nobody will, but... away we go:

What Marriage Is Really About
As best I can tell the Western, monogamous marriage has never been in the interest of men, and rarely in the interest of women. In agricultural days, two people working on a farm couldn't do much more than survive. Ask any feminist about the time from the Industrial Revolution to the advent of The Pill and she'll give you a laundry list of how marriage screwed women. If she starts in on why men are pigs, you'll also get the explanation of why marriage isn't in a man's interest. No, the only people who really made out well in the traditional marriage were the kids. And that's the whole point. The institution of marriage makes raising children economically feasible. All of the benefits bestowed on married couples today (common property, right of inheritance, Social Security and health benefits for spouses and children, etc.) are either bestowed on the family unit as a whole or were created to ensure that the surviving spouse (and now sole guardian of the children) received full access to the assets of the deceased spouse as a default position because they were also the guardian of the deceased's children.

What The Pill Has To Do With It
Before The Pill came along, any woman who got married before the age of 30 could expect to be a mother. Since this covered something like 99% of all marriages, it was reasonable to assume at a societal level that marriage=children. With that being the case, it was common sense to extend any societal benefits for having and raising children to all married couples. Sure there were some winter marriages, sure there were some barren marriages, but it was close enough for government work.
With the advent of 99.9% effective birth control and significantly longer life spans, marriages have been increasingly decoupled from child-bearing. Throw in the no fault divorce (which is really just another effect of the same factors) and you decouple marriage from child-rearing. Basically, marriage is no longer a good standard to use when extending "family" benefits.
Note: In some sense I use "The Pill" as a way to define all of the socially disruptive medical advances of the past 40-50 years.

Creating A Gay Marriage Lobby
As The Pill created more marriages where child-bearing was delayed or foregone altogether, a growing population of heterosexuals were receiving the above described benefits of marriages (common property, right of inheritance, Social Security and health benefits for spouses and children, etc.) without the burdens of raising children. Compared to single people and unmarried couples, they were making out like bandits. Since the no fault divorce made separation possible at any time, there was little downside - especially as the gender income gap decreased. If you both started with nothing and had similar earning tracks, about half was a good trade.
When discrimination based on sexual preference was outlawed, it was only a matter of time before same sex couples started asking (rightly, in my opinion) why they couldn't get the benefits of married couples. I think it's a fair question.

A Proposal
I think the best societal solution for this is one that gives a set of benefits to people who declare their intent to have a long-term relationship as a couple (health benefits, next-of-kin status, default heir if there is no will), and another set of benefits for people who have children together. I'm not really in favor of fighting churches over the definition of marriage. As far as I'm concerned, they have dibs on the name. If I were writing a bill, I'd create a Life-Partner designation and state that all marriages performed by churches grant a couple life-partner status. I would define a separate Adult With Dependent Children status. If the government really wanted to encourage traditional marriages, it could designate that people holding both designations get extra tax-breaks, etc. I don't see why the government should be tied to the word marriage.

Where Enron Got Their Accountants

Maybe they got them from the Federal Government. According to the SSA OASDI fact sheet the Social Security Administration took in (in round numbers) $50 billion more than it spent in FY04. This brings the SSA's Trust Fund assets up to $1.6 Trillion. Unfortunately, that money isn't anything but a number on a piece of paper. The deductions taken out of your paycheck every month (and the matching amount that your employer pays Uncle Sam) go into the General Revenue fund for the US government. And you know no politician has ever seen a tax dollar he wouldn't spend. That $1.6 Trillion is all in IOUs. There's no money. Remember Al Gore's "lock, box". That's what he was addressing.
House Republicans, who are at their best when standing on the principal that no one can screw up a situation better than the government, are set to propose a bill that would go one better. Their plan is to take the surplus out of the General Revenue budget and put it in an account with a worker's name on it.
Grow Accounts would be financed by surplus Social Security taxes that are currently diverted to feed Congress’s pork barrel habit. This money would be socked away in privately-owned accounts, creating real — not fake — retirement savings. These excess payroll tax deductions currently account for about 2% of a worker’s paycheck.

The point of all this is that right now, when expenditures top income in 2018, it has to be covered by general revenue. But, like Enron, the balance sheet says that we're solvent until 2042-45, depending on who you believe. The problem is that the balance sheet doesn't reflect reality.

Count me in: Stop the Raid, Grow my Account.

Same Old Look, New Flavor

Trying to get back on the old blog horse again. Or, depending on how the FEC rules, start the newly rebranded online magazine. I think we'll start with the uncontroversial subject of Social Security, then a small post about how we should change the institution of marriage to reflect social changes created by The Pill, and then throw in a little nano or space news for a little spice. I guess it doesn't matter since I have no readers, but I'm good at pretending. Hell I pretend to work for 40 hours a week.