• Economics,  Quotes

    Perfectly put (again)

    By the wonderful Dr Sowell.

    Many people are so preoccupied with the notion that their own knowledge exceeds the average knowledge of millions of other people that they overlook the more important fact that their knowledge is not even one-tenth of the total knowledge of those millions. That is the crucial fallacy behind the repeated failures of central planning and other forms of social engineering which concentrate power in the hands of people with less knowledge and more presumption.

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  • Plame Affair,  Politics

    Morning thoughts

    So this is what 7:30 looks like!

    I wake up to find the Plame affair has gotten much more interesting. It now seems that Robert Novak was the source for Rove! And Wilson says that his wife was not a covert operative at the time of the incident! One more weird fact and we have vaudeville.

    I suppose this would explain why the democrats haven’t jumped on this sordid affair as much they could have. At this point, Wilson seems like a bit of a liar and drama queen who does not want a closer look at the facts of his involvement in the early part of this, and if Rove did in fact learn from Novak, then he’s clean on every possible count.

    Of course the next obvious question is: Who is Judy Miller’s source in all this? Since she’s in jail now it would seem logical that her source was not Rove, Wilson perhaps?

    Vaudeville, Vaudeville I say!

    Also, headlines like Muslims are urged to help find the bombers are good to see. HT: Q & O.

  • America,  Law

    I like Rehnquist

    From CNN

    “I want to put to rest the speculation and unfounded rumors of my imminent retirement,” Rehnquist said in a statement released through his family. “I am not about to announce my retirement. I will continue to perform my duties as chief justice as long as my health permits.”

    He wants to go out on his shield, how cool.

  • Islam,  Society,  Terrorism

    Yet more London

    I came across an interesting column in the Times of London, specifically The act of small-time losers by Anatole Kaletsky. Similar in some ways to my earlier thoughts on the matter, different in others. Specifically

    In this sense, the most useful analogue for last week’s outrage in London may not be September 11 or even the bombing of Madrid last year, but the worst act of terrorism in postwar Western history before September 11: the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people in 1995. Timothy McVeigh, the perpetrator, was, like the London bombers, a small-time loser who felt he was acting out of intense ideological and religious motives. He was a fervent white supremacist and belonged to an extensive network of neo-Nazi fanatics who are generally believed to number many thousands across the US. His commitment to an essentially religious doctrine — that a global Jewish conspiracy, using African-Americans as their subhuman foot-soldiers, was taking over the world and preparing to exterminate or enslave all white Christians — was every bit as sincere as the faith and “piety” of many jihadist terrorists.

    It certainly did not occur to anyone after the Oklahoma bombing to apologise for the racial desegregation which had provoked the American neo-Nazis and their ideological antecedents, the Ku Klux Klan. Nobody suggested abolishing affirmative action or banning Jews from public office on the grounds that racial mixing and the prominence of Jews was angering white supremacists and acting as “a recruiting sergeant” for more neo-Nazi terrorists who might copy McVeigh.

    Should the political sensitivities and religious aspirations of jihadist killers be treated with any greater respect? The answer is clearly, no.


    Just as conservative America totally isolated the white supremacists and neo-Nazis after the bombings in Oklahoma, the rational Muslim community in Britain must be forced to reject completely the small minority of Wahhabi fanatics who boast that they “love death”. Only then can there be any hope of restoring respect for human life in the Islamic community and reducing the concept of martyrdom to what it really amounts to: a sad, lonely and utterly futile suicide.

    While the entire column is well worth reading I do object to a few points. The final paragraph can easily be taken to mean that white supemacists and neo-Nazis were an integral part of conservatism in America, which hasn’t been true in my lifetime (outside of Mississippi I suppose). The second point is that it ignores the proportions and locations.

    The Wahhabi fanatics are part of the Muslim community in Britain, probably a very small percentage. For a round number, call it one percent. Compare that to the percentage of neo-nazis in the white community, where I would imagine it is less than one percent of one percent. Also, from what I’ve read British Muslims are concentrated in cities where the intimidation power of a commited minority is likely to be greater. The likely “conservative white” (to follow Kaletsky’s logic) supporters were more suburban and rural where I would imagine the power of a commited minority is lessened by distance.

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  • Photography

    Got the print

    I got the photo at the right in the mail today from Kodak, and I have to say, I’m absolutely thrilled with the quality. It would seem that an eight megapixel camera is capable of taking a fine 20 by 30 inch photograph. Now I just need to find somewhere to frame it.

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  • Links,  Quotes,  Robots

    Thursday Rapid Fire

    The rapid fire is almost a daily feature now.

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