Monday, November 30, 2009

Berman Post: Obama Rejects International Convention Banning Land Mines

Berman Post: Obama Rejects International Convention Banning Land Mines

The Obama = Bush meme gets another support today as the Administration rejects the land mine treaty.

It is curious that the left has fastened on land mines as an evil. They are a defensive weapon when used at all responsibly. Churchill mocked the idea abroad in his day that weapons could be divided into offensive and defensive, good and bad weapons. The distinction is in the use they are put to, not in their nature. That being said there is no weapon that has the potential, at least, for such purely defensive uses.

It is also amusing to contemplate the list of nations that are not among the 150 signatories of the treaty. The short list is basically the countries that might actually have to fight a war.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Security Breach at the White House

We are all certain that it is absolutely terrible that someone got into the white house without being on the guest list. I used to think that was one of the nice things about America, our openness. I remember years ago talking to a German academic who was surprised to find himself in a party with several Senators simply by virtue of having been walking down the street. He told the Senator about how surprising it was and the Senator said shrugging, "Well, that's America." I would like to take it as a good sign that it still is America in some sense, but we conservatives are so anxious to bash Obama for anything that we can we will take this as an indication of his lack of seriousness in the war on terror. Too bad. I guess the terrorist really have won.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Framing your Health

clipped from

A regulation which said that a Wellness Program may (or “shall”) include a discount for not owning a gun (or not owning a handgun, or not owning a so-called “assault weapon”, or for not owning more than a certain number of guns) might be argued to be “overly burdensome.” But there’s no guarantee that a reviewing court would consider a mere discount for people who don’t own guns to be “overly” burdensome on gun owners.

Notice that the discount mentioned here for not having a gun is the same thing as a penalty. The difference is only a matter of framing. You have to have health insurance and if you don't have a gun it will be 30% cheaper. If you go out and buy a gun you will have to pay 30% more. The difference comes in what you assume as the starting point, gun ownership or not, but the incentive effect is the same: have a gun, pay more.

The myth of the stolen children

Andrew Bolt writes on the myth of the stolen aboriginal children. His 8 year running challenge to Robert Manne, the leading exponent of the stolen generations theory, to produce the names of 10 children that were actually stolen or removed from their homes because they were aboriginals or because the authorities wanted to protect their "whiteness" continues to go unmet.

But what is really strange is that the intellectual elites of the Anglo-Saxon, and to a similar extent, the entire Western world, are engaged in a massive cultural project of self-denigration. It is a thing much larger than any one controversy that one can rely on intellectuals now-a-days to be against their own historical side in any cultural dispute.

This seems to me a way of feeling morally superior on the cheap. To denounce your own history-what a strange thing. It is like a massive cross-generational appeasement program. It is a way to feel morally superior at no cost. Apologizing for historical crimes has the advantage of not requiring you to do anything in the present day. It has the appearance of being costly and moral in that one is apologizing and admitting wrong-doing when in fact it is cheap and really a claim of superiority.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Spiritual advisor of 9/11 hijackers also advised Hasan

What the hell was this guy doing still in the country? Britain wouldn't even let him address a meeting there by closed circuit TV. And why do we have to find out about this from a British Newspaper? It is like the British pre-WWII having to read American papers to find out what was happening with the Monarchy?

From the comment section of Megan McArdle's blog:

"At his last job, he refused to be photgraphed with women for group photos. Treacher says “Congrats on being shot by one, loser.”

As for CAIR, it's nice they condemn murder on behalf of Islam, but it feels like when the Catholic Church condemns a pedophile priest: 90% PR, 10% concern."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Science Fiction in Real Life

Life has been like one of those science fiction movies where everyone in the world but a few are stricken with some weird disease or condition. All the people around me have had some strange infection of fascination with Obama. They have all been blinded and I have been watching them stumble around trying to feed themselves and waiting for it to wear off. Now comes the first election since His Oneness landed, since his pod blew in from outer space and the first few victims will start regaining their sight.

How can we have people in public life, how can our supposedly ironic and sophisticated younger generation look up to people, who talk about themselves like this?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Shut up, he explained

Obama's home phone number (202-456-1414) and address are known, but it is hard to harass someone surrounded by Secret Service protection. Less-insulated Americans are vulnerable. Currently, liberals enthralled by intimidation are trying to abolish secret ballots in unionization votes. And when Humana, the private health insurance provider, recently warned its customers about some provisions of Congress' health care legislation, the Obama administration's reaction was essentially a quote from a Ring Lardner short story: "Shut up, he explained."
Will actually goes to the trouble of finding the source of the quote. Thanks George.