Sunday, April 30, 2006

I have a bad feeling about this...

I think this immigrant boycott is a terrible idea. I think the organizers have severely miscalculated the response that America will have for this.

More to come...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Curious News

One of the most influential books of my youth was Atlas Shrugged. I read it in 10th grade, preferring it to the other choices in that year's English class, and it changed my life. I credit it as "the book that made me a capitalist." I chose to re-read it, and as I near the conclusion I was surprised to see this news about a possible film adaptation.

The two actors mentioned in the article, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, are allegedly fans of the book. I think they would make very good choices for the film as far as casting goes, but I do worry about what Hollywood might do to the story. This story requires devotion.

Ayn Rand cultivated a philosophy known as objectivism. I can't say that I subscribe to it fully, but I do strongly identify with its broad concepts. I think anyone that attempts to make this film would need to be totally committed to producing a faithful version, true in every whit to the novel. It is essential, because the novel is the expression of her philosophy, and to change it in order to make it "mainstream" would irrepairably damage the message. Its ideas will shock a world that wants to tax the windfall profits of oil companies. Its ideas will shock proponents of industry bailouts. And its ideas will shock those who subscribe to the ideology that government's role is to redistribute resources to create equitable outcomes. I hope it does shock those people, and in turn, shocks the rest of us out of oblivious slumber and into vigorous and decisive action.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Snake Oil

There is much talk about oil, a lot of demagoguery, and a bit of hysteria. For an excellent, thorough perspective on the state of the world's oil supply, check out this piece by Ron Bailey. An excerpt:

One petroleum engineer— Michael Economides of the University of Houston—calls peak oil predictions “the figments of the imaginations of born-again pessimist geologists.”

Bailey cites many sources that say there is oil to spare for a least one generation, and that rather than a decline, we may see what is known as an "undulating plateau." Doesn't sound so menacing!

He concludes thusly:

Instead of preparing for an energy war, the best policy is to let markets have free rein. Even if, say, the Iranians make the political decision to disrupt the flow of oil to world markets, those markets left to themselves will eventually discipline them. The temporarily higher prices will encourage more exploration and technological advances, which will bring energy prices back down. On the day of his inauguration in 1981, President Ronald Reagan lifted oil price controls. Five years later oil prices fell below $10 a barrel.
One day, the oil age will end. As with all resources, there is ultimately a finite supply of oil. So it is not yet clear how the world will power itself for the bulk of the coming century. But we have at least another three decades to find alternatives to petroleum. “Trusting markets is the only way we can assure energy abundance in the future,” notes the University of Houston’s Economides. “It’s also the only way that we will ever transition to something other than oil and gas.”

Yay markets! Boo manipulation!

Check this out

Michelle Malkin, in my opinion one of the best bloggers out there, has just started up a new site called Hot Air. Just as blogs are used to enhance normal print journalism, Michelle uses Hot Air to set up audio and video webcasts to compete with mainstream news broadcasts.

If you've got a high-speed connection I highly recommend it.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Evolution vs Conservatism

An interesting article on evolution and conservatism.
The late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould proposed that science and religion be considered "non-overlapping magisteria," each profiting from dialogue with the
other. Many scientists have rejected this notion, arguing that science has nothing to gain from accommodating religion. Likewise, religious fundamentalists insist that divine truth supersedes empirical discovery. Within the confines of the laboratory and the sanctuary, both attitudes might be reasonable. For society as a whole, though, they're not constructive. If Gould's idea were to be taken more seriously, the fear of Darwin and natural selection might go the way of Tiktaalik, without harming
society thereby.
BYU has it right.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

How Mexico Treats Their Undocumented Workers

Here's an interesting read on the harch treatment Central American immigrants in Mexico receive at the hands of local and state police in Mexico.

As Glenn would say, read the whole thing.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Giving is American

Michael Barone's blog is one of the best on the web. Among other interesting topics, he points how incorrect the conventional wisdom on American philanthropy is.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

France surrenders, again.

Evan Maloney puts Frances' backdown of its new employment laws in context.

If agreeing to a date with someone meant that you had to marry and spend the rest of your life with that person, how many dates would you go on?

France puts employers in much the same position. Once someone is hired, French employment laws make it virtually impossible for that person to be fired. Naturally, this makes companies quite leery about taking on new employees. It's a huge risk to hire someone who might prove to be lazy or incompetent down the road. But in France, lifetime employment laws mean that employers are stuck.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Hamlet's Defense

The defence team in the Moussaoui trial sound an awful lot like the Bard in his play Hamlet.
From foxnews:
Defense lawyers hope the jury will spare Moussaoui's life because of his limited role in the attacks, evidence of mental illness and because they say his execution would only fuel his dream of martyrdom.

To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream:
ay, there's the rub;For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;

In my opinion, let's help him shuffle off his coil and he can have all the dreams he wants.

Climate Change

An interesting read.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

T-shirt fun


Murderous Cross-dressers and Saddamists

Another dispicable attack at a Sunni mosque:
"At least two of the bombers were dressed as women and blew themselves up inside the mosque complex," a security official told AFP.
An AFP photographer at the scene said "a woman dressed in a traditional abaya (head-to-toe robe) blew herself up at the entrance of the mosque as worshippers
were stepping out."
Iraq's powerful Shiite politician Abdel Aziz al-Hakim of Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the main party in the Shiite alliance, blamed the attack on Hussein loyalists. "These mobs of Saddamists do not care about innocent lives and they are perpetrating genocide against Shiites," Hakim said.

Maybe when the "Imans" update their laws to cover transgendered individuals, they can close whatever legal loophole allows men to dress as women... oh and to kill people too.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Watch out infidels!

I kid you not, Via Fox News:

Iran said Tuesday it had tested what it called a "super-modern flying boat" capable of evading radar.

The reason you ask why such a terrifying weapon of mass intimidation was made?

[To prepare] the country's defenses against the United States.

Next on Iran's to build list: "super-duper keys," along with the "super-cool-awesome underwater motorcyle" complete with A/C.

Wait! That's why they're rioting?

I've been extremely busy as of late, which attests to why I haven't posted in a while, so over the past few weeks, I didn't really hear much of the details regarding the rioting students in Paris. All I knew was that there was a proposed new employment law.

Well, after becoming informed of what it actually does, I feel its safe to say that no one should feel any sympathy. In fact, any right-minded American will have trouble even identifying with what the French youths are so concerned about.

Long story short, thanks to French socialism, France's economy is going down the tubes. In particular, current French employees are basically guaranteed job security for the rest of their lives once they are hired. As a natural consequence, this raises the cost of employment because firms are extremeley careful as who they will hire, not wanting to get stuck with a lousy employee. This means that younger less experienced workers who haven't had a chance to prove themselves find it extremely difficult to find work. So, to help remedy this burden of young students, Chirac wanted to change the law so that employers would be given 2 years to fire new employees under the age of 26. So basically, if you could survive the 2 years of at will employment, you would then be guaranteed your lifetime job security.

Of course, the mindless masses, only looking at this for less then five seconds saw "oh no, employers can fire people who are under 26, this is terrible."

Like a child who refuses to take medicine to cure his disease, these french youths are rioting to force the government to withdraw the new law, thereby perpetuating the conditions that will further ensure their difficulty to procur employment.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Undocumented Tee

I'm really conflicted on the immigration debate, but I thought this was great.