Monday, February 28, 2005

I'm with the people who think that events in the Middle East

are a harbinger of hope.

I believe the world is about to become a better place.

Now if we can unite to crush the enviro-wackos.

On that score, let me make it clear that I believe that free and prosperous people will clean up their neighborhoods and improve the environment with special care for the wonderful critters around them. Squashing prosperity is no way to protect the environment and threatening my children and grandchildren is no way to recruit me to your cause.

It's an odd thing to do, but I think I should post this exchange from my comments:

I think space travel will have more support when we describe it in terms of gathering resources and creating jobs. Every goomer out there wants more jobs (even if they don't want one for themselves).
The sooner we can promise methane mining operations on Titan, the sooner everybody will want to jump on board. Since that sort of thing would be good for the economy, and what's good for the economy is good for America and the poor, anybody who does not support space exploration obviously hates America and poor people.
LibertyBob | Homepage | 02.27.05 - 6:38 pm | #


Careful, Bob. Al is originally from Oklahoma, so your Goomer Sooner inference will get you nowhere. And besides, I expect that you produce enough methane to last us for decades to come.
Steve of G.J.'s | 02.27.05 - 9:39 pm | #


One man can't do it alone, Steve.
LibertyBob | Homepage | 02.28.05 - 8:03 am | #


My mother's from Oklahoma. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, no matter how hard you try to disown me, Steve.

I'm perfectly willing to take up LibertyBob's talking points.
Old Whig | Homepage | 02.28.05 - 12:56 pm | #

Friday, February 25, 2005

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Obtuseness can keep you from getting la*d!

I use the star advisedly. It could be anything, after all. Randomly going through the alphabet (more or less):

Obtuseness can keep you from getting land.

Originally I forgot to handle this one, so I guess this is an update. But first:

I'm one of those warped people who finds inspiration in the dictionary [See! Here it is!] so let's start there:

Noun 1. obtuseness - the quality of being slow to understand
dullness, dulness
stupidity - a poor ability to understand or to profit from experience
oscitance, oscitancy - drowsiness and dullness manifested by yawning
2. obtuseness - the quality of lacking a sharp edge or point
bluntness, dullness, dulness - without sharpness of edge or point
acuteness - the quality of having a sharp edge or point
Acuteness is an antonym. Why is that here?

Well, let's see. How do you get land? Maybe by talking to a realtor? By checking out Platt Books and calling the owner(s)?! Sheesh! Oh, yeah! Save some freakin' money for a down payment too, eh!

Obtuseness can keep you from getting laud.

No shit, Sherlock.

Obtuseness can keep you from getting lard.

Everybody cooked with shortening and corn oil in the sixties and seventies. They were more modern. Put modern in "scare quotes." A lot of things are still cooked that way. Now, olive oil tastes good and is good for you, but I had my first pie crust cooked with lard about 4 years into my marriage, and let me tell you, it's an eye opening experience.

Of course, if you mean adipose tissue, well, that's just silly.

If we stretch the "operate" symbol a bit we could have "Obtuseness can keep you from getting lashed." But that's truly ridiculous. Obtuse people always get the lash, and deservedly so.

Obtuseness can keep you from getting laid.

OK, I'm not fooling anybody, you know that's what I really meant.

Nietzsche said, "There is altogether too much beer in the German soul!" I'm not German, but I know what he meant. That screwed up a few liaisons for me as well. I'm sure that's what he was talking about. But Obtuseness! Stone-cold-sober failure-to-get-the-hint! Guilty as charged, your honor!

My big brother, who's apparently not around to defend himself these days, so it's safe to attack him, told me that he learned all about women from reading mom's Redbook magazine. So right at the verge of puberty I picked one up and read what was probably the first article ever written about date rape.

I was traumatized.

I immediately vowed never to touch a girl anywhere without explicit permission and just to play it safe, I wouldn't even give off vibes that that was what I really wanted. (Even though it was. Very much so.) All this was intensified by my Fundamentalist Christian upbringing.

Since Loki is actually the One True God, I was actually kind of a hot guy between the ages of 16 and 23, inclusive, despite the idiotic helmet hair, though you have to subtract the period of The First Beard. I had broad shoulders, thick pecs, strong, muscular thighs, a well-curved... Well, you get the idea. But this trauma I experience at age 11 made it absolutely impossible for me to take a freakin' hint.

I was married for about three years when it suddenly occurred to me that I was the only human being on the planet who had read that damn article.

About the same time, I decided that it would be a good idea for me to go over all my memories, even the most painful ones, in order to bring back the near-photographic memory I had in high-school. You can imagine that I then discovered a whole new class of embarassments to relive.

Oh, well.

Rosalie was born when I was 33, and it was like life went from black and white to living color. And all that old crap became foolishness.

It wasn't immaculate conception, by the way.

I just got this email from the former head of

the Libertarian Party of Minnesota:

Go to

and vote on Today's 2/23 Question (upper left) about Eminent Domain.

And tell more people to vote too.


I deleted his last name. I don't know how much of a public person he wants to be anymore. It's probably on their website.

Cato writer throws cold water on my celebration

over the passage of the Class Action Fairness Act.

The title of the article, Class Action Act Doesn't Go Far Enough, is both obvious - nobody who believes in tort reform considered it a panacea to bring all multi-state class action suits into the Federal Court system rather than allowing lawyers to "court shop" among the states - and a bit of a misnomer. Author Mark Moller's case is not merely that it doesn't go far enough, but that it goes in exactly the wrong direction. He says, and I believe he's right, that class actions should be broken up among many courts. He doesn't say it, but I'd say that the obvious way to do that would be to insist that [OK, force] cases be tried in the jurisdiction - the more local, the better - in which the harms occurred. That way we get many experimental solutions, rather than one centrally imposed solution.
Put simply, one-shot legal proceedings -- like all other forms of central planning -- carry a big risk of error. Inevitably, more bad claims are upheld, innocent defendants are extorted, and the public interest is ill-served -- no matter what the quality of judge tasked with managing these cases.

I need to learn more about this Judge Easterbrook that he cites.

I'd like to see more evidence for this claim, though, "Decentralization also checks abuse by lawyers. Those who truly protect their clients' interests will attract more plaintiffs to their cases; those who do not will attract fewer."

You'd hope, anyway. "[T]ruly protect their clients' interests" is too wide open a phrase.

Steyn on Miller

It was a marvellous inspiration to recast the communist 'hysteria' of the 1950s as the Salem witch trials of the 1690s. Many people have pointed out the obvious flaw - that there were no witches, whereas there were certainly communists. For one thing, they were gobbling up a lot of real estate: they seized Poland in 1945, Bulgaria in '46, Hungary and Romania in '47, Czechoslavakia in '48, China in '49; they very nearly grabbed Greece and Italy; they were the main influence on the nationalist movements of Africa and Asia. Imagine the Massachusetts witch trials if the witches were running Virginia, New York and New Hampshire, and you might have a working allegory. As it is, Miller's play is an early example of the distinguishing characteristic of the modern Western Left: its hermetically sealed parochialism. His genius was to give his fellow lefties what's become their most cherished article of faith - that any kind of urgent national defence is, by definition, paranoid and hysterical. It was untrue in the Fifties and it's untrue today. Indeed, the hysteria about hysteria - the 'criminalisation' of 'dissent' - is far more hysterical than the hysteria about Reds.

My emphasis. That paragraph begins with this sentence, actually, "He wasn't amiable enough to be an amiable dunce but he was the most useful of the useful idiots."

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

In some ways Blogging is a fun game.

Bantering with your buddies, flirting with the hot chicks and building traffic are all very cool.

But when it comes down to it, ya gotta provide the basic content to support all that. The question is, what is that content? What is my content? A lot of what I do online is just wild, aimless surfing. A couple posts ago it may have seemed like I was slamming Hunter S. Thompson for being a role model for libertines. If you examine my archives, even cursorily, you'll find a certain amount of libertinism there. Hunter Thompson was, without doubt, a great writer and a great gun owner [until he used his self-defense tool against himself (I love guns and their potential as tools to support and protect life, but I hate anyone who misuses them; thus providing a "witness" for those who feel otherwise)].

If I were a philosophy prof, I'd push the teachings of Epicurus, who is slandered by the standard interpretations of the words "epicureanism" and "hedonism".

A while back, one of those online quizzes labelled me an Aristotelian, primarily, with a strong Epicurean bent [and tertiarily a Randian (and, what the hell, quaternarily Nietzschean)]. I'll bear that label with deep pride. Aristotle invented logic! He was facing the lies of the Sophists, and they had discovered many truths of rhetoric--Aristotle said, in effect, don't concern yourself with the source, concern yourself with the argument.

OK, I was recommended as a tutor for students in logic by Dr. Cole at UMD, who said, "If he can't teach you, nobody can." I got an 'A', the bunch of losers he saddled me with in class got 'B's, and the late-thirties, bored housewife, who on retrospect, might have had something else in mind (the woman he actually said that to) dropped out for lack of desire to practice what I taught her.

[Obtuseness is a great tool for protecting your virginity (who the hell asked it?), as well as protecting your job as customer-servant.]

Was there a point here somewhere?

S**t, I lost it!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hit Maps says I've had readers from Finland and Estonia!

I desire little more than comments from those people. And perhaps a little bit of a lesson in those two, closely related languages.

My dad used to enjoy conversations with the Estonian pharmacist at Balzer Drug in Superior. He used to say that the difference in the languages was just in the pronunciation of the vowels.

Update: How come no visitors from Papua-New Guinea? Celebes is whuppin' ya, guys!

The world, it seems to me, is crying out for the wisdom of The Dhammapada.

Long time readers know that this comes from The Wisdom of China and India, edited by Lin Yutang. Get, as I say, your own.

(By the way, it appears that Hunter S. Thompson has decided to cease being an inspiration to libertines. We wish him well in the next life.)

This chapter is translated by F. Max Mueller.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
"He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me"--in those who harbor such thoughts hatred will never cease.
He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me"--in those who do not harbor such thoughts hatred will cease.
For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love--this is an old rule.
The world does not know that we must all come to an end here; but those who know it, their quarrels cease at once.

I feel the need to stop here.

It doesn't look to me as if the Wead tapes can do any harm

to President Bush. They portray him as a man of conviction with a strong competitive streak.

It seems to me that those convictions are shared by a great many Americans. The competitiveness shows up when he's discussing Gore, McCain and Forbes. The only comments I had any trouble with were those on Forbes, but frankly, I understand those too.

Where Forbes and Bush differ, I'm a Forbes guy.

How's this for a definition of Liberty?

From FFF's intro to their Biography of Benjamin Constant:
First ask yourselves, Gentlemen, what an Englishman, a French-man, and a citizen of the United States of America understand today by the word 'liberty'. For each of them it is the right to be subjected only to the laws, and to be neither arrested, detained, put to death or maltreated in any way by the arbitrary will of one or more individuals. It is the right of everyone to express their opinion, choose a profession and practice it, to dispose of property, and even to abuse it; to come and go without permission, and without having to account for their motives or undertakings. It is everyone's right to associate with other individuals, either to discuss their interests, or to profess the religion which they and their associates prefer, or even simply to occupy their days or hours in a way which is most compatible with their inclinations or whims. Finally it is everyone's right to exercise some influence on the administration of the government, either by electing all or particular officials, or through representations, petitions, demands to which the authorities are more or less compelled to pay heed.

-- Benjamin Constant, "The Liberty of Ancients Compared with that of Moderns" [1816]

Apparently FFF is working on their site. Either that or they object to me doing postings like this and I'm blocked personally, but I almost always find that my paranoid feelings are foolish. Almost always.

Benjamin Constant (1867-1830)
Acton Institute

Benjamin Constant: Liberty and Private Life
by Jim Powell
Foundation for Economic Education

Individual Liberty and Civil Society [1993]
by Richard M. Ebeling
Future of Freedom Foundation

Book Review: Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments
by Richard M. Ebeling
Foundation for Economic Education

The Liberty of Ancients Compared with that of Moderns
by Benjamin Constant
University of Arkansas

Here's what else they're up to:
FFF Daily Commentaries (Updated Today)
Freedom Biographies
Immigration Project
Spreading the Word New! Drug War News
Economy News
Gun Control News
Law News

I should add this:

© 2005 The Future of Freedom Foundation. All rights reserved.

They email me these things, so I figure that widening the distribution of them won't be a problem.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I haven't given this guy a link, but I'm going to have to.

I've been trying to think of how to say this for a while. From Peace For Our Time (a couple typoes here, bear with him):
I do not believe in the legitimacy of government. At the onset of the human race, God granted all earthly authority over the individual to the individual. He did not bestow any privilege upon a collective authority, be it the government, society proper, or the Church. As all controls over human nature are set by God, giving control over the individual a man made institution is giving something that is not ours; it is claiming to have powers reserved by God and thus is blasphemy. Jesus said, "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and give unto God what is God's". Some in the Christian faith view this as Jesus' acceptance of governmental coercion, even though we know that everything is God's. That which we have created has been with the talents and materials that we have been blessed with the ability to use- with the gift of that basic mental framework for intelligence which we then fill with experience. It is ours to exchange for what others have created using God's blessings. It is ours to, out of our hearts, give to those of the like Jesus cared for. That which is created is not such so that we may make the decision of charity for others. It is not such that we may take from another what is created out of our need, without exchanging in agreed equal value what is also the product of God's greatest tool, the human mind.

In that he had forced his pocket the claims he held upon the property of others, nothing is Caesar's.

That may be one of the most liberating thoughts a human can think: Nothing is Caesar's

I've been accosted to explain how I could support the Iraq War and remain committed to what is described as anarchism. It is a simple answer, and is very much similar to the main reason against unilateral nuclear disarmament. Unless we eliminate the smallest possibility of our liberty being threatened, we must maintain a standing army and thus a government. A: If we were to do away with government in the America, our enemies (who hate our freedom, and thus its products: our exported culture, and our exported culture, and thus its source: our freedom) will attack and we will not be able to adequately defend ourselves. The people will seek to reinstate a government likely much stronger than the one that was previously dissolved. B: The greatest way to protect our freedom and make government less necessary is to take positive steps toward the freedom of all. It is a simple and under-appreciated fact of nature that a free person with a knowledge of the workings of his liberty will not attack another free person with that same respect for freedom in general. It is sadly necessary to accept a small amount of illegitimacy in order to prevent a large amount of illegitimacy from being forced upon us.

I like his conclusion, too:
And thus we reach the central dissimilarity between the anarcho conservative and what is perceived as an anarchist: one seeks a world in which the individual's liberty will not even be questioned and will be patient with limited government to reach that goal; the other simply wants to bring down order.

It snowed overnight and I shovelled and now

the temperature is above freezing and the snow is melting.

C'est la vie, man.

The baby was taking a long nap the whole time Rosie was playing her game and now that I have the computer, she's up and wants my attention.

Hey! I finally got new batteries for the digital camera! How about a picture?
Free Image Hosting at
They weren't posing. I just ran up and caught them sitting like that.

The hard drive's getting a little bogged down. Maybe I should dump the old pix onto a disc and clear out all that space.

It's a quiet Sunday afternoon.

I just spent the last three hours reading Hugh Hewitt's book Blog while my daughter played Zoo Tycoon (great game, by the way, though I wish it allowed more control over financial matters, like Roller Coaster Tycoon does - I've gotten used to her sicking the dinosaurs on the customers).

I just went and got all those links above and lost my train of thought, though I did find a site celebrating Friedrich Schiller, Schillerjahr 2005 - this is the 200th anniversary of his death - via Jarvis' German links (and Ein Blog).

You know how good my promises are, but I'll try to post something - at Bourgeois Philistine, where I plan to do all discussions of art - on Schiller and why you schould care about him.

I think I need to include Jeff Jarvis on my link bar.

I just like the guy.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Posting like rabbits breeding

[and blowing past any opportunity to take that analogy more seriously (look at the time)], I tend to agree with the basic sentiment of this:


1034 Longworth HOB - Washington, D.C. 20515 - (202) 225-1880 (phone) & (202) 225-5914 (fax)

February 16, 2005

CONTACT: Hayley Rumback (202) 225-1880

Reps. Kolbe and Tauscher Launch

"Friends of New Zealand Congressional Caucus"

Today, Reps. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) announced the creation of the "Friends of New Zealand Congressional Caucus." The Caucus is the first step in a new partnership between Reps. Kolbe and Tauscher to facilitate trade between America and partner countries.

"In order for the U.S. to continue being a world leader in free trade, we must work toward a free trade agreement with New Zealand, as New Zealand will help open the door to markets around the world," said Rep. Kolbe. "Rep. Tauscher, myself, and more than 50 bipartisan members of Congress are committed to strengthening the bilateral economic relationship between the United States and New Zealand. This caucus will build on our countries' common histories and democratic values and deepen our partnership in the war on terror."

OK, I think that's overstating the case a bit, but I still agree with the idea.
"I am pleased to join Rep. Kolbe and a sizeable and bipartisan group of my colleagues to draw attention to the valuable trading partner we have in New Zealand. Increasing the flow of trade with New Zealand is next step after concluding the Australian Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that passed last Congress, and would add dollars to the bottomlines for California companies," said Rep. Tauscher. "California ranks first among all states in the country in exports to New Zealand, shipping $375.9 million in goods in 2003."

The "Friends of New Zealand Congressional Caucus" is a bipartisan working group that will strengthen and promote closer economic, political, and social links between the U.S. and New Zealand. Given the United States' vested interest in New Zealand, the lawmakers want to work toward establishing a FTA.

The United States and New Zealand have enjoyed a close relationship and have been trading partners for 150 years. The U.S. is one of the largest investors in the New Zealand economy, covering sectors that range from agriculture to finance, chemicals to telecommunications. The United States is the second largest exporter of goods to New Zealand behind Australia, and it is estimated that U.S. merchandise exports will increase by 25% with a FTA.

The National Association of Manufacturers recently praised the New Zealand markets and listed them among their top five priority nations for trade negotiations. New Zealand imported $1.7 billion of U.S. manufactured goods in 2003, an amount that the NAM economic model projects will be about $2.5 billion in 2010. The NAM also estimates that this growth could be faster if an FTA were in place.

Likewise, former USTR Robert Zoellick stated his interest in exploring an FTA with New Zealand when he began talks on an FTA for Australia. A U.S. - N.Z. FTA would naturally complement the U.S. – Australia FTA and would benefit the economies of all three countries.

# # #

Members of the "Friends of New Zealand Congressional Caucus:"

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
Rep. Tom Allen (D-ME)
Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH)
Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA)
Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (Del-Guam)
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Rep. Henry Brown (R-SC)
Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Rep. Chris Chocola (R-IN)
Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY)
Rep. Bud Cramer (D-AL)
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY)
Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
Rep. Lincoln Diaz Balart (R-FL)
Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA)
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-OH)
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY)
Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT)
Rep. Tim Johnson (R-IL)
Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL)
Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI)
Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ)
Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL)
Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-FL)
Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)
Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA)
Rep. Thomas Petri (R-WI)
Rep. Rob Portman (R-OH)
Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-NY)
Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ)
Rep. Clay Shaw (R-FL)
Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT)
Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT)
Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA)
Rep. John Tanner (D-TN)
Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA)
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA)
Rep. Ed Towns (D-NY)
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Rep. Jerry Weller (R-IL)
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)

I may not by the rest of what the gal stands for, but New Zealand is a good, free and democratic country generally. We need to support everybody who stands for the principles our country was founded on. Our long-term self-interest demands it.

Friday, February 18, 2005

A response from my Congressman

February 18, 2005

Alan Erkkila

Dear Alan:

Thank you for contacting me with your support for S.5, the Class
Action Fairness Act.

I strongly share your support for this important legislation, and I
voted for it when it passed the House recently by a vote of 279-

Like you, I am deeply concerned about abusive and frivolous
lawsuits, which are hindering economic growth and job creation
and raising costs for consumers.

I am pleased that both the U.S. House and Senate overwhelmingly
passed this legislation and the President has signed it into law.

Rest assured of my continued strong support for measures to
reform the legal system.

Thanks again for contacting me, as I appreciate hearing from you.
Please let me know whenever I can be helpful to you or your

Member of Congress

Just so you know, I also sent my letter to both of our Senators, Norm Coleman and Mark Dayton. Neither have responded. Congressman Ramstad has. I salute him. This may be the most important thing he's ever done for us economically and I expect great results.

At this moment I think it negates everything I've criticized him for. I'll remember this in two years.

I don't know where toodles got this,

but my life experience tells me that every word is true:
Cats & Dogs
Got this in the mail today and thought it was cute.
How Many Dogs Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb

1. Golden Retriever:
The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?

2. Border Collie:
Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.

3. Dachshund:
You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!

4. Rottweiler:
Make me.

5. Boxer:
Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.

6. Lab:
Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the light bulb!
Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeeeeeeeeze, please, please, please!

7. German Shepherd:
I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

8. Jack Russell Terrier:
I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture.

9. Old English Sheep Dog:
Light bulb? I'm sorry, but I don't see a light bulb.

10. Cocker Spaniel:
Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.

11. Chihuahua:
Yo quiero Taco Bulb.

12. Pointer:
I see it, there it is, there it is, right there ...

13. Greyhound:
It isn't moving. Who cares?

14. New Zealand Sheep Dog:
First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle...

15. Poodle:
I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

The Cat's Answer:
"Dogs do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs. So, the real question is: How long will it be before I can expect some light, some dinner, and a massage?"


What is a Cat?

1. Cats do what they want.
2. They rarely listen to you.
3. They're totally unpredictable.
4. When you want to play, they want to be alone.
5. When you want to be alone, they want to play.
6. They expect you to cater to their every whim.
7. They're moody.
8. They leave hair everywhere.

CONCLUSION: They're tiny women in little fur coats.

What is a Dog?

1. Dogs spend all day sprawled on the most comfortable piece of furniture in the house.
2. They can hear a package of food opening half a block away, but don't hear you when you're in the same room.
3. They can look dumb and lovable all at the same time.
4. They growl when they are not happy.
5. When you want to play, they want to play.
6. When you want to be alone, they want to play.
7. They leave their toys everywhere.
8. They do disgusting things with their mouths and then try to give you a kiss.
9. They go right for your crotch as soon as they meet you.

CONCLUSION: They're tiny men in little fur coats

We had about a hundred cats while we were growing up, and a half a dozen dogs. Then there were the neighbors' pets... and the goat. I know critters well.

Oh, I also had three sisters, many aunts, several girlfriends, one mother... I know women too. I don't think I need to enumerate my experiences with men.

Anybody recognize this?

"Das Erhalten hinter den Strassensperren, die durch meinen Gesichtspunkt verursacht werden, ist NOCH ein Kampf fuer mich in etwas Bereichen; Ich betrachte Sachen wie Astrologie und numerology, z.B., und meine sofortige Reaktion ist ", ein was fuer Buendel Unsinn"... aber ich pflegte, den an Animism zu denken auch bis ich las, was Brian Goodwin auf dem Thema sagen musste (sehen Sie meinen Pfosten von 3-16-04), und ich wuerde vermutlich denken, dass in Geist und psychischen Faehigkeiten, wenn ich sie nicht fuer mich erfahren hatte, also mir AUSKENNEN Sie, dass ich versuchen muss, dieser Art von Sachen eine angemessene Erschuetterung zu geben. ALLES, dem ein erhebliches # der Leute glauben ueber, wie das Universum Notwendigkeiten bearbeitet, eine angemessene, objektive Wahrscheinlichkeit zu erhalten, sein Material zu zeigen; die Wahrheit, ist schliesslich wahrscheinlich, unglaublicher zu sein, als irgendwelche von uns sich vorstellen."

"Getting past the roadblocks caused by my point of view is STILL a struggle for me in some areas; I look at things like astrology and numerology, for example, and my immediate reaction is "what a bunch of nonsense"... but I used to think that about animism, too, until I read what Brian Goodwin had to say on the subject (see my post of 3-16-04), and I'd probably think that about spirits and psychic abilities if I hadn't experienced them for myself, so I KNOW I need to try to give these sorts of things a fair shake. ANYTHING that a substantial # of people believe about how the universe works needs to get a fair, objective chance to show its stuff; the truth, after all, is likely to be more unbelievable than any of us imagine."

All right, I was playing with Omni's Babblefish. I thought the translation was quite good.

It's rather irritating to me that Blogger can't handle umlauts and s-tsets. The preview function show them perfectly. And LibertyBob, notepad didn't show me anything either.

Hey! How'd I miss the fact that Arnold Kling

has the entire text of Learning Economics online?

At least it looks like that's what it is.

Huh! Wonder how I lied to get this result:

My Inner Hero - Wizard!

I'm a Wizard!

There are many types of magic, but all require a sharp mind and a cool head. There is no puzzle I can't solve, no problem I can't think my way out of. When you feel confused or uncertain, you can always rely on me to untangle the knots and put everything back in order for you.

How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I hate to disagree with my beloved Omni

but there is a significant difference between rats and squirrels, and reason to shun them both.

The difference is that squirrels pretty much stick to a diet of seeds, and maybe roots or other plant matter. I don't feed them, so I'm not entirely clear on what they eat. My rabidly left-wing...well, I'll fudge on the exact relationship...shoots them at every opportunity, and I understand his motivation. I just actively seal them out and otherwise sick my cat on them. But I know they're vegetarians. In any case, they aren't the persistent competitors for our food supply that rats are; they prefer stuff that's lying around to stuff that they have to work for.

On the other hand... At the Grand Canyon, where I used to live and work, there are signs warning people not to feed the squirrels, or even approach them or allow them to approach you, because THEY CARRY PLAGUE!! And the fleas to transfer it.

Just like rats.

That's enough for me.

Update: The actual comment I'd have put on her sight is this: I used to run the loading dock (among other things) at a local University, where we shared the dumpster with the food service. One day I was out there cleaning up when I saw this rat, as big as a dachshund, lumbering up the ramp to get away from me. He looked just like Templeton from "Charlotte's Web" after the day at the fair.

I still gag thinking about it.

Folks, if you want to put a link in somebody else's comments

you need to save this code in a notepad (Oops! Looks like I typoed over at 86 tips) document on their desktops and use it for links in posts and comments: [a href="URL"]word or phrase[/a].

Replace square "[]" brackets with arrow "<>" brackets.

Here is the comment I left

to this post at Backspin:
"...[A] handshake and two signatures can never be enough.

There is no quick fix, no kiss and make up opportunity. Dealing with the genetic[?! Western "regimes" are in control of evolution?!] and psychological legacies of a brutal past is a spiritual thing. It cannot be enforced by agreement, predicted by science, or enabled by logic."

This guy's saying that free people making free agreements, personally can't get past the evils that others have committed? Of course they can't, when it's not they, personally, who are making the agreements, but others who are claiming the right to do so on their behalf.

"It needs imagination, sensitivity, humility and all the virtues
which cannot be gained through reading or conjecture. And maybe, in
place of the wild war music it needs the kind of mantra which Desmond
Tutu so winsomely taught his hurting compatriots:

Goodness is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Light is stronger than darkness. Life is stronger than death."

That's all true, but The Government (whether World, Regional, National or local) can't do that for you. You have to do it yourself. Government can only protect your right to do so. By doing so, it divides and conquers the factions of Society.

Posted by: Old Whig at February 18, 2005 07:10 AM

February 18, 2005 07:10 AM? Where is this guy? I've got 11:10 PM on the 17th.

In the context of covering a debate

over adding "vouchers" into the Minnesota Educational choice mix, St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Craig Westover tucks this killer parenthesis:
[Before we move on to the question of whether or not the proposed legislation does indeed undermine public education, let's look at the debate thus far. Hann has basically stated his rationale for the bill -- giving low-income families the same opportunity for school choice as more well-to-do families have. Kelly has tried to taint Hann's motives, but made one point -- that a $4,600 grant still doesn't provide low-income families with the same opportunities as the wealthy.

The difference here is one of perception, or rather misperception, of what is meant by "school choice" that is fostered by language used by both Hann and Kelly. "School Choice" does not mean that a parent receives state funding to send a child to any private school they desire. It means the ability to remove a child from a school that is not meeting the child's needs and place that child in another school -- public, private or religious -- that might, in the parent's opinion better educate that child. Currently, 85 percent of non-public schools in the Minneapolis and St. Paul charge tuition less that $4,600. Kelly's "reality" that the proposed legislation doesn't provide low-income families with ALL of the opportunites available to the wealthy ignores the reality that it provides low-income families opportunities they do not have now.]

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Crapski! I forgot to redo the link to The Angry Economist

Russ Nelson is planning to pick up the pace of his perspicacious posts by adding a general blog to his site.

I think I'll put up the link to the general blog.

Is this gal related to anybody I know?

Rene Burri.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Hey kids! Economic threats

from Moller:
December 2004

Is America the Right Place to Rollout the Skycar?
Raising money for the development of what we now call the Skycar has been a continuous battle ever since I began work on the predecessors of this VTOL aircraft nearly 40 years ago. At the onset of the project the space program was getting underway and there was tremendous enthusiasm for innovative and exciting technologies. Many Americans saw the world changing and a few hearty souls wanted to be a part of the process. Since then we have seen the dawn of the computer revolution, men have walked on the moon, and the Cold War came to a whimpering close.

The slow, gradual and evolutionary path the Skycar has taken has provided our supporters and critics with lots of time to examine the underlying business potential of this new type of aircraft. Many of our investors tell us why they think we will be successful. They describe the benefits of the Skycar over other aircraft. They tell us that the world is ready for and needs a new transportation alternative. They extol the features of our technology and provide long lists of features that the both the military and civilian customer will undoubtedly want to incorporate. They can clearly see a future with fundamental changes brought about by the Skycar.

When we examine the market potential we see that the Skycar is designed to be easier to fly, have a lower life cycle cost, higher-speed, and be more fuel-efficient than a light helicopter. Yet it maintains almost all the advantages of a helicopter and many of those of a light airplane. Some of the likely roles for the Skycar are in air charter services, emergency services (air ambulance), and high-value cargo transport. For example, as an air charter aircraft it could be quite effectively used transporting personnel to/from offshore oil platforms. Based on our current design, the Skycar would be much faster (2 to 3 times) and have twice the range of most light helicopters used for this function now.

US manufacturers sell approximately 500 helicopters every year, and recent studies indicate an upturn through 2008. US aircraft manufacturers also sell between 3,000 and 5,000 new private aircraft every year, adding to the over 200,000 privately owned aircraft in yearly operation in the US. This is not a huge market, but if we can position the Skycar as an alternative to the majority of light planes and helicopters it would give us a good size initial market opportunity in the US alone. Ultimately, the combined features of VTOL, high-speed operation, and automated flight control may open up larger market opportunities, and create a demand that will support a very strong sales per year, but this is something we will have to wait and see. But it is important to recognize that the US may not be our biggest market opportunity.

The Chinese government has said that it would like to promote the economic development of Western China. The problem they face is that Western China does not have a strong highway or railroad system. In this situation it makes sense for the Chinese to look to aviation for economic development. Building airports is faster and less expensive than developing extensive highway and rail systems, and the Chinese understand this, so that's what they are currently planning to do. But building an air traffic control system to manage Skycar air traffic might be even less costly and faster to implement. Instead of following through with announced plans to expand their airport infrastructure by building nearly 100 new airports over the next six years, they could invest this capital into commercialization of the Skycar, a network of small vertiports, and a complementary air traffic control system. This could provide them with a revolutionary new transportation system that could move people and light-cargo effectively, utilizing on-demand routing and scheduling.

Airborne transportation could boom overnight in Asia, and ultimately grow significantly. And we believe the benefits associated with a Skycar-based transportation solution are simply too great for countries like China to ignore for long. As we have stated before, we believe that Skycars are to transportation as cell phones were to communications. The Skycar provides the technology that could enable a region to leap-frog over the time and expense of putting in roads, bridges and tunnels and the restrictions that these "brick and mortar" systems impose by going directly to an airborne solution. Rail and roads will still be required to move heavy materials, food and goods. But where the "package" is one to three persons (besides the pilot), or a set of objects that can be moved in smaller, lighter units (say 1,000 lbs or less), then the Skycar is the perfect carrier. (Total estimated net payload of the M400 is 750 lbs and 1,250 lbs for the M600.)

With existing avionics, reasonably well-trained Skycar pilots could immediately start moving in and out of urban centers safely, augmenting existing transportation. As technology advances and if our predictions are true and we are able to implement more automated navigation and flight control, the Skycar itself can have a nearly fully automatic "autopilot". Right now more and more of traditional piloting skills are being augmented or done completely by various technologies, so we believe that the job of being a pilot will get easier and flying in a Skycar will be safer because of less dependency on pilot skill.

America is proud to be a leader in many of today's most advanced technologies, but it appears that countries that have a greater need and are willing to break new ground are positioned to move ahead. More and more each day, it looks to us that America is not the most fertile environment for the introduction of the Skycar, but Moller International's obligation to provide long term growth and profitability is going to keep us searching for greener pastures. One way or another, we are determined to be successful.

Shape up and fly right! Ya bastards!

Hope nobody noticed the double post.

I don't remember double clutching, but hey! The evidence is against me, eh?

Oh, well.

I was going to post a pic of the babykins playing with her and her sister's Valentines' balloons but the batteries in the digital cameral were dead. Right now, I'm explaining to her why she shouldn't eat a piece of tinsel. (God knows where she found that!)

Now she wants to know why she can't go upstairs. I'm telling her that she can wish in one hand and **** in the other and see which one gets full the quickest. She isn't buying that argument. In fact, she's deeply offended.

All right. Time for a big hug.

There's Mommy!!

Was I saying anything important?

Last night the little poop decided to wake up at 4:00 AM, and freak out. Mommy brought her into our bed. I enjoyed her company, except that she decided that she needed to sleep on Daddy's tummy. That would have been fine, except she didn't sleep. She fidgeted all over me for the next half hour.

My brain didn't recover until noon.

Partially because my wife and I celebrated Valentine's Day in the traditional, marital way.

Ripping off a post in toto from Bogus Gold

Taxpayer's League Responds to Trooper Union Chief
Remember Corporal Jensen, the Chief of the Minnesota State Patrol Troopers Association, and the recent newsletter he sent out? The one where he compared a certain local tax watchdog group to the violent separatist group Posse Comitatus? A few of us noticed it at the time, and weren't all that pleased.

It seems the Taxpayers League of Minnesota wasn't all that pleased with it either. This morning, the League's lawyers sent this letter:

Dear Corporal Jensen:

The undersigned represents the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, a Minnesota non-profit corporation (the "League"), with respect to the article entitled "Blackmailed" in the Winter 2003-2005 issue of Minnesota Trooper ("Article") authored by yourself as President of the Minnesota State Patrol Trooper’s Association ("MSPTA").

On behalf of the League and its President, David Strom, the League strongly objects to the content and tone of the Article, particularly the implications that the League endorses or tacitly encourages violence against governmental authorities as a political solution. The Article inaccurately describes the League (by reference, although not by name) as a "radical anti-tax organization" which advocates some of the same principles as the Posse Comitatus (described in the Article as "viciously racist, anti-Semitic and anti-government".)

The League is a non-partisan public advocacy organization dedicated to educating the public about the effects of excessive taxation and promotes limiting the scope of government to those programs or services which are essential and within the proper scope of the government's limited powers enumerated within the United States Constitution. Your assertion that the Moreover, the League "uses money, threats and political blackmail to enforce its anti-tax, anti-government agenda" is factually false and misleading, with a tendency to unjustifiably damage the League's reputation.

Moreover, the Article's final paragraph, which unreasonably equivocates the League's officers, directors and/or employees with "a tax protestor in camouflage with an automatic rifle", might be wrongfully interpreted to encourage a violent response to the League's activities, as justifiable as law enforcement's heroic response to the "barrage of rifle fire" of the individuals identified at the beginning of your correspondence. Such equivocation is inflammatory, irresponsible and completely lacks any justification.

The implication that the League resorts to monetary bribery, extortion or blackmail is wholly and completely false. Moreover, the League has not advocated and does not advocate, promote, support or endorse any views or positions which are or might be deemed racist or anti-Semitic, and the League has not advocated and does not advocate, promote, support, endorse or encourage violent resistance to legitimate government tax collection efforts by killing government authorities, agents or law enforcement officers. The League operates peacefully within the public sphere to influence governmental public policy in a manner no different than any other responsible advocacy organization (such as the Minnesota State Patrol Trooper’s Association).

As such, the League is shocked and offended by the Article's accusations that the League’s peaceful public advocacy efforts are similar to, or a logical extension of, any organizations which promote baseless violent, racist and anti-Semitic positions or views. Accordingly, the League requests that you publish a retraction of such implications and personally issue a written apology on behalf of yourself and the MSPTA to both the League and the League's President David Strom for the Article's inflammatory implications and irresponsible accusations.

The League anticipates and appreciates your prompt response to the same and trusts that you and the MSPTA will refrain from any and all untrue, inaccurate and misleading assertions or accusations regarding the League and its activities and positions in the future. Please forward all correspondence regarding the League and this matter to our attention at the address set forth on the first page of this correspondence. Thank you.

I knew about this and didn't post on it. For that I apologize to my readers.

Monday, February 14, 2005

That's what I said.

Jeez!! That's not it! I meant This is what I said.

Huh! I can't find the post where I said that. It was last year some time. Google's no help.

Trust me, I said that.

I can't find these lyrics anywhere

nor do I have any idea who's song it was originally - probably one of the Hanks (Williams Sr., Snow or Thompson) - but it was one my Dad used to sing brilliantly. It's perfect for a deep resonant bass. The melody kind of belies the woeful lyrics, as though implying that sadness is just another emotion that will pass.

This one's for you, (you know who you are):
Feelin' low 'cuz I know that it's all over now
And nobody cares for what happens anyhow
There's no use to cry
'Cuz life passed me by
It meant for me to lose when I was born.

That's all I can remember.

The Wall Street Journal has an article on Global Warming

Today, that does little to increase my confidence in the science on the matter. (I don't have a subscription to WSJ, I just occasionally get the paper copy dropped in my lap.)

I just want to highlight a few passages that I found irritating. The article is: "Global Warring: In Climate Debaste, The 'Hockey Stick' Leads to a Face-Off: Nonscientist Assails a Graph Environmentalists Use, And He Gets a Hearing: Defenders Call Attack Political" by Antonio Regalado.

As I say, I'm going to take some comments out of context to point out how annoying they are. If you want the context, you'll have to buy or borrow the paper copy if you don't have a subscription.

The player's:
Stephen McIntyre, "a semi-retired Toronto minerals consultant," who spent "two years and about $5,000 of his own money trying to double-check the influential graphic," and says "he has found significant oversights and errors. He claims its lead author, climatologist Michael Mann of the University of Virginia, and colleagues used flawed methods that yield meaningless results." McIntyre also "won math contests in high school and a math scholarship to the University of Toronto..." [What I elided might be useful for anyone seeking an ad hominem.]

Michael Mann... The article apparently doesn't feel he needs further introduction - it's about his famous model, after all - so here's his blog. (Not his alone, actually.)

McIntyre's attack is "that Dr. Mann's mathematical technizue in drawing the graph is prone to generating hockey-stick shapes even when applied to random data."

What is it that I find irritating?
Mr. McIntyre, e-mailed Dr. Mann requesting the raw data used to build the hockey stick After initially providing some information, Dr. Mann cut him off.

Dr. Mann says his busy schedule didn't permit him to respond to "every frivolous note: from nonscientists."

Well, I guess that's the key thing that irritated me, other than "Think tanks backed with funding from from the energy industry have waged a wide campaign to castdoubt on key scientific results." That's the reporter, Mr. Regalado, not Dr. Mann. And this line, "A variety of critics appear to be 'on some kind of witch hunt,' Dr. Overpeck says."

Because I do care about context, Dr. Jonathan Overpeck, a climate specialist at the University of Arizona, also says, "The main punch line still appears in many other studies."

And the fact is that the article comes out pretty balanced. It doesn't leave you believing either that McIntyre is a crackpot, whether he is or not, nor that Mann is an arrogant socialist. appears quite reasonable:
RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science.

An important counter to McIntyre's point is made here:
However, this discussion needs to be conducted in a sober and unexcited manner; it does not help to overburden the "hockey stick" with symbolic meaning. In some media reports, the "hockey stick" has even been hyped as "a pillar of the Kyoto protocol" (which was agreed in 1997 and thus predates it) or as "proof that humans are warming the Earth". This is a serious misunderstanding of the scientific meaning of these data.

But the problem remains that it's what happens when the scientific data are used by politicians that causes the trouble. I'm a big fan of non-governmental solutions. Societies can be, and usually are, stifling in one way or other, but as long as societal taboos aren't killing, maiming, imprisoning or impoverishing you, in the most literal sense, the stifling can be ignored or overcome.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Jo, we hardly knew ye.

The competition just got a little easier. Jordan, Citizen Jo from Jo's Attic, just gave it up. I'll be studying her archives to see how I should have been doing it.

Frankly, I don't get it. Just because I don't have the time to put out a quality product... Well, that doesn't stop me.

I think I'll keep putting out crap 'til I die.

Well, I'm guessin' by the difficulty I just had in

getting back online, that everybody in the world is trying to be the first to post on Hugh Hewitt's announcement GET THAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!!... ... I'm not going to be the first to do anything. Except remove legos from the baby's mouth, of course.


Eason Jordan has resigned from CNN!!

Update: Mitch Berg says (on the radio) that a little bird must have told Jordan that (to paraphrase) a world of sh*t was about to hit. I missed the great point, according to Hugh, that the Atomizer made.

Ah! Chad the Elder broke the news to the Blogosphere.

This whole Mark Jen controversy

You know, the guy who was fired from Google for blogging?

I find it odd that the parent company (or acquirer or whatever) of Blogger would fire somebody for using their product. There must be more to it. It makes for a heck of a cautionary tale, though, doesn't it?

Thanks, CPF. Oh, here's the article John linked.

I found all those other links via Google.

I got this from Craig Westover

I must have just taken it completely for granted when they emailed me.
READER RESPONSE -- Tell me again that its about the kids

Reader Jerry Ewing passes this along. It speaks for itself.

"The educational tragedy in Rockford, Illinois, now making national headlines, echoes a larger tragedy. At Lewis Lemon elementary school, with a student body described by The New York Times as '80 percent nonwhite and 85 percent poor,' third graders scored near the top in statewide readings tests. Their results were bested only by students at a school for the gifted.

"How were the results achieved? Teachers used reading lessons 'heavy on drilling and repetition, that emphasize phonics--that is, learning words by sounding them out.' This approach, however, is deemed too extreme by the new school superintendent, who is phasing it out.

"In discarding success, Rockford is following the demands of the still-dominant voices in the nation's schools of education. They insist that phonics instruction be balanced with its antipode, the whole language 'method.' Because 'reading is such a complex and multifaceted activity,' explains Dr. Catherine Snow, professor of education at Harvard, 'no single method is the answer.'

"This is like saying that because eating is 'such a complex and multifaceted activity,' no single method can guide us, and that a proper diet must therefore contain a mixture of food and poison."

- Dr. Onkar Ghate of the Ayn Rand Institute

Here's the comment exchange so far:
Actually, it is acknowledging that everyone, even our poorest, deserve more then the gruel of drill. They deserve well rounded, enriched, balanced meals/education.
MinnBEST | Email | Homepage | 02.10.05 - 4:06 pm | #

Bulls***! Whole language is an advanced reading technique, not a beginner's skill. It's Speed Reading. It should only be taught after the kids have mastered the basics and have begun (and this should be KNOWN based on testing each individual) to figure out "word shapes" on their own.

My daughter can handle it, because we taught her to read via phonics before she went to school. I taught my nephew and niece to read phonically in about a half hour. My nephew was in second grade and nobody had explained to him that the letters referred to sounds.
Old Whig | Email | Homepage | 02.10.05 - 11:14 pm | #

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Oy! The Web is slow tonight!

Is everybody live-blogging the Hewitt-Beinart debate?

Anyway, I just discovered that a Tim Pawlenty run for the Presidency is being taken seriously on the national level.

I'm not going to post that awful photo ABC News is showing - he looks like he's auditioning for the role of Mephistopheles. Of course, DFLers think he did that when he first ran for the State House as a Republican.
The participants [in a meeting of the Council on National Policy], including respected commentator Paul Weyrich and the Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly, agreed that prominent conservatives should coordinate efforts to cultivate the candidate who best represents "values voters," and Pawlenty fits that description.

"He seems to be in line with the views of what we now call the 'values voters,' which are very important to the future of the Republicans," said Weyrich, who says he remains undecided about whom he'll support in 2008.

"There aren't a whole lot of candidates in that position. [Former New York Mayor Rudolph] Giuliani, he's not satisfactory. [New York Gov. George] Pataki is not satisfactory, you go down the list."

Pawlenty, 44, is a popular conservative governor in a traditionally Democratic state, and is open to a run for the presidency but he has made no decisions, according to associates. His representatives would not speculate about his plans, saying he is preparing for what will be a contentious legislative session this year.

"Governor Pawlenty enjoys his job and is focused on being the best governor he can be," said his chief spokesman, Brian McClung.

That means he's in.
He wins over audiences with his quick wit — often self-deprecating — his humble personal style and his ability to speak at length without notes.

Yes, he does. The guy's a great speaker in any venue.
Admirers compare Pawlenty to respected Republicans. "He has a sense of where he wants to lead the country, just like [smart-ass' note: widely respected Republican] President Reagan," said one top Minnesota Republican.

Democrats have compared his speaking skills and ability to frame issues to Bill Clinton's [Clinton always sounded to me like he was selling snake-oil, though I liked him very much in PBS' The Commanding Heights] and his political legacy has been compared to Hubert Humphrey — one Republican said Pawlenty could be for state Republicans what Humphrey was for state Democrats.

"He has demonstrated that he is solution-oriented," said Weyrich, whose guidance could influence some conservative voters in 2008. "When a problem is presented to him, he doesn't just say, well, this is my deal and you can take it or leave it. He really looks for constructive ways that he can compromise without giving away his principles."

Pawlenty will almost certainly run for re-election in 2006 and has begun to raise money at an expeditious clip. There is also speculation he may run for Democratic Sen. Mark Dayton's seat. Dayton has decided not to seek re-election.

On that last point, I'd say the Democrats strongest candidate is Hennipen County Attorney Amy Klobuchar--and she's very strong. I wouldn't mess with her, frankly. I think I'd vote for her for [MN] Attorney General or [MN] Secretary of State [both are elected positions here], but not for more political positions like Senator or Governor. Hey! I'd probably vote for her against Jim Ramstad in my district. Or maybe not. Ramstad's at least as good as she is. If they were running against each other, I'd probably decide it was time to throw my own hat in the ring as a Libertarian.

If it comes down to Pawlenty vs. Ramstad for the Republican nomination, I'm with Pawlenty, but the Rammer has proven his electibility in Minnesota. He gets called a RINO a lot (often by me), but he's better than any Democrat around.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Okay, let me spell it out for you...

This is LibertyBob:
I think I know how to make the peace last longer. We will put a jar on the kitchen counter top. Every time an Israeli or Palestinian shoots or blows up somebody they have to put a quarter in the jar. If there’s a down side to the violence they will be less likely to do it. What’s more, they can use the money from the jar to rebuild some of those old buildings over there. Some of those buildings look ancient and could really use a remodel.

With my peace plan, there will be lasting peace in the Middle East. If it works really well, we’ll use the technique to fix other places in the world. Every time a Columbian made cocaine there would be another coin in the jar. The jar would be another quarter richer each time a French person was a pissy, little bitch. Yep, the jar would make the world a better place.

Got the picture?

Now get your asses over there!

A couple interesting things from FEE

Iraq's Ailing Banking Industry Is Slowly Reviving

"At the government-owned banks, the branches are cold, musty chambers where customers stand in line for hours as employees sit idly at their desks. While the private banks tend to look better, there are no cash machines or online payments in Iraq. Banks handle transactions by hand rather than using electronic Swift codes, for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, the international standard for moving money." (New York Times, Thursday)

[Bleep in a bucket!! They've already archived it! I wonder if I can find anything else about this for you.]

The best thing the Iraqi government could do for the private banks is to leave them alone.

FEE Timely Classic
"Banking Without Regulation" by Lawrence H. White

King of Nepal Takes Charge

"Six days ago Nepal's king ended the country's 15-year experiment with democracy and took power for himself, imposing a state of emergency and suspending a host of civil liberties, including freedom of expression. Nepalis have been facing something between fear and a farce since then, adjusting to a combination of royal rule and martial law. Those in politics and the news media feel particularly under siege." (New York Times, Tuesday)

L'etat, c'moi.

FEE Timely Classic
"The Assault on Free Choice" by Roger Ream

The latter article strikes me as particularly important.

I see my beloved Carly

has hit the bricks.

The kiss of death, I am.

Looks just like her critics thought she was an uppity bitch.

Read the WaPo article. She's all woman, that one!

Well, all right, there are rumors of a downside:
Hewlett-Packard holds a special place in Silicon Valley's history. Famously founded in a garage by two Stanford students, it was known for its "HP Way," a set of values that believed in a flat management structure and a respect for all employees. The top officials were known for walking around the design and shop floors regularly and chatting up even the lowest-level employees at random.

Fiorina, in contrast, Hewlett-Packard employees said, was often visible only on a TV broadcast of company meetings. She flew around the world on a corporate jet and insisted on directly approving initiatives large and small -- even to the point, critics said, of micromanaging many initiatives.

But what really set employees against her was a decision to cut jobs after the merger. Angry employees said that the family-oriented company's founders would never have stood for the layoffs.

I believe I mentioned that I was working for (or, rather, at; I'm an outside contractor) HP when she was hired. I don't know why I like her, come to think of it: I left that site because I heard the office was going to be cut and our contract with it. (Not because I hated my co-worker, guys. I thought she did great work, actually--though sometimes it was tough to get her to do this one job that I brought in. I got some advice for managers that'll make another post.)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fat Tuesday comes to an end, boys and girls.

Mardi Gras leads into Ash Wednesday.

Feel repentant?

Me? Nah! I commit my sins at home with a willing, adult partner. (My wife, I mean.) That train of thought leads to... More trouble than I care to think about. And long-time readers (all right, it hasn't been two years yet - shaddap!) have seen pictures of me and my wife. Think of us rolling in the hay, eh?

We've reproduced in that time period!!

Aaah HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAaaaaaaa....!!!

Except we're not. I'm blogging and the wife's sleeping. Sadly, there are reasons for this situation [somebody's got "stomach flu"].

Happy Lent!

I owe an apology to James Baxter,

The Choicemaker.

He's saying things that I dearly want to hear from Christian Conservatives.

I got around to reading your email, sir. You deserve respect, and I didn't give it to you.

I am sorry.


By the Way, did anybody notice this great piece by

my buddy Lance on the solution to the election troubles in Wisconsin: The Danger of Photo I.D.

Hey! Who knew that John Lott was blogging

and didn't tell me, dammit!!

I just discovered it at [the site of a blogger who's better than me] The New American Revolutionist.

He has a link to it. (Which means that he wasn't over here bugging me to give the guy a link. So it was HIM!!)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Since you asked for it

I thought I'd highlight my favorite page from the Acton Institute. Here's their introduction:
In the Liberal Tradition: A History of Liberty

"At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities...If hostile interests have wrought much injury, false ideas have wrought still more; and [true liberty's] advance is recorded in the increase of knowledge as much as in the improvement of laws."
- Lord Acton, "The History of Freedom in Antiquity"

This collection of short biographies highlights the life and thought of central characters in the history of liberty.

The rest of this page is a link list. They're very short biographies. Ah, what the heck!

Hugh of St. Victor (1096-1141)
Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406)
St. Bernardino of Siena (1380-1444)
St. Bernardino of Siena (1380-1444)


Bartholomew de Las Casas (1474-1566)
Francisco MarroquĂ­n (1499-1563)
Girolamo Zanchi (1516-1590)
Luis de Molina (1535-1600)
Francisco Suarez (1548-1617)
Johannes Althusius (1557-1638)
William Perkins (1558-1602)
Hugo Grotius (1583-1645)
John Winthrop (1588-1649)
Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661)
John Milton (1608-1674)
Sir Henry Vane (1613-1662)
John Locke (1632-1704)
Samuel von Pufendorf (1632-1694)
William Penn (1644-1718)
Joseph Addison (1672-1719)


Adam Smith (1723-1790)
John Witherspoon (1723-1794)
Issac Backus (1724-1806)
Samuel Cooper (1725-1783)
Anne Robert Jacques Turgot (1727-1781)
Ferdinando Galiani (1728-1787)
Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832)
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
James Madison (1751-1836)
Fisher Ames (1758-1808)
Noah Webster (1758-1843)
William Wilberforce (1759-1833)
K. Wilhelm Freiherr von Humboldt (1767-1835)
Benjamin Constant (1767-1830)
Jean-Baptiste Say (1767-1832)
Lyman Beecher (1775-1863)


Richard Whately (1787-1863)
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)
Antonio Rosmini-Serbati (1797-1855)
Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)
John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Jean-Baptiste-Henri Dominique Lacordaire (1802-1861)
Orestes Brownson (1803-1876)
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)
William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898)
Charles le Comte de Montalembert (1810-1870)
John Bright (1811-1889)
Isaac Thomas Hecker (1819-1888)
Lord Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (1834-1902)
Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920)
Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)
J. Gresham Machen (1881-1936)
Jacques Maritain (1882-1973)
J. Howard Pew (1882-1971)


Rose Wilder Lane (1886-1968)
Emil Brunner (1889-1966)
Michael Polanyi (1891-1976)
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973)
Christopher Dawson (1898-1970)
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)
Leonard E. Read (1898-1983)
Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992)
Edward A. Keller, C.S.C. (1903-1989)
John Courtney Murray, S.J. (1904-1967)
Frank S. Meyer (1909-1972)
Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909-1999)
Richard M. Weaver (1910-1963)
Carl F. H. Henry (1913-2003)
Russell Kirk (1918-1994)

I've provided the links to people that I've mentioned, or know I should have. For the rest, go there. Except for the Eighteenth Century; there are too many. I'm trying to highlight the one's that people should know by using links. The Eighteenth Century would just be a sea of blue.

I see that I reversed Emerich Edward in my comment to the previous post. I think of him as Eddie. (Ow! Ow! Ow! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!)

By the way, for anybody who's interested enough to read this far, I've fired up another blog that I plan to think of as my backroom/workshop. I'll be tinkering with ideas that need more work there, instead of doing all that right up front here as I've been doing. The goofy thing about me is that I can't write at all if I don't think anybody could possibly see it. I like a little (polite) kibbitzing. I call it Bourgeois Philistines of Minnesota. Nothing much there yet.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

How about that?

The Future of Freedom Foundation's Freedom Biography today is of JRR Tolkien.
From the Vin Suprynowicz article, "His Noblest Fantasy Had Little To Do With Elves and Wizards":
...[M]ost great English literature has been about restoring proper government power (always favoring the legitimacy of the ancestors of whatever patrons were footing the bill) – read the thanes of Shakespeare’s "MacBeth" arguing that any foible can be forgiven in a king so long as he can rule with a strong hand, preserving the land from anarchy.

But The Lord of the Rings is not about restoring the metaphoric Ring of Power to the rightful king. Rather, we see Frodo the ringbearer – an open-faced hobbit in homespun making the most seemingly unlikely champion, except for the fact that hobbits are the creatures in all Middle Earth least likely to be seduced by the promise of power – offer the ring to each of the good wizards and elf queens and royal heirs of his world, in turn.

Those who succumb to temptation come to bad ends. The test of goodness and worth – in this film as in the book – is the ability to say "No" to the offer of unlimited power, to declare, as does Gandalf the Gray (Ian McKellen), "Oh, I would use this ring in an attempt to do good. But through me, it would wield a terrible power. ..."

Frodo’s quest is not to deliver the One Ring to the right king, but rather to haul it back to the mountain of fire where it was forged in darkness, and destroy it.

The world is sadly short of Bagginses.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Ronald Reagan's birthday is tomorrow.

Mitch Berg celebrates it as Reaganmas. He takes his family to their favorite fast-food joint and talks about the importance of Ronald Reagan.

Imagine Jimmy Carter for two terms. We'd all be celebrating "malaise" now.

I just finished watching

Zorba the Greek on PBS's The Big Show. I'm feeling rather existentialistic at the moment.

They execute the chick for forcing that young boy to drown himself.

Kind of like your boss "forces" you to do anything.

If you think you're being forced to do something and there's not actually a gun to your head, you need to read How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: A Handbook for Personal Liberty, by former Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Harry Brown. (The book came first.)

"Zorba the Greek" is not much of an endorsement of multi-culturalism. You don't come away with a feeling of acceptance of the Cretans and you're kind of annoyed that the Brit seems to. Zorba's okay. His zest for life is certainly admirable, but the Englishman - I forget his name - is just allowing himself to be blown by the wind. It would have gone better for him if he hadn't put his life in Zorba's hands.

But who knows these things ahead of time?

The movie's worth watching just to see Zorba's elan.

Learn to dance.

Max Schmeling died Wednesday.

I'm surprised I didn't hear this.
Max Schmeling, Germany's former world heavyweight boxing champion who died on Wednesday aged 99, will forever be remembered for his re-match in 1938 with the American Joe Louis; it was fought out in New York against the backdrop of impending war, and became as much a political event as a boxing match.

It's a long article. Read it all.

Update: Mitch Berg heard the news before I did. He links this USA Today article that says:
Schmeling, who fought Louis in two of the most politically charged sporting events ever on the eve of World War II, once hid two Jewish boys in his apartment from marauding Nazis and later reportedly helped some Jewish friends escape death camps.

He said he feared only one thing in a long life that ended Wednesday at the age of 99.

"I don't want anyone to say I was a good athlete, but worth nothing as a human being — I couldn't bear that," Schmeling said in 1993.

The world has lost a great human being. Would that such men would live forever.


Get some at CPF's.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Well, time to take a deep breath.

But not just yet. (For those of you who don't like the air there, there's more deep breathing going on here. ...No, Bob, I said "deep breathing" not heavy breathing!)

Oh, crap! That's the wrong window! I meant to get the link from this one!

Apparently I missed the Liberal Infiltrator at the Townhall Meet-up last night. It could have been fun. I had to babysit while the wife took the cookie orders for our Girl Scout troup in to the office and helped with the paperwork.

Rosie has the basic idea of chess now and doesn't try to make the "men" do things they're not supposed to do anymore. She whupped me good last night. Tonight I taught her checkers and she whupped me at that too.

Next I'll explain the concept of "beginners' luck."

Oh, hey! I've been looking for this post! Ah, why not quote it? It's short:
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
If Tom Sowell is a Conservative, I'm a Conservative.

If Pat Buchanan is a Conservative, I'm a Libertarian.

If Karl Rove and George Bush are Conservatives, I'm an Anarchist.

[Deleted mysterious aside.]

Whiggarchy and Isonomy are prerequisites for Fraternity.
Posted by: Al / 9:36 AM

Don't know that I'm ready to repudiate that quite yet. Let's see some spending cuts, George.

Surangama Sutra one... I'm searching my archives... Google's not helping as much as I'd like... Hey! Scotty the Menace! Go harangue 'im. I was polite. No rule says you have to be... Fred on Everything... Fred links to this picture and explains it in the context of a discussion of objective reporting, ...and gives me a WOD: kerygma...

Ah, that's enough. I gotta catch up on my Fred.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I've mentioned The Future of Freedom Foundation's

Freedom Biographies before. I think I even had them on my sidebar before I wiped out my template and Mr. Moore stepped in with his kind offer of assistance. In any case, before I let her "Centennial Celebration", as Chris Matthew Sciabarra put it, go, here's a great list of articles on Ayn Rand.

But wait! There's more!

FFF's round up of appreciation articles aren't in that collection:

Ayn Rand Introduced Me to Libertarianism
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Future of Freedom Foundation

On the Centenary of America's Radical for Capitalism
by Sheldon Richman
Future of Freedom Foundation

Neglected Fortieth
Anniversary (1997)

by Sheldon Richman
Future of Freedom Foundation

Of Course, It All Began
with Ayn Rand
by Bart Frazier
Future of Freedom Foundation

Freedom Biography: Ayn Rand
Future of Freedom Foundation
(See above for link)

The Evolution of Ayn Rand
by Steve Chapman
Washington Times

Rereading 'Atlas' on Ayn Rand's 100th
by Julia Keller
Chicago Tribune

Assessing Rand at Centenary
by Carlin Romano
Philadelphia Inquirer

Remembering Ayn Rand’s Legacy of Reason and Freedom
by Michael S. Berliner
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Rand's Philosophy, Influence Still Hold Weight
Cox News Service
Dayton News-Journal

I put all those here because I can't find this list on their website. They sent this list to me in an email.

I haven't read all of them, but I doubt that ARI would approve of them all.

There's a great roundup of blogposts

on the GI Joe kidnapping at RIGHT WINGNUTHOUSE. Head over and take a look.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Lance Burri Hits The Big Time

His article The Strange Battle for a Minimum Wage
has been collected by these guys and linked at!

A Freedom Writer!

What an awesome title!

Before I go whup Rosie's behind in Chess

let me point out my pal Tracy's post on Liberals losing it.

In my comment to the article Crossing the Rubicon, I neglected to mention the link to Mark Brown's follow-up to the article Tracy cites.

Some of you may learn things about me that you won't like.

The Mises Institute, who have reasons of their own

for a dislike of Ayn Rand, post a wonderful tribute to her in celebration of her centenary:
Ayn Rand's Contribution to the Cause of Freedom
by Roderick T. Long

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of Rand's philosophy—her rejection of altruism and her embrace of ethical egoism—is also one of the most misunderstood. Despite her sometimes misleading rhetoric about "the virtue of selfishness," the point of her egoism was not to advocate the pursuit of one's own interests at the expense of others', but rather to reject the entire conflictual model of interests according to which "the happiness of one man necessitates the injury of another," in favor of an older, more Aristotelean conception of self-interest as excellent human functioning.

It was on such Aristotelean grounds that she rejected not only the subordination of one's own interests to those of others (and it is this, rather than mere benevolence, that she labeled "altruism") but also the subordination of others' interests to one's own (which she labeled "selfishness without a self"). For Rand, the Aristotelean recognition of properly understood human interests as rationally harmonious was the essential foundation for a free society.

I've cited the points that I consider most important, but you may find other points more worthy of your attention. Read, as they say, the whole thing.

Craig Westover celebrates Ayn Rand's Centenary

by asking, Who is Lee Kurisko?

He's a doctor (of radiology) who fled to Minnesota from Canada's socialized medical system.

Westover links to a Google search for Kurisko, one of the links on which denies Kurisko's claim that Canada's Health Care System is socialized. He seems to be unclear on the concept. (There are two articles on the page, both worth a look, but I'm talking about the second one.) He's calling for a government investigation into government malfeasance/corruption, but... Well, that seems to be as far as he's willing to go.

These guys would like more socialism. For some reason they didn't want to listen to Kurisko's rebuttal.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Hey! A blog by somebody I know!

I haven't been able to get to a Townhall meetup since the first one (and I told the guy I'd be there tonight, but IT'S TUESDAY!! I GOT TOO MUCH CRAP GOING ON ON TUESDAYS!! Everybody schedules everything for Tuesday!! Jeezus Louizus!!)...

A little distance from that parenthesis...

Anyway, check out

Mark Steyn gives me a WOD tonight:

psephological. Well, I see the Free Dictionary is useless tonight... Let's try Webster. That's the book under my leg... Oh, I put that there more recently than the picture. Sorry.

Well, It doesn't have that word, but it does have "psephisma": n. [from Gr. psephizein, to reckon or count with pebbles.] "in ancient Greece, a public vote of the people; also, a measure adopted by such a vote."

Ah! That's leads me to some words The Free Dictionary does have:
n. 1. (Gr. Antiq.) A proposition adopted by a majority of votes; especially, one adopted by vote of the Athenian people; a statute.

pse-phol-o-gy (s-fl-j)
The study of political elections.


[Greek psphos, pebble, ballot (from the ancient Greeks' use of pebbles for voting) + -logy.]


psepho·logi·cal (sf-lj-kl) adj.
pse·pholo·gist n.

Well, Jeepers Creepers! Do ya have the bleepin' word or don't ya!

Update: Here's the article link and an exerpt:
The ''realpolitik'' types spent so long worshipping at the altar of stability they were unable to see it was a cult for psychos. The geopolitical scene is never stable, it's always dynamic. If the Western world decides in 2005 that it can ''contain'' President Sy Kottik of Wackistan indefinitely, that doesn't mean the relationship between the two parties is set in aspic. Wackistan has a higher birth rate than the West, so after 40 years of ''stability'' there are a lot more Wackistanis and a lot fewer Frenchmen. And Wackistan has immense oil reserves, and President Kottik has used the wealth of those oil reserves to fund radical schools and mosques in hitherto moderate parts of the Muslim world. And cheap air travel and the Internet and ATM machines that take every bank card on the planet and the freelancing of nuclear technology mean that Wackistan's problems are no longer confined to Wackistan. For a few hundred bucks, they can be outside the Empire State Building within seven hours. Nothing stands still. ''Stability'' is a fancy term to dignify laziness and complacency as sophistication.

I missed the fact that Frank Gaffney was bitchin' about

The Law of the Sea Treaty, or I might have jumped on this email from The Liberty Committee:

January 27, 2005

Now that the elections are over, the politicians and special interests in
Washington will feel free to do what they want -- ignore public opinion --
unless we convince them otherwise.

Senator Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations,
wants the U.S. Senate to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) as soon as
possible. Lobbyists representing multi-national corporations are busy
convincing U.S. senators to vote in favor of LOST, and well-funded think tanks
are holding briefings to marshal support for ratification.

Let's remember that over 20 years ago President Reagan opposed LOST. So what
has changed since then? The treaty is the same. What has changed are the
politicians who are now in power, and we must convince them to reject LOST.

Frank Gaffney writes, "It [LOST] was drafted more than 20 years ago at the
behest of Soviet Bloc and 'nonaligned' nations as the centerpiece of their
so-called 'New International Economic Order,' a scheme to transfer wealth from
the industralized to the developing world.

"Ronald Reagan objected to LOST's creation of a supranational agency to govern
the world's oceans at the expense of U.S. sovereignty...."

Last year, supporters of LOST tried to quietly get the treaty ratified. They
were confident they could. But word got out and Americans throughout the
country said "NO!" This sudden outburst of opposition caught the pro-LOST folks
by surprise. They decided then, in that election year, to hold back and try
again early this year.

And that is exactly what they are doing now...working to get LOST ratified once
and for all.

We expect the Senate to vote on ratification of LOST within the next 60 days,
maybe sooner. We must, once again, rally opposition and do so quickly.

Urge your two U.S. senators to vote against ratification of LOST. In addition,
please spread the word. We will need all the help we can get this time around.

Send Your Message

Background on LOST>
Thank you for your help!

Kent Snyder
The Liberty Committee

Here's what Gaffney has to say:
Incredibly, even as President Bush was preparing his call for an American foreign policy that would resist tyrants - not rely on organizations they and their friends effectively control - his Administration was being committed to the ratification "as soon as possible" of a treaty that would give unprecedented power to just such an organization.

The treaty in question is the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (better known as the Law of the Sea Treaty, or LOST). It was drafted over twenty years ago at the behest of Soviet bloc and "non-aligned" nations to serve as the centerpiece of their so-called "New International Economic Order," a scheme to transfer wealth from the industrialized world to the developing one.

Ronald Reagan objected to LOST's creation of a supranational agency to govern the world’s oceans at the expense of U.S. sovereignty and America's capacity to utilize and assure freedom of the seas. When American concerns were ignored or simply voted down, he refused to sign the accord.

The treaty has not improved with age, despite claims by its supporters that Mr. Reagan's objections have subsequently been addressed. For example, it still allows an international organization for the first time to collect revenues from American taxpayers as the price for permission to exploit the world’s seabeds.

LOST would also still infringe in significant ways on the movement and activities of U.S. military and intelligence operations at sea. It would still oblige the U.S. to transfer sensitive data and technology to potentially hostile nations. And some LOST member states, including Communist China, insist that the treaty prohibits President Bush’s Proliferation Security Initiative - a vital "coalition of the willing" effort to counter the sea-borne spread of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists and their state-sponsors.

Yet, despite these and numerous other problems, Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice last week responded to pressure from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar (Republican of Indiana) by saying, "the convention as it now stands serves our national security interests, serves our economic interests...and we very much want to see it go into force."

As a result of that endorsement, Sen. Lugar is expected shortly to try to get his committee to recommend Senate "advice and consent" to the Law of the Sea Treaty. LOST’s ratification would not only make the United States subject to a seriously defective accord and its hostile-majority-ruled institutions. It would also give unwarranted new legitimacy, precedents and power to the bloated, scandal-ridden and oppressor-dominated United Nations and international organizations it has spawned.

Senators who subscribe to President Bush's vision of an America made more secure by "the expansion of freedom in all the world" must prevent this expansion from being diminished, if not LOST, at sea.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., is President of the Center for Security Policy