Implied Dissent

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Can you figure it out?

It's magic! (via the lil' sis)

Monday, September 27, 2004

Che of the Dead

So I saw Shaun of the Dead last night with a friend and his friend. Funniest British Zombie movie...ever. The second degree friend was wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt. I didn't say anything, but I now wish I had. She was cute, but does she know what Che represents? Maybe it was an ironic-type thing, but I doubt it. My only real excuse is that I didn't really know enough if she started to defend him with facts. Now I know plenty.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

More Iran stuff

He could use a co-writer, but Gordon Prather knows his stuff.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Must reads

Wanniski on Iraq and Iran.

BvK

Sobran on the upcoming election. Key quote: Bush and Kerry are like a pair of obese men quarreling about which candy bar tastes best.

You'll probably only find this interesting if you live in Boston

...but I do, so I did.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A further step along Hayek's road

That's not how George Will puts it, but it's true.

Internment

Sowell gives me some info I hadn't had before on the subject.

Treating the symptom

Walter Williams on inequality.

Foreign policy by O'Rourke,

PJ O'Rourke. (via Newmark's Door)

A look inside

A. Sullivan on blogs and their relationship to more traditional media sources.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

"It conflicts with the cosmologies..."

Banning science from a national museum.

Boomerang

Silber on torture.

An interesting coincidence

...or is it? (via the bro)

Monday, September 20, 2004

Not sure what to make of this

Especially given Novak's rapidly declining credibility, but it is interesting.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Arr, or avast, or ahoy

It's that day again, mateys, Talk Like a Pirate Day. And go here for your pirate name, ya bilge rats.

From the feud

Name 7 celebrities who've had a lot of plastic surgery?

Finally

CBS is holding someone accountable in...is it Memogate or Rathergate? Either way, it's good to know they take these things seriously and deal with them in a responsible manner (sarcasm, unless it turns out there's a lot more to this part of the story, in which case I'm totally serious, can't you tell sarcasm from real admiration?).
For the record, I really don't care about this issue to any extent relative to the election. It doesn't affect who I'll vote for in the slightest, nor does it raise or lower Bush in my estimation. It may end up lowering my view of Dan Rather and CBS, but we'll see.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Hayek's insights

Friedrich Hayek had a lot of insights into economics, politics and the intersection of the two. Here's a nice demonstration of one of them.

The State vs Anarchy

(Note: I am going to write a follow-up to this when I have more time, as it's way too easy to misunderstand what I meant. I seem to come off as an anarchist, which I'm not. - M, 9-21)

Watkins examines anarchism, and pretty much fails to debunk it. Which is unfortunate. I’m not prepared myself to debunk it, but I’ll raise a few points.

First let me say I’m no fan of the UN. However, without it we’d have anarchy between countries. Watkins seems to have no problem with this situation, as he apparently thinks we should have never involved the UN or any other countries in any part of attacking Iraq. How does this square with the following?

The anarchist resents the demand that he prove to others that his use of force is justified – he considers that a violation of his rights. What about the rights of the person he is coercing? Blank out. What about the rights of third parties, who wish to ban the use of force in their society, and would therefore like to know whether the anarchist is initiating force or retaliating? “Take my word for it,” the anarchist says.
Take my word for it was almost exactly Bush’s argument. Sometimes he’d argue that we should take Clinton’s word for it, but the general thrust was that he knew and we didn’t and the US doesn’t need anyone’s permission to act.

Watkins appears to agree that a government that doesn’t violate rights is very hard to institute. He argues that this is irrelevant. If the question is if government is in principle just, then he is right, it is irrelevant. However, it is relevant to what choices we make, as we must compare the whole spectrum of possible outcomes that our choices will entail. Let’s stipulate that government can be wholly valid, just, non-coercive; show me that government and I’ll take it. Does it follow that any government is better than anarchy? Does it follow that most government is better? I can’t answer the second question, but surely anarchy would be preferable to living under Stalin or Hitler.

Quoting Peikoff:

What if an individual does not want to delegate his right of self-defense?” the anarchist frequently asks. “Isn’t that a legitimate aspect of ‘freedom’?” The question implies that a “free man” is one with the right to enact his desire, any desire, simply because it is his desire, including the desire to use force. This means the equation of “freedom” with whim-worship.
First, I’m not sure why you get to decide which of my wants and desires are whims and which are legitimate. Secondly, what if the government doesn’t violate rights, doesn’t coerce, but is incompetent? Must I then submit to its rule?

Finally I’ll give a quick sketch of my view of government. All government is coercive, but that doesn’t mean we can’t distinguish between relatively good and bad governments. Anarchy is not a sustainable situation and will yield to government, and often that government will be systematically abusive. There is no final or perfect solution to how much government there should be, as all possibilities have problems. There are patently bad government situations, and we need to avoid those. Generally speaking, small is beautiful. Like I said before, I’ll take a non-coercive, stable, competent government, but show it to me first.

It's funny 'cause it's true

And because I don't have to deal with either personally.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Schadenfreude

Manny Ramirez just robbed Miguel Cairo of home run with a great catch over the left field wall. As much as I enjoyed seeing Manny make an uncharacteristicly great defensive play and of course seeing the Sox do something right against NY, neither of those things are what make it a memorable play for me. What was so great was watching Cairo slowly circle the bases, really enjoying the fact that he just hit a homer against Boston, cross home plate and then hear from Lofton that he's out. The bewildered look on his face, the listless, questioning home run signal he made towards an umpire, the quick flash of anger, the sad acceptance in the end. Ahh, how I love seeing a Yankee suffer. Now I'm just hoping I don't experience any instant (or slow) karma.

I'm a piker

People, usually family members, sometimes accuse me of being overly literal. I ain't got nothing on Neal Whitman (via Agoraphilia).

Priceless

Eugene Volokh sometimes writes about gay marriage. Some of his readers don't like what he has to say. I imagine some of these readers are bright, articulate people, but check out this exchange. Priceless.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Not as good as the old ones

Odd Todd has a new cartoon up. Considering that I just finished a 13+ hour day, I'm not sure if I should continue to have the site on my links list, but I'll keep it for now.

Ahh, the Patriot Act

What a lovely abomination.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Amazin' Barry Bonds and the beguiling Red Sox

If you ignore his mind-boggling 104 intentional walks, Bonds' OPS is still 1.345. An OPS of 1.000 should at least put a person in consideration for MVP. Wow.
Despite the offense's poor performance the last two games, I'm pretty encouraged. In the playoffs we'll probably need a third starter, and Derek Lowe is starting to convince me he's that guy. We'll also need a second good reliever, and I'm now optimistic that Williamson is healthy enough to fill that role, and maybe he'll be great like before. We should be in good shape, and please don't mention even the possibility of catching New York for the division; I don't believe in curses, but jinxes....

Department of Wtf?

This stuff is practically unbelievable, but the sources are reliable to the extent that I can tell. Wow. Even I didn't think Richard Perle was this bad. It almost makes this seem believable....

A month ago I'd never heard a rapping hobbit...

Now I've heard my third (via Farm Accident Digest) (and you don't need to know about the other time).

Not allowing foolish fallacies to flourish

Thomas Sowell on the role of prices.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Not exactly work-safe

But pretty kick-ass (via Anger Management)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Know your limits

Giberson on what experts should expound on, and what they shouldn't. Quoting his quote of someone criticizing the British Medical Association:
Why does the BMA think it knows anything about how we should live? It may know that if I live a particular way I'll become unhealthy, but why does it think that it can tell me that I should value my health more than my chosen way of life? What makes its members think that they are in any privileged position to answer questions like that?

Indeed.

The Light of Reason...

blog has a very interesting nugget on Powell, and points out a good reason for why Rumsfeld 'slipped up' when talking about Saddam/Osama.

Verrrry interesting

A deadline is missed in Florida.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

BvK

Noumenal Self lays out at length why he'll probably vote for Kerry, definitely won't go for Bush here, here, here and here. A key point I'll paraphrase is that killing terrorists isn't the point, the point is to make us safer, killing terrorists is a means, not an end.

A bit more uplifting 9-11 stuff

Cool photo.
Cool quote.

Another 9-11 view

Matthew Yglesias on our under and overreactions.

Differing views on September 11

Don Watkins looks at the Libertarian Party's response to the attacks. Most of what he writes is fine, even if I disagree with him overall. One thing I want to point out though is this paragraph:
September 11th was a consequence of American appeasement of radical Islam. Our first rule, therefore, must be to avoid appeasement. Inaction, in other words, is the greatest danger we face.

Are appeasement and inaction synonyms?
Oh well, at least he admits some of our foreign policy has been misguided, and even unjustifiable. Wow, quite the strong statement.

You've got to frame the question right

People sometimes ask if war dissenters would prefer it if Saddam Hussein were still in power, if the world would be a better place if he were still in charge of Iraq. Which is a typical big government person's type of out-of-context question. One good response is to ask: is the world a better place now that Ryan Campbell is dead?

Iraq stuff

Wanniski responds to Kristol's piece on what would of happened if Kerry was president. I do agree with at least one thing Kristol says: Kerry is running a fundamentally evasive and deeply irresponsible campaign.
Hopefully Kerry will dramatically improve his campaign over the next month-and-a-half, but right now he's almost all platitude and whining. I will give him every chance I can to win me over, but he's done very little to dispell the notion that he's just a douchebag that people are going to vote for anyway.

An all-too-common mindset

But my boat's higher!

Friday, September 10, 2004

Yum

The science of ice cream.

Quick NFL post (my last one...for a little while at least)

The 85-86 Bears...movie! What a great idea!
And, also, what a great game last night. I sort of predicted Manning's int, and Seth absolutely nailed the missed field goal. Most importantly, the good guys won. Go Pats!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Use Two Hands

The 2004 NFL season is about to kick off so no time to waste in assessing the wide receivers. First one interesting note; with the success of the Chiefs offense, there seems to be a belief that a team does not need good wide receivers to do well. Never mind that the Chiefs offense is structured the same way as the Rams who feature Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. A team has to have prime time players to win and without them it faces a long season.
Best WR: Randy Moss. Feel free to hate him but the guy is best playmaker at the position. He changes how defensive coordinators script their game plan. Moss has an amazing combination of size and speed. All that said, the Bears still made the right choice taking Curtis Enis ahead of Moss in the 1998 NFL Draft.
Worst Crop of WRs: San Diego Chargers. It may not matter who is behind center for the Chargers with this lackluster crop of receivers. By far their best pass catcher is LaDanian Tomlinson who in this offense has to do everything. The consequences of the David Boston signing are still being felt.
WR Most Likely to Break Out: Donte Stallworth. This pick may be rather biased as he is on my fantasy team. So feel free to ignore this selection if you wish. But with Stallworth’s speed this should be the year he joins the top ranks. Also many experts feel that it is in year 3 that wide outs put it together.
WR Most Likely to Regress: Joe Horn. Might be a year too late on this one but Horn is starting to slip. Horn is getting more attention for his antics than his play. Horn has had a nice run as a top wide out, 2004 should continue his decline.
Rookie Most Likely to Make the Biggest Impact: Larry Fitzgerald. It is a banner crop for rookie wide outs that makes this selection difficult. However with Anquan Boldin missing the first half of the season most likely, Fitzgerald should put some solid numbers. As Fitzgerald is still recovering from his own injury, that production may not come in week 1. With the Cardinals having a non-existent running attack, their wide outs will get lots of balls thrown their way.Quick Thoughts: Only the Cubs can play no games over a weekend and still wind up with a hurt guy…I guess the only thing worse than Kevin Brown’s temper is his boxing ability…If only the playoffs were in September, the Red Sox would be golden right now…I think it is a little early to say the Dolphins cured their running woes by acquiring Lamar Gordon…Would it kill the Astros to start losing some games?…For a big guy Sammy Sosa sure does suffer injuries in the weakest of ways…I hope Art Howe is leasing not buying.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

NFL season preview

It's time for my NFL predictions. I know this is Seth's bailiwick, but I did it last year, so I'm doing it again. Seth is more than welcome to make his own set of predictions. Based on last year's results, my first prediction is that most of my other predictions will be wrong.
AFC East

New England: Clearly the best team. 'Nuff said. 12-4.
Miami: Losing Ricky Williams won't hurt as badly as people think, partly because he isn't as good as people think, partly because he was used poorly. 9-7.
NY Jets: Pennington's return helps a lot, but they're otherwise a mediocre team. 9-7.
Buffalo: McGahee should help, but they aren't a partucluarly good team. 6-10.
AFC North
Baltimore: Still great defense, but weak at QB and RB won't be as strong this year. 10-6.
Cincinnati: Using the inexperienced Palmer hurts, and they won't sneak up on anybody this year, but they're still decent. 7-9.
Pittsburgh: Not a good team, but not awful. 6-10.
Cleveland: They should be somewhat better than last year, but not much. 6-10.
AFC South
Indianapolis: Still a great offense, still a suspect defense. 11-5.
Tennessee: A good, all-around team, but not great. 10-5.
Jacksonville: Look for a small step forward this year. 6-10.
Houston: See Jacksonville. 6-10.
AFC West
Kansas City: See Indy. 11-5.
Denver: A solid team, but it's hard to get excited when Jake Plummer is involved, even given the good year he had last year. 9-7
Oakland: Should improve somewhat, but they're not playoff-worthy. 6-10.
San Diego: Not a good team, especially with their QB-situation. 5-11.
NFC East
Philadelphia: One of the best teams around. 11-5.
Dallas: A poor QB situation, and no chance of surprising people. 8-8.
Washington: Joe Gibbs is a great coach, but he's been out of the game for quite a while, so give him time. 6-10.
NY Giants: Apparently Eli Manning looks better than Peyton did, but he's still a rookie, and there will be a transition process. 5-11.
NFC North
Green Bay: Favre's still good, but he's not winning another title. 9-7.
Minnesota: A good but flawed team. 9-7.
Chicago: Lovie should help, but not immediately. 7-9.
Detroit: Look for a small step forward from Mooch's guys. 6-10.
NFC South
Carolina: A good team, but still with weaknesses. 10-6.
Atlanta: Vick's return helps, but they need more. 9-7.
Tampa Bay: An ok team. 8-8.
New Orleans: Probably not an awful team, but they're probably the team I know the least about. 7-9.
NFC West
Seattle: A good team perhaps ready for prime-time. 11-5.
St. Louis: Marc Bulger at QB? eh. 9-7.
San Francisco: A mediocre team, I'm guessing the Ewing Theory keeps them from sucking. 7-9.
Arizona: Denny should help some, but they're still the Cardinals. 5-11.
AFC Playoffs: NE, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Tennessee, NY Jets.
NFC Playoffs: Philadelphia, Green Bay, Carolina, Seattle, Atlanta, Minnesota.
Superbowl: New England over Seattle.

Fafblog?

yes! fafblog!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Chechnya

Here's a good history of what's happened in Chechnya over the last 13 years or so. Or you can look at this timeline if you're lazy. The two don't exactly match, but I don't think they contradict. I don't know anywhere near enough to comment on their accuracy, but I will anyway and say they seem right.

Buchanan for president?

Not really, but he is (and has been all along) almost perfectly right about the Iraq situation. Here's Pat on Meet the Press.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Democrat douchiness

Normally I'd say comparing John Kerry to a communist was a little overboard, but, in case, it fits. Actually, I'd probably compare him to a communist normally, so ignore the first part of that sentence, and it still fits.

Republican douchiness

Anyone who ever voted against a large bill containing even a little bit of good stuff in addition to lots of crap just isn't fit to be president. Or vp if they actually opposed those arguably good things.

So cool

Beijing's planned swimming and diving pavilion.

Grr

Whatever the law doesn't permitted...

Friday, September 03, 2004

Does this count as irony?

I'm not sure, but I hope it's true.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Department of economists will study anything

Monetary policy on Gilligan's Island.

Hmm

Alf? (via MR)

wtf

This is surreal, or self-parody, or just plain weird. (via The Agitator)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Shrinking or growing?

The middle-class, that is. While this piece doesn't address the last few years, it is still an important thing to read for some perspective on the statistics.