Saturday, December 07, 2002

War Corps
I wrote the following email to Eric Raymond in reply to his recent essay about a man's role in war:

Dear Mr. Raymond,

I remember the attitude I had in the Sixties about those who went to
war. I regarded them as soft, conformist idiots who didn't have the
testosterone to stand up to an obviously wrongheaded war machine.
Being drafted seemed to me to be not a certification of manhood but a
submission to illegitimate force. Looking back on it, I can see that
some actually went to Vietnam sincerely, others were too lazy or
afraid of others' opinions to resist, while more than I could have
imagined volunteered.

The present situation is quite different, I tell myself. I think I
would join up eagerly to repel the Islamic menace. As an oldster
now, I keep thinking, "How can I help"? Debating liberals
just isn't enough. I keep thinking of applying for a job wth the CIA
or Foreign Service or whoever would take me. Maybe there should be a
War Corps that over-the-hill former hippie radicals could join to
battle the new religious collectivism. Hey, maybe there is already
and it's called the Blogosphere!

Robert Speirs
Tallahassee, Florida
ABCNews has called the race for Landrieu and it looks like they're right, although I don't know where they're getting their figures. The SecState figures don't show a lock yet. CNN agrees, and So I guess it's over. The Landrieu name works its magic once again and Louisiana is still safe for corruption and collectivism. What, me bitter? Why, no. I don't even care. But I feel like my favorite team just lost a game. But not a big game. Oh, by the way, Oklahoma did win, by three touchdowns.
The La. Sec. of State's website shows Terrell still 30,000+ votes behind. Drudge, though, from somewhere, has figures that show, with more precincts reporting, that Landrieu leads by only 14,000! So maybe there is still hope. Now the SecState shows the gap closing to 6,000! I guess I'll let the football game go. Oklahoma is still two touchdowns ahead with just a few minutes left, so what can happen?
Landrieu's still ahead, but in the US Rep race, Republican Fletcher has closed to within four hundred votes of Democrat Rodney Alexander. So it is possible. Unfortunately, only two precincts have yet to report in the Rep race, so it could be over anyway. More than a thousand precincts have yet to report in the Senate race.
Still steep
Terrell has a steep hill to climb with 2853 precincts reporting. Landrieu is ahead by 23,000 votes. One can only hope that some of the non-reporting precincts are in northern Louisiana, where I hear Terrell is heavily favored.
With 2530 out of 3912 precincts reporting, Landrieu has taken a 51-49% lead. They must have received some results from New Orleans or somewhere Landrieu is favored. Things can still turn around, but this does not augur well. I'll figure out why I care later. Right now, I love the emotional rollercoaster.
With more than half the precincts reporting, Terrell is still ahead, but only by 51-49%. Lee Fletcher has slipped marginally behind Alexander. It's tough trying to keep up on the Colorado-Oklahoma game and the political results at the same time, but I can't decide which I find more interesting. I'll just have to do both.
Election results
I love election nights. At least they give you the illusion something may change. Right now (9:51 PM 12/7/02) Terrell is leading Landrieu in the Louisiana Senate Race 52-48%, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State's website, with about a third of precincts reporting. Unfortunately the connection keeps getting refused, so I can't get updates. Will blog back when I get in. Drudge is posting results, too. Unfortunately I've forgotten which Representative candidate is the Republican. Fletcher is a couple of percentage points ahead of the other candidate. Back soon.

Friday, December 06, 2002

Steyn strikes again
Mark Steyn has a hard-hitting piece on the Rushdie affair and its implications thirteen years later. I remember when the fatwa came out, I rushed down to the bookstore and, with my last twenty dollars, bought Rushdie's book. No, it wasn't that great, but it was worth it just to twit the mullahs. Steyn's onslaught on the mullahs, and their British fellow-travelers, is a joy to experience. A sample:

Roy Hattersley, the Labour Party's deputy leader, attempted to split the difference by arguing that, while he of course supported freedom of speech, perhaps "in the interests of race relations" it would be better not to bring out a paperback edition. He was in favour of artistic freedom, but only in hard covers -- and certainly, when it comes to soft spines, Lord Hattersley knows whereof he speaks.

No waffling on Belgian nuclear plants
In the continuing saga of Europe's economic sepukku, Belgium will eliminate its nuclear reactors, meaning "almost two-thirds" of its electrical power generating capacity, by 2025. I guess they're going to be running those waffle irons on solar power or hot air from the politicians or, more probably, crude oil imported from the Democratic Republic of Iraq under the Hashemite constitutional monarchy installed in 2003. Pretty pathetic when a dessert serves as a symbol for a whole country!
Words, HIV and AIDS

Looking at this story from South Africa (via Google News), it’s easy to see how propaganda assuming that HIV causes AIDS is woven into the fabric of ninety-nine per cent of news stories about AIDS.

The hyperbole begins with the title:

AIDS “knows no boundaries”

It doesn’t? Then why was there no breakout into the general population in the US and Europe? Why were at least 94% of AIDS cases restricted to intravenous drug users, homosexuals, almost all male, and hemophiliacs? As Peter Duesberg says in his book, Inventing the AIDS Virus, how does a virus choose victims by sexual preference and drug use and the number of platelets in the blood? No answer has ever been given. No wonder they put the money phrase in quotes. The lead-in title in Google.News was even more blatant: “AIDS: the great equalizer”! Ah, yes, AIDS, which kills rich, poor, white, black, old, young, gay, straight, with equal ferocity. Only it doesn’t and never has. The sickening fact is that the AIDS researchers wish that HIV did act like a real virus, like the TB or polio virus, and kill everyone without distinction. Only then would their theory hold water and their careers be secure.

Knowing this, of course, the AIDS warriors must have been ecstatic to find that in Third World countries the AIDS “disease” could be said to have spread to all segments of the population. What they don’t mention is that the presence of the HIV virus has been steady in the US population for years at one in every 250 people, with a fairly wide demographic distribution. The prevalence in Third World countries is higher because sanitary conditions and overall health are lower. Yet “AIDS” is reported only for those particular groups who are and always have been at risk for serious health problems from sources other than HIV.

HIV/Aids is not just a disease affecting the poor, the young or certain population groups and provinces in South Africa.
About 5.6% of children between the ages of 2 and 14 from all population groups are HIV positive and 12.1% of the residents of formal urban neighbourhoods suffer from the disease. (emphasis added)

These paragraphs assume that AIDS is a “disease” and that HIV causes it. Why else use the slashed phrase “HIV/AIDS”? Is there any other kind? Then the concept is slipped in, entirely without proof, that HIV itself is a disease. Well it’s not. It’s a virus, one that has never been shown to cause any harm. Duesberg makes it clear that the virus itself would not ordinarily be suspected of causing harm. Another selection from the article makes for interesting reading from this point of view:

Unaware of HIV status
About 76% of those infected with the virus were unaware of their HIV status and 63% of them didn't think they were at risk of contracting the disease.

The first thing to note is that no statistics are given on how long each of these “infected” people may have had the virus in their systems. That’s because the researchers don’t know. They could have carried it from birth, for decades or just acquired it last week. But the very fact that more than three quarters of the “sufferers” didn’t even know they had the virus indicates that the virus was not killing them or even making its presence known. It would have been instructive for the survey to have determined the health status of the HIV-positives and compare that to the HIV-negative population. But that would have given the game away.

Several other interesting points emerge:

Earlier this year, the HSRC performed saliva tests on more than 8,000 people countrywide, 11,4% of which tested HIV positive.

The good news is that the total figure of 11.4 % is much lower than the scare propaganda that has been bandied about. And the fact that that statistic came from “saliva tests” makes me wonder how valid those tests are compared to blood tests. Maybe someone can inform me on that score.

These statistics form part of the results of the country's first independent and representative survey on the prevalence of HIV/Aids conducted by Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). The results were released in Johannesburg on Thursday.

What? This was the first real survey in South Africa? Then where did all those figures come from that have been thrown around for fifteen or more years? Other sources mentioned are from government “estimates” (!! I wonder which way those estimates were biased, considering that every case of “AIDS” means money for the government?) or from surveys of totally unrepresentative populations, such as young sexually active women, truck drivers, pregnant women and “sex workers”.

Dr Olive Shisana, chief researcher, said they were shocked by the inexplicable high rate of infection among children.
"Mother-to-child transmissions and sexual abuse cannot explain this. We know that some of these children were sexually active and we are investigating the possibility that contaminated needles might play a role. Urgent research is necessary."

Interesting. Why was she “shocked”? Could it be that such a “high” rate of HIV “infection” among children was not reflected in childhood AIDS deaths, as Duesberg states more than once? Why couldn’t mother-to-child transmission cause the stated rate of infection (5.6%)? Is that really so high? And why is it a problem if few – or no – children are dying of AIDS? But, no, "urgent research is necessary". And it's urgent that as much money as possible be wasted on this research. And it's urgent that as many health professionals be hired as possible at the highest salaries possible. Excuse me, but I'm going to be sick. And not with "HIV disease"!

There’s much more to be said on this subject, but I think it’s fascinating how much lockstep lip service there is to the myths of AIDS in the news media.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

How could you all be so stupid and why should we ever believe you again?
Ah, questions, questions. Does the HIV virus really cause AIDS? Why would anyone think it didn't, since so many billions of dollars have been spent on the problem and thousands and now, according to what we're told by the UN (GRRR!), millions of lives may be lost if we don't spend even more? I've been exploring the HIV-AIDS-Duesberg-Kary Mullis universe and it's pretty amazing. Go to this website and see if some of your questions aren't answered, but not in the way you thought they might be. Then start thinking about everything else your doctor ever told you and start wondering. You might want to check out the movie "The Fugitive", the 1993 Harrison Ford version, for a dramatic portrayal of what might actually be going on.
Going Canadian
Looks like Germany is adopting the latest Socialist fad: allowing the capitalists to defend your country. Hey, if this keeps up, we'll be able to use the US troops in Germany to just take over the government without firing a shot. Maybe if I play my cards right, I could get my own mountain castle in Bavaria.
More God Stuff
I put in a comment on "The Light of Reason":

If it were possible to show that the statement "God exists" is meaningless, wouldn't that be just as good as proving that God does not exist?
And if "exists" means "has physical reality" and those of "faith" do not actually contend that God physically exists in any meaningful sense, certainly not in the same way that one says "that rock exists" or even "the Moon exists", haven't they admitted that the sentence "God exists" has no meaning?
If you say that the words "exist" or "faith" mean anything you want them to, you have deprived those words of any meaning. If the "existence" of God has no consequences in the real world, then it is merely a delusion, a fancy that may give warm and fuzzy feelings but can not be analyzed or proven. Propositions incapable of proof are not intrinsically true, they are nonsense.
Posted by: Robert Speirs on Dec 05, 02 | 2:33 pm

Nobody stops Venezuela

This boast might mean more if Venezuela had actually ever got started.
After reading Duesberg's Inventing the AIDS Virus, the implications of this article quoting Mandela are just mind-boggling. The SA government is going to make sure every HIV-positive gets anti-retroviral drugs like AZT which will assure that they will acquire AIDS-like symptoms. You have to wonder how blind people can be.
"The road to Baghdad no longer goes through Jerusalem," said one reporter. "It goes through Cyprus."
As I mentioned before:

I have a suggestion
The New Republic is bemoaning the EU's reluctance to let Turkey in. As I mentioned a few posts below, we could offer Turkey a clear alternative: Join an expanded NAFTA that would include a large swath of Eastern Europe. As a further inducement, the Turks would not have to be in the same economic community as Greece, their historic rival and enemy. Hmm. Then what would we do with Cyprus? Hey, it's not bigger than many of our states. It even looks a lot like West Virginia. I'm sure neither Greece nor Turkey would mind if we took Cyprus on as a new state, or, rather, two states. It's only been trouble for them. We could immediately resolve the Greek/Turkish split by having North Cyprus and South Cyprus, each with its set of politicians. After all, the Crusaders in the twelfth century used Cyprus as a base. Why can't we?

I, unlike Stephen Hayes, have a plan for Cyprus that would solve the whole Turkey/Greece problem and reassure our Turkish friends that we have their best interests at heart. Meaning we won't set the Kurds up as an independent nation. And we won't let Greece take the whole of Cyprus back. And Turkey won't have to join the listing, dead-in-the-water-with-the-iceberg-approaching EU.
Gaz moutarde
And it ain't Dijon. The inspectors have found, in WMT-free Iraq, mustard-gas shells all ready to go, apparently. And, in a "say-it-ain't-so" moment, (scroll down), LeMonde reports that the "American image" has slipped badly since 2000, especially in Islamic nations. Gee, why would that be? What could have happened in 2000 to send our oh-so-valued image among the wretched of the Arab earth skidding so badly? The French must be implying that it was our botched fraudulent attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon, which never really happened or were carried out by the Mossad or which in any case we deserved so much because of our idiot moron "cowboy" President who's attacking the earth and killing puppies for lunch. Yeah, that's it. And, oh, of course he wasn't really elected, just installed by the Carlyle Group working through the Supreme Court, unlike the free and fair and totally representative EU system. Time for lunch, although I've lost most of my appetite.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Another UN success story
Once again UN "nation-building" leaves a nation in shambles and its "peace keeping" does nothing to prevent more war. Has there been even ONE UN success story? Rwanda? Jenin? Cambodia? Sierra Leone? To go further back, Katanga, Angola, Lebanon, Cyprus? The fighting peters out after millions of dead, the blue helmets come in and screw everything up by telling the local tyrants they are being oppressed by the western imperialists, fighting breaks out again and the UN promptly packs up and leaves. Great job, Kofi.

"Who needs terrorists when you have a self-combustible democracy", an East Timorese military officer said. And a self-combustible economy, apparently. Now all they need is for the IMF to come in and lecture them on fiscal discipline. Combined with this story, I have to remember to make a note to myself not to invest in anything east of Suez. Or south of the Mediterranean. Or, come to think of it, in Europe or South America either. OK, so I'll keep it all in my savings account here.
Oh, Canada!
To continue the Canada-bashing, the vaunted medical system is running into some problems. To look on the bright side, this will mean much more business for American profit-making hospitals located anywhere near Canada. And more business for airports to accommodate the remaining Canadian Air Force plane so it can fly in high-ranking bureaucrats and politicians. And that darned population increase bugaboo that the lefties have been whining about since Paul Ehrlich shouldn't be a problem for our neighbors to the north as soon as all the patients who need anesthetists die off. Of course, it is godawful cold up there, so maybe they can lay patients out in the snow until they go to sleep and then operate on them.
More reader mail
A letter I wrote to Kim duToit and his kind comments:

December 4, 2002
Re: National Service

Growing up as a service brat, I saw everything I needed to see about the military. It put a premium on mindless subservience, rewarded ignorance and punished innovative thinking. The Service is as much a womb as college or government work or a large corporation. It tolerates incompetence and sloth and brutality from those who keep their uniforms neat and their mouths shut. As a teenager, I assumed I would go in the Air Force, but then got converted by VietNam stories and Bob Dylan to stubborn opposition to military service, which conveniently coincided with opposition to my father, a USAF officer. I managed to stay out of the draft and thought I was doing something noble and modern. OK, maybe I was arrogant and elitist.

Looking back on it, I wish I had gone in so I could speak from personal experience. I have no illusions now about the nature of the Viet Cong or the North Vietnamese. But I still think US intervention was, as Talleyrand said, "worse than a crime, a mistake". And I still think compulsory military service is unAmerican. The draft riots in 1863 and in WWII certainly expressed a lot of men's opposition. Our new highly technological military needs fewer and fewer riflemen each year. Have you heard about the new anti-artillery laser system? If that's real it changes the whole battlefield to an exercise in mopping up.

What's wrong with a lost eighteen-year-old going voluntarily into the Peace Corps? Doesn't that still exist? You never hear of it much any more. "Compulsory service to the State" still sounds collectivist to me. The benefits of military service don't justify taking away freedom and inculcating the idea that you "owe" something to your country. That's not the way it works. Free men work for their own good, not for others. I believe jury duty is also equivalent to slavery and does NOT produce any result worthy of the name of justice. Grow up and face it. Men have to find their own way. No one can hand them solutions to life's problems.

Robert S.

[Excellent letter, although I disagree strongly with some of your points. Citizenship is NOT a free ride, and taxes should not be the only sacrifice asked of citizens. Without some degree of service, it just gets taken for granted. Good grief, the ONLY compulsory service we demand of U.S. citizens is jury duty, and most can get out of THAT. Note that I did not suggest sending draftees into combat (unless they volunteered, of course), so I suspect that most of the "draft riot" worries are misplaced.
Yes, men should grow up and find their own way. But 18-yr-olds aren't men yet (we don't trust them to buy or consume liquor, for example), and there's nothing wrong with a little helping shove in the right direction. I'm reminded of the old saw, "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." A non-combat draft would do just that, I suspect.]

I wrote in response to this rant (his word, not mine!)
Commenting vs. blogging
I've been doing a lot of commenting on other people's websites lately, when I should have been blogging, importing their controversies to the greater glory of Conundrum. It's hard to avoid getting caught up in intellectual duels though, what with all the shallow liberals there are out there. I guess the battles keep me up with the latest arguments, but most of the comments I run into seem clearly wrong or vicious. How many ways can one call Bush a "moron"? Maybe someday I'll find a website where people are really looking for the truth. Wait a minute. I'm running one!

I wrote a reply to an article Wendy MacElroy wrote for FoxNews Views that touched on one of my pet peeves: the use of anything other than "he, him and his" when the gender of the antecedent of a pronoun is unknown:

I noticed, in your interesting and well-written article "Stand up for Yourself" on Fox News Views, you use "her" or "she" consistently when the gender of an antecedent is unknown. This is a bit of a breath of fresh air. I remember recommending years ago in a letter published in the New Republic that men should use "he" and women should use "she" in this situation. This practice would satisfy those who feel awkward or offended by using "he" and "his" and "him" all the time. And it would avoid the equally awkward and, to me, offensive, "he or she" and "him or her", constructions that are almost impossible to maintain through a piece of writing of any length and that distract the reader from the substance of the writing. Some use an even more annoying tactic, alternating "he" and "she" throughout the piece so you never know where you are. The only problem I see with using "she" is that you give up the historical use of "he" to mean both "he" and "she". The sudden appearance of "she" then makes one think, OK, who's this woman and when was her identity established? Perhaps in another generation those feelings won't even come up. Or maybe we'll go back to "he" and "him" and "his". I think it's cool, though, for women not to be afraid to proclaim their womanity (hey, new word!) by using "she". Women don't have to adopt male-sounding first names to sell books any more. And they certainly don't have to worry about hurting men's feelings by appearing to exclude them. I'll be interested to see if your usage spreads.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Dour Power
John Tabin (via Instapundit)has some thoughts about why the press doesn't like John Kerry. So do I:

Why are Democratic candidates always so dour? Gephardt, Lieberman, Daschle, Kerry, Gore, could not raise one smile among all of them. Mondale, Carter, McGovern and Dukakis were all also rather sobersided. Only Carter was known for his smile, however frighteningly insincere it seemed. Maybe that's why he's the only winner. They're quite a contrast with Eisenhower and Reagan and the Bushes, pere et fils. Of course there's always Nixon. Should have stopped while I was ahead!
Sometimes it's just too easy

Here's something my sister sent me, hoping to score points:

From: David Pugh []

Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2002 11:14 PM
To: ISM/Bayan Muna
Subject: Canadians to lead weapons inspection team into U.S.

Toronto, Canada
November 21, 2002

Canadians to lead weapons inspection team into USA

A coalition of Canadian peace groups today announced their intention
send an international team of volunteer weapons inspectors into the
United States later this winter. The coalition, Rooting Out Evil, are
recruiting inspectors through their newly launched website, "Our action has been inspired by none
than George W. Bush," said Christy Ferguson, a spokesperson for
group. "The Bush administration has repeatedly declared that
the most
dangerous rogue nations are those

1) have massive stockpiles of chemical, biological, and nuclear
2) ignore due process at the United Nations;
3) refuse to sign and honour international treaties; and
4) have come to power through illegitimate means.

"On the basis of President Bush's guidelines, it is clear that
current U.S. administration poses a great threat to global
said Ferguson. "We're following Bush's lead and demanding that
the U.S.
grant our inspectors immediate and unfettered access to any site in
country - including all presidential compounds - so that we can
identify the weapons of mass destruction in this rogue state,"
David Langille.

Visitors to Rooting Out Evil's website are invited to sign on as
honorary members of the weapons inspection team. Honorary inspectors
can participate in the action, or they can simply lend the support of
their name as they would on a petition.

The actual inspection team that crosses the border will be comprised
prominent individuals from Canada and other countries.

The Rooting Out Evil coalition includes Greenpeace Canada, the Centre
for Social Justice, and the Toronto Committee Against War and
on Iraq, and is supported by American groups such as the National
Network to End the War Against Iraq, Global Exchange and the US
of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. They
the development, storage, and use of weapons of mass destruction by

For information:
David Langille or Christy Ferguson

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Phone (306) 664-6071

And here's my response:

Dear Martha,

It would be entirely appropriate to send Canadians to look for weapons, since they appear to have totally defunded their military under Chretien and have doubtless forgotten what weapons look like or what it means to fight for your principles and deny terrorists the
right to murder you. They are now totally dependent on US military power, paid for by the US taxpayer, to defend them. Maybe the shame of realizing they are international parasites will affect their consciences, if they still have any. The only exception seems to be when they need to use military aircraft to ferry their premier's family to hospitals in the US for medical treatment they can't get in their moribund socialist medical system. See Colby Cosh's blog for details. Oh, and I caught the egregious misuse of "comprise". Savages!


Here's a reply I tried to send to a blogger on Ariana Huffington's site who maintained that corporations who move their headquarters to Bermuda or elsewhere to lighten their tax burden should be barred from getting government contracts. He didn't want me to know his email address, I guess. His logic approximated: All corporations receive benefits from government activities, and should therefore all pay. Another problem, aside from those I mentioned in my reply, with that thinking is that government does not only confer benefits, it causes harm, sometimes great harm, including overtaxation. And a corporation that pays greater taxes is going to have to charge more for its goods or services.

"This country is being slowly bled dry"!!?

I agree - by the government and its special interest freeloaders. Corporations are the ones who create value in the first place. Every penny for defense and the idiotic social agenda comes from corporate profits. How can you say corporations contribute nothing to the country? Ever got a paycheck? That's money that came from corporate profits. I oppose corporate welfare as well as that going, through huge bureaucracies, to individuals. I just think the government should buy what it needs where it can get the best deal. Is that so radical?

Robert Speirs

Monday, December 02, 2002

I've just finished reading Peter H. Duesberg's book Inventing the AIDS Virus. It's one of those life-changing books. It's temperate, convincing and totally damning. I don't ordinarily side with those who attack corporations in the way Duesberg attacks Burroughs-Wellcome for pushing poisons like AZT and ddI onto entirely healthy HIV-positives and converting them into dead AIDS victims. But the conjunction between the interests of the medical-PC complex and government is just too obvious a stimulus to exactly the kind of dissent-suppressing behavior Duesberg describes to ignore. Maybe the last straw is Clintoon's op-ed on "World AIDS Day" yesterday in the New York Times - no, I'm not going to link to it. The ignorant savage murdering ferocity of the pomo Left is almost certainly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands in the US. Now they are moving to Africa and Asia, since the AIDS "pandemic" has petered out in the Western world. In a wider context, the acceptance of conventional wisdom, as in the global warming, ozone layer and fatty foods scams is once again exposed as the greatest threat to health and freedom in today's world, much more dangerous than AlQaeda, even though they are all pushed by the same people, motivated by hate and envy. It's hard to describe. Go read the book. Duesberg also has a website.
The Canadian protectorate
Several essays have emerged lately talking about the decline of Canadian independence from the US. The relationship is more like that of Monaco vis a vis France than a sovereign nation in its relationship with the US, given Canada's total abdication of responsibility for defending itself. The difference is that you have to imagine that France would put up with a Monaco whose officials call the leader of France a "moron" and an "idiot" and who constantly boast of how much more moral their social system and failed healthcare system are compared with France's and which harbors terrorists that have killed thousands of Frenchmen. How long would France put up with that?