Friday, November 18, 2005

Why does it seem to me these days I'm making the same points I've made many times before? Hey, wait a minute, didn't I say that before? Well, anyway, Bill Quick opined at some length about patriotism:
Patriotism isn't, or at least it shouldn't be, "My country right or wrong." If your country is wrong, you should work to fix the problem. But it is "My country..." first and foremost. Unfortunately, to observe the efforts of those of the antiwar left - most of them Democrats, even Democrats in high office, sad to say - to peddle lies about how we came to invade Iraq, lies about their own roles in supporting that invasion, and lies about the intelligence they themselves placed full credence in at the time - for the sole purpose of advancing their own political power - is to watch men and women who have forgotten about the well-being and safety of their country, who have forgotten that "My country" is "Their country" as well, who have forgotten what it means to be a patriot.

So I had to toss in a somewhat prissy-sounding reservation:
I don't regard patriotism as a good thing unless the country you are being patriotic about is a good country. I support America's actions in the war on terror because I believe they are right, not because they are America's. I don't support the war on drugs, even though it is official policy and probably supported by a majority of Americans, because I believe it's wrong, morally and practically. So what bothers me about the Dems' insanity is not the patriotism aspect, but their lack of good judgment.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

New/Old Mexico
Bill Quick worries about Latino irredentism:

Would Congress or a Republican administration ever endorse irredentism? The White House and elements of congress already have. The disastrous Akaka Bill aims at creating a race-based, sovereign, territorially-endowed entity in Hawaii, and its precedent would threaten the mainland's cohesiveness. That Akaka stands a real chance of being enacted is proof Americans need to get a two-handed grip on Washington before the White House and Congress wreck our nation.

So I come up with a constructive if somewhat snarky suggestion:
Just as an experiment, we should give New Mexico, say, to the Mexican government and let them run it for a while. Most of the Anglos would leave immediately, but it wouldn't be long before Latinos would be flooding into Colorado, Arizona, even California because of the "economic conditions" in New/Old Mexico. At least the point would be made that it ain't not having enough land that keeps Mexico poor.
I've made this suggestion, only half-heartedly, before, and probably will again. The problem would be that the Mexicanos would say we didn't give them the right kind of land or everything was non-metric or it rained too little or some darn thing. But as a gedenkenexperiment it makes a point.
Froze-o Bozo

Eric Raymond thinks that "commons" language is disgusting, or at least vaguely icky:

My problem with the language of “the commons” is that to me it it sounds, at best, like idealistic blather. At worst, and far more usually, it sounds like an attempt to conceal all kinds of individual decisions about cooperation under a vague collectivist metaphor so the individuals who made those decisions can be propagandized and jerked around.

He was talking about the internet, but I brought up the annoying example I run into just about every day over on Park Street here in Tally:
Public libraries exemplify how a “common” resource can be destroyed - or at least made less usable - by too-enthusiastic deployment of “rights” language. Hobos (short for “homeless bozos”) have taken over most of them. So even though all the people “own” the library, no one can kick out the hobos from “their” libraries so they can read without stench and noise. Most people go to a library to get books. Hobos use it for entirely different reasons, as a social center and warm (or cool) place. And of course the hobos don’t pay anything for this “common” resource. A true commons would have to be supported by anyone who wanted to use it, like a video rental store.

Of course, this does have implications for the internet. The web, as visited selectively by individual users in their homes, has become the new public library, minus bozos and with beer and hot dogs easily available. Oddly enough, one of the most common uses of the public library these days is to go online. Even the hobos slip up and do that occasionally. I wonder if book usage has gone down since every public library installed dozens of computer stations. And why is it necessary to have everyone in a building all together just so they can play on the internet? The authorities will eventually give everyone free computers and broadband in their homes and close all the libraries. Uh-oh. I smell frozen bozos!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

St. George's again

What is it about getting older that makes you think of your childhood? I've heard that happens, but maybe now at 57 I am experiencing it. A simple inquiry from Dean Esmay brought back a trivial day at St. George's School in Mill Hill, near London, when a little American boy in short trousers, facing the English educational system for the first time, was racking his brain trying to do well at his new school:
I remember using "bachelorette" as a response to the question, "What is the term for an unmarried older woman?" in a test in my first day at a school in England when I was nine years old (in the Fifties). I couldn't think of the word "spinster". I managed to convince the master that "bachelorette" was the received American usage, and he gave me credit. I rather like "bachelorette" but I get it confused with "majorette" and can't help thinking of happy unmarried women kicking up their heels in skimpy costumes while twirling batons and blowing whistles. "Old maid" is certainly most descriptive but perhaps "Auntie" is the cruelest.
I also sense more evidence that political correctness is running its obnoxious course. It can't be soon enough to get rid of monsters like "he/she" and "chairperson". (Well, which is it, a chair or a man or a woman or both?)
The important freedom

In response to a rather silly post by someone named Greg on Belgravia Dispatch, I had to belabor the obvious:
The right thing to spread is not "liberalism" or even democracy. It is capitalism, pure and simple. Most people everywhere want to be prosperous and to be able to keep the fruits of their labor. That's something everyone can understand. And that, not "neo-Wilsonianism" is in essence what America stands for. We have restored capitalism to Afghanistan and Iraq and it is prospering in China. Even in undemocratic venues like Pakistan and Singapore, capitalism is strong and serves the interests of most of the population. Freedom to start your own business and grow rich is the only freedom worth bothering about. America's interests lie in supporting capitalism wherever it exists.
This doesn't get said enough, though. We aren't, or shouldn't be, out to spread "good government" or "civic virtue". We won't truly be safe until everyone in the world is rich, through their own efforts.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I haven't been to Eric Raymond's site for a while. But this post, cited on Dean Esmay, spurred me into action. Not only that, but I got to bring in the AIDS delusion:
I here register my extreme skepticism that the “Montreal Protocol” or any actions by man made any difference to the extent of ozone in the upper atmosphere, a “problem” that never existed. Well, those are always the easiest kind to fix, aren’t they, and the most pleasant if you’re part of the power structure whose power is enhanced by the “cure”? Oh, yes and what was the mechanism whereby chlorofluorocarbons actually got up to the stratosphere, again? Anybody actually figure that out? Must be hiding in the same database where they’re keeping the proof that the HIV causes any diseases. But I look forward to the imminent declaration that HIV/AIDS has been “cured” by some extremely expensive drug or vaccine. When the truth is no one ever died from HIV.
And this was on a post about Peak Oil! A "threefer"?
John D. Rockefeller or not?
On Dailypundit, I try to confuse the neocons AND the leftoids by implying that John D. Rockefeller is now a senator from West Virginia. Do I do a good job?:
Is this the John D. Rockefeller the leftists have been inveighing against since, oh, 1888? Rather old, isn't he? Aren't the leftoids at all surprised that John D. Rockefeller is being attacked by the "neocons" and capitalist brigands? Why doesn't John D. Rockefeller give away all his money to the poor and colonialized? Why is anyone surprised that John D. Rockefeller should give advice to another oil billionaire robber baron just because his name is Saddam?
I'm such a card. I must be getting money for this from someone rich like, oh, I don't know, JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER???