Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Matter of Principle

Paul W. Smith is host of "The Paul W. Smith Show" on WJR (760 AM in Detroit) from 5:30 to 9 Am every weekday. He also writes an op-ed column for the Detroit News which appears every Monday. Last Monday, June 26th., Mr. Smith's op-ed was titled "Inconvenient truths prevail on helmets, drugs, schools." The first paragraph says:

"O utta' my mind on a Monday moanin':

It is never good to bash your head; however, if you are going to bash your head, better to have a helmet on it. Football, hockey, lacrosse and baseball players know it. Race car drivers and bicyclists know it. Motorcyclists know it."

True. It is safer to wear a helmet than not to at certain times like when riding bikes and motorcycles. But this isn't about persuading people of a rational idea. It's about positing a noble goal and then trying to achieve it by force. He then says:

"I don't need to go into all the arguments for and against a law making cyclists do what's best for them and for the rest of us. (We went through this already regarding seat belts in cars.)"

Yes we did. The thugs won and now they want to expand their control to helmets. But the above two sentences illustrate a point to which I will return shortly. Mr. Smith then adds:

"Now's a good time to point out that I have been a motorcycle owner. And I have been hit by a car while riding (I was a very careful, defensive driver. It did not matter.) I had my helmet on. I thank God I did.

The inconvenient truth: Everyone is better off when you wear a helmet. (It is unfortunate there has to be a law to get people to do it.)"

Yes it is, but not for his reasons. In a laissez-faire economy, most personal saftey issues would be handled privately, probably by insurance companies who would offer cheaper rates to people who wore helmets. But Mr. Smith's attitude seems to be "Why should we wait for market forces to persuade people to do that which a little force can achieve a lot faster?"

Mr. Smith is not alone. Most intellectuals and media pundits think this way. There is however a fact of reality they are all ignoring and that was hinted at in the comment above about seat belts. It is the fact that a principle once adopted, even if only in part, must eventually be adopted in its entirety or completely repealed.

In this case, it means that once you agree to the principle that the government has the right to force people to wear seat belts, it's only a matter of time before all aspects of our lives are controlled by that same government. If it's ok to force people to wear seat belts, why is it not ok to force them to wear helmets? If it is ok to force people to wear seat belts and helmets, why is it not ok to force them to drive the kind of cars the government wants them to drive as long as the government claims it "is better for everybody?" There is no reason. Why can't the government declare that single family homes are a waste of energy and begin a massive campaign of moving all Americans into high rise apartments because it "is better for everybody?"

Of course the fundamental principle under all of this is the principle that the government has the right to initiate the use of force against citizens for some social goal other than protecting citizens' rights. Once that principle is adopted it will grow of its own virtue. If a little bit of force is "good for everybody," a little bit more is better, and a little bit more, then more, until total force becomes the best for everybody. The only way to prevent total control by the government is by repudiating the principle in its entirety and returning the government to its original responsibility of controling the retaliatory use of force.

Today's thinkers like to pretend that principles don't have to work that way. It's what they are taught in college. But they do work that way. If you doubt this, look at the nature of law itself. The law works by extrapolating new conclusions from established precedents. An established precedent is an adopted principle.

"Mr. Smith goes on to complain about illicit drug use: "It angered and drove me crazy when some folks somehow blamed the police for not being more on top of the Fentanyl/heroin story. You, too?

Inconvenient truth: If you use illegal drugs, (or use legal drugs illegally) you may die."

The wisdom of the war on drugs aside, I usually don't feel sorry for people who OD on drugs. Such people are looking for an escape from reality and I am not saddened when they achieve a permanent one.

Paul W. Smith correctly complains about Detroit schools and their turn down of $200 million dollars from Bob Thompson:

"Enough time has passed since that opportunity has come and gone (in its original form) to state the obvious inconvenient truth: Politics, ego and control issues trumped what was best for the kids. What system of education, city or state in this country, would not have benefited from an infusion of $200 million?"

Aside from the question of why a government run school system needs such a bailout, it doesn't seem to have occured to Mr. Smith that "Politics, ego and control issues" would not be a factor in a completely private school system.

He then promotes breast feeding but doesn't call for the government to force that on women, yet. He then closes with these two paragraphs:

"Finally, I'm not telling you how to live your life, or if you are right or wrong in your own actions (even though I have a strong personal opinion). My (ultimate) inconvenient truth is: Human life begins at conception.

Join me as I sit in again for Rush Limbaugh on his nationwide show heard noon till 3 p.m. on WJR."

Of course this was an op-ed and Mr. Smith is entitled to all of his opinions. But I find it a bit ironic that a man who is comfortable with the principle that the government can initiate the use of force against citizens to achieve some social goal, and who does not understand that principles (precedents) always grow by way of their own virtue (merit), is sitting in for Rush Limbaugh. Rush of course is often heralded as a defender of freedom and capitalism. With defenders like this is it any wonder capitalism has a bad name? One cannot defend the principles of captalism (individual rights) while endorsing the principles of statism (iniatory coercion against citizens for some social goal--"it's good for everybody." If capitalism is to be defended properly, its defense must be based on individual rights. It's a matter of principle.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Traitorous Times

Matt May links to a letter from a soldier to the NYT congratulating them for exposing the anti-terrorist funding campaign and making it possible for the terrorists to kill more of his men. Matt also has a relevent quote from Thomas Jefferson here. Gee, I didn't know the Times existed back then.

Of course these men at the Times are getting away with betraying America simply because Americans let them get away with it. If the Bush administration tried to bring these men up on charges for printing classified info, our own Senators and Representatives would support the NYT. They would support the betrayal of America. And that is our fault for electing them.

But for now, we really don't have much choice. There just aren't any people running for congress who would demand the Times people be brought to justice. I am optomistic about the future though. As more people move from the morality of sacrifice to rational self-interest there will be positive changes.

I would like however, to see one Senator or Congressman introduce a resolution calling for the prosecution of any news organization who prints classified info just to see who would vote for and against it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy Days

Mrs. Eyes and I went to a graduation party for the oldest son of the family next door to us. We watched Dan grow up. He would often cut our grass and shovel the snow from the walk in the winter. Now his little brother sometimes does it.
I shook Dan's hand and congratulated him for being the Valedictorian of his school and for earning a full 4 year scholorship to a prominent technical institute. Watching him grow up from a scrawny neighborhood kid to the successful and promising adult that he is, was a beautiful experience.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Mixed Premises

In Michigan Republican Dick Devos is running against Democrat governor Jennifer Granholm. In today's June 23rd Detroit News there is a commentary by conservative talk show host Frank Beckmann. Mr. Beckmann quotes parts of a book written by Mr. DeVos in 1997 titled "Rediscovering American Values: The Foundations of our freedom for the 21st century."

Like most politicians, Mr. DeVos seems to be a mixture of good and bad premises:

**The DeVos book emphasizes integrity among public officials and perhaps the first hint of his political philosophy when he stresses freedom as a result of self-reliance.**

Actually, freedom is the result of government recognizing individual rights which then allows for the exercise of self-reliance.

**"When we are self-reliant," he writes, "we do not impose a burden on others by depending on them."**

It is true that relying on ourselves is good in the sense that we are not violating our neighbor's rights by forcing them to support us. None of us have that right. But the justification for self-reliance is man's right to life, not whether it imposes a burden on others. It's saying that the value of self-reliance is based on the needs or suffering of others and not the protection of their rights or the exercise of our own. It's advocating a good idea (self-reliance) for the wrong reason, service to others.

Dick DeVos is the son of Rich DeVos the founder of Amway Corp. now called Alticor Inc. He is selling himself as a businessman who understands Michigan's need for job growth and says he can improve the business climate here which would bring jobs. We'll have to see on that one. It's early and I haven't formed a firm opinion on him yet. If you're interested, the News has a front page article on him here.

Communist Paradise

Bruno at The Simplest Thing links to some photos of North Korea. Depressing actually. And to think this (or worse) is the standard of living enviromentalists and leftist professors want for Americans.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Round Up June 21st.

Diana Hsieh at Noodle Food takes a look a "Aristotle on Pity" in which she discerns the difference between his concept of pity and the modern concept of same. In so doing she makes a very perceptive observation:

"A justice-oriented culture cares whether a person suffers by his own hand. It scorns such voluntary suffering, reserving pity for the innocent. In contrast, an altruistic culture cares for nothing but the suffering, ignoring the cause or justice thereof."

(In my opinion, a concrete example of this would be the aftermath to Katrina.)

Yet another reason why altruism is not a morality of benevolence towards men.
I recommend reading the whole post.

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Craig Biddle at Principles In Practice looks at an article by Diana West and discerns the difference between faith and reason as well as a look at sacrifice. On faith he points out:

"Either faith—i.e., the acceptance of ideas in support of which there is no evidence—is a valid means of knowing the truth, or it is not. The Islamists have faith that they are right and good and that Americans are wrong and evil. If faith is a valid means of knowing the truth—as many Americans continue to believe—then how can anyone say that the Islamists are wrong? What Americans need to face is the fact that faith is invalid. Man's only means of knowledge is reason. The true and the good and the right can be known only by means of observation and logic and recognition of the requirements of human life on earth. If Americans want to name and defeat their actual enemy, they must lose religion; they must embrace reason."

The whole post is worth the read.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

On The Slightly Lighter Side.

You Dirty Healthy Rat?

Steven Milloy at Junk Science links to an AP article carried by the New York Times titled "Rat Study Shows Dirty Better Than Clean."

"Washington -- Gritty rats and mice living in sewers and farms seem to have healthier immune systems than their squeaky clean cousins that frolic in cushy antiseptic labs, two studies indicate. The lesson for humans: Clean living may make us sick.

The studies give more weight to a 17-year-old theory that the sanitized Western world may be partly to blame for soaring rates of human allergy and asthma cases and some autoimmune diseases, such as Type I diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. The theory, called the hygiene hypothesis, figures that people's immune systems aren't being challenged by disease and dirt early in life, so the body's natural defenses overreact to small irritants such as pollen."

It doesn't surprize me that the Western world is being blamed for the above mentioned diseases and maladies. It is true that as the air in the U.S. has become cleaner the asthma rate has gone up. I do think there may be some merit in the hygiene hypothesis. However, I want to draw your attention to the phrase 'sanitized Western world' and a little later in the article this sentence:

"Human epidemiological studies have long given credence to the hygiene theory, showing that allergy and asthma rates were higher in the cleaner industrialized areas than in places such as Africa."

It seems ironic that the "Western," "industrialized" world can be referred to as "sanitized" and "cleaner" when most of the time Western industrialized nations are reviled as the dirtiest polluters on the planet. Oh Well.

The scientists did say that they wanted to find things that would "exercise the immune system" without having to expose people to actual dirt so I suppose that's a good thing.

I am told that lab mice and rats are speciffically bred to pop out tumors much faster than wild ones would.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Our Tax Dollars At Work?

Saturday's 06/17/06 Detroit News has a report titled "U-M Gets $70M for study on aging" by Marisa Schultz. It starts with:

"The University of Michigan is on the verge of receiving a $70 million grant -- the largest research award in the university's history -- to study America's aging population.

Funded by the federal National Institute on Aging, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, the study will provide information on what Americans are spending their money on and how they're saving and living longer, said U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, who is expected to formally announce the grant Monday."

I have never been in favor of using taxpayer money to study aging or anything else. What seniors are spending their money on is info that should be paid for by private companies like Sears or Wal-Mart, not taxpayers.

Besides, all this is doing is providing politicians and policy makers with information on which way to vote on specific issues regarding seniors. In other words, how to win the senior vote on any given issue. This is of crucial importance of course because millions of baby boomers will start to retire in about 4 years and politicians like Rep. Dingell need to know how to buy their votes.

Philosophically, this is an admission that our government makes no decisions by reference to wider principles (i.g. individual rights) but bases them on concrete-bound, range-of-the-moment polls, surveys and studies, like studying a herd of cows without the knowledge of what is a cow and what is its nature.

The article then gives a little overview of U.M.s research programs:

"The huge gift comes at time when academic institutions are in fierce competition for limited federal research dollars, especially for social science survey research grants, according to the university. Typically, research at U-M's Institute for Social Research accounts for just 12 percent of all research expenditures at U-M, with the medical school bringing in the bulk of the grant money.

University officials had little to say Friday about the grant, although people familiar with Monday's announcement confirmed the amount of the award.

The university institute is among the world's oldest survey research organizations. It produces some of the most widely-cited studies, such as the Survey of Consumer Attitudes and the National Election Studies. Established in 1948, the institute produces nationally recognized research on diverse topics such as poverty, drug use, income and aging."

While the above may sound almost impressive, I still don't think taxpayer money should fund it. There are lots of private organizations that deal with the elderly who could fund this kind of research. Besides, we seem to be getting into a paradigm of research for research's sake which can lead to this:

"Earlier this month, it (the university institute-ME) released a widely publicized index measuring how fast the happiness level of hurricane victims rebounded." !!!!

Hmmmm. I'd like to see a study of how fast the happiness level of government funded researchers rebound when all their grant money is cut off. I'd pay for that. Oh well, there is one piece of certainty that came out of this award:

"Meanwhile, the U-M regents reappointed President Mary Sue Coleman, a strong advocate for research and development, to a second five-year term."

Mission accomplished.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Here We Go Again

The Michigan State Board of Education's social studies advisors are in the news again. In an excellent 6/13/06 column by Detroit News writer Laura Berman, we are advised:

"An Oakland County judge and some of the state's social studies directors are protesting the lack of standards in the new standards, which omit Ford, and are scheduled for approval by the State Board of Education at a meeting today.

"There is little history in the (proposed) history content," wrote Oakland County Circuit Judge Michael Warren, a former State Board of Education member in a scathing June 13 memorandum to the board that cited the absence of -- among others -- Henry Ford, the Presidents Roosevelt (Theodore and Franklin), Rosa Parks, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

A few key historical moments are also missing: the Spanish American War, the Holocaust, Watergate, September 11."

Presumably, these historic people and events aren't on the test so they don't need to be taught.

"The 21-page proposal, if approved, is what high school students will be expected to learn and know.

"What gets tested is what gets taught," said Amy Bloom, the social studies consultant for Oakland Schools."

A more obvious hatred of testing students to see if they know anything would be hard to find.

What is it with these social studies consultants? Readers of this blog will remember my post The Little Witch Doctors in which I wrote about social studies consultant Karen Todorov who wanted to drop the word 'American' when referring to the United States. I concluded that post with:

"In my essay The Science Establishment II ( Feb archives), I mentioned the fact that the essence of government is force and the essence of science is reason and to mix the two will result in reason being forced out. Just substitute education for science. The principle is the same. The only way to prevent the corruption of education is to get the government completely out of it."

A good start towards that end would be tax credits for education and vigorous support for private schools.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fatal Flaw

Alan Germani at Principles in Practice has an essay "Somalia and Our Fatal Flaw." Evidently, America, via the CIA, has been supporting the warlords there in the hopes of keeping islamists from taking over the country and to get info on suspected al-Qeada hiding there. Well, the islamists just ran the warlords out of town and are now imposing Sharia Law. The U.S. loses again.

Mr. Germani correctly points out why such misguided policies are doomed to failure by identifying our fatal flaw as:

"The tragic flaw inherent in the "War on Terror" is its focus on individual enemy combatants. We are wasting money, munitions—and, worst of all, American soldiers—trying to eliminate these combatants while ignoring the states that produce and sustain them (primarily Iran and Saudi Arabia). As long as these regimes and their supporting populations believe that they can triumph over the West, there will be an endless supply of terrorists to fill the sandals of the few that we're able to track down and kill."

So very true. It's like trying to destroy a large anthill by killing one ant at a time, except that American soldiers are dying in the process. The anthill should have been destroyed in one fell swoop. I urge reading the whole article.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Not Good For Michigan or America

My U.S. Congressman Sander Levin has a newsletter his office sends out about once a week informing constituents of the latest congressional action. In the week of May 22 – 26, 2006 issue was a headline saying:

“House Narrowly Approves Oil Drilling in Arctic refuge.”

I think drilling in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) is long over due and a small step on the path of reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil. Unfortunately, Mr. Levin voted against the legislation. I think his reasons are misguided in the extreme.

First, he says, “Drilling in ANWR will not bring down gas prices—not today and not tomorrow….” While this is probably true, it is not the sole or even the main reason for drilling in ANWR. Oil companies should have the right to buy the drilling rights to any property at market prices. But, not counting ANWR, the government has placed 85% of offshore oil fields off limits to any drilling. If people would like to know the why behind high gas prices, that is one reason. Placing most of the oil fields off limits then crying about a dependency on foreign oil is being less than honest with the American people.

Lets look at another claim by Mr. Levin. “Although over 95% of the recommendations in that plan (Bush’s 2001 energy plan) have been implemented, our nation still confronts sky-high gas prices, growing dependence on foreign sources of energy, and record pro! fits (sic) for the oil industry.” Notice how he names two maladies, high prices and dependency on foreign energy and then lumps in “record profits” as if they were of equal malevolence.

In other words, Mr. Levin believes that morality is a matter of numbers; if you earn millions of dollars you’re virtuous or at least amoral. But if you earn billions you become evil and are placed alongside other undesirable human conditions.

This kind of thinking is known to economists as the intrinsic theory of wealth. It holds that wealth is a static amount and therefore if someone has a lot of it then it must be at the expense of someone else thus government must step in and redistribute the wealth more fairly. Of course this theory was thoroughly discredited long ago. Wealth creation is a very dynamic process. Yet it is sad to see Congressman Levin still believing in it and pandering to one of the worst human emotions, envy, the hatred of success for being success.

But Congressman Levin is not alone. His brother, Michigan Senator Carl Levin and colleague Debbie Stabenow have both said they will support a windfall profits tax on the oil companies. Consider the kind of message this sends to large corporations. “You had better not be too successful, too efficient, too profitable or we’ll nail you”

I understand that the price of gasoline is a national problem but consider what thoughts might be going through the minds of CEOs of large corporations thinking about moving to Michigan. “Do you think it’s a good idea to set up shop in Michigan since the main politicos there are so hostile to profits and corporations in general?”

I’ve heard the argument “I wouldn’t care how much money the oil companies make if they would just keep the price of gas nice and low.” This argument ignores the fact that market prices are set by how much people are actually willing to pay, not by how much they’d prefer to pay. It also supposes that oil execs sit in their offices and every morning say “Well, how much should we charge for gas today?” That is ridiculous.

The price of gas is determined by the price of crude oil, which is being bid upon daily by nations all around the globe. Most of these bidders are governments not private oil companies. The OPEC cartel controls most of the oil out of the Mideast. Most South-American oil companies are state owned and Russia recently nationalized their oil industry. Yet the Levins and Ms. Stabenow want you to believe it’s all the fault of evil, greedy private enterprise, and that governments are faultless, especially ours.

A myriad of regulations and laws have prevented the building of refineries for about 30 years. But Congressman Levin and Michigan Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow are not about to get the government out of the way. That is why keeping these politicians in office is not good for America or Michigan.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Some Good News Last Week

Like the color green, some headlines were soothing to Mike's Eyes last week.

First was the headline Zarqawi Dead. This will probably be followed by a power struggle between Zarqawi wannabes who will then kill each other until one of them takes over. More good news.

Second, is a report by Little Green Footballs titled "Don't Wanna Be Zarqawi" about a young Jewish man who was kidnapped by Palistinians but as soon as they discovered he was an American they turned him over to the Isrealis.

Third, was the report by Yahoo news that Goldman Sachs had lowered its stock rating of New York Times to 'Underperform' causing NYT share price to fall. How sweet it is!

Now if I could just see a headline like "Iranians Overthrow Mullahs" or "Syria Falls," that would make for a good year.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Pragmatic Senate

Donald Luskin at Conspiracy To Keep You Poor and Stupid was sent a note by Daniel Clifton of Americans For Tax Reform. Evidently, Mr. Clifton is upset over the duplicity of the Democratic Senators who defeated a motion to only consider bringing the Estate Tax Reform bill to the floor. The duplicity consists of:

**Interestingly, Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu, and Ron Wyden voted for full repeal in 2002. Today, they voted against even considering the legislation for some type of reform. Hence they went from supporting a 0 percent estate tax to a 55 percent rate. That’s because this is not whether you support or oppose estate tax repeal. The Dems have actively traded votes to let their vulnerable members up for reelection support the legislation and have other members not up for reelection vote against the legislation, even if they support estate tax repeal/reform. This ensures incumbent protection while also ensuring 60 votes can never be reached.

As an example, Sen. John Breaux, the prime sponsor of the legislation for repeal, voted no in 2002 so Mary Landrieu can vote yes.**

The blatent deception of the American voters, openly on the Senate floor demonstrates how no one takes principles seriously anymore. In their minds, hypocrisy is not a bad thing because you are supposed to go with whatever works for now and don't worry about consequences. Thus, if you don't want to repeal the Estate Tax, but your constituents do, then come election time you can fool them by voting for repeal and ignoring your NO votes of the past.

I was reminded of Senator John Kerry's statement "I have never waivered" during the 04 presidential debates. I wondered how he could say that with a straight face on national television. I have decided that such behavior is that of a pure pragmatist, a person who has bought into the primacy of consciousness completely and believes reality is whatever he wills it to be on a daily basis. Whenever reality doesn't conform to his will, it is because, for some unknown reason, reality has conformed to someone else's will. (Considering the implications of that thought process could make for an interesting essay, but for another time.)

Of course, a pure pragmatist is to be differentiated from a partial pragmatist like a George Bush. Mr. Bush seems to go back and forth from pragmatic behavior to that based on his religous principles. Mr. Kerry is 100% tunnel vision on the here and now.

In fairness I have to assume the Republicans do the same thing when the Dems are running things. Anyway, I'm glad there are men like Mr. Clifton keeping track of such insanity.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A is non-A

According to my Comcast home page there is an Associated Press news article by AP writer Ali Akbar Dareini reporting that Iran has agreed to consider an "incentive" package offered by the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany.

**The incentives package offers economic and political rewards if Tehran relinquishes domestic uranium enrichment, which is used to generate power but can also produce weapons-grade uranium for nuclear warheads. It also contains the implicit threat of U.N. sanctions if Iran remains defiant.**

So we are giving "rewards" to thugs in return for the thugs' promise not to be too thugish with us! There is no difference between this "package" and the package reached by a homeowner who offers to give some of his money to a thief in return for the thief's promise not to try and steal the rest of it.

The evasion of reality by the West in these so-called negotiations is astounding. The thief doesn't care about the homeowner's property rights. When the homeowner agrees to "negotiate" with the thief, the homeowner doesn't care about them either and deserves to lose them all.

The West's desire to live and the Mullah's desire to kill the West is something that cannot be negotiated. The attempt to do so demonstrates how completely the West has adopted the epistomology (method of thinking) of the primacy of consciousness where reality becomes whatever we can will it to be if we just all agree to the willing.

Just as the homeowner's epistomology was "Giving my money to the thief is not a surrender if I don't call it by that name," so the West's epistomology is "What Iran is doing is not extortion if we all agree not to call it by that name."

But wait. Are we even getting the thug's promise to stop being thugish? No. Iran has only agreed to "study" the package.

**"The proposals contain positive steps and also some ambiguities," (Iran's nuclear negotiator Ali) Larijani said.

He did not identify the "ambiguities," but he said he had discussed them with (EU negotiator) Solana and that more talks would be required.

"We hope we will have negotiations and deliberations again after we have carefully studied the proposals," he said.**

"Ambiguities" are absolutely essential in modern "diplomacy." They assure more "negotiations" and thus avoid the necessity of taking action. In fact, in the minds of Western intellectuals, "diplomacy" is action and it is entirely devoted to making sure no other action ever takes place.

But what are these "positive steps" the West is offering?

**Details of the proposals have not been made public, but an early draft indicated that if Iran agrees to abandon uranium enrichment, the world would offer it help in building nuclear reactors, a guaranteed supply of nuclear fuel and European Airbus aircraft.

The United States has reportedly sweetened the offer by saying it would lift some bilateral sanctions on Iran, such as a ban on Boeing passenger aircraft and related parts.**

So we are trying to get Iran to give up its nuclear bomb intentions by giving it a guaranteed supply of nuclear fuel! No wonder Iran is willing to "study" the package. They probably can't believe it either. That's like the homeowner offering the thief a guaranteed supply of crowbars in the hopes the thief will use them for "peaceful purposes."

Of course, the homeowner (West) refuses to identify the fact that such a policy will result in all other thieves (thugs) noticing what works and presenting the same demands to the homeowner (West) until one day he discovers that his money and silverware (freedom) and whatever else he had to negotiate away, are gone. Such is the logical result of ignoring the existence of, and compromising on, principles.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

round up on June 3rd update

Donald Luskin at Conspiricy to Keep You Poor and Stupid reports on Paul Krugman's standing in the eyes of a few. I especially liked the 2nd update where an emailer says he makes money by betting against Krugman because Krugman is wrong so often. Hmmm. I wonder if he's onto something there.

round up on June 3rd

Diana Hsieh at Noodle Food has a good analysis of an article by Julian Edney in which she identifies his use of the fallacy identified by Ayn Rand as "the frozen abstraction."

Gus at Gus Van Horn also has a critique on a James Taranto article in which Mr. Taranto is obviously confused about the nature of self-interest. Although he has written some rational articles in the past he is nevertheless a strong believer in forced sacrifices as his belief that under certain circumstances, the military draft is ok.