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Showing posts from July 3, 2005
"For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!"

An interesting quote. The speaker is an African economics expert who (IMNHO rightly) concludes that poverty in Africa cannot and will not EVER be solved by western aid. As well meaning as that is, it is crippling Africa. It is really a massively larger example of what welfare does to the spirit. I've always kept the notions of charity and welfare separate. Charity is something freely given and freely (often grudgingly) accepted. Welfare is institutionalization of giving. Over time the mentality of entitlement sets in and it kills the spirit. Saps the will to better one's own position. Writ large, you have Africa. Singapore, Korea, and India are doing far far better because of (not in spite of) a lack of foreign aid.

Trade, not aid will improve their lives.
Publius Pundit points to a photo of the Union Jack flying over the State Department. The first time this has ever happened. My heart and my prayers go out to all Brits. Especially the victims and their families.


Tom & Laura: I hope you are safe. I've emailed but not heard back. Drop me a line as soon as you can.
Editors' Note - New York Times

"The Op-Ed page in some copies yesterday carried an incorrect version of an article about military recruitment. The writer, an Army reserve officer, did not say, "Imagine my surprise the other day when I received orders to report to Fort Campbell, Ky., next Sunday," nor did he characterize his recent call-up to active duty as the precursor to a "surprise tour of Iraq." That language was added by an editor and was to have been removed before the article was published. Because of a production error, it was not. The Times regrets the error."

Was ADDED by an EDITOR? Why? Is that part of an editors job at the NYT? To add fictious quotes? It certainly would help explain Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass. Could it be, maybe, just perhaps, that the article was not sufficiently anti-Bush and anti-war? Nah, couldn't be.
Iraq War Fatalities is a map showing casualties by day and location since the end of the war. Enable the locations box on the side to see the cities. Wretchard has some insights into the shifting (and recurrent) sites of the bombing. I think his appraisal of Mosul is dead-on as well as his speculation that the envisioned end-game of the locals vs. the Al-Qaeda foreigners is also correct and the reason they've been fighting of late. Read the whole thing.
Stay far away from this movie. My wife and I rented this piece of dreck. I'll set the scene:

Me: How about 'Anchorman'?
Wife: I'm not in the mood for slapstick comedy.
Me: Wait, so you're not in the mood for slapstick and you want to get a Ben Stiller movie?
Wife: Yes.
Me: Right. Ok, but I'm getting a Manly Movie to (over)compensate. [Master and Commander]

The Review:

Ben Stiller is a capable writer. There is good material here. He insists on spoiling it by appearing in the scenes. He really can be funny but he constantly overdoes everything. Sometimes that works as in his appearance as the angry guy on Friends. Usually, it doesn't.

Jennifer Aniston shows again, why she is a star. She carries her character off effortlessly and is totally natural.

The movie can't decide if it's a comedy or a drama or romantic comedy. It would have worked as either of the first two but flopped as the third. Debra Messing strikes the right note fo…
CapitolBuzz has some Santorum excerpts.

Let's take a look:

"By asking the right question, we can see that when it comes to socialization, mass education is really the aberration, not homeschooling. Never before in human history have a majority of children spent at least half their waking hours in the presence of 25 to 35 unrelated children of exactly the same age (and usually the same socio-economic status), with only one adult to keep order and provide basic mentoring. Never before and never again after their years of mass education will any person live and work in such a radically narrow, age-segregated environment. It’s amazing that so many kids turn out to be fairly normal, considering the weird socialization they get in public schools." (It Takes a Family, 386)

How exactly is this incorrect? Homeschooling was the norm until the modern era to be sure. Even in the early days of the Republic, the "one room schoolhouse" was the norm. That mixed kids of all d…
ScrappleFace: Kennedy Slams Unnamed Supreme Court Nominee

There are days when I can't tell if he's making this stuff up.
Shogun was one of my favorite books in college. I picked it up on a whim and had fleeting memories of the TV series. I had no idea that William Adams was the inspiration for Aijin-San. I must find a biography of this fascinating man.
Diana West is positively mental over the idea that the US has been meeting with Sunni insurgents to lay down their arms in exchange for something. I think she's wrong. They are not foreign fighters, they are locals. You get them to quit and you tilt the balance against the Al-Qaeda elements they will be mopped up in absolutely no time. The Sunnis have nowhere else to go. You have to give them something. A man with nothing to lose will fight like a cornered animal. Will they escape justice? Some of them will. Undoubtedly. Many will not. The other Iraqis know who they are and they'll be tried for offenses under the regime if not after. Still others are inveterate criminals who will revert to type and find themselves on the wrong end of an IP rifle.
Discovery Channel :: MythBusters: Be a MythBuster Quiz: "Congratulations!
You've won 90 total points out of a possible 110."

Not too bad. How did you do?