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Big media’s credo: Don’t Know, Don’t Care .
Jul 31st, 2002 by Ken Hagler

Big media’s credo: Don’t Know, Don’t Care. So is “shattered investor confidence” the reason the stock market is falling? Call me a heretic, but I think the scandals have relatively little to do with the declining US stock market. I think it has more to do with the EU Savings Tax Directive, which Perry has discussed below. The US stock market was fueled in the ’90s by massive foreign investment in American equities (British Petroleum buying Amoco, Daimler-Benz buying Chrysler, etc.) Europeans prefer to set up American holding companies to invest in the US, earning income on their investments that is taxed at (comparably low) American corporate tax rates.

The US attracts massive amounts of foreign investment (another way to say this is that the US has a massive current account deficit) because the US has relatively low tax rates, and relatively light regulatory burdens. But the EU considers this “unfair tax competition” and is trying to establish a tax cartel that would tax receipts of income earned in the US by Europeans at higher European rates. To the extent that such a thing would make investment in the US less profitable, it has reduced the global demand for American corporate equities. It’s just a theory, but at least it is a theory backed by some evidence, not just a bunch of tiresome cliches pastiched together into a jejune news story. [Samizdata.net]

An interesting theory on why stock prices are dropping. It makes more sense than the mass media coverage, but I suspect that there’s still more to it than European investors loosing their incentive to buy US stock.

Hewlett Packard has no honor .
Jul 31st, 2002 by Ken Hagler

Hewlett Packard has no honor. [Scripting News]

Of course it hasn’t. Honor is an individual trait–only people can have honor, not organizations, countries, or animals. It’s possible for the people who run a corporation to be honorable, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Choosing Your Battle Rifle .
Jul 30th, 2002 by Ken Hagler

Choosing Your Battle Rifle. The Garand was designed for the .30-06 cartridge. While its slightly more powerful than .308, it’s significantly rarer, as it was only ever used in a few military rifles (none in active service today). [Doing Freedom!]

This survey of battle rifles available to civilians contains the rather bizarre statement above. The author seems to be unaware of how incredibly common .30-06 rifles are–perhaps he’s writing from outside the US?

RadioExpress : " I just did my first Radio Userland “extension”.
Jul 30th, 2002 by Ken Hagler

RadioExpress: "I just did my first Radio Userland “extension”. I wanted to be able to blog things I found around the web without having to copy/paste from that page to the R8 edit form. Blogger has a cool bookmarklet to do that. ManilaExpress also does that for Manila.

However, R8’s default form editor does not support receiving default text via external forms. So I changed it and repackaged it in the form of a new R8 page. It comes with it’s own bookmarklet which you can easily install in your navigator’s toolbar."

It works!

I ran for president once.
Jul 29th, 2002 by Ken Hagler

I ran for president once. Now I can’t make it past airport security. [OpinionJournal]

bq. When I go to an airport these days I don’t worry about a terrorist bomb. I’ve been flying steadily and unsteadily for 60 years, beginning with my days as a bomber pilot in World War II. I’ve always known that a bomb in somebody’s suitcase could blow up the plane I was on, just as I knew every day in 1943-45 could be my last. No one can ever take all the risk out of flying. On the wrong day you can even be hit by a drunken driver going to or from the airport.

But what terrifies me at the airports now is not the terrorists or drunks. It is the fear that I won’t be able to get through all the checkpoints, or that my car will be seized for parking within a mile of the airport, or that I will have forgotten my identity card, or that I’ll forget one of my shoes while my toes are being examined for explosives, or that my foot odor will offend some examiner and get me arrested as a public nuisance.

I worry that the little nail-clippers in my toilet article bag will be detected by the X-ray machine and get me arrested as a threat to the pilot and flight crew. But most of all I worry about missing the deadline for being checked in, rechecked and checked again before finally reaching my assigned seat flustered, humiliated and exhausted.

The author, George McGovern, was the Democratic candidate for President in 1972. It’s interesting to note that he sounds like a modern Republican.

Liberal lunacy always blames things, not people .
Jul 29th, 2002 by Ken Hagler

Liberal lunacy always blames things, not people. After a particularly gruesome mass murder in the Middle East, the website for the moderately conservative Fox News Channel headlined the news story with the simple but accurate proclamation: BOMBER KILLS 17 IN ISRAEL. Over at CNN, however, the politically correct panderers announced the story with a subtle but crucial difference: “BOMB KILLS 17,” their headline declared.

[…]

Nothing describes and discredits left-wing lunacy of the moment more precisely than the discomfort of its advocates with any questions of morality or values. When your outlook makes it impossible to blame the individual for his own horrible deeds, then it leads inevitably to the fatuous notion that bombs, rather than bombers, commit mass murder. [WorldNetDaily]

Here is a great overview of the amount of money from the entertainment industry that is buying votes in Congress.  Berman tops

Here is a great overview of the amount of money from the entertainment industry that is buying votes in Congress.  Berman tops the list on this election cycle.  A couple of things are obvious:  the amount of money being spent to buy votes is accelerating.  It is up 400% over 1990 mid-term election cycle.  How can indviduals even hope to compete against the staggering ~$125 m the entertainment industry has spent over the last 12 years?   Our only hope is that more people become aware that corruption of Congress by the entertainment industry is going to threaten their privacy, rights, and investments (in computer systems). [John Robb’s Radio Weblog]

The best thing ordinary people can do is to pool their money and pay for TV ads right before the election reporting how much the candidates took from the entertainment industry. Oh, wait–the “campaign finance reform” law makes that a crime. Only the news media (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the entertainment industry) is allowed to talk about the issues before an election now.

Obese Man Creates Super-Sized Court Controversy, Sues Fast Food Chains .
Jul 25th, 2002 by Ken Hagler

Obese Man Creates Super-Sized Court Controversy, Sues Fast Food Chains. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC Corporation were deemed “irresponsible and deceptive” by an obese man’s lawyer recently as he announced his intention to sue the four largest fast-food chains in America. [kuro5hin.org]

Two years ago this was just a joke. It’s amazing how fast a society can go downhill.

Dearth of a Nation .
Jul 25th, 2002 by Ken Hagler

Dearth of a Nation. Yet in today’s Zimbabwe what looms large is not paradise but famine. “The situation is deteriorating fairly rapidly,” says Kevin Farrell, country director for the U.N.’s World Food Program, reached by phone in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare. He says that in any village right now, “you will see people clearly hungry.” The U.N. is appealing for $611 million worth of emergency aid for sub-Saharan Africa. Almost half of that is for Zimbabwe, the region’s former breadbasket, where aid workers now predict that without massive help, hundreds of thousands may soon starve to death. [Wall Street Journal]

This famine, which will affect neighboring countries that depended on food exported from Zimbabwe, is the result of Mugabe’s deliberate actions. There are some details in the article beyond the widely reported destruction of the farming industry–it seems Mugabe is blocking food imports as well. What is it with communist dictators and famine, anyway?

It seems that the roots of New York’s crime problem go back a good deal further than I thought.
Jul 25th, 2002 by Ken Hagler

It seems that the roots of New York’s crime problem go back a good deal further than I thought. I encountered this item in Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries:

bq. The 22 rifle is considered to be socially acceptable in New York City where, for example, a 22 pistol is not. This is presumably because it is difficult to consider a 22 rifle as a defensive weapon with any sort of combat potential. Legislators are not called upon to think things through, generally speaking, but I know of one case personally in which an innocent and “socially acceptable” 22 rifle brought about desirable defensive results

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