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Davos.…   Here is some back of envelope calculations on why the power élite at Davos (depicted so well in Laurie Garrett’
Feb 27th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Davos.…  Here is some back of envelope cal­cu­la­tions on why the pow­er élite at Davos (depict­ed so well in Lau­rie Garrett’s recent pub­lic e-mail) are so mad at the US.  It’s pure eco­nom­ics.  The delayed recov­ery of the US (the only major econ­o­my in the world not mired in the muck) and the huge run up in oil prices has body slammed the glob­al econ­o­my.  I am fair­ly sure that the case could be made that this war has already cost the glob­al econ­o­my ~2% in growth.  On a $40 tril­lion com­bined GDP that is a $800 b loss, 34 of which is borne by peo­ple out­side the US.  That’s $133 in income for every man, wom­an, and child on the globe that is now gone forever.  If the poten­tial 5–10 year glob­al stag­na­tion (ala Japan’s sit­u­a­tion) sce­nar­ios some econ­o­mists are pre­dict­ing come true as a result of this shock, we may see this “lost” growth extend across the decade.  It may now be pos­si­ble to become the Her­bert Hoover of the glob­al econ­o­my. [John Robb’s Radio Weblog]

I think this is only par­tial­ly cor­rect. I think the econ­o­my would be in seri­ous trou­ble no mat­ter what, because the sys­tem of glob­al fiat cur­ren­cy appears to be approach­ing col­lapse. How­ev­er, the war scare is cer­tain­ly mak­ing things worse, and mak­ing bad things hap­pen soon­er than they oth­er­wise would have. The war will provide a con­ve­nient scape­goat if the eco­nom­ic cri­sis comes close enough to the war, though.

Charley Reese — Don’t Worry About Terrorism — terrorist acts have a very limited range.
Feb 27th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Charley Reese -

Don’t Wor­ry About Ter­ror­ism
— ter­ror­ist acts have a very lim­it­ed
range. Espe­cial­ly chem­i­cal weapons. They can­not be prop­er­ly called
weapons of mass destruc­tion. [rrnd]
bq.
I hope no one thinks that the par­tic­i­pants in World War II declined to
use chem­i­cal weapons out of human­i­tar­i­an con­cerns. Hard­ly. They
man­aged to kill 55 mil­lion peo­ple with con­ven­tion­al weapons. Chem­i­cal
weapons weren’t used because every­body learned in World War I that
they sim­ply aren’t that effec­tive.

Bio­log­i­cal agents prob­a­bly have a greater poten­tial to kill a lot of
peo­ple, but even the­se are no rea­son to pan­ic. Mankind has been liv­ing
with anthrax, small­pox, plague and what­ev­er for thou­sands of
years. Anthrax and plague can be treat­ed today. Small­pox was still
around when I was a kid, and we all got a vac­ci­na­tion. Today, there
are no known cas­es of small­pox any­where on Earth, and so far as any­one
knows for a dead cer­tain­ty, only Rus­sia and the Unit­ed States have
small­pox virus­es in stor­age.

I heard one moron on tele­vi­sion recent­ly say that small­pox could kill
25 mil­lion peo­ple. Well, only if 75 mil­lion peo­ple were infect­ed,
since smallpox’s mor­tal­i­ty is only about 30 per­cent. For a ter­ror­ist
to infect 75 mil­lion peo­ple is impos­si­ble.

In 2001, 3,000 Amer­i­cans died in the ter­ror­ist attacks; 91,000 died in
acci­dents; and 19,000 were mur­dered by home­grown crim­i­nals. In
addi­tion, about 2 mil­lion Amer­i­cans died of var­i­ous nat­u­ral
caus­es. There are 6 bil­lion peo­ple on this plan­et. Do you know how
many were killed in 2001 by ter­ror­ists in addi­tion to the 3,000? Just
409.

Of all the things you can wor­ry about, being killed by a ter­ror­ist is
one of the least. Gertrude Stein once described Amer­i­ca as hav­ing
“more places where peo­ple aren’t than there are places where peo­ple
are.” That’s still true. We are 268 mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing in 3 mil­lion
square miles. The chances of any one of us being killed by a ter­ror­ist
are infin­i­tes­i­mal.
[End the War on Free­dom]

Anoth­er arti­cle on how the threat of chem­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal weapons (and ter­ror­ism in gen­er­al) is over­rat­ed. Recent events show how this works in prac­tice. Since the gov­ern­ment and media began whip­ping up hys­te­ria, five peo­ple have died from ter­ror­ist attacks using anthrax. On the oth­er hand, 21 peo­ple died a few days ago from a hys­ter­i­cal reac­tion to the use of pep­per spray in a club in Chicago.

Which is real­ly the weapon of mass destruction–anthrax used by inde­pen­dent ter­ror­ists, or hys­te­ria used by gov­ern­men­tal ter­ror­ists?

Amy Fisher to Keep Kids Safe from Guns .
Feb 26th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Amy Fish­er to Keep Kids Safe from Guns. Amy Fish­er, the pistol-packin’ Long Islander who set off a fren­zy of tabloid head­li­nes a decade ago when she shot her lover’s wife, cel­e­brat­ed the end of her parole on Wednes­day by announc­ing her inten­tion to work for caus­es aimed at keep­ing hand­guns away from minors. [FirearmNews.com]

A con­vict­ed mur­der­er advo­cat­ing vic­tim dis­ar­ma­ment? Imag­ine that. It’s a lit­tle sur­pris­ing that she’s being so bla­tant about it, though.

Bush sets out Iraq vision .
Feb 26th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Bush sets out Iraq vision. Iraq with­out Sad­dam Hus­sein would be a “dra­mat­ic and inspir­ing exam­ple” to the region, accord­ing to US Pres­i­dent George W Bush. [BBC News | Front Page | UK Edi­tion]

I won­der if it will be as “dra­mat­ic and inspir­ing” as the exam­ple set by Iran after the over­throw of Prime Min­is­ter Moham­mad Mosad­deq?

More Bones of Contention .
Feb 26th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

More Bones of Con­tention. A fresh twist in the saga of Ken­newick Man, the appar­ent­ly cau­ca­soid 9,000 year old skele­ton who mod­ern Indi­an tribes… [Hit & Run]

The Indi­an tribes don’t want sci­en­tists to inves­ti­gate the bones, which they claim belong to their ances­tor (an obvi­ous­ly absurd claim). What the two arti­cles linked to don’t address is the ques­tion which should be the only rel­e­vant one: who owns the land where the skele­ton was found?

Grounding Model Rockets .
Feb 26th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Ground­ing Mod­el Rock­ets. The invalu­able Space.com reports on the threat to mod­el rock­etry con­tained in the Home­land Secu­ri­ty Act: An excerpt: “A pro­vi­sion… [Hit & Run]

It turns out that, in addi­tion to cre­at­ing the Amer­i­can KGB, it also includes a round­about ban on mod­el rock­et motors.

Kottke : “When companies get big, do they just naturally turn into bullies or is it a conscious decision?” [ Scripting News ] I think it’s a result o
Feb 26th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Kot­tke: “When com­pa­nies get big, do they just nat­u­ral­ly turn into bul­lies or is it a con­scious deci­sion?” [Script­ing News]

I think it’s a result of get­ting big enough to have a legal depart­ment.

Charlie Reese — The Facts About Rebellion — Mr.
Feb 26th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Char­lie Reese -

The Facts About Rebel­lion
— Mr. Reese has no bones to pick with
Hon­est Abe, but he uses this exam­ple to make a point that every
country’s lead­ers will crush an inter­nal rebel­lion. Sad­dam has lots of
com­pa­ny on that score. [lew]
bq.
Which polit­i­cal lead­er made war on his own peo­ple, killing 262,000 of
them, burn­ing their cities, destroy­ing their food sup­ply and plac­ing
the sur­vivors under mil­i­tary occu­pa­tion?

If your answer is Sad­dam Hus­sein, you’re wrong. The answer is Abra­ham
Lin­coln.

Accept­ing the North­ern but incor­rect view of the War Between the
States, Lin­coln did exact­ly the same thing Sad­dam Hus­sein did. When
“his own peo­ple” rose up in armed rebel­lion, he crushed the rebel­lion,
bru­tal­ly and deci­sive­ly.

It’s quite true that, like any oth­er dic­ta­tor, Sad­dam treats his
polit­i­cal oppo­nents harsh­ly, but it’s also true that if you stay out
of pol­i­tics, you could live as freely in Bagh­dad as you can in New
York City. Unlike a communist-style dic­ta­tor, Sad­dam doesn’t give a
damn what Iraqis think or do unless it involves a threat to his hold
on pow­er. There are two cat­e­gories of dic­ta­tors: total­i­tar­i­ans who
want to con­trol every aspect of a person’s life, and gang­sters who
just want to stay in pow­er. Sad­dam is in the gang­ster cat­e­go­ry. Iraqi
wom­en, for exam­ple, are enti­tled to free edu­ca­tion, just the same as
men, and are free to choose any voca­tion they wish. Pri­or to the Gulf
War, Iraq had one of the largest mid­dle class­es in the Mid­dle East,
one of the best edu­ca­tion sys­tems and one of the best health care
sys­tems. We, not Sad­dam, have destroyed all three with the war and
eco­nom­ic sanc­tions.
[End the War on Free­dom]

Friends and Enemies .
Feb 26th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Friends and Ene­mies. The Wash­ing­ton Post pro­vides a win­dow on how war fever has changed the views of once pro-American Arabs. In Cairo,… [Hit & Run]

bq. “I feel we have been deceived about the nature and char­ac­ter of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca,” he said.

Remark­ably, the­se are the words of a friend. Nag­gar is a World Bank vet­er­an who quotes the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence and whose son is a U.S. cit­i­zen. His library is stocked with works of Thomas Paine, Thomas Jef­fer­son, James Madis­on and “all the great founders.” He lived for 17 years in Wash­ing­ton, where he says he nev­er felt like a for­eign­er, and still longs for the city’s intel­lec­tu­al and artis­tic life and his favorite Asian restau­rants.

In 1991, he found­ed a group called the New Civic Forum “to pro­mote the ideas and ide­als of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca.” Today, the very thought gives rise to a long, bois­ter­ous laugh.

I still believe in the­se val­ues,” he said, wip­ing his eyes, “but I don’t call them Amer­i­can ide­als any­more.”

Those cer­tain­ly are still Amer­i­can ide­als. The prob­lem is that the US gov­ern­ment has been betray­ing our ide­als for many, many years. Sad­ly, I can’t see any way to explain it to peo­ple else­where in the world. The US gov­ern­ment today has noth­ing to do with what the gov­ern­ment is sup­posed to be, and the US media is active­ly hos­tile to Amer­i­can ide­als.

For now, the flag and the blog are my weapons .
Feb 26th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

For now, the flag and the blog are my weapons.

 

For days I have been pon­der­ing on how to answer Ken Hagler on the com­ment he made on his site on my sto­ry

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