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Davos….   Here is some back of envelope calculations on why the power elite 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 elite 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, 3/4 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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