More Arm-Waving .
Jul 30th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

More Arm-Waving. (Nobody seems to have mentioned that this plan, when rolled out next month, would have violated gambling and racketeering laws in addition to common sense [Mark Bernstein]

The plan in question is the strange idea proposed by DARPA for a “terrorist futures market.” I notice that the page on the DARPA site linked to by Mark Bernstein has mysteriously vanished.

In any case, it doesn’t matter if the plan would have violated the law. The government violates the law in every possible way on a continuing basis–for example, the very existence of DARPA is against the law. However, since the government makes sure that nobody but government employees tries to enforce the law, the law effectively does not apply to the government.

Massad Ayoob at Backwoods Home Magazine – Cheap guns are good enough – a “Saturday Night Special” could just save your life.
Jul 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Massad Ayoob at Backwoods Home Magazine –

Cheap guns are good enough
– a “Saturday Night Special” could just
save your life. [End the War on Freedom]

Aside from the main point of the article, there’s an interesting story about a case in which Janet Reno, then a State’s Attorney in Miami, charged a woman with murder for defending herself from her abusive and homicidal husband.

Lights, Camera, Marxism! .
Jul 28th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Lights, Camera, Marxism!. Film school isn’t what it used to be, reports the LA Times Magazine. Marxism, semiotics, and narratology are in; plot is out. (Link courtesy of Arts & Letters Daily.)… [ Blog]

An interesting article about “film theory.” The LA Times website isn’t very good, so the linked article will probably disappear soon.

Japan Votes to Send Troops to Iraq [ AP World News ] The peacekeeping bill allows Japanese ground troops to pr
Jul 25th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Japan Votes to Send Troops to Iraq [AP World News]

The peacekeeping bill allows Japanese ground troops to provide non-combat support for U.S.-led forces in Iraq. It also gives the government power to send forces to trouble spots around the world to offer medical assistance, repatriate refugees, reconstruct buildings and roads and give administrative advice — even on missions without U.N. support.

I wonder if the Iraqi rebels will make a distinction on the “non-combat support?” I doubt it will help Koizumi’s already shaky popularity if Japanese soldiers start dying to support an American empire.

Red Dawn in Iraq .
Jul 25th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Red Dawn in Iraq. Justin Raimondo on the commie-neocon axis of evil. By the way, Red Dawn was one of Murray Rothbard’s favorite movies, and it is a fun and instructive watch these days…. [ Blog]

bq. Does anybody besides myself remember the movie Red Dawn? It’s a cold war morality play in which America is invaded, conquered and occupied by the Soviets: the story revolves around the exploits of an underground resistance, consisting mostly of teen-agers, that springs up to combat the Red Army and its collaborators. The resistance starts out small, with minor acts of sabotage, and escalates over time into a well-coordinated and virtually unstoppable general rebellion that ends in the defeat of the occupiers. Our government’s rhetoric

Gay Journalist on Trial in Uzbekistan [ AP World News ] I doubt this will bother anyone in Washington, since Uzbekistan is
Jul 24th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Gay Journalist on Trial in Uzbekistan [AP World News]

I doubt this will bother anyone in Washington, since Uzbekistan is our wonderful ally in the War on Nouns. However, look for this to be used in twenty years as an example of how evil the Uzbek government is, and why we simply must conquer liberate the people of Uzbekistan.

Assassination ban still on books but widely ignored .
Jul 24th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Assassination ban still on books but widely ignored. In theory, pursuing with intent to kill violates a long-standing policy banning political assassination. It was the misfortune of Saddam Hussein’s sons that the Bush administration has not bothered to enforce the prohibition. (link)

Yes, let’s call it what it was: an assassination. None of this arrest them and bring them to trial and then execute them. No, we now skip straight to the execution stage. If anybody else but the U.S. did this, it would be a terrorist act. And we’ll no doubt condemn it the next time it happens. But when it’s us that does it, well I guess that must be A-OK. [Al-Muhajabah’s Islamic Blogs]

Actually I very much doubt that it was an assassination–capturing the brothers alive would have been too good a propaganda coup for the Feds. More likely, the office in charge was ordered to “capture them if possible,” and the NCOs in that unit quietly told their troops, “don’t be a hero, their capture is not worth your life.”

However, I wouldn’t have a problem with it even if they actually had been assassinated. If they were captured alive they’d still end up being killed, but first there would be a lengthy kangaroo court “war crimes trial,” which the Iraqi people would no be allowed to participate in except as witnesses. Do we really need yet another fake trial making a mockery of the American legal system?

Note also that I would have been entirely in favor of a private organization taking up a collection to hire assassins to truly assassinate Saddam and his sons, as an alternative to conquering the country. It would have been vastly cheaper, less destructive, and wouldn’t have involved robbing Americans at gunpoint to pay for the whole thing. Naturally the US government would never permit anything so civilized to occur.

Aide takes blame for Iraq claim .
Jul 23rd, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Aide takes blame for Iraq claim. A senior US adviser accepts blame for not removing claims about Iraq’s nuclear ambitions from a presidential speech. [BBC News | Front Page | UK Edition]

Now that the designated fall guy has been selected, will we still have to listen to members of Congress pretending they were misled by something that was an obvious lie from the beginning?

More Intelligence Follies .
Jul 23rd, 2003 by Ken Hagler

More Intelligence Follies. The US murdered 80 people in Syria during a “hot pursuit raid” on gasoline traders…. [ Blog]

A followup on an earlier post.

Berkeley Social Scientists Define Conservatives .
Jul 23rd, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Berkeley Social Scientists Define Conservatives. Berkeley social scientists report that they have scientifically established that political conservatives are motivated by “fear and aggression, dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity.” They hasten to assure the public that they are not being “judgmental” and that “does not mean that conservatism is pathological or that conservative beliefs are necessarily false, irrational, or unprincipled.”

I can hardly wait to see their “objective” scientific analysis of libertarianism. [Hit & Run]

I’d be willing to bet that this was paid for with tax dollars.

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