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-coördinated 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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