Frum and Perle to Bush: “Start More Wars!” .
Dec 31st, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Frum and Perle to Bush: “Start More Wars!”. Richard Perle and David Frum have authored a new book, challenging the Bush Administration to start more wars in order to win the war on terror. According to today’s Daily Telegraph of London, within the book President Bush was sent… [ Blog]

CA: Gun case declared a mistrial due to hung jury .
Dec 31st, 2003 by Ken Hagler

CA: Gun case declared a mistrial due to hung jury. A mistrial was declared Tuesday after jurors deadlocked over whether the design of a Beretta pistol caused the accidental shooting death of a Berkeley teenager in 1994.

It was the second time Alameda County jurors pondered the circumstances that ended with Kenzo Dix shot dead by a 14-year-old friend showing off a gun he thought was unloaded.

The first civil trial ended with jurors exonerating the Beretta gun company. Their verdict was overturned by an appellate court that ruled a juror convinced parents are responsible for weapons in their homes had bullied other jurors and affected the outcome. []

It’s disgusting, but hardly surprising, that a verdict was overturned because one of the jurors actually had the gall to believe in personal responsibility and convince other jurors of the same. I wonder how that person even got on a jury in the first place? The lawyers must not have been very careful about excluding responsible people.

Political Liberty in Iraq .
Dec 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Political Liberty in Iraq. Demonstrating for Saddam is right out, as this Iraqi teenager profiled in Slate learned. He and some school buddies were dragged out of school by nearly a hundred soldiers and taken into custody for allegedly attending a pro-Saddam rally back shortly after his regime fell. An excerpt:bq. “They [the American soldiers] are civil in a way,” Ibrahim said. “They are afraid of the situation here, and that’s why they behave badly.” But he is not intimidated by them. His family has seen plenty of American injustice. His father (something to do with the former government, though exactly what Ibrahim wouldn’t say) has been detained three times, his uncle twice. His cousin was shot in the leg at an American checkpoint when he didn’t understand what the soldier was shouting. His grandmother had three and a half kilos of gold and an heirloom diamond necklace taken during a nighttime raid on her house. All run-of-the-mill, unverifiable stories of the kind I have heard many times.

The Americans questioned Ibrahim and the others and determined that they were just schoolboys protesting; there had been no particular resistance involvement.

“I would have preferred not to have done it,” said Lt. Col. Quintas, while acknowledging that the operation at the school had been undertaken on his initiative, “But they need to understand that they are not allowed to do this and that there are consequences.”

And yes, I saw the part where the kid seems to admire Hitler. [Hit & Run]

The Iraqi teenager and his friends sound very much like teenagers in American public schools, right down to the fondness for Hitler.

Collorary to Ogden’s Law .
Dec 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Collorary to Ogden’s Law. “Those most rabid about war are the least inclined to go.” [ Blog]

Dec 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

MONTY PYTHON TAKES OVER. I do realize that there might be a serious point behind this — and I would be prepared to view it much more seriously if this war were being run by more intelligent people with a slightly greater grasp of the operative principles — but this runs the serious risk of heading irretrievably into Monty Python territory:

The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to… [The Light of Reason]

Great, now we’ll have all the Crusaders ranting about how Poor Richard is a terrorist sympathizer.

Apple and Pepsi to Give Away 100 Million Free Songs .
Dec 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Apple and Pepsi to Give Away 100 Million Free Songs. Apple

Dec 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

MORAL BULLIES, PART I: YOU SPEAK OF THE “COALITION OF THE PISSY”? VERY WELL THEN. I PISS ON YOU.. I have a confession to make. On the day of Saddam Hussein’s capture, I posted only a short entry. I was very busy with work, but promised to return with further thoughts very soon. But I haven’t done so until now. This is why.

I am embarrassed to admit this, but in the name of full disclosure, I shall force myself to do so. I was cowed, overawed, and struck dumb with astonishment at the sheer breadth, subtlety, nuance, complexity, and overwhelming sophistication of the charges… [The Light of Reason]

bq. I want to state one thing very clearly and unmistakably for the benefit of any warbloggers who might read this — particularly those warbloggers and other hawks who strut their self-announced moral superiority and constantly shove it in the face of everyone else, and who act as if any disagreement with their historically ignorant views of the world constitutes some sort of treason. You are the enemies of America — just as you are the enemies of thought, of history, of ideas, of any conception of what genuine liberty means, and how it is to be achieved.

You are a disgrace to this once-great nation, and if you have your way, this nation will follow many others on the route of total self-destruction in a conflagration of military might strewn purposelessly and mindlessly around the globe, while an increasingly authoritarian government destroys what remains of freedom here in the United States. And I also want to make it clear that there are many of us who are not at all cowed by your moral blustering. Many of us see it exactly for what it is: the phony posturing of a coward who relies on intimidation in place of argument, who feels that shouting mindless slogans will silence any opposing viewpoints, no matter how well-reasoned, and who counts on the reluctance or unwillingness of his opponents to stand up to the taunts of an obviously ignorant bully.

As your hollow and offensive tactics increasingly reveal themselves to be almost entirely devoid of thought, of any kind of historical grounding, and of any basis in principle, I think more and more people will call your bluff — and finally shame you into silence. You are anti-American in every important sense: you have no understanding of individual freedom or how it is maintained, you have no appreciation of the dynamics of foreign affairs, and you have no grasp of how ideas or a culture of freedom are spread.

Baby Steps to PATRIOT II .
Dec 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Baby Steps to PATRIOT II. Commenters in a thread below noted that, while media lenses were trained on the search for Saddam’s beard lice of mass destruction, one more element of PATRIOT II—an expansion of the definition of “financial institutions”—was passed in the form of a rider to an Intelligence Authorization Act. [Hit & Run]

I had predicted this back in February. It would have been nice to be wrong, though.

Dec 28th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

ME…JUST…SO…CONFUSED. What can you say? Oops. Sorry. Never mind. Whatever:

TONY Blair is facing severe embarrassment after the US official running Iraq dismissed his claims that “massive evidence” of weapons programmes had been found in the country as a “red herring”.

Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, has recorded an interview for broadcast this morning, in which he was unaware the claims were from the Prime Minister, when he described them as unfounded and the work of… [The Light of Reason]

I’m continually amazed by what bad liars the Crusaders are. They seem to be totally unable to keep their stories straight.

This is actually a good thing in a way. By being such incredibly obvious liars, they make it very easy for anyone who doesn’t want to be fooled to tell what’s really going on.

Dec 27th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

DEAN’S MISTAKE. Following up on my post yesterday about Howard Dean’s comments concerning bin Laden, I received the following in an email from a short while ago:

NewsMax Report Prompts Dean-Bin Laden Retraction

Democratic presidential front-runner Howard Dean was forced to retract comments yesterday where he warned against prejudging the guilt of 9/11 terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, prompted by’s coverage of the story.

“As an American, I want to make sure he gets… [The Light of Reason]

It’s not exactly surprising that Dean would decide to reject the principles of jury trial and presumption of innocence–he is, after all, a politician. I think he actually did more harm to his candidacy than Arthur Silbur seems too, though. Dean is running as an “outsider,” and his only chance of winning is if he actually lives up to that. By acting like a typical politican (“if you don’t like my principles, I have others”), he has shown himself to be just another anti-American “insider.” Why should anyone vote for him over Bush if he has just as much contempt for America as Bush?

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