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 régime 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 911 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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