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Another Slatism

I made up the term Slatism last Friday. That's right, there was no taking advantage of the poor by stealing the term from them for myself. Even though, I'm a capitalist pig, this time I preferred to just make it up, you know to increase the vocabulary pie (or would that be soup) for all the comrades.

Anyway, we get another Slatism today. This time Jim Lindgren writes about it.

Update: I was sure that in the vast Blogosphere, someone must have used the term "Slatism" before and sure enough, it was used two years ago. Jim Lindgren himself wrote the term "Slatism" some time ago but posted it yesterday.

I was making fun of populist rhetoric in the first paragraph of this post. Sadly, now I know that I indeed stole the term and the Blogosphere is worse off for it. /sasrcasm

It's very kind of Mr. Lindgren to point out that I posted the term "Slatism" before he did. Though really there is, as we know now, nothing special about my using the term. Plus, it's nice to know that "Slatism" has reached critical mass.

Always the Worst

John Hawkins:

Remember the Gulf War? I was in college back then and I had a liberal professor who told us to prepare for 100,000 casualties and a draft. Know why? Because that's what war was like. Remember Vietnam!

Why do these professors and defeatists not remember WWII or the Korean War? Today, they don't take into account the Gulf War in 1991 or the Battle of Afghanistan in 2001. To them every battle and war is like Vietnam where the US is ultimately humiliated and the US casualties are in the tens of thousands.

I remember talking to a friend in early April, 2003. I told him about the rapid movement of heavy armor from Kuwait to Baghdad. He was sure that this was like Germany's march into Soviet Russia (thin supply lines prone to attack). He was sure that the US couldn't keep up the tempo and would eventually have to rest for a few weeks to get supplies to the front. So, a comparison was made, not to the US in Vietnam, but to the Nazis in WWII. The present rigorous training of the US military and the vast improvements in technology over 60 years didn't make a dent in his analysis of the battle in April of 2003. Of course, he was proven thoroughly wrong.

I think the MSM has a big influence in shaping up this negative thinking. As John Hawkins points out, the reporters started screaming QUAGMIRE at the end of March, less than 10 days after the battle started. This thinking is adopted by many left-of-center university students and it's tough to counter such reasoning since the MSM doesn't show any good news. This was very true in 2004 as well. Every day the situation seemed to deteriote further. The election season made it seem that Bush had caused such a mess, rather than the Islamist terrorists who created the scenes of misery and destruction. The Daily Show, the darling of practically all university students, didn't help matters either.

I've read op-eds in my university comparing the US military to the Nazis for destroying towns and bombing mosques. Whereas the Islamist terrorists are referred to as legitimate insurgents who fight the imperialist Americans. I hope that these perverse souls someday wake up and smell the humus. It is truly shocking to read of supposedly educated men who openly side with Zarqawi and his butcher corps. Their anti-Americanism has blinded them to the evil of our age.

Compassionate Government

U.K. Telegraph:

Under radical new land reform legislation, Highlands communities are allowed to buy private estates whether they are for sale or not.

Don't abuse the language, chap. One buys an item when it's for sale. Otherwise, it's theft.

The community will formally ask to "grab" 48,000 acres of the estate within the next few weeks, and is certain of support from the Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians who drew up the legislation.
He [Graham] questioned whether the public knew that 90 per cent of the purchase price might come from the taxpayer.

Taxation: another form of theft.

"People feel these estates would be better run by the community," she [Agnes Rennie] said. "There is a certain putting right of history.["]

Yes, forcibly taking away the land from owners today certainly rights history. The right to private property is one of the most important rights in the West. Socialism and hence misery is built upon the complete denial of this right.

The state certainly has no quarrel in usurping more power. A horrid precedent is set and ultimately the citizens lose.

Link via Samizdata.

The Truth


This is what baffles me about this everyday onslaught of every decent news organization against bloggers - Hello people, if Dan Rather didn’t run with the forged documents, if Eason Jordan only released the video of the Davos conference, nothing would have happened. Don’t fuck up and then get mad at those who caught you with your pants down. I am really sick of this crap. I think these idiots who write anti-blog rants probably take bloggers a lot more seriously than bloggers themselves.

I fully agree. The MSM has less and less control of molding the news and whenever they screw up, the bloggers (those "salivating morons") bring up inconvenient facts.

I find it funny that the MSM prides itself on questioning authority, well mostly the democratically elected authorities since many dictators get a pass. It's funny because they can't stand their authority being questioned by simple facts. It's amusing to see this superiority-complex in full flow when it bubbles up to the surface. Quite petty, really.



How many times over the last four years have we seen Democrats ridicule President Bush as simple-minded and naive because he views the world in terms of good vs. evil? Too many to count. One wonders whether the same liberal pundits will criticize Dean's "struggle of good and evil" talk.

Why would they? Don't you know that Republicans are indeed eeevil. They support the torture of innocent Iraqis and wish to take away Social Security from old and poor folks and give it to rich Wall Street fat cats. Can't you recognize naked evil when you see it!?!


Harmful Effects of Taxation

Alex Tabarrok makes an excellent point about taxation: incentives are distorted.

A related point would be that it's wrong to assume that since an average person spends 40% of their income on health care, one needs a 40% tax rate to cover health care costs. Because of the incentives being distorted, one will likely need the tax rate to be higher than 40%. Of course, I am assuming that at 40%, we're still behind the peak of the Laffer curve.

Perspective on Evil

La Shawn Barber on the US:

We live in the greatest, wealthiest, most humane country on the planet, full of blessed freedom and opportunity beyond belief, and ungrateful brats still complain, shamelessly comparing America to evil freaks who’d like nothing better than to see our heads rolling across the floor. Black Americans, especially, have the unmitigated gall to cry racism at every slight, seemingly ignorant of how life really is in other parts of the world. Racism is natural to sinful man, all of humanity, but at least in the United States there are laws freedom and opportunity beyond belief, and ungrateful brats against it, and people bend over backward to avoid such charges. Good grief.

See what prompted her to say that. A sense of perspective always helps.

The EU Implosion

Mark Steyn:

Try going round with the European Constitution in your pocket and you'll be walking with a limp after two hours: It's 511 pages, which is 500 longer than the U.S. version. It's full of stuff about European space policy, Slovakian nuclear plants, water resources, free expression for children, the right to housing assistance, preventive action on the environment, etc.

Dear God. Was Giscard smoking hashish when he wrote this monstrosity? The EU has itself made sure that it'll never surpass the US in economic power. Steyn:

CIA analysts predict the collapse of the EU within 15 years. I'd say, as predictions of doom go, that's a little on the cautious side.

EU implosion before 2020? I tend to agree. I assume that projections of population growth don't take into account population flight. So, we'll witness a faster rise in the percentage of Muslims in Europe. Many folks either because of economics or culture or both will leave the EU with most or all of their assets and will be, most certainly, welcome in places like Australia, Canada, and the US. This will immediately worsen the economic and cultural condition of the EU.

Until the shape of the new Europe begins to emerge, there's no point picking fights with the terminally ill.

President Bush has no intention of doing so.

Honor Trumps Life

Yesterday, I linked to an article which reported on the honor killing in Berlin. This was the sixth such killing in four months in Berlin. The Muslim children in a nearby school don't see what's wrong with such honor killings:

"This type of thinking is latent in their minds," said the head of another predominantly Turkish immigrant school in the district, who asked not to be identified. Their remarks, he said, reminded him of the spontaneous "victory dances" which immigrant pupils at his school had staged after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Celebrations didn't just take place in Gaza and the West Bank on September 11.

"We have silently allowed a parallel society to develop because of fears that we would sow hatred by talking openly about its injustices. The women have paid the price for this," he said. Serap Cileli, a German-born Turkish woman who finds homes for women threatened by "honour murders", said: "If I criticise the Islamic community over these problems, I find that the Germans criticise me for being anti-foreigner. At the same time, many Turks say I am fouling my own nest.

What an honorable and miserable position to hold; rhetorically and physically defend women from psychotic family members and be scorned by both the immigrant Muslims and native Germans. Questions to the Germans: what kind of an idiot does one have to be to criticize a woman for saving innocent lives? Haven't you learned one of the most important lessons from the Nazi era? Confront and defeat evil rather than ignoring or appeasing it.

Poor Adams

Phillip Adams gets shellacked by Tim Blair:

A broadcasting mediocrity in Sydney, being subsidised by the nation’s extorted taxpayers. Back in the Radio National mansion, instead of being able to wage war on the printed word, Phillip would be limited to setting records for boring listeners to death - hundreds of them. If only he had been born infertile, the world would be safe.

That has got to hurt.

Honor > Life

When Freedom Gets the Death Sentence:

On Feb. 7, 23-year-old Hatin Sürücü was gunned down at the aforementioned bus stop. She died on the spot. Shortly afterwards, three of her brothers -- who reportedly had long been threatening her -- were arrested. Investigators suspect it was a so-called "honor killing," given the fact that Sürücü's ultra-conservative Turkish-Kurdish family strongly disapproved of her modern and "un-Islamic" life.

Note that 3 of her brothers are the suspects. That's the shocking part. This seemed to be planned by the family. Not one person, within the family, recoiled from the horror and tried to save Hatin.

At the juvenile prison in the Berlin suburb Plötzensee, six of the current 529 inmates are serving time of six years and more for manslaughter in so-called "honor crimes." All come from the Muslim world. Aged between 18 and 22, one of them, an Afghan national, was 16 when he helped relatives kill a widowed aunt who had refused to marry her brother-in-law.

I bet that most perpetrators of honor crimes don't get caught. At least that's true in the non-Western world. These killings are carefully planned. Often times, the killing appears to be a suicide. On many occasions the authorities can be simply bribed to not look further into the matter. Case closed, honor restored. The low regard for women makes the idea of killing them not so hard. Honor and respect trump the life of one's daughter/sister/female cousin in the Muslim world.

"They don't feel any regret for what they did though some even kill their favorite sister. Instead, they're honored and feel like martyrs for having been chosen to carry out the crime."

Athena wrote about honor killings last November: "It's just our culture". The naked horror that exists in the Muslim world is now migrating to the West.

Link via LFG.

Update: From the desert version of Mordor: "Happens all the time".


This is just pathetic. Slate is resorting to Bushisms that were not said by President Bush. It seems that Bushchimpler is not giving them much material these days, so Slate just attributes others' mistakes to him. Reality-based community, indeed.

Eugene Volokh:

Yup, it seems like today's Bushism wasn't said by President Bush, but rather by European Council President Jean-Claude Juncker (who is also the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, hence the honorific that President Bush gave him) — or, I suspect, by the translator. I checked all the transcripts I could find on LEXIS, and none attributed this to Bush; all attributed it to Juncker, except one that attributed to an otherwise unidentified "Scheffer," likely an error.

Link via Pej.

No Need

Trade is not based on need. Sigh, it's surprising to read about such economic ignorance. As Tim Worstall points out, trade is based on comparative advantage.

This simple and elegant numerical example makes the concept of comparative advantage quite clear. Both participants benefit because of free trade. 'Need' was not even mentioned.

Economics: leave it to the pros.

Keep Trying!

This brought a smile:

... they [the local communists] are trying to sell the line that being against capitalism does not necessarily mean being in favour of the gulag. I suppose that may be true, in much the same way that being against breathing does not necessarily mean that one is in favour of a horrific death, but...Again, keep trying, scumbags.

Facist Luv

Ann Althouse gets some fan mail regarding the sexy Condoleezza post:

Is it wrong to talk about powerful women this way? How about this way? Condoleeza Rice must have been conceived in a testtube and raised in a laboratory. Where else in world history can you find a black woman so devotely facist. Who else claims religious principle and has an oil tanker named after her. Condoleeza is a liar, a hypocrit, a coward, and severely overrated. She is basically a rightwing whore like you.

Is it just me or does this person seem very afraid of Condoleezza in 2008?

Allies No More

David Frum:

It would seem at a minimum that the smaller states of Europe need to think about the differences between the Europe they were promised and the one they are getting. Americans, meanwhile, face first a painful task and then an interesting one. The painful task is to accept the reality that Europe is drifting away. The sometimes hysterical aversion of many in Europe to George W. Bush is not the cause of this drift. It is a manifestation of the drift, and maybe even a way to silence any guilt that Europeans feel about abandoning an old relationship from which they benefited so much.

So very true.

Dumb and Dumberer

Heather Mac Donald:

It is curious how feminists, when crossed, turn into shrill, hysterical harpies—or, in the case of MIT’s Nancy Hopkins, delicate flowers who collapse at the slightest provocation—precisely the images of women that they claim patriarchal sexists have fabricated to keep them down. Actually, Estrich’s hissy fit is more histrionic than anything the most bitter misogynist could come up with on his own.

Ouch. Heather than continues to point out some amazingly absurd reasoning:

Estrich lodges the standard charge in all fake discrimination charges: the absence of proportional representation in any field is conclusive proof of bias.

That's some "logic" that I'll never understand. By this reasoning, Muslims have been discriminated against for decades because only a few have won Nobel prizes. That's just loony.

Link via Lorie Byrd at Polipundit.

Perspective from Lileks

James Lileks:

Well. It’s too bad Amazon cannot overnight a sense of perspective, because there are, in truth, tougher situations to find yourself in. I’d like to reserve “hating everyone and everything and going insane” for the moment when I’m fleeing the attack helicopters that have come to wipe out my tribe.

Read the bleat to find out what provoked that "hating everyone and everything and going insane” comment. Sheesh.

A paragraph later Mr. Lileks gives some beautiful and touching comments. Read the bleat and enjoy.

The Vital Difference

Walter Williams:

If a private retirement company reneged on its promises, we could take it to court. If Congress reneges on its promises, there's no judicial course of action whatsoever.

Bingo. You have control when it comes to private investments. However, Social Security payments can be reduced, and/or your Social Security taxes increased without your consent. If private accounts are rejected, then that's likely what will happen again and again.

Good Taste

Shanti's young son makes a fine choice:

Yep, after all those vivaldi CDs, Baby Mozarts, Baby Bachs and the entire array of music of both the classical and the kiddie variety, my son has decided his faviorite [sic] song is...

Read the post to find out.

Europe in Decline

Larry Kudlow:

According to the free market editorial page of Investor's Business Daily, since 1991, output has grown 27% faster in the U.S. than in the E.U. According to the U.S. Labor Department, real per capital GDP in the U.S. stands at nearly $35,000 in 2003, a full 24 percent higher than the near $27,000 average in Europe's biggest economies. EU unemployment is now 9 percent. On a tax basis, it costs 11.5 percent more to bring on a new job in the EU than in the U.S., according to OECD data.

The sad part, for Europe, is that the gap will continue to widen. The big European economies have strong labor unions, and left-of-center politicians in charge. The labor unions limit employment and keep wages artificially high, and whenever talk of solving Europe's economic problems comes up the solution is usually more government not less. Add to this the native aging population of Europe and their dependency on mostly the Muslim non-assimilating population, and you get the perfect storm. So, the problem is economical, social, and cultural.

We can add another item to the mix: the EU. There are talks of tax harmony throughout Europe because of the EU. That would in effect raise taxes of the smaller and faster-growing economies, and thus apply the awful template of slow growth, and high unemployment to practically all of Europe. It seems that politicians in the larger economies of Europe would rather destroy the better incentives of the smaller European countries than create some in their own.

It would be foolish if Europe continued unabated on this destructive path. There might be gutsy right-of-center politicians who oppose such policies and embrace cowboy capitalism. Or so we hope.


This is gold:

Rove: Plan? Plan? Listen, legs, this plan wouldn’t fool a Kennedy! Or a crack-addicted homeless person! This so-called plan wouldn’t rate a segment on Air America! This plan I’m looking at wouldn’t be posted at Democratic goddamn Underground! This half-assed, retard plan isn’t worth the ...

Hugh Hewitt: Actually, we were thinking of giving the memos to Dan Rather.

Rove: Proceed.

The Government is NOT Your Friend

La Shawn Barber talks about the public schools in Nebraska that are failing. The state legislature responds by forcing parents to eventually send their kids there. That's what government does in most cases: equally distribute misery. That's why I am in favor of home schooling.

Go and read the comments for they are civil, smart, and very informative.

Update: I had linked to an article, in favor of home schooling, last month.

Bloggers Arrested

The fate of bloggers in Iran:

Web logs have become a popular forum for dissent.  And the Iranian government has responded by arresting dozens of bloggers. 

Some of those detained are reportedly being held in solitary confinement and tortured.

Bloggers Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad are both currently in prison in Iran.

Freedom has always been crushed by the Moolahs and the bloggers are the new victims. Faster, please.

Link via Iraq the Model.

Hayden Scores

On Sunday last, I talked about Hayden getting his form back. That form continued today as Hayden top scored again for Australia. In fact, nobody from New Zealand even came close to his number of runs. The top seven players of New Zealand scored 89 runs combined. Hayden's demolition ended at 114.

Every Australian bowler, with the exception of Hogg, got wickets. New Zealand only lasted 40.4 overs. The only good news for New Zealand is that Hayden injured his shoulder while diving. Even if Hayden misses the next match, New Zealand will still have to deal with Gilchrist, Ponting, Martyn, Symonds, and Clarke. New Zealand will need a miracle to beat the world champions in the next match.

Hideous Hinchey

Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY):

Hinchey was cheered as “courageous” for a letter he sent to supporters recently that decried the war in Iraq, and which said that history may come to view it as “a massacre.”

Liberating 25 million people and then providing security for successful elections = a massacre. Which dictionary are you using? Oh, and nice of you to slander the military. History may come to view you as "a moron".

The Kingston congressman spent the first part of his presentation pointing out that it was the U.S. government who armed Iraqi President Sadddam Hussein in the 1980s, and that by doing so, helped the dictator obtain chemical and biological weapons.

No, Saddam was not a president but a ruthless dictator. I am assuming that if President Bush killed off all opponents, terrorized the American population, and won an election by 99.9% of the vote, then Hinchey won't be referring to Bush as "President". And no, it wasn't the US that armed Saddam. The Soviet Union, later Russia, France, and China were the main suppliers of Saddam's arsenal. Why would Saddam bother with expensive American weaponary when he could get cheaper and plentiful quantities from other countries?

... Hinchey said, “And now, contrary to international law and against every decent instinct, we are engaging in what will come to be seen as a massacre in Iraq on the basis of the ‘Bush Doctrine’ of prevention, which allows the United States to attack any other country anytime we want and for whatever reason the president feels is justified.”

You do know that there was a (decent) vote in Congress in 2002 authorizing the President the use of force. The President had all the legal authority he needed to remove Saddam. Of course, if you wish to make the permission of France a part of your platform, then by all means go ahead.

It's Democrats like these that make Karl Rove's job easy.

The Quest for Sanity

My favorite comics-based movies are:

  1. Superman
  2. Batman Returns
  3. Spider-Man 2

Even after the glut of comics-based movies recently, Superman remains at the top of my list. That's why, long ago, it was very painful to watch the 4th Superman movie. It is by far the worst movie I've ever watched.

Now, I just read a long and scathing review of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. It explains with minute detail the sheer atrociousness of this movie:

... the film buried the Superman series in a kryptonite coffin.

Bryan Singer might, just might, tear apart that coffin.

By the way, what’s the deal with the whole Children’s Letters to the President thing? You know what I mean. A debate is going on about some complicated issue, like whether signing the Kyoto Treaty or some chemical arms treaty is actually in our national interest. Sure enough, some local news channel will feature a class of second graders whose teacher has had them crayon notes to the White House saying things like, "Mr. President, please stop the pollution. It scares me. Signed, Billy." This sentiment would presumably be accompanied a picture of a crying tree or something.

No, the dumb kid's comments are enough.

The problem, you see, is nuclear weapons, not the nature of some of the regimes that have them. Nuclear weapons are as bad when held by democratic nations, as intrinsically dangerous and immoral, as those owned by totalitarian states such as the USSR and China. This belief blossoms from the proposition that no form of government is fundamentally more prone to using force than any other. If the USSR and China have gigantic militaries, it’s not because they might actually wish to use them imperialistically, if given the chance. It’s rather that they fear the huge militaries of their superpower counterparts, primarily America, and seek to counterbalance them. Thus, if a ‘neutral’ figure, like Superman – hence the opening scene where he saves the Russian space station – were to arrive on the scene and offer, nay, demand, to be given control of their stockpile of nuclear arms, even totalitarian regimes would be relieved to hand them over. Because, really, they don’t want to have them any more than we do.

America is the problem. If only the cowboy Americans didn't have nukes, the world would readily disarm. NOT.

Luthor has created a "genetic stew" from Superman’s DNA. If attached to a nuclear missile the result will be Superman’s "worst nightmare, a ‘Nuclear Man.’ " Lex is surprisingly specific about this prospective being’s powers. "He’ll pierce [Superman’s] skin. He’ll make him mortal. He’ll become sick." How does Luthor know all this? My guess is that he read the script.

Your guess is correct.

... the blond Nuclear Man, adorned in the gaudy black and gold costume the computer "weaved" for him, emerges. Energy crackles over him and his eyes glow orange, letting us know that he’s EEEE-vil. We also are shown that he sports long, equally EEEE-vil Lee Nuclear Press-On Nails. Grinning in a, well, EEEE-vil fashion, he flies off towards Earth.

Muhahaha ... this movie sucks so bad ... sob.

OK, here things get a little silly. Seriously. To cut NM off from his source of power – although again, how these two always know where the other one is remains a mystery – Superman pushes the Moon from its orbit to create a lunar eclipse. (!!) This causes NM, currently flying through space with Lacy (!!!!) to lose power. Say, did anyone connected with this film get that there’s no air in space?! Just wondering. Not only that.  When NM loses power, Lacy doesn’t start drifting away, she starts fallingdownward’. Finally, the bluescreen and matte effects here are just terrible. Really, they outright suck. Calling them laughable would be praising them with faint damn.

There is air in space. Haven't you learned anything from Star Wars?

Our Hero appears, flits around, and then looks at the camera. He looks into the camera, smiles, and then flies away. It’s a touching sendoff for a series that, however crappy it would ultimately become, started out being pretty darn good. Admittedly for this film, the sequence is too little, too late. Still, it’s something. Bye, Christopher Reeve-Superman.

Final nail in the coffin: That touching sendoff was shot by Richard Donner who directed the first, and part of the second, superman movie.