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February 2005
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April 2005

Former Beast, Present Beauty

Only 20 watts. Meh.

This, on the other hand, is what dreams are made of. Hubba hubba. Just one caveat, though. It might, just might, be a good idea to drop the, ahem, Deathstar name. I am speaking from personal experience. Two Deskstars died on me. The first one was 45 GB, the second 75 GB. The last thing Hitachi wants is some people to associate their top model with a nightmare.

Raging Rhetoric

Pat Sajak:

... I was discussing the United Sates Supreme Court with on of my many Liberal friends out in Los Angeles when she said, without any discernable embarrassment, that Justice Anton Scalia was “worse than Hitler”. Realizing she wasn’t alive during World War II and perhaps she may have been absent on those days when her schoolmates were studying Nazism, I reminded her of some of Hitler’s more egregious crimes against humanity, suggesting she may have overstated the case. She had not; Scalia was worse. As I often did when my parents threatened to send me to my room, I let the conversation die.

If you have a liberal friend like this, then it's best not to discuss politics.

I Blame Bush

Good news from Egypt:

I noticed very new developments in the newspapers that belong to the opposition. They are becoming increasingly bolder in directly criticizing the president by name. For such a long time, the office of the presidency here was like the pope or the Grand Ayatollah, a position with a lot of reverence and fear. I can see this barrier crumbling down.

The Egyptians have a right to demand a better government. Let's see how far the regime allows this dissent to go on unpunished.

Link via Iraq the Model.


Jay Nordlinger gets another letter on assuming Republicanism:

"Dear Jay: My fiancée and I were down at the Jersey shore town of Manasquan last summer with several other couples around July 4. One night after dinner and drinks we watched the town's fireworks display. Probably the coolest firework of the evening, and the one that got the biggest crowd reaction, was one that made the American flag. Whereupon one of the (liberal) women in our group muttered, 'Jeez, this town must be run by Republicans.'"

Update: A new Impromptus today, and a new letter on a different topic:

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were invited to a birthday dinner at the home of some friends. All are quite liberal (we live on the West Coast), and I often find myself the lone dissenter.

Also attending this dinner was a couple from Cuba, friends of the birthday people through the art world. We had normal chit-chat during dinner, then someone asked the Cuban husband how long he'd been in the States.

"Three years," was his response.

What followed was amusing and troubling at the same time. Everyone (except me) immediately jumped in and started raving about what a great country Cuba was, compared with the U.S.: better health care, lower infant mortality, and the music!!! Plus, Fidel, Che, and the revolutionaries — how romantic!

If I hadn't been reading NR and NRO, I might have just checked out. But I paid attention. Specifically, I watched how the Cuban couple reacted to these statements.

To put it mildly, the look on their faces was one of disbelief. In response to comments about health-care and infant-mortality statistics, the wife said, "And you believe the information coming out of the Castro government? They make those numbers up to look good to other countries."

The responses from the liberals were along the lines of "Well . . .," "Uh . . ." "Well, the U.S. should have a better infant-mortality rate in any case." They weren't ready to concede that people who'd lived in Cuba all their lives knew more about what was going on than they did. Because, of course, we knew better, thanks to reading the New York Times and The New Yorker.

Read the letter in its entirety. It has a very happy ending.

Bibi on Canadian Campuses

Jewish students had made arrangements for a live speech by Benjamin Netanyahu (via a video conference) throughout participating universities in Canada at approximately 1 p.m. Eastern Time today. Bibi would have been in Jerusalem at 8 p.m. Israeli time. However, because of the Israeli budget crisis, he taped the brief speech in advance. The tape was played and then a close assistant answered a few questions via a video conference from Jerusalem. But before all that, a Conservative MP from (and in) Canada gave a nice speech in which he, in essence, supported WWIV.

Note that this is not a transcript. I am writing this from notes and memory. The whole situation was quite hush hush. I only found out during the weekend that students had arranged a live feed from Jerusalem in multiple universities for Bibi. Even then, I only knew about the day, not the time and place. I found that out yesterday. The sources will remain confidential. After the disgraceful behavior of students at Concordia, this had to be.

First, all the groups and guests who came were acknowledged. Then, Pierre Poilievre, a Conservative MP, gave a 16-minute speech. He started off by saying that he got a call asking him if he believed in free speech. He replied, "Of course!"

The caller then asked, "Well, how about giving one?"

He mentioned that political statisticians had studied the past 200 wars and maybe 3 or 4 of them were between democracies. So, democracies are inherently peaceful. The situation in the Middle East is not Jew vs. Arab but rather freedom vs. tyranny.

He said that it would appear to be in Canadian national interest to support the Arab dictatorships since they're more in number and they have the oil. But it's in Canada's "enlightened national interest" to support the only democracy in the Middle East.

He mentioned that he had been to Israel twice and that the last time he had visited an Arab-owned business along the coast. All were welcome there. The owner asked him to come again next year when he would have better food, facilities, and air-conditioning. That was not to be. Three weeks after he left, the place was destroyed by terrorists who couldn't stand the freedom of this Muslim.

He went further and said that Afghanistan and Iraq are now democracies and thus not a threat to Canada. He asked the audience if they could think of one democracy that's a threat to Canada. He certainly couldn't. Also, when, not if, the Lebanese have freedom from the Assad regime, they'll be a great friend and trading partner of Israel.

He ended* by saying that never in Canada will a person be denied the right to free speech.

Heavy applause.

After a half hour wait, we found out that Bibi was busy and couldn't make it for the live speech and the following Q&A, so he recorded his speech earlier, and the questions were answered by his close assistant.

Benjamin Netanyahu looked very tired. The recorded audio was quite low. Plus, it seemed that another audio feed was kept alive which reduced the clarity even further. He basically said that before the Jews arrived, Judea and Samaria were empty desert. Mark Twain had written about this and so had a prominent Englishman (Abby?). But Arafat and the Palestinians say that the Arabs had been living there long before that. So, either Mark Twain and this Englishman are lying or the Palestinians are lying. He talked about other issues as well but the audio quality was so poor that I couldn't make out the meaning. I heard Arafat, Palestinians, Leftists, etc.

This was disappointing. Both the quality of the feed and the fact that the Israeli government will fall if they don't pass the budget by the end of this month. This meant that Bibi was understandably busy. At least, it can't get worse. Technology keeps on improving. This time, I think, eight universities were involved across Canada. With better co-ordination in the future Bibi could give a crisp speech on many campuses across the world. I do commend the ingenuity and effort of the folks who arranged this event. All praise to Allah, there weren't any brick throwing members of the Religion of PeaceTM outside our building.

I think the person who answered the questions was Netanyahu's Chief of Staff. He answered a total of 7 questions in real time. These follow in the order they were asked.

Q1: The Israeli Jews have a lower birth rate than the Israeli Arabs. What can we do about this demographic problem?
A1: The demography of Israel has been quite stable over the past 5 decades. Jews have been around 75-80% of Israel's population for some time now. Jews from other countries have settled in Israel as well. For example, in the last decade, about 1 million Jews migrated from the former Soviet Union to call Israel their home. There isn't really much a problem.

Q2: What can we, the Zionists, do when all across campuses Zionism is seen as a taboo?
You must have courage. You must speak the truth again and again. Keep on explaining about the Jewish homeland. Look at the current US president who is courageous. It's all about freedom and democracy. Democracy in South America, Eastern Europe, and now the only superpower is bringing democracy to the Middle East.

Q3: The US has recently made vague statements about Judea and Samaria? How do you respond to this?
I would tell you to look at the speech made by President Bush on June 24, 2002. President Bush wants complete cessation of terror from the Palestinian side. When that is done, the talk of a Palestinian state will begin. But that is not happening. You don't stop terror by co-opting it. You don't stop terror by co-opting Islamic Jihad. You don't stop terror by co-opting Hamas. "Terrorists aren't policemen." You stop terror by collecting all the weapons from the terrorists and that's not being done.

There are places in Judea and Samaria that we won't give up because they compromise our life. There all hills from which one can look down upon 70% of Israel's population. We won't give them up.

Q4: Where do you see the final borders of Israel?
I can't say. If the terror stops, then we can negotiate and provide majority Arab areas and keep majority Jewish ones. However, every area imperative for security has to be kept.

Q5: What do you say to people who think that Israel is a colonial and oppressor state?
I say they are wrong. I would ask them where they want to live in the Middle East. Egypt, where there is one man on the ballot; Lebanon or Syria, where a dictator and now his son have ruled; Saudi Arabia, where women, the majority of the population, have no rights.

The most free Arabs live in Israel.

When war was upon us in 1967, we sent a diplomat to Jordan who told them to stay out of the war. We knew Syria and Egypt were going to attack and thus didn't want Jordan on their side. Jordan refused and did attack us. We wouldn't give up lands which we took because of our defense. We treat the people there nicely and give them rights. What do we get in return? The intifada--a war on innocents. If roadblocks save lives, then we have to put them up. I don't like roadblocks. But he have to put roadblocks to protect Jewish lives.

Q6: Arafat stated that Israelis are oppressors and Palestinians the victims. Netanyahu stated the opposite. Is the truth in the middle?
Arafat was offered 95% of the land he wanted. He refused the offer and launched the intifada. Every negotiation is violated, so no middle ground there. All we get is lies. Just look at today. We have got the Knesset where we get some heatly debated arguments. Look at the PA, it's a dictatorship. They have to purge themselves of terrorists. They have to de-toxify. Then we'll have a middle ground.

Q7: The Israeli government has cut education spending. Israeli economy is powered by highly educated folk. So, isn't this cut bad for the economy?
Benjamin Netanyahu provided me a great example about this very situation. He said when he trained in the military, there was a queue and they were told to grab the guy standing next to them and run 100m. Now, of course, there were guys of all sizes. If you had a big guy next to you and you were small, then you'd collapse in a few seconds but if you had a small guy next to you and you were big, then you'd run all the 100m.

That's how our economy was before Netanyahu became the finance minister. The government was the big guy and the economy, which was small, had to hold him up. The top income tax rate was 63%. The rate on business was 45%. Our population in the last decade or so had grown by 30%, yet the government spending had increased by almost 600%. What we have done is cut the fat. There were people in universities who were doing nothing but couldn't be fired because they had tenure. We have cut salaries and made government slim. As a result, our economy is growing at 4.2%; the fastest rate of any democracy.

At this point there was supposed to be a question from the University of Manitoba but they had technical difficulties.
The Israeli politician responded by asking if Canada had given up Manitoba. Has there been territorial compromise with Manitoba? We laughed. He finished by saying that we shouldn't be afraid. Jews have come to this point after thousands of years. We shouldn't be afraid to defend ourselves in public. He thanked the students for organizing this event across six time zones. He'll be happy to participate in the future.

After re-reading the post, I realized that the conservative MP actually ended with this: when I was in Israel, I heard the story of a Rabbi and one of his students. The student thought that the Rabbi knew everything. The student would quiz him about every topic and the Rabbi would always have the answer. One day the student asked the Rabbi if the butterfly in his hand was dead or alive? You see if the Rabbi answered alive, the student would kill the butterfly, if the Rabbi answered dead, he would release the butterfly to fly off to the heavens.

The student again asked the question, "Is the butterfly dead or alive?"

The Rabbi looked at him for a few moments and replied, "The answer is in your hand."

'Free' Lunch

I described the negative side effects of the minimum wage last December. The Star Tribune might want to take a look at that before writing clueless editorials which support a further increase in the minimum wage.

The Big Trunk shoots more holes in their argument at Power Line:

... this is a frustratingly vague article of faith: What the heck is economic dignity? What degree of economic dignity should someone who works full time have? On the other hand, we may infer that it is an article with an amazingly high degree of precision: "I believe in jobs that pay $5.15 an hour in 1997 dollars, or $7.00 an hour in 2006 dollars." Is there anyone out there in Strib land who wonders whether $7.00 an hour doesn't buy enough economic dignity to warrant credal status? Why so cheap an article of faith? Why not $14.00 an hour? Or $140.00 an hour? Perhaps this is where that "article of faith" point comes in handy. Credo quia absurdum.

Read the entire post to, ahem, appreciate the expertise of Princeton economists.

Economics: leave it to the pros (but do fact check them).

Me Like Quantum Shift

From the Guardian:

The Iraqi resistance has peaked and is 'turning in on itself', according to recent intelligence reports from Baghdad received by Middle Eastern intelligence agencies.

The reports are the most optimistic for several months and reflect analysts' sense that recent elections in Iraq marked a 'quantum shift'. They will boost the government in the run-up to the expected general election in May.

Though the reports predict that violence against coalition troops and local forces is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, at least two Middle Eastern intelligence agencies believe that recent 'backchannel' initiatives aimed at persuading Sunni Muslim tribes in western Iraq to cease their resistance are meeting with some success.

This is the question that every Iraqi terrorist will ask himself: do I continue to associate and work with a bunch of vicious sex-deprived losers or do I join the process of DEMOCRACY, WHISKEY, and SEXY? I think with a few synapses firing, most will make the right choice.

Link via Instapundit.

Ind vs. Pak, 3rd Test, 5th Day

Pakistan wins!

India took the wrong approach by being defensive. At one point, a partnership was yielding a run-rate of less than 1. The Pakistani bowlers relentlessly kept on attacking and the Indian wickets kept on falling with regular intervals till only Kumble was left standing. The Indian batsman should play more like Sehwag.

This was truly a remarkable series where we saw some hard fought cricket. The 1st Test match ended in a draw, the 2nd was won by India on the 5th day, and now the 3rd went down to the last 6 overs.

Inzi continued his good form. His average in the series was in the high 70s. His 184 helped in setting up the big total in the 3rd Test.
Shahid Afridi showed his utility as an all-rounder. He broke the last wicket partnership of India on the 4th day, and then ripped the Indian bowlers to shreds by racing to his half-century. He took 3 wickets in India's 2nd innings which was more than any other Pakistani bowler. These weren't just tail enders. The wickets were of Tendulkar, Laxman, and Ganguly. Afridi thus destroyed India's middle order.
Younis Khan. What can I say. I had been very harsh when he scored a total of 10 runs in the 2 innings of the 1st Test. However, he came back to score a big century in the 2nd Test, and then exceeded all expectations by scoring 351 runs in the final Test. Younis Khan has truly arrived. I can only think of one other series where a single batsman annihilated the opposition in such a manner. VVS Laxman vs. Australia, 2001.

Sami toiled for many long hours. He doesn't have the firepower of Akhtar but he does have a big heart. This man has a long career ahead of him.
Kaneria was the other half of Pakistan's bowling. He had to prove himself in this series. Everyone knows that the Indians play spin well; can Kaneria survive the onslaught? Oh, yes he did! In the 1st innings of the 3rd Test, he got the needed wicket of Sehwag and the golden wicket of Dravid. Enuff said.

MoM: Younis Khan for his massive compilation of 351 runs.
MoS: Sehwag for his consistency and a series average of over 90.

The epic Test series is over. The spectacular ODI series is about to begin.

Further viewing and reading:
Scorecard and final bulletin.
Photo gallery for the 3rd Test.
The Pakistani verdict from Cricinfo.
The Indian verdict from Cricinfo.
And, of course, Cricinfo for your cricket fix.

Islamists in Iraq

The wretched face of Islamism in Iraq:

One brought a video camera to record the sinful spectacle of the picnic, footage of which was later released to the public as a warning to others.

It showed images of one girl struggling as a gunman ripped her blouse off, leaving her half-naked. “We will send these pictures to your parents so they can see how you were dancing naked with men,” a gunman told her. Two students who went to her aid were shot — one in the leg, the other twice in the stomach. The latter was said to have died of his injuries. Fellow students say that the girl later committed suicide. Another girl who was severely beaten around the head lost her sight.

Far from disavowing the attack, senior al-Sadr loyalists said that they had a duty to stop the students’ “dancing, sexy dress and corruption”.

“We beat them because we are authorised by Allah to do so and that is our duty,” Sheik Ahmed al-Basri said after the attack. “It is we who should deal with such disobedience and not the police.”

Just like the Mutaween (the religious police) in Saudi Arabia, these psychos want to enforce Sharia in literally every nook and corner of the city. These animals deserve no pity.

Embodiment of Courage

Private Johnson Gideon Beharry - Victoria Cross:

With the blood from his head injury obscuring his vision, Beharry managed to continue to control his vehicle, and forcefully reversed the Warrior out of the ambush area. The vehicle continued to move until it struck the wall of a nearby building and came to rest. Beharry then lost consciousness as a result of his wounds. By moving the vehicle out of the enemy’s chosen killing area he enabled other Warrior crews to be able to extract his crew from his vehicle, with a greatly reduced risk from incoming fire. Despite receiving a serious head injury, which later saw him being listed as very seriously injured and in a coma for some time, his level-headed actions in the face of heavy and accurate enemy fire at short range again almost certainly saved the lives of his crew and provided the conditions for their safe evacuation to medical treatment.

Westerners can go about their normal lives because of men like Private Beharry.

Axis of the 21st Century

This single paragraph packs quite a punch:

We Westerners are a people increasingly secular, materialistic, and ignorant of the past. We see all causes as material, all behavior as the result of the physical environment or of psychological forces that also have their origins in immediate material or environmental conditions. Islamic terrorism thus is explained as a response to ignorance and poverty, or to wounded nationalist self-esteem, or to autocratic tyranny, or to post-colonial and post-imperial fallout. The proposed solutions are likewise material: increase development aid to reduce poverty and the despair it breeds; compel Israel to weaken itself in order to remove the constant irritant to Arab nationalist and ethnic esteem; promote democratic institutions to subvert tyranny; and provide rhetorical and fiscal reparations to compensate for colonial and imperial guilt.

Read Bruce Thornton's rich review of Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye'or.


Tyler Cowen:

The economist?  The economist wonders why there is not more trade between the two groups...

Hunh, my thoughts exactly. Click to see which two groups Tyler is talking about.

Yet, there are still some 'intellectuals' who say that all cultures are the same. Pfft. If given a chance, these Africans would leave behind their caring, noble, and peaceful society to settle in the crass, decadent, and materialist West. Just a guess.

Western culture is far superior compared to any other in the world today. Both morally and practically.

Modern Racism

La Shawn Barber:

In what’s supposed to be a victory for black people, a federal judge has ruled that a 1995 Chicago firefighters entrance exam is biased because too many black applicants failed it.

Yup, that's the definition of biased. Taking this absurdity further, the NBA is biased because it has too many blacks; the universities are biased because they reject too many blacks; the EEOC itself is biased because it has too many blacks, and on and on. Using this logic would mean that practically all industries and institutions are biased because they either have too few or too many blacks.

The real world doesn't operate on that basis. Most places hire people who have the right skills regardless of skin color. One doesn't end up with a perfect sample of the population because not all races have the same proportional skilled professionals. Another matter that affects the make up of one's workforce is the geographical location. Not all cities and states have the same proportions of different races.

Forcing employers to hire the "correct number" of blacks is by definition racist. Decades ago, many racist employers refused to hire blacks. Today, employers are forced to hire incompetent blacks. They must reject or fire non-blacks in the process. That is also racist. Using race as a factor to make hiring decisions is racism. No matter if it hurts or 'helps' blacks.

Ind vs. Pak, 3rd Test, 4th Day

Yesterday, I wrote:

Pakistan hold a lead of approx. 200 runs. If India crumble on the 4th day, then Pakistan can push for a sizable lead (it's Afridi time) and declare at the end of the day.

Oh, did Afridi deliver. He first broke the last wicket partnership between Laxman and Kumble by destroying Kumble's stumps. Then, he smacked the second fastest 50 in Test history. He only needed 26 balls. In total, he scored a blistering 34-ball 58. That's Afridi for ya. He's the only batsman with over a 100 strike rate in ODIs. At the rate he's going a 100+ strike rate in Tests is not far off.

Younis Khan displayed his form again by smashing a 98-ball 84 (not out). His series average is a 101.8. Incredible! In the 1st Test, Younis scored 10 runs for an average of 5. After two more Tests, he has a 3 digit average! Younis Khan has scored an unbelievable 351 runs in this match. Unless Sehwag showcases an epic innings tomorrow, Younis Khan is the Man of the Match.

Pakistan declared with a lead of 382 runs. India need 358 runs off 90 overs to win. Pakistan needs to get all the Indian players out in the same time to win. If both these scenarios don't transpire, then it's a draw.

Wow, this has been an exceptionally hard fought series of cricket. All the 3 Tests came down to the last day of play.

Great Scott

Protests in Bahrain! Bahrain is a tiny country off in the east coast of Saudi Arabia. It's a bunch of islands with a total population of under 700,000. So when tens of thousands march, it's a big deal. This is likely the largest demonstration in Bahrain's history.

Bahrain's relatively liberal compared to the desert version of mordor next door. When I say liberal, I mean that one doesn't get the death penalty for consuming alcoholic beverages. That's NOT a joke. Rich Saudis usually race to Bahrain to grab a drink or two. Bahrain also has, ahem, questionable services offered by select women.

Let's hope these peaceful protesters bring about a positive, and not an Islamist, change. That will cetainly warm the hearts of the many Shia who have been kept under the boot in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain has got the Whiskey and Sexy. It's about time for Democracy!

Lots of pictures here. Nice panoramic shots, Chanad. Dang, women are all burqa clad.

Links thanks to Instapundit.

The Projection of Power

A most interesting post about the US Navy:

Clark is a champion of the Sea Basing concept, through which the Navy and Marine Corps will exploit their maritime maneuver space. A new generation of transport and logistics vessels, aircraft and fleet formations is in the offing to make sea basing a reality.

[Emphasis mine]

The transportation of food, fuel, and ammunition can keep the battle group going for weeks, months and - if necessary - years. The enemy of today does not have a logistics structure. The US military with it's training and with practically undisturbed supplies can clobber its foe within a small matter of time. The problem is that we don't know where the enemy will rear it's head next. So, the Navy structure of swift deployment comes in very handy.

One still needs boots on the ground for major operations but, for say a division, the movement of heavy armor and fuel is still relatively, and understandably, slow. However, the presence of the US Navy is, on most occasions, enough to deter most rascals. The combination of speed and supplies is half the battle.

The reorganization seems to be smart assuming that personnel don't burn out while working on a faster schedule. I am all for the actual building of more CBGs. They're worth it just for the deterrence effect.

Link via the Blogfather.

Ind vs. Pak, 3rd Test, 3rd Day

The five Indian batsman who are out (not including Sehwag) scored 98 runs combined. Sehwag scored more than double that amount before Kaneria got him. He got another giant century in this series; this time it was a double. His 201 runs came at a scorching pace since he only needed 262 balls.

Sehwag has made scores of 173, 36, 81, 15, and now 201 in 5 innings. His average in the series is a jaw dropping 101.2. Sehwag deserves the Man of the Series Award. He is, in my opinion, the 2nd best opener in the world behind Australia's Hayden.

Pakistan hold a lead of approx. 200 runs. If India crumble on the 4th day, then Pakistan can push for a sizable lead (it's Afridi time) and declare at the end of the day. Credit to Kaneria for his tireless efforts. He not only got Sehwag but the key wicket of Dravid as well. Pakistan will require his magic for the 2nd innings to win this match.

Premium Dinner

Got coupons in the mail yesterday. Today, one of them was used: buy a deal, get a burger free at McDonald's.

The lawsuit, for making me fat, is in the works. I will soon feast on McDonald's, literally. Oh, you be lovin' it McDonald's, YOU BE LOVIN' IT. Muhahaha.

Common Sense is Not Common

I have spent, sometimes, hours trying to explain the negative effects of the "free lunch" to friends and acquaintances. On most occasions, I have failed miserably. I attend a Canadian university. So, by default, the position on health care is that it should be 'free'. Many go as far as to say that the entire cost of university education should be provided for by the government. The combined top, federal and provincial, income tax rate is over 50% in Ontario. It ain't coming down thanks to my ultra-liberal colleagues.

Last year, the president of the student union stated that since the tax rates in Canada are so high, the younger workers have trouble paying off their student loans. Solution: the government should pay for our education. I kid you not. This would be a brilliant policy for driving out the best people in their respective fields. Think about it. One could get a decent education in Canada for 'free'. Then when it comes time to pay for the 'free' education via high tax rates, one could migrate to the US and enjoy their lower tax rates. This would in turn push the tax rates in Canada even higher.

That's an awful policy because it leads to higher tax rates and a brain drain from Canada. Now, understand that not all the geeks will make a go for the US. A lot of them will take into consideration their family and friends who live in Canada plus many of these pros will likely be liberal and will think twice before going to Bush country. Though, what can't be denied is that they're given a juicy incentive to make a living in the US instead of in Canada. You can bet that some will go for it.

I concur with John Hawkins. Along with price controls, a minimum wage is also considered a compassionate policy. See my article from last December on the compassionate consequences of the minimum wage.

Ind vs. Pak, 3rd Test, 2nd Day

Inzi was out at 184 securing himself an average of 75 in this series. Younis Khan proved his detractors wrong by scoring a massive 267. His average in the series is now 85. I was quite harsh when he failed to reach double digits in the 1st Test but now, after two big centuries in two matches, it seems the confidence in the future captain has weight.

I said yesterday:

Kudos to Younis Khan for delivering another century in the series. He now has three single digit scores, and two massive centuries in this series. It seems that when Younis gets settled, he plays effortlessly. Otherwise, he's gone very quickly.

Today Younis Khan stated:

On the difficult parts of the innings
The first and the last few balls are always difficult. If you carry yourself through those, you're OK. And I managed to get through those first few overs today.

[Emphasis mine]

So, unlike Afridi for example, when Younis gets settled, he's very difficult to get out.

India have all ten wickets in hand. The Pakistani bowlers can show their skill tomorrow if India is forced to follow-on. After two days, the most likely result looks to be a draw.

Ind vs. Pak, 3rd Test, 1st Day

Within the first 3 overs of the day, both the Pakistani openers, Afridi and Hameed were sent back to the dressing room by an explosive burst of Indian bowling. However, the rest of the 87 overs brought tremendous misery for the Indians.

Inzi, the greatest Pakistani batsman of his generation, showcased an innings that was powerful, glorious, and sublime. Inzi painfully missed out on centuries in the two previous Tests. Today, after winning the toss for the first time in this series, he mercilessly unleashed shots to all corners of the ground. His scores in this series are 57, 86, 30, 13, and now an incredible 184 not out. He could be out tomorrow at 184. He'd have an average of 74 in the series. The big man finally got the big one. It was only a matter of time.

Kudos to Younis Khan for delivering another century in the series. He now has three single digit scores, and two massive centuries in this series. It seems that when Younis gets settled, he plays effortlessly. Otherwise, he's gone very quickly. It was great to watch the apprentice learn from the master. At one point, Inzi was scoring at almost twice the rate of Younis. The two put on a monster 316 run partnership for the 3rd wicket.

India will have their chance early in the day tomorrow. They'll attempt to get Inzi quickly. He's on cruise control gunning for another triple-century. He deserves, at least, another 16 runs. I thought that Pakistan would roll over after the morale sapping 2nd test; the first 3 overs confirmed the suspicion. I underestimated the man from Multan. His career average stands at 48.9. He has a good chance of pushing that above 50 in this match.

This has been a mighty fine series of cricket.

The US Triumphs

This most informative post at Instapundit is worth a read:

Said one of the biggest problems was money and regs. There was a $77 million gap between the supplemental budget and what he needed in cash on the ground to get projects started. Said he spent most of his time trying to get money. Said he didn't do much as a "combat commander" because the the war he was fighting was a war at the squad and platoon level. Said that his NCOs were winning the war and it was a sight to behold.

All praise to the American soldier.

Maternal Love

Religion of PeaceTM:

Interview with the mother of two killed terrorists.
Host: They [Israelis] accuse the Palestinian mother of hating her sons and of encouraging them to die.

Mother: No. We do not encourage our sons to die. We encourage them to shahada [death for Allah] for the homeland, for Allah. We don’t say to the mothers of the shahids, ‘We come to comfort you,’ rather, ‘We come to bless you on your son’s wedding, on your son’s shahada. Congratulations to you on the shahada.’ For us, the mourning is a [joyous] wedding. We give out drinks, we give out sweets. Praise to Allah, our mourning is a [joyous] wedding. [PA TV, November 17, 2004]

[Emphasis mine]

Don't you see, it's not just plain ol' vanilla death but death for Allah (the best death of all!). Westerners should stop being so closed-minded, judgmental and racist. Be more nuanced and accepting of barbarism foreign cultures; emulate the French.


Drivel From Nancy

Bret Stephens rips the 'Myth':

"It is now believed that [Abu Musab] Zarqawi operates independently, and even in competition with bin Laden." She must have missed Zarqawi's declaration of fealty to Osama bin Laden in October. (Bin Laden certainly noticed it: He recently ordered Zarqawi to widen the scope of his efforts beyond Iraq.) "While [Ahmed] Chalabi was popular in certain powerful circles in Washington, he had virtually no support in Iraq." Funny, then, that Mr. Chalabi did well enough in January's elections to be in serious contention for the premiership. "The war in Iraq drew the Bush administration's focus away from Afghanistan during the critical two years following the overthrow of the Taliban, making the job there infinitely harder." Infinitely? Ten million Afghan voters missed that nuance.

It's impressive how the incredibly good news is spun into bad. Over 50 million people got the chance to choose their own government because of the two battles in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Democratic response: meh, Dubya had nothing to do with it. The Muslims in these two countries always wanted consensual government and Dubya just happened to be the US president at the time. Right.

Follow the link to read the whopper. Oh yes, it gets worse.

A Geek Dreams

A friend of mine who is thinking of buying a car has been looking around at different manufacturers. He's mainly looking at German cars. They, overall, take the crown but their position, in terms of quality, has been falling for over the past few years. Japanese cars, which certainly beat American cars, should be number one soon.

I liked the 1990s 7-series from BMW. The current design of the 7-series isn't that appealing. The most beautiful car, for me, would be the BMW Z8, a Bond car, which is out of production and out of reach of my wallet (US$135,000). I still have a soft spot for Lexus since they're exceptionally quiet. A GS over the LS because the LS has a bully look.

Stephen Green makes more detailed observations about the car industry.

Woe is Me

An excellent analysis of the Democrat Party's dismal thinking:

Minorities contain intelligent, hardworking and resourceful people. You can not keep them 'down on the farm'. You can not pretend to speak for all of 'them' because they are not really a 'them'. As any libertarian will tell you, there is no such thing as a Class. There are only individuals with temporarily aligned self-interests.

Another problem with Democrat Party's coalition is that it is very fragile and fractured. Most of Big Labor and the environmentalists support the Democrats but on most issues, the agendas of these two groups don't jive. Similarly, most of the Jewish and most of the Muslim vote goes to the Democrats. Also, the majority of the super-rich and 90% of blacks vote for high-tax Democrats.

In light of these facts, it's frankly surprising that Democrats get more than 48% of the national vote.

Antisemitism Rises, Again


Livingstone will bend over backwards to defend anti-Semitic, hatemongering "spiritual leaders" from the Muslim world, but he compares newspaper reporters to the Nazis.

Daimnation, again:

Lord Ahmed, a Labour Party peer in the British House of Lords, invited rabid Jew-hater Israel Shamir to Westminster to give a speech about how Joooooos control the media.

And again:

... the Thistle [an organization from MIT] also accuses the Anti-Defamation League of being a Mossad front organization ...

Some things never change. It's always the fault of zionists, neo-cons, New Yorkers or the Jooos.