Monday, November 28, 2005

Sic semper, y'all. And worldwide too!

Yep, the emphasis is added:
TUNIS, Tunisia--Cuba, Iran and African governments lashed out at the U.S. government this week, charging that the Internet permits too much free speech and that the way it is managed must be reformed immediately.

The U.S. and other Western nations "insist on being world policemen on the management of the Internet," Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who has been the country's leader since 1987, said at a United Nations information society summit here.

"Those who have supported nihilistic and disorderly freedom of expression are beginning to see the fruits" of their efforts, Mugabe said, adding that Zimbabwe will be "challenging the bully-boy mentality that has driven the unipolar world."

Read it all here.

Listening to Mugabe and Castro on the freedom of speech is much akin to listening to Benito Mussolini on the subject of Synagogue design. They're not entitled to even have an opinion.

NOW, will western leaders have the intestinal fortitude to say so?

Wal-Mart portrayed as the good guy! In the WAPO!

Sebastian Mallaby (who is always worth reading, especially when you disagree with him) on the corporation the left loves to hate:
"Companies like Wal-Mart are not run by saints. They can treat workers and competitors roughly. They may be poor stewards of the environment. When they break the law they must be punished. Wal-Mart is at the center of the globalized, technology-driven economy that's radically increased American inequality, so it's not surprising that it has critics. But globalization and business innovation are nonetheless the engines of progress; and if that sounds too abstract, think of the $200 billion-plus that Wal-Mart consumers gain annually. If critics prevent the firm from opening new branches, they will prevent ordinary families from sharing in those gains. Poor Americans will be chief among the casualties."

You can read it all here

The average wage at Wal-Mart is $10.00/hour That comes out to $20K/year for a single person and (duh) $40K/year for a couple. Well above the poverty line in both cases.
BUT WAIT, I hear you say, WHAT ABOUT A FAMILY? Well, $10.00/hour takes a family of four above the poverty level. If one adult must stay home -- say with young kids -- the other can bring a family of seven above the poverty level by working a 60-hour week. May not be ideal, but it's possible.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Religion and Harry Potter

Harry Beasts - Christianity Today Magazine: "The Harry Potter stories, in their formulaic journeys that end every year with love's triumph over death in the presence of a Christ symbol, find their power and popularity in the resonance they create in our hearts. We connect with them because they point toward the Truth Myth that saves us. The gospel has rarely, if ever, been smuggled into the hearts and minds of readers so successfully and profoundly."
I am a fan of the Harry Potter series. Deal with it. Further, I have no patience with those that see deviltry in JK Rowling's use of magic as a literary device; please check your biblical history: the Old Testament direction on Witches and Warlocks refers to those who reject God and worship magic. Rowling's characters do neither. The paragraph above is from an article in Christianity Today and makes the point somewhat better."
You can read it all here.

Saturday, November 26, 2005 Anti-choice feminism Anti-choice feminism: "In American Prospect, Linda Hirshman tells educated women to choose full-time careers in lucrative, elite fields. Choosing to stay home with the kids or work part-time -- a popular choice according to a recent New York Times story -- betrays educated women's abilities and prevents the full integration of business, professional and academic elites, she argues. Feminism has failed to change marriage and gender roles, and should finish the job, Hirshman believes. 'Half the wealthiest, most-privileged, best-educated females in the country stay home with their babies rather than work in the market economy,' she writes."

Holy [modifier] cow! There might, somewhere, be a world in which a couple have children and neither adult has to make any career sacrifices, but t'ain't this world! There is, and I don't think anyone should be surprised, substantial evidence that women, er, mothers bond with their kids in ways that Dads don't and that maternal bonding is often expressed in a desire to be the dominant figure in their kids' life. This is either cultural and 'fixable' by feminism, or it's genetic and not.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Atta Lambaster!

Michelle Malkin: JUST A YELLOW WOMAN DOING A WHITE MAN'S JOB: "The racist and sexist 'yellow woman doing a white man's job' knock is a tiresome old attack from impotent liberals that I've tolerated a long time. It is pathetic that I have to sit here and tell you that my ideas, my politics, and my intellectual capital are mine and mine alone in response to cowardly attacks from misogynistic moonbats with Asian whore fixations. My IQ, free will, skin color, eye shape, productivity, sincerity, and integrity are routinely ridiculed or questioned because I happen to be a minority conservative woman. As a public figure, I am willing to take these insults, but I cannot tolerate the smearing of my loved ones. Because I have always been open and proud about his support for my career, my husband has taken endless, hate-filled abuse from my critics. His Jewish heritage, his decision to be a stay-at-home dad, and even his looks, are the subject of brutal mockery."

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: $100 laptops aim to bring children the world

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: $100 laptops aim to bring children the world: "TUNIS, Tunisia, Researchers unveiled a prototype of a $100 hand-cranked laptop computer on Wednesday and said they hoped to place them in the hands of millions of schoolchildren around the globe.
About the size of a textbook, the lime-green machines will be able to set up their own wireless networks and operate in areas without a reliable electricity supply, MIT researchers said at a United Nations technology summit.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other groups have been pushing hard to create a low-cost laptop, part of a U.N. effort's aim that 'everyone, everywhere should have the opportunity to participate' in the benefits of information technology.
The goal is to provide laptops free of charge to children in poor countries who cannot afford computers, said MIT Media Lab chairman Nicholas Negroponte.
Governments or charitable donors will pay for the laptops but children will own them, he said.
'Ownership of the laptops is absolutely critical,' he said. 'Have you ever washed a rented car?'"

Monday, November 14, 2005

SSRN-Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy by Benjamin Barton

SSRN-Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy by Benjamin Barton: "This Essay examines what the Harry Potter series (and particularly the most recent book, The Half-Blood Prince) tells us about government and bureaucracy. There are two short answers. The first is that Rowling presents a government (The Ministry of Magic) that is 100% bureaucracy. There is no discernable executive or legislative branch, and no elections. There is a modified judicial function, but it appears to be completely dominated by the bureaucracy, and certainly does not serve as an independent check on governmental excess.

Second, government is controlled by and for the benefit of the self-interested bureaucrat."