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A Snowball In Hell

In other Mideast news, the Lebanese magazine Shihan joined in the Muhammad cartoon adventure by reprinting three of the cartoons.

In the article with the subtitle reading, “World’s Muslims, be logical,” Jihad Momani asks, “Which one do you think damages Islam more? These cartoons or the scene of a suicide bomber who blows himself up outside a wedding ceremony in Amman, or the kidnappers that slaughters their victims before the cameras?”

Against, and then For a Palestinian State

It always kills me when I go to anti-war or anti-SOA protests and see a bunch of leftists waving Palestinian flags and wearing keffiyehs. On one hand, I am sympathetic to the Palestinian demand for sovereign territory. (Almost as a rule I support dividing land into as many small countries as possible.) And there's definitely a lot to criticize in Israel's approach to the Palestinian question. Read more »

Preemptive Government

Here's an idea for the Left: if preemptive war is wrong, why isn't preemptive governing wrong?

Preemptive war here means war without a specific war-able action being taken by the other side. If they are pointing nukes in our direction and broadcasting a countdown it'd be hard to oppose neutralizing these, but if they're just vaguely hostile (and/or foreign) there's hardly a moral case for fighting. (I don't intend a 1-to-1 reference to Iraq here.) Read more »

Germany, 1932

Via a Jesse Walker post at Hit and Run, Google tells the DOJ to stuff its request for search information. I'm not going in depth on the story, so I encourage you to read it for yourself, but I did want to highlight something scary. Read more »

America--We Bless Ourselves

The introduction of the Wikipedia entry on the "Valkenburg resistance" in the Netherlands during WWII has this fantastic comment: "Going into hiding was dangerous, but so was keeping people in hiding. Especially hiding US soldiers was risky because they had no sense of the danger and had a reputation of making too much noise." Even hiding inside enemy territory they could be in good spirits. Read more »

$2 trillion? That\'s a lot.

Hit and Run has a great thread running about how to turn $2 trillion into a number that is at least close to comprehensible. Join in the fun if you have a few spare minutes. (And try to forget that part of that $2 trillion comes from you.)

No really, they\'re not kidding

Just when you think that no new act of copyright litigation is shocking anymore, this hits you. The US Music Publishers' Association announced last December that they are going to start suing websites that publish song lyrics and guitar tabs in 1906 2006. If they really think this measure will be just the shot-in-the-arm that the sheet music industry needs, they should start using different drugs. And it's not just shutting websites down and handing out fines, they want jail time for webmasters. Read more »

Terra cognita incertaque

Riddle me this, Catallarchy readers: why do so many Islamic fundamentalists reside in Britain? Read more »

Damned if you do, damned if you don\'t

Via Sploid, here's a BBC story about how plants cause global warming. Ok, ok, not all by themselves. But plants are now thought to be a significant source of methane emissions. Add to this the story I heard on NPR a few weeks ago. (Call me a statist now if you like.) Some pollutants that reside in the upper atmosphere absorb sunlight, so reducing their emission will increase global temperatures. Read more »

That flu is for the birds

Update: just in case anyone was wondering, I'm still not worried one bit about the bird flu. Maybe it's my superhuman immune system, or maybe it's the way the bird flu is in the news every day without appearing to have any impact on anyone's life that I can observe. An illness that kills old people or young children doesn't make me happy, but it doesn't make me sweat either.

The real tragedy is that there are still places where minor illnesses can be fatal.

Pakistani Voice Of Reason

The Daily Times of Pakistan has a must-read editorial discussing the message of the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia to Hajj pilgrims. Read more »

get shorty

get shorty, dying in a coffeeshop

Bumper sticker humbug

I've blogged before about bumper stickers that bugged me, and here's another one to add to the list: "Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?"

Killing people is not wrong per se. It can be wrong or it can be justified. Murdering people is wrong.

That's not to make a comment either way about the death penalty. That's another topic.

Gang warfare without the warfare

This is from the Wikipedia entry about Chinese triad gangs:

Gang fighting

When triads have a "show of force" (known as ??, sai ma in Chinese), they are only trying to negotiate with one another, they do not actually want to fight, so they do not usually bring along weapons. Each party's bargaining power depends on the quality and quantity of people on its side as well as its structural integrity.

Another Republican can\'t maintain the charade

This story is too good not to share with you:

SPOKANE, Washington (Reuters) - Voters in Spokane, Washington, have ousted their conservative mayor following newspaper reports that he offered city jobs to young men in the hopes of having sex with them, according to election results posted on Wednesday.