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Who's Committing the War Crimes?

Colombia had a recent triumph in freeing hostages from the leftist rebels FARC. If there is any doubt about the debased ideology of FARC the fact that it kept the hostages chained together at the neck continuously for years on end should make one pause for thought. Not CNN. No, they are already trying to interpret these events as a crime committed by the Colombian government.

CNN has just run an article trying to paint the Colombian government as "the bad guys" titled “Colombian military used Red Cross emblem in rescue”. By the third paragraph they are already making claims against Colombia.

“Such a use of the Red Cross emblem could constitute a "war crime" under the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law and could endanger humanitarian workers in the future, according to international legal expert Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association.”

Tough charges, lets see if they hold up. Will this endanger Red Cross aid workers in the future? How?

“It is clear that the conventions are very strict regarding use of the symbol because of what it represents: impartiality, neutrality. The fear is that any misuse of the symbol would weaken that neutrality and would weaken the [Red Cross],"

Yes, they are serious charges and that is a quite reasonable law, but the spirit of the law is that one not use the symbol to impersonate the Red Cross in doing humanitarian work. So the true question should be, “Was there an impersonation of the Red Cross here”.

If you look at the CNN article you will see that they have displayed the Red Cross in their article. No one would bother charging them with a “war crime” because they aren’t impersonating aid workers in doing so. There is no attempt to deception involved.

Well I shouldn’t say that. There is deception involved in their article, an attempt to deceive the public into believing that a “war crime” was committed by the Colombian government. What wasn’t attempted was to deceive any parties that CNN was the Red Cross. Nor was there any such attempt on the part of the Colombian government to do so as we will learn from information later in the article, despite CNNs attempts to magnify a different point of view.

It’s not until we get to the sixth paragraph that we learn.

"The unpublished video and photos of the mission, hailed internationally as a daring success, were shown to CNN by a military source looking to sell the material. CNN declined to buy the material at the price being asked; it was therefore unable to verify the authenticity of the images."

Why the rush to paint Colombia as war criminals if the photos are not know to be authentic?

Buried even deeper in the article.

“"After all these years of guerrilla war, we have become experts in identifying who is before us," she answered. "That's why I said it was very strange to me. I said, 'Well, what is this? A helicopter, a white helicopter. Red Cross? No. France? No.' There was no flag. There was nothing; there was no sign anywhere."

Here they have eye witness testimony from the event stating that there was no credible impersonation of the Red Cross. Was the Colombian government trying to impersonate the Red Cross here or were they trying to do something quite different?

“One of the members, dressed in a dark red T-shirt or polo shirt, khaki cargo pants and a black-and-white Arab-style scarf, also wears a bib of the type worn by Red Cross workers.”

An Arab-style scarf. Well that doesn’t sound like someone trying to impersonate the Red Cross. The Red Cross is not a Muslim organization.

At the beginning of the article we learned.

“The military source said the three photos were taken moments before the mission took off to persuade the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebels to release the hostages to a supposed international aid group for transport to another rebel area.”

Were they trying to imitate international aid workers? Do international aid groups transport prisoners for terrorist organizations? I don’t think so. We do know that it’s a common practice for terrorists to pretend they are running ambulances. The Al-Dura affair was an event at which such mock use of ambulances took place. Something we know with no thanks to CNN. In this case the Colombian forces are obviously pretending to be FARC sympathetic operatives pretending to be aid workers in order to transport prisoners.

“Both of Colombia's two main guerrilla armies, the FARC and the smaller National Liberation Army, have been known to misuse the Red Cross symbol, sometimes transporting fighters in ambulances.”

Well, then it’s obvious that there was no impersonation of the Red Cross. From prior reports we know the FARC rebels had been told that this was a prisoner transport operation ordered by FARC leadership. Since it is common practice for FARC to impersonate the Red Cross for transport then what better way to impersonate other terrorists than to use the same tactic. Therefore no “war crime”.

Have no doubt, there was no attempt here to trick anyone into believing the Colombian military personal were actual aid workers doing humanitarian work. The Colombian government was on a true humanitarian mission but that is the exact opposite of what FARC was lead to believe. FARC members were under the mistaken belief that this was just another prisoner transport operation by other members of FARC. There was no attempt to deceive anyone into believing that this was the Red Cross, the Colombian Military certainly wasn’t trying to deceive itself, so there was no violation of the spirit of the law even if a Red Cross symbol happened to be worn.

Now had the Colombian government convinced FARC they were the Red Cross and were planning on actually helping these people with treatment, or by releasing them then certainly there would have been a “war crime” in the sense perhaps that was not intended. That’s a problem with the letter of the law not the spirit. In fact, if anyone, even a bunch of doctors, impersonated the Red Cross to deliver medical attention they would be violating the letter of this law. That’s not the spirit however. The spirit is that the symbol of the Red Cross not be used for military operations like transporting prisoners. The true “war criminals” here are members of FARC.

This CNN story was written with a certain bias, a certain interpretation of events, and I don’t think it was unintentional. The article could have been headlined “Colombian Military Uses FARC’s Abuse of Humanitarian Aid Symbols to Rescue Hostages”, and it could have stressed the important point that no FARC member ever truly believed this was a humanitarian mission. Instead they painted this as war crimes being committed by a US ally. This is far from objective journalism.

How can CNN wonder why they are considered by some of being anti-American, and pro-Terrorist? People are rescued from being chained together at the neck day and night for years and CNN finds a way to paint their rescuers as demons, shame on you CNN. Shame, shame.


Student Who Took Condom Getting Death Threats

I'm linking to this story too trigger a discussion of contracts. Well, maybe not, I just find it ridiculous. I've changed the nouns to protect the innocent.

"A UCF student claims he’s getting death threats for messing with something sacred.

Webster Cook says he smuggled a condom, a small rubber ballon that to planned parenthood members is symbolic of responsible behavior after a volunteer hands it out, he didn’t use it as he was supposed to do, but instead walked with it."

Ok so he took something that he was given freely and left with it disobeying some rule about immediate usage. In this case the condom was suppose to be used in an act of oral sodomy. A kind of symbolic cannibalism.

"Planned Parenthood members worldwide became furious."

Not only were they furious but they wanted it back.

Why? They gave it to him for free and if he used it the way they wanted it would've been ruined by the act. In fact the volunteer had directly put the condom on Webster Cook. Who else would want to use it after that?

The quality of the condoms handed out do not even rise to the level of what is sold in stores. This is a five cent condom not a fifty cent one.

Surely not something to become outraged over even had Cook signed a contract stating that he would use the condom in a sex act. Suppose he had gotten home and thrown the condom away instead of using it in a sex act, thus violating the contract. Surely Planned Parenthood could be indemnified by this wastage of their condom by paying five cents or better yet buying a high quality condom on Amazon or at the supermarket and returning that instead.

"Webster’s friend, who didn’t want to show his face, said he took the Eucharist, to show him what it meant to Catholics."

He wanted to show his friend the condom and perhaps discuss safe sex practices. You'd think planned parenthood would be good with that.

Another article at WorldDaily.com gave even more details on his motivations.

The student senator, Webster Cook, originally claimed he merely wanted to show the condom to a friend who had questions about Planned Parenthood before using the condom for a oral sex act.

So apparently he was planning to use the condom all along, just from home.

"Webster gave the wafer back, but the Condom League, a national watchdog organization for Condom rights claims that is not enough.

“We don’t know 100% what Mr. Cooks motivation was,” said Susan Fellatio a spokesperson with the local Planned Parenthood. “However, if anything were to qualify as a hate crime, to us this seems like this might be it.”"

Wait a second. He gave the same condom back and they are still not satisfied? I find this puzzling to say the least. Not using a freely distributed five cent condom that you can buy online is a hate crime?

Get real.

If you want to control how your condoms are used then you are going to have to restrict your distribution to members only, put signs up, have them sign a contract first, and supervise the process more diligently. You can even make the pay for the condoms up front if you want.

Once you put the condom on a person though I don't see how you can force them to perform a sex act if they decide not to at the last minute. So even if Cook was a member and all these procedures were followed the most they can do is revoke his membership.

What is especially disturbing is that throughout the middle ages Planned Parenthood used the false accusation of "Stealing the Condom" and "Condom Desecration" to persecute Jews.

"Accusations of condom desecration leveled against Jews were a common pretext for massacres and expulsions throughout the Middle Ages in Europe.[1] At the time, the concept of Jewish condomcide — that the Jewish people were responsible for poking holes in condoms — was a generally accepted Condomist belief."

This seems to be a common practice of non-profits. They set up some taboo that no rational person would give a second thought about and use that to demonize, persecute and lynch anyone who disagrees with their dogma. What better excuse for killing someone and stealing their property than accusing them of stealing a five cent condom or mishandling a book that is full of lies. Hell they'll beat you to death even if they own the book or were the ones that originally handed you the condom.

Hell, in the middle ages they were forcing the Jews to put on the condoms in cannibalistic ceremonies, and at the same time accusing them of smuggling them out for illicit purposes. If you remember your history on the incondomquisition then you will recall that many Jews were forced to become Condomists by the Spanish.


Only the Government Can Do It

We've seen the government lose money running gambling organizations like the OTB. Which is surprising enough given that uneducated gangsters can run such operations profitably while incurring the costs of avoiding the law and not being able to openly advertise. But how can they lose money if they feel they can do things like selling 'Zero' chance lottery tickets.

"Through a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act, Fishwick's firm was able to obtain records that showed the Virginia State Lottery sold $85 million in tickets for which no top prize was available. Fishwick says the state should pay $85 million in damages."

Well maybe that idea won't pan out if they have to pay the money back. I wonder if the Virgina State Lottery will be running in the black if they lose the suit. I say "if" because maybe it's perfectly legal.


Speaking of Tomatoes

Here I am in my natural habitat. I'm around 6'1" so you can see the tomatos are already up around 5 foot. Those poles are twelve feet long each. I may have to add a third rung near the top if they go past the 6 foot mark. I've gotten two ripe tomatos so far.

No it's not just tomato's either. Half that garden is other things. I keep four foot wide beds with paths that run east to west. The shorter stuff grows at the front of the beds and the tomatos shade the footpaths. It's 32x32 and I have another at 12x40.

Watermelon, zucchini, gourds, turks turbins, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, turnip greens, green beans, soy beans, peas, bitter melon, leaf lettuce, winter lettuce, miners lettuce, turnip greens, onions, strawberry spinach, strawberries, long island cheese pumpkins, giant pumpkins, pie pumpkins, american giant sunflowers, potatoes, eggplant, hot peppers, sweet peppers, verdolaga, and italian wall lizards.

There's around 14 kinds of tomatos, 3 hot peppers, etc. I grow many types of flowers too. Here's mullen banana custard next to my pool.

I'm growing the hottest pepper in the world this year, the bhut jolokia, which is three times hotter than the second hottest the habanero. It rates a around one million scoville units. The pepper spray they use in riot control is 2 to 5 million scoville units, while tabasco is a mild 2,500 units.

Here's a video of some kid eating a habanero. Notice the flames coming out his ears and the uncontrollable knitting of his eyebrows in anguish. He emits a pained squeal before going for the water. You need to watch this first to be impressed by the others.

Here's different guy but instead eating a bhut jolokia. Remember the individual peppers are between half and one fifth pepper spray by volume. I'm quite impressed but I think he was born with defective pain sensors so it's not quite fair. At least he was smart enough not to eat then entire thing like the other guy.

A couple of these Mexican's are obviously racist against East Indians as they don't seem to be enjoying this traditional Indian food. The one on the right not only handles the hot but she is hot. Perfect if you're planning a riot.

I thought I wasn't going to be able to find any videos of normal people eating the bhut jolokia. Seem's like everybodies doing it but they are all super human. This guy eats a whole one, you can sense he wants to cry when he talks, but then he gulps down another. Apparently it hurts on the way out too.

Yes, someone did "plant" italian wall lizards in my garden to keep the bugs in check. Besides they're cute. I think that same someone is responsible for putting them in my old garden back in New Hyde Park. They have been in the news recently as they are rapidly evolving new body parts.

I believe with the new habitat containing bhut jolokia this is the first step in evolving true fire breathing dragons.


Sunday School Art

A Sunday school teacher in Florida has been arrested for pasting kids faces onto porn.

"A volunteer Sunday school teacher is facing child pornography charges, after investigators say he took photographs of young girls and pasted their faces to sexually explicit pictures of adult women."

I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around what he was thinking let alone what the DA is thinking with regards to the charges. Is it really kiddie porn? It's not like he snapped pictures of naked kids.

Certainly this guys creepy and pontentially a danger but I'm not sure he actually violated a law here, or even harmed anyone.

If he did violate a law then it's a pretty broad one. What next? If you pencil in boobs on a kids picture you end up a felon and on a sexual predator list?

 


To BO from BM. Not Good Enough.

Barack Obama has posted an article at Huffington Post in defense of his involvement with the anti-white ranter, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Here’s my response.

" I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, …"

Respected biblical scholar? Respected by whom? Leonard Jefferies, and the "Reverend" Al Sharpton? How can one be a respected scholar of any kind and believe that Jesus was a black man? That doesn’t sound like scholarship.

"He also led a diverse congregation"

The congregation didn't look all that diverse in the videos I've seen. Why should that matter anyway? There's plenty of white people who hate America, and have an unhistorical view that denigrates whites. You'd have to be one to sit through that clownery week after week.

"It's a congregation that does not merely preach social justice ..."

Social justice is a Marxist term for injustice. I was a member of a committee on "social justice" and “racial justice” at my local Unitarian church at Shelter Rock for a while. They taught about "institutional racism" and how every white person was a "hidden racist". Hell they even had this nice little old lady who had worked on behalf of the NAACP for 35 or more years believing she was a "hidden racist". This was, as I pointed out to them, ridiculous. Meanwhile the blacks on the committee were full of the most racially bigoted views. One of those racist beliefs being precisely the idea that every white was a racist.

"Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he's been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn."

In case you didn't notice he was not preaching for us to love one another. He was preaching for blacks to see themselves as victims and whites as their oppressors. He was teaching them that they were not being treated justly by whites. This is the exact opposite of teaching love for another. Instead it is teaching resentment for the other, teaching envy of the other, and teaching that the other is the enemy. It's teaching blacks to view themselves not as humans but as perpetual victims and whites as their persecutors, something that would tend to increase racial tensions and racism on the part of both blacks and whites. Blacks seeing moral inferiority in every white and whites fearing that all blacks hate whites.

You, Obama, have realized this because you have denounced it, yet you wish to have it both ways. How can he both be a spreader of hateful statements as you have admitted and a spreader of love? Preaching love for one another isn't a one way street, and is wiped out when it's only for some, or contradicted.

"The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation."

Ron Paul claimed not to have seen the racially controversial stuff printed in his newsletter for about eleven months while he wasn't personally running it and he told us afterward that he didn't believe in that stuff. It's not proof positive he's a racist but it sure isn't a sign the other direction. It certainlyshows that he is not paying attention to something he should be. The fact you picked this Pastor and listend to him for twenty years tends to show the same thing about you. You may well not be a racist but it shows that you were not paying attention for twenty years to what is racist belief about whites.

"Let me repeat what I've said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country."

Exactly what Ron Paul told us and that's not enough. This is more than about whether you are a racist or not. I don't think there is sufficient evidence to make that conclusion in either case. It's about whether you are willing to let racists run things for you. In this case your personal life.

"With Rev. Wright's retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good."

Well I've seen the Rev. Otis Moss III blaming rich white corporations on the issue of rap music and distribution of crack. He claims that rap was fine until the corporations got hold of it and forced the addition of "n word", "h word", and the "b word". He tells us it is not a coincidence that gangster rap and crack hit the streets at the same time in the black community. Let me tell you that I found rap morally reprehensible the first time I heard it in 1977. That was long before it hit the charts and came under corporate influence, and yes they used the n-word, the h-word, and the b-word.

Yeah, and Johnny Mathas used to complain that the executives at these corporations would make him sing sappy songs. So why didn't they force him to use the "n-word" in his music?

If I was one of the executives at Time Warner, AOL, Sony and MCA I'd sue this guy for slander.

The fact that you, Barack Obama, think this guy is any better than Wright tells alot about you.

"And while Rev. Wright's statements have pained and angered me, I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said, but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be President of the United States."

I have no idea who you are, what you believe in, or your values and judgment. You are a politician and as such you speak in generalities. Messages like "I am for hope." or "I am for change" tell me nothing. As you say I won't judge you on the basis of what someone else said. I don't know if you believe these things. I will judge you however on the fact that you do not distance yourself from a church that preaches such a false and warped view of America and of white people.

I’m not voting for a president who seeks the advice of people who hate America and the people who live in it.


Internet Abuse

I made the unfortunate choice to comment on a blog, www.wernerpatels.com, run by Werner Patels regarding the Ezra Levant lawsuit. Instead of posting my comment he instead made claims about the comment that were untrue, and posted those instead.

I did not keep the original text of the comment because I assumed he played by the same rules as everyone else. I do remember the character of the comment and it did not include any dirty words, defamation, racism, or any of the other claims made by Patels. In fact, several of my arguments are substantiated by news articles, and the contents of the Qur'an. I think Soharwardy an extremist for some of his actions known at the time, and further news articles point in this direction.

I posted two follow-up comments on this same article in order to point out this action of his was dishonest and that my claims are substantial and not in any way defamatory, racist, etc. These were not long comments, and only three in total. He did pretty much the same thing with those additional comments but now painting it like I was a stalker for my three comments.   Maybe that's a record on his site?

I later found that several articles on this issue, of Soharwardy and how Patels thinks he's a nice guy, were removed from his site. It looked to me like he was whitewashing his record on this. The news reports had changed in nature and the person he was praising as a moderate was being accused in news articles of using physical violence against other Muslims. I thought whitewashing his past positions on his blog was also dishonest of him.

Seeing that he had a track record of changing comments on his blog I decided to talk with him via email. His response was to post my email on an entirely different blog, set up a special category just for me, and make additional false charges against me. I only noticed this later when trying to search for the original post.

Today I started to write a short post in reply to this attack piece which claimed I didn't have a job because I had a window open to his site open for five hours on Monday, Presidents day. Well I have one open right now on his site in the background and I am not reading anything. I was foolishly planning posting a reply, and had written it. I decided against that. In fact, my current policy is to never comment there but instead somewhere else and then provide a link, so he doesn't have the power to delete the comment, and also will not have an excuse for deleting the link. After all, anything he might be afraid of a lawsuit about will not be on his site so there is no reason to delete the link. His lies will then transparently be lies.

Below is my response to his current attack article that I was planning to post on his site. He also had sent me a bunch of offensive emails I will share in another article. For someone who is afraid of lawsuits he sure likes to slather on the defamation. Not surprisingly he threatened to sue me for harassment over my emails. As you will see he has poor judgment when it comes to what's legal and what's not.

Not surprisingly this guy is notorious for dishing out internet abuse. In the past I had another more famous run in with Dean Esmay, another internet abuser that got carried on several heavily trafficked blogs. Esmay called me a traitor because I disrespected Islam. I know it sounds ridiculous but that was what it was about. His wife even disagreed with him on that and invited me to be a co-blogger on her blog. I think in the future it behooves me to look up the name of any site owner for abuse before I post on their site.

Here's some of what Patels had to say about me which is prefectly ridiculous:

"Poor fool. Too bad Brian Macker can't read or open his eyes. My
stuff (previous and current articles) are all out there; nothing has
been whitewashed or hidden.

Macker is also a bit mad because I previously edited one of his comments on my site: it contained serious libellous [sic] allegations, as well as hate-filled language, which could have exposed this site to litigation.

But Macker is a disturbed and backward individual: at this point,
he's already spent five hours on this site today, and counting. He must
be unemployed -- then again, who would hire a nutter like that?

Proof again that those without much brain and/or a good education
always fall off the deep end (on the far right or the far left)."

Here's my response to his article:

Feb 18 was Presidents Day. I use Windows often with multiple windows open in the background, and my computer on for long periods. Apparently one was left open for five hours. Believe me I know little about you.

All my posts here have been reasonable. You did delete the article on you other blog (that was critical of Ezra Levant and praised Soharwardy as a moderate) or at least you provided no explanation for why it has disappeared.

Here's the URL: http://www.wernerpatels.com/canuck_columnist/2007/12/the-trap-so-eas.html

Another dishonest thing you've done here is to do a character assassination of one of you commenters, me, on on a different site than the one on which I commented. I commented on the www.wernerpatels.com blog and not over here on this different blog I was not aware of at the time.

It's dishonest because there is a likelihood I wouldn't see it and even if I should find it then any defense is not only buried in the comments (not a problem here) but buried in time. The damage is done with no chance for defense. Of course, it's clear that you aren't interested in my defense.

You understand that there is a power differential between a blogger and his commenters. This is obvious because you feel free to not only delete comments but also to substantially misrepresent their contents.

I will also be sharing your side of our little email exchange with other bloggers. The one in which you made profanities about my national origins and said nasty things about all Americans. You also had some derogatory comments about being gay to share.

I looked up internet abuse and your name. Seems like you are notorious for doing this kind of thing. You have been very unfair with me and fail to recognize that I have reasonable concerns about this ideology called Islam. Those concerns do not automatically imply any kind of bigoted beliefs or behavior towards Muslims. That I think chopping hands off is not a reasonable punishment for stealing a loaf of bread, or the death penalty is not a reasonable response to apostasy does not mean I hate Muslims.

I realize you'll probably just delete this comment and claim it was hateful. Therefore I am posting it on a remote site and including a link to it. In fact all my posts from now on will be done in the way.

I suggest in the future you reconsider your blogging ethics and not mischaracterize other people's posts on your blog. The correct ethics is to send a private email to the commenter with an explanation as to why you think the post exposes you to a lawsuit if that's the case. You have a right not to post comments that you are concerned about even if they are not truly defamatory. However, publicly claiming they are defamatory, racist, or smut as fact when that is merely your opinion and not fact is in itself a form of defamation.

Clearly you believe your claims about me should affect my employment
prospects when you say the following:

But Macker is a disturbed and backward individual: at this point, he's
already spent five hours on this site today, and counting. He must be
unemployed -- then again, who would hire a nutter like that?

You believe the false charges you make against me are grounds for not employing me. If this is true and I should be fired based on these false accusations, and I might be without my knowledge, then it is you who will be facing a lawsuit.

In fact I suggest strongly that you take down your article, and if you persist in your behavior you might find that your fears of having a lawsuit for defamation are both misplaced and realized at the same time.

Were the comments available then people could judge for themselves if your opinion is substantiated and then it might be ethical for you to comment on them. As it stands people only have your word on the issue. Your powers of deduction are obviously faulty as is clear from your belief that I don't have a job based on your evidence, or the crazy idea I'm a "right winger". I'm both employed and not a right-winger. Your hateful smutty email that you sent to me where you claim that I am "harassing" you will further show people you are not to be trusted on legal issues such as what constitutes defamation, smut, etc.

Now I can certainly see where a Muslim might find my comments offensive, and sue you, but that doesn't mean they are defamatory. You certainly have a right to even ban me on that issue if you like. I really wouldn't care. In fact, in a way I am self banning myself. I will only comment on articles related directly to me, and only via comment links to responses on blogs where content will not be deleted.

I will post a link to this article in the comments there. I won't be surprised if he deletes it.

Patels: "... nothing has been whitewashed or hidden."

Yeah, right. I guess, in Patels mind, removing comments and articles doesn't count as hiding just so long as you misinform people of the actual content.


Magic Math Used to Determine Peoples True Feelings About Redistribution

According to a Science Daily article titled "People Can Put A Price Tag On Economic Justice, Economists Say" there is science behind redistribution. 

The article starts with the question, "How much would you pay to live in an equitable society in which people get what they deserve and deserve what they get?"   Well my answer is "whatever it takes to enforce our individual rights to within the bounds of human fallibility.  Which wouldn't include any redistribution."    

I however say chock up two more leftist "economists" trying to tease information that is not there from data that no one should take seriously.   Apparently Fong and Corneo think they "have developed a mathematical model to measure the value that people place on distributive justice " and can use "data from the 1998 Gallup poll" that "did not explicitly ask what monetary value the respondents placed on distributive justice".     That is they believe that they can read peoples minds utilizing math and the answers to questions unrelated to the information being psychically determined.

What did these mind readers determine?  There was no link to the study from the article but it did mention that ...

"Whites place a higher value on equity than non-whites, and equity is valued more by those with high levels of education than those with less education."

Even if you believe their methods work the results they got seem to point to the idea that those who supposedly benefit from redistribution are against it.     Perhaps having first hand experience with welfare schemes instead of ivory tower theory leads to the empirically based conclusion that welfare doesn't work.

 I wonder if this study was "peer reviewed".   I guess if your peers as a bunch of leftists you might get away with making this claim. 

 

 


Apparently Violation of Law is Condoned by this Administration

i) Waterboarding is torture.

"(2) "severe mental pain or suffering" means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—

(C) the threat of imminent death; or"

ii) I'm not a lawyer but some important lawyers agree.

iii) It is a crime for any US citizen to commit torture on anyone anywhere.

"(a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life."

iv) It is a crime for any US citizen to conspire with anyone to commit torture.

"(c) Conspiracy.— A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy."

v) We now have supposed interviews with government officials said to be aware of three incidents of such torture.

"For all the debate over waterboarding, it has been used on only three al Qaeda figures, according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials."

Therefore I believe it quite apparent that a very serious crime, as defined by our own laws, has been committed by members of our government. I have no idea how high this goes but it is far worse that some burglary at a hotel named Watergate. I think heads need to roll and some serious jail time served.


P. Z. Myers Hates You Worse Than the Nazis and the Communists

P. Z. Myers posted an article on his web site titled "Miéville takes a whack at the Libertarians"

"My least favorite political/economic group is the Libertarians, so it is a wonderfully pleasant experience to watch as China Miéville takes a sharp and dismissive rhetorical blade to a Libertarian pipe-dream.

...

Well said — I think the institutionalized selfishness, petty small-mindedness, and bourgeois values run amuck of the libertarians represent the worst of America — and that finding common cause, supporting both social and economic equality, and striving for a real community of liberty (not that penny-pinching masquerading as freedom that libertarians espouse) represent the best."

I think the fact that both the big "L" libertarians dislike me calling myself a libertarian, and the fact that libertarians have proposed stuff like this, was why I decided not to call myself a libertarian anymore. I'm a responsibilian for now till I come up with a better label. I do think however that P. Z. is being a little harsh on you libertarians.


Ah the Perfect Evening for a Mad Scientist

I volunteered to do some halloweed decorations for a local charity event.    So I bought a Time Fountain Kit and I am assembling it right now.   It will be part of my mad scientist display.    I'm going to mount it inside an acrylic aquarium so the kids don't knock it over.

I am also watching Bordello of Blood on TV, and it's raining outside.  That shouldn't be too distracting and it sets the mood.

I am also trying to get a non-newtonian fluid display going.  I have an old subwoofer and a theramin which I hooked together but so far it isn't working.  I think because the subwoofer is too blown.

I better get back to work.  Bwahhahaa....


A True Case of Being Above the Law

I think this was and is a stupid incentive to set up. 

"Security contractors have immunity from Iraqi law under a provision put
into place in the early days of the U.S.-led occupation."

Even if there truly is some other legal framework under which they operate it sure looks bad. 

 


The Riddle of the Mushroom

I was eating breakfast with my son after his Ju-Jitsu class at a local diner and had ordered a nice omelet with onions, bacon, spinach, cheddar cheese, and mushrooms. Seeing me eat a mushroom prompted a comment. He's been reading a book on surviving in the woods and he mentioned that if you are lost you should never attempt to eat a mushroom.

Firstly, because one needs calories and not protein to survived your escape from the woods, and secondly, because it's just to hard to tell a good one from a bad one. I told him that was probably true. He then mentioned that in different locales the types of poisonous mushrooms varied and that even if you got good in one area it might be a deadly mistake in another. Another good reason to avoid them.

This isn't to be fooled around with either. Mushroom poisoning is one of the most horrible deaths known to man and certainly not something you want to deal with when trying to get back to civilization. Eating the wrong one can result in vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, hallucination, and liver failure. So even if you are 99% sure you can make the correct identification then why take the chance.

Well this got me to thinking. What are the true risks involved. I thought of a another issue involved in eating mushrooms.  Humans have bad skills at estimating mathematical risk. I came up with this puzzle which actually has two levels at which natural human instincts on risk are likely to fail. One is known by statisticians but I’ve never heard the other expressed in a math puzzle. After someone has solved these I will point to a video by a statistician explaining the original problem.

Given:

You are lost in the wood on an alien planet. There are precisely two kinds of mushrooms here which look almost identical. One is edible and the other kills within seconds of even the smallest taste. Both kinds, unlike earthly mushrooms, provide plenty of carbohydrates to power your muscles for the long trip home.

Back at the lab on your spaceship at a different local with both kinds of mushrooms you had tested your ability to discriminate between mushroom types and have found yourself to have an accuracy rate of 99%. This is no matter how long you look at the same mushroom. You did so by comparing against a 100% accurate test that involves killing lots of mice, but let’s not let PETA in on this.

The forest floor is covered in millions of these mushrooms of both types. You are trying to decide whether to eat a mushroom. You want to know the exact risk of killing yourself if you eat a mushroom, vs. your estimated risk of starvation.

What is your risk of dying in the following independent scenarios? In each case you examine all picked mushrooms in detail to categorize them as “good” or “bad”. You only examine each mushroom once since your accuracy does not increase with time or repetition. The risk is always the risk of dying. The words bad and good refer to your estimation and not actuality.

1) You pick one mushroom. It looks good. What is your risk if you eat it?

2) You pick 10 mushrooms and they all look good to you.

a) If you eat a good one is your risk worse, better, or the same as case 1)

b) What is your risk if you eat just one?

c) What is your risk if you eat all ten?

3) You pick 1000. One looks good.

a) If you eat a good one is your risk worse, better, or the same as case 1)

b) If you eat it what is your risk?

4) You pick 200. You decide half are “good”.

a) If you eat one of good ones what is your risk?

b) If you eat all 100 good ones what is your risk?

5) You pick 10000. You decide that 100 are “good”.

a) If you eat one good mushroom what is your risk.

b) You’ve examined more mushrooms than in case 2) to come up with 100 mushrooms to eat. Are you safer or less safe eating all 100 in this scenario than in 2)?

c) What is your exact risk In b)?

6) You pick 10000 mushrooms. You decide that only one is bad. What is your risk if you eat the bad one?

I don’t know if I can come up with the exact answers in each case but I do know that some obvious answers are wrong.   I haven't been in a statistics class in around thirty years so I have an excuse.  No need to answer them all so try the easier ones.

My oldest son is doing a fair job of attempting to answer the questions. My younger son is calling me a fool for wasting all the mice which I should have brought with me to either eat directly or to use as a 100% accurate test.


Co-consensual Rape Countdown

My son is going to college and had to take a three hour course titled "Alcohol EDU" which teaches the kids all about how to be responsible about alcohol. I overheard part of the course where they were talking about sexual consent under the influence of alcohol. The position they took was that it was impossible for someone to consent to sex under the influence. They also pointed out that you are responsible for any acts that you commit while you are drunk so you can't use it as an excuse to rape a woman.

This got me to thinking. Under these rules what if a guy and a girl of legal age get drunk and have consentual sex but are caught in the act by their friends who intervene and bring both to a rape crisis center. Obviously neither was in a state of mind to consent thus they both were raped by the other. In addition both are responsibile for their criminal actions while under the influence. Do they both end up with sexual offender records? Seems like it to me if this is the actual law.

I'm wondering how long before this happens. Don't laugh I'm serious. ;) Do I have to remind you of that underage girl who was charged with child pornography for posting nude pictures of herself on the internet? I'm not sure if this indicates prosecutors have or do not have a sense of humor. I do know regardless of why prosecutors make these bizarre twists that when they do they stick with them. So as soon as prosecutors put two and two together we are going to see lots of people on the sexual offender lists.

I'm leaving it up to you to figure out the implications of all this because it makes my brain hurt. Especially since it means I've been raped by some attractive women that I wasn't even aware had abused me. I feel so used.


Proof That Not All Anti-Immigration Arguments Are Racist

I often object to the kinds of arguments that demonize others in order to both gain the emotional high ground and to ostracize the opponents on the other side of an issue. I don’t find such arguments conducive to honest and open intellectual debate. These meta-arguments are not made about the issue itself but are made about the motivations of those holding the counter position.

Usually the makers of such meta-arguments try to derive the falsity of their opponent’s position on the base issue based merely upon motivation. This is a fallacy. One cannot tell if an argument is true or false merely upon the motivation of those who hold it. Nor can you derive in the other direction from someone’s position on an issue to their motivation.

This non-derivability of motivation is especially true because humans are fallible. It is entirely possible and in fact likely that someone holds to a belief in error, especially if it is an issue in dispute. Thus the very fact that there is a dispute magnifies the likelihood of error, and lowers the probability of discovering the underlying motivations.

In the below proof the strongest part of the proof might seem to be Argument I. However Argument II, which rests on the fallacious belief that the moon is made of green cheese, is actually the stronger point in showing that one cannot deduce someone’s motivation from their position on an issue. It’s quite possible they just made a mistake.

Painting the other as evil for a simple mistake does not help them to understand their error and would tend to cement them in their position. They know firsthand that they do not have evil motivations, so any assumption based on that will only tend to alienate them from the counter position.

I know that I am not a racist. I am against a totally open immigration policy for any country, not just my own. I have little patience for fallacious arguments painting me as a racist because of my position. Perhaps I hold my position in error but no one has shown me an error to my satisfaction.

In fact, anyone who makes such an argument is obviously evil and wants to usurp power for themselves to create a one world government. :)

Proof

I will show that not all anti-immigration arguments are based on racism. In order to do so I need to provide only a single (valid or invalid) non-race based argument as a counterexample. I will provide both kinds.

I: Valid Anti-Immigration Argument

Assuming:

1) If there is any valid reasons to control and monitor immigration then we are justified in having immigration controls.

2) If we are justified in having immigration controls then we are justified in having laws to implement those controls.

3) If an immigrant violates those just immigration laws he has shown a propensity to criminal behavior.

4) It is just to restrict outlaws and scofflaws from immigrating into our country.

5) Given any one of the following there exists a valid non-racist reason to control immigration.

a) It is just to control and monitor immigration in order to prevent the spread of disease.

b) It is just to control and monitor immigration in order to prevent the free roaming of outlaws and scofflaws who continue to disobey just laws that do not pertain to immigration.

c) It is just to control and monitor immigration in order to properly socialize new immigrants to the laws and customs of the host country.

Deducing: 

6) It follows from 1) and any of 5a), 5b) or 5c) that it is just to control and monitor immigration.

7) It follows from 2) and 6) that it is just to create immigration law.

8) It follows from 3) and 7) that illegal immigrants are true criminals.

9) It follows from 4) and 8) that illegal immigrants are justly prevented from immigrating into the country, and can be justly prevented from immigrating solely on the basis of their prior violation of immigration law.

The above argument is not circular because illegal immigrants are not assumed to be criminals as one of the givens.

The above argument is not racist because none of the givens in 5) are based on racism.

II: Invalid Anti-Immigration Argument

1) The moon is made of green cheese.

2) All non-citizens and new immigrants regardless of race eat moon cheese but only when they are in the U.S.

3) Eating moon cheese will destabilize the moons orbit and destroy the earth.

4) We should outlaw the destruction of the earth.

Given 1) – 4) we should outlaw immigration to this country by non-citizens.

The above argument is not racist because it is based on utter nonsense. Anyone who holds to such an argument does so out of error and not racism.

III: Conclusion

Either Argument I or Argument II is sufficient to provide a counterexample to the statement, “All anti-immigration arguments are based on racism”, therefore that statement is false. Q.E.D.

Update:

In I.4) I changed "people with criminal tendencies" to "outlaws and scofflaws" and in I.5.b) "criminals who have disobeyed just laws" to "outlaws and scofflaws who continue to disobey just laws".   I added the label "Deducing" to head the portion of the argument with the deductions.