Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Do Lies help?

"If you are alarmed at $8 trillion debt in a $12 trillion economy, what would you think of $80 trillion debt in a $120 trillion economy? In an economy like that, would these young kids you’re scaring today be better off or worse off? Why?"

Why indeed. But here's the thing Steve -- even though I deplore politicians stretching the truth and painting false pictures -- I really do believe that making the government spending a smaller fraction of the economy will cause improved economic growth. (see graph below), and you've talked many times before about how important that is for our nation's financial health. So though I don't like the dishonest distortions about impending fiscal doom, I harbor some hope that the fear-mongering might lead to smaller/smarter federal spending.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lunacore Photoshop Tutorial - Beautify a Face (part 1/7)

Link:: "This tutorial will show you how to beautify a face. The corrections that we're going to do will make the face look different, but at the same time we avoid to make the results look unnatural. Of course, the face we're going to work on is not going to look the same when we're done, but we will only make necessary and subtle changes. We will fix skin, remove blemishes and wrinkles, whiten and fix teeth, fix hair, fix eyebrows, increase definition in the eyes and crop and sharpen the image in the final steps."


"The rich get poorer and the poor get richer. That’s what filesharing does for the music industry. No wonder the RIAA is desperately trying to shutdown all filesharing activities.

A recent overview of the current literature on the effect of filesharing on record sales shows that the most popular artist (top 25%) sell less records. However, the remaining 75% of all artists actually profits from filesharing. How this is possible?"

Good site with interesting articles on integrating firefox with bittorrent.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Gun Rights Poetry

"When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said 'Stick to the Devil you Know."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Senate Republicans are Cowards ...

"Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, today endorsed a measure introduced by Senate Republicans that would force President George Bush to lay out his plan for ending the war against terrorists in Iraq.

“We think it is important for a democracy such as the United States to be transparent with the public,” said Mr. Zarqawi in a video statement released to al-Jazeera TV and CNN. “We’ll all feel better when we learn strategic and tactical details of how Mr. Bush intends to stop al Qaeda from turning Iraq into the first major victory in the global jihad."

Sunday, November 13, 2005


“Our troops deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war will remain firm in our conviction that we didn’t know what we were doing at the time,” Sen. Kerry said. “It’s important, on Veteran’s Day, to remember that our Democrat commitment to our military hasn’t changed.”


Friday, November 11, 2005

Its the Inquisition ... what a show!

Yes, even an institution as honored and storied as modern scientific academia can stoop to ... well stoop to exerting institutional predjudice and irrational repression of its own members when they don't subscribe to the prevailing theories and doctrines... Follow the links from Glen Reynolds' post here to get the story.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Skeptical Optimist has new Tax Graphs

Fill in the blank: 'Tax cuts for the ______'
For those of you who have been vacationing incommunicado in Antarctica for the last twenty-five years, the word that correctly fills in the blank is “rich.”

Great post with nice little graphs showing how incredibly progressive our tax system is. Also, notice how fair the Bush tax cuts were for every income class.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Paris Riots

Having lived in and around Paris, I feel I should comment on the riots there. I met alot of North-African emigrees in France, mostly algerians; on the whole they were poor and lived in government-built housing projects called HLMs. I doubt there's a big religious cause to these riots, as most of the Muslims I encountered were not overly religious -- rather, this is probably culture-based. Frankly, most white people in France don't like the arab immigrants. The oft-lampooned ultra-nationalist (read racist) politician Jean-Marie Le Pen is strongly supported by 1 out of every 8 Frenchmen, and 1-in-3 Froggies have a favorable impression of the man (Le Pen is on the record as saying that the Holocaust is a detail of WWII and that racial equality is absurd.)

I'm saying that there's a pretty huge cultural divide in France -- exacerbated by the welfare-state mentality. The confiscatory tax rates and commensurate goverment spending have led to anemic economic growth and -- more critically -- french citizens are totally dependent on their government to provide a life for them. The net effect is entrenched and multi-generational poverty for the great majority of Arab immigrants.

Thus, a great deal of pent-up anger and frustration.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Arabs Riot in Denmark

"The MSM has done everything possible to minimize the Islamicist nature of the violence in Europe, and has blacked-out coverage of the Danish front. Here is another example of how the blogosphere has become essential to an understanding of the realities of the world."

Is it just me, or is there not a world-wide radical-Islam PROBLEM?

Friday, November 04, 2005

France's Socialist "Utopia" Unmasked

"Back in the 1990s, the French sneered at America for the Los Angeles riots. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported in 1992: 'the consensus of French pundits is that something on the scale of the Los Angeles riots could not happen here, mainly because France is a more humane, less racist place with a much stronger commitment to social welfare programs.' President Mitterrand, the Washington Post reported in 1992, blamed the riots on the 'conservative society' that Presidents Reagan and Bush had created and said France is different because it 'is the country where the level of social protection is the highest in the world.'

How the times have changed. Muslims in Paris's suburbs are out shooting at police and firefighters, burning cars and buildings, and throwing rocks at commuter trains ... a sign of something deeper at work - no doubt France's failure to integrate its immigrant Muslim community.

It turns out that France's Muslim community lives in areas rampant with crime, poverty."
As one who lived in Paris from 1993-1995, this analysis is spot on.