Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Left is Not Interested in Alliances

I have been having a discussion at Cannabis News about tactics that could be used profitably to fight the drug war. I suggested that a union of the left and elements of the right could be profitable to them if they wanted to reach their goals. I suggested that defeating the idea of "addiction" could lead to gains for the anti-prohibitiion movement. I also got into some extraneous discussion of the war against Islamic Imperialism.

I was reasonably respectful. I explained myself. I explained my position. I even declined further discussion of the war.

They were not interested. I got banned.

It is the same old same old. The right will grumble and still accept you even if you are not 100% on board with their positions. They want to win. The left does purges.

I was considering voting Democratic in the next election due to Republican hubris. Not a chance. I'm going to work as hard as I can for the defeat of the left no matter what.

In my opinion they are definitely not big tent people. They should go down in flames.

It is no wonder that every country that goes left eventually winds up with some sort of dictatorship enforcing orthodoxy. The right is open to reason. The left is only open to belief.

Progressive my ass. For all its faults, and they are myriad, the right in America is the most progressive force on the planet today. And I say this as a former hard leftist.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Cartoons of Revolution?

It looks like Iran is having cartoon troubles. Not Mohammed Cartoons. Cockroach cartoons.

On May 12, the newspaper ran a cartoon in which a boy repeated the Persian word for cockroach in several ways while the uncomprehending bug in front of him says "What?" in Azeri, Reuters reported. Azeris, a Turkic ethnic group, make up about 25 percent of Iran’s 70 million people.

Protests broke out after the publication and gained momentum this week. Protesters set fire May 21 to Iran’s local office in the city of Orumiyeh, where Azeris make up the majority, media reported. Azeris pelted government buildings and security forces with stones in Tabriz, injuring several policemen, according to news reports. Police dispersed the crowds with tear gas and arrested several dozen rioters.
It seems that the cartoonist was Azeri. This is just a guess but I'd say he was just protesting the treatment of Azeris.
* The cartoonist's name is Mana Neyestani, and he was the paper's staff cartoonist.
* Neyestani is a member of the Azeri minority that was insulted by the cartoon.
* Size of minority in Iran: roughly 25 percent of 70 million Iranians.
Evidently some folks agree with my guess.
I was surprised that the separatists took the cartoon as an excuse to cause such a turmoil. Hundreds of thousands were on the streets yesterday. The government closed the paper and arrested Mana and the editor to settle the case, but it hasn't worked yet.
Gateway Pundt has some more info and lots of links and some pictures. Regime Change Iran has pictures with translations of some of the signs.Iranian Woman has a pretty good analysis of what is going on:
Wake up and smell the gunpowder. Revolutions don't wait for calendar dates. Many times they happen over seemingly unimportant things. An attempt by the Romanian government to evict a dissident Hungarian Reformed pastor led to fall of Ceauşescu's regime. Probably few Romanians knew about the existence of the pastor before he became part of that nation's history. The Islamic revolution started from an article in the daily Ettela’at. It is time for students, workers, and minorities to rise up in a coordinated fashion. The mullahs will find it increasingly difficult to continue their rule. The mullahs know it and are therefore scared to death. That's one of the reasons why they are literally begging to talk to the Americans. The idiots think that the Americans are planting the seeds of the revolt or that talking to the Americans will demoralize the people. They are wrong. The mullahs’ rule has expired because the mullahs don't belong to this age. They belong to an age when stoning, mutilation, and blinding were considered norm. The tolerance of the Army and the Pasdaran to obey "shoot an kill" orders is limited as demonstrated in Qazvin's unrest in 1995. Therefore the regime has to rely on its thugs (i.e. Basij), but the effectiveness of that force is limited too. A coordinated move will bring down the regime.
Check out the CIA fact book to learn more about Iran, its economy, and population.

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Hat tip Instapundit.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Welcome Register Star Readers

The Rockford Register Star has a nice article on blogs. I got a nice mention.

Pat (the author of the article) did get one thing wrong about my views on the drug war. Although I take a libertarian rights oriented view of that war my main focus is medical. Why do people take drugs? I have some thoughts:

The War On Unpatented Drugs.

Is Addiction Real?

Addiction or Self Medication?


Genetic Discrimination


Police and PTSD

A well known secret


PTSD Pot Alcohol & Substance Abuse

PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System

There is more on the side bar. Scroll down.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Thousands to ERs Due to ADHD Drugs

It appears that a lot of kids are overdosing on ADHD drugs.

There is a safer alternative to medical cartel drugs at least for some. Cannabis. Why is it generally unavailable? Because there is A War On Unpatented Drugs.

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The Real JFK

I was discussing the future of the Democratic Party with celebrim at Winds of Change when the subject of the real JFK's tax cuts came up.

Here is a quote on taxes from JFK's 1963 State of the Union Address:

America has enjoyed 22 months of uninterrupted economic recovery. But recovery is not enough. If we are to prevail in the long run, we must expand the long-run strength of our economy. We must move along the path to a higher rate of growth and full employment.

For this would mean tens of billions of dollars more each year in production, profits, wages, and public revenues. It would mean an end to the persistent slack which has kept our unemployment at or above 5 percent for 61 out of the past 62 months--and an end to the growing pressures for such restrictive measures as the 35-hour week, which alone could increase hourly labor costs by as much as 14 percent, start a new wage-price spiral of inflation, and undercut our efforts to compete with other nations.

To achieve these greater gains, one step, above all, is essential--the enactment this year of a substantial reduction and revision in Federal income taxes.

For it is increasingly clear--to those in Government, business, and labor who are responsible for our economy's success--that our obsolete tax system exerts too heavy a drag on private purchasing power, profits, and employment. Designed to check inflation in earlier years, it now checks growth instead. It discourages extra effort and risk. It distorts the use of resources. It invites recurrent recessions, depresses our Federal revenues, and causes chronic budget deficits.

Now, when the inflationary pressures of the war and the post-war years no longer threaten, and the dollar commands new respect--now, when no military crisis strains our resources--now is the time to act. We cannot afford to be timid or slow. For this is the most urgent task confronting the Congress in 1963.
Or how about JFK on Foreign Policy:
Little more than 100 weeks ago I assumed the office of President of the United States. In seeking the help of the Congress and our countrymen, I pledged no easy answers. I pledged--and asked--only toil and dedication. These the Congress and the people have given in good measure. And today,
having witnessed in recent months a heightened respect for our national purpose and power--having seen the courageous calm of a united people in a perilous hour--and having observed a steady improvement in the opportunities and well-being of our citizens--I can report to you that the state of this old but youthful Union, in the 175th year of its life, is good.

In the world beyond our borders, steady progress has been made in building a world of order. The people of West Berlin remain both free and secure. A settlement, though still precarious, has been reached in Laos. The spearpoint of aggression has been blunted in Viet-Nam. The end of agony may be in sight in the Congo. The doctrine of troika is dead. And, while danger continues, a deadly threat has been removed in Cuba.
Here was a man confident of American power and not afraid to use it.
At home, the recession is behind us. Well over a million more men and women are working today than were working 2 years ago. The average factory work week is once again more than 40 hours; our industries are turning out more goods than ever before; and more than half of the manufacturing capacity that lay silent and wasted 100 weeks ago is humming with activity.

In short, both at home and abroad, there may now be a temptation to relax. For the road has been long, the burden heavy, and the pace consistently urgent.

But we cannot be satisfied to rest here. This is the side of the hill, not the top. The mere absence of war is not peace. The mere absence of recession is not growth. We have made a beginning--but we have only begun.

Now the time has come to make the most of our gains--to translate the renewal of our national strength into the achievement of our national purpose.
And what would that purpose be?
Turning to the world outside, it was only a few years ago--in Southeast Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, even outer space--that communism sought to convey the image of a unified, confident, and expanding empire, closing in on a sluggish America and a free world in disarray. But few people would hold to that picture today.

In these past months we have reaffirmed the scientific and military superiority of freedom. We have doubled our efforts in space, to assure us of being first in the future. We have undertaken the most far-reaching defense improvements in the peacetime history of this country. And we have maintained the frontiers of freedom from Viet-Nam to West Berlin.

But complacency or self-congratulation can imperil our security as much as the weapons of tyranny. A moment of pause is not a promise of peace. Dangerous problems remain from Cuba to the South China Sea. The world's prognosis prescribes, in short, not a year's vacation for us, but a year of obligation and opportunity.
Where can I find a Democrat like that leading the party these days? Heck, I'd even like to see more of our Republicans in this mold.


The speech is available in different formats at Project Guttenberg which has loads of e-texts of historical interest in the public domain.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I had a dream

It appears that conservatives are about to get their immigration wet dreams fulfilled.

You will need to be in a government data base to get work or to hire workers.

Just like a national ID card without the card.

Talk about the mark of the beast.

Government as usual is preying on people's fears to increase its power.

I love it.

Money quote:

In August the Government Accountability Office reviewed that program and found it to be staggering under the weight of 3,600 employers (Pdf). Mandatory usage would bring that number to 8.4 million.

How does the government that brought you the prescription drug benefit debacle plan to manage an electronic system involving every employed person in these United States? The GAO needs a color-coded map to explain, but here is the basic summary: Employers send data for every new hire to DHS, which then sends information to SSA, which then sends information back to DHS, which sends info back to the employer, who can either contest any rejected applicants and begin the process anew, risk fines for not complying, or accept the findings. The burden of contesting mistakes and keeping records lies with employers. The cost, says the GAO, will be about $11.7 billion—annually—"with employers bearing much of the cost."

Another tax on business. Which will do a few things:

Make it more profitable to hire undocumented workers.

Create a black market in labor.

Encourage outsourcing.

This will be like Canadian gun registration. Only worse. That scew up went on for years until they scrapped that one.

The government is my union. It will protect me from low cost labor. For a small price. And power and control.

Reminds me of the story of the genie who offered an American a wish provided his Mexican neighbor got double what he asked for. The American was no fool. He told the genie “poke out one of my eyes.”

It looks like we are going to get a poke in the eye.

This is going to flush the economy. Just to punish those evil businesses that hire Mexicans.

Of course with the economy withering in America, Mexico’s economy will choke. Sending more folks to the north. A strategy so brilliant I wonder why no one has thought of it before. Ya, gota wonder why Bush opposes such a move.

Anybody with any sense would love to see our economy tanked if we can drive out the Mexicans.

Texas with a very large population of illegal Mexicans is thriving. How can that be?

And as for enforcing the old laws. Don’t matter. You are getting new ones.

BTW I wonder why are drug laws aren’t being enforced? There are 40 million druggies in America and only 1 million in jail. We need to punish those other 39 million. More laws and stronger penalties has always been the answer. The government always needs more tools.

Update: 27 May '06 0552z

More unfortunate effects of immigration law.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Source of the Problem is not in Afghanistan

Glenn Reynolds is going on about the resurgence of opium poppy culture in Afghanistan. The source of the problem is not in Afghanistan

When we understand the cause the results make sense.


Abused children take drugs to relieve things like PTSD.

Police and PTSD

This is a problem that can not be fixed in Afghanistan.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Immigration, Economics, and National Security

I think the idea of getting rid of 10 million workers while the economy is booming is a brilliant idea.

And putting the National Guard on the border? Better there than Iraq.

The person who says the Republicans don't understand economics and national security better than the Democrats is an idiot.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Neville Chamberlain Was A Man of Peace

He had the papers to prove it too!

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Dogs That Didn't Bark

I have been thinking lately about the Middle East and America's recent committment to defend Israel. And I wondered. You know I haven't heard one word of outrage from the usual Gulf State actors. Why?

I think implicit in that guarentee is also a guarentee to the Gulf States. Similar to the guarentee we gave Kuwait. Except what President in his right mind would get up and say we have a committment to defend Saudi Arabia. He would be pilloried. So instead we stand up for Israel re: Iran and by proxy the rest of the Middle East.

No doubt the gulf states fear the attractions of a democratic Iraq. However, that is in the future and for now constitutes a scrach. Iran with nukes would be an immediate amputation.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Iran Is Having Money Troubles

The Iranian economy is collapsing. Iran seems to be having a lot of trouble paying its workers. Despite record oil revenues and the withdrawal of massive amounts of cash and gold from its European accounts there does not seem to be enough money in Iran. Inflation in Iran is now in the 15% a year range, and it appears to be accelerating.

Regime Change Iran has reports on labor unrest in Iran:

Marches and Reports on the Marches and Teheran City Hall workers unpaid and Textile Workers Unpaid and Unhappy bus drivers and Bus Driver's Union Leader imprisoned.

Now where would all the money be going? I believe those who can are spiriting it out of the country. It seems all the war talk by the leaders has the population feeling economically shakey.

Update: 0704z 2 May '06

Corrected inflation rate.

Update: 0725z 2 May '06

It looks like the Iranian welfare state is not meeting expectations. Even though Iran's oil profits are surging they are still only $30 bn a year above last years figures. From the IHT:

In a surprise move just before the spring holidays last month, Parliament reluctantly approved Ahmadinejad's proposed budget, despite fierce criticism from Iranian economists and others. Critics said his plans for generous spending to create jobs and increase salaries were politically motivated and fiscally unsound. His budget relied too heavily on continued high oil profits, they said, and would be likely to invite inflation.

"The government has reached the conclusion that it needs to spend large sums of money immediately to keep its allies and the masses of people happy," Muhammad Sadeq Jannansefat, an economic analyst, wrote in the reformist daily Shargh last month as Parliament battled over the budget. He suggested that Ahmadinejad, who came to power in June on a populist mandate, was using the oil money to placate his supporters.

The government, Jannansefat wrote, "wants to distribute money and create jobs, no matter what the consequences are or what kind of jobs it is creating."
It appears he has bought into socialist economics in order to buy off a restive population. Tough times ahead for Iran no matter what.

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