Quick Roundup 13

Friday, January 27, 2006

Google Gallery

Wednesday, I blogged about Google's capitulation to the demands of Chinese authorities that they censor search engine results at their new cn-domain address. Via David Veksler is a link to a gallery of screen shots of search results from google.cn and google.com shown side-by-side.

"Google does not censor results for any search term. The order and content of our results are completely automated; we do not manipulate our search results by hand. We believe strongly in allowing the democracy of the web to determine the inclusion and ranking of sites in our search results. To learn more about Google's search technology, please visit ..."
-- Google's full help entry on "Principles - Does Google censor search results?" (January 26, 2006).
A Military for the Mind

No sooner do I post a list of Objectivist mil-bloggers does one of them, Nick Provenzo, decimate an article by one Henry M. Bowles III in a student newspaper that protested on-campus military recruitment and said, "Less intelligent people are better equipped for most military positions, and have far less to lose." His reply was excellent and included the following.
The irony of this position is that the left that has consistently relied upon appeals to mindless obedience as part of its ideology. Consider for example the 19th century socialist ideal espoused by Elbert Hubbard in his famous pamphlet "A Message to Garcia." There, Hubbard cast the perfect man as one who acts without any question toward the goals he has been given by his superiors.
He even resisted the temptation to say that military recruitment of idiots would scuttle our national defense by filling its ranks with the likes of Bowles. You are a stronger man than I, Mr. Provenzo!

Jason Roberts ...

... is back, baby!

The links are in order of length. All are good. Go to the short one if pressed for time, or the long one for a good read. But if you don't read them all, promise yourself you'll go back later.

Topics are, in order: (1) the importance of a nation's moral character, (2) "We are what we repeatedly do.", and (3) a quality lacking in one Henry M. Bowles III.

Why did we not invade Syria?

Both Mike and Bubblehead link to a New York Sun story in which a former Iraqi official says that Saddam's WMD's were moved to Syria before we invaded Iraq. From the Sun.
The discovery of the weapons in Syria could alter the American political debate on the Iraq war. And even the accusations that they are there could step up international pressure on the government in Damascus. That government, led by Bashar Assad, is already facing a U.N. investigation over its alleged role in the assassination of a former prime minister of Lebanon. The Bush administration has criticized Syria for its support of terrorism and its failure to cooperate with the U.N. investigation. [bold added]
I would love it if we'd invade Syria -- or even let Israel do it -- and end up finding the WMDs. Of course, the loony left would just say that we've had lots of time to fabricate the WMDs and plant them in Syria for propaganda purposes. But for the rest of the American electorate, the debate really would change.

Our debate would no longer be slowed down either by Bush's mistaken overemphasis on WMDs in his rationale for invading Iraq or by the undeserved credibility the left gets from the "missing WMDs". Instead, the debate would more easily go exactly where it should: Why we did not invade Syria? And, more importantly, why have we not started bombing Iran?

Blog Improvements

I have made a few more improvements to my blog. These are:
(1) Added new content to the "News and Opinion" area.
(2) Rearranged some of the sidebar content.
(3) Moved Letters from an Enthusiast out of the list of "Inactive" blogs.
(4) Placed Anger Management on my list of inactive blogs.
(5) Added a link to a donation page.
Once in a blue moon, someone asks how they can leave a donation. Who am I to frustrate the occasional generous impulse?

Stupid Car Quiz

Via Instapundit, I learned about this quiz. I'm a Porsche 911.

You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite, and you know it.

Peter Ladefogod, R.I.P.

Reader Adrian Hester informs me that the Peter Ladefogod, a giant in the study of phonetics, has just died. He also pointed me to a very good article about him. Fans of the 1964 movie My Fair Lady should read it.
Rex Harrison almost made an enemy when he extinguished his cigarette in Peter Ladefoged's mouth.

Never mind that the oral cavity was only a dental cast. Ladefoged, a distinguished linguist, planned to use the plastic replica of his upper jaw in his research on word formation. That is, until Harrison started hunting for an ashtray on the set of the 1964 movie "My Fair Lady."

"I was rather annoyed," Ladefoged recalls.

But four decades later, "Rex Harrison’s ashtray" is the second most colorful souvenir of Ladefoged's stint as technical consultant on the set of the beloved classic about a phonetician.
Update on China's Submarine Fleet

Lubber's Line has posted a good update on something I have expressed concerns about before on this blog: the concurrent buildup and drawdown of China's and America's respective navies, submarines in particular.
I read (here) that China's military buildup is hollow when it comes to submarine capabilities. However, if the QDR recommended submarine production increases are true then the Pentagon sees a challenge coming over the procurement horizon.
I spotted that Strategy Page link recently myself, but managed to completely forget about it.

Molten Eagle on Gore '08

I wonder whether Vigilis was moved to propose some anti-Gore bumper stickers by my occasional "Idiot Bumper Stickers" series. Seeing his post caused me to come up with one of my own, whose only redeeming value is that it is funny.

Wooden Indians Belong in Cigar Shops ...
... NOT the Oval Office

Hmmm. In our culture's sorry state, I doubt this would ever see mass production. And I bet that it would be sufficent "provocation" for some leftists to vandalize cars that chose to display it.

-- CAV


There are reports of an accident involving a German submarine. To follow further developments, I recommend the sites Ultraquiet No More and The Sub Report.

1-29-06: (1) Corrected bad hyperlink (second in this section), HT Adrian Hester. (2) Alex Nunez, who made good use of German sources and madern technology, was all over the German submarine story and reported a rescue soon after my first update.


Anonymous said...

what is your opinion of this-



Vigilis said...

Gus, must agree with your relating anything "idiot" to our ex-VP.

Still laughing at the success of the vast right-wing conspiracy in Tennessee. The libs have not guessed how conservatives pulled off Gore's greatest embarassment (not carrying his home state). Yet it was so simple: the 'genius' was allowed to campaigned unopposed!

Gus Van Horn said...


Two quotes say it all. First:

"Acting on a complaint filed by a security officer at the game, Buffalo police charged the two men with felony counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and criminal impersonation. A misdemeanor count of harassment was also filed.

"The two Buczeks deny allegations they pushed and shoved the security officer, Edward M. Cotter, an off-duty Buffalo Police detective. They also deny allegations that Shane Buczek pulled out a badge and falsely identified himself as a federal agent.

"Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark said the felony charges will be reduced before the case goes to trial at City Court. The trial is tentatively scheduled for Thursday. The two men should not have been charged with felonies, Clark said, but he added his office will pursue charges of attempted petit larceny and misdemeanor criminal impersonation.

"'I was investigating complaints made by beer vendors all over the arena,' Cotter said. 'The vendors said these people were trying to make them accept these silver coins, and getting very pushy about it. They were telling the vendors, "Hey, these coins are worth $100." '"


"No business is required to accept Liberties, White said, but he added there is no law preventing businesses from accepting Liberties for goods and services, if they choose to do so."

It sounds like the complaints center around harrassment rather than the fact that these guys were trying to spend silver. It is certainly the right of a vendor to refuse to take the silver coins , or to refuse to do business with anyone they wish, although I don't think that right is fully protected by law. For starters, everyone is forced to accept fiat currency.

Having said all that, the efforts of National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code (I could not find a web presence.) are interesting, but doomed to fail without a fundamental change in our society.

In short: It is not silver dollars that more people need to have. It is an appreciation for why fiat currency is bad.