Thursday, October 26, 2006

moron writing for the Washington Post

Big surprise, the iPod does not work at high altitude. Hard drives are not designed to work at 20,000 feet. Apparently the moron the Washington Post got to write this article, Neal Mueller, does not recognize that the equipment necessary for moutaineering is differrent from what is useful is normal life. This article is all too typical of the today's mainstream media as it shows no critical thiniking ability on the part of editors. Do their readers care if iPods are bad for climbing Everest? I seriously doubt it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Information on Congressional Candidates

[For Google's Benefit] If you want to join in.

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
--AZ-01: Rick Renzi
--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
--CA-04: John Doolittle
--CA-11: Richard Pombo
--CA-50: Brian Bilbray
--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
--CO-05: Doug Lamborn
--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell
--CT-04: Christopher Shays
--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
--FL-16: Joe Negron
--FL-22: Clay Shaw
--ID-01: Bill Sali
--IL-06: Peter Roskam
--IL-10: Mark Kirk
--IL-14: Dennis Hastert
--IN-02: Chris Chocola
--IN-08: John Hostettler
--IA-01: Mike Whalen
--KS-02: Jim Ryun
--KY-03: Anne Northup
--KY-04: Geoff Davis
--MD-Sen: Michael Steele
--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
--MN-06: Michele Bachmann
--MO-Sen: Jim Talent
--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns
--NV-03: Jon Porter
--NH-02: Charlie Bass
--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
--NM-01: Heather Wilson
--NY-03: Peter King
--NY-20: John Sweeney
--NY-26: Tom Reynolds
--NY-29: Randy Kuhl
--NC-08: Robin Hayes
--NC-11: Charles Taylor
--OH-01: Steve Chabot
--OH-02: Jean Schmidt
--OH-15: Deborah Pryce
--OH-18: Joy Padgett
--PA-04: Melissa Hart
--PA-07: Curt Weldon
--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
--PA-10: Don Sherwood
--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
--TN-Sen: Bob Corker
--VA-Sen: George Allen
--VA-10: Frank Wolf
--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
--WA-08: Dave Reichert

Monday, October 02, 2006

Libertarian Democrats

I liked Kos' essay on " The Case for the Libertarian Democrat" over at Cato. The responses are interesting as well. To me, there are major components of the libertarian philosophy: personal freedom and economic freedom. I understand that many libertarians would not separate the two but I do.

Personal freedom is freedom of speech, civil liberties and the general notion that government should not interfer in my life. Bush's elmination of habeas corpus rights an anathema to personal freedom. If one person can lock you up indefinately without any judicial oversight, the rest of your rights are meaningless. Free speech won't do you a lot of good in Gitmo. Neither will the libertarian's cherished right to bear arms.

Gun control is area where many of the comments to Kos' essay say the Democrats are restricting personal freedom. I would argue that both Republicans and Democrats are for weapons limitations. Neither will let private citizens own nuclear weapons or F16s. Its matter of where the limits are set. Anyone who falls in the very tiny minority who thinks they should be own F16, shouldn't vote for candidates for either party. I'd argue assult weapons fall on the same side of the line as nukes and F16s. I understand libertarians don't agree but I have little respect for the notion that an assult weapon is going to allow an citizen to defend themselves from a tyrannical government with nuclear weapons and F16s.

There's fair case that no Democratic candidates belives in the extensive notion of economic freedom (from taxes, regulation, etc) that the true libertarian ideal espoues. I think it is also fair says the Republicans don't either and when they say do, they are lying. Just looking at the amount the pork, like the Medicare drug bill, that the Republicans have handed out special interests shows they don't beleive in markets. I believe in the markets when they work. They work for a lot of things. However, they have notiable short comings in some areas like health care. Markets by themselves also don't handle a lot of safety issues well.

Republican approach to tax cuts is bogus. The Bush tax cuts are just defering taxes since there were no spending cuts. Republicans really don't take less of your money than Democratics, they have just shifted to the future the time when your money will be taken.

At the end of day, personal freedom is alot more important to me than tax rates. Low taxes don't do you any good when the government is holding you indefinately without charge. I would hope libertarians will recognize the huge threat the Bush's adminstrations eviceration of the Constitution is and realize they can no longer trust the Republican party.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Time for the civilized countires of world to stand up

With the Senate passage of the Military Commissions Bill which strips habeas corpus rights from non-citizens US, it's clear to me that legal system of the US does not meet the legal standards of the civilized world. The Bush administration's quarrel is not even with the constitution but with the Magna Carta. Glen Greenwald's posts and tristero's posts on the subject do a far better of job describing how ominous Bush's evisceration of the Constitution is.

However, there's another angle beyond Democrats taking over Congress to dealing with these abuses of power. Foreign government should stop cooperating with the US in terms of extradition of any activity that may lead suspects being detained since being detained by the US now means no access to the courts, trial by secret and coerced evidence and torture. Just as Canada would not have sent Maher Arar to Syria to be torured, they should no longer cooperate with the US intelligence or law enforcement since the Bush administration will not follow international law or the Geneva conventions and tortures suspects themselves or renders them for torture. Same goes for the Europeans. I would hope these countries not only stand on principle and stop their cooperation with US law enforcement but publicly announce they are doing so.