This disaster is a national one. We are going to be paying for this. All of us. Whether we are paying for "legitimate" food for these people or paying back those businesses later, we are still going to be paying for it. So let those directly suffering take care of their needs now and those indirectly suffering we'll deal with later.
Go see Forty-Year-Old Virgin. It's hilarious.
(And just what was he trying to pay for by inserting his card in some ruins, anyway? Whatever it was, it must have run out after 500 years, or at least gone bad.)
After contemplating his complaints, I must admit that my speculating on the possible famine deaths in Afghanistan was a foolish undertaking. The commentator who chooses to address empirical matters in which he has no expertise puts himself at the mercy of "experts" among whom he has no sound basis for believing one rather than another, and typically winds up believing whichever authorities lend support to the position he wishes to support anyway.
It is better to have no opinion about something than an unfounded one. So, yeah, I was guilty of that -- but Hanson predicted Afghanistan and Iraq would not be quagmires!
"Marx views the business cycle as an extension of intensifying class struggle. The state's ability to thrust an arbitrary amount of unbacked paper money into circulation creates an inflationary dynamic that favors debtors at the expense of creditors. The credit system becomes an instrument for the 'ever-growing control of industrialists and merchants over the money savings of all classes of society.'"
That's why, when the US was attacked by a bunch of terrorists from Saudi Arabia, we attacked... Iraq!
Sounds like a selling point to me, Rich! Where do I sign up?
By the way, President Grover Cleveland's excellent speech explaining why he wouldn't annnex the islands is worth reading.
CUSTOMER: Well, what do you see?
FORTUNE TELLER (staring into steaming pile of viscera leaking across the ground): I'm sorry, but your future looks like a bloody mess.
(The Bush administration shhould have hired one of these guys before going into Iraq.)
Falsificationists typically answer, "Well, you have no reason to doubt R." That won't work, because:
1) Per Popper, I certainly do have such a reason: There is 0 probability that any of my current theories are true. (Given an infinity of possible theories, what are the odds I've hit on the correct one?)
2) I have no reason to doubt T except R, so the choice to stick with one is arbitrary.
3) Repeated demonstrations of R are irrelevant on Popper's own terms -- that would imply a degree of verification!
OK, I promise to stop obsessing about Popper!
See, those folks aren't so bad -- they even want to save marine mammals!
PS -- I just read that the US is upset because Iran plans to "break" the seals. Now, that does sound unpleasant.
The author, Hultberg, is also wrong that anarcho-capitalists are preventing republicans like him from being taken seriously in academia -- my experience is that anarchism is taken far more seriously than views like his.
PS -- Roderick has spoken.
If Americans can receive mail anywhere they want, the terrorists have already won!
In a few years, I expect we'll see sommething like, "Meta-meta-meta-meta-level study concludes that meta-meta-meta-level studies no better than meta-meta-level studies."
The piece is entitled "Block the extradition of a hero for liberty." Here is an excerpt:
It is because of his long career of activism that the DEA is targeting him. Unlike other seed merchants who quietly conduct their affairs, Emery puts the brunt of his efforts into the movement to end the prohibition of marijuana and to legitimate the culture that has emerged surrounding the plant.
Since the prohibition of drugs is a multi-billion dollar affair, we shouldn't be surprised. Drug cops, prosecutors, judges, politicians, prison construction contractors, companies that use cheap prison labour, and military firms that sell weapons and surveillance equipment to drug law enforcement are all significantly enriched by the continuation of the war on drugs.
Further, those participating in the drug war share a common assumption about members of the marijuana culture. They all believe that marijuana people are second-class citizens who deserve to be vilified. Their views are best expressed in U.S. Drug Czar John Walter's statement that Vancouver's marijuana scene is "moral pollution."
In the public policy sphere, the assumptions of the drug warriors are the rule. With very few exceptions, all politicians operate on the assumption that there is something inherently wrong with using and growing marijuana.
But such views are in direct contradiction with society's values. Consider Cheech and Chong movies, the Simpsons, South Park, late-night talk shows, and the stories most of us have about our own experiences with marijuana. These all involve the implicit understanding that smoking marijuana is innocent, largely harmless, and fun.
We're right to think that.