Archive for July, 2006

The Mommy State, for kids

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These sample pages from the book “Why Mommy is a Democrat” give the term “Mommy state” a new meaning. If only leftists were that honest about their socialist/totalitarian ideology with other adults, perhaps people might be more wary before voting for them.

"Coca Cola Pleads with Customers to Stop Buying So Much Coke"

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Hoping to avoid shortages of their flagship product, Coca Cola has begun asking consumers to limit their purchases of Coke. “We realize that we have an excellent product and it’s been really hot lately, but please, if you could just cut back a little, it would help a lot,” said company spokeswoman Greta Hansel. “We’re going to have to stop shipping to stores in certain areas pretty soon if people don’t reduce their Coke consumption.”

Iranian state propaganda

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From a TIME article:

Time reports that not all Iranianians are taking state propaganda seriously. With these messages, it’s not hard to see why:

Iranian state channel … urged Iranians to boycott what it called “Zionist products,” including those made by Pepsi, Nestlé and Calvin Klein, and warned that profits from such products “are converted into bullets piercing the chests of Lebanese and Palestinian children.” As evidence, the voice-over intoned, “Pepsi stands for ‘pay each penny to save Israel.’”

Mohammad Reza Afshari, 23, a mechanic who works two jobs yet still cannot afford to move out or attend college. The shop where he works abuts a vast mural depicting a female suicide bomber with a baby in her arms, accompanied by the words I LOVE MOTHERHOOD, BUT I LOVE MARTYRDOM MORE

Indian censorship: The Band of the Banned

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What do you do when Islamic fundamentalists murder 200 people? Why, you censor anyone who criticizes Islam, of course! At least, that was India’s response, when it forced Indian ISP’s to censor the following 17 websites. None of them advocate terrorism – they just dare to blaspheme against Islam.

The Band of the Banned

Please republish the list on your own blog to show your stand against censorship!

Re: Israel's current crisis with the kidnapped soldier

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My comments on the ObjectivismOnline forum thread:

Some argue that Israel’s “disengagement” is to be blamed for the recent round of attacks. This is true in a sense, but not in the way most critics claim.

The Palestinian terrorist groups and their backers depend on continued violence for their political power and the foreign and domestic loot (“aid”) that comes with it. They have used the “Zionist entity’s occupation” as the primary excuse for their violence. Since they demand the entire territory of Israel, “disengagement” will not satisfy their demands. (Nothing will, since a continued conflict is the only justification for their existence.) However it does create a line in the sand. This line is a political statement as much as it is a physical barrier, intended to finally delineate Israeli claimed land from Arab land. The audience of this statement is primarily the Israeli public itself, as well as the EU market on which Israel’s economy depends. The Palestinians are a distant second – but faced with a de-facto border and Israeli and European condemnation, their opposition (which is ultimately funded by the West) will collapse.

Of course European support is far from guaranteed, but Israel has no other options. The Palestinians refuse to be integrated and they cannot be expelled – Arab nations don’t want them either. Sooner or later they will have to be recognized as a foreign power, and continued aggresion treated as an act of war. The trick is to marginalize them first in order to limit Islamic and Western support.

Me on net neutrality

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In response to a criticism of a defense of Senator Steven’s essentially correct “Internet tubes” speech.

Rockwell’s and Steven’s basic point is that internet bandwidth is a scarce resource, and the only way to efficiently use it is to allow entrepreneurs to decide how resources should be allocated, and how traffic should be prioritized. While the internet was not initially a private entity, the companies that now run it have found many ways to do so in the past, and are currently experimenting with new methods that have been made possible by new technology, and that will make new technologies possible.
Until recently, it was not technologically possible to prioritize certain types of internet traffic over others, making the internet unreliable for mission-critical applications, which required expensive dedicated connection that were only feasible for large corporations. However, the exponential growth in computational power has recently made it possible to examine the contents of individual data packets and prioritize them accordingly. What the net neutrality debate is essentially about is whether ISP’s should be allowed to prioritize those packets by the sender of the packet in addition to the type of packet it is.
I think that there are many possibilities that are made possible by such party-based “packet discrimination” – such as remote surgery, which is currently too unreliable without a very expensive dedicated line. This can’t be done by class-based packet prioritizing alone, since it can’t distinguish between a YouTube homemade video download, and a surgical telecast. Email another area packet discrimination can help –charging a small “toll” for email traffic has been frequently mentioned as the best way to make spam unprofitable.
These possibilities may or may not pan out – but what right does a politician have to stop me from investing in them?

Update – I respond to Ben:

“As to remote surgery…Would a two-tier Internet make that possible? I don’t think so.”

I disagree. But the point is not which of us is right, but that this disagreement should be resolved by entrepreneurs and consumers, not politicians who half-blindly regulate business models out of existence.

The irony of Senator Steven’s argument is that his ignorance makes his point: the architecture of the Internet must be left up to the market, because politicians are far too ignorant to make such decisions.

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