June 28, 2001
The first leg of my
The first leg of my journey went smoothly. I'm writing this post from Newark International Airport. Now, I suffer through the waiting game for another 3 hours until my flight to Paris leaves. I flew on Continental here and a nice thing about their terminal is the vast offering of free magazines. I will be stocking up on the latest issues of The Weekly Standard and National Review for the 7 hour flight. In order to pass the time I packed Toqueville's Democracy in America. Maybe after this trip I should write Democracy in France. Oh, I love the irony.
No, the altered logo at
No, the altered logo at the top is not some bit of wishful thinking. Today, I am off on a trans-Atlantic flight to France.
I have my passport, so they'll let me leave the country, but will they let me return? Will TAM become TAMTF (The American Mind Trapped in France)?
My itinerary includes a few days in Paris, then going south on the TGV to Dax to attend the World Conference of the International Society for Individual Liberty. This year's conference is entitled "2001, Bastiat's Odyssey" in honor of the 200th birthday of the French economist, Frederic Bastiat.
To learn more about Bastiat, Sheldon Richman has an annotated bibliography that also provides a bit of biography. Bastiat is quite an accessible writer. He uses sound logic and many examples to hammer down his point. His best essay is "That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen," where he shoots down economic fallacies and sees the importance of unintended consequences when analyzing policies.
My plan with TAM is to keep you updated on my little adventure in the land of fine wine and hairy women, but I'm not certain of easy access to the web. I know of one Internet cafe in Paris, and there should be some terminals at Newark Airport and Charles De Gaulle Airport. As to the extent of Net access in Dax, I'm clueless.
Wish me luck battling evil airline service, jetlag, and American-hating Europeans. One more thing, how do you say "We surrender!" in French?
Continuing with my facination with
Continuing with my facination with President Bush and the Hispanic community, The Washington Times interviewed Bush's top political strategist, Karl Rove. Rove's answer to Bush's popularity in the Hispanic community is because "we take our policies to the Hispanic community in a way that it hears and retains, and it knows that we're making a special effort to talk to them." The White House has emphasised communicating to Hispanics. Many Cabinet offices now have Spanish-speaking press aids.
Rove's strategy is working so far. He pointed out that a recent poll gave Bush a 59% approval rating with Hispanics. But what really matters is how all this outreach helps Bush in 2004.
"Rove's Strategies to Woo Hispanics Working for Bush"
June 27, 2001
Looking for a new job?
Looking for a new job? Here's your chance to have fun and adventure while defending the American Way. The search is still on for a new FBI chief. Some qualifications include working well with others, computer skills, and the ability to sniff out spies.
If Transgenic Pets has its
If Transgenic Pets has its way, people allergic to cats will be able to play with Fluffy without sneezing or popping pills. TP's founder Dr. David Avner wants to genetically engineer an allergen-free cat. If Dr. Avner gets his much-needed investment and actually pulls it off, will that mean their will be more awful cat web pages to endure?
"Entrepreneur Envisions a Cat That Doesn't Cause Allergies"
Brooke Allen defends super bookstore
Brooke Allen defends super bookstore chains like Borders and Barnes & Noble (my employer). Allen points out that the superstores have brought vast amounts of culture beyond the confines of urban America. One of the reasons some people attack the superstores is because their elitist mentality can't accept such wide access to so many books.
The response to the article at Metafilter is surprising. Instead of the knee-jerk "corporations are evil" mantra I expected, many people acknowledge the cultural good the chains brought to society.
June 26, 2001
The U.S. is at risk
The U.S. is at risk from possible space attack. No, not from little green men, but from other nations who see our vulnerabilities. Jack Spenser notes:
Spencer's recommendation is to develop a next-generation space lauch vehicle to quickly send up needed payloads. Instead of depending so much on the federal government, Spencer should have also recommended relaxed regulatory rules to allow private interests to have a shot at low cost rockets.
"America Needs a New Space Launch Vehicle"
Are you a "minder" or
Are you a "minder" or a "brainer"?
For the sake of the
For the sake of the oppress Cuban people, I hope last Saturday's fainting spell is a sign that Fidel Castro's days as a brutal thug are numbered.
"Castro Falters, Recovers
June 25, 2001
Slate got Glassed. A story
Slate got Glassed. A story posted on the magazine site describes an afternoon of monkey fishing. Supposedly fruit was baited to a hook and tossed onto an island off Florida's coast inhabited by rhesus monkeys. OpinionJournal.com didn't buy the story for a minute. Now, the NY Times reports that the story is a hoax. Even Slate publisher Michael Kinsley admits he was fooled.
One lesson to learn: think twice before believing anything written by Jay Forman. Another lesson: if a story seems to be way too-out-there, it probably is.
"Tortured Tale of Journalism and Monkeys"
Stephen Moore wants President Bush's
Stephen Moore wants President Bush's picture on the tax rebate checks to be sent out later this year. He calls them "G. W. Checks." The picture's great, but the name is awful. Since the checks would have a President on it just like our currency, they should be called "Bush Bucks." That rolls off the tongue better.
No matter how much Sen.
No matter how much Sen. Jeffords (I-VT) and Northeast socialists crow, price controls on milk don't help family farmers and force everyone else to pay more at the store. The Northeast Dairy Compact should be scrapped along with the socialized milk pricing formula that sets prices based on how far the producer is from Eau Claire, WI. I demand a free market in milk now!
"The OPEC of Milk"
P.J. O'Rourke notices that California's
P.J. O'Rourke notices that California's energy problems are an excuse for some to attack capitalism:
Yeah!!!! John's getting hitched!
Yeah!!!! John's getting hitched!
June 24, 2001
Who says crime doesn't pay.
Who says crime doesn't pay. In England, two teenagers will be released after eight years in custody. Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were 10 when they killed James Bulger. Now, with their release Thompson, Venables, and their families will be given new identities to protect them from vilgilante attack. But not only will they get new identities, but the Sun reports
They get all this because these two creeps brutally killed a little boy. I wonder what goodies Tim McVeigh would have got if he blew up a building in London rather than Oklahoma City?
"Bulger Killers Go on Hols"
June 23, 2001
The Associated Press provides more
The Associated Press provides more on Sergio Bendixen and the Hispanic vote.
"He's romancing them and appealing to them at a personal level and the Democrats are doing nothing," said Bendixen in an interview.
The story also reported that 60% of Hispanics approve the way President Bush is doing his job.
The Democrats' response is denial. "We carried the Hispanic vote 2-to-1 ... they have a problem and we don't," said Democratic strategist Michael Meehan.
"Pollster Warns Dems: Bush and Hispanics Connecting"
June 21, 2001
I will be expecting my
I will be expecting my tax refund check in early September. I would like it now so I can convert it into francs. $300 equals 2,305.89 francs.
When Should You Expect Your Refund Check?
The Texas legislature wants the
The Texas legislature wants the U.S. to end its embargo with Cuba. The purpose of the embargo is to force Fidel Castro from power and return freedom to all Cubans. It's now been over 40 years since the embargo started, and there is no end in sight for Castro's brutal regime. A new policy is in order. Isolating Cuba from the U.S. hasn't brought freedom to Cuba. Maybe a healthy dose of American capitalism will.
"Texas Calls for End of Cuba Embargo"
William F. Buckley's search for
William F. Buckley's search for pants with a special cell phone pocket caused him to discover Abercrombie & Fitch's catalog with it's wanton displays of youthful flesh. Some odd thoughts popped into my head after reading the column: I can't imaging Buckley with a cell phone. My mind can't grasp the founder of the magazine who's motto is "Standing athwart history yelling, stop!" yapping away on a Nokia 5120. I also can't imagine staid Buckley entering an Abercrombie & Fitch with its booming music echoing throughout the store. I would think Buckley would arrive at the entrance, hear the thumping bass from some dance track, turn around to leave, and ask one of his grandchildren to help him buy his pants through their website.
What Buckley does offer in his column is a description of America's continued loss of innocence and mystery. Sex and human sexuality are truly beautiful, but such candid displays of sexuality desensitize us from appreciating that beauty. It's been said that 99% of sexuality is between our ears. Such direct sexual exposure lessens the need to employ our brains.
"Show Your ID Before Reading"
Convential wisdom says Democrats are
Convential wisdom says Democrats are more in tune with minority voters. But Sergio Bendixen thinks the Democrats have a problem with Hispanics...a big problem. "My message is that Democrats are in deep trouble with Hispanics," Bendixen told The Washington Times. He thinks President Bush is making strong inroads with that growing voting bloc. Bendixen goes so far as to see the possiblity of Bush getting 50% of the Hispanic vote in the next election. Bendixen's counterattack for Democrats is to tell this constituency that "'W´ is not a good friend." It's not the wisest strategy to go negative and bash the opposition while admitting that the target of the attack "truly connects with Hispanics."
You'll notice that this isn't a positive, issue-oriented agenda. Sure Bendixen mentions public education and the minimum wage, but he positions them as something President Bush opposes (which he doesn't). Nowhere does Bendixen or Donna Brazile (AlGore's 2000 campaign manager) offer a pro-active agenda. To them, Bush is just fooling Hispanics with his outreach. Such ignorance could prove costly in future elections.
"Democrats Told to Woo Hispanics"
June 20, 2001
Please vote for Blogger in
Please vote for Blogger in the Personal catagory of the Webby Awards People's Voice. Without that nifty service TAM wouldn't be quite the same, interesting, highly judgemental weblog you've come to love. Blogger deserves to win, so I'm asking for your support.
Also write in National Review for the Print Ezine catagory. There is no conservative/libertarian voice in that catagory. Let the world know that the Right has a loud voice on the Web.
June 19, 2001
The Centers for Disease Control
The Centers for Disease Control can't find evidence that people got sick from an allergic reaction to genetically modified Starlink corn. Too bad this fact hasn't stopped the environmentalists who want genetically modified food banned from human consumption.
"Genetically Engineered Corn Cleared in 17 Food Reactions"
A KISS coffin is only
A KISS coffin is only for the true "die"-hard fan. It also doubles as a really big cooler until Death's dark hand rips you from this world.
"Simmons Offers One Last Kiss"
With this latest attack by
With this latest attack by a knife-wielding criminal will Sarah Brady call for a 5-day waiting period before a Japanese can buy a knife?
"New Attack in Japan Raises Alarm on Violent Crime"
June 18, 2001
India's infamous monkeyman scare was
India's infamous monkeyman scare was caused by "emotionally-weak" people.
"Mass Hysteria Manufactured Monkeyman"
This was the weirdest ending
This was the weirdest ending to a final U.S. Open round I've ever seen, but it provide this funky quote from South African choker--I mean golfer--Retief Goosen: "Obviously, I'm not happy, but what can I do? I'm not going to jump out of my hotel room tonight. It's golf, and things happen."
"Disasters at 18 Force Playoff"
It wasn't a good weekend
It wasn't a good weekend at Milwaukee's Miller Park. The Brewers lost 2 of 3 from the Kansas City Royals. Friday night's game was canceled because of a power outage. Then yesterday, an elevator trapped 13 or 19 people including Brewers' radio announcer Jim Powell. "It's a good story to tell, definitely a first for me," said Powell.
"People Trapped in Elevator at Miller Park"
"Group Rescued from Elevator at Miller Park"
June 17, 2001
Milwaukee has its first oxygen
Milwaukee has its first oxygen bar. I can imagine this goofy West Coast craze coming to Madison, but not the more down-to-earth Milwaukee.
"It's Okay to Inhale!"
Professor Robert Essenhigh doesn't think
Professor Robert Essenhigh doesn't think global warming is man-made. He's quoted as saying,
At 6 billion tons, humans are then responsible for a comparatively small amount - less than 5 percent - of atmospheric carbon dioxide. And if nature is the source of the rest of the carbon dioxide, then it is difficult to see that man-made carbon dioxide can be driving the rising temperatures. In fact, I don't believe it does.
Essenhigh thinks global warming is just a natural climate cycle. Increased carbon dioxide in the atmophere is a symptom of the cycle and not its cause.
This would put a damper on environmentalists' desire to regulate the economy in order to "save the planet," but facts won't get in the way of extending government's power.
June 16, 2001
A Trotskyist group of screamers
A Trotskyist group of screamers is trying to take over the Oakland, CA teachers' union. What teachers' union president Sheila Quintana doesn't realize is that her radical opponents are just taking ideas and values she subscribes to to their logical conclusion.
Bret Stephens finds little real
Bret Stephens finds little real anti-American opposition in Europe. All the anger is from a small group of protesters, Leftist politicians, and publicity-seekers.
So, while the average European isn't filled with rage toward Bush and the U.S., European Union propellerheads fear General Electric and oppose its merger with Honeywell.
"GE/Honeywell Merger at La Mort's Door?"
"Europe Doesn't Hate Bush"
Jesse Helms: staunch conservative Senator
Jesse Helms: staunch conservative Senator and U2 fan.
June 14, 2001
Labeling egg cartons won't stop
Labeling egg cartons won't stop free-wheeling lawyers from filing lawsuits. Look at the tobacco industry. Waiter, make mine over-easy. I like to dunk my toast into the yummy gooey goodness.
"Beware of Danger by the Dozens"
The next thing we'll find
The next thing we'll find out is that breathing (exhaling to be exact) causes pollution. It's all that carbon dioxide we expel.
Professional athletes seem to be
Professional athletes seem to be overwhelmingly conservative. John Solomon wonders why. Some of the great quotes he got include Charles Barkley explaining to his grandmother why he's for the GOP ("Grandma, we are rich.") and Arturs Irbe from formerly communist Latvia ("The Democrats are for big government. I experienced that, and I didn't like it.").
Andrew Solomon's The Noonday Demon
Andrew Solomon's The Noonday Demon radiates with knowledge and understanding. Combining detailed horrendous experiences of his own depression with science, medicine, history, and anecdote, he offers a very human picture of this debilitating mental illness. If it's self-help you want, this book isn't for you. It's self-reflection because The Noonday Demon provides a broader understanding for those suffering from depression (or "The Blues" as I like to call it). Solomon's personal reflections can offer sufferers a vocabulary for explaining and dealing with own demons.
For those who don't suffer from depression, the book offers insight into the irrational dispair the depressed suffer. From that, a greater empathy can be realized.
At the end of the book, Solomon finds his daily choice to live to be invigorating. He knows his demon will never leave, but he draws strength from it to appreciate his own life.
"Down but Never Out"
June 13, 2001
With the most powerful politician
With the most powerful politician in Wisconsin history off in Washington, D.C., state Democrats are going after one of Tommy Thompson's most important legacies: school choice. The Democratic-controlled State Senate slashed the voucher amount in half and capped the total number of kids who can take advantage of educational competition. The Democrats can crow all they want about how they want to protect public schools "for the children," but they neglect to help those kids who's lives could be seriously changed if they were allowed to escape shameful public schools. They don't care about the children; they care about the teachers' union that opposes any competition to the monopoly they control.
"Senate Democrats Cut Choice Payments in Half"
In one of the worst
In one of the worst ideas I've heard in years, Eric Hufschmid, wants nationalized software development.
I want to make two points. First, there isn't a serious problem with desktop operating systems. Sure, I wish Windows was more stable, and it could use more features. But software is a complex creature. While Moore's Law pushes processor performance to higher levels all the time, software development lags because it's hard dealing with a very complex end user--us. Better software development tools are needed to more quickly and effectively make complex programs.
Nationalizing Windows source code would not bring about the torrent of new developers Hufschmid. After seeing Microsoft's crown jewels ripped away from them, what developer would want to create a popular program used by millions. There would be a legitimate fear that the government would steal it in the name of the "public good."
Second, Hufschmid doesn't seem to acknowledge that analogous to "market failure" ("free enterprise is not practical with desktop operating systems") there is "government failure." In Hufschmid's limited model, the public sector can do no wrong. But how I wish that weren't the case. Government schools are pumping out uneducated children across the country; municipal water utilities dump raw sewage into lakes; over $5 trillion has been spent on the war on poverty since 1964, yet the poverty rate is about the same. Government failure exists, and to think such failure wouldn't happen with administrating Windows source code is beyond naïveté.
If you really want to see a screwed up software industry, ask the same institution that runs the IRS to manage software development. I'll trust Bill Gates over any burearcrat or politician any day of the week.
"GPL vs. Linux"
June 12, 2001
In the world of Leslie
In the world of Leslie James Pickering "property is not human. It is not violent to destroy property." So destroying research labs is justified to protect the planet from those "making a profit off the destruction of the natural environment."
"Eco-Terrorist Attacks Prompt Federal Action"
June 11, 2001
Art should be about examining
Art should be about examining the human condition. This piece of bad black humor only makes me want to examine the artist's anti-Catholic sentiments.
[via Robot Wisdom]
The Christian Science Monitor is
The Christian Science Monitor is right when they mention that President Bush will have a tough time convincing the Europeans that he is a free-trader while backing possible imported steel sanctions. But remember, his European counterparts who love to subsidize domestic industries aren't pure free-traders either.
Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:01 AM
June 10, 2001
I joked to a friend
I joked to a friend who is spending the week in Washington State to watch out for earthquakes. Me and my big mouth.
"Moderate Quake Hits Western Washington"
Janet Reno has announced that
Janet Reno has announced that she will run for governor in Florida. Ooops! Maybe not.
"Janet Reno to Run in Florida Governor's Race in 2002"
June 09, 2001
Yeah, biotech food will win
Yeah, biotech food will win by default. With so much of it present already and the near impossiblity of preventing contamination, genetically modified food is here to stay. As Professor Jeanne Romero-Severson said, "If your standard is 100 percent pure, you better stop eating right now."
"As Biotech Crops Multiply, Consumers Get Little Choice"
National Review covers Bobby Flay's
National Review covers Bobby Flay's recent Iron Chef victory. Food Network has just arrived on my cable service, and I'm already hooked.
"Grading Bobby Flay"
June 08, 2001
Web content update: Salon's doomed
Web content update: Salon's doomed too. Bummer...Not!
"Support San Francisco's Finest"
One half of the biggest
One half of the biggest governor's race in 2002 has announced his candidacy. Jeb Bush wants another term running Florida's government. Now, we wait for Janet "The Child Hater" Reno to shake and quake her way into the race.
"Jeb Bush Says Will Seek Re-Election in Florida"
Oh the injustice! Suck.com, the
Oh the injustice! Suck.com, the web's roving balloon-popping needle, has shut down. Feed (or FEED) is also "on ice." While both sites were permeated with liberals and lefties, they still had intellectual honesty. Feed in particular offered unique examinations of the future of science, technology, and media. Now, they're gone, but Salon.com, the reigning liberal propaganda machine continues to churn out uninteresting blather.
"Web's Longest Running Daily Column Shuts Down"
The latest tragedy in Japan
The latest tragedy in Japan proves a gun isn't required for mass murder.
Amazon.com is invading the space
Amazon.com is invading the space of MP3.com. There are quite a large number of free (legal) music downloads available. I've been finding some nice dance tracks like D:Fuse's "Bodyshock" and Jondi & Spesh's truly transcendent "We Are Connected."
June 07, 2001
The media orgy over Monday's
The media orgy over Monday's exectution of Timothy McVeigh makes me sick. First, the death penalty is an immoral, blood-thirsty form of justice. The only justifiable reason to kill another human being is self-defense. McVeigh won't be a threat to anyone if he remains locked up in a prison cell for the rest of his life.
Second, the news companies do not need to feed the seemingly insatiable appetite for death. Our culture is enough of a culture of death. Millions of defenseless unborn children are killed every year because they're unwanted. Newborns are abandoned in dumpsters and toilets because raising them would be inconvienent. Kids shoot each other on the streets and in schools. Radical environmental terrorists attack animal research laboratories where work in done to improve human life. Princeton University hired Professor Peter Singer who advocates killing children and the elderly if it will "increase overall happiness." Respect for human life is decreasing at an alarming rate. The networks don't have to add to this obsession with human killing.
If Microsoft president Steve Ballmer
If Microsoft president Steve Ballmer had his way, he wouldn't get Microsoft into the media business. That doesn't mean MS is getting out of MSNBC anytime soon. It does mean we won't be seeing MS turning itself into another AOL Time Warner.
Ballmer's comment does point out the two different paths MS and AOLTW are taking. MS mostly focuses on the technology while AOLTW takes the duel technology/content path. Comparing the two companies' stocks neither MS nor AOLTW have been lighting up the market.
"Ballmer: Would Not Launch MSNBC Again"
President Bush should stick to
President Bush should stick to his free market gut instincts. In a move that could lead to trade restrictions that would have wide-ranging economic implications, Bush is asking the International Trade Commission to look into possible "unfair" trade practices by foreign steel producers.
Ironically, Bush may be doing this to get the steel industry on his side to push a future free trade pact--expanded NAFTA.
Or is he doing it to appear more "moderate" to liberal Senate Republicans? Isn't a little bit of protection for the steel industry all right as opposed to such an extreme stance as free trade? ;-)
"Bush Takes Protectionist Step For Steel Industry"
June 05, 2001
John Fund provides another comparison
John Fund provides another comparison of Sen. John McCain to Teddy Roosevelt. Fund guesses that if McCain ran for President as an independent, the best he could do is throw the election into the House of Representatives where party allegiance would stop him from claiming the Presidency.
"The McCain Mutiny"
The arrests of President Bush's
The arrests of President Bush's daughters for underage drinking stinks. Here's how John Williams put it:
Here are two possibilites. Either the person who made the 911 call did it to get some easy publicity for the resturant, or the person has such indignation toward the President that embarassing Bush's daughters nationally as a way to attack him seems justified.
"The 411 on Chuy's Decision to Call 911"
George Melloan offers this international
George Melloan offers this international perspective:
"Socialists Lose Out"
With churches getting more involved
With churches getting more involved in environmental issues, will Left-wing, anti-religion bigots spew hyperbole that those activists should stop forcing religion into peoples' garages? Or will they only cry out when conservative Christians get involved in public policy (i.e. the now dying Christian Coalition)?
"What Would Jesus Drive?"
June 02, 2001
Sen. John McCain's Left-ward drift
Sen. John McCain's Left-ward drift is inspiring many to make the McCain-Teddy Roosevelt comparison. Both men challenge their party with a progessive mix of creeping government and patriotism. In both cases, the end result is bigger, more instrusive government. Teddy had a blood-thirsty love for war (a historic expander of government) and despised the rich industrialists (thus justifing antitrust laws) who were building the United States into an economic superpower. McCain sees conspiracies of lobbyists on K Street in Washington, D.C. (thus justifing his First Amendment-stomping campaign finance legislation) and wants to reinstitute the draft, but in this case it would be in the lofty name of "national service."
It's time that conservatives re-examine Teddy Roosevelt's record. He wasn't a conservative, and, in fact, ran for President against the conservative Taft that allowed Woodrow Wilson to win the three-way election. Antitrust laws, the nationalization of land (i.e. the national park system), and many new federal regulations (i.e. FDA) are all a part of Teddy's record. An advocate of limited government, he was not. McCain should be free to go around comparing himself to Roosevelt. He just shouldn't try to claim that he's part of a long line of conservative leaders going back to the Bull Moose.
Supermodels will try to boost
Supermodels will try to boost up Bible reading like their Wonderbras boost up their bosoms. At least that's the theory behind the Illuminated Bible.