The IT manager at my company, who also just happens to be my brother, is testing out a new phone. It's Samsung's new Blackjack, offered through Cingular, our wireless provider. We've been using the Palm Treo 650s for better than two years now, which we've loved. This is about the same size, length and breadth, but about half as thin and half the weight. This was after trying a couple of different Pocket PC phones,…Read More

Knowledge is the Original Sin

My brother just emailed me a quote from Sigmund Freud, of all people: "The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief." It reminded me of this, one of my favorite passages in literature of all time. This is an excerpt from John Galt's speech in the novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, dealing with the foundational Christian doctrine of Original Sin. Damnation is the…Read More

The Nature of the Animal

There's a wild predator of an animal loose in Atlanta, Georgia. He works for the Altlanta Police Department, which, for most Atlantans, is the entity most likely to cause them harm as they go about their daily business. That's why the police are generally considered Public Enemy Number One in my book. Stop and think about it. You face a lot of various risks in your life, some just random natural occurrences, or chance, and…Read More

This Coin-Toss World

Kim du Toit complains.’s a summary: handgun licenses, rifle licenses, shotgun licenses, ammo licenses, arsenal licenses, ending gun shows, gun bans, ammo bans, mandatory storage “inspections”, elimination of C&R and the CMP… oh good grief, I think I’m going to throw up now. I sympathize. I really do. But I've got to ask him: what did you expect, Kim? I mean: I haven't counted the posts, or anything, but I'm sure it's safe to…Read More


John Venlet uncovers a source and points out, that: ...religious conservatives tend to be the individuals who dig deepest into their own pockets for charitable contributions, and that those who bang the drum most loudly for state wealth redistribution, appear to clutch their purse strings tighter than Scrooge... No surprise to me, though I would point out that religious conservatives of the born-again evangelical ilk make up for it by their highly presumptuous preaching, pestering,…Read More

Playing Games

Whenever my wife or my parents ask me what I would like as a gift for some occasion like Christmas or a birthday, my response is always the same: "You don't have to get me anything, but if you do, surprise me." In this regard, I love surprises, and most of them have been very pleasant and unexpected over the years. Yesterday, when my wife asked, I thought about it for a few seconds and…Read More

Kathryn Johnston

I was getting ready to leave for the holiday on last Wednesday morning when I got wind of the story Tuesday night. No time to do it justice. Now, at this point, Radley Balko -- whom I've often characterized as the world's most important blogger -- has done so much legwork that's it's pointless to do anything but provide you with a bunch of links to his entries. Essentially, a 92-year-old woman living in Atlanta,…Read More

Casino Royale

First, it should strike nobody as surprising that I'd blog about how I liked a Bond film. I pretty much like them all -- some better than others -- and can think of a whole lot of worse ways to spend a couple of hours. I believe the principal element that draws me to Bond films, as with other such films, is that I really like plots that take place in several exotic locations throughout…Read More

We’re all in this together…

As mentioned in the previous entry, I was on the road yesterday. As usual, lots of AM/FM channel surfing. After I got tired of the hype from the right, I found Air America and caught the end of Franken's show. But he was on good behavior and actually giving Murtha a ration of shit. Then I found Pacifica, which is about as commie as you can get -- although what I caught before it faded…Read More

The General Mindlessness

On the road for a good part of yesterday -- actually, for a couple of hours longer than I should have been -- traveling from the Bay Area down to Oceanside, CA, just north of San Diego. I'm usually very lucky when I have to drive through the greater Los Angeles area, and I actually kind of enjoy it. Endless realms of civilization and human activity. Anyway, we took 101 down south and then cut…Read More

You Don’t Have to Be Hurting Anyone

There's a YouTube torture video you have to see, if you can stand it. But first... A common but false belief is that if you haven't done anything wrong, i.e., hurt anyone or on the verge, then you generally have nothing to worry about as far as the police go. Of course, that's demonstrably false. If you're speeding on a country road with nobody for miles around, you can still get a citation just like…Read More

Public Enemy Number One Report

The initial report is from back in August and I seem to have missed it at the time. A Baltimore SWAT team conducted a 4:30am raid on the Noel family home after finding marijuana seeds and "trace" amounts of cocaine in the family's outdoor trash can. After battering down the door, they deployed a flashbang grenade, then rushed up the steps to the bedroom of Cheryl and Charles Noel. Cheryl Noel's stepdaughter had been murdered…Read More


Much of what issues forth as economic reporting often makes me laugh, particularly because of the way it's portrayed by the economically illiterate media; and I just know that virtually nobody who thinks or says "oh, my," has the slightest clue about it. Before I proceed, let me offer you a single and simple principle that has held for all time and will hold for all time as concerns trade: Trade only happens because both…Read More

Trends, Connections and Implications

Despite my regular trashing of religion in general (and fundamentalism in particular) on these pages, I've long held that things are getting better in this regard, at large. And to contrast that with the advance of collectivism, there is at least some cause for celebration of the fact that strong religious belief is on the wane for most people. While some might argue that the advance of statism is related to such a decline in…Read More

Your Papers, Please

So, an "atypical" Texas town decides that it will henceforth prevent, by force, the peaceful association of some people with others, because some people don't possess the right papers -- and no doubt because they also have brown skin. Never forget, folks, that beyond all the euphemisms like "illegal," we're talking about peaceful people getting together with other peaceful people in some sort of transaction or exchange that is taking place because both parties believe…Read More

Where in the world?

I'm right here, at the moment. It should be in the center of the map: Arnold, CA. Feel free to zoom in, out and pan around. Hey, they even have a page at Wikipedia. We're at about the perfect elevation of 4,500 feet, and the population is about the same number. I can't even relate to you how much I love it up here. We're planning to do a whole two weeks for the Christmas…Read More