Plastic Water Bottles and Felony Murder

What do they have in common? Well, it seems to me that if enough people could believe that their plastic water bottles are causing global warming, then there's easily enough to believe that Christopher Jones caused those two news helicopters to collide, crash, and kill four people. Not only that, but they'll even buy first degree, i.e., premeditation. Apparently, prosecutors are going to try everything they can to charge and convict the man of murder.…Read More

Land of the Free Update

I've got two freedom updates from Radley, the first here. Twenty-five year jail sentence for Mark O'Hara for possessing 58 Vicodin tablets for which he had a legal prescription. Prosecutors admit he wasn't selling them, but the law provides for a de facto charge of trafficking based solely on quantity. The law said they could get him, so they did. I'm sure it looks great on their resumes. Let freedom ring. Next up, 140 years…Read More

No Desire for the Unearned

When I lived in Japan from 1984 - 1989, I never once locked my house (blue roof in the center) on the beach in Hayama, about 50 miles south of Tokyo on Sagami Bay. Sometimes I was gone, at sea, for two and three months at a time. Never locked my car, and I probably could have just left the keys inside. I used to say that you could leave a pile of cash in…Read More

We Liked Them Better When They Starved People

Back when China used to export grain in order to demonstrate the economic viability of communism -- all while their people starved to death (20 million is a low estimate) -- they were heralded by the "intellectual elite" as the Truly Enlightened. Now they're producing and supplying inexpensive goods to the entire world, feeding their people, and ushering in economic freedoms and low taxation that's making it -- in practical terms -- an economic model…Read More

Honesty, Sincerity, Integrity

First up, I'm out of pocket at the moment. Overnight with family here in Vista, CA, and later today San Diego for a couple of days. We're supposed to have a nice room with a view to the Bay, so if that works out I'll post a photo. What can you say about YouTube? What can you say when the most interesting, indeed captivating thing you saw or heard all day yesterday was a self-recorded…Read More

Societal Evolution

Just last night, Bea and I walked down the San Jose Improv to see Richard Lewis and meet some of her family ahead of time for pre-show dining. We got on the subject of some of the timeless things teenagers do, and Bea's brother-in-law remarks that in his day when the cops caught you and your friends with booze, they'd just pour out your supply and send you packing home. Now they cart you off…Read More

The Big Lie: “Freedom”

Billy asserts: In any case, people just don't want freedom, now. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: "sure they do; this is America." But that only means you don't grasp the distinction he's making in that statement. He's not asserting that people don't think they want freedom; they most certainly do. After all; do we, or do we not live in "The Land of the Free?" You've heard me say it, but always in…Read More

How Bull Markets Top

Here's the sort of thing to be on the lookout for as signs that a top may be approaching in stocks. The bull market on Wall Street is giving Americans greater confidence prices can go higher as expectations for stock gains reached a five-year high in July, a consumer survey said Friday. Consumers in July thought that there was a 64 percent chance that a diversified stock fund would increase in value, up from 54…Read More

“Now we’re gonna get big government”

The quote is Ron Paul, according to his spokesman Eric Dondero, spoken as "one of the first things he said" after 9/11. This, from a substantial Christopher Caldwell piece on Ron Paul in today's The New York Times. Dondero parted with Ron Paul on bad terms, so the story goes, and is opposing Paul in his simultaneous Congressional run. Dondero's reciting of the quote and Caldwell's reporting of it is intended to be an indictment…Read More

Urban Transportation

Here's how we mostly get around downtown San Jose these days. This is the entry room into our loft (you enter from the rear), which is right off the kitchen, and then through the kitchen to the main loft space. Since this is the only entry and egress, it's not suitable as a bedroom, and when we initially moved in, we had it set up as a dining room. Only, we always ate at the…Read More

And More Food

From a couple of evenings ago. Pan fried Turbot, butternut squash, and a simple green leaf lettuce salad with tomatoes, red onion, and carrot. The turbot was from the frozen section of the new Trader Joe's that opened just five minutes away. Over the years I have always been very happy with the flash frozen, vacuum-packed fish from them and can rarely tell the difference from fresh. In the case, the turbot even had a…Read More

Weekend Food Blogging

Hot out of the oven this morning; minutes ago, actually. That's your basic Frittata, or Italian-style omelet, if you prefer. If you make the kinds of omelets where you have to flip them over, but have problem doing that without destroying them, then this might be for you. It's very simple. Preheat your oven to 350-400, put your pan on medium heat on the stove, melt some butter, place your egg mixture (with or without…Read More

“The Greatest Death Camp in the History of the World”

Lew Rockwell puts together a nicely comprehensive overview (is that an oxymoron?) of China's history. Take the 10 or 15 minutes to read it, and become, as Lew says, part of "a tiny elite that know anything about [China as a death camp]." The sheer scale of the thing makes even the Soviet Union look benign, and we know that's not true. And yes, I have been cheerleading for China lately; and that's because the…Read More

La Vie En Rose

Just got back from seeing this excellent film about the jam packed, tumultuous, exhilarating, and tragically short life of Edith Piaf. But as she sang and meant it near the end of her brief 47 years: Non je ne regrette rien. If you're into that sort of thing you'll want to catch it now if you still can, or definitely when it's out on the premium channels and DVD.Read More

Michael Vick

A quick word on this. As a current two-dog owner and friend of dogs most of my life, I simply cannot comprehend -- even remotely -- how anyone could take any pleasure or enjoyment out of this kind of a bloodsport. Yet, people do. Lots of people do, and it just goes to show the vast disparity of values in this country, and indeed worldwide. That means: unless me or my dogs -- or some…Read More

No Rationing; Courtesy of a “Benevolent” State

Of course, that's not the case. A state-run system could decide, as Medicare does, that they'll pay for any and all necessary procedures, and do so quickly. Then there would be no rationing. That was Ezra Klein, a couple of days ago. On the same day, the Guardian reported the full extent of what happens when the State says there will be no rationing. Mugabe strikes again. President Robert Mugabe's order that all shop prices…Read More

A Distinction to Note

"Brazil plane crash may haunt government" That's what the headline reads. Now, that may indeed mean they're sufficiently afraid of election defeat "haunted" to half-ass emulate the act of serving paying customers, which typically implies -- for starters -- that you don't kill them as the inevitable consequence of objective deficiencies you knew about and could have done something about. Then again, like most Latin-American parasitocracies, they'll probably just shrug it off and...and..."viva la revolucion!"…Read More

Presumptive Authority

I often get the impression that people don't really get where I'm coming from when I rail against the State. Here's a clue: it turns on the distinction between de facto and de jure authority. What I object to, what I always object to, is a presumption of authority based on anything but the facts in their proper context. Another way of explaining this is that I don't draw non-essential, arbitrary, or meaningless distinctions between…Read More

Admin Note

Got rid of a bunch of stuff that slows loading, including Answer Tips, Snap Previews, Technoratti, Blogbar Search, and other stuff. All cool; but look: if you're not coming here to basically read what I write, then to hell with you anyway. And if you are, you probably pay no attention to all that stuff anyway (except maybe Snap, which has gotten better, and may be the one thing I put back), so I'm just…Read More

Making Some Difference

One of the blogs on my regular rounds and which I link to a lot is Warren Meyer's Coyote Blog. I've know this for a while, but today he posted something about a service he runs that my family and I enjoy a great deal. McArthur-Burney Falls. I commented at his post. Warren: Good job. It's not really "private," (nor is any "private" property, for that matter) but I get what you're aiming at. In…Read More