Chrysler Crossfire

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 27 May 2004 12:00:00 GMT
# Google searches for mail order ammunition and arms manufacturers return my pages first and second respectively. This blog is also the third result for end war. Wow!

# I saw the backend of a Crysler Crossfire on the road yesterday morning. Very neat looking. For $30,000+ it should be. Totally impractical for a father of young children (unless I were rich enough to afford a third car, but if I had that kind of money I wouldn't spend it on wheels), but I can look.

Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited

# Charles Miller - The Mac is a Harsh Mistress - a Mac lover waxes poetic about the difference between Microsoft and Apple. Hehe. [picks]

# Fred on Everything - Crimes: They're What Somebody Else Does - Fred analyzes the supposed crimes of the Israelis, and concludes that they're not any worse than anybody else. He'd probably do the same thing in their shoes.

Whenever I say the following, everybody gets riled and sends threatening email. Still, I'll say it: Hideous barbarism is what we do. Just about all of us. The elegant Belgians, Inspector Poirot and all that? Read about the Congo. The gentle Dutch? Check Indonesia. After WWII, I don't quite see how the British, Germans, or Americans can be too huffy because someone else bombs cities.


Anyway, I'm willing to grant that Israelis are uniquely terrible folk, 'bout like everybody else, and no end monstrous, and eat babies. Being as I am a simple-minded country boy, though, I keep thinking of simple-minded questions. Like, what exactly do we expect the Israelis to do? I mean, I know they're terrible and all, but they're there. Maybe a better question is what would you do if you were where they are. It's easy to solve problems you don't have from Cleveland.

Now, any discussion of what the Israelis ought to do bogs down in about three seconds into arguments about whether Israel should ever have been allowed to exist. That's easy. No. Things would have been lots easier for almost everybody. But then, maybe the Apaches don't think the United States should exist. Maybe the Dravidians think the Aryans should high-tail it back to Iran. The Mexicans want California back, which they stole by force of arms from the Indians, who probably want it back too.

Thing is, Israel does exist. Should and ought to have don't matter. It's like saying Aunt Penelope shouldn't have married a drunk and had seven feeble-minded kids. But she did. You gotta deal with it.

# Al Lawrence at The Mansfield News Journal - New Hampshire man has case continued - Ashland (Ohio) County prosecutor, Robert DeSanto has asked that the case against Hunter be rescheduled for September 14. My guess is that Hunter refused to take the plea bargain that Mr. DeSanto offered, and he didn't expect that so isn't ready to prosecute. Judge Jeffrey Runyan had not approved the request at the time of yesterday's writing. Here's my current opinion on Hunter's case, as I posted to the lrtdiscuss maling list: [claire]

I'm becoming increasingly upset thinking about the reality of Hunter's trial. It's a criminal trial. That means that the lawyers introduce the case to a jury, question witnesses, give a summation, and then the jury deliberates. If they reach a verdict, and juries usually do, and if Hunter and his lawyer have convinced them to find him innocent, he drives back home to New Hampshire and attempts to put his life back together. If not, if they vote to convict, Hunter is taken away in handcuffs and placed in the county jail for however long the judge decides, up to the maximum sentence. Yes, this can usually be delayed by appeals, but that's the bottom line. For driving his car and being prepared to defend himself, Hunter could end up in the Ashland County jail, for multiple years.

Why is anyone who's been paying attention willing to go through that? Granted, I'm not in Hunter's shoes, so it's not my place to decide, but I can't imagine myself willingly returning to the courthouse for the trial. Let them come and get me. An honorable death, on my feet, rifle in hand, is preferable to being caged like an animal. But talk is cheap...

It's a horrible situation. How have we allowed things to get this bad, where a man can be caged for minding his own business? How can anyone believe that because a handful of so-called "representatives" vote to lock people up for possessing a piece of metal, or a vegetable, that it becomes his duty to participate in the imprisonment of a free human being? Why are such "men" allowed to continue breathing?

# Jim Davies at Strike the Root - Laws and Sausages - rule of law may be better than rule by men, but it's still a darn sight short of proper mutually-agreed upon contractual agreements. [root]

First, what exactly is a "law"? Very simply, it's a one-sided contract; the lawmakers sign it, but those controlled by it do not. A group of thugs gets together and makes a rule to control society. Its effects are imposed upon others by force, whether they agree with it or not, and whether in their sovereign right as human self-owners they would have chosen the mandated course of action or not. The group always makes some claim regarding a supposed right to impose such rules, which it calls "legitimacy"; usually sonorous phrases are invented for the purpose such as "Divine Right" or "Wise Leadership" or "Servants (!) of the People" or "Duly Elected Representatives."

But at root, a law is not a recommendation but a rule, and if by any remote chance 100.0% of the affected population were to endorse it, its superfluity would be incontrovertible. It is the imposition of will by one group of humans over another. It is, therefore, anathematic towards human nature, i.e., self-ownership. Laws are absolute denials of the right to life. Instead of being a genuine (two-sided) contract, voluntarily drawn and signed by all parties (which is the way a free society would order itself, with no violation of rights whatever) laws ignore the sovereign wishes of those affected. That is why we should despise them all, no matter what their purpose and no matter what their effect.

# Rodger Jacobs at Strike the Root - M*A*S*H Redux: New Relevance for the 4077th - a personal story of Mr. Jacobs' short relationship with Ronny Graham, Story Consultant for the M*A*S*H TV series, but including a couple of paragraphs describing an episode that perfectly captured some eternal truths about war. [root]

The episode opens with a bus laden with injured rolling into the 4077th mobile medical compound. Major Pierce (Alda) immediately attends to the wounded and finds among the U.S. soldiers a severely wounded North Korean man. The North Korean has a gushing chest wound and will most certainly die if surgery isn't immediately prioritized, a decision that enrages Colonel Flagg (the brilliant character actor Edward Winter). Flagg is with military intelligence, driven by hysterical paranoia and a relentless support of democratic ideals. Flagg would rather see the North Korean "Commie" die on the bus rather than receive care from the best surgeons the U.S. military can provide.

Confronting Pierce in post-op after the successful surgery on the North Korean, Flagg, a jingoistic sadist, insists on interrogating the man for military intelligence. Shades of Abu Ghraib? You bet. When Pierce overrides Flagg's blood thirst for the fallen North Korean, the CIA dupe becomes convinced that Pierce is a Communist sympathizer and embarks on a mission to expose him as such.

# Rabbi Michael Lerner - is an organization that appears to be dedicated to trumping compassionate conservatism with even more compassionate liberalism. I got a fund-raising letter in the mail. They want $40 from "low-income" members (< $40K/yr), $80 and $120 from "middle income" ($40k-$80k/yr) and "supporting" (> $80k/yr). They also have a "World Transformer" category for $1000+. I sent the following via the Ask the Rabbi page:

I received your letter in the mail, asking me to join the Tikkun community. Your rhetoric definitely trumps compassionate conservatism with ultra-compassionate liberalism. But your philosophy shares a fatal flaw with that of Bush'es neocons. Both you and they believe in coercive taxation to fund your giant social programs. Coercive as in if I don't pay my taxes, men with guns show up at my door. That's right, every law your and their "democratic" government passes, no matter how stupid, no matter how oppressive, is enforced at the point of a government gun. If I don't do as commanded, someone will show up at my door with a gun. If I don't go with them willingly, I will be shot. Doesn't seem very compassionate to me.

From my perspective, the only difference between Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry is the flavor of their rhetoric and a small difference in how they intend to spend my stolen tax money. Neither one is going to ask my permission to take it, nor will they care if I don't like how they decide to spend it. I'd rather decide how to spend my money myself, thank you very much. If you were truly compassionate, you'd be talking loudly about the necessity to end the very concept of taxation, to create a society where every human interaction is voluntary for everyone involved. Instead, you just want people who share your point of view to hold the reins of power. I want to cut those reins, forever.

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