armed invasion, anyone?

Border Patrol chopper forced down
Rock-throwing illegal immigrants near Yuma, Arizona, forced a U.S. Border Patrol helicopter pilot to make an emergency landing this week, the customs agency said.
No one was hurt in the incident, which happened Tuesday while the pilot was helping agents on the ground apprehend 17 people attempting to illegally enter the U.S., spokesman Michael Gramley said. They were on the north side of the All-American Canal, a large irrigation canal that runs from California along the U.S.-Mexico border.
While the helicopter was hovering, a group of 10 people on the south side of the canal began throwing baseball-size rocks at it, Gramley said.
One rock hit a rotor, Gramley said. The pilot felt a bad vibration and made an emergency landing about a mile away.

But you’re right. They’re just coming here looking for work. Who are we to deny people a better chance in life? And the Zetas are just “freedom fighters”… mmmhmm.

the real threat

While Congressman John Hostettler (R-Indiana) has said that divorce is as much a threat to marriage as gay marriage is, until there is a constitutional amendment proposed to ban divorce, I will entertain no arguments to ban gay marriage. One literally disolves marriage, the other allows more people to participate in it. So until there is a legitimate and widespread movement to ban divorce in this country, you can spare me your false concern over the “sanctity of marriage.”

fight or flight?

Quick question: Is there no way to detect where a missile attack has originated and fire back in retaliation? I’m no military expert, so I accept the possibility that such technology or intelligence capacity does not exist. But if it does, why in the name of all that is holy did the USS Kearsarge and Ashland turn tail and run when they were fired upon by rockets in Jordan?

will it be messy if I pull out too soon?

I have a scenario that I would like you to ponder.

If President Bush took the “advice” of the feverish Left and pulled our troops out of Iraq immediately, would they then applaud him for doing the right thing and finally give him some long overdue praise?
Ok, ok. You can stop laughing now. I know.
Or more realistically, would they jump right to the finger pointing, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, saying that he failed, made a mistake, surrendered, just like we did in Vietnam? In fact, if the Left is so vehement that Iraq is the new Vietnam, then why in Maynard’s name would they not want us to finish the fucking job and achieve decisive victory, as opposed to repeating the mistake of the original and not fighting to win or doing so?

You know why none of this makes any sense? Because nothing the Left has said for the last 6 years has either.

Pascal bets the farm

Just doing some random thinking, and remembered Pascal’s wager, an argument given by some in favor of believing in gawd and all that:

If gawd exists and I believe, I get eternal salvation.
If gawd exists and I do not believe, I get eternal damnation.
If gawd does not exist and I believe, I lose nothing (except maybe some earthly pleasures).
If gawd does not exist and I do not believe, I lose nothing.
Therefore it is only rational to believe in gawd out of the pure consequence of probability, since you only lose eternally if you do not believe.

Seems simple enough. But there are plenty of problems here.

1. Which gawd do I believe in? In order to maximize my probability of eternal jackpot, wouldn’t I have to believe in the gawd of Abraham, as well as in Allah, Vishnu, Buddha, Zoroaster, Odin, Maynard, and any number of earth spirits?
2. Most protestant Christian denominations do not accept simple belief as one’s ticket to Heaven. They require various forms of devotion, sacraments, works, and acceptance of Jesus’ divinity as personal savyourah (best said with a Texas accent).
3. Gambling is against the dogma of most religions. Having gambling necessary for believe in gawd would probably not be an acceptable exception.

Any others?

enemy body count?

Why is it that I cannot find a figure for total terrorist/insurgent/regime casualties in Iraq? Why is it that any search for information on any casualties in Iraq, even when specified as “enemy” or “terrorist” comes up with thousands of coalition and US body counts? Why aren’t we keeping track of how well we’re actually doing in this war? A US casualty figure tells us nothing if we don’t also have an enemy casualty figure. This is so absurd.
The closest thing to an enemy body count I can find is a summary of various casualty reports on Wikipedia. It gives estimates of anywhere from 4,895 to 124,000+. The fact that we can’t even get a number within a few standard deviations is completely ridiculous. The Defense Department has got to have numbers, and they need to release them.

another step back

Kansas moves to stem role of evolution in teaching
After months of debate over science and religion, the Kansas Board of Education has tentatively approved new state science standards that weaken the role evolution plays in teaching about the origin of life.
The 10-member board must still take a final vote, expected in either September or October, but a 6-4 vote on Tuesday that approved a draft of the standards essentially cemented a victory for conservative Christian board members who say evolution is largely unproven and can undermine religious teachings about the origins of life on earth.
“We think this is a great development … for the academic freedom of students,” said John West, senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, which supports intelligent design theory.

I am so sick and tired of these non-scientists dictating science curriculum. Evolution is a THEORY. No, it is not proven fact. No scientific theory can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be tought. Should no theories be taught in science if they can’t be 100% proven? If not, we should probably start including this on textbooks too:

This textbook contains material on Gravity. Universal Gravity is a theory, not a fact, regarding the natural law of attraction. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

financial dissonance

See if these two stories make any sense to you:

Rate Fears Sink Stocks, 8/5/05
Stocks closed lower Friday and had a losing week overall as traders worried that a red-hot labor market will prompt the Federal Reserve to keep hiking interest rates.

Greenspan Pushes All the Right Buttons, 8/9/05
Tuesday morning, NASA executed a safe landing for Space Shuttle Discovery. Tuesday afternoon, the market seemed to believe that the Federal Reserve, which tapped on the monetary brakes for the 10th consecutive policy meeting, will be able to do the same for the U.S. economy.
Such faith in the Fed helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average gain 78.74 points, or 0.75%, to 10,615.67, and pushed the S&P 500 up 8.25 points, or 0.7%, to 1231.38. The Nasdaq Composite gained 9.8 points, or 0.5%, to 2174.19, continuing its recent trend of relative underperformance.

Yeah, me neither.
So in the span of 2 business days, we go from stocks plummeting due to fears of interest rate increases, to stocks rising after interest rate increases. Did I miss something, or do Wall Street analysts just make this shit up as they go along?

obscenity does not exist

Texas Woman Battling Arrest for Selling Porn
Lori Hemphill was simply working her shift at the Log Cabin under I-20 and I-820 in the Kennedale community of Fort Worth, Texas, when she was placed under arrest by the undercover cop to whom she’d just sold an adult video.
The charge? “Promoting obscenity.” The agenda? A campaign by Kennedale Mayor Jim Norwood — a pastor — to abolish adult stores in the area. This was on March 10, and since then, Hemphill has been placed on probation, denied any other sort of work, forced to put off her plans to attend nursing school, enrolled in state-supported psychiatric and financial assistance programs and even reduced to begging for food.
Meanwhile, the Log Cabin and the other adult stores in the area remain thriving.

Another episode in the Nanny State Police series. Private transactions between consenting adults within the borders of a single state are no business of that state or the federal government. Porn is legal. Selling it or buying it can therefore not be illegal. This mayor and any police involved should be immediately fired and barred from ever holding public office again. The Nanny State must be brought to its knees.

A-C-L-me?

NYCLU Sues City Over Subway Bag Search Policy
In response to the NYPD’s unprecedented policy of subjecting millions of New Yorkers to suspicion-less searches, the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed suit in federal court seeking an injunction to halt the policy. …
“This NYPD bag search policy is unprecedented, unlawful and ineffective, said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. “It is essential that police be aggressive in maintaining security in public transportation. But our very real concerns about terrorism do not justify the NYPD subjecting millions of innocent people to suspicion-less searches in a way that does not identify any person seeking to engage in terrorist activity and is unlikely to have any meaningful deterrent effect on terrorist activity.”

Imagine that… I agree with the ACLU on something. Except they probably wouldn’t be happy why we agree. Of course the NYPD random searches are ineffective and unconstitutional. OF COURSE. You know why? Specifically because they are RANDOM. The NYCLU argues that the searches are done without suspicion or due cause. Precisely! You know what the due cause should be: potential passenger between the ages of 18 and 30 of Middle Eastern, North African, or South Asian origin with a heavy coat or bag. So no, NYCLU bag searches are not illegal, just random ones. As soon as we start profiling with due suspicion, they become legal.