Friday, May 25, 2007

This story about Chinese brutality in enforcing family planning laws reminds me of this quote from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (it's Hank Reardon, if you're curious): "If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!"
I can't wait for this: the Golden Dragon eCigarette. There are 400 million smokers in China (!), an so it's no surprise that they've come up with this.

I'll swap out my nicotine gum in a heartbeat.
This is purty: the Intel Mobile Metro Notebook. Thin is in.

I wonder how comfortable it is for high-speed typing, though. I need a good keyboard more than I need a sliver of a notebook. Could this thing be lost in a stack of papers?
Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 5272 Diggs, is... well... a #1 Digg. Not much to say, except that one could probably write a doctoral thesis on the collective pathology that is Digg. Or, about how trivial is that little "digg it" button and therefore how meaningless Digg really is as a general indication of even base popularity.
Boing Boing so wants this to be true. And, it might be, for all I know. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I hate politics and politicians. They're all crooks, as far as I'm concerned (or, maybe, just most of them), on both sides of the aisle.

What I would like to see is a single site that pulls together all of the shenanigans of the last few elections. I'll bet there's plenty of blame to go around. And all of it, because our government has usurped powers over the economy and our private lives that were never intended.
South Korea might be okay with this, but I doubt that Japan's very keen on it. At some point, Japan is going to act, I think. They're the only nation on the planet that's ever experienced atomic weapons first-hand, and I doubt that they're in a hurry for another taste.
One couldn't ask for a more congruous subhead than this one: "Al-Sadr delivers fiery anti-U.S. sermon; deaths of 6 U.S. soldiers announced."
As part of the Iraq spending bill (WTF?!?), Congress has passed the "Entry-Level Jobs Reduction Plan."

More here. Have I mentioned that I hate politics?
As usual, Cox and Forkum are right on.
Sometimes, I'm amazed that companies manage to do business at all in today's regulatory environment. There's literally no aspect of business that isn't regulated, often in contradictory terms (both within and between government agencies). Ayn Rand's position that such regulation is meant to create criminals out of everyone is becoming ever more obviously true.
Why is the cost to purchase Windows a "tax," as in this Ars Technica story? Does Ars Technical really consider Microsoft's market position equivalent to government power?

Apparently so. Sigh.
This is how the loonies* at the Daily Kos treat their own.


*Except, they're not simply loonies. They subscribe to a philosophy where such behavior is not only acceptable, it's expected. It's the worst sort of mob rule; one can easily imagine these people working themselves into a collective frenzy and tearing someone apart. They're violent both on-line and in person, as evidenced by any Leftist rally. Ideas mean nothing to them, ultimately; they'll talk only up until they fail to get what they want. Then, it's time to pull out the rifles and make things happen.
Aliens taking core samples, maybe?
If we don't need to build a missile shield in Europe, then why are the Russians talking about creating a "sword" that can pierce it? I'm not privy to high-level strategy, of course, and so I don't know whether it's true that the shield is being built to defend against rogue states like Iran and North Korea. I'm guessing that given today's technology, it probably is true. A shield to protect against a handful of medium-range missiles is one thing; a shield to protect against hundreds or thousands of ICBM's is another.

Nevertheless, it's difficult to tell whether this is merely typical Russian bellicosity, or if it should be taken at face value. If the latter, then it's a very thinly veiled threat, and indicates that Russia dislikes the missile shield precisly because it limits some future option that they'd like to retain.

Overall, to me, it sounds a lot like a return to the days of Soviet expansionism.
A great resource from the Ayn Rand Institute: a fair number of audiorecordings of Ayn Rand's lectures, interviews, etc. One doesn't very often hear someone speak with such philosophical precision.

This link will get you there, but you'll need to register first. Very much worth a visit.
As usual, a very nice piece from Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute. This one is about recent "say on pay" legislation, which seeks to subvert free market corporate governance.

Worth a read.