Two fascinating quotes.

I don't think i can add a word so succinct...

When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don't deal drugs.
When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I'm innocent.
When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don't own a gun.
Now they've come for the first amendment, and I can't say anything at all.
-- Tim Freeman, tsf@cs.cmu.edu

Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reforms. The whole history
of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august
claims have been born of struggle ... If there is no struggle there
is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate
agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They
want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without
the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one; or it
may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical, but it
must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It
never did and it never will.
-- Frederick Douglass, 1849

... and there a few others worth reading here.



Sex predators and capital punishment

There are people who argue that there is a basic goodness in everyone and that the reason one can't justify capital punishment because it would be wrong to snuff out that intrinsic human goodness for the sake of any offense. I do believe that human life in and of itself has some value, I further believe that quality of life is at least as important. Rapist, may not kill, but they do destroy life quality in a way that even surpasses the creation of a vegetative state. Opponents of the death penalty will further contend that having such a sentence risks the lives of innocent people. Possibly yes, but with DNA evidence, and the much higher level of scrutiny given evidence vs. even fifteen, much less fifty years ago the chances of making that type of mistake are virtually non existent. Further, some criminals are to violent, and or to smart to allow the opportunities to escape that prison terms allow. The ones that kill or have shown the potential to kill will do so to escape. And some have transgressed so frequently and confessed that there is nothing else sane, rational, and just to do with them. This is one of those cases.


Battle and War

I understand that it is possible, and indeed common to lose a battle and win the war. While I'm not going to make a ridiculous statement about the whole war being lost when even the U.S. military admits that the Taliban is growing in strength, one has to wonder how effective the War on Terror is in Afghanistan. We've been working in Afghanistan for longer than we have Iraq, and with far less troops. Is it possible with the resources currently on the ground to win the War on Terror soon enough to keep the situation from devolving further. By this I mean that currently most of the locals understand it to be a Civilization vs. Terrorism war. If it goes on too long, it will turn into a situation of Locals vs. Outsiders and then, no matter how vile the ideology of the Taliban, they will be offering leadership and the old saw about the known devil didn't become a cliche for no reason.


Partisan Bloodletting

Much is made of the partisan smearing, back stabbing, chicanery, and out and out treachery of politics here in he U. S. of A. While it's true that it does get to levels where any thinking person can only block their ears and wait for it to end as its gotten to the point where neither side is defendable, I don't recall anything this vile in recent memory. I can't honestly picture Kerry, Gore, or Clinton inciting the death of Bush, Gingrich, or De Lay, nor the reverse. It's just not done. So MP Galloway's remarks stating that it would be justifiable to assassinate Blair is not just shocking, but utterly vile.



John Stuart Mill

They say this fascinating thinker is one of the fathers of Utilitarianism, but might he not equally be considered a father of Libertarianism? This quote seems to embody the fundamental essence of such sentiment.

The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.
John Stuart Mill

I’m not sure, clearly, I’ll have to do some more reading, but this is a wonderful example of convergent independent thought if indeed Mill had no impact on Libertarianism.


Trust: Something to contemplate

Is there any greater burden or greater gift than to be trusted?

I can't think of one.



Mexico may sue America

I say let them. If they sue, any reasonable court could be convinced to order a cessation of commerce between the two nations if for other reason to ensure no one is being bribed. While it is true that this could harm the already faltering U.S. economy, the Mexican economy depends on America for a great deal of its cash flow. An estimated eighty-five percent of Mexican foreign trade is done with America. There is also an estimated additional nine billion dollars sent to Mexico via private transfers of workers here in America. So really, let them sue. When the U.S.A. wins, we can also tack on a legal fees and the cost of patrolling our border with not just our Border Patrol, but members of the National Guard.


Web Braille, Frank Kurt Cylke, and you

Web Braille is a system that allows blind people to more cost effectively, read not just musty old litterary classic, but the latest releases in books and magazines. It has recently been abandoned and has therefore left lots of people bereft of a source of reading having untold educational, psychological and economic impact on those effected and their familes. Here are a few of the comments from the petition to restore the service:

Please do all possible to once again make the power of the written word available to Braille readers. It is painful to see the national library of the most powerful nations on earth unable to meet the needs of our blind citizens. We are better than this; We can do better and we must do better. Thank you.
Jean A. Walrath
Please restore this wonderful service which permits immediate access to the NLS collection much like the access one can receive at a local public library if one is sighted.
Don Horn

It is very difficult for me to understand how our progressive society continuously denies access to people with disabilities, such as this denial of access to blind people.
Clifton Perez

I have come to rely on WebBraille from both a personal and vocational standpoint. I encourage you to restore access to WebBraille at the earliest possible time.
James Gammon
I am disappointed to learn of NLS discontinuing WebBraille especially without prior notice or public comment. I have used this service since its inception for personal and professional reading. I have appreciated having instant access to books and magazines. I would think it would be possible to resolve any technical or security issues without removing the service from the NLS website. I urge NLS to communicate its concerns with the public, and restore the WebBraille service as soon as possible.
Dan TeVelde
I can't put it in any better words than these men and women have, sign it and or send your comments to Director Cylke yourself.

The CO



Even Kim Jong Il...

I've said it before; I'll keep repeating it until I die.

No matter how evil, insane and or vile the leader, they can not stay in power without the willing assistance of like minded folk, and they can not be removed by external forces until international opinion is fully marshaled against them. This is why Hitler would have ruled most of Europe had he not turned on Russia. This is why Castro has ruled his nation within spitting distance of the U border for decades, and why he is the boon companion for many of Latin Americas leaders and would be leaders. This is why President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is feted by neighboring nations.

And this is why; try as he might, even Kim Jong Il of North Korea does not exist in a vacuum, the Dear Leader even has his own international fan club. A group of slavering fan boys who make most boy band groupies look sensible and well grounded in reality, gathered in Belgium to engage in what can only be called an intellectual circle jerk. While there dream of a unified Korea are at least in part laudable, they should really ask their neighbors in what was West Germany what they thought of the economic impact of reunification. I find it appalling, unsurprising, but appalling that this man has people who refer to him in near deific terms and the U as if we wanted any part of the Korean peninsular. We could have had it decades ago if we'd been willing to pay the butchers bill. Just as we could have kept the Philipines, Mexico, or Cuba. Hell we could have kept Japan, we'd already bombed all resistance out of them.



Reason #34,564 not to move to the EU

The EU "government" is entertaining plans to possibly tax SMS and e-mail. Alain Lamassoure, an EU MP from the governmentally challenged France introduced this spectacularly bad idea. Now, why do I say this is "spectacularly bad"? for several good reasons:

Sad, very, very sad.


The New England Aquarium

No, not this one this one. The several days of constant rain have turned lots of the area into rather severely extended streams, rivers and lakes. Mass and New Hampshire have both declared a state of emergency. And there are schools already closed for Monday. This is not an over reaction, I'm actually going to go so far as to say that Mitt the twit Romney has done something right, probably for the last time this year.

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