Friday, May 25, 2007

Torture...for real

One of the sadder things I've seen in recent days is the pettiness of Amnesty International. The constant calls of "torture" for things that could best be describing as "hazing" has dropped much of their credibility. Now we see real torture: Al-Qaeda's Torture Manual.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Decline of Higher Ed?

Via Instapundit, I read this fascinating article on the failure of Colleges to teach the basics; even in physics:

The basic reasons why modern physics is not covered in required courses are identical to the basic reasons why Shakespeare is not covered: (1) the faculty in both cases want to teach their narrow specialty rather than the basic courses in their field, (2) the faculty members in both cases no longer understand the basic material in their own field, (3) the faculty no longer believe there are fundamental truths in their own disciplines. I'm sure that many members of typical university’s English faculty no longer have a basic understanding of Shakespeare. How could they, if they themselves have never taken a course on Shakespeare? A degree in English is no longer a guarantee that the degree holder has a basic knowledge of Shakespeare or other great writers.
Does this mean that some professor's philosophies have spilled over into their view of the world? If one maintains a moral relativist view, why would that not apply to everything else they believe?

Monday, May 07, 2007

A letter to my rep

In response to this bill, I wrote my Congressman:

To the Honorable Mr. Hulshof,

I wish to let you know of my disfavor with an upcoming piece of legislation. The bill, H. R. 1595, is a "War Reparations" Bill in which the United States government is to pay survivors and descendants of those harmed by the Japanese Imperial Army. As a Marine, I am very aware of our history in the Pacific. Do the sponsors feel that the sacrifices made by my predecessors is not enough? If the survivors and descendants of those harmed during the fights for and occupation of Guam want war reparations, why are they not seeking them from the source of the pain. Funding reparations from those who did not instigate the action is wrong-headed and makes no logical sense.

As a fan of fiscal responsibility, I feel that the actions of those involved with this bill are misdirected.

Thank you for your time.
I decided that I need to actually write my representatives...and so this is my first letter.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A loss of vision

I already think the whole global warming issue is overblown...and this only cements that view for me: Children "bad for planet"

HAVING large families should be frowned upon as an environmental misdemeanour in the same way as frequent long-haul flights, driving a big car and failing to reuse plastic bags, says a report to be published today by a green think tank.

The paper by the Optimum Population Trust will say that if couples had two children instead of three they could cut their family's carbon dioxide output by the equivalent of 620 return flights a year between London and New York.

John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT and emeritus professor of family planning at University College London, said: "The effect on the planet of having one child less is an order of magnitude greater than all these other things we might do, such as switching off lights.

"The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child."

In his latest comments, the academic says that when couples are planning a family they should be encouraged to think about the environmental consequences.

"The decision to have children should be seen as a very big one and one that should take the environment into account," he added.

Professor Guillebaud says that, as a general guideline, couples should produce no more than two offspring.

The world's population is expected to increase by 2.5 billion to 9.2 billion by 2050. Almost all the growth will take place in developing countries.

The population of developed nations is expected to remain unchanged and would have declined but for migration.

The British fertility rate is 1.7. The EU average is 1.5. Despite this, Professor Guillebaud says rich countries should be the most concerned about family size as their children have higher per capita carbon dioxide emissions.

When you lose sight of the fact that the focus of children is bringing up new life, you've lost something else. Maybe a moral compass, perhaps...

Robbing gun owners isn't a good idea...

Robbing those trained to handle weapons is worse:

A man who police said broke into a U.S. Army officer's south Augusta house to steal guns was fatally shot Wednesday by the soldier living there.

Errol Lavar Royal, 29, of Augusta was pronounced dead at Medical College of Georgia Hospital at about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday. Augusta police said he resided with his parents near the burglarized home in the Pepperidge subdivision.

Capt. Barre Bollinger, an Iraq war veteran, told police he returned from work about 3:30 p.m. and found his house had been ransacked, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Thomas Johnson.

Bollinger told police he entered his bedroom and noticed some of his guns were missing.

He grabbed his SKS rifle - a weapon similar to an AK-47 assault rifle - and called 911, Johnson said.

"While on the phone with 911, he sees the suspect approaching his back door. Because he believes the man now is armed with his stolen weapons, Mr. Bollinger fires at him three times," Johnson said.

Royal was shot at least twice in the stomach area. A search of his residence produced two guns taken from Bollinger's house, the investigator said. The search also turned up some marijuana.

Neighbors told police that Bollinger, who is stationed at Fort Gordon, generally works from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but occasionally he returns home early.

There were no plans to charge Bollinger in the shooting, police said.

I suppose most burglers are pretty stupid in the first place, but I would think they would eventually catch on that some things aren't too bright to persue.