Archive for November, 2003

Adam Smith Institute Weblog – Only human

Thursday, November 20th, 2003

Dr. Madsen Pirie asks us to appreciate the humanity in everyone. Quote:

It is all too easy to commit atrocities if the victims are regarded as not fully human. Some groups find it necessary to dehumanize others. If they are not part of the same ethnic group, or accept the same religion, people can discount them as lower than human, and treat them with cruelty and contempt.

Islamist fanatics murder Christians, Jews and Westerners because they are not part of Islam, and can therefore be killed like animals. Nazis treated Jews, gypsies and homosexuals as sub-human, and murdered them without qualm or pity. Christian Serbs slaughtered Bosnians in their thousands because they regarded Muslims as less than human. White racists in the US and in South Africa treated blacks with derision and abuse because they regarded them as a lower form of life.

Mises Economics Blog on Columbian Defense

Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

Grant M. Nülle has a post at The Mises Economics Blog on how private security may be a solution to some of Columbia’s security problems. I don’t know how practical this is but it is an interesting idea. Quote:

The fallacy that countries in general and Colombia in particular subscribe to is the notion of “national security”. Far from being a homogenous good, security is a heterogeneous and divisible product by nature and can be ably provided by private security firms.

Whereas the military and the government that oversees it exist by virtue of compulsory taxation and are only indirectly accountable at the ballot box, competing private security firms are governed by profits and losses, an unambiguous gauge of consumer satisfaction.

Although the bravery and dedication of its personnel is unquestioned, as an institution beyond the disciplines of competition or prices, the military, like government, faces perverse incentives. The disutility of labour and scant accountability provides breeding grounds for excess and corruption, both of which are rife in Colombia’s armed forces.

Moreover, the existence of a tax-funded protection agency, rather than making the recipients of its services safer, is liable to imperil the lives of citizens. Aggressors, like Colombia’s guerilla and paramilitary organisations, are more apt to target civilians, who as taxpayers underwrite military activities.

Rap News Direct – Source Hip-Hop Music Awards Lands Big Ratings

Sunday, November 16th, 2003

Rap News Direct recently had an example of bad journalism. Quote:

BET’s first-ever telecast Tuesday night of the 2003 SOURCE HIP-HOP MUSIC AWARDS netted an impressive 2.5 rating, which calculates to 1.9 million households and 2.7 million viewers — easily the most-watched program so far in BET’s young 2003-2004 season, and the seventh most-watched show in BET’s 23-year history. An encore showing on BET of this ultimate salute to the best in Hip-Hop is now set for Thursday, November 20 at 8 p.m

2.7 million households is supposed to be impressive? I’m pretty sure UPN where the Souce Awards used to air on would have started out with a larger audience than 2.7 people. It is a misrepresentation when a program is pushed from a network to cable to call the rating “impressive.”

Judicial Nominations

Saturday, November 15th, 2003

Tom Daschle is right:

“I must say, I find it simply baffling that a Senator would vote against even voting on a judicial nomination. Today’s actions prove that we all understand that we have a constitutional outlet for antipathy against a judicial nominee–a vote against that nominee. What the Constitution does not contemplate is for one or two Senators to grind a nomination to a halt on the basis of a “secret” hold. This cowardly, obstructionist tactic is an anathema to the traditions of the Senate

It is too bad he changed his mind when the shoe is on the other foot. – News -P. Diddy Says He’ll Run Marathon Next Year For $10 Million

Saturday, November 15th, 2003

As much as I may dislike P.Diddy’s music. I have to give Sean “Puffy” Combs props for raising $2 million for charity.

Last week P. Diddy ran the city, and Thursday afternoon he ran to City Hall to deliver a $1 million check to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, making good on his promise to run the New York City Marathon to raise money for public schools.

No real money was exchanged because donations are still being collected, but the ceremony commemorated the $2 million total Diddy has raised through individual and corporate sponsorships for his marathon run. The other $1 million he raised will be split between Children’s Hope, which helps children with HIV/AIDS, and Daddy’s House, Diddy’s own charity that helps children and teens through social programs.

Hip-Hop Is Dying, And Rap Is Killing It

Saturday, November 15th, 2003

“Rap is something you do, Hip-Hop is something you live.”

Hip-hop is dying and rap has become the deathly disease or so contends Rashida Restaino an Northern Star Online

Even successfull artists like JAYZ dumb down their lyrics for commercial success. In a song called “Moment Of Clarity,” JAYZ raps:

I dumb down for my audience; double my dollars / they criticize me for it, but they all yell holla

But I still have hope for hip-hop. Hip-hop is alive and well in the underground.

UPDATE: But on the other hand maybe 50 Cent inspires patriotism.

UPDATE 2: Rashida Restaino asked me to move the quoted passages so I did. It seems appropriate to the fair use section of the federal copyright code.

The Great Deppresion and Monetary Policy

Saturday, November 15th, 2003

Mises Economics Blog blames bad monetary policy for aggravating the depression. Quote:

The stock market crash of 1929 represented the most visible sign of a necessary correction in an economy artificially inflated by expansionary monetary policy. Instead of permitting liquidation, Hoover attempted to resuscitate the economy through interventionist measures, including protectionism, which only drove the economy further into depression. FDR built on this record and embarked on a disastrous course of central planning, which ended up saddling the US economy with bureaucracy and wage and price controls.

VodkaPundit – Chill Before Serving

Wednesday, November 12th, 2003

Stephen Green examines what is wrong with the Ford Motor Company. Jay-Z’s Encore Feature Presentation

Sunday, November 9th, 2003

HipHopAnonymous has breaking JAYZ news. The Black Album will not be JAYZ’s last album. He will have an additional album coming out in June with other material.

Technically, The Black Album will not be Jay-Z’s last album. Next summer (probably in mid-July) he will drop another album with unreleased material and four or five new songs. The album is tentatively titled “THE ENCORE: Roc-A-Fella Records Presents FEATURE PRESENTATION”. Interestingly enough, the marketing ploy will have Dame Dash release it without Jigga’s approval, because he felt the public demanded it. Three reliable sources at Def Jam offices in New York and at A&R in Los Angeles have confirmed.

Bolibia and Drugs

Sunday, November 9th, 2003

Andrew Stuttaford thinks that some of the problems Bolivia is having can be connected to drug prohibition.

Drugs prohibition has been a disaster in the US. Its extension to Latin America has been a catastrophe, a catastrophe that risks creating more of the failed states in which terrorists, it’s worth noting, can thrive. The answer to this mess, naturally, is to scrap prohibition, but in the meantime, here’s a suggestion. The US should stop pouring dollars and military resources into this Latin American extension of the fruitless and counter-productive war on drugs.