Archive for September, 2004

The American Poor

Thursday, September 30th, 2004

Johan Norberg looks over the facts of American poverty. Johan Norberg points out only 1/3 of those classified as poor in America live in real poverty experiencing something like overcrowding, temporary hunger or difficulty obtaining health care.

Clinton: North Korea as Bush:Iran

Thursday, September 30th, 2004

Rick Dement points out that Bush’s policies in Iran are very similar to the policies Clinton used with North Korea. Rick makes a good argument.

Lesbians And Conservatives

Thursday, September 30th, 2004

The Quarterwit has a post listing conservative politicians and their lesbian daughters.

Celebrating Thomas Edison

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

AlwaysOn celebrates the contributions of Thomas Edison.

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004


Funny Kerry Picture Stolen From NRO’s The Corner. Posted by Hello

Don’t Vote (For A Major Party Candidate)

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

The argument is commonly made by people who support Bush or Kerry not to vote for a third party candidate because that would be a wasted vote. The 2000 election taught us that it is the Electoral College is what determines the election and not the popular vote. This means that if you live in a state like New York or Texas, your vote is basically a waste of time as far as making a an impact on the election. Steven Landsburg remarks that your vote doesn’t even make much of a difference in a swing state. QUOTE:

Your individual vote will never matter unless the election in your state is within one vote of a dead-even tie. (And even then, it will matter only if your state tips the balance in the electoral college.) What are the odds of that? Well, let’s suppose you live in Florida and that Florida’s 6 million voters are statistically evenly divided—meaning that each of them has (as far as you know) exactly a 50/50 chance of voting for either Bush or Kerry—the statistical equivalent of a coin toss. Then the probability you’ll break a tie is equal to the probability that exactly 3 million out of 6 million tosses will turn up heads. That’s about 1 in 4,300—roughly the same as the probability you’ll someday be shot to death.

And that’s surely a gross overestimate of your influence, because it assumes there’s no bias at all in your neighbors’ preferences. Even a slight change in that assumption leads to a dramatic change in the conclusion. If Kerry (or Bush) has just a slight edge, so that each of your fellow voters has a 51 percent likelihood of voting for him, then your chance of casting the tiebreaker is about one in 1.4 times 10 to the 1,046th power—approximately the same chance you have of winning the Powerball jackpot 128 times in a row.

Since yor vote doesn’t matter, vote for the candidate who you believe in. Do more than just vote for the lesser of two evils

The Commerce Department Protecting You From Cheap Cement

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

Jim Henley has an article on why cement prices have been increasing and how free trade would solve the issue.

End The Cult Of Che Guevara

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

Paul Berman writes in Slate on the absurdity of the cult of Che Guevara. Quote:

The cult of Ernesto Che Guevara is an episode in the moral callousness of our time. Che was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster. Many of the early leaders of the Cuban Revolution favored a democratic or democratic-socialist direction for the new Cuba. But Che was a mainstay of the hardline pro-Soviet faction, and his faction won. Che presided over the Cuban Revolution’s first firing squads. He founded Cuba’s “labor camp” system—the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents, and AIDS victims. To get himself killed, and to get a lot of other people killed, was central to Che’s imagination. In the famous essay in which he issued his ringing call for “two, three, many Vietnams,” he also spoke about martyrdom and managed to compose a number of chilling phrases: “Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become …”— and so on. He was killed in Bolivia in 1967, leading a guerrilla movement that had failed to enlist a single Bolivian peasant. And yet he succeeded in inspiring tens of thousands of middle class Latin-Americans to exit the universities and organize guerrilla insurgencies of their own. And these insurgencies likewise accomplished nothing, except to bring about the death of hundreds of thousands, and to set back the cause of Latin-American democracy—a tragedy on the hugest scale.

The present-day cult of Che—the T-shirts, the bars, the posters—has succeeded in obscuring this dreadful reality. And Walter Salles’ movie The Motorcycle Diaries will now take its place at the heart of this cult. It has already received a standing ovation at Robert Redford’s Sundance film festival (Redford is the executive producer of The Motorcycle Diaries) and glowing admiration in the press. Che was an enemy of freedom, and yet he has been erected into a symbol of freedom. He helped establish an unjust social system in Cuba and has been erected into a symbol of social justice. He stood for the ancient rigidities of Latin-American thought, in a Marxist-Leninist version, and he has been celebrated as a free-thinker and a rebel.

Wikipedia gives a good overviews of Che’s life. For the life of me, I can not understand why people like him.

Album Review: Beastie Boys New York State Of Mind mixed by DJ Green Lantern

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

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I’ve never been a huge fan of the Beastie Boys. The lyrics they spit have just been decent and the production has always seemed a little out of the mainstream. Outside of Paul’s Boutique and Ill Communication all the Beastie Boys albums have been mediocre. To The 5 Boroughs is not an exception. Enter DJ Green Lantern with The Beastie Boys with New York State Of Mind.

New York State OF Mind is a mixtape containing of both the Beastie Boys greatest hits and the hits off of To The 5 Boroughs remixed with classic hip-hop beats. Green Lantern moves swiftly through classic beats adjusting the beats to follow along with the rhymes.

The album features several guest appearances. Busta Rhymes rides the Paul Revere beat turning it into a tough gun wielding song. MOP kills NO Sleep Till Brooklyn. Biggie assists on Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun making the Beastie Boys almost seem hard. So Watcha Want provides The Clipse an opportunity to tell a drug dealing story.

Remember “Triple Double” from To The 5 Boroughs? In the original version the Beasties rhyme over “Rapper’s Delight” but somewhat off-beat. Green Lantern replaces the beat of “Rapper’s Delight” with the Furious Five’s “White Lines. Saving the song from choking on the corny elements of the original. In fact almost all of the songs on the mixtape have replaced the mediocre production of the original with far superior beats. This mixtape has turned me into a fan of the Beastie Boys. This is due almost entirely on the ability of DJ Green Lantern to smoothly mix beats with the Beasties lyrics.

CD Track Listing

1. Intro

2. Hold It Now (Green Mix)

3. Triple Trouble (Green Mix)

4. Hey Ladies (Green Mix)

5. Shake Your Rump (Green Mix)

6. Open Letter To NY (Green Mix)

7. So Watcha want (Green Mix)

8. Pass The Mic (Green Mix)

9. Paul Revere ’04 – Busta Rhymes Feat. Labba & DJ Green Lantern

10. Rhyme The Rhyme Well (Green Mix)

11. Sureshot (Green Mix)

12. Body Movin’ (Green Mix)

13. Shadrach Interlude

14. No Sleep Till Brooklyn ’04 – MOP

15. Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun – Feat. The Notorious B.I.G.

16. The Clipse Freestyle

17. Redman Interlude

18. Intergalactic (Green Mix)

19. Root Down (Green Mix)

20. Check It Out – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

Art and The Gulag

Tuesday, September 28th, 2004

Winds of Change has a post describing the art created by Nikolai Getman during the Gulag.