You can set your main menu in Appearance → Menus

Month: March 2004

Another teenage terrorist caught

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

Palestinian terrorists tried to recruit a 15-year-old as a suicide bomber, at one point locking him in a dark room, but also luring him with clothes, a cell phone and promises of paradise, his family said Tuesday.

I get how a Muslim kid would be desperate for 72 virgins and booze, but whom does he plan to call when he’s dead? And is there a clothing shortage in paradise or what? If it weren’t full of beautiful naked people, I’d demand to go downstairs. The climate is worse, but the company is great.

(Just kidding – I don’t believe in silly notions of heaven or hell. Glory be to the Supreme God Thor, who welcomes brave various to the glorious hall of Valhalla in Asgard.)

McCain calls for un-bundling cable packages

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

Slashdot: Senator John McCain wants to force cable companies to sell cable channels a la carte, so you only pay for the channels you want. He argues that “When I go to the grocery store to buy a quart of milk, I don’t have to buy a package of celery and a bunch of broccoli,” McCain said. “I don’t like broccoli.”

McCain refuses to understand that the whole cable package is more than the sum of its parts: the more successful cable channels subsidize the less popular ones in order to provide a well rounded package that provides a better value that the individual channels – just as the Microsoft Office Suite provides a better value that the individual applications that compose it. If politicians were really concerned about cable prices, then they would remove the government monopolies, price controls, preferential treatment, and the legion of regulations imposed and granted to cable companies. Till then, their approach to industry can only be described as a see-saw between government-enforced “competition” and government-enforced regulations – when one fails, they resort to other – never considering that freedom from government might be the answer.

The "F Scale:" a test for fascist tendencies

by David Veksler David Veksler 3 Comments

Shortly after WWII, it was in vogue among leftist types to call people who’s politics they disagreed with “fascist” while “freedom and democracy” were used to designate favorable positions and governments, regardless of actual policy. Since this trend is on the rise again, I though a 1946-era quiz would be of interest:

The F Scale, is “an instrument that would yield an estimate of fascist receptivity at the personality level.”

I disagree with a number of questions, but I still find the test a much better indicator of Fascist tendencies than today’s leftist rants. (I scored 2.3, mostly because of Q’s 2-4. 1950 avg was 3.84.)
(Link found here.)


by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments


An experimental pilotless plane has broken the world speed record for an atmospheric engine, briefly flying at 7,700 kilometres per hour – seven times the speed of sound, NASA says.

The SCRAMjet program is an attempt to find a replacement the Space Shuttle. The air-breathing supersonic engine is NASA’s prime candidate for the next generation of smaller, lighter, and much more efficient reusable space vehicles. The technology has the potential to revolutionize space travel, but the program is still in its infancy, and faces significant technical challenges such as sustaining thrust at hypersonic speeds and developing a composite replacement for the space shuttle’s “tiles.” Given the nature of NASA’s bureaucracy, I think it’s more likely that an intermediate Shuttle-era replacement will be developed in the meantime. Meanwhile, several X-Prize teams plan to use a variations of a supersonic-combustion ramjet engine. My bet for the next-generation spacecraft is Burt Rutan.

More lunacy

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

Kerry’s plan to create 10 million jobs — a plan that Republicans branded yesterday as unworkable and ineffectual — depends on an array of tax cuts and changes in the tax code. The centerpiece is an end to a tax break enacted in the early 1960s, known as deferral, that allows US companies to delay paying taxes on foreign income so long as those profits are reinvested in those overseas operations.
Kerry said this change would strip away an incentive for companies to move jobs abroad and generate about $12 billion annually, which would be used to pay for a 5 percent reduction in the corporate tax rate, from 35 percent to 33.25 percent. Citing IRS studies, campaign advisers contended that 99 percent of US companies would owe less in taxes after these twin changes. The plan also includes a one-year “tax holiday” for corporations that invest foreign revenues into their US operations, proposing to tax those profits at a special 10 percent rate.

Now first of all, economic predictions of this kind are insanely impossible. Second, politicians cannot “create” jobs by the very definition of politics – they can either make it illegal for people to work, or get out of our way so bussinessmen can create wealth. Third, let me get this “recovery plan” straight:

  1. American companies are forced to be less competitive by limiting outsourcing.
  2. Investment funds dry up as Bush tax cut is repealed.
  3. Double-tax American companies for profits they make abroad.
  4. (Some miracle)
  5. Deficit is gone, so we can decrease taxes one again, making everyone happy.

Is that how it works?

Oh, the madness

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

His wife is suspected of being “six to eight” weeks pregnant, although an autopsy didn’t show it:

Investigators are trying to determine if the victim, Ashley Nicole Wilson, 19, was pregnant when she died in January. If so, Leach could face a capital murder charge in the slaying of two people during the same act. Capital murder is punishable by death, while murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.