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  • Archive for April, 2010

    Quote of the Day

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 9th April 2010 (All posts by )

    We must think things, not words, or at least we must constantly translate our words into facts for which they stand, if we are to keep to the real and the true.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Law and Science and Science and Law, 12 Harv.L.Rev. 443, 460 (1889).

    Posted in Academia, Civil Liberties, Economics & Finance, Law, Management, Military Affairs, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rhetoric, USA | 2 Comments »

    Seems Obvious To Me

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 8th April 2010 (All posts by )

    As anyone who has been interested in the debate over armed self defense knows, the vast majority of professional journalists have a deep seated bias against the very concept. Private citizens owning guns so they can protect their family and themselves? That path leads to chaos and death! Or so they seem to believe.

    How are self defense advocates able to discern this? After all, most journalists insist that they are as unbiased as a person is able to be when discussing any subject under the Sun. And yet they repeatedly and consistently make the same mistakes when writing about the subject.

    The laws concerning the ownership and use of weapons are usually ignored or misrepresented, the capabilities of firearms are almost always distorted, and the statistics indicating that private citizens who legally carry concealed firearms for their defense are the most peaceful and law abiding members of our society are rarely mentioned. And, most striking, these errors seem to go in only one direction. Data checking and being thorough about the facts seems to be important only if it advances the gun control agenda.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Media, RKBA | 36 Comments »

    Quote of the Day

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 8th April 2010 (All posts by )

    There is one aspect of the change in moral values brought about by the advance of collectivism which at the present time provides special food for thought. It is that the virtues which are held less and less in esteem and which consequently become rarer are precisely those on which the British people justly prided themselves and in which they were generally agreed to excel. The virtues possessed by Anglo-Saxons in a higher degree than most other people, excepting only a few of the smaller nations, like the Swiss and the Dutch, were independence and self-reliance, individual initiative and local responsibility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, noninterference with one’s neighbor and tolerance of the different and queer, respect for custom and tradition, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.

    F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom

    Posted in Anglosphere, Civil Society, Conservatism, Health Care, Libertarianism, Quotations, USA | 4 Comments »

    Not Good

    Posted by David Foster on 8th April 2010 (All posts by )

    “Whose idea was this?”

    Weekly Standard: “That is one of Obama’s favorite questions, according to Game Change, the bestselling (and definitive) book on the 2008 presidential campaign. He usually aims the question at advisers in anticipation of their telling him the idea was his and had proved to be a good one.”

    If correct, this is just pathetic, and demonstrates Obama’s complete lack of the instincts necessary for success in an executive position.

    A good executive does not need to always be the smartest person in the room. A good executives does not engage in status contests with his subordinates. A good executive takes as much or more satisfaction in an idea coming from one of his team members as from an idea of his own…because he understands that his job is to cultivate and grow those subordinates, not to act as the source of all brilliance.

    Peter Drucker once asserted that if a person doesn’t hold signficant management responsiblity before he is 30, it’s unlikely that he will ever develop into a really good manager. There are certainly individual exceptions, but in general this is correct…one reason being that he will not have developed the instincts to focus on the performance of the team rather than his own individual performance.

    The cited Obamian behavior is very revealing, and is entirely consistent with his top-down-control attitude toward the American economy and American society as a whole.

    (Weekly Standard link here)

    Posted in Management, Politics | 5 Comments »

    The Five-Pound Butterfly Revisited

    Posted by David Foster on 6th April 2010 (All posts by )

    Several years ago, the WSJ wrote about the tendency of many companies to do hiring based on a long string of highly-specific (and excessively-specific) requirements. One person interviewed remarked that “Companies are looking for a five-pound butterfly. Not finding them doesn’t mean there is a shortage of butterflies.”

    Since that article was written, the five-pound butterfly effect has probably gotten worse rather than better in the business world. But hunting for five-pound butterflies also seems to be increasingly affecting other areas of life, including college admissions and the search for love and marriage.

    First I’ll talk about the five-pound butterfly effect in a business context and then develop its applicability to other areas. The WSJ article mentioned a company that makes automobile bumper parts and was looking for a factory shift supervisor. They eliminated all candidates who didn’t have a BS degree, even though many had relevant experience, and also insisted on experience with the specific manufacturing software that was in use at the plant. It took six months to fill this job (during which time the position was being filled by someone who wouldn’t ultimately be chosen for it.) Another company, Wabtec, which makes components for railcars and buses, insisted on knowledge of a specific version of the computer-aided design system it uses, even though the differences between that version and the earlier version were not all that great.

    And as the article (which focused mainly on engineering jobs) didn’t mention…there were certainly talented salespeople who didn’t get hired this week because they lacked specific experience with the particular sales automation or customer resource management system being used..knowledge that they could have easily picked up during their first week or two on the job.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Education, Management, USA | 18 Comments »

    Was Islamic Terrorism Caused by Square Dancing and Lady Gaga?

    Posted by David Foster on 6th April 2010 (All posts by )

    In some quarters, it’s popular to blame the rise of Islamic terrorism on economic factors (poverty) and geopolitical factors (Israeli “settlements,” American troops in the Middle East.) Bret Stephens argues that a far more important driver of terrorism is rage at the freedom–and especially the sexuality–of Western women. At the link, Stephens cites the horrified reaction of Sayyid Qutb, who is considered the intellectual godfather of Al Qaeda, to his experiences during his visit to the U.S. in the late 1940s. Qutb was particularly repelled by what he called “the American Temptress.”

    Stephens doesn’t mention it, but–Qutb formed his vision of the American Temptress while observing a square dance at a church social!

    The point about the connection between sexual fear and hostility on the one hand, and Islamic terrorism on the other, is by no means new with Stephens, of course, but he describes the case well and uses it to explain why the growing fashion of casting Israel as the root cause of terrorism is a ridiculous one.

    Link via psychiatrist Dr Sanity, who adds extensive commentary.

    Posted in Middle East, Religion, Terrorism, USA | 21 Comments »

    Senator Dodd’s Bill for the Establishment of an Oligarchy

    Posted by Zenpundit on 5th April 2010 (All posts by )

    This may seem slightly redundant, in light of David Foster’s post below which inspired me to post this on my own blog, but Lexington Green strongly felt that the point could stand repeating ( or shouting from the rooftops). So, here goes:

    Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) is working hard in Washington…. to make sure that only those who are already Rich and Powerful will have a shot at being rich and powerful.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Economics & Finance, Entrepreneurship, Leftism, Markets and Trading, Society, USA | 11 Comments »

    Relocalization

    Posted by Shannon Love on 5th April 2010 (All posts by )

    Delocalization
    versus
    Relocalization

    Twittering Earthquakes

    It does make me wonder if we could create a distributed alarm system that might alert people that were far enough removed from the epicenter. It wouldn’t be useful for small quakes but for big ones it might give people enough warning to do some good (assuming the system wasn’t swamped by false alarms) .

    Posted in Science | 2 Comments »

    Complete Economic Madness

    Posted by David Foster on 5th April 2010 (All posts by )

    Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd wants to impose some changes on the way that financing for new ventures works in America:

    First, Dodd’s bill would require startups raising funding to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and then wait 120 days for the SEC to review their filing. A second provision raises the wealth requirements for an “accredited investor” who can invest in startups — if the bill passes, investors would need assets of more than $2.3 million (up from $1 million) or income of more than $450,000 (up from $250,000). The third restriction removes the federal pre-emption allowing angel and venture financing in the United States to follow federal regulations, rather than face different rules between states.

    Here’s Keith Rabois, an early PayPal employee who is now a VP of Slide and an angel investor:

    Anyone still need more evidence that Obama and the Democrats intend to destroy Silicon Valley and the dreams of entrepreneurs?

    Numerous other comments from investors at VentureBeat. (link via Power and Control, who adds comments of his own)

    Note that while government seeks to protect individuals without a certain level of assets & income from participating in the economically-essential and often profitable activity of venture investing (even though some of these individuals may be highly sophisticated in their understanding of finance and of the relevant markets), it also seeks, via elaborate advertising campaigns, to lure people of all income levels–in practice, especially the poor–to “invest” their money in state lotteries.

    Disclosure: I have investments in venture capital.

    Posted in Business, Economics & Finance, Politics | 15 Comments »

    Containing Mexico

    Posted by Joseph Fouche on 5th April 2010 (All posts by )

    tehag comments on Alas! Poor Mexico. So Far From God, So Close to Chaos:

    Containment worked for the Soviet Union. Do you think it will work for Mexico?

    I figure that’s worth a post.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Americas, Immigration, Latin America, Law Enforcement, National Security, Urban Issues | 4 Comments »

    “Under a dusty hospital tent where doctors yell over the roar of jet engines, Dr. John York studied an electronic image of a blood vessel in the neck of a soldier wounded by an improvised bomb. It looked like a balloon ready to pop.”

    Posted by onparkstreet on 4th April 2010 (All posts by )

    “Under a dusty hospital tent where doctors yell over the roar of jet engines, Dr. John York studied an electronic image of a blood vessel in the neck of a soldier wounded by an improvised bomb. It looked like a balloon ready to pop. Too delicate to operate on directly. Dr. York would have to try a procedure that had rarely been attempted so close to a battlefield.” – Alan Cullison, Wall Street Journal

    First-rate article in the WSJ. (via Abu Muqawama Twitter feed)

    I attended a conference a couple of weeks ago, where I had the chance to hear a few military surgeons discuss their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Amazing work being done.

    Posted in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Iraq | Comments Off on “Under a dusty hospital tent where doctors yell over the roar of jet engines, Dr. John York studied an electronic image of a blood vessel in the neck of a soldier wounded by an improvised bomb. It looked like a balloon ready to pop.”

    Escalation

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 4th April 2010 (All posts by )

    Zenpundit has a post up about how gunmen employed by one of the drug cartels in northern Mexico have demanded that an entire town empty out. They want the people gone, or else they will start killing.

    Zen thinks this is the start of the end for Mexico, and sees a potential flood of refugees from our neighbor to the south.

    To anyone interested in the subject, thought you might appreciate the news that the cartels are now attacking Mexican army bases.

    A last and hopeless act of desperation by criminals who are on the ropes, or a canny move to test the security of their greatest foes?

    We shall see.

    (Hat tip to Scott, who snarks like mad when he says “Man, this never would have happened without American gun shows.”)

    Posted in Crime and Punishment, Latin America, Law Enforcement | 7 Comments »

    Happy Easter

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 4th April 2010 (All posts by )

    resurrection

    Posted in Holidays | 2 Comments »

    Wrong Venue

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 4th April 2010 (All posts by )

    I just found out that Iran is hosting a nuclear disarmament conference.

    That is sort of like John Wayne Gacy hosting a police convention.

    Posted in Iran, National Security | Comments Off on Wrong Venue

    Why the Democrats Raked It In

    Posted by Shannon Love on 3rd April 2010 (All posts by )

    On this Reason post [h/t Instapundit] about possible serious political warping of the “stimulus”spending, commenter nate made an interesting claim:

    I work in a federal agency that had a good portion of stimulus cash and was part of the team that picked projects to get funds. We really didn’t look at unemployment in the area. Our main criterion was whether the project had been designed and engineered to a point that we could get construction going pretty quickly. Once we set out our list, we sent it up to OMB. They knocked some stuff out and changed it up some, but for the most part the final list looked like what we sent them. I doubt politics had too much to do with the selection of projects.

    I actually think this is very likely. As much as I would gain emotional satisfaction from the idea that perfidious Democrats systematically channeled hundreds of billions of dollars to their cronies in old style big city machine corruption writ large…

    … I just don’t think they’re that competent.

    Instead, I think the asymmetry could largely result from the type of projects that nate and his colleagues were primed to fund. They didn’t fund projects because the projects fulfilled an important need. Neither did they fund projects that local areas could not afford and therefore had never started. Instead, they funded projects based solely on how far along the projects already were in their development.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Economics & Finance, Political Philosophy | 8 Comments »

    The End of Mexico?

    Posted by Zenpundit on 3rd April 2010 (All posts by )

    An ineffective or inappropriate state response will make this tactic go viral:

    ….Last week, at least 30 Mexicans from the town of El Porvenir walked to the border crossing post at Fort Hancock, Texas, and asked for political asylum. Ordinarily, their claim would be denied as groundless, and they would be turned back. Instead, they were taken to El Paso, where they expect to have their cases heard.

    No one doubts that they have a strong claim. Their town on the Mexican side of the border is under siege by one or more drug cartels battling for control of the key border crossing. According to Mike Doyle, the chief deputy sheriff of Hudspeth County, Texas, one of the cartels has ordered all residents of the town of 10,000 to abandon the city within the next month.

    “They came in and put up a sign in the plaza telling everyone to leave or pay with their own blood,” Doyle said. Since then there has been a steady stream of El Porvenir residents seeking safety on the American side of the border, both legally and illegally. Among them are the 30 who are seeking political asylum.

    In recent days the situation in the impoverished, dusty border town has grown worse. According to Jose Franco, the superintendent of schools in Fort Hancock, the cartels have threatened to execute children in school unless parents pay 5000 pesos in protection money.

    And on Wednesday night, according to Doyle, several houses in El Porvenir were set on fire, and there were reports of cars loaded with furniture leaving the town.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Americas, Latin America, Military Affairs, National Security, Politics, Predictions, Terrorism, USA, War and Peace | 95 Comments »

    Burglary, Theft, And A Frame

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 3rd April 2010 (All posts by )

    Great Britain is currently in the throes of hysteria over pedophiles, as they seem to see them under every bed. This is a subject I have written about before.

    An incredibly clever and sick individual has tried to use this to his advantage. A man obsessed with a coworker tried to frame her husband for child pr0n. He did this by repeatedly breaking into the victim’s house while the family was asleep, copying the family computer on a portable hard drive, and then going back to his own home to prepare and insert the doctored evidence.

    What doctored evidence is that? It seems that he also broke in to the family’s house while they were away so he could take photos of the place. He probably Photoshopped some pics of kids being abused into the images of the home.

    Months later he broke in again to steal the family’s hard drive from their computer, which he mailed to the police. Lucky thing suspicion fell upon the perp, and that he wasn’t half so clever in covering his own tracks. When the police investigated the criminal, they easily found all the evidence needed for the scheme to be revealed.

    There are many elements of this story that I find shocking in the extreme.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Britain, Crime and Punishment | 7 Comments »

    New! ChicagoBoyz Ag Scene!

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 2nd April 2010 (All posts by )

    cows 015

    Annabelle is less than impressed.

    Posted in Photos | 10 Comments »

    Not An April Fools Joke

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 1st April 2010 (All posts by )

    At first I thought that this person, Hank Johnson, may have some sort of mental disease as he was wrestling with the relatively simple terms in the beginning of the video. Unfortunately, it looks like I may be dead wrong – I think he is simply dumb as a box of dead crabs. Any wonder why Congress is reviled, hated and mocked?


    It had to be all the good Admiral could do to not laugh out loud at this theory – I wouldn’t have been able to keep my laughter contained.

    Posted in Politics, Video | 24 Comments »