All posts by Rand Simberg

“It’s” baaaaaccckkk

What a difference a few months make. According to Wired, Dean Kamen’s er.. device, code-named “Ginger” and hyped by the likes of Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs, will be unveiled next week. Somehow, I’m having trouble caring, unless it really does turn out to be an energy-efficient personal-transportation device, in which case I’ll pick one up to avoid flying…

“It’s” baaaaaccckkk

What a difference a few months make. According to Wired, Dean Kamen’s er.. device, code-named “Ginger” and hyped by the likes of Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs, will be unveiled next week. Somehow, I’m having trouble caring, unless it really does turn out to be an energy-efficient personal-transportation device, in which case I’ll pick one up to avoid flying…

More Handwringing Over Saddam

The quagmirers and murkers have clearly moved on to their next concern–keeping Iraq safe for Saddam and other living things. The latest is this piece by the normally semi-rational (if a little overexcitable) Chris Matthews.

A couple choice quotes:

To topple Saddam would take a half-million to a million U.S. troops. It would require an occupying force capable of policing a civilian population that would be embittered by a brutal bombing campaign. It would cast us in the role of the aggressor.

Ummmm… do you have some data to support that troop estimate, Chris?

I didn’t think so.

And speaking of embittered populations, I hear that the Afghan people are for the most part thrilled with our bombing over there. Do you really believe that Saddam has more domestic support than did the Taliban? The media over here may not know who’s been starving the Iraqi women and children to build palaces and weapons, but it’s no secret to the Iraqi people.

Bush must certainly know that an all-out invasion would put the United States on one side, Iraq and the rest of the world on the other. I doubt that even British Prime Minister Tony Blair would back an attack on Baghdad.

Well, unlike Chris, I don’t know whether Bush knows that or not. I don’t think that even I know that. I wonder why Chris thinks that he does. At a minimum, I actually do suspect Mr. Blair can be persuaded to go along, and Russia can be bribed with some oil deals, and no one else really matters. So, even if true, it brings to mind (albeit in an entirely more benign context) Stalin’s rhetorical question, “How many divisions does the Pope have?”

The hunt for Osama Bin Laden was an easy sell. A war with Iraq would not enjoy the same authenticity. We would be attacking a nation based on what it might do: use biological or nuclear weapons against another country.

Well, actually, Chris, we’ll be doing it for Saddam’s complicity in what happened on September 11–he was one of Osama’s accomplices. Or have you already forgotten that little meeting in Europe between Mr. Atta and the Security Minister of Iraq? We just haven’t been making the case strongly, because we didn’t want to have to deal with Iraq until we get Afghanistan well on its way to civilization.

But even if it is only preemptive, given Saddam’s track record, that is sufficient justification in itself. It’s not about what Saddam might do–he has already used chemical weapons against Iran and his own people. There should be no doubt that he will do so against us if he finds it advantageous.

Try and take slower, deeper breaths, Chris–I think you’re a little oxygen deprived.

D’oh!

Apparently, according to AP, we dropped a half-ton aid package on a house northeast of Mazar-i-Sharif and killed a civilian yesterday. This one will probably be the lead on Al-Jazeera for the next week.

It’s probably also a safe bet that Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, The International Red Cross, and Red Crescent will be denouncing the American targeting of civilians, and equating it with the World Trade Center bombings. Never mind how many lives we’ve saved, or the reality (which many don’t seem to understand about life in general) that there are no risk-free actions.

D’oh!

Apparently, according to AP, we dropped a half-ton aid package on a house northeast of Mazar-i-Sharif and killed a civilian yesterday. This one will probably be the lead on Al-Jazeera for the next week.

It’s probably also a safe bet that Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, The International Red Cross, and Red Crescent will be denouncing the American targeting of civilians, and equating it with the World Trade Center bombings. Never mind how many lives we’ve saved, or the reality (which many don’t seem to understand about life in general) that there are no risk-free actions.

D’oh!

Apparently, according to AP, we dropped a half-ton aid package on a house northeast of Mazar-i-Sharif and killed a civilian yesterday. This one will probably be the lead on Al-Jazeera for the next week.

It’s probably also a safe bet that Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, The International Red Cross, and Red Crescent will be denouncing the American targeting of civilians, and equating it with the World Trade Center bombings. Never mind how many lives we’ve saved, or the reality (which many don’t seem to understand about life in general) that there are no risk-free actions.

Oppression From The Florida Government

While many (probably including me) will make light of it, there is a serious point to this story about Florida’s law banning dwarf tossing, and one self-described dwarf’s battle to end it. Does the state or the State have a legitimate right to proscribe the livelihood of a man for which he is ideally physically suited? After all, as he points out, seven-foot-tall freaks are allowed to make (big) money jostling and injuring each other on a hardwood floor while throwing balls through hoops. He just wants the right to make a more meager living being hurled onto an air mattress by drunks. If we let them get away with this, the next thing you know, they’ll outlaw elf bowling.

When we’re not allowed to toss dwarves, the terrorists win.

Osama Occult Laden

As usual, BSNN has scooped the rest of the media and uncovered a story that the others were afraid to report. It wasn’t just bomb plans from the Journal of Irreproducible Results–apparently Osama is a secret Harry Potter fan as well. Read the dastardly story here.

We need to get this information to the front. If true, the combination of Harry’s nefarious magik with Bert’s evil genius may prove deadly for our brave men in arms as they hunt him down in the mystical caves.

Eenie, Weenie

Chili Beenie

The spirits are about to speak…

Deconstructionism Explained

Front Page magazine offers a nice little break from the war with a piece by Robert Locke called Deconstructing Deconstructionism. It’s as readable an explanation of this nonsense as you’re ever likely to get. One interesting point that he makes is that while this is a very popular subject in english, history, anthropology, sociology and womens’ studies departments, very few philosophy departments will have anything to do with it.

After you’re done reading it, papers generated by the web site described here may be more comprehensible, but don’t count on it.