November 09, 2003

Good News/Bad News

Posted by shonk at 04:55 AM in War | TrackBack

First the bad news: Craige McMillan, WorldNetDaily commentator, is proposing the following (and more) in Iraq:

Saddam loyalists should be rounded up and forced to carry the rubble out of town on their backs and bury it outside the city. ... Begin the roundups and detentions. They can never be set free. ... Destroy any mosque found to contain even a single weapon. Don't close it, completely level it. ... Here at home, we must expand the clandestine war. ... Tens of thousands of people worked for the regime, and their execution can be timed to demonstrate retribution for the death of each American soldier.
...and so on. And this guy is the founder of "an exciting new initiative to reshape the way America looks at and interacts with people of faith." Apparently, if the people of faith he's interacting with are not Christians, he prefers to "interact" as the Crusaders did. Even worse, Bush appears to be taking the message to heart. Now, I'm no apologist for terrorists or fundamentalists, but doesn't the notion of rounding up and executing all former Iraqi government employees seem a bit, well, extremist?

More bad news comes in the form of a high school drug raid in South Carolina (primary assist goes to Dave Masten at Catallarchy). Officers stormed the school with guns drawn because, apparently, the surveillance cameras already installed in the school weren't stopping the drug problem there. Needless to say, this tends to ignore the first rule of gun safety:

Never point the muzzle at anything you do not intend to destroy.
As Masten rightly points out in an impassioned appeal to the officer in charge:
Sir, contrary to what you say, your (and your officer's) actions indicate that you had no thought of anyone's safety but your own. Your actions scream very loudly that you intended to kill students.
Here's a thought: maybe if teenagers weren't being forcibly locked up in worthless schools, they wouldn't be taking so many drugs. Of course, if drugs weren't illegal, this wouldn't be such a problem in the first place.

Extending the bad-news streak, it appears that the Internet will be taxed, since the Senate can't seem to decide on what the term "Internet access" means. Actually, the real reason the tax ban debate has reached a standstill is buried a bit deeper in the article:

Several states currently collect taxes on Internet access services, and opponents of the ban are worried that the legislation could limit this revenue source.
Of course, Sen. Dorgan's claim that "You could see billions and billions of dollars lost" is patently absurd: untaxed revenue does not disappear. In fact, it tends to do a hell of a lot more good than taxed revenue.

Okay, now for the good news: Changing the World Technologies, a Philadelphia start-up, is pioneering a process that will make carbon wastes of all kinds a viable oil source. That's right, Ehrlich, as usual, was wrong and, as pointed out at Samizdata, that noise you hear is most likely Julian Simon giggling (I'd say "giggling all the way to the bank", but I'm not sure financial institutions are big players in the hereafter). Now, the basic concept of this process is that it can take virtually any kind of waste, from turkey gizzards to steel-belted radials, stuff it in one end of the machine and out the other side will come light crude oil, gas, pure water and solid minerals. With 85% efficiency. Some of the commentary at Samizdata and other places has raised concerns about scalability and have questioned how much oil could realistically be produced using this method (CWT claims 4 billion barrels year), but perhaps even more important than the possibility of independence from oil imports, this procedure has the promise to eliminate, cleanly, wastes of all varieties, from industrial waste to refinery byproducts to sewage. In fact, this procedure is so clean that the EPA is classifying CWT's first industrial implementation as a manufacturing rather than a waste-disposal operation. Eliminating all sorts of nasty wastes and turning virtually all man-made products and wastes into carbon sinks can mean nothing but good news for the environment, even if the oil produced is never enough to significantly reduce dependence on oil imports. So where are the Luddites now?

Speaking of Luddites, why not piss them off by following up my posts on globalization with a link to another Kinsey Institute article? In keeping with Bastiat's observation that "When goods don't cross borders, soldiers will", here's the Institute's conclusion:

Although the detractors of globalization fear that it has already gone too far, we believe that it has barely begun.

On a more-or-less related note, has anyone else noticed that Murakami seems to have borrowed rather heavily from Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly in his Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World? Or is it just me?