29 April 2009

Prevention or Persecution?

There was a story today about the government of Egypt deciding that, in order to prevent "the spread of swine flu", they would destroy all the hogs at hog farms across the country.

Now, many of you may be thinking, "Wait a minute. Aren't hogs 'unclean' to Muslim*? Why would an Islamic nation even have hog farms?" Well, according to the story, the hog farms are owned by, and produce pork for, the roughly 10% Christian minority in the country.

When I first heard the story, I thought, "This sounds like an attack on Christians by certain Muslim." There was no mention of possible remuneration for destroying these business owners' (hog farmers) stock in trade. Only that the hogs would be destroyed, leaving the hog farmers with no hogs to farm, and no way to continue business.

Thanks to @infidelsarecool, who posted this story while I was writing this blog entry. The people who collect the garbage to feed the hogs are protesting in the streets because they are among Egypt's poorest, and they will be devastated if there is no market for their product. There is mention in the story of compensation for the farmers, of 1,000 Egyptian pounds (120 GBP, or about $177) per animal. But it's also stated that the farmers have "little confidence" they'd ever see any of it.

Maybe I'm wrong, but given that the consumption of pork does not cause this "swine flu", and in fact the H1N1 virus has never even been found in swine (as stated in the 2nd story), it seems to me that this so-called pandemic is being used as an excuse by governments around the world to accomplish objectives that have nothing to do with the health of their citizens.

Update 2 (2009/04/30)
I saw some tweets about Massachusetts passing a bill to authorize martial law in response to a pandemic emergency. While that is not explicitly stated in this bill, the proposed Section 2A, Paragraph (b) authorizes the governor to activate the "comprehensive emergency management plan" in case of a "public health emergency". It is unclear
whether this could include martial law.

*Because in Semitic languages, the -im suffix indicates a plural, I use "Muslim" as a plural rather than "Muslims".
†By "unclear", I mean I didn't bother to look it up, since I don't live in Massachusetts.

24 April 2009

They Just Don't Get It

Tea Parties
: They just don't get it.

Even some people who are sympathetic to the idea of lowering taxes and shrinking the bureaucracy don't understand them. I think it's because these people suffer from the "beltway" mentality.

Bruce Bartlett is a Forbes.com columnist. He has written a book titled
Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. Mr. Bartlett recently wrote a piece for The New Majority about what he calls the "tax tea parties." In this piece, he writes:

In my opinion, these tea parties had little, if anything, to do with current or projected tax levels.
I happen to agree with that opinion. However, Mr. Bartlett goes on to conclude that the protests were simply partisan Republican gatherings, and were designed to increase ratings for Fox News and radio hosts.

They just don't get it.

Maybe it's our fault. Maybe because of the nature of the protests--that they were real grass-roots, locally organized efforts, with no celebrity national spokesman--they just didn't pay attention. Or they got mixed messages. There were, after all, several themes to the signs even in the relatively small Carson City, NV protest.

For me, and for many others, we have just reached a point where we are sick and tired of the Statist Bureaucrats making plans and decisions about how we are to live our lives, and inserting their out-of-touch plans into our personal business. I did hear a very few folks in the media expressing this; Glenn Beck springs to mind. But it seems they were drowned out (if you can believe that) by the myriad voices intent on ascribing tax-only or partisan motives to our protests.

They just don't get it.

What's my point? I guess that maybe we just need to consolidate our message. I think that the TaxDayTeaParty.com website was a great resource for those gatherings. It is associated with the Don't Go Movement (follow Eric Odom on Twitter), and also Smart Girl Politics (Founded by Stacy Mott and Teri Christoph).

Maybe next time, they'll get it.

23 April 2009

Saving the Environment

In conjunction with "Earth Day", my company displayed signs about things to do that were environmentally responsible. Each was titled:
with the "O" in "ONE" represented by a little planet--centered on Australia, of all places!

This got me really steamed, so I wrote the little piece that follows. Since it would probably not be a wise choice to post it in my workplace, I decided to start a blog and present it here.


As opposed to what?
Spending it?
Abdicating it?
Relinquishing it?
Wasting it?
Ruining it?
Killing it?

How arrogant must one be to think we humans could accomplish any of these?

People who want to control your lives are counting on your emotional response to this language. They want you to give up your personal decision-making freedoms in favor of being told what’s good for everyone. They want to subject you to everyone else, which in reality will subject you to their will. They will decide what you can do based on whether it’s “good for you.”

Please think. Think what the logical consequences of this behavior must be. Think about what they say will happen, contrasted with what is actually happening.

On the first “Earth Day” in 1970, speakers quoted scientists as saying that:
  • Air pollution is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in just the next few years alone.
  • By 1980 the life expectancy of all Americans will be 42 years.
  • By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth by 1/2.
Since 1970, U.S. population is up 50%. Miles driven has increased by nearly 160%. Life expectancy? Well, you may be dead and not know it, according to those folks in 1970.

Saving the environment? How about saving our freedoms?

Please think.