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March 2010

"Why Does the American Left Fear the Rise of India?"

Good question.

One answer.

The American left simply prefers to play hardball with allies than with adversaries. Recall President Carter’s handling of Iran: the allied shah was condemned as an autocrat; the enemy Khomeini, a “holy man.” For Carter, our anticommunist allies were violators of human rights first, second, and third; the Soviets, murderers of tens of millions, were benign enough for Carter to proclaim Americans had an “inordinate fear of communism.”

Contemporaneously, the left’s is a world where dictatorial Venezuela is to be apologized for, democratic Colombia economically punished; where the fascists and racists and bus-bombers in Palestine are “misunderstood” and the democrats in Israel are Nazi brownshirts incarnate. Anti-American terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Lebanon are euphemized as “guerrillas,” whereas pro-American militiamen are castigated as “warlords” — and on and on it goes.

Embroiling the Indians in such amoral nonsense would threaten not only our present rapport with India, but also what could potentially become the most significant American alliance with another country this century — an alliance rooted in a commonality of values, genuine companionship and affection for one another, and solidarity against the totalitarian evils of the world. The United States should welcome India’s rise. We’re largely the reason it’s occurring.


"Online Schools"

"Our Goal Is Simple - To Create A Series Of Curated Schools By Producing, Collecting And Cataloging The Vast Array Of Visually Stunning Academic Content Circulating Throughout The Internet."

I've linked to things from this site before. Here are three new examples:

"Cool Stats About Money".

"Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food".

"College in America". (Warning: may be too darn discouraging for many readers.)


"The Liberty Manifesto"

Every once in a while, we should remind ourselves just what the fundamental debate in our political system is. For a short, direct reminder, I can think of no better language than that provided by P. J. O'Rourke:

I don't know what's good for you. You don't know what's good for me. We don't know what's good for mankind. And it sometimes seems as though we're the only people who don't. It may well be that, gathered right here in this room tonight,are all the people in the world who don't want to tell all the people in the world what to do.

This is because we believe in freedom. Freedom -- what this country was established upon, what the Constitution was written to defend, what the Civil War was fought to perfect.

Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment is what the Serbs have in Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It's not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights -- the "right" to education, the "right" to health care, the "right" to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery -- hay and a barn for human cattle.

"A Message to Redistributionists" is excellent, too.


Two of the small wonders that develop in markets

"Pop-up eateries a hit with New York's hip".

Restaurants that open for limited times on other businesses' premises boast a built-in cool and allow experimentation without big overhead.  

"Second Life's virtual money can become real-life cash".

In the physical world, Moore, 62, writes software for a subsidiary of defense contractor Raytheon. In the virtual world, he is one of thousands of entrepreneurs selling products -- for genuine American dollars -- that add a remarkably profitable dose of reality to Second Life's fantasy world.

Newbies show up in Second Life without so much as 40 acres and a mule, so their avatars need hair, and fancy shoes for a concert or suits for business meetings, and a house, and art for the house, and maybe a waterfall for the living room -- virtual goods that cost real money.

Last year, as the physical economy withered, Second Life's economy blossomed, with user-to-user transactions topping $567 million in actual U.S. currency, a 65 percent jump over 2008. About 770,000 unique users made repeat visits to Second Life in December, and the users, known as residents, cashed out $55 million of their Second Life earnings last year, transferring that money to PayPal accounts.

The big purchases in Second Life are land and the material goods residents put on that land. It isn't real land, obviously, but digital space that looks like land. Users control the intellectual property rights to whatever they build, giving them economic incentive to create things. And create they do.