Sunday, February 24, 2008


In a recent posting on his blog, the economist George Reisman points out that although we may disagree with many ideas (isms), few adhering to beliefs in those philosophies would admit to supporting what could be characterized as evil i.e." that which causes harm or destruction or misfortune". Additionally I would pose the question: does evil exist independent from human existence? This is akin to the academic query that if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it is there in fact a noise? The moral concept of evil is recorded by human history and invariably posits that evil must be related in some measure to human existence. Consider the following quotes:

"What we’ve got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.
Timothy Wirth, former U.S. Senator (D-Colorado)

"Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs." John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

“In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation.” Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund

"Cannibalism is a “radical but realistic solution to the problem of overpopulation.”
Lyall Watson, The Financial Times, 15 July 1995

"We, in the green movement, aspire to a cultural model in which killing a forest will be considered more contemptible and more criminal than the sale of 6-year-old children to Asian brothels."
Carl Amery

"The continued rapid cooling of the earth since WWII is in accord with the increase in global air pollution associated with industrialization, mechanization, urbanization and exploding population."
Reid Bryson, “Global Ecology; Readings towards a rational strategy for Man”, (1971)

"In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer.
Paul Ehrlich, in The Population Bomb (1968)

All of the above quotes are by so called "leaders" in the environmental movement. There is NO record of these statements being either condemned or disputed by any recognized environmental organization.
If and when the environmentalists take full power, and begin imposing and then progressively increasing the severity of such things as carbon taxes and carbon caps, in order to reach their goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent, the number of deaths that will result will rise into the billions, which is in accord with the movement’s openly professed agenda of large-scale depopulation. (The policy will have little or no effect on global mean temperatures, the reduction of which is the rationalization for its adoption, but it will have a great effect on the size of human population.)

Compared to the so called "evil" political movements of recent history such as Communism and National Socialism, environmentalism ranks as equally evil if one considers the 96+ millions of deaths attributed to the unnecessary banning of DDT.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Yours' truly has been criticized by various well intentioned colleagues and friends for having a hankering for owning a HK416 assault rifle. The main objection to the rifle is its use of the 5.56X 45mm (.223) military cartridge. Such criticisms are all well and good if the purpose of the weapon is to knock down an opponent at ranges of more than 100 meters. For that purpose a larger bore rifle is more appropriate. As ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ is not a highly trained sniper and has been known to handle his firearms with a degree of salutary neglect when it comes to cleaning, the new item from Heckler and Koch seems to be the ideal solution. What a pity that the process for obtaining a license to own a fully automatic weapon is so arduous.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Update To Politics of Flags

The Obama campaign "volunteer" in Houston, TX who is so enamored of the mass murderer Ernesto "Che" Guevara has been identified. Her name is Maria Isabel and an identical but larger flag displaying the Marxist revolutionary's image has been until recently prominently hung from the balcony of her apartment in Houston. We say "recently" as a field trip to that location by a local investigative blogger revealed the offensive flag had recently been replaced by a huge U.S. flag accompanied by a Houston police officer in an obvious effort to "discourage" the curious .

Senator Obama has attempted to evade responsibility for the prominent placing of the Cuban flag in the Houston campaign office. In view of the above photo of the senator with Ms Isabel, you be the judge.

ht: Instapundit

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Politics of Flags

I for one seem to remember recent flaps over the display of the Confederate battle flag as part of various southern state flags. It fact protests against such displays by leftists ignorant of history resulted in the recent removal of the "stars and bars" from the Georgia state flag by order of the Republican governor Sonny Purdue. Imagine the outcry if the Confederate flag were prominently and proudly displayed in the office of a Republican candidate for high office such as Mr Huckabee or Mr McCain.

It would appear that the display of the Cuban flag replete with the countenance of the mass murderer Ernesto "Che" Guevara is no big deal when given a prominent place in the campaign office of the Democratic candidate for president (Barak Hussein Obama) who promises "change"and incidentally refuses to wear a US flag pin on his lapel. One can only hope that such "change" is not accomplished by Ernesto's tool of choice which was the projectile from a Colt model 1911 .45cal semi auto pistol applied to the back of a political opponent's head.

An Escape?

It seems that this humble scribbler has been tagged by a colleague blogger with an assignment of sorts. To wit: If ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ had an inexhaustible supply of financial resources, and time, where would he spend: One Week, One Month, One Year and Half of his Life? Answering such questions, though academic and more than a bit fanciful, tends to reveal the life experience of the respondent as well as his/her/its philosophical outlook.

Firstly, the answers to these questions will vary widely when asked of individuals of varying ages; for example, Leonidas has had the good fortune just prior to the onset of midlife to be able to embark on a lifelong dream of sailing away aboard a smallish sail boat to experience a somewhat self sufficient and at times adventurous lifestyle visiting a surfeit of exotic and out-of-the-way places not available to the average tourist. Interspersed between these exotic locales were the expected instances of joy, awe and terror such as riding out hurricanes, being jailed as a spy by a revolutionary communist government, trading skin magazines with local fishermen for buckets of lobster and shrimp as well as being offered a huge stalk of bananas in exchange for the ship's cat in an anchorage on the north coast of Haiti. That particular Haitian averring that: "There's lots of good meat on that cat." The ordinary Haitian diet is lacking in protein. Needless to say the offer was declined and Caloosa T. Katt retained his position as the chief mate in charge of varmint suppression aboard the good sloop Leonidas.

As is inevitable, all of life's adventures must be surrendered with the passage of time and the concomitant onset of boredom and diminishing capabilities, the most influential of which is the "been there, done that" attitude. This, even though the aforementioned adventures were interspersed with 3 transcontinental motorcycle trips as well as ranching in the northwest US and surviving a gunfight with a dope grower. Anyway you get the drift.

In view of the above, it is safe therefore, in this instance to dismiss the first 3 questions posed in the first paragraph of this posting and focus on the 4th and final one: "Where would Leonidas spend his remaining and allotted time on this planet. My colleague Wollf answers this question by referring not to a geographical location but to an ideal relationship. He is wise to focus on such a choice but Leonidas happily arrived at that nirvana some score of years ago and will address the geographical issue.

There exists in the northeastern Caribbean a remarkable volcanic island of scant 5 square miles extent which rises to an altitude of about 3000ft. The island is steep to and has no beaches or harbors for large vessels. It is thus mercifully free of the ubiquitous cruise ships and their accompanying gawking throngs that have been the bane of many an erstwhile pristine tropical island paradise. Visiting the island by small vessel is problematic as there exist no safe all weather anchorages and changes in the wind direction of only a few degrees can make the existing anchorages untenable. Additionally, the absence of level ground precludes a long airstrip necessary for aircraft capable of carrying large numbers of tourists.

In spite of all of the above "drawbacks", the Island of Saba administrated by the Netherlands boasts a friendly and resourceful population as well as the modern amenities including long distance communications taken for granted in western societies.

In view of the electoral choices available here in the US come next November, Leonidas would seriously consider becoming a US ex-pat resident of Saba were the issues of family logistics to be overcome by an accretion of financial resources. Any contributions?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What's a GriGri?

Herr Doktor Goebbels had it right when he stated that big lies are more readily believed than small ones and that any lie repeated often enough will eventually gain credibility with a large portion of the population. An example of this assertion is the widespread acceptance that "Bush lied the US into the invasion of Iraq". When pressed, the political enemies of Bush inevitably cite the failure of the Iraq invasion to reveal the existence of "weapons of mass destruction" in the arsenals of the Iraqi dictator. But this is a tortured definition of "lie" which is objectively defined as a statement by someone who knows it to be false e.g. "I never had sexual relations with that woman...". Mr. Bush in stating the widely held belief that Saddam possessed WMDs although mistaken, does not qualify as a lie in spite of the best efforts of his political enemies.

The use of the big lie continually repeated, is routinely utilized by the so called "environmentalist" movement, especially it's anthropogenic global warming (warmista) wing which has convinced a substantial portion of the world's population (especially the ruling elite) that climate change is caused by human economic activity. The assertion by the warmistas that increased governmental regulation is the solution to their alleged catastrophic scenario is settled science beyond further debate is absurd on its face in view of the many thousands of dissenting scientific minds. A clue to the mythical dimension of these allegations are the strenuous efforts to suppress and demonize dissenting or skeptical viewpoints.

Possibly the most egregious example of the emergence of the acceptance of a myth as fact is the now established belief that all "recycling" is always beneficial to the environment. This myth is so embedded in for example, Swedish culture as well as our own here in the US, that the mere questioning of it evokes shouts of "blasphemy" and the dismissal of anyone who utters it as beyond the pale. When, however one who has compared the energy and resources needed to recycle products as opposed to their production from naturally occurring resources and found such recycling to be a net energy and/or material loss, the tendency is to ignore or dismiss the results as being virtually sacrilegious. As a matter of fact, without substantial government subsidies and force, most recycling efforts would be exposed for the wastefulness in terms of human effort and energy that they are.
The people of Sweden are... forced to clean their trash before carefully separating different kinds of materials. This is the future, they say, and it is supposedly good for the environment. (What about the economy?) Imagine a whole population spending time and money cleaning their garbage and driving it around the neighborhood rather than working or investing in a productive market!

But it doesn't end with the extra work at home and the extra space in each and every kitchen occupied by a variety of trash bins. What do you do with the trash that isn't collected? The garbage collection service (which nowadays doesn't offer collection too often, usually biweekly or monthly, even though the rates mysteriously seem to be much higher than before) only accepts certain types of garbage, generally only biodegradable food leftovers. But do not worry; it is all taken care of.

The authorities have established trash collection centers in most neighborhoods where you get to throw away your trash. These "centers" offer numerous containers where you can throw away your trash — there is one container dedicated for each and every kind of trash and they are all neatly color-coded to help you find the right one. But this means you better have separated your aluminum from your other metals and your newspapers from your soft and hard papers before you get here. You wouldn't want to throw away dirty milk cartons, cans with paper labels or unsorted paper, would you?

But it seems people do just that: they cheat if they believe they are better off doing so. So the authorities have responded by making it more difficult to cheat. Their first measure was to redesign all containers so that it is more difficult throwing the "wrong" trash in them. For instance, containers for glass have only small, round holes where you put your bottles [one at a time!], and containers for hard paper and carton materials have only letter-slit shaped holes (you need to flatten all boxes before recycling — that's the law).

Well, that didn't do the trick. People kept on cheating. And the more difficult the authorities made it to cheat, the more difficult it was to get rid of the trash even if you intended to put it in the right place. So people went to these centers and simply put everything next to the containers instead — why bother? The authorities responded by appointing salaried "trash collection center spies" (!) to document who was cheating so that they could be brought to justice. (There have actually been a few court cases where people have been tried for not following recycling laws.)

Admittedly, the above Swedish example is extreme and the result of nearly 3 generations of socialism at work but is a view into the future for the rest of us should the march of collectivism continue unchecked. An excellent and entertaining video presentation on this subject by the comedy team of Penn and Teller in 3 parts is here , here and here.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Slippery Slope

The selling points of virtually all proposed legislative acts invariably include the assertion that they are benign efforts to address this or that crisis, injustice or societal problem. After the enactment however, we find the real world effects of the application of these statutes is quite another matter.

One of the glaring examples of this phenomenon is of course the ratification of the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1913 which enabled the Federal government to tax income. The chief reason put forth in support of the proposal was the facilitation of collecting from "fortunate" citizens a "fair share" of the exponentially increasing cost of government programs whose chief purpose is to purchase the votes of one or another political constituency. Additional arguments posited by the Progressives at that time in support of the amendment was that the small marginal rates of the progressive taxation would only effect a very minute percentage of the population and then only the very wealthy. Sound familiar? The good intentions paving that road to today's hell (IRS) are obvious in retrospect. Times have certainly changed since the early decades of the 20th century when it was accepted that changes to the Constitution required legislative action as prescribed in the document instead of the judicial fiat of a mere five black robed members of the legal priesthood.

A similar logic, or I might say, a lack thereof, has attended the widespread acceptance of "hate crime" legislation. These "laws" are attempts to penalize the thoughts of perpetrators by assigning additional penalties dictated by the baseness of their motives. If it can be successfully argued that a criminal has selected his victim on the basis of that person's membership in a protected group, the criminal will receive additional punishment. It therefore comes down to which groups are designated as specifically protected and this process is of necessity a political one. We thus now have political and thought crimes.

Enter House bill H.R. 1955: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 which passed the House on 23 Oct. 2007 and is now before Senate committees. When has "An Act to Prevent ________" actually succeeded in preventing anything?
The most disturbing aspects of this bill, and there are many, are the definitions noted in Section 899a. The three offenses defined in this document that will warrant prosecution are:

“Violent Radicalization: The term ‘violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.”

“Homegrown Terrorism: The term ‘homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

“Ideologically based violence: The term ‘ideologically based violence’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs.”

Laws virtually identical to this bill have been enacted in various jurisdictions of Europe and have more often than not been used to suppress groups and individuals critical of the policies of the ruling, mostly unelected political elite with respect to immigration and the inexorable islamization of that hapless continent. Comments by US bloggers and other observers often allege that such outrages are precluded from occurring on the western shores of the Atlantic due to the protections of the First and Second amendments. I would hasten to remind you, dear readers that the second amendment's protection against infringement of the right of the people to keep and bear arms for otherwise lawful purposes does not extend into the cities of Washington, New York or Chicago nor to the state of California. Additionally, the First Amendment's protection of free speech does not include certain political speech during a specified time period prior to a national election. It seems that in localities and times when these "rights" are the most needed and useful, they will be violated by our rulers.

Cross posted at: Eternity Road