Monday, September 26, 2005


Certainly the cast of Firefly has been described as Libertarian or Burkean conservative, and act with strong principles. Since most bloggers and fans tend to be libertarian-leaning, they may be biased to this point of view. Because of this bias, someone needs to serve as an apologist for the Alliance.

The Alliance does often get "in the way", but not significantly more than our own big governments. For a government that just fought a unification war, it does not seen to be especially repressive. Our own Union government during our Civil War was not a bastion of freedom. Also, groups that resist joining a new government are not usually the good guys. Just look at Iraq and Afghanistan. The biggest injustice by the Alliance government would seem to be how they treat psychics, notably River. But real psychics can be a big problem for any government to handle. In Babylon 5, psychics had to either join and be regulated by the Psy Corps or have their abilities suppressed by drugs. This was not widely considered as evil by B5 fans. There are also no known free psychics in America, Since there are no real psychics, as far as we know. The Alliance wanting to restrict and track down people with extra powers is not completely unjust. Also, all of the details about River and the program she was in are provided by her brother. But many "moonbats" are family members of people harmed by the government, and their information has often been very unreliable. We do not know enough about their psychics program to call it evil.

The Alliance does, after all, allow Mal, a soldier who fought against them, to own his own spaceship and the freedom that it provides. The Alliance would probably leave him alone but for the fugitives who are his passengers. Except for psychics, people in the Alliance seem to be mostly free.

But by the trailer, we will probably see many questions about the Alliance and River answered in the new movie, Serenity, opening this Friday.

Joss Whedon, the OscarĀ® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family -- squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Missile Launch Detected

A Minotaur missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:24 PM tonight.

Photos at 7:30 PM and 7:34 PM.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Schwarzenegger Reruns

The Arnold Schwarzenegger for Governor show will return to California again in 2006.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Pledge Dumped

A judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has declared the unconstitutional. It violates the clause in our constitution where "no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Atheism."

Banning Video Games

The California legislature passed AB 1179 that penalizes the sale of violent video games to minors. The same legislators who voted for this are also opposed to all attempts at increased penalties for convicted sex offenders, voted against the people's will to uphold marriage, and oppose most structural reform to improve schools. California Democrats are only for the children if it involves spending money. Do they think that violent video games are more dangerous than having sex offenders living next door?

But this is really an anti-business bill. This will place a special extra burden on video game creators and retailers. Video games are a big part of California's high-tech computer industry. But even Silicon Valley's own legislators are trying to punish one of their best high-paying employers. Schwarzenegger may veto this, but Democrats will claim that it is a conflict of interest because he appears in Terminator video games.

Update: (9/15)
The Sacramento Bee reports that Schwarzenegger is likely to veto AB 1179. Also, apparently his game is not affected by the bill.

Taking any action on Yee's Assembly Bill 1179 could create the perception of conflict for Schwarzenegger. If Schwarzenegger signs the bill to ban the sale of certain "violent" video games to anyone younger than 17, he could be seen as eliminating videos that compete with his own "Terminator 3: The Redemption."
He will probably be attacked for conflict of interest either way, since the truth has never mattered in anti-Schwarzenegger ads.

The bill's author, Leland Yee, definitively claims that violent games harm children. Yee was also the author of a bill attempting to mandate Feng Shui in building codes last year.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

What's Poverty Got To Do With It?

Many of the residents of the areas New Orleans that were flooded had incomes below the poverty line. But what government policy would have saved more of them?

Government has been very successful in promoting home ownership. There was over 50% home ownership in the flooded part of the city, and the rest still owned rooms full of possessions. Even poor Americans live with lots of stuff they don't want to leave behind. Some people could even afford non-productive non-food animals (pets) that they were reluctant to leave behind. People in true poverty have little to leave behind, and would be less reluctant to leave their homes. The "success" of federal disaster aid also makes living in disaster prone areas more affordable. It is the success of our economy that so many people had homes and possessions that they did not want to leave behind. Only because of our success did so many people choose to stay behind.

The lack of private transportation is frequently cited as causing so many to stay behind. Two in 10 households in the disaster area had no car. But all government policy, from labor, CAFE, emissions, and safety standards, has been to make cars better, but more expensive. Our government does not try to increase car ownership. The government has always encouraged the use of public transportation, by rich and poor alike, to reduce pollution, congestion, and other problems. Our successful use of public transportation allows people to live without cars. But it was the failure to utilize public transportation that was more responsible than anything else for the number of lives lost in the flood.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Chief Roberts

Bush nominates John Roberts for chief justice. This means only two confirmation hearings instead of three. I don't see any reason why we can't have three confirmation battles at the same time. Everyone is already prepared for full-scale judicial war. Congress should be able to handle multiple confirmations, a hurricane, making the tax cuts permanent, repealing the estate tax, reforming social security, and fundamental tax reform all at the same time. We pay them a full-time salary and provide a large staff budget.

Hawking Blinks

Physicist Stephen Hawking's one remaining usable hand has been slowing down. Now he is controlling his computer by blinking his eye.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Typhoon Talim

The world has not stopped after Katrina. A Typhoon with 125 kph winds (78 MPH) has hit China and killed at least 54 people.

We should not be calling the rest of the world stingy for not doing enough to help us. There are millions of people around the world who are worse off than the survivors of Katrina. Those in Zimbabwe, Darfur, and many other places are worse off than we are and need the world's help far more.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Kelo in Sacramento

The California State Senate Judiciary Committee failed to advance the property rights movement by defeating Tom McClintock's amendment.
Majority Democrats derailed SCA 15, a broader constitutional amendment that would have barred all seizure of private property unless it was for a public use, such as roads or schools. Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, and others agreed to shelve a narrower version protecting homeowners, SCA 12, until hearings can be held this fall.
The committee did approve the much weaker AB 1162, "a measure that would impose a two-year moratorium on taking homes for private projects". But that bill will not stop the eminent domain runaway. The full Senate just approved a bill allowing a tribe to help manage land taken by eminent domain financed by the tribe.
Yolo County is attempting to acquire the land through eminent domain in hopes of preserving the property and its water rights. The owner of the land, developer Steve Gidaro, is fighting the action....

Senate Republicans assailed the proposal on Wednesday as representative of eminent domain's problems. Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, said AB 1747 would enable a theft that is being underwritten by the Rumsey Indians.

The private benefit of the government is not "public use".

America's Worst

The looters in New Orleans have been shooting at helicopters and rescue workers and now the National Guard has to be called with order to "shoot and kill". Instapundit links to a suggestion that looters should be shot to deter violence. Unfortunately, in this case, shooting looters will not deter them because without communication it is impossible to get the message out that looters will be shot.

But that is not the worst behavior in America. KFI AM in Los Angeles found a flyer calling for a "Jihad" against the LAPD.

KFI NEWS has obtained a copy of a flyer that's been circulated in South Los Angeles, calling on members of two violent street gangs to join the Nation of Islam in a jihad, or holy war, against the LAPD.
This after their local leader was arrested after challenging police officers. We are not a theocracy! religious leaders are not above the law!

Thursday, September 01, 2005


It's blogburst day for hurricane relief. Baldilocks recommends donations to Soldier's Angels to help families of soldiers serving overseas that are displaced by the hurricane. The Truth Laid Bear has a donation tracking page. California Mafia has a Bear Flag League blogburst roundup.

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