Common Sense

PERHAPS the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason. -Thomas Paine (1737-1809). Common Sense, 1776

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Iron Law: An Illustration

"The fundamental sociological law of political parties (the term 'political' being here used in its most comprehensive sense) may be formulated in the following terms:
'It is organization which gives birth to the domination of the elected over the electors, of the mandataries over the mandators, of the delegates over the delegators. Who says organization, says oligarchy.'" --Lee Harris, The Iron Law of Oligarchy, RevisitedThis is an excerpt from Robert Michels' book "On the Sociology of Political Parties in Modern Democracies," published in 1911. The English translation was titled "Political Parties."
Supporting Evidence:
...the model has discovered a fundamental flaw in democratic society. It shows that in any society of even moderate complexity, making decisions by majority rule gives power not to the people, but to professionals who know how to manipulate political procedures to their advantage. --P.D. Straffin "Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Implications (1994) VOTE?
The Illustration:

And thanks to:

And thanks to Jomama for the lead!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Faces of Terror - - -

According to The Six Faces of the Terrorist , these are the facial expressions all those security screeners at airports -- and eventually bus stations, train stations, and, who knows, eventually, perhaps, on every street corner (AND all those street-cams cities are installing all around the country) are looking for:
And below are the normal faces of folks about to face the security screeners - - -
P.S. Of course, when it comes to all those street-cams, well, they don't work very well:
Surveillance cameras like those authorized by the D.C. Council for police investigations and now being put in place have shown limited success in decreasing violent crime in other cities. + Baltimore, for example, set up about 80 cameras in May 2005 in high-crime neighborhoods. Volunteers and retired law-enforcement personnel monitor the images in real time, but the cameras have not helped put criminals behind bars. + "Generally, the State's Attorney's Office has not found them to be a useful tool to prosecutors," office spokeswoman Margaret Burns said. Spy cameras fail to focus on street crime, Matthew Cella, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, August 13, 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

ANOTHER Argument Against Standing Armies?

Unless trained to kill, most people won't

Soldiers allegiance is to their buds more than to the state

The group, from the [Dutch] Interior Ministry's General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), spoke at length of how jihadist groups are becoming much more dynamic, fluid, and diffuse, coming together to cooperate on specific goals and targets. Unlike the al Qaeda of old, these are local, autonomous, "self-radicalizing" jihadist cells, not controlled from overseas. They rely heavily on virtual networks and training, through the Internet, and then shift into actual, operational networks. The Internet is "the cement" of these new terrorist networks, the analysts stressed. Another trend seen by Dutch intelligence is a worrisome drop in age among participants, with increasing numbers of teenagers, often with petty crime records. Other trends include the recruitment of women and western converts. Of jihad networks and the war of ideas, David E. Kaplan,, Posted 6/22/06

Gang members use military to get training

Monday, August 07, 2006

Is this appropriate for a free people? #00001

Way back in 2003, the Wisconsin Legislature enacted the Wisconsin Premises Registration Act, which became effective in November 2005. Sally, and everyone else in Wisconsin who owned even one chicken, horse, cow or any other livestock animal, was required to register her premises with the state by Jan. 1, 2006.

Sally didn't register her premises – and became an outlaw by doing nothing. Grandma is an outlaw