Wishful thinking

Spain’s intelligence service is “99 percent certain” Muslim not Basque militants perpetrated the Madrid train bombings that killed 200 people, a Spanish radio station reported on Saturday. The report by private radio SER, whose owners have links to the opposition Socialists, flew in the face of government assertions armed group ETA was the prime suspect in the attacks that have traumatized Spain and sent jitters round the world…. If it were ETA, it would be a major escalation for a group that has killed 850 people in Spain over 36 years and is listed as a terrorist group by the United States and European Union.

There’s no way it’s ETA. ETA has been around for 36 years, and not only did the Madrid bombings violate a long-standing pattern of behavior by the Basque separatists, but the fatalities would represent almost 20 percent of the murders committed by the group in all that time. I’m sure there’s a lot of Europeans besides the Spanish government who would like to believe that it’s a Spanish-only affair, but logic suggests otherwise.

If you want to scare a radio host

… who is talking about the economy, just mention the M3 money supply. I did that today calling into a talk station, and had to laugh when the host very quickly brought the conversation right back to outsourcing being the reason that people are nervous despite the “good” statistical news. He is a good guy and is largely on the side of the angels where government intervention in the economy is concerned, but his reaction still amused me.

I’m sure he could just envision his Arbitron numbers dropping. Yet another reason I’m not likely to do a radio show. Here, if I want to talk M3, then we’ll talk M3, doggone it. Which, like those hypothetical ratings, continues to drop.

Hello… hello….

Get them out

From WND:Nearly 10 percent of students have been targeted with unwanted sexual attention by school employees, the best available data indicates, according to Shakeshaft. [a professor at Hofstra] The mistreatment ranges from sexual comments to rape, says the report, titled “Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature.”

“So we think the Catholic Church has a problem?” Shakeshaft asked, according to Education Week. She notes the recently released study by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops found 10,667 young people were sexually mistreated by priests from 1950 to 2002. She compares that with her extrapolation from a national survey for the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation in 2000, which would indicate roughly 290,000 students experienced some sort of physical sexual abuse by a public school employee from 1991 to 2000.

That is a single decade, she points out, compared to the approximately five decades covered by the Catholic report. The figures suggest that “the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests,” said Shakeshaft, according to the education magazine.

I am as virulent a critic of the public schools as they come – I think they should be abolished, the buildings torn down and every professional non-teaching educator and member of the NEA forcibly deported to Cuba – but even I find this very hard to believe. Unless “you look nice today, Amanda” somehow qualifies as sexual comments. But if it proves to be true, then there’s just one more reason to pull your kids out, as if inserting them into an institution designed to stunt their intellectual development wasn’t reason enough.

Where are the dead Canadians?

What a great line. I don’t like Governor Pawlenty much – he’s a typical tax-whore – but I like how he’s challenging the nonexistent federal authority on prescription drugs. From an interview with the Star Tribune:

Q How did you arrive at this particular method, funneling purchases through Canada?

A I envisioned it as an end-run around the federal government, a way to put pressure on them and the pharmaceutical industry. Many people said they would lobby Congress, use the bully pulpit, but this was one thing at a state level that we could tangibly take charge of and run with and lead on. We didn’t have to defer to the federal government. That was very appealing to me.

Q Is it then what some critics are alleging, that there is greater fealty to the pharmaceutical industry than to the public at large?

A Well, it’s at least an open question. I’m an optimist and prefer to assign the best of motives to people, but here I’m beginning to wonder. They started with a lot of different arguments and kind of, shall we say, polished them down to what became safety. And I think we even got them on that one. If safety is their argument, I repeat, where are the dead Canadians?

Rat Spleen misfires

Rat Spleen writes on his blog: This has routinely baffled me from various quarters. The Doves I understand, disagree with, but understand. The Hawks I understand. But folks like Vox… well I didn’t quite put it together until today. They are Doves. Unless you happen to be a competing religion; then, and only then, is it time to pull the stops out.

I don’t mind Rat’s critiques at all. I’m not particularly comfortable with my position on the war either, as I’m pulled two different ways. I can, however, defend myself from this particular charge. We are already in a religious war because a religious war has been declared against us by a religious force that has identified its enemy. War does not require two parties. This is not about Christianity v. the world, it is about the revival of long-dormant expansionist Islam against what it sees as Christendom, but we see as secular atheist Europe, quasi-secular Christian Red America and secular humanist Blue America.

My best guess, and at this point that’s all it is, is that we are being forced into fighting this clash of civilizations war even though none of the three parties that make up what was once Christendom wants it. So, we have the situation of the leadership of the Two Americas playing at a nonexistent Wilsonian war while halfheartedly and haphazardly fighting the real one under cover of the fake one. Add to this my suspicion that the statist cancer cells of our society are using the situation to encroach on American liberties, and you have a complicated situation indeed.

But I’m neither a Dove nor an Onward Christian Soldier sort. I’m just doing my humble best to sort out truth from fiction. I don’t pretend even to myself that I have a clear picture of what is going on, and I really don’t believe that anyone else does either. In any case, I would vastly prefer our leadership to be honest and open with the American people, even if I don’t seriously expect that to happen. And if our leadership is lying, as they increasingly appear to be doing, then I expect that their efforts will fail and fail miserably regardless of where they are directed.

Mailvox: On gaydar

El Zinko writes: Did you need directions to some good gay pubs in the U.K., Vox?

Um, I’m good, thanks, Zink. Actually, I’m in the process of wrapping up a new book at the end of the month and needed a little versimilitude. On a semi-related note, I think I can say that for a straight guy, I have pretty good gaydar. I met three of the Perfect Aryan Male’s friends tonight for the first time; after we parted ways, I commented “not so much interested in women.” The Perfect Aryan concurred, and Space Bunny wanted to know to whom I was referring. All three, I told her, which the Perfect Aryan confirmed.

I suspect it is a talent honed by getting hit on a lot when working at an upscale clothing store in high school. It got to the point where I could look up, shake my head, and they’d move on without either party saying anything.

It never bothered me, although my brother used to freak out a bit. But then, he’s much better looking than I am and used to get downright pestered from time to time. I figure it’s a compliment, of essentially the same sort that I’ve paid to women who had zero interest in me. As for the morality aspect, well, I’m not in a position to throw a lot of stones. We all need to repent of something, and I have a lot of sympathy for those who are so in bondage to their sin as to identify themselves with it.

I loved my peccato particolare. Still do, to a certain extent. But the difference is that now there are other things I love more.