A White Buffalo spotting

Highlights from the Wash Post’s online forum with Vanilla Ice:

Minneapolis, Minn.: Yo Vanilla — do you still rock the mic like a vandal?

Vanilla Ice: Oh, of course, that’ll never stop. A lot of people don’t remember anything since Ice Ice Baby, but I’ve got 3 records out since then and they’re all successes — but not commercially…

There’s a lot of people in Minneapolis, but I know a White Buffalo when I see one.

Eco and Occam

From the Washington Times:

The White House is obviously not listening to the congressional uproar over Dubai Ports World. Lawmakers want to know why a federal panel allowed a state-owned United Arab Emirates shipping firm to pay $6.8 billion to acquire six major American ports — including critical ones in New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia — despite its home country’s glaring ties to international terrorism. But the White House is yawning.

The issue interrupted this week’s House Ways and Means Committee hearings on the budget, and Treasury Secretary John Snow’s non-answer — he explained to curt questioning from Rep. Mark Foley, Florida Republican, that the Commission on Foreign Investment in the United States followed its regular processes — simply won’t cut it. Yesterday, Stewart Baker, an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, asserted flatly that “We came to the conclusion that the transaction should not be halted.” National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones said that it was “rigorously reviewed.” In other words, the White House considers it a done deal.

But why? Why must the United States let a state-owned firm from a hotbed of radicalism own the major ports of the Eastern seaboard? No one has answered this to our satisfaction.

Occam’s Razor states that the simplest logical answer is usually the correct one. In this case, it would indicate either that the adminstration is in favor of terrorism in the United States, presumably because it would allow the government to speed up its current centralization program, or that it knows for a certainty that turning over the ports to the Islamists will create no genuine risk to the American people.

In an old essay published in his Apocalypse Postponed collection, Umberto Eco wrote about the symbiotic relationship between government and terrorist. He was writing about the European governments and the Red Brigades at the time, but the same logic appears to be increasingly at work here in the United States.

I’m not impressed by those who aren’t willing to at least consider the possibility that American presidents are less than perfectly loyal to their country. Clinton was in bed with China, Bush appears to be even more closely bound to his Wahhabist friends. I’m quite open to listen to alternative explanations, but instead, all I ever hear are assertions of how impossible it is that the current administration could possibly have anything but the best interests of the American people at heart. Even the most staunch Three Monkey must admit, in the face of overwhelming evidence, that the president has proven to be utterly disloyal to the Constitution he swore to defend.

This is, of course, laughable to anyone who has studied a decent amount of history and knows how unusual it is for any government of any type to harbor even a minimal amount of concern for its population, so long as they remain passive.

This world ain’t for everybody

Only the sexy people:

Not only are physically unattractive teenagers likely to be stay-at-homes on prom night, they’re also more likely to grow up to be criminals, say two economists who tracked the life course of young people from high school through early adulthood.

“We find that unattractive individuals commit more crime in comparison to average-looking ones, and very attractive individuals commit less crime in comparison to those who are average-looking,” claim Naci Mocan of the University of Colorado and Erdal Tekin of Georgia State University.

Mocan and Tekin analyzed data from a federally sponsored survey of 15,000 high-schoolers who were interviewed in 1994 and again in 1996 and 2002. One question asked interviewers to rate the physical appearance of the student on a five-point scale ranging from “very attractive” to “very unattractive.”

These economists found that the long-term consequences of being young and ugly were small but consistent. Cute guys were uniformly less likely than averages would indicate to have committed seven crimes including burglary and selling drugs, while the unhandsome were consistently more likely to have broken the law.

So much for that “you are beautiful, no matter what they say” theory. Then again, pop music has never been the most reliable of life guides.

The prescience of NWA

Houston’s police chief is suggesting putting surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, downtown streets and even private homes.

So, you still think the police are on your side? Do you still think it’s just a problem of “a few bad apples”? Never forget, one can’t have a police state without the police.

Sure, the good ones may be dedicated to fighting crime. But who defines what is and is not a crime? And at the end of the day, the “good” policeman is going to follow his orders, regardless of what they might be.