Mailvox: you must be new

JD is either a wit or inadvertantly entertaining:

I must say that the arrogance throughout this blog is starting to become obnoxious.

Starting? Where have you been since 2003?

A few basic blog truths:

1. Most people are idiots who have no idea why they believe what they believe. This doesn’t make them any less valuable in the eyes of God, this doesn’t make them any less responsible for their own actions and this doesn’t give anyone else the right to make their decisions, however suboptimal, for them. It does, however, mean that there is no reason to pay any serious attention to what the vast majority of people say or claim to “think”.

2. Unless and until you prove otherwise, “most people” includes you.

3. Everyone is incorrect from time to time. This includes Internet Superintelligences, we’re just incorrect far less often than is normally the case. This isn’t merely because we are multiple standard deviations north of the norm, but because over the last six years, tens of thousands of attempts to find the flaws in our arguments have been made. Unless you have put yours through a similar refinement process, your kung fu is likely to be weak by comparison.

4. False modesty is an insult to all of the parties involved. And many a modest man has much to be modest about.

5. There is nothing arrogant about being correct. Nor is it arrogant to be conscious of the fact that you are correct. It is, admittedly, arrogant to expect others to be conscious of the high probability that you are going to be correct.

6. A dedication to avoiding issues of known ignorance is often confused with an assertion of universal knowledge. The two should not be confused.

7. This blog exists only for my own amusement. Any entertainment, enlightenment or edification that it might happen to provide anyone else is a happy, but accidental byproduct. If you derive insufficient value from this blog, there are thousands of other similar blogs that may provide you with more of what you are seeking and I wish you success in your quest to find it.

The yellow line

I’ve had a few thoughts about the general cowardice of the thin blue line before, but Crispy clarifies the reality rather nicely:

When I watch TV with some of my friends, we are amazed with how fearful “SWAT” teams react to situations. Let’s put this in perspective. These guys are wearing more body armor than American soldiers who are down range, they have bullet proof shields & a greater array of weapon systems than most Army infantry platoons. They are only facing one person, in most situations, and how do they react?

They don’t. They wait for hours upon hours and fearfully stand behind trees and become distraught when they find out the suspect has a bow & arrow with hunting tips inside the house because “that sort of thing can tear straight through our body armor”.

Now, in fairness, the very last thing you want is a gung ho police force. There’s a reason that police historically make very bad soldiers and soldiers make even worse police. So this, shall we say, reluctance to engage and put themselves at risk is not entirely bad.

But the complete inability of the overrated SWAT teams – who despite their faux militarization are apparently good for little more than scaring crack whores and killing innocent and unarmed people in bed late at night – to even begin responding substantively to situations when there’s nothing but a crazy kid with a pair of pop guns, really borders on the absurd.

And these are the very people you hope are going to defend you because you can’t bother to defend yourself? Good luck with that.

First down, nine months to go

It’s just a first step. But it’s a step:

The Supreme Court upheld the nationwide ban on a controversial abortion procedure Wednesday, handing abortion opponents the long- awaited victory they expected from a more conservative bench.

The 5-4 ruling said the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law in 2003 does not violate a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.

The opponents of the act “have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional in a large fraction of relevant cases,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.

The decision pitted the court’s conservatives against its liberals, with President Bush’s two appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, siding with the majority.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia also were in the majority. It was the first time the court banned a specific procedure in a case over how—not whether—to perform an abortion.

Congratulations, Republicans. After 34 years, they have finally made a single step towards ending the national atrocity. This should prove the final nail in the coffin of the Giuliani candidacy, unfortunately, it will almost surely be undone in 2009 when the three-headed Democratic beast rules the roost.

The Left can learn

Blogometer offers evidence:

If you were expecting for the netroots to join more traditional Dem calls for increased gun control following the tragedy in Blacksburg, VA, don’t hold your breath. At deadline, none of the top five netroots sites (Daily Kos, Eschaton, TPM, AMERICAblog, and MyDD) have called for any changes to gun laws (CLARIFICATION: AMERICAblog does ask for a ‘revisit’ of guntrol but nothing specific). And don’t expect them to either. The VA Tech shootings are serving as an albeit tragic marker in demonstrating just how different Dems are in ’07 than they were in ’99.

I’ve found it tremendously interesting how the few attempted sallies on the part of the mainstream media and left-leaning politicians have appeared quite half-hearted; despite the very weighted question on an ABC News online poll, the pro-gun position was winning 2-1 over the anti-gun one on the very evening of the VTU shootings.

While the war will never be over, the battle has clearly been won. It’s worth celebrating, as it’s one of the few battles that has ended well for freedom in America.

The problem is that one reason they’ve given up is that those who are hell-bent on disarming the American people are doing an end run; they’ve only abandoned the issue as a national one because they intend to revisit it as an international one, using the NAU treaties to circumvent the Bill of Rights.

Ismail Ax

And now we know why it took so long for them to release the VTU killer’s name. From Atlas Shrugs:

No one is talking about the “Ismail Ax” fact.. I mean no one. No TV, little print. I just watched the whole press conference and not one, not one, reporter asked about it. They asked about everything from soup to nuts (down to the class scheduling going forward) but not one query about Ismail AX. Am I nuts? The man had Ismail Ax written in red on his arm. Is that not deserving of some investigation or question?

In fairness to the police, one can understand a certain amount of confusion inherent in discovering an obviously Islamic reference on a young Asian guy. But that doesn’t excuse the attempt to downplay this on the part of those reporting the story.

That being said, I have little doubt that Cho was no more a Muslim than Klebold and Harris were National Socialists, the swastikas all over their notebooks notwithstanding. For the younger generation, jihadists are the new Darth Vader, in much the same way that Spetsnaz commandos or US postal workers represented the ultimate in lethal danger for my generation.