Jul 20, 2008
The German GP is now behind us. This marks the second GP in a row where Heikki Kovalainen has just let Hamilton past him every time they've been racing. Heikki insists it isn't a team order. I'm sorry, but the only two alternatives are that Kovalainen suddenly, inexplicably starts driving like a retard every time he sees Hamilton in his rearview mirror, or it's a team order. You tell me.
Also, the way Massa let Hamilton past him was absolutely disgraceful. Ferrari wouldn't do very wrong to fire Massa. I can't wait to see him go. What Ferrari driver lets someone they're supposed to be fighting for the world title just breeze past them like that? Schumacher? Barrichello? Räikkönen? No, it can only be Felipe Massa. Driving like this is the reason Felipe will never be world champion, and Ferrari needs to get rid of him ASAP.
Jul 16, 2008
Justine is a porn star, who's been nominated several times for an AVN award and is just darn hot.
Jul 14, 2008
Meanwhile, my thanks to Lasse Pitkäniemi for his commentary on my blog post on university studies in Finland.
Also, be afraid. Be very afraid.
More when my laptop is working.
Jul 9, 2008
The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier, by Terry Anderson and Peter Hill, published by Stanford University Press 2004.
The authors map out the development of property rights in the American West, and make the argument that the West wasn't all that wild. In fact, settlers, miners and cattlemen worked out co-operative systems for safeguarding property rights and arranging co-operation on grazing rights and water rights to prevent the tragedy of the commons, and were succesful in doing so.
The core argument of the book is that property rights in the West didn't develop from top down, with the federal government imposing the rule of law on an anarchic West. Instead, property rights and arrangements for preventing both the tragedy of the commons and harmful races for property that would dissipate incomes. In fact, the government's interventions were more often harmful than the opposite.
Like so many libertarian-themed books, they cut some corners and make things appear a little more straightforward than they are. This doesn't take anything away from their general points, but it is a little disappointing that they occasionally far oversimplify complex historical processes.
I definitely recommend the book to anyone interested in the history of the American West, or in property rights and frontier economics in general. The authors make the point that learning from the institutional history of the West can help us understand the problems faced on today's frontiers and the frontiers of the future.
For this aspect of the book, they draw on the work of Hernando de Soto, whose seminal book The Mystery of Capital I also have to recommend. That's a topic for another time, though.
More on the "Wild" West at mises.org.
Jul 8, 2008
Obama Seeks Bigger Role for Religious Groups
ZANESVILLE, Ohio — Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday that if elected president he would expand the delivery of social services through churches and other religious organizations, vowing to achieve a goal he said President Bush had fallen short on during his two terms.
“The challenges we face today — from saving our planet to ending poverty — are simply too big for government to solve alone,” Mr. Obama said outside a community center here.
Obama Courting Evangelicals Once Loyal to Bush
There's a sort of childish belief widespread in Europe that links the Republican Party with Christian politics, gun rights and generally everything Europeans don't like, and that links the Democratic party with secularism, gun control and generally everything Europeans like. That's why so many Europeans think Michael Moore makes documentaries, instead of seeing them as anti-gun Democrat election propaganda.
If Obama's recent statements on religion aren't just electioneering, he would become a president who will work as hard as Bush jr. at undermining the separation of the church and state in the USA.
In recognition of this, I officially withdraw my conditional support for Barack Obama, expressed earlier. Looking back at that post, John McCain has also said some spectacularly stupid things about religion, so I don't endorse him either.
Therefore, this blog endorses the Libertarian Party's Bob Barr for President!
Jul 7, 2008
At the moment lap-dancing clubs are classified in the same category as coffee shops and karaoke bars. Quite why coffee shops or karaoke bars need to be “classified” by a government agent in a high-visibility jacket we are not told.
At least a lap-dancing club brings a bit of individuality to a town, a bit of a respite from the endless chain stores and horrible pound shops. Sadly, though, the machine disagrees. It says that such places provide “visual sexual stimulation” and as a result councils must be allowed to prevent new ones from opening and perhaps must even close existing venues.
When I read that on Wednesday, among the reader comments appended to it (stupid Web 2.0) was one that called lap-dancing clubs "sexual exploitation of women" and compared them to slavery.
Yes, dear commentator. Obviously a club where women are employed as dancers is the same thing as the African slave trade. A woman voluntarily dancing topless for money is the same thing as over ten million people kidnapped from their homes and transported across the Atlantic to work as slaves on plantations.
Do you understand the difference between slavery and lap dancing? Here's an image that might help:
One of those things is not like the other.
Slavery, of which David Livingstone said: "To overdraw its evils is a simple impossibility", is not the same thing as lapdancing.
This is why feminism has such a bad name. Most of its proponents deserve it.
Jul 6, 2008
As for the British GP qualifying, it's turning into an interesting season. The reason Heikki got pole, in my opinion, is everyone else messing up: Kimi didn't get his car working properly for qualifying, which happens often enough, Massa's car was smashed up, Kubica had mechanical trouble and Lewis just plain fucked up. Heikki's time wasn't exceptional; Hamilton's pole last year was with a time of 1:19.997 or something like that, and Heikki did his in 1:21. So this was less a case of Heikki having a great qualifying than everyone else being rubbish.
A pole position is a pole position; I'm just saying this because Finnish F1 announcer Oskari Saari has gone off the deep end again with his panegyrics of Kovalainen.
Hamilton really can't take the heat; his final qualifying lap was over .7 seconds slower than Kovalainen's, and I'll be very surprised if Lewis has a heavier fuel load. How long until he has a total meltdown?
It should be interesting tomorrow; unfortunately, it's going to rain, so it'll be a lottery. I have a hard time seeing Kovalainen winning, but more power to him if he does.
I'm off to try to fix my Internet.
Jul 4, 2008
The Finnish government has published its report on internal security, and it calls for further regulation of the Internet to prevent racism. Among its suggestions are making bloggers legally liable for comments posted on their blogs. The chief proponent of this scheme is, you guessed it, prosecutor Mika Illman.
Unbelievably, there is a "journalist's comment" appended to the article, where the writer asks whether this is really about racism or stifling free expression on the Internet. And this in Pravda!
In the article itself, professor of law Jukka Kemppinen is opposed to the measure. He calls for proof that "Internet racism" is actually harmful enough to society that it can justify regulation.
That's funny, because proof is one thing Illman can't come up with. The comment referred above makes reference to Illman's idea that Internet racism causes violence. He has more or less directly implied that the riots in Copenhagen and Paris are somehow caused by bloggers. I'll leave that to stand on its own merits.
One quibble that I have with the Helsingin Sanomat article relates to the comment. He says that apart from isolated cases, it's difficult to find racist material on the Finnish Internet.
I'm sorry, are you kidding? Start with Mikko Ellilä's blog, continue on to Jussi Halla-Aho or Markus Jansson or one of the others, and you'll find the whole Finnish racist blogosphere. There is an entire section of the blogosphere dedicacted to promoting the idea that black people and muslims are inherently more stupid and uncivilized than whites and should be banned from emigrating to Europe because of their "racial characteristics".
Internet racism in Finland is very real. Mikko Ellilä was convicted for racism for a blog post that was, by any sensible definition, racist.
Neekerit noudattavat valkoisen yhteiskunnan säätämiä lakeja vain silloin, kun niitä konkreettisesti ylläpidetään kovalla kurilla. Jos kuri heltyy, neekereiden biologinen afrikkalainen kansanluonne manifestoituu taas heidän käytöksessään. Leijonakin voi sirkuksessa totella ihmistä, kun sitä pidetään kurissa ruoskalla.
And so on. That's racism of the most disgusting kind. I find it hard to accept that an intelligent person in the 21st century will say something like that.
What I find even harder to accept is the idea that saying that is illegal. On many levels, the current development in Finland is deeply frightening.
Executive summary: The government has released a memorandum on internal security. The document finds that certain kinds of blog posts are a threat to Finnish security, and should therefore be outlawed.
See what I mean?
We should do something to fight this, but I don't see what we can sensibly do. Our system of government doesn't offer us any means of expressing our discontent with this law legitimately, in a way that would have any effect on anyone. There's basically nothing we can do to stop this. In a few years' time, if someone comes bak to this article and adds a comment to it along the lines of "all of the black people should be very much Zyklon B gassed", and I don't notice it and delete it, I'll be a criminal for allowing a racist comment to appear on my blog.
If this goes through, and I have little doubt it will, what's next? Sweden already has similar legistlation, and they moved from banning "Internet racism" to monitoring the entire Internet. Elsewhere in Europe things are moving down the same road. Britain has already banned certain kinds of porn, with a blanket definition that no-one seems to understand. France has banned racism and wrong opinions on historical events.
Lest we forget, the ban on the wrong kind of blogging will join the Finnish central criminal police's authority to ban access to any website by claiming it contains child pornography. Matti Nikki's website is still blocked.
The child pornography legistlation is already being flagrantly abused by the police. We should expect the racism legistlation will work the same way. What will be next?
We're losing this fight. At some point they'll move to criminalize insulting Finland, which I'm sure most of the pseudo-fascists who oppose criminalizing racism will support. Or maybe next disrespecting the elderly will be illegal?
When legistlation like this can be drafted and passed without the slightest reference to the idea that we, as citizens, might have some kind of freedoms or rights this infringes on, we're headed for a scary place. Sweden has already practically abolished the right to privacy with the FRA law; we're working on the right to free expression.
We should all emigrate.
Jul 3, 2008
June 4: Lewis Hamilton's dad crashes his borrowed Porsche
June 8: French Open; Lewis Hamilton crashes into Kimi in the pit lane and is penalized in the French GP
June 28: Lewis crashes a yacht in a race and is disqualified
Last weekend: Hamilton crashes his kayak in Switzerland and is injured.
The British GP is next weekend. What do you think will happen?
Jul 2, 2008
Jul 1, 2008
That's what most of us remember her from, I bet. Remember she was also on Tim Allen's Home Improvement? On a side note, she was on Baywatch from 1992 through 1997, and on Home Improvement until 1993. That's 11 and 15 years respectively. Ouch.
(I'm at that stage in life where you realize for the first time that time is passing)
She is also, of course, very hot.
The truly great thing she does, for which I salute her and you should too, is work for animal rights. She's campaigned against the fur trade, KFC and seal hunting in Canada, which are all worthy causes.
When writing this I was reminded of the fact that I watched her 1996 movie, Barb Wire a few years back.
Believe it or not, it isn't half bad. I kinda liked it.
A big deal is made in Finland of the fact that Pam's great-grandfather was Finnish, which makes her Finnish-American according to the arcane rules of fooish-americanity. I don't think we should be so proud of that; frankly, Pamela Hyytiäinen would never have made it in showbusiness...