03 February 2010

...A false humanity has restrained your arms and stopped your blows...

If a capitalist economy is subjected to increasing degrees of state control, a point (not precisely specificiable at this time) will be reached at which democratic governance becomes impossible.
-Peter Berger, The Capitalist Revolution, 1986

If…I nevertheless conclude that I believe that the welfare state…is really worth fighting for and even dying for as compared to any rival system, it is because, despite its imperfection in theory and practice, in the aggregate it provides more promise of preserving and enlarging human freedoms, temporal prosperity, the extinction of mass misery, and the dignity of man and his moral improvement than any other social system which has previously prevailed, which prevails elsewhere today or which outside Utopia, the mind of man has been able to provide a blueprint for.
-Abramovitz, 1981

Maritime piracy represents an area where the mixing of militant Islamic terrorism and crime can converge with potentially severe consequences for global military and economic security. Particularly alarming is the fact that criminals and terrorists…have the resources to commandeer lethal cargoes such as chemicals, gas, arms, and specialized dual-use equipment. A potential nightmare scenario for governments would be the hijacking and sinking of one or more ships in one of the worlds’ most important canals or narrow shipping lanes…The 500,000 ton ships that traverse these waterways carry a crew of only thirty and have no armed guards to repel raiding parties. A scuttled supertanker in one of these locations could create major economic disruptions.
-Thomas M. Sanderson, Transnational Terror and Organized Crime, 2004

Five or six hundred heads would have guaranteed your freedom and happiness but a false humanity has restrained your arms and stopped your blows. If you don’t strike now, millions of your brothers will die, your enemies will triumph and your blood will flood the streets. They’ll slit your throats without mercy and disembowel your wives. And their bloody hands will rip out your children’s entrails to erase your love of liberty forever.
-Jean-Paul Marat, 1790

Amusingly sad video - some conspiracy theorist guy convinces too many ignoramouses to sign a petition repealing the 'outdated' First Amendment.

The Euro Xenophobia continues - is this philosophically and morally ok? Is it a slippery slope? Is the potential endstate of this slippery slope desirable? Does this do anything to get at the root of the problem or does it exacerbate the problem and accomplish a few of 'their' objectives for them?

al Qaeda Attack In 3-6 Months May Be In Works - “The biggest threat is not so much that we face an attack like 9/11. It is that Al Qaeda is adapting its methods in ways that oftentimes make it difficult to detect,” Panetta told the Senate Intelligence Committee. Panetta also warned of the danger of extremists acting alone: “It’s the lone-wolf strategy that I think we have to pay attention to as the main threat to this country,” he said.

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