MMV tdaxp

Earlier this month tdaxp celebrated one year. Now tdaxp celebrates its first calendar year — one very kind to this blog’s readership

tdaxp_mmv_cropped

But much more important to me our your comments. Just going through the right-hand-side comment roll now, tdaxp readers have made me think more about

Readers make the blog, comments make the stories.

Without you, tdaxp is nothing.

Thanks!

A Blizzard of Charts and Diagrams

It’s busy here in South Dakota. A lot of friends, including myself, have converged on our home state. Today I’m doing a lot of driving in windy snow, which won’t be fun, but it will be worth it. So instead of a normal post, I present links to three presentations

First, Michael Crichton criticizes hubris and panic (hat-tip to Larwyn).

michael_chrichton_population

A great presentation with ample notes covers the Club of Rome simulations, environmentalist-lead destruction of the ecosystem in Yellowstone, the neuromechanics of crustaceans, and climate change.

Second, A Mentsh Trakht (who I found via John Derbyshire links to Why you should continue to date me: a series of charts and graphs by Joel A. Friesen.

food_chain

Sadly, Joel’s powerpoints did not the cold heart melt.

Last, a blast from the past:

Sheik of Jesus

tdaxp-reader PKA’s parody of my love of charts and diagrams.

Update: The Omaha Airport has wireless, so time for a quick note: Chrichton’s analysis reminded me a lot of my post on The Magic Cloud

The Majestic International Community

Dr. Demarche of the American Future has asked “What is the international community?”

“My questions for the project are: is there such a thing as “the” international community? If so who are its members? In what arenas does this community act? What is America’s role in this community, and that of the U.N.? Finally, what is the future of such a community when Iraq is terrorized by those who oppose democracy and no “community” reacts, genocide in Rwanda goes unchecked and N. Korea is still run by a madman?”

The Glittering Eye, Mark from ZenPundit and Callimachus at Done with Mirrors have given their take, so here’s mine:

The international community is that society of actors that can influence the relations between states.

Almost by definition the international community includes states themselves. The United States is clearly able to influence relations between the United States and Mexico, just as Palau is able to influence relations between Palau and Iraq. A Realist would say that States are the only members of the international community.

Additionally, many Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOs) are also part of the international community. The most powerful of the are the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. These economically-oriented institutions provide cash and new markets for States, so it is profitable for most States to join them.

Likewise, powerful Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are members of the international community. These include such household names as processes.

A “Liberal Institutionalist” would say that States, NGOs, and IGOs are teh only members of the international community.

However, as a Constructivist would say, the international community is broader than this. Some individuals have the ability to change the friction of states directly. Even if all believed he was speaking only for himself, Bill Clinton’s words would still carry weight because of his personal friendships and acquaintances. So would ’s. Properly speaking, we are all part of the international community, each and every one of us, and all of our networks and groupings, without exception.

However, the power law applies to the international community, just as it applies to the blog community. Perhaps only the uper .001% of humans and networks effect interstate relations substantially on their own It is this top tier — the USAs, WTOs, the al Qaedas — that we think of when we say “the international community”

As to what the future of the international community is…

What will be will be. The community will continue to exist as long as states interact with each other. Bad things go on in good states, worse things go on in worse states, and the international community abides. There are seriously plans to make the international community more effective, but no part of the international community’s definition requires the international community to be a force for good in any way.

Blissful ignorance and naivety do not a Rapture make…

a tdaxp Special Report by “Aaron”

aaron
Aaron is a Noted Beacon of Non-Partisan Sanity

While no one is being thrown to the lions, much to my dismay, it seems a number of Christians in the United States are feeling rather persecuted. Their beliefs are mocked in schools by men of pagan science and the great unwashed masses prefer to pursue greed and romance during this Holi-Day season, rather than celebrate the birth of a man dedicated scholars of equally mistranslated ancient systems of control cannot agree existed or mattered.

Let’s get a couple things straight.

– Christmas is under no more attack than Bass Fishing or Monday Night Football. No one cares about the Lord until after the presents are unwrapped. For all the faithful lined up to pray for the dismissal of activist judges and the safe return of Natalee Halloway, Christmas sales were as robust this year as any. Christmas is about giving gifts, getting gifts, getting laid, getting drunk, fighting with family, and then getting blitzed and resolving to lose weight, quit smoking, go to church more and have fewer unwanted pregnancies next year. If Christmas is under attack by anyone, it’s commercialism, and I doubt there will be a Justice Sunday protesting holiday opportunism by Wal-Mart and anyone else who makes a buck off the rape of Christianity’s founder.

There are some wackos out there who want Nativity Scenes taken down. But there are wackos out there blowing up abortion clinics, too. You won’t hear Al Franken or Rhandi Rhodes talking about them, though, as if they’re some sort of organized campaign (though they clearly are). But to hear O’Reilly or Limbaugh talk, Democrats and ACLU members are kicking down crosses and burning Baby Jesus, marching to Stalin’s drum. There’s no organized campaign to destroy Christianity. There is a campaign for equal representation. Your religion is exclusive to every other. Just like every other religion is exclusive to yours. Would the Jezalots complain if someone wanted the Star of David taken down, or the Moslem Crescent? Perhaps we should put on a Holiday program in public schools about the Road to Enlightenment the Buddhist follows? “Not in my country!” you howl, Budweiser held aloft. “This country was founded by Christians!” Wrong. I could quote Jefferson and Franklin and a number of others, but you’ve seen that debate before. You know you’re in the wrong, and no amount of clinging to a biography written 3 lifetimes after someone’s death will change that.

The point to it all is “get your mystic bullshit off my public property.” Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, secular humanists, communists, homosexuals, legal immigrants and corporations own every building financed by taxes in this formerly great country. Therefore they deserve equal representation, or at the least, no exclusively single-tracked representation. No one gives a rip they are Christian symbols. They care that it’s religious symbols at all. Your imaginary Guy in the Sky is just as important to you as it is to them. So why can’t we all get along and agree to just leave him at home when it comes to libraries and federal buildings? I guess it would take someone of Jesus’ wisdom to come to that simple conclusion. I wonder how many of the Christians would howl if the government started teaching the Native American creation story in science class? Hypocrites.

– Your misguided morality isn’t under fire from sexual deviants either. I watched with great interest as the sex education fiasco rolled through the Sioux Falls public school system. A bunch of naive parents think their children don’t know what a blowjob is or that sex without a condom might lead to pregnancy. They’ve learned enough about all that in your regular Prime-Time programming. An episode of CSI:Miami recently featured a fraternity hazing incident that involved anal sodomy. I bet Ma and Pa Fundie loved explaining that one to the kids. “That’s what them Democrat Faggots do, Billy. Now go read yer Bible before the Knoxville race comes on.” If you people are so concerned about the inappropriateness on TV, campaign against police dramas and the talentless whores on American Idol. Turn your children onto PBS or the History Channel and open their eyes to the damage caused by ignorance and intolerance over the bloody and terrible reign of Christianity. Or turn the TV off and interact with the product of your blessed union. Educating and caring for your child used to be what parents do. Now they just work to pay themselves to death for the junk they don’t need and divorce when they can’t take the pressure.

– Local ignoramus with a keyboard, “Sibby”, wants everyone to know what Planned Parenthood’s agenda really is. His claim seems to be that they want your children engaging in oral sex and anal sex and having orgies. Newsflash, Sibby. The same reason you got off on your Dad’s stolen Playboys is the reason kids figure out that Tab A goes into Slot B. It’s called hormones, and no one needs to teach Dick and Jane how to make babies. The kids don’t need Planned Parenthood to teach them that. But what Planned Parenthood or a realistic sex education program can teach the kids is that abstinence, while unlikely to happen or endure, is the only safe sex, but when the hormone lid blows, there’s some things you can do to avoid the risk of pregnancy or the spread of disease. Teaching them otherwise would be inappropriate and sad, but it’s exactly what these misguided mystics want. Their Utopia is sexless but full of violent police drama and a lot of turning left whilst accelerating. I highly doubt Sibby waited until he was married to make love to a woman for the first time, but if he did, fair play to you, sir. If not, I hope the dirty damn hippies of yesteryear taught you about proper precautions and maybe some alternatives to seeding the baby beanfield. I really have a hard time believing that Planned Parenthood or the Sioux Falls School Board’s ultimate goal is to have kids having kids. I think anything but. But to hear some blinder-sporting folk tell it, their perversion knows no bounds.

I have a lot more to say about the misguided attempts by Christians to make my life better, but let me close with saying this: Our country was founded by people hoping to escape religious persecution. It went on to become the greatest country in the world. Why don’t you all leave, form a new one where you’re free to practice your caveman beliefs, and in 200 years, kick our Heathen asses? While you’re gone, I’ll be reveling in the reality of violence, pre-marital sex, taxes and everything else nature intended. I just thank your God that my parents had the smarts to tell me to watch my mouth when the other guy is a lot bigger, keep my kidmaker from needlessly ruining my life early, and doing what makes everyone a better person: not forcing my beliefs on anyone else. You’re free to live in a delusion. Don’t legislate it onto my kids, my public spaces and my Constitution.

One Good Turn Deserves Another

Sibby Online, one of the founding members of the South Dakota Blog Alliance, was kind enough to add Jim River Report (another tdaxp blog) to his “Sibby Featured Blogs.” It is now the third most prominent hyperlink on his entire site, after the top banner and Sibby’s email. Long-time tdaxp readers will remember that Sibby was also a partner in the blog swarm against .

To thank Sibby, who does tireless work for the South Dakota Blogosphere, here’s a list of some of the news he is breaking right now

and more. Check Sibby Out.

Good News from Kurdistan

Kurds in Iraqi army proclaim loyalty to militia,” by Tom Lasseter, Knight Ridder Newspapers, 27 December 2005, http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/world/13495329.htm (from America Blog and Democratic Underground).

Very happy news from Kurdistan, an embryo of democracy in the Middle East:

Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq’s third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.

This is fantastic news.

Iraq is an artificial state that should break apart. , that of the Middle East caused by Bush’s gift of elections to Iraq, was a wonderful reward for the Iraq War. The trifurcation of Iraq is another.

Dr. Barnett has written a lot about a “,” the reconstruction force that should take conquered land and turn them (eventually) into peaceful capitalist democracies. It can barely work as envisioned in the best of cases, and spending vital energy trying to keep imaginary states created by the British and French together is just wasteful. Next time we invade a country like Iraq, rationalization of borders should be assumed from the beginning.

Besides waisting time and effort, trying to keep fake countries together hurts in another way: it can make progress go backwards. Before the Iraq War the Kurds already had a functional democracy. If we are going to pretend that they should be ruled by Ba’ath Revivalists, the Iraq War would have sacrificed a democracy (Iraqi Kurdistan) on the altar of Affirmative Action for Murderers (trying to buy off Arab Sunnis by pretending Arab Sunni political parties are different from Arab Sunni terrorists). Fortunately, the Kurds have had enough.

More on the Kurdish soldiers, preparing to create their New Kurdish Republic

The soldiers said that while they wore Iraqi army uniforms they still considered themselves members of the Peshmerga – the Kurdish militia – and were awaiting orders from Kurdish leaders to break ranks. Many said they wouldn’t hesitate to kill their Iraqi army comrades, especially Arabs, if a fight for an independent Kurdistan erupted.

“It doesn’t matter if we have to fight the Arabs in our own battalion,” said Gabriel Mohammed, a Kurdish soldier in the Iraqi army who was escorting a Knight Ridder reporter through Kirkuk. “Kirkuk will be ours.”

The Kurds have readied their troops not only because they’ve long yearned to establish an independent state but also because their leaders expect Iraq to disintegrate, senior leaders in the Peshmerga – literally, “those who face death” – told Knight Ridder. The Kurds are mostly secular Sunni Muslims, and are ethnically distinct from Arabs.

Happily, the majority Shia are also planning for the dismemberment of Iraq:

Their strategy mirrors that of Shiite Muslim parties in southern Iraq, which have stocked Iraqi army and police units with members of their own militias and have maintained a separate militia presence throughout Iraq’s central and southern provinces. The militias now are illegal under Iraqi law but operate openly in many areas. Peshmerga leaders said in interviews that they expected the Shiites to create a semi-autonomous and then independent state in the south as they would do in the north.

As I wrote a year ago

A trifurcated Iraqi state would be a success. It would represent a victory for local democracy. It would improve connectivity. And it would prove a valuable warning for future regimes.

Iraq was not democratically created. There were no founding fathers or great constitutional convention after the end of the Great War. It was merely one of four new states (along with Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan, and Iraq) carved out by two victors. Of the original four, one has already disintegrated (Transjordan into Jordan and Israel, which will soon splinter into Israel and Palestine) and another (Lebanon) has lost territorial integrity. Allowing local sovereigns that represent the will of actual peoples would be a step up, if they wish it so.

Iraq has not been connected. Before Saddam Iraq was poor, illiterate, and backwards, and after a brief rebirth it sank almost all the way back again. Even though they were the original Westernizers, it appears that a significant fraction of Iraq’s Sunnis are hostile to globalization and connectivity. No people can be pulled ahead unwillingly. Even if modern-term strategy requires us to abandon the Sunni Triangle, hooking Kurdistan and Shia Iraq to the rest of the world, that is a tremendous victory. A free, democratic, and peaceful Kurdistan shows a future worth creating to both Turks and Turkish Kurds. And a non-authoritarian Shia Iraq is a bright light for Shia Iran. The Sunnis represent only 20% of Iraq. 80% victory is not 100% victory, but it is still victory.

Free Sumer! Free Kurdistan! Free East Arabia, for that matter!

Don’t spill Coalition blood for the Iraqi Sunni Arabs.

A Very Cthulhu Parody of Anti-Catholic Bigot Jack Chick

Jack Chick isn’t just a cartoonist occasionally lampooned by :

penny_arcade_chick_cropped

He’s also an anti-Catholic Bigot

In 2000, he started the Bible series of his tracts, which starred one of his more famous creations, a Fundamentalist Christian man named Bob Williams. Bob, a rather smug character, would always appear to lead people down the correct path, though he was not always successful (see Gladys), and the Bible Series has served as a collection of many of Chick’s core beliefs on topics such as evolution, witchcraft, and the Catholic Church.

Jack Chick has been heavily criticised for his views. His anti-Catholicism was not immediately evident in his earliest cartoons, and seems to have evolved during the mid to late 1960s. Several earlier comics were re-edited in the 1970s to reflect Chick’s changing views on the Vatican. Example: a portrayal of the Antichrist, originally drawn as a man wearing a business suit, was changed to show the Pope in later editions of the same tract. The early 20th century pamphlet The Two Babylons was influential in popularizing a view — held by Chick — that the Roman Catholic Church is really a continuation of Babylonian religious practices.

(That is, a bigot who is anti-Catholic):

A recurring theme in Chick’s tracts is the role of the Roman Catholic Church, which he presents as one of the most powerful and insidious branches of this conspiracy. According to Chick the Catholic Church is the ‘Great Whore’ referred to in the Book of Revelation, and will bring about a Satanic New World Order before it is destroyed by Jesus Christ.

Drawing on the dubious claims of Alberto Rivera, Chick claims that the Catholic Church helped to mold Islam as a tool to lure people away from Christianity, that it infiltrates and attempts to destroy or corrupt all other religions and churches , and that it uses various means including seduction, framing, and murder to silence its critics. He accuses Catholicism of supporting ideologies such as Nazism and Communism, and using the Holocaust to persecute opponents of the Catholic Church.

He also sued a cartoonist for this hilarious parody: “WHO WILL BE EATEN FIRST?

01
Who Will Be Eaten First?

02
One day, while sitting in a cafe

George, it’s vital that you make the right decision before you die.

03
You’re gonna say I have to choose between God and the devil, right?

WRONG!

04
The stars are right! The Elder Gods are going to rise and eat us all!

In his house at R’ley dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”
-HP Lovecraft

05
Soon the evil spawn, who had slept for eons… will awaken to clear the earth of man!

That is not dead which can eternal lie… And with strange aeons, even death may die.” – H.P.L.

06
NO ONE will be saved! EVERYONE will die and mankind itself will come to a horrible end!

“… I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars that dream beneath the sea… ” HPL

07
Soon the seas will turn red with the blood of the human race, as the unspeakable terrors come from beyond the gate, which is Yog Sothoth, to devour all in their path! Ia! Shub Niggurath! Ia! Ia!

08
So if we’re all gonna die, what difference does it make? Who cares? Nothing I can do about it…

or is there?!

09
You’re right George… It’s hopeless. But there is one thing we can hope for…

TO BE EATEN FIRST!

10
BE EATEN FIRST?!

What the fuck kind of advantage is that?!

Give me one good reason why I would WANT to be eaten first!

ONE GOOD REASON!!!

11
Do you really want to stick around and watch the entire world be destroyed by evil creatures from beyond Hell?

Not really…

12
Oh God… you’re right… I don’t want to see it all end!

I want to be eaten quickly!

What do I have to do to make my death a swift one?

The thing cannot be described – there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy…” HPL

13
You must worship and sacrifice at the altar to appease the appetites of the Elder Gods! Then you may hope for a fast death!

Ph’lngu! mghw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagi fhtagn!

WAAAHH!

Gasp… This can’t be!

CTHULHU FHTAGN!

14
Chant invocations from the NECRONOMICON, the book of dead names written by the Mad Monk, Abdul Alhazred!

15
Only then… on the dreaded day when they rise… Will you be eaten first!

16_md
The Elder Gods are coming and everyone is doomed!

You might as well party and do all the ship you were always afraid to do!

NOBODY CAN SAVE YOU.
WE WILL ALL BE EATEN.

If yhou start to have dreams about cities where the geometry is all wrong and get inspired to make weird sculptures, do it!

1. Don’t worry about going mad.
There’s no avoiding it.

2. Be prepared for horrible visions and creatures that will chill you to the bone!
3. Remember… Yog Sothoth is the gate!

What to say!
Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

If you have done all this, and you go completely mad… the Elder Gods will eat you first! Or maybe not… maybe they’ll torture you in their dank and rotting lairs… but you won’t care by then because you’ll be insane! A shell of a human being! BWA HA HA HA HA!

Just remember…
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die!

Help another person go mad with the knowledge of the horrible evil! Give them this book:

NECRONOMICON


Do I have anything good to say about Jack Chick — a man who says Catholocism is a Babylonian Plot, Islam is a Catholic Plot, and Communism is a Islamic Catholic Plot? Yes. Even though he threatens -style strategic lawsuits against public participation, he has a write to make his claims. As the says

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Jack Chick has a write to spread his beliefs. So-called “hate speech” regulations, whether on campuses or for entire countries, would take away Chick’s right to proselytize as he believes The Lamb wishes him to do so.

Chick has a right to speech. So do the men he has sued.

What I’m Reading

narnia_sm
Title: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy
Author: C.S. Lewis
Best Part: dancing girls (pg 238)
See Also: Review of The Chonicles of Narnia movie
skytrain_to_murder
Title: Skytrain to Murder
Author: Dean Barrett
Best Part: A smooth, well-dressed character named John Morrell
See Also: “The Chaplain’s Last Sermon” Poem

why_geography_matters_sm
Title: Why Geography Matters
Author: H.J. de Blij
Best Part: Our Ice Age
See Also: Dr. de Blij’s Presentation in Washington, DC

Christmas Readings

I posted a few Christmas- and winter- themed items, and sure enough one’s a hit. Which one?

It’s the google result for “christmas hentai. I’d be fine with choclate covered Chinese girls, because, hey, Christianity is delightful. I’d be fine with Korean cellphone girls, because I’d like one for Christmas. But a link to a politically charged George W. Bush hentai as a top google result on Christmas Day? This is the state of our zeitgeist? It makes my faith waiver…

Fortunately, British Foreign Minister Jack Straw reminds me today is Christmas day.


To move our thoughts to Heaven, if not to the Chingay Martyrs District, Edgwise gives his two favorite passages of Scripture

John 1:14; 3:16-17

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Numbers 6:24-26

The LORD bless you and keep you;

the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ‘

Mine is Galatians 5:14

The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself

What’s yours?