Legal Hegemony

     Shari'a laws are primitive, and I bet if I talked to anyone I know, between them and myself, we'd agree on that point.  This agreement, however, in no way, shape or form gives us the right to go and tell any third person that our opinion is right for them.

     You might well have read any number of articles about the "rape law" in Afghanistan that would have allowed Shia men to rape their wives, in addition to a number of other backward ideas.  You could have read as many articles as you wanted in the US media and none would have mentioned that, in some parts of the United States, that was legal as recently as 1994, when the Violence Against Women Act was passed.

     This came to mind because I'm reading an AP article on the US backed government of Somalia.  This government has 1800 soldiers being paid by the US, since, without a paycheck, many simply defect to the enemy.  The US backed government is soon going to start an offensive to try to take back parts of the capital "most of which is held by al-Qaida linked Islamist rebels."  At what point does America say that a government which has lost most of its capital city is no longer really there?  By the way, the EU is also sending military trainers, but they are going to Uganda to do the training.


Russia Involvement in Chechnya

     No, I haven't read Sixty Years of War in the Caucasus, that was about Tsarist Russia's attempts to conquer the place.

     I have mostly finished the book Towers of Stone, by Jagielski, about the Chechen Wars (I'll publish some great, long quotes from the book later).  It looks to me like Moscow had been stupid when they assassinated Chechen leaders Dudayev and then Mashkadov.

     The first Chechen leader Russia killed, Dzhokhar Dudayev, had been a General in command of a Soviet Bomber Wing. He was no terrorist.  He had been the only Chechen ever to reach the rank of General in the Soviet military.

     The second Chechen leader Russia killed, Aslan Mashkadov, had been an incredibly diligent Soviet Army Colonel. He was no terrorist, although, to be fair, he hardly punished Shamil Basayev for his guerilla tactics.

     Some people might think that my statements somehow excuse today's bombings in Moscow.  Like most people, I believe that there are better people and that there are worse people, and, if you kill off the better people, all you have left to deal with are the worst people.  I'm saying that Russia's tactic, of assassinating Chechen leaders, seems to have backfired. 

     It's tragic that dozens of people died in Moscow.  Far more than 100,000 people die each day, but most of this is due to accident or disease, not because of a stupid war.

Proposed Solutions to the Problems of Maxwell's Demon

     Easy) Assume Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle is right, then what the demon knows, the precise location and direction of every molecule in both chambers, is impossible to have, so the problem can not exist.  This is no criticism of Maxwell, who predates Maxwell.

     Easy) The demon's knowledge is infinite information, and therefore impossible to have in a closed box.

     2nd) Entropy is the loss of information, which the 2nd law of thermodynamics says can't happen in the box(closed system).  The extra information must come from the new locations/direction of all the molecules that the demon is keeping track of.


HotAir Misses Some History

     I don't know who Ed Morrissey is, but it is obvious that HotAir gets 100s of thousands more hits than I do, which is why it isn't at all amusing when Morrissey ignores important parts of history to make a point.

     Ed writes "Thanks to what amounts to a reversal of 20 years of American policy on settlements in Jerusalem, Obama has given the Palestinians a reason to refuse to come to the table that Israel simply can’t address."  20 years, Ed?  I'm pretty sure Ed counts himself as more of a conservative than a liberal, but did he really not know that in 2003 the Bush administration cut 100s of million in loan guarantees because of Israeli settlement activity.

     From PDF page 18 of this 2009 Congressional Research Service report (pdf)
On November 26, 2003, the Department of State
announced that the $3 billion loan guarantees for FY2003 were reduced by $289.5 million because Israel continued to build settlements in the occupied territories and continued construction of the security barrier separating Israelis and Palestinians. In FY2005, the U.S. government further reduced the amount available for Israel to borrow by an additional $795.8 million. Since then, no other deductions have been made.
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