Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

I wanted to post a song for Independence Day--this is my favorite version of my favorite patriotic song. The video I can take or leave, but it is done well enough and has nothing I find objectionable.

For all my bitching about what is wrong with it, I truly love my country. Some may consider that "statist" or overly nationalistic--in a non-European (i.e., non-racist) sense--and to them I say, so be it. The United States of America was founded in the principle of liberty and the application of that liberty--however cruelly imperfect throughout most of our history--has made us the freest, richest and most fortunate nation the world has ever seen.

Have a safe and happy 4th.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sitting Room Only

The NFL, while my favorite professional sports league, is nothing if not a font of silly rules and regulations. The newest is not from the league office, however, but one team:

The Kansas City Chiefs have a "Fan Code of Conduct," which is essentially a list of rules that fans have to follow when they're attending a game at Arrowhead. In theory, it's not a bad idea, as you'd like your stadium to provide a friendly atmosphere for families and people who aren't drunken hooligans.

In practice, though, it might not be such a great idea, especially if the person responsible for coming up with the rules is an 85-year-old woman who teaches the 2nd grade and regards standing up as one of the evil things that young whippersnappers often do. Seriously, standing erect is the No. 2 item on the list of things that are prohibited.
For those of you unfamiliar with football, the term "12th man" refers to fans in the stands who make as much noise as possible to disrupt visiting offensive units (e.g., quarterback play calling and audibles) and Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium is notoriously hard to play at for that exact reason.

Making fans sit down is anathema to the NFL and professional sporting events generally.


Monday, June 30, 2008

The Drug Saudi Arabia

People like to think that the drug laws in our country act as a deterrent. This may be true, to a limited extent, but let's look at another country, Saudi Arabia:

Seizures of amphetamines have risen sharply in Saudi Arabia, suggesting a surge in consumption of the illegal stimulant in the kingdom, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported yesterday.

Saudi Arabia accounted for 28 per cent of all global amphetamine seizures in 2006, the latest year for which data are available, according to the UNODC's annual report.

Over 1/4 of all global meth confiscations came from a country with about 27 million people. And you can't blame lax drug laws there:

From the US State Dept:

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: ... Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses.

Persons violating Saudi Arabian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, imprisoned or even executed. Suspects may be detained without charges or legal counsel, and with limited consular access, for months during the investigative stage of criminal cases.

Penalties for the import, manufacture, possession, and consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences, fines, public flogging, and/or deportation. The penalty for drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia is death. Saudi officials make no exceptions.

Deterrence indeed.

Via Marginal Revolution.

Mood Music Monday