Posted by: N.S. Palmer | May 8, 2010

Wall Street Dives, France Bans Burqas

By N.S. Palmer

Miscellaneous thoughts while drinking coffee at McDonalds:

Look for the money

The Dow dropped by 1,000 points in just a few minutes on Thursday, then rallied. The Sgt. Schultzes at the Securities and Exchange Commission profess to be baffled about the cause.

My advice: look for the money. Running the market up and down is a classic method that big players use to make money at the expense of smaller investors.

Maybe they did it this time, maybe they didn’t. But with their enormous resources, insider knowledge, and computerized trading, they have the ability to do it. And they are not known for their keen moral sense.

If some investment bank or hedge fund walked away from the “glitch” and ended up billions of dollars richer, then it’s worth investigating.

France affirms it’s a society

Muslims and civil libertarians are enraged that France has banned public wearing of the burqa, a full-body covering that fundamentalist Muslims (but not all Muslims) require their wives and other female family members to wear in public.

There are valid arguments for and against the ban. But the fundamental point, in my view, is that a society is defined and united by its rules and mores, both written and unwritten.

A society in which anyone is allowed (by law or social custom) to do whatever he or she wants is not a society. It’s a “libertarian paradise” of disconnected individuals who have nothing in common and no mutual obligations except to refrain from shooting each other.

France has just reaffirmed that it is a society with shared mores and values that aliens (whether ethnic, national, cultural, or religious) must respect.

If fundamentalist Muslims don’t like that society, then they should consider moving to another country that embodies their values and mores. There are lots of choices.

Copyright 2010 by N.S. Palmer. May be reproduced as long as byline, copyright notice, and URL ( are included.

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