Friday, July 12, 2002

New Look, Same Great Mojo Flavor

OK folks, I've now moved off of blogspot to my very own domain, running Movable Type! With a new Layout! And a new Logo! Life is good!

The new site is located @ http://www.captainmojo.com/blog/. Please update any bookmarks accordingly.

This'll be my last blogger entry. It's MT sweetness from here on out!

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Low Blogging Rate

I've been feeling a bit under the weather, and I need to set up my new domain, so blogging might be light for the next few days.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

What, You Read Satre or Something?

PejmanPundit links to Jonah Goldberg’s latest NRO column on the “Dangerous Ideas” of postmodernism fueling the modern lefty morons. I normally like Goldberg’s articles, but this one just pisses me off. I suppose I'm just not a conservative in my heart of hearts. A brief excerpt from his buildup that I found particularly unsound:
But beneath all the clichés, posturing and, breast-beating from "lovers of liberty" and civil libertarians of all parties, there's an inescapable fact. Some ideas are dangerous. If you are a reasonable person, you will concede this point — even if you disagree with me on which ideas were dangerous. My list includes those notions which constitute the cores of Nazism, Stalinism, communism, postmodernism, Maoism, relativism, scientific socialism, Hale-Boppism, running-with-scissorsism, et al. If you're on the left you might take a few of those off and add capitalism, conservatism, manifest destiny, whatever.
I am apparently not a reasonable person (this should come as no surprise to my small number of regular readers). I hate postmodernism as much as the next guy. Postmodernism and its descendents are irrational, hypocritical, and generally stupid, but saying that ideas are responsible for the worst death and destruction of the twentieth century is silly. To paraphrase the famous quote, ideas don’t kill people, people kill people. Ideas are excuses for evil actions done by people suffering from small penises or other hate inducing conditions.

There are big differences in ideology between Stalinists, Fascists, Nazis, and Maoists, but each of these creeds is remembered more for the vile acts committed in their names, than the actual ideas they espoused. Goldberg’s whole concept of “Dangerous Ideas” seems to imply that an ideas is simply waiting to hijack unsuspecting people’s brains and use them for its own nefarious purposes. It’s the same outlook as the liberal who sees the soldier trained to use a gun as nothing but a killer, even if the guy is a marine cook. Understanding an idea is not the same as accepting it. People in a free society choose their actions, and they choose what to believe.

Ideas would be dangerous if human minds were blank slates, and could be filled with whatever random memes got pumped in. This seems to be what Goldberg fears. The “Blank Slate” is an existentialist argument, and once you’ve gone existentialist, you might as well sign up for the postmodernist fan club, because you’ve bought into the whole cultural determinist mindset.

Ideas are like technology, in that they have no intrinsic morality, but actions do. Some actions are evil, according to god (if you’re religious), natural law (if you’re more of the agnostic / deist persuasion) or some kind of preprogrammed social instincts (for you strict Darwinists out there). People are not blank slates, and added to that, humans are supposedly rational creatures. Some people choose to do evil acts, regardless of ideology, and ideas are often used by these evil people to commit horrendous crimes.

Freedom involves choices, and choices involve consequences. When it comes down to it, are you hosting your memes, or are your memes hosting you?

If you’re really concerned about the dangers of postmodern memes, create reasonable alternatives that are more effective in enticing those juicy blank brains. Calling ideas dangerous is to be afraid of them, and fear leads to attempts at suppression. Running away from a faulty idea in fear or hiding it in shadows (which Goldberg doesn’t go quite so far as to advocate) will only give the idea a festering underground quality that the kids love. Only by bringing worthless ideologies into the open can you show their stupidity and evil for all to see, and completely discredit them.

Witness the suppression and censorship of anti-Semitism and Nazism in Europe, versus the open debunking and ridicule of those ideals in the United States. In the USA, we’ve got KKK meetings attended by 10 inbred racists harmlessly ranting to 100’s of self-important journalists. In Europe, we’ve got synagogue burnings quietly hushed up and neo-fascist candidates getting 20% of the vote. Oh, yeah, if ideas are dangerous, then censorship certainly works guys…
Is The Sun Suddenly Shining a Little Brighter?

Carter is in Venezuala, Farrakhan is visiting Iraq, and Nader is chillin' with Uncle Fidel in Havana. Life is good.

Now if we could only send Noam to North Korea, we'd be batting 1.000.
Mwuhahaha

Via Asparagirl, via Scott Ganz, all the baddest villians of 80's saturday morning cartoons sing Tears for Fears' "Everyone wants to Save the World." It's a big download, but for us youngsters who can tell the difference between an Autobot and Decepticon, it's a worthwhile piece of pure nostalgic goodness.
Trouble In Turkey?

From CNN, Turkey's coalition government is on the verge of collapse amid several ministerial resignations and worries about the Prime Minister's health. New elections will likely be called shortly. I'm fairly ignorant on this situation, but instability in Turkey, our closest ally in the Islamic world, is troubling with the invasion of Iraq imminent...

Monday, July 08, 2002

Blair’s UK Government Backs GM Crops

This Telegraph Article informs us that Tony Blair’s UK government has decided to promote growing Genetically Modified crops in Britain. This is a completely reasonable decision. What’s unreasonable is what the EU’s reaction to it will be. GM foods have been around for years now, and science has shown they pose no threat to the environment or human health. Quite the contrary. GM crops provide larger yields per land area used, are cheaper to grow, and require far less in the way of environmentally damaging pesticides.

The Luddite Left claims it wants to feed the Third World and improve the environment, but when a biotechnology tool comes around to help achieve these goals, it is not only rejected, but irrationally attacked by those who should see its greatest value. Curious, no?
Saddam, Meet Buck (Rodgers That Is)

A little item for all those who, like myself, drool over new high-tech weapons: a June 30th post on Strategypage notes that the Air Force is beginning to research lasers for Air-to-Air combat. I did some searching, and found a more indepth article on SpaceDaily. The goal is to arm the new F-22s and F-35s (and perhaps the older F-15s and F-16s) with high-energy lasers. Pretty cool, especially with all the advances made off of the airborne Anti-Ballistic Laser research project, currently being tested on a modified 747.

One of these days, directed energy weapons are going to revolutionize warfare, and maybe even spaceflight. One of these days...
The Peanut Farmer And Simon Bolivar's Slow Stepchildren

So it looks like my good buddy Jimmy Carter has arrived in Hugo Chavez's fragmented Venezuela (link via El Sur). Well, ain't that just swell.

The trip is supported by Chavez, but seen as a delaying tactic by opposition groups, who have attempted one coup and are most likely formulating another one. So far, few in the opposition are willing to talk to him, and since Carter seems to be all friendly-like with Hugo, I don't see why the opposition should listen to him.

The article ends with a nice little jab at the ex-pres though, which I think sums up Carter's diplomacy career:
Carter visited Cuba in May and noted dissident efforts to call a referendum on whether Cuba should allow freedom of expression and other rights. Afterward, Cuba's National Assembly enshrined socialism in the constitution as "irrevocable." The Carter Center has declined comment.


Ouch, that must sting there Jimbo...

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

Vodkapundit states his thoughts on the coming invasion of Iraq.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

If, By Witty, You Mean Boring and Inane...

Found the link to George Michael's "Shoot the Dog" video (link via Damian Penny, via Norwegian Blogger). What can I say? It's a really, really, dumb song. If you watch it, note where Michael enters the oval office... that little bit of self-referential humor almost redeems the video. Hehehe...
Does Powell Have Hurt Feelings? Poor Baby...

The Telegraph has this story on Colin Powell's supposed anger with the civilian leaders of the pentagon. According to the article, Powell has, despite unhappiness related to his lack of influence in the oval office, decided to stay on as Secretary of State:

Colin Powell, the beleaguered Secretary of State, has delivered an angry riposte to the Pentagon hardliners responsible for his recent string of policy defeats - insisting to allies that he "won't let those bastards drive me out".

Despite his frustration at President Bush's tendency to side with Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, on issues ranging from the Middle East to the International Criminal Court, Gen Powell is making it clear that he does not intend to quit before the next presidential election.

"He won't resign because to do so would be tantamount to admitting defeat," said a senior Washington official. "He would only go earlier if he thought he had lost the president's confidence and there is no sign of that. He thinks it is better to carry on and have some influence from inside the administration than to leave and have none."


Now, I've tried to give Powell the benefit of the doubt, and I thought after Dubya's anti-Yassir speech, Foggy Bottom might shut the hell up and get with the program. However, if Powell is bitching to foreign governments about other members of the administration, he has no business representing the United States as our voice to the world.

The administration has made up its mind on Kyoto, opposition to Yassir "more kiddie bombers please" Arafat, and the ICC. Powell is Secretary of State. His job is to provide the president with information, and then act as our chief diplomat. He's given his advice. It's been rejected. Now his job is to convince other governments to accept our position, or at least to accept the reality of the situation.

I've still got some hope for Powell. I think he is, at his core, a good man, and that he actually believes the State Department's bumbling multilateralism is the right course to follow. But he's wrong. We're at war. Firm stands need to be taken by the chief executive, and once those decisions are made, the cabinet needs to close ranks behind those stands. I think Stephen Green got it right a while ago:
"…Powell would be the perfect king for a mythical land where all is well and peaceful. The people could admire his sagacity and strength from afar, and there would be no messy international problems to soil his reputation. His background and bearing would bring peoples of all colors and creeds together in harmony."
But as the esteemed Vodkapundit notes, that's not the world we live in. Powell is a good diplomat, but he needs to remember whose diplomatic goals he's supposed to be promoting. The president listened to Powell's recommendations, and rejected them. That's done. He can still give his advice to the president, and can privately disagree with decisions the administration makes, but he must not whine to foreign dignitaries about how he won't let "those bastards" drive him out. He has a job to do, and if he's not willing to fulfill that job by towing the party line, he needs to step down.

I don't know, maybe this is just more Rope-A-DopeTM designed to placate the Euroweenies.
Marching Towards Victory

I’m starting to think about getting my own domain, and switching over to Movable Type. So I have a couple of quick questions for my fellow blogtroopers out there who are using MT: did you have any trouble setting it up? Was importing old blogger posts too tough? Is there anything important you've learned I should know before commiting?
More Steyn

Mark Steyn’s latest column (link via Daily Pundit) is chock full of goodness. Everything from Independence Day, the silliness of the “Under God” decision, to the nature of limited government, he touches it all.
If Middle Earth was run by Euroweenies

Mike over at Coldfury.com brings us the sequel to Lord Of The Rings, after all of middle earth gives up war and accepts the wonderful justice of an International Criminal Court

Funny shit I tell you.
Alive and Kicking

Ok, after a day of misery following the debauchery of the 4th, I feel much better. Blogging can now recommence…

Friday, July 05, 2002

Uggg

Too much Gin last night, left me a miserable wreck. No posting of any value can be made today....

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Happy Goddamn 4th!

I'm going to a friends houseboat on Lake Union to watch the Fireworks and get my boozie on. Blogging will be suspended until the hangover subsides.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Quote Of The Day

"We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France."

Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington
1769-1852
The BBC: Britain's Colonoscopy Without The General Anesthetic

Over the past few days, the BBC has been hyping American "Attacks" on Afghan civilians. This is annoying, but you come to expect it from a left-leaning organization. Hell, CNN has practically jumped to the same conclusions. And there is a sizable anti-American contingent on the island, so some Guardian-esque slander against the good 'ol USA is almost to be expected.

But why does the BBC hate Britain?

This year's Last Night of the Proms will not include the traditional singing of Rule Britannia. According to this article from the Independent (found via Tim Blair),
The BBC has decided to bring down the curtain on the annual rendition of "Rule, Britannia" at the Last Night of the Proms. The change means there will be no solo singer this year to lead the audience through the seven jingoistic verses and choruses of the raucous Malcolm Sargent version. Instead they will have to make do with the original, instrumental version, which is part of Henry Wood's "Fantasia on British Sea Songs". Leonard Slatkin, the American chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, said they were only reflecting the public's own ambivalence towards the popular anthem.

"We have had a lot of letters saying that it is time to get rid of "Rule, Britannia", and I must admit I am not completely comfortable with playing it," he told the Radio Times today. " 'Rule, Britannia' does seem a little militaristic, and though it's wonderful to celebrate who you are and have faith in your country, I don't think we should exclude others. The Last Night of the Proms is an important occasion; in Japan they get up at 4am to watch it. Anyway, I'm not certain the sentiments of the words resonate in the way some people think they should. It does seem a little outdated."
Outdated my ass. It's a cool song.

The lyrics are certainly jingoistic, if by jingoism you mean not rolling over Petain-esquely for a nice butt reaming. I mean, read 'em for chrissakes! The whole damn world could use a little reminder on how Nelson, Wellington, and the men like them and under them, saved the world from Napoleonic tyranny. Or how Churchill fought the dark Nazi regime in WW II, and how Maggie Thatcher stood against the inhuman Communist regimes of the cold war. But, no, "I don't think we should exclude others."

Sometimes I worry about our British cousins (and the American conductors they hire)....

Friedman Makes Sense?

Vodkapundit links to a unnaturally sensible Thomas Friedman article, which reminds us all how backward the Arab world really is. One statistic of interest:
The U.N. Development Program, which published, along with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, a brutally honest Arab Human Development Report yesterday analyzing the three main reasons the Arab world is falling off the globe. (The G.D.P. of Spain is greater than that of all 22 Arab states combined.)
That’s Spain. The poor kid of the Europe Union. Arab nations have around 230 million people in them; Spain has around 40 million. According to these numbers, Spanish per capita wealth production is 115 times that of the combined Arab nations.

As an aside, the US GDP (per capita) is twice that of Spain, and our population is nearing 300 million…

Do things need to change for the Arabs? I think so.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Animated Goodness

I just saw The Iron Giant for the first time, and I must say, it was a pretty damn good watch, even for a kids cartoon. Nice animation, an interesting story, all kinds of adult level politics and philosophy under the surface...

Another Mojo recommendation.
Riddle Me This Batman

While my subscription to Foreign Affairs magazine brings me a year's worth of excellent analysis and opinion on current world events, it also puts me on all kinds of other magazine mailing lists. I got an add for the New Yorker today, which is, in and of itself, not that interesting.

What is interesting however, is where the add came from. Where might the billing center for the New Yorker be located?
...
Anyone?
...
Anyone?
...

If you guessed Bonne Iowa, you win a prize!

Also Sprache Den Beste

For drunken ranting and attempted smarty-pants humor regarding the International Criminal Court, you come see Mojo. For a well thought-out discussion of the United States government's refusal to work with the court, and our other "Unilateral" decisions as of late, go read Steven Den Beste.

Harness the power of his cold, hard, rational prose to vanquish all your enemies...
Errrrrr....

Europe seethes as defiant US goes its own way (Link via Daily Pundit).

I'd just like to take this opportunity to give a big "Fuck You" to Tony Blair's government ministers, who see the US administration as "very unhelpful" and "bloody-minded" when it comes to giving up our citizens to politically appointed International Tribunals. If you guys can't see how worthless the ICC is, then you deserve to rot with your fellow EUro-Socialist fucktard friends on the continent while we start building the CoDominion with the Russians.