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 @ 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.

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.