Thursday, September 21, 2006


Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Amit Ghate has been relatively quiet lately, but he links to some really good reading material by Noah Stahl, who is writing regularly at Iowa State Daily.


I love this Cox and Forkum cartoon about the latest round of rational persuasion from the Moslems.

I am glad to see that Phil -- Orenstein, anyway -- got the last word in their roundup.


It's official: Angelina Jolie will star as Dagny Taggart in the cinematic version of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, which I see has a page at the Internet Movie Database.

Rumor has it that the actress is very excited about her role in "this exciting steam punk masterpiece" and plans to reprise elements of her character Franky from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, including the eye patch.

Rumor also has it that when David Kelley, who hints that he will safeguard the fidelity of the film to the novel and to its underlying Objectivist philosophy, was asked about the patch and other ideas for changes to the heroine proffered by Jolie, he was unperturbed. Sources say he just shrugged and said, "Nine out of ten new ideas will be mistakes, but the tenth will let in the light."

When asked whether an eye patch that "let in the light" was a mistake, he urged openmindedness.


Zach Oakes regales us with a second installment of "The Internets is Broken". He saves the best bit of Digg user wisdom for last:
Oakes your posts really do show you to be rather fascist-thinking - you seek to degrade others through manipulative argument and, as a result, make yourself look like you're correct. Like a child who makes fun of others to feel better. Why would be so needy? You've posted some seriously low-blows on here man. Be my guest and get sued for libel or slander at some point. [bold added]
Why do people whine about bloggers who "make themselves look correct"? Do they ever stop to think about why someone would bother posting something he thought was incorrect? Or do they simply care so little about truth that the question never occurs to them?

I suspect that they feel that certainty is impossible and take comfort in the excuse that the notion grants them from having to think very deeply about anything. Then they run up against an Oakes and hear something they don't like, along with an argument even they can't evade. Rather than considering the argument, they undercut it by bashing the whole idea of certainty.

People wake up to alarms, shut them off, mumble incoherently, and fall back to sleep all the time, too.


Nick Provenzo reports that Founders' College has cleared a major regulatory hurdle: It "has received degree-granting authority from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia" and thus can begin recruiting students.


Grant Jones makes some interesting points as he explores Christopher Hitchens's take on the Pope's recent remarks on Islam.

Jones notes that, "Hitchens, in the panel discussion, frames the issue not just as reason versus unreason but also as religion versus secularism."

Consistent with this age of greyness, this is both good and bad news.


I really must learn the secrets of Paul "The Oppressor" Hsieh! Look what he made Diana write about their marriage -- and on her own blog no less!

Willy Shake has some good news: Victor Davis Hanson has a blog!


Mike N and Andy both post on some recent good news you might not have heard: DDT is finally making a comeback!

Mike notes, "You'd think that something that could save the lives of millions of people a year would be front page news. Evidently it's not newsworthy in the Detroit area."

Maybe it's because, as Andy rightly points out, that, "The banning of DDT was the largest act of genocide in the history of man," and the liberals would have too much explaining to do if word got out.


I'm again plugging The Inspector's lineup of commentary on the recent fifth anniversary of the mass executions -- committed in the name of Islam and with the blessings of many Moslems -- committed in America in 2001.

The juxtaposition of so much good commentary is very thought-provoking. For example, I made a new connection when I came across the following excerpt of Jennifer Snow's post:
[T]his attack that is a disgrace to any creature that has ever laid claim to the title of human being. It is the essence of horror--delivery, unarmed, into a fate that you can forsee but not act to escape.
In my own reflections, I realized that:
The only thing I can imagine that could be an uglier, more unholy thing than what those reprobates did that day would be to do what they demand -- to join them in doing to myself what they did to my lost countrymen.
What I felt, but until I visited The Intellectual Watchman, I had not quite made explicit, was the following:

Since reason is man's means of survival, the demand by Islam to submit -- to cease making independent judgements -- is the demand to embrace a forseeably subhuman fate. The Islamists are threatening us with the concretization of what it would mean on the abstract, long-range level to accept their religion -- as a means of cowing us into accepting it! *

This is the evil essence of Islam.

We can refuse to submit. The full extent of the power of the Islamists lies in (1) the fact that they can make us have to kill them in order to refuse their "offer" and (2) our own desire to live and let live. In other words, Islam's great contribution to history is that it has made the blood of its followers the price we must pay to continue living our lives.

When we in the West finally understand this and realize that whatever we have to do to end this threat is not our fault, we will finally be prepared to fight Islamofascism successfully.

* This is made as effective as it is in no small part by the collapse of philosophy and abstract thought in the West: What will convince someone who cannot think in abstract terms? Put another way, physical danger is appreciated and the greater danger, of bad philosophic ideas, is easily dismissed.


Martin Lindeskog has some reflections on the recent elections in Sweden, including ramifications for the rest of Europe.

Among other things, he notes that the Pirate Party failed to win any seats.


I wonder if that put a damper on "Talk Like a Pirate Day"....


The Counterterrorism Blog considers the recent coup in Thailand in light of its ongoing Moslem insurgency.


Isaac Shrodinger has something that hearkens back to a simpler time when some people would "find" demonic messages in records when they were played backwards -- and be dismissed as crackpots.

Hmmm. Why am I fighting the urge to start a betting pool for when the "Coke Riots" kick off?

-- CAV