Friday, September 06, 2002

Wouldn't it be great if...

Joe Lieberman would make up his mind? Link via The Spoons Experience.

Religion and the law of non-contradiction

Stuart Buck has an excellent piece about the idea that "All religions are equally true"
Part of the problem, I think, is due to our intellectual fogginess over simple matters of truth and logic. Take the most basic principle of logic: The law of non-contradiction. A and not-A can't both be true at the same time. Pretty basic, huh? Not when it comes to religion, where a lot of people seem to have no problem saying that mutually inconsistent religions are equally true. Take Christianity, the religion I know best. The most basic, foundational belief of Christianity is the belief that Christ was God. If Christ was God, then by the law of non-contradiction, it is false to say that Christ was not God. And that in turn means that any religion that denies that Christ was God is, to that extent (though perhaps no more), false. Conversely, if Christ was not God, then every other religion is correct in denying that Christ was God, and Christianity itself is one giant hoax. The point is, either Christ was God or he wasn't, and as various religions point to completely opposite conclusions on that question, they cannot possibly all be equally valid. One can extend this analysis to numerous other questions on which various religions take opposite views. Thus, it is impossible for any genuine Christian who is aware of the laws of logic to say, "All other religions are just as good as mine." They might all be good religions in every other respect, but they're flat wrong on at least one question, if Christ really was God. On the other hand, it's impossible for any genuine adherent to a non-Christian religion who is aware of the laws of logic to say, "Christianity is just as good as my religion." It's not, if Christ really wasn't God. Yet, depressingly, one finds people all the time who do say such things. One can only conclude that they 1) don't really believe their professed religion, not really, or 2) are not aware of the law of non-contradiction.
Now mind you, this isn't the same as proving any one particular religion is true. But it does point out a huge gaping hole in the idea that each person should treat all religious belief systems as equally true.

Why should we care about the UN?

It appears the Germans don't care too much about the UN.
[Germany's Chancellor Gerhard] Schroeder, who faces a battle for re-election in two weeks' time, now says he would oppose military action, even if the UN Security Council were to give its backing to the use of force.
Why exactly should we be so worried about proving our case to the UN, if that still wouldn't yield any support by European countries.

Pollution free engines?

Gasoline engines now in production can be nearly pollution-free, a California university engineering laboratory reports after three years of study. The finding suggests Americans can enjoy much cleaner air without the high price of electric cars. (Related story: Superclean engines just as fast and fuel-efficient) "You won't get to zero (emissions), but you will get pretty close," says Joseph Norbeck, director of the facility that performed the challenging tests at the University of California-Riverside.
This could be very, very interesting down the road. Of course, the main thing I'm looking forward to is hearing the environmentalists whine less.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

How to be a good Anti-American

Sasha Castel points us to a great post at Whackingday.
TIP #3: The United Nations This is your big stick of Legitimacy. This fine body is here to serve as a brake on those wild, stupid, warmongering Americans. It shall be held up as an enlightened, sober group of liberal intellectuals who serve freedom, human rights and the brotherhood of man. UN doctrine and policy will almost always run contrary to that of the USA. As the UN are the enlightened, clever, level-headed ones. You can use this as your whacking stick. Of course, some might protest that the UN is at best a useless, cowardly bureaucratic monolith and at worst a dangerous, obstructionist propaganda mouthpiece for every scumbag and tyrant on the planet, and that friendly mass-murderer Colonel Ghaddafi has been appointed head of their human rights body. But you can ignore them. This is the United Nations after all, and they are the good guys. They will look after the world and protect us against these rampaging american scum.
Read all 9 rules of being a good anti-american here.

Rebuilding the fallacies of September 10th

Mark Steyn in the Spectator:
The change that occurred on 11 September was a simple one. When Osama bin Laden blew up the World Trade Center, he also blew up the polite fictions of the pre-war world. At Ground Zero, they've been working frantically to clear away the rubble. Likewise, at the UN, EU and all the rest, they've also been working frantically not so much to clear away the mess but to stick it back together and reconstruct the great fantasy world as it existed on 10 September, that bizarro make-believe land where Nato is a 'mutual defence alliance' and Egypt and Saudi Arabia are 'our staunch friends'. Even in America, some people are still living in that world. You can switch on the TV and hear apparently sane 'experts' using phrases like 'Bush risks losing the support of the Arab League'.
Link via Tim Blair.

Faster, Please!

Bush considers plan to arm pilots. Why hasn't this already been done? Link via The corner at NRO.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Media bias? What media bias?

Great caption here by Reuters...
Recovery and debris removal work continues at the site of the World Trade Center known as "ground zero" in New York, March 25, 2002. Human rights around the world have been a casualty of the U.S. "war on terror" since September 11.
Still think all us conservatives are just crying wolf when we mention media bias? Reuters isn't the only one, but they are hands down the worst, while still proclaiming themselves to be neutral and unbiased.

Blast from the past...

In all the discussion about the "Real Beverly Hillbillies", I remembered an editorial I wrote for the student newspaper my freshman year at Wake Forest. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it online, but I decided to retype it here for your reading enjoyment...
I recently received a very interesting letter from Bubba, a friend of mine at a college in New England. In this letter, he brings up an important topic I should share with all of you:
Howdy! What's going on at Wake Forest? Do you remember that course in American minority cultures that I had to take this semester? Anyway, our class went over the characteristics of an oppressed minority group. I realized that I could be covered in these characteristics. I'm white, male, heterosexual and just about everything else that counts as being unoppressed. So how can I be part of an oppressed minority? I'm a full-fledged, 100 percent redneck. Just read these characteristics and see if they fit. 1) Is denied access to power, wealth or prestige. It would be difficult for a redneck to have power, wealth and prestige before we all get indoor plumbing. Well, President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore may have these three, but I hardly consider them rednecks. Besides, how many rednecks would be willing to stoop to politics to get power? Rednecks don't have 10 or 12 cars like those Hollywood stars do. Well, I think bobby Clodfelter back home in Kernersville does, but all of his are up on blocks in his front yard. 2) Suffers various forms of disadvantages at the hands of the majority. Well, think of how many redneck jokes you have heard before. Now just imagine the outrage if this many jokes were told about other groups, such as the disabled or certain races. But since these are redneck jokes, no one minds. Surely, this is an example of being at a disadvantage. 3) May have social characteristics which are used to label him or her. Well off the top of my head I can think of country music, chewing tobacco, my southern drawl, a tendency to drive pickup trucks... Need I say more? 4) Is placed in the group involuntarily. Well, you can't really take the country out of a redneck, even If he or she wants to change. Just suppose I sold my flannel shirts, my pickup truck and my moonshine still. What could I do then? I wouldn't have enough money to move to New jersey, wear a polo shirt, buy a Mercedes and pay for bottled water. Most rednecks couldn't change if they had to. 5) Tends to marry within his or her own group. Heck, most rednecks go one further than that and marry within their own family. 'Nuff said. Well, maybe we can get some kind of special treatment by Congress now. Hey, Richard Petty is free now. I wonder if the NASCAR fans could talk the King into running for Congress to represent redneck rights? Hey, maybe we could lobby for a quota system for colleges and then Jim-Bob and Junior could get into a real college instead of going to trucking school like their older sister. Well, you get the point. By the way, since you are down there near RJR, could you buy me some chewing tobacco? Nobody up here in the north knows what I'm talking about when I ask for it. Well, I'll see you this summer. Bubba
After reading this letter, I was caught by uncontrollable fits of laughter. The only scary part is that Bubba was trying to be serious. I guess he doesn't realize how absurd his statements are. But, he has the information to support these claims of injustice jsut as well as other groups have done to justify special treatment. Maybe redneck rights aren't all that far-fetched. They are no more absurd than the special privleges of other groups that already get special treatment.
Anyway, its not exactly my best piece of writing ever, but I thought it was worth bringing it back one more time. Maybe I'll put it out again in another 10 years.

It's about time!

Acording to the Jerusalem Post, the FBI is finally considering the LAX shooting a Terrorist act. Hmmm. An Islamic man of Middle Eastern descent, armed with multiple weapons goes into an airport, and guns down people at the counter of El-Al, an Israeli Airline (Read as: a group of people very likely to be Jewish) Terrorism? Really? You think so?

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

And you thought YOU were boring!

Hello! Welcome to the Swingline Owner's Club Web Page! I'm Lionel Simca, and, as you are probably aware, I am an avid amateur staplist and a collector of classic Swingline staplers. I started the Swingline Owners Club (SOC) here in Chapel Hill, NC, and, though the Swingline parent company won't publically or privately acknowledge our existance, I take their hostile silence and the restraining orders sent by several of their key executives as a silent but forceful nod of approval of my organization.
Two questions: 1) Isn't there something a little bit more interesting to do in Chapel Hill? For goodness sake, Its a colege town with thousands of shops, and all kinds of stuff to do on Franklin Street. 2) I wonder if he knows Milton from Office Space. (Sadly, that is a link to "Virtualstapler.com". I'm not sure which site is more sad, although virtual stapler does have nicer graphics and web design.) Original link via Fark, the second one was via google search.

Kuwait: Gateway to Iraq?

Little Green Footballs Has a link to a piece in the Telegraph.
Kuwait became the first Arab state yesterday to signal support for a US-led military coalition against Iraq, in marked contrast to the caution shown by other countries in the region. The Kuwaiti foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Salem al-Sabah, told The Telegraph: "While Saddam Hussein continues to keep Kuwaiti prisoners of war, and continues to televise threats against Kuwait, we consider the war against Iraq to have never ended."... A Kuwaiti government official said: "If America asks for support Kuwait will give it. I expect the same response from all Gulf states. There may be the need publicly to be anti-war, but under-the-table deals are being struck."
In Addition, USS Clueless has a link to an ABC Article about Kuwait buying Longbow Apaches from the US.
Why is this significant? It means that Kuwait is cooperating with American plans for an attack on Iraq. This is part of their reward. And it also means they'll have to continue cooperating, because they won't get those helicopters until long after we've fought that war. ...[Y]ou have to be friends with the US, or else your flow of spare parts will be cut off and your equipment will become progressively more and more useless. This is one of the big forms of persuasion and influence we have in the region, and it's not often given the credit it deserves. If any of the Arab nations which have huge forces of American military equipment ever totally alienate us, their military power will begin to degrade. (Which is one of the big reasons that the government of Saudi Arabia continues to push the rhetoric about how good of friends they and we are.) On the other side of the coin, most of the ones who have decided to remain friendly would like to keep buying new equipment from us, and we can use that as part of negotiations on other issues, or to reward cooperation.
This could be very interesting. We should keep an eye out for asimilar announcement from Turkey. Combine those two for staging areas for ground troops, with some of our airbases being built elsewhere in the region, and this could get very interesting. And don't forget, we already have a lot of heavy equipment stored in Kuwait. All we need to do is send troops and supplies into Kuwait, which is a lot easier than sending in the tanks, artillery, etc.

Strange Referral log entries...

jews+law+spay+neuter I really don't want to know what some of these people are looking for. copenhagen+where+to+find+hooker+at+night I think I DO know what this person is looking for. environmentalist+idiots Shouldn't PETA be up there somewhere above me in the search? Hey, that would be a great blogoshpere project. A Googlebomb that makes PETA the first result returned in a search for Environmentalist Idiots. Any other Bloggers willing to help?

Iraq, then Lebanon?

Woundwart at Silflay Hraka seems to think that Lebanon should be the next target in the war on terror due to this item from AP.
By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI .c The Associated Press JERUSALEM (Sept. 2) - Nearly 200 al-Qaida operatives, including several senior commanders, have settled in Lebanon with Syria's permission, taking refuge in a large Palestinian refugee camp there, an Israeli newspaper reported Monday. A source in Jerusalem, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the report, saying the information comes from Israeli and Western intelligence agencies. A Lebanese security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, denied al-Qaida members were in the refugee camp, saying 10 to 15 Islamic militants are hiding from authorities in the camp. The militants were involved in clashes in which nine Lebanese soldiers were killed. Zeev Schiff, a prominent Israeli journalist who covers the military, reported in Haaretz daily that Damascus has allowed between 150 and 200 al-Qaida operatives to settle in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh, near the Lebanese coastal town of Sidon.
I personally doubt it. By the time we get done in Iraq, many other terrorist-harboring countires will be rethinking their stance. When we actually show the Middle East that we do indeed mean business, I imagine that some of the other countries near Iraq may be saying "Terrorists? Really? Sure, you go right ahead, and take them out, we will be glad to help. Please don't think you would need to have a regime change here as well."