Feb 08

Marching Toward Hell

Michael Scheuer’s new book Marching Toward Hell, America and Islam After Iraq came in the mail today, I’ve read the first 20 pages or so, it looks to be a very good read. The man is the Merle Haggard of foreign policy.

Aug 07

Meaningless op-eds masquerading as human interest stories

From the article: Muslim women: My headscarf is not a threat after telling a story about rudeness at Walmart while wearing a hijab (which they put in quotation marks for some reason).

Such stories are not altogether uncommon for Muslim Americans.

Wow, not altogether uncommon! I guess it’s not unlike a problem of variable merit. There’s also the annoying use of the term Muslim American (implying ethnicity or nationality) instead of American Muslim.

The rest of the story is of dubious logic and follows the same pattern as all other stories about group identity, which is

  1. An offensive incident
  2. A quote of data after some seemingly arbitrary date
  3. Quote from expert
  4. Further interview with subject, telling everyone that he/she wants to be different while remaining the same.

Aug 07

Nuking Mecca would be counterproductive and silly

I listened to the Republican Debate from Sunday and heard Tom Tancredo repeat his strategy of nuking Mecca if terrorists launch another attack on the United States. It’s just silly. Everyone is sold on the notion that religions are “of” something, like peace or justice.

Nuking Mecca is a way of fighting on technicalities and hoping that the other side believes in them as much as we would like them to. It’s like trying to fight LSD use by threatening to build a Starbucks on Jim Morrison’s gravesite.

Jul 07

Saturday link roundup

  • A nice how-to on HDR photography
  • Survivorman is blogging again!
  • The greatest living American you’ve never heard of.
  • The world’s stupidest Fatwas, my favorite –

    Many Muslims believe that unmarried men and women should not work alone together—a stricture that can pose problems in today’s global economy. So one Islamic scholar came up with a novel solution: If a woman were to breast-feed her male colleague five times, the two could safely be alone together.

    The injuction against the Polio vaccine is scary though.

  • It seems that tires will outlive us all
  • More on the Kathryn Johnson case
  • A Slate article on the ethanol haters, of which I am one. He leaves out the fact that creating ethanol takes more energy than it produces.

May 07

Recommended reading for Tuesday

  • Londonistan Calling – Hitchens goes back to London. Choice quote:

    He was a conspicuous figure because, having lost the use of an eye and both hands in an exchange of views in Afghanistan, he sported an opaque eye plus a hook to theatrical effect. Not as nice as he looked..

  • The Crime Against Kansas – Why isn’t this sort of thing in more history classes? You might hear about John Brown’s raid, but never about any clashes

Apr 07

The most illuminating presentation I’ve seen in years

Via Zen Pundit, it’s Col Patrick Lang’s Lecture on Islam. Purely informative, insightful, historical, well presented, and doesn’t run afoul of the Electric Shaver of Peace fallacy. I recommend it to everyone. It’s about 90 minutes worth of video, I just let it play while I worked on other stuff.

Mar 07

Friday night round up

Mar 07

Sunday round up

Feb 07

Quick tab clearing roundup

Jan 07

Thursday rapid fire

  • Hitchens reviews Stein – personally I don’t think the demographic argument carries much weight – look at the performance of Japan vs China and Germany vs Russia in WWII. A productive culture beats a backward one in a life or death struggle. It’s an interesting read though. To clarify – the reason that Japan and Germany lost was American material and military support. While they could die bravely, that doesn’t lead to many wins.
  • Toddler’s Temper Ousts Family From Plane

    She was removed because “she was climbing under the seat and hitting the parents and wouldn’t get in her seat” during boarding, Graham-Weaver said.

  • Police in Tijuana Issued Sling Shots

    The police department has issued about 60 slingshots to officers in the violent border city of Tijuana, where soldiers confiscated police weapons two weeks ago on allegations of collusion with drug traffickers.

    Yet the war on drugs continues. This time for sure!

  • Battery Breakthrough – Well worth reading. If true, this changes American society for the better in ten years or less. Sadly, most scientific breakthroughs tend to be either false or meaningless
  • Diane Feinstein and conflicts of interest
  • Winning the battle for freedom – RTWT – from the founder of Whole Foods no less.