Cute Shit

If you’re in the mood for some cute shit, click here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/27/world/africa/27sudan.html?ex=1354078800&en=5f8e3611aef1e55c&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

If you can get over the whole cutesy aspect of the thing,

you realize you’ve discovered the answer to the question:

What happens to people who don’t have 24/7 access to a channel

specializing in trashy films like ‘The Patriot’ starring Mel Gibson.

And the answer, of course, is that they turn to religion as a convenient

pretext for playing silly-ass little games with (if not destroying)

other people’s lives…and then congratulating

themselves for their own piety!  Look, goddammit:

Jacking your dick to images of Mel Gibson’s long musket makes you a

disgusting pervert.  But it’s not reprehensible like making a fifty-some-year-old

woman submit to a series of lashes for essentially no reason except she was

stupid enough to come to your country and try to help educate small children.

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Crackpot Realism

Via antiwar.com:

In 1958, the New Left sociologist C. Wright Mills made a seminal contribution to political science in his book The Causes of World War Three by introducing the concept of “crackpot realism.” He applied the notion specifically to the intellectual outlook of top government officials, especially the ones known as the “serious people,” who have proven their capacity for dealing with important practical affairs by, say, managing a giant corporation, such as Halliburton or G. D. Searle, or a huge educational institution, such as Texas A&M University or the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Mills’s key insight was that although such people have indeed been movers and shakers, they have moved and shaken within such a constricted milieu of experience and training that in most respects they are fools. Despite having developed supreme confidence in their own judgment and a corresponding contempt for other people’s views, they are astonishingly ignorant of many workaday aspects of the world and bewildered in the face of unexpected difficulties. As government leaders responsible for matters of war and peace, they have a tendency to paint themselves into corners of their own making and, then, seeing no way out, to conclude that their only escape lies in dropping bombs on somebody. As Mills observed, “instead of the unknown fear, the anxiety without end, some men of the higher circles prefer the simplification of known catastrophe.”

From Robert Higgs (a crackpot himself, but one who was capable of writing a good column) at http://www.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs68.html

The American Conservative, 5 November 2007

A particularly good issue of this always-surprising publication.

The cover story, “The myth of the oil weapon,” explains why the market is a better guarantor of a steady flow of oil to western states than military force could ever be.  “Secular Fundamentalists” offers a pitying account of a recent convention of atheists.  “The Creativity Conceit” picks up one of the magazine’s recurring themes, that Americans have no inherent advantage over people of other nationalities in intellectual work and that research and development operations are likelier to follow production facilities than production facilities are to rise up as a consequence of a concentration of R & D shops.  “There’s something about Barry” describes recent attempts by advocates of every possible shade of American political opinion to claim the late Barry Goldwater as a precursor, then argues that he was essentially a man of his time, not a prophet of any current movement.  Elsewhere in the issue, Pat Buchanan points out that Rudolph Giuliani disagrees with him on every political issue of the day; Daniel Larison argues that our government can be honest about the Armenian genocide of 1915 only if we are willing to end our alliance with Turkey, which is to say, if we are willing to renounce our single most important startegic asset in the middle east; Philip Giraldi reports on a belief, apparently widespread among his former co-workers at the CIA, that Dick Cheney is directing the US government from an underground command post attached to his house; John Laughland says nice things about Vladimir Putin; Ted Galen Carpenter analyzes the misunderstandings among the leaders of the USA, China, and Taiwan, warning that war between the US and China is quite likely as long as the US continues to interject itself into the China/ Taiwan standoff; and A C Gancarski praises Bruce Springsteen’s latest album, among other things for its echoes of Magnetic Fields’ song “Born on a Train” and Green Day’s “Wake Me When September Ends.”