Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Happy Birthday, America!
The greatest nation in history turns 230 today!
Cox and Forkum point to a very good site concerning the Declaration of Independence, which includes high-resolution images of the actual document.
A Place for Rational Women?
Reader Michael Gold emailed me the following.
I recently came across an organization called the Independent Women's Forum, whose mission is:I was delighted to learn that this group opposes the Equal Rights Amendment, which it reports feminists are attempting to revive, and which is arguably not dead as an amendment.The Independent Women's Forum was established to combat the women-as-victim, pro-big-government ideology of radical feminism. We seek to restore, strengthen, and extend that which promotes women's well being by advancing the principles of self-reliance, political freedom, economic liberty, and personal responsibility.They have some good articles and news releases on their site, about Iraq, US culture, modern feminism, economics, modern education. They don't buy into the nonsense that capitalism is for men, or that women prefer socialism.
Good News from South of the Border?
While Mexico under Vicente Fox has not exactly been a stalwart ally, it has, at least not been the headache (Scroll down to (3).) that it could be under a busybody like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who had at one point been actively meddling in Mexico on behalf of the socialist Mayor of Mexico City (and alleged bankroller of Marxist guerrillas) Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (aka AMLO). Yesterday's elections remain too close to call, but the word is that the conservative, Felipe Calderon, probably won over AMLO by a thin margin.
The political crisis in Mexico is not over, but a win by Calderon would be best for its continued economic growth and a gentlemanly acceptance of the result by the loser would be best for its fledgling tradition of representative government and rule of law.
The ballots, which Michael Barone reports to my slight relief, are made of paper (and so not subject to electronic rejiggering by Venezuela) and are being recounted. As Barone puts it:
In any case, Mexico has a better system guarding against election fraud today than we have in most of the United States. Its voter ID program is much more rigorous. It has paper ballots, which take more time to count, but which also provide a paper trail for recounts. It has a national superintending electoral administrative agency, which our federal system of holding elections would not permit. All this is the legacy of PRI Presidents Carlos Salinas and Ernesto Zedillo, who calculated that Mexico could not take its place among advanced nations without a transparent and fair electoral system. They deserve great credit for the peaceful transfer of power from one party to another in Mexico in 2000, and for what appears likely to be the resolution of an extremely close fair election in 2006. ...I hope he's right about this.
We Americans should await the unfolding of IFE's vote count. It will be significantly more reliable, I think, than the vote count in many American jurisdictions, and more worthy of respect. Particularly because Mexicans of various political persuasions have been working manfully (to adopt Harvey Mansfield's vocabulary) over the last dozen or more years to produce a fair and transparent election process. ...
Great Moments in Islamic Scholarship, Part II
It is, apparently, impossible to be too sarcastic when discussing the intellectual merits of Islam.
Stick around for the part where Jesus returns to kill all the Jews with his death-ray eyes, if you thought I was being too hard on Islam when I said the following. "[T]his guy [performed a] feat of Islamic scholarship -- summing up the entirety of the actual and potential contributions of Islam to the rest of the world in only four words! [Dirka Dirka Mohammed Jihad]"
I do have to note here that I disagree with the apparent premise of real-islam.org that Islam has been "distorted" by men like this. It is the notion that we can arrive at truth by faith -- without evidence or regard to logic -- that is the underlying cause of idiocy like this. It is faith as such -- the methodology of religion -- that must be rejected.
(HT: Isaac Schrodinger).
Objectivists, Liberals, and Conservatives
Responding to a post by Nick Provenzo, D. Eastbrook, yet another frequent commenter here who I wish had a blog, says the following.
... The Left is viscerally repulsive, and blatently so to an Objectivist. But the dangers of the Right are more subtle. For those that focus on philosophical fundamentals, the Right can become more infuriating b/c they claim to uphold certain principle but undercut them with their own version of altruism. As a result important ideas become marginalized (or worse) in the minds of the public because of the Right's failure to address them properly; ie capitalism and national defense. Many people actually think Bush is a capitalist and a hawk! As a result I have seen many O'ists really lambaste the Right. Which is ok as long as you keep context and remember that the Left, in the short term, is far worse (long term, religion will always be mankind's greatest enemy). ...Very good points. As distasteful as it sometimes can be to, say, discuss which candidate to vote for in an election, the fact remains that to introduce more rational ideas to the culture at large, we must be alive and as free as possible to present them.
In other words, contemporary politics is, in this delimited context, of tactical concern.
One Last Jab
After the silly attack on soccer in last week's TIA Daily, I can't resist taking one last shot at Jack Wakeland and Robert Tracinski....
Recall the following from Tracinski's indictment:
We have speculated that soccer is the perfect product of a socialist society, which commands man not to use his most effective organs of survival -- in the economy, he cannot use his own judgment; in sports, he cannot use his hands.Well then! Do I have the perfect game for them!
The rules of chessboxing are such:Goodness! You can use your mind and your hands! Any takers?
Two competitors face each other in 11 alternating rounds, six of chess, five of boxing. A bout begins with chess, which is played on a board placed directly in the middle of the ring. Each round of chess lasts four minutes. After each chess round, the bell sounds, and workmen remove the chessboard for a two-minute round of boxing, the gloves go back on, the punching recommences. Participants win by way of knockout, checkmate, referee's decision, or if his opponent exceeds the allotted total of 12 minutes for an entire match on the chessboard.
Of course, to judge by the quality of that article, one might reasonably conclude that the dynamic duo already know about the sport, play it on a daily basis, and employ the following house rule: "Whoever loses by knockout is a rotten egg and must pen that day's edition of TIA Daily besides." My congratulations go to Jack Wakeland for that day's late-round KO.