Saturday, October 21, 2006

Thoughtful pieces for a long weekend

** Here's another good thoughtful piece suitable for a long weekend, a short piece which helps explain all the day-to-day irrationalism we see around us, Harry Binswanger writing on The Battle of Our Era:

We are engaged in a vast battle to defend scientific, industrial civilization against irrationalism.

Whether the enemy bombs the World Trade Center, abortion clinics, logging equipment, or medical research labs, the target is the same: reason--the use of reason to produce material values.

Think about it. And read more.

** Meanwhile, talking about reading for a long weekend, maybe you've now got time to give this 120-page critique of Al Gore's movie a good examination? Think of it as a sporting contest perhaps; give both a go, and see who comes out on top. Al Gore? Or Marlon Lewis Jr., the author of A Skeptic's Guide to An Inconvenient Truth. [The link takes you to a short summary.] Enjoy.

And afterwards, have another look of you haven't already at Numberwatch, a site that hosts A Complete List of Things Caused by Global Warming. You'll be surprised. Numberwatch has more than 300 predictions and accounts of death, destruction, disaster and calamity, and all (as they say) "on 0.006 deg C per year! " And maybe if you just want the short story, here's Junk Science's Pub Quiz Guide to Global Warming.

** And now, some good news on the beer front. Stu at Real Beer summarises:
Beer doesn’t make you fat. In fact it helps the cardiovascular system, slows down dementia, reduces the risk of diabetes, prevents and reduces hypertension… and amazingly can help prevent aids!

The Eccentric Scientist puts some weight behind the famous Benjamin Franklin quote that “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
Beer is so good it can almost make you religious. Almost. Read the whole piece here at The Eccentric Scientist: Let's Hear it For Beer! And remember to drink up; after all, it's good for you!

** From You Tube and the International Herald Tribune comes a report that reminds us that not all the world is a friendly place. You will need a drink after seeing this. Says Nicholas Provenzo:
Here's shocking video from a mountain-climbing trip to Mount Everest that reveals the Chinese to be as murderous as ever. In it, Chinese soldiers shoot Tibetan pilgrims without seeming provocation or due process.
Here's a link to The Herald Tribune's coverage of the episode: Video Contradicts China on Shooting of Tibetan Pilgrims. And Nicholas Provenzo hosts the video here: Made in China.

** Closer to home, Lindsay Mitchell has news that
the Ministry of Social Development released its Annual Report today. Full of meaningless repetitive waffle it proudly informs us that there are now 9,000 employees in 200 sites, "supporting more than 1 million New Zealanders in living successful lives." What can I say?"
What can one say about an agency boasting about over one-quarter of the country being on welfare (that is, one-million plus nine-thousand)? Get angry about it too, and then say it to your MP.

** Close to Arizona, or passing by there shortly? Then make time for the 3rd Annual Design & Development Conference hosted by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation at Wright's Arizona home Taliesin West on the weekend of November 8-11, 2006. Unfortunately, I have no plans to attend, but a simple donation of some airline tickets could easily persuade me. :-)

** And if you haven't seen it yet, my own humble piece describing how the left's Third Way is simply the mirror image of the right's Neoconservatism is, I humbly suggest, worth a read. As a ccmmenter said at SOLO, "I hope everyone here has read this, as it nutshells the modern western political raison d'etre." I do believe it does: How 'Left' Meets 'Right' in the Authoritarian Middle. And perhaps you could bookend it with a 'companion piece' of mine that looks ascance at both wings: Are Libertarians Right Wing?

** And finally, news in from Variety magazine that a new screenwriter has been appointed to adapt Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged to the screen. The new man is Randall Wallace, previously responsible for 'Braveheart.' Here's hoping for a good result.

** PS: Petition now well over 32,000 and still climbing. :-)

RELATED: Global Warming, Architecture, Films, Objectivism, Welfare, Beer & Elsewhere, Health, Philosophy, War

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Ruth said...

Agree about beer. I don't know how you rationalize your pro-marijuana/narcotic drug position though.

During brain maturation at puberty- where there is an explosion of intellectual connections in the brain, like when a toddler is 2 yrs old - marijuana stunts the explosion and robs adolescents of their potential.Read "The Great Brain Robbery".

I hate to say this - but I think if you had kids and YOUR kids were offered drugs by dealers you would think differently about legalising them.

If your kid is on drugs, all your years of good parenting go down the drain. You finish up dealing with the results of a chemical rather than the results of your parenting. And Libz think this is ok. This is why I won't vote for you.

10/22/2006 04:37:00 pm  
Anonymous Ruth said...

Oh and BTW I'm sure your Montessori woman whoud not want her years of good teaching to go down the toilet because her students decided to try taking drugs.And believe me - that is what happens.

At least the current legislation makes it harder, and more expensive to obtain narcotics.

10/22/2006 05:53:00 pm  
Anonymous James said...

The point Ruth is that life is a series of trade offs. The question at the heart of the drug issue is this...Does prohabition make things better over all...or worse? Are children more likely to encounter drugs and get hooked if the supply of them is left in the hands of criminals with no scruples...or if the supply is out in the open so that those who wish to use can do so without having to deal with criminals who aren't known for being too concerned about quality control in their products?

Its the lesser of two evils argument .
As one commentator on Lindsays blog said...

" Tsk, tsk, Lindsay. Of course making it illegal for these students to drink will stop them. Haven't you noticed how well the drug laws have worked? The difference is amazing. With the stroke of a pen we ended up with a drug free New Zealand. No one dares smoke pot because of the laws. And in places like the US, with the harshest laws on the planet outside places like Indonesia and North Korea, the police haven't found a marijuana plant in decades, the prisons are now empty and simply no one indulges. Yes, a place called Camelot was created with some paper and the magical signatures of the leaders. I understand next they will ban unpleasant weather. And to think we get to see utopia in our lifetime."

And yes Ruth...they are being cynical. ;-)

10/22/2006 05:59:00 pm  
Anonymous Ruth said...

"Are children more likely to encounter drugs and get hooked if the supply of them is left in the hands of criminals with no scruples...or if the supply is out in the open so that those who wish to use can do so without having to deal with criminals who aren't known for being too concerned about quality control in their products?"

I asked my 17 year old this question- she said it doesn't make any difference - if it was legal more people would use it and it would be good for stoners.

Of course my 15year old son said "Who gives a shit". ;-)

The fact that kids know that using marijuana is illegal is a good preventive - even though the pro-pot lobby is very strong. And they are WRONG - as it its linked to mental illness and suicide.

10/22/2006 07:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Ruth said...

"The responsible use of drugs does not exist. Drugs destroy. And things that destroy must never be made legal. If we allow drugs to be legalized, nothing will stem the progress of evil." Dutch Citizens .

This is my next whispering campaign. Drugs destroy.

10/22/2006 08:27:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

Perhaps you misunderstood, Ruth, when I said you're not welcome here. What I meant by that was specifically this: You are not welcome here.

Please take your authoritarian self-obsessions elsewhere.

10/22/2006 11:03:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Mai Chen?

10/23/2006 03:08:00 am  
Anonymous James said...

"I asked my 17 year old this question- she said it doesn't make any difference - if it was legal more people would use it and it would be good for stoners."

And just how the hell does she know that? Experienced both before and after prohabition somewhere has she...? Tsk!

10/23/2006 09:08:00 am  

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