All posts by Rand Simberg

David Gergen Is Still An Idiot

I have a problem when it comes to a debate between Gergen and Bill Kristol. Gergen seems to have no political principles at all, and no discernable intelligence, but I’m still upset with Kristol for his sycophantic support of John McCain (and I’m even more perplexed by his recent bellicose stance, which seems to be so at odds with that, though it could be because he’s Jewish).

Anyway, they’re on Greta’s show, debating the appropriate tactics for the Mideast.

Gergen is taking the typical media idiotarian viewpoint that we have to resolve the situation in Israel/Palestine before we can take on Saddam. Worse, he ridicules the notion that installing a democratic regime in Iraq will improve things–he thinks that it will raise a new generation of terrorists. He said “this notion that winning will make us popular is ridiculous…” (quote from memory, but it’s essentially correct). As I said, idiot.

David, remember the weeks before we started the campaign in Afghanistan? Remember all the marches in the streets of Peshawar, with the crowd waving posters of bin Laden and Bert? Now, do you remember what happened to all of those crowds when the Taliban collapsed like tissue paper, and the Afghan people started playing music, and flying kites, and stopped pulling their women’s fingernails because they had some color on them?

Kristol has it right, as I’ve said in the past. Israel is just another front in our war with Wahhabism and fascistic Arab nationalism. To allow ourselves to be distracted by what’s going on there right now, waiting for a “peace process” that will never occur while the Arab world is funding Arafat, is pointless and delusionary. The Israelis are our allies, and they can handle that front just fine, as long as we let them.

As idiotarians have said, we must seek out “root causes.” Not poverty. Not Israeli “aggression.” Not McDonalds and Britney Spears. The root cause is an evangelistic and fanatical hatred of our religion, our culture, and our freedom. Those that promulgate it must be defeated, and to do so will not “create another generation of terrorists.” It will create the first generation of people in that part of the world who will appreciate the opportunity to live in the twenty-first, rather than the twelfth century.

Justice No Longer Denied

A federal judge has ruled that Linda Tripp can go forward with her lawsuit against the Pentagon for violation of the Privacy Act. The Bush Administration (which seems curiously indifferent to the predations on the law and Constitution by its predecessor) had sought to have the case dismissed.

Kenneth Bacon, the Pentagon official who leaked Tripp’s personnel record to a reporter friendly to the Administration (probably at the behest of the Clinton White House), suffered virtually no consequences for his law breaking.

They Weren’t Dynamite–They Were Just Leberwurst

Apparently, the Berlin father who dressed his daughter up as an Islamakazi to help Israel celebrate its founding is going to have to answer to German authorities.

I don’t think that Germany has a first amendment–I’m not sure what, if any, protections they have for freedom of expression. If he’s charged, it will apparently be for “condoning acts of violence.” That seems kind of mild and generic to me under the circumstances–it seems to ignore the fact that he’s teaching this child the virtues of killing herself and others.

If he were in this country, I’d sic Child Protective Services on him for child endangerment. If he thinks that German police are rough, wait until he runs into some American social workers…

They Weren’t Dynamite–They Were Just Leberwurst

Apparently, the Berlin father who dressed his daughter up as an Islamakazi to help Israel celebrate its founding is going to have to answer to German authorities.

I don’t think that Germany has a first amendment–I’m not sure what, if any, protections they have for freedom of expression. If he’s charged, it will apparently be for “condoning acts of violence.” That seems kind of mild and generic to me under the circumstances–it seems to ignore the fact that he’s teaching this child the virtues of killing herself and others.

If he were in this country, I’d sic Child Protective Services on him for child endangerment. If he thinks that German police are rough, wait until he runs into some American social workers…

They Weren’t Dynamite–They Were Just Leberwurst

Apparently, the Berlin father who dressed his daughter up as an Islamakazi to help Israel celebrate its founding is going to have to answer to German authorities.

I don’t think that Germany has a first amendment–I’m not sure what, if any, protections they have for freedom of expression. If he’s charged, it will apparently be for “condoning acts of violence.” That seems kind of mild and generic to me under the circumstances–it seems to ignore the fact that he’s teaching this child the virtues of killing herself and others.

If he were in this country, I’d sic Child Protective Services on him for child endangerment. If he thinks that German police are rough, wait until he runs into some American social workers…

A Waste Of Talent

John McWhorter and others have described how many of the things that hold blacks back in America are a function of their own cultural attitudes, in which studiousness or scholarship are derided, or even ostracized, as “acting white.”

This phenomenon carries through all the way to college, in which many talented people are channeled into “African-American Studies” (just as many innocent women are cheated of a true education in “Women’s Studies” departments), rather than into something that offers prospects for professions and productive endeavors beyond being African-American Studies professors.

I ran across this very good article in the Village Voice that deals with the specific issues of black scientists involved with NASA and astronomy, and how they’re often denigrated and discouraged by their own community. I highly recommend it.

But less obvious is that NASA’s move injects life into color-blind disciplines that black scientists say have been eclipsed within their own community by more overtly Afrocentric pursuits. Some top students lifted their faces from difficult physics textbooks only to receive what amounted to a slap from a black hand.

One example: Two African American undergraduate students on the Harvard University wrestling team were walking from the gym. The younger one, a kid from the Bronx named Neil, complained that his astrophysics courses weren’t leaving him time to sleep. The banter stopped as abruptly as their footfalls.

“Blacks in America do not have the luxury of your intellectual talents being spent on astrophysics,” declared the elder student, waving his hand in front of Neil’s chest. That indictment, recounted in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s autobiography, The Sky Is Not the Limit, rings fresh in him today, though he’s an astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, where he also teaches classes for the CUNY program.

No, obviously what blacks in America need are more Cornel Wests, not people who discover, and impart real knowledge.

Our Friends In Riyadh

A Saudi official helpfully explains to Congress and the White house that suicide bombers are not terrorists.

One wonders just how disconnected from reality they are. Unfortunately, there’s little coming out of the Bush Administration to dissuade them from their delusions that they can continue this game without dire consequences.