Sunday, September 26, 2004

If the Islamofacists love their children too.

I just read the this excerpt of a speech by Barack Obama on instapundit,1,7098310.story?coll=chi-news-hed
"U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama suggested Friday that the United States one day might have to launch surgical missile strikes into Iran and Pakistan to keep extremists from getting control of nuclear bombs. . . .
Obama said that violent Islamic extremists are a vastly different brand of foe than was the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and they must be treated differently.
"With the Soviet Union, you did get the sense that they were operating on a model that we could comprehend in terms of, they don't want to be blown up, we don't want to be blown up, so you do game theory and calculate ways to contain," Obama said. "I think there are certain elements within the Islamic world right now that don't make those same calculations
Which to me sounds like the old Sting song "if the russians love their children too". Unfortunately, I think there is a large portion of the Muslim world that is so different from the western world that assigning any of our beliefs or culture to them is a giant mistake. It might be hyperblole to say they don't love their children, but when people celebrate their children blowing themselves up along with a few dozen Isrealis, we can safeley say that what we call loving our children, and they call loving their children are not the same things.
Worrying about why they hate us, or what we can change in ourselves will never matter. The only things we can change about ourselves that would suit the Islamofacists would be to cut off our own heads, or convert to Islam.
(of course this has all been explained before:
Spiral Dynamics theory talks about individuals and societies evolving through a sequence of worldview-memes -- modes of thought that determine how people think of themselves, their societies, and outsiders.
A very important note is that each meme includes and extends the previous memes, like concentric circles. No meme is ever "left behind", it's just absorbed into a larger whole.
Although Graves himself used a different notation, today the most popular way of referring to these memes is by color. There's a page with an OK -- but not great --
explanation of the colors; here's my own quick interpretation:
BEIGE is concerned with individual survival: food, water, shelter.
PURPLE systems are clan- or family-based, usually animistic and tribal.
RED emphasizes the power of individuals, and tends to be heavy on personal shame & honor -- warrior- culture stuff.
BLUE is represented by your typical theocracy or fundamentalist religion. Heavy on the good-vs.-evil rhetoric, Blue sees itself as a truth-force competing against evil enemies.
At ORANGE, the individual ego is differentiated from the power-structure that surrounded it. Orange is typified by Descartian Modernity - focused on logic, or for that matter on any objectifiable strategic thinking. (Global capitalism is an Orange-level phenomenon.)
GREEN is self-referential and pluralistic -- post-modern, in the good senses of that term.
In the end, there was never a nuclear holocaust with the Sovient Union because (ed. we were lucky) neither culture risked destroying the other culture and the world for a chance at world domination. I'm afraid that is not the case now. If we get to the point where an Islamofacist group or government is controlling nuclear bombs, it's gonna get ugly.
All this drivel is just reason number one why I'm going to vote for Bush. Maybe Bush was elected with such a narrow margin that it exposed the basic innaccuracy of the process. Maybe Bush is a Fortunate Son who's had everything handed to him (I don't think so, but, whatever). Maybe the Irag war has been mismanaged, and could have been better excecuted. That's all in the past now.
The only glimmer of hope I see is if the Middle East is completely reformed. That means following through in Irag and Afganistan, and confronting the Iranians. Kerry obviously won't do any of that. So that's reason number one why bush has my vote.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

I was just watching CNN at the gym while I staggered along on the treadmill. Surprisingly, CNN tore CBS a new asshole, pointing out how poor a job of fact checking that CBS did, and even worse that there were connections to the Kerry campaign. Since I've been watching this subject on the blogosphere since the first day when LGF posted one of the forgeries in question with the same document typed in word, I thought, "this is like having front row seats at a train wreck". I happened to see this issue from the beginning, when most people in the U.S. are just getting the straight network line from the Media, suddenly CNN and ABC have turned and are chewing the heck out of CBS.

Then I realized a bettter metaphor is one of those times in New Orleans at Mardi Gras, where I'm just mellowly sipping a 40 ounce beer on Bourbon street when some beautiful blonde flashes her tits at me and I didn't have to distribute a single bead. I just got a free show.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Myths and Worldview, or why I'm right and you're wrong

I took a seminar at LSU that tried to explain what were the causes and history of the Isreali-Palestinian conflict. We spent approximately 1/3 of that reading about and discussing the mythology of the conflict, with the big Isreali myth being that all the Palestinians had abandoned their homes on the eve of the 1948 war to create free fire zones for the Arab armies so that the Isrealis could be exterminated. The Palestinian myth being that the Isrealis forcibly evicted all the Palestinians to steal the country of Palestine and rename it Isreal.

There is a tiny kernal of fact in both of these myths, but neither myth represents Truth. Truth observed by an impartial observer (Ed. God, or CBS news?) I didn't study hard enough so that I can remember what the exact sequence of events was 56 years ago, but that class did open my eyes to relative truth, or truth depending on the viewpoint of the observer.

That skewed reality due to viewpoint is apparently even worse when the reporter isn't the person being forced out of his house at bayonnet point, but the story is being filtered several more times, by what stories are covered by the media, by the viewpoint of the reporter covering the story, by that reporter's editor and by my understanding of what the newsreader says.

There's no easy answer, just watch Fox, listen to NPR, read the NYT, and of course read weblogs, start with:

Someday soon, weblogs will be ubiquitous. Every event will be blogged, live and with cameras. The never sleeping eye will see all and know all, as the Truth is streamed live and direct from Carl Rove's Brain. or ...never mind.

Sound Check

Testing, Testing, Test12, checksound, check

I've spent enough time reading blogs that I thought I should finally write one. Maybe this will just be a place for me to post links to keep track of good articles instead of cluttering up my favorites in explorer with links to articles that prove my worldview. Or maybe a place to post pictures of my dog in various forms of repose, that being the only pictures we have of her, since all she does is repose. Or maybe mis-spelled hemingwayesque drivel that will spill onto my keyboard like a new orleans style roast beef po-boy sandwich, drip, drip dripping until my letter keys are all stuck and I have to pound out numeric messages in straight ascii, ranting and raving until my little Columbian girl has to say " oh baby just you shut your mouth".

Anyway, we'll see.