Archive for May, 2010

31
May
10

Laughter and coats are the tools of Satan

Iran is gearing up for its annual summer vice crackdown by releasing new “improvements” to its modesty and dress-code laws. Specifically, the government will be targeting both the sellers and wearers of form-fitting women’s coats.

Methods for curtailing the menace of sassy-yet-professional outerwear for women include drastic increases in fines and mean-muggin’:

Meanwhile, a prominent ayatollah, Mahyeddin Shirazi, instructed the wives of Revolutionary Guard members at a recent meeting that they should adopt a withering expression to make inappropriately dressed women feel “humiliated”.

AND (emphasis added):

Certainly, students at Shiraz Medical University are likely to have found humiliating personal hygiene tips on the university’s updated dress code, issued last week. According to a report by Tahavole Sabz, a website run by “green” movement supporters, they were advised to shower and brush their teeth daily and wear clean, ironed clothes. Both sexes were also told to avoid wearing “strong smelling fragrances” – and that laughing aloud anywhere on campus is prohibited.

[…] In a tub-thumping sermon in Mashhad recently, a hard-line ayatollah, Ahmad Alam al Hoda, declared: “Badly veiled women and girls are like the foot soldiers of the United States.

America: an international army of provocatively dressed women. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Speaking of which, I’d like to take this opportunity to mention Great Satan’s Girlfriend, a blog you just kind of have to see to believe.

P.S. Hat tip for the story to my friend Alex Mayer, who works at Radio Free Europe and contributes to The Long War Journal, both excellent news sources.

29
May
10

Some Thoughts on the Oil Spill

  • This is shockingly bad. It’s like the Chernobyl of oil spills. We’re going to be living with the fallout from this (no pun intended) for decades.
  • Barack Obama is a putz. All of his for-the-cameras “outrage” and tough talk is cringe-inducing, to say the least. From the way this Administration is talking, you’d think that BP is purposefully taking its time trying to clean this thing up. I mean, what was all that bilge last week about how the US government was going to step in and “push BP aside” if they don’t succeed in capping the well? If they think they can do it better, why haven’t they stepped in already? The fact of the matter is that BP is probably the best-equipped organization on the planet to find a solution to this.
    • The fact that BP didn’t have much of a contingency plan in place before this happened is utterly insane.
  • The real losers in this are the fishermen and other people who make their livelihoods from the Gulf. The environmental consequences are going to be massive, but they can and will be mitigated. But I have my doubts that some of these industries are ever going to recover to what they used to be.
    • The populist outrage is understandable, given the circumstances, but the people screaming “BP, you ruined our futures and our heritage” seem to be missing part of the story. Fishing boats use diesel and that diesel comes from somewhere, after all. I guess people in the Gulf only use petroleum products from Shell.
  • People using this disaster as a convenient talking point against using fossil fuels make me want to puke.
  • People using this disaster as a convenient talking point against the “deregulation” bogeyman also make me want to puke.
  • Glenn Beck is a putz. Good grief.
  • People using this disaster as a convenient talking point about how this is “Obama’s Katrina” make me want to puke. This is bad, and the Obama Administration has looked like a bunch of useless, finger-pointing clowns, but last I heard no major American cities have yet been effectively obliterated.
  • People are freaking crazy. Excerpt:

I’m coming to believe that some bad folks are intentionally destabilizing the earth’s crust, predisposing (if not actually causing) earthquakes & potentially a shift in the Earth’s orbit.

  • Potential solution to the cleanup problem: Jheri curl revival?
  • But seriously, all of this is totally depressing.
  • I’ve been listening to a lot of Steely Dan lately.
28
May
10

The Rule of Thirds [Update 05/29]

First Ronnie James Dio. Now Gary Coleman. Who’s next?

[Update]

The answer was: Dennis Hopper. RIP.

27
May
10

Free To Choose A Bitchin’ Sandwich

Remember, kids: A command economy will never provide you with a delicious, smoked gouda and bacon sandwich on artisan bread.

That video was part of the awesome I am Free Enterprise Video Contest, by the way. Vote no on socialism. Vote sandwich.

25
May
10

Quote of the Day

Like President Wilson after him, Drahomanov believed that the history of liberty was the history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it. The security of the personal sphere is more important than participation in the creation of a collective political will.

-Ivan L. Rudnytsky

Then again, one might dispute the notion that Woodrow Wilson was any great champion of liberty.

20
May
10

Quick Hits

  • Just in case you forgot. Or didn’t know in the first place.
  • This is one of the better academic smack-downs I’ve seen recently. I thought the original article was kind of breathless, and Berlinksi’s response to Radosh’s criticism is pretty weak. On the other hand, I think it’s undeniable that former communists and their fellow-travelers haven’t faced the sort of opprobrium former Nazis (rightfully) endured, and I’m generally sickened by public displays of reverence or affection for figures like Lenin or Che by people who really ought to know better. Then again, as Radosh writes:

… the world Left continued to argue that there was an essential difference between Communism and Nazism: the former supposedly emerged from Enlightenment philosophy and a well-meaning search for a more humanitarian and equal social order for the people of the world; the latter emerged from volkish ideology, espousal of war as a philosophy, and the espousal of evil and extermination of the Jewish people as a necessary basis for a new Aryan order. [emphasis added]

  • RIP Dio:

Also, like CJ, I offer my apologies for the lack of posts in recent weeks. Thesis proposals, seminar papers, massive amounts of Russian to translate, and looking for summer housing on the other side of the country have eaten up most of my time lately.

16
May
10

Goodnight, Sweet Prince

First, I’d like to apologize for the lack of content lately. It’s been a pretty crazy couple of weeks.

Second, Ronnie James Dio is dead. Horribly sad news, especially since Dio was still rocking hard just last year. Heaven & Hell’s 2009 album, The Devil You Know, actually kicked quite an amazing amount of ass. Anyway, here’s a statement from Dio’s wife, Wendy:

“Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45 a.m. [on Sunday] 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away.

“Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all.

“We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us.

“Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss.

“Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.”

In that spirit, RAINBOW IN THE DARK!