|The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh! of Homer – William Irwin, Mark T. Conard, Aeon J. Skoble|
|Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values – Robert M. Pirsig|
|The Trial of Socrates – I.F. Stone|
(stolen from Pharyngula)
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America … just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.
There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
I believe the Republicans have never thought that democracy was anything but a tribal myth.
— Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005)
Fascist Conservative Political Action Conference –
Among the believers:
Vice President Dick Cheney, a regular CPAC speaker, gave the keynote address. California Rep. Chris Cox had the honor of introducing him, and he took the opportunity to mock the Democrats whose hatred of America led them to get Iraq so horribly wrong.
“America’s Operation Iraqi Freedom is still producing shock and awe, this time among the blame-America-first crowd,” he crowed. Then he said, “We continue to discover biological and chemical weapons and facilities to make them inside Iraq.” Apparently, most of the hundreds of people in attendance already knew about these remarkable, hitherto-unreported discoveries, because no one gasped at this startling revelation.
Are these people really that stupid? Or do they think lies are OK if they serve their agenda?
1. MISSILE DEFENSE: UNTESTED DEFENSE MEETS NON-EXISTENT THREAT.
In last Sunday’s missile defense test, an interceptor missile again refused to leave its silo. Who can blame it? It’s crazy out there. A month ago, a “minor software glitch” caused a malfunction (www.aps.org/WN/WN05/wn011405.cfm). This time it was a tiny switch in the silo. The Missile Defense Agency doesn’t seem worried; tests don’t count if they don’t get to “the end game” (www.aps.org/WN/WN02/wn121302.cfm). Does missile defense seem just a little less urgent these days? According to Defense Daily, plans for around-the-clock operation of the system have been dropped in favor of an “emergency alert status” — no point in turning it on if no one is shooting at us. Maybe North Korea will agree not to launch a surprise attack. At his Tuesday confirmation hearing, Deputy Secretary of State nominee Robert Zoellick said he thinks North Korea is lying about having nukes. President Bush thought Iraq was lying about NOT having nukes.
Considering that the original Battlestar Galactica‘s awfulness was only exceeded by, ahem, Galactica 1980, I’m surprised the new Battlestar Galactica is actually pretty good. I have some minor nits to pick (for example, water is not exactly rare in the universe), but, unlike recent incarnations of Star Trek, I have yet to be disappointed.
Who would have thought we would live in a universe where a remake of a crappy 70’s sci-fi would be better than Star Trek?
2. PROLIFERATION: TAUNTING IS ONLY AGAINST THE RULES IN THE NFL.
Let’s see if we’ve got this right: based on unfounded rumors of nuclear weapons in Iraq, the U.S. committed itself to a war that has so far cost the lives of more than 2,000 American troops and another 10,000 wounded. Perhaps 18,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, and more than 6,000 military. This carnage has cost us $153 billion, and there’s no end in sight. Although he had no weapons of mass destruction, we’re told the Iraq war is justified because Sadam is a really bad guy. Kim Jong Il is no sweetheart either, and N. Korea is dancing in the end zone with its nukes.