Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lesser of two idiots

Are you one of those people who, like me, last November voted for an obvious evil idiot to try to keep an even more obvious evil idiot from getting elected, and failed in that attempt?  Well, if you are, you might want this bumper sticker.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Definition of Social Democracy

Social Democracy — the theory that people are too stupid to run their own lives, but are smart enough to elect people to run it for them.

Michelle

In an amazing coincidence, now that she's gone to DC, Michelle Obama's $300,000.00 "job" at the hospital has been found not to be necessary after all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Inkheart

Just saw Inkheart, and it's recommended.  I'll watch just about anything with Brendan Fraser in it, I guess.  Don't want to give anything away, but I'll say that it's a very literary movie, with lots of cute allusions to things.  Actually, it reminds me of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels, with a clever device of linking the real world with the universes inside literature, with delightful results.  And it's a chance to see Helen Mirren do something funny, which she's good at.

First Post — Introduction

This blog is called Ex-Army, because that's what I am, and my Army experience informs a lot of my thinking.  But this isn't a military blog.  I hope to blog about politics, philosophy, culture, and other subjects, and review a book or a movie now and then.  I'll also link to sites that might interest you.  And I'll include some pearls of wisdom now and then, like this:

"Racism is no longer a problem.  Today's big problem is tabula-rasism."

This refers to the big myth of our time, that humans are infinitely malleable, and that we have no intrinsic characteristics.  This notion is called "tabula rasa," or "clean slate," and declares that heredity is nothing, or at least negligible, and environment is everything.  Steven pinker wrote a book refuting that concept, called The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. I recommend it highly.

Tabula-rasism manifests in lots of scary ways, not least in education.  It's assumed by many that with proper education anybody can learn anything.  This is clearly not so, but the myth hangs on, because it's in many ways the core of political correctness.  That is, what amounts to a religious faith that all human beings are basically interchangeable. 

Such a view, contrary to both commons sense and science, leads to bad public policy and frustrating results.

Discuss.