An anonymous Twitter notes that "Obama has launched more cruise missiles than all other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined."
The last time the US engaged in a purely aerial war (against an opponent with virtually no aerial assets) was when we bombed the crap out of mighty Serbia, in the process hitting a civilian passenger train and the Chinese embassy. Fortunately, our weapons are now smarter, which is a good thing, because our politicians are not. We cannot hit any Chinese in Libya for the excellent reason that the Chinese evacuated 40,000 of their fellow subjects from the country with no fuss, no muss, no bragging afterward, and no press releases beforehand; a very smooth logistics operation which left only one question unanswered: What were 40,000 Chinese doing in Libya?
The Beneficial Effects of Green Thinking
The Mail (UK) has an article about the price of windmills for power generation. It seems that the wind turbines need magnets and these magnets require a rare-earth metal called neodymium. Presumably, this differs from paleodymium. So, where do you get neodymium? From Inner Mongolia, China. And what do the Chinese get out of it? This:
A six-mile wide lake of toxic waste.
Meanwhile, Der Spiegel (The Mirror), a German newsmagazine, notes that many green initiatives wind up costing more than predicted -- surprise! Cheop's Law in effect! -- have unplanned-for side-effects, and fail to deliver the promised benefits.
If Only Civil Servants Could Marry
...we would not see stories like this one.
Or that the union puts its members interests above its clients:
Undoubtedly, there will be a huge public outcry over this, with investigations, and requirements that the union (CSEA) immediately report "credible accusations" of abuse to the authorities.
The solution is to permit women to become civil service employees and to allow civil servants to marry.
Wait, Forget That Part About the Women
KVAL in Eugene OR reports that
Prosecutors said Green held a party for her children and their friends last August, allowed several minors to drink alcohol and then had sex with one of the visiting 14-year-olds.
If only they would allow women to be women and allow them to marry!
Are Poets the Only Empiricists?
James Chastek at Just Thomism has the following thought worthy of wider dissemination. Failing that, I am reposting it here:
Mind As Brain
xkcd has a thought on this issue:
Some of you who have read EIFELHEIM may recall that William of Ockham made a guest appearance in the latter part of the book. The character Dietrich had studied at Paris under Jean Buridan, and Buridan was a student or follower of William, although not "full stop."
Ed Feser has a long post about William of Ockham and his single-handed influence on modernity. He did not originate the principle of parsimony that bears his name, which is often misstated. Thomas Aquinas used it, as did Dun Scotus and others. I have taken it to translate into modern terms as: "Don't have too many Xs in your equations, or you won't understand your own models." IOW, it's an epistemological dictum rather than an ontological one. It is not that the simpler answer is "more likely to be true," as modern philosophy-challenged scientists suppose. William thought the real world could be as complicated as God willed; but our models have to be simplified or we won't understand them.
Dr. Feser kicks things off with a Steely Dan tune, "Razor Boy."
When the razor boy comes
And takes your fancy things away?
Christopher Hitchens claims that William undermined medieval scholastic thought using proto-scientific rationalism. But because it is Hitchens, we know that it must be wrong. In fact, William was a voluntarist who believed in the Triumph of the Will, specifically of God's Will. This was contrary to Thomist thinking, which held that the intellect was prior to the will. (Basically, you cannot desire something that you do not know.) As always when you get things exactly bass-ackward, things do not cohere and all sorts of "paradoxes" and "problems" appear out of nowhere. Causation blows up, and with it ethics and morality, and the limited state. There is no demonstrable connection between cause and effect, so causation goes bye-bye; and it is only so far as scientists paid little attention in practice to Ockhamism/Humeanism that science prospered at all. When al-Ghazali pulled the same stunt in the House of Submission, the scattered fires of natural science faded out. The triumph of the will over the intellect meant that God becames the Tyrant in the Sky issuing arbitrary rules about what is good or bad. Draw a straight line from there to absolute monarchs and libertarians. (A libertarian is an absolute monarch with a very small kingdom.) The denial of essences meant that you could never know if another creature was "really" human. If there was no human "nature" or "essence," then there are only individual human beings; and those creatures with different skin colors or talking jibber-jabber might not be human at all.
Is that too much to lay on the Razor Boy's shoulders? Maybe not. Dr. Feser writes: