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Wednesday, October 07 2015 @ 01:27 AM CDT

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Rights or uniforms?

From the Butterflies and Wheels philosophy blog (a possible candidate for a new must-read blog), via Reason Online:
The alternatives, the French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut suggests, are simple: ‘Either people have rights or they have uniforms; either they can legitimately free themselves from oppression… or else their culture has the last word.’
A right means nothing if it applies only to the group, not the individual.  There is no such thing as a "group right."  No such thing as "civil rights."  Only individual rights are true rights.

Culture is by its nature oppressive.  Culture requires conformity--any culture.  The words "black culture," "white culture," "American culture," "Chinese culture," and "Islamic culture" all bring to mind different things.  Call them stereotypes if you want, but what is a culture but a collection of behaviors that are unique and distinctive to a particular group?  Within any particular culture, certain behaviors are encouraged, others are discouraged, and some are taboo.

The problem, of course, is that things that one culture encourages, another culture discourages, or even declares taboo.  Eating dog meat.  Chopping off the heads of your enemies.  That kind of thing.

So, then, how can an individual be "multicultural?"  (Unless, of course, that individual belongs to the "multicultural culture."  Left as a thought exercise to the reader are the contradictions inherent in a "multicultural culture.")

Can a person hold two cultures to be equally "valid" without, at some point, choosing between the cultural dictates of one or the other?  If you kind of like pork chops, but don't eat pork because you're respecting Islam, are you being multicultural, or are you submitting to one culture's taboos over another culture's permissions?

Snookums claims that I sometimes have "intellectual" tendencies.  I guess she's right.
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Stuff Snookums wants

She's generally immune to the gizmo-faddism that afflicts me and most men that I know, but I showed her this article on Gizmodo and she said she wanted it.
Photo credit:  Amazon via Gizmodo

Sean Fallon writes at Gizmodo:

. . . this weird Progressive International Microwavable S’Mores Maker claims to make 2 perfect s'mores in 30 seconds flat because the little "arms" keep the marshmallows from expanding to much. I still think you need a fire to make perfect s'mores, not some gadget that looks like a melted Mr. Potato Head—but if you insist on throwing your money away, the PIMSM can be had for $6.95. [Amazon via Unclutterer via Technabob]

That's my Snookums . . . practical and a cheap date.  What guy could ask for more?

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"Drive small cars and wait for the wind"

That's all that the Democrats have for an energy policy.  Quoted in The Hill (via PowerLine):
Exactly when Democrats will change their present course and bring an energy bill to the floor remains uncertain.
“Right now, our strategy on gas prices is ‘Drive small cars and wait for the wind,’ ” said a Democratic aide.
Enjoy your $6 a gallon gasoline, coming soon to a gas station near you courtesy the Democratic Party of the United States.

And no, McCain isn't much better, either, although some Republicans are trying to push increasing the supply.  Drill here, drill now.
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No mu gu gai puppy for Beijing Olympics

Dog is off the menu for the Olympics in China, reports a news organization which shall not be named.

No namee, no linkee, so sorree.
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Sports smack!

I haven't been doing much sports blogging lately.  So, to celebrate the birth of a new NCAA Division I conference (actually, it's probably closer to say the conception of an un-viable tissue mass which might one day emerge to become a baby D-I conference), I give you one of the members of the newly, um, conceived Great West Conference:
The U-Dot S-Dot D-Dot Ki-Yoteees

It is, I think, unusual to find a Division I team for which the pronunciation of the mascot needs to be defined in documents like conference press releases (PDF).

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No nukes (yet) but Iran Sucks At Photoshop!

Iran shoots off three, no four, no FIVE missiles.  AT ONCE!

Photo credit:  Little Green Footballs

Bow down, infidels, to the superior Photoshopping ummah of the Islamic Republic!  Bow down!

I think someone's been watching YouTube a bit too much.

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Democratic health care proposal, summarized

Cato-At-Liberty, via Coyote Blog:
The Left’s approach to health-care cost containment is to give more health coverage to more people with more ailments, all the while making everyone pay less.
That really sums it up pretty well--in fact, it pretty well summarizes why socialism, in any form, wherever it's tried, no matter how well-intentioned, doesn't work.

Sounds good at first, but doesn't work.
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More stuff I want

One danger of telling Snookums that you're done buying cool stuff (MacBook Pro; Casio EX-F1 camera, articles and reviews forthcoming someday) is that you turn around and somebody comes out with some new cool thing.

This time:  Belkin with their wireless HDMI box.  Perfect for extending the reach of my DirecTV box(es) to the bedroom HDTV.  I want.


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Thank you, Sir, may I have another

The long, miserable history of Homeland Security at the airports continues . . . just why exactly is Homeland Security confiscating U.S. citizen's laptops at airports when the citizens are returning from overseas trips?

New York Times:
There have been widespread reports of the government searching — and often seizing — laptops, BlackBerrys, iPhones and other portable electronic devices at airports. It is not clear how often these searches occur, and the government will not say. The Association of Corporate Travel Executives says that of 100 people who responded to a survey it conducted this year, 7 said they had had a laptop or other electronic device seized.
Having done my share of overseas flying, it's my considered opinion that Homeland Security is a government agency that's completely out of control.  If the Judiciary continues to allow this level of intrusive searches and seizures, and the President won't rein them in a bit, it'll have to be Congress.  Yeah, that Congress with the 9% approval rating.

I won't hold my breath.  But I may just have to travel with an extra hard drive, so I could just dump a full disk image to it and give to the airport security bozos in order to be on my merry way.  Sheesh.

via BoingBoing.
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Neighborhood Idol David Cook signs endorsement deal

Neighborhood idol (and, coincidentally, American Idol winner) David Cook has signed a deal to hawk Sketchers shoes, according to a Kansas City Star report. His mom and step-dad live just down the street from us, as Snookums loves to tell nearly everybody she meets.