Random Things

A couple of things that I've been pondering/observing today while at work and from clicking through channels on TV a little while ago...

- I can't stand Victor Davis Hanson. This is partially because I've been party to a number of rants from some of my co-workers, but now sitting down and reading Carnage & Culture has really just clinched it for me. Item 1 - he claims that he's not trying to be Euro centric: "I am not interested here in whether European military culture is morally superior to, or far more wretched than, that of the non-West." (Victor Davis Hanson, Carnage and Culture, New York, NY: Anchor Books, 2001: 6). But then he turns around and does just that:

- "No other culture but the west could have brought such discipline, morale, and sheer technological expertise to the art of killing than did the Europeans at the insanity of Verdun." (9) - "By the same token, there was little chance that the American government in the darkest days of December 1941 - Britain on the ropes, the Nazis outside of Moscow, the Japanese in the air over Hawaii- would have ordered thousands of its own naval pilots to crash themselves into Admiral Yamamoto's vast carrier fleet or commanded B-17s to plunge into German oil refineries" (9) "Militarily, the uniforms of the world's armies on both sides of the modern battle line are now almost identical - Western Khakis, camouflage, and boots are worn when Iraqis fight Iranians or Somalians battle Ethiopians. Companies, brigades, and divisions - the successors to Roman military practice- are the global standards of military organization." (13) - "Natural determinist are to be congratulated in their efforts for the most part to dismiss genes. Europeans were not by any means naturally smarter than Asians, Africans, or the natives of the New World. They were not genetically dumber either- as Jared Diamond, the purportedly natural determinist, has unfortunately hinted at. In an especially disturbing reference to racial intelligence, Diamond argues for the genetic inferiority of Western brains." (15)

And all that's within the first twenty or so pages of this book. It this just me, or is he really going back on things? The reference to December places western forces on a huge moral pillar, as does his annoyance at the suggestion that there might be genetic differences that don't favor the west. Diamond is an observer, and a damn good one at that - his arguments make a lot more sense. Ugh.

- The Democratic race seems to be down to an end. Sen. Obama, when the TV was on last, needed ten more delegates to win, and I have the nagging suspicion that Clinton will throw in the towel soon thereafter. It'll be nice to have one party that's not fighting with one another, bickering. My main problem, and some talking head on ABC put it into better words than I, has been that Sen. Clinton has been looking back on the past, at her experience and her husband's efforts in the White House, rather than focusing on the future, as Sen. Obama really has been doing. However, I think that the two of them would make a killer ticket.

- GM is planning on selling off the Hummer line. First of all, who is going to buy that now? Gas prices have led SUV sales to fall nearly 30%, while compact and more fuel efficient car sales are up 30%. Hm...

- The Discovery Channel is launching (small pun intended) a miniseries next Sunday called When We Left Earth. Damn, that looks absolutely fantastic. I know what I'll be doing while that's on. My interest in Space History has only increased recently, with a couple of recent reviews of Nebraska University Press's Outward Odyssey series and with a couple other books. It's a facinating subject, and from the looks of things (and from the producers), this looks to be an absolutely fantastic series. I'll probably review it when I see it.

- The world needs superheroes.

- From the finale of LOST:

- Jesus Christ is not a weapon. - Locke: Is he talking about what I think he's talking about? Ben: You measn time traveling bunnies? Then yes.

That ending? Liek whoa. When does season 5 start again?