A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Monday, October 04, 2004

Monday Linkfest

Scaled Composite’s SpaceShipOne and its pilot, Brian Binnie, are going to deliver another nail into the coffin of socialism this morning by showing the entire world what kind of innovation is born of a free, prosperous, and competitive people. Thusly, there is going to be more posting here today than the normal Monday links; I just have a couple, then it’s back to half-working, half-watching Space.com’s live webcast of the SS1 launch.

The Big Trunk of PowerLine examines the idea that Europe – and France in particular – has allied itself with Arabia against the US and Israel. He provides links to the work of Bat Ye’or, whom he calls “the world's foremost scholar of the status of non-Muslims under Islam” and raises a few points of his own. The subject is even more relevant right now than in months past, seeing as how John Kerry is looking to woo these “allies” back into our bed should he be elected.

For my part, I agree that most of Europe is too soft on radical Islam. I also believe that the far left, all across the western world, has allied itself with these extremists in hopes they can succeed where communism failed (in defeating liberal democracy and free market economics). However, I really don’t see the nation-states of Europe as Arab allies. Rather, I see them as effete and self-interested has-beens who were only American allies as long as the threat of Soviet domination was looming over them. With that particular menace gone, most of those nations turned their backs on the US the moment it looked like we might actually expect them to help us for a change. If the left keeps increasing its power in Europe such nations might one day actually become bases for radical Islam, but right now I see their anti-Americanism as merely selfish and short-sighted.

Meanwhile, my new favorite blog has a post that details a variety of good news from the Islamic world. Arthur Chrenkoff brings us the latest on progress and reforms in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, and others. Pay particular attention to the section on Kuwait and this quote:

The report concludes: "Kuwaitis, who set up the Gulf region's first parliament more than four decades ago, have been pressing for more economic and political reform. Their calls have increased in volume since the April 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in neighbouring Iraq."

Hmmm. Does this sound like some things might be going exactly according to President Bush’s plan? Not that CNN will report it; they have too many pictures of Kerry out-smoothing Bush in last week’s debate to show you.

Lunchtime will bring much ado about spaceships and capitalism.


Update: Blogger has gone wonky; just getting this update to publish took almost an hour. I'm not even going to try the SS1 post ... it's loaded with pictures and will be much harder for the servers to swallow than this lil' ol' paragraph. Hopefully they'll get things worked out over at Blogger HQ by tomorrow and I'll have that post up in the morning. For now, congradulations to Burt Rutan, Brian Binnie, and the rest of the Scaled Composites team! You've made history, and your nation is proud of you.

Now try not to blow the entire $10 million on beer and hookers, will ya?