refers us to James Oberg's "7 Myths About the Challenger Disaster
." Next to the science-related misunderstandings, the other significant fact is that latter-day anti-Reagan talk of political factors going into the launch is not true. Reaction to Oberg's article might be interesting because he's always been reviled by conspiracy-believers for showing the truth.
Hamas In Charge
I have a few thoughts about how and why Hamas won the majority of seats in the Palestinian Authority parliamentary elections.
It is not because democracy in the Arab world "cannot be done," as the more racist opposition to our own efforts would say. It is largely because an elected leadership can only be as good as its constituents. Decades of lies, exploitation and deliberately bad education have left the Palestinian public ignorant of, oblivious to and uninterested in the truth. Fatah is indeed a completely corrupt party of thieves, liars and profiteers, and this is said to be a big reason why Hamas got so many votes, but I think the theology of Hamas is just as corrupt, even if their administrative reputation appears not to be.
There is another factor which I have hesitated to mention in the blog these last three years, because I know how people of deficient literacy may misunderstand me. In many parts of the Arab world, it is still common for first cousins to marry. This, to anyone with the most cursory knowledge of genetics, is obviously not a good thing. Saddam's first wife was also his first cousin and you will remember that Uday and Qusay were not good-looking or especially smart people. Mix this tradition with all of the irrational contradictions of Islam, as practiced by the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, and the result is a very difficult long-term problem. If we were talking about inbred fundamentalists
in this country, I would say the same thing.
If you go to this site
, you'll see how there is in fact a lingering Nazi influence in Arab affairs, dating back to the 1920's.
So what should we do about it? I think cutting the PA off from any US funding is a choice that should have been made the first time it was ever proposed, not just because we were giving money to crooks but also because foreign aid often impedes self-sufficiency, and the PA will probably continue to fail to create jobs for its people. It may also be time to abandon the two-state "solution" because it is no such thing. (I never have liked this particular Bush administration policy.) As for people marrying their first cousins, I guess the best we can do is hope that the brighter minds among those people will realize the problem themselves and push for more modern education based on reality.
I've added the Athens Politics
blog to my links, which I should have done several months ago but I don't always follow other Athens blogs. It covers state politics also, especially since the General Assembly is in session now.
Check out this story
about mayoral candidate Charlie Maddox
supposedly spending $2400 on a very basic website. If it's true, he was not only ripped off but it's also left people doubting his fitness for handling public monies. Comparatively, Andy Rusk
appears to have spent a minimum of money on a domain name and basic hosting, although he might want to change his slogan.
Political will is not something we think of most politicians having these days but Paul Beston at American Spectator remembers and recognizes
it in President Bush.