Iranian invasion inspiration

Americans are rightly unimpressed by the neocons’ pleas to attack Iran in defense of Israel. After all, what’s the use of Israel’s nuclear deterrent if it does not, in fact, deter anyone from anything? But I don’t think Americans will so lightly ignore a serious threat to their porn:

Iran’s parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill that could lead to the death penalty for persons convicted of working in the production of pornographic movies. With a 148-5 vote in favor and four abstentions, lawmakers present at the Wednesday session of the 290-seat parliament approved that “producers of pornographic works and main elements in their production are considered corrupter of the world and could be sentenced to punishment as corrupter of the world.”

The mind reels at the myriad of possibilities for recruiting posters and television campaigns. I can just see Jenna Jameson and Brianna Banks wearing stars and stripes bikinis in the Oval Office before stripping down and tag-teaming Dick Cheney on the desk, while a somber-faced George Bush warns Americans that if our military forces do not act quickly, we risk losing our adult entertainment industry.

“My fellow Americans. Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend some of our most cherished citizens. Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking: Who doesn’t like to see an attractive, silicone-enhanced blonde being plowed like the rich farmlands of Iowa? Who doesn’t enjoy watching flexible young ladies getting freakier than the proverbial fruited plains?

You know who? Hitler… er, that is, Iran.

Iran’s people have been brutalized — many are sexually deprived and many are reduced to self-pleasure without the benefit of quality visual stimulation. Women are not allowed to copulate on camera with unsuspecting pizza delivery boys and well-endowed men dressed as the police. You can be jailed for owning a collection of Vivid DVDs. A man can be jailed in Iran for the crime of merely filming two curious young cheerleaders exploring the boundaries of their sexual orientations.

The civilized world is rallying to America’s side. They understand that if this violent prudery goes unpunished, their own red light districts, their own lovely and uninhibited actresses may be next. No more hot Hungarian honeys, how do you like the sound of that? I know I don’t. Sexual repression, unanswered, can not only be a real drag, it can threaten the stability of legitimate governments. And you know what — we’re not going to allow it.

I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for peace, prosperity and pornography for the American people. Because remember, no war, no porn for you!

Thank you. (Applause.)”

After that speech, I figure he could turn the place into a glass parking lot and see his approval ratings go from 26 percent to 76 percent overnight.

The hot ones are always crazy

Not that I mind, it’s not as if the highly intelligent are notoriously stable either:

Jolie told Paramount Pictures publicists to ban Fox News Channel and all Fox News affiliates from covering the “Mighty Heart” premiere on the red carpet. It was only with the intervention of mortified Paramount staff that a Fox camera crew was allowed to be present.

It’s not the fact that lefties are invariably fascistic in some way, shape or form that amazes me, it’s the fact that they believe they’re passionately anti-fascist even while behaving in an overtly totalitarian manner.

I don’t like Fox News much either. But trying to ban part of the press at an event designed to support Reporters Without Borders demonstrates an impressive degree of cluelessness. Hey, she’s hot enough that you can’t reasonably expect intelligence too.

But are they still selfish?

In a group paper published in the June 14 issue of Nature and in 28 companion papers published in the June issue of Genome Research, the ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE) consortium, which is organized by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reported results of its exhaustive, four-year effort to build a parts list of all biologically functional elements in 1 percent of the human genome. Carried out by 35 groups from 80 organizations around the world, the research served as a pilot to test the feasibility of a full-scale initiative to produce a comprehensive catalog of all components of the human genome crucial for biological function.

“This impressive effort has uncovered many exciting surprises and blazed the way for future efforts to explore the functional landscape of the entire human genome,” said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “Because of the hard work and keen insights of the ENCODE consortium, the scientific community will need to rethink some long-held views about what genes are and what they do, as well as how the genome’s functional elements have evolved. This could have significant implications for efforts to identify the DNA sequences involved in many human diseases.”

One of the ironic things about the attacks of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris on Francis Collins and his religious faith is that unlike Dawkins and Harris, Collins is still actually doing science. Dawkins doesn’t do science anymore, he’s merely a third-rate propagandist now, and Harris never has.

I just find it amusing, especially since even the humble applied science which I do on a regular basis involves more use of the scientific method than anything Dawkins or Harris are doing. I suspect that Dawkins has a fundamentally unscientific mind; not only does he make no effort to provide any empirical evidence for his arguments in “Unweaving the Rainbow” and “The God Delusion”, but his most famous invention, the meme, is more literary device than science, it’s a metaphor that too many people have made the mistake of taking literally.

I haven’t been paying enough attention to the ENCODE consortium to have any idea what’s going on there, but in the event that Collins and his associates should discover something that renders untenable the selfish gene theory which Dawkins has made popular, I will laugh myself sick.

By the way, no one answered my question yesterday. If genes are the active component of evolution, how do morals evolve?

I note that the concept of ongoing moral evolution beyond historic theistic moralities directly contradicts the concept of natural selection, as theists subscribing to those moralities are replicating at rates far beyond those of an atheistic persuasion who subscribe to a purportedly more highly evolved morality.

I know I’m shocked

Oopsy! We’re just so careless, don’t you know:

An internal FBI audit has found that the bureau potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data about domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions in recent years, far more than was documented in a Justice Department report in March that ignited bipartisan congressional criticism.

I’m just wondering how long it takes before Americans wake up and finally realize they are living in a police state and that their God-given liberties are nonexistent. None of this surprises me, of course, I saw where it was going more than a decade ago. And if you think it’s going to stop anytime soon, well, you’re simply not paying attention.

But at least you can be secure in the knowledge that you’re safe from Emmanuel Goldstein. And tigers.

Women don’t date down

They generally don’t prefer to, anyhow. And when they do, it seldom seems to work out well:

In my circle, there are legions of them: clever, confident, capable women who – given half the chance – could run the entire FTSE 100 companies single-handedly, but whose troubles start the moment they leave the office desk.

Their men, they moan, are useless. Their men, they sigh, can’t handle a woman’s success. Their men, they grumble, are to blame for being so pathetic that you daren’t risk a future and a family with them. But blame their men as they might, the Alpha women should know this: In the end, they really only have themselves to blame.

They, after all, picked them. I have lost count of the times I have seen this syndrome play out: an attractive, achieving, successful woman who appears almost to go out of her way to choose a disastrous mate.

First of all, there’s no such thing as an alpha female. I have known female CEOs, I have known the female leaders of national organizations, and not even the head of one of the more important national feminist groups – who I quite liked, surprisingly enough – was the least bit dominant. Women just aren’t capable of radiating that strange combination of physical and mental power that gives people the urge to metaphorically go belly-up in their presence.

This isn’t to say they can’t take leadership positions or wield genuine power, they’re just not capable of commanding the same kind of instantaneous respect and mindless obedience. There are just some men around whom other men simply fall in line and to whom women automatically respond based on this social dominance.

The problem is that not only are there very few alphas – I’m not one and you’re almost surely not either – but that there aren’t even many beta males around these days. That means that these beta females end up settling for a gamma male and then trying to challenge him as if he’s dominant, or worse, trying to forcibly remake him into the relationship alpha. In either case, it is mystifying and confusing for the gamma male and frustrating for the female. Whether it’s evolution, centuries of socialization or the Curse of Eve, women will always challenge their men and they won’t be happy if they are allowed to do so successfully. There is nothing a woman despises as much as a humble “yes, dear”.

So this is the continuing conundrum of the successful modern woman. It’s a pity more parents don’t explain this all to their daughters before the girls make the decision to commit their lives to their career ambitions. It’s one thing if career over family is a woman’s informed choice, but too many women have been deceived into making a choice without realizing it.