Thursday, August 14, 2003

This excellent article properly identifies Islam as a Christian heresy. (!) It also raises Ayn Rand's point that everything is guided by philosophy. And it points out that all cultures are based on religions. Multiculturalism as practiced in America today, then, is shown to be based on wrong perceptions. The new idea that everyone should come to America and keep the culture they had at home just doesn't work. For America is itself a culture, the greatest and most liberating in the history of man. To expect an Arab Muslim to come to America, to keep all the tenets of his original culture, based on Islam, and to subscribe to the philosophical tenets of American life is to expect something as impossible as that he should be a devout Muslim and a practicing Communist at the same time. Multiculturalism is the denial of America and capitalism as a new and real and worthwhile philosophy. It is therefore an attack on America as surely as the 9/11/2001 attacks were.

The realization of this basic opposition between other cultures and America's way of life requires realization that some cultures, some philosophies, even some religions, are wrong. I'll wait for the horrified gasps to die down and repeat that in another way: America's way of life has been shown to be appropriate for American circumstances. Any changes to our way of life have to prove themselves in the same way our existing cultural philosophy has: by making life better and more free. This is not always a clear standard, I admit. A fervent Islamist may say that he doesn't need or want three VCRs, a car and whisky on tap. He's satisfied with a prayer rug, a copy of the Koran and a crust of bread every day or so. Fine. He can have those things. But he cannot come to America and demand that we should all accept that standard of living, on pain of death. If he insists, violently, I cannot put it better than a lieutenant colonel in the Army put it when talking to Iraqi whiners: Obey your country's laws or we will hunt you down and we will kill you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Boy, am I glad that Rachel Lucas finally made it out of undergraduate school and bought a house. Now if she would only get married already and have a few kids, she could join Lileks in kid hell and learn what never sleeping is really like. What was she doing all those years that made it so hard to get a BA at thirty-one or whatever she is? I shouldn't ask. I was a few years late myself, but at least I don't have any dogs. Now my kids are older and I can do interesting things like get behind Arnold. I'm taking the kids out to California for my nephew's wedding - supposedly - right in the middle of the recall campaign. As a confirmed political junkie, I'm looking forward to attending an Arnold rally in Frisco. I was walking through Goodwill looking, as I always do, for books, and what should fall off the shelves into my hands but "Arnold, the Education of a Bodybuilder", from 1975 or so, giving all the details, with many pictures, of Schwarzenegger's incredibly driven and disciplined march to fame and glory. This guy never does anything unless he thinks he can win. He's been like that since the age of 15. You know what else is weird? The last time I went on a trip anywhere was December of 2000, when I went to the Middle East. And that was right in the middle of the last interesting election campaign, the Bush-Gore idiocy. I found out the results on the steps of the Egyptian Museum just off Midan al-Tahrir in Cairo. Some of the locals, realizing I was American, asked me, "Are you for Al-Gore or Al-Bush??" So, trying not to laugh, I said Bush and this guy said, "He won, sir!", pointing to a newspaper that had just come out. Made my day. Little did I realize how important it would turn out to be. Heck, I didn't even vote. Shame on me. Gee, if I had voted, Bush would have won outright? Right? Right! But for Arnold I might actually vote.