Sunday, September 18, 2011

Philosophical Meanderings Part II

21. Education schools are for the most part nesting grounds for second grade intellectuals.

22. Capitalism and Free Enterprise systems are not synonymous. The former rejoices in oligarchy. The latter detests it.

23. It is important to be a skeptic but at the same time never intolerant toward contradictory evidence.

24. I don’t pay much attention to political opinions originating from Hollywood. Anyone who does is engaging in mindless time wasting.

25. What the world needs is more intelligent generalists. What it has in abundance is a cacophony of half-witted specialists.

26. Canada for the most part is a nation of marginal significance its luxury though is that it can afford to be so.

27. String Theory is the fly in the ointment of modern physics…..Cleaning up its overriding presence will be the great task of 21st century thinkers in the Queen of All Sciences.

28. I endeavour to constantly challenge my beliefs…Not a day goes by when I don’t drag my assumptions through the ringer. This is both a curse and a blessing.

29. I am a complex person. Sometimes this complexity paralyzes me.

30. It is not my intention to sound arrogant in my writing but it definitely ill affords me to be insincere and to censor myself as well.

31. Classical and Romantic poetry tantalizes me. I have written some poetry myself but looking back at it now these are most streams of consciousness than anything else. A lack of cadence negates the poetic volume. The ideas and richness of thought are however very much present.

32. Humanity is not a great species. Our folly as thinkers is that too often we choose to ignore this truism.

33. Ten Individuals from history that I most admire (not in order are): Winston Churchill, Maimonides, Blaise Pascal, Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, saac Newton (despite the fact that he was not a likeable person), Marie Curie, Joseph Lister, Abraham Lincoln and Menachem Begin.

34. I was born and spent all of my childhood in South Africa (I immigrated to Canada in 1987 at age 18). Africa as a continent has a special place in my heart and I have a strong inclination towards understanding its politics, people, successes and failures. Sub-Sahara’s five most successful countries are:
South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique (in the last fifteen years) and Kenya. Its ten most dismal failures are: Sierre Leone, Liberia, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe (under Mugabe), Sudan, Congo (formerly Zaire), Angola (under orthodox Marxist Rule) and Uganda (under Obote and Amin).

35. Asia’s (not including the Middle East) nine greatest success stories are: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, India (in the last ten to fifteen years), Thailand, Malaysia and China (economically but definitely not politically). Asia’s list of failed states include: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Cambodia, Myanmar, Phillippines (for much of its history), Sri Lanka, Laos and North Korea.

36. I am an intellectual snob…I will not deny it. I prefer the company of the more swift to their less proficient counterparts. I also enjoy teaching more cognitively proficient students. This is not to say that I don’t give of my best when my student body is significantly weaker in such a capacity.

37. Above anything else I value my role as a father.

38. Modern Leftism and the anti-intellectualism that suffuses its being nauseates me. Unfortunately all too many in Canada and Western Europe have bought into the false dreams that Leftism alludes to. In doing so they often tend to short circuit reasoning at the expense of ill-thought out idealism.

39. If I was an American I would have voted for: Truman (48), Eisenhower (52), Stevenson (56), Kennedy (60), Johnson (64), Nixon (68 and 72), Ford (76), Reagan (80 and 84), Bush Snr (88), Clinton (92 and 96), Gore (00) and Dubya (04). Having said that of all the candidates listed the only three that I truly admire are: Truman, Kennedy (even if he is a bit overrated) and Reagan.

40. In Canadian politics I have voted once for the Liberals (Jean Chretien in 93 – my first election vote in Canada). All other times I have backed either the Progressive Conservatives or their later incarnation the Conservative Party of Canada. I regret voting for Chretien and consider him to be one of the worst Prime Ministers in Canadian history. Despite my opinion on this issue I am no fan of Brian Mulroney either but would have voted for him as the ‘greater’ of a bunch of lessers in 84 and 88.

41. I have diverse movie tastes that span the continuum from foreign films to black comedy to political intrigue to biography. I have even been known to enjoy the occasional ‘chick flick’ or two. A trip to the video store often results in an unpredictable array of movies. On average 30% are gems, 40% mediocrities and the remainder duds. My wife seems this as being part of the crapshoot of marriage with me.

42. Britain’s three best prime ministers of the 20th century were Churchill, Lloyd George and Thatcher in that very order. Atlee, Baldwin, Blair, MacDonald, Macmillan, Campbell-Bannerman, Asquith and Wilson were average while Chamberlain, Callaghan, Major, Heath, Eden were sub-par. The rest – Hume, Balfour, and Bonar Law (who was Canadian-born) weren’t in power long enough to register an impact on the political Richter Scale.

43. I can think of only two French politicians in the 20th century whom I believe to be admirable. These were Georges Clemenceau and Leon Blum. De Gaulle was malicious and arrogant, Mitterand and D’Estaing inconsistent, Daladier ineffectual and Chirac both useless and dangerous. Pompidou was a competent president but nothing special. I will not waste my time analyzing the leaders of the Failed Fourth Republic. I am hoping that Sarkozy brings a fresh outlook to French Policy (a movement away from short-sighted Anti-Americanism would be a start) but the jury is very much out on this one.

44. I am a very spiritual person who continuously thrives for a stronger relationship with G-d. I do not believe that this is at all inconsistent with my devotion to reason and logic. The dichotomy actually strengthens me.

45. I live in Toronto and see myself as Canadian but my Jewish identity is probably what defines me the most from a cultural perspective. My childhood was spent living in South Africa so that my influences are varied in source.

46. My favorite political columnists are: Dennis Prager, Charles Krauthammer, Victor Davis Hanson, Theodore Dalrymple, Alan Dershowitz, Oliver Kamm, Nick Cohen, David Horowitz, Peter Hitchens, Melanie Philips, Mark Steyn, David Frum, Steven Plaut, Daniel Pipes and Bill Buckley. Yes I am a political neo-conservative/Classic Liberal/Truman Democrat….and proud of it.

47. Canadian Political writers that I enjoy reading are: Marcus Gee, Robert Fulford, Michael Coren, Claire Hoy, Alan Fotheringham, Margaret Wente, Conrad Black, Salim Mansur, Ezra Levant and George Jonas.

Philosophical Meanderings Part I

Meanderings of the Mind

There is no order to these realizations…which is exactly how I want it for now….. if one must call it a stream of consciousness

1. I am a compassionate person but not a bleeding heart. Bleeding hearts sicken me.

2. I become bored very easily. Challenge me or else I drift off.

3. The five areas of science that interest me the most are: Modern Physics, Psychometrics, Mechanics, Evolutionary Theory and Kinesiology.

4. Arrogant and close-minded people annoy me… and I mean really annoy me.

5. I have a very strong general knowledge of Science, History, Geography, Philosophy and World Sports. I am significantly less proficient in Entertainment, Pop Culture, Business, North American Sports and the Domestic Sciences.

6. I enjoy following politics – especially analyzing election results and proposed policy.

7. I am a strong opponent of Islamo-Fascism, Communism, Marxism, Fascism, Leftism and the various incarnations of radicalism. I champion the conservation of the Western Tradition of excellent and believe that the gains of the enlightenment must be guarded at all costs.

8. I support a women’s right to choose. However I am opposed to late term Partial Birth Abortions. I believe that after three month the fetus is a defined life.

9. I take much pride in the Jewish gifts to humanity. These include the vast and disproportionate (with respect to population size) contributions to:
Physics, Chemistry, Music, Art, Medicine, Mathematics, Philosophy, Theology, Economics, Social Sciences etc.

10. I have written Two Books: The History of the Future and Take the History Challenge. The former is a brainstorming exercise that examines the next five hundred years of human history examining some of the multidisciplinary topics mentioned in 12 above. The later contains 4500 Questions on the History of Everything. Both are published through Print on Demand Outlets in the States.

11. I believe in G-d but I also believe that G-d is not definable and is essentially unknowable (the Kabbalistic concept of Ein Sof makes much sense). I do see G-d as omnipotent. I reject deism as I believe that it is more logical to believe that G-d continues to influence the universe. In short I am a scientific theist.

12. I reject intelligent design and see it as an instrument of selective scientific cherry picking.

13. Global warming appears to be a real phenomenon however I am skeptical with respect to the notion that humanity is the chief driver of the trend. Nevertheless I still believe that it is imperative that humanity reduce its Carbon footprint. I am opposed to Kyoto as I see it as an economic sell out to China and India that will make environmental conditions worse. I consider myself a realistic environmentalism and I am not at all supportive of the Green Movement hysteria that has engulfed so many in the West.

14. I am a strong supporter of the State of Israel but have accepted the fact that it is only a matter of time before a Palestinian State will exist in the West Bank. Only time will tell if the West Bank State will be viable. I am moderately pessimistic as I have little faith in the Arab political mindset.

15. I support the death penalty for special cases – serial killers for example. The execution should be carried out by firing squad as I believe it to be the most humane alternative.

16. I would classify myself economically as a Classic Liberal/Conservative – I support Free Enterprise, private ownership of property and low taxes. I do however see the ever important need for government regulation of some industries especially health, utilities, mass transportation etc. I therefore am not a libertarian although I can relate with earnest to what they have to say. As a conservative though I oppose deficit spending and tax cuts (as well as spending increases) that are fiscally irresponsible and add to ongoing debt.

17. I am an opponent of dogma although I am fully aware of the danger of my own views becoming a personal dogma.

18. Mathematics is a useful tool in understanding the universe (or modeling it rather). It is ultimately limited in that it is not verifiable in and of itself. All practioners of mathematics including physicists, economists, engineers, ecologists and chemist must constantly remind themselves of this inherent bias. Having said this, I do not believe that any other tool other than rigorous empiricism is more suited to advancing human knowledge.

19. I am extremely passionate about teaching but realistic nevertheless. I have very little patience for students who do not wish to learn, are loathe to think and consistently choose the path of least resistance in their studies.

20. The Cult of Self-Esteem and its twin sister ‘the-blame-others’ mentality has probably done more harm for education than any other movement in the history of pedagogy.

The Henry Jackson Society

The values and aspirations of the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) are the closest to my own within a foreign policy context although I tend to be more cautious on the interventionist than they are.

The following are the HJS principles as articulated at their website

1. Believes that modern liberal democracies set an example to which the rest of the world should aspire.

2. Supports a ‘forward strategy’ – involving diplomatic, economic, cultural, and/or political means -- to assist those countries that are not yet liberal and democratic to become so.

3. Supports the maintenance of a strong military, by the United States, the countries of the European Union and other democratic powers, armed with expeditionary capabilities with a global reach, that can protect our homelands from strategic threats, forestall terrorist attacks, and prevent genocide or massive ethnic cleansing.

4. Supports the necessary furtherance of European military modernisation and integration under British leadership, preferably within NATO.

5. Stresses the importance of unity between the world’s great democracies, represented by institutions such as NATO, the European Union and the OECD, amongst many others.

6. Believes that only modern liberal democratic states are truly legitimate, and that the political or human rights pronouncements of any international or regional organisation which admits undemocratic states lack the legitimacy to which they would be entitled if all their members were democracies.

7. Gives two cheers for capitalism. There are limits to the market, which needs to serve the Democratic Community and should be reconciled to the environment.

8. Accepts that we have to set priorities and that sometimes we have to compromise, but insists that we should never lose sight of our fundamental values. This means that alliances with repressive regimes can only be temporary. It also means a strong commitment to individual and civil liberties in democratic states, even and especially when we are under attack.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


The struggle against the ideology of Islamism is one of the biggest challenges facing Western Civilization in the post Cold War Era. It was Islamism that was behind the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks and it is Islamism, driven by its violent actions and by the fellow travellers that define the stealth Jihad that has wreaked havoc in the Philipines, Somalia, Spain, France, Algeria, Iran, Gaza, Lebanon, Egypt, Argentina, the Netherlands. India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Thailand, China, Russia, Israel, Yemen, Kenya, Tanzania, to name just a ‘few.

However the Islamists have been assisted consciously in their struggle to spread their barbarism by the action of several water carrier groups in the West. The following is a list of several of these groups/individuals (in no particular order).

3. International ANSWER
4. Code Pink
6. ISM
7. The Soros Foundation
8. Grover Norquist and co.
9. Free Gaza Campaign
10. International Socialists
11. Think Progress
12. Southern Poverty League
13. Counterpunch Magazine
14. Mother Jones
15. The Nation
16. New York Times Editorial Board
17. Wikileaks
18. The American Conservative Magazine
19. Michael Moore
20. Naomi Klein
21. Richard Falk
22. Noam Chomsky
23. Robert Fisk
24. Glenn Greenwald
25. The Truther Movement
26. Ron Paul
27. Dennis Kucinich
28. Stormfront
29. Arabists in the State Department
30. The Inept CIA
31. A host of so-called American Pseudo-Academics that include Norman Finkelstein, Nicholas de Genova, Ward Churchill, Juan Cole etc.
32. Silly Hollywood celebs like Sean Penn, Viggo Mortensen, Danny Glover, Rosie O'Donnell
33. The Daily Kos
34. The Guardian Editorial Board
35. ACLU
36. Tariq Ali
37. The Politically Correct Homeland Security Department
38. Jimmy Carter
39. Samantha Power
40. The corrupt and failed UNO.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

On the Intellect.........

12 Topics of Personal Intellectual Fascination

1. Underastanding G-d
2. Modern Physics
3. Classical Mechanics
4. The Middle East Conflict
5. The Future: Both Near and Far
6. French Revolution/Napoleon
7. Political Philosophy: Conservatism and Leftism dichotomy
8. World War II and its origins
9. Jewish History
10. The Beautiful Game
11. The Cultural Wars
12. Philosophy of Science

What if the South won the Civil War?

Its all speculation...

Confederacy forms alliance with the United Kingdom

Mexico attacks the Confederacy in an attempt to win back territory in the South Western United states.

Mexicans are driven backward and defeated.

US and Confederacy clash in the 1880's in a Second War. Conflict ends in stalemate. The War is fought over Expansion rights in the Western Half of North America.

Politics in the Confederacy is dominated by two groups: The Industrialists, who feel that the Confederates should focus on growing an industrial base to rival the North and the agriculturists, who still view the South as an agrarian society. The Industrialists will eventually succeed and as a result of necessity the Confederacy will become more industrialized than it did in Plane-zero USA.

The North (or the US) will continue to grow industrially fueled of course by the influx of European immigrants in the 19th century.

US and Confederacy agree to divide the Western states amongst each other. The Northwestern States and California will fall under US Domination. The southwestern and several mid-western states will join the Confederacy.

Slavery will eventually be abolished in the Confederacy but only in the 1920s after several devastating slave rebellions bring chaos to the Southern States. International pressure and a changing political scene will force the Confederacy to drop its pro-slavery stance.

Texas will break away from the Confederacy in the 1910s and form a new nation the Republic of Texas.

Without a dominant power in North America, the European countries will become more involved in South America. Major players will include Britain, France and Germany.

The Confederacy will enter the First World War at an earlier stage than the US did in reality.

The reason for this early entry by the Confederacy is motivated by a need to assist the British Empire, the South's most significant trading partner.

Every Dog has its day

Some Football teams (Soccer to you Yanks) have been prominent on an International level for brief periods of time (the Golden Age), only to disappear into the aether soon afterwards. Here are a few nations and the period in which they elevated themselves above the usual norm.

1. Hungary (1950s and 1960s)
2. Belgium (1980s)
3. Scotland (late 60’s early 70’s)
4. Ireland (late 80’s early 90’s)
5. Poland (early 70’s to mid 80’s)
6. Turkey (early 2000’s)
7. Greece (mid 2000’s)
8. Soviet Union (60’s)
9. Czech Republic (mid 2000’s)
10. Norway (90’s)
11. Denmark (late 80’s early 90’s)
12. Bulgaria (mid 90s)
13. Romania (90s)
14. Morocco (late 80s and early 90s)
15. Croatia (late 90s)
16. Northern Ireland (early 80s)
17. Austria (Mid 70’s to Early 80’s)
18. Columbia (mid 90s)
19. Chile (early 60s)
20. Nigeria (90s)