A Clitoris-Free Zone

Every once in a while you hit a phrase that condenses an issue with such precise concision that it sticks in your mind and keeps your attention like a glass shard in your eye.

Here’s one such phrase.

While the media are kvelling about “freedom” in Egypt (“protesters” having finally persuaded Mubarak it was high time to am-scray), it behooves us to take a deep breath and consider this: the Egyptians are not like us. The Egyptian concept of “freedom” is an Islamic–not a Western–one. They still hate Jews/Israelis like poison. And you’re talking about a country that is essentially a clitoris-free zone (9 out of 10 women in Egypt being the victims of Female Genital Mutilation).[emp added]

It’s hard to read “clitoris-free zone” without wincing and you should be wincing when contemplating that particular barbaric practice.

And he is correct that too many people forget that Egyptians do have a radically different culture and thus radically different political expectations than we do. A democracy they create will not make the same decisions that our democracy makes. For some reason, the people who scream the loudest about the virtues of multiculturalism seem the least able to grasp this idea.

[hat tip path: Instapundit–>Althouse–>shoutingthomas–>scaramouchee]

Top 10 Reasons Someone Votes Democrat

Rather funny comment from this post:

top ten reasons YOU voted Democrat
10. I voted Democrat because I believe oil companies’ profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.
9. I voted Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.
8. I voted Democrat because Freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.
7. I voted Democrat because I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.
6. I voted Democrat because I believe that people who can’t tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Prius.
5. I voted Democrat because I’m not concerned about the slaughter of millions of babies through abortion so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.
4. I voted Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits.
3. I voted Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the democrats see fit.
2. I voted Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.
1. I voted Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my a$ that it is unlikely that I’ll ever have another point of view.

The GOP is prepping the battlefield badly.

Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid has yet to offer a plan and instead almost seems as though he’s hoping for a government shutdown to occur for political gain.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor


The Obama-Reid game plan is to re-run 1995: shut down the government, blame the Republicans, have the MSM show pictures of weeping old ladies who are not getting their checks. Then undo the results of 2010. Then reelect Obama in 2012. Everything is proceeding according to schedule. Count on it.

It ain’t no almost.

Cantor should not be so polite.

The public is not yet prepared for a government showdown. Most people do not know it is coming. The GOP is not warning the public, getting the word out, and assigning blame early.

The GOP is prepping the battlefield badly.

“It’s not 1995 anymore. Things are different now.”

But are things different enough?

I don’t like the way this is shaping up.

World’s First 3-D Computer Animation

Robert Ingebretson, a friend of mine from high school, posted this video of the world’s first 3-D computer animation.

His father, the elder Robert Ingebretsen, was an important pioneer in the development of digital audio. Earlier he’d been a classmate of Pixar cofounder Ed Catmull at the University of Utah in the early 1970s. During that era, the U. was a hotbed of computer and digital graphic, audio, and video innovation. Its computer science department produced important pioneers in the field like Ingebretsen, Catmull, and Adobe founder John Warnock.

Ingebretsen helped Catmull make this 3-D computer animation in 1972:

The film fell into my hands because Ed and my dad were good friends and office mates at the University of Utah in the 1970s where they were both pursuing upper graduate degrees in computer science. My dad was focused on digital audio and Ed (of course) on computer graphics. Either because of their friendship or possibly because they were renting time on the same computer, my dad ended up being responsible for the 3D morphing titles at the beginning and end of the film (his credit is at 6:15). I guess that entitled him to a copy of the 8mm reel (it was rendered to actual film; this, of course, predated any kind of real time digital playback by many years).
A couple of years ago, Ed was speaking at the University of Utah (giving, I believe, some version of this talk) and ran into my uncle. They talked about my dad and that resulted in Ed inviting a handful of us to take a tour of Pixar.
A few months later we took a plane to SFO for the tour. I sort of expected to shake Ed’s hand and then take a tour with an intern. It wasn’t like that at all. Ed spent an hour with us. It was amazing and incredibly personal. He shared stories about the early days, gave advice about managing creativity, told stories about Steve Jobs, shared thoughts about the transition to Disney and even told stories about my dad.

Catmull later worked for Star Wars director George Lucas’ special effects shop Industrial Light and Magic. While there Catmull was instrumental in making the first computer generated animation used in a motion picture. A few years later ILM’s computer graphics division, along with Catmull, was purchased by a washed up former Silicon Valley executive turned cult leader noted for his obsessive concern for typography.

Michael Barone weighs on the Wisconsin showdown.

Follow the money, Washington reporters like to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats. In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.