Saturday, August 06, 2005

One more thing....

Is anyone sick of the ID/evolution debate yet??? Too bad. This is what I was thinking. I was a Theatre Arts/English major in college. I love the arts. I love creative thinking and all things that come from it. I admire those whose gifts are in science and math. I learned just enough science and math to get me though college. I wasn't interested in it nor very good at it. But now suddenly I find myself interested in this debate. It may be easier for me not to get all upset by either side since I agree and disagree with both sides.

As I mentioned in the comment section below, I saw two scientists on Fox News this morning arguing the ID/Evolution theories. I wish Fox could have given them more time because it was fascinating to hear. The ID Scientist pointed out that there is a genetic code in our cells much like that of a computer, which we all know needs a programmer to create the code. A simple way of looking at something very complex I know, but it was something I hadn't known before (nor, to be honest, cared about).

My point is that in just having this debate on the news it has caused this former actress to have an intense interest in looking more closely at evolution and ID. I read some things last night and plan to look through some more things today. This is from someone who already believes deeply in God, so I need no proof of that. I just find it fascinating that because we are learning more about what makes us human, it has caused us to look at the gaps of evolution and consider an intelligent designer.

The intense feelings of outrage that surrounded "the monkey trials" makes this debate look like a mild spat in comparison. How interesting that advances in science have caused some to bring the discussion back around to God. How ironic would it be if Darwin set off a discovery process that eventually led us back to God?

If this debate can cause someone like me, who has had less interest in science than.... well...a monkey has, to want to learn more, then imagine the debate it would spark in science classrooms where students DO care?????

I am not here to argue for or against evolution or ID. I am here to say that the argument in and of itself is a very good thing for all of us to have.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Intelligent Debate continues.

Tech Central Station has this excellent take on the evolution/I.D. debate:

"Darwin would have welcomed such debate because he was keenly aware that the problems he had raised were not capable of being resolved into trivial facts to be memorized like the names of the state capitals or the rules of the multiplication tables. He knew that his theory probed the ultimate questions, and that such ultimate questions could never be given a definitive solution to be taught by rote, and to be memorized by parrots.

What an insult to Darwin's intellectual genius to think that his theory is as obvious as two plus two equal four, or as innocuous as the facts contained in an almanac! Anyone who thinks Darwin's theory is obvious clearly hasn't a clue about its brilliance or its originality.

So this time Bush got it right, and the critics that are pouncing on his statement are getting it mostly wrong. There is no harm in teaching children to discuss and debate the ultimate questions -- indeed, the greatest danger is that we may raise a generation that is never challenged to think about such questions at all. If an open-ended debate about evolution stirs up the kids, then, for heaven's sake, let the stirring begin."

As Klinghoffer of NRO points out, although a majority of biologists reject I.D., there are respected scientists that suggest "that it is Darwinism that fails to explain the complexity of organisms."

And for those ridiculing ID as “non-scientific, NRO says this:

"ID theoreticians have published their findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals, in formidable academic presses such as those of Cambridge University and the University of Chicago, such denunciations start to sound like a worried defense of status more than a disinterested search for truth."

National Review is not defending I.D. nor endorsing it. It is simply pointing out that it isn't just religious fanatics demanding a look at different perspectives, including considering the origins of man to be that of a Creator.

Don't miss blogger Michael Yon , a former Special Forces soldier who is now over in Iraq, on his own dime, as a journalist living in Mosul on Pundit Review Radio this Sunday evening at 9pm EST. He will be on live from Mosul, Iraq. You can stream the show live at WRKO and you can call Pundit Review Radio toll-free with questions at 877-469-4322.

I posted on Michael on July 27th. Read that here. His blog has to be one of the most interesting and informative blogs coming out of Iraq.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Let's Caption!

Ugh. Once again my comments numbers show 0, but the comments are still there.

In honor of Bolton's first day at the U.N.

Thanks to Matt at LonestarTimes.

Just What I Was Thinking.

Jeff at Protein Wisdom has his usual perfect take on Al-Zawahri's recent video rant. Jeff writes in just the right tone of sarcasm that I have come to love so much.

"Anybody else find it curious that Ayman Al-Zawahri, one of the leaders of a medievalist death cult bent on reestablishing the caliphate and spreading Shari’a law at the tip of a sword, is on tape talking about a “war for oil" and likening the US campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq to Vietmam? I mean, you’d think he’d be more interested in, say, Andalusia and the Crusades.

Not that I’m suggesting Zawahiri’s comments were influenced by Western
politicos and their partisan political mouthpieces in the media who’ve shown a tendency to provide al Qaeda with rhetorical cover, mind you. Such an argument is just a silly wingnut fantasy, after all—a desperate attempt by chickenhawks to divert blame from the real reasons for terrorist grievances (namely, that we’re stealing their oil and fighting an illegal Vietnam-type war, to name just two...).

Anyway, I’m not passing judgment. Just, y’know—making an observation..."

Milblogs ROCK!!!

2Slick, my favorite former blackhawk helicopter pilot, corresponded with journalist John Hockenberry via e-mail after a bit of a disagreement with him. It seems Hockenberry wanted to write a piece on the Milblogs and he did!

Wired magazine has
this excellent article by Hockenberry on the Milblogs.

Chris Missick, author of
A Line in the Sand said it perfectly about the Milblogs:

"Never before has a war been so immediately documented, never before have sentiments from the front scurried their way to the home front with such ease and precision."

It is because of the Milblogs that we bloggers know so much about what is really going on over in Iraq. Imagine if we only had the MSM to rely on now??? What a different perspective there would be.

A while back I wrote a post called "The Warrior And The Truth."

I wrote what the Milblogs meant to me and I still feel the same way. It ends with this:

"The left is wrong to think that there are not times that we wonder if the sacrifice of our boys is worth it. They are wrong to think that we don't worry that things are out of control. I watch and listen closely to the news stories out of Iraq. I surf the milblogs and Iraqi blogs. I read European news pieces. Each sometime tell a different story. So who do we believe?

I believe the warrior.

I believe the warrior because he sees what we do not, because he is the one putting his life on the line. There is honesty there borne out of his willing sacrifice. He lives the war.

I believe the warrior."

The really interesting thing is that back in November 2Slick had written Hockenberry about a piece in the NY Sun about John Kerry's discharge. This was Hockenberry's e-mail back to 2Slick:

2Slick baby,
Sorry, never would have expected an officer to speak so ignorantly. I've been in Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel. Jordan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon, and Pakistan. As for being ignorant of the military, ouch, wrong about that one too. I have two relatives buried at Arlington. But hey, making blanket statements about people seems to be a real talent over there at DOD. At least you know the difference between a real threat to our nation and a bogus half dead dictator (who was once on the CIA payroll). I feel better already knowing you are out there on the front lines delirious with self righteousness. Hey, you can call me a liar but I can't compete with you guys... you're professional grade. Hope your next promotion doesn't take too long I'm really looking forward to paying you more money to protect me and my family so well. Thanks again 2Slick (the officer who is apparently embarassed to reveal his rank)John Hockenberry (NBC Universal)

And NOW we have this excellent article on Milblogs from the very same snotty reporter!! Who says people can't change minds a bit??

The thing that worked, I am sure, is that 2Slick did not get all snotty back but started a real discussion with Hockenberry. This is why we should watch our tone sometimes on our blogs. You never know whose mind you might change or at least open.

Jurors lying?

The New York Daily News says that two of the Michael Jackson jurors (Eleanor Cook and Ray Hultman) now say they think that Jackson was guilty.

"Elly and Ray are two of the three jurors who [initially] voted for 'guilty'" Garrison said, referring to the early balloting in the jury's deliberation process."

And of course they must write about it! They both have book deals now.

Well, I IM'd my Michael Jackson juror that I had previously written about and he says they aren't telling the truth.

Rightwingsparkle: Hi! Wondering what you thought about this...

****007: i heard about it, i got a phone call yesterday from the ny daily news

Rightwingsparkle: is it true those jurors did want guilty?

****007: no its not true

Rightwingsparkle: really???

Rightwingsparkle: they are lying??


Rightwingsparkle: hmmm.. isn't this the paper that called you? Which means they didn't include yours or perhaps the other jurors saying that it wasn't true. I wonder why.

****007: they just wanted something juicy to print cause they've got nothing to print

****007: brb

Rightwingsparkle: k

****007 signed off at 10:53:33 AM.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Somehow I think the title of this article about building a new soccer stadium for boys in Switzerland was not translated quite right.


via Lone Star Times.

Interview With a Future Terrorist.

Prospect brings us this interview with 25 yr old Hassan Butt, a radical Mulsim who lives in England. If you want to understand the mind of a terrorist you will find it here.

Here are excerpts:

Taseer: How would you describe yourself as a Muslim, given that there are so many labels bring thrown about—“moderate,” “extremist” and so on?

Butt: I would agree to being called a radical and one day I may even be called a terrorist, if Allah permits me. That is something it would be an honour to be called.

Taseer: Surely, even in an Islamic context, that can't be a positive label?

Butt: There is a speech by the Prophet in which he says: Allah gave me five things. One of them was the power to strike fear, to strike terror into the heart of the enemy from a mile's distance, and this was a reference to a battle he had commenced. The way the warriors had prepared themselves was so terrifying that the enemy didn’t even turn up to the battle. Besides that, in the Koran the word irhab is the root word for terror in Islam, and irhabiyun is the word for terrorist. Allah mentions the word in the Koran many times—the one who strikes terror into their hearts is an irhabiyun. If I could have that title Islamically then I would be more than happy to take it and be proud of it. But unfortunately, I haven't reached that level yet.

Taseer: Why not?

Butt: Because I am stuck in this country. It would be unwise to carry out military operations here.

The interview goes on to this:

Taseer: Do you think killing Daniel Pearl was part of Omar Sheikh’s fight for Islam?

Butt: Whether he killed Daniel Pearl or not, I don't know to be honest with you.

Taseer: If he did?

Butt: If he did, I'm sure Islamically he knew what he was doing.

Taseer: Would you approve of it if he did?

Butt: Absolutely—journalists have always been used as spies. Even Lawrence of Arabia, who was a spy, was initially a journalist. I believe Pearl was a spy: he deserved everything he g

Read the whole interview and take a moment to realize what we are fighting. At one point Butt muses that America may be destroyed soon.

I am not afraid of that, but I am afraid for those who buy this sick violent belief that God would reward one for killing and for killing yourself in the process.

via Malungtvnews

There is something so sweet about 147 foreign-born US military personnel serving in Iraq being sworn in for American citizenship in one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces.

via SondraK

A Thought to Ponder.

Thomas Sowell (one of my favorite writers) asks what should be an obvious question:

"Will even the bloody terrorist attacks in London put a stop to the media's hand-wringing because they don't think we have been nice enough to some of the cut-throats who are locked up in Guantanamo? The media have never shown any such interest in how prisoners are treated anywhere else on the island of Cuba, such as in Castro's prisons."

I'd really like the media's answer on that one.

via Sane Nation

Intelligent Debate cont.

Since a lively debate is humming across the blogosphere about Intelligent Design and evolution, I thought it might help to actually hear from the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, the nation's leading think tank supporting research on the theory of intelligent design:

"Discovery Institute opposes mandating the teaching of intelligent design, but it supports requiring students to know about scientific criticisms of Darwin's theory, which is the approach adopted by the science standards in Ohio, Minnesota, New Mexico, and currently under discussion in Kansas. Discovery Institute also supports the right of teachers to voluntarily discuss the scientific debate over intelligent design free from persecution or intimidation."

Ok, do we have that? No one, not even the Discovery Institute is demanding that ID be required to be taught. Just that an open discussion be allowed VOLUNTARILY to discuss ID and Darwin's theory.

As stated in the post before, ID does not discount the evolutionary process, only to consider that some things cannot be explained as directed by natural selection (true enough) and that some believe that it is possible that Intelligent Design (God, higher being.. whatever) could be the cause.

To be clear, this is what President Bush said:

"I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought," Bush said. "You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes."

Why anyone would have a problem with "different ideas" is beyond me. If I remember correctly that is how we learned about evolution. It was a "different" idea at the time.

Think about it.

In the Good News Department.

Republican Jean Schmidt wins U.S. House Election in Ohio against Democrat Paul Hackett, a fomer Iraqi war veteran who was critical of President Bush.

I will have to visit Ohio one day. It must have great people. It came through for us in the Presidential election and comes through for us again.

There is rich irony in this, don't ya think?

via Grouchy Old Cripple.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Intelligent debate?

The Southpark Republicans are having a cow over Bush's remarks today regarding teaching Intelligent Design. Here and here are two examples.

Leave it to Jeff at Protein Wisdom to state the obvious truth:

"I nevertheless do believe that addressing the field of ID theory in science classes provides a perfect opportunity to show how ID and evolution do not necessarily contradict one another, and that—if evolution is taught properly—the controversy itself disappears, except as a propaganda tool ginned up either by creationists or materialists who like to use it as a rhetorical club against their ideological opponents."

According to the BBC series "The Power of Nightmares" I blogged about previously, the danger of Al Quaeda is simply a myth created by the neo conservatives.


via BigDog's House

I just didn't know how to go about saying how boring Al Gore TV (Current) was, but Wazzadem did it for me. Hilarious.
via Ace


The News just showed video of John Bolton meeting Kofi Annan. There was a moment of concern when both tried to walk through the door and bumped into one another. A mike picked up Bolton muttering, "Get out of my way you corrupt S.O.B."

It looked like a fight until Kofi willingly gave up his lunch money and all was well.


Everything I wanted to say about Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and stem cell research.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Here are some neat candid photos from Iraq via Boots In Baghdad.

Ending Online Terror.

TimesOnline/UK has this:

"Over the past fortnight Israeli intelligence agents have noticed something distinctly odd happening on the internet. One by one, Al-Qaeda’s affiliated websites have vanished until only a handful remain."

Since these websites seemed to have been a vital part of spreading terrorist information this is good news indeed.

The Power of Nightmares.

The Power of Nightmares is a BBC series playing in Britain. (must be downloaded) . This is but one part of it, but it says a lot about how the war on terror came to be and explains to me why so many Europeans have this false notion of conservatives. It takes about 30 minutes to watch. It "explains" how both the neoconservatives of the United States and the radical Islamists believed in several "myths" that allowed them to think they could transform the world in their own way.

It begins telling us of the "dark illusion" of terrorism. It is simply a "fantasy." I don't think there are many of us who see terrorism as fantasy now.

The documentary is filled with what I call the music of "dread." The kind of music you hear in the horror movies just before someone is horribly killed. It gives a nice effect to the seemingly equal "evil" of radical Muslims and neoconservatives.

I find it amusing in the film that the neoconservative's vision to bring democracy and freedom to the world is said in a sinister voice and "dread" music because the conservatives themselves had "created a myth" of terrorism and culture wars.

Oh the HORROR!!! How truly AWFUL to have a vision for freedom and democracy in the world!!!

Meanwhile, as the U.S. helps afghans defeat the Soviet invasion in 1982 and then the Soviet collapse, the film states both neoconservatives and radical Muslims felt they each had won. The documentary also says the Soviet Union was collapsing on it's own. The U.S. really didn't do anything to defeat communism. The fall of the Berlin wall as well, I suppose, was a coincident of the policies of Reagan. They just happened to occur at the same time.

This battle in Afghanistan is the one many leftwingers refer to as when we "armed and trained" Al Queda because of the help we gave Afghans to fight the Soviet invaders. As if we had some crystal ball and could see that radical Muslims would turn against us in a war on terror.

Then the film outlines the conservatives determined defeat of Bill Clinton. Not sure why that is important since they don't mention the Cole bombing or the Embassy bombing or Clinton's reaction to it. It only focuses on the conservatives determination to regain power.

I suppose the film's purpose is to compare two religious views that want power. But doesn't seem to focus on the extreme different OUTCOMES of one or the other having power.

In a radical Muslim world women are treated like cattle, hiding behind burkas. Killing those who disagree with you is encouraged and is your way to heaven.

In the conservative view (which is not necessarily a religious view, of course) we promote freedom and free elections. A people (including women) who have a voice in government. Our way to heaven, for those who believe, does not include killing anyone. It is about compassion and forgiveness.

Now one can argue, rightly so, that the terrorists are a perverted version of Islam, just as anyone who commits violence in the name of Christianity perverts it. But the film does not make that distinction. It compares radical Islam to neoconservatives.

I don't even think my leftwing friends would agree that neoconservatives are willing to kill anyone who disagrees with them , including their own people. The thought is absurd. As is the comparison in this film.

But, sadly, the Europeans see this and believe it.

I have no illusion that conservatives are perfect. Politics, in and of itself, is a mean business on both sides of the political spectrum. Both sides have their good guys and bad guys.

I also know that America is not perfect. I understand many of the reasons that others in the world see us as hedonistic and self involved.

But in the end I see America as a reflection of most most of us here. Although we may think of ourselves first and enjoy the benefits of freedom and prosperity, we also step up to the plate when help is needed. We have a compassionate heart.

Selfishness resides in us, no doubt, but our goodness and kindness overshadows our shortcomings.

This is what I believe.