Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Crime Of Descartes

So far as our own, modern, progress is concerned, we have maintained a tenuous equilibrium -- our religion separated from our science, our minds separated from our bodies, as it were -- but using common sense to keep a balance between the “rational” and “spiritual” sides of our one nature.
“Post-modernism” can be defined as the discarding of this tenuous balance;
The crime of Descartes, was to subtly twist the plainer meanings of scholastic terms, so that the entire edifice of reason could weigh on only one side of our nature, and find no purchase on the other. That, at least, is what I have come to dimly understand, in trying to account for the strangely capsized views I find everywhere today, on questions as various as Darwinian evolution, “global warming,” the welfare state, “political correctness,” the accommodation of Islam, war and peace in the Middle East. In every case I encounter so-called “liberal” minds, willing to consider only one side of an equation.

The Japanese Awaken

The problem became critical in 1998 when North Korea launched a Taepodong missile over northern Japan. It was a blatant threat to Japan and its three stages meant it also had the potential to reach the United States. Tokyo began deploying defenses.

Japan placed 27 Patriot PAC-2 batteries around the country, put in orbit its own spy satellites, bought Aegis radar systems for six new destroyers, joined the U.S. in developing a longer-range ship-based missile interceptor, and allowed the U.S. to put an X-band radar in northern Japan. Last March, Japan began deploying more capable Patriot PAC-3s at 16 locations to protect major cities, military installations and other potential targets.

Japan also is modifying its four operational Aegis destroyers to carry SM-3 missile interceptors. The destroyer Kongo, which made the successful intercept on Monday, is the first non-U.S. ship to shoot down a ballistic missile. The U.S. Navy already has shot down 11 in 13 attempts

Thompson On Churchill

You know, Winston Churchill used to spend most of his day, I guess a good part of it, in bed dictating, even in the height of the war. If I remember history correctly, he would dictate, you know, have a cigar and a brandy and--the good old days--and dictate. I saw one time a history thing, history program that interviewed his secretary who was obviously an elderly lady. And Winston would dictate just page after page after page after page. In the height of the war, he'd get up at 1 o'clock and go on about his business. But the point is, and she said, it's hard to believe, and she said for every hour of speech he made, he prepared ten hours. So at the height of the war, when everybody's scrambling around and everybody panicking and you can imagine the meetings that were being held, his emphasis was on the communications to the British people. And what do we remember? Those meetings? Scrambling around? No, we remember those phrases and we remember how he inspired those people.

Easy To See

It hasn't been apparent to me why Mike Huckabee favored the release from prison of Wayne Dumond, a patently dangerous rapist who, once released, committed murder. By contrast, it's easy to see why Mike Huckabee wanted to help Eugene Fields after he was convicted in 2003 for driving while intoxicated for the fourth time in less than five years. Fields, after all, was a wealthy developer and major donor to the Arkansas Republican Party. Moreover, according to the New York Times, Fields had Richard Bearden, a former executive director of the state’s Republican Party with close ties to the Huckabee administration, backing his bid for clemency.

Huckabee obliged in early 2004, when he announced his intention to grant clemency to Fields. The announcement meant that the public had the right to comment. Naturally, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) urged Huckabee not to give Fields, a serial offender, yet another chance.

And corrupt too.

Failure Is Spelled With Both A W And A BJ

Wired has an article expressing alarm at the ability of Chinese intelligence to "turn" an outsourced translation service in Hawaii. Bill Gertz, who did the original reporting for the Washington Times said:

China's intelligence service gained access to a secret National Security Agency listening post in Hawaii through a Chinese-language translation service, according to U.S. intelligence officials. ... According to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, China's Ministry of State Security, the main civilian spy service, carried out the operations by setting up a Chinese translation service in Hawaii that represented itself as a U.S.-origin company.

In 2002, right after the September 11 attacks, the Legislative branch found US translation and analysis capabilities to be woefully inadequate because of 1990s cutbacks.

Hayden says NSA simply could not afford to keep them. The agency "already [had] squeezed the retraining limit dry" after 1990s cutbacks, he adds.

Or were the 90s cutbacks W's fault?

Only Obama Can Stop The Referendum

Only in the Clinton machine could anyone debate whether a wife should embrace her husband, even figuratively. Did she think that anyone would have separated the two of them in considering her for the Presidency? Of course not; without Billl, Hillary becomes nothing more than a Senator with eight years of experience in public office. Without him, she's got less experience in that arena than Barack Obama.

Also, let's not forget that the Clintons did not keep their anger over Al Gore's strategy in 2000 to themselves. Gore deliberately distanced himself from the Clintons, disgusted with their personal behavior and wanting to separate himself from the taint. Bill and Hillary, through their lieutenants, made it clear to any media outlet willing to listen that Gore had squandered his opportunity to win against George W Bush by not embracing their legacy.

Bill wants to turn this election into a referendum on his own administration. The Republicans wouldn't mind that referendum, either

Clinton's Christmas Coincidence

Friday, December 21, 2007

United Europe. Heh.

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Germany has attacked European Commission proposals to cut car C02 emissions limits, saying they unfairly hit the country's auto industry. The measures are intended to curb global warming.

Under the plans, automobile manufacturers would have to reduce carbon emissions produced by their fleets of passenger cars to an average of 120 grams per kilometer by 2012. Currently, new cars emit some 160 grams on average. Should they not comply to the guidelines, automakers are to face steep fines.  

With several commissioners dissenting, the European Commission -- the EU's executive arm -- agreed on a four-year phase-in period from 2012 for the fines.

The proposed legislation enraged Germany and its carmakers. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU was making policy "at the expense of Germany."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Did I Mention Woodstock?

"Central Government Does Not Work"

This is in dramatic contrast to the Federal Government of the U.S. whose Congress still has not been able to come up with a budget for FY2008 - and that has no hope of creating a budget that makes sense. In case y'all have not heard, the funding for the Woodstock Museum is back in there and the Dems are going to severely restrict farm subsidies to only 10 times as much as what those notoriously spendthrift Republicans allowed...

Welcome To "Consensus"

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USA: Dr. David Wojick is a UN IPCC expert reviewer, who earned his PhD in Philosophy of Science and co-founded the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie-Mellon University: “In point of fact, the hypothesis that solar variability and not human activity is warming the oceans goes a long way to explain the puzzling idea that the Earth's surface may be warming while the atmosphere is not. The GHG (greenhouse gas) hypothesis does not do this.” Wojick added: “The public is not well served by this constant drumbeat of false alarms fed by computer models manipulated by advocates.”

 # # #

Background: Only 52 Scientists Participated in UN IPCC Summary 

The over 400 skeptical scientists featured in this new report outnumber by nearly eight times the number of scientists who participated in the 2007 UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers. The notion of “hundreds” or “thousands” of UN scientists agreeing to a scientific statement does not hold up to scrutiny.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Physics Is A Blast

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Walter H. G. Lewin, 71, a physics professor, has long had a cult following at M.I.T. And he has now emerged as an international Internet guru, thanks to the global classroom the institute created to spread knowledge through cyberspace.

In his lectures at, Professor Lewin beats a student with cat fur to demonstrate electrostatics. Wearing shorts, sandals with socks and a pith helmet — nerd safari garb — he fires a cannon loaded with a golf ball at a stuffed monkey wearing a bulletproof vest to demonstrate the trajectories of objects in free fall.

He rides a fire-extinguisher-propelled tricycle across his classroom to show how a rocket lifts off.

And Some Nano Power For Your Nano Batteries

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After years of development, Nanosolar has announced today that they have shipped their first batch of inexpensive solar panels to the site of their first real-world deployment, a megawatt solar plant being built on the surface of a landfill in eastern Germany.

Nanosolar's innovative process for "printing" thin, inexpensive solar panels has attracted several high-profile investors, including Google's co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. By simplifying the manufacturing process and eliminating pricey silicon, many see the new process as the breakthrough needed to drive cheap solar power into the mainstream (many including we here at PopSci—the Powersheet received our "Innovation of the Year" award in this year's Best of What's New).

Now that's a good nano news day!

Can You Say Plug-In Hybrid? I Thought You Could...

Stanford researchers have found a way to use silicon nanowires to reinvent the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power laptops, iPods, video cameras, cell phones, and countless other devices.

The new version, developed through research led by Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, produces 10 times the amount of electricity of existing lithium-ion, known as Li-ion, batteries.

"It's not a small improvement," Cui said. "It's a revolutionary development."

The greatly expanded storage capacity could make Li-ion batteries attractive to electric car manufacturers. Cui suggested that they could also be used in homes or offices to store electricity generated by rooftop solar panels.

"Given the mature infrastructure behind silicon, this new technology can be pushed to real life quickly," Cui said.

Did I Mention They're Nuttier Than Cuckoo Clocks?

The degenerates of Hamas, like a lot of raging, seething, murdering Islamists, can’t seem to make up their minds whether they’re fearsome jihad warriors, or whiny crybabies: Hamas Calls for Truce With Israel.

GAZA CITY, Gaza City (AP) - On Islam’s most important holiday, the leader of Gaza’s Hamas government appealed Wednesday for a cease-fire with Israel and said his people—battered by Israeli military strikes and international sanctions—are greeting this year’s feast with “tears in our eyes.” ...

Speaking at a sparsely attended Wednesday prayer gathering at a Gaza soccer stadium for the beginning of the Eid al-Adha festival, Haniyeh blamed Israel for the sour atmosphere, referring to Israel’s latest air assault.

Our "Betters" In Europe Watch (Part 92365)

Not just crazy, but jaw-dropping crazy: Couple forced to take in criminal lodger after he tells court their house is HIS home address.

A convicted criminal has moved in with a married couple against their wishes after giving their address in court as his home.

Shane Sims, 19, has spent the last few days living with Brenda and Robert Cole after he was sentenced to a week’s curfew for breaching a supervision order.

But the couple claim the first they knew about it was when Sims, a friend of their daughter, moved in on Thursday - followed by security contractors who put a box in a bedroom to monitor his movements with an ankle tag. Sims’ tag keeps him indoors between 7pm and 7am much to the horror of the Coles, who both have learning difficulties.

Not Even A Denture Was Stirring

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Two weeks ago, Britain introduced a toughly worded Presidential Statement at the U.N. Security Council, demanding that Khartoum's National Islamic Front regime turn over two génocidaires to the International Criminal Court. The first, Ahmed Haroun, who, in a grotesque bit of irony, now serves as Sudan's minister of humanitarian affairs, is accused of having directly orchestrated many of the vicious crimes documented by the U.N. and independent human rights organizations in Darfur.
China threatened to veto the non-binding declaration unless its language was essentially gutted, and rather than force the issue, Britain, France, and the U.S.--as well as the other Security Council members--quietly decided to drop the matter. As a result, not only will Haroun and Kushayb remain free, but the government in Khartoum will feel as if it can block the extradition of those subsequently accused by the Court. The ICC just lost its teeth.

I Don't Know About You...

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he’s had it up to here with the chinless ophthalmologist.

“I have reached the end of the road with [Syrian President Bashar] Assad. Words alone won’t suffice, I want actions,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted as telling reporters Wednesday at the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

France has grown increasingly impatient with Syria, particularly over its intervention in Lebanese politics and its alleged involvement in political assassinations in the country.

Sarkozy spoke with Assad on several occasions recently in order to bring about a solution to the crisis over the Lebanese presidency, but it appears that his patience is now wearing thin.

... but I'm going to look at French wine this weekend for the first time in many a moon.

Perfectly Rational. Just Like You And Me.

A leader of the Religion of Peace and Tolerance in Iran says women without veils deserve to die.

And their fathers, and their husbands.

Tehran, 19 Dec. (AKI) - A top Muslim cleric in Iran, Hojatolislam Gholam Reza Hassani said on Wednesday that women in Iran who do not wear the hijab or Muslim headscarf, should die.

“Women who do not respect the hijab and their husbands deserve to die,” said Hassani, who leads Friday prayers in the city of Urumieh, in Iranian Azerbaijan.


But of course I'm the "nut job" for even entertaining the thought that maybe it's these nut jobs that ought to be dying instead of their (here it comes) truly oppressed women.

We have to respect other "cultures".

Welcome to the world turned upside down.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It Was You

But the blame doesn't rest completely with First Coralville; ultimately, the resposibility lies with our government, and society itself. Because it was you that elected the politicians that allowed this stupid crisis to happen, and continue to sit idly while victims like me lose our American Dream.

But it's not too late to make amends: contact your local elected officials and demand that they do something to alleviate our suffering. Demand an end to ARMs, and demand subprime do-overs. If we don't act now, the entire economy will collapse, and people like me -- and my children, and my dirtbikes -- will be out on the streets looking for a new place to live. Maybe in your neighborhood.

In closing, I have two questions:

Do you really want that on your conscious?

Also, do you have any good tips on starting a flood?

Mahmoud's Islam: Religion Of Hate And Death Chants

"God is Great," "There is no Deity but Allah," "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" were among the slogans chanted by the masses in unison as they gathered in the Desert of Arafat, 20 km (12 miles) from Mecca, for a day of prayer and meditation.

Iranian Delegation at the Hajj
Iranian Republic News Agency
December 18, 2007
Holy Ahmadinejad was in Saudi Arabia today attending the Hajj.
Reuters has video (HERE) of the pilgrims flocking to catch a glimpse of Mahmoud.
And don't worry. They really don't mean a word of it.

I Would Count Dishonest As Immoral Too...

Ron Paul’s disavowal of the Troofer “movement” was incredibly weak.

He knows he’s getting a lot of support from the Troofers, but he said the bare minimum to distance himself from them, and pretended he had no idea this was going on, and no idea these kinds of crazy theories were out there.

This is a man who has appeared four times on the Alex Jones radio show. For him to profess ignorance about 9/11 conspiracy theories is incredibly dishonest.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Canadian Gulag

In the olden days, in this country, people who were hurtin' sang a country song. I remember my little sister, when she was eight years of age, singing one in the kitchen, while affecting to wash some dishes. The lyrics were, as I recall: “My daddy hates me. / My mommy hates me. / My brubber hates me. / Everybody hates me and I'm / not very happy.” It needed at least a banjo.

These days in Canada, if you're feeling down and blue, and you think somebody hates you, you bring your case to a Human Rights Tribunal. And the people you think hate you get that knock on the door, celebrated in the literature of the Soviet Gulag, and wherever else ideology triumphed over humanity in the 20th century's painful course.

The Fuehrer Of Bathos

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GAIA IS YOUR FUEHRER: "'When the chips are down I think democracy is a less important goal than is the protection of the planet from the death of life, the end of life on it,' he says. 'This has got to be imposed on people whether they like it or not.'"

They told me that if George W. Bush were re-elected, fearmongering would be the end of democracy. And they were right!

Baghdad Bob Zawahiri

Ayman al-Zawahri has released a new video in which he claims that the U.S. is failing in Iraq. Watch for the full text here; in the meantime, we'll have to make do with press accounts:

Al-Qaida's No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri said in a new video posted Monday that the United States is trying to hide its failures in Iraq and warned that the mujahedeen there are increasing in strength.

"We are seeing a triple failure for the Americans in Iraq," al-Zawahri said in the 90-minute videotape. "No matter how much the gigantic propaganda machine in America tries to deceive the people, the reality is stronger and worse than all the deceptions."

He said U.S. forces were "defeated and looking for a way out," and Iraqi forces were unable to keep security.

Blood Libels Today

The story of the Israel Defense Forces' purported killing of Muhamed al Dura is a modern blood libel. Richard Landes introduces the affair as follows:

People who followed Middle East news in 2000 cannot forget the image of Muhamed al Durah, gunned down in a hail of Israeli bullets at the very beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada. The impact of this dramatic footage on global culture is close to incalculable.
It appears that just about every relevant element of the story originally reported by France 2 is false. Examination of the available evidence shows that al Dura's death was deliberately staged for film.
Nidra Poller's 2005 article "Myth, fact, and the al-Dura affair" provides an invaluable narrative account. Now Poller reports that al Dura's father -- allegedly wounded by the IDF in the events that led to his son's death -- was in fact injured by axe-wielding Palestinian forces in 1992, according to an Israeli surgeon who performed reconstructive surgery on the wounds two years later.

You Can Dress Them Up...

Venezuelan Interior Minister Pedro Carreno was momentarily at a loss for words when a journalist interrupted his speech and asked if it was not contradictory to criticize capitalism while wearing Gucci shoes and a tie made by Parisian luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton.

"I don't, uh ... I ... of course," stammered Carreno on Tuesday before regaining his composure. "It's not contradictory because I would like Venezuela to produce all this so I could buy stuff produced here instead of 95 percent of what we consume being imported."
Workers of the world, unite! Rise up! You have nothing to lose but those oppressive marxist thugs who promise you everything, but only manage to suck away all your liberty, your wealth, and your pride. Get rid of all the stupid and hypocritical oppressors who are working so hard to bring you poverty and misery even as they line their own pockets and live the high life.

Little Mosque On The Prairie

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Or the young women in France, Britain and all over Europe killed by fathers and brothers for leaving Islam, dressing like other girls or dating non Muslims.

Or the teacher who allowed a student to name a teddy bear Muhammad, or Salman Rushdie's translator whose throat was cut from ear to ear, or movie director Theo Van Gogh who was slaughtered like an animal in the middle of a Dutch street.

And on and on. On until the denial is sickening. It's cultural, it's because of colonialism, it's because of Palestine, because of Iraq, because of misunderstanding. Because of anything other than Islam.

Only a bigot would argue that every Muslim was violent or opposed to Western freedom. But only a coward or a liar would argue that there was not a profound and deeply worrying link between conservative Islam and myriad acts of terror, intolerance and hysterical anger.

They Will Not Suicide. They Are Too Important!

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Lest you think the above are “extremists,” consider how deeply invested the “mainstream” is in a total fiction. At the recent climate jamboree in Bali, the Rev. Al Gore told the assembled faithful: “My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here.” Really? The American Thinker’s Web site ran the numbers. In the seven years between the signing of Kyoto in 1997 and 2004, here’s what happened:
•Emissions worldwide increased 18.0 percent;
•Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1 percent;
•Emissions from nonsigners increased 10.0 percent; and
•Emissions from the United States increased 6.6 percent.
It’s hard not to conclude a form of mental illness has gripped the world’s elites.
I imagine that those who hold this point of view will set a proper example for the rest of us and suicide.
There just are no words bathetic enough to encompass this kind of demented viciousness.