August 27, 2009 - August 20, 2009
Friday, July 25, 2008
TALKING HISTORY WITH
. I plan to leave all the highbrow analysis of Obama's
latest "Speech of the Century" to those who have more patience for
parsing and pedagogy than I do. All I can really say is that it
reminded me of the young lady who saw a stage performance of Hamlet
for the first time and said,
"I don't see what all the fuss is about. All he did was string together
a bunch of famous quotations."
The Germans in attendance seemed to like it, though, and everyone knows
they have an infallible knack for distinguishing beween soaring
rhetoric and authentic wisdom. I guess we should defer to their
judgment. I mean, isn't deferring to European judgment the single
eternal plank in the Democratic Party platform?
Jawohl, mein Obama.
not saying the bloom is off the rose. But there are signs that the rose
is slowly morphing into the plastic kind American liberals usually have
to settle for. The kind that has to be dusted off regularly and sprayed
with expensive perfumes that can't wholly cover the stink of
artificiality beneath. You know. The valorous command personaility of
John Kerry. The incandescent intellect and heartfelt populism of Al
Gore. The "I feel your pain" sincerity of Bill Clinton. Etc. All
fictions (un)scrupulously upheld for campaign purposes but never
believed. Not really. Not without a certain cynical wink they winked at
each other and never thought the rest of us could see. And certainly
not the way they have believed in Obama -- devotedly, uncritically,
irrationally, passionately, even religiously.
That's the explanation for the ridiculous displays featured in the
McCain ad above. Forget the metrosexual ramifications of the creepy
man-crush behavior exhibited by so-called hardened journalists in the
ad. It's not really sexual. It's spiritual. (Well, maybe not for the giggling women on 'O-Force One.') The immense peril of the
strictly secular culture the libs want us to embrace is that all people
need a spiritual element in their lives. That's why hard-line marxist
feminists trash all organized religions and then perversely immerse
themselves in New Age fantasies about Gaia, Wicca, Yoga, and Reiki. The
quest for meaning is not synonymous with calculating the solution to an
algebraic equation. The most determinedly atheistic adherents of
social-engineering rationalism have historically been the most
vulnerable to getting swept up in a cult of personality of the sort
Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, and now Hugo Chavez exploited in
achieving absolute power over their followers. Having renounced the
divine in the universe itself, they must find an outlet for the
ineradicable human yearning for a higher power who can fill the hole in
their souls created by the absence of meaning.
As this site has proposed before in other
, that's the real genius of the founding fathers. What has
been called "separation of church and state" was more importantly the
excision of the divine from politics. It's a corollary of Matthew
22.21, which reads, "Render unto Caesar the things that are
Caesarís, and unto God the things that are Godís": the constitutional
understanding of this is, "Render unto your God the things that are
your God's, and render unto Caesar only
those things that are Caesar's." Which represents, above all, an
absolute prohibition against allowing or enabling the state to usurp --
in terms of individual belief, obedience, and worship -- the role of
private spirituality in everyday life. Politicians, however highly
placed, are only politicians
-- i.e., ambitious men who are fallible, inherently sinful, prone to
corruption, and never to be trusted as arbiters of individual values
for the populace as a whole.
The mission of secular liberals to exterminate all traces of the
Judeo-Christian tradition from any part or institution of society that
government touches -- which is, by now, all
parts and institutions --
couldn't be any more contrary to the intrinsic intent of the founders.
But the more they succeed, the lonelier they feel. As the spiritual --
and, yes, by that I mean an ineffable sense of the divine -- becomes
less and less a part of their lives, they begin to seek it in the
impoverished secular realm they have consigned themselves to. Without a
Yahweh, a Christ, a Buddha, or an Allah of their own to whom they can
pray in the dark night of private pain, they begin to long for...
want... need... absolutely have to
a savior. Behold! Here he is! Eureka! They don't know
what's happening to them. Their hyper-intellectualized worldviews are
suddenly transformed by a profundity of emotional response that has no
precedent in their experience apart from sex. But in matters of the
spirit, they have become children, and so they respond to it like
children making their first acquaintance with sexual attraction. As
worshippers they are as inept and slavish in their devotions as any
pubescent boy or girl who descends into the confusion of a hopeless
crush. When it comes to religion they are tyros (and, yes, I am
absolutely saying that Catholic Chris Matthews is no Catholic; he
couldn't be such an ass about Obama if he were a Roman Catholic in
anything but name only...)
Poor Obama. He's been set up. He's been propelled by this wave of
misplaced desire for a secular messiah to heights where he cannot help
but be humiliated, perhaps even destroyed. The MSM fever is so advanced
that none of them -- and I mean none
-- has yet perceived the horrifying irony of an American politician
standing on a podium in Germany recruiting that nation's citizens to
join him in his grand personal mission to usher in a new age of life on
earth. No one has done that in
Berlin since Adolf Hitler.
And if the Germans should like
it, does that really confirm
his mission? Or does it sound a chord that Americans most of all are
likely to respond to with suspicion and alarm?
Poor Obama. Back in the 19th century, Herman Melville wrote "Billy
Budd," a short novel offering a different kind of Christ figure -- a
pure innocent so guileless that he became the scapegoat for a multitude
of sins he had nothing to do with. He was sacrificed to relieve
everyone around of him of their very real guilt. Billy believed what
people told him. He trusted them. And they killed him.
As a politician, Obama is not entirely an innocent. But he has the
innocence of the talented neophyte in believing that he can somehow
control the vast forces that are carrying him to power. He can't. He
did not know that his messianic speech in Berlin was, however it's
reviewed today and tomorrow, a truly terrible idea. He may not have a
deeply developed sense of his
, which would make him a ripe target for manipulation
by those who read their own hopes onto the blank canvas of his
personality. And he is almost certainly unprepared for the price that
will be paid by a putative savior who insists that good intentions and
a friendly meeting of minds will solve all the problems of the world.
The consequences will be worse by an order of magnitude if he has
actually come to believe that he is
the fiction his promoters have written for him.
What the liberals don't understand is that a great many of the people
they habitually look down on are far more sophisticated about matters
of spirit and divinity than they are. When they see a Golden Calf being
worshipped by idolaters, they cock their heads and say, "Uh oh. This is
something we know about. And it's never good."
I don't believe much in the polls. Some of the conservative blogs are
trying to make hay out of the fact that so far, Obama doesn't seem to
have gotten a "bump" from the World Tour spectacle. Time will tell.
But here's the one statistic
I think might be meaningful:
The extraordinary peak for McCain
appeared suddenly on July 22.
Moreover, there are other signs of cracks in the faith called Obama.
The MSM is showing, well, some resentment
of the lordly Obama campaign.
" of the New York Times has actually employed the
phrase "jumped the shark." (And he didn't get his column mailed back to
him for 'revision
Not all the Brits
are apparently on board. (So much, btw, for the idea that there's no way to make fun of Obama.)
Even the Germans seem anxious to correct
And perhaps the troops
who have made the most sacrifices in recent years, aren't altogether
buying the act.
It may well be that (some of) the true believers are starting to realize that
their candidate is just a man, not a substitute divinity.
That would be a good thing. It may not change the end result of the
election. But if Obama remembers that he's just a man, it may improve
the end result of this campaign season, regardless of who wins.
What did the Goddess Gertrude say? "A rose is a rose is a rose." Even if it's a
plastic counterfeit. This is America. We can live with that. As long as
the rose knows what it is. Can you?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
What they have to put up with. The
cognoscenti tend to be much more tolerant
THE BEAGLE BARKS
of muslim jihadists, enviro-terrorists, and lunatic New Age 2012
Something I'd never done, to be honest. Visit a couple of large-scale
creationist sites. You know how they'd be. Crazy. Ranting. Not quite
sure how to spell 'science,' let alone talk knowledgeably about it
without going into a spasm of glossolalia. That's how I thought they'd
be, too. There may well be sites like that, but they weren't the ones I
and ScienceAgainst Evolution.org
turned out to be
far more intriguing than I thought they'd be when their names cropped
up in my search for commentary on the latest dating of moon rocks. (I
can't help being fascinated by the moon; it's much more mysterious
than anyone lets on.) My first stop was at TalkOrigins.org
(the educational site most evolution advocates send doubters to for
remedial insight) where I encountered a fairly detailed effort to
debunk some creationist claim that the moon was a great deal younger
than moon rock analysis seems to suggest it is. I was surprised by the
level of seriousness the author was applying to the task of defeating
the creationist position. Then I proceeded to a direct creationist rebuttal
of the TalkOrigins argument, and I was surprised again by the formal,
scientific nature of the counter-argument. What was going on here?
I'd seen TalkOrigins before, but despite a burdensome level of detail,
the contributors don't ever really add much to a basic understanding of
the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution. They're too defensive and
irascible to be a fun read. But it hadn't ever occurred to me that
there might be areas where the creationists were going toe-to-toe with
evolutionists and holding their own. So I started banging around at
TrueOrigins, which somehow led me to ScienceAgainstEvolution and an
altogether new understanding of the conflict between the two most
extreme poles of thought on human origins. They are
going toe to toe, about almost
everything, and it's the creationists, not the evolutionists, who are
willing to pursue the tiniest details in the most expansive possible
range of subjects, including paleontology, anthropology, archaeology,
geology, biology, microbiology, genetics, morphology, chemistry and
organic chemistry, radio-carbon
dating, the history of science, and even physics and cosmology. It's
total war, and more often than you'd guess it's the evolutionists who
end debates with empty declarations of victory that are reminiscent of
press releases issued by Baghdad Bob. (If you don't believe me, wade
anything and everything else that strikes your fancy at both sites --
before you ignite your comment flamethrower.)
As with all omnibus sites, the level of quality varies, and some of the
creationist titles make me cringe ("Did God Make Pathogenic Viruses?").
But there's more going on here than dumb and blind resistance to
settled science. I'd be willing to bet that internet snobs like Rand
Simberg and the usual insect horde of atheist-evolutionist commenters
would crumble in a debate with the best of the creationists. (See, for
,") They're not all backwoods lunkheads with a
degree from Bob's Bible College and a passionate determination to stop
the clock at 0:00 Scopes time.
But, as with most of you, they still make me uncomfortable
. Are they (mostly)
highly educated scholars and writers who are nevertheless monomaniacs
about a certain book published in 1611? Or are they true
descendants of a tradition that began with Isaac Newton and has
continued against all odds into the present day, with its original
values intact in terms of both religion and
science? I don't know. So I
sent an email to the lead contributor at ScienceAgainstEvolution.
Here's the text of my email. Judge for yourselves whether its questions
are on or off the mark:
I have read a large percentage of your
website, and I'm impressed with the elegance of your logic and the
caliber of your learning, argumentation and writing. But I have some
questions I don't see answered or even addressed, except obliquely, on
By way of introduction, I should explain that I, too, am a foe of the
evolutionists (much bloodied in individual combat, though not without
scalps of my own). I am as appalled by you at their pernicious practice
of smuggling strictly material naturalism into science as if it were an
incontrovertible fact, not a faith of its own, which it unquestionably
is. You have specified much that I have divined and argued myself from
an intuitive rather than an expert perspective. But some -- or maybe
more than some -- of what you do is troubling to me.
I have for years found myself in a lonely middle ground -- smack
between you and the evolutionists.
I believe the Bible may record a metaphorical approximation of creation
without being wholly or explicitly accurate -- and without being
completely necessary to a view of the universe as an act of conscious
creation that neither violates its own laws in any particular nor
precludes the possibility of an omniscient (and therefore intimately
But I feel no obligation whatever to accept every miracle and anecdote
in the Bible as an indispensable ingredient of scientific truth. When
you write as determinedly about the sea-going zoo potentialities of Noah's
Ark as you do about microorganisms acquiring immunity to antibiotics,
it makes me... well... extremely nervous. Rather than pick a
philosophical and religious quarrel with you, I'd prefer to ask you
some specific questions and make up my mind from your answers. Some of
my own beliefs and articles of faith will become evident from my
questions, and when they do, you are free to address them directly as
well as matters of science. Is that fair?
1. What is the age of the
universe (and, btw, of the earth)?
It's not enough to say you don't know. There is scientific evidence. Is
the entire universe c. 6000 years old as the Biblical literalists would have it, or is it
some number of millions or billions of years old, as even your own
arguments seem to allow that it may be? We all draw the veil somewhere,
choose some point past which we cease trying to speculate. But it does
matter where you draw the veil. The evolutionists -- or rather their
co-conspirators as you would have it -- draw it at the very moment of
their self-generating, causeless creation, the Big Bang. You speak
knowingly of red shifts and retreating stars, red dwarves, supernovas,
etc, but if you refuse to account for their behaviors in terms of time,
you are more cowardly than the evolutionists you accuse of the worst
possible philosophical crimes. You become as absurd as the cleric who
explained away dinosaur fossils in the 19th century by declaring that
God had made the earth with a false record of the past buried within
it. If the entire point of the universe was Earth, then the histories
of stars and constellations and galaxies are as phony as the bishop's
But I can't find your scientific history of the universe anywhere.
Which would seem to indicate that your history is not a story at all
but a vignette. That's a charge against you by the evolutionists I find
credible until you prove otherwise.
Even if you default to the Bible, you still have an obligation to
translate the imagery of Biblical verses into terms that make sense and
provide some detail about what the act of creation entailed, what it
merely set in motion rather than completed, and how it corresponds with
what we see in the summer sky and in our telescopes. Genesis says
nothing about galaxies and red shifts. You use these terms freely.
Explain the connection.
2. What is the history of life on
You snipe the evolutionists to pieces. You dismantle their assumption
of a single primitive species of origin that flowered through evolution
to become all the life we see about us today. But once again, they are
the ones -- soulless materialists that they are -- who have a story
with a beginning, a middle, and an end. You don't. Or you don't have
one you describe. Is yours a story of unremitting entropy? In the
beginning, all species were... then some died... then the Flood came...
and many, many more died... and now all that remains is a diminishing
subset of the original creation limping toward inevitable extinction?
Dreary. At least the evolutionists have the Cambrian Explosion -- a
creative burst of new life that signifies the possibility of others. So
you snipe away their geology and their phylogenies and their drab
uniformitarian theories of slow species progress... to what end?
Proving them wrong does not give you an actual story that transcends an
initial wind-up of the great big doll of life that winds down
sorrowfully for millennia, er centuries, (or is it only decades) until
the ultimate husbandman of God's creation is left with only memories of
parrots and plesiosaurs and plumage past. So we're this huge flash in
an unexpectedly tiny and short-lived pan? If you're looking for epic
scale and scope, it would seem the evolutionists are telling a much
more interesting tale of underdogs and improbable triumphs rather than
your litany of accelerating loss. You have an obligation to do better.
Much better. Dates would be a huge plus.
3. Why are you so silent about the
implications of quantum physics?
If ever a field of science offered an opportunity to overthrow the
mechanical theories of Darwin and his descendants, defeat the
limitations of time, and offer a window into the role of conscious
intelligence as an intrinsic part of a meaningful universe, it is
quantum physics. Not mentioned in the Bible. Is that the problem? Or
does it make the universe too much bigger than the Earth and the race
of Man? I wouldn't know. You occasionally reference acquaintanceship
with quantum mechanics, but it seems to play no role in any of your
arguments except as a crowbar to use where convenient on the skulls of
evolutionists. Are you conversant with Roger Penrose's theories about
the Quantum Brain, which open the door to a universe in which the
consciousness of Christ could be a divine event that both elevates man
and allows for a universe of infinite intelligence that does not
violate its own laws? Or are you merely content to let the retro-minds
of Dawkins and his ilk tear Penrose to pieces in some back alley of
academic science? I know I would find your answer to this question
especially illuminating. So might others.
Well, that's all for now. Enough. If you answered these three questions
-- the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of cosmological questions, as you
will realize if you think about it -- you will do much to relieve my
uncertainties. If you care to.
Well, we'll see if there's any answer. If there is, or isn't, I'll let
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
New High-Tech Worry
worse than you think. A lot worse.
THE ONE TRUE PLOT
know people mostly don't believe this kind of stuff. You see a link of
the sort Drudge had today and follow it to an article like this one
where there's no photo or other imaging of what they're talking about:
Miami airport security
cameras see through clothing
Travelers, be aware: Your full-blown image ó private parts and all ó
could soon be visible to a security officer, on-screen, at an airport
Miami International Airport is one of a dozen airports nationwide that
have begun pilot-testing whole-body imaging machines, which reveal
weapons and explosives concealed under layers of clothing.
"It allows us to detect threat objects that are not metallic and that
cannot be detected by metal detectors, and items that are sometimes
missed even in a physical pat-down, in a nonintrusive manner," said
Mark Hatfield, federal security director for the Transportation
Security Administration at MIA
As passengers step inside the machine, they extend their arms and legs
for several seconds, as millimeter wave technology creates an image.
About 25 feet away, in a covered booth, a security officer in radio
contact, views the ghostly silhouette -- with the face blurred -- on a
screen. The officer determines if a concealed weapon, such as a ceramic
knife, or explosive detonation cord, exists, Hatfield said.
''The image projected is more humanoid than human,'' he said. "What's
important is providing a clear view of a threat object. And the person
going through the machine will never see the operator.''
What's that all about? A slow desensitization process that gives the
MSM cover when people finally notice that uniformed thugs are routinely
inspecting their genitalia as part of the normal process of boarding a
plane? So we ordinary schmucks can't claim we didn't have adequate
warning? And if we did have adequate warning, it's too late for us to
object that every lout with a TSA badge, regardless of sexual
orientation, can ogle our wives, mothers, daughters, and any jock hunks
they fancy with official impunity?
Think that won't happen? Here's the next subhead:
So far, the technology has been used for five days at two MIA
checkpoints, at Concourses G and J, replacing the machines that emitted
puffs of air. At least two more body-imaging machines will be deployed
in the next few months, one at J and one at an interim checkpoint at
C/D, Hatfield said. Each machine costs $170,000. To date, no explosives
have been detected, he said.
At least for now, the TSA is using ''continuous, random selection'' to
choose passengers for the machines, and it is optional. Travelers who
decline will be physically patted down. All passengers must still go
through metal detectors.
Random selection. Right. "Look at the suspicious bulges on that
lady's chest. Pull her out of
line..." Optional? For how long? Until the pilots are proved
If you haven't heard about this technology before, you have even more
to worry about. It's not brand new. Here's a quote from a technology
blog written by Stanford professor Paul Saffo
back in December of 2006:
TSAís Passenger X-Ray
The TSA is about to begin a test of backscatter X-ray screening
of Passengers at Houstonís Sky Harbor International Airport. As
reported in the Arizona Republic, the TSA has taken pains to reassure
everyone that the images will be dithered in the appropriate areas for
the sake of modesty. The TSA has also explained that the images will be
viewed by an operator at a remote location and that no one at the
checkpoint, even the screened passenger, will see the images.
And that is a good thing, for the images are not merely invasive and
unflattering; they are downright creepy. For example, below is an image
of the TSAís Security Lab Head, Susan Hallowell, imaged by the system.
It is enough to cure any high school boy who ever fantasized about
having x-ray glasses, and UFO believers will see the image as proof
that the TSA is in fact run by space aliens.
I can't help thinking that this story, too, is intended to convince us
that it's all right to make professional voyeurs of TSA clowns. There
will be "dithering" of private parts. (Until terrorists hide weapons in
their dithers.) And "the images will be viewed by an operator at a
remote location," because it's so much better to have your privacy
invaded by a Peeping Tom you never see than the one who leers at you as
you emerge from the machine. (And, of course, the remote drones who
view the images will never have met, or have constant radio contact
with, the pickers. And there will be no recording of the images for
possible later use as evidence in court -- or post-shift hilarity --
Saffo's trump card is that the weirdness of an x-ray view of women
through their clothes is "too creepy" to excite even "any high school
boy." To this end, he does produce a photo of TSA administrator Susan
That's Susan at the left, clothed
and seen through. On the right is a sample of
the thousands of X-ray
voyeur images high school boys are searching out on
the web at this very
moment. I'm thinking Paul Saffo doesn't get out enough.
If you care.
know some of you will be thinking I should have written something
clever about the Obama World Tour today, which has descended to such
impossibly low levels of MSM buffoonery, Democrat Party treason, and all
around grotesquery that even Rush Limbaugh had to censor his
own invective in this afternoon's show. I've never heard him engage in
outright name-calling the way he did before he forced himself to calm
down... which he did only marginally. He was genuinely, and
uncharacteristically, "mad as hell
I'm just not going to get that excited about the Anointed One. Not
because I'm better or calmer than my colleagues on the right wing. It's
just that my research on the new airport X-ray technology turned up
this striking image of the Dems' presumptive savior of all
mankind as he passed through Green Zone security in Iraq yesterday.
What can we do? You know they never ever
stop. Until the target is terminated.
We're just saying a little prayer for poor John McCain. And for us.
McCain to Announce VP
Just the Ticket
THE MAIN MAN TAKES ACTION
. It's important to steal some
attention from the "Save the
World" tour currently being executed by Senator Barack Obama. But it
isn't going to be Mitt or Huck or Tom or Fred or Joe. It's going to be
a stealth candidate, someone so vacuous that no one anywhere will be
able to tell if he's pro-life or pro-choice, pro-immigration or
pro-borders, pro-drilling or pro-lunatic windmills, pro-war or
pro-surrender, pro-Global Warming or pro-Common Sense.
There's only one man for the job.. A weed so wispy, weird,
unprepossessing, and clandestinely loopy that Independents will fall
desperately under his thrall while the great bonehad mass of the
conservative wing will spend the next four months just trying to
remember who the hell he is and where he came from.
. He's not actually older than McCain. He's not manly enough
to remind anyone that he's not female. He's not smart enough or rich
enough to seem unacceptably capitalistic. And he's not memorable enough
to be a factor of any kind after his candidacy is announced. He's
perfect. For McCain.† A ball-less wonder who will divert all the
impotency and Viagra jokes away from the Arizona senator until he signs
up with Bob Dole's talent agency after the election.
That ought to keep everybody in the MSM busy for a few days. All the
MSM who aren't sacramentally retracing Obama's footsteps in the Holy
Land this week, that is. Whichever three lonely members of the MSM that
may prove to be.