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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Viva Colombia!

When something great happens concerning the strongest US ally in Latin America, we should all take notice and rejoice. I didn't know much about Juan Manuel Santos, Alvaro Uribe's replacement for president other than he was defense minister under Uribe. Alvaro Vargas Llosa writes that Santos was emphasizing "economic issues" upon taking office and there was concern in some circles that he was going to go soft on FARC rebels like Uribe's predessor Andres Pastrana had initially done, with disasterous results, early in his administration. But lo and behold, Santos had a little something-something up his sleeve for the Marxist-inspired rebels that they won't soon forget, (provided they are still alive of course)...

"The devastating Sept. 22 attack on FARC headquarters in Colombia's central Meta province all but signifies the end of the five-decade-old conflict. It will take a little while for the official end to be declared, but this war is pretty much over. The death of Jorge Briceno, aka Mono Jojoy, the feared military strategist and top commander of the organization, means two things. One, the historical leadership is now finished; the legendary founder, Manuel Marulanda, was killed by the army in 2008 and the man who replaced him, Alfonso Cano, is an ideologue, not a military strategist. Two, since Mono Jojoy's demise is the culmination of a two-year streak in which every key camp inside Colombia has been located, FARC is now unable to operate effectively within national borders. No terrorist guerrilla has ever won a war in exile.

Despite the hundreds of soldiers who took part, "Operation Sodom" was not a victory of military might but of intelligence. The authorities infiltrated the headquarters and, after patient work, were able to place a GPS device inside Mono Jojoy's (U.S.-made) boots that signaled his exact location."

Kudos to Santos for taking action where needed and continuing the fight that Uribe had done so well. I was concerned after Uribe was forced out due to term limits that the next president wouldn't be able to live up to the high standard set by Uribe's administration. If he is able to mop up any remaining resistance and also manage to kill or capture Cano, he too might expect to enjoy 2 terms as the leader of Colombia should he want to do so.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Whatever Happened to the U.N.?

Every year since I can remember, while traveling through the Carolinas on Interstate I-95, there has been a large billboard visible to travelers, funded by the John Birch Society, proclaiming that the United States should "get out" of the United Nations. I always found the Birch Society to be a bit amusing for a fringe group, but on this issue, I have long thought that they might actually have a valid point.

Who could ever forget the image of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez (who has his own problems these days BTW) standing before the world body, proclaiming a duly elected leader of a Western democracy was a "devil"? Or more recently, the Hitler of our time, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad using the organization as a megaphone to broadcast his lies and rhetoric to the world?

J.D.Gordon came out with a great article this week detailing some of the failings of the United Nations that really gets to the heart of the matter...

"How did such a respectable international governmental organization, one that fought a bloody war including 16-member states which beat back a Communist invasion of South Korea from 1950-1953, come to symbolize little more than a leftist think tank embracing a platform for anti-Western rhetoric?

Though the answer is complex, much of it stems from the egalitarian desire to give all heads of state an equal voice in world affairs. While a noble endeavor, the end result has been to erode a once formidable organization and champion of protecting sovereign nations into an increasingly marginalized, and at times radicalized, entity....

As the greatest threats to world peace today arguably stem from Iran's inexorable march to obtaining nuclear weapons combined with their threats against Israel, grave danger posed by shadowy yet lethal non-state actors such as al Qaeda, and a continuously erratic North Korean regime, the UN should be confronted on its plan to halt these dangers before they become worse.

Sadly, rather than effectively dealing with any of these serious challenges the UN has taken a different approach by giving countries with totalitarian regimes and egregious human rights records, such as Iran, Cuba and Libya, the largest platforms in which to scapegoat others for their own problems."

Perhaps the time has come, as Senator John McCain once put it, to createa "League of Democracies" to "act where the U.N. fails to". Anything would be beter than the corrupt and largely impotent den of thieves that now exists. What are your thoughts?

UPDATE: In addition to stinking up the hotel where he stayed last week with his version of home cooking at the New Yok hotel he stayed at last week, Ahmadinejad apparently wore the same clothes all week while in town to speak at the UN. How ripe must he have been?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chris Coons promises to bring Yale Divinity School values to the US Senate

U.S. Senate Candidate Chris Coons (D-Delaware) has stated in an interview with Notes From the Quad that serving in the U.S. Senate would be a "great way for me to apply the principles and values that were honed at YDS." And just what were some of those required courses that Yale Divinity School requires for a Masters degree? Let's take a look...

  • "Specifically listed as REL 717: Witchcraft and Witch Hunting, the "REL" presumably stands for "Religion." Apparently Christine O'Donnell's main offense when it comes to dabbling in witchcraft in high school on a date is some sort of Ruling Class snobbery that she didn't go to Yale Divinity School, where witchcraft has been quite officially part of the school's curriculum. The very same school from which Chris Coons insists he has taken his values.

  • Queer Worship. You read that right. The formal name for this course is REL 786, Liturgy and Gender (Queer Worship). Queer Worship, you see, stands for…stands for…well, let's just say the course description says in the wonderfully baroque style of academia that the course offers students like Mr. Coons once was "the opportunity to reflect critically on how ….queer theories and theologies are impacting how Christian worship is performed and reflected upon."

    Feminist/Womanist/Gendered Theologies:This course is listed as "REL 749."..Mandatory YDS reading for this gem?.. Mujerista Theology by Ada Maria Asisi-Diaz. Mujerista theology brings it all together. Feminist theology and Latin American liberation theology nicely stirred so that when Coons is assigned to, say, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, Delaware voters can rest assured the values Coons learned at Yale Divinity School are shared with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

  • Just Hospitality. REL 922. The mandatory reading features The Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

    Written some thirty years ago by Paulo Freire, a Brazilian educator who died in 1997, Freire was…can you guess? -- a committed socialist."

I think we can see where this is all leading to. If Ms. O'Donnell's transgression many years ago was to dabble in the craft as an adolecent, what excuse does Coons have for willingly absorbing it as an adult?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Adios Tiktaalik, We Hardly Knew Ye

All Hail The Mighty Mudskipper From Whom the Tetrapods Arose! Heh-heh. Just having a little fun at the expense of the Darwinists out there. But does anyone else recall the hype concerning the finding of Tiktaalik? Why, it just happened to occur at the time that the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School Disctrict trial was happening and thus, the discovery was touted as a confirmation in the predictive ability of evolutionary biologists. After all, they theorized where such a transitional species could be found in the fossil record and Viola!, there it was! If youre wondering why there hasn't been much gloating about Muddy Mudskipper's Tiktaalik's discovery as of late, I think this edition of Nature Magazine provides a reason why...

"The oldest known tracks of a four-limbed land animal could rewrite part of vertebrate evolution.

Some prints, showing individual digits, were found in limestone slabs unearthed in a quarry near Zache┼émie, Poland, dated to about 395 million years ago — more than 18 million years before tetrapods were thought to have evolved.

The tracks suggest that the animals that made them were up to 2.5 metres long and had a footpad up to 26 centimetres wide, although most prints were about 15 centimetres wide, reports a team of Polish and Swedish scientists in Nature this week. This would mean that large, land-roaming tetrapods would have coexisted for 10 million years with the elpistostegids — including Tiktaalik roseae, which lived 375 million years ago — a group thought to mark the transition of from fish to land-roaming animals.."

Casey Luskin of the Discovery Intitute catalogs in great detail all of those who fell for this farce initially. They include such organizations and publications as The National Academy of Sciences, TIME Magazine, PBS/NOVA and others who all lauded the discovery and BTW, shame on those ignorant design theorists who are trying to intentionally mislead us. Now we know the truth and evolutionists do not appear to be any closer to proving when such a creature first arose, if it arose at all or what the creature actually was that rose from the water to walk on land.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Form of Bigotry You Seldom Hear of

I have long known that the idea of impartiality on the part of academics when it comes to denouncing the villians of this world was a complete and utter farce. They are quick to denounce those who are within the confines of unacceptability if it happens to be a person or group that does not squarely fit with their leftist worldview. Anyone else? Fuhgeddaboutit. They will turn a blind eye and completely ignore them just as quick as you can say Jack Robinson. Today's article citing an experiment by Prof. Fred Gottheil shows statistically that this is in fact the case....

"Prof. Fred Gottheil told Front Page Magazine that he compiled a list of 675 email addresses from 900 signatures on a 2009 petition authored by Dr. David Lloyd, professor of English at the University of Southern California, urging the U.S. to abandon its ally, Israel. Prof. Gottheil discovered that six of the signers, who hailed from more than 150 college campuses, were members of his own faculty.

“Would these same 900 sign onto a statement expressing concern about human rights violations in the Muslim Middle East, such as honor killing, wife beating, female genital mutilation, and violence against gays and lesbians?” he wondered. “I felt it was worth a try.”

The results? “Almost non existent,” he told Front Page editor Jamie Glazov. Only 27 of the 675 “self-described social-justice seeking academics” agreed to sign Gottheil’s Statement of Concern – less than 5 percent of the total who had publicly called for the censure of Israel for human rights violations.

The refusal of women’s studies professors to publicly condemn honor killings, or academic advocates of gay rights to speak out against the treatment of homosexuals in Muslim countries, is just about as hypocritical as it gets. Their loathing (dare we call it hate?) of the UN-created Jewish state is so deep that it “trump[s] their professional interests,” leading them into a “ideologically discriminatory trap of their own making,” Prof. Gottheil added."

Anyone with an open mind could have seen this coming if they would have just gauged the amount of rhetoric coming forth from academics against Israel and weighed it against the amount of criticism they reserve for the Muslim world. I think that such people fall into one of two categories for the most part.

1. Their leftist behaviour and pretentions to a supposedly high degree of intelligence allow them to disguise their anti-Semitism much better than those who do not care if the entire world knows that they are anti-Israel. Or..

2. They are sissies who are scared to speak out against a potential target of their consternation that might take offense to their criticisms and actually do something about it, violent or otherwise. Thus, they are content to pick "soft targets" for their scorn and condemnation and the real root of the problem (radical Islam) continues to fester.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Scientists: Parting of the Red Sea "has basis in physical laws"

It just so happens that I stumbled upon another article mentioning an event from the Old Testament. In this case, it pertained to moses and the parting of the Red Sea...

"A strong east wind, blowing overnight, could have swept water off a bend where an ancient river is believed to have merged with a coastal lagoon along the Mediterranean Sea, said study team member Carl Drews of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. While archaeologists and Egyptologists have found little evidence that any events described in Exodus actually happened, the study outlines a perfect storm that could have led to the 3,000-year-old escape.

"People have always been fascinated by this Exodus story, wondering if it comes from historical facts," Drews said. "What this study shows is that the description of the waters parting indeed has a basis in physical laws."

Drew and his colleagues used models that showed that a wind of 63 mph (101 kph), lasting for 12 hours, would have pushed back waters estimated to be 6 feet (1.8 meters) deep. This would have exposed mud flats for four hours, creating a dry passage about 2 to 2.5 miles (3.2 to 4 kilometers) long and 3 miles (4.8 km) wide.

To match the account in the Bible, the water would have to be pushed back into both the lake and the channel of the river, creating barriers of water on both sides of newly exposed mud flats, which is exactly what the models show could have happened.

As soon as the winds stopped, the waters would come rushing back. Anyone still on the mud flats would be at risk of drowning."
Of course the real miracle in all of this would be the timing of the incident with the Isrealites retreating and the Egyptians were in hot in pursuit. So once again we see an event described in the Bible as being quite plausible when examined by scientists.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In the Belly of the Whale

Of course, most translations say it was a "great fish" and not a whale, but the imagery is seared in many people's minds of that of a whale swallowing Jonah and him being regurgitated 3 days later near Niniveh.

While perusing today's edition of Coastzone Newsletter, they highlighted a site that contains "7 of the Weirdest Human Enigmas". One account mentioned is this one that some of you may not be familiar with....

"The Bible records the account of Jonah who was swallowed by a whale or a great fish, but was later freed from the beast. In 1891, a British sailor lived through the same fate. The seamen aboard the whaling ship The Star of the East struggled to kill a great sperm whale and bring it on board. In the battle between man and beast, two sailors disappeared. But when the whale's stomach and liver were hoisted onto the deck of the ship, it was noticed that something was moving inside the stomach. Cutting open the stomach, the crew found James Bartley, one of the missing men, curled up, unconscious, but still alive."

So it would appear that such an occurance is at least theoretically possible. However if one is of the mindset that miracles do not occur, then it becomes a bit tougher, ahem, to swallow. However if God created the universe, then who is to say that He didn't construct a specific type of fish just for the purpose of landing a scared and disobedient Jonah near where God wanted him?

Monday, September 20, 2010

TX Sues Obama Admin. Over Global Warming Junk Science

Seguing neatly from one (probable) psuedo-science to another....

"The state of Texas today sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a federal appeals court in Washington DC, claiming four new regulations imposed by the EPA are based on the 'thoroughly discredited' findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and are 'factually flawed,' 1200 WOAI news reports.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says the rules are illegal and if imposed, will cost Texans in higher energy costs and tens of thousands of lost jobs.

"The state explained that the IPCC, and therefore the EPA, relied on flawed science to conclude that greenhouse emissions endanger public health and welfare," Abbott said. "Because the Administration predicated its Endangerment Finding on the IPCC's questionable facts, the state is seeking to prevent the EPA's new rules, and the economic harm that will result from these regulations, from being imposed on Texas employers, workers, and enforcement agencies."

Is there actually anyone left who actually still clings to the anthopogenic global warming theory? Especially in light of the recent Climategate scandal? The state of Texas stands on pretty solid footing to eliminate this nonsense and and should prevail in court.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dawkins gets testy when questioned about Evolution

The British newspaper The Independent is reporting on an exchange between evolutionary biologist and atheist apologist Richard Dawkins and a lady in the audience who dared question macroevolutionary theory. More specifically, on the question of blood clotting.

"A lady wanted to know how evolution could explain phenomena like the clotting of blood, which – she claimed – required a number of agents all to be present at the same time, and if one were taken away, the blood would not clot.

That, he retorted, was "a creationist lie". And even if it were true, it would not prove the existence of an intelligent designer. "You have got to look at the detail," he added. "You have got to stop being lazy and saying, 'Oh, I can't explain that so God did it.'"

The retort by Dawkins, if it has been accurately reported, is devoid of any meaningful explanation for the step-by-step evolution of this phenomenon. It also resorts to the default position of some adherents of the Darwinian faithful, that if macroevolution does not readily explain how something came about, then it automatically infers Creationism and fails to consider that there might actually be a third alternative yet to be considered out there. But far too many evolutionists are locked-in to their own Weltanschauung to even question their preferred paradigm and thus, far too often, legitimate discussion on the subject is stifled.

On a related note, check out the reaction when the Irish science minister decided to help launch a book critical of the evolutionary position. If this is what passes for academic freedom in the West, then God help us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

All Eyes on Delaware Today

Will the latest party primary upset of a RINO occur this afternoon in the First State?.....

"A last-minute surge by a Tea Party candidate has threatened to upend Delaware’s GOP Senate primary Tuesday, adding to the concerns of a fractured Republican Party as it seeks to win congressional seats in November.

The latest poll shows Republican establishment candidate Mike Castle, a nine-term House moderate, statistically tied with conservative Christine O’Donnell, who has support and financial backing of the Tea Party movement.

The Public Policy Polling Survey released Monday showed O’Donnell leading Castle 47 to 44 percent, a difference that is within the margin of error. It’s a stunning development; just a week ago, O’Donnell trailed Castle by 8 points in a Rasmussen poll, and she had never been considered a serious threat to win the nomination.

O’Donnell has benefited from a last-minute endorsement from Sarah Palin, whose support helped underdog candidates win Senate primaries in Kentucky, Nevada and Alaska.

“The momentum is definitely in O’Donnell’s direction, so if that keeps going, she could win by an even bigger margin,” said Tom Jensen, the director of Public Policy Polling. “It could go either way, but I wouldn’t be surprised if O’Donnell wins by 10."

Yes! Hallelujah! I'm sick of getting maybe half of whatI want from my own party. If Castle gets in, there will be little to distinguish his record from Biden's and perhaps people are starting to finally get it when it comes to social issues and the role of a federal government that's becoming too bloated and intrusive. Here's the link to O'Donnell's website for those who may want to know more about her.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Feds Destroying Their Own Case Against Arpaio

Fresh from my recent vacation up north, the best article I came across today is this installment from Byron York which lays bare the political witch hunt against Sheriff Joe Arpaio by Obama's Eric Holder's Justice Department....

"You've heard a lot about the Justice Department's lawsuit to stop the new Arizona immigration law. But that's just one part of the Obama administration's multi-front war on immigration enforcement in Arizona.

In addition to the drive to kill the new law, Attorney General Eric Holder is also suing the Maricopa Community College system in Phoenix, alleging it broke the law by requiring a job seeker to provide a green card before being hired. And on Thursday the Justice Department filed suit against the Maricopa County Sheriff's office, run by the flamboyant Joe Arpaio, as part of an extended investigation into alleged civil rights violations there.

Despite the splash of attention from the newest lawsuit, the Justice Department's investigation of Arpaio could end badly for Holder. When the Department first informed Arpaio that a probe was under way, back in March 2009, it sent a letter saying the investigation would focus on "alleged patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures." But now we learn that just six months before that, in September 2008, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, did its own investigation of Arpaio's office -- and gave it a clean bill of health. Arpaio's lawyers recently got a copy of the ICE report through the Freedom of Information Act...

ICE investigators also interviewed top federal officials involved in illegal immigrant cases in Arizona. They found an "excellent" working relationship between the sheriff's office and the feds. ICE talked as well to federal prosecutors in Phoenix, who described the cases brought by Maricopa County as "high quality."

In all, it's a quite positive assessment of an operation that just six months later would come under the Justice Department's microscope for alleged civil rights violations. It also lends indirect support to Arpaio's contention that the Justice Department investigation is politically motivated."

That Obama is trying to destroy the sovereignty of the United States is no longer in any serious doubt. The only question left is if it is through design or complete ineptitude. Newt Gingrich and Dinesh D'Souza provides some remarkable insight into conditions as they exist in the US and the motivations of our Kenyan-American president....

"Our President is trapped in his father’s time machine. Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son makes it happen, but he candidly admits he is only living out his father’s dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is governed by a ghost."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The French Azilum

Yesterday I got to see a reminder of the French revolution's impact on America in the form of the French Azilum (Asylum). Their history page explains it more fully.

"But to a little group of exiles who stepped ashore at this remote spot in late fall of the year 1793 it was a haven far removed from the dangers of revolution, imprisonment, slave insurrections and yellow fever. To them it was Azilum, a place of refuge.

Some of the refugees, because of their loyalty to the King of France, had left France to escape imprisonment or death at the hands of the French Revolution. Others had fled the French colony of Santo Domingo (Haiti) to escape the carnage of mulatto and slave uprisings inspired by the declaration of equality of the radical French Assembly. According to an unverified story, even Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, and her two children were to settle here.

Several influential Philadelphians who were sympathetic to the exiles also saw in their plight an opportunity to profit financially. To this end, Stephen Girard, Robert Morris and John Nicholson, Pennsylvania's comptroller general, abetted the purchase of a large tract of land in the northern wilderness of the State. 1600 acres were acquired, three hundred of which were laid out as a town plot with a two-acre market square, a gridiron pattern of broad streets and 413 lots of about one-half acre each. By the following spring some thirty rough log houses were built."

You can check out the Azilum link if youre a history buff. Eventually le Terreur in France subsided following the Thermidorian Reaction and some of those seeking refuge in PA moved back to France and and the land set aside for the refugees eventually fell into disuse. Some families remain in the area to this day with last names like Hormet, LaPorte and Dushore and eventually blended into the rich tapestry that is America, helping form the communities of North Central Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Will Murkowski's loss wind up being a gain for the pro-life movement?

The American electorate is P.O.'ed to the extent that numerous (but not all) of RINO's (Republicans In Name Only) got their pink slips this primary season and are now looking for their next payday. One recent poll that really puts into focus how disgusted the American people are with their current leadership is the fact that in the bell-weather state of Ohio, George W. Bush would beat Barack Obama in an election there by a margin of 50 to 42 percent at this point in time.

One republican-lite incumbent, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK) got a bit of a suprise last week as Baptist Press is reporting in today's edition that...

"U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski conceded to Republican primary opponent Joe Miller [above] Aug. 31, one week after Alaskans shocked the political world by voting for a newcomer over a veteran politician who has frustrated the pro-life community over the years...

Murkowski has been at odds with social conservatives for years, including voting to federally fund embryonic stem cell research and voting to keep in place President Obama's policy that funds organizations that perform or promote abortions overseas. She supports the Roe v. Wade decision and says on her website that "abortion is a very personal issue that must be left to a woman and her physician."

Miller, endorsed by Alaska Right to Life, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, made Murkowski's abortion views an issue in his campaign and says on his website he's "unequivocally pro-life" and believes "life must be protected from the moment of conception to the time of natural death."

Color me "unimpressed" concerning the endorsement of Mike Huckabee given that I think he's pretty much used up any political capital he might have ever had. The endorsement by Palin must have loomed large in voter's minds as they took to the polls and being that, according to lifesitenews.com, there was a parental notification measure for Alaskan voters to weigh in on, more voters that are solidly pro-life turned out than might have been usual in other primaries.

Being that the Republican primary pretty much was the election for senator given the overwhelming number of registered Republican voterss in the state, please join me in congratulating Alaska's senator-elect and wishing him all the best in his new job.