Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pin the Tail on the Honky

In a column titled "Pin the Tail on the Honky" Mike Adams, professor of criminology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington) lists the top ten most bizarre (and moronic) claims that he's heard uttered by faculty and students. Here's his list:

10. "911 was a conspiracy planned between the Bush administration and the Jews. They wanted an excuse to attack Arabs and the ignorant public bought into it." (from a now-deceased college professor).

9. "I don't want any teacher who supports George W. Bush. If Bush is elected he's planning - along with the rest of the Republicans - to bring back slavery. I don't want to work picking cotton in the cotton fields like my ancestors." (college student).

8. "It is a known fact that the Reagan administration invented crack to destroy the black community." (college professor).

7. "The Reagan administration hired Jewish doctors to develop the AIDS virus to destroy Africa." (college professor).

6. "The Mona Lisa was painted by an African artist and stolen from a museum in Ethiopia. Most of the great works of art are African in origin and stolen by white people. This is done to promote the myth of white cultural superiority." (graduate student).

5. "The voting machines in Florida were built by white supremacists. They may well be able to distinguish between black and white voters. Who knows what they are capable of making those machines do?" (college professor).

4. "Newt Gingrich's election as Speaker of the House, limiting affirmative action, limiting welfare, the Republican tax cuts, and the balanced budget are all part of the same idea. Everything the Republicans do or discuss is about racism. Everything is a well-orchestrated effort to keep the black man down." (college professor).

3. "The ABC news doesn't tell you. The CBS news doesn't tell you. The NBC news doesn't tell you. Even CNN doesn't tell you. Nobody tells the truth that almost all serial killers are white. The news outlets all work together to make folks think that all killers are black." (college professor and diversity director).

2. "The death penalty is a genocidal mechanism that seeks to control black people through extermination or, more importantly, the threat of extermination." (college professor).

1. "It is a proven fact that U.S. Coast Guard ships - on orders from President Bush - were seen crashing into the New Orleans levees during Hurricane Katrina. Bush did it to kill black people living in government housing projects." (college student).

It's a bit unnerving to think that these beliefs are held by supposedly well-educated people. It's also disconcerting to think that every one of them no doubt votes.

Hmmm. Who do you think they voted for in 2004?

Summer Reading

Looking to better understand the controversy between those who endorse materialist explanations of the cosmos and those, like the Intelligent Design people, who embrace more teleological views? If so, here are some recommendations for summer reading that might be helpful. Most of these books are accessible to the non-specialist who has a moderate interest in philosophy and/or science although parts of some of them may be a little difficult for some readers.

All of the books in the list reinforce the notion that our universe and life are imbued with purpose although not all of the authors are theists. Indeed, there are deists, agnostics, and, in at least one case, an atheist on the list. Even so, reading them leaves the impression that the cosmos and life must surely have been intentionally engineered.

The following four books provide a philosophical background or overview of the debate between materialist explanations of the universe and non-materialist explanations:

1. The Soul of Science: Nancy Pearcey

2. Total Truth: Nancy Pearcey

3. Science and Its Limits: Del Ratzsch

4. Battle of Beginnings: Del Ratzsch

These works focus on the fine-tuning of the universe:

5. Modern Physics and Ancient Faith: Stephen Barr

6. Rare Earth: Peter Ward and David Brownlee

This book addresses both the fine-tuning of the universe and the incredible engineering of living things:

7. Nature's Destiny: Michael Denton

Paul Davies discusses the difficulties associated with any purely mechanistic or materialistic explanation of the origin of life:

8. The Fifth Miracle: Paul Davies

The following three books are critical of the ability of standard Darwinian theory to explain the structure of living things:

9. Evolution a Theory in Crisis: Michael Denton

10. Icons of Evolution: Jonathon Wells

11. Darwin on Trial: Phillip Johnson

These books explicitly make the case for Intelligent Design:

12. Darwin's Black Box: Michael Behe

13. Intelligent Design: William Dembski

14. The Design Revolution: William Dembski

Any of these can be ordered from Hearts and Minds Bookstore by going here.

Dear Mahmoud

Christopher Hitchens lays out how George Bush should respond to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent 18 page diatribe here.

Task Force 145

Bill Roggio assumes that Task Force 145 has struck again near Ramadi:

Task Force 145, the mix of special operations forces assigned to hunt Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and al-Qaeda in Iraq leaderships and cells, appears to have struck again, this time in Julaybah, an area "identified as a terrorist safe haven" which is located about 8 miles east of Ramadi. Three terrorists were killed and four captured during the fight. The Multinational Forces - Iraq press release provides an overview of the engagement:

"Upon arrival... the Coalition troops began receiving rifle and machine gun fire. The terrorists then began to launch ineffective mortar fire from across a nearby river. Coalition Forces neutralized both the direct and indirect fire with small arms fire and close air support and simultaneously raided five structures, associated hide outs and vehicles. After killing three terrorists and detaining four others, the troops conducted a thorough search of the area. They found six affiliated vehicles, three of which were loaded with various weapons and explosives to include rifles, mortars and improvised explosive device material. The troops also uncovered numerous weapons caches with AK-47's, rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds and IED material... Five safe houses, six cars, and all lethal material were destroyed on target."

Again, the tell-tale signs of a Task Force 145 operation are contained within the Multinational Forces - Iraq press release: vague details of the strike, an unidentified Coalition unit and unnamed air support, the targeting of an al-Qaeda cell, a suspected "wanted terrorist" on the target list (it is unknown if he was killed or captured during the raid), and the swift raids on multiple targets.

The raid in Julaybah is the latest in a series of TF-145 operations over the past month, which included Yusifayah, Balad, Baghdad, Samarra and Karbala. The targeting indicates al-Qaeda is concentrating in and around Baghdad, which squares with the recently seized al-Qaeda gameplan for the battle of Baghdad.These raids have netted the unedited Zarqawi tapes and internal al-Qaeda communications, as well as senior Ansar al-Islam commander and veteran jihadi Ali Wali, along with senior al-Qaeda commander Abu Aisha. Scores of al-Qaeda terrorists have been killed or captured over the past month.

The average American may not be aware of what TF-145 is, but I'll bet the average jihadi is. See also here

Darth Vader's Tax Returns

This is the man the left loathes with all their heart and soul:

Let Vice President Cheney unload a hail of buckshot - and it makes mainstream media headlines as a defining moment in his failed vice presidency.

Let him file his federal tax return and it is reported by CBS News that "Cheney tops Bush in the battle of the bucks."

Let him donate what was the largest amount of bucks in history to charity by any public servant, and you guessed it - nary a headline.

But then again it was a paltry $6.87 million, more than three-quarters of the reported income of the Cheneys. Read this again: The Cheneys gave $6.87 million to charity in 2005.

Note well: This was the largest charitable donation by a public servant in history! And who in the MSM uttered a peep about it? They couldn't utter a word, actually, because they are flummoxed by the generosity of the man they believe to be the incarnation of evil. It just doesn't fit their paradigm of Republicans in general and Cheney in particular, and they lack either the intellectual resources to comprehend their error or the honesty to admit it, or both.

To read how the media did handle this story, or rather, how they tried to hide it, go to the link.