Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Do the Evolution

Well, we're pretty confident you won't find this tune by Pearl Jam on too many Darwinians' ipods:

Go here for the video and here for the lyrics (which are pretty much unintelligible on the video).

This is not the sort of direction, I wouldn't think, that Darwinians want people to think materialistic evolution takes us in.

Thanks for the tip to Uncommon Descent.

Is the Pope an IDer?

UPI informs of this development at the Vatican which seems to indicate that Rome is soon going to clarify its stance on the ID/Darwinism controversy:

Pope Benedict XVI may reportedly embrace the theory of intelligent design, possibly heralding a fundamental shift in the Vatican's view of evolution.

Philosophers, scientists and other intellectuals are to meet with the pope this week at his summer palace near Rome to discuss the issue, The Guardian reported Monday.

Advocates of the theory argue the universe and living things are so complex they must be a product of intelligent design rather than natural selection. Critics say the theory is a disguise for creationism.

Vatican officials last week announced evolution and creation would be the topics for this year's meeting of the pope's Schulerkreis -- a group consisting mainly of his former doctoral students that has been gathering annually since the late 1970s, The Guardian said.

Pope Benedict raised the issue during the inaugural sermon of his pontificate, saying, "We are not the accidental product, without meaning, of evolution."

HT: Uncommon Descent.

One Book He Needs to Read

A friend linked me to this column by Tony Norman in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. According to what Norman has been able to discover the presidential reading regimen is quite impressive. In fact, it seems almost unbelievably impressive:

The list of 60 books Mr. Bush is alleged to have read this year reveals an intellect of Promethean scale and ambition. He's read 10 books more than his chief adviser, Karl Rove, who presumably continues to run the country with Mr. Cheney while Mr. Bush wanders the aisles of Barnes & Noble.

A partial list of the books Mr. Bush is alleged to have devoured between mountain biking and weight lifting two hours a day includes Edvard Radzinsky's "Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar," John Barry's "The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History," Geraldine Brooks' "Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women" and "Mao: The Unknown Story" by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday.

Mr. Bush also put away three books about Lincoln this year -- "Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer" by James Swanson, "Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power" by Richard Carwardine and "Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural" by Ronald White Jr.

Mr. Bush's summer reading list is formidable, clocking in at 25 books. The list includes the three Lincoln books previously mentioned, "After Fidel: The Inside Story of Castro's Regime and Cuba's Next Leader" by Brian Latell, "Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different" by Gordon Wood, "Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War" by Nathaniel Philbrick, "Polio: An American Story" by David Oshinsky and "Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero" by David Maraniss.

And while contemporary writers exert a powerful pull on Mr. Bush's imagination, he also managed to reread Shakespeare's two greatest tragedies, "Hamlet" and "Macbeth" just to keep his literary allusions sharp and pungent.

Frankly, if this list is true (and I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the White House press office), Mr. Bush has fallen off the wagon of American anti-intellectualism that has served him so well and is now flagrantly engaged in the greatest presidential reading spree in the republic's history.

Well, I'm afraid I'm skeptical, but be that as it may, I wish that somewhere in the midst of his prodigious consumption of the printed word the president would find time to read Pat Buchanan's State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America. If he did he would learn the following:

  • In 2005 there were 687 assualts on border agents, twice the figure for the previous year.
  • In 2004 160,000 non-Mexicans were caught trying to cross our border illegally. Only 30,000 were sent back.
  • Under current law, the federal government is required to release people caught trying to cross our border illegally if their home countries refuse to take them back.
  • In George Bush's first 4.5 years in office approximately 4 million people entered this country illegally.
  • Many of our major cities have declared themselves sanctuary cities. It is forbidden to police in these cities to apprehend known illegal or criminal aliens.
  • Gang members in L.A. who are in violation of deportation orders may not be arrested by police.
  • In L.A. 95% of all outstanding warrants for homicide, some 1200 to 1500, are for illegal aliens.
  • 66% of the 17000 outstanding fugitive felony warrants in L.A. are for illegal aliens.
  • 12000 of the 20000 members of the 18th Street Gang in southern California are illegals.
  • It is illegal to refuse emergency care to illegal aliens but the costs of doing so are so prohibitive that in the nine years from 1994 to 2003 eighty four hospitals in California were forced to close their doors.
  • Between 300000 and 350000 "anchor babies" are born to illegal aliens each year. These children are automatically citizens and qualify for all benefits of citizens.
  • Illegals are bringing contagious diseases like leprosy and tuberculosis into this country which had formerly been all but eradicated.

The list goes on. Buchanan's book weighs every aspect of the immigration controversy - the argument that we need the workers, that they will assimilate, and so on - and finds them all wanting. Given the urgency of the topic State of Emergency may well be the most important book of our time, and President Bush would do well to read it. If for no other reason he should read it to discover why many of his supporters are growing increasingly disillusioned with his lack of leadership on this issue and his egregious failure to perform his sworn constitutional duty to uphold the laws of this nation.