Monday, January 15, 2007


Here's a great video at Telic Thoughts that gives a molecule-eye view of DNA packaging and replication. The processes are truly astonishing. Please resist the temptation to think that what you see is all a product of intentional design by an intelligent designer. We know that the appearance of design is purely an illusion and that natural forces acting blindly managed to engineer...oops..., design...oops..., evolve this apparatus completely by accident. We know this because we know there is no intelligent designer, and we know there's no intelligent designer because we can't find an example of something in the natural world that's intelligently designed. Or something like that.


I Have a Dream

There have been many great speeches given throughout our history. Washington's Farewell, Lincoln's Second Inaugural and Gettysburg Address certainly come to mind, but none surpasses Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in August of 1963.

I can think of no better way to honor King's memory than to listen to that speech today.

It should be said, too, that it is a shame that we honor the man with a holiday but disregard much of what he said in this speech. His hope that one day his children would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, seemed to have died with him, having given way to the racial politics and preferences of the next twenty five years.

At any rate, set aside some time today to listen to King's words, the eloquence with which he delivers them, and the power of their truth.

The speech can be both read and heard here.


Jimmy, We Hardly Knew Ye

Alan Dershowitz claims that Jimmy Carter has been bought and paid for by Arab money, a specially ironic allegation given that Carter has made similar allegations about the American media being heavily influenced toward pro-Israeli positions by their Jewish bosses. Here's Dershowitz's key passage:

At the bottom, Carter is saying that no objective journalist or politician could actually believe that America's support for Israel is based on moral and strategic considerations and not on their own financial self-interest. Such a charge is so insulting to every honest legislator and journalist in this country that I am amazed that Carter has been let off the hook so easily. Only the self-righteous Jimmy Carter is capable of telling the truth, because only he is free of financial pressures that might influence his positions.

It now turns out that the shoe is precisely on the other foot. Recent disclosures prove that it is Carter who has been bought and paid for by anti-Israel Arab and Islamic money.

Journalist Jacob Laksin has documented the tens of millions of dollars that the Carter Center has accepted from Saudi Arabian royalty and assorted other Middle Eastern sultans, who, in return, Carter dutifully praised as peaceful and tolerant (no matter how despotic the regime). And these are only the confirmed, public donations.

Carter has also accepted half a million dollars and an award from Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, saying in 2001: "This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan." This is the same Zayed, the long-time ruler of the United Arab Emirates, whose $2.5 million gift to the Harvard Divinity School was returned in 2004 due to Zayed's rampant Jew-hatred. Zayed's personal foundation, the Zayed Center, claims that it was Zionists, rather than Nazis, who "were the people who killed the Jews in Europe" during the Holocaust. It has held lectures on the blood libel and conspiracy theories about Jews and America perpetrating Sept. 11.

Another journalist, Rachel Ehrenfeld, in a thorough and devastating article on "Carter's Arab Financiers," meticulously catalogues Carter's ties to Arab moneymen, from a Saudi bailout of his peanut farm in 1976, to funding for Carter's presidential library, to continued support for all manner of Carter's post-presidential activities. For instance, it was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), founded in Pakistan and fronted by a Saudi billionaire, Gaith Pharaon, that helped Carter start up his beloved Carter Center.

Read the rest at the link, but be warned - it does not flatter the former president.

Meanwhile, fourteen members of the advisory board of the Carter Center resigned the other day because of what they called Carter's "malicious advocacy." In their letter they state that: "We can no longer endorse your strident and uncompromising position. This is not the Carter Center or Jimmy Carter we came to respect and support. Therefore it is with sadness and regret that we hereby tender our resignation from the Board of Councilors of the Carter Center effective immediately."

Tragically, Carter, who I persist in thinking is basically a good man, may exceed Nixon and Clinton in the amount of embarrassment and disgrace he ultimately brings upon himself. The difference is that they did it while still in office.


Martin Luther King

It's hard, I think, to read Martin Luther King's Letter From a Birmingham City Jail without arriving at the conclusion that King was inspired by his understanding that the Christian Gospel demands that we do justice to our fellow man. His Christian faith permeated and informed his political thinking, and it would be good for those who argue that religion has no place in the public sphere to reflect on that fact as we observe Martin Luther King Day today.