Monday, June 11, 2007

Topoisomerases, etc.

Bear in mind that the conventional wisdom is that blind, natural, purposeless forces are all that's necessary to explain how this system came to exist. Darwinians have been selling us the biological equivalent of swampland real estate for over a hundred years and we keep buying it. At some point, though, we need to stop and ask exactly what it is they're asking us to believe.

In this case, one of perhaps thousands which could be cited, they're asking us to accept that unguided random chance could have solved the problem of DNA supercoiling very early on in evolutionary history. In other words, systems like this, of which there are hundreds if not thousands in living cells, arose through pure accident, we're told. Uh huh. And the gullible among us say it must be so for nop weightier reason than that Richard Dawkins says it is.

For another astonishing glimpse at the complexity of cellular micro-structure check out this video simulation of protein translation and remember that what is being shown is only a fraction of the complexity of the system that works continuosly in every cell in every living thing in the world.

It's literally breathtaking.


Hobgoblin of Little Minds

Tony Blankley highlights the inconsistency of the arguments made by those who oppose the war in Iraq and who favor the late and unlamented immigration reform bill. After a zinger or two aimed at the puzzling inconsistencies of John Edwards and Al Gore, Blankley asks us to:

Consider the current arguments about the immigration bill. For oh so long, the supporters of the bill have been making two points: 1) It is impossible for the U.S. government to actually identify and round up all the illegals in the country; and, 2) a fence on the border is bound to be ineffective as well as being immoral. Indeed opponents of the fence have idiotically compared it to the Berlin Wall - although one protects a free country from illegal intrusion, while the other kept enslaved people from escaping their slavery.

Now, suddenly, these same people claim that the same previously nitwit bureaucracy will not only be able to find all 12 million (or 20 million) illegals, but will be able to flawlessly run background checks, positively identify each individual, as well as monitor all American businesses to make sure no new illegals are being hired and the newly legal are in perfect compliance with their limited status. Oh, yes, and they also will be able to test all 12 million to assure us they can all speak the Queen's English at least as well as does William F. Buckley Jr.

Also, suddenly, they have lost all their moral outrage about the fence: "You want a morally offensive fence, no problem, you got a fence. What, me worry about moral consistency?"

Of course, it has to be pointed out that those of us who have called for strict enforcement of existing law are now putting forward the argument that the bureaucracy that we used to think could protect the country if only the federal government would let them do their job now insist that there is no way our federal bureaucrats could possibly enforce the proposed new law.

Regarding the fence, the supporters of the new immigration law, are, with the exception of the president and Sen. McCain, mostly people who oppose the Surge in Iraq. Yet, while they require that the Iraqi surge have specific performance measures to justify continued funding (e.g., perfectly functioning Iraqi government, no more violence, etc.), they are perfectly happy to measure the success of the new proposed Mexican border fence by inputs - rather than results.

That is, once the 5,000 new border agents and the new fences are in place, they will deem the border secure, thus triggering the Great Amnesty of 2007-8. They would hardly apply that logic to Iraq. If they did, they would have to deem Iraq a success as soon as the five new surge battalions are equipped and deployed to Iraq. (Obviously, they don't care whether the border fence works or not - they just want the amnesty - and the voters that follow. And they don't want success in Iraq, so they will tightly define success with performance criteria that would measure WWII an utter failure.)

Emerson famously noted, Blankley reminds us, that being consistent can be taken too far, and can become a "hobgoblin" for small-minded people - an excuse for ceasing to think. If so, however, utter inconsistency and special pleading are frequently the hobgoblins and calling cards of demagogues more interested in political victory than in the welfare of the nation.


Albania Loves Bush

Bush is despised by the pampered sophisticated elites in the West, but he is adored by people who have recently emerged from the darkness of oppression, or are still toiling in its grip. We might ask why that is. What do people who have known soul-grinding tyranny see in George Bush what left-wing secular elites don't?

No doubt part of the Albanians' enthusiasm for Bush is explained by the fact that he represents the United States, which, under Bill Clinton, acted to relieve the horrible nightmare that ethnic Albanians were experiencing under the Serbs in Kosovo. The Albanian gratitude to the U.S. is expressing itself in declarations of love for its President. Surely that's part of it.

But in addition perhaps another part is that those who have been ground down by the boot of the tyrant see in George Bush someone who will actually do something about their misery other than just talk about it. No world leader in history has liberated more people from oppression than has George Bush - 50 million in Afghanistan and Iraq - and, while most of the world seems indifferent to the misery of those who suffer under dictators of various sorts or content themselves with passing meaningless resolutions, Bush gives hope to the shackled masses throughout the globe that they may be next.

Bush symbolizes hope to a greater extent than any European or Middle Eastern leader, and people who give others a reasonable hope exert a powerful pull upon their affections.