Blog Archive


Friday, December 21, 2007
I'm out for familial get-togethers, so hope you all have a great Christmas! When I return, I hope to put out a post on why a social-political conservative (especially an evangelical one) should NOT vote for Mike Huckabee. :)

Until then, I leave you with this:
Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear Desire of ev'ry nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
Born a child, and yet a King,
Born to reign in us for ever,
Now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to thy glorious throne.
Now this is possibly the funniest thing I've read in quite some time. It appears that driving is actually better for the environment than walking or riding your bike, since the energy you burn walking has to be replaced with extra intakes of food, much of which takes considerable energy to produce. Read the entire article, it's worth it. I find it fun to see the global warming community reduced to levels of absurdity not seen since Jonathan Swift satirically penned his "Modest Proposal." Speaking of which, perhaps Swift's idea would be useful in such a time as this.
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Here is an interesting link that I saw on a friend's blog. It flips the evolution/creation debate on its head and shows Creationism in a scientific light while depicting evolutionary theory with very religious overtones. Very cool idea!
As mentioned in the Zeal for Truth article that I linked to earlier this week, children are now being targeted as the next area needing to be "reduced" to help combat global warming, just like we're told that we must reduce our gasoline use, light bulb consumption, etc. Now, the "science" is pouring in to support that ideological idea. First, a study done in Utah indicates that more kids are bad for their parents' health, with couples who have more children dying earlier in life. Now, researchers in Britain have discovered that children from large families are shorter than those with few siblings. Nevermind that height is not the most significant factor in a child's life.
Dr Lawson stressed that his work did not look at whether a child is happier as part of a larger family.
It's interesting that, as so many Western populations approach the "lowest-low" point of no return with their birth rates, many intellectuals want to further limit the amount of children. This disdain for kids is seeping out of the intelligentsia and into the general public; I routinely hear acquaintances and co-workers gripe about or sneer at any couple who DARES to have more than a couple of children. Even in the Christian community, I consistently see at least a glimmer of antipathy toward large families. And it's not just a "I don't know how they do it, I sure couldn't" sentiment; sometimes I can detect a little scorn in their voice.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Minnesota Public Radio has a survey on its website that allows you to answer a few questions on your political beliefs and then it shows you how you match up with all of the presidential candidates. My results? Not including Tom Tancredo or Duncan Hunter (since both don't have a chance of winning), the candidate that best matched my views is Fred Thompson.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The United Nations (that venerable institution which brought you the wonderful Rwandan Genocide... nearly intervened during the Second Congo War, deciding instead to allow 5 million people to be killed... led the Oil-for-Food scheme that allowed Saddam to get rich during sanctions... and personally wet themselves when faced with the Darfur crisis) met earlier this month to discuss the best methods to fight global warming. Unfortunately, they are about 5-10 years behind the science, which is steadily beginning to show that global warming is most likely [worldview buster alert] 100% NATURAL. To help open their eyes, 101 leading scientists from throughout the world wrote an open letter to Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the U.N.
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.
Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports:

z Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability.

z The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years.

z Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today's computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.

In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed... to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.

The UN climate conference in Bali has been planned to take the world along a path of severe CO2 restrictions, ignoring the lessons apparent from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the chaotic nature of the European CO2 trading market, and the ineffectiveness of other costly initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions... Furthermore, it is irrational to apply the "precautionary principle" because many scientists recognize that both climatic coolings and warmings are realistic possibilities over the medium-term future.

The current UN focus on "fighting climate change"... is distracting governments from adapting to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever forms they may take. National and international planning for such changes is needed, with a focus on helping our most vulnerable citizens adapt to conditions that lie ahead. Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems.

Yours faithfully,
The signatories of the letter come from a broad band of the scientific community; they include the President of the World Federation of Scientists, the former chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, the former President of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization, the President of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. In all, 85 PhDs were in the list.
Today's article on Zeal for Truth is pretty good, so you should read it.
Global warming is perhaps the most discussed “global” issue in news media today. Turn on the radio, television, or hop onto the internet and somehow the issue of global warming is waiting to be debated or touted as the impending crisis of the 21st century. However, the real crisis behind the issue of global warming is freedom.

Never mind that global warming proponents would like to control your car, where and how often you drive, how much energy you consume, where you live, and all things livestock related, society nods their head and tips their hat to such notions. After all, no one really minds as long as these are suggestions or “encouragements.” Enthusiasts discuss their ideas and most people replace at least one light bulb in their house.
Stop to consider for a moment what would happen if these aforementioned “encouragements” became law. How these laws would be enforced? The only way to enforce climate change laws is to restrict the freedom of individuals. Once a suggestion becomes law, the choice to comply is removed or rather, it is becomes a non-choice of compliance or penalty. Perhaps many people would not mind small penalties for using non-incandescent bulbs in their homes. In fact, most people don’t mind that cars are mandated to be more fuel efficient. Yet, the philosophy behind global climate change legislation is dangerous. The implication behind the “need” for such laws is that of removing the choice from individuals and giving control to governing authorities.

It grows immediately more concerning when such ideas potentially impact entire families on a personal level. Recently, politicians and professors in both Australia and Britain suggested that population control and baby carbon taxes should be strongly considered.
The viewpoint of regulating individual actions is based on the idea that others have the right and responsibility to control your choices and penalize you accordingly. It goes beyond choosing to calculate your carbon footprint to deciding who has a right to reproduce and breathe air. It assumes that life is owned by a collective group of strangers rather than one’s self.

“While every individual should be cherished, mankind’s reproduction is akin to the replication of a virus. We are swamping the planet and devouring its resources.”-North West England MEP, Chris Davies

The first loss of personal freedom may just be a light bulb, or car, however it when carried further it will inevitably lead to the marginalization of the natural rights to life and liberty and possibly the loss of both.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
So, it appears that as the number of pirates has dropped in the last 200 years, global temperatures have risen. Hmm, this is truly an inconvenient truth. Arr, Matey!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
The marvelous Mark Steyn...
The holiday season is here, and that means it's time to engage in the time-honored Christmas tradition of objecting to every time-honored Christmas tradition. Australia is a gazillion time zones ahead of the United States – it may even be Boxing Day there already – so they got in first this year with a truly fantastic headline:

"Santas Warned 'Ho Ho Ho' Offensive To Women."
If I were a female resident of Sydney, I think I'd be more offended by the assumption that Australian women and U.S. prostitutes are that easily confused.
But the point is that the right not to be offended is now the most sacred right in the world. The right to freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of movement, all are as nothing compared with the universal right to freedom from offense. It's surely only a matter of time before "sensitivity training" is matched by equally rigorous "inoffensiveness training" courses.
For example, when I said the right not to be offended is now the most "sacred" right in the world, I certainly didn't mean to offend persons of a nontheistic persuasion. In Hanover, N.H., home to Dartmouth College, an atheist and an agnostic known only as "Jan and Pat Doe" (which is which is hard to say) are suing because their three schoolchildren are forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Well, OK, they're not forced to say it. The pledge is voluntary. You're allowed to sit down, or, more discreetly, stand silently, which is what the taciturn Yankee menfolk who think it's uncool to sing do during the hymns at my local church. But that's not enough for "the Does." Because the pledge mentions God, their children are forced, as it were, not to say it. And, as "Mr. and Mrs. Doe" put it in their complaint, having to opt out of participation in a voluntary act exposes their children to potential "peer pressure" from the other students.
Let us now cross from the New Hampshire school system to the Sudanese school system. Or as The Associated Press headline put it:

"Thousands In Sudan Call For British Teddy Bear Teacher's Execution."

Last week, Gillian Gibbons, a British schoolteacher working in Khartoum, one of the crumbiest basket-case dumps on the planet – whoops, I mean one of the most lively and vibrant strands in the rich tapestry of our multicultural world – anyway, Mrs. Gibbons was sentenced last week to 15 days in jail because she was guilty of, er, allowing a teddy bear to be named "Mohammed." She wasn't so foolish as to name the teddy Mohammed herself. But, in an ill-advised Sudanese foray into democracy, she'd let her grade-school students vote on what name they wanted to give the classroom teddy, and being good Muslims they voted for their favorite name: Mohammed.

Big mistake. There's apparently a whole section in the Quran about how, if you name cuddly toys after the Prophet you have to be decapitated. Well, actually there isn't. But why let theological pedantry deprive you of the opportunity to stick it to the infidel? Mrs. Gibbons is regarded as lucky to get 15 days in jail, when the court could have imposed six months and 40 lashes. But even that wouldn't have been good enough for the mob in Khartoum. The protesters shouted "No tolerance. Execution" and "Kill her. Kill her by firing squad" and "Shame, shame to the U.K." – which persists in sending out imperialist schoolmarms to impose idolatrous teddy bears on the youth of Sudan.
Still, at exactly the time Gillian Gibbons caught the eye of the Sudanese authorities, a 19-year-old Saudi woman was sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail. Her crime? She'd been abducted and gang-raped by seven men. Originally, she'd been sentenced to 90 lashes, but her lawyer had appealed and so the court increased it to 200 and jail time. Anybody on the streets in Sudan or anywhere else in the Muslim world who wants to protest that?

East is east, and west is west, and in both we take offense at anything: Santas saying "Ho ho ho," teddy bears called Mohammed. And yet the difference is very telling: The now-annual Santa lawsuits in the "war on Christmas" and the determination to abolish even such anodyne expressions of faith as the Pledge of Allegiance are assaults on the very possibility of a common culture. By contrast, the teddy bear rubbish is a crude demonstration of cultural muscle intended to cow and intimidate. When east meets west, when offended Muslims find themselves operating in Western nations, they discover that both techniques are useful: Some march in the streets, Khartoum-style, calling for the pope to be beheaded, others use the mechanisms of the West's litigious, perpetual grievance culture to harass opponents into silence.

Perhaps somewhere in Sydney there's a woman who's genuinely offended by hearing Santa say "ho ho ho" just as those New Hampshire atheists claim to be genuinely offended by the Pledge of Allegiance. But their complaints are frivolous and decadent, and more determined groups are using the patterns they've established to shut down debate on things we should be talking about. The ability to give and take offense is what separates free societies from Sudan.
Thursday, November 29, 2007

It was a long (and short) night for Favre.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I'm traveling to Indy a lot now (every other week), and the project is coming along nicely.

Mark Steyn writes today on the crime epidemic in Britain, specifically in the metal department. It seems that anything metal (especially made of lead or copper) is being stolen, right down to the door knockers and number plates on people's homes.
But “crime prevention” measures cannot in and of themselves prevent crime. When I lived in England, not so long ago, one of the minor pleasures of rural life was walking across a couple of fields, along a public footpath through a copse, discovering a small medieval country church, and going inside to contemplate the divine for a few minutes. In those days, the churches were unlocked. They’re not anymore. Presumably there were local lads who would steal from the Lord even then, but not a significant segment of the population who targeted houses of worship. So today there’s wire mesh over the beautiful (one assumes) stained glass to stop thieves pinching the lead from the windows. It’s a small loss, but a telling one. The police have no leads, and the buildings have no lead. Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it was stolen last Thursday.

Back in the Seventies, it was discovered that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were illegally burning the barns of Quebec separatists. And the then Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, remarked with his customary glibness that if people were upset by the illegal barn-burning perhaps he’d make it legal for the Mounties to burn barns. As George Jonas observed, M. Trudeau had missed the point: barn-burning wasn’t wrong because it was illegal; it was illegal because it was wrong. Once that distinction is lost, civil society becomes all but impossible – because a broadly agreed morality plays a big role in social cohesion. Today in the western world, more and more things are illegal but we’re less and less clear what’s wrong. And everywhere but America, where any metal thief who attempts to steal your doorknob risks staggering away with at least as much metal lodged in his vital organs as in his swag bag, the state doesn’t trust its citizens to defend their property and in doing so uphold what’s right.

Britain’s metal crime is a poignant image of social disintegration: The very infrastructure of society – the manhole covers, the pipes, the cables on the transportation system, the fittings of the courthouse – is being cannibalized and melted down. When there’s no longer a sufficiently strong moral consensus and when the state actively disapproves of a self-reliant citizenry, what’s left is the law. And law detached from any other social pillars is not enough, and never can be.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Here is a good and serious discussion regarding the question "who would Jesus bomb?"
Friday, November 16, 2007
I have just begun reading From the Gulag to the Killing Fields, a compilation by Paul Hollander of "personal accounts of political violence and repression in communist states." I actually am still in the introduction, since the intro totals about 50 pages. I am looking forward to this book, as my knowledge of the full ugliness of communism is really quite minimal (much of this due to the fact that the Western world doesn't promote such knowledge). I just came across an overwhelmingly horrible fact in the introduction that I had to share and perhaps tie back to one of my past posts. According to records, possibly 1 in every 10 Hungarian women were raped by Soviet troops during World War II. TEN PERCENT! A few months ago, I linked to a map of Europe which showed the extremely high (20% or higher in some countries) abortion rates in those countries which used to be under Soviet rule. After reading what Soviet troops did to so many of those women, is it any wonder that abortion is so prevalent there today? All their dignity, value, and worth (both for themselves and the generations to come) was destroyed in those couple years of war. How many children were born from those ghastly crimes that felt only disdain from their mothers for the crimes of their fathers? And in turn, how many of those children grew to believe that kids were a curse? When asked whether anything should be done about the rapes and murders, Stalin replied that the troops should be allowed to have their "fun."
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
America's premier political pastor and some white evangelicals' answer to Al Sharpton, Pat Robertson, today endorsed Rudy Giuliani for President. This from the man who blamed the 9/11 attacks on our abortion-crazed, decadent society. He endorses the Republican candidate LEAST likely to do anything positive on the cultural front. Then again, Pat Robertson long ago put himself on a pedestal higher than God. God is merely his puppet, whose name he invokes to gather support for his personal crusades. He used to be a faith healer, much like the disgusting Benny Hinn. He called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez (an adolescent tyrant, but that is beside the point). Robertson also claimed to be able to leg press 2,000 pounds so he could sell his energy drink.

He also has made many TRULY racist, hateful ("[Homosexuals] want to come into churches and disrupt church services and throw blood all around and try to give people AIDS and spit in the face of ministers."), and generally un-Christian comments ("Presbyterians are the spirit of the Antichrist."). The man is a charlatan and a pig and is the main reason why so many people think that a person's faith should be removed from his political beliefs. Pat Robertson has no idea what the work of the Holy Spirit looks like, or what loving one's neighbor means. For this reason, he will be barely remembered ten years past his burial.

Many people claimed Jerry Falwell was the same hateful man that Robertson is, but they are wrong. He did have his moments where the power and prestige of his political position got to his head, but in general, he knew how to love.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Last week, I posted on Theodore Dalrymple's atheism essay. This week, he has followed that writing with a related piece entitled "A Strange Alliance." In it, he further discusses religion and atheism, as well as his speculation on the reason behind the significant number of popular atheistic screeds.
I haven’t written much about religion, but I have been surprised by the vehemence, not to say the violence, of the response to that little that I have written. This vehemence has been provoked by the fact that, though not religious myself, I am no longer anti-religious as I was when it occurred to me as a child and then a teenager that God might not or did not exist. Indeed, I can see many advantages, both personal and social, to a religious outlook. The usefulness of religious claims is not evidence of their truth, of course, though that usefulness probably depends upon a belief in their truth.

Probably, but not certainly. Gibbon tells us that in Rome, religious observance, highly syncretic in nature, was adhered to by people who did not accept the truth of the beliefs that supposedly underlay their observance. They continued with their observance because of the social value of religion: in other words, truth was less important to them than social coherence. Before we denounce those Romans as hypocrites and liars, we should remember how often, for the sake of social ease and convenience, we say and do things that are neither true nor convenient to us personally. Show me a man who is sincere all the time, and I will show you an insufferable boor.

A young and cultivated Dutchman of my acquaintance, appalled by the thinness and superficiality of modern culture and its deliberate disconnection from the glories of the past of our civilisation, recently told me that he was going to convert to Catholicism. He was far from a believer but, rightly or wrongly, he saw the church as the only possible bastion against the tide of cultural barbarism that is engulfing most of Europe.

He told me also that he played the music of Bach (one of the supreme artistic achievements of our civilisation) on the piano every day, and hoped to do so until he died; and this led me to suppose that he did not altogether exclude as a possibility the existence of God, for Bach’s music, which he loved, was surely inspired in very large part by the belief in God, and indeed is inconceivable without that belief. The connection between the music and belief in God was a psychological one rather than a logical one, but was a strong one nonetheless; and, as Pascal said, the heart hath its reasons which reason knows not of. This, after all, is true of most of us most of the time.

And once my young Dutch acquaintance was open to the possibility of the existence of God, I suggested, it was also possible that the belief would come with the observance rather than the other way around. If it did, I could see only advantages to him. It seems to me that a sense of a transcendent meaning or purpose to existence is a great comfort, and something that is sorely lacking for the great majority of young Europeans.

This is not at all the same thing as wishing to live under a theocracy, in which conformity to the outward observances of belief are enforced. But some of the responses I received to an article I wrote recently for The City Journal, in which I suggested that the best-selling books by militant atheists, that have appeared with the suddenness of a change of hemlines in the fashion world, did not advance any new arguments against the existence of God (indeed, you would have by now to be a very great philosopher to advance a new argument either for or against), and that used a historiography of religion that was fundamentally flawed and dishonest, were so vehement that you might have supposed that I was Torquemada or Khomenei rather than a mere scribbler expressing an opinion that was, in effect, a plea for greater subtlety of understanding.

I do not want to repeat my arguments here. Instead, I ask the question why these books... have appeared all of a sudden, and sold so well, when...they say little that is new.

Fashions are not unknown in publishing, of course.
Still, something more than fashion needs to be invoked, I suspect, to explain not only the appearance but the success of the new atheistic books.
Let me here say, to avoid the charge of resorting to ad hominem arguments, that the reasons for the appearance and success of these books is evidence neither of the validity nor of the invalidity of their arguments, which must be assessed by quite other means and on quite other grounds. But this does not mean that the question of the reason for their appearance and success now, at this conjuncture, is unimportant or uninteresting. My speculations are not susceptible to rigorous proof, but if we were allowed to think about only those things susceptible to such proof, our minds would soon be empty.

I think there are two conjunctures, one mainly American, and one global, that explain the appearance and success of these books.

The rise of evangelical Christianity as a political force in America has provoked a reaction by the freethinking intelligentsia that sees in that rise a threat of theocracy. Whether this threat is real and genuinely feared I rather doubt; surely the American political tradition and the Constitution itself are strong enough to prevent a theocracy from ever arising in America. But all intellectuals love bogeymen to shadow-box: I do so myself on occasion.

It is true that the evangelicals exert a strong influence; but that is what democracy is about. There are, after all, a lot of them in the country and they cannot be disenfranchised. No doubt they have a moral vision that they wish to impose on the country, but so does everybody else. To argue that a woman has a right to an abortion because she is sovereign over her own body is no less a moral position than that to kill a conceptus is ethically equivalent to shooting a man in cold blood in the street. Personally I think that both these positions are wrong, and that so long as the debate is posed in these terms it will remain crude and generate a lot of hatred. But evangelical Christian political influence in a democracy in which there are millions of evangelicals is perfectly normal, and implies no slide into theocracy; and it is worth remembering that the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.

The second conjuncture is, of course, the rise of Islam as a global force for a new totalitarianism.
Islamism is a real threat, made far worse by the cowardly response to it by most western governments, including that of the United States. From the European perspective, the war in Iraq is but a trivial sideshow by comparison with the Danish cartoon crisis, which was much more significant for our civilisation and way of life in the long run. There the British and American governments failed the test miserably; de facto, they gave aid and succour to the Islamists.

The new atheists are quite right to see the threat of theocracy in Islamism. But in attacking all religion, they are like the French government which banned not only the wearing of the headscarf in schools, but the wearing of all religious insignia whatsoever, despite the fact that wearing a Star of David or a crucifix has and had a completely different social signification from wearing a headscarf. In the name of non-discrimination, the French government failed to discriminate properly: and proper discrimination is, or ought to be, practically the whole business of life. If there were large numbers of Christians or Jews who were in favour of establishing a theocracy in France, who had a recent record of terrorism, and who terrorised each other into the wearing of crucifixes and Stars of David, then the banning of those insignia would have been justified too. The wearing of the headscarf should be permitted again when Islam has become merely one personal confession among others, without the political significance that it has now.

In attacking all religion so indiscriminately, the atheist authors are, I am sure inadvertently and unintentionally, strengthening the hand of the Islamists. In arguing, for example, that for parents to bring up a child in any religious tradition, even the mildest of Anglicanism, is to abuse a child, with the natural corollary that the law should forbid it (for how can the law permit child abuse?), some of the authors are giving ammunition to the Islamists, who will be able with justice to say to their fellow-religionists, See, it is all or nothing. If you give the secularists an inch, they will take a mile. No compromise with secularism is possible, therefore; cleave unto us.

Islamism is a worthy target, of course, but by now one that has been pretty well aimed at... To suggest, however, that all forms of religion are equal, that they are all murderous and dangerous, is not to serve the cause of freedom and tolerance. It is to play into the hands of the very people we should most detest; it is to hand them the rhetorical tools with which they can tell the gullible that our freedoms are not genuine and that our tolerance is a masquerade. It is to do what I should previously have thought was impossible, namely in this respect to put them in the right.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Theodore Dalrymple, possibly THE best writer of our time, recently wrote a piece in the City Journal entitled "What the New Atheists Don't See." In it, he reviews some of the recent books that have come out in praise of atheism (or in disdain of God, ironically enough). Dalrymple is himself not a believer, but does tend to be very gracious toward religions, especially Christianity. Mr. Dalrymple is at his best when he's dissecting another's arguments and refuting them. And here is no exception, tackling "Breaking the Spell," "The God Delusion," and "The End of Faith;" written by Dennett, Dawkins, and Harris, respectively. Since this column is quite long, I will let you read it for yourself in its entirety at the link above. However, I did want to point out a passage that Dalrymple quotes from Joseph Hall, a Christian bishop of Norwich in the 17th century. Hall's writing is titled "Upon the Sight of a Harlot Carted," and it entails an eloquent meditation on the spirit behind Christ's statement that the one without sin should cast the first stone.
With what noise, and tumult, and zeal of solemn justice, is this sin punished! The streets are not more full of beholders, than clamours. Every one strives to express his detestation of the fact, by some token of revenge: one casts mire, another water, another rotten eggs, upon the miserable offender. Neither, indeed, is she worthy of less: but, in the mean time, no man looks home to himself. It is no uncharity to say, that too many insult in this just punishment, who have deserved more. . . . Public sins have more shame; private may have more guilt. If the world cannot charge me of those, it is enough, that I can charge my soul of worse. Let others rejoice, in these public executions: let me pity the sins of others, and be humbled under the sense of my own.
May I be as gracious toward others and their sin as the Bishop Hall reminded himself to be nearly 400 years ago.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
John Leo has a nice short essay regarding free speech and the lack thereof on college campuses.
Troy Scheffler, a graduate student at Hamline University in Minnesota, thinks that the Virginia Tech massacre might have been avoided if students had been allowed to carry concealed weapons. After e-mailing this opinion to the university president, he was suspended and ordered to undergo "mental health evaluation" before being allowed to return to school.

Punishment for expressing an opinion is not unusual on the modern campus. Neither is the lack of protest among faculty and students for the kind of treatment Scheffler got. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which is defending the student, reports that it has failed to find a single Hamline student or faculty member who has spoken out in favor of Scheffler's right to free speech. So far, no protest from has been reported in the student newspaper or in outside internet outlets such as Myspace.
Free speech has a very small constituency on the modern campus, particularly if the speaker under attack is conservative. Lawrence Summers, former president of Harvard, is certainly no conservative, but he had run afoul of the campus left on many issues, not just the heavily publicized one of women in science (suggesting more campus respect for patriotism and the return of ROTC to Harvard, warning the "coastal elites" that they have drifted too far from the American mainstream). So when feminists managed to cancel Summers as a speaker before the University of California board of regents, there was scarcely a peep of protest.
A similar silence greeted the cancellation of a speech by Minuteman leader Jim Gilchrist at Columbia University. Gilchrist and a colleague were driven off the stage at Columbia last year by angry radicals. Gilchrist was reinvited a month ago, but when the speech was announced, campus Hispanics, who consider him racist for opposing the flood of illegals into the country, pressured the relevant student authorities to ban him. The campus chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union thought about protesting but decided not to. Again, I was able to find only one professor willing to say that silencing Gilchrist was a bad idea. I asked Gilchrist if there were more. He said he knows of no other instructor who spoke out. The campus joke is that Gilchrist should have come out in favor killing gays and nuking Israel. Then he would have been as welcome as Mahoud Amadinejad.

The campus rule of thumb is that if someone on the liberal side is disinvited or punished for speech, the left will howl - and the right will usually howl too. This is what happened when the University of St. Thomas disinvited Archbishop Desmond Tutu for making remarks critical of Israel. After protests from across the political spectrum, he was reinvited. A better example is the hiring and almost immediate firing of liberal Duke law professor Erwin Chemerinsky as dean of a new law school at the University of California, Irvine. A huge number of conservatives protested, including professors and virtually the whole first string of nationally known conservative and libertarian bloggers. Chemerinsky was rehired.

The process doesn't work in reverse - with liberals protesting the silencing of a conservative. It's one of the most obvious flaws of the modern PC university.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I was going to grab some lunch this Wednesday, and I caught Dennis Prager introducing his guest, Dr. William Gray. This is the same guy that I've mentioned before who is THE premier hurricane forecaster in the world, and is an anthropogenic global warming skeptic. Here is the interview.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
In response to the announcement that Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize (joining such past noted winners as Yasser Arafat, Kofi Annan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Le Duc Tho, Anwar al Sadat, and Jimmy Carter), Mark Steyn wrote this column:
A COUPLE of days before Al Gore was awarded his Nobel Peace prize, Michael Burton, an English High Court judge and apparently a fine film critic, ruled that Al's Oscar-winner An Inconvenient Truth was prone to "alarmism and exaggeration" and identified nine major factual errors.

For example, the former vice-president predicts a rise in sea levels of 6m "in the near future". "The Armageddon scenario he predicts," declared Burton, "is not in line with the scientific consensus."

I'll say. The so-called scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests rising sea levels across the next century of somewhere between 15cm and 60cm, with about 30cm being most likely. An Inconvenient Truth insouciantly adds a zero to the worst-case scenario.
A schoolkid in Ontario was complaining the other day that, whatever subject you do, you have to sit through Gore's movie: It turns up in biology class, in geography, in physics, in history, in English.

Whatever you're studying, it's all you need to know. It fulfils the same role in the schoolhouses of the guilt-ridden developed world that the Koran does in Pakistani madrassas. Gore's rise is as remorseless as those sea levels. I assumed Gore's clammy embrace would do for the environmental movement what his belated endorsement had done for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential candidacy: kill it stone dead. But governor Dean was constrained by actual humdrum prosaic vote tallies in Iowa and New Hampshire. The ecochondriacs, by contrast, seem happiest when they're most unmoored from reality.

That's where Gore comes in. No matter how you raise the stakes ("It might take another 30 Kyotos", says Jerry Mahlman of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research), Saint Al of the Ecopalypse can raise them higher. Climate change, he says, is the most important moral, ethical, spiritual and political issue humankind has ever faced. Ever. And not just humankind, but alienkind, too. "We are," warns Gore, "altering the balance of energy between our planet and the rest of the universe".

Wow. It's not just the Maldive Islands, but the balance of energy between Earth and the rest of the universe. You wouldn't happen to have the stats on that, would you? Universal "balance of energy" graphs for 1940 and 1873? Gore is the logical reductio of what the popular Australian blogger Tim Blair calls global warm-mongering: Worst-case scenario, with all the zeroes you want on the end, and then a few more for holes in the ozone layer as yet undreamt of. Anyone can, as the environmentalists advise, think globally and act locally, but only Gore thinks cosmically and acts not at all.

One can forgive youthful indiscretions, like his 1988 presidential candidacy, when he became the first and only politician in US history to hire a herd of cows for the launch of his campaign, positioning them attractively around him for the photo op at the supposed Gore "family farm". The contribution to global warming from increased methane from bovine flatulence in the Gore neighbourhood was no doubt "offset" by reduced flatulent emissions from whichever farm he'd hired the cows from: it was, in that sense, a "carbon-neutral" event.

But since then there's been a pronounced pattern of behaviour. In 2000, it was revealed that his tenant, Tracy Mayberry, has asked her distinguished landlord to fix the plumbing. The toilet overflowed and the tank was held together by bread bag ties. This was after Gore had inflicted federal toilet regulations on the rest of the country in the interest of water conservancy, yet he let his own tenant's lavatory overflow for months on end. Americans have to make do with cisterns that hold less than a supersized cup at McDonald's, but Environmental Boy had a Niagara-sized torrent running through his tenants' bathroom and down the stairs 24 hours a day.
An isolated incident? Well, the average US household consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours of electricity. In 2006, the Gores wolfed down nearly 221,000kWh.

221,000kWh? What's he doing in there? As his spokesperson explained it, his high energy usage derives from his brave calls for low energy usage. He's burning up all that electricity by sending out faxes every couple of minutes urging you wastrels to use less electricity. Insofar as he's made any contribution to global peace, it's in persuading large swaths of a narcissistic Western world to busy itself with non-solutions to pseudo-crises to such a distracting degree that al-Qa'ida may wind up imposing the global caliphate without having to fire a shot.
Meanwhile, Gore is now being urged to jump into the presidential race and save Democrats from the allegedly too-hawkish Hillary Clinton. I doubt he will.

But you'll know he's considering it if he starts slimming down faster than the Antarctic shelf. When Al Gore starts getting carb-neutral, we're really in trouble.
Monday, October 15, 2007
It's been awhile since I posted, but I noticed this nice short piece by Nathanael Blake discussing Al Gore's recent Nobel Prize win.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Here is today's OC Register column by Mark Steyn. Suffice it to say, it's REALLY good. A commenter on one of my most recent posts asked why Ahmadinejad was invited to speak considering how he was "introduced." Steyn gives an answer to this question.
"I'm proud of my university today," Stina Reksten, a 28-year-old Columbia graduate student from Norway, told the New York Times. "I don't want to confuse the very dire human rights situation in Iran with the issue here, which is freedom of speech. This is about academic freedom."

Isn't it always? But enough about Iran, let's talk about me! The same university that shouted down an American anti-illegal-immigration activist and the same university culture that just deemed former Harvard honcho Larry Summers too misogynist to be permitted on campus is now congratulating itself over its commitment to "academic freedom." True, renowned Stanford psychology professor Philip Zimbardo is not happy. "They can have any fascist they want there," said professor Zimbardo, "but this seems egregious." But, hey, don't worry: He was protesting not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presence at Columbia but Donald Rumsfeld's presence at the Hoover Institution.
We've invited the president of Iran to speak but let's not confuse "the very dire human-rights situation" – or his nuclear program, or his Holocaust denial, or his role in the seizing of the U.S. Embassy hostages, or his government's role in the deaths of American troops and Iraqi civilians – with the more important business of applauding ourselves for our celebration of "academic freedom."

So much of contemporary life is about opportunities for self-congratulation. Risk-free dissent is the default mode of our culture, and extremely seductive. If dissent means refusing to let the Bush administration bully you into wearing a flag lapel pin, why, then Katie Couric (bravely speaking out on this issue just last week) is the new Mandela! If Rumsfeld is a "fascist." then anyone can fight fascism. It's no longer about the secret police kicking your door down and clubbing you to a pulp. Well, OK, it is if you're a Buddhist monk in Burma. But they're a long way away, and it's all a bit complicated and foreign, and let's not "confuse the very dire human rights situation" in Hoogivsastan with an opportunity to celebrate our courage in defending "academic freedom" in America. Ahmadinejad must occasionally have felt he was appearing in a matinee of "A Chance To Hear [Insert Name Of Enemy Head Of State Here]." Could have been Chavez, could have been Mullah Omar, could have been Herr ReichsfuhrerHitler himself, as Columbia's Dean John Coatsworth proudly boasted on television.
Civilized nations like chit-chatting, having tea, holding debates, talking talking talking. Tyrannies like terrorizing people, torturing people, murdering people, doing doing doing. It's easier for the doers to pass themselves off as talkers then for the talkers to rouse themselves to do anything.

As witness this last week. Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, was evidently taken aback by the criticism he got for inviting Ahmadinejad and so found himself backed into what, for a conventional soft-leftie of academe, was a ferocious denunciation of his star guest, dwelling at length on Iran's persecution of minorities, murder of dissidents, sponsorship of terrorism, nuclear ambitions, genocidal threats toward Israel, etc. For a warmup act, Bollinger pretty much frosted up the joint. The Iranian leader sat through the intro with a plastic smile, and then said: "I shall not begin by being affected by this unfriendly treatment." He offered many illuminating insights: There are, he declared, no homosexuals in Iran. Not one. Where are they? On a weekend visit to Kandahar to see the new production of "Mame"? Alas, there was no time for follow-up questions.

And afterwards Bollinger got raves even from the right for "speaking truth to power." But so what? It's like Noel Coward delivering a series of devastating put-downs to Hitler. The Fuhrer's mad as hell but at the end of the afternoon he goes back to killing, and dear Noel goes back to singing "The Stately Homes Of England." Ahmadinejad goes back to doing – to persecuting, to murdering, to terrorizing, to nuclearizing – and Bollinger cuts out his press clippings and puts them on the fridge.

The other day, National Review's Jay Nordlinger was musing about our habit of referring to some benighted part of the world's "humanitarian needs" and wondered when we'd stopped using the term "human needs," which is, after all, what food, water and shelter are. And his readers wrote in to state the obvious: That "humanitarian" label gives top billing not to the distant, Third World victim but the generous Western donor – the "humanitarian" relief effort, the "humanitarian" organizations, the NGOs, the Western charities: It's about us, not them. Bill Clinton's new bestseller on charity is called "Giving" – because it's better to give than to receive, and that's certainly true if the giver is busying himself with some ineffectual feel-good "Save Darfur" fundraiser while the recipient is on the receiving end of the Janjaweed's machetes. The Sudanese government appreciates that, as long as we're allowed to feel good about ourselves and to participate in "humanitarian relief," the killing can go on until there's no one left to kill. Likewise, Ahmadinejad knows that, as along as we're allowed to do what we do best – talk and talk and talk, whether at Columbia or in EU negotiations – his regime can quietly get on with its nuclear program.

These men understand the self-absorption of advanced democracies. The difference between Winston Churchill and Ward Churchill, another famous beneficiary of "academic freedom" who called the 9/11 dead "little Eichmanns," is that for Sir Winston talking was a call to action while for poseurs like professor Churchill it's a substitute for it.

The pen is not mightier than the sword if your enemy is confident you will never use anything other than your pen. Sometimes it's not about "freedom of speech," but about freedom. Ask an Iranian homosexual. If you can find one.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Rather than post it in its entirety on here, I will give the link to a recent article I wrote for the Zeal for Truth blog. There is some good discussion in the comments area. All similarities in my questions to those posed by Bryan McWhite on his blog are purely coincidental.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
As I mentioned in the last post, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the terror-supporting, freedom-repressing, Jew-hating tyrant in charge of Iran was invited to speak at Columbia University (yes, the Ivy League one in THIS country). The university president, Lee Bollinger, claimed that he invited Ahmadinejad to help foster dialogue and understanding with the Middle East and to promote the concept of free speech.

In complete contradiction to Bollinger's claims, this column by Ann Coulter is fantastic at shredding his lies and cutting to the core of the issue. Plus, it's witty as all get out.
Columbia president Lee Bollinger claimed the Ahmadinejad invitation is in keeping with "Columbia's long-standing tradition of serving as a major forum for robust debate."

Except Columbia doesn't have that tradition. This is worse than saying "the dog ate my homework." It's like saying "the dog ate my homework" when you're Michael Vick and everyone knows you've killed your dog.

Columbia's "tradition" is to shut down any speakers who fall outside the teeny, tiny seditious perspective of its professors.

When Minutemen leader Jim Gilchrist and his black colleague Marvin Stewart were invited by the College Republicans to speak at Columbia last year, the tolerant, free-speech-loving Columbia students violently attacked them, shutting down the speech.

Imbued with Bollinger's commitment to free speech, Columbia junior Ryan Fukumori said of the Minutemen: "They have no right to be able to speak here."

Needless to say -- unlike Ahmadinejad -- the university had not invited the Minutemen. Most colleges and universities wouldn't buy a cup of coffee for a conservative speaker.

Fees for speakers who do not hate America are raised from College Republican fundraisers and contributions from patriotic alumni and locals who think students ought to hear at least one alternative viewpoint in four years of college.

And then college administrators turn a blind eye when liberal apple-polishers and suck-ups shut down the speech or physically attack the speaker.

Bollinger refused to punish the students who stormed the stage and violently ended the Minutemen's speech.

So the one thing we know absolutely is that Bollinger did not allow Ahmadinejad to speak out of respect for "free speech" because Bollinger does not respect free speech.
Liberals are never called upon to tolerate anything they don't already adore, such as treason, pornography and heresy. In fact, those will often get you course credit.

At Ahmadinejad's speech, every vicious anti-Western civilization remark was cheered wildly. It was like watching an episode of HBO'S "Real Time With Bill Maher."
Only when Ahmadinejad failed to endorse sodomy did he receive the single incident of booing throughout his speech.

Responding to a question about Iran's execution of homosexuals, Ahmadinejad said there are no homosexuals in Iran: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals, like in your country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have it."

I already knew that from looking at his outfit. If liberals want to run this guy for president, they better get him to "Queer Eye for the Islamofascist Guy."
Two days ago, the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said during a speech at Columbia University (in response to a question regarding the treatment of homosexuals in his country) that "in Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country."

Perhaps this (WARNING: the link contains a scene showing execution by hanging, please don't click it if you don't want to see that) is why they don't have any gays in Iran.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Now, I know reputable - please excuse the expression - magazines like Newsweek claimed that global warming deniers are all funded by Big Oil and are being dishonest. Wonder if Newsweek will mention this little tidbit about the premier global warm-monger in the US, NASA's Dr. James Hansen.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Hillary Clinton, the likely runaway winner of the Democratic nomination for president, recently released her plan for universal health care. In response, Mark Steyn has released a witty and cut-to-the-gist column entitled "Bend Over for Nurse Hillary."
Our theme for today comes from George W Bush: “Freedom is the desire of every human heart.”

When the president uses the phrase, he’s invariably applying it to various benighted parts of the Muslim world. There would seem to be quite a bit of evidence to suggest that freedom is not the principal desire of every human heart in, say, Gaza or Waziristan. But why start there? If you look in, say, Brussels or London or New Orleans, do you come away with the overwhelming impression that “freedom is the desire of every human heart”? A year ago, I wrote that “the story of the Western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government ‘security,’ large numbers of people vote to dump freedom – the freedom to make your own decisions about health care, education, property rights, seat belts and a ton of other stuff.”

Last week freedom took another hit. Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled her new health care plan. Unlike her old health care plan, which took longer to read than most cancers take to kill you, this one’s instant and painless – just a spoonful of government sugar to help the medicine go down. From now on, everyone in America will have to have health insurance.


And, if you don’t, it will be illegal for you to hold a job.

Er, hang on, where’s that in the Constitution? It’s perfectly fine to employ legions of the undocumented from Mexico, but if you employ a fit 26-year-old American with no health insurance either you or he or both of you will be breaking the law?
That’s a major surrender of freedom from the citizen to the state.
I was glad, at the end of Hillary Health Week, to see that my radio pal Laura Ingraham’s excellent new book, “Power To The People,” has shot into the New York Times bestseller list at No. 1. It takes a fraudulent leftist catchphrase (the only thing you can guarantee about a “people’s republic” is that the people are the least of it) and returns it to those who mean it – to those who believe in a nation of free citizens exercising individual liberty to make responsible choices.

Do you remember the so-called “government surplus” of a few years ago? Bill Clinton gave a speech in which he said, yes, sure, he could return the money to taxpayers but that we “might not spend it the right way.” The American political class has decided that they know better than you the “right way” to make health care decisions. Oh, don’t worry, you’re still fully competent to make decisions on what car you drive and what movie you want to rent at Blockbuster.

For the moment.

But when it comes to the grownup stuff, best to leave that to Nurse Hillary.
Read the whole piece; it's worth it.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Well, Hugo Chavez is at it again. This time he has introduced legislation that would ban all but the 100 Spanish names that are okay with him for use by parents in naming their newborns.
As if Hugo Chávez doesn't have enough ways to repress his countrymen, a new parliamentary edict has been introduced to prohibit Venezuelan parents from naming their newborns anything other than 100 officially sanctioned Spanish names. Fed up with whimsical, hard-to-pronounce, or politically incorrect monikers such as Haynhecht, Yornaichel, Hochiminh, or (¡horrores!) Kennedy, officials want to go back to basics, according to The New York Times. Supporters of the legislation say it will protect children from ridicule. But efforts to purify cultures have not gone well historically. And what's next? Venezuela itself is said to have been named by an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci, who in 1499 christened it "Little Venice." Could "Chavezuela" be far behind?
Any guess as to whether "Hugo" will make the cut?
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Here is a good discussion of the infallibility of God's Word. The article's author thinks the Bible is fallible, but there are some useful comments below to combat this view.
Monday, September 10, 2007

So here's's full-page ad as shown in the New York Times today. "Troops, we support you, but your leader is a liar and a traitor."
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Mark Steyn's column today in the OC Register is, as usual, spot on.
Oh, it's a long, long while from September to September. This year, the anniversary falls, for the first time, on a Tuesday morning, and perhaps some or other cable network will re-present the events in real time – the first vague breaking news in an otherwise routine morning show, the follow-up item on the second plane, and the realization that something bigger was under way. If you make it vivid enough, the JFK/Princess Di factor will kick in: you'll remember "where you were" when you "heard the news." But it's harder to recreate the peculiar mood at the end of the day, when the citizens of the superpower went to bed not knowing what they'd wake up to the following morning.

Six years on, most Americans are now pretty certain what they'll wake up to in the morning: There'll be a thwarted terrorist plot somewhere or other – last week, it was Germany. Occasionally, one will succeed somewhere or other, on the far horizon – in Bali, Istanbul, Madrid, London. But not many folks expect to switch on the TV this Tuesday morning, as they did that Tuesday morning, and see smoke billowing from Atlanta or Phoenix or Seattle. During the IRA's 30-year campaign, the British grew accustomed (perhaps too easily accustomed) to waking up to the news either of some prominent person's assassination or that a couple of grandmas and some schoolkids had been blown apart in a shopping center. It was a terrorist war in which terrorism was almost routine. But, in the six years since President Bush declared that America was in a "war on terror," there has been in America no terrorism.

In theory, the administration ought to derive a political benefit from this: The president has "kept America safe." But, in practice, the placidity of the domestic front diminishes the chosen rationale of the conflict: if a "war on terror" has no terror, who says there's a war at all? That's the argument of the left – that it's all a racket cooked up by the Bushitlerburton fascists to impose on America a permanent national-security state in which, for dark sinister reasons of his own, Dick Cheney is free to monitor your out-of-state phone calls all day long.
And that would be the relatively sane reaction. Have you seen that bumper sticker "9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB"? If you haven't, go to a college town and cruise Main Street for a couple of minutes. It seems odd that a fascist regime that thinks nothing of killing thousands of people in a big landmark building in the center of the city hasn't quietly offed some of these dissident professors – or at least the guy with the sticker-printing contract. Fearlessly, Robert Fisk of Britain's Independent, the alleged dean of Middle East correspondents, has now crossed over to the truther side and written a piece headlined, "Even I Question The 'Truth' About 9/11." According to a poll in May, 35 percent of Democrats believe that Bush knew about 9/11 in advance. Did Rumsfeld also know? Almost certainly. That's why he went to his office as normal that today, because he knew in advance that the plane would slice through the Pentagon but come to a halt on the far side of the photocopier. That's how well-planned it was, unlike Iraq.
And what of those for whom the events of six years ago were more than just conspiracy fodder? Last week the New York Times carried a story about the current state of the 9/11 lawsuits. Relatives of 42 of the dead are suing various parties for compensation, on the grounds that what happened that Tuesday morning should have been anticipated.
According to the Times, many of the bereaved are angry and determined that their loved one's death should have meaning. Yet the meaning they're after surely strikes our enemies not just as extremely odd but as one more reason why they'll win. You launch an act of war, and the victims respond with a lawsuit against their own countrymen.

But that's the American way: Almost every news story boils down to somebody standing in front of a microphone and announcing that he's retained counsel. Last week, it was Larry Craig. Next week, it'll be the survivors of Ahmadinejad's nuclear test in Westchester County. As Andrew McCarthy pointed out, a legalistic culture invariably misses the forest for the trees. Sen. Craig should know that what matters is not whether an artful lawyer can get him off on a technicality but whether the public thinks he trawls for anonymous sex in public bathrooms. Likewise, those 9/11 families should know that, if you want your child's death that morning to have meaning, what matters is not whether you hound Boeing into admitting liability but whether you insist that the movement that murdered your daughter is hunted down and the sustaining ideological virus that led thousands of others to dance up and down in the streets cheering her death is expunged from the earth.

In his pugnacious new book, Norman Podhoretz calls for redesignating this conflict as World War IV. Certainly, it would have been easier politically to frame the Iraq campaign as being a front in a fourth world war than as a necessary measure in an anti-terrorist campaign. Yet who knows? Perhaps we would still have mired ourselves in legalists and conspiracies and the dismal curdled relativism of the Flight 93 memorial's "crescent of embrace." In the end, as Podhoretz says, if the war is to be fought at all, it will "have to be fought by the kind of people Americans now are." On this sixth anniversary, as 9/11 retreats into history, many Americans see no war at all.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Well, almost 6 months since I first put up the "Draft Fred Thompson" logo on this blog, Mr. Thompson has finally joined the Presidential race. And in that time, nothing about his past has surfaced to make me seriously reconsider voting for him if given the chance. If he wins the Republican nomination, I'll probably dissect some of his positions on here for those who might be interested.
In England, those who are deemed "capable" of emotionally abusing their children are having their kids taken from them and placed for adoption. And since the family courts there are ultra-secretive, parents have almost no recourse to fight such disgusting enforcements by the nanny state. One reason for laws that are prejudiced against the parents: Tony Blair's adoption quotas. In 2000, Blair set a goal of increasing adoption by 50% and offered monetary rewards for any cities that met that goal. So, the government is basically robbing Peter to pay Paul. One extremely disturbing story is in this article. A husband and wife fled to Ireland with their fourth child after their first three children were taken from them, all because of some unexplained leg fractures in one of their boys. As it turns out, he had a vitamin deficiency. However, it's too late for the parents, the kids are now legally adopted and will not be returned! A few choice words come to mind to describe that sort of nanny system.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
My dad past along this Wall Street Journal article to me this morning, and I thought it was too good not to mention on here.
The recent discovery by a retired businessman and climate kibitzer named Stephen McIntyre that 1934--and not 1998 or 2006--was the hottest year on record in the U.S. could not have been better timed. August is the month when temperatures are high and the news cycle is slow, leading, inevitably, to profound meditations on global warming. Newsweek performed its journalistic duty two weeks ago with an exposé on what it calls the global warming "denial machine." I hereby perform mine with a denier's confession

I confess: I am prepared to acknowledge that Mr. McIntyre's discovery amounts to what a New York Times reporter calls a "statistically meaningless" rearrangement of data.

But just how "meaningless" would this have seemed had it yielded the opposite result? Had Mr. McIntyre found that a collation error understated recent temperatures ... would the news coverage have differed in tone and approach?
I confess: I am prepared to acknowledge that the world has been and will be getting warmer thanks in some part to an increase in man-made atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. I acknowledge this in the same way I'm confident that the equatorial radius of Saturn is about 60,000 kilometers: not because I've measured it myself, but out of a deep reserve of faith in the methods of the scientific community, above all its reputation for transparency and open-mindedness.

But that faith is tested when leading climate scientists won't share the data they use to estimate temperatures past and present and thus construct all-important trend lines. This was true of climatologist Michael Mann, who refused to disclose the algorithm behind his massively influential "hockey stick" graph, which purported to demonstrate a sharp uptick in global temperatures over the past century. (The accuracy of the graph was seriously discredited by Mr. McIntyre and his colleague Ross McKitrick.) This was true also of Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, who reportedly turned down one request for information with the remark, "Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?"

I confess: I understand that global warming may have negative consequences. Heat waves, droughts and coastal flooding may become more intense. Temperature-sensitive parasites such as malaria could become more widespread. Lakes may be depleted by evaporation. Animal life will suffer.

But as Bjorn Lomborg points out in his sharp, persuasive and aptly titled book "Cool It," a warming climate has advantages, too, and not just trivial ones. Though global warming will cause more heat deaths, it will also mean many fewer cold deaths. Drought may increase in some areas, but warming also means both more rain and longer growing seasons... Does anyone know for certain that the net human and environmental losses from global warming will exceed overall gains?
I confess: Though it may surprise those who use the term "denier" so as to put me on a moral plane with Holocaust deniers, I have children for whom I would not wish an environmental apocalypse.

Yet neither do I wish the civilizational bounties built up over two centuries by an industrial, inventive, adaptive, globalized and energy-hungry society to be squandered chasing comparatively small environmental benefits at gigantic economic costs. One needn't deny global warming as a problem to deny it as the only or greatest problem. The great virtue of Mr. Lomborg's book is its insistence on trying to measure the good done per dollar spent. Do we save a few lives, at huge cost, as a byproduct of curbing global warming? Or do we save many, for less, by acting on problems directly?

Some might argue it is immoral to think this way. Maybe they are the ones living in denial.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I frequent the blog Zeal For Truth, which is a collection of posts from a handful of people on topics ranging from politics to theology. Today's post comments on the finding that the U.S. is tops in the world in cancer survivability. The reason: people here generally don't have to wait in long lines for treatment, as they do in Europe, Canada, Cuba, and elsewhere. In America, you get treatment about as quickly as humanly possible, while in Europe, the BEST that one can hope for is two months (usually more like 4 months). The wonders of universal, socialized health care, huh? Tis a pity that Michael Moore conveniently ignored the wait lines in his Sicko film. Everyone gets "free" health care, nevermind that a bunch of suffering people die while waiting for it.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
From Theodore Dalrymple this week:
In an effort to ensure that no Muslim doctors ever again try to bomb Glasgow Airport, bureaucrats at Glasgow’s public hospitals have decreed that henceforth no staff may eat lunch at their desks or in their offices during the holy month of Ramadan, so that fasting Muslims shall not be offended by the sight or smell of their food. Vending machines will also disappear from the premises during that period.

Apparently the bureaucrats believe that the would-be bombers were demanding sandwich-free offices in Glasgow hospitals during Ramadan. This kind of absurdity is what happens when the highly contestable doctrine of multiculturalism becomes a career opportunity for the semi-educated and otherwise unemployable products of a grossly and unnecessarily swollen university system.

Meanwhile, the highest court in Italy was confirming an appeals court’s acquittal of the father and brother of a Muslim girl, whom they beat and locked up for becoming too Westernized—that is to say, for having a Western friend. The court ruled that, though they had undoubtedly beaten her and locked her up, this was not because of any culpable ill-feeling toward her. It was, rather, because of “her lifestyle, which did not conform to their culture.”

The sound of a civilization committing suicide can be heard in these stories; for civilizations collapse not because the barbarians are so strong, but because they themselves are so morally enfeebled.
Friday, August 17, 2007
... a film career. The relationship between the two, you ask? One destroys the other.

Chavez has just announced his intention to change the Venezuelan constitution so that he can become president for life. So I hope those who voted for Chavez enjoyed it, that might be the last meaningful vote they will have in their lifetime.
Michael Fumento was just on Dennis Prager, and they referred to Fumento's article in The American Spectator regarding the recent findings that the last 12 years are in fact NOT the hottest in history, but actually about par for the course in the last century. He addresses the silly claim that this discovery doesn't mean anything.
In retrospect, you knew there would be trouble when you put the people responsible for the Space Shuttle program in charge of tracking U.S. temperatures. So perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise when it was revealed that NASA committed a bit of an oopsie regarding data constantly used by the mainstream media and other global warming proponents.

If you follow the global warming debate, one thing you “know” is that to even call it a “debate” is to whisk yourself away to the land of the Flat Earth Society and Holocaust deniers and to be on the take from Big Carbon. Another is that nine of the ten warmest years recorded in the U.S. lower 48 since 1880 have occurred since 1995, with the very hottest being 1998.
As to the stuff about the hottest years ... Well, whaddya know! Turns out that’s wrong, too. Figures from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) now show the hottest year since 1880 was 1934. Nineteen-ninety-eight dropped to second, while the third hottest year was way back in 1921. Indeed, four of the 10 hottest years were in the 1930s, while only three were in the past decade.

The real 15 hottest years are spread over seven decades. Eight occurred before the chief “greenhouse gas,” atmospheric carbon dioxide, began its sharp rise; seven occurred afterwards.

Rush Limbaugh was incorrect in saying the new figures are “just more evidence” that “this whole global warming thing is a scientific hoax.” Conversely, global warming hotheads are also wrong in insisting the revelation deserves no more mention than the back of a Trivial Pursuit card. The GISS, which is directed by global warming guru, James Hansen, is saying likewise. He’s wrong. Part of the importance is in the data and part is in how Hansen’s agency behaved, which might be labeled a cover-up.

In pooh-poohing the revision, the GISS ignores the tremendous emotional impact it’s had in practically claiming each year is hotter than the one before. Instead it observes (correctly) since the U.S. accounts for merely two percent of global land surface, a relatively small adjustment in its figures doesn’t meaningfully impact the global picture.

But, notes Canadian mathematician Stephen McIntyre, who exposed the false figures, “The Hansen error ... has a significant impact on the GISS estimate of U.S. temperature history ...” (Emphasis added.) Is this important because we’re a major world power or that we produce the best fried chicken? No, it’s important because we have a far more sophisticated system of temperature monitoring than countries with far larger land masses. Hence, data from each of these nations affect the global model more than the American data.

“Many of the stations in China, Indonesia, Brazil and elsewhere are in urban areas (such as Shanghai or Beijing),” observes McIntyre. This can produce hotter temperatures, yet some of the major trackers of the data from these countries, including the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, make no attempt to adjust for monitor placement errors. In any event, for some reason “the U.S. history has a rather minimal (warming) trend if any since the 1930s, while the ROW [rest of the world] has a very pronounced trend since the 1930s.

Thus if the U.S. model, by far the most accurate one, became the model, it would be a gut punch to those claiming we must take drastic, horrifically expense measures right now to ameliorate warming.

Therefore, for the GISS to say this “only” affects the U.S. data is rather like a used car salesman insisting, “This automobile defect is trivial; it only affects steering and braking.”
McIntyre was already hated by the hotheads for debunking the infamous “hockey stick” graph promulgated by University of Virginia geoscientist Michael Mann and colleagues beginning in the late 1990s. Mann’s calculations, using new imputs, showed temperatures to be flat over the last thousand years like a hockey stick shaft before suddenly angling up like the blade in the last half of the 20th Century.

This statistically wiped out both the Medieval Warming Period (c. 900-1300), which unleashed the Vikings, and Little Ice Age (c. 1250-1850), even though historical information for both is overwhelming. Yet the highly-politicized Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) eagerly adopted the hockey stick graph in its 2001 Assessment Report. But then McIntyre and fellow Canadian economist Ross McKitrick showed Mann’s methodology produces hockey-stick shapes even when applied to random data – bringing back those scary Scandinavians and ice-skating on the Thames.

McIntyre’s latest debunking was the discovery of an error in GISS records for the years 2000 through 2006. In simplest terms, they hadn’t been adjusted to compensate for the location or time of day where the data was gathered.

But nobody correlated those newer figures with the older ones until McIntyre did, even though later Hansen admitted it was “easy to fix.” McIntyre published the data on his own website (which is currently down because it’s overloaded with traffic) and got the agency to admit it was wrong and post new figures. It even sent him a thank you note.

Yet the GISS did absolutely nothing to alert scientists or the public to the new figures. This though it has published five global warming press releases so far this year, each one alarming. It took the blogosphere and radio talk show hosts to publicize the new figures even as the mainstream media essentially ignored it. (The Washington Post finally ran an article a week after the controversy began, siding with the GISS and describing McIntyre as nothing more than a “blogger.” All the presidential candidates have blog sites, but somehow the Post refrains from tagging them as bloggers.)

Ultimately the greatest importance of all of this is that it strongly appears to substantiate the intuitive belief that, with scientist-politician Hansen at the helm the GISS, whose data are far more important to modeling global temperatures than it lets on, is not a neutral collector and disseminator of statistics but rather a politicized mouthpiece.

Game, Set, Match.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Mark Steyn has a great piece in the Western Standard regarding the infantilization of the Western world.
About a decade ago, Bill Clinton developed a favourite statistic--that every day in America 12 children died from gun violence. When one delved a little deeper into this, it turned out that 11.569 persons under the age of 20 died each day from gun violence, and five-sixths of those 11.569 alleged kindergartners turned out to be aged between 15 and 19. Many of them had the misfortune to become involved in gangs, convenience-store holdups, drive-by shootings, and drug deals, which, alas, don't always go as smoothly as one had planned. If more crack deals passed off peacefully, that "child" death rate could be reduced by three-quarters.

But, ever since President Clinton's sly insinuation of daily grade-school massacres, I've become wary of political invocations of "the children." In Iraq, for example, everyone in U.S. uniform is a "child." "The moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute," as Maureen Dowd of The New York Times wrote about Cindy Sheehan. Miss Dowd had rather less to say about the moral authority of Linda Ryan, whose son, Marine Cpl. Marc Ryan, was killed by "insurgents" in Ramadi. But that's because Mrs. Ryan honours her dead child as a thinking adult who "made a decision to join the Armed Forces and defend our country."

The left is reluctant to accept that. Ever since America's all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterize them as "children." The infantilization of the military promoted by the media is deeply insulting but it suits the anti-war crowd's purposes. It enables them to drone ceaselessly that "of course" they "support our troops," because they want to stop these poor confused moppets from being exploited by the Bush war machine.

Which brings me to Canada's most famous warrior: Omar Ahmed Khadr... [who] is alleged to have killed Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer... in the battle at Khost--or rather in the aftermath, when he was lying on the ground playing dead and hurled a grenade. And perhaps I should say not "Mr." Khadr but young Master Khadr, for he was 15 at the time. "The fact that his age is not going to be considered is a travesty of justice," Kristine Huskey of the International Human Rights Law Clinic in Washington told the Western Standard's Terry O'Neill. That's the pro-Khadr argument: he's a child. He didn't know what he was doing.
Omar Khadr is not just a terrorist legal matter. He represents one of the critical questions at the heart of the West's twilight struggle: what is a child?
As you'll know if you've got a kid in elementary school almost anywhere in the western world, we accept today that children's bodies enter adolescence much sooner: the guidance counsellor is practically slavering to get 'em hep to sex from the third grade. If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that's her decision and her parents shouldn't get a look-in. But at the same time we presume that our minds take longer and longer to form and that the end of adolescence must thus be deferred until pretty much the age Mozart was when he died.
In the old three-score-and-ten, we were born, had a decade and a half or so of childhood, and were conscripted into adulthood more or less around the [age of 15]. In the new four-score-and-ten of the 21st century, we've extended life a couple of decades, but not our adult life, our productive life, our working life. Instead, we've created a whole new category of glacial-paced adolescence stretching from those middle-school sex-ed classes through a torpid high school and ever more indulgent and leisurely college courses to what previous generations would have regarded as early middle age. If anything, we've reduced the "adult" phase, entering the workforce later and departing it earlier, leaving government health systems to figure out how to support a population of state-funded retirees for two or three decades, for the last of which they'll require round-the-clock Alzheimer's care.

The chief characteristic of the fin de civilisation West is "deferred adulthood." Look at the sepia photographs of any old 19th century weatherbeaten 13-year-old farmboy and compare it to your average listless teen today: who would you rather leave in charge of the house for the weekend? We take it as read that our bodies mature much earlier than our great-grandparents but that our minds don't. So we start adolescence much sooner and try to avoid having to leave it at all--to the point that the marketing chappies have taken to identifying the 20- to 35-year-old segment as "adultescents." In Japan, 70 per cent of working women aged 30-35 live with their parents. In Italy, some 80 per cent of men live with mum and dad until into their thirties.
Omar Khadr is not a child. He knew what he was doing when he killed Sgt. Speer... And I suspect, if he had to do it all over again, Mr. Khadr surely would: he is as adult as he will ever be. And, if the International Human Rights Law Clinic gets its way and has him ruled a "child," then the jihad will only recruit more such "children," of which it has an endless supply: the median age in Gaza, for example, is 15.8. We, on the other hand, will send our children to do a six-year Bachelor's Degree in Anger Management Studies.

So, on the one hand, we have single European women having fertility treatment in hopes of an only child in their fifties and even sixties, and, on the other, we have Mirpuri cousin-marriage traditions that in 30 years have firmly established themselves among Muslim teens in Pakistani communities in northern England. Which side of the equation has the demographic energy? To put it more bluntly, which side has a future? We are decaying into a society of geriatric teenagers and, agreeable though that is, it's unsustainable. We need, very literally, to grow up.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Who doesn't know that many of the last 10 years rank as the warmest on record? After all, there was no end to the media coverage of these records as they trotted out scientists to talk about the implications. However, how many know that those supposed "record temps" were all wrong and have been quietly removed from NASA's "top ten warmest years" list? My guess: no one. But I thought all scientists were of pure motives who only dealt with facts and data... why haven't the NASA scientists been as quick to publically correct their errors as they were to first point out the record temps in the first place? Say it ain't so, but methinks some of them have confused political causes with science. It's very sexy to claim that the world is the hottest it has ever been; it's not so cool to say that the earth isn't even as hot now as it was 70 years ago.

Thankfully, two scientists (Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick) dug a little deeper into NASA's methodology and found a problem. So now the hottest year on record is... ready for it?... 1934. Mark Steyn talks about it all in his column this week.
Something rather odd happened the other day. If you go to NASA's Web site and look at the "U.S. surface air temperature" rankings for the lower 48 states, you might notice that something has changed.

Then again, you might not. They're not issuing any press releases about it. But they have quietly revised their All-Time Hit Parade for U.S. temperatures. The "hottest year on record" is no longer 1998, but 1934. Another alleged swelterer, the year 2001, has now dropped out of the Top 10 altogether, and most of the rest of the 21st century – 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 – plummeted even lower down the Hot 100. In fact, every supposedly hot year from the Nineties and this decade has had its temperature rating reduced. Four of America's Top 10 hottest years turn out to be from the 1930s, that notorious decade when we all drove around in huge SUVs with the air-conditioning on full-blast. If climate change is, as Al Gore says, the most important issue anyone's ever faced in the history of anything ever, then Franklin Roosevelt didn't have a word to say about it.

And yet we survived.
As Pogo said, way back in the 1971 Earth Day edition of a then-famous comic strip, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." Even when we don't do anything: In the post-imperial age, powerful nations no longer have to invade and kill. Simply by driving a Chevy Suburban, we can make the oceans rise and wipe the distant Maldive Islands off the face of the Earth. This is a kind of malignant narcissism so ingrained it's now taught in our grade schools.
I was just reading that the problem that was discovered in the NASA data was caused by a Y2K bug. Isn't that ironic; one false scare encouraged another.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I just finished D.A. Carson's book, Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church. It is a deep read, as Carson is first and foremost a theologian, but it is also a very thought-provoking and worthwhile read. I plan on writing some sort of review of the book in the upcoming days/weeks and posting it on here. The book appears to be a good critique of both the strong and weak points of the Emerging Church (EC). Carson's biggest weakness is probably that some of his criticism and compliments do not apply to all ECs, but more to the leading thinkers of the movement, such as Brian McLaren and Spencer Burke. However, Carson acknowledges this weakness throughout the book, but also makes the point that if the weaknesses he sees in McLaren aren't inherent in all ECs, then their leaders should speak up about where they differ from McLaren, rather than staying largely silent.

For a short overview of what the Emerging Movement is within the Western evangelical community, you can go to Wikipedia's description here. To sum it up here, the Emerging Church is a movement aimed at engaging the postmodern culture in which we (in the Western world) live. At best, it serves as a wonderful way of getting young people into the church who are sick of dogmatic beliefs and hypocrisy and are searching for authentic relationships that speak to them personally. At worst, it serves as a breeding ground for morally-relative, theologically-shallow Christians who are unable to speak Truth to a dying world.

I just borrowed John MacArthur's book, The Truth War, from a friend and am intending on reading it soon. It also serves as a critique of the EC. I also hope to soon get a book on the EC from the perspective of Emerging thinkers, such as this one.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Fred Thompson was on the Paul Harvey show last week and had this to say about the global warming craze:
Some people think that our planet is suffering from a fever. Now scientists are telling us that Mars is experiencing its own planetary warming: Martian warming. It seems scientists have noticed recently that quite a few planets in our solar system seem to be heating up a bit, including Pluto.
This has led some people, not necessarily scientists, to wonder if Mars and Jupiter, non signatories to the Kyoto Treaty, are actually inhabited by alien SUV-driving industrialists who run their air-conditioning at 60 degrees and refuse to recycle.

Silly, I know, but I wonder what all those planets, dwarf planets and moons in our SOLAR system have in common. Hmmmm. SOLAR system. Hmmmm. Solar? I wonder. Nah, I guess we shouldn’t even be talking about this. The science is absolutely decided. There’s a consensus.

Ask Galileo.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Luke, a friend of my brother, posted a comment a few months ago questioning my criticism of the global warming scare. I responded to his comments with two posts (found here and here), and have added some other global warming-related stuff since then. Yesterday, Luke released the first part of what I assume will be a few posts worth of his reply.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
First the Duke lacrosse story, now this.
Two middle-school students in Oregon are facing possible time in a juvenile jail and could have to register as sex offenders for smacking girls on the rear end at school.

Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison, both 13, were arrested in February after they were caught in the halls of Patton Middle School, in McMinnville, Ore., slapping girls on the rear end. Mashburn told ABC News in a phone interview that this was a common way of saying hello practiced by lots of kids at the school, akin to a secret handshake.

The boys spent five days in a juvenile detention facility and were charged with several counts of felony sex abuse for what they and their parents said was merely inappropriate but not criminal behavior.

The local district attorney has since backed off -- the felony charges have been dropped and the district attorney said probation would be an appropriate punishment. The Mashburns' lawyer said prosecutors offered Cory a plea bargain that would not require him to register as a sex offender, which the family plans to reject.

But the boys, if convicted at an Aug. 20 trial, still face the possibility of some jail time or registering for life as sex offenders.

The boys' families and lawyers said even sentencing them to probation would turn admittedly inappropriate but not uncommon juvenile rowdiness into a crime. If they are convicted of any of the misdemeanor charges against them, they would have to register as sex offenders.

"It's devastating," said Mark Lawrence, Cory Mashburn's lawyer. "To be a registered sex offender is to be designated as the most loathed in our society. These are young boys with bright futures, and the brightness of those futures would be over."
Another example of our society circling the drain hole. Here is a video interview of the two boys and their families. The prosecutor here is the sick one. Mark Steyn chimed in on this case on Sunday in the OC Register. In his column, he states that this is another proof of the infantilization of our society. I would agree, but I think it also points to the symptom of another crass aspect in our culture: the sexualization of our children. First the intellectual left demanded that younger and younger kids be made aware of sex (to the point that Barack Obama recently called for sex ed for kindergarteners). Now, not only are they demanding that children intimately know about sexual issues, they also believe that kids should view everything within the myopic prism of sexuality. A century ago, had some schoolchildren started some silly fad of rump-swatting, the adults would have corrected them, but no one would have thought to bring the issue into the sexual realm.

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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »