Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Darwinians doth protest too much, methinks"

viewpoint points to three evangelical outpost posts explaining how darwinian dogmatists help promote intelligent design:

part 1
part 2
part 3

(disclaimer: the evidence i've seen points more towards young-earth creationism, but i'd take i.d. over darwin's folly any day...)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gasoline's Still Too High

Guess I posted this a couple of years too early... :(

-------------------------------

With an insincere apology to the Starland Vocal Band, here again are my alternate lyrics to "Afternoon Delight":

Gonna buy unleaded, gonna fill my tank,
When I saw them numbers, well my heart just sank.
Only got a twenty for the whole dang week -
Wouldn't move my Suburban seven hundred feet.

Skyrocketing price,
Gasoline's too high.
Ga-aaa-soline's too high.

Thinking that I can't afford to fill 'er up.
Dollar got a couple gallons, now, just half a cup.
If the war was about oil, wouldn't you just think
That the pricing of the petrol might begin to sink?

Skyrocketing price,
Gasoline's too high.
Ga-aaa-soline's too high.

When the metal numbers move a dozen times a day,
You just know big oil company's gonna make you pay.

Skyrocketing price,
Gasoline's too high.
Ga-aaa-soline's too high.

---

This is still true, too.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

(update: this post has gone through many minor revisions, and may continue to do so. "kinda like microevolution, huh?" asks the author...)

I saw Ben Stein's new movie on Sunday. Tom Bethell's review of the movie is a solid starting point, and I would add:
  • It was the only movie I've ever attended where people applauded more than once.
  • It was not as humorous throughout as the previews might lead you to believe. The explanation of how "ideas have consequences" becomes rather depressing when it explains how many millions have died due to Darwin's folly as implemented by nazis, abortionists, and various communists.
  • The presentation of the connection between Naziism and Darwinism could have been timed better. Though accurate, its suddenness had a Godwin's Law feeling.
  • The user comments on IMDB show almost no signs of intelligence, but the wikipedia article does have at least one on the discussion page:
    "This article is about a movie that claims that scientists who oppose the "consensus" view are shouted down and marginalized as kooks. And when someone complains that this article itself is an attempt to shout down Ben Stein and marginalize him as a kook, they are in turn shouted down and marginalized as a kook. Do I detect a pattern here????"
    The bile spewed denouncing this movie is elegant and irrefutable proof that the movie's claims are true.
  • One of the "stars" of the movie got really bent out of shape about it, and resorted to "pot calling the kettle black" tactics by saying:
    "dull, artless, amateurish, too long, poorly constructed and utterly devoid of any style, wit or subtlety."
    which describes Dawkins' rant perfectly,
    "What a shoddy, second-rate piece of work."
    which describes Darwinism to a T, and
    "Quite apart from anything else, it is drearily boring, the tedium exacerbated by the grating monotony of..."
    Dawkins' histrionics. (although the movie doesn't portray him as unsympathetically as his ideology deserves.)
  • The ads before the movie previews were a whole other steaming pile of greenie propaganda that deserves nearly as much ridicule as macroevolution.
In related reviews, Martin Cothran's review has another angle, and Patrick Roberts adds at least four cents.

update 2: stand to reason answers some questions that might be asked after this movie.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

what's the opposite of "our lady of peace"

how about "our madman of perpetual hate"?

---

related: it seems that the definition of "hate crime" in the u.k. now sadly includes "reporting hate crimes".

---

both links via local malcontent

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

i come not to praise obama

but to mirror him:
So, it depends on where you are, but I think it’s fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about religion. The people are mis-appre…I think they’re misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to ‘city folk don’t wanna go to church — don’t wanna vote for the Christian.’ That’s…there were intimations of that in an article in the Weekly World News today - kind of implies that it’s sort of a faith thing.

Here’s how it is: in a lot of these overgrown cities in on both coasts, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by hypocrites, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about religion, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it. And when it’s delivered by — it’s true that when it’s delivered by a white man, then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter)...

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these urban sewers like New York, and like a lot of other rat-infested cities, morality been gone now for 80 years and nothing’s replaced it. And they fell through the Graham revival and local missions, and each successive revival has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to gays or drugs or hatred of non-miserable people or amoral sentiment or anti-god sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Um, now these are in some communities, you know. I think what you’ll find is, is that people of every background — there are gonna be a mix of people, you can go in the toughest neighborhoods, you know working-class lunch-pail folks, you’ll find true Christians. And you can go into places where you think they’d be rich and people will just be morally bankrupt. The important thing is that you show up and you’re doing what's right.
turnabout is fair play in love and war ;)

---

update: lileks buries him
Happy tax day, all you God-clinging gun-nut anti-NAFTA fools. The Rubeoisie, as Mencken might have called you.

What annoyed me about the Obama comments was the crude reduction of everything into economic terms, the most dismal prism through which to regard humanity. So the factories close, and the sullen mass of the lowly workers ball their fists, feel a strange sour bolus of resentment bolting up their throat, and think: must – channel – confusing - emotions- into – unreasoning – opposition – to – redefining – marriage. If the factories magically reappear, does everyone sigh with relief, quit church and drop off their guns? I have money! No need for the Magic Carpenter and that poorly-worded amendment. Call off the border patrol, too – there’ll be jobs and upward wage pressure for everyone. It’s not exactly an unusual thesis; I’ve encountered it for years. People cannot possibly believe these crazy things for their own sake; they must be driven to them by external forces.

It’s possible there are bitter people who regard their station in life as a direct result of the current rate of capital gains taxes, but it seems an insufficiently reasoned basis for a national economic policy. Oh, it’s possible; at this very minute one of the country’s innumerable domestic terror cells could be planning a bombing of a Planned Parenthood center, driven to extremism by the very possibility of a Colombian trade pact. But I doubt it.

Not to say economics don’t affect people; I’m not that stupid. But like any adversity, you meet it with a certain amount of psychological capital. The more grounded you are in things that transcend the dollar, the better you can deal with the downturns. Some seem to suspect that the “grounding” is nothing more than a stake in the ground to channel the bolts tossed off by madmen in the pulpits, but those are the people most likely to believe that church services either consist of yelling and snake-handling, or gaseous bromides pumped out over a complacent stack of prim-faced morons and hypocrites who spend the service lusting after young women in the choir. There is no goodness, only the momentary self-delusion accorded by participation in a consensual charade.

I’ve been trying to find the right words for a certain theory, and I can’t quite do it yet. It has to do with how a candidate feels about America – they have to be fundamentally, dispositionally comfortable with it. Not in a way that glosses over or excuses its flaws, but comfortable in the way a long-term married couple is comfortable. That includes not delighting in its flaws, or crowing them at every opportunity as proof of your love. I mean a simple quiet sense of awe and pride, its challenges and flaws and uniqueness and tragedies considered. You don’t win the office by being angry we’re not something else; you win by being enthused we can be something better. You can fake the latter. But people sense the former.

Monday, April 14, 2008

bad news for bad religion

Let's pray that they are not merely exchanging one brand of church for another, but that they are turning towards the one true God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Friday, April 11, 2008

this meme's just six words long

tagged by local malcontent, i post:

The Rules:
  1. Write your own six word memoir.
  2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
  3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
  4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.
  5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.


"obscure spectral shards with regrettable inertia."

it's both poetic and needlessly puzzling.

will tag others later; brain's tired.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

the struggle continues

Charlton Heston recognized it nine years ago:
I've come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain accepted thoughts and speech are mandated.

For example, I marched for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963 -- and long before Hollywood found it acceptable, I may say. But when I told an audience last year that white pride is just as valid as black pride or red pride or anyone else's pride, they called me a racist.

I've worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life -- throughout my whole career. But when I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe.

I served in World War II against the Axis powers. But during a speech, when I drew an analogy between singling out the innocent Jews and singling out innocent gun owners, I was called an anti-Semite.

Everyone I know knows I would never raise a closed fist against my country. But when I asked an audience to oppose this cultural persecution I'm talking about, I was compared to Timothy McVeigh.

From Time magazine to friends and colleagues, they're essentially saying, "Chuck, how dare you speak your mind like that. You are using language not authorized for public consumption."

But I am not afraid. If Americans believed in political correctness, we'd still be King George's boys -- subjects bound to the British crown.

In his book, "The End of Sanity," Martin Gross writes that
"blatantly irrational behavior is rapidly being established as the norm in almost every area of human endeavor. There seem to be new customs, new rules, new anti-intellectual theories regularly twisted on us -- foisted on us from every direction. Underneath, the nation is roiling. Americans know something without a name is undermining the country, turning the mind mushy when it comes to separating truth from falsehood and right from wrong. And they don't like it."
Let me read you a few examples. At Antioch College in Ohio, young men speaking and seeking intimacy with a coed must get verbal permission at each step of the process, from kissing to petting to final, at last, copulation -- all clearly spelled out in a printed college directive.

In New Jersey, despite the death of several patients nationwide who'd been infected by dentists who had concealed their own AIDS, the state commissioner announced that health providers who are HIV-positive need not -- need not! -- tell their patients that they are infected.

At William and Mary, students tried to change the name of the school team "The Tribe" because it was supposedly insulting to local Indians, only to learn that authentic Virginia chiefs really like the name, "The Tribe."

In San Francisco, city fathers passed an ordinance protecting the rights of transvestites to cross-dress on the job, and for transsexuals to have separate toilet facilities while undergoing sex change surgery.

In New York City, kids who didn't speak a word of Spanish had been placed in bilingual classes to learn their three R's in Spanish solely because their own names sound Hispanic.

At the University of Pennsylvania, in a state where thousands died at Gettysburg opposing slavery, the president of that college officially set up segregated dormitory space for black students.

Yeah, I know, that's out of bounds now. Dr. King said "Negroes." Jimmy Baldwin and most of us on the March said "black." But it's a no-no now.

...

If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist. If you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you sexist. If you think critically about a denomination, it does -- does not make you anti-religion. If you accept but don't celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.

Don't let America's universities continue to serve as incubators for this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism. That's what it is: New McCarthyism. But, what can you do? How can anyone prevail against such pervasive social subjugation?

Well, the answer's been here all along. I learned it 36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.

You simply disobey. Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently, absolutely. But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don't. We disobey the social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom.

I learned the awesome power of disobedience from Dr. King who learned it from Gandhi, and Thoreau, and Jesus, and every other great man who led those in the right against those with the might.

...

So that this nation may long endure, I urge you to follow in the hallowed footsteps of the great disobediences of history that freed exiles, founded religions, defeated tyrants, and yes, in the hands of an aroused rabble in arms and a few great men, by God's grace, built this country.

If Dr. King were here, I think he would agree.
via monday evening

Monday, April 07, 2008

absolut-ly

update re the absolut boycott: if it's not a googlebomb, should it perhaps be called a google-molotov? (googletov?)

I'm kidding; Absolut wasn't.



"This particular ad, which ran in Japan, was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a Japanese sensibility. In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-Allies sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Japan may feel was more ideal."



"This particular ad, which ran in Israel, was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a Israeli sensibility. In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-Arab sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Israel may feel was more ideal."



"This particular ad, which ran in Atlanta, was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a Southern sensibility. In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-dam-yankee sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of the South may feel was more ideal."




"This particular ad, which ran in Russia, was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a Russian sensibility. In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-NATO sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Russia may feel was more ideal."



"This particular ad, which ran in America, was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a American sensibility. In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-fur'ner sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of America may feel was more ideal."



"This particular ad, which ran in China, was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a Chinese sensibility. In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-Tibet/Taiwan/Aksai Chin sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of China may feel was more ideal."



"This particular ad, which ran in Germany, was based upon historical perspectives and was created with a German sensibility. In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-freedom sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Germany may feel was more ideal."


Lileks summed it up nicely in one word: Idiots.

PRUDE PRIDE!

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

inspired by a 2.3'er

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Saturday, April 05, 2008

forty years later

most sensible people still "have the dream":
Today is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, and media commentators have throughout the day been making references to King's I Have Dream speech and talking about keeping King's dream alive.

I'd like to, but I'm afraid that King's dream is pretty much moribund. The dream was, in part, that someday his children would be "judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin." The dream was that we would live in a color-blind society where people would look past one's race and pigment to one's values and achievement. Unfortunately, modern liberalism has made that all but impossible.

So far from making race an irrelevancy, liberalism has made it a matter of crucial importance. Affirmative action, race-based scholarships, minority set-asides, race-norming, school busing, welfare, etc. were all attempts to compensate blacks - a kind of reparations - for the abominations of the past, but whatever they accomplished for black people in general, they surely stoked white resentments and pushed further into the distance the day when skin color doesn't matter.

...(read the rest)...


Like Martin Luther King a lot of us have a dream, too. We dream of the day when what matters in a man is what values he holds. What kind of morals he lives by, his ambitions, his attitudes toward his family, his community, and his country. We dream of a day when the things that we share in common are more important than the things which make us different. We dream of a day when the color of one's skin matters no more than the color of one's eyes, and when everyone, regardless of ethnicity, recognizes that the best way to guarantee a united, cohesive future is to share grandchildren in common. Even so, if that day is ever going to come, liberalism is just going to have to get out of the way.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

victory seeds

Magdi Allam has seen the light:
Magdi Allam forsook Islam because he considers it to be "inherently evil". As he wrote to his editor at the Corriere della Sera:
My conversion to Catholicism is the touching down of a gradual and profound interior meditation from which I could not pull myself away, given that for five years I have been confined to a life under guard, with permanent surveillance at home and a police escort for my every movement, because of death threats and death sentences from Islamic extremists and terrorists, both those in and outside of Italy ...

I asked myself how it was possible that those who, like me, sincerely and boldly called for a "moderate Islam", assuming the responsibility of exposing themselves in the first person in denouncing Islamic extremism and terrorism, ended up being sentenced to death in the name of Islam on the basis of the Koran. I was forced to see that, beyond the contingency of the phenomenon of Islamic extremism and terrorism that has appeared on a global level, the root of evil is inherent in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictive.
Far more important than denouncing the evils of Islam, though, is Magdi Allam's embrace of what he calls the God of faith and reason:
The miracle of the Resurrection of Christ has reverberated through my soul, liberating it from the darkness of a tendency where hate and intolerance in before the "other", condemning it uncritically as an "enemy", and ascending to love and respect for one's "neighbor", who is always and in any case a person; thus my mind has been released from the obscurantism of an ideology which legitimates lying and dissimulation, the violent death that leads to homicide and suicide, blind submission and tyranny - permitting me to adhere to the authentic religion of Truth, of Life, and freedom. Upon my first Easter as a Christian I have not only discovered Jesus, but I have discovered for the first time the true and only God, which is the God of Faith and Reason ...
Read the rest.

Defeating both "islamofascism" and "the decadent west" at the same time? Now that's a win-win.

(via snadrs)