Thursday, August 28, 2003

The Ten Commandments

So now the government has removed a monument to the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Supreme Court of Alabama. All secular humanists and atheistic intellectuals cheered. The court is now free of the poison of the rules that the Judeo-Christian world has held dear for millenia. As Lowell Ponte put it in his searing take on it:
Leftists cheered wildly as the moral strictures of the 10 Commandments were removed from the Alabama Supreme Court. It is easy to see why. If people decided to believe in those rules – especially the Commandments that prohibit stealing and the coveting of your neighbors’ property – the Democratic Party, with its endless use of envy and class warfare and discriminatory demands to “tax the rich,” would vanish in the twinkling of an eye. The Left is a diseased ideology of darkness that cannot survive in the pure light of moral clarity.
The ACLU has won out over common sense. Other than those commandments that are specifically pertaining to the religion (have no idols, keep the sabbath) which are, after all, not commands that must be followed by non believers, one would think that these rules of living are a sort of universal truth, that must be followed by everyone. But leftist ideology must obliterate all ten of these rules, because 5, 8, 9, and 10 pertain to activities that leftist ideology insists are necessary to continue their power over the rest of us. Class envy and redistribution of wealth are the cornerstones of leftist ideologies. Coveting and taking the posessions of the rich are so important to the left that the ten commandments themselves must be stricken from the house of our laws.

I have no time to make the case here, but Ponte surely does. Lowell Ponte is a writer who I have just discovered, and can't recommend him highly enough. This man has an encyclopedic knowledge of history, and the more you read him, or listen to his radio show, the more impressive he is.

Highly recommended

Thursday, August 21, 2003

The Prime Minister Speaks

Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad is a fellow who is often quoted as a Muslim who believes that suicide bombing of innocents is not an Islamic activity. But recently, in an interview printed in the Straits Times reveals his understanding of the role of the Jews in the modern world.
Q: Do you still believe in this conspiracy of Jews in the Asian financial crisis?

A: I will have to give a very comprehensive answer to that. There are not that many Jews, only about 30 million. But they want to control the world, it has nothing to do with their religion, it's their personal Zionist ambition to rule the world.

The answer lies in capturing the most powerful country in the world — the United States.

How was it done? They invented and propagated the idea of democracy. If you are democratic, they have a right to all the rights of a democracy. They can stand for election, they can campaign, you cannot have any more massacres as they used to have in Europe.

Secondly, they promote the idea of human rights, that they must be given the same rights as anybody else. So again, there cannot be any discrimination against Jews.

Now, having spread these ideas among all the people, the majority feel that it is wrong to discriminate against the Jews.

At one time, Harvard University will not accept Jews. At one time, Jews were not allowed to participate in banking in America.

Through the spread of democracy and human rights, they can do all that. They can carry out banking, and they are very good in banking. From ancient times, they are the ones who collected the greatest amount of interest.

When they became equal, they went for institutions that have the most influence on society. They captured the media. The media in the West belongs to them, that includes the electronic media (TV) and Hollywood. It became a propaganda machine for them.

And then, having got the media, they go for politics. Today, the US Government, many of the members of Congress, are Jews. If they are not Jews, their staff members are Jews.

I appeared on the same platform as Mr Ashcroft in Davos, he was assisted by a young man whose name was Israel. Their staff are all Jews.

They come to Malaysia, and they have the same view.

So by controlling the Press and media, controlling the money through banking, and controlling now the Congress, they have become the power in the United States.

They may not be many, American political candidates are extreme candidates, but there are only six million Jews in America.

They can ensure that you win or lose, because they are united whilst the others are divided. In Malaysia, we have the same experience.

In a constituency with majority Muslim Malays, for example, and a minority made up of Chinese and Indians, the Muslims are actually divided. The Chinese and Indians will decide who will win, with their votes.

There are more Muslims than Jews in the US, but they are divided into 1,000 different groups. And they can never get together so they cannot play the same role as the Jews.

The biggest power in America now controls the world and economy. Their ideas about currency trading is that which resulted in the attack on Malaysia.

I said this, and of course, I was roundly criticised at that time. They said they want to make money, it's not because they are Jews. But whether they want to make money or not, the fact is that they are Jews and what they have done, benefit the Jews.
Remember, this is a moderate Islamic voice. Paranoid, if not psychotic, IMHO. But, compared to a society that honors a man who commits suicide, leaving two children of two and three years old, in the act of the murder of women and children on their way home from a religious site, maybe he IS the voice of reason. NOT! A sample:
However, later Tuesday, Hamas distributed fliers in Hebron, saying the Jerusalem bombing was carried out by one of its supporters, identified as Raed Abdel-Hamed Mesk, 29, a mosque preacher from Hebron.

Hamas released Mesk's farewell video. The plump man with the bushy beard said he was a member of the Hamas military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, accused Israel of violating the cease-fire offered by Hamas.

Mesk's wife Arij began clearing belongings out of her home late Tuesday, in expectation that it would be demolished by Israeli troops. The army routinely destroys the homes of suicide bombers, hoping it will act as a deterrent.

Arij Mesk said she was not sad. "God gave Raed something he always dreamed of. All of his life he dreamed of being a martyr," she said. The couple has two children, ages two and three.

The bus was blown up while making its way from the Wall to the ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood.
Just another example of the members of the religion of peace, spreading the word, and righting wrongs.

Misdirection Play

The recent brouhaha over the MSBlaster worm shows the basic misdirection that Microsoft has played upon us all. A large part of the subject matter illuminated in this space regards misdirection, or what I like to call the "The Emperor Has No Clothes" theory of human events. We are a species of (predominately) sheeple who follow the crowd, and are usually united in our misapplication of the facts. The "common knowledge" is almost always wrong, as I (and others) like to point out. And, what with the perfection of public relations theory and advertising technology, those who would lead the populace astray, and cause us to believe a falsehood, have some very effective tools to make that happen. Such is the case with Microsoft, and, in particular, the popular misapprehension of their response to the MSBlaster worm.

We are told that their (Microsoft's) response to the threat shows us what a great, on the job company they are. The fact that this problem only arises because MS sold us all a faulty piece of software in the first place is forgotten. This is a classic case of misdirection: look at their response, and fail to notice the cause. During the recent anti-trust trial of MS, we were first told that Windows was not a monopoly, and then, when that "fact" became untenable, we were told that this monopoly was a good thing for us, that the prevalence of this single operating system made it possible for a much larger number of software designers to concentrate on coding Windows products. We are not supposed to notice that there has not been a really cool software product released in the last half decade. We are certainly not supposed to notice that all of our computers are so much more vulnerable to virus and worm attacks than they were before we all standardised on Windows.

The truth is that this very standardization on a single operating system is a very bad thing. It makes for a very easy target for those who would do us harm. Why do you think that there are no Linux worms? Not because Linux is a more secure environment (although it is) but because there are so (relatively) few Linux boxes to attack. Why do you think there is no genuinely interesting software being written any more? Because the market for Windows software is so huge, and Microsoft is so powerful (and voracious) that any truly successful new product is bulldozed out of existence when a less useful, but "free", version appears in the next iteration of Windows.

We need to break out of the mold that we are expected to fit into. Or at least, that is the way I see it. I don't know how this can happen, but if we as a people do not make more effort to become more individual, the overwhelming power of the herd instinct, combined with the tools available to the government and large corporations that induce us to follow the crowd, will combine to make things only get worse. Readers of this blog are less exposed than most others, but we must all take steps to break out of that mold. Buy a Linux distro and install it on one of your old computers that is gathering dust in your garage. Watch CSPAN instead of a sit-com. And read, read, read.

Friday, August 08, 2003

When Whales Ruled the Earth

People call me a contrarian, but it's not true. I merely attempt to apply logic and knowledge to common problems, without giving what is called "common knowledge" any place at the table. Just because many people believe things, or scream things, there is no reason to believe these things. But the volume level does draw one's attention. Thus came the news last week about the early population of Whales, as revealed in their DNA. While the original article is not freely available on the web, a pithy summary of it can be found here. The fact that the DNA reveals genetic diversity an order of magnititude greater than that observed by the early Whaling captains is important because international Whaling has been (almost) halted pending the moment at which Whale stocks have risen back up to a level that represents half of their historic levels. Since the (almost) permanent status granted to any animal, once it is allowed entry to an endangered species list, is a favorite subject of mine, I decided to investigate.

Clicking over to my favorite site for scientific discourse, Gene Expression There was a conversation going on about this subject. While I couldn't get the gnxp'ers to engage on this topic at great length, I did get an indication that this genetic evidence refers to Whale populations that might have existed 10,000 years ago. Well, that says a lot! 10,000 years ago the Earth was just emerging from an Ice Age, and many populations were very different from their numbers today.

So, what do we really have here? Some geneticists say that Whale populations used to be ten times their present numbers, so resumed Whaling is not legal, since we must wait for historic populations to regenerate. But the point of the exercise, and the Whaling law, is to return to populations that existed before Whaling began, not to numbers that existed in the last Ice Age! This is a perfect example of junk science: take a grain of truth, make a lot of noise, and hope that you drown out the voices of reason. In the best use of single interest politics, this whitewash depends upon the issue at hand being unpopular, which it certainly is. How many people really want Whaling to resume? But the fact is, especially for Minke Whales, populations are higher today than they were 200 years ago. And if people want to fish for them, the law is clear: they should be allowed to do so. But for those who believe that humans are a blight upon nature, there will never be enough Whales for a harvest to be allowed. And that't the truest fact of all.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Is Obesity Bad For You?

The quest for scientific truth in our politically correct society is one of the main points I try to illuminate in this space. What with the proliferation of sources in today's web-enhanced universe there are more and more places to which one can turn it is surprising to me that so much junk science is taken at face value, as one can read opposing points of view to almost any thesis. But some sources do such a great job of expounding and arguement that they deserve special mention. Such a source is Tech Central Station. James Glassman does such a great job ferreting out the truth that I subscribe to their newsletter, and read something from their site almost every day. Today I read a particularly lucid exposition of the junk science behind the war on the overweight.

Beginning with the quote: "The war on fat has reached the point where the systematic distortion of the evidence has become the norm, rather than the exception," Sandy Szwarc goes on to detail how and why this war continues. As per usual, as with the war against (some) drugs and other modern campaigns, this war is sustained by those who stand to continue to gain financially from the effort. "[T]he leading obesity researchers all have enormous economic stakes in seeing expanded forms of obesity treatment applied to more Americans."
Oftentimes the most knowledgeable experts are within industries. That's not always a problem. But in the case of obesity, Thomas Moore, M.D., of Boston University School of Medicine, observed, "Due to their economic interests and bias, a suppression of research antithetical to the diet industry's position exists. Research not supporting weight loss isn't funded and isn't published."
Also, as with the war against passive smokers,
Researchers and public officials were increasingly reporting not just that 300,000 deaths were linked to obesity, but suddenly caused by obesity, too. Most, like a study published in JAMA, Oct. 27, 1999, didn't actually specify what obese people were dying from. But as the author, David Allison, Ph.D., noted, "our calculations assume that all excess mortality in obese people is due to their obesity."
Sounds familiar, eh? Swarc has done a fine job of tracking down the few peer reviewed articles to support her thesis, and does it well. If you are one who believes that dieting may be more dangerous than eating well, or can't believe that Michael Jordan is obese, or just need to find out if 300,000 Americans die each year from being overweight, then you must read the entire article yourself. And, while you are at it, subscribe to the TCS newsletter as well.

All Lefties Are Not (Necessarily) Loonies

In this morning's Wall Street Journal there is an Op-Ed piece dealing with, well, let the title speak for itself, i.e. "A Moral Failure: Why did so many on the Left march to save Saddam Hussein? " In it he deals with his situation as a Leftist who supported the war against Saddam "for regime change reasons" and the failure of his colleagues to agree with him. It is not an apologia for them, it is a condemnation.

This from a man who calls The Guardian his "newspaper of choice." He tries to start out saying that the Left is committed to "democratic values and basic human rights." So, what is their excuse? Hatred of Bush, it seems, and an unwillingness to believe that anything that Bush (and the Right) might do is worthwhile. Even then he says "A person with a bad record is capable of doing good. There were some anti-Semitic rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust." Geras makes no excuse for these contemptible Lefties, who even now are in the position of supporting Saddam against those who liberated his people.

So what do we know about this Leftie who is capable of independent thought? Well, among other things, he is a recently arrived member of the blogosphere. As he puts on his blog, Normblog,
There's this global conversation going on out there: argument and counter-argument; thinking aloud; the sharing of information or just stray musings; the sharing of links, of things you want to draw to the attention of others, or merely incidents from your day, likes and dislikes, pictures, jokes, curiosities, you name it. There is, too, the letting off of steam at some damned thing you've been afflicted by in one medium or another. You could, of course, always write a letter to a newspaper - who could, of course, ignore it. Or you can blog.

I’m joining the conversation.
So, go and read Norm. Not bad. For a Leftie, not bad at all.