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Month: December 2008

Number 51

What? He Says A Thrill Went Up His Leg?? — Rover, Bad Dog!! Some of the millions of words spoken each year on TV and radio are unintentionally hilarious. Here are some of the most amusing utterances the talking heads produced in 2008. Honestly, What The Hell Next?? Just How Crazy Are Those Brits? Is This Caused By Bad Food, A Lack Of Dental Care, Or Soccer Hooliganism?? The report is stunning: in response to the traditional Christmas address delivered by Queen Elizabeth II, the… …UK’s Channel 4 has a “alternative address” set for Christmas day. Despite the tortured logic, they present their hero in that exercise. The message is to be given by the most unlikely friend of the shallow agnostics and feelies of the world, an orthodox muslim, none other than Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. This newsletter is struck dumb by the insanity. The Brits, however, are not similarly disabled. End of report. An Unbelievable Lie Resurrected In a recent report, National Public Radio (NPR) has tried to breathe new life into the dead myth that the Burkett/Killian memos are genuine. Those fake documents were handed to a CBS News producer of 60 Minutes II, Mary Mapes, and put before the public by Dan Rather some eight weeks before the presidential election; they assert that George W. Bush was AWOL for part of his Texas Air National Guard service....

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Number 50

A Reminder By T. Freeman Source The Ancient Greeks couldn’t understand us Jews. They asked us to describe our G-d. We said He could not be described. They asked us to explain how He created a world out of nothing. We said it could not be explained. They told us that which could not be explained could not exist. And so continued the debate between philosophy and Torah for many centuries. Step by step, men described and explained everything they saw, until there was no room left for miracles, for prophecy, for divine providence, for G-d. It was then that the fountains of wisdom opened for humankind and we gazed into the mysteries of the atom, of energy fields, of black holes in space. Suddenly, the universe became once again a wondrous place. Suddenly, we discovered that existence itself could not truly be described or explained. In truth, the greatest mystery is that anything exists at all. Today, it is okay to believe in the supernatural, for the “Laws of Nature” have been deposed from their throne. There is no reason to deny free choice, for the iron chain of Cause and Effect has been loosened. Today, once again, scientists talk about the oneness of the cosmos and a Consciousness within it. Today, if anyone should tell you that Science has all the answers, respond that yes, it does....

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Number 49

Number 49 20 December 2008 China Builds Nuclear Power Generating Stations On The Cheap. Is That Good? A Lot Depends On Cultural Factors, Which Can Operate In Surprising Ways Economies of…dictatorship? Is that what’s happening here? Given Chinese quality control practices, corruption and technical experience, what can we expect? Clouds of radioactive particles drift across continents…. This newsletter does not trust China to build or operate the plants properly. That does not mean disaster is certain. Itdoes mean the chances of Chinese accidents are substantially higher than they are in the USA, but not as high as they are in Russia. Everybody has accidents because nobody’s perfect. The challenge is not to have zero accidents, but to make them all small, and avoid the domino effect (in which one accident causes another, and a cascade of horrifying events results). That challenge can be met, even in the industries that use the most complex technology, because every catastrophe is always the result of a confluence of factors. Those include malfeasance, dereliction of duty, corruption, common laziness, bad luck and incompetence. The big, bad accidents are never caused by just one thing that happens without warning after all procedures have been properly followed. Every technology-related catastrophe was preceded by multiple missed opportunities to prevent it. That was true of NASA’s blunders, for example. Remember Richard Feynman? If not, read this web...

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Number 48

Grisly Stuff It’s all in two posts, each with lots of links — and implications. It has to do with intelligence, surveillance and constitutional rights, with a hefty dose of protecting the nation against another Word Trade Center-Pentagon-United 93 catastrophe thrown in. Then there’s a glimpse of the special universe in which Obama is permitted to dwell. First post: explaining the intelligence/surveillance story. Second post: here they come — hypocrites on parade. So the truth is available, but once again all that really matters is how the press reports it. Olbermann and his ilk have no worries, while the Bush team is permanently stigmatized in front of a public that’s been deliberately kept ignorant. Justice is hardly possible at all when the news media are this bent. Puzzled? Click on the links and read carefully. Luminaries In The Gloom Even as the disgrace and decline of mainstream journalism continue, there are stellar individuals who do the occupation proud. Two of this newsletter’s favorites continue making admirable contributions to the craft: Annie Jacobsen and Claudia Rosett deserve high praise and a very wide readership for their work. Rosett long ago earned a right to a Pulitzer for her exposes of the biggest financial swindle in human history, but because that was a UN scam, political correctness denies her journalism’s highest honor. That’s the price the honest pay. Claudia is fearless...

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Number 47

The West Must Not Defend Itself Against Islam By Waging A Holy War Has the West learned nothing from its history? The question arises because a relatively influential weblogger has delivered herself of some fourteenth-century notions that are designed to appeal to people of the Christian and Jewish faiths. If she is convincing, everything on which the defense of the West depends may be at risk. Her ideas are quoted below at some length; emphasis has been added by this newsletter. The following material comes from this post, which quotes the original. The authoress calls herself “The Anchoress,” and writes on spiritual matters from a Christian viewpoint. See her weblog for an explanation of what an anchoress was (perhaps there are some genuine anchoresses still in existence), if you are unaware of this quirk of monastic, mendicant Christianity. The post begins with this introduction, provided by Ed Morrissey of the HotAir weblog: To the extent that the West relies on its post-Enlightenment institutions, the radical Islamists will adapt and pervert them; to the extent that the West offers secular arguments and ecumenical bromides, the radical Islamists will ignore us. In order to make progress, the West will have to relearn how to speak the language of faith — and to value its own heritage: The Anchoress then makes her case: The West loves its court systems, its bureaucracies, its...

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