By T. Freeman
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. Its answer is to stand in awe at the design of this universe in which we live.
–Tip of the hat to J.H. for suggesting this insight.
The New York Times Explains It All To You…And More’s The Pity
Who is responsible for the current economic mess? The NYT knows, and it will tell you. The problem: according to one Roger Kimball, the NYT is once again peddling ideological simplicities while avoiding truth.
That’s nothing new, according to Kimball.
In the great contest to determine the worst Times story ever, many, so many, are called, but few are chosen. To make it to the zenith of awfulness, a Times story must not only be factually distressed, it must also achieve that tone of absolute smugness that perfectly reflects and soothingly reinforces the self-righteous sensitivities of its readership.
Read the entire piece at the link above. It’s more than worth your time; in fact, it’s so good that it can’t be spoiled for you when the PenPo reveals what Roger says is the cause of the financial crisis: “…the utopian policies of left-wing Democrats who required banks to lend money to people who could not — or would not — pay it back.”
Roger then clarifies, step by horrifying step, how the crisis came about, who abetted it, and who tried to stop it.
This is superlative journalism. Don’t bypass it.
What?? Yet Another Outrage From The New York Times?
All Right, Mr. President Elect, It’s Time For You To Show Us What You Have Done About This
Everyone knows by now that it’s permissible — nay, virtually de rigueur — to bash Sarah Palin and her whole family. She’s the broad who “popped out a retard,” you will recall. She talks funny, she’s a moron, her clothes cost too much, she’s a liar, she’s corrupt, her mothering skills are dismal, and so on and on.
What in the world possessed Barack Obama, then, when he declared that Palin’s family was off limits in the political fracas? Why would he try to play umpire, and enforce decency on his people?
The politically correct answer is that Obama is a decent fellow, and some of his people were getting a bit nasty. So of course The One would sort them out. Think of it as Jesus telling His disciples they were not really getting the message, or maybe as Paul writing letters to the Christian communities. You know, making sure the troops are dressed right and covered down.
The truthful answer seems to be that Obama was blowing smoke up everyone’s backsides.
This newsletter is eager to stand corrected, so if you have additional information that gives the lie to what follows, please provide it.
Begin by reading all of what is found at this link. There you will see what an Obama partisan, a fund-raiser for The One, had to say about Sarah Palin; you will see that, on reviewing his remarks, he agreed that he had crossed the line into impropriety; further, you will see him whine about having been quoted out of context, when in fact the context was complete. The man, a vulgarian named Gutman, is a sniveling smear artist, in other words.
What matters most, however, is the pronouncement of Obama that anyone in his campaign who attacks Palin as a mother, or attacks her family, is OUT. Specifically, “…if I ever thought that there was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they’d be fired.”
Oh. Well, as one of the mainstream media faithful put it (in a piece linked to above, namely this one), “Obama is making government transparency and ethics a centerpiece of his White House bid.” Right. Sure. Got it. Yep, you bet.
The PenPo has the date for Obama’s statement as the second of September, 2008. Gutman’s smear of Palin the mother and grandmother-to-be was committed on the fifth of September, 2008.
This newsletter has been unable to discover what happened to Gutman. Was he quietly told to go away, and keep his mouth shut? Is he part of a dam? Is he still working for Obama in some anonymous but important capacity?
On the sixth of September, 2008, this newsletter said, “It’s impossible to interpret this prolonged, embarrassing dialogue so it gives the candidate any option. His response will reveal a lot about his ethics.” The reference was to Gutman’s remarks, linked to above.
Obama has had more than enough time to say something about Gutman, but if he has done so, this newsletter has been unable to locate the quote. It appears likely that the entire affair has been ignored, and if that is the case, that gives one reason to believe that Obama is a hypocrite.
Now let the sophistry begin. How will it go, the getting Obama off the hook? Start with, “He did not mean that comments like Gutman’s were covered by the order not to mess with Palin’s family.” No, not so good; let’s try, “Gutman never was part of the Obama team, he was just a helper who volunteered to do a few things, and you can’t ‘fire’ somebody you did not hire.” That’s better, but it somehow seems weak, lawyerly and slick, even cowardly, in view of the strong stand on ethics quoted above.
How’s this: “Obama did not have to toss the slob, who just sort of evaporated.” Unh.
“It’s no big deal. Gutman went a little too far, but not far enough to merit a public scolding from Obama; that would have been excessive.” …And so on, until the lies are all told, the hairs are all split and the issue is tiresome.
The fact is, Gutman should have been dealt with as the bloody-minded yahoo he is, because he violated the sprit of the campaign as pronounced by The One. Yet Obama did nothing (that this newsletter has discovered).
You either keep your people clean and starched, or you don’t. No slimy rationalizations permitted.
Unfortunately no one has followed up on this story. No surprise there; holding Obama accountable is not something the press wants to do.
In fact, a great deal has been ignored, forgotten, passed over and made unavailable in Obama’s history.
The One needs to learn that it’s always the coverup that kills you, while your original misdeed is very seldom lethal. The day may come when a journalist who is inexplicably immune to the enchantment will just keep asking questions.
Islam’s Warriors Are Not All Murderous Suicidal Maniacs, But They Are All, Male And Female, Dangerous
Robert Spencer has a new book out, and there’s a good review of it here. Excerpts:
Spencer uncovers disturbing evidence that unreasonable accommodations are being made to Muslim religious practices and beliefs. It’s bad enough that Minnesota’s Muslim cabdrivers refused service to some 5,400 passengers for the offense of carrying alcohol, or that the Indianapolis airport in 2007 installed footbaths to accommodate Muslim prayer, or that at least nine universities now have Muslim-only prayer rooms. Worse is that such flagrantly preferential treatment for Islam has been justified by everyone from government authorities to academics and journalists as a victory for “religious freedom.”
Emboldened by successes abroad and multicultural diffidence at home, Islamists may soon make more radical demands on American society.
We Think We Know That Randomness Is Not At All Likely To Come Up With Something Useful. We Are Probably Wrong
The claim has been made that life is as likely to arise out of some primordial soup as a tornado is likely to fly over a junk yard, suck up stuff, and assemble a Boeing 747 in midair. Another favorite analogy mentions millions of chimpanzees banging on typewriters, and somehow producing the works of Shakespeare. Possible, maybe, but so unlikely that “impossible” describes the probability.
Things may not be quite like that. Somebody tried the chimp experiment, but not with chimps. The results are peculiar.
“To be or not to be, that is the question….”
…in the 1980s Richard Hardison of Glendale College wrote a computer program that generated phrases randomly while preserving the positions of individual letters that happened to be correctly placed (in effect, selecting for phrases more like Hamlet’s). On average, the program re-created the phrase in just 336 iterations, less than 90 seconds. Even more amazing, it could reconstruct Shakespeare’s entire play in just four and a half days.
The key to this result seems to be the selection and retention of just some output. Call it “the archiving of the relevant,” perhaps. Without that to filter the product, you are dead in the water.
Questions: how fast was this 1980s computer? How fast are the analogous processes in nature? Or are they analogous? Interesting stuff….
Links, Some Interesting, Some Disturbing
Is there any graceful way to respond to this?
…in this war the Americans voted in the favoured candidate of the Copperheads, a President-elect who did indeed secure his election on such grounds that it would have been impossible for him to win the war after his inauguration, though he will be glad enough to take the victory that was won by other hands before it.
No, probably not. Unless “Guilty” will do.
Can you wait? Hardly, for…. “If Polywell pans out, nuclear fusion could be done more cheaply and more safely than it could ever be done in a tokamak or a laser blaster.” The world needs this, and how!
Claim: “Global warming exists, and this is what to do about it.” Well, maybe GW exists, maybe not. Certainly anthrpogenic GW is a hoax.
The AP produced a story about AGW, and then got a few responses. Oops.
Biden fumbles with the constitution, yet again. The goofy story is available on the internet. This newsletter suspects that Biden has an immoderate fondness for John Barleycorn. At times, the man does seem voluble and impaired (see PenPo 27).
The claim is that “…today there are more slaves than at any (other) time in human history.” True? It appears so.
As a fastidious reader of the PenPo, you know what this man is talking about.
…Britain, with nuclear weapons, cruise missiles, aircraft carriers and the latest generation of fighter-bombers, is incapable of securing a medium-size conurbation. Making Basra safe was an essential part of the overall strategy; having committed ourselves to our allies we let them down.