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Journal Journal: Intelligent Design? 57

Intelligent design has become a major issue recently. But what is it? It seems that people are quick to attack it. But does anyone know what intelligent design is?

I done a little studying as I have time to learn the science of intelligent design. I am not a science major, so I don't have a background to really understand science. I haven't talked a lot about intelligent design, because I don't really feel comfortable arguing for or against something I don't understand.

But I noticed that a lot of people are quick to attack and critize something that even they don't seem to understand. In fact, it has become increasingly popular recently to use intelligent design as a political attack. Is this surprising?

It seems to be obvious on a fundamental level that there can only be 2 posibilities for why things are. For example a horse was either always a horse genetically, or a horse came from something else which ultimately genetically came from a primordial soup. Scientifically, there cannot be any other choice. At least it has alluded me.

That means that everyone either believes that we came from primordial soup or we always were. And so the battle lines are drawn. Now, people will take a side and have many different reasons for believing it. I don't consider having various reasons for believing something bad or even wrong. But the only reason that is important in my consideration is the science supporting each view.

There is science that supports each view. The tricky part is being willing to have an open mind and taking the time to find out what that science is. When we understand both sides scientifically, we will be able to have a better debate then just yelling that intelligent design is too "religious."

So, that's what I want to do as I have time. I want to do my part to stop this scientific ignorance, and learn the science behind intelligent design. I'm sure that my willingness to have an open mind and question evolution will irritate many people who are intolerant to such skepticism, but that is their choice. I am interested in science, and I'm sure that my search for it will be rewarded.

I could say more I suppose, but it is late. I'll probably revisit this issue as I learn more about the science behind intelligent design.


Journal Journal: Meth Restrictions Working In Minnesota 10

Well, here's news I'm sure that was unexpected. Apparently, the new Meth Law is working. This is the one that restricts the sale of cold tablets. According to the local paper meth labs are on the decrease. This is indeed good news.

"Meth labs have collapsed to the point of mere extinction," Stevens said. State crime investigators are encountering far fewer of the clandestine labs than they were a year ago, he said.

That's the right direction...


Journal Journal: Please don't forget Cindy Sheehan 10

Cindy Sheehan is on the verge of being forgotten by the media and lefties and cast out like yesterdays garbage. Let's not let that happen.

Ugh! Not Another Cindy Sheehan Article"

Military Families 'Disgusted' by Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan's Latest Publicity Stunt at White House Denounced by Gold Star Parents and Military Families

Cindy Sheehan Vs. Bill Kristol?

The last one is the best. It is then that we find out that Cindy abruptly ended the interview when asked challenging rather then answering. "It was verified that Sheehan was still on the phone before opening questions to the audience (which we were unable to verify for ourselves, only Jerrick could hear the response in his ear piece), but once someone challenged her, Sheehan was suddenly gone and unable address the comments directed at her from the audience." What a coward.


Journal Journal: Did You Know? 7

Of course I didn't know. How could I?
  • Did you know that 47 countries have reestablished their embassies in Iraq?
  • Did you know that the Iraqi government currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?
  • Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 schools are now under construction and 38 new schools have been built in Iraq?
  • Did you know that Iraq's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?
  • Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2005 for the re-established Fulbright program?
  • Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational?! They have 5- 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.
  • Did you know that Iraq's Air Force consists of three operational squadrons, which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers?
  • Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?
  • Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?
  • Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers each 8 weeks?
  • Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.
  • Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?
  • Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?
  • Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?
  • Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consists of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations? Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?
  • Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a televised debate recently?

Of course we didn't know!
Why didn't we know? Our media wouldn't tell us!
Instead of reflecting our love for our country, we get photos of flag burning incidents at Abu Ghraib and people throwing snowballs at the presidential motorcades.
The lack of accentuating the positive in Iraq serves two purposes. It is intended to undermine the world's perception of the United States thus minimizing consequent support, and it is intended to discourage American citizens.

---- Above facts are verifiable on the Department of Defense web site.


Journal Journal: George Bush, The Man. 19

The latest from a sound-thinking Canadian (not an oxymoron after all!)

By David Warren
The Ottawa Citizen Sunday, September 11, 2005.

There's plenty wrong with America, since you asked. I'm tempted to say that the only difference from Canada is that they have a few things right. That would be unfair, of course I am often pleased to discover things we still get right.

But one of them would not be disaster preparation. If something happened up here, on the scale of Katrina, we wouldn't even have the resources to arrive late. We would be waiting for the Americans to come save us, the same way the government in Louisiana just waved and pointed at Washington, D.C. The theory being that, when you're in real trouble, that's where the adults live.

Hmm, the adults are in Washington DC? It's an interesting article. Go read the whole thing yourself.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal Journal: One Marine vs. 20 Idiots--Guess Who Wins? 35

The Wall Street Journal Best of the Web Today

On Friday, we noted that a score of Ohio University students and others had staged a "die-in" to protest the liberation of Iraq. The Post, the student newspaper, carried a letter from Marc Fencil, a senior who is also a Marine currently stationed in Iraq, that is so excellent we reprint it in full:

It's a shame that I'm here in Iraq with the Marines right now and not back at Ohio University completing my senior year and joining in blissful ignorance with the enlightened, war-seasoned protesters who participated in the recent "die-in" at College Gate. It would appear that all the action is back home, but why don't we make sure? That's right, this is an open invitation for you to cut your hair, take a shower, get in shape and come on over! If Michael Moore can shave and lose enough weight to fit into a pair of camouflage utilities, then he can come too!

Make sure you all say your good-byes to your loved ones though, because you won't be seeing them for at least the next nine months. You need to get here quick because I don't want you to miss a thing. You missed last month's discovery of a basement full of suicide vests from the former regime (I'm sure Saddam's henchmen just wore them because they were trendy though). You weren't here for the opening of a brand new school we built either. You might also notice women exercising their new freedom of walking to the market unaccompanied by their husbands.

There is a man here, we just call him al-Zarqawi, but we think he'd be delighted to sit down and give you some advice on how you can further disrespect the victims of Sept. 11 and the 1,600 of America's bravest who have laid down their lives for a safer world. Of course he'll still call you "infidel" but since you already agree that there is no real evil in the world, I see no reason for you to be afraid. Besides, didn't you say that radical Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance?

I'm warning you though -it's not going to be all fun and games over here. You might have bad dreams for the next several nights after you zip up the body bag over a friend's disfigured face. I know you think that nothing, even a world free of terror for one's children, is worth dying for, but bear with me here. We're going to live in conditions you've never dreamt about. You should get here soon though, because the temperatures are going to be over 130 degrees very soon and we will be carrying full combat loads (we're still going to work though). When it's all over, I promise you can go back to your coffee houses and preach about social justice and peace while you continue to live outside of reality.

If you decide to decline my offer, then at least you should sleep well tonight knowing that men wearing black face masks and carrying AK-47s yelling "Allahu Akbar" over here are proud of you and are forever indebted to you for advancing their cause of terror. While you ponder this, I'll get back to the real "die-in" over here. I don't mind.
What can we say but "Semper fi"?

God Bless America
Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas
Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever.
United States Marines


Journal Journal: Fingerprint Payments!! 6

Well, I'm fairly excited about this news:

Cub Foods on Monday began testing a biometric payment system at its Blaine store that can access checking accounts by scanning a shopper's finger.

Called Pay By Touch, Cub executives said the technology will allow customers to purchase groceries faster and eliminate the need to carry checkbooks or debit cards.

"This is about offering shoppers the best customer service," said Trish Belisle, retail technology manager for Supervalu Inc., which owns and franchises Cub grocery stores.

Yes, this is good news indeed. Now I just need to figure out how to get up to Blaine, and hope that they roll this out to all stores ASAP.


Journal Journal: Party of Nine is a Party of No 2

Did you know that in 1995 the Democrats who had the majority in the US Senate tried to take away the filibuster from the Republicans completely?

Today, the Republicans who are the majority, are not retaliating like they could be, given how they've been treated by the Democrats over the past few decades, but are simply trying to get business down in the Senate, are trying to stop the filibuster from stopping their advise and consent role. Understandably, the Democrats are livid that they aren't in control anymore. But maybe it's time for the Democrats to put partisan politics aside and start participating in governing this country again.

I've excepted a little background on the Republicans filibuster rule changes, because I know that most people still don't understand what the Republicans are doing.

Dem "Party Of Nine" Voted To End All Filibusters In 1995:

In 1995, Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) And Eight Other Democrats Now Serving In The Senate (Bingaman, Boxer, Feingold, Harkin, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, And Sarbanes) Supported Ending All Filibusters. In 1995, the only Senators on record supporting the end of the filibuster were all Democrats, nine of whom are still serving in the Senate.

  • The Harkin-Lieberman Proposal Would Have Amended The Senate Rules To Allow A Simple Majority To Overcome "Any" Filibuster, Legislative Or Executive.

Read More

Judicial Nominations

Myth #1: Senate Republicans Are Attempting To Abolish All Filibusters.
Fact: Republicans Are Seeking To Reestablish The Senate's Traditional Role In The Judicial Nomination Process, Not Eliminate All Filibusters, An Initiative Some Democrats Have Supported In The Past.

Myth #2: Filibusters Of Judicial Nominations Are Part Of Senate Tradition.
Fact: Having To Overcome A Filibuster (Or Obtaining 60 Votes) On Judicial Nominations Is Unprecedented And Has Never Been The Confirmation Test For A Nominee -- And In The Past, Even Democrats Have Called For Up Or Down Votes.

Myth #3: Democrats Want To Continue Debating These Nominations So They Can Reach A Compromise With The Republican Majority.
Fact: The Democrats Have Threatened To Shut Down The Senate Rather Than Carry Out Their Constitutional Obligation To Provide An Up Or Down Vote On Judicial Nominees.

Myth #4: Democrats Treatment Of Bush's Nominees Is Analogous To Republicans Treatment Of Clinton's Nominees.
Fact: President Clinton's Judicial Nominees Were Not Filibustered And Never Before Has A Judicial Nominee With Clear Majority Support Been Denied An Up-Or-Down Vote On The Senate Floor By A Filibuster.

Myth #5: The Constitutional Option Is Unprecedented.
Fact: Senate Democrats Have Used The Constitutional Option In The Past.


Journal Journal: Liberty and Justice For All ... To Marry? 4

Reading our local paper's article on the marriage rally at our Capital today, I came across this interesting quote.

"I thought the Pledge of Allegiance said 'liberty and justice for all,''' Benjamin said. "I didn't see any parentheses that said, 'except for homosexuals.'''

Who knew. I had no idea that the Pledge of Allegiance was written with marriage in mind.

Consequently, with Marriage being our new inalienable right, I know lots of singles who should sue for marraige benefits. I mean really, if it's that inalienable, why deny it to anyone. Requiring someone to find another person to become one with them to receive an unalienable right raises the bar a little high, don'tcha thing?


Journal Journal: Starving Children? Most Peaceful Thing They Experience 38

This blogger is spot on.

From now on when the left bitches about the starving children because of Bush's tax cuts, or the starving people in the sub-Saharan African areas, or the children who are starving because of poverty I will remind them of this fact. Starving to death is peaceful.

[S]tudies show that even patients who can speak and who have chosen to stop eating and drinking generally don't complain of thirst or hunger

Those kids won't suffer. You see, dehydration (the cause of people's hangovers after a couple of hours of dehydration--and those are so wonderful) is not that bad.

The Matrix

Journal Journal: Kate's Journey 16

It astounds me that the Schaivo debate is often framed in the argument that we shouldn't prevent someone from making their own decision about their life. But that's a stupid argument to use in Terri's case, because that's why we're still here after 15 years litigating the case. Unless you've forgotten, or haven't recognised yet, Terri *can't* make a decision.

The question that is being litigated is whether a legal guardian should be able to hide behind a familial relationship keep the government from interfering with abusive and pernicious choices that would otherwise be criminal. It looks like the precedent is going toward that interpretation, even though we have thousands of examples up to this point where interfering with familial relationships gone wrong have protected many families from abuse and death.

I suppose on the bright side, after our new era of enlightenment, and a fence around familial relationships, we can get rid of a few unneeded government services. Child Protective Services comes to mind, off hand. We can also reduce the load on foster homes, as we can put a lot of those children back into their families and no longer interfere.

Michael refused all therapy and rehabilitation for Terri. What might have been the result if he hadn't?

This is Terri Schiavo in 1990.

This is Terri Schiavo 15 years later.

This is Kate Adamson in 1995.

This is Kate Adamson 10 years later
with a loving husband's support and
years of rehabilitation.

What did Kate have that Terri didn't?

In my last JE, the_mad_poster said that if we didn't agree with what was happening, we should write our senators. Well, we did, and congress responded to us. However, it's sad that we should have had to write our legislators over an issue as basic as human rights to food and water. Once again, familial relationships should not be a fence to prevent the government from protects a citizen's human rights.

I know that it's a matter of hundreds or years precedence that the law doesn't interfere in familial relationships to prevent abuse. I know that was the common law that the judges was ruling upon, but you'd think that after all this time we'd learn.

Maybe last weekend we reached a turning point in history. I can only hope and wait and see.


Journal Journal: Today We Kill A Defenseless Victim 52

Today Terri Schiavo is scheduled to be starved to death. There is a lot of debate over whether she wishes to live or not, but she cannot tell us, even though she can laugh, and respond to music and track things with her eyes. However, if society does wish to kill her, starving her is the most inhumane way of doing it. Death must always be quick and painless.

If we were to starve a cat or a dog, society would judge us harshly. We cannot even starve a death row inmate who has brutally taken the life of another. But we can starve the life of a helpless person, just because they cannot speak to us their pain. This seems like something a modern world would not do, but yet today, at noon, we will do it. Again.


Journal Journal: MPAA and Ethics 4

In the LokiTorrent Shut Down article damicatz created a post asking about ethics. Since I can't post replies, and the points he brought up are broader than just stopping illegal downloads, I thought I'd post my thoughts here and start a new thread.

I'm defining ethical in 2 ways, hopefully complementary. First ethical is conforming to accepted professional standards of conduct. Second, ethical is that which will be held up in a civil court.

  • Is it ethical to deprive independant artists of a tool to share their work?
  • This is sort of like saying that we can't convict bank robbers because banks provide a valuable service to people. If the owner of LokiTorrent was providing illegal downloads then the blame is on the owner for depriving independant artists of a valuable tool, not the MPAA. This is the most bogus ethics problem that the poster brings up.

  • Is it ethical to DDoS File Sharing Networks?
  • Not sure what DDoS means in this case. If they mean to take a network offline, probably not. It should be done physically. However, the problem is that it is hard to resolve IP addresses to real people as the recent lawsuit that named a dead grandmother demonstrated. In that case is it ok to virtually disable a resource if it can't be done physically? Probably yes.

  • Is it ethical to sue a 12 year old girl who lives in the projects?
  • Yes.

    That should be more than enough of an answer, but I'm guessing someone would like to know my reasoning. The constitution grants each citizen equal rights. That means that we don't give anyone a pass based on their net worth or the color of their skin. A 12 yo girl living in the projects is just as guilty of crimes committed as a 12 yo girl in a $12 million mansion.

  • Is it ethical to sue for $20,000 per song even though each song itself is only worth about a dollar? (And probably more per movie)
  • Yes. You can sue for whatever you darn well please. This a why a woman can order a hot cup of coffee, spill it over herself and sue for buca-bucks. It's the court that decides whether your claim is justified or not. In other words, you have every right to sue $20,000 per song, but a judge has the right to only find a defendent guilty for $4 a song or whatever.

  • Is it ethical to pollute file sharing networks with bogus files and viri?
  • This is a hard one for me. I've checked out p2p networks and not one of them checked my shared files and made sure they weren't 'bogus' and virii free. I'd say there's no reasonable expectation when it comes to p2p, so it probably would be an ethical. The idea is that the barrier to downloading illegal music is becomes so high that you find it more compelling to get the item legally. If a p2p network's terms of service prohibited polluting networks with bogus files and virii, then they might have a case if the MPAA does. But like I mentioned, there's no expectation for that, therefore I couldn't find the behavior unethical.

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