Sunday, December 30, 2007

Remembering Philosophy of Religion


Maverick Philosopher Does the Argument From Evil Presuppose the Existence of God?
Since from a contradiction anything follows, the theist may calmly conclude that God exists and that our atheist's argument from evil fails.

Sigh. Those were the days.

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Amen



Instapundit.com -
WHAT TIME SHOULD HAVE DONE: General Petraeus as Man of the Year at The Telegraph.


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American Warming Update



Bloomberg.com: Worldwide
Boston may break its snowiest December record, set in 1970 when 27.9 inches fell.

Ever since Al Gore said that the US was "principally responsible" for addressing the problem of Solar Warming, is it any wonder that the US has been hit with record weather.


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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Praise God



Gateway Pundit: Merry Christmas -2007
Shiite tribal leaders attend Christmas mass at an Assyrian orthodox church in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007. The church, which is located next to a Shiite mosque, hosted their neighbors for Christmas mass as a gesture of friendship.


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Dude, where's my Christmas Present?



The Generational Divide in Copyright Morality - New York Times
"Who thinks that might be wrong?" Two hands out of 500. Now, maybe there was some peer pressure involved; nobody wants to look like a goody-goody. Maybe all this is obvious to you, and maybe you could have predicted it. But to see this vivid demonstration of the generational divide, in person, blew me away. I don't pretend to know what the solution to the file-sharing issue is. (Although I'm increasingly convinced that copy protection isn't it.) I do know, though, that the TV, movie and record companies' problems have only just begun. Right now, the customers who can't even *see* why file sharing might be wrong are still young. But 10, 20, 30 years from now, that crowd will be *everybody*. What will happen then?
Right and Wrong? These are delusions similar to the one about God aren't they?



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Merry White Christmas Probably



Washington Times:
Al Gore says global warming is a planetary emergency. It is difficult to see how this can be so when record low temperatures are being set all over the world.

In 2007, hundreds of people died, not from global warming, but from cold weather hazards. Since the mid-19th century, the mean global temperature has increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius. This slight warming is not unusual, and lies well within the range of natural variation. Carbon dioxide continues to build in the atmosphere, but the mean planetary temperature hasn't increased significantly for nearly nine years. Antarctica is getting colder. Neither the intensity nor the frequency of hurricanes has increased. The 2007 season was the third-quietest since 1966. In 2006 not a single hurricane made landfall in the U.S. South America this year experienced one of its coldest winters in decades.

In Buenos Aires, snow fell for the first time since the year 1918. Dozens of homeless people died from exposure. In Peru, 200 people died from the cold and thousands more became infected with respiratory diseases. Crops failed, livestock perished, and the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency. Unexpected bitter cold swept the entire Southern Hemisphere in 2007. Johannesburg, South Africa, had the first significant snowfall in 26 years. Australia experienced the coldest June ever. In northeastern Australia, the city of Townsville underwent the longest period of continuously cold weather since 1941. In New Zealand, the weather turned so cold that vineyards were endangered. Last January, $1.42 billion worth of California produce was lost to a devastating five-day freeze. Thousands of agricultural employees were thrown out of work. At the supermarket, citrus prices soared. In the wake of the freeze, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked President Bush to issue a disaster declaration for affected counties. A few months earlier, Mr. Schwarzenegger had enthusiastically signed the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, a law designed to cool the climate. California Sen. Barbara Boxer continues to push for similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.

In April, a killing freeze destroyed 95 percent of South Carolina's peach crop, and 90 percent of North Carolina's apple harvest. At Charlotte, N.C., a record low temperature of 21 degrees Fahrenheit on April 8 was the coldest ever recorded for April, breaking a record set in 1923. On June 8, Denver recorded a new low of 31 degrees Fahrenheit. Denver's temperature records extend back to 1872. Recent weeks have seen the return of unusually cold conditions to the Northern Hemisphere. On Dec. 7, St. Cloud, Minn., set a new record low of minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit. On the same date, record low temperatures were also recorded in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Extreme cold weather is occurring worldwide. On Dec. 4, in Seoul, Korea, the temperature was a record minus 5 degrees Celsius. Nov. 24, in Meacham, Ore., the minimum temperature was 12 degrees Fahrenheit colder than the previous record low set in 1952. The Canadian government warns that this winter is likely to be the coldest in 15 years. Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri are just emerging from a destructive ice storm that left at least 36 people dead and a million without electric power. People worldwide are being reminded of what used to be common sense: Cold temperatures are inimical to human welfare and warm weather is beneficial. Left in the dark and cold, Oklahomans rushed out to buy electric generators powered by gasoline, not solar cells. No one seemed particularly concerned about the welfare of polar bears, penguins or walruses. Fossil fuels don't seem so awful when you're in the cold and dark.

If you think any of the preceding facts can falsify global warming, you're hopelessly naive. Nothing creates cognitive dissonance in the mind of a true believer. In 2005, a Canadian Greenpeace representative explained “global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter.” In other words, all weather variations are evidence for global warming. I can't make this stuff up. Global warming has long since passed from scientific hypothesis to the realm of pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo.

David Deming is a geophysicist, an adjunct scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis, and associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma.


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Monday, December 24, 2007

The Real "Person" of the Year



Gen. David Petraeus,
Man of the Year

One additional point: Petraeus's counterinsurgency stands out not just for its conceptual ambition and the skill of its execution but for its humanity. There were those who argued that the U.S. military could not succeed in counterinsurgency because Americans were not tough and bloodthirsty enough. They said that brutality was essential in subduing insurgents and our humanity would be our downfall.

They were wrong. The counterinsurgency campaign of 2007 was probably the most precise, discriminate, and humane military operation ever undertaken on such a scale. Our soldiers and Marines worked hard--and took risks and even casualties--to ensure, as much as possible, that they hurt only enemies. Compared with any previous military operations of this size, they were astonishingly successful. The measure of their success lies in the fact that so many Iraqis now see American troops as friends and protectors. Petraeus and his generals have shown that Americans can fight insurgencies and win--and still be Americans. For that and so much else, he is the man of the year.


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Friday, December 21, 2007

You can't buy this kind of publicity...



Apples For The Army - Forbes.com
a division chief in the Army's office of enterprise information systems, says the military is quietly working to integrate Macintosh computers into its systems to make them harder to hack. That's because fewer attacks have been designed to infiltrate Mac computers, and adding more Macs to the military's computer mix makes it tougher to destabilize a group of military computers with a single attack, Wallington says.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Environmental Legacy of GW Bush

Please click on the link and read the whole thing.

Instapundit.com -
They told me that if George W. Bush were elected, the United States would lag behind the rest of the world on greenhouse gases And they were right!


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Friday, December 07, 2007

Bush's Legacy



Charleston Daily Mail
What happened in 2003?

The Iraq war.

President Bush decided not to take the chance that Saddam Hussein had turned Iraq into an armory of weapons of mass destruction. Byrd had voted against the war in part because he thought Hussein would use his warehouses of chemical weapons against our troops.

When American soldiers got there, thank God, they found no WMD.

The intelligence community had gotten it wrong.

Maybe the intelligence community has it wrong again on Iran.

But we do know that shortly after allied troops took over Baghdad, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi volunteered to give up his programs to develop WMD.

Perhaps Iran followed suit.

Just remember, in 2005 these same intelligence experts said Iran was working on a nuclear program.

I notice that many of those who swear this report is gospel pooh-poohed the earlier report.


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I was watching...



ESPN football earns record ratings - Entertainment News, TV Ratings, Media - Variety
More people watched the New England Patriots squeeze past the Baltimore Ravens on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" than viewed any other program in the history of cable TV.

Game drew a total aud of 17.5 million viewers, besting the previous record of 17.2 million set in August by Disney Channel's "High School Musical 2."


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Monday, December 03, 2007

Hollywood Crusade for Non-Christ

Hat tip to my wizened friend Steve:

Raymond Ibrahim on Beowulf & Christianity on National Review Online
At any rate, while Hollywood can appear to be on a crusade to defame Christianity, it would do well to remember that it is because of Christian civilization that they are even able to make movies in the first place.Not only is Christianity fundamentally responsible for what many a Western liberal takes for granted — that is, the freedom and advancements of Western civilization — but also for much of the historical record from which movie-makers are able to exploit, warp, and subsequently rake in millions, was compiled by Christians. It is no small irony that the one single solitary manuscript that contains the text of Beowulf was written by a monk, and preserved in a monastery for centuries.


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Sigh...



ESPN - Chaos doesn't legitimize ignorance or stupidity of flawed system - Columnist
Think about what just happened this past weekend. The short list:

One-loss Ohio State reached a national championship game by doing nothing more strenuous than clicking the TV remote. Congrats. The Buckeyes will go 50 days between their last game and their next.

The 10-2 Mountaineers were eliminated partly because of an injured thumb.

An 11-2 OU team beat Missouri for a second time this season -- including Saturday's 21-point win against the No. 1 Tigers on a neutral field -- and got aced out.

LSU, also 11-2, squeezed in.

Poor Mizzou went from No. 1 to a non-BCS bowl (the Cotton) in less than 24 hours. Meanwhile, Kansas, which lost to Missouri late in the season and failed to reach the Big 12 title game, was invited to a BCS bowl, the Orange.

Georgia, which is 10-2, was in the BCS title game discussion despite not winning its division or conference championship.

USC, playing as well as anyone these days, finished 10-2, but still gets no soup.

And don't even get me started on why the only undefeated team in the country, 12-0 Hawaii, is completely ignored in the Jan. 7 equation.

Is this any way to determine a national champion? And if the bowl results shake out a certain bizarre way, we could even have a split championship. How fitting.


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Oddly Encouraging



Fever can unlock autism's grip: study | Health | Reuters
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, was based on 30 children with autism aged 2 to 18 who were observed during and after a fever of at least 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

More than 80 percent of those with fever showed some improvements in behavior during it and 30 percent had dramatic improvements, the researchers said. The change involved things like longer concentration spans, more talking, improved eye contact and better overall relations with adults and other children.

Zimmerman's team said the fever effect had been noted anecdotally in the past by parents and doctors.


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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Googleopoly



Google's Online Storage and Digital Privacy - G-drive - Advertising - Hackers - Popular Mechanics
It’s still shrouded in secrecy, but Google’s free storage service is headed for the Web next year. Still, if the so-called Gdrive becomes as rapidly popular as the company’s e-mail service has in the past three years, what happens to your secrets? The prospect of a massive, speedy and tricked-out online hard drive already has privacy experts and illegal downloaders alike worried—especially if all that data is in the hands of a third-party giant and its cash cow to compete with Apple and Microsoft.


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Google to Bid for Wireless Spectrum: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
Google Inc. confirmed its plans to bid for a prized piece of the airwaves in an upcoming government auction, further underscoring the Internet search leader's determination to shake up the wireless market and plumb more profits from mobile phones.

Interesting Stuff