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Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Dog That Didn't Bark

Am I the only one who is noticing that Hesbollah, the Iranian backed Shia force in South Lebanon, has not fired a single missile at Israel? If I had been looking for an example of the discipline knit into the Iranian version of radical Islam I don't think I could have found a better. There have been a few Katusha rockets fired from Lebanon, but they are crude homemade devices as dangerous to the firers as the targets. These are not the weapons of Hesbollah. Why can we not recognize Iran's restraint in this obvious opportunity to make Palestine a bigger mess and cement their dominant political position in Syria and Lebanon for generations? 

I don't pretend to read the Mullah's minds, but I suspect they are looking for a deal and don't want to step on the toes of the incoming administration. Lets hope Obama and Hillary can read the tea leaves.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why We Fight

"Why can't you atheist science fans just be nice and not make waves." We, or at least most of us, are not trying to be jerks. Why can't we just let the majority religion build monuments and alters on publicly owned lands? Who does it hurt to allow creationism to be taught in the schools when the parents of the students want it taught? Why not prayer in classrooms? Democracy means giving people what they want, right? In the original democracy people were exiled or executed for the crime of annoying a majority of the voters. From the standpoint of an annoying person, I think this is a bad idea. We call ourselves a democracy, but we aren't. We call ourselves a republic, but we aren't one of those either. Western democratic republics are all creatures of their history and aspirations tempered by an independent judiciary. Our system in the USA is the result of a history of founders whose grandfathers fought in nightmare religious civil wars, hid from zealots or were beheaded. A side effect of the civil war and passage of the 14th amendment was the extension of the ban on official government religion to the states. Prior to 1865 states had official churches and taxed citizens to support the groups.

So, why do I get all bent out of shape over bad, or worse, pseudo science. It matters. The bad science involved in creationism and idiot cousin Intelligent Design must be crushed to save civilization. Our children must know that the fight is theirs. We call a lot of things "wars" that aren't. Drugs. Terror. Cola. Late Night. Science versus systematic ignorance is a real war that we cannot lose.