Saturday, November 26, 2005
"Intelligent Design" a Trojan Horse, Admits Creationist
KEN Ham should be on the same side of the street as proponents of intelligent design. After all, he's in opposition to the atheistic view of science as an explanation for the world we see. He, like many people in the intelligent design movement, is a Christian.
But intelligent design advocates probably won't thank Australian-born Mr Ham for articulating what many of them try to avoid saying. That is: for some, the intelligent design movement is essentially a stalking horse for religion and, in the US, a way of getting around the separation of church and state to get into schools and influence children's education.
He says some Christian intelligent design people believe that, if they "can get students to begin to question atheism", that may be a way to get them to listen to the Bible.
Because of rulings of the US Supreme Court "their hands are tied".
"If you mention the Bible, they are going to say that contravenes the separation of church and state.
"Therefore some people are trying to find a way around that."
Mr Ham is one of the leading proponents of creationism in the US.
He arrived from Australia in 1976 and established the Answers in Genesis ministry in 1994. It is devoted to propagating the idea that the Bible, and in particular its first book Genesis, is literally true, right from the first line: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
Answers in Genesis, which has been promoting Christian rallies in Canberra and Geelong this weekend, is building a $25 million museum in Cincinnati which tells history as it occurred in the Bible, adding dinosaurs and a few other things along the way. As the museum's website says: "Adam and apes share the same birthday. The first man walked with dinosaurs and named them all."
Mr Ham says much of the scientific evidence of evolution comes from the assumptions that scientists make, but if you come to the evidence with different assumptions, you get quite different answers.
He says many Christians are now grabbing on to the intelligent design argument "thinking that solves the issue of the separation of church and state to get things into schools".
"If those people get themselves on school boards, fine.
"We don't oppose them. Simply because, for me, and for us in the biblical creation movement, we say, well let them fight the evolutionists, the atheists, and keep fighting issues of naturalism and so on, that's fine."
Outrage grows at Bush bomb claims
AN executive of Al-Jazeera, the Arabic news channel, is seeking an urgent meeting with the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, over reports that George Bush discussed bombing the satellite channel's headquarters in Qatar.
Wadah Khanfar, the station's director-general, is flying to Britain this weekend after newspapers reported the US President made the comments during a meeting with Mr Blair at the White House on April 16 last year.
Mr Bush's alleged comments about bombing Al-Jazeera's building in Doha are reported to be contained in a note of the meeting. The British Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, warned newspapers they could be charged under the Official Secrets Act if they published further material from the note.
In the House of Commons on Thursday, a Liberal Democrat MP, David Heath, said Lord Goldsmith had threatened editors with the Official Secrets Act to prevent government embarrassment rather than protect national security.
The Attorney-General's warning was "not on the grounds of national security but on the grounds of potential embarrassment to the Prime Minister or to any presidents he happens to have conversations with", he said.
Geoff Hoon, the leader of the House of Commons, replied saying Lord Goldsmith had a "legal responsibility". He added: "It is done only in certain limited circumstances. But it is an important power that needs exercising from time to time."
A former defence minister, Peter Kilfoyle, on Thursday tabled a Commons motion saying MPs were "appalled" by Mr Bush's reported comments and Mr Blair's apparent failure to restrain him by persuading him to moderate US tactics in Iraq. He said any note of the White House meeting should be published.
Ahmed el-Sheik, Al-Jazeera's editor-in-chief, also called on the British Government to release a memo on the meeting. "Leaving things vague is terrifying," he said. "The British Government has to explain - was it a serious talk or was it a joke?"
The White House meeting, in April last year, took place at a time British officials and military commanders were appalled by US tactics in Iraq, particularly the assault on Falluja. Pictures shown on Al-Jazeera of the attack infuriated US generals.
■ The CIA has been accused of flying terrorist suspects through US air bases in Germany without informing the German Government. Handelsblatt newspaper, citing a CIA source, referred to the Ramstein base and the Rhein-Main base near Frankfurt.
The information could be relevant to a court case in Germany over the alleged abduction of a Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr in Rome in February 2003. CIA agents were alleged to have flown the imam to Ramstein, where he was switched to a different aircraft.
Friday, November 25, 2005
NBC Candycoats M&M Ballon, Reruns Old Tape, Injuries Not Newsworthy
In fact, when the time came in the tightly scripted three-hour program for the M&Ms' appearance, NBC weaved in tape of the balloon crossing the finish line at last year's parade - even as the damaged balloon itself was being dragged from the accident scene. At 11:47 a.m., as an 11-year-old girl and her 26-year-old sister were being treated for injuries, the parade's on-air announcers - Katie Couric, Matt Lauer and Al Roker - kept up their light-hearted repartee from Herald Square, where the parade ends. "
Chavez's cheap oil for US poor angers Washington - World - smh.com.au
Venezuela's President, Hugo Chavez, has pulled off his greatest public relations coup yet in his campaign to irritate the Bush Administration with a deal to supply cheap fuel to thousands of poor residents of Boston and New York.
To the anger of many in Washington, Citgo Petroleum Corporation, a company controlled by the Venezuelan Government, will supply more than 45 million litres of oil at 40 per cent below market prices.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Rep. Jean Smearing Schmidt on House Floor
He who writes upon these walls,
rolls their Schmidt in little balls.
He who reads such words of wit,
eat those little balls of Schmidt
Schmidt, Batman !!
WASHINGTON - Three days after Rep. Jean Schmidt
was booed off the House floor for saying that "cowards cut and run, Marines
never do," the Ohioan she quoted disputed the comments.
Danny Bubp, a
freshman state representative who is a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, told
The Enquirer that he never mentioned Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., by name when
talking with Schmidt, and he would never call a fellow Marine a coward.
"The unfortunate thing about all of that is that her choice of words on
the floor of the House - I don't know, she's a freshman, she had one minute.
"Unfortunately, they came out wrong," said Bubp, R-West Union.
Lawmakers were in the midst of a passionate debate Friday over whether
to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, an issue pushed to a vote by Republicans
after public comments from Murtha.
Schmidt - decked out in a
red-white-and-blue suit that resembled the U.S. flag - went to the floor and
quoted from a telephone conversation with Bubp: "He asked me to send Congress a
message: Stay the course.
"He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a
message: That cowards cut and run, Marines never do."
The comment drew a
chorus of boos and shouting from Democrats.
Straw asks US to answer claims that it runs secret jails for terror suspects
Britain holds the rotating presidency of the EU until the end of the year. In that role the Government agreed to write to the Bush administration, at the request of several foreign ministers during a meeting in Brussels on Monday, a British presidency spokesman said."
BREAKING: Bush PDB on 9/21/01: No 9/11 - Iraq Connection
(This is susanhu's diary front paged at Booman Tribune. I'm posting it for her here because she has already posted one earlier today)
Bush and Cheney -- as well as Condi Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell, and their undersecretaries -- had solid information there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 or Al Qaeda, but have refused to date to share this knowledge, contained in a PDB distributed ten days after 9/11, with members of Congress. "
Vatican (Men in Dresses): Sexually Active Gays Unwelcome
Tuesday, November 22, 2005; 2:08 PM
VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican says homosexuals who are sexually active or support 'gay culture' are unwelcome in the priesthood unless they have gotten over their homosexual tendencies for at least three years, according to a church document posted on the Internet by an Italian Catholic news agency.
The long-awaited document is scheduled to be released by the Vatican on Nov. 29. A church official who has read the document confirmed the authenticity of the Internet posting by the Adista news agency.
The document said that 'the church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture.'"
BUSH PLOT TO BOMB HIS ARAB ALLY
But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.
A source said: 'There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it.' Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency.
The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation.
A source said last night: 'The memo is explosive and hugely damaging to Bush."
Bush al-Jazeera 'plot' dismissed The White House has dismissed claims George Bush was talked out of bombing Arab television station al-Jazeera by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Iraqis Eager to Get On With Their Long Awaited Civil War Want Foreign Forces to Leave
Meanwhile in the REAL world:
Shiites join Sunnis in call for pullout - World - smh.com.au: "About 100 Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish leaders, many of whom will stand in the election on December 15, signed a closing memorandum on Monday that 'demands a withdrawal of foreign troops on a specified timetable, dependent on an immediate national program for rebuilding the security forces'.
'The Iraqi people are looking forward to the day when foreign forces will leave Iraq, when its armed and security forces will be rebuilt, and when they can enjoy peace and stability and an end to terrorism,' the statement said."
Monday, November 21, 2005
EPA to allow pesticide testing on orphans amd mentally handicapped children : SF Indymedia
Public Comment Period for this rule Closes December 12, 2005
Public comments are now being accepted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its newly proposed federal regulation regarding the testing of chemicals and pesticides on human subjects. On August 2, 2005, Congress had mandated the EPA create a rule that permanently bans chemical testing on pregnant women and children. But the EPA's newly proposed rule, misleadingly titled 'Protections for Subjects in Human Research,' puts industry profits ahead of children's welfare. The rule allows for government and industry scientists to treat children as human guinea pigs in chemical experiments in the following situations: "
Sunday, November 20, 2005
What Is Stopping a Civil War From Breaking Out In Iraq Right NOW?
Hadley - Woodwards "Source"
Woodward, the Washington Post reporter who broke the Watergate scandal that forced President Richard Nixon out of office, has refused publicly to divulge the name of his informant without permission, which has thus far been withheld.
UN cancels Guantanamo visit after US refuses free access - World - smh.com.au
And as for you, Engler
Northwest Airlines has replaced all its striking aircraft mechanics and seems to be operating just fine, but the Aircraft Mechanic Fraternal Association hasn't given up just yet. The group is targeting former Michigan Gov. John Engler, who now sits on the Northwest board of directors.
They have printed 50,000 fliers with a cartoon of Engler as a tough union buster with a spiked club in one hand and a broken bottle in the other. It's titled 'Corporate Thug John Engler.'
The union paints Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington, as an ultraconservative with a controversial and sordid past of slashing social programs as governor and now union-busting at Northwest.
The flier urges Engler to resign from the Northwest board. Engler was traveling and couldn't be reached for comment.
But an AMFA spokesman admitted it's not likely they will get their wish. Asked what they plan to do with all the fliers, the spokesman said they will pass them out in neighborhoods and at union rallies.
One Northwest official summed up AMFA's latest move like this: 'It's long over -- they need to get on with their lives.' "
Locked doors thwart Bush's bid to duck question
BEIJING (Reuters) - Irked by a reporter who told him he seemed to be "off his game" at a Beijing public appearance, President George W. Bush sought to make a hasty exit from a news conference but was thwarted by locked doors.
At the end of a day of meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other Chinese officials, Bush held a session with a small group of U.S. reporters and spoke at length about issues like religious freedom, Iraq and the Chinese currency.
The final reporter he called on critiqued Bush's performance earlier in the day when he stood next to Hu in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square to deliver a statement.
"Respectfully, sir -- you know we're always respectful -- in your statement this morning with President Hu, you seemed a little off your game, you seemed to hurry through your statement. There was a lack of enthusiasm. Was something bothering you?" he asked.
"Have you ever heard of jet lag?" Bush responded. "Well, good. That answers your question."
The president then recited a list of things of that he viewed as positive developments from his Beijing meetings, including cooperation on North Korean nuclear disarmament and the ability to have "frank discussions" with his Chinese counterpart.
When the reporter asked for "a very quick follow-up," Bush cut him off by thanking the press corps and telling the reporter "No you may not," as he strode toward a set of double doors leading out of the room.
The only problem was that they were locked.
"I was trying to escape. Obviously, it didn't work," Bush quipped, facing reporters again until an aide rescued him by pointing to him toward the correct door.
Detroit Prosecutor Faces Probe -- "Sleeper Cell" Railroaded
It is a highly unusual case. No charges have been brought and many details remain secret, but information in public documents and testimony in U.S. District Court in Detroit suggest an effort by federal prosecutors and important witnesses to mislead defense lawyers and deceive the jury. U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen said the government acted "outside the Constitution."