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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Evolution-Creation Assertion Review

Thursday and Friday will leave me with little blogging time due to work pressures, so here is a small review:

What I believe


I believe that God created the Universe and everything in it, including all life, and that the Bible is an accurate historical representation of this. The Bible is, however, not a scientific textbook and therefore details of how this was accomplished must be sought within the evidence available to us by what means we may have to research it. I am not a believer in evolution but within the confines of this blog there has been a long, ongoing dialogue concerning several aspects of the debate between those who believe in evolution and those who believe in creation. I also periodically post a Carnival, posting any contributed articles addressing this subject that are not profane, whether I agree with the content or not.

darwin is dead carnival - So why didn't his hypothesis die with him?

Thermodynamics

It is my view, and the view of many scientists, some of whom I have previously quoted, that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is at work in the world at large despite the fact that the Earth is an "open system" due to the energy derived from the sun. I do not subscribe to the idea that the 2nd Law does not apply to any but specially controlled "closed system" situations. Observations of teenager bedrooms, for instance, will teach you this, as does the contents of your refrigerator and the condition of your garage. Therefore I will not retract my contention that evolution is posited to work contrary to the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Huxley's Horse

One commenter in particular keeps asking me to either go back to the horse and explain my model or to retract my previous assertions. He and others have pointed out that Huxley himself believed that the application of natural selection would make the impossible possible. In fact, when I calculated the odds I included natural selection as a factor, likely giving it probably more credit than deserved. It is the premise itself that matters, not whether Huxley believed one way or the other himself. The three main points here:

1) I did include natural selection in my consideration of the odds.

2) Probabalistic models have been called into question and we are addressing that in the matter of abiogenesis. The probabalistic model of simple-organism-to-horse will not be considered until we have some kind of agreement about how probabalistic models might work.

3) I will in no way and by no means withdraw my assertion that the evolution from simple-organism-to-horse is statistically impossible. If you disagree, you may either wait until I post on this again and express your disagreement at that time, or, you can post your own statistical model to refute the assertion.

Abiogenesis

The question of how life may have come from non-life is not a part of evolutionary science today. While it is being studied by many, the main concern of evolutionary scientists is how simpler life might evolve into more complex life. The matter of abiogenesis may be crucial metaphysically but the evolutionary scientist is not under any mandate to address this issue. This is a concession on my part that I wanted to repeat for the sake of posterity.

Natural Selection

I do not believe that natural selection is in any way a part of the theoretical path from non-life to life. I do, however, believe that natural selection would have to be integral to any path from simple to complex life. I also agree that natural selection operates without any controlling intelligence, that is, it is not directed by God, man or beast but is an observed operation by which the more suitable characteristics within a gene pool are, by being more likely to survive and reproduce, selected as traits that will be passed on to succeeding generations. No probabalistic model attempting to reproduce evolution can be taken seriously without including the operation of natural selection.

Due to a very dire need to feed the Bulldog, that is all until tomorrow. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Al Gore - Inventor

Good old Al Gore.

He invented the internet!

He invented Love Story (Well he was supposedly the inspiration for same).

He is a man who conceded the 2000 Presidential race to George Bush, went back on his word and then after losing the race never had the grace to admit defeat. He has gone into Arab territory and claimed that our country abuses Arabs.

I think of Al Gore, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. But now we turn to the issue of Global Warming.....Al Gore may not claim to have invented Global Warming, but we now find that he and the Associated Press have invented a scientific concensus for the claims in his film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

AP INCORRECTLY CLAIMS SCIENTISTS PRAISE GORE’S MOVIE

From the U S Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

June 27, 2006

The June 27, 2006 Associated Press (AP) article titled “Scientists OK Gore’s Movie for Accuracy” by Seth Borenstein raises some serious questions about AP’s bias and methodology.

AP chose to ignore the scores of scientists who have harshly criticized the science presented in former Vice President Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth.”

In the interest of full disclosure, the AP should release the names of the “more than 100 top climate researchers” they attempted to contact to review “An Inconvenient Truth.” AP should also name all 19 scientists who gave Gore “five stars for accuracy.” AP claims 19 scientists viewed Gore’s movie, but it only quotes five of them in its article. AP should also release the names of the so-called scientific “skeptics” they claim to have contacted.

The AP article quotes Robert Correll, the chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment group. It appears from the article that Correll has a personal relationship with Gore, having viewed the film at a private screening at the invitation of the former Vice President. In addition, Correll’s reported links as an “affiliate” of a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that provides “expert testimony” in trials and his reported sponsorship by the left-leaning Packard Foundation, were not disclosed by AP. See http://www.junkscience.com/feb06.htm

(Excerpt: "Let's see, over the past couple of weeks we've had speeding glaciers (give 'em a ticket, don't they know they're speed limited?), Greenland ice shield collapse (even though it's gaining mass), ice subliming off Kilimanjaro (can't be melting because the temperature hasn't risen out of negative territory, so the 'problem' is a lack of precipitation rather than an increase in temperature) African drought and looming water wars (see below), all blamed on 'global warming'. And still people are reluctant to commit economic suicide, much less stop using energy! So what next? Oh well, haven't recycled Antarctic meltdown recently - perhaps because most of the place is cooling but what the heck, details like that aren't really relevant, are they?")



The AP also chose to ignore Gore’s reliance on the now-discredited “hockey stick” by Dr. Michael Mann, which claims that temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere remained relatively stable over 900 years, then spiked upward in the 20th century, and that the 1990’s were the warmest decade in at least 1000 years. Last week’s National Academy of Sciences report dispelled Mann’s often cited claims by reaffirming the existence of both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. See Senator Inhofe’s statement on the broken “Hockey Stick.”

Gore’s claim that global warming is causing the snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro to disappear has also been debunked by scientific reports. For example, a 2004 study in the journal Nature makes clear that Kilimanjaro is experiencing less snowfall because there’s less moisture in the air due to deforestation around Kilimanjaro.

Here is a sampling of the views of some of the scientific critics of Gore:

Professor Bob Carter, of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia, on Gore’s film:

"Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention."

"The man is an embarrassment to US science and its many fine practitioners, a lot of whom know (but feel unable to state publicly) that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science." – Bob Carter as quoted in the Canadian Free Press, June 12, 2006

Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, wrote:

“A general characteristic of Mr. Gore's approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.” - Lindzen wrote in an op-ed in the June 26, 2006 Wall Street Journal

Gore’s film also cites a review of scientific literature by the journal Science which claimed 100% consensus on global warming, but Lindzen pointed out the study was flat out incorrect.

“…A study in the journal Science by the social scientist Nancy Oreskes claimed that a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge Database for the years 1993 to 2003 under the key words "global climate change" produced 928 articles, all of whose abstracts supported what she referred to as the consensus view. A British social scientist, Benny Peiser, checked her procedure and found that only 913 of the 928 articles had abstracts at all, and that only 13 of the remaining 913 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view. Several actually opposed it.”- Lindzen wrote in an op-ed in the June 26, 2006 Wall Street Journal.

Roy Spencer, principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, wrote an open letter to Gore criticizing his presentation of climate science in the film:

“…Temperature measurements in the arctic suggest that it was just as warm there in the 1930's...before most greenhouse gas emissions. Don't you ever wonder whether sea ice concentrations back then were low, too?”- Roy Spencer wrote in a May 25, 2006 column.

Former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball reacted to Gore’s claim that there has been a sharp drop-off in the thickness of the Arctic ice cap since 1970.

"The survey that Gore cites was a single transect across one part of the Arctic basin in the month of October during the 1960s when we were in the middle of the cooling period. The 1990 runs were done in the warmer month of September, using a wholly different technology,” –Tim Ball said, according to the Canadian Free Press.


Hat tip to Matt Drudge!

Freedom is not Irresponsibility - The New York Times, Classified Information and Immigration

The latest battle between two sides revolves around the New York Times. One sees conservatives on one side and liberals on the other, but I see that there is far more than that.

NYT Publisher Bill Keller seems to be part of a group of people who dislike the present administration and is willing to endanger national security in order to embarrass or hinder the present administration's policies concerning the War On Terror. I would say from observation that there are many people who line up with him in being willing to endanger our nation for political purposes - John Murtha, certainly, comes to mind right away. Carl Levin. Cindy Sheehan. The ACLU. Insert favorite moonbat here.

WHO LOSES IN THE NEXT TERROR ATTACK?


By making it harder to wage war against terrorists, the New York Times and others of the same mind, which includes a large part of the Democratic Party, are playing a dangerous game. There have been no successful attacks on our soil since 9/11. Attempts have been thwarted and no doubt other efforts are in planning stages right now. The question is, politically, who is hurt by the next attack. Obviously we as a nation and any directly targeted individuals and concerns will suffer. But who is hurt worst by the next attack?

The Republicans can now say that efforts to expose wiretaps of calls with terrorists and the observation of the flow of money via SWIFT have hamstrung our ability to stop terrorist attacks before they happen. Therefore blame for a successful attack now must be laid at the feet of the liberals who, both in politics and in the media, have worked to expose secret anti-terrorist systems and caused them to be far less effective.

The Democrats can say, "Look who was in charge at the time" when and if such an attack should occur. Now, however, that would lose a lot of steam, since the Republicans can repeat the first argument and turn the blame back around. So, politically, it makes no sense for the Democrats to be working to expose secret operations against terrorists. It not only endangers the country, it could work agains them politically.

SO WHY DO THEY DO IT?????

I believe a lot of the secret to all of this lies within what both sides of the coin believe that "freedom" really is.

My premise is this: Conservatives believe that freedom comes with responsibilities. Liberals believe that freedom is irresponsibility.

The New York Times and publication of classified information:


Irresponsible - Bill Keller decides that his freedom of speech trumps any responsibility he has to the safety of his country or the fact that he has been leaked information that is classified information as determined by the government. He ignored pleas from the administration, congress and security agencies in releasing the SWIFT information. This comes on the heels of a previous decision to release the classified wiretapping of terrorist phone conversations that caused so much hue and cry initially before wiser heads realized that the program was legal, it had merit and it was political suicide to oppose it. Nevertheless, much damage had been done in alerting terrorists that certain phone conversations were not safe.



Responsible:
Several news organizations, during WWII, learned that the US and British forces were using a captured Enigma decoding machine with which they could intercept and decode German military transmissions. The military authorities had to make some painful decisions, specifically, not reacting to every piece of evidence to thwart German attacks, which would have tipped them off that the transmissions were being intercepted and decoded. The information was saved in order to promote operations like D-Day and while the invasion of Normandy was bloody it was a surprise to the Germans because we knew what they were thinking and led them to believe the brunt of the invasion would take place elsewhere. Not one word of this was ever leaked until after the War.

Illegal Immigration

Irresponsible Liberal politicians who work to ensure that illegal aliens have access to services like medical care, schooling, social security benefits, drivers licenses, bank accounts, even the right to vote!!!
It is mind-blowing what some on the liberal side of things believe should be handed to people who enter this country illegally!

Responsible - Conservatives who believe that immigration should be limited to those who enter the country legally. They believe that schooling, medical care, driving licenses, and so on come with being a citizen or at the very least having a visa or other legal document giving you access to life in this country legally.

Liberals versus Conservatives


There is a subgroup of the group liberal that I often refer to as the liberal moonbats. They would seemingly be happy if we opened our borders, shut down the military and gave everybody a weekly check from the government. Life would be glorious until we were all living in abject poverty and/or the military of another nation moved in, took over and subjugated us to them. Why are so many of us trying to convert America into something else?

I am a tax-paying citizen. I am expected to have my drivers license and my registration and my proof-of-insurance with me when driving. I am pleased that in my state I must show my picture ID before voting (which I recently did in the primary elections, thank you very much). I have a document that details the purchase of our house. I have a document filed for the purchase of our vehicles. I carry my social security card with me, but no matter, I have it memorized anyway. In our township, as I understand, if you get in trouble and need help with gas bills or so on you must have two different documents (like utility bills) with your name and address printed on them to obtain aid.

This is not like Jews being forced to wear Yellow Stars and being herded into the Ghetto. This is not like a leper being forced to wear a sign and to shout, "unclean, unclean" wherever he goes. This is no attempt to embarrass anyone or deny rights. Not at all.

Every responsible citizen should be treated alike in terms of opportunities and access. If you are not a citizen, you do not have citizenship rights because you have not taken the responsibility to become a citizen. Why should anyone be granted special treatment because they have broken the law????? This is inherently irresponsible.

Conservatives believe in individual responsibility. Liberals wish to promote irresponsibility. This is a key difference, and it is reflected in the dispute over so many issues that come down the line. Liberals applaud the irresponsible New York Times. Liberals in San Francisco wish to push the military out of the city entirely. But will they take responsibility for their own safety? Of course not, because they are irresponsible!

Why have borders? Why have laws? Why have rules? Why have fences and boundaries and licenses and property deeds? Because freedom requires it. Freedom without responsibility is nothing more than anarchy. Those who seek to eliminate responsibility are anarchists.

The Broken Trail Analogy

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, "Broken Trail" shown in two parts on AMC last week. The picture starred Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church and it was very well done! The visuals were gorgeous and the characters rich, the storyline worked very well and everyone in my family truly enjoyed it.

The movie is set in the West, in 1897, and in that time and in that territory, anarchy reigned. Sure, there were borders and it was the United States, but the area was sparsely settled, there was no real law enforcement yet and so the rule of law was secondary to the rule of fist and gun.

Within that context ride Duvall and Church, Uncle and Nephew, not close but riding together to cement a future for them both. These are men who have accepted that life comes with responsiblity and rules.

There are other men for whom the only rule is, whoever is still standing gets all the stuff. Men like these interact with men like Duvall and Church in the movie.

It is interesting that when Duvall and Church encounter some shanghaied women and a "broken-nosed whore" in a dangerous situation, they take responsibility for them, treat them with respect, even the one they know has made a living as a prostitute. They have accepted a value system and in that system all people are worthy of respect until proven otherwise.

With no law around to protect them, Duvall and Church must also be willing to decide that some men are worthy of death and act accordingly. In this story, with these men, good largely triumphs over evil. But many innocent lives are lost in the process.

Yes, if anarchy were to reign in this country, there may be a majority of us who believe in right over wrong, who would help keep some semblance of order by taking the responsibility to be well-armed and to watch each other's backs and also to be judge and jury when necessary. If we go back to 1897 somewhere out Wyoming way, we will surely need want to be right, but we will also need to have the might to back it up. Because there are always bullies out there willing and able to prey upon the weak and cowardly and if they are not stopped, innocent lives will pay the price.

So what? Well, those who wish to have freedom without responsibility are working to bring about conditions in which safeguards are removed and you are on your own. Strip us of our borders and we will lose our nation. Take away our weapons and we cannot defend ourselves. Weaken our military and police and the bad guys get stronger. So many liberal moonbats are afraid of the government and fear "Big Brother" and yet this government was crafted by good men so that we could have freedom! Good men who knew that there is never any lasting freedom in anarchy. The government is us! We vote for it, we pay for it, we citizens are those who serve in it....it was not foisted upon us by a dictator-in-waiting (Mao, Lenin, Hitler) who rides into power upon a wave of anarchy, only to replace it with repression. We have a system of checks and balances and it works pretty darned well.

But we need responsibility. When the New York Times releases classified information that helps terrorists, it is much like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. I do hope that, since we have a large group of liberal moonbats that believe that irresponsibility is inherent to freedom, prosecutions will take place as a result of this treasonous decision. Anarchists understand nothing better than the power of the fist and the gun. The New York Times will not understand this concept until the fist strikes.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New York Times auditioning for the part of Tokyo Rose! Film at eleven!

The Media’s War Against the War Continues
The New York Times and Los Angeles Times expose a classified anti-terrorism program.


By Andrew C. McCarthy

Yet again, the New York Times was presented with a simple choice: help protect American national security or help al Qaeda.
Yet again, it sided with al Qaeda.

Once again, members of the American intelligence community had a simple choice: remain faithful to their oath — the solemn promise the nation requires before entrusting them with the secrets on which our safety depends — or violate that oath and place themselves and their subjective notions of propriety above the law.

Once again, honor was cast aside.

For the second time in seven months, the Times has exposed classified information about a program aimed at protecting the American people against a repeat of the September 11 attacks. On this occasion, it has company in the effort: The Los Angeles Times runs a similar, sensational story. Together, the newspapers disclose the fact that the United States has covertly developed a capability to monitor the nerve center of the international financial network in order to track the movement of funds between terrorists and their facilitators.

The effort, which the government calls the “Terrorist Finance Tracking Program” (TFTP), is entirely legal. There are no conceivable constitutional violations involved. The Supreme Court held in United States v. Miller (1976) that there is no right to privacy in financial-transaction information maintained by third parties. Here, moreover, the focus is narrowed to suspected international terrorists, not Americans, and the financial transactions implicated are international, not domestic. This is not data mining, and it does not involve fishing expeditions into the financial affairs of American citizens. Indeed, few Americans even have information that is captured by the program — though there would be nothing legally offensive even if they did.

And unlike the last vital program the New York Times compromised — the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, which the same reporters, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, exposed last December — there is not even a facially plausible concern that the TFTP violates statutory law. The provisions germane here (mainly, the Right to Financial Privacy Act that Congress enacted in 1978 in reaction to Miller) do not even apply to the nerve center at issue, the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

That’s because SWIFT, as it is better known, is not a financial institution at all. It is a consortium, centered not in the U.S. but in Belgium, which simply — albeit importantly — oversees how funds are routed globally. It is a messenger, not a bank. Nevertheless, in an abundance of caution, the government uses administrative subpoenas — which were expressly provided for by Congress in the aforementioned Financial Privacy Act and the Patriot Act — when it seeks SWIFT information. That’s not just legal; it’s hyper-legal.

Nor is there any credible worry that the Bush administration is secretly and dictatorially running roughshod over privacy interests. Prominent members of Congress — including elected officials from both parties who serve on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees — have been briefed on the program since its inception after the 9/11 attacks.

The administration, moreover, has worked closely with SWIFT managers, who are led by the National Bank of Belgium and include such other independent financial powerhouses as the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of Japan, as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve. The resulting collaboration has both narrowed the information gathered and ensured that its use is limited to counterterrorism purposes — not the prosecution of ordinary crimes. As if that were not enough, the TFTP is regularly subjected to independent auditing as an additional safeguard ensuring that information is accessed only for terrorism-related purposes.

No, the most salient thing we learn from today’s compromise of the TFTP is that the program has been highly effective at keeping us safe. According to the government, it has helped identify and locate terrorists and their financial backers; it has been instrumental in charting terrorist networks; and it has been essential in starving these savage organizations of their lifeblood: funding.

The TFTP was evidently key to the capture of one of the world’s most formidable terrorists. Riduan bin Isamuddin, better known as “Hambali” — the critical link between al Qaeda and its Indonesian affiliate, Jemaah Islamiya, and thus at the center of the 2002 Bali bombing in which 202 people were slaughtered — is now in U.S. custody rather than wreaking more mayhem. He was apprehended in Thailand in 2003, thanks to the program, which identified a previously unknown financial link to him in Southeast Asia.

In another example, the TFTP led to the discovery that Uzair Paracha, in Brooklyn, might be laundering money for al Qaeda in Pakistan. Paracha was ultimately indicted. Last November, a federal jury in Manhattan convicted him for providing material support to a terrorist organization — specifically, trying to help an al Qaeda operative enter the United States to commit a terrorist act.

It was in view of the TFTP’s palpable value in protecting American lives, its obvious legal propriety, and the plain fact that it was being responsibly conducted that the administration pleaded with the newspapers not to reveal it after government officials despicably leaked it. Exposing the program would tell the public nothing about official misconduct. It would accomplish only the educating of al Qaeda — the nation’s enemy in an ongoing war; an enemy well-known to be feverishly plotting new, massive attacks — about how better to evade our defenses. About how better to kill us.

Appealing to the patriotism of these newspapers proved about as promising as appealing to the humanity of the terrorists they so insouciantly edify — the same monsters who, as we saw again only a few days ago with the torture murder of two American soldiers, continue to define depravity down.

The newspapers, of course, said no. Why? What could outweigh the need to protect a valid effort to shield Americans from additional, barbarous attacks? Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, smugly decreed that the Bush administration’s “access to this vast repository of international financial data” was, in his singularly impeccable judgment, “a matter of public interest.”

And you probably thought George Bush was the imperious one. And that the public’s principal interest was in remaining alive. Wrong again.

The blunt reality here is that there is a war against the war. It is the jihad of privacy fetishists whose self-absorption knows no bounds. Pleas rooted in the well-being of our community hold no sway.

The anti-warriors know only the language of self-interest. It is the language that tells them the revelation of the nation’s secrets will result, forthwith, in the demand for the revelation of their secrets — which is to say, their sources in the intelligence community — with incarceration the price of resistance. It is the language admonishing that even journalists themselves may be prosecuted when their publication of national secrets violates the law.

Bluntly, officials who leak the classified information with which they have been entrusted can be prosecuted for theft of government property. If the information is especially sensitive, they can be prosecuted for violating the Espionage Act. In either event, the press has no legal right to protect such lawlessness.

That is our simple choice: Strong medicine we will either take or persist in declining … while resigning ourselves to more of the same.

— Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.


Bill Keller, the New York Times Publisher, decided to release this information after weeks of talks with the administration and other figures in Congress and the security agencies. That he is a a liberal with a political agenda that means more to him than the lives of innocent victims is obvious. That he needs to be prosecuted is where the discussion goes now.

There is no doubt in my mind that the administration needs to vigorously prosecute the leakers of classified information and if the New York Times does not cooperate, allow them to bear the brunt of the law. I am unsure if what the Times has done rises to the level of treason, although in the case of the leaker(s) I might agree to that. But we have a serious problem here. Whereas we encourage free speech and must have it in order to maintain our liberty, we also must restrain free speech in situations where it endangers the safety of citizens (such as shouting "fire" in a crowded theater).

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, outspoken New York Representative Peter King has already put in motion a call to have the New York Times face possible charges, and associated personnel:


Lawmaker Wants Papers Probed Over Stories
Jun 25 11:56 AM US/Eastern



By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON


The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee urged the Bush administration on Sunday to seek criminal charges against newspapers that reported on a secret financial-monitoring program used to trace terrorists.

Rep. Peter King cited The New York Times in particular for publishing a story last week that the Treasury Department was working with the CIA to examine messages within a massive international database of money-transfer records.

King, R-N.Y., said he would write Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urging that the nation's chief law enforcer "begin an investigation and prosecution of The New York Times _ the reporters, the editors and the publisher."

"We're at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous," King told The Associated Press.


Read the entire story here.

Speaking of possibly traitorous acts or speech, we have the strange, sad case of John Murtha.

Murtha Is Nuts

Pittsburgh Tribune Review:


Murtha's right to speak out on any question is not the issue, but having listened to him, I think he is out of touch with reality. Does he really think the American people would be safer by disengaging our military from Iraq to the "periphery" in Okinawa? I think not! We are living in dangerous times. The war on terror is a real threat, requiring bold action. The outcome is uncertain, but a democratic Iraq is a noble goal. We must stay committed.

Murtha is not worried about commitments, honor, nobility, or morality. He is worried about a political agenda, mainly his own.

There are no easy answers and Rep. Murtha does not offer a viable alternative that measures up to the greatness of America. His vision will result in a more vulnerable America. I am sure he is a good man, but I think he is doing our country a disservice. Like Murtha, I am a Vietnam veteran, and my son is in the Marines and has served in Iraq. God bless America!

Murtha and his Democratic cohorts have dangled, even shoved his war record in front of anyone's face that dares oppose him. His service means nothing to me when he dishonors our troops by calling them blood thirsty savages, and makes up rhetoric as he goes along at the expense of our troops' integrity.

ToledoBlade:

REP. John Murtha (D., Pa.) imagines himself to be the scourge of the hawks in the Bush Administration. Many journalists do, too, because they keep inviting him to appear on talk shows. So why were the targets of Mr. Murtha's wrath doubled over with laughter during his appearance last Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press? Mr. Murtha's newfound fame is a product of his call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq - or, in the dishonest way he likes to phrase it, "redeployment" from Iraq.

A hilarious concept that will only get funnier.

After noting that Mr. Murtha has called for U.S. troops to "get out of Iraq and go to another country," Mr. Rove asked: "What country would take us? What country would say after the United States cut and run from Iraq, what country in the Middle East would say 'Yeah, paint a big target on our back and then you'll cut and run from us?'●" Mr. Murtha named Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain, three small countries where U.S. troops were based during the march on Baghdad, but then added: "We can go to Okinawa. We can redeploy there almost instantly." Mr. Russert, mindful of the fact that Okinawa, Japan, is 4,899 miles from Baghdad, offered Mr. Murtha an escape, in case he had misspoken. "But it would be tough to have a timely response from Okinawa," he said. But Mr. Murtha dug himself in deeper. "When I say a timely response, you know, our fighters can fly from Okinawa very quickly," he said. Mr. Murtha has been recommending redeployment to Okinawa ever since his rebirth as a dove last year, so what he said on Meet the Press was no slip of the tongue.

Nice try Jack. Brilliant strategy from the "war hero."

It would take 10-12 hours - and six refuelings - for F-16s to fly from Kadena AFB on Okinawa to Baghdad (assuming China and India would grant overflight rights, a dubious assumption). Mr. Murtha may regard this as "very quickly," but the Air Force does not. As Bugs Bunny would say: "What a maroon!"

A valid description.

Another howler is Mr. Murtha's assumption that U.S. troops currently serving in Iraq would be welcome in Okinawa. For decades Okinawans have been seeking a reduction in the U.S. military presence, both because they covet the land on which U.S. military bases sit, and because of a long history of pacifism. The U.S. recently agreed to withdraw 7,000 Marines from Okinawa. "There is no way we can win (the war in Iraq) militarily," Mr. Murtha said. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda chieftain in Iraq until the Air Force liquefied his internal organs, had a different view: "Here in Iraq, time is beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance," al-Zarqawi wrote in a document captured after his death.

But what would Zarqawi know? He's only been one of our main enemies in the war on terror. He wouldn't know what kind of casualties his resistence had suffered would he?

If you want to know the truth about Iraq, you should listen carefully to what Jack Murtha has to say - and believe exactly the opposite. Mr. Murtha's howlers about Okinawa obscured a more revealing comment he made earlier on CNN. He cited President Clinton's abrupt withdrawal from Somalia after 19 Rangers were killed there in 1993 as an example of the policy the U.S. should follow in Iraq. Osama bin Laden gave the "change in direction" in Somalia Mr. Murtha applauds as the chief reason why he thought al-Qaeda could strike the United States with impunity. "After a few blows … [the U.S.] rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers," bin Laden told ABC's John Miller in a 1998 interview.

When added up altogether, one has to assume Murtha is completely mad. No way could a 16 term politician be this stupid.


Hat tip to Tim, and as it happens one of his commenters had the perfect rejoinder to this statement: "When added up altogether, one has to assume Murtha is completely mad. No way could a 16 term politician be this stupid."

Loboinok simply said. "Ted Kennedy." Ka-ka-kaboom!

So Lobo earns a post here just from that one remark, although it takes the discussion a different way:

ACLU Fights To Keep Communist Propaganda In School Library

The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge to stop the Miami-Dade County school district from removing a series of children's books from its libraries, including a volume about Cuba which depicts smiling kids in communist uniforms.

The ACLU and the Miami-Dade County Student Government Association argued in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Miami on Wednesday that the school board should add materials with alternate viewpoints rather than remove books that could be offensive.

Last week, the board voted 6-3 to remove "Vamos a Cuba" and its English-language version, "A Visit to Cuba" from 33 schools, stating the books were inappropriate for young readers because of inaccuracies and omissions about life in the communist nation.

The book, by Alta Schreier, targets students ages 5 to 7 and contains images of smiling children wearing uniforms of Cuba's communist youth group and a carnival celebrating the 1959 Cuban revolution. The district owns 49 copies of the book in Spanish and English.



To the ACLU it doesn't seem to matter that the books are misleading, inaccurate, and inappropriate for this age group. It doesn't matter to the ACLU that the book is pure propaganda. To the ACLU it is a book ban. It just so happens that the message portrayed in the book seems to go along with their founder's beliefs.

"I have been to Europe several times, mostly in connection with international radical activities…and have traveled in the United States to areas of conflict over workers rights to strike and organize. My chief aversion is the system of greed, private profit, privilege and violence which makes up the control of the world today, and which has brought it to the tragic crisis of unprecedented hunger and unemployment…Therefore, I am for Socialism, disarmament and ultimately, for the abolishing of the State itself…I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."

~ Roger Baldwin-founder of the ACLU~

Here is another one from Mr. Baldwin.

"Do steer away from making it look like a Socialist enterprise…We want also to look like patriots in everything we do. We want to get a good lot of flags, talk a good deal about the Constitution and what our forefathers wanted to make of this country, and to show that we are really the folks that really stand for the spirit of our institutions."-Baldwin's advice in 1917 to Louis Lochner of the socialist People's Council in Minnesota.



I'm sure the ACLU's founder would be proud of the ACLU's move to protect the propaganda of his ideology. The ACLU's main point of argument is that banning one point of view is the wrong way to deal with the situation is lost when it is five year olds potentially being exposed to this crap. To the ACLU this is nothing more than a book ban, and they are asking the school to include more alternative views instead of banning unpopular ones. No one has to ask if they would fight this hard to keep a Bible in the school library, or whether their strength would be focused on getting rid of it. Take this however you want, but the ACLU has never strayed very far from its founding principles.


Lobo's post was also cross-posted at StopTheACLU, which exposes yet another organization that thinks making it easier for terrorists to kill you is a "victory"

FBI Says ACLU’s Victory Claim Disingenuous

Well, duh! Speaking of the notoriously anti-American ACLU, a friend has asked me to post this link:

Please help the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) and other concerned groups and citizens to save the 43-foot cross that was erected atop Mount Soledad in San Diego, California 50 years ago to honor our nation’s veterans by signing the petition below! On May 3, 2006 Federal District Judge Gordon Thompson ordered San Diego officials to remove the historic Mt. Soledad Cross in accordance with an order he issued in 1991. The City must remove the cross within 90 days or face fines of $5,000 per day thereafter. However, the fight is not over.

Read the whole thing and consider signing the petition, thanks!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Immune to Correction! (or, some of my best friends are theistic evolutionists!)

First, thanks to IAMB who graciously pointed out that the odds involved in the card shuffling example were listed incorrectly. I do tend to grab things from the internet and don't always check the math, so I am grateful. The actual odds, be they 1 in 10^80 or to the 166th or even more, are not specifically important to the point but accuracy is always better. By the way, the first commenter who discerns the source for either one in 10^50 or some other number as the agreed upon "line of impossibility" will be highlighted and applauded herein!

Then, there is s cohen!

"Thanks iamb... I was going to make the exact same point, however, it's not just his math that needs correction. What would really help is the elimination of the arrogant 'immune to correction' attitude that radar sometimes exhibits. He made this satement:

"...10^8196, which is far more than the 1 in 10^50 considered to be the number beyond which a chance is considered an impossibility"

Which is easily refuted, since the outcome shuffling a deck of cards produces a result that is less likely than 1:1*10^50, yet instead of saying, "You're right, I was mistaken", we get a whole post of how he was actually right. One that is filled with bad math, selective quotes and ignorance.

I guess what it really boils down to is this: Should we trust a person that can't even properly calculate the permutations of a single deck of cards to make an argument based in statistics?

I say no."


Hee-hee! "Immune to correction!" I love it! I posted the very involved but carefully explained argument presented by Dr. Harold Morowitz, who undoubtably has better credentials that either myself or s cohen. S cohen cannot say anything about that post so he rags on me personally instead. It is to laugh! Earth to s cohen, you can't correct someone when he is right and you are wrong! Morowitz is right....and therefore you are wrong.

Worse yet, I have explained the logic behind why the card canard does not apply to the situation and after having met resistance, done it again in language a sixth grade student could understand. The card canard involves an outcome that can be random. RANDOM, not ordered.

Frog on a lily pad = ordered.

Frog subjected to a blender ride = random.

Only one is still a frog although both may have the exact same ingredients. Maybe it is because I am a YEC and s cohen cannot allow himself to hear anything I say, so maybe one of you logical evolutionists can explain it to him.

I liked what Dan S posted later:

"In its modern usage, hubris denotes overconfident pride and arrogance; it is often associated with a lack of knowledge, interest in, and exploration of history, combined with a lack of humility. An accusation of hubris often implies that suffering or punishment will follow, similar to the occasional paring of hubris and Nemesis in the Greek world and the proverb "pride goes before a fall" is thought to sum up the modern definition of hubris."

Me? I depend to a large extent on the wisdom of scientists more knowledgeable than myself. I pull together their findings and post them here in order to present reasoned arguments. I am neither a scientist nor a historian nor a philosopher as a vocation. On the other hand, the interested and involved man should probably be involved in many pursuits.

Dan S, with whom I largely disagree, is a great example of a man who is interested in a great number of issues in many fields of study and can present a reasonable argument for his side. Now this is the way to do it! Example:

"Metaphysics/Religion (Not science)

"This is philosophically difficult to defend but for those who believe in God and think that evolution has somehow been proven, a logical fallback position. It is a blend of natural and supernatural, . . .. Was God capable of creating Bacteria but not the Bison? Could He come up with the Trilobite but balked at the Termite?"

Of course, what you're saying (given belief in a omnipotent and somewhat inscrutable Creator God) is that God couldn't have made the universe so that the origin and subsequent evolution of life on Earth could have happened through natural processes. That God's way of working in this case couldn't be through natural processes, despite such things being taken absolutely for granted by religious people - even the most literally-inclined - throughout the modern world in terms of basic physics or weather or disease or medicine or . . .

And really, that's the ultimate slippery slope. Once you admit that Zeus doesn't cause the lightning, then - short of the stalling or collapse of scientific progress - nature gods, even montheistic Christianized ones, are doomed. If you want to worship a nature god as a literal explanation-for-physical-phenomena being, you're always going to have trouble, at least until the next time the light flickers out."


Awesome, Dan S!!! I disagree, but well said!

First, I believe metaphysics is essentially intrinsic to many scientific pursuits and that the study of origins is a perfect example.

Second, I would say that God could have created any way He wanted, but I have a book in which He told us how He did it and in that book He didn't need evolution in order to create. Also, logically, God would be more likely to just create a thing rather than begin a long, drawn out process that would in millions of years begin to yield that same thing, would he not?

Third, I simply assert that God has created a Universe in which there are operations that follow the laws He has set up and that science is an endeavor to determine what those laws are and use them to our best advantage. Have we not always depended on a Universe that is logical rather than random? We know that if we drop a hammer on our foot, it is going to fall on that foot and it is gonna hurt, unless (corrollary comes in here) another hand quickly grabs it, or our foot has been therapeutically numbed, etc, etc. We are confident that the hammer will fall EVERY TIME on that foot unless an outside action is brought into play. One may well suppose that a randomly occurring Universe would be, at its core, random. Well, this Universe is, at its core, logical. I thereby expect that it was designed by a logical being. I never say that God is literally throwing the hammer down or causing the nerves to send the message to my brain that "oh, boy, this really hurts!" and so on.

Worhty opponent/commenter Dan gives me something to respond to, to think about, something with substance. If you simply make ad hominem attacks or cry "Strawman!" then you really make no argument at all.

Derision is not an argument. Derision is not persuasion. Derision is a front while you think of something to say that is actually relevant.

Dan? By the way, Talk Origins has not addressed this Morowitz essay at all. I wonder if you recognize in my recent posts indications that I have actually read some of these Talk Origins links, despite my dislike for them. But I am tempted to do the point four of this discussion based on Talk Origins assertions....hmmm. Could be a plan?! The mind is simmering even now...

Xiangtao says this: "Even if we are to agree that everything radar has done here is completely correct, all he has proven is that life didn't spontaneously emerge the way that he says abiogenesis would happen. However, what are the chances that it all happened some other way? That is the problem with calculating the odds on abiogenesis: we just don't know enough about how it might have happened to start calculating the odds of it."

Ah, science! The beauty of it all is that no one has presented a plausible way it could have happened....yet....so many people believe it did anyway!

Metaphysics and Origins (in which radar concedes a point)

Back to Dan, I just want to say that some of my best friends are theistic evolutionists! Hee-hee! No, really, it is true! It doesn't make sense to me, but then again it is merely my opinion. One cannot calculate the odds for or against an opinion. To people who hold this opinion, the opinion is valid. They agree with me that God created life, so I find it hard to argue with that part. They aren't interested in abiogenesis, for it is not part of the discussion from their point of view.

I will concede this point: Evolution as presented by many scientists, and studied by many scientists, involves the development of complex life from simple and does not address the origin of life from non-life. So for many evolutionists, my assertions backed by good scientific minds means nothing to them. They simply believe they are able to show that complex life has evolved from simple life no matter where the simple life may have come from and work to study the ways this may occur or may have occurred.

My assertions concerning abiogenesis then, are conducive to a discussion with a naturalistic and materialistic scientist but not to one who is a theistic evolutionist. Agreed!

Jake says: "This is off topic of this thread, but I figured Radar, being such an Ann Coulter fan, might be interested in meeting the challenge found at the end of this post:

No evidence for evolution?

befre you do, though, I recommend you read the clarificationPZ posted after getting a few responses."


I amy have mentioned before that Ann Coulter is a conservative hottie (if you are over 40) with an attack-dog mentality who makes a lot of money by getting the more radical wings all worked up. After reading that 'clarification' post, I would have a real hard time suggesting that Coulter is as arrogant as PZ. But neither makes their living being diplomatic, obviously.

Jake, what Ann should have said is not that there is no evidence for evolution. There are metric tons of evidence which many scientists will say is evidence for evolution. She should have said, there is no proof of evolution and then she would have been accurate. Then again, Ann is accurate when it stirs up hornet's nests and otherwise falls back into opinion mode.

Uh, PZ? If Ann Coulter's fans couldn't read her books they wouldn't be fans, would they? I thought only the Democrats had to work their way up the reading scale?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

cards and statistics - The Card Canard

It happens every time that I post a fairly long and precise article that has anything to do with statistics. There will be those who present the old canard concerning cards. Hey, the Card Canard!

Yes, if you take five decks of cards and shuffle them thoroughly then you will have 260 cards in a random order and the odds against that order having occurred will be about 1 in 10^80 or so, which is therefore a statistical impossibilty? Of course not, says the evolutionist, and walks away thinking his point has been made. It does make one think, eh? Eh?

Trouble is, cards do not have to be in any particular order to be cards. But, in order to exist, if it was necessary for the decks to fall in numerical order, by suit, for them to be cards and would otherwise just become a pile of dust, then shuffling cards would, statistically, always be expected to turn them into that pile of dust.

You take a frog and put it in a blender, and after a three minute period of blending you then pour it out onto a plate. What are the odds that it will still be a frog? According to the Card Canard, you could still have a frog there. Do you get it yet? Living organisms are not just a random jumble, but have very specific orders to their structure and systems.



In yesterday's post
, all possible proteins (10^52) were given all possible time (10^18 seconds) to attempt to form a self-replicating organism, a simpler one than is found in existence today. In the end, the odds against life forming were only 1 in 10^8196 or so. Now you can do the same math with slightly differing assumptions but you always get a number that supports what Pasteur thought he had proven back in the 1800's, that is, the Law of Biogenesis, that life only comes from life.

Strawman or Elephant?

Herein is the problem for the so-called "reality-based" scientific community (does that sound anything like the Democratic Underground and their 'reality-based' political philosophies at all??? Wink-wink-nudge-nudge!) The problem is that if you are a materialistic and naturalistic scientist who will not look beyond five senses to attempt to explain life, you are faced with a massive problem - Where did life come from? Evolutionists make the attempt to wall that question off from the supposed evolution of all living things from one simple progenitor organism but since they are naturalistic and materialistic it remains the elephant in the room.

Again, evolutionists attempt to label this a strawman, and they will do that rather than attempt to explain away the daunting math involved (darned evidence, anyway!) and the long line of failed experiments by researchers doing everything but sending away for mail-order brine shrimp while trying to find set of circumstances in which life arises from non-life. Hey, if you can get the grant money and it feeds the bulldog.....?

You can call it a strawman and I will call it the elephant in the room.

Of course there are evolutionists who believe God created simple life and then used evolution to bring about the modern life we see today. This is philosophically difficult to defend but for those who believe in God and think that evolution has somehow been proven, a logical fallback position. It is a blend of natural and supernatural, faith and supposition, that is not necessary at all. Evolution has always been championed by people who prefer not to consider the concept of God and that includes the forefathers of the Darwinist movement and from all I can see the majority of evolutionary scientists today. Was God capable of creating Bacteria but not the Bison? Could He come up with the Trilobite but balked at the Termite?


Next questions for evolutionists


Computing the odds against all of life today having evolved from one simple organism is much like computing the odds against life forming from non-life. I want to give evolutionists a chance to set some boundaries here, so the questions come forth:

1) How long is it reasonable to give life to evolve on Earth? If we suppose that life evolves from non-life immediately (which I think looks unlikely to say the least) then how much time do we give evolution to produce an animal as complex as the horse?

2) How many billions of cells/components shall we assign to the now-famous horse?

3) How many mutations, out of all mutations, are favorable on the average?

4) How many different kinds of organisms are there in existence? Oops, I forgot, evolutionists don't use that term. There are often many species within one kind, so perhaps let us ask how many genus have been determined to be in existence? Okay, that will work in a general way.

Oh, if you are a creationist you can put in your two cents as well. Remember, if you don't give me the parameters I will have to use my own!

Cheers!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The odds against life forming from non-life: Abiogenesis

Pasteur disproved it, but....naturalistic, materialistic scientists keep asserting that it happened - life forming from non-life.

"From its first formulation by Aristotle in the 4th century BC it was an article of both common and learned belief, at least in Europe, that complex living organisms arose spontaneously from non-living matter - fleas and adult mice from dirty laundry and from piles of wheat, maggots and flies from rotting meat, aphids from drops of dew. Life, in short, came about by spontaneous generation, or abiogenesis. Holes began to be knocked in Aristotle's dictum by early biologists in the 18th century, but not until the meticulous experiments of Louis Pasteur in 1862 was it finallyestablished that a truly sterile medium would remain forever sterile, and that complex living organisms come only from other complex living organisms. The "Law of Biogenesis", (omne vivum ex ovo or "all life from an egg") based on his work is now a cornerstone of modern biology.

The modern science of abiogenesis addresses a fundamentally different question: the ultimate origin of life itself. Pasteur had proved that abiogenesis was impossible for complex organisms. Charles Darwin's theory of evolution put forward a mechanism whereby such organisms might evolve over millennia from simple forms, but it did not address the original spark, as it were, from which even simple organisms might have arisen. Darwin was aware of the problem. In a letter to Joseph Dalton Hooker of February 1 1871, he made the suggestion that life may have begun in a "warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, lights, heat, electricity, etc. present, [so] that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes". He went on to explain that "at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed." In other words the presence of life itself prevents the spontaneous generation of simple organic compounds from occurring on Earth today - a circumstance which makes the search for the first life dependent on the laboratory.

The answer to Darwin's question was beyond the reach of the experimental science of his day, and no real progress was made during the 19th century. In 1936 Aleksandr Ivanovich Oparin, in his "The Origin of Life on Earth", demonstrated that, pace Pasteur, it was the presence of atmospheric oxygen, and other more sophisticated life-forms that prevented the chain of events that would lead to the evolution of life. Oparin argued that a "primeval soup" of organic molecules could be created in an oxygen-less atmosphere, through the action of sunlight. These, he suggested, combine in ever-more complex fashion until they are dissolved into a coacervate droplet. These droplets, he suggested, "grow" by fusion with other droplets, and "reproduce" through fission into daughter droplets, and so have a primitive metabolism in which those factors which promote "cell integrity" survive, those that don't become extinct. All modern theories of the origin of life take Oparin's ideas as a starting point."

Some evolutionary scientists continue to point to the Miller-Urey model as a starting point for envisioning the formation of the first life. Brad Harrub, Ph.D. and Bert Thompson, Ph.D. weigh in:

Have Scientists Created Life?: Examining the Miller-Urey Experiment


How did living cells emerge from nonliving chemicals? This simple question has dogged evolutionists for centuries. Try as they might, they never have been able to establish a firm foundation for how living things first appeared—a foundation on which they then could build an evolutionary tree of life.

In the past, the modus operandi was to teach the long-ago-disproved concept of spontaneous generation, hope that no one noticed the question of the actual origin of life had never been answered, and then teach the theory of evolution as if “somehow” the origin of life had been established as a fact. As a result, almost every science textbook printed within the last fifty years contains the now-famous Miller-Urey experiment of 1953. In this experiment, Harold Urey and his graduate student, Stanley Miller, tried to simulate what they thought represented the Earth’s early atmospheric conditions, in order to determine what products they could generate by adding an electrical spark (i.e. simulating lightening). These same textbooks never fail to mention that Miller and Urey were successful at producing a few simple amino acids—“the basic building blocks of life.” From there, the textbooks lead into a new chapter on evolution and the origin of life—allowing the student to draw the conclusion that scientists have thus proven that life can be generated from just a few nonliving chemicals.

It is a logical progression, and one that, admittedly, works well in the classroom. The only problem is that this notion is totally false. Not once have scientists succeeded in producing living material from nonliving material. And yet, year after year the public is led into believing that the very foundation upon which evolution stands has been resolved. Nobel laureate George Wald of Harvard admitted:

We tell this story to beginning students of biology as though it represents a triumph of reason over mysticism. In fact it is very nearly the opposite. The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position. For this reason many scientists a century ago chose to regard the belief in spontaneous generation as a ‘philosophical necessity.’ It is a symptom of the philosophical poverty of our time that this necessity is no longer appreciated. Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing. I think a scientist has no choice but to approach the origin of life through a hypothesis of spontaneous generation (1954, 191:46).

Evolutionist John Horgan concluded that if he were a creationist today, he would focus on the origin of life because this

...is by far the weakest strut of the chassis of modern biology. The origin of life is a science writer’s dream. It abounds with exotic scientists and exotic theories, which are never entirely abandoned or accepted, but merely go in and out of fashion (1996, p. 138)."

So let us consider this problem. Now, there can be no natural selection or mutation involved in the development of the first self-replicating organism, because it is the first! Therefore, it must arise from chance. While scientists have tried in vain to carefully produce any set of circumstances possible in order to produce life, if the first life came about by chance it had no help but formed randomly.

Raw Facts

Scientists who believe in a long age for the Universe tend to believe the Universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old. That computes to about 10^18 seconds.

It is believed that there are about 10^78 electrons in the entire Universe.

If every electron had made one effort to form the first life each second of the supposed span of time of the Universe, that would be 10^96 trials. But electrons are quick moving little things, aren't they? Let us give them 10^3 trials per second. Now we are up to 10^99 trials to form life on Earth if every electron in all of space and all of time tries 1,000 times per second to form simple life.

10^99 trials to become life. That is a nice, big number!

Is it sufficient to allow life to have occurred? Has this been studied, quantified? Yes, it has. I turn to Dr. Harold J. Morowitz of Yale and NASA for some answers, excerpted from the book, EVOLUTION: POSSIBLE OR IMPOSSIBLE? MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND THE LAWS OF CHANCE
IN NONTECHNICAL LANGUAGE

A new approach to the subject, based on
exciting recent discoveries involving
proteins and DNA, the "golden molecule "
of heredity

by

JAMES F. COPPEDGE, Ph.D.

Probability Research in Molecular Biology


"The Simplest Possible Living Thing

Dr. Harold J. Morowitz of Yale University has done extensive research for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to discover the theoretical limits for the simplest free-living thing which could duplicate itself, or, technically, the minimal biological entity capable of autonomous self-replication. He took into consideration the minimum operating equipment needed and the space it would require. Also, attention was given to electrical properties and to the hazards of thermal motion. From these important studies, the conclusion is that the smallest such theoretical entity would require 239 or more individual protein molecules.

This is not very much simpler than the smallest actually known autonomous living organism, which is the minuscule, bacteria-like Mycoplasma hominis H39. It has around 600 different kinds of proteins. From present scientific knowledge, there is no reason to believe that anything smaller ever existed. We will, however, use the lesser total of 239 protein molecules from Morowitz' theoretical minimal cell, which comprise 124 different kinds.

Proteins With Only Left-Handed Components

It was noted earlier that there obviously can be no natural selection if there is no way to duplicate all of the necessary parts. In order to account for the left-handed phenomenon, chance alone, unaided by natural selection, would have to arrange at least one complete set of 239 proteins with all-left-handed amino acids of the universal 20 kinds. There is reason to believe that all 20 of these were in use from the time of life’s origin.



Using figures that were furnished by Morowitz, it can be calculated that the average protein molecule in the theoretical minimal living thing would contain around 445 amino acid units of the usual 20 kinds. One of the 20 types of amino acids, glycine, cannot be left- or right-handed, because its “side chain”is not really a chain, but merely a hydrogen atom like the one opposite it. It can be presumed that this minimal theoretical cell would in many ways resemble bacteria in its make-up. In some bacteria, glycine accounts for just over 8 percent of the total amino acid molecules, so we will estimate that in the average protein of the minimal cell, there will be 35 glycine units in the chain. That will leave 410 of the total 445 which could be either left- or right-handed.

If amino acids had been formed naturally in the “primitive” atmosphere, they would have occurred in statistically equal amounts of the left- and right-handed isomers. This became clear from experiments described in the preceding chapter. That means, then, that if a protein chain is to form by random linkups, all 410 of the nonglycine sites could be occupied with equal ease by either L- or D-type amino acids.

The first one has a 1 out of 2 chance of being left-handed. The same is true for each of the other 409. Since we are now figuring this at equal probability for either hand, the probability at anyone site is not affected by the amino acid before that one in the chain.

To calculate the probability in such a case, the formula to use is the multiplication rule, the heart of probability theory. Mathematician Darrell Huff said it thus: “To find the probability of getting all of several different things, multiply together the chances of getting each one.”

To get the probability of all 410 of the isomeric or handed amino acids of just one protein chain, we must multiply the 1/2 probability which is the case for each position in the chain. It is like flipping a coin 410 times, hoping to get all heads. For each step, there is 1 chance in 2, so we must multiply the 2 by itself (2 x 2 x 2 x . . . x 2). using the figure 410 times. That is 1 chance in 2^410. (The exponent means: Multiply together 410 two’s.

It will be easier to work with this figure if we translate it to powers of 10 instead of powers of 2. As you know, multiplying 10 by itself is just adding another zero. The equivalent of 2^410 is roughly 10^123.

The probability that an average-size protein molecule of the smallest theoretically possible living thing would happen to contain only left-handed amino acids is, therefore, 1 in 10^123, on the average.

That is a rather discouraging chance. To get the feel of that number, let’s look at it with all the 123 zeros: There is, on the average, 1 chance in –
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
that all of the amino acids of a particular protein molecule would be left-handed!

Using All the Proteins That Ever Existed on Earth

Professor Murray Eden at Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimated that the total number of protein molecules that ever existed on earth might be 10^52 as an extremely liberal approximation. If we assume for the moment that all these were the same size as the average protein in the smallest possible autonomous living thing, we can then figure the probability, on the average, that anyone protein that ever existed on earth would have only left-handed amino acids just by chance:

The answer is 1 in 10^71 (which is 10^123 divided by 10^52). Written out, that is only 1 chance in –
100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
that even a single one of all these protein molecules that ever existed on earth would on the average happen by chance alone to have only L-amino acids. Saying it another way, the odds are a hundred billion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion to one against that happening!

That isn’t all. Even if one did occur, 238 more all-left-handed ones would be needed to work with it, or all would be lost. Since all 239 would have to be together in space and time, the probability of each of the remaining 238 would be 1/10^123. Those huge numbers would then have to be multiplied together and with the 1/10^71 probability of the first one, according to the multiplication rule. This would give the probability of the needed group of 239 protein molecules being all left-handed.

The number is beyond all comprehension, namely 1 in 10^29345. Even if we allow for overlapping groups, it cuts the exponents only a few “orders of magnitude” (powers of 10). And, if we had all of them, they still could not duplicate themselves, so it would be the end of the line, unless chance could also produce the DNA code and the entire translating system. The code, moreover, would have to specify that amino acids would be manufactured in the left-handed form, and the coding for all the enzymes would have to match.

For comparison, the number of inches across the known universe from one side to the other is only about 10^28. The odds against even one average-size protein having all left-handed amino acids is a figure 10 million trillion trillion trillion times that big, namely, 1 in 10^71. Remember, that is out of all the protein molecules that ever existed on earth. The foregoing calculations were on the assumption of equal likelihood that either hand would link up.

Probability Figured If 6/7 Preference for the Same Hand

Now, the probability is to be computed if this extreme is assumed, namely, a preference factor of six chances in seven that the same isomer will link up next.
If a handed amino acid happens to be first in the chain, no preference would be exerted upon it, since there would be none preceding it. We will assume the same to be true whenever another amino acid follows a glycine residue in the chain, since glycine is neither left- nor right-handed. For all the rest, we are to consider that the probability is 6/7 that the same hand will link up next as the one just preceding.

Let it be supposed that there are 32 sites in the chain of 445 where an isomeric amino acid either follows a glycine or comes first in the entire chain. Each of these 32 will therefore have a probability of 1/2 of being left-handed, as there is no handed amino acid preceding it to exert any preference. Each of the other 378 sites will have a probability of 6/7 that the position involved will be occupied by the same hand as the one just before it. When we remember the 35 glycines, this accounts for all 445.

Computing this for the 32 sites at 1/2 probability and for the 378 sites at 6/7 probability, we arrive at a probability of 1 in 8.7 x 10^34 that a particular protein would have only L-amino acids. Since a minimum of 239 such proteins is required before there are enough for the theoretical minimal living entity, and each would have the same probability, by the multiplication rule, we conclude that on the average the probability would be around 1 in 10^8350 that any given set of 239 would be all left-handed.

Going back to the 10^52 protein molecules that ever existed according to Dr. Eden, we may divide these into contiguous sets of 239 for such a minimal cell. There are 10^49 such sets, rounded. By dividing this figure into 10^8350, and further dividing by a million to allow for overlapping sets, we arrive at the astounding conclusion that there is, on the average, one chance in 10^8295 that of all the proteins that ever existed on earth there would be a set of 239 together which were all left-handed, the minimum number required for the smallest theoretical cell. Another concession was given to make it easier for chance, in that we did not consider the time factor for the 10^52 proteins that ever existed, and calculated as if they all existed at the same time.

Out of all the protein molecules that ever existed on earth, the odds against there being even one set with only left-handed components sufficient for the smallest theoretical living entity are 10^8295 to 1. This is the conclusion when it is assumed that there is a 6/7 selectivity factor for the same enantiomorphic form. Compare that with the number of seconds since the universe began, which is 10^18 for about the longest such estimate – about 15 billion years.

Even if the L-amino acids were 100 times as likely to link with L- as with D-, the odds would be 184 billion to 1 against an average size protein molecule having only L-amino acids. To get the required set of 239 would make the probability slimmer than 1 in 10^2642 out of all the proteins that ever existed on earth. And, even if we also allowed 100 to 1 preference in the case of the 32 amino acids which follow glycine – supposing that the preceding portion of the chain could exert such selectivity – the probability would still be astronomical beyond the ability of the human mind to conceive, namely, 1 chance in 5 x 10^373, using all the proteins that ever existed on earth.
To be more realistic, however, let’s go back to the figure for one minimum set if the preference is assumed to be 6/7. That was a probability averaging 1 in 10^8295. Just to print the number would require more than four full pages. It would take six minutes to say the number in billions, speaking rapidly all the while. These numbers are too fantastic to understand. Chapter 7 on large numbers will offer comparisons that will help.

What if we suppose, contrary to any actual evidence, that at the start there were only forty proteins required, of only forty units in length,16 with 6/7 preference for the same hand? Considering three of these to be glycine, the odds would be sixty billion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion to one that no single set of protein molecules out of all that ever existed would have only left-handed amino acids. (That is 60 x 10^69 to 1.)

Conclusion: No Conceivable Probability

No natural explanation which can adequately explain this left-handed mystery is in sight. We have just seen that the odds against its happening by chance are so tremendous as to be completely incomprehensible.

If, on the other hand, there was a Creator of living things, He could have decided for reasons of His own to use just L-amino acids in proteins. He would have placed the proper L-enzymes and coding in the cells which would form only left-handed amino acids for use in proteins.

These created enzymes would thereafter be replaced as needed at the orders of the DNA code. The same Creator would be the Author of that amazing code which carries complete instructions that are incredibly comprehensive and detailed in the genes of every living thing on earth.

For those whose philosophy is evolution, this left-handed matter is an embarrassing problem. The many efforts at solutions that have been made are noteworthy for the questions they bring up rather than for answers. It is not likely that this mystery will ever be adequately explained, as long as the evidence of intelligent planning is ignored."


Hmmmm. Even with 10^99 trials in all of space in all of time, the odds against a simple self-replicating organism appear to be generously given as 1 in 10^8196, which is far more than the 1 in 10^50 considered to be the number beyond which a chance is considered an impossibility.

Now, these are simultaneous trials continually ongoing, so no complaints there. The math is simple statistics, the old coin flip math, much like the binary choices made in a computer. On or off, yes or no, heads or tails, although certain advantages are given to the proteins to make it easier for life to form....and yet statistically it could not have happened!

No strawmen or fallacies here

The math is straight-forward. But you say, suppose the Universe has formed and re-formed infinite times and with so many different Universes, one had to have formed life! Here is the evidence for multiple formation of the Universe:



still waiting?



gee, no evidence? In fact, the fine-tuning required in the formation of this Universe is such that many scientists admit it could not have happened by chance. So to suggest that it has happened over and over and over is, well, silly.



But you say, evolution doesn't require life from non-life, but simply describes simple to complex life. Okay, where did the life come from? If you say, "God", then you didn't need evolution to make all the creatures found today. The remarkable leaps of faith to believe that irreducibly complex systems just happened are no longer necessary......neither is evolution. No, the true evolutionist is a naturalistic materialist who will not conceive of God or any factors beyond the ability of his five senses to apprehend. If you assert that you are a God-believing evolutionist, well, that makes no sense to me, frankly. Panspermia????? We have seen that the conditions in outer space will kill off any simple life that might be drifting in from another location.

Go ahead and try to show me how Morowitz got it wrong. But if you try to assert that "much simpler life-forms existed then" or "simpler self-replicators formed together" or "conditions were more conducive to the formation of life" you had better present evidence or you are just repeating a 'just-so' story that you heard in school. Cheers!

Friday, June 23, 2006

POEM: Because Romance better than Rants

It is my blog and sometimes I rant.

Other times, I rant.

Other times I talk about other stuff - still waiting for someone to give me a good number of parts/components/bits for the simplest possible self-replicating organism. If I don't get feedback by tomorrow, I am using my own number!

~~~~~~~~

Is there love at first sight?

The table was crowded with me and my rowdy friends. Gloria and I had just won the dance contest and the waitress had brought us the bottle of cheap champagne. Of course, everyone wanted a drink and it would be gone in a flash. Some of Gloria's friends came over, wanting to share. One of them was the most beautiful little blonde I had ever seen. She declared that it was her birthday and she deserved a drink. I told her I would give her a birthday kiss instead. No, she said, I would have to dance with her first. I didn't get my kiss until the end of the evening and we both knew.

We were inseperable for a year and a half beginning with that meeting in the club. She was my first real love. I would have taken bullets for her. Both of us cared for the other more than we knew. The Army took me away and I decided it would be better for her if I let her go and find someone else more mature and stable than me, so I didn't go back to her. Little did I know that she waited many long years thinking I would surely come back to her. Tragedy, comedy, such is life.

I saw her name on the internet and decided to be proactive, to call her up. She sounded exactly like she did when she was was nineteen. She actually squealed when she realized it was me on the phone. I felt a flash of those feelings from long ago. But of course I was not going to come to California to rescue her from her marriage, sweeping her off of her feet and leaving my wife behind. We traded an email and let it go.

I've found true, enduring love now and my Kathy is a memory, an idea, a picture of a dimpled smiling face framed by honey-blonde hair and 99% fantasy. I really have no idea what kind of woman she has become. I have found the woman I belong with and belong to, in this as much as anything I can say that life has been good.

Now I simply hope that Kathy has what I have....love, family, hope and joy.

~~~~~~~~

I wrote her poems, back in the day, and this is one of them.

When The Night Was There

when the night was there
when all the others seemed to melt away
and the moon laced ribbons through your hair
on the night we met
when we were so young

when I saw your eyes
when they took in all I am, smiled up at me
for the reflection they could recognize
was the same in mine
the very same time

and our dreams embraced
when the drifting stars reflecting our souls
nestled in the world within a kiss
as your lips touched mine
and we forgot words

as the morning broke
when the rocks and seagulls could just touch the light
bringing old men and dogs to which we woke
as you held me warm
to gather our love

when the night was there
when all the others seemed to melt away
and the moon laced ribbons through your hair
on the night we met
when we were so young

Kimbal Ross...all rights reserved.

This entry is trackbacked at Angel's open weekend post

Liberal Moonbats: Still Heartless, Still Idiotic




Amnesty International issued this statement concerning the torture-murders of two young American soldiers:
"Amnesty International, first and foremost, extends its sincerest condolences to the families of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker for their tragic loss. We are deeply disturbed by reports that these two soldiers were brutally tortured. These reports, if proven true, may rise to the level of war crimes.


Amnesty International condemns the torture or summary killing of anyone who has been taken prisoner and reiterates that such acts are absolutely prohibited in international humanitarian law. This prohibition applies at all times, even during armed conflict. There is no honor or heroism in torturing or killing individuals. Those who order or commit such atrocities must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law without recourse to the death penalty."


Right. The Belmont Club said this about that:

The reports, as best I understand them, are that the soldiers were severely tortured before death, their throats slit, after which they were beheaded, then mutilated to the point where only DNA testing could positively identify the bodies. The bodies themselves were then surrounded with antipersonnel devices in a locality frequented by civilians to kill and mutilate anyone who might render assistance or simply catch the unwary.

Let's assign these reports the notation of A. Let's assign the existence of a war crime the notation of B. What I think Amnesty International is saying is that if A then maybe B. However, the truth value of the proposition of the last sentence is not contingent. Rather it is absolute. "Those who order or commit such atrocities must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law without recourse to the death penalty." C. Do C whatever anyone else thinks; whatever else the laws of a sovereign Iraq may specify. C.

My own testament, for the record, are that if I should ever be tortured, have my throat slit, beheaded, mutilated and then have booby traps planted round my corpse so that they might kill any relatives and friends -- should any of this ever happen to me -- that Amnesty International kindly refrain from extending it's "sincerest condolences" and weasely condemnations and offering its insulting and gratuitous advice. I don't want them. I would much rather lie forgotten in some open field than have one of Amnesty International's sick letters on my casket. Not that they would write it.



I cannot conceive of anyone not understanding how evil such torture-murders are, especially those who equate them with something like holding terrorists captive at the Gunatanamo facility.


"Echidne of the Snakes has a short post on horror."...said one of the commenters. I checked it out: Echidne says: "...Where anything I could say would seem wrong, supporting the wrong political ideas, ignoring all the other horrors (Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo), just wrong. Yet somehow not to write about this horror seemed wrong, too. Everything has become politics, including the horrors from both sides. And even saying that appears to imply some sort of equality in horror. There is no such thing about horrors."

This is just the kind of thing that I mean. There is absolutely no comparison between the unbelievably barbaric and evil torture-killings being perpetrated by Islamofascists and the stupid stuff that took place in Abu Ghraib. Echidne is somewhere between clueless and downright evil in nature to even say such a thing!

Quiz- Would you rather...

1) be made to get naked and wear underwear on your head, or

2) have your genitals shoved down your throat, your heart cut out of your chest and your neck sawed off by a long knife?

Go ahead, take your time.

Guantanomo is a prison facility, no horrors going on there other than some idiot "human rights" commission convinced the administration to black out windows on some prisoners who then were able to commit suicide without supervision to prevent them.

The stupidity at Abu Ghraib was perpetrated by just some idiot boneheads who have been duly prosecuted. Mike Adams expresses his justifiable sorrow here.

Islamofascists torture and murder people weekly, sometimes daily. They usually rape and otherwise defile the women before they kill them. Porn to some of these guys is a live video of someone getting their head sawed off after being beaten and stabbed. I viewed one with a soundtrack featuring the noise a person makes when their head is only partly sawn off and they are breathing laboriously through a hole in their neck> I never want to hear that noise again.

Another commenter said I shouldn't use the term "moonbat" and should take the "high road" or something like that. Let me tell you what I really think.

IF YOU ACCUSE THE UNITED STATES OF TORTURE BY POLICY AND EQUATE THE DEATHS OF THOSE TWO SOLDIERS WITH ABU GHRAIB OR GUANTANAMO, MOONBAT IS TOO GOOD A TERM FOR YOU! If you believe that, or say it, you are a hopeless, heartless, liberal moonbat idiot and those two young men are far too good to have sacrificed their lives for the likes of you. If that is truly what you think then I revile you and what you stand for.

Daily Kos hears about the torture-murders and says, "how quaint" and "chickens have come home to roost." Let's see him go find the father of one of those hacked-up PFCs and say that to his face. But then, he has other troubles.....

So does chickenhawk John Murtha....Murtha’s Anti-War Stance Overshadows Abscam Past

Maybe it is the chickenhawks that come home to roost. So, have I made myself clear? I am not in the least bit sympathetic to cowardly appeasing liberal moonbat handwringers and never will be. But history will record them as the losers that they are.

Jeff Emmanuel tells it like it is:

"UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called the Iraq war “illegal,” and John Pace, former UN chief of Human Rights for Iraq, has said that human rights conditions are “as bad now as they were under Saddam,” but was it America that filled mass graves with hundreds of thousands of murdered Iraqi civilians?

Last month, Human Rights Watch again accused the US of “brutalizing Muslim suspects in the name of the war on terror,” but how many times have Americans strapped bombs to their own chests and purposely detonated themselves in a large crowd of civilians?

Amnesty International’s website highlights America’s use of “torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” against terrorist captives, but how many prisoners—Muslim or otherwise—have Americans brutally beheaded?

Despite the immediate attempts of the anti-war Left to make this murder of American soldiers into an election-year political issue, the gradually stabilizing situation on the ground—especially evidenced by the decreasing frequency of effective insurgent attacks, combined with the increasing desperation of their methods—almost inarguably proves that a turning point in Iraq has been reached...



...America should recognize these men as examples of the myriad heroes which make up our all-volunteer military, and should realize that, without supporting the mission the troops are doing—and the cause for which they are volunteering to give their lives, should it come to that—it is not possible to support the troops themselves.

The tide has turned in the battle to win the peace in postwar Iraq, and those who have stood on the sidelines for the past three years—or, worse, who have actively worked against the cause of freedom and democracy in that nation—are dangerously close to being remembered (if they are remembered at all) not for their support of human rights, but for their self-righteous fight against them—all in the name of their hatred of America, and of George W. Bush."


Jeff Emanuel, a highly decorated military veteran, is a senior at the University of Georgia where he is the Public Relations Director for the UGA College Republicans.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Lefty Liberal Moonbats: Heartless, but idiotic

Here is another reason to think Algorica is more than a little out of step with the rest of the country. Oh, yeah, and re-elect Al Gore, ha ha!

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500 more munitions classified as WMD's found in Iraq. We have found WMD's, plans to make them, labs to produce them, evidences of them being shipped out of the country and still, some liberals claim that "Saddam had no WMD's."

Amy Proctor has more details in Hundreds of WMD Found in Iraq Since 2004

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"“We give the good news ... to the Islamic nation that we have carried God's verdict by slaughtering the two captured crusaders," said the claim, which appeared on an Islamic militant Web site where insurgent groups regularly post statements and videos.

“With God Almighty's blessing, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer carried out the verdict of the Islamic court” calling for the soldiers' slaying, the statement said.

The statement said the soldiers were “slaughtered,”; suggesting that al-Muhajer beheaded them. The Arabic word used in the statement, “nahr,”; is used for the slaughtering of sheep by cutting the throat and has been used in past statements to refer to beheadings."


Stingray has the story of the two American servicemen who were captured and tortured before being brutally murdered. Where is John Murtha now? (I apologize right now if I have ever said anything good about that miserable and reprehensible Murtha). Is Murtha decrying the barbaric terrorists? Or is he still making up evidences against our own troops???

Anyway, Stingray also points out that Little Green Footballs has duly noted the far left-wing response to the heartless torture-murders:

"The sick freaks at Daily Kos are gloating: Daily Kos: So our boys were tortured - how quaint.

The bodies of the two captured U.S. soldiers were found in Iraq - bearing signs of “barbaric torture.”

How quaint.

I hope Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo will sleep well tonight, with visions of those boys’ bodies and the horrible barbarities inflicted upon them dancing in their heads. Perhaps Gonzales, and Yoo, and Rumsfeld and Bush will be able to envision the same inhumanities being visited upon their family members and loved ones as they drift off to peaceful slumber.

This cannot stand. We cannot allow this administration and its incomprehensible defense of and support for torture in violation of the “quaint” Geneva Conventions to remain.

The chickens have come home to roost. As ye sew, so shall ye reap.

I weep for my country, and for the families and loved ones of those in Iraq and Afghanistan, those yet living and those already dead.

Peace."


The Daily Kos is the most popular far-lefty blog in existence, a blogworld spokesman, as it were. Gloating over the torture-murders of Americans....making false claims that we torture terrorists...the "chickens" haven't come home to roost. They are here already, calling themselves liberal democrats and looking for every excuse to cut and run from Iraq and the war on terror. Disgusting!

Outrage! Thus saith Barking Moonbat EWS. No kidding. If it is wrong, the ACLU is probably for it, and vice versa.

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There are occasions when I want to tell someone that they are a miserable *expletive deleted* of a *expletive deleted* and a *expletive deleted*-*expletive deleted* cowardly punk who makes pond scum look like a higher organism.



Mike Lukovich, you are hardly worth the effort to expose your pathetic butt. You call this cartoon, "Pot to Kettle." Congratulations, you are now almost as disgraceful an example of humanity as is the miserable Ted Rall.

You get the idea this ticks me off??? Lefty Liberals accusing our nation of torture as a policy? Trying to make political hay out of the deaths of two brave soldiers who gave their lives so that morons like Lukovich are free to spew their filth and make all of us just a bit less...

Thank God for Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, who had the courage to volunteer their service to their country. My condolences to their families for the loss of their lives. The cowardly murderers who took their lives and the sniveling lowlifes who take the tragedy as an occasion to celebrate and/or denigrate their own country and countrymen are unworthy of your sacrifices.