Sunday, December 29, 2013

Did Professor Steven E. Jones write a Peer Reviewed Paper on the Yellow Molten Metal?

I've found the following reference, but cannot find out if the paper refers to the yellow molten metal pouring from the South WTC Tower:

Steven E. Jones, “What accounts for the molten metal observed on 9/11/2001?”, Journal of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, 83:252, 2006.

Would anyone out there have more information? 

UPDATE:  I did find this discussion:

Molten metal, White Smoke and the World Trade Center Collapses
Steven E. Jones,  with Jeffrey Farrer, Wesley Lifferth, John Ellsworth, Jared Dodson, and  Jacob Stevenson
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Brigham Young University
Abstract for a presentation at the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, April 7, 2006 at Snow College, Ephraim, Utah.

   Dramatic video footage reveals yellow-to-white hot molten metal dripping from the South WTC Tower shortly before its collapse on 9/11/2001. [1]  (See: )  The fact that this is indeed molten metal was confirmed in official FEMA and NIST 9/11 reports. [2, 3]  Could this be molten aluminum (from the plane), or molten steel (due to fires), or molten iron (due to thermite reactions)?
   The yellow-white color implies a molten-metal temperature of approximately 1000 -1200 oC, above the temperature which the dark-smoke fires in the Towers would likely produce.[1]  In any case, structural steel melts at about 1510 oC, far above that which could be attained from the fires, and several scientists and engineers confirm that the jet fuel (or other fires that day) could NOT have melted the steel.[1]  Hence, the molten structural-steel hypothesis is ruled out.
   How about aluminum?  If aluminum alloy (e.g., from the plane) had melted, it would melt and flow away from the heat source at its melting point of roughly 500 - 650 oC and thus would not reach the yellow color observed for this molten metal. Furthermore, aluminum has unusually low emissivity and high reflectivity, so that in daylight conditions molten aluminum at any temperature will appear silvery-gray (confirmed in experiments done at BYU).  But this molten metal clearly appears bright yellow-white, in broad daylight.  Hence, molten aluminum is also ruled out as an explanation.  
   However, molten iron with the characteristics seen in this video is consistent with a thermite-reaction occurring in the Tower, since thermite produces molten iron at yellow-to-white hot temperatures:
                   2Al  + Fe2O3  =  Al2O3  +  2Fe (molten iron),         ?H  =  ? 853.5 kJ/mole.
Thus, the yellow-white hot molten metal seen on 9/11 could be molten iron from a thermite-derivative reaction.  Indeed, we have found no other reasonable explanations.  Anomalous pools of red-to-yellow-hot molten metal observed under the rubble piles of both Towers and WTC 7 lend further evidence for the occurrence of highly-exothermic thermite reactions associated with the collapses of these WTC skyscrapers on 9/11/2001.[1]

1.  S.E. Jones, “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?” available at:

2.  McAllister, T., ed. 2002. World Trade Center Building Performance Study: Data Collection, Preliminary Observations, and Recommendations. FEMA 403. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, DC, May, 2002.

3. NIST, 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Military/Educational Complex

Interesting study that points out what I've suspected: a growing reliance on defense contracts for funding of higher education:

When President Dwight Eisenhower gave his prophetic January 1961 farewell speech warning of the growth of “unwarranted influence” on universities and government by the defense industry, relatively few universities had Department of Defense contracts. As of December 2006, 1,107 universities had DoD contracts, including 161 in 33 other countries. 

The 900% growth of Department of Defense research and development, test and evaluation (RDTE defense-applied research) prime contracts as reported from fiscal years 2000 through 2006 caps a 60-year trend of expanding ties between the defense industry and institutes of higher education. 

Although the number of assistance contracts remained largely constant during this period, a 900% rise in RDTE defense-applied research contracts and total dollars to universities occurred. Total dollar amounts awarded to schools rose from $4.4 billion in 2000 to $46.7 billion in 2006. The total number of DoD RDTE defense-applied research contracts to schools rose from 5,887 in 2000 to 52,667 in 2006 (table below). 

So when one asks an expert who works for a university his/her opinion of  the 9/11 Truth Movement, will he/she be wondering what effect his/her answer will have on future funding for his/her department? 

UPDATE:  It's interesting that the lion's share of the increase in defense contracts came in 2006.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

What the Heck are Stiffener Plates and What do They Have to do with WTC7?

I've been reading all the hubbub about how now that NIST has admitted that there were stiffener plates on the columns of WTC7, that their explanation for the collapse of the building no longer holds water. I had no idea what stiffener plates were or why they were relevant. So I finally googled images of stiffener plates.

Oh.  Now I get it. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Positive Effects of Edward Snowden's Whistleblowing

In an article that includes an in depth interview of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, journalist Barton Gellman makes the observation:

On Dec. 16, in a lawsuit that could not have gone forward without the disclosures made possible by Snowden, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon described the NSA’s capabilities as “almost Orwellian” and said its bulk collection of U.S. domestic telephone records was probably unconstitutional.
The next day, in the Roosevelt Room, an unusual delegation of executives from old telephone companies and young Internet firms told President Obama that the NSA’s intrusion into their networks was a threat to the U.S. information economy. The following day, an advisory panel appointed by Obama recommended substantial new restrictions on the NSA, including an end to the domestic call-records program.
It sounds like the beginning of a happy ending.  I'm just waiting to hear that Snowden is fully exonerated and allowed to return to the U.S. without fear of prosecution. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Non-Truther Expert Calls Yellow Molten Metal "Thermitic"

If you look at the National Geographic 9/11 Conspiracies Documentary, starting at about the 31 minute mark, you'll see Thomas Eager, professor of materials engineering at MIT, say that the yellow molten metal pouring from the South Tower is thermitic in nature, but is probably caused by the melted aluminum from the plane reacting with some other material.

This would contradict NIST's explanation that the yellow molten metal is a mixture of molten aluminum and burnt organic material.  Mixing with something and reacting with something are completely different phenomena.  Thus, our air is a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen (and other gases), while water is a chemical compound formed from the reaction of oxygen and hydrogen.

Now I have no idea if the yellow molten metal is thermitic, or a mixture of aluminum and organic materials, or something else altogether.  But I've been lectured that I should ask the experts, since of course they know, and of course they will tell me it is a mixture of aluminum and organic materials.  Yet here we have a non-Truther expert disagreeing with other non-Truther experts about that question. So which experts should I trust?

I have a better idea:  Somebody find a peer reviewed paper that is pertinent to this question, or do a clear experiment that supports one view or the other (by the way, I think Steven Jones experiment is suggestive, but I don't think it's clear that he's disproven NIST).  Until then, my point holds:  NIST did not properly investigate the nature of the yellow molten metal.

Now I think Jaydeehess is correct, and that even if NIST is wrong, this does not tell us that the yellow molten metal is thermitic.  However, it's possible that Thomas Eager might know more than Jaydeehess or I about this matter.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Example 3 of Relevant Evidence of the WTC Collapses that NIST did Not Properly* Investigate: The Yellow Molten Metal

(*I've just added "properly" to the title of this post, as a way of acknowledging that NIST did investigate the phenomenon, but didn't try to verify their explanation).

Continuing my series of posts (see Example 1and Example 2 )on why laypersons should want a further investigation of 9/11, I come to the yellow molten metal pouring from the South Tower, shortly before its collapse.   Watch for example, this video:

Though NIST did not initially investigate the nature of phenomenon, in a reply to frequently asked questions (republished with comments by Jim Hoffman), they do offer an answer to a question about it:

11. Why do some photographs show a yellow stream of molten metal pouring down the side of WTC2 that NIST claims was aluminum from the crashed plane although aluminum burns with a white glow?
NIST reported (NCSTAR 1-5A) that just before 9:52 a.m., a bright spot appeared at the top of a window on the 80th floor of WTC 2, four windows removed from the east edge on the north face, followed by the flow of a glowing liquid. This flow lasted approximately four seconds before subsiding. Many such liquid flows were observed from near this location in the seven minutes leading up to the collapse of this tower. There is no evidence of similar molten liquid pouring out from another location in WTC 2 or from anywhere within WTC 1. 
Photographs, and NIST simulations of the aircraft impact, show large piles of debris in the 80th and 81st floors of WTC 2 near the site where the glowing liquid eventually appeared. Much of this debris came from the aircraft itself and from the office furnishings that the aircraft pushed forward as it tunneled to this far end of the building. Large fires developed on these piles shortly after the aircraft impact and continued to burn in the area until the tower collapsed. 
NIST concluded that the source of the molten material was aluminum alloys from the aircraft, since these are known to melt between 475 degrees Celsius and 640 degrees Celsius (depending on the particular alloy), well below the expected temperatures (about 1,000 degrees Celsius) in the vicinity of the fires. Aluminum is not expected to ignite at normal fire temperatures and there is no visual indication that the material flowing from the tower was burning. 
Pure liquid aluminum would be expected to appear silvery. However, the molten metal was very likely mixed with large amounts of hot, partially burned, solid organic materials (e.g., furniture, carpets, partitions and computers) which can display an orange glow, much like logs burning in a fireplace. The apparent color also would have been affected by slag formation on the surface.

But as Mr. Hoffman noted, physics professor Steven E. Jones had tried unsuccessfully to reproduce the yellow appearance by mixing molten aluminum with "hot, partially burned, solid organic materials."  

So what NIST would need to do is experimentally verify their hypothesis that the yellow molten metal could indeed have been aluminum.  As far as I know, neither NIST (nor anyone else) has bothered to do so. 

But one might inquire why this is relevant evidence that NIST needs to investigate.  I would suggest that NIST made it relevant by bothering to offer an answer to what the molten material might be.  Had NIST ignored the question or said that determining its nature wasn't relevant, then we laypeople might not have reason to demand that they investigate the matter further.  But since NIST went to the trouble of trying to answer the question, they themselves made it relevant to the investigation.  

But why might this be relevant to an investigation of the collapse of the South tower?  

Thermite vs Safe is my favorite example of showing what thermite can do and what it looks like while doing it:

So is this what the yellow molten metal was that was pouring from the South Tower on 9/11?  If not, then what was it? 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Correspondence with Jonathan Barnett on Significance of Corroded Steel

While trying to find the original New York Times article in which one of the lead engineers of FEMA,  Jonathan Barnett,  was to supposed to have said something about "evaporated steel" at WTC7,  I came across a website that had the transcript of correspondence with him about his remarks. It also has much more of his opinions about what brought down WTC1 and 2, which certainly doesn't support the controlled demolition hypothesis. But I will quote the part related to WTC7 and the evaporated steel:

Dear Prof. Barnett,

I came across the following comment made by you to James Glanz of the New York Times of November 29, 2001, regarding the collapse of WTC 7 on September 11, 2001:

"A combination of an uncontrolled fire and the structural damage might have been able to bring the building down, some engineers said. But that would not explain steel members in the debris pile that appear to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures, Dr. Barnett said."

I was wondering what prompted you to state that steel members have been "partly evaporated in extraordinary high temperatures". Did you follow up this observation?

I would be most grateful for your observations.

Sincerely yours,

Elias Davidsson 31 Dec. 2006

Those were early observations. Since then, a metallurgical study was completed (see the ASCE/FEMA BPAT report). Please let me know if you have any more questions.

Jonathan 2 January 2007

Dear Prof. Barnett,
I am aware of the ASCE/FEMA BPAT report which reported unexplained sulferization and corrosion of the steel of the towers and WTC7. Professor Steven Jones finds that the most plausible explanation is the use of thermite. According to his account, thermite would fully explain these observations.

What is your take on that?

Elias 2 January 2007

I would suggest that the crushed gypsum wallboard would explain the source of the sulferization. As that effect is a certainty (the effect of the pulverized wallboard), and thermite is an unsupported theory, I'll settle for the certainty.
As I like to say, the real problem is that Bush has really been taken over by Martians; Of course, this is as ridiculous as any other pie in the sky theory.

[Jonathan] 2 January 2007 

 I think it's clear from Barnett's remarks that he was not happy with the theory that fire brought down WTC7, since it did not account for the "evaporated" steel.  He does not mention how much steel he found in this condition, but it was enough to trouble him about hypotheses of fire alone bringing down the building.  The gypsum wallboard hypothesis seemed to relieve his troubles.  I wonder what he thinks now that Jonathan Cole has performed his experiment.  My guess is that Barnett would say that if Cole's steel had burned longer, perhaps it would look more like the corroded steel he found at the sites.  Again, it would help if someone did a metallurgical analysis of Cole's steel, so that we could compare it with FEMA's samples. 

The whole correspondence is worth reading for anyone digging for the truth.  Barnett makes it clear that they did not find evidence of explosives for WTC1 and 2.  He makes it clear that he thinks their collapses are fully understandable and predictable from an engineering point of view.

I wonder if Barnett is available to answer further questions.  I could be mistaken, but he strikes me as an honest fellow.  I think he would be helpful for those who are interested in finding the truth. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Example 2 of Relevant Evidence of the WTC Collapses that NIST did not Investigate: Free Fall of WTC7

In their final report on the collapse of WTC7 NIST offered a computer simulation of the collapse, based on the assumption that the acceleration of the collapse was 40% slower than free fall.  However, during the technical briefing of the report high school physics teacher David Chandler made it clear that there was actual free fall during the collapse of about 2.25 seconds.  In other words, there was a period of time when there was no support for the building and it fell at gravitational acceleration.  NIST revised its report to show that there actually was a period of free fall.

WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall:

But NIST failed to revise their computer simulation to show how free fall could have occurred.  As the following video demonstrates the simulations they do provide would not have resulted in free fall:

What NIST needs to do is go back and try to simulate the actual free fall period that did occur.

HT: and 9/

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Example 1 of Relevant Evidence of the WTC Collapses that NIST did not Investigate: FEMA's Appendix C

A friend has recently accused me of arrogance in suggesting that I, a layman, can somehow judge what evidence is relevant to a proper investigation of the collapses of the WTC towers on 9/11.  So I thought I would discuss a few examples and show why even a layperson should be able to discern that no proper investigation of the collapses was performed by NIST.   The first example: 

FEMA had conducted a preliminary, very limited investigation of the collapses of all three WTC towers on 9/11. In Appendix C they discuss "two structural steel members with unusual erosion patterns were observed in the WTC debris field." In their conclusion, they stated:

 "The severe corrosion and subsequent erosion of Samples 1 and 2 are a very unusual event. No clear explanation for the source of the sulfur has been identified. The rate of corrosion is also unknown. It is possible that this is the result of long-term heating in the ground following the collapse of the buildings. It is also possible that the phenomenon started prior to collapse and accelerated the weakening of the steel structure. [My emphasis] A detailed study into the mechanisms of this phenomenon is needed to determine what risk, if any, is presented to existing steel structures exposed to severe and long-burning fires."

FEMA makes clear that they had found samples of structural steel from WTC1 or 2 and from WTC7, and that they did not know if these samples "accelerated the weakening of the steel structure" prior to collapse.  In other words, FEMA had uncovered what may have been relevant evidence in an explanation of the collapses of the WTC buildings.  A proper investigation would have tried to determine what caused the corrosion of these samples, when it occurred, and whether it accelerated the weakening of the steel structures prior to collapse.

What sort of investigation did NIST perform relevant to these samples?   None whatsoever.  Zip. Zero. Nada.

Someone does not need to be an expert to see  that NIST's failure to investigate what caused the corrosion of FEMA's steel samples is an example of ignoring relevant evidence.  

Professional engineer Jonathan Cole did conduct experiments related to FEMA's samples.   The first involved an attempt to reproduce it using materials that would have been present in a normal office fire: 9/11 Experiments: The Mysterious Eutectic Steel, but Cole was unable to produce similar samples:

However, when Cole performed his 9/11 Experiments: The Great Thermate Debate, by using thermate he was able to produce samples that looked eerily similar to FEMA's samples:  


No microscopic or metallurgic analysis has been done of Cole's samples, but his experiments are far more than anything NIST was willing to do to solve the mystery of FEMA's corroded steel.  A person would need to be willfully blind to complain that a layperson has no reason to doubt that the NIST's official investigation included all the relevant evidence.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Effects of Wealth Inequality on How We Think and Behave

Fascinating report on studies revealing the effects of wealth inequality on how people think and behave: Money on the Mind:

HT: Joel Watts, Unsettled Christianity.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thomas Nagel on Intelligent Design

In his book, Mind and Cosmos:  Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False,  the atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel offers some rather strong words in support of the endeavor of Intelligent Design theorists, even though he does not accept their theories:

"...Even though writers like Michael Behe and Stephen Meyer are motivated at least in part by their religious beliefs, the empirical arguments they offer against the likelihood that the origin of life and its evolutionary history can be fully explained by physics and chemistry are of great interest in themselves.  Another skeptic, David Berlinski, has brought out these problems vividly without reference to the design inference.  Even if one is not drawn to the alternative of an explanation by the actions of a designer, the problems that these iconoclasts pose for the orthodox scientific consensus should  be taken seriously.  They do not deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met.  It is manifestly unfair.

     "Those who have seriously criticized these arguments have certainly shown that there are ways to resist the design conclusion; but the general force of the negative part of the intelligent design position - skepticism about the likelihood of the orthodox reductive view, given the available evidence - does not appear to me to have been destroyed in these exchanges.  At least, the question should be regarded as open.  To anyone interested in the basis of this judgment, I can only recommend a careful reading of some of the leading advocates on both sides of the issue - with special attention to what has been established by the critics of intelligent design.  Whatever one may think about the possibility of a designer, the prevailing doctrine - that the appearance of life from dead matter and its evolution through accidental mutation and natural selection to its present forms has involved nothing but the operation of physical law - cannot be regarded as unassailable.  It is an assumption governing the scientific project rather than a well-confirmed scientific hypothesis.

     "I confess to an ungrounded assumption of my own, in not finding it possible to regard the design alternative as a real option.  I lack the sensus divinitatus that enables - indeed compels - so many people to see in the world the expression of divine purpose as naturally as they see in a smiling face the expression of human feeling.  So my speculations about an alternative to physics as a theory of everything do not invoke a transcendent being but tend toward complications to the immanent character of the natural order.  That would also be a more unifying explanation than the design hypothesis.  I disagree with the defenders of intelligent design in their assumption, one which they share with their opponents, that the only naturalistic alternative is a reductionist theory based on physical laws of the type with which we are familiar.  Nevertheless, I believe the defenders of intelligent design deserve our gratitude for challenging a scientific world view that owes some of the passion displayed by its adherents precisely to the fact that it is thought to liberate us from religion." (pp. 10-12)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What's more Unreasonable than Denial of Global Warming and Evolution? Predicting Inflation.

Or so says Paul Krugman.

Back to the evidence versus the orthodoxy. I can, in a way, understand refusing to believe in global warming — that’s a noisy process, with lots of local variation, and the overall measures are devised by pointy-headed intellectuals who probably vote Democratic. I can even more easily understand refusing to believe in evolution. But the failure of predicted inflation to materialize is happening in real time, right in front of our eyes; people who kept believing in inflation just around the corner lost a lot of money. Yet the denial remains total.
I guess it’s a matter of who you’re gonna believe — Ayn Rand or your own lying eyes.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Has Science Disproven Free Will?

Occasionally I read - usually at Jerry Coyne's blog - of some study that is supposed to cast doubt on or disprove free will.  The study usually involves hooking up the human subjects to machines that scan their brains while they are asked to make some arbitrary choice.  Then the machine detects that the brains have made a choice before the subjects are consciously aware of making it themselves.   "Aha!" say the researchers,  "This proves that the choices were physically determined by the brain, not by the conscious decisions of the subjects."   Then someone like Coyne comes along and generalizes from these studies that all of our conscious decisions are physically determined prior to our consciously choosing them.

Perhaps people like Coyne are right.  But before we swallow the argument, let's chew it over a bit.  If I'm asked to make an arbitrary decision, one which I can find no conscious reason for deciding one way or the other, how do I go about making my choice?  From my own instrospections, I seem almost to pull a lever in my brain, as if it were a slot machine at a casino, and let it determine what choice I should make.  Then the brain seems to "spin" for a short period of time until it determines what alternative I should choose.  At some point in time I consciously make the choice.  But it wouldn't surprise me to find out that my brain had already made the choice before I consciously knew about it.  So it doesn't surprise me when studies suggest that this is what happens when other people are asked to make an arbitrary decision.  We don't have any conscious reason to choose one alternative over another, so we let our brains do the choosing for us.

What I think would be a more interesting study is asking people to do a logic or math problem and then choose what they think is the right answer.  I'm curious what the brain machines would show then.  I suspect that the conscious choice of an answer would be either simultaneous to or maybe even prior to what the brain chooses.

But perhaps such studies have already been done.  If so, I would be curious to know what the results were.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Seymour Hersh about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda's Afghanistan Escapes

Interesting youtube video that includes a 2002 TV interview of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh describing an airlift of Al Qaeda from Afghanistan to Pakistan, apparently with the blessing of the U.S.

Seymour Hersh about Osama and Al Qaeda's Afghanistan Escapes

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Jerry Coyne's Test for Being an Accommodationist: Infallible?

Jerry Coyne has presented his "infallible" test for knowing whether an atheist is really a "hidebound accommodationist":

Faitheists, accommodationists, and theists will invariably say that religion played a trivial, or even no, role in that [Galileo] affair.

The problem is that Nick Matzke has already offered a counter-example to Coyne's test.  As he says in the comments section:

Hugo Holbling’s essay is much, much better. And he’s definitely no science-religion-warfare guy — he’s a very determined anti-demarcationist, for instance. His conclusions?

Matzke then goes on to quote Holbling at length, showing that he thinks religion played the major role in the Galileo affair.  So here we have one accommodationist - Nick Matzke - quoting another accommodationist - Hugo Holbling - as saying that religion was the main culprit in the Galileo affair.

I think it's fair to conclude that Coyne's test isn't infallible after all.  Sorry Jerry, but better luck next time at becoming the first Jewish pope since Peter. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Peter Enns on "The Best Way of Getting out of the Whole Canaanite Genocide Thing"

Peter Enns offers what he calls The Best Way of Getting out of the Whole Canaanite Genocide Thing, and It Comes Right from the Bible, but You may not Like it. I'll quote the core of his argument:

In Exodus 23, it looks like a pestilence of some sort (famine? locusts?) by God’s hand is what will drive out the Canaanites: it will throw them into confusion and so they will turn their backs on the Israelites. This process, we are told, will happen gradually. But note there is no word of annihilating the Canaanites by war.
In Leviticus, we see another side to all this. Note the use of the past tense in these passages. Even though these words from God are spoken on Mt. Sinai, i.e., before Israel entered Canaan 40 years later, the expulsion of the inhabitants of Canaan is something God did. The Canaanites are vomited out of the land already.
These passages present an alternate view on how the Canaanites were ousted from the land (expulsion, either already or in the future) than what we find on Deuteronomy and Joshua (annihilation). The Bible carries with it multiple traditions of how the Israelites came into the land. (see also Numbers 33:50-56, which speaks only of “displacing” the Canaanites, not annihilating them).
Note, too, that the gradual displacement of the Canaanites in Exodus 23 coheres somewhat with the picture given in Judges as opposed to the rapid Blitzkrieg victory tour depicted in Joshua 7-12 (e.g., Joshua 11:23, “So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments. And the land had rest from war.”).
On the one hand, this is good news if you want to think of Israel’s settlement of Canaan in biblical terms that also takes the edge of [sic] the violence. On the other hand, this is bad news if you want to follow the Bible, since the Bible explains how the Canaanites ceased living in their land in two mutually exclusive ways–i.e., the Bible does not speak with “one voice,” which I know for some is more troubling than the thought of God killing off a population.
You can’t have everything.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

NSA Spying and Lying does Relate to 9/11

9/11 whistleblower Kevin Ryan uncovers some interesting connections between recent lying by NSA and the events of 9/11 here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Paul Krugman on the Value of Bloggers

Paul Krugman has some kind words for bloggers:

...But academic credentials are neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for having your ideas taken seriously. If a famous professor repeatedly says stupid things, then tries to claim he never said them, there’s no rule against calling him a mendacious idiot — and no special qualifications required to make that pronouncement other than doing your own homework.

Conversely, if someone without formal credentials consistently makes trenchant, insightful observations, he or she has earned the right to be taken seriously, regardless of background.
One of the great things about the blogosphere is that it has made it possible for a number of people meeting that second condition to gain an audience. I don’t care whether they’re PhDs, professors, or just some guy with a blog — it’s the work that matters....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

No Global Warming Catastrophes on the Horizon?

If I understand  the IPCC table at Watt's Up With That?'s website, there don't seem to be any imminent catastrophes from global warming on the horizon. Someone be sure to let me know if I misunderstood something.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Guardian Corrects Seymour Hersh Interview: Hersh not suggesting that Osama bin Laden was not killed in Pakistan

The Guardian offered a correction to its interview of Seymour Hersh:

This article was amended on 1 October 2013. The original text stated that Hersh sold a story about the My Lai massacre to the New York Times for $5,000 when in fact it was the Times of London. Hersh has pointed out that he was in no way suggesting that Osama bin Laden was not killed in Pakistan, as reported, upon the president's authority: he was saying that it was in the aftermath that the lying began. Finally, the interview took place in the month of July, 2013.

So now one wonders what Hersh was suggesting?

UPDATE:  Given JDB's comment that essentially says that Hersh's suggestion was rather innocuous, I thought I should reprint the relevant part of the interview:

Don't even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends "so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would" – or the death of Osama bin Laden. "Nothing's been done about that story, it's one big lie, not one word of it is true," he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011 [see footnote].
Now perhaps all Hersh was saying was that the execution of bin Laden was unlawful, but that certainly was a very strange way to say it. 

HT: Huffington Post.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Rabbi Sacks: "To be human is to ask 'Why?'"

I'm continuing to read and enjoy Rabbi Sacks's book, The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning. The latest snippet:

     There will be those who say, beyond the facts and the explanation of the facts, there is no meaning.  There will be others who say there is.  The universe does not come emblazoned with its purpose.  To fathom it has taken much wisdom and humility and the experience of humankind over many centuries.  to express it may take music and art, ritual and celebration.  But to say, 'What is, is, for no other reason than it is,' is to halt prematurely the human tendency to ask and never rest satisfied with the answer, 'It just is.'  Curiosity leads to science, but it also leads to questions unanswerable by science.
     The search for God is the search for meaning.  The discovery of God is the discovery of meaning.  And that is no small thing, for we are meaning-seeking animals.  It is what makes us unique.  To be human is to ask the question, 'Why?'

Saturday, October 5, 2013

What Matters When Criticizing Darwinian Theory: Location, location, location?

Interesting post by Rabbi Klinghoffer suggests that when criticizing Darwinian theory, it doesn't matter who you are but where you are:

The University of Iowa and Ball State are perfectly respectable places to hang your hat as a professor, but there's only one Harvard. If you're a tenured professor there, obviously, you've made it. You need not feel threatened by something a little bit outré that the guy in the office down the hall says or writes somewhere.

This may explain why Harvard geneticist George Church, who gave a warm approbation to Darwin's Doubt, has not, as far as I know, suffered a public condemnation by his own colleagues. It's also one reason why Darwinism makes so fascinating a sociological study, as much as it does a scientific one.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist on death of Osama bin Laden story: "It's one big lie."

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh on the death of Osama bin Laden (here):

"Nothing's been done about that story, it's one big lie, not one word of it is true," he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011.

HT:  Sibel Edmonds

Monday, September 23, 2013

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on the Significance of Monotheism: Hope

The Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, Lord Jonathan Sacks, writes in the Introduction of his book, The Great Partnership: Science, Religion and the Search for Meaning :

    What made Abrahamic monotheism unique is that it endowed life with meaning.  That is a point rarely and barely understood, but it is the quintessential argument of this book.  We make a great mistake if we think of monotheism as a linear development from polytheism, as if people first worshipped many gods, then reduced them to one.  Monotheism is something else entirely. The meaning of a system lies outside the system.  Therefore the meaning of the universe lies outside the universe.  Monotheism, by discovering the transcendental God, the God who stands outside the universe and creates it, made it possible for the first time to believe that life has a meaning, not just a mythic or scientific explanation. 
     Monotheism, by giving life a meaning, redeemed it from tragedy.  The Greeks understood tragedy better than any other civilisation before or since.  Ancient Israel, though it suffered much, had no sense of tragedy.  It did not even have a word for it.  Monotheism is the principled defeat of tragedy in the name of hope.  A world without religious faith is a world without sustainable grounds for hope.  It may have optimism, but that is something else, and something shallower, altogether....
     ...But a culture that sees the universe as blind and indifferent to humanity generates a literature of tragedy, and a culture that believes in a God of love, forgiveness and redemption produces a literature of hope.  There was no Sophocles in ancient Israel.  There was no Isaiah in Ancient Greece.

Mike Gene Chooses to have Faith in Dawkins

Mike Gene's concluding paragraph here:

Now, let me be clear and note that I am NOT saying he did in fact make this story up. I simply do not know whether it is true or not. I do know there is no evidence it is true and there are reasons to think he could be lying about it all. I suppose in the end, I choose to believe he is telling the truth; I will accept it on faith. But then, I’m not the one who has serious problems with faith.
This despite the fact that in the comment section Mike notes that Dawkins once wrote: 
“And, next time somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them: ‘What kind of evidence is there for that?’ And if they can’t give you a good answer, I hope you’ll think very carefully before you believe a word they say.””
Of course, this comes close to creating a paradox:  If we are to have faith in Dawkins' advice to doubt  people's claims, then should we have faith in Dawkins' claims?  Not quite as paradoxical as, "This sentence is false."  But close.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The East

Just watched The East, a fascinating film about a young woman working for a private corporation - Brood Hiller - whose purpose is to infiltrate anarchist communities and frustrate their actions against Brood Hiller's clientele (other corporations). A very thoughtful film that I recommend highly.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sir Fred Hoyle and the Origins of ID

I first posted this at Telic Thoughts, but since I link to it frequently when discussing ID at other blogs, I thought I would re-post it here.

On January 12th, 1982, Sir Fred Hoyle delivered the Omni Lecture at the Royal Institution, London, entitled "Evolution from Space," which was later reprinted in a book by the same title, along with a couple of other papers. In it he discussed the overwhelming improbability of getting the enzymes needed for even the simplest form of life to function by chance. "The odds…" he concluded were about the same as throwing a "sequence of 50,000 sixes with unbiased dice." (p.10) A few years earlier, Hoyle had come to the conclusion that life on earth was the result of panspermia, and he goes on to present some of his evidence in the lecture.

Then he returns to the problem of how life originated:

"Once we see that life is cosmic it is sensible to suppose that intelligence is cosmic. Now problems of order, such as the sequences of amino acids in the chains which constitute the enzymes and other proteins, are precisely the problems that become easy once a directed intelligence enters the picture, as was recognised long ago by James Clerk Maxwell in his invention of what is known in physics as the Maxwell demon. The difference between an intelligent ordering, whether of words, fruit boxes, amino acids, or the Rubik cube, and merely random shufflings can be fantastically large, even as large as a number that would fill the whole volume of Shakespeare's plays with its zeros. So if one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure or order must be the outcome of intelligent design [my emphasis]. No other possibility I have been able to think of in pondering this issue over quite a long time seems to me to have anything like as high a possibility of being true." (27-28)

Sir Hoyle then speculates as to why our kind of life was designed:

"My friend Willy Fowler and I discovered almost three decades ago that the existence of carbonaceous life depends on the fine-tuning of two so-called energy levels, one in the carbon nucleus, the other in the oxygen nucleus. If either were shifted only minimally, the balance of carbon and oxygen on which life depends, would be destroyed, for the reason that carbon and oxygen would not then be synthesized in appropriate proportions inside stars….My opinion has always been that the fine-tuning…is an environmental property of physics which could be different at other places and other times within the universe." (p.28)
He then goes on to suggest that just as one day the fine-tuning may change, and we may have to design a different form of life, so previously a different form of life had to design us. But unlike "the God of Judaeo-Christian theology [who] is outside the Universe and is said to be superiour to it…the intelligence responsible for the creation of carbonaceous life in the present picture is within this universe and is subservient to it." (p.32)

Finally, Hoyle suggests that life was front-loaded for evolution:

"If at our present level of sophistication we were to attempt a new material representation of ourselves, doubtless we would try for a grandiose solution all in one shot, an explicit new creature complete in itself, like the Greek story of Pygmalion, or like novices with a computer who almost invariably get themselves into a tangle by attempting to write a large complex program all in one go. The practised expert on the other hand, builds a large complex computer program from many sub-units, subroutines as they are called. Microorganisms and genetic fragments are the subroutines of biology, existing throughout space in prodigious numbers, riding everywhere on the light pressure of the stars. Because the correct logical procedure is to build upwards from precisely formed subroutines, we on the Earth had to evolve from a seemingly elementary starting point." (p.34)

So here we have the atheist Fred Hoyle claiming that life was intelligently designed, several years before the Intelligent Desgin movement got off the ground. What's more, his lecture was cited in several books that were influential in the ID movement: Bradley, Olson, and Thaxton's Mystery of Life's Origins; Robert Shapiro's Origins;The Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth; and Michael Denton's Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. It's difficult to believe that his views didn't have some influence on the ID movement. But as far as I know, no one in the ID movement has publicly credited him with much, if any influence. Still, I would guess that there was a connection. My hunch is that it would have gone something like this: After the defeat of the Creation Scientists in the courtrooms, Phillip Johnson's more moderate group realized that something less religious than Creationism was needed. Comparing their views to Hoyle's, it was clear that even though they differed on who the designer was, they agreed that life was intelligently designed. And so the movement was born.

But regardless of how or even if Hoyle's views had any direct influence on the ID movment, we can thank him for helping us to see that there is a conceptual difference between the intelligent design of life and creationism, and that the latter is a species of the former, not the other way around.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Seeing Collapse of WTC7 Changes People's Minds

A new poll pointed out something that always seemed rather obvious: Seeing video of the collapse of WTC7 changes people's minds:

  • 38% of Americans have some doubts about the official account of 9/11, 10% do not believe it at all, and 12% are unsure about it;
  • 46%, nearly one in two, are not aware that a third tower collapsed on 9/11. Of those who are aware of Building 7’s collapse, only 19% know the building’s name;
  • After seeing video footage of Building 7′s collapse:

    • 46% are sure or suspect it was caused by controlled demolition, compared to 28% who are sure or suspect fires caused it, and 27% who don’t know;
    • By a margin of nearly two to one, 41% support a new investigation of Building 7′s collapse, compared to 21% who oppose it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Several Hundred MORE Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth?

I took a look at the "A's" list of Architects and Engineers who signed the petition asking for a new investigation of 9/11. Of the 137 signers, it looked as if one or two of them might not belong in the list. So then I decided to look at the "A's" list of the General Public who had signed the petition, and it looked as if more than 50 of them should be in the Architects and Engineers list. I'm curious why they aren't included. Perhaps the vetting process wasn't able to verify that they were architects or engineers. Or perhaps the Cass Sunstein method of infiltration includes infiltration of 9/11 Truth groups. It would be interesting to know which is the real reason. Meanwhile, if it turns out the 50+ people I found in the A's list are really architects and engineers, then I estimate that there are another 700 or so architects and engineers for 9/11 Truth, besides the 2,000 who have already been counted.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

There Are Now More Than 2,000 Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Just in case you missed it, more than 2,000 architects and engineers have signed the petition, which states:

On Behalf of the People of the United States of America, the undersigned Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth and affiliates hereby petition for, and demand, a truly independent investigation with subpoena power in order to uncover the full truth surrounding the events of 9/11/01 - specifically the collapses of the World Trade Center Towers and Building 7. We believe there is sufficient doubt about the official story and therefore the 9/11 investigation must be re-opened and must include a full inquiry into the possible use of explosives that might have been the actual cause of the destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7.

When I first discovered, back in September of 2008, there were 470 architects and engineers who had signed the petition.  The number has been steadily growing since then. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Thing That Went Wrong on 9/11: The Timing of WTC7's Destruction

One frequently hears the argument that 9/11 couldn't have been an inside job, since something surely would have gone wrong.  Well perhaps there was something that did go very, very wrong:  the timing of the demolition of WTC7.  Perhaps it was meant to go down at 10:45am.  Surrounded by the dust from the collapse of the North Tower that happened at 10:30am, WTC7's collapse would have been invisible to almost everyone.   Instead, there is some evidence that the demolition that was supposed to happen, didn't.  Watch the following:

A Hypothetical Timeline of WTC7's Destruction

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Finally Succumb to Showing a Cat Video

A friend sent me this one.  I think the encaption is in Greek, so I don't know how to look it up on my blogger service, but here is the link. It was the audio that got to me.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Core of Thomas Nagel's "Mind and Cosmos"

A friend sent me a link to a summary of Thomas Nagel's book, Mind and CosmosWhy the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False , by Nagel himself.  It's short and to the point and should help remove misunderstandings and clarify the issues.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Government Attempt to Intimidate Glenn Greenwald Has Opposite Effect

Glenn Greenwald waxes wroth over the detaining of his partner in Britain:

This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism. It's bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It's worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they felt threatened by. But the UK puppets and their owners in the US national security state obviously are unconstrained by even those minimal scruples.
If the UK and US governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further. Beyond that, every time the US and UK governments show their true character to the world - when they prevent the Bolivian President's plane from flying safely home, when they threaten journalists with prosecution, when they engage in behavior like what they did today - all they do is helpfully underscore why it's so dangerous to allow them to exercise vast, unchecked spying power in the dark.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Risking One's Life for 9/11 Truth Graffiti


If, like me, you've wondered how the 9/11 Truth Graffiti artists have been able to do it, you might want to watch this video:

Besides being illegal, this is crazy.  I pray that they don't get themselves killed.  For their sakes I hope they stop.

Monday, August 12, 2013

What on Earth do We Know about Heaven?

At least Randal Rauser comes up with book titles that intrigue me, such as What on Earth do We Know about Heaven?

 And he guarantees that this is the best book on heaven that he has ever written.  I guess I'll risk ten bucks on it.

UPDATE: Adam Hazzard offered some good advice:

"Perhaps the title could use an asterisk and some small print, like the ads for prescription drugs : Warning: The work "know" is used here in a figurative sense and does not imply actual knowledge. Assertions contained in this work are unverifiable. Customers requiring a fuller description of any possible afterlife are advised to solicit information from those who have already died. No warranty is offered or implied."

  UPDATE II: I just read the Afterword: Waiting for the Dream Car. Worth reading.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How to Design Evolution

Intelligent Design covers a rather wide spectrum of views, from Young Earth Creaionism at one extreme, to Front-loaded Evolution at the other. Mike Gene is the best known proponent of the latter view, and a recent essay tries to explain what it's all about, or How to Design Evolution.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Doing My Duty

Over at Uncommon Descent, Barry Arrington posted "Doing My Duty." It was rather short:

  “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men” (George Orwell).

 Design is obvious. 

I wouldn't want to let ol' George down, so I thought I would follow suit:

 Controlled demolition of the following is obvious:

If you have an ipad, you probably need to go to this link to see it.

UPDATE: In the comment section at Barry's post, Alan Fox provided the context for the Orwell quotation:

  Here is the quote in context, taken from “The Road to Wigan Pier”, written in 1937 

 If there are certain pages of Mr Bertrand Russell’s book, Power, which seem rather empty, that is merely to say that we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. It is not merely that at present the rule of naked force obtains almost everywhere. Probably that has always been the case. Where this age differs from those immediately preceding it is that a liberal intelligentsia is lacking. Bully-worship, under various disguises, has become a universal religion, and such truisms as that a machine-gun is still a machine-gun even when a “good” man is squeezing the trigger — and that in effect is what Mr Russell is saying — have turned into heresies which it is actually becoming dangerous to utter. 

“The Road to Wigan Pier” describes Orwell’s research into working-class conditions in the Midlands and North of England during the depression and is an argument for genuine socialism.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Effective Way to Say "NO" to the NSA?

A small email service shut itself down rather than give the NSA confidential information. If all the giant servers did the same, I imagine somebody would get the message.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

More Government Motives for Murdering Michael Hastings

I thought Micahel Hastings'death might have just been General McChrystal's revenge. However, journalist Russ Baker explores the connections between Michael Hastings, Edward Snowden and Barrett Brown and the war with the security state. Clearly, there may have been other government motives for murdering Hastings.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

VJ Torley Asks Some Good Questions Regarding What Place ID Should Have in Public Universities.

Dr. Jo Ann Gora, president of Ball State University, has sent a letter to the faculty forbidding the teaching of intelligent design as a scientific theory in science classes.

VJ Torley has asked several questions in an open letter to Dr. Gora in response.  I think it's worth reading and thinking about.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Death by Car-Hacking?

An interesting article and video at Forbes reveals nasty new car attacks by hacking their computers . Some excerpts:

Stomping on the brakes of a 3,500-pound Ford Escape that refuses to stop–or even slow down–produces a unique feeling of anxiety. In this case it also produces a deep groaning sound, like an angry water buffalo bellowing somewhere under the SUV’s chassis. The more I pound the pedal, the louder the groan gets–along with the delighted cackling of the two hackers sitting behind me in the backseat.
Luckily, all of this is happening at less than 5mph. So the Escape merely plows into a stand of 6-foot-high weeds growing in the abandoned parking lot of a South Bend, Ind. strip mall that Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have chosen as the testing grounds for the day’s experiments, a few of which are shown in the video below. (When Miller discovered the brake-disabling trick, he wasn’t so lucky: The soccer-mom mobile barreled through his garage, crushing his lawn mower and inflicting $150 worth of damage to the rear wall.)
But Miller and Valasek’s work assumed physical access to the cars’ computers for a reason: Gaining wireless access to a car’s network is old news. A team of researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego, experimenting on a sedan from an unnamed company in 2010, found that they could wirelessly penetrate the same critical systems Miller and Valasek targeted using the car’s OnStar-like cellular connection, Bluetooth bugs, a rogue Android app that synched with the car’s network from the driver’s smartphone or even a malicious audio file on a CD in the car’s stereo system. “Academics have shown you can get remote code execution,” says Valasek, using hacker jargon for the ability to start running commands on a system. “We showed you can do a lot of crazy things once you’re inside.”
In the meantime, Miller and Valasek argue that the best way to pressure car companies to secure their products is to show exactly what can be done with a multi-ton missile on wheels. Better to experience the panic of a digitally hijacked SUV now than when a more malicious attacker is in control. “If the only thing keeping you from crashing your car is that no one is talking about this,” says Miller, “then you’re not safe anyway.”

A recent car-crash-death that might have been by car-hacking: Michael Hastings, the reporter who brought down General McChrystal.

And of course, we should wonder about the car-crash-death of controlled demolition expert Danny Jowenko.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Fate of the Internet is the Story, not Snowden."

John Naughton has a thoughtful piece in The Guardian:  Edward Snowden's not the story. The Fate of the internet is. Some excerpts: 

Without him [Snowden], we would not know how the National Security Agency (NSA) had been able to access the emails, Facebook accounts and videos of citizens across the world; or how it had secretly acquired the phone records of millions of Americans; or how, through a secret court, it has been able to bend nine US internet companies to its demands for access to their users' data.
Similarly, without Snowden, we would not be debating whether the US government should have turned surveillance into a huge, privatised business, offering data-mining contracts to private contractors such asBooz Allen Hamilton and, in the process, high-level security clearance to thousands of people who shouldn't have it. Nor would there be – finally – a serious debate between Europe (excluding the UK, which in these matters is just an overseas franchise of the US) and the United States about where the proper balance between freedom and security lies....
As an antidote, here are some of the things we should be thinking about as a result of what we have learned so far.
The first is that the days of the internet as a truly global network are numbered. It was always a possibility that the system would eventually be Balkanised, ie divided into a number of geographical or jurisdiction-determined subnets as societies such as China, Russia, Iran and other Islamic states decided that they needed to control how their citizens communicated. Now, Balkanisation is a certainty.
Second, the issue of internet governance is about to become verycontentious. Given what we now know about how the US and its satraps have been abusing their privileged position in the global infrastructure, the idea that the western powers can be allowed to continue to control it has become untenable.
Third, as Evgeny Morozov has pointed out, the Obama administration's "internet freedom agenda" has been exposed as patronising cant. "Today," he writes, "the rhetoric of the 'internet freedom agenda' looks as trustworthy as George Bush's 'freedom agenda' after Abu Ghraib."...
They tell us, for example, that no US-based internet company can be trusted to protect our privacy or data. The fact is that Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are all integral components of the US cyber-surveillance system. Nothing, but nothing, that is stored in their "cloud" services can be guaranteed to be safe from surveillance or from illicit downloading by employees of the consultancies employed by the NSA. That means that if you're thinking of outsourcing your troublesome IT operations to, say, Google or Microsoft, then think again.
And if you think that that sounds like the paranoid fantasising of a newspaper columnist, then consider what Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission, had to say on the matter recently. "If businesses or governments think they might be spied on," she said, "they will have less reason to trust the cloud, and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out. Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets, if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes? Front or back door – it doesn't matterany smart person doesn't want the information shared at all. Customers will act rationally and providers will miss out on a great opportunity."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Would Marshall McLuhan have been a 9/11 Truther?

This quote makes me think he might have been:

  • "Only puny secrets need protection. Big discoveries are protected by public incredulity."

Friday, July 26, 2013

Do Split-Brains Demonstrate that We Are Made in the Image of the Trinity?

I've been looking over a couple of posts by VJ Torley, here and here, about what happens to people who have had surgery to permanently divide their left brain from their right brain.  Apparently they often experience something like split personalities, where each side of their brain tries to control their actions, or where they even have contradictory beliefs.  From what I understand the left brain is the linguistic, analytic part of us, and controls the right side of our bodies.  The right brain is the intuitive, emotional side of us, and controls our left side.

What I find interesting is the similarity in characteristics and function to two of the personalities of the Trinity.  God the Son is also know as the Word of God, and would be comparable to the linguistic, analytic side of God.  God the Spirit, or the Holy Spirit, would be comparable to the intuitive or emotional side of God. The Spirit is also the part of God that is associated with God's activity.

In the first chapter of Genesis, the Spirit of God hovers over the waters, waiting for God to speak.  Once God's Word is given, the Spirit acts on it and creates.  So there is order in the Persons of the Trinity:  God the Father speaks the Word of God and the Spirit of God acts.  Both the Word and the Spirit are in submission to the Father.

I imagine something like that is supposed to happen with us.  I don't know what part of us, if any,  is comparable to the Father.  But we are to be in submission to God the Father also, both our left and right brains, both our analytic and emotional sides.  And there should be the same order that we see in the Trinity.

But what's even more interesting is that all this time everyone has been complaining that we do not understand the Trinity - how three persons can be one thing.  Yet all this time we have been two persons in one thing.  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Political Alliances Against NSA Spying on Americans.

Glenn Greenwald reviews an amendment to de-fund NSA mass collection of phone records that was narrowly defeated yesterday in the House, 205-217. A couple of excerpts:

Using Orwellian language so extreme as to be darkly hilarious, this was the first line of the White House's statement opposing the amendment: "In light of the recent unauthorized disclosures, the President has said that he welcomes a debate about how best to simultaneously safeguard both our national security and the privacy of our citizens" (i.e.: we welcome the debate that has been exclusively enabled by that vile traitor, the same debate we've spent years trying to prevent with rampant abuse of our secrecy powers that has kept even the most basic facts about our spying activities concealed from the American people).
The White House then condemned Amash/Conyers this way: "This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process." What a multi-level masterpiece of Orwellian political deceit that sentence is. The highly surgical Amash/Conyers amendment - which would eliminate a single, specific NSA program of indiscriminate domestic spying - is a "blunt approach", but the Obama NSA's bulk, indiscriminate collection of all Americans' telephone records is not a "blunt approach". Even worse: Amash/Conyers - a House bill debated in public and then voted on in public - is not an "open or deliberative process", as opposed to the Obama administration's secret spying activities and the secret court that blesses its secret interpretations of law, which is "open and deliberative". That anyone can write a statement like the one that came from the Obama White House without dying of shame, or giggles, is impressive....

That's why the only defenders of the NSA at this point are the decaying establishment leadership of both political parties whose allegiance is to the sprawling permanent power faction in Washington and the private industry that owns and controls it. They're aligned against long-time liberals, the new breed of small government conservatives, the ACLU and other civil liberties groups, many of their own members, and increasingly the American people, who have grown tired of, and immune to, the relentless fear-mongering.
The sooner the myth of "intractable partisan warfare" is dispelled, the better. The establishment leadership of the two parties collaborate on far more than they fight. That is a basic truth that needs to be understood. As John Boehner joined with Nancy Peolsi, as Eric Cantor whipped support for the Obama White House, as Michele Bachmann and Peter King stood with Steny Hoyer to attack NSA critics as Terrorist-Lovers, yesterday was a significant step toward accomplishing that.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Drone Hunting: The Next Big Thing?

The town of Deer Trail, Colorado may be selling drone-hunting licenses, both as a symbolic protest against our surveillance state and as a fundraiser. If they make enough money, I could see other towns adopting the ordinance...then states...then regions...then?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Prothero and Luskin both Recommend Valentine and Erwin's Erwin and Valentine's The Cambrian Explosion.

Paleontologist Donald Prothero, in a scathing review of Stephen Meyer's Darwin's Doubt, recommends that

For a good account by real paleontologists who know what they're doing, see the excellent recent book by Valentine and Erwin, 2013, which gives an accurate view of the "Cambrian diversification."

Ironically, the Discovery Institute's Casey Luskin also recommends reading Erwin and Valentine's book, quoting from it extensively to show that it supports Stephen Meyer's contentions.

Now if both the critic and the supporter of Meyer's book recommend reading Erwin and Valentine, then perhaps we should read Erwin and Valentine first.  I'm half-way through Meyer's book, so I think I'll go ahead and finish it.  But for the lucky reader who hasn't started Meyer's, yet, Erwin and Valentine's is only $55.99.

Or you can wait for the movie.

 HT: Larry Moran for pointing out Prothero review.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Second Anniversary of Danny Jowenko's Death

I thought it was today, but apparently it was July 16th. This article in explains the significance of controlled demolition expert, Danny Jowenko, to the 9/11 Truth Movement.