Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Off Topic

What Must We Do When the Foundations Are Being Destroyed?

The twentieth century was drenched in blood. Totalitarian governments cruelly slaughtered over 100 million people and consigned tens of millions more to the camps, where their bodies were broken and their spirits crushed. As the years dragged by in that most miserable of centuries, time and again the world convulsed in the grip of a malignant evil that was unprecedented in its scope and brutality. Yet, for all its horror, as the century came to a close there were reasons for hope and even optimism. Memories of the Nazi horror were fading. The Soviet Union had collapsed not, as many had feared, in a paroxysm of fire and blood, but with a whimper. In China, Deng Xiaoping unleashed the power Read More ›

Defend the Children

The madness will not end until we grasp the following truths: 1. There are hundreds of millions of guns in the US. 2. Even assuming for the sake of argument that it would be a desirable thing to do, no gun control law can eliminate all or even a small fraction of those guns. 3. Evil men will always be able to get a gun. 4. Schools are soft targets full of defenseless people. 5. We can’t hire enough cops to guard all of those people. 6. We need to equip and train school staff who are willing to do so to defend themselves and the children in their care. 7. Don’t tell me it can’t be done. It is Read More ›

[Off Topic] My Ode to Hunter Biden

Sung to the tune of Fortunate Son (with apologies to CCR) Some people are born to get a job For which they have no qualification Making fifty thousand dollars a month To lie on the beach in the sun It ain’t me It ain’t me I ain’t no fortunate one It ain’t me It ain’t me I ain’t no VP’s son

Will the President Set Right a Ten-Year Old Injustice?

The following headline appeared in the New York Times today: Trump May Be Preparing Pardons for Servicemen Accused of War Crimes My family and I have been praying for a headline like this for over ten years. Before I tell this story I will disclose my personal interest. My father met his best friend Darryl Hatley over seventy years ago. These two men raised their families in Boyd, Texas (population 700) where I grew up. “Uncle Darryl” and his family were more than our friends. They were family. In 1968 Darryl’s son John was born within a week of my little sister, so I have known John literally all of his life. While our paths separated years ago as he Read More ›

God Help The Little Babies

Here is a picture of a baby being operated on before birth.  With advances in medical technology, this has become a fairly common procedure. Now, imagine the operating room is in New York.  In the operating room on the other side of the wall, a doctor could be hacking a practically identical baby to death.  Legally.

Democracies Fail Without Adult Supervision

Pure democracies are inherently unstable.  Exhibit A for why that is so: Progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez The reason for the fiscal instability of a pure democracy was captured in a widely circulated quotation usually attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler: A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy . . .   Ocasio-Cortez has a list of goodies she wants the federal government to dispense, including Medicare for all, jobs guarantees, student loan forgiveness, free college, Read More ›

When Does Democracy Fall?

There has been a lot of talk lately about the impending demise of liberal democracy and if anything can be done to save it.  Yes, things look bleak, and men of good will everywhere must act before it is too late.  But what should we do?  To answer that question we must first know what we are up against; for we can fight effectively only if we know what we are fighting against.  Michael Anton provides the answer.  He writes in the latest edition of the Claremont Review of Books that absent cataclysm or conquest, all regimes: are felled by the inevitable radicalization of their core principle.  Democracy, then, falls when its core principles of liberty and equality are perverted Read More ›

Orderly Slavery or Dangerous Freedom?

Canada’s Globe and Mail recently published a horrifying exposé of China’s persecution of religious minorities. Large numbers – researchers estimate the total in the hundreds of thousands – of people have been placed in Chinese facilities known as re-education centres, where they are forcibly indoctrinated. The Globe described the “re-education” experience of one woman: The woman, whose name is not being used by The Globe and Mail for her protection, was put through regular self-criticism sessions.  Part of the content was cultural.  ‘My soul is infected with serious diseases,’ she would repeat.  ‘There is no God.  I don’t believe in God.  I believe in the Communist Party.’ Other content was more explicitly political.  Day after day she would say out Read More ›

James Tour

As I write this post, UD’s all-time most accessed post (here) just passed 368,000 views.  Get to know the man who is the subject of that post in this seven-minute video:   https://www.facebook.com/oneforIsrael/videos/2323725797645366/

Off topic: Fatal Flaws: A Canadian film chronicles the march of euthanasia

My review at MercatorNet: The death with dignity group that contacted me in 1972 and its many successors have achieved much but they are only just beginning. As Dunn puts it, “Almost every country in the world is discussing some form of legalization and America is “at a tipping point.” Now and then the euthanasia and assisted suicide campaigners face setbacks. Recently, the American Medical Association restated its objection to assisted suicide, rejecting the claim that it somehow isn’t “suicide,” a big talking point with the campaigners. Indeed, progress is stalling as Americans realize that the Netherlands is their future if the vote is yes. But medical acceptance of euthanasia is not what American opponents most fear. They fear a Read More ›

Off topic: Be cautious about claims for the awesome power of standardized tests in predicting education success

Off topic, that is, unless you are thinking of going into debt for someone’s education. From California educator Steven Ma at his blog: The SAT and ACT are important standardized tests in the college admissions process that is inundated with more applications than there is time to read. However, the article in the Wall Street Journal (March 8, 2018) by Nathan Kuncel and Paul Sackett (K&S) is exceptionally misleading regarding evidence that “research is clear: [the SAT/ACT] is an invaluable measure of how students are likely to perform in college and beyond.” The authors state six myths about “standardized tests,” though they primarily are discussing the SAT and ACT, but offer evidence that undermines their own claims as to why Read More ›

At least the Soviets knew enough not to believe Pravda

Here’s my (O’Leary for News) review of James O’Keefe’s American Pravda: My Fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News (off-topic, unless you intend to rely on them in any way for communications): — Has North American journalism gone undercover? If traditional media were doing their job, few people would have heard of James O’Keefe. O’Keefe’s career as a provocateur started as a prank. On St. Patrick’s Day, 2005, he persuaded an unusually dense Rutgers administrator that persons of Irish descent might be offended by Lucky Charms cereal. She took the bait and removed the “offensive” boxes of cereal from the dining hall. … He was later propelled to fame by his exposure of community organizing group ACORN for Read More ›

Free Speech Activist Lindsay Shepherd Does Not Teach At The Same WLU That I Attended 1967-1971

The difference religion makes is not what you might expect. My response to “How a ‘pronoun’ class got a young Canadian academic censured ” by Harley J. Sim at MercatorNet: Readers may wish to supplement Harley Sims’s informative article with Mark Steyn’s commentary on the tape Shepherd dared to make (http://bit.ly/2j4yOnk) and the tape/transcript itself (http://bit.ly/2mMPvok). On the tape, she is heard sobbing as she is not permitted to know who her accuser(s) are or what the accusation is. Her communications profs imply that she is like a Nazi for showing her class a video excerpt from an Ontario public TV program (think NPR) in which a professor protests made-up pronouns. These inquisitors imply that she is in big legal trouble, which Read More ›

What do Ricky Gervais and the Assyrian King Sennacherib Have in Common?

They make the same category error. In 701 BC the Assyrian King Sennacherib invaded the Kingdom of Judah.  The Assyrian army besieged Jerusalem and employed what today we would call psychological warfare tactics to undermine the defense of the city.  II Chronicles 32:16-19 records their tactic: His servants spoke further against the Lord God and against His servant Hezekiah.  He also wrote letters to insult the Lord God of Israel, and to speak against Him, saying, ‘As the gods of the nations of the lands have not delivered their people from my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver His people from my hand.’  They called this out with a loud voice in the language of Judah to Read More ›

Don’t expect a quick end to the war on free speech The momentum of the campaign will be hard to stop

From Denyse O’Leary at MercatorNet: Here are four reasons why the war against freedom will not just somehow lose itself, without our taking any action: 2. Progressive academics are training “child soldiers” to carry out their revolution against intellectual freedom. Put simply, they are teaching their rioting students attitudes, values, and beliefs that guarantee failure in work and healthy relationships. Reader, would you want, as a colleague, someone who put a middle-aged woman professor at Middlebury College in the hospital ? No? Then think what your answer means. In an age when most graduates face job shortages, students who have been encouraged in transgressive behaviour must simply continue their “revolution” off campus. That may be all they know how to Read More ›