Tuesday, November 13, 2007
If this pans out it'll be fantastic. Hydrogen is the dream alternative fuel. It has about the same amount of energy per gallon as ethanol and when burned it's exhaust is ordinary water. It's also something that we can never run out of (it's the single most common element in the universe). The problem has always been "how do we get it". After all, you don't see a lot hydrogen just lying around. It normally locked up in a molecule like water (two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen) and the energy needed to separate the atoms has always been greater than the yield once they're split. This might change that equation.
This has the promise of shutting up Al Gore and sending the Saudis to the poorhouse. I think all men of good faith can agree that both are commendable goals.
Pennsylvania tramples the establishment and free exercise clauses of the 1st amendment.
Are marriages valid if performed by people who were "ordained" by online churches in a matter of minutes and have no congregation? Answer: No.
In a York County case, a Common Pleas Court judge invalidated a 10-month marriage, finding that a friend of the bride's who officiated at the wedding didn't have the power to do so under Pennsylvania law even though he had been ordained online by the Universal Life Church. The judge ruled the friend didn't qualify as a minister under state law because he had no regular congregation or place of worship.
Now for what it's worth, I think the Universal Life Church is a bad joke. It's always been my understanding however that the state has no role in determining the qualifications of clergy. I foresee a reversal on appeal.
By the way, the ACLU who normally get a hard time from me are on the the right side of this one. Credit where it's due.
Modern dogma holds that diversity is one of the greatest qualities a society can enjoy, that it bestows many advantages. But what does this imply? Well, by definition "diversity" refers to differences among groups. Now, not only is it illogical to assume that every one of these differences will be flattering, the supposition that diversity is beneficial implies otherwise. After all, if diversity is beneficial, it is only because certain groups bring qualities or strengths to the table that others do not. And, if a given group possesses a certain unique strength, then other groups are wanting in that area relative to it.
Any which way you care to slice it, this is a corollary of diversity dogma.
So, ironically, despite the fact that the diversity dogmatists would eschew stereotyping, a version of it imbues their ideology. So it's not that they don't have biases relating to generalizations, only that their understanding of group differences is clumsy and primitive, sort of like Archie Bunker but with advanced degrees, the illusion of intellectualism and the inability to be honest with themselves and others.
So let's be honest now. Stereotypes often arise because they have a basis in reality.
I've been for the Iraq war since the beginning. I supported it when things were going badly and I certainly continue to back it now that victory seems to be in sight. It is I think, the defining issue of our time and it serves to separate those will stand for civilization from those who will not like wheat from chaff.
That said, it has also created a poisonous atmosphere in our politics, where it has become commonplace to call those who disagree stupid, evil or both. This is wrong and I think, un-American. People like Ann Coulter, Michael Moore and the commenter's at Daily Kos are making things worse not better. The vast majority of those who oppose the war are good honorable decent people. I also believe they are deeply mistaken about the nature of the world and our enemies.
The link is provided in spirit of civil discourse- something we should all encourage.
But have the mercantilists' really won over the West? Should we all learn Mandarin and worship only to the East? Some may think so but now the rising economies are faced with massive losses on their dollar assets as it falls in value, a drop in demand from their expert markets as their growth rapidly slows and not enough domestic demand to keep themselves going if exports start to fall. On top of this the currency pegs they are trying to hold are costing them huge amounts of cash; transferred in the main to western currency speculators. Finally, with all the money having nowhere to go there are huge bubbles of their own, see the Shanghai stock market as the leading example, which are going to lose billions of dollars for unsavvy investors in the not-so-distant future.
An interesting take on the falling Dollar.
Good for him.
That is the conclusion of a surprisingly bleak new assessment of financial dynamics in the movie industry titled "Do Movies Make Money?" The researchers' answer: not any more.
Absence, indeed. What these modern war memorials have in common with each other is nothing. They portray nothingness. They have no people in them, never mind men carrying guns or swords, statues of Winged Victory, or even doves of peace. Just death and names -- grief without glory.