27.9.05

It's called a science museum for a reason...

If it was devoted to the teaching of hokey fairy tales it'd be called a church. This article in the Post has got me just a tad riled up. It seems that a religious nut is taking kids to the Denver museum of Science and trying to reconcile it to the teachings of the bible.

I've got news for you sparky, you can never reconcile science and religion. One uses logic as its basis and the other uses faith. You can prove things true or false using logic, you can never prove anything using faith.

How would these nuts respond if I took a group of kids to their church and started pointing out all of their logical fallacies during the sermon? Not well I think.

(I don't hate all religions. In fact, here's one I'd consider joining, their heaven sounds great)

15.9.05

One heck of a read

I recently finished Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond and I must say this is the best book I've read all year.
Diamond endeavors to explain why human societies developed the way that they did and what has caused certain societies to be dominant over others. At first glance you may think it impossible to cover a topic so vast in 400 pages but Diamond not only covers it, he does it in a lucid and well supported manner. I can't recommend this book highly enough, when you finish reading it you'll have a much better understanding of the human condition. (I won't steal his thunder and list the determining factors that resulted in European domination but sufficed to say it wasn't "race")

2.9.05

I never thouhght I'd see this picture...


in the US that is. What else can you say...

31.8.05

Interesting article for those of you interested in foreign policy theory

Francis Fukuyama brings us a well thought out article on US foreign policy over the past few years. He makes many lucid insights but I found this one to be the most interesting:

The president's Jacksonian base, which provides the bulk of the troops serving and dying in Iraq, has no natural affinity for such a policy but would not abandon the commander in chief in the middle of a war, particularly if there is clear hope of success.

This war coalition is fragile, however, and vulnerable to mishap. If Jacksonians begin to perceive the war as unwinnable or a failure, there will be little future support for an expansive foreign policy that focuses on promoting democracy.


I Tend to agree with Fukuyama here with two caveats; time and politics. As time passes, people have the tendency to view the past through rose colored glasses. Think about it, some of your best stories come from times when you were completely miserable. This same revisionism happens in the foreign policy world as well. Politics, our ever present 800lb gorilla. What Fukuyama fails to mention is that the war was not originally sold as "promoting democracy" it was sold on fear. Fear works, period. Expect to see it used the next time a political group needs to sell something that they know they could never get if they were upfront with their reasoning.

19.8.05

It's time to head for the mountains...


I'm off for what appears to be my only backpacking trip this year. I'll be at the lake pictured in the beautiful Weminuche Wilderness outside of Durango. An entire week without hammers or electronic devices, ah the relaxation... Enjoy your week as well!

15.8.05

An excellent article on suicide terrorism...

This article is definitely worth a read. The author, who has studied suicide terrorism extensively, makes some very interesting and, in some cases, surprising observations. I'm sure that the magazine that conducted the interview was hoping for a different set of conclusions but Dr. Pape left them little wiggle room...

Where have I been?

Well, I bought a house in downtown Fort Collins and have been spending every available minute working on remodeling it. This week, I'm finishing the complete replacement of the back roof. I noticed a leak two weeks ago and, after tearing off the two layers of roofing, discovered that the joists were all snapped off near the rear wall. Needless to say, it's been quite a bit of work. Thankfully, my folks and a few friends (Travis and Jeff) have been a great deal of help. I'm about ready to do a little backpacking and climbing in the Weminuche Wilderness next week and I'm really looking forward to not having a hammer in my hand for an entire week...

I hope your summer has been exciting, just not as exciting as mine....

9.6.05

What's that sound you hear...

It's the rush of air generated by all of that spin coming from the Department of the Army. Two weeks ago it was announced that the Army would delay publishing the May recruiting numbers for 10 days. I speculated that this was done so that they could figure out how to spin some disastrously low numbers. Guess what, right again.

CNN has a story out today with the May numbers in it. Here's the the best they could come up with in two weeks; the Army "fell about 25 percent short of its target" Gee, that's not so bad is it... Right until you learn that they revised their target down from 8,050 to 6,700

Let's do a little math. Ok, they sign up 5,025 people and their goal was 8,050 that means that they really fell 38% short of the mark. This administration wouldn't know the truth if it bit it in the ass. Don't expect the public to get excited or even notice though, the lead story on CNN this morning is guess what... another cute, missing white woman!