"...I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..." [Deuteronomy 5:8-10]

Friday, June 03, 2005

Friday Update

My daily look at RobotWisdom led me to the Harper's Index for May 2005. This contains the following eye-popping stats:

  • Annual cost of all sixteen U.N. peacekeeping missions currently underway : $3,870,000,000[United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (N.Y.C.)]
  • Monthly cost of the U.S. occupation of Iraq : $4,100,000,000[U.S. Department of Defense]
  • Revenue from Iraqi oil sales that the CPA could not account for, according to a 2005 audit : $8,800,000,000[Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (Arlington, Va.)]

  • Estimated number of U.S. intelligence reports on Iraq that were based on a single defector : 100[Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the U.S. Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (Washington)]
  • Number of times the defector had ever been interviewed by U.S. intelligence agents : 0
Other interesting stats refer to anti-american feeling in the Muslim world:
  • Rank, on the Turkish bestseller list in March, of a thriller depicting a U.S. invasion of Turkey : 1[D&R (Istanbul)]
  • Rank of Mein Kampf : 2
Scary stuff... But how many people know that much of the nonsensical anti-american propaganda still circulating in the Middle East came from the CIA, back in the 70s when it was propping up the Egyptian leader General Nasser?

Talk about reaping what you sew...

And on that point, check out the conservative commentator William S. Lind's piece on how Donald Rumsfeld's legacy will be a wrecked the US army. (Update: Also check out Lind's article Turkish Delight...)

Moving over to Sciencewatch, the indomitable Darrick Dean seems to have disabled comments on his blog entirely. This allows him to post his usual diet of anti-evolution & YEC-bashing diatribes without having to bother to defend anything he says. How nice for him :-)

My favourite post is the one where he invites his readers to "Join astronomer Hugh Ross, biochemist Fuz Rana, JPL physicist David Rogstad, physicist Rodney Whitefield, nuclear engineer Jeffery Kirkbride and others at the Cosmic Fingerprints: Evidence of Design conference..." He says "While skeptics want you to think intelligent design is some construct of mindless religious fanatics, these scientists will show you how design is science." How nice. Of course, Darrick doesn't mention that the scientists he lists all (being members of Reasons To Believe) hold that "The Bible is therefore our supreme and final authority in all matters that it addresses." After all, if Darrick did that, people might think that these scientists were "religious fanatics" :-)

In another post, Darrick claims that "...the Smithsonian Institution will co-sponsor a viewing of a film intended to undercut scientific materialism..." For those interested, Panda's Thumb have the real rather grim story here: Smithsonian Warming to ID?

Aaaaaaaaaaaaanway... I'm still talking to "bareshiyth" on the Alcaide's Cafe blog; and I've also posted in a fun discussion on agnosticism & rationality on the Scottish Nous philosophy blog.

Have a great weekend!


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