Monthly Archives: July 2006

Hezballah Speaks

From the mouths of Hezballah fighters come the chilling truth of their organization; they are indoctrinating children from birth, teaching them the military skills as youths, and raising a generation of warriors whose only purpose is to kill non-belivers in the name of Islam. They have a long view of war, and wait, patiently, for their opportunities to kill Israeli soldiers.  And when they run out of Israelis, they will move on to the rest of the unbelivers.

Read the whole sad story here.

H/T: Instapundit.

Continue reading

Advertisements

More on Hezballah

Today, Tigerhawk says in a post:

The problem is, there is no way to settle this fight between Israel and Hezbollah.

He’s right, of course, and the light is going on for a few more pundits.  As evidence for his assertion, he links to a post by Jonah Goldberg in The Corner where the tired diplomatic concept of land for peace is finally laid to rest.  As Jonah says:

Hezbollah doesn’t want land-for-peace, it wants genocide for peace.

A hard truth for the diplomats, who never met a conflict they couldn’t postpone, but surely the new reality as Israel runs out of land to give.  The true character of Hezballah, and its parents, the Shia Islamists and Al-Qaeda, is soon going to be clear even to the folks in Europe and the UN who have allowed the propaganda organs of the terrorist outreach groupls to pull the wool over their eyes.

There is no diplomatic solution.  There is only the final solution, and that is for one side to beat the other out of existence.  A nasty, hard truth, but it is the truth.  As such, the seconds for each group can stand aside and let the fight continue, or they can pitch in and help their team win.

Here’s a column by Daniel Hannan in the Telegraph (UK), that offers a different take on the same problem. Hannan writes, in part:

It won’t be a "durable" ceasefire, Condi, and it won’t be "sustainable"; not while the ayatollahs are in power in Iran. This war isn’t about border security, or prisoner exchanges, or the status of the Shebaa Farms.

It isn’t really about Lebanon at all, for Hizbollah is not, in any meaningful sense, an indigenous Lebanese phenomenon. The paramilitaries, rather, are creatures of Teheran: the Levantine branch of the Islamic Revolution

He goes on to pour a little salt in the UN wound by noting the utter uselessness of diplomacy in this situation:

The ayatollahs’ contempt for national sovereignty was manifested in the very first act of their regime: the seizure of the US embassy. Diplomatic immunity is the foundation of all international relations.

Even during the Second World War, when irreconcilable ideologies fought to extirpate each other, embassy staff were peacefully evacuated through neutral countries. By seizing sovereign American territory, the revolutionaries were sending out a message: "We do not acknowledge your rules; we despise your notion of territorial jurisdiction".

He concludes, ominously, with this thought:

This is the poisonous ideology that we are fighting. Our chief purpose in defeating it should not be to restore the comity of nations, nor to bolster Muslim moderates, nor even to bring freedom to the long-suffering Iranian people – though all these would be happy side-effects. Our main object, rather, must be to forestall a nuclear attack.

Read the whole thing for a realistic review of the cards held by the players.

Today, the UN Security Council voted to impose sanctions on Iran if it does not agree to the latest demands of the IAEA.  The vote gives the Iranian regime until August 31 to respond……and does not acknowledge that Iran has already publicly stated it will not meet the "unrealistic" demands of the UN. 

Friends, we are very near the boiling point of the Islamo-Fascist Revolution.

Continue reading

Hezballah & Hassan Nasrallah – An Inconvenient Truth

Here’s some background on Hezballah. Here’s some biographical information on its current leader, Nasrallah.

From Wikipedia comes this introduction to Hezballah:

Hezballah was inspired by the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.  It was formed by the Ayatollah Khomeini’s followers in the early 80s to spread Shia revolution and to combat Israeli occupation of following the 1982 Lebanon War.  Hezballah views Israel as " an illegal usurper entity, which is based falsehoods, massacres, and illusions", and follows a distinct version of Islamic Shia ideology developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Please note that Hezballah’s raison d’etre was the expulsion of Israel from Lebanon.  Recall that Israel withdrew from Lebanon. Note that Hezballah has not disbanded, turned in its arms, or ceased terrorist attacks in Israel.  Now the stated reason for the existence of Hezballah is the destruction of the "Jewish State".

Now to Nasrallah.

Nasrallah’s biography explains how he got close to prominent clerics in Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, in particular the Sadr family. In 1975, when he was only 15, Nasrallah joined the ranks of the Lebanese Shi’ite movement Amal – which Hezbollah broke from after its creation in 1982 – led by Musa al-Sadr.

From 1976 to 1978 he was sent to study in Najaf, Iraq, at the famed Shi’ite seminary the Hawze. There he met most of his mentors, starting with Iranian ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979) and also his tutor, ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr (Muqtada al-Sadr’s father). He also was in close contact with Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (the leading Shi’ite spiritual force in Iraq today).

And finally, he was groomed by future Hezbollah leader Abbas al-Musawi, whom he succeeded after Musawi was killed by the Israelis in 1992. Those two years in Najaf definitely left a huge imprint on Nasrallah’s psyche.

And that’s why, when it was time to help his Shi’ite brothers in Iraq after the US intervention in 2003, and especially Muqtada, Nasrallah responded. Nasrallah, using the 1982 model of what had worked in Lebanon to kick out the multinational force, adapted some of his tactics in Iraq.

Indeed, Iraq in 2006 looks a lot like the Lebanon of 1983. For example, the Iranian man in charge of this whole operation is Hassan Qommi, who had the exact same job … in Beirut in 1982. Qommi helped Hezbollah instructors get to Iraq to train Muqtada’s Mehdi Army, which has staged several high-profile confrontations with US forces, notably at Fallujah.

Starting in 2003, Hezbollah began building up organizational and military apparatuses in Iraq. For instance, that April, Hezbollah opened two offices in the Iraqi cities of Basra and Safwan. The campaign, targeting moderate Iraqi Shi’ite clerics willing to work with the US, was most likely orchestrated by Muqtada and Hezbollah.

Keep in mind that even though Nasrallah greatly respects Sistani, he is totally at odds with him when it comes to fighting the US presence.

Also in 2003-04, Imad Mughniah, the top Hezbollah operative wanted by most Western secret services for his role in most of the attacks perpetrated by Hezbollah, including the bombings of the US Embassy and the US and French barracks in Beirut in 1983, was sighted in Iraq. Syria had most probably facilitated his entry on to Iraqi soil.

Hezbollah also had a specialty in Lebanon in the 1980s, which was kidnapping foreign citizens. Is it a coincidence that it was happening on a daily basis in 2004 in Iraq?

Knowing that Nasrallah called for suicide bombings against the US forces in Iraq, it was just a matter of time until Hezbollah was ready to strike. The connection with Muqtada is total. For proof of Hezbollah’s active participation in the insurgency there are the arrests made in February 2005 by Iraqi authorities of 18 Lebanese Hezbollah fighters taking part in the insurgency.

In a July 11 speech that was really focused on the situation with Israel, Nasrallah made a point of again talking about Iraq. He specifically called for Iraqis to step up their resistance against the US invader. In response, Muqtada offered to send members of his militia to south Lebanon to fight Israel. This is not surprising, since Muqtada declared in 2004 that he was "the striking arm for Hezbollah".

Obviously, Hezbollah as a multinational group cannot be simply reduced to Lebanon and Israel. Its expansion into Iraq fits strategically very well in the plans of its two sponsors: Syria and Iran.

Richard Armitage, former US deputy secretary of state, has said that the United States had a blood debt with Nasrallah’s organization. In light of the fact that Hezbollah was, prior to the September 11 attacks of 2001, the organization that had killed the most Americans, and the likelihood of additional killings of US soldiers in Iraq, now would be a good time to repay the debt.

Things are getting a little clearer now that we can identify patterns, relationships, and leadership.  Iran, the leader of the Shia Islamist Revolution, has birthed Hezballah. It has educated the children of the Shia in Lebanon, Iran, and now Iraq.  Such a child has turned into Nasrallah.  Fighting the good fight in  Lebanon, he has also committed to action against the US in Iraq.  His mentor and tutor is the vile Muqtada Al-Sadr, with whom the US has been actively fighting since his revolt in April, 2004 in Iraq. Many regard Al-Sadr as the leader of the Shia death squads killing Sunnis whenever and wherever they can be found.  Al-Sadr has, incidentally, pledged to send 1,500 of his "best men" to Lebanon to help defeat the IDF.

Now perhaps, it is easier to understand the US position on an Israeli-Hezballah cease fire.  It is NOT in our interest, in Iraq and anywhere else for that matter, to allow this group to gain a reprieve in a war that offers the opportunity for the destruction of Hezballah, and the damaging of Iran’s prestige.  In Iraq, our fight against Hezballah may serve to "clarify" for the Baathist remnants (Sunni Muslims) the point that pushing us out of Iraq only hastens their slaughter at the hand of their fellow Muslims. If the IDF can beat the stuffing out of Hezballah, it may take some pressure off Iraq.

On the other hand, defeating Iran by defeating its guerrilla army makes the situation even riskier.  Does Iran have the chutzpah (I could not resist) to raise the stakes?  The answer probably is yes. Thus we should expect to see something terrible happen in the Middle East in the near future.

But, if the UN, the Arab League, and various European states succeed in shaming the US and Israel into a cease fire, through reason or through Hezaballah propaganda regarded as truth in too many European capitals and news rooms, the risk of an escalation is probably delayed for a few years.

But no matter how this current affair ends, the Shia War will not end until one of the combatants is counted out on the mat.  And the collateral damage to the neighborhood is going to be extensive.

Update: The Telegraph (UK) as more on the subject here.

Continue reading

Hezballah & Hassan Nasrallah – An Inconvenient Truth

Here’s some background on Hezballah. Here’s some biographical information on its current leader, Nasrallah.

From Wikipedia comes this introduction to Hezballah:

Hezballah was inspired by the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.  It was formed by the Ayatollah Khomeini’s followers in the early 80s to spread Shia revolution and to combat Israeli occupation of following the 1982 Lebanon War.  Hezballah views Israel as " an illegal usurper entity, which is based falsehoods, massacres, and illusions", and follows a distinct version of Islamic Shia ideology developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Please note that Hezballah’s raison d’etre was the expulsion of Israel from Lebanon.  Recall that Israel withdrew from Lebanon. Note that Hezballah has not disbanded, turned in its arms, or ceased terrorist attacks in Israel.  Now the stated reason for the existence of Hezballah is the destruction of the "Jewish State".

Now to Nasrallah.

Nasrallah’s biography explains how he got close to prominent clerics in Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, in particular the Sadr family. In 1975, when he was only 15, Nasrallah joined the ranks of the Lebanese Shi’ite movement Amal – which Hezbollah broke from after its creation in 1982 – led by Musa al-Sadr.

From 1976 to 1978 he was sent to study in Najaf, Iraq, at the famed Shi’ite seminary the Hawze. There he met most of his mentors, starting with Iranian ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979) and also his tutor, ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr (Muqtada al-Sadr’s father). He also was in close contact with Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (the leading Shi’ite spiritual force in Iraq today).

And finally, he was groomed by future Hezbollah leader Abbas al-Musawi, whom he succeeded after Musawi was killed by the Israelis in 1992. Those two years in Najaf definitely left a huge imprint on Nasrallah’s psyche.

And that’s why, when it was time to help his Shi’ite brothers in Iraq after the US intervention in 2003, and especially Muqtada, Nasrallah responded. Nasrallah, using the 1982 model of what had worked in Lebanon to kick out the multinational force, adapted some of his tactics in Iraq.

Indeed, Iraq in 2006 looks a lot like the Lebanon of 1983. For example, the Iranian man in charge of this whole operation is Hassan Qommi, who had the exact same job … in Beirut in 1982. Qommi helped Hezbollah instructors get to Iraq to train Muqtada’s Mehdi Army, which has staged several high-profile confrontations with US forces, notably at Fallujah.

Starting in 2003, Hezbollah began building up organizational and military apparatuses in Iraq. For instance, that April, Hezbollah opened two offices in the Iraqi cities of Basra and Safwan. The campaign, targeting moderate Iraqi Shi’ite clerics willing to work with the US, was most likely orchestrated by Muqtada and Hezbollah.

Keep in mind that even though Nasrallah greatly respects Sistani, he is totally at odds with him when it comes to fighting the US presence.

Also in 2003-04, Imad Mughniah, the top Hezbollah operative wanted by most Western secret services for his role in most of the attacks perpetrated by Hezbollah, including the bombings of the US Embassy and the US and French barracks in Beirut in 1983, was sighted in Iraq. Syria had most probably facilitated his entry on to Iraqi soil.

Hezbollah also had a specialty in Lebanon in the 1980s, which was kidnapping foreign citizens. Is it a coincidence that it was happening on a daily basis in 2004 in Iraq?

Knowing that Nasrallah called for suicide bombings against the US forces in Iraq, it was just a matter of time until Hezbollah was ready to strike. The connection with Muqtada is total. For proof of Hezbollah’s active participation in the insurgency there are the arrests made in February 2005 by Iraqi authorities of 18 Lebanese Hezbollah fighters taking part in the insurgency.

In a July 11 speech that was really focused on the situation with Israel, Nasrallah made a point of again talking about Iraq. He specifically called for Iraqis to step up their resistance against the US invader. In response, Muqtada offered to send members of his militia to south Lebanon to fight Israel. This is not surprising, since Muqtada declared in 2004 that he was "the striking arm for Hezbollah".

Obviously, Hezbollah as a multinational group cannot be simply reduced to Lebanon and Israel. Its expansion into Iraq fits strategically very well in the plans of its two sponsors: Syria and Iran.

Richard Armitage, former US deputy secretary of state, has said that the United States had a blood debt with Nasrallah’s organization. In light of the fact that Hezbollah was, prior to the September 11 attacks of 2001, the organization that had killed the most Americans, and the likelihood of additional killings of US soldiers in Iraq, now would be a good time to repay the debt.

Things are getting a little clearer now that we can identify patterns, relationships, and leadership.  Iran, the leader of the Shia Islamist Revolution, has birthed Hezballah. It has educated the children of the Shia in Lebanon, Iran, and now Iraq.  Such a child has turned into Nasrallah.  Fighting the good fight in  Lebanon, he has also committed to action against the US in Iraq.  His mentor and tutor is the vile Muqtada Al-Sadr, with whom the US has been actively fighting since his revolt in April, 2004 in Iraq. Many regard Al-Sadr as the leader of the Shia death squads killing Sunnis whenever and wherever they can be found.  Al-Sadr has, incidentally, pledged to send 1,500 of his "best men" to Lebanon to help defeat the IDF.

Now perhaps, it is easier to understand the US position on an Israeli-Hezballah cease fire.  It is NOT in our interest, in Iraq and anywhere else for that matter, to allow this group to gain a reprieve in a war that offers the opportunity for the destruction of Hezballah, and the damaging of Iran’s prestige.  In Iraq, our fight against Hezballah may serve to "clarify" for the Baathist remnants (Sunni Muslims) the point that pushing us out of Iraq only hastens their slaughter at the hand of their fellow Muslims. If the IDF can beat the stuffing out of Hezballah, it may take some pressure off Iraq.

On the other hand, defeating Iran by defeating its guerrilla army makes the situation even riskier.  Does Iran have the chutzpah (I could not resist) to raise the stakes?  The answer probably is yes. Thus we should expect to see something terrible happen in the Middle East in the near future.

But, if the UN, the Arab League, and various European states succeed in shaming the US and Israel into a cease fire, through reason or through Hezaballah propaganda regarded as truth in too many European capitals and news rooms, the risk of an escalation is probably delayed for a few years.

But no matter how this current affair ends, the Shia War will not end until one of the combatants is counted out on the mat.  And the collateral damage to the neighborhood is going to be extensive.

Update: The Telegraph (UK) as more on the subject here.

Continue reading

Hezballah & Hassan Nasrallah – An Inconvenient Truth

Here’s some background on Hezballah. Here’s some biographical information on its current leader, Nasrallah.

From Wikipedia comes this introduction to Hezballah:

Hezballah was inspired by the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.  It was formed by the Ayatollah Khomeini’s followers in the early 80s to spread Shia revolution and to combat Israeli occupation of following the 1982 Lebanon War.  Hezballah views Israel as " an illegal usurper entity, which is based falsehoods, massacres, and illusions", and follows a distinct version of Islamic Shia ideology developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Please note that Hezballah’s raison d’etre was the expulsion of Israel from Lebanon.  Recall that Israel withdrew from Lebanon. Note that Hezballah has not disbanded, turned in its arms, or ceased terrorist attacks in Israel.  Now the stated reason for the existence of Hezballah is the destruction of the "Jewish State".

Now to Nasrallah.

Nasrallah’s biography explains how he got close to prominent clerics in Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, in particular the Sadr family. In 1975, when he was only 15, Nasrallah joined the ranks of the Lebanese Shi’ite movement Amal – which Hezbollah broke from after its creation in 1982 – led by Musa al-Sadr.

From 1976 to 1978 he was sent to study in Najaf, Iraq, at the famed Shi’ite seminary the Hawze. There he met most of his mentors, starting with Iranian ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979) and also his tutor, ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr (Muqtada al-Sadr’s father). He also was in close contact with Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (the leading Shi’ite spiritual force in Iraq today).

And finally, he was groomed by future Hezbollah leader Abbas al-Musawi, whom he succeeded after Musawi was killed by the Israelis in 1992. Those two years in Najaf definitely left a huge imprint on Nasrallah’s psyche.

And that’s why, when it was time to help his Shi’ite brothers in Iraq after the US intervention in 2003, and especially Muqtada, Nasrallah responded. Nasrallah, using the 1982 model of what had worked in Lebanon to kick out the multinational force, adapted some of his tactics in Iraq.

Indeed, Iraq in 2006 looks a lot like the Lebanon of 1983. For example, the Iranian man in charge of this whole operation is Hassan Qommi, who had the exact same job … in Beirut in 1982. Qommi helped Hezbollah instructors get to Iraq to train Muqtada’s Mehdi Army, which has staged several high-profile confrontations with US forces, notably at Fallujah.

Starting in 2003, Hezbollah began building up organizational and military apparatuses in Iraq. For instance, that April, Hezbollah opened two offices in the Iraqi cities of Basra and Safwan. The campaign, targeting moderate Iraqi Shi’ite clerics willing to work with the US, was most likely orchestrated by Muqtada and Hezbollah.

Keep in mind that even though Nasrallah greatly respects Sistani, he is totally at odds with him when it comes to fighting the US presence.

Also in 2003-04, Imad Mughniah, the top Hezbollah operative wanted by most Western secret services for his role in most of the attacks perpetrated by Hezbollah, including the bombings of the US Embassy and the US and French barracks in Beirut in 1983, was sighted in Iraq. Syria had most probably facilitated his entry on to Iraqi soil.

Hezbollah also had a specialty in Lebanon in the 1980s, which was kidnapping foreign citizens. Is it a coincidence that it was happening on a daily basis in 2004 in Iraq?

Knowing that Nasrallah called for suicide bombings against the US forces in Iraq, it was just a matter of time until Hezbollah was ready to strike. The connection with Muqtada is total. For proof of Hezbollah’s active participation in the insurgency there are the arrests made in February 2005 by Iraqi authorities of 18 Lebanese Hezbollah fighters taking part in the insurgency.

In a July 11 speech that was really focused on the situation with Israel, Nasrallah made a point of again talking about Iraq. He specifically called for Iraqis to step up their resistance against the US invader. In response, Muqtada offered to send members of his militia to south Lebanon to fight Israel. This is not surprising, since Muqtada declared in 2004 that he was "the striking arm for Hezbollah".

Obviously, Hezbollah as a multinational group cannot be simply reduced to Lebanon and Israel. Its expansion into Iraq fits strategically very well in the plans of its two sponsors: Syria and Iran.

Richard Armitage, former US deputy secretary of state, has said that the United States had a blood debt with Nasrallah’s organization. In light of the fact that Hezbollah was, prior to the September 11 attacks of 2001, the organization that had killed the most Americans, and the likelihood of additional killings of US soldiers in Iraq, now would be a good time to repay the debt.

Things are getting a little clearer now that we can identify patterns, relationships, and leadership.  Iran, the leader of the Shia Islamist Revolution, has birthed Hezballah. It has educated the children of the Shia in Lebanon, Iran, and now Iraq.  Such a child has turned into Nasrallah.  Fighting the good fight in  Lebanon, he has also committed to action against the US in Iraq.  His mentor and tutor is the vile Muqtada Al-Sadr, with whom the US has been actively fighting since his revolt in April, 2004 in Iraq. Many regard Al-Sadr as the leader of the Shia death squads killing Sunnis whenever and wherever they can be found.  Al-Sadr has, incidentally, pledged to send 1,500 of his "best men" to Lebanon to help defeat the IDF.

Now perhaps, it is easier to understand the US position on an Israeli-Hezballah cease fire.  It is NOT in our interest, in Iraq and anywhere else for that matter, to allow this group to gain a reprieve in a war that offers the opportunity for the destruction of Hezballah, and the damaging of Iran’s prestige.  In Iraq, our fight against Hezballah may serve to "clarify" for the Baathist remnants (Sunni Muslims) the point that pushing us out of Iraq only hastens their slaughter at the hand of their fellow Muslims. If the IDF can beat the stuffing out of Hezballah, it may take some pressure off Iraq.

On the other hand, defeating Iran by defeating its guerrilla army makes the situation even riskier.  Does Iran have the chutzpah (I could not resist) to raise the stakes?  The answer probably is yes. Thus we should expect to see something terrible happen in the Middle East in the near future.

But, if the UN, the Arab League, and various European states succeed in shaming the US and Israel into a cease fire, through reason or through Hezaballah propaganda regarded as truth in too many European capitals and news rooms, the risk of an escalation is probably delayed for a few years.

But no matter how this current affair ends, the Shia War will not end until one of the combatants is counted out on the mat.  And the collateral damage to the neighborhood is going to be extensive.

Update: The Telegraph (UK) as more on the subject here.

Continue reading

The Bar Codes of Life

Today’s Wall Street Jounal (subscription required) has a fascinating topic in "The Science Journal", written by Sharon Begley. The subject is the use of genes to identify plants and animals.

From bugs to birds to people, research shows, short DNA sequences from the right gene can uniquely identify a species, like a bar code uniquely identifies consumer products.  The question is, which gene can serve as a bar code for the planet’s 2 million species of palnts and animals?

…zoologists have found a gene that works for animals.  Botanists are racing to do it for palnts.  If they succeed, any species of plant or animal could be identified just by dropping a leaf, feather or other sample into a hand-held device that would read the gene sequence, transmit that data to a central database, and receive the reply, "that’s a sword fern".

The gene that serves as a bar code for the world’s animals, called cytochrome oxidase, works because it is present in every animal but different in every one, too. "You can distinguish one clam from another," marvels Dr. Cameron.

…Bar coding plants has proven tougher than  bar coding animals, however.  Plants hybridize like crazy, and have so much identical DNA that finding a gene sequence that one species has and no others do is a challenge.

The story goes on to report that scientists are confident that they will solve the plant gene puzzle in the short term, and the bar coding of life on Earth will soon be complete.

What implications might this have for your scribe and his humble reader(s)?  Well, imagine a trip to the nearby Earthfare to purchase "Wild Alaskan Salmon", per your doctor’s orders, a return to the manse, where a scale from the evening meal is dropped into the Plant/Animal Bar Code Scanner, and, sacre bleu!, the result shows the purchase actually came from Joe’s Salmon Farm in Indiana, Pennsylvania.  Maybe those Johns Island beefsteak tomatoes just arrived by air from Camarillo, CA. Or perhaps your morning bowl of South Carolina strawberries actually originated in Georgia!

Better yet, take this zinnia (courtesy of Pam)

Zinnia_iiii_27_july_evening_2006_1_2Is it really Pam’s, or did she take a picture of someone else’s plant.  Imagine the opportunities for honesty and truth telling that will be the inevitable result of bar coding plants and animals. A new level of consumer confidence, the end of cattle rustling and horse stealing, and truth in grocery selling. With renewed confidence does your humble reporter face the challenges of the 21st century.

Continue reading

Alone

Many years ago, Nova broadcast a show on the possibility that Man has an instinct to evolve, and that our growing understanding of biology and technology would allow us to create a newer Human Being.  This new HB would then migrate to the stars and perpetuate our species. It was a very powerful idea that has hung in your humble writer’s consciousness ever since.  Several thinkers have, over the years, refined this concept, the most notable being Ray Kurzweill.  His latest book, The Singularity, attempts to define the coming singularity as the next step in human evolution. Much of the analysis is beyond your humble scribe, a student of the softer side of academe, but the imagination is rife with implications. An instinctive imperative to survive, at any cost, coupled with the same drive to populate the universe, perhaps as the last chance to avert the inevitable extinction of our species, either through our own self destructive urges or the intervention of nature, as our study of geology tells us has happened more than once on this planet. Ah, to dream!

And it may be more important than a moment or two of personal wool gathering. This story serves to remind us that, after all, we may be alone in the Universe.  The only sign of intelligent life in the entire Universe! Says the author:

Those who want to believe sometimes argue that the mathematical probabilities against intelligent life may be less certain than we think. They cite "complexity theory"–which suggests there may be a certain irregularity and unpredictability even in the laws of nature. But others think the mathematical odds must be respected. "Nobody knows why equations work so well in describing things. Maybe it’s the handprint of God, or an ancient, advanced, powerful alien race," says NASA scientist David Grinspoon, but "there is something spooky about the way mathematical relationships are so enmeshed with the physical nature of our universe." For the moment, cold rationality suggests that Jacques Monod was right when he said that "Man at last knows he is alone in the unfeeling immensity of the universe, out of which he has emerged only by chance."

A chilling thought that we imperfect beings, fighters, exploiters of our planets resources, self-destructive, and small-minded, are the only race in the Universe to evolve into some sort of self-awareness, that it is in our hands to create the circumstances of our continued existence. Are we up to it?

Continue reading