Saturday, March 31, 2007

More Wages of Appeasement

After all these years and after all of these wars and terrorist attacks, some of our leaders still haven't learned.

Update: Melanie Phillips has more on how absolutely Carter-esque the British are acting in this shameful episode.

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If a Gay Man Dies, Is it a Hate Crime?

According to this Detroit Free Press article,
As the story went, Andrew Anthos was beaten to death in February for simply being gay.

But it was arthritis -- not hatred -- that ultimately led to the death of the 72-year-old Detroiter, the Wayne County medical examiner told the Free Press on Wednesday.

The Detroit Police Department said it has accepted that Anthos died of natural causes and closed its investigation, saying no witnesses have been found to confirm a beating.
It is a decision that has surprised and upset his family and a growing list of gay-rights advocates and politicians who cited his death to promote the prosecution of hate crimes based on sexual orientation.

"That sickens me," said Athena Fedenis, the dead man's cousin and the person who widely promoted the account that Anthos was taunted and beaten by an assailant with a pipe. It is an account she said she heard directly from her cousin as he lay dying in a Detroit hospital. "They're going to say it didn't happen?'
Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, implicated religious conservatives soon after the death.

"The hatred and loathing that led to the vicious murder of Andrew Anthos only because he was gay is not innate," Foreman said in a statement. "Instead it is being taught every day by leaders of the so-called Christian right and their political allies."
Bummer for Mr. Foreman. Reality doesn't fit his twisted world veiw in which those accursed right wing Christians spend their days arguing about the best way to execute gay men. I have to wonder if Mr. Forman sees the death of every homosexual as a right wing inspired plot.

According to doctors,
Wayne County Medical Examiner Dr. Carl Schmidt said Anthos succumbed to a degenerative condition, known as spinal stenosis, that developed and worsened over many years.

Schmidt said that his condition, which narrows the spine and compresses the spinal cord and nerves, caused him to suddenly lose the use of his legs that night and fall. Following surgery, the paralysis spread through his body, ultimately resulting in respiratory failure.

Schmidt said his examination of Anthos did not support the widely reported accounts that Anthos was attacked outside his Detroit apartment after leaving a city bus. Police said they could not find evidence that a pipe-wielding assailant shouted antigay slurs.
it was likely a simple movement, not a whack on the head, that felled the man, Schmidt said.

"He probably just flexed his neck," which caused arthritic spurs to compress his spinal cord enough to cause paralysis of his legs. After spinal surgery in the hospital, that numbness later spread to his upper body and caused Anthos to stop breathing, Schmidt said.

The only injury noted in the autopsy was a 2-inch-wide bruise on the back of Anthos' head, which likely came when he fell, Schmidt said. The injury was minor, he said.

A CT scan "of his head disclosed no skull fracture, no injury to the brain, no bleeding to the brain," Schmidt said.
But who are you going to believe, an experienced doctor, or your own ideology of victimhood?

Also twisting the story, but in her own subtle way, to maintain the sacred aura of victimhood, is Detroit Free Press columnist Desiree Cooper.
Now, with the possibility that he died from natural causes, I can't help but recall the Rev. Al Sharpton after the Tawana Brawley scandal. In 1987, the nation was outraged when Brawley, an African-American teenager, accused six white men of raping her, covering her body with feces and racial epithets and leaving her for dead.

After all the high emotions and investigations, it was ruled that she'd faked the whole thing.

And so, all of that righteous indignation was squandered.
Ah, yes, Al Sharpton, squanderer of rightous indignation, rabble rouse, Jew hater; since those days elevated to the exalted position of "spokesman". My final farewell to the Democratic party came when he was taken seriously as a presidential candidate by the Democrats, with no mention being made of Tawana Brawley or his history of anti-semitism and race baiting. I remember silently begging Joe Leiberman through the TV to confront this creep, but in that instance, he comformed to party orthodoxy. From this, one would think that Ms. Cooper is calling for readers to wake up and smell the reality. But Ms. Cooper doesn't want to waste another dose of rightous indignation. She continues,
But this is not an elaborate hoax; Anthos has gone. Today there may be questions about how he died, but there's no question about how he lived -- as a gay man often weathering hideous acts of unspeakable hatred.

His death, however it happened, has engendered positive change. Just last week, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, introduced legislation to include crimes based on sexual orientation in federal hate-crime legislation.

State Sen. Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit, plans to do the same at the state level.

Such legislation would not only help track the incidence of hate crimes against gays, but it would allow more resources to be put into the investigation of those crimes
So there it is, folks, heroic legislators are going to bat to protect gay men from us. You and I will no longer be able to freely engage in "hideous acts of unspeakable hatred". We will be forced to cheer for the Gay Pride Parade as it passes our house. We will have to write scholarly reports on our favorite episodes of Will and Grace. We will have to shop with the "Queer Eye" guys. We will all have rainbows in our windows. No longer will we have to read the daily news reports of poor, abused gay men "weathering hideous acts of unspeakable hatred". It's going to be a brave new pink rainbow colored world. Of course, gay men will continue to be "gay men" rather than people. Otherwise how will we know who the latest victims are?

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Kids on Stage

I've always been one of those dads who has to be at every performance of my kids whether it's a weak attempt at sports or a practiced stage act. I've been in the audience for soccer, basketball, dance, gymnastics, choir, band, and theater. I wouldn't miss it. It's cool seeing your kids perform. It's even better seeing your kids perform well.

Both of my kids are teenagers. Both of my kids sing. My son has been singing since he was a baby. He woke up every morning as a baby in song. My daughter as a baby, woke up crying . . . until we put her on a laxative, but that's another story.

Over the past few years, they've done plays in the local amateur theater and in the local high school. They are both in the current play at the local high school. My daughter, still in Middle School is in the chorus. My son has a minor lead. I've heard him sing before and yes, I'll admit it. He's good. In this play though, Les Miserables, he really shines . . . I think.

I admit it. I'm a tad biased in his favor. He's up on stage with other guys that he's been friends with since elementary school. They also have leads and they are also good singers. My wife insists that he has the best voice on the stage. The dad in me says she's right. But I have to wonder if he's really that good or if the dad in me has clouded my judgement, because of course, my daughter also has a stellar voice, and when she gets to high school, I expect the director to recognize this and also cast her in leads.

Am I being unreasonable?


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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Who's Supporting Freedom of Speech and the Right of Americans to Protect Themselves?

I'll give you a hint. It ain't the Democrats. According to this article in the Washington Times, linked to by way of Michelle Malkin,
House Republicans are pushing legislation to protect airline passengers from lawsuits for reporting suspicious behavior that might be linked to a terrorist attack.
Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican, introduced the Protecting Americans Fighting Terrorism Act of 2007 on Thursday, a week after a lawsuit was filed by a group of Muslim imams who were taken off a US Airways flight in November.
It is "unconscionable" that those who report suspicious activity could be "terrorized in our own court system in our own country," Mr. Pearce said on the House floor yesterday afternoon.
The lawsuit asserts that the imams were discriminated against by US Airways, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission and "John Doe" passengers to be named later.
It's good to see a few brave lawmakers stepping up to the plate to allow American citizens to protect ourselves from the fate of the Europeans.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

More Reasons to Give Public Schools More Money

In the school district I work, we teachers agree in our contract, to be available every Monday after school for meetings. In the past, this was no big deal. Meetings were called at the discretion of building principals. We all grumbled when meetings were called, but we all showed up.

In the past few years, the district bigwigs have decided that we must have meetings every Monday. So we all show up, grumbling even more, especially on the days it seems like our principal doesn't want the meeting any more than we do, but he has to come up with an agenda and hold the meeting anyway.

Now we are having a series of Monday meeting in which a consultant is being brought in to teach us how to have meetings. The district bigwigs plead poverty (except when it comes to hiring more administrators) in a lot of areas, but I assume we are paying this consultant.

We are all taking good notes in order to improve our meeting skills because we know how important a good meeting is.

Well, maybe we really aren't.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Greener Than Thou

Susan Ager is a local columnist for the Detroit Free Press. She usually isn't covering topics that I'm interested in, so I rarely read her. Sometimes I skim the first paragraph just to make sure, mostly because I wish it would take longer than ten to fifteen minutes to get through the entire paper - excluding the comics.

This column
, however, piqued my interest.
. . . five days later, my husband and I finally watched "An Inconvenient Truth."

Midway through, I turned our thermostat down to 55, two hours earlier than normal. This morning, as I write, I turned it down again.

The film is as powerful as an earthquake. Obviously, it changed the Crawfords' lives. It promises to change the lives of all who see it.

To stick to your old ways in the face of what it teaches is to be indifferent to all who follow you on this planet.
Yeah, another true believer, brought even further into the Green fold by the unvarnished, unassailable, unarguable truth of His Greenness, Al Gore. But she doesn't excuse Gore for his extra large carbon footprint. Oh no, she gives it to him, both barrels, in a scathing, blistering critique of His Econess' over use of precious and finite energy:
Gore's own footprint needs shrinking. His house is too big. So is mine, and maybe yours. That puts extra pressure on us to do what we can.
Well, maybe "scathing" wasn't the right word. And perhaps "blistering" was also a bit strong. But she does slap his wrist . . . sort of, along with her wrist, and my wrist. But I'm not sure that my house is "too big" compared to Gore's house. I'm guessing that my house, along with the garage that my wife has wanted for years but that we still don't have, would fit in his foyer.

On the other hand, there is this article over at The Ornery American, wherein we learn that Al Gore's "truth" is neither unassailable or unarguable. In fact, Orson Scott Card builds a pretty convincing argument that Al Gore is full of enough hot air to actually create the man-made global warming he warns us of.
If you pay close attention, you'll find that Global Warming alarmists are not actually saying "Global Warming" lately. No, nowadays it's "Climate Change." Do you know why?

Because for the past three years, global temperatures have been falling.


The thing is, we've had twenty years since the Alarmists first raised the banner of Global Warming. They told us that "If This Goes On" by 2010 or 2020, sea levels will be rising so high that coastal cities will be flooded, famines will cover the earth, and ...

Oh, you know the list. They're still making the same predictions -- they just move the dates farther back.

It's like those millennarian religious cults in the 1800s. Religious leaders would arise who would predict the Second Coming of Christ in 1838. When Christ didn't oblige them by showing up, they went back to their visions or scripture calculations or whatever they claimed and report that they miscalculated, now it was going to be 1843. Or whatever.

Here's the raw truth:

All the computer models are wrong. They have not only failed to predict the future, they can't even predict that past.

That is, when you run their software with the data from, say, the 1970s or 1980s, and project what should happen in the 1990s or 2000s, they project results that have absolutely nothing to do with the known climate data for those decades.

In other words, the models don't work. The only way to make them "work" is to take the known results and then fiddle with the software until it finally produces them. That's not how honest science is done.

Why are so many scientists so wrong?

First of all, there aren't all that many scientists. You hear about how "everybody" agrees about global warming. But who is "everybody"?

I had somebody at a conference get very angry with me for even raising a question. "I have a friend who's a climate scientist and he says that the Everglades are definitely drying up!"

But that's not the question, I said. Global warming isn't even the question. The question is, what is causing global warming or cooling or climate change? Is it human Carbon Dioxide emissions or something else? Your friend is studying aquifers in one specific area. In what way is he qualified to speak about global climate?

The only answer I got was the answer you always get when you challenge the roots of someone's religion -- fury, dismay, and a refusal to talk about it any more.

That's what happens over and over. Who are the scientists who are qualified to speak? There aren't that many. It's the relatively few scientists who are studying paleoclimate and those who are working on contemporary data collection and collation and analysis.

And here's where it almost gets funny. Even the IPCC, which was so heavily biased in favor of Global Warming alarmism, could not get its pet scientists to agree that Global Warming in recent decades is even probably caused by human activity.
The whole article is well worth reading especially if you are panicking over global warming or climate change or any other of the environmental disasters we have been told to fear ever since the 1960s. As for Al Gore, continue to ignore him.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Senators Levin and Graham Serve as Advocates for Terrorists

According to this AP report from the Detroit Free Press,
WASHINGTON -- Two senators who watched Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confess to planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and other plots said Friday that his allegations of mistreatment by U.S. captors should be taken seriously and investigated.

"To do otherwise would reflect poorly on our nation," Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a joint statement.

At a closed military hearing March 10 at the Guantánamo Bay U.S. naval prison in Cuba, Mohammed claimed responsibility for plotting more than 30 attacks and personally beheading American journalist Daniel Pearl.

Levin and Graham said Friday that they watched the proceedings on a closed-circuit television in an adjoining room. The public and media were barred from the session, and the senators' attendance had not been announced.

According to the senators, the military officials hearing Mohammed's testimony said the allegations would be submitted to the appropriate authorities.
As a Michigan resident I am disgusted by the dhimmification of Senator Carl Levin. He no longer represents me or my views. The fact that he accepts the word of an admitted terrorist, the thug who helped plan the murder of 3000 innocent Americans, the psychopath who is proud to have murdered Daniel Pearl in cold blood as he sat bound as a kidnapped prisoner with absolutely no rights or recourse recognized by his kidnappers demonstrates that Levin has lost his moral compass. There is no way this piece of moldy pig droppings deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his word against the word of American soldiers and interrogaters.

Senator Levin lost my support and respect a long time ago when he joined the defeatest quest to remove American troops from Iraq. Now he has sunk to a sickening new low. Every Muslim prisoner, no matter how heinous their actions claims their innocence and torture at the hands of their captors. Levin has to know this.

Levin has been in the Senate since 1978. It's time for a change. It's time for a senator from Michigan who will fight against the Islamo-Nazi terrorists, not go to bat for them.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Jesse Jackson, Still Anti-Semitic After All These Years?

Switching through the radio stations this morning between 11:15 and 11:30 AM EDT, I hit Jesse Jackson's show. A caller was complaining that CBS has too many "Old Testement believers" on its staff. Some story that she and Jesse found important wasn't being covered enough to suit their tastes, and like every problem in this world, there is always someone who's going to blame those nasty "Old Testement believers." Her solution was to hire more "New Testement believers." Jesse did not call her on this example of hate speech, but let it pass. After listening for a few more minutes, it was clear that the issue they were discussing was news coverage of Africa. The reason Jackson and other callers decided, that Africa received either negative or scant attention was due to the usual suspects; white racism, American racism, and European racism.

Jackson must have forgotten about all of the "Old Testement believers" who supported and sometimes lost their lives in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. They don't support his central thesis.

I don't need to discuss Robert Mugabe, the civil wars throughout Africa with despot vs despot, children being forced into armed service, the genocide in Sudan, war in Somalia, ethnic and religious strife in Nigeria, radical Islam in Northern African countries, AIDS, lack of economic freedom that inhibits people from building the infrastructure they need to create a modern society, etc. All of that was ignored. It's all the fault of white racism and "Old Testement believers in the newsrooms of America.

Jackson can rightly claim that he didn't make the obviously anti-Jewish statement. Neither did he condemn it as any moral person should have. Jesse Jackson has been called a race baiter, a race hustler, a racist, and an anti-semite. In a few short minutes on the radio, he proved all of those labels are accurate.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

The Struggle for Equality

I found an interesting op-ed in the Arab American News. The writer, Will Youmans, is interested in establishing equality between Arabs and Jews . . . (punchline ahead) . . . in Israel! First he complains,
Though often called the "only democracy in the region," Israel does not have one of the basic elements of what makes states democratic. That is a constitution.
But then he has to admit,
While constitutions are not enough — almost all the Arab states have one and they are worth less than the paper they are written on . . .
And near the end of his piece he says,
Still, Israel's Palestinian citizens have more rights of citizenship and voting rights than they do in any Arab country.
In spite of these facts which Youmans admits, he still calls on Israel, the tiny Jewish nation that has been under attack by "Palestinians" and their Islamic brethren since before their nationhood was established, to give more to the Palestinians. He never calls any of the forty some Islamic states to recognize Israel, help Palestinians build a civilized society that's not predicated on terrorism and begging for handouts from the civilized world, or even tone down their vicious Jew-hatred a bit. He never suggests that Islamic nations call off their continuous war to destroy Israel or condemns their many attempts at the genocide of the Israeli people. Rather, his big idea is,
Israel should become a country for all its citizens, and terminate its . . . rule in the West Bank and Gaza. American politicians should back the calls by Adalah and the others. This is an example of Arabs pushing for democracy. If America supports this movement, it would inspire similar calls in the rest of the Arab world, where change is needed badly.
Who is he trying to kid? The apartheid state of Gaza was created by Israel for the Palestinians. It's a Jew-free state, as the West Bank would have been had not the Palestinians opted for war instead of peace. Protesters are being jailed and murdered in Iran for demanding democracy. Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq are doing their best to make sure a true democracy never takes hold. Arabs need to push a lot harder for democracy in Islamic countries in order to be believable.

Every Muslim country in the world is a country for Muslims. Remaining Jews, Christians, and other religious minorities are being squeezed out. That's a condition that has been ongoing since the beginning of Islam. That should be remedied before telling Israel how to treat its citizens.

Update: I forgot to include the link to the original article. It's here.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

A Lesson in Charity

According to today's Detroit Free Press,
Michigan billionaire industrialist and sports tycoon Bill Davidson and his wife, Karen, are giving $75 million to help build a 14-story hospital tower in Jerusalem.

Their gift is believed to be the second-largest one ever given to a Jewish charity.
Contrast that with this report from Counterterrorism Blog,
Further, although Hezbollah has not utilized charitable front organizations in the U.S. to the extent that its comrade-in-arms Hamas has, there is convincing evidence that a Hezbollah-linked charity, with direct ties to the group’s spiritual leader in Lebanon, is currently operating in Dearborn, Michigan. Founded in 1991, the Al-Mabarrat Charitable Organization-USA Inc. has changed its name repeatedly over the last fifteen years, discarding the names “Cedar Organization, Inc.”, “Cedar Charitable Organization, Inc.” and “Cedar Social Services of America, Inc.” On its website,, which is no longer active, Al-Mabarrat claimed that its purpose “is to promote the cause of…orphans by providing sponsorship that will go toward schooling, health, and general.” While acknowledging that it proffers that support by working in conjunction with the Al-Mabarrat Association in Lebanon (whose logo it shares), the website conveniently omits the fact that Al-Mabarrat-Lebanon is run by Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.

Fadlallah, labeled Hezbollah’s “chief ‘spiritual leader’” by the Department of Justice, has been designated a Specially Designated Terrorist by the U.S. Treasury Department, thus criminalizing financial transactions with him. The U.S. government has further alleged that “Fadlallah issued the fatwa authorizing” the 1983 Hezbollah bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks that killed 241 Americans. Demonstrating its awareness of Al-Mabarrat-Lebanon’s terrorist agenda, the U.S. government banned Lebanese Finance Minister Fuad Siniora (currently the Lebanese Prime Minister) from entering the United States in 2003 because of a donation he had made to the organization in 2000
And no, not all Islamic charities are a front for money laundering terrorist supporters, but how do we know which ones are which? CAIR doesn't want any of them investigated.

Here is more on Mr. Davidson's gift,
The hospital system has a reputation for treating patients regardless of religious or ethnic background. That's a key reason that Davidson continues to support the institution.

"I have been personally impressed with the quality of care the Hadassah Medical Organization consistently provides to all citizens of Israel and residents of the region, whether they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim," he said.

In the 1920s, the Davidson family helped to purchase the original site for a Hadassah hospital in east Jerusalem, a landmark of bittersweet significance in Israeli history. In 1948, dozens of members of its medical staff were killed in an ambush, and the facility was closed for decades. It reopened as Hadassah's second major facility in Jerusalem in 1975.
So no matter what the circumstances, and how they are attacked, whether verbally, physically, or economically, the Israelis still try to create peace.

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A Book to Not Read

I've never read any of Orson Scott Card's books. That's either because he came along after I left my Science Fiction cocoon sometime in the early 80s or because I wasn't aware of him while I was reading Science Fiction. I have nothing against the genre, I still have a lot of my old books and some day I may reread some of my old favorites by Lafferty, Dick, Ellison, Heinlein, Asimov, Sheckley, Sturgeon, Farmer, etc.

I do however, always read Card's columns at The Ornery American. His latest is called "Evil Fiction".
Let me tell you about an audiobook that I hated.

I didn't hate it because it was badly written -- it was mediocre in the way that mediocre thrillers usually are, and that means it would ordinarily have been tolerable.

No, the reason I stopped listening to Steve Berry's The Alexandria Link is that this book is evil.

I don't mean it's about evil. I don't even mean that it is evil-porn, like those horror books whose authors are pervertedly devoted to thinking up cool ways to torture and kill people.

I mean that this book, to the degree that it is read by people ignorant of history (i.e., practically everybody), will move us closer to a future in which our society permits or even approves of the murder of Jews and the destruction of the state of Israel.

Wait! This book is fiction! How could it have such an effect?

Well, it can't -- not all by itself. Its effect is incremental. But it's real.

Here's how it works.
Read the rest of the column. Then think about some of the current movies beloved by our current intellectual establishment like Syriana and Paradise Now. The entertainment we consume puts ideas in our head and colors our world view whether we want to admit it or not.
Naturally, the book also loathes the Bush administration -- that's a requirement in fiction today. (When I wrote a thriller in which American soldiers actually approved of the war against Terrorist nations and groups, and actually respected President Bush, I was attacked by Leftists as if I had created a piece of intolerable propaganda -- never mind that the real American military is full of people with those views, and the point of the novel, if it had one, was to deplore extremism on either side. Actual tolerance toward conservative views is regarded as a crime by America's "tolerant" and "freedom loving" intellectuals today.")
So why do so many intellectuals love what they claim to hate; theocracy (if it's Islamic) and totalitarianism? The answer to that might be in the writings of one of my favorite thinkers, Eric Hoffer, as written about by another one of my favorite thinkers, Thomas Sowell, here and here.
Among Hoffer's insights about mass movements was that they are an outlet for people whose individual significance is meager in the eyes of the world and — more important — in their own eyes. He pointed out that the leaders of the Nazi movement were men whose artistic and intellectual aspirations were wholly frustrated.

Hoffer said: "The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause."

People who are fulfilled in their own lives and careers are not the ones attracted to mass movements: "A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding," Hoffer said. "When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business."

What Hoffer was describing was the political busybody, the zealot for a cause — the "true believer," who filled the ranks of ideological movements that created the totalitarian tyrannies of the 20th century.
Eric Hoffer never bought the claims of intellectuals to be for the common man. "A ruling intelligentsia," he said, "whether in Europe, Asia or Africa, treats the masses as raw material to be experimented on, processed and wasted at will."

One of the many conceits of contemporary intellectuals that Hoffer deflated was their nature cult. "Almost all the books I read spoke worshipfully of nature," he said, recalling his own personal experience as a migrant farm worker that was full of painful encounters with nature, which urban intellectuals worshipped from afar.

Hoffer saw in this exaltation of nature another aspect of intellectuals' elitist "distaste for man." Implicit in much that they say and do is "the assumption that education readies a person for the task of reforming and reshaping humanity -- that is equips him to act as an engineer of souls and manufacturer of desirable human attributes."
Of course highly recommend that you read both Sowell and Hoffer. I may go out and buy one of Card's novels.

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