Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fascinating Links

I found some others who are going to speak for me. I didn't mean for this to happen, they just happened to say some things that don't need to be rewritten, they only need to be read.

First up is Dr. Sanity presenting valid reasons why there is so little that qualifies as Islamic science. Read the links in her post too.
In October, Malaysia's first astronaut will join a Russian crew and blast off into space. The news of a Muslim astronaut was cause for celebration in the Islamic world, but then certain questions started popping up. How will he face Mecca during his five daily prayers while his space ship is whizzing around the Earth? How can he hold the prayer position in zero gravity? Such concerns may sound absurd to us, but the Malaysian space chief is taking them quite seriously. A team of Muslim scholars and scientists has spent more than a year drawing up an Islamic code of conduct for space travel.

This story illustrates the obstacles that face scientists in Muslim countries. While it's always risky to draw generalizations about Islam, even conservative Muslims admit that the Islamic world lags far behind the West in science and technology. This is a big problem for Muslims who envy the economic and military power of the United States.

What's so striking about the Muslim predicament is that the Islamic world was once the unrivaled center of science and philosophy.

Next we have two articles, one by Thomas Sowell that I linked to previously, but I'm doing it again because it follows the same line of thought from a Walter Williams post on how environmentalism has killed thousands if not millions of human beings over the past 50 - 60 years. Thomas Sowell says,
The other recent tragedy that has held the nation's painful attention — the mine cave-in in Utah — also has implications that few seem to notice.

We could have far fewer men going down into those mines in the first place if we could use other readily available and economically viable substitutes for coal, such as nuclear power or more of our own oil.

Here too, politics is the problem. The only "alternative energy sources" that are on the political agenda are those few very expensive options that environmentalist zealots approve.

Nuclear power is not on the green zealots' approved list, even though nuclear power is widely used in other countries.

Some say nuclear power is not safe. But nothing is categorically "safe." The only serious question is how its safety compares to that of alternative ways of generating energy.

Ask the families of the trapped miners if they think mining is safe. Ask them if they would rather face the grim reality of a death in their family or the hypothetical possibility of inconveniencing some caribou in Alaska.
Walter Williams says,
In the wake of Hurricane Betsy, which struck New Orleans in 1965, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed building flood gates on Lake Pontchartrain, like those in the Netherlands that protect cities from North Sea storms. In 1977, the gates were about to be built, but the Environmental Defense Fund and Save Our Wetlands sought a court injunction to block the project.

According to John Berlau's recent book, "Eco-Freaks: Environmentalism is Hazardous to Your Health," U.S. Attorney Gerald Gallinghouse told the court that not building the gates could kill thousands of New Orleanians. Judge Charles Schwartz issued the injunction despite the evidence refuting claims of environmental damage.
And even more importantly,
Environmental extremists see DDT in a different light. Alexander King, co-founder of the Club of Rome, said, "In Guyana, within almost two years, it had almost eliminated malaria, but at the same time, the birth rate had doubled. So my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it greatly added to the population problem." Jeff Hoffman, environmental attorney, wrote on, "Malaria was actually a natural population control, and DDT has caused a massive population explosion in some places where it has eradicated malaria. More fundamentally, why should humans get priority over other forms of life? . . . I don't see any respect for mosquitoes in these posts."
Speaking of placing ideology over human life here is another one by Williams on the stifling of dissenting opinions on the global cooling - I mean global warming - I mean climate change front.

Finally, here is the story, in three parts of a Montana woman who hunts Islamic terrorists on the Internet. She's worked with the FBI to help capture and prosecute some of these clowns. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.
It's 3 a.m., early May 2002. By now, she is continuing physical therapy, but she's done with the pain pills and the cane. The jihadists, though, have become central in her life.

Go on, I dare you, she murmurs as she finds her way to a new Web site, The Arab Castle. OK, she says. Watch this.

"Death to America," she types in Arabic, a phrase now as familiar as "Good morning."

It has been eight months since 9/11, and Rossmiller is well on her way toward completing online Arabic courses from the Arab Academy in Cairo and from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She waits for a reply.

An answer comes quickly enough: "I wish someone would blow up the American base in Afghanistan," a person writes in Arabic.

"It would be great," another responds.

No one corrects her, which must mean Rossmiller has said it right, in the right spot. She's elated. They're buying me as one of them.

Having digested a clutch of Arab novels, Rossmiller uses the devices of fiction to invent characters she can be on the Web.

She must be specific and nuanced to be believed, she thinks, but one persona is not enough.

It's a control thing, she decides. If I can have an effect on them, then maybe I can stop the evil they do.

Rossmiller begins to fill notebooks with detailed aspects of her made-up characters - names, photos, occupations. Some are good at bomb-making. Others are facile with small weapons.

I've got some real doozies here, Rossmiller says to herself as she reviews her ensemble of grim operators, her own fictional collection of serial killers.

Soon Rossmiller has created around three dozen "people." She searches Web sites for obituaries with pictures, then alters the images so relatives wouldn't recognize them.

The photos are mostly for herself, to keep a picture in her head of whom she's supposed to be, a sense of her character. Once in a while, someone asks to see whom he's talking to, and Rossmiller can oblige.

She researches mosques in Jordan and Pakistan to learn their street locations and the names of their imams. This way, she can make authentic references during online chats.

After several months, she has developed quite a correspondence with dozens of people who seem to believe she is whoever she says she is.

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At 10:15 PM, Blogger jennifer said...

Harry I will go over and read all the links as you have intrigued me with the short intros. As I have mentioned I love Thomas Sowell, now I must tell you I love Walter Williams. When he sits in for Rush...I just roll, he is so head on so direct!

I am so glad that the internet has so much available for us! Thanks for the links!

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Jungle Mom said...

I lost one grandfather in a coal mine before i was even born and my other grand father died from "black lung" do to a life in the mines. Coal mining is safer now than then but, nuclear is fairly safe and cleaner.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Harry said...

I just finished reading Sowell's Black Rednecks and White Liberals. As usual for Sowell, it's both eye opening and thought provoking at the same time. I once heard a few minutes of Williams on Rush. I usually only listen to the radio when I'm driving and I'm rarely driving at that time of day.

Jungle Mom,
Coal mining is definitely safer now, but as the latest earthquake in Utah showed, it still has its dangers. Except for the Chernobyl accident in the USSR, I don't think anyone has been killed in a nuclear accident. But politicians are beholden to the environmental fearmongers.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger jennifer said...

FYI Harry The Williams link had 2 http in its URL.. I went over once I copy and paste it but I thought I would let you know!!

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Rancher said...

Williams is a genius, I actually considered going to George Mason University just to study under him.

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Harry said...

Thanks, I hate when I do stupid stuff like that. I also forgot to link to the Williams article that I quote so I fixed that too.

Had I known about these guys back when I was going to college and not been a teenage bonehead . . .


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