Monday, June 29, 2009

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Global Warming Debate

When I was in high school, a friend of mine who was distressed about all social and political conflict and human suffering in the world once asked, "Why don't we get six or seven scientists together, figure out what's wrong with the world, and then just do what they say?" Perhaps we could take a trial run at that proposal with something that pertains strictly to natural science. The question of climate change, its nature, direction, and human consequences, should do just fine. Kimberley Strassel in The Wall Street Journal and Paul Krugman in The New York Times both recently summarized what we know about this issue, appealing to the discoveries of esteemed scientists.

So they must agree on the what's what of the matter, right? Uh, no. They could not be more sharply divided. Indeed, Paul Krugman calls opposition to the Waxman-Markey energy bill that the House just passed "treason against the planet" ("Betraying the Planet").

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course.

He states our situation in the gravest terms: "we’re facing a clear and present danger to our way of life, perhaps even to civilization itself;" and he asks,"How can anyone justify failing to act?"

Kimberley Strassel is not so unsettled over the matter ("The Climate Change Climate Change"). She denies that this is a conflict between scientists and global patriots on the one side, and opportunists and know-nothings on the other.

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the "new religion." A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists' open letter.)
Scientists have found that climate change has stalled and disasters have not materialized. Political leaders have been sobered by the economic crisis and are reassessing the panic.

The collapse of the "consensus" has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth's temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.
With this much passionate disagreement over climatology, I would not expect much consensus from a commission of scientists studying moral and political matters. Perhaps scientific inquiry is not as separable from moral and political issues and the passions that attend them as we would often like to believe.

Take a second look at Harold's post to which I added a response, "Baby, It's Cold Outside!" We reflect on Australian geologist and mineral economist Viv Forbes' caution, "What we need to fear is a return of the cold, dry, hungry ice ages."

Harold adds:

It seems the Aussies are far enough out of the way to be safe from the cloud of miasma surrounding the climate debate hussled up by European and Amercian socialists. Two other Australians, Ian Plimmer (a scientist and author) and Senator Steve Fielding are mentioned in a great piece by Robert Tracinski, "Could Australia Blow Apart the Great Global Warming Scare?" .

Plimmers book, Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, The Missing Science, is just about to be published in the US. It looks to be the one to read to get the arguments straight. Fielding was sceptical of the warming science, and decided to take a look for himself. Would that our own legislators had the intellectual curiosity and honesty to follow the actual science.

As to David's rumination, "Perhaps scientific inquiry is not as separable from moral and political issues and the passions that attend them as we would often like to believe" see Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions where he argued strongly for the "sociology of knowledge"--i.e., that scientific inquiry is not in fact seperable from the passions, morals, and politics of the scientists.

David adds:

A student has just directed my attention to this at The Heritage Foundation: "An Inconvenient Voice: Dr. Alan Carlin."

Ever hear of Alan Carlin? Probably not, and that is the way the Obama Administration wants to keep it. Dr. Carlin is an Environmental Protection Agency veteran who recently wrote a damaging report, warning that the science behind climate change was questionable at best, and that we shouldn’t pass laws that will hurt American families and hobble the nation’s economy based on incomplete information.

Despite its promise to put science above politics, the Administration has suppressed Carlin’s report, banned him from writing or speaking about climate change, told him to forget about attending any meetings that addressed his main job function—climate change—and gave him a new assignment: updating a grants database. One supposes that, by dedicating its distinguished scientists to data-entry tasks, Obama’s EPA is able to free up true-believing interns to do its research.
Here is a CBS News report of the suppressed report and gag order.

Kimberley Strassel has given this injustice and public disservice even greater attention in "The EPA Silences a Climate Skeptic" (Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2009). "The global-warming crowd likes to deride skeptics as the equivalent of the Catholic Church refusing to accept the Copernican theory. The irony is that, today, it is those who dare critique the new religion of human-induced climate change who face the Inquisition."

Dr. Carlin earned a B.Sc. in physics from CalTech and a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T., and has been working in public policy since 1967.

In the comments section of this Heritage Foundation post, Tim from Australia writes:

Do you think that the alarmists have a good case ? This is the answer you get when you ask them for the evidence:
1) “Your not a scientist, therefore you have no right to ask the question”,
2) “There is something morally wrong with you to even to ask the question. Your putting us all at risk”.
3) “The time for debate is over”.

There never was a debate. The real problem here is poor thinking in the western world. We simply don’t tolerate any debate anymore. Instead governments attempt to outlaw dissenting voices or at least condemn them. That’s what happens when the media becomes the de facto policy makers. It’s really very simple;

1) Media scares public with doomsday stories
2) Political parties assess public mood by focus groups and polls
3) Political parties make policy based on results

I hoped Obama would be a leader but it seems like he just looks like one. Where’s the substance?

If a janitor at the EPA wrote a piece supporting doomsday global warming scenario he would be held up as expert of some repute. No doubt he could be sighted for his/her historical studies of the increasing water levels in the toilet bowl.

These global warming skeptics in scientific academia now know what Christians are suffering who question the frail dogmas of the evolution establishment.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Waxman Markey Malarkey

In case you haven't heard, the global warming/carbon tax/21st century energy/giant leap forward cap and tax bill passed the House of Reprehensibles tonight, otherwise known as the Waxman Markey bill. If implemented, it will destroy this country's economy. Chances are slim that it will pass the Senate, but it is a non-zero probability, as the eggheads say. That means we are still very much in danger from the misdirected thinking, false science, ill will, and libido dominande (lust for power) of members of our own government. The Democrats, led by the One, intend to reduce this nation to the level of just one of 191 nations on earth. No manifest Destiny, no American Exceptionalism, and no more status as lone super power. We are on the way to becoming the most populous banana republic on earth, with corruption and demagoguery second to none. Give Barack and the Nancy Boys that much; they are bringing to their anti-Americanism the American predilection for swinging for the fences, going all-out. If you are shooting for a corrupt regime, pull out all the stops! More is never enough! If some is good, more is better! Like some kind of crazed craps player, they are trying to run the table, jamming into law legislation no one has read. How many time bombs do you think might be hidden in a 1200 page bill that no one has read? Is this outrageous to you?

How does any of this line up with our constitution, let alone the natural rights philosophy that underpins it? This is tyranny and usurpation, and the direction should be clear to all by now. No good has ever accrued from having a government with this much power. Our constitution was the pathbreaking innovation that formed a turning point in history. Madison's sacred fire of liberty is being systematically smothered under the wet blankets of unconstitutional intrusions and outright power grabs like the energy bill just passed, the upcoming health care legislation, and the fait accompli of government control of the auto and finance industries.

Give a listen to the Heritage Foundation's analysis of this mess, along with Rush Limbaugh's commentary. And then call or write your Congressman.

Your Children Will Arise and Turn You In

In an earlier post, "Life Under the Regime of Science," I shared this MasterCard "Priceless" ad to which Jonah Goldberg in The National Review drew my attention. It features a child instructing his father in how to shop in an environmentally responsible way. But the father is not asking for the advice. The cute child is presented as wiser than his young, unshaven, slightly goofy looking father who we are supposed to believe is clueless and careless. "Making dad a better man: priceless."

A reader in Ottawa, Canada, alerts us to a similar ad that was aired in our neighboring country to the north where individual liberty is viewed as a dangerous notion among those who think only politically pure thoughts.

Mr. Glennie shared these insights:

In Canada here, there are `public service announcements' that feature the `scientist' / TV host / environmental nut David Suzuki.

In this spot, Suzuki is seen sitting (in a treehouse, apparently in the middle of the night) with a group of children, who are letting him know how they are `reducing their carbon footprint.'

Then, one of the children whispers to Dear (Leader) David: `Jimmy's parents don't believe in conserving...'

Beyond the obvious question as to why a 70-year-old man would be in a treehouse at night with a group of children unrelated to him, it shows the totalitarian mindset behind present-day `environmentalism'.

After all, the lad isn't informing on "his own" parents, but those of someone else.

It is startling that neither Suzuki, the producers of the spot, nor yet the energy company that subsidizes the production cost, would have stopped to think about these things.

There is an interesting little detail they throw in. When one of the children addresses him respectfully as Dr. Suzuki, he interrupts and insists that she call him "David," and then the conversation continues. Why would Powerwise* take this extra step in undermining adult authority among children? (This "Call me David; Mr. Suzuki is my father" attitude is common enough as it is.)

*According to their website, powerWISE is funded by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Ontario Power Authority and local distribution companies.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Iran Truly Rocks the Vote

This is a moving video and musical tribute to the Iranians who are protesting for their democratic rights in Tehran.

People don't invest this level of passion and bloodshed only to call it day and resign themselves to a sham democracy. With the right leadership, this uprising could bring significant change and introduce an enduring spirit of liberty that previously was dormant and unaware of its strength. Notice that the protests involve everyone from university students to middle aged women swinging handbags.

Chatham House and the Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland has released an analysis of the disputed (let's say it: "stolen") Iranian election poetically entitled, "Preliminary Analysis of the Voting Figures in Iran’s 2009 Presidential Election." Here is a summary of what they discovered:

• In two conservative provinces, Mazandaran and Yazd, a turnout of more than 100% was recorded.

• If Ahmadinejad's victory was primarily caused by the increase in voter turnout, one would expect the data to show that the provinces where there was the greatest 'swing' in support towards Ahmadinejad would also be the provinces with the greatest increase in voter turnout. This is not the case.

• In a third of all provinces, the official results would require that Ahmadinejad took not only all former conservative voters, all former centrist voters, and all new voters, but also up to 44% of former reformist voters, despite a decade of conflict between these two groups.

• In 2005, as in 2001 and 1997, conservative candidates, and Ahmadinejad in particular, were markedly unpopular in rural areas. That the countryside always votes conservative is a myth. The claim that this year Ahmadinejad swept the board in more rural provinces flies in the face of these trends.

Note: "Whilst it is possible for large numbers of voters to cast their ballots outside their home district (one of 366), the proportion of people who would have cast their votes outside their home province is much smaller, as the 30 provinces are too large for effective commuting across borders. In Yazd, for example, where turnout was above 100% at provincial level, there are no significant population centres near provincial boundaries."

CNN reports on it here.

The Iranian government could have engineered a squeeker, but not such a close one as to require a recount. However that would have called into question what they see as the obvious superiority of the theocracy as it stands. It should be loved by the people of the Islamic Republic, and so they could not stomach rigging any outcome other than one that clearly expressed that love. But, of course, given the obvious and widespread popular dissatisfaction with the government, their overstatement made the lie utterly transparent, the uprising inevitable, and the ferocity of the uprising deep and sustained.

The video is set to Pat Benatar's "Invincible," the theme song from the film, "The Legend of Billie Jean" (1985). Music and words by Simon Climie and Holly Knight. The song appears on "Seven the Hard Way" (1985) and "Best Shots" (1989), a compilation album, as well as the film's soundtrack. (I have not seen the film and I do not plan to see it.)

These are the lyrics

This bloody road remains a mystery
This sudden darkness fills the air
What are we waiting for?
Won't anybody help us?
What are we waiting for?

We can't afford to be innocent
Stand up and face the enemy
It's a do or die situation
We will be Invincible

This shattered dream you cannot justify
We're gonna scream until we're satisfied
What are we running for?
We've got the right to be angry
What are we running for?
When there's nowhere we can run to anymore

We can't afford to be innocent
Stand up and face the enemy
It's a do or die situation
We will be Invincible
And with the power of conviction
There is no sacrifice
It's a do or die situation
We will be Invincible

Won't anybody help us?
What are we running for?
When there's nowhere,
No where we can run to anymore

The song then repeats itself.

Perhaps thirty years after Komeini's Islamist Revolution history will repeat itself, but more constructively.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Voice of the Iranian Uprising

I recall the revolutionaries of 1979 saying to America, "The blood of our martyrs drips from your fingers." The shooting of Neda Agha-Soltani on Saturday turns what were no doubt Ahmadinejad's own words thirty years ago back at himself.
Neda (her name in Farsi means "the call" or "the voice," which is inconvenient for the regime) was a young woman in her twenties, engaged to be married, attending the protest with her father. She was gunned down by the government that should have been protecting her life and liberty. The blood streaming from her body has become a symbol of a nation suffering under a tyrannical government.

After her death come the reverberations of the Shi'ite mourning cycle. Robin Wright of Time Magazine reports:
The cycles of mourning in Shi'ite Islam actually provide a schedule for political combat — a way to generate or revive momentum. Shi'ite Muslims mourn their dead on the third, seventh and 40th days after a death, and these commemorations are a pivotal part of Iran's rich history. During the revolution, the pattern of confrontations between the Shah's security forces and the revolutionaries often played out in 40-day cycles.

Read the front page report in The New York Times: "In a Death Seen Around the World, a Symbol of Iranian Protests."

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Return of Christian America Again

Marvin Olasky's* cover article in the recent World, "The Sixth Wind," responds to recent (gleeful) speculation at Newsweek that Christianity in America may be coming to the close of its 400 year history (Jon Meacham, "The End of Christian America," April 4, 2009).

Olasky sees Christianity not as dying but as catching its second wind. More precisely its sixth wind. The first was the pilgrim faith that met our shores in the earliest colonies. The second and third were the First and Second Great Awakenings (1730-55; 1790-1840). The fourth was the revivals emerging from the Civil War and transforming the cities in the late nineteenth century. The fifth he says came when "Billy Graham and others came to the fore amid threats of nuclear war." This is what I would call the Evangelical Awakening. Since the modernist controversy and the Scopes trial in the 1920s, Bible believing Christians had withdrawn. Under the leadership of Carl F.H. Henry (Christianity Today), Harold Ockenga (Fuller Seminary), and Billy Graham, Evangelicals re-emerged, re-engaged, and re-produced (both naturally and evangelistically). I am unaware that it had anything to do with nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, Olasky claims that American Christianity is now getting its "sixth wind."

Meacham cites a decline in religious identification among Americans, but this is simply a function of nominal Christians who were raised in the Eisenhower generation's "comfortable pew" of the old mainline churches finally conceding that, truth be told, they are actually atheists and agnostics. Those who were religious before and now more committedly religious. What Meacham has uncovered is actually a greater religious polarization in society.

The good news is that Christians will stand out more strikingly in Christlikeness. This is what Jon A. Shields found. He is assistant professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and the author of The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right (Princeton University Press, 2009). He confesses, "although my liberal Protestant upbringing initially made me feel out of place hanging out with conservative Christians, I found them disarming, gracious, and more misunderstood than I ever imagined."

John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief at The Economist, and Adrian Wooldridge, the British news magazine's Washington bureau chief, have is co-authored God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World (Penguin Press, 2009). Undistracted by the personal animosity that blinds some to the obvious, they recognize the social utility of Christian faith and the Christian churches. Christianity "helps suburbanites to form communities in the atomized world of the Sunbelt . . . ordinary people all over America to deal with the problems of alcoholism and divorce, wayward children and hopelessness . . . the hard-pressed inhabitants of the inner cities to deal with the chaos that surrounds them."

On a more personal and passionate level, however, Wooldridge objects to atheist dismissal of Christian faith, even though the does not profess the faith personally. "Christians are the people looking after the homeless, the drug-addicted. Where is the atheist homeless shelter? Atheists are only interested in themselves."

Wooldridge is not surprised that "God is back" and that accordingly, atheists like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are in a publishing panic. In a World interview with the two Economist authors, he says, "The extraordinary thing about American religion is its capacity to reinvent itself and reassert itself."

Terry Eagleton is a distinguished English professor at the University of Lancaster in the UK. He has recently published Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (Yale University Press, 2009) and is scheduled to give the Gifford Lecture in March 2010 entitled "The God Debate."

"Why are the most unlikely people, including myself, suddenly talking about God?" Eagleton's answer: Nothing else—not science, not reason, not liberalism, not economics—works. He concludes, "If ever there was a pious myth and a piece of credulous superstition, it is the liberal-rationalist belief that, a few hiccups apart, we are all steadily en route to a finer world."
Olasky also cites the return of literary critic A.N. Wilson to humble trusting in Christ.

Like most educated people in Britain and Northern Europe (I was born in 1950), I have grown up in a culture that is overwhelmingly secular and anti-religious. The universities, broadcasters and media generally are not merely non-religious, they are positively anti. To my shame, I believe it was this that made me lose faith and heart in my youth. It felt so uncool to be religious. With the mentality of a child in the playground, I felt at some visceral level that being religious was unsexy.
Olasky then concludes eloquently and encouragingly.

Christianity's ride through 2,000 years, and in America for 400, has always been a roller coaster: up and down, slow and fast, sometimes sideways, always planned by God but unpredictable for man. The first time around a roller coaster is terrifying for children. They do not know that a power beyond them is in control. ...

The apostle Paul was not unduly impressed by temporary ascents and descents. His confidence did not depend on which emperor was in power or who the next emperor might be. He knew that a benevolent reign would allow more to hear the gospel, but a hard reign would create inspiring testimonies that would show how the gospel sustained believers amid pressure—so Christ's cause would win either way.

Paul from prison told the Philippians that "what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel." Paul told the Corinthians that "in all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy." What afflictions has the church in America faced that we should be grumpy pessimists?

*Full disclosure: Marvin Olasky is my boss (Provost) at The King's College in New York City. But, really, I could call his article fit only for composting and he wouldn't care.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Being Blunt on Obama

Lou Pritchett is the renowned former VP at Proctor and Gamble and author of Stop Paddling and Start Rocking the Boat. Here is his open letter to the President. (Both Snopes and Urban Legends say it is authentic.)


Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.

You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.

You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.

You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.

You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America' crowd and deliver this message abroad.

You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.

You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.

You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.

You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

Lou Pritchett

Read Jonah Goldberg's nod of qualified approval here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Iranian Nuclear Game Plan

We had no indication that there was any difference between the candidates in the recent Iranian Presidential race on that country's nuclear program, but now that Ahmad I'm-A-Dinner-Jacket has secured the office for another term (which in The Islamic Republic is not the same as winning the election, apparently), dealing with Iranian nuclear ambitions becomes a matter of all the more serious foreign policy planning.

John Bolton in last week's Wall Street Journal thought through various scenarios ("What If Israel Strikes Iran?").

Whatever the outcome of Iran's presidential election tomorrow, negotiations will not soon -- if ever -- put an end to its nuclear threat. And given Iran's determination to achieve deliverable nuclear weapons, speculation about a possible Israeli attack on its nuclear program will not only persist but grow....Consider the most-often mentioned Iranian responses to a possible Israeli strike:

1) Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz. "Iran would be risking U.S. attacks on its land-based military."

2) Iran cuts its o wn oil exports to raise world prices. "An Iranian embargo of its own oil exports would complete the ruin of Iran's domestic economy by depriving the country of hard currency."

3) Iran attacks U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. "[D]oing so would risk direct U.S. retaliation against Iran"

4) Iran increases support for global terrorism. "If Washington uncovered evidence of direct or indirect Iranian terrorist activities in America...even the Obama administration would have to consider direct retaliation inside Iran."

5) Iran launches missile attacks on Israel. This would "provoke an even broader Israeli counterstrike, which at some point might well involve Israel's own nuclear capability."

6) Iran unleashes Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel. This would "argue for simultaneous, pre-emptive attacks on Hezbollah and Hamas in conjunction with a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities."

This seems like a no win situation for Iran, yet the Islamic Republic will proceed with its nuclear program, Israel will eventually destroy it, and then Iran will do little in response, and Arab states will (privately) cheer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Life Under the Regime of Science

The conquest of nature, first proposed by Francis Bacon 400 years ago, has opened up marvelous possibilities. Here is what I gleaned from some recent breakfast reading.

From the Economist:

"The National Ignition Facility: On Target, Finally" (May 28, 2009) opens with the question, "What do you get when you focus 192 lasers onto a pellet [frozen hydrogen] the size of a match head and press the “fire” button?" The National Ignition Facility at the Livermore Labs "is designed to create conditions like those found in stars." For "three thousandths of a has a power of 500 trillion watts, about 3,000 times the average electricity consumption of the whole of planet Earth."
Each laser pulse will begin as a weak infra-red beam. This is split into 48 daughter beams that are then fed into preamplifiers which increase their power 20 billion times. Each of the daughters is split further, into four, and passed repeatedly through the main amplifiers. These increase the beams’ power 15,000 times and push their wavelengths into the ultraviolet.

The pellet itself contains a sphere of deuterium (a heavy form of hydrogen, with nuclei consisting of a proton and a neutron) and tritium (even heavier hydrogen, with a proton and two neutrons) that is chilled to just a degree or so above absolute zero. The beams should compress the sphere so rapidly that it implodes, squeezing deuterium and tritium nuclei together until they overcome their mutual repulsion and fuse to form helium (two protons and two neutrons) together with a surplus neutron and a lot of heat. If enough heat is generated it will sustain the process of fusion without laser input, until most of the nuclear fuel has been used up.

From the conquest of nature "out there," the editors of the Economist turn to the conquest of nature "in here," that is, human nature, as though it's really just all the same thing.

"The Behavioural Effects of Video Games: Good Game?" is a report on two studies, one from Iowa State University and the other from Ludwig-Maximilian University in Germany, that examined the relationship between playing video games and either violent or helpful thoughts and behavior depending on whether the games were themselves violent or "pro-social." We are told, "There is a body of research suggesting that violent games can lead to aggressive thoughts, if not to violence itself." In one Iowa State experiment, "those who spent the longest playing games which involved helping others were most likely to help, share, co-operate and empathise with others. They also had lower scores in tests for hostile thoughts and the acceptance of violence as normal." In another experiment by the same researcher involving games with helping others as their theme, "three to four months later, those who played these types of games the most were also rated as more helpful to those around them in real life."

The idea behind these studies is that if you can get children to play socially cooperative games, they will grow up to be socially cooperative people. Well, yes, but there are broad limits. Human nature is not so malleable as these researchers may hope. But you don't need expensive university research to tell you that if you occupy most young people's attention with violent video games, especially if the games are realistic, and even moreso if they put the player in the place of a criminal as hero, you will inherit a generally more lawless and criminally violent society.

Once the science of manipulating children for political ends advances sufficiently, they can be used to help control their unreconstructed parents.

In The National Review, Jonah Goldberg draws attention to this MasterCard "Priceless" commercial in which a child tries to make his father "a better man" ("The Littlest Totalitarian," June 8, 2009--not available online; buy the magazine).

It presents the child as wiser than and morally superior to his father who is unshaven and looks rather thoughtless and irresponsible. Of course, as MasterCard presents it, human virtue consists in living in an environmentally responsible way and leaving as small a so-called carbon footprint as possible (or at least making fashionable gestures in that direction). If children are for the most part more virtuous than their parents, it is because they learn the cutting edge of enlightened morality from their public school teachers and their Saturday morning cartoons.

Goldberg's political warning is this:

The idea of enlisting children to the Cause is as fashionable today as it was under Robespierre. To crack the bunker walls of the family and seduce the children has always been a top priority of totalitarians, hard and soft. Progressives love to elevate the sagacity of children...because doing so gives children all the more authority when they parrot the talking points of the latest progressive fad.
Goldberg evokes unrehabilitated common sense in his closing remark: "If the man in the ad were a better father, he would have scolded his kid for the disrespect and demanded to know who was teaching him such crap."

That's not science, but it's full of wisdom nonetheless. Perhaps science has its limitations and "it's place."

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Boomers Behind the Bust

David Brooks reports some sobering statistics in his column today, "The Great Unwinding."

"The ratio of debt-to-personal-disposable income was 55 percent in 1960. Since then, it has more than doubled, reaching 133 percent in 2007."

He adds: "Consumption as a share of G.D.P. stood at around 62 percent in the mid-1960s, and rose to about 73 percent by 2008. The baby boomers enjoyed an incredible spending binge." The post-WWII baby boomers have brought us new blessings with each successive decade of their self-absorbed lives.

When credit froze up last year, the government "replaced private borrowing with public borrowing." The result has been a dramatic increase in public debt: "In 2007, the federal deficit was 1.2 percent of G.D.P. Two years later, it’s at 13 percent."

The effect of this and the various bailouts in general has been a historically unprecedented spike in the money supply. This has ominous implications for inflation.

To move the country from a mostly consumption based economy (easy credit and imports) to an investment and production dominated economy (which requires much higher rates of savings), "[t]he members of the political class face a set of monumental tasks. First, they have to persuade a country to postpone gratification for the sake of rebuilding the country. This country hasn’t accepted sacrifice in 50 years." Fifty years takes us back to 1959. Again, that's when the boomers started to dominate American society, even as children.

Brooks says the Obama administration is aware of the need for this shift and of what it requires, but he is skeptical that Congress is up to the task. "Congressional leaders have been fixated on short-term conventional priorities throughout this entire episode. There is no evidence that the power brokers understand the fundamental transition ahead. They are practicing the same self-indulgence that got us into this mess." Congressional leaders boomers.

The baby boom generation is not solely responsible for this and every other mess, but since they were toddlers, they have had the shaping influence on our culture and economy. Brooks subtley identifies the characteristic excesses of his own generation in this present crisis too.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Will Baby Kim Jong Hang On Long?

Call this "blog tag."

Prof. Jeffrey Hodges at Gypsy Scholar, who writes from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea, alerts us to an article from The Daily NK, "North Korean Collapse Already Underway."

From unclassified reports he has gleaned from the US Army's open-source intelligence-gathering office, Hodges himself supplies further interesting information regarding the advancing systemic collapse.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

American Caesar

"It hath been taught us since the primal state, that he which is was wish'd until he were."

Shakespeare's axiom of popular susceptibility to demagoguery is fleshed out in Stanley Fish's NYT piece on Obama this morning, "Yes I Can." Stanley Fish is one who commands the sort of respect reserved for the likes of the serpent in the garden; towering intellect, competent in the dark arts of persuasion, and capable of making his auditors enjoy their hornswaggling at the hands of an expert sophist. (Fish is very great admirer of Milton's Satan, who he also greatly resembles.) Yet today he lays aside his sophist's hat and, worried lest the One give away the game like some prestidigitator whose trick is showing, gently admonishes Obama while demonstrating to the rest of us the sheer mastery of the upward gyre of demagogic, narcissistic self possession.

Last week I was driving home listening to President Obama’s speech on the General Motors bankruptcy, and I heard the full emergence of a note that had been sounded only occasionally in the two-plus years since the announcement of his candidacy. It was the note of imperial possession, the accents and cadences of a man supremely aware of his authority and more than comfortable with its exercise.

Imperial possession, indeed--and it looks like he intends to possess quite a bit more before he's done. Fish's analysis of the progression of Obama's use of the first person singular, which makes Bill Clinton seem a tongue-tied school boy by comparison, is instructive. Indulging in his own form of idolatry, Fish admiringly compares Obama to Don Corleone, who began a patriot and ended by striking the pose of a Roman emperor:

Obama is still idealistic and a patriot, but he is now also an emperor and his speech shows it.

That Fish shows no alarm at the implications of that sentence is telling in itself. Postmodernism is about power--unmasking its surreptitious manifestations in the oppressor class, while drawing its practitioners and acolytes like moths to a flame in their almost desperate willingness to do anything to get and hold power themselves. It is in this sense that Obama is the first postmodern president, although again Bill Clinton made a pretty good run at it. Thus, Fish is an admiring observer (and in time, with the rest of us, a servant) of the new emperor for whom egotism and narcissism are recommendations.

In the beginning, observes Fish, it was about "us". Obama began with sentences like "It’s humbling to see a crowd like this, but in my heart I know you didn’t come here just for me.” “Let us be the generation that reshapes our economy”; “Let us be the generation that ends poverty”; “this campaign can’t only be about me; it must be about us.”

Fish ably shows the transformation as the campaign progressed:

When he wins the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3, 2008, the rhetoric alters as he imagines himself (perhaps for the first time) performing in the office he aspires to. “Let us” is replaced by “I’ll”: “I’ll be a president who harnesses the ingenuity of farmers.” “I’ll be a president who finally makes health care affordable.” “I’ll be a president who ends this war in Iraq.”
Everything alters in the inaugural address (Jan. 20, 2009). The promises are now made to an America that is asked only to stand by while they are fulfilled. “Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. “But know America” — or, in other words, “hear me” — “…they will be met.” And later, when he says, “We will build the roads and bridges… We will restore science to its rightful place… We will harness the sun and winds,” the “we” is now the royal we: just you watch, “All this we will do.”
By the time of the address to the Congress on Feb. 24, the royal we has flowered into the naked “I”: “As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress.” “I called for action.” “I pushed for quick action.” “I have told each of my cabinet.” “I’ve appointed a proven and aggressive inspector general.” “I refuse to let that happen.” “I will not spend a single penny.” “I reject the view that says our problems will simply take care of themselves.” “I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term.” That last is particularly telling: it says, there’s going to be a second term, I’m already moving fast, and if you don’t want to be left in the dust, you’d better fall in line.

There’s no mistaking what’s going on in the speech delivered last week. No preliminary niceties; just a rehearsal of Obama’s actions and expectations. Eight “I”’s right off the bat...Accompanying the “I”’s are a bevy of “my”’s, which reach out to embrace the universe. The third time he says “my auto task force,” it sounds as if he were referring to a lap dog. Ditto the mention of Karen Mills, “my Small Business Administration” chief. When he thanks Canada and Germany for doing their part, it is as if those sovereign nations were doing him a personal favor to which he was entitled. When he invokes “my administration” you might think he was talking about some prized possession. (My daughter…my ducats.) It is always “I couldn’t in good conscience,” “I became convinced,” “I wanted to ensure,” “I instructed,” “I recognized,” “I want” (three times), “I’m calling on Congress.” At least he doesn’t say “my Congress,” although that is certainly implied.

Fish never indicates directly that there is anything problematic with any of this. His concern is that Obama not offend against taste, or perhaps against the canons of imperial dictatorship:

An occasional passive construction to soften the claim of agency would be a good idea (even though the grammar books warn against it). It’s one thing to be calling the tune; it’s another to proclaim it in every sentence.

So, a little advice from the old professor to the young would-be Caesar: it is better to be feared than loved, but dial back the "naked I" before you take the crown.

More Obama Apotheosis

"Fountain of Hope," by Ron Keas

Here we go again. More apotheosis of Barack Obama. More elevation of the sitting President to divine status.

The New York Times, under the auspices of simply reporting on what's happening out there, gives us yet another spread of Obama celebration art ("Obama's Face (That's Him?) Rules the Web," May 30, 2009). (Of course, I am also publicizing these things in my own small way, but you know where I stand on the matter.) One of the paintings is just dreadful. Perhaps the title of the article recognizes that. "Team Player" is just trite. It depicts Obama in a D.C. basketball uniform wearing #1.

Get it? Sure you do.

There is also one that is quite good ("Looking Presidential" by Mimi Torchia Boothby) with his wedding ring figuring prominently on his pensively and prayerfully placed hand.

Then there is the man in the white suit. What does Ron Keas have in mind with "Fountain of Hope?" In the background is the White House in front of which is a fountain of white water, in front of which stands Barack Obama dressed entirely in white: suit and shirt, but no tie. My wife's first reaction was that he does not look like an American President. American Presidents don't wear white suits. As usual, she put her finger on the central disturbing point. He looks like a Central or South American dictator. Even facially, he looks like a thin Hugo Chavez. And of course, this glorification by art is what they do with their leaders in dictatorships.

The apotheosis is in the phrase "Fountain of Hope." God, according to the well-known hymn, is the "fount of every blessing." The image of a fountain or spring is that of an inexhaustible supply of blessing, in particular of water, the means of life, and thus figuratively of life itself. Psalm 36:9 says, "For with you (the Lord) is the fountain of life; in your light we see light."

I thought perhaps that the artist intended to criticize either the President or his followers with this painting. But, no. Ron Keas is just a terrible painter. See for yourself at He has a whole series of hagiographic paintings of the next re-founder of our republic. He also does Marilyn Monroe and Elvis.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Following Evolution Into the Abyss

This is where godless, evolutionary thinking gets you.

David Brooks, reflecting on the role of empathy in jurisprudence, and Nicholas Kristof, sharing research on why liberals and conservatives take the positions they do, both offer teachings from evolutionary psychology as thrillingly helpful advances in our self-understanding.

David Brooks, "The Empathy Issue," (New York Times, May 29, 2009).

Nicholas Kristof, "Would You Slap Your Father? If So, You’re a Liberal," (New York Times, May 28, 2009).

Of course, if all our notions of good and evil, right and wrong, beautiful and vile, are simply the products of evolution, and are thus not true in themselves and as they present themselves, but are merely useful for the preservation of our species as a whole, then morally serious people are dupes and romantics, and the cruelly ambitious, megalomaniacal Machiavellian is the only sensible human being.

What Allan Bloom called "Nihilism with a happy ending" requires not looking at your nihilism too closely.

Harold adds:

I've been amazed to watch as the influence of evolutionary psychology has seeped through the humanities and social sciences like effluent from a leaking sewer pipe through stacks of cardboard in a basement. There is now nothing that cannot be explained by way of survival value, especially now that we have the concept of group survival value, a transparent and illegitimate move around the problems of empathy, altruism, love, and self consciousness existing in creatures competing in the survival of the fittest sweepstakes. Humans are superior because we evolved superior characteristics, ergo, evolution is true. It is a circular argument, no? Affirming the antecedent? Oh, and this little bit: Darwinism good, social Darwinism not good. Why not?

Tell me if I'm wrong about the development here: evolution is posited as establish fact, based on 1) the analogy (illegitimate) of superior, hereditary traits within species, to transmogrification between species. White moths become black moths to survive, etc. 2), "Phylogeny recapitulates ontogeny"--human fetuses appear to look like other species while gestating, and this proves humans developed historically from other species. 3) A drawerful of pieces/parts of fossilized bones give the barest outline of a suggestion of a penumbra emanating from a dream of Wallace and Darwin that all species have a common ancestor. A dream come true! 4) A fair amount of DNA is shared by all living things, with chimpanzees and humans somewhere north of 98%. We are superior to chimpanzees, therefore we evolved from them, since we are so close genetically. QED.

From these hints is raised a grand theory of auto-genesis; at some point in the history of the boiling cauldron of chemical soup that was the early earth, one of those inorganic molecules learned how to replicate itself, and viola! information began to exist along side of, and exclusive of, energy and matter, all by itself. Not only did the incredible protein carrier for information appear by itself (DNA), but also the information to be carried to the next generations, with increasing complexity--all this in the face of iron law # 2 of thermodynamics, which has the universe running down, I believe. Evolving complexity from a cosmos-sized explosion, the very definition of chaos and disorder, culminating in a self-conscious being able to speculate about the one thing that does not exist--telos, or the purpose of it all. A little joke played on us by that original self-life-giving molecule perhaps. What a card! And what an opening for those darn Machiavellians--they're barely more than self-replicating carriers of accidental DNA, but they're having all the fun!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

GM Mission Creep

The Obama people are having a hard time coming up with a way to pay for their universal government health care program. But now that they own General Motors, it may cross the minds of more than a few that this corporation might be useful for paying for the health plan.

The problem is that government (and unions, also big stakeholders now) are incapable of running an industry, i.e. making good products that people want, providing good customer service, and, in all of this, making a profit. So to the extent that government is involved in GM, the car maker won't be turning a profit and funding anything.

But government will certainly get involved in actually running GM. It will prove too tempting not to. That means that business concerns will be subordinated to political concerns. Just yesterday I saw a Senate committee excoriating GM executives for shutting down dealerships and the manner in which they did it. What these politicians were thinking was obvious. We own this company now, so we'll use it to keep people in their jobs. That is, they'll use it as a welfare system, not a business. Think of the way factories functioned in the old Soviet Union.

We are also seeing gleeful Democratic pols pushing to shut down the production of moneymaking SUVs (vehicles that liberals see as evil planet-destroying machines in general, but useful and cool when they own them themselves because, well, a few don't make that much difference) and expand the production of fuel efficient "green" cars that nobody wants but that everyone should want.

But really what difference do markets and profit make? If government should run the health care industry because everyone needs health care that is affordable and accessible regardless of ability to pay, then surely the same is true of cars. Think of it this way. Everyone needs a job, and cars are necessary for most people to get to their jobs. Government can now help put people in cars regardless of their ability to pay. Furthermore, for the sake of our health and for "the survival of the planet," we all need to be driving the right cars. Given what's out there, clearly the market is not able to direct either producers or consumers to socially and environmentally responsible cars. But the government can help there too.

Government ownership and management of, and political fiddling with, the auto industry may provide Americans a valuable lesson in what the government can and cannot do well, regardless of what in principle is should be doing. Or those lessons may come too late. On the other hand, the GM deal may prove to be a great leap for the government even more deeply into providing for everyone's "basic human goods," such as health care, cars, houses, schooling (with hot breakfast and lunch), retirement, and perhaps even tucking you in at night.

Consider the disastrous British experience with government ownership of the auto industry, especially when militant unions are involved. Follow this series of videos.

And here again for the fun of it is the Congressional Motors ad you've seen before:

I saw another mock ad for a new American car that reads this way: "You wouldn't buy our lousy cars. So now we're taking your money anyway. The Bailout. Coming in January."

Harold adds:
Our friend Iowahawk found this ad:

David responds:

The thing about these spoofs is that you can never be too ridiculous when anticipating secret liberal ambitions. Remember when charges of "Homosexual marriage will be next" was thought to be an hysterical scare tactic? Now they treat you like an Ayatollah if you question it in any way. The stakes could not be higher for these people. They're out to "save the planet." Why should we not expect them to impose wartime rationing like use of the car only on odd numbered Saturdays?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Boy King

By the dog that is god in Egypt*, I don't know who in the Muslim world is responsible for this equation of Obama with Tutankhamen, but it certainly is not any more over the top than anything the sycophantic press corp here has come up with--e.g., "Lightworker" in New Age parlance, "Messiah" or the "One" in Christian-speak. Fortunately, there is an expedient available to deflate this latest idolatry, in the form of Steve Martin's fabulous King Tut routine.

Unfortunately, it is not available for imbedding, which means you'll just have to link to YouTube yourself to see Martin's prophetic political statement. I urge you, in the interest of political hygiene and historical truth, to see it.

* One of Socrates' favorite oaths upon discovery of yet another aporia.

Union Made. Union Proud.

Before there were auto industry bailouts, there was...DODGE AIRES!

GM is now bankrupt. In the 1950s, it employed over 500,000 people and enjoyed a roughly 50% market share. Now it's bust. The reason for this is plain from these figures: GM employs 92,000 workers and supports 500,000 retirees. It is what Mark Steyn calls a vast retirement community that makes cars on the side.

It is the trade unions that brought GM to it's knees. The New York Times reports Don Skidmore, president of UAW Local 735, saying, "I was angry at first, then I cried, then I got angry again." Did he really expect that GM could continue as a viable company with powerful unions forcing such suicidal business conditions on it in a competitive world economy? No, he and his union pals were not thinking past their bellies.

An even larger issue is that these unions dominate the party that is now running the country and restructuring the economy.

In a democracy, you get what you ask for.
David Brooks in "The Quagmire Ahead" gets right to the point in his summary of the evils that will flow from this move. GM execs now have no incentive to improve the company. The government will not let it fail. The way ahead is now conflict avoidance with the unions and the government. In addition, we will soon see what effect the subsidization of one company by the government has on its competitors in the industry. Speaking of the government, despite what the President said about being a "hands off" owner of the company, Democrats are already lining up with with political plans for what they want to do with the company. Building so-called "green" cars that perhaps nobody wants to buy is just one of them.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Leon Kass, Physician-Philosopher

On May 21 in Washington DC, Leon Kass delivered the 38th Annual Jefferson Lecture for the National Endowment for the Humanities, "Looking for an Honest Man: Reflections of an Unlicensed Humanist."

Leon R. Kass, M.D., Ph.D., is the Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago and Hertog Fellow in Social Thought at the American Enterprise Institute. He was chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics from 2001 to 2005.

The lecture is about the lifelong pursuit of answers to the great human questions, the questions which Socrates began to address after his famous "turn" from natural philosophy to the deepest moral and political questions.

He summarizes his quest this way:

I have sought wisdom about the meaning of our humanity, largely through teaching and studying the great works of wiser and nobler human beings, who have bequeathed to us their profound accounts of the human condition.

This is classic Kass, the physician-philosopher:

I found that I loved my patients and their stories more than I loved solving the puzzle of their diseases; where my colleagues found disease fascinating, I was fascinated more by the patients—how they lived, how they struggled with their suffering. Above all, I hated the autopsy room, not out of fear of death, but because the post mortem exam could never answer my question: What happened to my patient? The clot in his coronary artery, his ruptured bowel, or whatever diseased body part that the pathologist displayed as the putative explanation of his death was utterly incommensurable with the awesome massive fact, the extinction of this never-to-be repeated human being, for whom I had cared and for whom his survivors now grieve.

Kass describes a turn of his own.

In summer 1965, interrupting my research, Amy and I went to Mississippi to do civil rights work. We lived with a farmer couple in rural Holmes County, in a house with no telephone, hot water, or indoor toilet. ... [O]n returning to Cambridge, I was nagged by a disparity I could not explain between the uneducated, poor black farmers in Mississippi and many of my privileged, highly educated graduate student friends at Harvard. A man of the left, I had unthinkingly held the Enlightenment view of the close connection between intellectual and moral virtue: education and progress in science and technology would overcome superstition, poverty, and misery, allowing human beings to become at last the morally superior creatures that only nature’s stinginess and religious or social oppression had kept them from being. Yet in Mississippi I saw people living honorably in perilous and meager circumstances, many of them illiterate, but sustained by religion, extended family, and community attachment, and by the pride of honest farming and homemaking. Indeed, they seemed to display more integrity, decency, and strength of character, and less self-absorption and self-indulgence, than did many of my high-minded Harvard friends who shared my progressive opinions.

From there, he takes us through his encounters in the late 1960s with Rousseau's Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, Huxley's Brave New World, and Lewis's The Abolition of Man. After 1970, when others were attempting to bring moral theory up to speed with advances in the biological sciences, Kass was turning to ancient writers for the wisdom that moderns in their rush for technological advance had largely forgotten.

No friend of humanity should trade the accumulated wisdom about human nature and human flourishing for some half-cocked promise to produce a superior human being or human society, never mind a post-human future, before he has taken the trouble to look deeply, with all the help he can get, into the matter of our humanity—what it is, why it matters, and how we can be all that we can be.

In the remainder of the lecture, he discusses three inquiries that have been central to his forty year reflection on the human meaning of science.

First, addressing the conceptual danger, stressed by Lewis, of a soul-less science of life, I have worked toward a more natural science, truer to life as lived. Second, addressing the practical danger, stressed by Huxley, of dehumanization resulting from the relief of man’s estate, I have worked toward a richer picture of human dignity and human flourishing. And third, addressing the social and political dangers, stressed by Rousseau, of cultural decay and enfeeblement, I have looked for cultural teachings that could keep us strong in heart and soul, no less than in body and bank account.

Here is a select Leon Kass bibliography.


Being Human: Core Readings in the Humanities (W. W. Norton, 2004).

The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis (The Free Press, 2003).

Human Cloning and Human Dignity: The Report of the President’s Council on Bioethics, (President’s Council on Bioethics, 2002).

Life, Liberty, and Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics (Encounter Books, 2002).

Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying [with Amy A. Kass] (University of Notre Dame Press, 1999).

The Ethics of Human Cloning [with James Q. Wilson] (American Enterprise Institute, 1998).

The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature (Free Press, 1994).
Toward a More Natural Science (Free Press, 1985).


“Ageless Bodies, Happy Souls: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Perfection,” in New Atlantis, Spring 2003.

“The Aims of Liberal Education,” in The Aims of Education, John Boyer, ed., (University Chicago Press, 1997).

“Am I My (Foolish) Brother’s Keeper?,” in American Enterprise, November/December 1994.

“The Case for Mortality,” in American Scholar 52, 1983.

“Death with Dignity and the Sanctity of Life,” in Commentary, March 1990.

“Defending Human Dignity,” in Commentary, December 2007.

“Dehumanization Triumphant,” in First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, August/September 1996.

“Educating Father Abraham: The Meaning of Wife,” in First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, November 1994.

“The End of Courtship,” in Public Interest, Winter 1997.

“Evolution and the Bible: Genesis I Revisited,” in Commentary, April 1989.

“Experimental Genetics and Human Evolution,” in The Future Is Now: American Confronts the New Genetics, William Kristol and Eric Cohen, eds., Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002.

“Farmers, Founders, and Fratricide: The Story of Cain and Abel,” in First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, April 1996.

“For the Love of the Game: Against the Adulteration of American Sport” [with Eric Cohen], in New Republic, March 26, 2008.

“Human Frailty and Human Dignity,” in New Atlantis, January 27, 2005.

“Human Stem Cell Research Is Unethical,” in Ethics, Brenda Stalcup, ed. (Greenhaven Press, 2000.)

“Love of Women and Love of God: The Case of Jacob,” in Commentary, March 1999.

“Making Babies—The New Biology and the ‘Old’ Morality,” in Public Interest, Winter 1972.

“‘Making Babies’ Revisited,” in Public Interest, Winter 1979.

“Man and Woman: An Old Story,” in First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, November 11, 1991.

“Neither for Love Nor Money: Why Doctors Must Not Kill,” in Public Interest, Winter, 1989.

“The New Biology: What Price Relieving Man’s Estate?,” in Science 174, 1971.

“On Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’,” in First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, March 2000.

“On Religion and Science,” in Commentary, July 2007.

“Regarding Daughters and Sisters: The Rape of Dinah,” in Commentary, April 1992.

“What’s Wrong with Babel?,” in American Scholar, Winter 1989.

“Wisdom of Repugnance: Why We Should Ban the Cloning of Human Beings,” in New Republic, June 2, 1997.