Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Islam is NOT Peaceful

Once again we see our Congress, the Media, the intellectually challenged, and the politically correct, if that isn’t a redundancy – merrily leading us into a catastrophe while they insist on believing that Islam is a peaceful religion and that those who are attacking us (the infidels) worldwide are really a minority. THESE ARE NOT A MINORITY—this is mainstream Islam. We (Christendom) are in a fight to the death with Islam. This is a fight that began in the seventh century and has not abated since that time. The objective of Islam is world domination, the installation of a theocratic government, the suppression of freedom, democracy, law, and all religion other than Islam.

This is a violent religion and the Qur’an is NOT a book that preaches love, forgiveness, or tolerance but it focuses on hate, violence, killing, deception and instructs the true believer to kill all infidels. The beheadings of Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl were simply following the Qur’an (47:4). It promises victory and states that all of the Persian and Roman Empires (think Europe), is theirs according to Allah (33:27). The Muslim is under no obligation to treat prisoners kindly or even to take prisoners (8:67) unless they have won a solid victory. Furthermore, in 5:33 the Muslim is charged with executing all who make war against Islam.

We continue to view Islam and Muslims in Western terms, which are leading us step by step to destruction. The secular governments that we continue to treat with are hollow and have little to no control over the people because for the true Muslim Islam is the church and the church is the state. In effect the Mullahs are the ones with the power and any elected person is subordinate to the Mullahs and this is very evident in Iraq. In the Qur’an (5:51) the Muslim is told that he cannot take Jews or Christians as allies because they are enemies of Islam, this means that any sincere Muslim in America or in any non-Muslim country cannot be loyal to the government because his loyalty is only to Islam and the Imam in his Mosque. Yet we are electing these people into our government on the false assumption that when they take the oath of loyalty they are in fact loyal. This is totally false.

It is also worth noting that a Muslim can take an oath on the Qur’an and still lie (5:89) if it furthers the objectives of Islam, which is the overthrow of all non-Islamic governments. This means that any practicing Muslim elected to any government office can take the oath of office without committing a sin and is under no obligation to remain loyal to the government that he serves, because his first loyalty is to Islam – meaning people like Al Sadr, Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden, etc. The Qur’an specifically states (5:14) that Christians are the specific enemies of Islam and this is the word of God.

In spite of what is clearly written in the Qur’an the Media, the Congress, and the politically correct continue to view the “insurgents” and “freedom fighters’ not as Muslims on Jihad against Christendom, but as Muslim “extremists” who can be handled if we just tried to understand them and treat “mainstream” Islam with kindness and understanding. This shows an almost childlike naiveté because these so called “extremists” ARE mainstream Islam and they are reading the Qur’an just as it is written. They feed on hate, they are dedicated to the destruction of all infidels, the elimination of everything not found in the Qur’an, which includes virtually all science, education, freedom, and democracy plus the subjugation of women.

Why can our troops not gain the support of the average Iraqi? Because if they are true Muslims then the Qur’an 4:89 specifically forbids them to befriend any non-Muslim and to kill them if they are aggressive – read soldiers.

The time has long past for the West – not just America – to abandon these illogical politically correct beliefs about Islam and begin to take positive action. This means deportation of anyone in a country illegally. Monitor all Mosques for seditious talk and when discovered to charge the Imams with treason and close the Mosque and to install profiling so that these Muslims can be watched. Watch all financial transactions and to suppress Hamas and all Muslim charities who send money overseas to any country. To tell any country that harbors anyone who attacks the US that we regard that as an act of war and to take action against them on that basis. This means an immediate action against Syria, Iran, and Gaza. We are engaged in another Crusade, we are at war with Islam and the Muslims have said so, it is about time that we actually listen to what they are saying and take appropriate action.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


It seems the party of white guilt has caught Obama Fever – apparently in the vain hope this is a remedy for the Bush Disorder Syndrome, which is characterized by irrational thinking and sometimes by hallucinations regarding facts. Dan Rather succumbed to BDS, so clearly the remainder of the Democratic Party is attempting to recover their sanity by pushing Obama – the fact that he has virtually no qualifications other than his race, seems to be lost in the rush for a cure to BDS.

From the time of his announcement that he was a candidate for President the media has showered him with fulsome praise to the point that one would think he was the second coming of Jesus, but then the radical left doesn’t believe in God much less Jesus, so Obama must be viewed as simply the hero of the hour. Of course hero here is a relative term because the Presidential wannabe has no military experience and is calling for a complete surrender to Al Qaeda, so his heroism seems to be restricted to waving the white flag. So what precisely makes Obama so popular with the left – other than his color and Muslim roots?

Well the media fawn over Obama because of his eloquence, but eloquence really only describes the quality of the delivery not the content, and Obama is certainly slick in his delivery. In his announcement speech Obama stated without hesitation that he firmly believes in “the basic decency of the American People”. Very heady and controversial stuff which certainly sets him apart from most of the Liberals who are rushing to prove how tolerant they are by supporting a black (semi) Muslim.. Unfortunately, while this controversial stand regarding the decency of the American people may distinguish him from the other Democratic candidates, it sort of places him right in the middle of the Republicans, who generally – and I’m not making this up—believe America and Americans are good and decent people.
But Senator Obama went on to condemn the “smallness” in our politics, but precisely what he meant by that isn’t clear. Perhaps this was his eloquent way of saying those people who believe in “small government” shouldn’t vote for me because I am firmly convinced that government should be big and the bigger the better. Of course, he may have meant that there is a certain “pettiness” in contemporary politics, which is certainly true but since most of his Liberal constituency is directly responsible for all of the sniping and mud slinging, he prudently left this a little vague. Courage requires honesty, nevertheless Obama forthrightly decried "a smallness of our politics" -- deftly slipping a sword into the sides of the smallness-in-politics advocates. (To his credit, he somehow avoided saying, "My fellow Americans, size does matter.")
Continuing in his forthright and controversial vein, he took a strong stand against the anti-hope crowd, saying: "There are those who don't believe in talking about hope." Take that, Hillary! But he didn’t stop there, no-siree bob – he underscored his courageous stand by continuing with "I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness in this -- a certain audacity -- to this announcement." Naturally this was a stunning statement that truly impressed the media who are hungry for any controversial morsel, but those of us who are harder to impress were also stunned by Obama’s courageous stand in favor of hope. What stunned the less gullible was what is so audacious about announcing that you're running for president? Any idiot can run for president and many do. Dennis Kucinich is perpetually running for president as is Ralph Nader. Even John Kerry ran for president and Al Gore aka the Goreacle actually got elected Vice President, proving that anyone can be elected. Today, all you have to do is suggest a date by which U.S. forces in Iraq should surrender, and you're officially a Democratic candidate for president.
Obama made his announcement surrounded by hundreds of adoring Democratic voters, who were mostly the reporters. However, to be fair one or two of these reporters actually attended Mitt Romney’s announcement, but they were more interested in seeing a live Mormon and interviewing his wives, who unfortunately turned out be just one wife. But Mormonism lacks the cachet that the controversial Barrack Hussein Obama brings with his Muslim roots, his blackness, and his penchant for saying penetrating and moving statements as he endorses the American People and takes a firm stand in favor of decency. He electrifies the crowd of adoring reporters and other Democratic loyalists by telling us he's brave for announcing that he's running for president and if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. However, to prove that he is really a serious candidate and in an effort to turn his inexperience into an asset, he went on to say: "I know that I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change." The reporters all swooned at this so they missed the great tagline delivered by Jesse Jackson “What did he say?”

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Dawkins Delusion

The rise of militant atheism is getting a great deal of press and Richard Dawkins who has authored the book “The God Delusion” is rapidly achieving the position as the spokesman for this movement. In the interest of full disclosure I have not read his book but a summary of his comments appear on this WEB page:

In his interview Dawkins is asked “Why are you against faith?” His response is that he is a person who cares about the truth and that religion is virtually impervious from criticism in our politically correct society. It is his opinion that religion – any religion – is illogical. What goes unsaid here is that his total rejection of any idea of a supreme being requires the same level of faith as the believing and perhaps more. Science has only been able to speculate on the origins of life much less the origin of the species. Evolution is a theory that is on increasingly shaky ground and any belief in it as stated by Darwin requires an increasing level of faith. Even if you believe in the "Big Bang” which in itself requires some level of faith, you are still left with the question of where did it come from and what was the initiating force. The current scientific beliefs on this subject are just as illogical as believing in God.

Certainly Dawkins is correct in his position that certain topics seem to be immune in today’s politically correct society from criticism, but he neglects to point out that one of those forbidden topics is Evolution, the Magical Creation of Life, and that multi-culturalism is bad.

When asked how he describes the billions of people who believe in God, he responds in the most condescending way. Dawkins feels they are “harmless” but that they carry the “virus” of faith. He classifies faith as a virus because it cannot be demonstrated through the scientific methodology. However, he once again neglects to point out that the effects of side smoke, Evolution, and the origin of life have never been scientifically demonstrated either so his belief in “science” requires the same level of blind faith as a belief in God.

Of course there are many scientists today are coming to the conclusion that God cannot be denied, but Dawkins simply dismisses them as being wrong, illogically religious, and people capable of compartmentalizing their life. Perhaps he should look into a mirror because he offers no real answer to this question and once again demonstrates the shallowness of his own position.

Dawkins then goes on to reject religion as the basis for morality in our society and states that atheists like everyone else including those who believe in God, derive their morality from the environment in which we live, not any religion. Morality is derived from newspapers, movies, novels, and parents but Dawkins does graciously admit that religion “might have a minor role to play in it”. Dawkins overlooks the Ten Commandments which certainly are older than the New York Times. He equates morality to equality of women, anti-slavery and points out that these moral grounds are recent. What relevance that has is not obvious because morality is indeed driven by society but then there is a moral foundation that is found in all societies and this universality of belief is ignored by Dawkins – primarily that murder is wrong.

When this point about not killing your neighbors is raised to Dawkins he responds by shifting to an attack on Christianity and both the Old and New Testaments, with a glancing blow to the Qur’an. He really doesn’t answer this question but instead points out that the God described in the Old Testament isn’t a “good” God, but the God in the New Testament is better and that the Qur’an (which he doesn’t mention by name) calls for the killing of Infidels. In effect Dawkins seems to say that the scriptures themselves violate the very moral principles they are supposed to advocate. An interesting point but then its relevance isn’t clear because the morality taught by all religions is practiced every day by billions who accept God as he identifies Himself in many ways.

The supreme irony here is that Dawkins when pressed does admit that while God “almost certainly does not exist” he would accept his existence given scientific proof. The irony of course is that he is willing to accept Evolution, the origination of life by chance, and the creation of the universe without any scientific proof but denies God’s existence on that same basis. The ridiculousness of his argument is highlighted by his statement that “to believe in an unlikely event or a deity only because we cannot disprove it sounds foolish”, which of course is his precise position with his blind faith in science, which has yet to prove Evolution (as opposed to adaptation) or even the effects of side smoke, of the source of global warming, much less the Permian Explosion of life. None of these is supported by any scientific proof other than scientific specultion.

Dawkins then raises the point that if you believe in a God capable of creating the Universe, then THAT God would have had to have a creator. Of course this is a good point and it is addressed in the Jewish Kabbalah, but it is too complex of a response to address here. But he goes on to say that Darwin explains how simple life forms evolve into complex ones. Of course Darwin never addressed how species come to be but only addressed how a species adapts to its environment. Neither Darwin nor Evolution can explain the Permian Explosion nor how a species develops, other to call on the magic of mutation, but no scientific evidence is provided -- just faith. In fact the Law of Entropy is another point that goes unaddressed when talking about how simple things become complex.

In the end it would seem that Dawkins real motivation is power. He appears to be attempting to organize atheists into a group as large as any other religious group who can then lobby on behalf of a “God-Neutral political view" for a better balanced world. How not believing in God would help society is not addressed or how it would bring it into “balance” is not noted. In fact, in listening to Dawkins it becomes very clear that he is just as religious in his blind faith in science as most people are in their belief in God. Dawkins search for the truth seems to be determined by his personal opinion regarding what is true and what is not – in short he has as much faith in faith based science as those who believe in a God have in God based science.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Management characteristics and Leadership – The Basics

The most basic ingredient of successful management is leadership, but precisely what leadership is, is very difficult to describe. Leadership is like panache, sophistication, or charisma, easy to say and generally understood in context but almost impossible to describe. Everyone seems to have their own understanding and description of leadership but an excellent and succinct summary of leadership can be found in the Walt Disney movie, “A Bugs Life”. Here the arch villain Hopper, explains to the Ant Princess that the “first rule of leadership is you (the leader) are always at fault”. True, this is a somewhat negative view of leadership but nevertheless, it does summarize the absolute fundamental of leadership in one simple sentence. The leader is always responsible for the result, good or bad. But as any leader can tell you, if the results are good it is due to the efforts of those being led but if the results are bad, it is the leader’s fault alone. Consequently, leadership is really a test of courage, the courage to make a decision and to accept the responsibility of that decision regardless of the outcome. And as simple as it may sound this courage to make a decision and to accept sole responsibility is what distinguishes a leader from the pack.

The words, courage and bravery are not words that one ordinarily associates with business leaders. Usually these are reserved for individuals engaged in activities that involve physical danger, but any manager who has been confronted with decisions that jeopardize their career or their company, knows the heart stopping fear associated with them. However, not all business decisions involve grave risk any more than decisions made by police officers or firemen involve personal danger. But there is always the possibility that something unexpected may happen and it is this uncertainty of the outcome that requires the courage to act.

Once we reflect on the qualities of leadership, we recognize that the term leadership is bandied about rather carelessly. We find that the media has designated various people as religious leaders, political leaders, school leaders, and even business leaders. Unfortunately, when we are asked to describe precisely what makes these people leaders, most of us are rather unsure. In fact, in most cases if these people were stripped of their position and title, they would not immediately jump to mind as leaders. This does not mean that they are not leaders or have no leadership skills, in fact many do, but it underscores the problem many of us have in distinguishing leadership from position and title. The basic assumption seems to be that if a person holds a position of authority they are ipso facto a leader! Yet the history books are filled with individuals who were kings, presidents, prime ministers, and even generals who are mainly remembered for their ineptitude and lack of leadership skill. Therefore, personal wealth, titles, or hierarchical position is not, in its self, a determinant of a person’s leadership. And this brings us to the very fundamental question of “what distinguishes a leader from everyone else?”

According to the military, a group which has studied leadership for a very long time, leaders are distinguished by certain character traits that seem to have disappeared or have fallen into disuse. Words like integrity, loyalty, courage, and just are used to describe leaders but somehow the very meanings of these words seem to have been diminished as we view what passes for leaders today. Much of this decline can be traced to the routine application of the term leader to anyone who occupies a position with a title. This can be seen everywhere, from popularly elected politicians (popularity is not indicative of leadership), to senior executives, to team leaders at the threshold of the management chain. Admittedly all of these people should be leaders but as we all know many are not and few seem to display those character traits listed above, that distinguish a leader.

In fact the leaders today, especially those who hold elective office, are pale shadows of pale shadows of the leaders of old. A good example of this was the sign on Harry Truman’s desk in the Oval Office, “The Buck Stops Here”. How many politicians or CEO’s today are willing to step up and accept total responsibility? Remember it was President Truman who rebutted a critic by pointing out that “if you don’t like what I am doing don’t vote for me!” This kind of response coming from any politician today would be unthinkable.

The very essence of leadership is the willingness to make the tough, unambiguous choices that will have an impact on the fate of the organization and to assume responsibility for the result, without excuses or attempts to off load the blame on to some else or an external event. It is the courage to make these “you bet your job” decisions that sets the leader apart from those who want to be leaders but flinch from this responsibility. As we examine out current political landscape it would be useful to compare these political leaders in terms of their commitment, candor, moral courage, truthfulness, and integrity. When this measure is applied the decline of leadership in those who term themselves, leaders become very apparent.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Critical Thinking - Death of

At one time critical thinking was one of the primary lessons learned as an undergraduate. This was taught in a variety of ways but was always viewed as a fundamental learning technique. The rationale was that in order to learn one must think and thinking must be disciplined because undisciplined thinking led to poor learning while a disciplined and structured approach led to better thinking and thus better learning. Good teachers cultivate critical thinking and encourage it in their classrooms frequently using the Socratic Method of questioning and some common questions are:

a) What did the text say or what was meant?
b) What is the source of your information?
c) How did you arrive at that conclusion?
d) What assumptions have you made or what assumptions were made by the author?
e) Are there alternate interpretations?
f) So why is this relevant?

This form of thinking lies at the heart of the “Scientific Method” which rests on these basic facts. These are “Observation” – the phenomena or topic of inquiry must be observed. The second is “Description” so that data presented to describe the phenomena must be repeatable and pertinent. “Prediction” is third so that the data must be consistent through time and the phenomena predictable. The fourth is “Control” meaning that the data sample must be across all possible occurrences and not dependent on selected or opportunistic data. The purpose of this step is to prevent falsification – intentional or unintentional – of data in support of the original postulation. This means that a “theory” must remain a “theory” until there is a sufficient body of evidence that demonstrates the postulation and allows for a predictable result in every case.

Alas this seems to be where the educational system has gone astray because increasingly the classroom has become a bastion of “belief” rather than a center of skepticism. This begins with what is perhaps the most egregious example of “belief” rather than “science” and this is “Evolution”.
This debate began with Charles Darwin’s “Theory of Evolution” as described in his seminal work “The Origin of the Species”. The first problem of course is that Darwin’s book did not address or describe the origin of species, it simply described how existing species “adapted” to their environment. At the time of it’s publication critical thinking was alive and well in the universities and there was widespread skepticism at the time about his conclusions. Darwin himself established criteria that must be met in order for his theory to be proven. To date none of those requirements have been met. Yet “Evolution” is taught in the classroom as a fact and any questioning or critical analysis of this is not permitted. This is a vivid example of how critical thinking is rapidly approaching extinction in our universities.

Most recently there is the issue of “Global Warming”. While the reality of global warming is really not questioned, the debate on causation –as allowed in the classroom – is restricted to human activity. Data from climatologists is dismissed as irrelevant and popular opinions, none of which meet the test of scientific investigation as outlined above. Another example of how critical thinking is being abandoned by our educators in favor of “belief”. However, while these are two of the most obvious examples they are not the only ones.

Perhaps the one that has most impacted our society is that of “side smoke” or “environmental tobacco smoke”. It is widely reported that anywhere from thousands to millions of people die each year from the effects of “side smoke” yet there is not a shred of empirical evidence to support this belief. The entire foundation for this conclusion rests on “statistics” but even these statistics – such as they are – are highly suspect because their source is not disclosed and not disclosed for a very good reason. No death certificate has ever read – cause of death – side smoke. These statistics are almost always couched in terms of “smoking related” but then the statistics almost by definition are suspect because everybody dies of something and virtually everyone on the planet has been exposed to side smoke in some form. Therefore, every death on the planet can be ascribed to “smoking related”. However, does anyone challenge these figures? No - -because students are taught to believe what they are told and not to think for themselves.

But then we get into the metaphysical realm, where challenge is certainly not encouraged. In spite of numerous examples and scientific studies, life after death is not accepted nor discussed, even though it meets enough of the scientific method to at least qualify as a theory. It must be remembered that all reasoning has a purpose and all too frequently the reasoning in our classrooms is aimed at conversion or indoctrination to a belief rather than leading to an independent conclusion. Educated people, schooled in critical thinking cannot be stampeded or swayed by demagogues or those given to flawed and fallacious thinking, so it is no surprise that critical thinking is dying in our bastions of learning where the objective no longer seems to be education but the espousal of belief.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Pathetic Science

There are many engineers and scientists who labor in the bowels of corporations who generally remain anonymous and rarely publish anything because they are there to create a competitive edge and profits for their employers. Then we have the “popular” scientists who inhabit the halls of academia and who regularly publish articles describing their latest scientific finding with great fanfare. These “findings” usually run along the lines of “Scientist discovers a link between Twisted Tail Porcupine Poop and marriage”. It seems that women who regularly apply Porcupine Poop to their bodies have an 82% chance of not becoming pregnant. Of course they have a 90% chance of not having any male come within smelling distance but like most of these “scientific discoveries” based on statistics salient facts are left out and thus it is with the latest finding coming out of Academic Science.

The academic scientific community is losing all credibility as they move from empirical science and the scientific method to data mining and statistics. But worse than this shift from science to data sampling is the insufferable arrogance and supercilious air that characterizes the academic scientists. Challenges to their beliefs are no longer accepted and foremost among these beliefs is the denial of a supreme being. Science is becoming more and more of a religion with its practitioners expected to embrace it uncritically and with complete faith. This attitude is most commonly associated with Evolution which is no longer viewed by these scientists as a “theory” but as a “fact” even though all of their evidence is simply evidence of adaptation and not evolution in the sense that a new species is created. But most recently we have the popular science academics all in a lather about “global warming (or cooling depending on the year)” What they ignore in their rush to judgment is that no one denies that global warming is a reality, the dispute is over the cause. The scientists who actually study climate and climate changes are ignored while scientists in other fields are being quoted by the popular press as if they knew what they were talking about.

Now the academic scientific community has managed to combine their denial of God, their overweening arrogance, and total acceptance of Evolution into one finding, and THAT is that a belief in a supreme being is the result of Evolution. Washington University Anthropologist Pascal Boyer in his drive to determine why people who seem otherwise perfectly rational choose to believe in God rather than the more rational non-belief of atheism, has concluded that this characteristic is the result of Evolution. Indeed, he and a gaggle of other atheistic scientists have written a variety of books debunking God. These books include such provocative titles as “The God Delusion”, “The End of Faith”, “Breaking the Spell”, and my personal favorite “God is NOT Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”. These books and these “scientists” view faith in God as some sort of mental flaw or aberration, but fail to see their blind faith in (non-empirical) science as tantamount to the same thing. Faith based science seems very like faith based religion and both require total belief with each denying any facts or evidence presented by the other group.

Boyer takes the position that even though he is an atheist his objective is not to debunk God but simply to present his findings, which sound more like opinions than facts. The academic community believed that as civilization advanced and societies based on science became the norm, religion would disappear, but surprisingly this hasn’t happened and approximately 97% of the population continues to persist in their irrational belief in God. Therefore, the only logical conclusion according to these atheists, is that a belief in God is some sort of Evolutionary defense mechanism. That this belief in a supreme being provides a framework for social behavior – such as working together and fighting off enemies, that allows individuals to survive in a hostile environment and it extends the life expectancy of the group and individuals within that group. This latter point was based on a study of Mormons in Utah but the scientists do admit that this correlation between belief in God and longevity among the Mormons might also be attributed to their relatively healthy lifestyle, which includes no alcohol (not even the highly touted red wine so dear to the hearts of many academics), tobacco, drugs, and unmarried sex. In effect this was not an unflawed study.

What seems to have escaped Boyer and his fellow atheists is that if their theory is correct and that a belief in God is driven by evolution, then there can only be two logical conclusions. One is that those who believe must be higher on the Evolutionary scale than those who don’t believe. Or alternatively the atheists among us are more highly evolved because they no longer require the approval of others, teamwork, or cooperation with the society, and they can exist as totally independent entities. It is fairly obvious which of these alternatives the scientists believe, but they seem to ignore that if Evolution is not a theory but a fact, then we are in fact highly developed animals. In the animal world, those individuals who are different, flawed, or unusual are shunned, driven from the group and ultimately die off leaving the gene pool cleansed of the deviants. therefore, it would be the atheists who are deviant and would be eliminated by natural selection. Their small number would seem to bear this out.

These scientists are so driven by their religion of atheism, that they are blinded by the illogic of their position. They ignore the first singularity that initiated the big bang, they ignore all of the findings of Quantum Physics, they ignore all metaphysical studies like near death experiences, but instead postulate a position and a conclusion that God doesn’t exist without offering any facts in support of their belief. I am reminded of the famous graffiti “God is Dead – Nietzsche” “Nietzsche is Dead – God”

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Hell, Near Death, and Science

At this point it seems that we know that the origin of life was a random event brought about by the chance collision of various atoms, that the diversity of life is the result of evolutionary processes, and God is simply an invention by the credible and ignorant. We also know that Heaven and Hell are also inventions of man no matter how ancient the concepts and finally, we know that the resurrection of Jesus and his bodily ascent into Heaven were not only impossible but the whole idea borders on the laughable. But then Quantum Physics enters the picture and this beautiful picture so carefully constructed by scientists begins to wobble like a bobble head in a storm, as the need for a first cause manifests itself, followed by the uncertainty of atoms, photons, and other particles that make up our reality. Then there is the growing body of evidence that not only are we – Homo Sapiens – pure energy but that we – that is our ego’s – persist after clinical death.

The research into these Near-Death-Experiences (NDE’s) certainly indicate that our physical bodies are very analogous to a coat that merely houses us for a short period and that is cast off at death but the person wearing the coat survives in an energetic form. At this point, it seems certain that this survival or apparent survival is not the result of any psychological, physiological, or pharmacological process. But not unexpectedly, this conclusion raises even more perplexing questions. For example it has always been believed but not proven that consciousness and memories are localized in the brain and that thoughts or consciousness are produced by groups of neurons or neuronal networks, that is these functions are brain dependent and that these cannot exist without a brain. However, during a period of clinical death the brain function ceases and the EEG is flat, yet those people who have experienced an NDE retain memories and accurately describe events occurring around them during this period of clinical death, in effect they continue to function without an operable brain. For the moment let’s assume that recent research indicates that life does indeed continue after the death of the body but that it exists in an altered and energetic form.

Therefore, if we assume that life continues after clinical death that only answers one question while posing many others. In one study only 18% of the people in the study reported some recollection of events after clinical death and in another study only 10% reported an NDE, while 82% had no recollection of any event during clinical death. In those cases where an NDE occurs the overwhelming majority are positive but a percentage (1% to 15%) report negative experiences and within this group a small percentage report seeing demons or similar negative images. However, there does not seem to be any correlation between the person’s life experience and the positive or negative NDE and it those cases where a person has had multiple NDE’s some have been positive and others negative. In effect these people who have had an NDE experience that might be described as Heaven and Hell so what about Heaven and Hell?

Based on research mankind has had a belief in an afterlife since before written history but Heaven and Hell are relatively recent man made concepts, especially Hell with its colorful assortment of imps, devils, and demons. If these are not creations of God, and they appear to not be, then why do people experience them? More importantly, why do 82% not experience anything during clinical death? Furthermore, some comment on meeting Jesus during these experiences. Why Jesus? Why not Buddha, Mohammed, or even Zeus, why Jesus? Is this because that person expected to meet Jesus in the afterlife or is this an example of the inherent “rightness” of Christianity? And of course there is “Hell” which is even more of a human creation than Heaven. Where precisely is Heaven and why would at least some of the NDE’s experience what cannot only be described as “classic Hell”? Are these experiences based on the expectation of the person or are they reflections of the “real” afterlife? Probably we will never know although as research into NDE’s continues it is possible some patterns or correlations may emerge.

While many questions remain and not everyone who experiences clinical death has an NDE, it seems that there is growing evidence that we live in a physical world but a world of illusion. The entire universe is made up of identical protons, neutrons, and electrons, which combine to form what we perceive as our physical reality, but this reality – like the particles – is pure energy – in effect an energetic interconnected field that might be described as a thought projection. This physical reality is time driven but time itself is an illusion and is used solely as a framework for our individual and collective experience. Within this physical – mass oriented – reality we exist as physical beings but that existence is part of the illusion. We are in fact, energetic beings who exist independent of our bodies and of time – in effect we are eternal and our bodies disposable. We may visit the Earth Plane many many times, but death is really a rebirth into another plane of existence.

And this brings us back to the resurrection of Jesus. There are really two parts to this question, the first, can you die and be brought back to life and the second can you be transported physically to Heaven? I think the first question is a self-evident yes, because that is essentially what an NDE is, so yes Jesus could have died and been brought back to life in his physical body. This leaves us with the physical body of Jesus and could it be transported to Heaven? Let’s assume that Heaven is actually a different plane of existence, the one that we experience after death, then yes Jesus could have been transported there. If our bodies are pure energy then the physical body could leave by dropping its mass form and transform itself into pure energy – like light. So while the resurrection of Jesus may never be proven one way or another, it does seem possible. Furthermore, we do indeed appear to be energetic beings, with a soul and a life eternal.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Resurrection and Life After Death

Life after death has always been a controversial topic and it doesn’t show any indication of being resolved anytime soon. Atheists and by implication evolutionists believe that life on Earth is a random event driven various magical processes like mutation and accidental combinations. For these people death is the end, the body dies, the ego vanishes, and the body rots. This means life has no purpose, no objective, and no motivation to live a moral and just life. Not very inspiring but nevertheless a belief held by many people. However, there are those who truly believe in life after death, that each person has a soul that survives physical death, and that rewards and punishments exist for each soul in the afterlife. Recently, various people, some being scientists, have studied “near death experiences” and have arrived at the conclusion that there is indeed an existence after clinical death. This belief in an after life is widespread and goes back even beyond recorded history and the concept of reincarnation was part of early Christian belief. With the canonization of the Bible, various beliefs were eliminated and reincarnation was one of them. Apparently, the resurrection of Jesus was felt to be sufficient proof of life after death, but of course this presupposes that the resurrection did in fact occur as described.

There is no doubt that Jesus was a real person and contemporary writings state that he was crucified. Of course the only other details are provided by the Bible and not any independent source. According to the Bible, Jesus was not only crucified but that he predicted his death and his resurrection. Witnesses, quoted in the Bible, state that he was crucified and a Roman soldier pierced his side with a lance. It is also noted that he asked for and was given “gall” which has been described as being various things ranging from vinegar to a soporific. It is also worth noting that the number of witnesses was small, so there was no large crowd. Pilate demanded proof that Jesus was dead and posted a guard at his tomb to insure the body was not taken.

At this point the story takes on a very bizarre twist because Jesus was declared dead and buried but after three days the tomb was found open, the shroud intact, and the body of Jesus missing. How the stone sealing the tomb got moved is said to have been accomplished by “angels”, but the Essenes were known to have referred to various members as angels so these mortal angels are probably the ones who opened the tomb, but what about Jesus? We can consider several possibilities. First, that some one other than Jesus was crucified. While this is possible it seems rather farfetched because Jesus was kept under guard and substituting a volunteer would have been exceedingly difficult. Secondly, Jesus was in fact executed and the body taken away and hidden. The ten subsequent sightings of Jesus in the flesh would then have been the imposter. This is possible but would have been hard to accomplish because the witnesses knew Jesus very well and would have been able to spot someone pretending to be Jesus. The third alternative and most probable is that the “cup of gall” was in fact a soporific, the lance wound superficial (and premeditated), and Jesus was revived and spirited away.

Of course the fourth alternative is that Jesus did in fact die and was in fact resurrected in the flesh and carried bodily to heaven. This view of the resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity and was probably easier to accept when “heaven” was viewed as a physical place located “up there”. But given what we know about the universe today, heaven as a physical place is much harder to accept and thus we are still left with the body of Jesus and the question that if we die and live eternally after death, where is Jesus today?

There are several things that raise questions regarding this entire story. First, crucifixion was not a punishment handed out to everyone but was generally reserved for enemies of Rome. Pilate, resisted punishing Jesus and was coerced into it by the Sanhedrin, so it is possible that he imposed the crucifixion penalty in order to pacify the Jews, but what about the thieves? Was thievery a crime against Rome? A more plausible explanation is that Pilate did in fact see Jesus as a rebel leader and an enemy of Rome and that the thieves were in fact also rebels. This would then explain why Pilate demanded proof Jesus was dead and why a Roman guard was posted at the grave site. But what happened to these guards? How long were they there? If they were still there three days later, why didn’t they see the tombstone move, the grave open, and Jesus walk out? Most likely the soldiers were already gone – if they were there at all. The entire description of the resurrection lies in the Bible and the only independent accounts merely note that Jesus was crucified. It would seem even today, that if a criminal was executed, certified dead, buried, and then was resurrected, it would be headline news, yet no Roman source even mentions that Jesus was seen alive after his death or that even he was believed to have escaped death.

Jesus was seen in the flesh ten times after his death and urged his disciples to touch him – indicating that he was in fact alive, warm, in the flesh, and not a ghost. This seems like incontrovertible proof that if this did in fact happen, Jesus did in fact not die on the cross. The Bible is not a very reliable source of information because it was canonized in the fourth century and was heavily edited. Therefore, the entire resurrection story remains unproven and relies on faith, not facts. But the fact that the resurrection of Jesus is rather suspect doesn’t make eternal life false. Indeed, the disciples were simple uneducated men who may have had a difficult time grasping eternal life or life after death without some sort of proof, which Jesus may have arranged.

While the Bible stories may be more fiction than fact, the reality is that life after death has been an aspect of religion since the advent of man. Recent studies indicate that there does appear to be eternal life and that our physical bodies are mere shells for the people we really are. We do indeed move from a physical to spiritual state and back again. We may not be resurrected in the physical body but we do continue in spirit until we choose to manifest yet again on this physical plane.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Recently a book was published titled “Freakonomics” which was a joint effort between a University of Chicago Professor Steven Levitt and a reporter Stephen Dubner. The authors pose six questions and then provide answers by mining data from various sources. Of course the problem with data mining is the same as mining minerals, all that glitters is not gold and data can be selected to provide a desired conclusion just as ore samples can be selected to provide a higher value to the raw material. But the fact that this manipulation is possible doesn’t mean it was intentional or that the resulting conclusions are wrong – it just means that some skepticism might be useful in evaluating the conclusions. Levitt’s position is that “teachers and criminals and real estate agents may lie, and politicians and even CIA analysts, but numbers don’t?” Of course anyone who has ever actually done data mining or statistical analysis knows full well that numbers CAN lie and frequently do, global warming (cooling) being a recent example of how data can be selected and interpreted to arrive at a desired conclusion.

Initially Levitt and Dubner address incentives and their impact which frequently is opposite of what is intended. The first case they address is actually a negative incentive in the form of a penalty for parents who pick up their child after the agreed upon time. Before the penalty was enacted there were approximately 8 late pickups per week but after the penalty was instituted the number of late pick-ups increased to 20 per week – the exact opposite of what was intended. As it turned out the late fee was simply too small because it was less than the current cost of baby-sitting. Had the penalty been substantial it probably would have worked.

Another example of social action and reaction cited by Levitt and Dubner was the sudden disappearance of seven million children. It seems that when the IRS demanded a social security number for every child claimed as a dependent the number of children suddenly declined because the alleged parents were cheating on their taxes. This of course is an example of a successful incentive. But Levitt and Dubner started their analysis by posing the question “What do schoolteachers and Sumo wrestlers have in common?” The answer turned out to be that they both cheat – the conclusion reached by Levitt was that incentives for teachers and Sumo wrestlers are structured so that they are encouraged to cheat.

All three of these are examples of “The Law of Unintended Consequences”, but is the data used to perform the analysis correct? If we assume that the data is in fact correct and the conclusions accurate, then why was the analysis done on schoolteachers and not on taxation? The reality is that historically high taxes do not generate higher revenues for governments but do in fact result in less revenue while tax reductions generate higher revenues. This has been demonstrated repeatedly since the Roman Empire and as of this writing the unemployment rate is at an all time low and the stock market at an all time high. However, this type of analysis and logical conclusion would have been counter to the prevailing view in academia and the media that the Bush tax cuts were favors to his rich friends and not good for everyone else. In fact there seems to be a veiled subtext running throughout this book that supports the liberal view.

In the analysis of what the Klu Klux Klan and Real Estate brokers have in common, the objective is supposed to be how information and the control of it can and does influence decisions. This is really not very surprising since sound decisions are based on having good information. However, in this case the authors show how the use of adjectives and adverbs is used to sway opinion and how businessmen are essentially dishonest. For examples he uses Enron, Insurance Companies, and Real Estate Brokers and compares them to the Klu Klux Klan. Naturally the Klan is more emotionally charged than say – ABC, NBC, or CNN -- who routinely slant their reports with emotionally laden words. This does not mean that the data present is false or that the conclusions are wrong, but just as one Robin does not make a Spring neither does one dishonest individual or company mean that ALL business people are dishonest or that all insurance companies are crooked. This is the flaw throughout this book, it implies things that are not true and is actually a veiled attack on business and the free market.

Riding to the rescue is John Lott, another economist from academia, including the University of Chicago current home of Steven Levitt. Lott takes the position in his book “FREEDOMnomics, that not only is FREAKonomics a pile of rubbish, it is a veiled attack on the free market and business in general. Lott points out that the assertion that the Klan is like a group of Real Estate agents who use “fear” to take advantage of others is beyond the rhetorical boundaries of taste if not accuracy. In fact Lott dissects the example used by Levitt and Dubner and demonstrates that while it might have been an actual example, their analysis of the motivation and result is a simplistic view of the data and a more detailed analysis would show their conclusions to be incorrect and the reality to be completely opposite.

Lott goes on to cite example after example of how the liberal tendency to root for the underdog and to blame corporations for the bad judgment of plaintiffs cost individuals and society a great deal more than the liberals realize. Liberal empathy is not rooted in hard analysis but is driven by emotion. As an example Lott cites the judgment against Wyeth Labs over a girl who contacted polio two weeks after receiving the vaccine, even though it was demonstrated in court that the girl had contacted polio PRIOR to receiving the vaccine. The upshot was that the court decided against Wyeth in sympathy for the little girl but Wyeth had to raise its prices for the vaccine thus causing other little girls to not receive the vaccine because it was now too expensive. Lott cites multiple examples of these decisions that reward an individual or a small group at the expense of everyone else.

In his examination of crime and the death penalty Levitt states “ It is hard to believe that fear of execution would be a driving force in a rational criminal’s calculus in modern America”. Perhaps this comparison is the most illustrative of the pitfalls of data mining and the liberal's tendency to substitute rigorous analysis for a superficial one that supports a desired outcome . The initial comparison showed that the murder rates between states that had capital punishment and those that didn’t showed that it was ineffective in reducing murder. Actually 10 of the 12 states without capital punishment have homicide rates BELOW the national average. At first glance this would seem to bear out the proposition that the death penalty was an ineffective deterrent. What is NOT stated is that these states have historically had lower murder rates than the national average so the statistics cited by Levitt and Dubner were not meaningful because they did not rely on a common factual basis.

During the years 1968 to 1976 when the death penalty was suspended nationwide, these 12 states had a lower murder rate than the national average. However, when the death penalty was reinstated those states that reintroduced it had a 38% drop in their murder rates. This statistic paints a very different picture than the one painted by Levitt.

These are both very interesting books and worthwhile reading but both are based on statistics and anything based on statistics is highly suspicious.