Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sometimes the Good Guys re-write history to show that they're Good Guys.


Mr. I. Michael Heyman
The Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C. 20560
July 31, 1995

Dear Secretary Heyman:

Testifying before a House subcommittee on March 10, 1995, you promised that when you finally unveiled the Enola Gay exhibit, "I am just going to report the facts."[1]

Unfortunately, the Enola Gay exhibit contains a text which goes far beyond the facts. The critical label at the heart of the exhibit makes the following assertions:
  • The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki "destroyed much of the two cities and caused many tens of thousands of deaths." This substantially understates the widely accepted figure that at least 200,000 men, women and children were killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Official Japanese records calculate a figure of more than 200,000 deaths--the vast majority of victims being women, children and elderly men.)[2]
  • "However," claims the Smithsonian, "the use of the bombs led to the immediate surrender of Japan and made unnecessary the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands." Presented as fact, this sentence is actually a highly contentious interpretation. For example, an April 30, 1946 study by the War Department's Military Intelligence Division concluded, "The war would almost certainly have terminated when Russia entered the war against Japan."[3] (The Soviet entry into the war on August 8th is not even mentioned in the exhibit as a major factor in the Japanese surrender.) And it is also a fact that even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed, the Japanese still insisted that Emperor Hirohito be allowed to remain emperor as a condition of surrender. Only when that assurance was given did the Japanese agree to surrender. This was precisely the clarification of surrender terms that many of Truman's own top advisors had urged on him in the months prior to Hiroshima. This, too, is a widely known fact.[4]
  • The Smithsonian's label also takes the highly partisan view that, "It was thought highly unlikely that Japan, while in a very weakened military condition, would have surrendered unconditionally without such an invasion." Nowhere in the exhibit is this interpretation balanced by other views. Visitors to the exhibit will not learn that many U.S. leaders--including Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower[5], Admiral William D. Leahy[6], War Secretary Henry L. Stimson[7], Acting Secretary of State Joseph C. Grew[8] and Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy[9]--thought it highly probable that the Japanese would surrender well before the earliest possible invasion, scheduled for November 1945. It is spurious to assert as fact that obliterating Hiroshima in August was needed to obviate an invasion in November. This is interpretation--the very thing you said would be banned from the exhibit.
  • In yet another label, the Smithsonian asserts as fact that "Special leaflets were then dropped on Japanese cities three days before a bombing raid to warn civilians to evacuate." The very next sentence refers to the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, implying that the civilian inhabitants of Hiroshima were given a warning. In fact, no evidence has ever been uncovered that leaflets warning of atomic attack were dropped on Hiroshima. Indeed, the decision of the Interim Committee was "that we could not give the Japanese any warning."[10]
  • In a 16 minute video film in which the crew of the Enola Gay are allowed to speak at length about why they believe the atomic bombings were justified, pilot Col. Paul Tibbits asserts that Hiroshima was "definitely a military objective." Nowhere in the exhibit is this false assertion balanced by contrary information. Hiroshima was chosen as a target precisely because it had been very low on the previous spring's campaign of conventional bombing, and therefore was a pristine target on which to measure the destructive powers of the atomic bomb.[11] Defining Hiroshima as a "military" target is analogous to calling San Francisco a "military" target because it has a port and contains the Presidio. James Conant, a member of the Interim Committee that advised President Truman, defined the target for the bomb as a "vital war plant employing a large number of workers and closely surrounded by workers' houses."[12] There were indeed military factories in Hiroshima, but they lay on the outskirts of the city. Nevertheless, the Enola Gay bombardier's instructions were to target the bomb on the center of this civilian city.
The few words in the exhibit that attempt to provide some historical context for viewing the Enola Gay amount to a highly unbalanced and one-sided presentation of a largely discredited post-war justification of the atomic bombings.

Such errors of fact and such tendentious interpretation in the exhibit are no doubt partly the result of your decision earlier this year to take this exhibit out of the hands of professional curators and your own board of historical advisors. Accepting your stated concerns for accuracy, we trust that you will therefore adjust the exhibit, either to eliminate the highly contentious interpretations, or at the very least, balance them with other interpretations that can be easily drawn from the attached footnotes.


Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin
Co-chairs of the Historians' Committee for Open Debate on Hiroshima

(see the attached sheet for additional signatories)


  1. "Enola Gay Exhibit to 'Report the Facts,'" Washington Times, March 11, 1995.
  2. Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Physical, Medical, and Social Effects of the Atomic Bombings, (New York: Basic Books, 1981), p. 364.
  3. "Memorandum for Chief, Strategic Policy Section, S&P Group, OPD, Subject: Use of the Atomic Bomb on Japan," April 30, 1946, ABC 471.6 Atom (17 August 1945) Sec 7, Entry 421, Record Group 165, National Archives.
  4. Joseph C. Grew, Turbulent Era: A Diplomatic Record of Forty Years 1904-1945, Vol. II (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1952), pp. 1406-1442; U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, Japan's Struggle to End the War (Washington, July 1946); Gar Alperovitz, "Hiroshima: Historians Reassess," Foreign Policy, Summer 1995, pp. 15-34; and, Martin Sherwin, A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and the Origins of the Arms Race, rev. ed. (New York, Random House, 1987), p. 225.
  5. See "Notes on talk with President Eisenhower," April 6, 1960, War Department Notes envelope, Box 66, Herbert Feis Papers, Library of Congress Manuscript Division; and, Gen. Andrew Goodpaster, "Memorandum of Conference with the President, April 6, 1960," April 11, 1960, "Staff Notes--April 1960," Folder 2, DDE Diary Series, Box 49, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library; and also, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mandate for Change, 1953-1956 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc.), pp. 312-313.
  6. William D. Leahy, I Was There: The Personal Story of the Chief of Staff to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, Based on His Notes and Diaries Made at the Time, (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1950), p. 441. See also his private diary (in particular the June 18, 1945 entry) available at the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.
  7. Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1947, 1948), pp. 628-629.
  8. Joseph C. Grew, Turbulent Era, pp. 1406-1442; Martin Sherwin, A World Destroyed, p. 225.
  9. See John J. McCloy interview with Fred Freed for NBC White Paper, "The Decision to Drop the Bomb," (interview conducted sometime between May 1964 and February 1965), Roll 1, p. 11, File 50A, Box SP2, McCloy Papers, Amherst College Archives.
  10. Martin J. Sherwin, A World Destroyed, see Appendix L, "Notes of the Interim Committee Meeting, May 31, 1945," p. 302.
  11. The papers of Gen. Leslie R. Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, are filled with his statements to the effect that he wanted a virgin target large enough so that the effects of the bomb would not dissipate by the time they reached the edge of the city. See for example the letter from Groves to John A. Shane, 12/27/60 on target selection, in the Groves Papers, Record Group 200, National Archives. See also, Martin Sherwin, A World Destroyed, pp. 229-230.
  12. Martin J. Sherwin, A World Destroyed, see Appendix L, "Notes of the Interim Committee Meeting, May 31, 1945," p. 302.
List of Signatories

Kai Bird, co-chair of the Historians' Committee for Open Debate on Hiroshima

Martin Sherwin, co-chair of the Historians' Committee for Open Debate on Hiroshima

Walter LaFeber, Professor of History, Cornell University

Stanley Hoffman, Dillon Professor, Harvard University

Mark Selden, Chair, Department of Sociology, State University of New York at Binghamton

Jon Wiener, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine

William O. Walker III, Ohio Wesleyan University

Dr. E.B. Halpern, Lecturer in American History, University College London

John Morris, Professor, Miyagi Gakuin Women's Junior College, Sendai, Japan

Gar Alperovitz, historian and author of The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb

Stanley Goldberg, historian of science and biographer of Gen. Leslie Groves

James Hershberg, historian and author of James B. Conant: Harvard to Hiroshima and the Making of the Nuclear Age

Greg Mitchell, author of Hiroshima in America

Gaddis Smith, Professor of History, Yale University

Barton J. Bernstein, Professor of History, Stanford University

Michael J. Hogan, Professor of History, Ohio State University

Melvyn P. Leffler, Professor of History, University of Virginia

John W. Dower, Professor of History, MIT

Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Author and Fellow of the Russian Research Center, Harvard University

Bob Carter, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Worcester College of Higher Education, England.

Douglas Haynes, Associate Professor of History, Dartmouth College

Bruce Nelson, Department of History, Dartmouth College

Walter J. Kendall, III, The John Marshall School of Law, Chicago

Patricia Morton, Assistant Professor, University of California, Riverside

Michael Kazin, Professor of History, American University

Gerald Figal, Asst. Professor of History, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon

R. David Arkush, Professor of History, University of Iowa, Iowa City

Barbara Brooks, Professor of Japanese and Chinese History, City College of New York

Dell Upton, Professor, University of California, Berkeley

Eric Schneider, Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania

Janet Golden, Assistant Professor of History, Rutgers, Camden

Bob Buzzanco, Assistant Professor of History, University of Houston

Lawrence Badash, Professor of History of Science, University of California, Santa Barbara

Kanno Humio, Asociate Professor of Iwate University, Japan

Robert Entenmann, Associate Professor of History, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN

Mark Lincicome, Assistant Professor, Department of History, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Kristina Kade Troost, Duke University, Durham NC

Peter Zarrow, Assistant Professor of History, Vanderbilt University

Michael Kucher, University of Delaware

Lawrence Rogers, University of Hawaii at Hilo

Alan Baumler, Piedmont College

Timothy S. George, Harvard University

Ronald Dale Karr, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Kikuchi Isao, Professor of Japanese History, Miyagi Gakuin Women's College, Sendai, Japan

Ohira Satoshi, Associate Professor of Japanese History, Miyagi Gakuin Women's College, Sendai, Japan

Inoue Ken'Ichiro Associate Professor of Japanese Art History, Miyagi Gakuin Women's College, Sendai, Japan

Yanagiya Keiko, Associate Professor of Japanese Literature, Siewa Women's College, Sendai, Japan

Sanho Tree, Research Director, Historians' Committee for Open Debate on Hiroshima

Eric Alterman, Stanford University

Jeff R. Schutts, Georgetown University

Gary Michael Tartakov, Iowa State University

W. Donald Smith, University of Washington, currently at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo

* * *

To quote a line from the Broadway hit, "Porgy and Bess":

Sometimes what you're libel
to read in the Bible
it ain't necessarily so ....

Sometimes there are those who feel that the facts of history don't sufficiently reflect the desired self image. The obvious solution is to change the "facts" of history to reflect the expectations. Keep in mind that history is written by the winners ... or traditionally has been. However, modern technology is doing wonders to cure selective memory these days. The truth shall set you free.

Some Opinion Pieces You Might Have Missed

This is a group of opinion pieces I've accumulated in my news reader over the last couple of months. I think they're all good reads. I don't necessarily subscribe to every bit of everything that's written, but on balance, I agree with the points of view expressed. You may not agree with everything either ... but even if you don't, there's some wisdom in knowing what the other side is thinking ... in their own words (as opposed to reading someone else's interpretation).

Here ...

How much Progress can we stand?

Video clip

Words of Wisdom from a REAL statesman on the Right

"Every gun that is made, every warship that is launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold, and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children....This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron."

"I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it."

"I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone."

"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."

"Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and co-operation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace."

The quotes above are from President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

He was also the American General who oversaw the WWII invasion of Normandy and the ultimate defeat of Nazi Germany. He knew the cost of war in ways that those who have never served in one can.

He was a republican and a conservative. He did not think that government was the problem. He believed the military-industrial complex was the problem ... corporate alliances with the military in a self perpetuating, never ending cycle of escalation.

There is a big difference between believing there are problems with government and that government IS the problem.

On the Republican commitment to Civil Rights

The NAACP sponsord two debates on the topic of Civil Rights ... one for the nine Republican candidates and another for the and one for the equally crowded field of Democratic candidates.

All the Democratic candidates showed up.

Only one Republican could find the time to discuss Civil Rights .... and that was the King of Xenophobia.

What's wrong with this picture?

I wonder who would have showed up if the topic had been Corporate Rights?

Impeachment is NOT a Constitutional Crisis

... its the remedy for one.

Round Table Discussion

The Magic of the Republican Party

... is on par with the old joke: "A drunk walked down the street and turned into a bar ... "

From Crooks and Liars: "Another day, another sex scandal involving a god-fearing republican who just happened to be a key supporter of John McCain. That and the fact that this legislator had also co-sponsored bills on public sex is pretty much par for the course with these guys. In a tearful, blubbering performance at a press conference Allen vowed to fight this grave injustice to the bitter end."

Video Clip here.

It seems we are inundated with proof on a daily basis that Republicans all think with their little head. At least Bill was capable of using both.

No one would care if these hypocrits hadn't gone to such pains to set themselves up as the keepers of everyone's morality ... if they hadn't been so spiteful and judgemental ... and vindictive.

If I didn't know that most of them are born again Christians I'd think they'd been taking lessons from Catholic priests!

Lesson here? The holier-than-thou one is, the more gleeful I am when the fall comes ... and it always does.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Believing the Unbelievable: The Clash Between Faith and Reason in the Modern World

The Audio Clip is right here.

Bio from the site: "Sam Harris is the author of two best-selling books, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation. He speaks regularly on television and radio about the danger he believes religion poses to modern societies. His essays have appeared in Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, The Times of London, The Boston Globe, and numerous other publications. A graduate in philosophy of Stanford University, for 20 years he has studied both Eastern and Western religious traditions, along with a variety of contemplative disciplines. He is also currently completing a doctorate in neuroscience."

Why Libertarianism is a Crock

from Huffington Post by Daniel Brook

Jonathan Swift couldn't have thought up a better satire. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market and avowed libertarian, just got caught exploiting imperfect market information and scheming to rip off consumers by building an organic food monopoly. Libertarians claim the market should be left alone to regulate itself, while progressives have long argued that investors need accurate information from companies about their finances and consumers need competition to get the best price. Apparently John Mackey is just the kind of nefarious businessman we need government to regulate.

But there's MORE ...

Bush, the ethicist-in-chief

Maybe we've totally misjudged Mr. Bush. Perhaps he isn't a Kantian after all, but a Marxist, as in Groucho, who famously said, "These are my principles; if you don't like them, I have others."


Consistency is the hob-goblin of small minds.

Let us Pray

Video ... worth the watch ... for what it says about us all.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Homeland Security Strikes Again

A Nuclear Ruse Uncovers Holes in U.S. Security

By ERIC LIPTON / New York Times
Published: July 12, 2007

WASHINGTON, July 11 — Undercover Congressional investigators set up a bogus company and obtained a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in March that would have allowed them to buy the radioactive materials needed for a so-called dirty bomb.

The investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, demonstrated once again that the security measures put in place since the 2001 terrorist attacks to prevent radioactive materials from getting into the wrong hands are insufficient, according to a G.A.O. report, which is scheduled to be released at a Senate hearing Thursday.

“Given that terrorists have expressed an interest in obtaining nuclear material, the Congress and the American people expect licensing programs for these materials to be secure,” said Gregory D. Kutz, an investigator at the accountability office, in testimony prepared for the hearing.

Full story following the click ...

When you elect a bunch of people to government who believe that "government IS the problem", they believe their mandate is to dismantle government. They believe the way to remedy problems is to get rid of them ... and there's truth in the approach if the underlying assumptions are correct. Because "government IS the problem", at least from their point of view, they have no vested interest in fixing government or trying to make it work. They do, however, find vindication in government not working ... even if it is the result of their sabotage.

So, when you put people in charge of government who believe that "government IS the problem" ... don't expect them to extend an honest effort to make it work. It wouldn't be good politics!

As long as Republicans believe that government IS the problem, I could never vote for one. One simply does not entrust the care of something valuable to those who would destroy it at their earliest opportunity.

The purpose of government in a republic is to execute the will of the people and to provide for the people those things they cannot provide for themselves individually (national security and national infrastructure being among those things). In a republic the government obeys orders ... it does not originate them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Geraldo Rivera appointed to head Pentagon IT Security

Military files left unprotected online

By MIKE BAKER, Associated Press Writer

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Detailed schematics of a military detainee holding facility in southern Iraq. Geographical surveys and aerial photographs of two military airfields outside Baghdad. Plans for a new fuel farm at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

The military calls it "need-to-know" information that would pose a direct threat to U.S. troops if it were to fall into the hands of terrorists. It's material so sensitive that officials refused to release the documents when asked.

But it's already out there, posted carelessly to file servers by government agencies and contractors, accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

More administration support for the troops?

More about Geraldo (for those who've forgotten 2003 already).

It would seem that Chaney keeps his "Treat as Secret" rubber stamp all to himself.

Supporting the troops

GOP Senate leaders kill bill to let troops stay home longer between deployments to get blown up in Iraq

Senate GOP leaders block Webb dwell-time plan

By Rick Maze - Staff writer / ArmyTimes
Posted : Wednesday Jul 11, 2007 14:12:40 EDT
A Senate proposal to guarantee combat troops more time at home was derailed Wednesday by a procedural roadblock thrown by Republicans.

Fifty-six senators supported the plan offered by two military veterans — Sens. Jim Webb, D-Va., and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. — that would promise service members returning from deployment as much time at home as they had spent in a combat zone, unless they volunteer to return early.

Under normal circumstances, 56 votes would have been enough for the measure to pass. But the Senate’s debate over Iraq policy during consideration of the $648 billion defense policy bill for 2008 is not normal, because Republican leaders have vowed to use procedural moves to stop Democrats from changing the Bush administration’s Iraq strategy.

With Republicans threatening endless debate, known in legislative terms as a filibuster, supporters of the Webb-Hagel amendment needed to muster 60 votes to stop the talking and bring the plan to a vote. They fell four votes short.

Read more about it here.

Supporting the troops? ... only if lip service counts.

Justice ... for some

The Ghosts Bush Left Behind
Mary Mapes

Posted July 11, 2007

Scooter Libby's commutation is still being celebrated in some circles, but down here in Texas, President Bush's move has stirred bitter memories and awakened old ghosts.

I can't help remembering all the people I reported on who begged then-Governor Bush for mercy. They begged for the lives of clients and childhood friends, fathers, sons and brothers, mothers and next-door neighbors. They begged for their own lives. They were all turned away.

Texas has a fabled history of frontier-style justice. Heck, the Houston District Attorney's office alone has sent more people to their deaths than many Third World countries.

But no one in Texas, certainly not anyone in our semi-civilized history, has displayed the moral disregard on the death penalty that George W. Bush demonstrated in his years as governor.

From 1995 to 2001, George W. Bush presided over more than 150 executions, more than any governor in modern times. He signed death warrants the way Britney Spears signs autographs. He refused to allow stays, even for DNA testing, and he answered concerns about the fairness of the system by mouthing empty platitudes about justice and the purity of jury verdicts.
(Emphasis added.)

Read the rest ... another case study in hypocracy.

Religious Adherents as a %age of All Residents (2000)

Click for a larger version.

Accompanying text here.

Chertoff Must Explain His 'Gut Feeling'

WASHINGTON, July 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Today, Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) sent the following letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff demanding an explanation of the Secretary's recent remarks to the Chicago Tribune.

July 11, 2007

Dear Secretary Chertoff:

Over the past five years, tens of billions of taxpayer dollars have been dedicated to standing up and building capacity at the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Homeland Security is charged with deterring, preventing and responding to the threat of terrorism. To that end, systems have been erected to identify risks and communicate them to the American public. With all the resources you have at your disposal and all the progress that you assure us that you are making, I cannot understand why you are quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying you have a "gut feeling" that we are entering a period of heightened risk this summer.

Words have power, Mr. Secretary. You must choose them wisely -- especially when they relate to the lives and security of the American public. What color code in the Homeland Security Advisory System is associated with a "gut feeling?" What sectors should be on alert as a result of your "gut feeling?" What cities should be asking their law enforcement to work double shifts because of your "gut feeling?" Are the American people supposed to purchase duct tape and plastic sheeting because of your "gut feeling?"

The Committee on Homeland Security has repeatedly emphasized the importance of getting specific, actionable information to our first preventers in law enforcement and other emergency response providers. I urge you to follow up on your "gut feeling" and share whatever information our nation's first preventers need to be on alert and prepared. Otherwise, we run the risk of communities taking it upon themselves to mobilize for every possible threat. This not only would result in communities depleting their scarce homeland security resources but runs contrary to your efforts to move toward a risk-based approach to homeland security.

This fall, we will be marking the sixth anniversary of the most deadly terrorist attack on U.S. soil. With likely action on legislation to implement the unfinished business of the 9/11 Commission, Congress is poised to give you more and better opportunities to work with law enforcement in a constructive manner.

Mr. Secretary, I urge you to clarify your comments by providing concrete direction to the State, local and tribal stakeholders and if necessary make the required changes to the Nation's threat level to ensure that the American public can take the necessary steps to protect their families, businesses and communities.

I would be happy to convene a classified briefing of our Members to discuss the threat to our nation if you believe that such a briefing is warranted.

Bennie G. Thompson
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security

SOURCE: Committee On Homeland Security Democratic Office

I think all this indicates a threat level of Pink ... the color of Pepto Bismol, a common remedy for "gut feelings".

Iraqi Death Watch

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

Bookmark this page. The counter updates.

Quoting from the site:

The number is shocking and sobering.

It is at least 10 times greater than most estimates cited in the US media, yet it is based on the only scientifically valid study of violent Iraqi deaths caused by the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003.

Sleep well.

The Whole World Is On Fire

Here's a link to a global fire map showing the location of major grass and forest fires across the planet.

On the up side ... we should be in for some really great sunsets!

World Fire Map

By the way ... got any marshmallows?

Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature

by Alan S. Miller Ph.D., Satoshi Kanazawa Ph.D.

Why most suicide bombers are Muslim, beautiful people have more daughters, humans are naturally polygamous, sexual harassment isn't sexist, and blonds are more attractive.

Human nature is one of those things that everybody talks about but no one can define precisely. Every time we fall in love, fight with our spouse, get upset about the influx of immigrants into our country, or go to church, we are, in part, behaving as a human animal with our own unique evolved nature—human nature.

This means two things. First, our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are produced not only by our individual experiences and environment in our own lifetime but also by what happened to our ancestors millions of years ago. Second, our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are shared, to a large extent, by all men or women, despite seemingly large cultural differences.

Human behavior is a product both of our innate human nature and of our individual experience and environment. In this article, however, we emphasize biological influences on human behavior, because most social scientists explain human behavior as if evolution stops at the neck and as if our behavior is a product almost entirely of environment and socialization. In contrast, evolutionary psychologists see human nature as a collection of psychological adaptations that often operate beneath conscious thinking to solve problems of survival and reproduction by predisposing us to think or feel in certain ways. Our preference for sweets and fats is an evolved psychological mechanism. We do not consciously choose to like sweets and fats; they just taste good to us.

The implications of some of the ideas in this article may seem immoral, contrary to our ideals, or offensive. We state them because they are true, supported by documented scientific evidence. Like it or not, human nature is simply not politically correct.

Really worth reading ...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

File Under: My imaginary friend is more real than your imaginary friend ...

Pope: Other Christians not true churches

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation.

You've GOT to read the rest of THIS one ...

The ex-Nazi, former head of the Inquisition declares that he and his church somehow have a handle on the will of god. That only HIS people will be "saved" and all the others are lost. Ossama bed Linen couldn't have said it better.

Religion is simply tribalism and as long as people hold onto their tribalism they are doomed to be little people with small aspirations ... doing, in the end, more harm than good.

Representing some of the people and none of the truth

Former Bush surgeon general says he was muzzled
Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:18PM EDT

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first U.S. surgeon general appointed by President George W. Bush accused the administration on Tuesday of political interference and muzzling him on key issues like embryonic stem cell research.

"Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried," Dr. Richard Carmona, who served as the nation's top doctor from 2002 until 2006, told a House of Representatives committee.

"The problem with this approach is that in public health, as in a democracy, there is nothing worse than ignoring science, or marginalizing the voice of science for reasons driven by changing political winds. The job of surgeon general is to be the doctor of the nation, not the doctor of a political party," Carmona added.

Carmona said Bush administration political appointees censored his speeches and kept him from talking out publicly about certain issues, including the science on embryonic stem cell research, contraceptives and his misgivings about the administration's embrace of "abstinence-only" sex education.

More here ...

Two things strike me on reading this:

  1. This guy is not the first scientist to suggest the current administration ignored science or edited scientific facts for political gain.
  2. The right wing, normally filled with such righteous indignation, seems, through their silence on such matters, to approve of these tactics. Their silence indicates that they believe its OK to lie (that's what happens when you alter facts) and cheat (that's what happens when you mislead the public). How can they sleep at night? They can't win on the facts so change the facts, making up their own? It's not like they're disputing issues of politics, political point of view or opinions. They are denying scientific findings for political purposes. How is that serving all the people? Does the right wing have any idea what it means to represent ALL the people of this nation? You can only represent ALL the people if you use the facts. If you make up the facts, then you're only representing one, narrow special interest or another who's goal is political gain ... at the expense of the people of this country.

Get Your Red Hot DC Madam's Phone Records Now

Why the Records are Being Publically Released

I have reason to believe the disk - containing a full set of the telephone records for the 13 year operational history of “Pamela Martin & Associates” - already has been pirated. Despite our very best intentions to maintain control of the information, our efforts seemingly have been for naught. I am concerned about manipulation of the database with false and misleading information. Even though such falsifications can be refuted in time by comparing an altered copy with the original, my attorney, Mr. Sibley and I fear that in the intervening time period, considerable damage can and will be done to the reputations of individual and entities with no connection to the business. Additionally, the overall validity of the records’ contents will be diminished when one false accusation after another begins to manifest. Therefore, to thwart any possible distorted version and to ensure the integrity of the information, the records – in their entirety -- are available for downloading.

Deciphering this voluminous amount of data – some of which is well over a decade old will not be an easy task. Frankly, this likely is understating matters. It will take a small army of people skilled in computer and phone technology, investigation as well as factual knowledge regarding the significance OR non-significance of identified persons. No one individual or entity will be able to connect all of the dots. The overall endeavor easily could take many months, if not years to research and report conscientiously.

Jeane Palfrey

Proving once again that the best defense is a great offense!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Child Abuse?

Brainwashed children plead to die as martyrs in Red Mosque siege

Dean Nelson, Islamabad
July 8, 2007

SAIMA KHAN wants to die a martyr. Life is transient, she told her father in a telephone call last week, and the real glory is to sacrifice it for Allah. Her statement would be alarming at any age, but Saima is only 10.

As she spoke, rifle shots rang out, the acrid smell of tear gas drifted over Islamabad and hundreds of troops surrounded the pro-Taliban Red Mosque, a religious school complex in the heart of Pakistan’s capital where Saima was among hundreds of children being held as virtual hostages in a stand-off between militants and the government.

Saima and her 14-year-old sister, Asma, were embroiled in a struggle for the soul of Pakistan in which up to 70 militants died last week and more than 100 were injured, according to mosque officials.

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In the end, I think Mark Twain got it right:

Man is really the most interesting jackass there is. It’s his idea, ya see, that the deity sits up nights to admire him. He’s the creator’s pet!

Now, ya may wonder why.

Well, because of his intellect!

Man is the reasoning animal! … Such is the claim … though I do think that’s open to dispute.

Well, I’ve been studying this reasoning animal for years now and I find the results humiliating!

For example: I experimented with a cat and a dog, taught ‘em to be friends and I put ‘em in a cage. I introduced a rabbit. In an hour, they were friends. Then I added a fox, a goose, a squirrel, some doves … a kangaroo … and finally I added a monkey. They lived together in peace!

Next, I caught an Irish Catholic … and put him in a cage … and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Presbyterian … And then a Turk from Constantinople, a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas, a Buddhist from China and finally … a Salvation Army Colonel.

Why, when I come back, there wasn’t a specimen left alive … these reasoning animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a higher court! Because ... ya see ... man is also the religious animal. He’s the ONLY ONE that’s got the true religion!! Several of ‘em.

He loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight!

He’s made a grave yard of the globe in tryin’ his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven …

The other animals have no religion, you know. Gonna be left out. I wonder why? Seems questionable taste.