Kidnapped by Japan - How A Mother's Dying Wish Led To A Father's Unimaginable Loss

Read the story here

Friday, May 2, 2008

Giving The Finger

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My recent viewing of Ben Stein's movie, Expelled, coupled with my lighthearted post on nanotechnology this past Tuesday had already put me in a science-y kind of mood when I fell upon the above story that I found in London's Daily Mail.

When looking at the photos it looks impressive but, as is often the case in stories like these which seem too incredible to be true it probably is. (Also any story in which Pixie dust is major factor should probably bring out the skeptic in you pretty quickly.) The problems with pulling off the kind of regrowth seen above are many:

According to Dr Minger, while it could be theoretically possible that a man has regrown his finger by sprinkling it with powdered pig bladder, it seems unlikely.

The problem is that a fingertip, while appearing simple, is actually a very complex structure. It consists of skin, fat, connective tissue, bone, tendon, nerves and blood vessels as well as the quite complex apparatus which grows the fingernail.

All these complex tissues would have to grow in the right order and in the right proportions and positions in relation to each other.

Somehow, the collagen dust would have to persuade the healing stump tissue not to simply form a scar but to trick it into behaving as it would have done when Mr Spievack's fingers were growing in his mother's womb.
While this story and the accompanying pictures are interesting, the truth is that real clinical tests will be needed to determine what exactly is going on here. Hopefully they'll be done and there will be some follow-up to this story at some time in the not-too-distant future.

Stories like this one, the nanotech and Intelligent Design stories raise a host of interesting issues that have implications in all sorts of areas, the political, the social, the economic, the religious, etc. If fingers can be regenerated, what about hands, arms, hearts, eyes, whole bodies? And if your body can be regenerated, what does that mean for the average human life expectancy? What if we can live for 100 years? 1,000? Longer? How would that affect society? Our relationships? The fact is that while the above may be mere speculation that never materializes in the real world, other big changes are coming and if they're going to be changes that are beneficial for humanity we need to have some sort of ethical framework in which to deal with them.

I think these are pretty interesting issues and every now and again I'd like to return to them. If they're interesting to you too, let me know. Could be fun.

I'd like to thank Aurora from The Midnight Sun, whose comments on the nanotech post got me to thinking about these issues as much as the stories themselves did. Thanks!

Barking Moonbat howls at this story, too.

Medic! Medic! He's Bleeding!

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Jeremiah Wright cuts Barack Obama and he bleeds in Indiana:

Jeremiah Wright cuts Barack Obama and he bleeds in North Carolina:

Jeremiah Wright cuts Barack Obama and he bleeds from sea to shining sea:

The evidence, as seen in these Real Clear Politics charts, shows pretty conclusively that the Jeremiah Wright kerfuffle has wounded Obama and it is easy to assume that if it happened earlier in the primary season the damage might well have been fatal. But it isn't early in the season and the current lay of the land can spell nothing but trouble for the Dems.

Obama has gotten closer to a major party nomination than any Black man in history and the possibility of a Black President is so real to Black voters that they can taste it. He currently has close to 90% Black support and should Hillary Clinton get the nomination, especially if she were to get it at the convention via some sort of closed door chicanery it might anger Blacks enough to keep a large enough percentage of them away from the polls in November to sink any chance Hillary might have.

Rush Limbaugh has considered the above scenario and isn't convinced and gave a pretty compelling exegesis on his show today on why Dems might decide to stick it to Blacks and dump Obama without worrying about Black disaffections:

RUSH: Now, for those of you who are Democrat superdelegates; may I have your attention, please? As you know, I addressed your fear yesterday, and I know how you people are thinking. You're in the depths of fear over what to do now, because it's clear that you, the superdelegates, are going to decide who is your party's nominee; and in the process, you are going to be committing political murder against one of these candidates. You alone are going to decide, and it used to be six months ago you were proud to be able to do this because you were operating from the context of confidence and inevitability. It was like a slam dunk. Now you're operating from fear, and incorrect decisions are made during times of crisis and fear. And the greatest fear that you superdelegates have... I mean, you can see the trend lines here.

You know what's happening. The bloom is off the rose. The messiah, it has turned out, cannot walk on water. Mrs. Clinton's been hanging in there. She has got the testicle lockbox, and it's opening and shutting on schedule. You can see the trend lines, but you're scared to death to take this away from Obama because he leads in delegates; and you're really frightened that you are going to lose the black vote, perhaps permanently, if you take away the nomination. It must be apparent to you that Senator Obama will not lead you to victory. You have to know this. But you fear that denying him support will create a permanent fissure between black voters and Democrats. No Democrat has the courage to examine this flawed premise. It is up to me to advise and address you superdelegates to consider some facts. President John Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy wiretapped Dr. King. Black voters stayed with Democrats. Democrats stood in the schoolhouse doors vowing, "Segregation forever!"

Democrats voted against landmark civil rights legislation; Republicans passed it. Blacks stayed with Democrats. Bull Connor was a Democrat. Blacks stayed with Democrats. Democrats created the welfare state, destroying millions of black families. Blacks stayed with Democrats. Democrats bent over forward for the teachers unions, ruining public education for generations of black kids; leaving them unequipped to participate as equals in American society. Yet! Black voters stayed with Democrats. Democrats urged the early release of criminals to further prey on law-abiding black citizens. Blacks stayed with Democrats. Democrats threw blacks under the bus during the immigration debate. After Rosa Parks finally moved to the front of the bus, Democrats threw blacks under it during the immigration debate because Hispanics are now the largest minority voting bloc. Blacks stayed with Democrats. Democrats have not supported blacks achieving power.

Carl McCall was running for governor of New York, and was denied funds from Terry McAuliffe at the Democrat National Committee. This audience contributed to McCall's campaign. Civil rights icon Maynard Jackson wanted to be head honcho of the Democrat National Convention. He was denied. Blacks stayed with Democrats. Earlier this year in Selma, Alabama, Mrs. Clinton shows up; mocks the way black people speak. Her husband, Bill Clinton, the reputed "first black president," shows up in South Carolina and plays not the race card, but a whole deck of race cards! (doing Clinton impression) "Obama? Ha! Of course he gonna win. I mean, it's like Jesse Jackson. I mean, he's the black guy." Blacks stayed with Democrats. You superdelegates in the Democrat Party, you're worried about denying Obama the nomination because you fear that your black voters will abandon you permanently? Come, come! Review your history with me once again. You Democrats have already done far worse to black voters than yanking the nomination away from Barack Obama. Have no fear, superdelegates. Be confident. Blacks will stay with you. So will Jesse Jackson, so will Al Sharpton, and you can have them.

Although Rush is right on the history here I have a feeling this issue cuts to the bone with Blacks and it might be just the thing to break what can only (in light of the facts Rush recited) be considered the unnatural hold the Democratic Party has on Blacks.

The bottom line here, though is that Obama is a weak candidate but most of the Democratic power structure has already thrown in with him so that and the above mentioned fear, whether reasonable or not, that Blacks might turn on them will probably be enough to secure him the nomination. But if he's bleeding here in the Democratic primaries there is a very good chance that in the general election he will turn out to be an electoral hemophiliac.

Now if we only had a real conservative running instead of John McCain...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Walking Women Of The World Rejoice

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Sweden, which this story reminds us is "a pioneer in gender equality" has struck what may be the ultimate blow for women everywhere. See the picture of the stoplights to the right? Well? Can't you see? The figure in the top green light is the figure of a man. The figure in the bottom green light is the figure of a woman!

The Swedish Road Administration, at the behest of the Swedish government has designed this triumph for the fairer sex...I mean women. Previously green light only had men in them.

The Swedish once again lead the world by showing the enormous strides that can be made when government set itself an important task. Bravo, Sweden

Bush on Mugabe

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President Bush today forcefully urged Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe to step down today.

"The will of the people needs to be respected in Zimbabwe," Bush told a White House press conference as the UN Security Council prepared to discuss the month-long election turmoil in the troubled southern African nation.

Bush said it was clear that the people of Zimbabwe had voted for change in the March 29 parliamentary and presidential elections "because their president has failed the country" after 28 years in power.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe ever since independence from Britain and is a hero of Africa's national liberation movements but he has presided over a spiralling economic crisis.

Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party lost control of parliament for the first time since 1980 to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), whose leader Morgan Tsvangirai has also claimed victory in the presidential vote.

No official result has yet been issued from the presidential election.

Mugabe is a criminal and one of the world's worst dictators, an extraordinary accomplishment considering the competition. The Washington Post details some of what is a long and horrific list of crimes:

THE EVIDENCE is now overwhelming that the Zimbabwean regime of Robert Mugabe is engaged in a massive, orchestrated and brutal campaign to punish and terrorize its opponents. Security forces and militia groups loyal to the 84-year-old autocrat have rampaged across the countryside for the past month, targeting opposition activists and whole villages suspected of having voted against the government in the March 29 elections. In some areas, torture camps have been established where victims are taken and beaten while their homes are looted and burned. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association said yesterday that at least 10 people have been killed and hundreds displaced; the opposition Movement for Democratic Change counts 15 dead, 3,000 refugees and 500 hospitalized.

It is generally agreed that Mugabe lost the election by a wide margin to Tsvangirai and his refusal to release the results will be just his latest crime if he is allowed to get away with it. Bush's applying the pressure here is necessary and right, especially considering the lack of any significant pressure being applied by the UN, which yet again is proving itself to be useless against tyrants.

President Bush has shown a great deal of positive leadership in areas relating to Africa and he's doing so again here. Now the rest of the world needs to follow.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has more details.

That Didn't Take Long

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Almost as soon as the Great One suspended Operation Chaos he has lifted the "operational pause":

RUSH: A TV station in Indianapolis thinks they caused the operational pause in Operation Chaos. WISH-TV, the anchor Eric Halvorson and his report last night on Operation Chaos.

HALVORSON: Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called for a pause in what he calls Operation Chaos. It's a call to conservatives to vote in Democratic primaries to extend the nomination battle. Yesterday, 24 Hour News 8 Jim Shella reported on official reactions to Operation Chaos here, a story Limbaugh referenced on the air today.

RUSH: So they're implying, ladies and gentlemen, that Operation Chaos, the operational pause was due to their report. I can understand. I can understand a local television station wanting to think they're a factor in a major nationwide operation, and they're doing a hard-hitting investigation out there, that's what local TV news is known for. I don't want to deflate them. I don't want to ruin their day out there in the newsroom at WISH-TV, but the operational pause in Operation Chaos was due strictly to the Obama press conference yesterday while we awaited what I knew was going to happen, media reaction, because we had to determine what course of action we would order next given the media reaction to Obama yesterday. And I can just tell you, the operational pause is now lifted. Operation Chaos is back at full speed, and we have no change in direction, orders from headquarters remain exactly what they are: You are to go out and sustain the Democrat primary season by virtue of voting for Hillary Clinton. Nothing has changed, ladies and gentlemen, nothing whatsoever.

Rush-haters everywhere can now begin their expected mantra about "mind-numbed robots" and the Democratic powers-that-be can recommence taking their antacids, knowing that Operation Chaos is back out there, working.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This Just In From Londonistan...

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London continues to pave the way for the eventual takeover of British society by radical Muslims as can be seen in this story. Apparently...

[t]he BBC is facing a High Court challenge over its decision to censor a party political broadcast in the run-up to Thursday’s local elections.

A Christian party has begun legal action after the corporation insisted on changes to a short film in which the party voiced opposition to the building of Europe’s biggest mosque next to the site of the 2012 Olympics.

Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamic missionary group behind the £75 million Abbey Mills mosque, opposes inter-faith dialogue and preaches that non-Muslims are an evil and corrupting influence. One of its British advocates has said that it aims to rescue Muslims from the culture and civilisation of Jews and Christians by creating “such hatred for their ways as human beings have for urine and excreta”.
Acting in the way of most "urine and excreta" the BBC was immediately the Christian party and tried to change the word

...separatist” — the corporation asked for “controversial” instead — and barred the use of “moderate Muslims” because the phrase implied that Tablighi Jamaat was less than moderate.
The reaction of Islamofascists to this implicit recognition by the BBC that labelling Western Civilization as the product of excretory functions is a "moderate" point of view is unknown, but thought to be quite positive. Although not explicitly stated by any Islamic faction, this particular "excreta" believes that the objection to the word "separatist" may really be due to the fact that separation from British Society is not Tablighi Jamaat's real goal, that real goal being the defeat and destruction of British Society. It is important to be exact, you know.

Of Chickens And Roosting

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For Barack Obama today "the chicken's have come roost" as his longstanding friendship with radical, pastor Jeremiah Wright has, for reasons that only he can fathom, done what Hillary Clinton has been trying to do for months; draw real blood from the Obama campaign.

Obama, whose public relationship with Wright has gone from his being Obama's close spiritual advisor and friend to his "former pastor" to today when we see that Obama thinks that,

"...based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought either."

Wright's interviews and speeches have provided endless fodder for news outlets of every variety. And many of them are making points that have to hurt.

Rich Lowery writes about how Obama's credibility has been damaged, pointing out the following:
In a slippery dance, Obama maintains that he was thoroughly shocked by Wright’s original radioactive statements and hadn’t heard him say such things, although he did hear other (always carefully unspecified) “controversial” things. The threat to Obama as the paladin of the “new politics” is that, as he dodges and distances on Wright, people will come to agree with his former pastor’s newly dismissive evaluation: “He says what he has to say as a politician.”

Victor David Hanson highlights the damage Wright has done to Blacks:
In short, Wright's speech on black-right brainers, white-left brainers — replete with bogus stereotypes and crude voice imitations — was about as racist as they come and at one time antithetical to what the NAACP was once all about. Again, the Obama campaign and its appendages have set back racial relations a generation. Just ten years ago, any candidate, black or white, would have rejected Wright making a speech about genetic differences in respective black and white brains. Now it's given to civil rights organizations by the possible next President's pastor and spiritual advisor — and done to wild applause for an organization founded on the idea that we are innately the same, while being gushed over by ignorant "commentators."

Those on the Left are keenly aware of the damage done, as well. E.J. Dionne observes,

Then something happened. Specifically, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And he keeps happening, holding tightly to a spotlight that was turned his way by a certain politician whom the preacher dismisses for being a politician. First came his Friday appearance on public television with Bill Moyers, then his NAACP address in Detroit on Sunday, and his National Press Club speech yesterday.

Obama, once seen as a prophet, is now merely a human being capable of performing indifferently in debate and of making statements about bitter voters that made some voters bitter.

Frank Schaeffer at the HuffPo shows a bit of desperation, basically just trying to will the damage away by writing the following Pollyanna-ish drivel,
Now it's time for all concerned to take a deep breath and admit that religion in politics is nothing more than a sideshow. It's time to move on. And that goes for Republicans, and Clinton supporters, as well as for Obama supporters.

Here's the one thing we should all be able to agree on: when religion jumps the track and crashes into places it doesn't belong we'd all be better off ignoring the silliness.

But the fact that real damage has in fact been done can be seen by the fact that Rush Limbaugh today officially suspended Operation Chaos:
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I am calling an operational pause in Operation Chaos. We have a week to figure out now what's best to do. If your state still allows voter registration, keep that up, continue to register as a Democrat in upcoming Operation Chaos primaries. I think it's too late in Indiana and North Carolina. Oregon, last day is today. There are other states coming down the pike, and Puerto Rico. But I'm calling an operational pause, and I will tell you why. My first gut reaction, my instinct, in listening to the audio sound bites of Obama today throwing Jeremiah Wright off the planet, he didn't throw him under the bus, he put him in the space shuttle and he sent him to the space station so he can pal around with the Russians that are up there. Then I watched during the bottom-of-the-hour break here, I decided to watch the Drive-By Media coverage of this, because it became obvious to me -- see, I read the stitches on the fastball; I can read between the lines, and I know that most of the Drive-Bys are in the tank for Obama.

What I think I saw an indication of, I watched Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington, discussing this, and Matthews was full of praise, and he accepted every theme Obama brought up, and he said Obama was dead right. "Why do we have to have this preacher inserting himself in the presidential campaign for the last three days? Obama rightly said he's not talking to him any more, may talk to him later, but Obama was dead right on, on this." Matthews is missing the whole point. Obama coulda done this in church the first time he heard the guy. We all now with common sense realize here that Obama did this out of political expediency today to save a dwindling and plunging campaign. The Drive-Bys, by the time those in the tank for Obama get through spinning this tonight, this is what I need to wait for, ladies and gentlemen, is why I've called an operational pause, because I want to find out what we need to do tomorrow based on how effective the Drive-Bys are in spinning what Obama said today and make it look like it was courageous. You watch, "It was courageous. This is one of the greatest risks a politician's ever taken in the United States! This was a risk we have never seen taken before. This is a man with courage and guts and fortitude. This is a man we want to be our president." This is the kind of thing I'm expecting tonight from the Drive-Bys.

My gut reaction, after the audio sound bites, was to issue new orders, because I saw, you know, AP/Ipsos poll has Hillary up over McCain by nine points, 50-41. My gut reaction here, after hearing Obama, was to issue orders changing directives, i.e., vote Obama in remaining primaries. But I'm holding back. That's why I'm calling an operational pause. Because I want to see what the Drive-Bys are going to do and I want to see how the superdelegates are affected by this. You can't vote in North Carolina and Indiana 'til Tuesday anyway, so there's really no pause. It's not as though the election is tomorrow. I just wanted you to know your commanding officers are eagerly, diligently, and effectively planning the next strategy here, based on this speech and the reaction to it

There is something almost Shakespearean in this situation as, while Obama has been trying to fend off the blows of his enemies, this possible fatal blow has been struck by a friend.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Could Somebody Please Explain This Picture To Me?

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One of the (many) great disappointments of my life is that science fascinates me but I am far too stupid to understand it in any kind of satisfying detail. Despite that this story about "sticky nanotubes" is interesting and I can understand it...well, sort of.

Miley Goes Britney

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The road is a short one and at this point it is boringly familiar: apparently sweet young girl becomes a signing phenomenon, it goes to her head, she starts doing things she wouldn't have done pre-fame, starts using drugs, likes sex a bit too much, rehabs, gets pregnant, rehabs a few more times, etc. Soon she's every bit as ruined as she is rich. Today she's Britney Spears but as news of the 15 year old Miley Cyrus's semi-nude photo shoot came out people are wondering if Miley may not be getting ready to follow in Spears' footsteps.

I hope not.

But that picture is not telling a very encouring story.

Oh The Horror - Dems As They Really Are

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The Democratic primaries have become, as they were destined to do, become a lanced boil in which all the America-hating, race-baiting, class-envying hypocritical ooze has come spilling out for all the world to see. The Dems are forever pretending to get the vapors over the "divisiveness" they impute to the Republicans. But no election season in recent memory has been as suffused with all that is ugly and wrong with America as has this one.

The Reverand Jeremiah Wright is the man of the moment, thundering around from sycophantic interviewers (hello, Bill Moyers) to friendly churches to whoever else may sit in rapt attention at his race-centric rants. In one moment he's deriding America:

The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law, and then wants us to sing God bless America? No, no, no. Not God bless America; God damn America! That's in the Bible, for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating her citizen as less than human. God damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is God and she is supreme!

In the next moment he is "instructing us on his race-centered and peculiar theories of "black learning" and "white learning":

African and African-American children have a different way of learning.

They are right brained, subject oriented in their learning style. Right brain that means creative and intuitive. Subject oriented means they learn from a subject, not an object. They learn from a person. Some of you are old enough, I see your hair color, to remember when the NAACP won that tremendous desegregation case back in 1954 and when the schools were desegregated. They were never integrated. When they were desegregated in Philadelphia, several of the white teachers in my school freaked out. Why? Because black kids wouldn't stay in their place. Over there behind the desk, black kids climbed up all on them.

Race race race race. He doesn't see an American history that we all share and that has created the America we live in. He sees the oppressor majority history and then the African-American-victim history, the abuser history and the history of the abused. He thrives on resentment and separation. His thinking is the natural result of Democratic identity politics which itself thrives on the very same resentments as it is their strategy to achieve elective power.

But he's not the only example of the ugliness of this Democratic campaign. There's the undercurrent of America-hate that pours out of Barack Obama's wealthy wife who has said,

“For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback.”

That before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.

But we don't have to stick to the Obama side of the campaign to see how unpleasant politicians
can make politics. While Obama is constantly reminding us of the Audacity of Hope, Hillary Clinton just reminds us of audacity:

But as we already know, audacity is a Clinton-family trait:

The Democratic freak show rolls on and on, appearing nightly on your TV screens and computer monitors and newspapers: Bill Ayers, wishing he'd only done a better job of blowing America up; Obama and Clinton rushing to say who would abandon Iraq faster even if the military command said that it would lead to an Iraqi government collapse; Barack wanting to raise the capital gains tax even while admitting cutting it raises revenues, for the sole reason of sticking it to the rich and successful.

For those with open minds the Democrats are proving day after day the emptiness of their high-minded rhetoric. And for the first time I actually believe that, because they now have revealed their true nature, the Democrats are going to lose the general election. The Republican party may be seem like the stupid party a good deal of the time but in 2008 it looks like they may just wind up being the lucky party, too.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I Guess Castro Was Too Old To Run

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Only in San Francisco could it be possible that any percentage of the electorate is so insane that Nancy Pelosi could be considered to be too conservative for their tastes. But Bush-hating, Hugo Chavez hugging anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan apparently thinks there are enough nuts out there for her purposes as Sheehan has declared her intention of running against Pelosi.

What charged up Sheehan's engines was

when the president commuted White House aide Scooter Libby's prison sentence last summer...[and] she decided "that seeing George Bush impeached would be a victory for humanity."

Calls for impeachment from Sheehan and other progressives didn't move Pelosi, who already had declared that impeachment was "off the table" when it came to the Democratic congressional agenda.

"In this political environment, the speaker has to work for those things that are possible," said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Pelosi.

Those even more under the spell of Bush Derangement Syndrome than Pelosi disagree thereby giving Sheehan her opening. But throwing President Bush into shackles isn't Sheehan's only cause.
Pelosi's refusal to vote for an immediate end to the Iraq war and to support single-payer health care shows she's out of touch with San Francisco's progressive roots, Sheehan said.

"I'll represent everyone in San Francisco, not just the corporate elite," she said. "I'm working class, my family was working class, and we have struggled the same way our neighbors here in San Francisco have struggled."

No cliche' is too stale for Sheehan, it seems. Despite San Francisco's legendary lunacy she is going to have a tough time overcoming all of Pelosi's advantages; her Speakership, money, connections etc. Politics is politics, after all.

One does have to wonder where Sheehan will go next after her probable loss here. But Pyongyang may suit her...although it might turn out to be too conservative. Its got to be tough being Cindy Sheehan.

Sister Toldjah also posts on this battle of titans.
Don Surber takes note as well.

Expelled Gets An "A"

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Well you've got to give Ben Stein credit; he doesn't kick sand in the face of weaklings. He goes right up to the biggest, most muscle-bound, meanest SOB on the beach, kicks sand in his face and then insults his girlfriend for good measure. Stein's new movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed examines the intolerance of those in academia and science who have excluded all who dare question any of the many flaws in Darwin's theory of evolution.

The reaction to the film represents The Left's second full-blown fit in month. (Their first fit was, of course, after the last Dem debate in which Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos showed Obama to be a lightweight when presented with a couple tough questions.) The grounds for reviling Stein's work have been many and varied. Some, like Time Magazine's Jeffrey Kluger have attacked it for saying that Darwinism was a necessary condition for the growth of Nazism.

It's in the film's final third that it runs entirely off the rails as Stein argues that there is a clear line from Darwinism to euthanasia, abortion, eugenics and--wait for it--Nazism. Theories of natural selection, it's claimed, were a necessary if not sufficient condition for Hitler's killing machine to get started. The truth, of course, is that the only necessary and sufficient condition for human beings to murder one another is the simple fact of being human. We've always been a lustily fratricidal species, one that needed no Charles Darwin to goad us into millenniums of self-slaughter.

I doubt that Kluger is stupid so can only assume that he is only playing stupid in his review. Hitler could certainly not have used Christianity (which he loathed) as a philosophical underpinning for extermination of the Jews but Darwinism fit the bill just fine. When you talk about the survival of the fittest it doesn't take much effort to frame certain groups as intrinsically unfit, therefor making their removal necessary to advance the species. This is what Hitler did. Yes, people will always do terrible things but Darwinism allowed Hitler to do them while saying that it was a necessary good.

Other critics have tried to say that those academics who Stein says lost their jobs for their support of Intelligent Design (ID) did so for other reasons. Michael Shermer (who Stein interviews in the film, making him appear somewhat clueless) attempts a "gotcha" on this point and tries to prove that,

In other words, from the get-go this was much ado about nothing.

But his proof is weak. Of course anyone who tries to prove that academia is free of petty, little fiefdoms and intolerance and is instead a paragon of free-thought is bound to come off as unserious to anyone who has been anywhere near a University in...well, probably since the first one was built.

The really stupid critiques of the film come from such as Valeria Tarico (no, I've never heard of her either but she has apparently written something called The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth. and writes for so you can pretty much see where she's coming from right off the bat) at the very "rational" Huffington Post who attempts to say that Stein is using his movie as a stalking horse to get Creationism into the schools and the minds of all those little children Hillary would like to protect from their parents and dangerous ideas like that of God. In fact Stein is very clear on numerous occasions throughout the movie in stating that ID and Creationism are very different things indeed and Stein gives absolutely no indication that he has any use for Creationism at all.

The film is a very smartly produced, interesting, thought-provoking and entertainingly crafted call for academic freedom. It is understandable why academics are less than thrilled with it as they frequently come off as petulant and small-minded. The legendary Richard Dawkins, author of the The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion comes off especially poorly, at one point suggesting that life on Earth may have been designed but if so it would have to have been by aliens. Then he amusingly and obliviously journeys into the land of the absurd with Stein about what he thinks the chances are that God might exist. 99%? 98%? 49%? His principled scientific rigour disappears like morning fog, much to his irritation.

If Expelled was not a joy to watch in the first place, and it is, watching the sputtering image of Dawkins would alone be worth the price of admission.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air thinks Ben Stein misses the point.