Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Big Bang Balloons

National Geographic had an article in May 2005 about Einstein and the universe titled Beyond the Big Bang: Einstein's Evolving Universe. The article talks about an idea that Einstein had that he later rejected which may now be resurrected to explain the expanding universe. Einstein was surprised when Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding. But in the late 20th century, scientists were surprised to discover that the expansion was actually accelerating. What forces are there either within or beyond the universe that would draw the galaxies out from their point of origin - the "big bang" - at an accelerating rate?
Scientists are beginning to theorize that our universe may not be the only universe, that it may be only one ballooning mass of many, perhaps even an infinite number, of such universes. It has never made any sense to me to think that beyond the edge of our universe nothing else exists, that for an eternity of distance and time, the only matter in existence is what we can see with our telescopes and that everything that exists for an eternity emerged from one big explosion 14 billion years ago. I can grant that the big bang may have been the origin for our universe, but saying that this is all there is is like saying God only created life on earth - it makes no sense to me to be so self-focused. Now it's beginning to look like I am not the only one imagining the possibilities.
A three-page fold-out, pages 110 to 112, of this May 2005 issue of National Geographic is an artist's illustration of this concept. This picture is what really caught my eye about the article. An edited version of the picture is online at the National Geographic website for May 2005 so if you are curious, you can see it. But I think that picture belongs on the wall of every science classroom in the world. It was a real eye-opener for me.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Five Points

I should have been taking notes last night watching the news on PBS. They interviewed two people who had attended President Bush's war consultation. One was Republican James R. Schlesinger, career bureaucrat under Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Bush Jr. The other was Democrat Madeleine Albright, 64th Secretary of State. After the interview, I jotted down five important points made by Schlesinger. I'm not working from the transcript, only from my aging memory, but here's what I gathered from him:
1. The Bush administration knows how to walk and chew gum at the same time.
2. With respect to Iraq, the happy talk is over. We'll be hearing it the way it is from now on.
3. These Islamists want us all dead.
4. We can't pull out of Iraq without seriously harming America's national security, but if we stay in, there are "no guarantees... no guarantees..."
5. Comparing the Iraq War with World War II, there have been nowhere near enough American casualties yet for anyone in the US to be concerned. In one day in World War II there were five times as many casualties as we have had in the entire Iraq War. Mind you, I might have gotten this one wrong. Schlesinger was squeezing this point in at the end of the interview but it had to do with five times something about World War II.
I thought, "Oh wow! So this is how we should be seeing things now! What an enlightening interview! That sure bolsters my faith in the Bush administration!"

No Law

It seems that no little law is going to stop President Bush from doing whatever he wants to do with respect to torturing interrogatees:
"The executive branch shall construe section 8104, relating to integration of foreign intelligence information, in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority as Commander in Chief, including for the conduct of intelligence operations, and to supervise the unitary executive branch."
At least now we know where the buck stops whenever we hear nightmare stories about US agents torturing prisoners.
Unitary executive branch? There's an interesting term to Google...
From Wikipedia quoting Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito:
"The Constitution makes the president the head of the executive branch, but it does more than that.... The president has not just some executive powers, but the executive power—the whole thing." (The Wall Street Journal, 5 January 2006, p. 1.)
In other words, "Heil!"

Page 2

There's a new name on the political landscape in Washington. His name is Russ Tice. He was fired from the NSA in 2005 after seeking stronger whistleblower protection from Congress.
The roadblock in most people's minds when it comes to conspiracy theory is that it is impossible to keep secrets in Washington. If anyone were to write a book about how it's done, the Joe Wilson affair should be on page 1. This story should be page 2.

Pretty Faces

Some things just make you scratch your head and wonder:
Bush prefers Martin spokesman to his own

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Oil Slick

Word has it that Ahmad Chalabi has become the oil minister in Iraq for a month or so. A month should give him time enough to replenish his bank accounts, shouldn't it?
Here's an oil ministry insider joke about it from Baghdad Burning.
“You know how they used to check our handbags when we first walked into the ministry?” She asked the day after Chalabi crowned himself Oil Emperor, “Now WE check our handbags after we leave the ministry- you know- to see if Chalabi stole anything.”

Activist Pres

How does an activist administration get political obstructionist hacks into top positions despite increasing concern in Congress?

Novel Idea

Here's a novel idea. Offer (from the comfort of your brand new Mercedes) male prostitutes the opportunity to come to your hotel room for oral sex so you can evangelize them... If it weren't for the damned cops...
Oh, wait, his claim was this: "I was set up. I was in the area pastoring to police." So he knew the man he propositioned was a cop? Well now I am confused. Praise the Lord for truth, though! Somehow the truth will cum (sp.?) out in the end.
Tulsa Pastor Arrested In OKC On Lewdness Charge

Sunday, January 01, 2006

No Intelligent Life

Yesterday I was in the local library and I noticed a box by the front door stuffed with magazines. The box had "Take These" written on the side, so I took out the one on front, an issue of National Geographic. On the back cover is a Toyota ad with an SUV parked on a slanted rock outcropping with no roads in sight. The caption reads:
Some people might take issue with this by claiming that God is out there and God is intelligent. But I'm sure that wasn't Toyota's point. They weren't saying there is no God. What they were implying is that this Toyota SUV can take you to places where there are no other people but you. I can do that with a 1994 Chevy Cavalier with 217,000 miles on it, but that's because I live in Maine. I wouldn't expect a National Geographic reader in New York City to try it.
But that's not my point...
What this ad inadvertently says is that there is no intelligent life in nature except for mankind. That claim is an easy one for an advertisement to make because that's been a mainstay in civilized thought for centuries if not millennia. We civilized humans have deceived ourselves into believing that we and God are the only intelligence on earth.
This morning when I looked at that ad, I realized that this is the problem with the theory of intelligent design. The fundamental claim in the theory of intelligent design, the one connection between that theory and science, is the claim that science can find no intelligent mechanism in evolution and that life is too complex to have evolved through random mutation. Stated more simply, there is no intelligence in nature. For nature to have evolved, there must have been an intelligent designer because nature itself is not intelligent enough to have done the job.
At the very heart of this argument for intelligent design is this long-held misconception that the only intelligent being on earth is Man and we get our intelligence from our special relationship with God. The rest of nature goes without.
For the record let me state that nothing could be further from the truth.

Happy New Year!

I just removed 22 items of spyware from my computer, about what is to be expected for not scanning it in two days. A purchased version of Webroot Spy Sweeper runs in the background. I scan with Ad-Aware SE Personal, the free version. Now that warrantless government spying has openly been declared legal by the President of the United States, will there be more or less spyware around when 2006 draws to a close? Any predictions?