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Ethic Cleansing

The Clinton honeymoon is hardly underway and the Society of Permanent Busybodies is already questioning the integrity of his Transition Committee. They want to know: How can Vernon Jordan, former head of the Urban League and co-chair of the transition, presume to give advice on presidential appointments when he serves on the board of a tobacco company? About the time Read More ›

Evolution Theater

One thing I love about the creation/evolution controversy is that it provides no end of amusement.Take the summer of 1999 for example. When the Kansas state board of education voted to de-emphasize the more speculative aspects of evolution in the state science standards, folks went wild. In a broadside published in Time, Harvard paleontologist and science writer Stephen Jay Gould Read More ›

Army Ad Aggravation

Alas for the Army. Nobody likes their new ads. Of course, the Army isn’t the only service drawing flak for making changes. The Air Force recently adopted a new recruiting slogan, “No One Comes Close” not that swift a choice for a service specializing in precision bombing, perhaps. The Navy’s Spike Lee spots, showing happy, attractive young sailors (both genders) Read More ›


Objections Sustained

Objections Sustained is a collection of essays by UC Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson, also the Program Advisor to Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. In the first half of the book, Johnson presents nine short chapters about Darwinists and Darwinism. Johnson first takes aim at the myth that science and religion occupy completely separate realms. This myth, formally Read More ›

Sunset over Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, U.S.A.

Designed or Designoid

Richard Dawkins begins climbing Mount Improbable by contrasting two rock formations (Dawkins, 1996). The first is a weathered hillside in Hawaii that, when it is viewed from a certain direction at a certain time of day at a certain time of the year, casts a shadow that has a resemblance to John F. Kennedy. The second is the magnificent Mount Read More ›

Suicide in the West

WHEN EUTHANASIA ENTHUSIASTS urged Oregon voters to legalize assisted suicide, they promised an open, rational, and carefully regulated system in which physician-hastened death would be a “last resort.” Voters were also assured that life termination would be conducted under the watchful and protective eye of the state, with rigorous guidelines strictly enforced to prevent abuse. Assisted suicide was to be Read More ›

Our Way of Life is Endangering the Salmon

To keep every cog and wheel,” Aldo Leopold wrote in Round River, “is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” Over the next year, the people of the Pacific Northwest have an opportunity to test that wisdom. On March 9, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) declared its intent to place several populations of chinook salmon on the endangered species list. Read More ›

Let’s Get It Straight: The Empire Was Evil

LET'S be blunt: It is necessary to make it clear who was right about the Cold War. The reason is not to glorify the aging Republicans and Henry Jackson Democrats who were derided as "Cold Warriors" during the four decades between Stalin and Gorbachev, nor to kick those on the left who led peace marches and befriended Havana, Hanoi and Managua. The purposes, rather, are, first, to get the history straight, before the regnant revisionists in academia succeed in distorting it, and, secondly, to reflect on the lessons for our current foreign policy. Under the revisionist interpretation, American sacrifices of blood and treasure during the Cold War were largely a waste of both. The West's actions in the Cold War are seen as more or less morally equivalent to those of the Soviets. These remarkable programs should attract heightened interest in Washington state, home of the late Sen. Henry Jackson, a leader of Cold War "hawks," and also home to some of the most militant opponents of U.S. policy during the Cold War. But of greatest immediate interest, Seattle is home to the chief consultant and inspiration of the project, Dr. Herbert Ellison of the University of Washington. (The series was written and directed by an Englishman, Daniel Wolf, with project management provided by the National Bureau of Asian Research in Seattle.) Read More ›

Let Schools Provide Full Disclosure

The recent news from Post Falls has an all too familiar ring. A group of religiously motivated parents is pressing for the teaching of creationism alongside Darwinian evolution. If they succeed, many fear the A.C.L.U. will sue the school district. On the surface, the Post Falls controversy appears to be yet another dreary and unproductive chapter in the American culture Read More ›