Quick Roundup 93

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mexican Electoral Court: No Fraud

No one -- save Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (aka AMLO) -- is claiming victory in the recent Mexican elections just yet, but it seems that the nation's top electoral court has declared the elections clean.

Mexico's top electoral court has rejected claims July's presidential election was riddled with fraud.

The judges said a partial recount of votes had not changed the original result, which gave narrow victory to conservative candidate Felipe Calderon.

Leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has vowed to continue fighting an outcome he says was rigged.
And how will he "continue fighting"?
... Lopez Obrador has spoken of forming a parallel government to fight what he calls this electoral injustice.

Our correspondent says that is likely to mean a continuation of the massive street protests that have blocked much of the capital during the past month.
As AMLO said, "This is not about blocking highways." And if he and his minions aren't "blocking highways", then I suppose they aren't engaged in a "bloodless civil war", either.

College to Founder?

Noumenalself, after learning about Founders' College and doing a bit of digging, asks a whole lot of questions I wish I had thought of about Gary Hull's proposed new college in Virginia.
... [The Ayn Rand Institute] is clearly emphasizing the importance of changing the system from within the system, and thereby encouraging its students to acquire mainstream credentials and qualifications. It looks as if Founders wants to do the opposite. Rather than reaching out to the academic community, it wants to "ghettoize" Objectivist students and professors from the mainstream.

Of course since the school is not about Objectivism, but about creating quality education, perhaps it is unfair to compare it to ARI's mission. But it is still worth wondering why ARI would not offer unqualified support for a program that promised to offer such quality education. In the past, Yaron Brook has offered enthusiastic public support for schools like the Van Damme Academy. Why not this time?

The comparison to Van Damme is also telling in another way. When Lisa Van Damme began her academy, she did it after having proved her ability to develop a curriculum (in a homeschool setting). Likewise the LePort Schools began as successful Montessori schools before branching into elementary and middle-school education. Where is the proof that Founders College principals have established the same kind of track record? [links dropped]
And the bit about its curriculum being copyrighted sounds borderline hokie to me.

Read it all.

The Theocratic Right

Katherine Harris opens her mouth and removes all doubt, as Mark Twain might put it.

Sudden Jihad in San Fran?

Via Matt Drudge and LGF:
As many as 14 people were injured this afternoon by a motorist who drove around San Francisco running them down before he was arrested, authorities said.

Seven of those injured were in critical condition, police and firefighters said.

Authorities have identified the man who was arrested as Ohmeed Aziz Popal....
Wizbang reports that the name Ohmeed is common in Afghanistan.

This incident occurs on the same day that Glenn Reynolds reports that the thoroughness of the assimilation of Moslem immigrants into American culture is being debated. Reynolds quotes a Washington Post article which claims, perhaps somewhat hyperbolically, that they are not. He then links to a Moslem who claims that her coreligionists are well-assimilated, and quotes a correspondent who notes that "60% of all Americans of middle-eastern descent are college educated, compared to about 40% of all immigrants, and 25.9% of all U.S. citizens".

Reynolds lets him off the hook too easily. ("This seems right to me, and I hope it is.") Not only does Islam preach violence and domination of infidels as virtues in direct contradiction to America's separation of religion from government, but our colleges preach multiculturalism (i.e., manufacture excuses for the children of Moslem immigrants to hate the West and obey the worst dictates of their faith).

And who cares how much better off Moslem immigrants are economically? Has Glenn Reynolds forgotten that Osama bin Laden himself (not to mention many, many other terrorists) was from a very rich family?

Material prosperity does not determine future behavior. Men have free will and the ideas they hold affect what choices they will make. While American Moslems probably are better assimilated than those in Europe, they are teaching their children ideas from Islam that run directly counter to American ideals, and then these notions are reinforced by our broken, state-run educational system. There is more than ample cause for concern.

Awhile back, I discussed "Sudden Jihad Syndrome" further in this post.

Forced Conversions ...

... are, as I suspected, a time-honored part of the Islamic faith.

Is it me?

Or does the Vatican -- under its new Pope or perhaps with Islamofascism as a foil -- seem like it feels freer to indulge more openly in mystical lunacy these days?
There have been growing signs the Pope is considering aligning his church more closely with the theory of "intelligent design" taught in some US states. Advocates of the theory argue that some features of the universe and nature are so complex that they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Critics say it is a disguise for creationism.

A prominent anti-evolutionary and Roman Catholic scientist, Dominique Tassot, told the US National Catholic Reporter that this week's meeting was "to give a broader extension to the debate. Even if [the Pope] knows where he wants to go, and I believe he does, it will take time. Most Catholic intellectuals today are convinced that evolution is obviously true because most scientists say so." In 1996, in what was seen as a capitulation to scientific orthodoxy, John Paul II said Darwin's theories were "more than a hypothesis".
And as if that weren't enough, a Church official said in a recent radio interview that he thought Hitler and Stalin were possessed by the Devil.
Father Gabriel Amworth who is Pope Benedict XVI's 'caster out of demons' made his comments during an interview with Vatican Radio.

Father Amworth said: "Of course the Devil exists and he can not only possess a single person but also groups and entire populations.

"I am convinced that the Nazis were all possessed. All you have to do is think about what Hitler - and Stalin did. Almost certainly they were possessed by the Devil.

"You can tell by their behavior and their actions, from the horrors they committed and the atrocities that were committed on their orders. That's why we need to defend society from demons."

According to secret Vatican documents recently released wartime pontiff Pope Pius XII attempted a "long distance" exorcism of Hitler which failed to have any effect.
A "'long distance' exorcism"? What a howler!

-- CAV


Today: Corrected typos.


Anonymous said...

I think the exorcism of Hitler might have failed because it was performed wirelessly -- wireless connections being so unreliable ... especially back in the 1940s. You'd think that with all his aides, someone would've suggested that Pius uses a wired connection instead. I, for one, have no doubt that Ahmedinejad and bin Laden can be exorcised that way.

Gus Van Horn said...

Of course, this raises the important issue of whether the tin foil hat brigade are possessed (and attempting to defend against remote exorcism). Mwah!


SN said...

The initial reports on Founders College sounded like it would have something to do with Objectivism.

The new plans -- as stated -- don't have anything to do with Objectivism. Hull is quoted as saying [Ayn Rand is]"... not going to get any more special play at Founders than Marx does, Plato does, or any of the popes do."

So, this is not something to get excited about any more. Not any more relevant that another Objectivist doing something not connected with Objectivism; say, like me getting a new programming gig. Given this new mission, the criticism about its effectiveness as a way to promote Objectivism is not relevant any more.

The criticism about its viability is valid. One has to be a bit sceptical about plans that change so much, not just curriculum but also location. Looking at it as a new business (unrelated to Objectivism), the quote that makes my alarm bells go off is when Hull says: "Tell a good story, find a clever marketing company and sell..." As such that's fine; but the lack of any other specifics is a red flag. That's what I heard when I worked for some short-lasting Internet-related companies.

At this point, I'm also aware that Hull's immediate concern is getting government permission to go to the "next step". I realize that he might be releasing less information than he can until that hurdle is crossed.

I'm waiting to let the story unfold.

Gus Van Horn said...


Good points. But one thing NS makes clear in his post that I think is crucial is that if the college WERE to be centered on Objectivism, it would definitely NOT be something to be excited about if the plan were poorly executed.


Gus Van Horn said...

An anonymous commenter writes, in part:


Noumenalself's post seems to be low on facts high on emotion.

Some examples: Lisa Van Damme Academy hired Harriman, Lewis, etc. to teach and create the curriculum AFTER she started her school. Dr. Leport bought the Montessori schools and is also developing the curriculum AFTER the higher grades are up and running.

Dr. Brook didn't "offer enthusiastic public support" until the schools were licenced and up and running. Founders is following the exact steps Van Damme and Leport used to get started.

Were did Hull say he was going to ghettoized students and teachers, were did he say he was going pay the professors poorly?