France is burning, because well, even though the French are naturally more enlightened than the Americans, they aren't very good at assimilating new immigrants or providing jobs for their children or their children's children. The United States has shown that it does not run a Gulag - it contracts that work to Eastern European countries who have the infrastructure and experience to do the job properly. At the same time, America's mainstream media and much of its public opinion is behaving exactly as the insurgency in Iraq has been hoping. We are appalled at two thousand American military (volunteer military) casualties over a more than two year period, even though say the battle of Iwo Jima cost SEVEN thousand American lives. The insurgents have killed 26,000 Iraqis, and the Iraqis are not ready to given in.
So where have I been? Well, AWOL, I guess. I have finally finished the first three volumes of John P. Meier's A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. It has taken me over a year. To those who are interested, I offer you my review.
What else? The earth is getting warmer, and studies at my lab are getting increasingly precise at identifying the burning of fossil fuels as contributing to it. On the other hand, Mars is getting warmer, too. I could blame Halliburton, but I think a better explanation is that there may also be a solar forcing component to planetary warming.
In any event, the world is going to Hell in a handbasket, while I retreat into my books. I must be getting obsolete. On the other hand, maybe this is a good time to pause, and to think about whether there are such things as free will and human progress, Divine Providence and election, and the extent to which anything we think or do really matters. More on this in a future posting, I hope. Besides, the present problems are not unprecedented - the world has been going to Hell in a handbasket ever since the Old Testament prophets said it was. In other words, SNAFU, which is a military abbreviation for "Situation Normal: All F---ed Up."