December 16, 2004
Merry Christmas!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas holiday. I'll be offline until about the New Year.

My regrets to my wonderful commentators that have been having quite a discussion on the Intelligent Design threads – largely without my participation. I tried to make time to contribute this week, but ended up spending over six hours of my scarce time fighting spam. I have new sympathy for Napoleon's quote Go sir, gallop, and don't forget that the world was made in six days. You can ask me for anything you like, except time.

I've asked my MT technical advisor to turn off all my comments at once. Many thanks for the fast and gracious support! All comments will be turned off while I travel. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I dread coming back to literally thousands of spam comments. I will work on a long-term solution to comment spam when I return.

Best wishes to all and to all a good night.

December 15, 2004
803 Emails – Half Comment Spam
This morning I came in to work early (arrived before 6:00 AM my time), so I could finally make time to respond to some comments and work on my next promised post. I checked my email for the first time since Saturday and found 803 new emails. I expected a few hundred, as I get a lot of mail from the site. However, the spam situation is getting out of hand. I will be cleaning this up as fast as I can. I currently use MT-Blacklist (thanks King), but this is no longer doing the job. The spammers are creating new sites faster than I can ban them. MT Blacklist may have some updates, if time permits – my biggest problem – I will see if I can find some updates. As much as I dislike the idea, I may have to adopt a site registration system where only those who register may leave comments. Any thoughts?

December 10, 2004
What is Science?
We have been having an interesting discussion about science, the scientific method, theory-driven science and data-driven science as a small part of a larger discussion on intelligent design and evolution (macro- and micro-). The comments cover so much ground that I thought it best to create new posts for each of the subtopics. This post is for general discussions on science itself. I say general because it will also include the scientific method, theory-driven science, data-driven science, and other topics as suggested by our very varied commentators.

December 08, 2004
Over the Hump Day and Penguins
This is the last week of regular classes at my university. I just finished reviewing and grading the extensive presentations by thirty-some very smart and enthusiastic students over the last three class days. I then logged in to check my fun (solport) email and found almost 500 messages. While I get a lot of email from my site that I enjoy, I rarely get hundreds per day unless my site has been spammed. Sure enough, the comments at my roundtable were full of spam. So after cleaning all of these up, I feel like one of the penguins below. I'm sure you can guess which one...

I'm going to go watch some mindless entertainment and crash. I hope to surface in a day or two to respond to some of the great comments in the Intelligent Design thread.

December 06, 2004
UN and the Ukraine

As you probably have been reading Ukraine has had a very controversial election. I think this would be a good forum to discuss what the UN, center of international law and the body which validates world governments, is doing to resolve this crisis.

Ambassador Lieberman?
I saw this note at the Poliblogger:
According to Bill Kristol on Fox New Sunday this morning the Bush administration wants Joe Lieberman to be the US ambassador to the UN, and has allegedly contacted him for the job.
This is not going to happen. If this rumor is true, then President Bush is just stroking Lieberman’s ego and looking bipartisan at no cost to himself. In the remote chance Lieberman said yes, gaining another Republican senate seat would be well worth any Republican flack Bush might take over appointing a Democrat. I doubt there would be any flack at all, most conservatives would be giddy over gaining another vote in the Senate. (Connecticut just elected a Republican governor, so I'm naturally assuming she would appoint a Republican to Lieberman's position).

I would love to be proven wrong about Lieberman accepting this offer, but I'm convinced this is a non-story. It is not going to happen. Period.

December 02, 2004
Intelligent Design vs. Intelligent Design
I got involved in a minor debate at Outside the Beltway. I say minor because the post's author didn't seem to have much heart for the debate – he just wanted people to accept his perspective despite his inability to defend his claims. For those unfamiliar with Outside the Beltway, this is not normal fare – the writers there are usually both open minded and better able to defend their points when people disagree.

I bring this up because I wrote down a prediction I have about what scientists will be debating in the latter half of this century. The big debate in 50 years will be ID vs ID. Who created us? A supernatural power (i.e., God) or aliens? Crick, one of the co-discoverers of DNA, believed aliens created life on Earth – he did not believe in God, but he knew better than most how flawed the idea of evolution really is. While I disagree with Crick, his theory is far more viable than Darwin’s old theory. As more and more scientists dump Darwin, the naturalists amongst them will not adopt creationism. So I expect to see a plethora of other ID theories coming down the pike along with seeing many people follow in Crick's footsteps.

Current Accounts Deficits

Question for the economists in the audience:

Why can't a US state (California, for example) run a current accounts deficit relative to another US state while a country (the US for example) can run a current accounts deficit relative to a foreign country?