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Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus
by Dinesh D'Souza
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Paperback (01 October, 1998)
list price: $19.50 -- our price: $19.50
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Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars consequences of misguided attempts to help
This book discusses a number of prevalent but questionable practices at most universities: (1) admissions policies (making the point that students admitted on the basis of preferential treatment are ill-equipped to compete in college courses and thus tend to confirm racial and ethnic stereotypes of inferiority rather than reverse them), (2) course content (American history, Western culture, etc. are now routinely condemned rather than praised as in the past), and (3) suspension of first and fourth amendment rights of freedom of speech and due process of law.To avoid predictable charges of misquoting, the author uses the perpetrator's own words, thus letting them hang themselves.For example, a pamphlet put out by the American Sociological Association says that "it is not open to debate whether a white student is racist..., he simply is." (p.8)And the law school faculty of SUNY Buffalo adopted a resolution that "our intellectual community shares values that go beyond a... commitment to open and unrestrained debate." (p. 9)As the book goes on to document case after case and quote source after source, it becomes clear that these examples are not mere isolated instances but are typical cases.
The bad news is that things have gotten worse since this book came out in 1991.Also, this book does not explain how such a counterproductive education system came to be.Other books provides pieces of the answer, but for a full account up to the present time, get The Rape of Alma Mater.And for a view of how all this affects women specifically, get Who Stole Feminism?

1-0 out of 5 stars Nonsense!
Some say the arguments against Afrocentrism formally opened with the publication of Dinesh D'Souza's Illiberal Education in 1991. Now a professor at Stanford, D'Souza was a young conservative journalist at the American Enterprise Institute, a D.C. located public-policy right-wing self-proclaimed "think-tank". No wonder D'Souza spends a chapter of the text ("In Search of Black Pharaohs: The Roots of Protest at Howard")having the gall to seethe at the intellectual activities of Howard University, the breeding ground for Eric Williams' Capitalism and Slavery among other brilliant publications. D'Souza complains that the modern American university, in the name of diversity and multiculturalism, has stifled debate and intimidated larger society into accepting new canons. These canons are essentially race and gender-based propositions that one must accept or risk being ostracized as sexist or racist.
Illiberal Education opens by describing the ideal university campus: a place that is "serene and opulent", with students "[moving] in small groups", Ivy Leagues "[giving] off a distinct aroma of old money and tradition."He then launches into a criticism of campus protest, trivializing the University of Michigan race-scandals of the early 1990's, whittling the whole episode down to [...] and blacks demanding the chance to make punching bags out of inoffensive white male students. He pours sympathy on poor Robert Gallagher, a Princeton University professor who opposed Women's Studies in the 1980's. D'Souza argues that Western thought has historically been self-criticising (i.e. Marxism is a criticism of Western bourgeois culture that sprung specifically from Western bourgeois culture) and that the teaching method of the typical liberal curricula pre-Afrocentrism and gender-focused studies was disputation, not indoctrination.
Forgetting that racism and sexism are still weighty social realities for many Americans and that all Americans are victims of both sexism and racism, Illiberal Education concludes that recent gender and ethnic studies programs are unfortunately based on unnecessary indoctrinationist principles. The book does not analyse anything written at the Howard University Press closely. D'Souza argues vehemently against affirmative action programs, multiculturalism, left-wing academia in all its packages, and `political correctness'. Excerpts from his book have appeared in stories in New Republic and Forbes Magazine. Also, more than two dozen major newspapers and magazines have reviewed Illiberal Education. In promoting his publication, Dinesh D'Souza spoke at numerous colleges and universities, followed by a 20-city media tour and appearances on such network talk and news shows as Good Morning America and Nightline. Instead of bemoaning separatist activities of Afrocentric groups, D'Souza asks, in the front flap of his book Letters To A Young Conservative, "Are you tired of the liberal agenda that dominates so many aspects of American life?" without recognising that America is largely a puritan state. His book What's So Great About America has a chapter called "Two Cheers for Colonialism" and another called "The Reparations Fallacy: What African-Americans Owe America." He idolises Ronald Reagan, the man who opposed both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1970 and called the Voting Rights Act of 1965 "humiliating to the South".

Nonsense!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars A neo-racist tries to reopen a Pandora's box
Combining a bad writing style with a penchant for self-righteousness, D'Souza comes across as the sort of guy who might serve as the ideologue for loony would be dictators.
This book is bad enough, but D'Souza would get progressively worse in both writing style and sense of logic.You might wonder how anything written worse than this could even be published. But then bad books are the stock-in-trade of the conservative press. ... Read more

Isbn: 0684863847
Sales Rank: 248015
Subjects:  1. Education    2. Education / Teaching    3. Educational Policy & Reform    4. General    5. Higher    6. Philosophy & Social Aspects    7. Education / General   


$19.50

The Exorcist
by William Peter Blatty
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Mass Market Paperback (March, 2000)
list price: $6.99 -- our price: $6.99
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Editorial Review

When originally published in 1971, The Exorcist became not only a bestselling literary phenomenon, but one of the most frightening and controversial novels ever written. (When the author adapted his book to the screen two years later, it then became one of the most terrifying movies ever made.) Blatty fictionalized the true story of a child's demonic possession in the 1940s. The deceptively simple story focuses on Regan, the 11-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C.; the child apparently is possessed by an ancient demon. It's up to a small group of overwhelmed yet determined humans to somehow rescue Regan from this unspeakable fate. Purposefully raw and profane, this novel still has the extraordinary ability to literally shock us into forgetting that it is "just a story." The Exorcist remains a truly unforgettable reading experience. Blatty published a sequel, Legion, in 1983. --Stanley Wiater ... Read more

Reviews (179)

5-0 out of 5 stars Horror At It's Finest
"The Exorcist" by William Peter Blatty is one of the scariest and most interesting books I have ever read.This is a must read for anyone who is a fan of the horror genre."The Exorcist" is about the events surrounding a girl named Regan possessed by an evil demon.Blatty not only writes an immensely scary story, but a very interesting one as well.Every single character is well thought out and well written.I especially liked Damien Karras, a priest who is having problems with his faith and doubts about God.Also the debate over whether or not Regan is actually possessed had to be one of the most intriguing ideas in the book.

This book is a masterpiece. It's horror at its finest.It definatly isn't meant for a younger audience, I think that it is fine for ages 16 and up.Also, if you are not a fan of horror, don't read this book.However, if you do like horror, than this is a must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars SCARY
Its even scarier than the movie, because u can picture it happening and those images stay in your mind, especialy if you are about to go to sleep...

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't miss it
Sometimes, the worst thing that can happen to a great book is to be made into a great movie.The Exorcist is a case in point.First, because the movie was well done and secondly, because it's visual pyrotechnics were so memorable, there is a danger that people will ignore the novel.This would be a great mistake.The Exorcist is not simply a horror novel, like all great horror stories (Frankenstein [see review], Dracula, etc.) the supernatural happenings merely offer a way for the author to meditate upon greater issues.In memory, the movie may seem to be "about" Regan's possession by a demon; in fact, Blatty is telling a story about Father Damian's crisis of faith.Paradoxically, being forced to confront this great evil serves to restore Damian's faith in God.

This is a great book (remarkably enough, it is based on actual incidents), don't miss it.

... Read more

Isbn: 0061007226
Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - Horror    3. General    4. Horror - General    5. Movie-TV Tie-In - General    6. Fiction / Movie or Television Tie-In   


$6.99

What's So Great About America
by Dinesh D'Souza
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (27 May, 2003)
list price: $15.00 -- our price: $10.50
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Editorial Review

Look again at the title of this book: it's not a question, but a statement. "America is the greatest, freest, and most decent society in existence," writes Dinesh D'Souza. "American life as it is lived today [is] the best life that our world has to offer." There are those who hate it, or at least essential elements of it, from radical Islamists to the likes of Patrick Buchanan (on the right) and Jesse Jackson (on the left). But they are wrong to hate it, and D'Souza grapples with all of them in this engaging and compelling volume. D'Souza is the author of provocative books such as Illiberal Education and The End of Racism, plus the appreciative Ronald Reagan. This may be his most personal book, with parts written in the first person as the India-born D'Souza describes his encounter with the United States, first as an immigrant and now as a citizen. Foreign authors such as Alexis de Tocqueville and Gunnar Myrdal have offered some of the most penetrating assessments of America, and D'Souza clearly shares in this noble tradition. "I am constantly surprised by how much I hear racism talked about and how little I actually see it," he writes. What's So Great About America is also vintage D'Souza, full of feisty arguments and sharp humor. He is perhaps better at explaining why America's critics are wrong than explaining why America's celebrants are right, but he's very good at both. Written in the months following the September 11 terrorist strikes, this book should find a large and receptive audience. --John Miller ... Read more

Reviews (210)

5-0 out of 5 stars Why do people hate America, yet want to live here ?
This book explains the reason why so many people "bad-mouth" the U.S. and "American culture", but yet, millions want to move to the U.S. either short-term or long-term. The truth is, the U.S. provides the best life in terms of wealth and freedom, and they just can't get that back home. The book is by a man who moved here, and explains, from the outside in, why the U.S. is so great.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's not a question - it's a statement
What's so great about America.It's not a question, it's a statement.And D'Souza proceeds in clear and precise logic to show why America is such a great nation.He starts by analyzing the complaints from the Middle-Eastern terrorists, the Europeans, the Asians, and even the "intellectual elite" of America, who are perhaps the loudest critics.He examines colonialism, slavery, and racial preferences.He covers immigration and why others want to come here, and very convincingly discusses American morality and religion.And he supports all his assertions with sound research and statistics.

Being an immigrant himself, D'Souza knows of what he speaks.He is able to contrast his experience with that of others.His experiences in the Reagan administration have given him an interesting insight that many of us take for granted.I found his logic not only persuasive, but uplifting at a time when so many within our own country seek only to divide and tear us apart.I can highly recommend this book to help one appreciate the blessing it is to live in America, and as food for thought for those who think otherwise.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Right Stuff
Give the man credit: he has an opinion, and he has guts.Anyone who's attended a top university in the US knows the courage it takes to challenge political orthodoxy in the rarefied palaces of academe.Yet during the campus backlash years of the Reagan administration, when students and professors busied themselves with anti-apartheid sit-ins and protests over human rights abuses in Nicaragua, Dinesh D'Souza made a splash, and more than a few enemies, when he founded the dissident conservative college paper "Dartmouth Review".The very name, with its less than subtle evocations of another well-known conservative maverick, caused a collective shudder of fear and loathing through the armies of radical activists standing guard over the fading glories of the 60s.

Since that time D'Souza has carved a niche of respect for himself in American intellectual life with his writings on American politics and sociology.His controversial recent works, "Iliberal Education" and "The End of Racism", were an out and out declaration of war on the system of leftist elites which preside over the development of thought at the nation's universities, and a systematic and devasting dissection of the cult of political correctness and its pernicious effect on the psyche of American society.

In "What's So Great About America", a lengthy post 9/11 analysis of what's gone right in the US and wrong most everywhere else in the world, D'Souza is at his most convincing and least doctinaire.He's matured as a writer, and approaches this work with the confidence of a battle scarred survivor with no axe to grind, just hard-won wisdom to share in a dangerous, unsettled world.

It's refreshing how unafraid he is to put controversial topics on the table, challenging the reader to interpret only the facts that history gives us, the truth as we know it, unalloyed by ideological contamination.He fuses heart-felt patriotism of the old fashioned kind with reasoned, thoughtful analysis.An intellectual who actually pens chapters with bold faced titles "The Reparations Fallacy:What African Americans Owe America", and "Two Cheers For Colonialism: How the West Prevailed", and then lays out his ideas with good natured, and convincing, pragmatism, offers an unequalled voice of reason in the dark forest of relativsm where American thought languishes.

Given the timing of "What's So Great..", it's important that a work like this comes to us courtesy of a recent immigrant.There's a perspective here impossible to duplicate among our nation's coddled natural born citizenry, many of whom condemn their native land as they would a resented parent who's spoiled them into impossible expectations.D'Souza brings none of this baggage to his work.He's grateful and proud to be a US citizen without feeling any need to disrespect his culture of birth.He's just seen the superiority of life here, the energy, the possibilties.

In his chapter "Becoming American", he lays out the central and simple idea that life in America is rich and bountiful not because the streets are paved with gold, but because people are allowed to create their own individuality here as they can nowhere else in the world. Accountant, Bohemian, novelist, politician, internet entrepreneur, painter...the choice here is infinite, and it is yours.The individual is the starting point of everything in American society.

This message has a ringing authenticity from someone who hails from a world where fate is prescribed, religion and God dominate, and individual initiative is spurned and in many cases squashed.There's no smugness in D'Souza's message.He articulates the hopes of immigrants to this nation for four centuries.And as uplifting as his analysis is, it's equally unsettling in its assessment of world hatred and resentment.

He draws the conclusion that history will ensure that right will prevail, and that America is nothing less than the beacon on the hill for a benighted world.His voice is consonant with the neo-conservatives and their doctrine of spreading peace and prosperity through democracy.But his tone is more modulated than theirs, reminding us of the intensity of the enemy's determination, and warning that, however worthwhile and necessary, the struggle towards a liberal world society will require all the force of unified will the nation can muster. ... Read more

Isbn: 0142003018
Subjects:  1. General    2. Government - U.S. Government    3. History    4. History - General History    5. History: American    6. Political History    7. United States - General   


$10.50

Carrie
by Stephen King
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Paperback (01 November, 2002)
list price: $7.99 -- our price: $7.19
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Editorial Review

Why read Carrie? Stephen King himself has said that he finds his early work "raw," and Brian De Palma's movie was so successful that we feel like we have read the novel even if we never have. The simple answer is that this is a very scary story, one that works as well--if not better--on the page as on the screen. Carrie White, menaced by bullies at school and her religious nut of a mother at home, gradually discovers that she has telekinetic powers, powers that will eventually be turned on her tormentors. King has a way of getting under the skin of his readers by creating an utterly believable world that throbs with menace before finally exploding. He builds the tension in this early work by piecing together extracts from newspaper reports, journals, and scientific papers, as well as more traditional first- and third-person narrative in order to reveal what lurks beneath the surface of Chamberlain, Maine.

News item from the Westover (ME) weekly Enterprise, August 19, 1966: "Rain of Stones Reported: It was reliably reported by several persons that a rain of stones fell from a clear blue sky on Carlin Street in the town of Chamberlain on August 17th."

Although the supernatural pyrotechnics are handled with King's customary aplomb, it is the carefully drawn portrait of the little horrors of small towns, high schools, and adolescent sexuality that give this novel its power, and assures its place in the King canon. --Simon Leake ... Read more

Reviews (360)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read!
The book "Carrie" is about a teenage girl who has no friends and has been the butt of every joke.She has a very religous mother and has no father.The sweet thingabout Carrie is that she has a power, telekinesis.She just discovers her power and at first doesn't really use it for anything bad, but as things get worse for her in school and at home she starts "flexing" her power.Then the biggest and meanest trick the kids at school could ever play on her, at prom, happened and Carrie went crazy.If you want to know more about this book then you'll have to read it yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars A moving, short King read
I have read nearly all of King's more recent books and am just now getting to some of his older ones.This is a great book.It's scary, moving, and sad.Carrie is a short book that reads at an excellent pace.A must for any King fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars So Far Fetched but True
Everyone knows that Carrie is a loner in her high school in Maine.All her life, she's been harassed in any way, shape, or form you can imagine.Her father is dead and her widowed mother, Margaret White is a religious nut who's abusive and believes strange things, such as showers are sinful.One day in the locker room, Carrie gets her first period.(This is later than the regular age a female should get one.)She gets frustrated and when she gets out of the shower, all the girls throw period pads and tampons at her.She's given permission to go home and is addressed as Cassie, which upsets her.Prom's coming up, and the gym teacher that cares for Carrie deeply, punishes the girls that were involved.She gives them detention, and Chris, one student who hates Carrie, isn't happy about this and vows to get revenge on her.Her friend, Sue Snell seems to have learned her lesson and doesn't really hold anything against Carrie anymore.She pities Carrie and asks her steady boyfriend, Tommy Ross, who's the most popular boy in the school, to take Carrie to the prom.So they go.(Carrie's momma did disapprove of this, but she went anyway.)Carrie is having a good time and Tommy treats her well and even confesses that she's beautiful.Carrie and Tommy are voted as prom queen and king.Carrie feels so wonderful.She feels like she is finally accepted.Then it happened.Pig's blood is poured on her.This was planned by the rotten students who would do anything to make outsiders miserable.These people are really out there, and this is where Stephen King's story is actually true.But they don't know about Carrie's amazing telekinesis powers.In short, she destroys the gym where prom takes place.People get electrocuted and those who didn't escape right away die.This chaos is bought out to the streets.This concludes in a small graduating class.The staff of the school has mixed feelings towards the unbelievable tragedy and the gym teacher regrets she did not reach out to Carrie, who eventually dies.Sue Snell is one of the survivors because she didn't attend prom of course.She writes about her feelings towards Carrie and it was better late than never that someone finally shaped up and understood Carrie's miserable life.Anyone should read this book, whether you're a horror story fan or not, pick it up.This plot may seem strange, but its true meaning is real.Even the people who have a large social life should read this.One will get to know what it's like to be a lonely outcast.This is why this is such a popular book-So many people are like Carrie at one point in their lives or worse, all the time. ... Read more

Isbn: 0671039725
Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - Horror    3. Horror    4. Horror - General    5. Science Fiction - General    6. Fiction / General   


$7.19

Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology
by William A. Dembski
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Hardcover (01 October, 1999)
list price: $22.00
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Editorial Review

"Einstein once remarked that the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible." This statement, quoted by William Dembski, is a way of summarizing intelligent design theory, which argues that it is possible to find evidence for design in the universe. The author of The Design Inference (a scholarly exploration of this topic published by Cambridge University Press) in this book aims to show the lay reader "how detecting design within the universe, and especially against the backdrop of biology and biochemistry, unseats naturalism"--and above all Darwin's expulsion of design in his theory of evolution.

Intelligent Design is organized into three parts: the first part gives an introduction to design and shows how modernity--science in the last two centuries--has undermined our intuition of this truth. The second and central part of the book examines "the philosophical and scientific basis for intelligent design." The final part shows how "science and theology relate coherently and how intelligent design establishes the crucial link between the two." This suggests that Dembski is not simply rejecting Darwin and naturalism on fundamentalist or biblical grounds. While grounded in faith, he wishes to show how "God's design is accessible to scientific inquiry." As such, the book should be of interest to all thinking believers. --Doug Thorpe ... Read more

Reviews (43)

1-0 out of 5 stars A foolish attempt!
Mr. Dembski shoots himself in the foot and destroys any chance that Intelligent Design might have had to be accepted as a true scientific approach in search of answers, when he makes a foolish attempt to link intelligent design to religions (mainly Christianity), miracles, and so on.
There are number of ways one can logically argue that there is a creator... but what is really difficult and more meaningful to conclude are the characteristics of such a creator and how involved the creator gets in the daily affairs of the universe.And Mr. Dembski does not shed any light on these matters, not scientifically anyway.
The discussion about the existence of God by any serious researcher must be separated from the beliefs promoted by organized religions such as Christianity.Religious teachings are full of obvious flaws and contradictions, which are not worth wasting my or any intellectual's time discussing.
God may or may not exist... but the proof of God's existence does not give any legitimacy to religious beliefs, as these beliefs can be easily discarded by a bottom-top approach.

1-0 out of 5 stars This book is supposed to be intelligent???
This book introduces the theory of "intelligent design creationism" (IDC) to a lay readership, but it is fairly dense in some places and requires careful reading.

Dembski says IDC is 3 things: a scientific research program investigating the effects of intelligent causes; an intellectual movement challenging Darwinism; and a way of understanding divine action.Interestingly, Dembski does not cite a single published scientific study utilizing IDC concepts in biology.What kind of research program is it that doesn't perform or publish any actual research???

Chs. 2 and 3 review the place of miracles and design in the history of philosophy.These were interesting chapters, especially Spinoza's epistemological critique of miracles as a "God of the gaps" kind of reasoning.Dembski denies that IDC involves GOTG reasoning, but IDC looks tailor-made to serve as the bull's eye for Spinoza's withering critique.

The meat of the book is Chs. 4 thru 6, exposing evolution's alleged flaws and highlighting IDC's alleged strengths, but Dembski must be a vegetarian, cause there's precious little meat here.Apparently the flaws of evolution consist of the fact that there are still important issues that have not been resolved yet.(GOTG???)But why that requires us to abandon evolution is never explained.There are important, unresolved issues in the theories of gravity, medicine, and mathematics too, but few people demand that we abandon those disciplines.Why treat evolution differently?Dembski never explains.

Dembski uses the word "rigorous" over a dozen times to characterize IDC, but merely claiming to be rigorous is not the same thing as actually being rigorous.Dembski's claims seem to rest on a single scientist, Michael Behe, and on a single concept, irreducible complexity (IC).But placing all of his intellectual eggs in Behe's basket is risky, not rigorous.As my review of Darwin's Black Box reports, Behe`s concept of IC is obviously unworkable.

For example, Dembski recommends that "knock out" experiments be done to help increase knowledge of IC systems.(One protein is "knocked out" of a complex system to test what happens next.)The problem is that many such experiments have already been done, and they've been a disaster for Behe and IC.Supposedly "irreducible" systems frequently still work fine, even with dozens of parts missing, exactly the opposite of what Behe claims!

With Behe "knocked out," Dembski's empirical support for IDC vanishes, and he is left with nothing but analogies, and even those do more harm than good.

Dembski's first analogy, a hypothetical SETI broadcast of the prime numbers from 2 to 100, supposedly shows that "designed" information is similar to biological information.But the SETI numbers are all lined up neatly, in perfect order.Analogizing that to the helter-skelter arrangement of DNA hardly shows equivalent signs of design.Quite the opposite, the obvious DIS-similarity indicates that biological information is different from "designed" information.

Dembski's next analogy, that a rat making its way through a long maze without making a single wrong turn demonstrates the same sort of intelligence that we see in biological information, backfires too, since millions of extinct species demonstrate that there have been millions of "wrong turns" in the history of life.(Perhaps the designer got lost???)

Dembski is finally reduced to claiming, "Because God is intimately involved with the world moment by moment, there is no question that God interacts with the world."In other words, the pretense of empirical evidence is abandoned, the claim of scientific rigor is forgotten, and the proof of IDC turns out to be nothing more than the assumption that it is true.Can you spell C-I-R-C-U-L-A-R?

Interestingly, in Chapters 4 and 7 Dembski makes it very clear that he considers the young-earth creationists (YEC) completely ridiculous.Dembski openly rejects the literal meaning of Genesis 1 and 2 and insists that modern interpretations of Genesis must accommodate modern scientific knowledge, like the Big Bang and billions of years.YECs won't like that!

Members of other religions are likely to be just as unhappy.Dembski calls Greek and Hindu religious beliefs "pathetic."

Dembski's intolerance is worrisome, since his theory seems to be linked to definite political goals.According to Dembski, if humans are in fact designed, then we are probably hard-wired with psychosocial constraints which should NOT be transgressed.Dembski says many modern attitudes and behaviors undermine human flourishing, and says IDC "promises" to reinvigorate natural law conceptions of social ethics and eliminate those attitudes and behaviors.

That promise sounds more like a threat.Clearly Dembski thinks IDC should lead to social engineering based on his personal interpretation of the Bible; but idiosyncratic ideas for Bible-based social engineering have been tried before, in Nazi Germany, America's racist South , and apartheid South Africa, for example.The results were not good.

Hitler argued in Mein Kampf that it was morally wrong under his idiosyncratic view of the Bible to educate blacks, a position that other creationists still endorse today.Is this the kind of social engineering that Dembski has in mind?

If blacks are genetically inferior because of the Hamitic curse, as many Christian creationists, including Henry Morris, propose, then it is morally defensible, if not required, to deny blacks promotions to positions of responsibility.Is this the kind of social engineering that Dembski has in mind?

The Bible and related books also teach us about God's design for women in society, mostly in roles subservient to men.Is relegating women to second class status the kind of social engineering that Dembski has in mind?Osama bin Laden and the Taliban tried that in Afghanistan, with poor results.

In short, Dembski's book is interesting, but not good.His negative complaints about evolution are trivial.His positive claims for IDC are laughable.Social engineering plans based on idiosyncratic hallucinations about "God's will" are a menace.

Blacks, women, and other minorities should be concerned about this book.Professional biologists will laugh at its amateurishness.Neo-Nazis and KKK members will love it.Take your pick.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Well Reasoned Critique of Darwinism/Defense of ID
Being impressed with the solid case that Dembski presented in Intelligent Design, I was a bit surprised to find such a low average rating.Of course, when I started to read some of the reviews, I realized why.These people are not reading the book carefully enough.How do I know this?Because the objections brought up in many of these reviews to Dembski's book receive clear answers in the book that are philosophically sound.Every objection brought forth in these reviews is already refuted by Dembski in the detailed arguments presented in this book.If you read actively, you will find it, and that is why this is an excellent book.

Dembski begins by devoting a lot of time to the distinctions of science and naturalism, and the equivocation with intelligent design and creationism. Ironically, the majority of objections raised against intelligent design say that ID is not science and intelligent design is creationism in disguise!

Dembski makes it clear that ID does not rely on any religious presuppositions (as creationism does), it is a theory of information and how to detect design, whether caused by a human or something else.It is basically the task of making an empirical observation that cannot be attributed to chance and law because it contains information.He points out that we make these inferences all the time.If I happen to come upon a romance novel with detailed information, I would naturally, and very reasonably, conclude that these words were designed by a writer.Similarly, Dembski argues, the rich information contained in DNA which is very complex and specified is more reasonably attributed to design.There are no religious presuppositions necessary for the conclusion that a romance novel was designed or that the information in DNA was designed!Let me make it clear I am not intending to argue this issue thoroughly here, I am just giving a brief description of some of the issues involved.

Let me make clear that this is just one example of intelligent design theory and its uses.Dembski (along with other scholars) also attribute design to complex machines in nature that cease to function with any single part missing because they argue that the mechanism of natural selection is insufficient to gradually produce this kind of machine.Once again, this is not intended as a defense of these arguments, only a brief summary for those interested.

A last distinction needs to be made between science and naturalism.Many people (including many who have reviewed) assume that science by definition excludes these intelligent causes because they may be unnatural.This is not science, this is methodological naturalism - the metaphysical *assumption* that all empirically observable phenomena must be naturally caused.This assumption rules out any explanation for origins except for atheistic ones as scientific.So it seems that rather than Dembski, many opponents of Intelligent Design instead are using circular reasoning.Even if Darwinism is insufficient to produce this information and these machines, it is considered the only "scientific" explanation thus it is still accepted, even if rationally insufficient.But this is "science" functioning as "naturalism" in disguise.Why should science be the handmaiden to naturalism?It needs to be clarified:this is a metaphysical assumption on the part of scientists that commits them to naturalism right away, whether they realize it or not.

How is this justified?Dembski argues (and I agree) that this is inadequate for science because science is not supposed to presuppose a worldview, it is supposed to be as objective as possible.That means not presupposing naturalism or theism, and including natural causes and intelligent causes (both of which we infer all the time).Scientific theories are almost always inferences to the best explanation, which intelligent design is.Dembski responds in detail to god-of-the-gaps objections to intelligent design, as well as many other objections in this book.For an even further treatment of the objections, take a look at The Design Revolution.

There is a lot of criticism towards Dembski's work as being unscientific and religiously motivated, but I think I have made it more clear that the reason for this is that the people making these accusations are committed to the notion of methodological naturalism within science, so they are the ones coming into science with a bias.Dembski's work is philosophically rigorous at times, and if one does not have training in philosophy at all then one will not understand his solutions to the objections being raised.

If you do not completely understand the arguments Dembski is making, do not assume that he is religiously motivated and philosophically unsound.I am not trying to offend anyone by making this statement (and I'm sorry if I have), it is just clear to me that when one makes an accusation against his book that is clearly refuted in the book, that person may lack a bit of understanding in the reading and may need to examine the issue more carefully.

Let the arguments speak for themselves, do not attack the arguer.I challenge anyone to give me one example of a religious presupposition that Intelligent Design relies upon to prove its case.You will not be able to find one.But feel free to email me if you do find an issue, or if you think I could help clarify something for you.burton00311@hotmail.com

Lastly, I just want to say, apart from defending Dembski, his distinctions are excellent in this book, and that is why I gave it 5 stars.He makes his points very clear and takes care of any possible objections when they need to be taken care of.This book comes highly recommended. ... Read more

Isbn: 0830815813
Subjects:  1. Christianity - Theology - Apologetics    2. Christianity - Theology - General    3. Life Sciences - Evolution    4. Philosophy & Social Aspects    5. Religion    6. Religion And Science    7. Science    8. Theology - Apologetics   


Stand, The : Expanded Edition: For the First Time Complete and Uncut (Signet)
by StephenKing
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Paperback (07 May, 1991)
list price: $8.99 -- our price: $8.99
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Editorial Review

In 1978, science fiction writer Spider Robinson wrote a scathing review of The Stand in which he exhorted his readers to grab strangers in bookstores and beg them not to buy it.

The Stand is like that. You either love it or hate it, but you can't ignore it. Stephen King's most popular book, according to polls of his fans, is an end-of-the-world scenario: a rapidly mutating flu virus is accidentally released from a U.S. military facility and wipes out 99 and 44/100 percent of the world's population, thus setting the stage for an apocalyptic confrontation between Good and Evil.

"I love to burn things up," King says. "It's the werewolf in me, I guess.... The Stand was particularly fulfilling, because there I got a chance to scrub the whole human race, and man, it was fun! ... Much of the compulsive, driven feeling I had while I worked on The Stand came from the vicarious thrill of imagining an entire entrenched social order destroyed in one stroke."

There is much to admire in The Stand: the vivid thumbnail sketches with which King populates a whole landscape with dozens of believable characters; the deep sense of nostalgia for things left behind; the way it subverts our sense of reality by showing us a world we find familiar, then flipping it over to reveal the darkness underneath. Anyone who wants to know, or claims to know, the heart of the American experience needs to read this book. --Fiona Webster ... Read more

Reviews (815)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Devil in the Details
The uncut version of The Stand is a behemoth; weighing in at 1141 pages in the paperback version I just finished, there is room for all of the loving detail that King wanted to stuff in there.It seems to be every author's wet dream - carte blanche to write as much as he wants, for as long as he wants, to tell the story he wants.Since we all know that King's long suit is characterization, in weaving in the little details and subplots to make you care about the terrible things that will inevitably happen to the unhappy denizens of his world, how can that be a bad thing?

The short answer?Because he didn't do his homework.I was willing enough to suspend my disbelief.The premise of the book is inherently interesting, and on the whole, King does a great job of painting a picture of the country as a plague runs amok.Unfortunately, "on the whole" doesn't cut it in this book; King's stock in trade is in the details, and in this book, the details are sixteen-penny nails of reality that jab out of the page into the reader's eye.

The most annoying of them is the Payday candy bar.King hangs his hat on a plot device in which the character of Harold Lauder is painted as a brilliant, socially maladjusted, fat teenager who leaves a trail of "chocolate Payday" candy bar wrappers across the country for Larry and his party to follow.It's drummed into the reader's head - hardly a Harold-Fran vignette passes without a reference to the "chocolate Payday" candy bar.Midway through the book, the critical point in which Harold is driven irrevocably onto the side of evil is driven by a sequence of events precipitated by Fran discovering the chocolate thumbprint left by Harold when he had stolen her diary and read it while munching on "chocolate Payday" candy bars.The candy bar is hardly ever referred to simply as a Payday - it's inevitably the "chocolate Payday."So what's the problem?The Payday candy bar has no chocolate in it.It is peanuts and caramel.It's probably one of the few candy bars King could have selected that doesn't have chocolate in it. Every time I ran across the phrase "chocolate Payday," that nail of reality flashed out of the page at my tender eye.

King might have run his draft by someone who had come within spitting distance of the military, as well.A great deal of the book deals with the military, from the weapons program that gave birth to his superflu, to the sinister figures figuring out how to contain and quarantine, to the ever-present soldiers trying to control the movement of the population and the disease it carries.And King gets it jarringly wrong just often enough to keep that nail poking into my eye.In at least one scene, King has a soldier shoulder a "recoilless rifle" and empty the magazine at someone.The term "recoilless rifle" might cause someone wholly unfamiliar with weapons to think it's a large-caliber rifle designed to minimize kickback, but in fact, it's a large-bore anti-tank weapon, much too large for a man to "shoulder," that is recoilless in that the gases from the antitank round are vented out the rear of the weapon.As several Chinese soldiers allegedly discovered during the Korean War, anything behind the weapon when it is fired - a shoulder, another man, the inside of a vehicle - would be incinerated.Clearly not what King thought it was when he decided to throw in a gratuitous and jarringly incorrect detail.

Nor does it help when he has soldiers calling "over and out" to one another on the radio."Over" means "I'm done talking and expect a response," while "Out" means "I'm done talking, and expect no response."Now, civilians may say "over and out" all the time to one another, but soldiers simply do NOT."Over and out!"There's that nail again!I don't recall if King's character - the Master Tech Sergeant - used the phrase, as I was too busy pulling the other nail out of my eye; there is no such thing as a Master Tech Sergeant in any of our services, and there hasn't been a "Tech" anything in the Army for many a long decade.The Air Force has Master Sergeants and it has Tech Sergeants, but it no more has Master Tech Sergeants than it has Private Sergeant Corporals.

Why do I complain about these piddling details?Because the only possible reason for King taking a 200-page story and stretching it past 1000 pages is to lavish the reader with detail to draw him into the story.Unfortunately, King was either too important or too rushed to allow someone else to read his copy and help him with the basic research that a lesser writer might have been required to do, and that comes back to haunt him.I enjoyed the book well enough, I suppose, except for all the nail holes around my eyes.

Apart from that, the first part of the book, describing the country descending into chaos, is gripping enough.The apocalyptic confrontation between good and evil, though, seems contrived and hurried.For all that he took a thousand pages to get to the denouement, it ends up feeling rushed.He has spent hundreds of pages setting up the movement of the three spies into the West, to no apparent purpose except to give King a device on which to hang descriptions of more people in Las Vegas.There's no real sense that the people in Boulder made "a stand" against anything.
jxm

3-0 out of 5 stars Average read.I was disappointed
I'm going to take a contrarian view on this book. It was just OK.Thestark contrast drawn between good and evil are at once the book's strength and its weakness.Honestly, I felt that the treatment of evil and its nature was rather sophomoric and ham fisted.

I absolutely loved the idea of the book:a catastrophic disease that kills over 99% of the country's population.What would the survivors do?How would they subsist?King studies about 6 - 10 different characters in depth and tells their stories.And engaging stories they are.He's wordy and tangentialas always, but also as always tells an engaging tale.

But the battle between good and evil was drawn much too starkly.Few, but the truly debased would choose the evil that is presented in Kings world.In our world today evil is attractive, evil is charming, evil is engaging, and finally evil is fun!We are naturally attracted to evil.Were evil as monstrous and sharply drawn as King's evil it wouldn't stand a chance.But evil actually is thriving in today's world and it does so precisely because it so damn appealing.

The quasi-religious overtones were also awkwardly, incompletely, and superficiallydealt with.The characters living in King's post apocalyptic world of starkly defined good and evil ended up a bit caricaturelike because of the lack of subtlety in crafting that world.

There are sparks of brilliance in King's writing and story-telling, but over 1000 pages is too high a price to pay for so little.

Sorryto say it but I would only give this novel a lukewarm recommendation.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive King book
What can I say that other's haven't said, in this book he show's all his strengh's as and author, his brillant character devolopment, his awsome story telling.People complain about how long some of King's books are, but when you write a story like this and he creates characters that are close to actually being alive and not just on paper, you need some room to work with.King delivers and K.O. with this book, King's stand alone novel. ... Read more

Isbn: 0451169530
Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - Horror    3. Horror - General    4. Thrillers    5. Fiction / General   


$8.99

Human Events
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Magazine
-- our price: $97.00
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cutting Edge Publication
No wonder Human Events was Reagan's favorite magazine. It is a leading edge conservative publication that is the model for others to try to imitate. HE stood by Ann Coulter before it was cool to do so. If you want to know what will be in National Review five years from now, read HE today.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
This magazine is truly great reading.While the lunatic left tries to use terms like "compassionate", "tolerant" and "elite" to describe themselves, this magazine exposes the fact that none of these terms have anything to do with their actual agenda.Learn why the biggest threat to America today, is not, terrorism from abroad, but is from the liberal left.Moderates, and conservatives will love this magazine and liberals will hate and demonize it.But then, you probably already knew that.

2-0 out of 5 stars Shrill voice for oppressed conservatives
Thinking conservatives have a wealth of thoughtful writing to choose from, and would do well to pass this publication by.Human Events caters to the paranoid wing of conservatism.It uses tabloid headlines, exaggerated rhetoric, trumps up the silly notion that conservatives and traditionalists are the victims of evil conspiracies.Whether it's Hollywood, Democrats, liberal or even moderate Republicans, all are seen as part of a plot to do in Holy America and the righteous rich.

I have enjoyed such publications as the Weekly Standard, Washington Times and National Review for decades.Rush Limbaugh strikes me as a conservative populist who is mostly hilarious, and only occasionally over-the-edge.Publications and personalities like these poke fun at liberals, and sometimes explain the uneven treatment conservatives garner in media.However, they maintain a level of confidence in our society, and security in their ideas, such that they can engage opposing ideas, and even analyze why liberals and moderates sometimes win the battle of ideas.

Bottom-line:Avoid Human Events.It uses tabloid style, and is a conspiracy-oriented publication.Conservatives can do much better. ... Read more

Asin: B00006KHF8
Sales Rank: 1558
Subjects:  1. History    2. General   


$97.00

It (Signet Books)
by Stephen King
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Mass Market Paperback (01 June, 1997)
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Editorial Review

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they were grown-up men and women who had gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them could withstand the force that drew them back to Derry, Maine to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name. What was it?Read It and find out...if you dare! ... Read more

Reviews (764)

5-0 out of 5 stars Still love IT
I've read IT about 6 times. The first time I read it I was only 11, and to be honest, though I enjoyed IT in general, I didn't understand a lot of it (I was actually looking up the dirty words I didn't understand in the dictionary and wondering why they weren't there!). I was morbidly fascinated and afraid by the horror and the sex scenes; confused by the Derry Interludes. Weirdly enough though, I love the book today at 24 for the same reasons I loved it at 11: IT is a fantastic and intricately layered story with characters that you miss when the book is over, because you've been with them through their whole story as children and adults, best friends. IT leaves you emotional, wanting more, especially of the summer of '58.

I'm not sure what I thought about the ending. I agree that perhaps it was a bit anticlimactic. But when I think about it, what else could have been done? I'm not talking about the "Beverly & the boys" scene. Even I thought that to be unnecessary and very unbelievable. I was 11 when I first read the book and I found this part extremely weird and shocking. Other than that, I guess the kill had to be anticlimactic; King sort of wrote himself into a corner there. But I forgive the ending for the rest of the book.

To those who think that the book needed "slimming" a few hundred pages, I don't get it! I believe that every element of the story was essential to build a history of Derry, identifying with the book's characters (there were 7 after all). People don't seem to have any patience anymore. I don't see the book as sloppy. I don't see extra chapters as a "waste of time" if they're adding to the book.

I didn't want to mention the movie here, I saw it when I was little and it's sort of a kitch classic for my friends and I, and Tim Curry was great. But why did adult Bill have to have that stupid ponytail????? haha.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrifying
It is a book that will put goosebumps all over your body. For any squeamish types, beware of the scene where pennywise the clown kills little georgie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't look behind you
Again, Stephen King has come up with a brilliant book. It turned out as any other horror book. The bad person wins the battle, but good guys won the war. The book turned out to be a good story even better than the movie. The only thing was, it was a long book.

The dialogue between the characters like William Denbrough, the clown, and the other characters was amazing.The decussions between the characters just pull you in. You just need to know what's going to happen next. They just talk about what happen in the past during their childhood. That's what I like about Stephen Kings books you just can't seem to put the book down.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves horror books. As a little kid watching this movie all the time made me think about the book versionof it. The book turned out to be great. The book book gives great details it explains them real well. The book just keeps you guessing on what's going to happen next.

... Read more

Isbn: 0451169514
Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - Horror    3. Horror - General    4. Movie-TV Tie-In - General    5. Movie/Tv Tie-Ins   


$7.99

Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
by Edgar Allan Poe
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Paperback (01 April, 2003)
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Literary Best Buy
You'll not find better literature for this price anywhere else. If you're a fan of Poe's work, then there's probably no reason on earth why you shouldn't own this book. My two favorite sotries are "the cask of amontillado", and "the black cat". The introduction is short and informative, and leads perfectly into Poe's work. If you've been made to read any of his work in college or highschool and think you'd like to see more of that genre, you won't be disapointed. There are other collections of Poe's work, but this is an extremely inexpensive alternative to the same great stuff.The only thing that I truly disliked about this edition is that the actual print is extremely small and not clear at all. ... Read more

Isbn: 0743467469
Sales Rank: 330912
Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fantasy literature, American    3. Fiction    4. Fiction - General    5. Literary    6. Short Stories (single author)    7. Fiction / General   


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