Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai Battles End

The Times of India has the story.

Check out Barcepundit's coverage of Day 1, Day 3, and Day 4.

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Follow The Money Power

Why do leftist politicians complain about the astronomical salaries of some but not others? Thomas Sowell explains:

It is not the general public that singles out corporate CEOs for so much attention. Politicians and the media have focused on business leaders, and the public has been led along, like sheep.

The logic is simple: Demonize those whose place or power you plan to usurp.

Politicians who want the power to micro-manage business and the economy know that demonizing those who currently run businesses is the opening salvo in the battle to take over their roles.

There is no way that politicians can take over the roles of Alex Rodriguez, Tiger Woods, or Oprah Winfrey. So they can make any amount of money they want and it doesn’t matter politically.

Read the whole thing.


Ask A Stupid Question

Last week's EIA Quote Of The Week begins thus:

Quotes of the Week. "Why not pay teachers more for taking on additional responsibilities? Why not pay teachers more for working in hard-to-staff schools or in subjects with shortages of qualified teachers? Why not pay teachers more for working with their fellow teachers for schoolwide excellence?" – AFT President Randi Weingarten at the National Press Club on November 17.

EIA editor Mike Antonucci has an answer for that:

"The Association opposes providing additional compensation to attract and/or retain education employees in hard-to-recruit positions."

"The Association further believes that performance pay schedules, such as merit pay or any other system of compensation based on an evaluation of an education employee's performance, are inappropriate."

"The National Education Association is opposed to the use of merit pay or performance pay compensation systems."

"Any additional compensation beyond a single salary schedule must not be based on education employee evaluation, student performance, or attendance."

Quotes from NEA Resolutions F-9 and F-10.

That's why not.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Year Of Thanksgiving

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Attacks In Mumbai

The Telegraph reports 101 dead, 287 injured.

Update: Barcepundit has multiple news links.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Self-Contradiction Du Jour

Obama Promotes Fiscal Restraint, Big Spending


Monday, November 24, 2008

Guns 'N Roses 'N ChiComs

GNR's latest album has been panned by Red China:

Delayed since recording began in 1994, "Chinese Democracy" hit stores in the U.S. on Sunday, although it is unlikely to be sold legally in China, where censors maintain tight control over films, music and publications.

In an article Monday headlined "American band releases album venomously attacking China," the Global Times said unidentified Chinese Internet users had described the album as part of a plot by some in the West to "grasp and control the world using democracy as a pawn."

The album "turns its spear point on China," the article said.


Spokesmen for the Culture Ministry and State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, government bodies that regulate album releases and performances, could not be reached for comment.

Any government that has a Culture Ministry deserves to be criticized.

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Blogging the Qur'an: Suras 72, "The Jinn," 73, "The Mantled One," 74, "The Cloaked One," 75, "Resurrection," and 76, "Man"

Robert Spencer has the installment here.

Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Heroes - 9th Wonders! Is Under New Management

(Episode: It's Coming. Spoilers ahead.)

So it was Hiro's memories and not his powers that Arthur sought to drain.

Why didn't Arthur simply kill Hiro and Ando? Has he not read the Evil Overlord List? Does he need them (or at least Hiro) alive for some future purpose? Perhaps he intended to capture Hiro, but let him get distracted by an ominous painting long enough for the two to escape.

Now Ando must act as leader as Hiro has now lost all memory after the age of ten. During their excursion in Tokyo they discover a copy of 9th Wonders! - either they have gone to the past, or another precog has taken over the series after Isaac Mendez's death in Season One.

Peter and Claire are on the run together, eluding Flint and Knox, and they discover that it's Claire they're after. Peter wants her to go home, because he doesn't want to see her become the cold-blooded killer Claire he saw in the future.

Sylar discovers from Arthur that his power is almost the same as Peter's - both have empathic mimicry, the ability to copy other powers, but Sylar's power also comes equipped with intuitive aptitude. Sylar is put in a room with Elle, who Arthur has captured. She unleashes her fury at Sylar, who had killed her father; the two eventually reconcile, and Sylar copies her power. The two start falling for each other, as approving Arthur watches on the security monitor.

Matt and Daphne go to a deserted Primatech, where they find entranced and bedridden Angela. He enters her head to try to find out what's going on. In the illusion he converses with Angela and Daphne. After a while the real Daphne sees a bloody wound in Matt's abdomen. She gets Matt to being her into the telepathic conference call, and the illusory Daphne turns out to be Arthur. Daphne confesses to working for Arthur, and chooses to defect out of love for matt. Angela convinces Arthur to release her from the trance. Arthur relents, perhaps realizing that his secret is out anyway and that this exercise serves no purpose. The illusion disappears, along with Matt's wound, and Angela is in the land of the conscious.

Nathan had earlier visited his father with Tracy. Unbeknown to Nathan, Tracy privately offered her PR services to Arthur; she sees that he needs a public face, and since the world thinks he's dead, that face should be Nathan. She thinks he is on the fence, and can be nudged to Arthur's side.

Nathan, Peter, and Claire have joined with Angela, Matt, and Angela. Angela states that Arthur is missing a third ingredient for his formula for synthetic abilities - a catalyst, which resides in a single human host. Claire, recalling that Sylar has spotted something unique in her physiology when he stole her power, suspects that she's the catalyst.

Meanwhile, Arthur is gathered with Knox, Flint, Sylar, Elle and Tracy. Arthur comes out of a precognitive trance, having just drawn a solar eclipse just like that he's seen among Usutu's paintings.

Mohinder had said earlier that there seems to be a connection between solar activity and human superpowers. The next two episodes are "The Eclipse," parts 1 and 2.

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Jerry Pournelle Beats Up On Arnold Schwarzenegger

Figuratively speaking, of course.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Hannity And Colmes React To The GMA Bill Ayers Interview

Transcript is here.

What struck me about the "Good Morning America" interview was this segment:

AYERS: Here we were in a situation where really a violent terrorist war was being waged against an entire population. We objected. We tried to end that war . And in trying to end it, we did cross lines of propriety, of legality, maybe even of common sense. But we never committed terror.

[GMA interviewer Chris] CUOMO: Why not? I have a tough time understanding this. How is what you did there, blowing up — detonating a bomb in the Pentagon, in New York Police Department headquarters, trying to target the Capitol, how is that not terrorism?

AYERS: It's not terrorism because it doesn't target people, it doesn't target people. Either kill or injure.

I'm surprised nobody mentioned the Weather Underground plot to bomb a Fort Dix dance. They did mention the bombing of the home of a judge who was presiding over a case against Black Panthers - the judge's son John Murtagh was on the show; he was nine at the time of the 1970 attack.

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GOP Clings Too Much To Religion?

So says Paul Hsieh, in this guest column at the Denver Post - he was turned off by "the Republicans' embrace of the religious 'social conservative' agenda, including attempts to ban abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and gay marriage."

I'm sure this comes as a surprise to my evangelical readers who feel like the administration put the social agenda on the back of the bus and abandoned it at the first rest stop.

Hsieh is fisked at the Rottweiler, where I throw in my three cents (emphasis in original):

Abortion. The issue hasn't been prominent any more than it has been in the past, except for the stem cell issue (see below), than it has been in the past. Post-natal "abortion" doesn't count.

Stem cells: This story should have gone away a couple of weeks after Bush signed the second-best compromise possible. (The best was this: "Except for NASA and national security stuff, we're not gonna fund any more freakin' scientific research - we in Washington are a bunch of tinhorn partisan hacks who can't be trusted to judge the worthiness of scientific endeavors.") Bush's policy would fund research using adult stem cells and embryonic strains that had already been created prior to the policy's enactment.

Same-sex marriage: Bush didn't ask for this issue - the gay activists put it on the table. Voters have resoundingly voted against SSM measures every time they make the ballot, almost always by wide margins. It would seem that the majority of Americans believe that homosexuality is some kind of disorder - albeit with a wide range of disagreement over just how messed-up-in-the-head it is - and do not want the government to pass a law rooted in an untrue assumption about basic human nature.

Paul Hsieh expresses a common prejudice that underestimates - or denies outright - the degree to which nonreligious influences shape negative attitudes toward homosexuality. Many simply take for granted the assumption that heterosexuality is the psychological norm - since we're built for heterosexuality, our natural psychology must be configured likewise. Some are aware of studies suggesting psychological problems inherent in homosexuality. Some are swayed by anecdotal evidence; they look at the gay activist segment or gays in their personal lives, and perceive negative behavior vastly disproportionate to that of the population at large, and on this basis conclude that there is something wrong with homosexuality.

Keep in mind my purpose here - not to argue these claims, but to establish their existence. Ignoring the widespread secular criticism of homosexuality ignores a vast bulk of the dissident view on this issue.

Hsieh is an occasional commenter at the Volokh Conspiracy. His home page is here.

Update: I remarked about the column in this Volokh thread. Hsieh is right about the Republicans going south on us regarding fiscal and government growth issues.

Bush didn't do a good job of reminding the American people why we had a security interest in Iraq, and he pretty much destroyed any illusions that he's a spending conservative.


Paul Hsieh overestimates the prominence of social conservative issues, (The War has been the dominant issue), but he's right that the GOP has been lax on promoting "limited government, individual rights, and free market capitalism." I've already harped on the budget issues (which have direct bearing on the limited government issues). Bush signed the McCain-Feingold censorship law, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the hyper-interventionist approach to addressing the financial crisis, all contributions to individual non-freedom.

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Blogging the Qur'an: Suras 67, "Sovereignty," 68, "The Pen," 69, "The Reality," 70, "The Ways of Ascent," and 71, "Noah"

Robert Spencer has the installment here.

Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Heroes - All Roads Lead To Pinehurst

(Episodes: Eris Quod Sum, Villains)

Arthur Petrelli is on the warpath. He orders Matt Parkman to be killed; Maury Parkman objects and gets killed himself. (Presumably Arthur already has Maury's mind illusion ability from Peter, who would have absorbed it from his previous contacts with Matt.)

Arthur also has Maya's ability. She's finally gotten the cure she wanted, but she probably has no idea that it is residing in someone else. Mohinder had taken her to Pinehurst looking for help for the both of them, and has now been enlisted in Arthur's research into perfecting the serum for synthetic superpowers.

Sylar has gone to Pinehurst to rescue Peter. He ultimately succeeds; during a confrontation with Arthur Sylar throws Peter out a window, evidently using his power to break Peter's fall. Claire and Elle take Peter away; they had arrived hoping to get help for the instability in Elle's electrical power and a change that had occurred in Claire's power after her first-episode encounter with Sylar - she no longer feels physical pain.

Sylar has now joined Pinehurst - time will tell how much, if at all, he trusts Arthur.

The episode ends with Hiro and Ando at Usutu's hut. Hiro begins his chemically-induced "spirit walk," which will the focus of the episode "Villains." Hiro's journey goes back one year, to learn of three of the four villains in this painting. (Knox does not appear in this episode.)

We learn that Flint is Meredith's brother, and is dumb as a brick. They used their flame powers as robbers until tracked down by Agent Thompson, who had designs to recruit both as agents for The Company. She does some agent training under Thompson's tutelage, but has no desire to join up - at the time she still thought her baby Claire to be dead, and she blamed the Company for it. She escapes the Company with Flint by train, but is followed by Thompson. In the confrontation Flint get away and the other two jump to escape an explosion - this turns out to be the burning train wreck Claire encounters early in Season One.

We learn that Elle had been Bennett's partner while trailing Sylar. Elle is sent to gain Sylar's confidence. She first finds him in the process of trying to hang himself, feeling guilty over his first murder; she uses her ability (unseen) to break the rope.

In a previous episode Sylar had said to Claire that her father doesn't see "mutants" as humans, and this episode illustrates it. The Company knows that Sylar steals others' powers and kills in the process, but doesn't know exactly how. Bennett orders Elle to arrange Sylar to meet another person with abilities at Sylar's apartment, where a hidden camera awaits to film the act in progress. Elle tries at the last minute to stop the plan, revealing her power to Sylar. Sylar tells her to leave, she does, and Bennett gets the video he was looking for.

It turns out that it was Arthur Petrelli who put the hit on his own son in Season One. He knew that Nathan's investigation into Linderman would incriminate himself. Arthur is embarassed by Peter's choice of profession (hospice nurse). Arthur doesn't know that Nathan has a power - evidently Angela has connections with Dr. Zimerman - and somehow she is able to conceal this knowledge from her telepathic husband.

She also has connections with The haitian, which is instrumental in her attempted murder. She poisons his soup, with the Haitian nearby to prevent his use of his abilities. The attending physician is under Arthur's pay and falsely reports Arthur's death. Arthur remains paralyzed until (not seen in Hiro's vision) that fateful encounter with Adam Monroe.

The finale has me thoroughly disgusted. Hiro wakes up from his vision, finds Usutu decapitated, and encounters Arthur Petrelli, who at once attempts to drain Hiro's power (which he has already from Peter). I hate seeing Usutu getting killed off so easily, and I hate seeing Arthur defeat Hiro. It is possible that the Arthur encounter is actually part of the vision, that it gives Hiro sufficient warning to teleport himself, Ando and Usutu out of the warpath. If the encounter is real, he still might have time to teleport himself away before Arthur can succeed. If he does lose his power, he must somehow get it back to prevent Season Three from becoming a complete letdown.

He's been given that vision for a reason. He still has a mission, powers or not. He knows first and foremost of Arthur. He knows of Sylar's struggles with his homicidal tendencies. He knows through Elle and Meredith the dubious trustworthiness of The Company.

Interestingly, the three feature villains are all blood relatives of the cheerleader.

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Friday, November 14, 2008


(image via Bill Wilson email)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Sarah Palin Africa Hoax

Fox News has the story:

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, had come forth and identified himself as the source of a FOX News Channel story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Link via Jacob Laskin's FrontPage Magazine article on the anti-Palin backlash, who has this to say:

It bears remembering that the one and only time that McCain pulled even with Obama in the race was after Palin’s addition to the ticket. One wouldn’t expect Democrats to admire these achievements. Less clear is why the McCain’s campaign operatives should find them so blameworthy.

Unless, of course, the idea is to deflect blame from their own missteps, of which there were many. In a politically unfavorable year for Republicans, McCain’s occasional policy incoherence – in one presidential debate, he unveiled new spending programs within minutes of promising a spending freeze – and his erratic behavior amid the recent financial crisis, when he needlessly suspended his campaign, only complicated the unlikely task of a McCain victory. Indeed, absent the grassroots enthusiasm generated by Sarah Palin, McCain’s margin of defeat may well have been larger than seven points that it was.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Linkapalooza at Michelle Malkin's.

Update: LGF has an image of Google's graphic for today.

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Uh Oh

Sarah Palin on bloggers.

Yes, I'm wearing my pajamas right now.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Guns And Religion Day

Today marks birthdays for Martin Luther, the United States Marine Corps, and Mikhail Kalashnikov.


Blogging the Qur'an: Suras 63, "The Hypocrites," 64, "Haggling," 65, "Divorce," and 66, "Prohibition"

Robert Spencer has the installment here.

Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama Supports Slavery

Couched as mandatory community service.

In comments to the linked LGF post I offered a suggestion:

Okay guys and gals, we need a 60s style slogan:

Hell no, we won't go!
We won't ________________ for ________________!

What do we put in the blanks? I'm thinking "community organize" for the first. "Rezco" rhymes with "go" but Obama's already assured us that he has no real connections with the guy.

"Go" can be changed to something else to get the proper rhyme.


Thursday, November 06, 2008


(Image via email from

Anyone out there know who "rezapardisan" is? I used to get periodic emails from Iranian expatriate Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi; at some point she stopped sending them and rezapardisan's emails started coming.

If BZB happens to be out there in my audience - hi!

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Blaming Palin

LGF has video of the scapegoating. I posted this comment:

Anyone see a pattern here?

1976 - Moderate Republican Gerald Ford loses
1980 - Conservative Republican Ronald Reagan wins
1984 - Conservative Republican Ronald Reagan wins
1988 - Moderate Republican George HW Bush, whom everyone thinks to be a conservative, wins
1992 - Moderate Republican George HW Bush loses, his cover now blown
1996 - Somnambulist Republican Bob Dole loses
2000 - Moderate-conservative Republican George W. Bush barely wins
2004 - Moderate-conservative Republican George W. Bush barely wins
2008 - Moderate Republican John McCain loses

Yeah, it's Palin's fault. And the Saudi embassy serves pork ribs.


Why McCain Lost

Jennifer Rubin has a list (via Rand Simberg). The list is not comprehensive; I have a few additions: Let me add a few:

John McCain is a weak conservative. Moderate Republicans cannot distinguish themselves sufficiently from liberal Democrats to win a national election. McCain can't run against Obama on immigration laws because they are both weak on enforcing them. Both voted for the bailout package that gave massive powers to the Secretary of the Treasury. McCain had pandered to ACORN during his senatorial career. McCain was part of the Gang of Fourteen that guaranteed the then-minority party's control over the non-SCOTUS judicial nomination process. McCain occasionally demonizes Wall Street the way that leftists do.

The Republican National Committee should have started researching Obama's background on Day One of his campaign, but failed to do so. We should have known last year that Obama devoted twenty years of his life in a church pastored by a man rooted in black supremacist theology. (See also this post.) We should have known last year that Obama implemented educational programs drafted by an unrepentant domestic terrorist. We should have known last year of Obama's involvement with ACORN. We still know little about the programs Annenberg funded, or about Obama's community organizing "career."

McCain/Palin failed to place Jeremiah Wright in the proper context. Wright's sound bites weren't sufficient. McCain/Palin should have explained Wright's theology in bullet points, and directly contrasted it with Martin Luther King's vision of harmonious interracial community.

McCain/Palin failed to place William Ayers in the proper context. It was more than just "palling around" with an unrepentant terrorist - HE WAS IMPLEMENTING GOVERNMENT POLICY ENGINEERED BY AN UNREPENTANT TERRORIST. If it would be a conflict of interest for a guy to sit on the jury of his next-door-neighbor's trial, how much greater a conflict of interest is to grant what amounts to a government contract to a guy who sought to kill American citizens - many of them government employees?

McCain/Palin failed to link President Bush to the Democrats. The Dems were calling McCain a Bush clone. The candidates should have countered by bringing this slogan to the campaign trail:

"We will not continue the spending policy of Bush and the Democrats. President Bush was right on the war, right on his tax cut, right on his nominations of Roberts and Alito, right on [cite other examples], but President Bush was wrong on his liberal domestic spending policy."

McCain/Palin did not make running against Congress a central theme. Congressional approval ratings are lower than Bush's, and probably even lower than William Ayers'. Rubin supplies some specific tactics, like item 4: "Failure to explain the Democrats’ role in the financial meltdown."

Congressional Republicans lack a unified, coherent plan that can be communicated clearly to the American people. This would have reinforced my previous suggestion - strength in numbers and all. Conservatives can't with with vague promises like liberal can - we have to offer something tangible. The Contract with America was a great example of such.

Congressional Republicans have been a pack of spineless cowards for twelve years. Ever since Clinton won the PR battle over the 1995 government shutdown, the GOP Congress lost its nerve and never got it back. They stopped fighting for conservatism on many fronts, particularly on Bush/Democrat spending, which is why they're in the minority. Congress can't bolster a Republican candidate's shot at the White House if it sits on its hands.


A Silver Lining

The potential candidacies Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are over. Sarah Palin is the 2012 frontrunner, and these loser candidates can't beat her. Romney's refusal to directly address the crux of the rift between Mormons and Trinitarian Christianity - that Mormons say they're the only Christian religion - and thus comes across as evasive and gutless. Huckabee's fiscal conservatism is weak, and his nanny-statist streak is too strong. (And why are we supposed to be impressed with the governor of a failed Southern state?)

Hillary's presidential aspirations are also toast, but with Obama at the helm that's not much consolation. And she's on the Senate Armed Services Committee - that's just vile.


Blogiversary And Birthday

The Henderson Prize is six, and I turn 48.

My birthday plans are to get some sleep and to try to find something to distract me from my fears about the future - I work in the finance sector at the near-bottom of the totem pole, and the party of finance sector wreckage won the White House.

A six-figure check would give me some comfort.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Hey, Maybe Saturday Night Live Is Worth Watching Again

This is hilarious.

Heh, Affleck as Olberman looks almost exactly like one of the defense attorneys in the case I jurored last week.

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Riddle Me This

I have one question about the story on Obama's often do poverty-stricken people devote $265 to campaign donations?



Video via Michelle Malkin.

Newsbusters has more on this story - and fisks the backlash:

CNN scoffed at Palin's question and tried to spin the story away as "old news."

Contrary to her attempts to portray a media cover-up, audio and video recordings of Obama's January 17 sit-down with the Chronicle editorial board have been freely available online for more than nine months.

However, we know this to be misleading based on the fact that, while the audio was available, the paper did not report these quotes from Obama in its January story.

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Blogging the Qur'an: Suras 61, "Battle Array," and 62, "The Congregation"

Robert Spencer has the installment here.

One topic is a verse 6:

And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad." But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, "this is evident sorcery!" [Yusufali translation]

Spencer reports Islamic claims that this is actually a prophecy of the arrival of Mohammed:

"Ahmad" means "the Most Praised One," and it is etymologically related to Muhammad, which means "Praised One." Pickthall drives the connection home by translating "Ahmad" simply as "Praised One." And Muslims universally understand the verse as depicting Jesus predicting the coming of Muhammad.

Muslims contend that this prophecy is the uncorrupted version of the words of Jesus that survive in corrupted form in John 14:16-17, where Jesus says: "And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you."

"Counselor" here is παρακλητος, Paracletos or Paraclete. Some Islamic apologists have claimed that this is a corruption of περικλυτος, Periclytos, which means "famous" or "renowned," i.e., "Praised One." However, there is no textual evidence whatsoever for this: no manuscripts of the New Testament exist that use the word περικλυτος in this place. Nor is it likely that the two words might have been confused. That kind of confusion may be theoretically possible in Arabic, which does not write vowels and hence would present two words with identical consonant structures. But Greek does write vowels, and so the words would never in Greek have appeared as even close to identical.

Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Heroes - Season 3, Episodes 1-6


  1. The Second Coming
  2. The Butterfly Effect
  3. One of Us, One of Them
  4. I Am Become Death
  5. Angels and Monsters
  6. Dying of the Light

Two Peter Petrellis. Nathan was shot by his own brother! The one from the future, that is. Future Peter did it to prevent the world from finding out about the heroes from Nathan. He's from a future where super abilities have been synthesized, and for sale to anyone. To move about in the present, he somehow has his present self sealed inside the body of detainee Jesse at the Company's Level 5 (called "Super Guantanamo" by one of the inmates).

He eventually frees Present Peter (more on that later) and takes him to that future. Future Peter is a wanted terrorist, and in a confrontation is shot dead by Claire (he cannot regenerate in the Haitian's presence). Present Peter escapes and tracks down Mohinder Suresh, and telepathically gets some vital information from the unwilling scientist: he needs Sylar's natural ability to be able to properly reassemble history. He finds Future Sylar, living at the Bennetts' old house in Costa Verde, raising a small boy (named Noah), and in control of his homicidal urges. Sylar reluctantly allows Peter to absorb the power. Claire shows up with new characters Knox and Daphne; in the ensuing fight the boy is killed, and Sylar sets off a nuclear explosion.

Peter eventually escapes to the present, and is held at Level 5. Eventually Sylar shows up with a mission involving Angela Petrelli. She is bedridden and being held in a trance by unknown forces after seeing a vision. Peter uses his telepathy to get clues from her, and gets only an image of a double helix logo, which matches the logo of a business card in Sylar's possession - an outfit called Pinehurst. (More on how he got the card later.) Peter leaves to investigate...

Sylar's struggle for redemption. Sylar finally steals Claire's power - she isn't killed because the extraction process doesn't remove whatever it is that allows Claire to regenerate.

At Company headquarters, he kills Bob Bishop (which places Angela Petrelli in command), and at Level 5 is knocked out by an electrical burst from Elle Bishop. Unfortunately, that also releases five inmates, including one with sonic abilities in whom Present Peter is imprisoned.

Angela reveals that Sylar is her son who she had placed with an adoptive family. She also allows him to absorb a young woman's clairsentience - the ability to read someone's entire history by touch. She makes Sylar Noah's partner, above Noah's objections. They track down the escapees, who are attempting a bank robbery that ringleader Knox has engineered to lure Noah Bennett into the open. (Knox can transform others' fear into personal super-strength.) The plot is foiled, although Knox gets away, and Future Peter comes to extract Present Peter from Jesse.

Noah unsuccessfully tries to get another escapee to kill Sylar - more on that later.

Sylar is fighting to control the "hunger." He doesn't want to be a monster anymore, and gains hope when he learns about the docile future version of himself from Peter.

Hiro chases a fast blonde. His father warns him not to open a certain safe in a DVD left to Hiro in his will. Hiro disobeys, finds another DVD, Dad angrily warns that the safe's other contents - half of a formula that can destroy the world in the wrong hands - must be protected at all costs. (It is the formula to artificially create superpowers.) Daphne, a woman with super-speed, steals the formula. Hiro freezes time so he can catch up with her, and learns she is delivering it to an party unknown even to herself. She punches him out and gets away.

Hiro travels to the future - evidently the same timeline as the scarred Future Peter, but set in Tokyo - and sees Future Ando kill Future Hiro with a lightning-like superpower, in order to take the formula (the same one that used to be in the safe?) he was demanding.

In another encounter, Hiro plants a tracking device on Daphne, tracks her to Berlin. It turns out The Haitian is also after her. Daphne gets away, The Haitian captures Ando and Hiro and brings them to The Company.

Angela sends them on a mission to get Adam Monroe (aka Takezo Kensei). He is somehow key to getting the formula back. Hiro unearths the interred mutant, who outwits them in a bar and gets away - only to be apprehended by Knox. Knox makes Hiro an offer he can't refuse...

Claire Bennett, crimefighter. After Sylar steals her power, Claire has decided to go after supervillains. Noah hires her birth mom Meredith to watch over the family. Meredith gets Claire to fess up about her motivations: she wants revenge on Sylar. Apparently she is taking out her rage against other supervillains.

She tracks down Canfield and discovered how he wound up at Level 5: he had accidentally killed a neighbor with his power, and The Company thinks he's too dangerous to have free. He wants to contact his family, and Claire agrees to help, to use Company files to track them down. Bennett and Sylar show up, Canfield sets up a vortex and escapes. Sylar saves Claire from the vortex; through that physical contact and his recently-acquired clairsentience ability, Sylar reads Claire's history and gains a lot of sympathy.

She tells her dad about Canfield's plant to meet with his family, at a carousel. The family doesn't show up, evidently because they're afraid of Canfield. While partner Sylar is off in the distance (presumably the writers didn't forget that Sylar can hear with a super-ability he stole in Season One), Bennett offers freedom to Canfield if he'll suck Sylar into a vortex. Canfield doesn't want to be a villain; with nothing left to hope for, he commits suicide by vortex.

Meredith is missing - earlier she had gone to Doyle's Marionette Theatre when she and Sandra discovered Claire left with Level 5 escapee files. Claire and Sandra go to rescue her, but get captured. Doyle can control other people's movements. He gathers the three captives for a macabre game of Russian roulette. In the game Sandra shoots Claire, who regenerates and knocks out Doyle from behind when he turns his back on the supposedly dead girl. Noah arrives to round him up, and wants Meredith as a partner.

Claire is bitter toward Sylar and the Company. She identifies with Chandler, who just wanted a normal life and didn't want to hurt anybody.

Another accidental mutant killing. Tracy Strauss, adviser to New York Governor Robert Malden, is approached by a reporter who has evidence that she worked as an Internet stripper and has a sexual liaison with Nathan Petrelli (the man her boss just tapped to fill a Senate vacancy). In the altercation she accdentally kills the reporter with a freezing ability. Distraught, she attempts suicide, but under weird circumstances she is rescued by Nathan.

She learns about her lookalike Nikki Sanders. She goes to New Orleans where she finds the Dawsons' home and the coffin containing Nikki's body (uncharred despite having been killed in an explosion). She meets Micah; he uses his ability to track down birth records; she and Nikki were born at the same hospital on the same day.

She tracks down a Doctor Zimmerman, who tells her that she is from a set of triplets, each artificially given superabilities and placed in a separate home.

The Ghost Of Linderman. Nathan has visions of Linderman, who claims to have healed Nathan from the bullet wounds, and who urges him to take the offer for the Senate seat. On one occasion the apparition directs Nathan to Tracy's position, a bridge where she plans to jump.

We learn later that these visions are really the work of Maury Parkman's illusion abilities.

"Linderman" also appears to Daphne. He wants her to recruit certain supers, including Knox, Adam Monroe, Hiro Nakamura, and Matt Parkman. At the time of the bar scene Knox is already on board, and recruits Hiro - under the condition he kill his friend Ando. Hiro freezes time, gets fake blood and a fake sword from a gag shop, and stages Ando's death. Daphne is horrified; she didn't want to see people hurt, she just wanted money.

Daphne tried unsuccessfully to recruit Sylar, leaving him a Pinehurst business card, and springing flame-wielding detainee Flint (who was also one of the bank robbers). She'd been ordered to recruit Matt Parkman, who she finds at the airport. (Maury, close behind, makes sure his son doesn't spot him.) Out of conscience Daphne warns Matt away from Pinehurst.

Africa. At the building where Nathan was shot, Matt Parkman had encountered our gunman from the future. Future Peter couldn't allow Matt to tell anyone about this, so Peter teleported him to a Botswana desert. There he meets Usutu, who has precog ability. Matt finds a painting of an exploding Earth, and others that depict scenes from Matt's life.

Usutu has means to temporarily give precog ability to others via a pudding-like food substance and a set of what appears to be Walkman headphones. (Usutu wears the headphones himself when he paints the future.) Matt sees a vision of a future when he's married to Daphne. That future has changed, however. Usutu paints a portrait of Matt holding dying Daphne in his arms - in the future where Sylar explodes and destroys Costa Verde, Daphne is fast enough to return home where Matt is waiting but not enough to avoid lethal radiation burns.

After Hiro accepts enlistment with Daphne's unknown employer, she sends him on a mission to apprehend Usutu. Hiro takes Ando (who Daphne still thinks to be dead). Hiro tries twice to sneak up on Usutu using his power, and both times finds a painting of himself being knocked out by a shovel-wielding Usutu, a future that is immediately fulfilled. Hiro switches plans; he and Ando wait for nightfall and sneak into the hut, grabbing the shovel on the way in. Usutu has his back to them but expects them; he congratulates Hiro for using his head insitead of his power. Usutu shows the two a painting of four villains they must face. The villains are Sylay, Knox, Flint, and...

...Arthur Petrelli. He is the mysterious boss operating out of Pinehurst. He is first seen paralyzed and on a respirator, and giving commands telepathically to Maury. Adam Monroe is brought to him; Knox forces a terrified Adam's hand to touch Arthur's, and Adam crumbles into dust. This event reinforces Daphne's changing allegiance.

When Peter arrives at Pinehurst, he finds his thought-to-be-dead father, with Knox, Maury, Daphne, and Flint. Arthur cons a hug from his son, whereby his ability is confirmed to viewers - Arthur can permanently transfer another's mutant abilities to himself by touch. He had stolen the regenerative power that was keeping centuries-old Adam alive. Now he has not only Peter's natural ability to copy others' powers, but the copied powers as well. That means he now has Sylar's ability, and the homicidal hunger that comes with it.

Dr. Mohinder and Mr. Hyde. While all this is going on, Suresh has independently figured out a formula that will allow anyone to gain abilities. He tries a prototype on himself and his strength, reflexes, and aggressive tendencies are all heightened. Huge blisters appear on his skin, and evidently he is able to secrete a web-like substance. Eventually he starts bringing people into his lab alive to wrap into cocoons - a neighbor who had been battering his wife, a drug dealer, and Maya, when she discovers the first two. He captures Nathan and Tracy for that purpose when they come by after their talk with Zimmerman. Daphne discovers the scene and escapes. Tracy uses her ability to free herself, incapacitate Suresh, and escape with Nathan.

Episode 7 has already aired, and I haven't gotten around to seeing it yet.

I'm glad they didn't kill off Nathan Petrelli; he's one of the more intriguing characters. Adam Monroe's usefulness to the story had pretty much been used up, so his demise is no big loss. Elle's been dismissed by the Company for the accidental discharge that allowed the breakout, so it'll be interesting to see when and where she eventually turns up. Claire is turning into her bitter, vengeful and monomaniacal stepdad. Sandra is getting some well-deserved character development; I'd like to see the stepbrother return. And Mr. Muggles, too.

It seems that Future Peter's scar has been partially explained: Arthur stole his regenerative ability - a fate Present Peter was unable to stop - and he will be wounded at some point afterward. If so, Peter will somehow get his powers back. My prediction is that he will get the Zimmerman vaccine. The vaccine reacts uniquely in each individual; it should give Peter his original power, which will allow him to reaquire others.

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