Richard Harter’s World
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September 2011

Letters to the editor, September 2011

This a traditional letter column. You are encouraged to write a letter of comment on anything that you find worthy of comment. It will (may) be published in this column along with my reply. As editor I reserve the right to delete material; however I will not alter the undeleted material. E-mail to me that solely references the contents of this site will be assumed to be publishable mail. All other e-mail is assumed to be private. And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication. Oh yes, letters of appreciation for the scholarly resources provided by this site will be handled very discreetly. This page contains the correspondence for September 2011.

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From: john davies
Date: 13 July 2011
Subj: Strangest Books


Love your site, and thought you might be interested in this.

Check this out:

I’ve read some . . . absolutely awesome!

Interesting … very interesting.
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From: Peter Neilson
Date: 24 August 2011
Subj: Magyar Kir Posta

Kedves Harter! Hát nem csodálatos, mit lehet tenni a Google Translate. Az átkozott dolog, amit képes kezelni ezeket a nehézségeket a máltai és a magyar. Merem állítani, hogy akár be is válhat a dél Egyenlítői Mars. Magam, nem tudom szó a magyar, kivéve, hogy a postai bélyegek ebből az országból, amit gyűjtött, amikor egy pici fiú meghirdetett Magyar Kir Posta.

Your Hungarian got thoroughly mangled when it made its way into my ancient copy of Eudora. I suspect that’s alright – it was mangled before it ever got here.

Now as you’ve run all that through Google Translate, and seen the botched job that results, you can wonder, as I do, whether the major difficulty was into or out of Hungarian. It does entirely miss the phrase that was on my collection of Hungarian postage stamps, Magyar Kir Posta, Hungarian Royal Mail. I think the most amazing thing about Hungarian is how little it resembles anything that makes sense. Even Chinese has words that occasionally half look like they might have come from a drawing of something. It’s particularly illuminating to compare the Egyptian and the Chinese words for water. We are so fortunate, though, that the Lord spoke English. How else would we be able to read the Saint James Bible?

There is an ancient legend that I just made up is that languages such as Hungarian and Basque were the original tongues granted by God after the fall of the Tower of Babel, and were chosen so as to be too difficult for the Devil to speak. (Twas difficulty with the forked tongue, you know). The Devil, not to be outdone, invented English so that men might more conveniently converse with one another. Quite carried away with his own cleverness, the Devil went on to invent all manner of other languages such as Latin and Greek, and English was quite forgotten for a while. The Lord, however, said that if men would speak the Devil’s tongues instead of the good Hungarian He had given them, He needs must speak in English to them so that they would understand Him.
On a totally different note, I’ve tried several of the links on your website, both internal and external, and most of them have terminal rot. You need a round tuit. I’ll send you one Real Soon Now.
That would be good. My problem is that all I have on hand are square tuits, and they simply don’t do at all.
Anyway, congratulations to you and to Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.
Mrs. Calabash and I honor your fine sentiments, such as they might be.
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From: Chip Hitchcock
Date: 9 August 2011
Subj: summer editorial

It appears that ADA Eisenbraun is table-pounding, as taught in the first year of law school:
– If the law is on your side, pound the law.
– If the facts are on your side, pound the facts.
– If neither the law nor the facts are on your side, pound the table.

So goes the maxim. I’ve noticed though that impeaching your opponent’s client works well, often even better than facts or law. Still, courtrooms require sturdy tables.
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From: Arv Edgeworth
Date: 5 August 2011
Subj: Origin of man

Hi Richard,
From the statements I have read Australopithecus is now classified with the apes, Cro-Magnon and Neanderthals are considered modern human, and Lucy was clearly a chimpanzee. I personally don’t see anything between modern humans and our still missing ape-like ancestor.

I assume you mean to dismiss all of the intermediates out of hand. Your case looks much better that way.
By the way, I am a little curious, and I hope you take this in (shall we say, a slightly humorous way), but if we aren’t supposed to say we evolved from apes, but an ape-like ancestor, what would it look like, if not an ape? I had to ask.
Mon ami, you miscomprehend. The answer is simple enough; we humans are apes. Very peculiar ones, to be sure, but definitely apes. Your problem is one of your use of language.
My personal belief about why there are strong genetic similarities between humans and other life forms is to provide a food chain. Of course you probably know I believe they all had a common designer also, not a common ancestor. But thank you for your response, and the gracious way you responded.
I rather like that theory. Imagine if you will a world in which each species has its own biochemistry. Each species would find all of the others inedible and perforce must resort to canibalism. That simply would not do.
Actually, when I sent the email to about 30 different evolutionists, it was just because I had read that some scientists with a scientific naturalism worldview had given up trying to prove evolution on the molecular level and had begun to embrace panspermia. I was just curious as to how many may have considered that. I really wasn’t trying to trick anyone or anything, and I wasn’t trying to get anyone into any kind of a debate. It seems to be very difficult at times to get an honest dialog going with someone that holds to a different worldview.
You’re slightly confused. Firstly, nobody has a problem with evolution on the molecular level – this is well established science. I gather though that what you meant was proving abiogenesis could occur. AS it happens, this is an area of active research. People in the field are not giving up. The truth is the chemistry involved is complicated and it takes a lot of work to figure out what can happen, let alone what did happen.

Be that as it may, a number of scientists (notably Crick) have speculated about the possibility of panspermia. They speculate, mind you, not embrace. It’s pub conversation material rather than science.

I believe from a purely scientific basis, The Law of Cause and Effect, The First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, the Law of Inertia, and the Law of Biogenesis almost demand that there be a cause for this universe, and life on this planet, that is beyond nature. In fact, I believe “nature” itself is evidence for a Supreme Being, outside of our universe. I need to stop, forgive me for going on a bit. I hope you have a great day.
The existence of universe is an argument for a creator. For one thing the universe doesn’t seem to be the sort of thing that can create itself. There are difficulties though; the wiseacres ask “who or what created the Supreme Being” and there really is no totally convincing answer.
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From: Don Phillipson
Date: 6 August 2011
Subj: Spelling check

On the home page the names of the Clark Univ. principals appear as Blinderman and Jayce. The latter, however is listed as David Joyce at and at other Clark Univ. sources.

Thank you for all your work in maintaining this interesting collection.

Thank you for the correction. As it happens the Piltdown man home page actually is

I don’t maintain the Clark University pages but I do maintain a guide to it.

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From: paul siwulich
Date: 7 August 2011
Subj: Matters Military site!!!!!???????

Hey Richard. Whats happening to the Matters Military site as I am unable to open it to get a copy of the Few Good Men and Me article. ???????Can it get back on????
Regards Cpl Jake/Mass-1

My apologies. It got deleted at some point. I’ve restored it and it should be okay now. I received your last email and will be answering it anon. Things have been exceptionally busy in these here parts.
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From: Lynn Saint James
Date: 30 August 2011
Subj: original farm buildings

Howdy Bro,
I’m hoping you can shed some light on the following puzzle. When Robin posted the attached photo of the farm buildings on Facebook, I realized that I really had no idea when these buildings originated. Weren’t they already there when we moved to the new house in 1949? And if that being so, when were they first built?
  Cheers, Lynn

They were indeed there. June had mentioned to me that the barn was historic but I don’t think it was ever actually registered. I don’t know the date it was built.
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From: Anthony R. Lewis, PhD, FN
Date: 12 June 2011
Subj: Title revival


I always wanted to be Lord Protector.

And so you shall be. I hereby appoint you Lord Protector of Highmore. It will be best if we do not disturb the citizenry therein with the news that they are being protected. You needn’t worry about performing your duties as you have none. Consult with Alice about your ceremonial robe.
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From: John Parisi
Date: 05 June 2011
Subj: What a life

Dear Richard,

First let me congratulate you on getting through Marine Corps basic. After hearing other Marines talk about Marine Corps Basics I have to admire your courage. I understand that all that go through basics do not make the grade. Do they still remain in the Corps and go through basics again, or are the discharged from the Marine Corps?

As far as I know, if you can’t make it through basic you are discharged, usually for medical reasons. I suppose mental problems are covered under medical. People with medical problems get a general discharge. People with major discipline or criminal issues might get a bad conduct discharge. Sometimes, again usually for medical reasons, a person may be moved back to an earlier point in training.
I found your web site when I wanted to learn about the History of the One Room Schools that were built in America. I believe that every state in the Union had its one room school. To introduce myself my name is John G. Parisi. I am 82 years old a live in the State of Delaware. I understand that the State of Delaware will fit into one cattle range in Texas.
That used to be true; I don’t know if it still is. A lot of the old big ranches have been broken up over time.
Just like the State of Texas your blog is very large in information. There is so much information that I dont know where to start.
Somewhere in that mess, er, mass is a guide. Unfortunately the guide is well out of date. Like topsy, it just growed.
The year 1947 I took parachute training in Sendi, Japan. The 11th Airborne Division was way understanding strength that when I shipped to Sendi, Japan I was talked into joining the Airborne. You did not fail to pass Airborne Training. They wouldnt let you. If you thought you could not make the grade, you only had one choice, you had to sign a quit slip. That would be a big mistake. The ones who did and they were very few were made to regret they did. Until they shipped out they could get no pass and were assigned to every detail that the First Sergeant could think of.
I salute you, sir. I’ve never used a parachute. I suppose I could; one of my aunts went skydiving on her eightieth birthday. I don’t think I shall though. Whatever I needed to prove to myself, I’ve done a long time ago.
Richard, I’m going to return to your blog now and try to get familiar with it.
Have fun.
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From: jessica
Date: 5 June 2011
Subj: i wannted to send

i wannted to send u my photo long ago, but i was afraid that u dont like to see me . check on the links u see my photo, i hope u like it

Download that and see my photo…

[snip links]

Jessica, you are being a very bad girl. Those links you included have big red flags all over them. You shall have stale bread and water for supper tonight.
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This page was last updated September 11, 2011.

Richard Harter’s World
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September 2011