The Spectacle Blog

Europe’s Place in the World

By on 11.19.05 | 11:15PM

Jed is right. There is a reason that little "c" conservatives are gaining ground in European elections, whether it's the death of the EU constitution, their gains in Britain and Germany, etc.

But the gains they have made aren't enough, the Conservatives in Britain have succeeded through essentially an anti-American position, while the Germans have gained by making promises their economy can't sustain without true economic change. If Europe is to transform itself, both nations must come closer to the U.S. conservative position both domestically (economically and socially) and international (pro-national defense). That can only happen with a strong America to take them by the hand and show them the way.

Send to Kindle

Theories and Experiments

By on 11.19.05 | 7:24PM

John, I apologize for my rusty terminology and application -- high school science classes seem so long ago. Let me take another crack at it: a scientific theory must be falsifiable through repeated experiments. Neither evolutionary theory or ID qualify under such requirements, correct?

Are you arguing that the question of how things came to be is the exclusive domain of science?

Send to Kindle

Re: ID

By on 11.19.05 | 6:09PM

J.P.: The thing is, as far as the science is concerned, there really is no debate. Krauthammer is dead right: ID is not a scientific theory, period. It makes no positive assertions that are falsifiable. That is, its falsifiable assertions are entirely negative, variations all on "natural selection doesn't explain X." Its positive assertions (an Intelligent Designer did it) are not falsifiable. As far as the metaphysics goes, there's a lot to mull over, as Krauthammer acknowledges ("Intelligent design may be interesting as theology"). But science isn't metaphysics, and it's a mistake to rely on Edward O. Wilson's theological conclusions. I've mentioned here before that lots of scientists are flakey, even nuts, when it comes to serious thinking about religion. It's no more profitable to ask them about the nature of God then to ask a priest or philosopher to lead a paleontological dig.

Send to Kindle

Melloan’s Europe

By on 11.19.05 | 8:00AM

George Melloan of the WSJ is always worth reading. Until I read his 11/15 column (subs req'd) I couldn't think of a time I seriously disagreed with him. Consider this one: Melloan, arguing that most of the damage to European unity is self-inflicted and not America's fault, is right on target. But his conclusion is way off:

"It would be foolish of Americans to think that all this turmoil in Europe somehow serves U.S. interests. Chaos in Europe has never worked that way before, it should be carefully remembered...There is nothing to be gained by the U.S. from watching cars burn in Paris, politicians fumbling in Berlin or mass demonstrations against the government in a Spain at risk of exploding into little pieces." Actually, there is.

Send to Kindle

Tantrum in the House

By on 11.18.05 | 7:07PM

Read the AP report to catch up on today's back and forth on the Murtha resolution. The highlight:

The fiery, emotional debate climaxed when Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, the most junior member of the House, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel.

"He asked me to send Congress a message - stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message - that cowards cut and run, Marines never do," Schmidt said.

Democrats booed and shouted her down - causing the House to come to a standstill.

Send to Kindle

Murtha Mush

By on 11.18.05 | 6:41PM

John Murtha just appeared with Chris Matthews on Hardball, and said so many things that are factually incorrect, reckless and - I'm sorry to say - irresponsible, I hereby refuse to defend the man further. Just because you are a war hero doesn't permanently immunize you from on-target criticism. Just ask Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy.

Among the whoppers Murtha was peddling are that: (1) all Iraqi troops are at the lowest readiness rating; (2) Iraqi troops work only three out of four weeks; (3) there was no terrorism in Iraq before we went in (news to Abu Nidal, who headquartered in Baghdad for years); (4) Iraqis won't tell us where the insurgents are (Pentagon sources say Iraqi cooperation and intelligence given our troops by Iraqi civilians is very good and growing daily); and (5) the tired old argument that we didn't go into Iraq with enough troops to win.

Send to Kindle

Re: More on ID

By on 11.18.05 | 4:57PM

D.,

I don't even think that there's a recognition that there is a debate. For many, as Dr. Krauthammer taps his medical degree and invariably tries to end the discussion. Many think there's an immediately reconcilable edition of Darwinism that will cater to those who don't wish their religious ideals to obfuscate their arguments; sort of a Rawlsian relapse into arguments about private reason vs. public reason. Because Darwinism is so poorly understood, it winds up misrepresented in such a way that even Wilson feels it's being sold short.

Send to Kindle

Re: More on ID

By on 11.18.05 | 4:49PM

J., if you mean that there's an unwillingness to see evolution debated among the right, you're correct. Is this what you're arguing?

Send to Kindle

Iraq Showdown Live

By on 11.18.05 | 4:45PM

They're at it already, tho proceedings stopped when a freshman congresslady from Ohio (Schmidt?) read an e-mail from a constituent that may have violated House rules on decorum by implying Murtha is a coward. While they sort this out, all the momentum building toward fisticuffs has been lost. If memory serves, we haven't had a real fight in Congress since just before the Civil War.

Send to Kindle

Pages