The Jury Talks Back


In honor of Gregg’s stepping down

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 11:54 pm

I pose the following question to you, my tender reader:

Will Obama’s next nominee for Commerce Secretary be a tax cheat, or a lobbyist?

Why is Netanyahu labeled hardline?

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 9:38 pm

Why does the mainstream media frequently identify Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party as “hard-line”?

  • CNN: “hard-line, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu” (2/10/09)
  • Associated Press: “Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line Likud Party (2/11/09)
  • Los Angeles Times: “[Netanyahu’s] hard-line agenda” (1/25/09)

For help, I checked the dictionary, which defines hard-line as “adhering rigidly to a dogma, theory, or plan; uncompromising or unyielding.  That didn’t help, since both Likud leaders in general and Netanyahu in particular have shown a willingness to negotiate and compromise in the hope of peace.

Wikipedia (which admittedly is not authoritative) states, “In politics, hardline refers to the doctrine, policy, and posturing of a government or political body as being absolutist, or authoritarian.  Hardline movements are usually extremist, militant, and uncompromising.”

I also found it puzzling to see leaders of Israel’s enemies, the terrorist group Hamas and the insane-ocracy Iran, identified as “hard-line.”  Apparently the defense of Israel and the annihilation of Israel are seen as equally extremist or uncompromising positions.

Does someone have another explanation?

In praise of Darwin and the spirit of inquiry

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fritz @ 11:57 am

Keith Burgess-Jackson, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Arlington, has this comment about Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s column in The Times (UK):

Here is a column about the compatibility of science and religion. Not only is there no incompatibility between science and religion; there can’t be. Science is an attempt to understand the natural world. It has nothing to say about (1) whether there is a supernatural world or (2) what the supernatural world is like, if there is such a world. Think of the natural world as a box. Science makes claims about what’s inside the box. It has nothing to say about what’s outside the box. Religion makes claims about what’s outside the box.

Murphey-O’Conner notes that Darwin wrote,

“It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist and an evolutionist.”

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