Friday, October 13, 2006

Straw Poll

A straw poll carried by a lot of conservative-leaning blogs is showing that the favored candidate for the 2008 presidential nomination is Rudy Giuliani with Newt Gingrich coming in second. You can cast your vote below:

UPDATE: Apparently the page at which the results are posted has been taken down. Maybe somebody didn't like the fact that Giuliani was doing so well.

Sci Phi

Jason at Sci Phi conducts audio interviews with prominent thinkers on various scientific and philosophical topics. For example, William Lane Craig explains how God can know the future without precluding human free will here, and Alvin Plantinga explains why it is irrational to believe that both naturalism and evolution are true here. The sound on this one is sometimes a little scratchy.

William Hasker explains a possible solution to the mind/body problem called emergent dualism. The sound is unsteady, but you can hear Hasker well enough.

There is also a discussion on Intelligent Design with skeptic Michael Shermer and IDer Salvador Cordova. To link to the Cordova audio, however, you have to go here and follow the links since navigating around Sci Phi is difficult. They really do need an index of links to their shows.

Thanks to Uncommon Descent for the tip.

Dirty Harry

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who was one of the principal spokesmen in the campaign to establish in the public mind the image of Republicans as incorrigibly corrupt, grew suddenly silent when it was disclosed that he had ties to the Luciferian Jack Abramoff. Now it turns out that there's even more odor clinging to the Senator. He appears to have profited handsomely from some land deals, the details of which he is obligated to reveal to the Senate, but which he chose to keep secret.

Old Harry Reid is starting to look a little dirty, and more than a little hypocritical, again.

For the scandal junkies among our readers Ed Morrissey has the details. And just in time, too, since despite the strenuous efforts of Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman at MSNBC to keep the story on life-support, the Mark Foley unpleasantness is beginning to expire. People are coming to realize that the scandal was pretty much over once Foley resigned, much to the disappointment of libs who were hoping to club Republicans over the head with it all the way up to election day.

AWOL in the Greatest Battle of Our Time

News reports indicate that the population of the United States will pass 300 million this week, and it occured to me that there has been scarcely a peep about this from environmentalists who, throughout the sixties, seventies, and eighties, were shouting from the rooftops that population growth was the most serious problem the world and this nation were facing. A burgeoning population puts enormous stress, we were told, on agricultural and natural lands, endangered species of wildlife and their habitats, resources like timber and water, and the over-all quality of life. People like Paul Ehrlich in his 1968 book Population Bomb warned us that if we did nothing to stop or reverse our growth we were headed for doom. Others claimed, a bit hyperbolically, that we'd already passed the point of no return.

I happen to agree that population growth is a serious environmental and ecological problem, perhaps one of our two or three most serious middle-term problems, and am very concerned about the consequences, both ecological and aesthetic, of adding 100 million people to our nation just since the 1960s. I support most efforts to conserve and protect our natural heritage from the voracious demands of a burgeoning population.

So I wondered why the people who led the struggle over the past generation to warn us of the perils we risk by not controlling population growth are silent as we pass the 300 million mark. I was curious as to why Leftish organizations, like the Sierra Club for instance, which have been fighting to limit population growth for decades, who have been warning us that we are facing a biological calamity, and who are concerned about conserving natural lands were as quiet as the Nevada desert.

Then it was all made clear by a feature column written by Valerie Richardson in the Washington Times (subscription required).

The reason, Richardson explains, why these groups have suddenly gone mute on what is arguably the greatest threat to the ecological health of natural lands and population stability in the U.S. is that much of the growth (40%) we are experiencing is due to immigration, both legal and illegal, and much of the rest is due to high reproductive rates among native-born poor. None of the environmental groups, most of which are staffed by liberals and Leftists, wish to be seen as racist by opposing illegal immigration and pointing fingers at minority groups with high reproductive rates.

In other words, these people, who were grabbing us by the lapels twenty years ago and pleading with us to do limit the skyrocketing numbers of people who were placing unsustainable demands upon the earth, actually care more about being falsely accused of racism than they care about doing what must be done to preserve the health of the North American biosphere. They're more concerned about being politically correct than about easing the pressure growing populations impose on endangered species and precious ecological resources.

Because of their fear of transgressing liberal orthodoxies on race they are AWOL on perhaps the most important issue of our time, the issue that has been their whole raison d'etre for the last fifty years. It is quite astonishing. It's also very sad that they would sell out their principles for a mess of PC pottage, but principles are quite expendable and very malleable things in the hands of liberals.