Friday, November 10, 2006

Hypocrisy and Gay-ness

First Things has two fine pieces on the Ted Haggard fiasco. The first, by Robert Miller, is a meditation on hypocrisy and an explanation why Haggard's particular faults do not make him a hypocrite. The second, by Richard Neuhaus, is an addendum to Miller's piece and has some interesting things to say about homosexuality in general and particularly the opinion of some gays that the more the public hears about people like Ted Haggard and Mark Foley the more accepting of homosexuality they will be. Neuhaus thinks this is exactly wrong.

They're good reading, and I recommend them to you.

New Neuroscience Blog

Denyse O'Leary has started a new blog, called The Mindful Hack, dedicated to discussion of issues surrounding the nature of mind and the materialist/immaterialist debate in neuroscience. This is a cutting edge field in biology and philosophy, and I urge you to give her site a look. O'Leary says this about her new effort:

A word about me: I am a Toronto-based journalist and author, who also blogs at the Post-Darwinist.

A word about the Mindful Hack: Just as the Post-Darwinist was started in 2005 in order to update By Design or by Chance?, my investigation of the intelligent design controversy, Mindful Hack notes recent events that might interest you if you care about the ongoing controversy between materialist and non-materialist neuroscience.

The Mindful Hack represents the non-materialist side. You will not learn here that you are a meat puppet, a robot vehicle for your selfish genes, or nothing but a pack of neurons. You will get a chance to explore the other side of the argument, as I have time to blog on it.

Publishing this blog distracts me from anxiety while I await the copy edit of The Spiritual Brain (Harper 2007), of which I am the coauthor. Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard is the lead author.

Because I have been a book editor as well as a journalist for many years, I worry, even though the boss editor assures me that the copy editor is one of the best in the business (and I bet that's true). I expect to learn a lot from reviewing her work. Meanwhile, here are a couple of fun little items to get us started.

Blogs are like gardens, always in some state of development. So you will notice blank side beds, because I have not got round to starting a blog roll, but that too will happen. About the name, Mindful Hack, it is a play on "mind hack," a person who studies cognitive science, usually from a materialist perspective. Make what you like of that!

O'Leary's blog should be an excellent source of news on developments in this fascinating field.

Betraying the Base

The far left George Soros, Michael Moore wing of the Democratic party is soon going to conclude that it's been had, and they're not going to be happy about it. After having given themselves to their Democratic suitors they're waking up the morning after only to find themselves alone in bed. First, Nancy Pelosi backs off from a committment to seek impeachment of George Bush and then she backs away from any suggestion that the Democrats will push for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

Then Howard Dean appears on Chris Matthews' show and, much to Matthews' dismay, seems to back away some more from any prospect of an early end to the Iraq war. Here's a video clip that lends strong support to the supposition that the Democrats don't have a clue about what they're going to do with Iraq.

It's easy to yelp, snipe, and nip at the president's ankles like a pack of dogs as he tries to erect a permanent outpost of freedom in the Middle East, but it's going to be something else altogether to actually come up with a plan that differs significantly from the president's plan without it amounting to a surrender to the Islamo-fascists.

The voters in their frustration, impatience, and, I would suggest, poor judgment, voted the Republicans out and replaced them with ....what? Presumably, the MoveOn, TruthOut, and Democracy Underground people are right now in the first stages of a seething anger as the feeling of betrayal begins to creep over them.