Thursday, June 22, 2006

I'm in today's Herald on the podcasting of Doctor Janeway's Plague and Podiobooks.

(And the picture of me even looks good!)
My retrospective on the work of Georges Lemaître is up at TCS.
On Bill Demsbki's thin skin:

A Catholic blogger, tired of posting comments to Dembski's anti-evolution site writes to me:
Dembski's anti-intellectualism is pretty well summarized by the fact that he keeps
all anti-ID commentors on a moderation list, so our comments don't appear until he's read them over and decided whether to let them though. Supporters are on the 'approved' list. And these people wonder why we think they're assholes...
That pretty much sums it up.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

PZ Myers has a great post on how the selective quote-mining of Intelligent 'proponents' continues to destroy their credibility.
Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if some folks saw Sullivan's post as unworthy of a response. And it's unclear what it is that needs be said by anyone, other than how terribly sad a day today is, even without the usual suspects determined to see every tragic event as simply more fodder for the political grist mill.

Tomorrow Andrew may be wishing he had let a day pass before deciding to exploit the soldiers' deaths for cheap shots.

Friday, June 16, 2006

How pathetic is it that Ann Coulter has to be tutored by the usual suspects in order to write nothing intelligible something about evolution for her new book?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

This seems like good news.

While the coalition was continuing to suffer human losses, "time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance," the document said.

The document said the insurgency was being hurt by, among other things, the U.S. military's program to train Iraqi security forces, by massive arrests and seizures of weapons, by tightening the militants' financial outlets, and by creating divisions within its ranks.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Everything seems to be up and running now with the podcasting of my novel Doctor Janeway's Plague. Episode 9 was just posted this week. I also re-mastered the first 5 episodes with music and effects, which makes the whole thing a little more consistent.

Now if I only had Laurence Olivier's voice. Or Christopher Lee's...

Check it out.

Friday, June 09, 2006

And Christopher Hitchens put his own two cents in:

Most fascinating of all is the suggestion that Zarqawi was all along receiving help from the mullahs in Iran. He certainly seems to have been able to transit their territory (Herat is on the Iranian border with Afghanistan) and to replenish his forces by the same route. If this suggestive connection is proved, as Weaver suggests it will be, then we have the Shiite fundamentalists in Iran directly sponsoring the murderer of their co-religionists in Iraq. This in turn would mean that the Iranian mullahs stood convicted of the most brutish and cynical irresponsibility, in front of their own people, even as they try to distract attention from their covert nuclear ambitions. That would be worth knowing. And it would become rather difficult to argue that Bush had made them do it, though no doubt the attempt will be made.

If we had withdrawn from Iraq already, as the "peace" movement has been demanding, then one of the most revolting criminals of all time would have been able to claim that he forced us to do it. That would have catapulted Iraq into Stone Age collapse and instated a psychopathic killer as the greatest Muslim soldier since Saladin. As it is, the man is ignominiously dead and his dirty connections a lot closer to being fully exposed. This seems like a good day's work to me.

Lest we forget:

On four levels, Zarqawi's death has global ramifications.

The first and most basic stems from the command position he enjoyed. While the leaders of al-Qaeda like to dispatch suicide bombers, they themselves are not inclined to suicide. Their larger strategy in launching terrorist attacks on everything from police stations to mosques to wedding parties is to destroy the bonds of trust on which decent societies depend, erode the will to fight back, and clear the way for a takeover of power. Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, issue bloodthirsty messages from their hideaways, but they have not offered themselves up for the kind of sacrifices they require of their followers. It is the capture or killing of such terrorist kingpins - and Zarqawi was one - that serves as the real disruption and deterrent.

Second, Zarqawi was found with the help of Iraqis, some of whom have been dancing in the streets to celebrate his death. In Iraq, that is a sign not only of opposition to terrorists, but of the courage to stand up and defy them. It is of a piece with the decisions of millions of Iraqis over the last two years to turn out, despite death threats, to vote. They are telling each other, and the world, that they are willing to take large risks to build a decent, free society.

Third, in raids that accompanied the strike on Zarqawi, U.S. and Iraqi forces have acquired what White House spokesman Tony Snow has described as a "treasure trove" of intelligence. The cars, explosives, guns, ammunition and safe houses required for al-Qaeda's murderous operations turn up courtesy of a network that points to other nodes. That may not immediately stop other operations already in place, but it can have a big effect down the road, leading to other top figures in the command.

Finally, this is an excellent moment to step back and look at just how far in this war we have come. Five years ago, al-Qaeda's commanders, from their safe haven in Afghanistan, were training thousands of terrorists and planning the Sept. 11 strike on a sleeping America. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein ruled by terror, with a record of exporting brutality and war from Baghdad at any opportunity to wherever he could reach - invading his neighbors, rewarding Palestinian suicide bombers, and openly rejoicing over Sept. 11.

Read the rest of Claudia Rosett's excellent piece.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I've never met Derb, but I think I'd like him if I ever did, and I imagine that there are few pundits you'd rather have on your side in a brawl, or on a battlefield. And I'm glad he's out there writing - because he's a great one for cutting through cant and telling inconvenient truths and saying the things that everyone thinks but no one dares to put in print, but also because he's a perpetual reminder that taking the world as it is comes can lead you into some pretty dark places, that moral theories and philosophical abstractions have their uses, and that humanity needs a little idealism, as well as a little brutal realism, to carry us through our years and days.
Ross Douthat with some interesting thoughts on John Derbyshire: