December 2004

In today’s Boston Globe, Robert Kuttner nails the myth about “The Social Security Crisis”. It’s just that: a myth. There is no crisis. Key quote: “In June, the bipartisan Congressional Budget office used more realistic assumptions about economic growth. CBO puts the first shortfall year at 2052, not 2042, and it projects Social Security’s 75-year…

Read More What Social Security 'crisis'?

As all news-junkies will know, the press is reporting that: “Police zeroed in on Lisa Montgomery [by] tracing an IP address, 65.150.168.223, to a computer at her Melvern, Kan., home.” Which reminds me of a recent trip to California…. I was at San Jose airport, en route for Boston, and I was wearing my favourite…

Read More Now everybody will know about IP addresses

Poll: Most Americans Think Iraq War Not Worth Fighting (washingtonpost.com): “[A]ccording to a Washington Post-ABC News poll […] 56 percent of the country now believes that the cost of the conflict in Iraq outweighs the benefits, while 42 percent disagreed. It marked the first time since the war began that a clear majority of Americans…

Read More Must… resist… temptation… to say "I told you so"

I’ve been watching the current debate on EU admission for Turkey with a fair amount of confusion. Understandably, much of the discussion has revolved around such issues as European “identity”, religion, the effect on the labour market, human rights, Cyprus, Armenia, the military in politics, and so on. The question of precedent is also critical:…

Read More Turkey and the EU

Update on my recent blog entry about Antony Flew: The Raving Atheist published an unhelpful satirical piece, and in a comment to this someone posted a link to an interview between Flew and the philosopher/theologian Gary Habermas. In the interview, Flew accepts Habermas’ description of him as a “deist”, in the tradition of Thomas Jefferson…

Read More More on Antony Flew

David Brock of MediaMatters.org just posted a scathing attack on Bill O’Reilly (King of the Unfair and Unbalanced). After listing the numerous occasions on which O’Reilly had attacked both Brock and MediaMatters, Brock calls him out: As you can see, Mr. O’Reilly, you have repeatedly and personally attacked me, Media Matters for America, and my…

Read More Bill O'Reilly the self-described coward

In his latest contribution to this discussion, Masood asks why I feel that the question “Why is there anything rather than nothing?” is incoherent. It’s because I find it breaks down under either of the common senses of “why” – the causal or the teleological. In each case, the question self-destructs in two ways. Causality…

Read More Why anything instead of nothing? We load the dice….

My colleague Jim Grisanzio noted Ashlee Vance’s piece in the Register about the Merrill Lynch analyst who thinks Sun should buy Red Hat or Novell. Surprisingly, Jim only cited the Merrill Lynch argument; he failed to mention Ashlee Vance’s devastating rebuttal. Key quotes (with my emphasis): Merrill Lynch ignores how messy Sun’s purchase of a…

Read More Register 1, Merrill Lynch 0 – game over (on Sun & RH)