God of the Neural Gaps

Fascinating response to David Brooks’ neuroscience piece earlier this week from an actual neuroscientist!

The statement: “meaning, belief and consciousness seem to emerge mysteriously from idiosyncratic networks of neural firings,” seems particularly odd. If you remove the word “mysteriously” this is actually a good summary of

Bad Week For McCain

This was supposed to be John McCain’s green week, when he went to the Pacific Northwest, hung out with the forest people, and made clear to America that he is not George Bush. Yesterday’s Back-To-The-Future prediction that the war in Iraq would be essentially won by 2013 was icing on the cake.

Then George Bush goes to Israel and forces …

In the Arena In the Arena

Today’s Appeasement Smackdown

Here is what Barack Obama said in South Dakota.

Here is the McCain campaign’s response.

So, which of these responses is hysterical? I suspect the purple, perfervid tone of the McCain campaign will not hold up very well in the fall.

P.S.–Once again, McCain’s spokesman indulges in a tactical, umm, mistake: waving the bloody shirt of …

Throwing Deck Chairs at Each Other on the Titanic

Michelle Cottle’s oral history of the Last Days of Disco:

“Devastating vulnerabilities such as Obama’s associations with Wright and Ayers were not unearthed by the campaign’s vaunted research team in time to be fully taken advantage of–despite being readily available in the public domain.”

“Harold Ickes’s encyclopedic understanding of

Metaphor of the Day

On the heels of the California marriage decision, this from the head of the RNC, via Politico:

Donatelli: “Sometimes the generic brand does it for Republicans or Democrats, based on the circumstances. But this time it’s a very challenging environment and it’s not enough just to kind of go down the litany of issues. I think you’ve got

In the Arena In the Arena

Morning Questions

Why is it that the neocons always assume that when Barack Obama says he wants to talk to the leadership in Iran, he’s talking about the clown Ahmedinejad, who has no power over foreign policy or the nuclear program?
Isn’t it possible that Obama is talking about meeting with Iran’s actual leader–indeed, it’s there in his title: …

In the Arena In the Arena

The McCain Speech

No doubt, John McCain’s attempt to lay out the goals of his prospective presidency was a worthy and honorable effort–but there was something deeply hilarious about it as well. Take his paragraph about Iraq:

By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be

In the Arena In the Arena

McMaster Gets His Star

This is good news. H.R. McMaster has finally been promoted to Brigadier General after being passed over twice. McMaster is a true military intellectual, the author of a definitive book about the Army in Vietnam. He was a supporter and practitioner of counterinsurgency tactics, commanding a battalion in Tal Afar in 2005-6, and was …

Obama’s Flag Pin

Here’s a short story I wrote for the web on Obama’s flag pin. Obama commented further on it last night en route from Grand Rapids back to Chicago, saying: “You know I started wearing it again at that veteran’s event because once again I had been handed the flag by a veteran who said it was important. This is an issue that is a …

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