August 3, 2005 [LINK]

Bully for Bolton!

Frustrated with Democrat stalling tactics, President Bush made a recess appointment of John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Democrats were outraged that Bush bypassed them, but that's the price they pay for contriving to avoid an up or down vote on whether to confirm him. Sen. Harry Reid called Bolton "a seriously flawed and weakened candidate"; see Washington Post. Conservative internationalist Daniel Drezner takes a neutral stance on Bolton: "from the Bush administration's perspective, this is an unwanted man being sent to an unwanted institution." Most of those who place a high priority on pushing for serious reforms in the United Nations think Bolton is just the right person for the job. For example, Glenn Reynolds notes a news report that "Most of the reforms sought by the United States are well on their way to completion" and Bolton is therefore unlikely to disrupt U.S. foreign relations. He concludes, "It's as if there was some sort of cunning plan all along. Nah, couldn't be."

Bush backs "intelligent design"

President Bush waded into the swamp of the debate over teaching evolution, saying that students in public schools should be exposed to "intelligent design," as if that were an alternate scientific theory. See Washington Post. NOT! By doing so, Bush unwittingly gave support to those who believe that the theory of evolution undermines Christianity or other religious faiths. As I've written before (most recently on May 9), there is no necessary clash between scientific advances and religious belief, except for those who hold unusually rigid and narrow views. Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with people who put those fish-with-feet "Darwin" symbols on their car bumpers; do they actually enjoy making religious people angry, or do they just feel intellectually superior? I just don't see what good can come from escalating the Culture Wars... For a thoughtful Catholic perspective on the evolution controversy, see Phil Faranda.