Monthly Archives: November 2012

Good News for Gay Marriage in California

As reported at the Huffington Post today, Andrew Koppelman, a law professor at Northwestern University, thinks the Supreme Court justices are likely to let stand a lower court ruling overturning Proposition 8 (California’s ban on gay marriage). Why? Because on … Continue reading

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The New Hitler Youth of India

With India’s rise on the global stage, it would seem valuable to know the attitudes of its most elite educated teenagers, and Dilip D’Sousa at the Daily Beast reports that a not inconsiderable number of them harbor fascist sentiments: My … Continue reading

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Righteous Bud

In Obama’s second term, will he end the drug war? “Don’t ever sleep on Barry O.”

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The Republican Cliff

In the fiscal cliff negotiations, Republican politicians are facing an existential choice, and they’re showing signs of stress and fracture because of it. President Obama has already put his neck out. To bring the federal deficit down, he wants increased … Continue reading

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Motivational Speaker Dies

That would be Zig Ziglar. He was 86. __________ This is part of the New York Times obituary: “Our whole philosophy’s built around the concept that you can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough … Continue reading

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Rick Warren: Gay Orientation Is Natural, Like Arsenic

Rick Warren recently said on CNN that, if you’re gay and act on your orientation, you’re doing something akin to punching a person in the nose or cheating on your spouse! Oh, and being gay is like arsenic. Here’s his … Continue reading

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Is Religion Adaptive? Is It Worthy of a Contemporary Society’s Energy and Resources?

Jared Diamond thinks about religion.

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Republican House Committee Chairs: All White, All Men

The below image says it all. Not one woman will chair any major committee in the Republican controlled 113th Congress. And not one nonwhite. Not one.

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Doris Lessing on Abstraction and Idealism in War and Ideology

Doris Lessing, in addition to being a novelist and poet, is a skeptic and thinker. Born in 1919, she won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2007 and is still alive today. In the below clip, she discusses abstraction and … Continue reading

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Tom Ricks Interview Abruptly Halted When He Says Fox “Is Operating As A Wing Of The Republican Party”

Below is one of the most amazing interview clips you’ll ever see. Tom Ricks, one of America’s most respected (and feared) investigative journalists, lasts 60 beautiful seconds on Fox News before the producer realizes he’s off script and shuts him … Continue reading

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God, the Holocaust, and the Battle for Occam’s Razor

In the Letters section of the November 2012 edition of Commentary is an interesting exchange between an atheist, Itzik Basman, and a theist, Rabbi Joseph Polak, concerning the question of whether, in the light of the Holocaust, God exists. Basman’s … Continue reading

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A Reminder of Life’s Fleeting Nature

This is in the New York Times this morning: There they were, [two clowns] seeking to amuse the packed rows of onlookers at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, ambling along amid the bobbing Hello Kitty and The Elf … Continue reading

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Would Edmund Burke Have Approved of Artists Blending the Sublime and the Beautiful?

For Edmund Burke (1729-1797), in his A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757), our strongest emotions are associated with danger, pain, and fear (most particularly the fear of death, the “king of … Continue reading

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Jonathan Rauch Powerfully Defends Free Speech

“We’re not delicate flowers.” __________ I like Rauch’s distinction between purism and pluralism: purism, on his account, protects from offensive speech, presuming that the community must be kept clean from the public expression of certain ideas; pluralism protects dialogue, presuming that … Continue reading

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Genesis 2: Historic Mars News, December 3rd?

NASA plans to reveal news “for the history books” based on data coming from the Mars rover, Curiosity. A press conference is to be held at an upcoming science conference scheduled for December 3-7. This is at Wired: “If it’s going in the history books, … Continue reading

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A Bit of Life Perspective from Woody Allen (and Owen Wilson)

In the below video, Woody Allen offers some unsettling and thought-provoking responses to some questions. Owen Wilson is also interesting. _________ Allen’s resigned and melancholy answers remind me that the winter holiday season is here and that my favorite Christmas … Continue reading

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The End of “Traditional America” (1789-2012)

The end of “traditional America,” of course, is Tea Party code for the end of the political success of its Fox News constructed, eccentric, and childish narrative about America from 1789-2012. The perceived crisis of America is not actually in … Continue reading

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Marco Rubio: Young Earth Creationist?

Holy crap! The GOP is putting forward Marco Rubio as a future President of the United States, and he can’t give an interviewer for GQ a straightforward answer to an elementary science question: GQ: How old do you think the Earth … Continue reading

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Sink Eye, Space Eye, and The Empty One

“Lia-Triple M” (a . k. a. liammm) got a curious result from taking a photo of her sink draining: __________ __________ It’s not just that we’re primed for recognizing faces and eyes; it’s the bottomlessness of the above image that unsettles: … Continue reading

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The Reelection Of Barack Obama (A Poem)

Sunrise, seven November, the seventh day. Rest. Gumby, pushing sixty, Enters his yoga studio by the glass door, gliding slowly. Pokey, waiting in Corpse Pose, says, I voted Romney. Big Gum: I did too. At the back window A bat leaves its cave, circles tightly, … Continue reading

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