Monthly Archives: November 2012

Peak Far Right Watch: Ann Coulter’s Vision for America is Largely Jewless and Looks Like the Republican Party Convention Floor in New York in 2004

Peak Far Right is the idea that the night of Barack Obama’s reelection constituted the historic fulcrum upon which the long-term demographic decline of the Republican Party as a white Christian party commenced. In other words, Obama’s reelection was the … Continue reading

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Beauty That Is Also Repellent

Israeli artist Ori Gersht (b. 1967) says that one of the things he tends to aim for in his art is the foregrounding of beauty against a background of violence. In the video piece below, he sets up a traditional still … Continue reading

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Yes, Global Warming Continues Apace

The three charts below, from Discovery News, debunk the recent meme being circulated by right-wing entertainment outlets that global warming has stalled. The first chart shows how the data gets cherry picked by Drudge et. al. so that recent peaks … Continue reading

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Getting a Handle on Kant’s Distinction between the Beautiful and the Sublime

Contained in Immanuel Kant’s (1724-1804) Critique of the Powers of Judgment are his reflections on beauty and the sublime. Beauty, writes Kant, can be defined as something that is good in itself that pleases the eye; it is absent any utility … Continue reading

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The Tension Between Revolution And Evolution In A Rolling Stones Song

The key lyric lines in this song from 1968 are, for me, the following: Hey! think the time is right for a palace revolution, but where I live the game to play is compromise solution. Listen for the sitar.  

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Petraeus’s Replacement at CIA: Waldo?

Existentially unsettling.

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Practice Makes Perfect: David Hume Teaches Us How To Read Closely And See

In 1757, the Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) published four essays under the title, Four Dissertations, one of which he called “Of the Standard of Taste.” In it, Hume attempts to tackle the question of why people vary in opinion … Continue reading

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Hysterical (In The Crazed Sense) Election Night Tweets

__________ __________ ____________ Actually worse ones here.

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Thinking and Apocalypse: Heuristic (Shorthand) Thinking vs. Critical Thinking. Should We Be Optimistic About Our Future?

Given the paucity of sustained critical thinking in our culture, science writer K. C. Cole reflects on our prospects for collective survival in a recent (and I think important) review at the Los Angeles Review of Books: No one in … Continue reading

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Karl Rove: Atheist or Evangelical?

Maureen Dowd, at the New York Times this weekend, on Republican apologists on election night, November 6, 2012: Republicans and Fox News have excelled at conjuring alternate realities. But this time, they made the mistake of believing their fake world … Continue reading

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Advice To Republicans After Having Been Slammed (Twice) By Hurricane Obama

Three big factors in a Republican turnaround are the following: stop hating on President Obama; wish him well in his second term; and work with him in good faith to reach compromises. Republicans didn’t do these three things in his … Continue reading

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Tasteless (But Amusing)

Drudge today accompanied news of General David Petraeus’s affair and resignation from the CIA with the following image:

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Measure Twice, Saw Once

This is in the business section of the Los Angeles Times today: Managers spend nearly 17% of their working hours dealing with poor performers, according to a report from staffing firm Robert Half International. That’s basically a full day a week that could … Continue reading

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Catch-22s: Conservative David Frum On Where All The White People Have Gone–And Where They’re Going

One of the big riddles of the 2012 election cycle is lower white voter turnout. Why did it happen? Rush Limbaugh blames lower white voter turnout on Mitt Romney. By Limbaugh’s reckoning, Romney simply wasn’t conservative enough to fire up … Continue reading

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Quote of the Day

Andrew Sullivan on viewing Fox News the day after Obama’s resounding electoral victory: I watched for Schadenfreude purposes. These charlatans and money-grubbers have turned the broad tradition of Anglo-American conservatism into Southern Fried Fanaticism – and I wanted to see them crackle … Continue reading

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What’s Next for Mittens?

Who cares? __________ I won’t miss him.

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G. K. Chesterton, Nietzsche, and the Reelection of Barack Obama

At the level of mysticism, I dealt with the G. K. Chesterton quote below here. But in presenting it again in this post, I want to talk about how curiously Nietzschean it is (though it comes from a Catholic thinker). … Continue reading

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G. K. Chesterton on Mystic Light

In a brilliant analogy, G. K. Chesterton (in the conclusion to his second chapter of Orthodoxy ) likens the Absolute—what I’d call the ontological mystery, the Mystery of Being—to the sun. The sun is something that one feels and sees by, but when you … Continue reading

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The American Experiment and Barack Obama

In the wee-hours of this morning, around 3 am, Andrew Sullivan was dazzlingly eloquent about Barack Obama’s reelection. I’m especially struck by this sentence: What he reminded me of was how deeply American he actually is – how this country’s … Continue reading

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Hercules, Strangled Snakes, Nate Silver, and Karl Rove

In 1860, Thomas Henry Huxley wrote an essay titled, “The Origin of Species,” and a sentence from it seems apt to what happened last night with Barack Obama’s reelection: Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science as the … Continue reading

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