Monthly Archives: March 2013

What the American Right Looks Like in 2013

__________ The above image is of a ouroboros (a serpent biting its tail). Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out. It’s why the right is so goofed up in the United States right now. Its epistemic closure divorces it from reality. And … Continue reading

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I Saw Dinesh D’Souza’s Documentary, “2016”

I finally got around to seeing Dinesh D’Souza’s hatchet job documentary on Barack Obama, 2016 (it’s out on DVD). What I hoped for was a serious and thought-provoking conservative take on the nation’s first black president. D’Souza, after all, is … Continue reading

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Evolution Outside of the Science Classroom

If you’re a college instructor, and the subject of evolution comes up in a class, and you are not a scientist yourself, what should you say about it to your students? Here are some things that might help you think … Continue reading

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The Bible Verse Reinhold Niebuhr Chose As Most Essential

If but one Bible verse survived after a global cataclysm, what verse would you hope got preserved? The famous theologian Reinhold Niebuhr was asked this question in 1954 of a magazine editor, and here was his response: The passage of … Continue reading

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A List Of Republican Dog Whistles That No Longer Seem To Work

These don’t get Republicans to 50 percent + 1 in elections as readily as they used to: The pro-torture dog whistle, the drug war dog whistle, the anti-immigration dog whistle, the anti-gay dog whistle, the fear-of-terrorism dog whistle, the anti-Muslim … Continue reading

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Even Fox News is Not Pure Enough

Tea Partiers are starting to engage in boycotts of Fox News. Strange. This is at PoHuff: “Particularly after the election, Fox keeps turning to the left,” said Stan Hjerlied, 75, of Fort Collins, Colo., and a participant in the boycott. … Continue reading

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Bill Maher on the New Pope

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A (Dark) Thought for Spring

Sara Davis, writing for The Smart Set website from Drexel University, links contemporary zombie fascination with vanitas still life Dutch paintings (and Ecclesiastes in the Hebrew Bible): [T]oday’s bogeyman and morality tale is a decaying body, a walking (or running) … Continue reading

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Jerry Coyne’s Claim: Science And Religion Are Not Compatible

The religious emperor has no clothes? Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne is being a bit of a bomb thrower here with his claim that science and religion are flat out incompatible. See if you agree with his arguments. Is he clearing … Continue reading

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X Marks the Flop: The Real Problem for Cultural Conservatives Going Forward

Whether you’re an anti-gay evangelical activist or a Muslim dreaming of a new caliphate, here’s the really big picture: liberal attitudes are well adapted to urban life and culturally conservative ones are less so. And the world’s demographics are moving … Continue reading

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A Nice Example of How Conspiracy Theories (and Religions) Work

The below video is a perfect deconstruction of conspiracy theories and religious stories (in my view). Lay before the world an engaging and logically possible narrative, highlighting along the way anything that might lend it plausibility. Then wait for people … Continue reading

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The Change-Genders

At National Review Online is the following description of the Violence against Women Act: “[It] includes provisions regarding homosexual, bisexual, and transgender victims of domestic violence.” This is true. And here’s Texas Congressman Steve Stockman’s reaction to the transgender part (as … Continue reading

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A T-Shirt I’d Like to See

If I were going to make a t-shirt and sell it, here’s what it would say: Show Me the Evidence Just because something is logically possible, it doesn’t mean it’s actual or even probable. __________ If people brought this simple … Continue reading

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Why Do Grandmas (Post-Menopausal Women) Exist?

Judith Shulevitz at The New Republic homes in on two theories: the “stopping-early hypothesis” and the “grandmother hypothesis”: In 1957, the evolutionary biologist George Williams proposed what is called the “stopping-early” hypothesis: Middle-age women need baby-free time to usher their youngest children into … Continue reading

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Ye Shall Be As Gods?

Wearable computing in the form of smartwatches may be the next big extension of man (and woman). Here’s The Los Angeles Times on what Apple appears to be up to: [Smartwatch owners may soon be able to] read emails, Facebook notifications … Continue reading

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A New Republican Language on Gay Marriage?

Here’s hoping:

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CPAC Attendee: No Need to Apologize for Slavery

A white southern male at the CPAC conservative convention this afternoon, during a diversity break-out session, defended white pride, segregation, and slavery in dialogue with a black conservative. Stunning. And other CPAC attendees were giving him support. Even more stunning. … Continue reading

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Books from Underground

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Rand Paul Speaks the Truth

I’m no fan of Rand Paul, but his directness in the below Politico article on the GOP’s national troubles impresses me. Here’s Politico: Republican leaders are questioning the interventionist foreign policy that President George W. Bush and the party’s last two … Continue reading

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Ludwig Wittgenstein for Beginners

First thought. To get a handle on the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, one can start with a simple question: what does the scientist (as opposed to the philosopher) do and accomplish? The answer seems pretty straightforward. The scientist reasons and experiments … Continue reading

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