Monthly Archives: September 2013

Bill Maher on Liberal California

As a Californian, I can say that Maher’s description of the state is dead-on. It really is nice here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Atlas Shrugged for Real: Republicans Seek an Economic Shutdown to Achieve Their Agenda

The Atlas Shrugged Party looks like it’s barreling full-tilt to an economic shutdown–an Atlas Shrugged scenario for real–in a couple of weeks, and here’s Jon Favreau’s advice to President Obama: [A] failure to raise the debt limit would inflict far more … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Republicans Want to Shut the Government Down

They can barely contain themselves. In fact, they’re flush about it. This was in The New York Times yesterday: The mood in the Capitol on Saturday, at least among Republicans, was downright giddy. When Republican leaders presented their plan in a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The Republican Party and the Samson Option

Andrew Sullivan wrote the following yesterday: Today we discovered just how radical the House GOP is: threatening to blow up the entire faith and credit of the country in order, among other things, to build the Keystone Pipeline and effectively nullify the last … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Obamacare Meets Reality (And Wins)

Reality is starting to assert itself. You won’t read this at the Drudge Report, but evidence is accumulating that Obamacare has been working over the past three years, and it’s poised to be a success moving into its “insurance exchange … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Religion Tree: A Poem

THE RELIGION TREE I. The leaf doesn’t fall far from the tree, and we are all leaves on the same tree, and will take our leave from there. II. The yellow leaf signals fall, the green leaf, pride before the fall. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mars Does Not Have Life

At least, there is no methane evidence to support the idea that there is life on Mars. This depressing little piece of news was reported today by Kenneth Chang in The New York Times science section: In findings that are … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A Poem on the Death of God

PROCESSIONAL (After Thomas Hardy’s “God’s Funeral”) I. At twilight, a people-train prepared to move. Dead God carried at the front; mourning contagious. I am my own sadness at the death of God. II. I saw Him. He first appeared a man. Then a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I Still Like Jesus

The reason I still like Jesus, though I’m an agnostic, is because Jesus was a victim, not a victimizer, and so proved a trailblazer to three key moral insights: (1) respect of conscience (Jesus called people to his cause, but … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Ayn Rand’s “Sense of Life” as a Tool for Aesthetic Reflection

Ayn Rand, concepts, and art. Two novels-of-ideas by Ayn Rand (1905-1982)–The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957)–and the individualist and pro-capitalist political positions that Rand laid out over the course of her lifetime, have had an outsized impact on the contemporary conservative movement … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Donna Haraway: The Cyborg, Writing

Who is Donna Haraway and what is a cyborg? Donna Haraway (b. 1944) teaches feminist and science studies in the History of Consciousness program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. In addition to taking a degree in English, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lowdown on Stress

Stanford professor, Dr. Robert Sapolsky, author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, is among my favorite science writers and is the “go to” expert on the subject of stress and health in this excellent National Geographic documentary.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Meaning of Life in the Midst of Large Numbers

In For the Time Being (1999), Annie Dillard (b. 1945) writes the following: “There is now, living in New York City, a church-sanctioned hermit, Theresa Mancuso, who wrote recently, ‘The thing we desperately need is to face the way it is’” … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Aging Before Your Very Eyes

A plausible scenario of start to finish based on a related family of girls and women:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What Apologetics Really Is

In psychology, you can change your attitude or you can change your behavior, and it’s always easier to change an attitude than it is to change a behavior. That’s apologetics; what it is really. Apologetics gives the doubting believer heavily … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Occam’s Razor: Why Did the Holocaust Occur?

Obviously, the simplest explanation for why the Holocaust occurred is shit happens. In a world where things rarely go the way that good and reasonable people want them to, the Holocaust, initiated by bad and unreasonable people, is an especially horrific … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Atheist Tim Minchin on Faith

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Charles Duhigg on Habit

I’ve been reading NYT reporter Charles Duhigg’s new book on habit formation, and it’s excellent. Here he is giving a brief TED talk on the subject:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Terror Management Theory in a Nutshell

Freud and contingency. One of Sigmund Freud’s important insights is that each of us has a contingent history; that is, we each have been born into a particular place and time not of our choosing and live out our circumstances … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is the Late David Rakoff the Alexander Pope of Novelists?

David Rakoff wrote a whole novel in sing-song rhyme, like a Dr. Seuss book, and it has just been posthumously published. Not sure I like it, but below is a sample. I do like this couplet late in the recording, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment