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Tag Archives: liberalism
I think of myself as a liberal, but what does that mean, exactly, to call oneself a liberal? In thinking about this, I’ve come to some tentative answers (liberals are always at least a bit tentative). First, being a contemporary liberal … Continue reading
Notice the religious dimension that was present in 1960s protests, but absent in the Occupy movement. Martin Luther King had Jesus to appeal to, a readily recognizable symbol in our culture of two key things: the receiving of suffering; and … Continue reading
31-year-old Joseph P. Kennedy III, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, served in the Peace Corps, has a Harvard law degree, and is running in Massachusetts for the congressional seat that is being vacated by the retiring Barney Frank. And he … Continue reading
I have of late been rethinking the meaning of the Tea Party to American politics. My first take was dismissive: this movement is the same type of Herderian nationalism that, last century, brought Hitler and his merry band of crazed … Continue reading
What would the German Protestant Pastor, Martin Niemöller, say about contemporary Christian nationalists (which I would call American Herderites) who brand their fellow American Muslims with collective guilt for 9-11, and seek to prevent them, because of this collective guilt, from … Continue reading
Inspired by Jerry Coyne’s call for a spring book reading list here, I’d like to offer to readers here the best book that you’ve probably never heard of: Hazel Barnes’s Humanistic Existentialism: The Literature of Possibility (University of Nebraska Press 1959), … Continue reading
Barack Obama picked a hell of a time to be president: he’s a centrist politician who, in addition to inheriting a number of seemingly intractable economic and foreign policy dilemmas, is surrounded by total nut cases to one side of him … Continue reading
Health Care Reform Hysteria Watch: Rush Limbaugh Equates Barack Obama with Hitler and Claims “America hangs by a thread”
Curious to read Rush Limbaugh’s take on the health care reform bill’s passage on Sunday, I went to Limbaugh’s site this morning and read his opening monologue, part of which said: Stupak is no different than Neville Chamberlain, who came back … Continue reading
No. No more than Republicans own the American flag. And this is something that annoys me about the post-9-11 New Atheists: they are happy to cede biblical interpretation to fundamentalists. It is as if, in Japan and China, there was … Continue reading
Biologist Anthony Cashmore thinks belief in free will is akin to belief in “magic” and we have “free will genes” actively deceiving us into believing that we have free will!
Yikes. An exceptionally clear discussion of biologist Anthony Cashmore’s ideas about free will is at physorg.com today. Here’s Cashmore’s basic thesis: In a recent study, Cashmore has argued that a belief in free will is akin to religious beliefs, since neither … Continue reading
From “The Optimism of Uncertainty,” The Nation, 2004: The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous … Continue reading
Someone in office who doubts simple answers. What a relief! I thought this was an interesting quote from a Politico analysis article, and a fair summing up of Barack Obama’s first year as president: “Obama is not a populist. He can’t … Continue reading
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world: I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations … Continue reading
In terms of politicians, second to Barack Obama, I’ve always liked Jerry Brown, and it looks like he’s got a clear path to becoming Governor of California next year. This today at Salon.com: If everything continues to go well for … Continue reading
My habit (though I’m not always consistent about this) is to look for diamonds in the rough of ideas, even apparently bad ideas. And I find that this sometimes gets me in trouble with some readers of this blog. For example, … Continue reading
I actually like Ayn Rand. I’m a liberal, and not an Objectivist, but I see liberal elements in her that are proper correctives to the extreme ideological directions sometimes taken by those on both the left and the right. And I owe … Continue reading
Crazy. Way out. Orwellian. Politico reports today on the evidence that the Far Right is self-consciously appropriating the slogans, artistic styles, and general political tactics of the 1960s Left! Obviously, conservatives perceive (correctly) that Americans are, in general, so unevenly educated, and so confused about history … Continue reading