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Monthly Archive: January 2007

Jan 16 2007

Rudeness on the web

The mass media tends not to probe too deeply into sacred cows (like religion and patriotism) and when it does so, seems to carefully select only those targets which will not alienate the majority of its customers. People writing on the internet, however, are much more likely to skewer a broader range of ideas, which …

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Jan 15 2007

Remembering the legacy of Martin Luther King

(On this day in which we remember Dr. King, I thought I would repost something that I wrote last year.) It is good on a day like this to recognize the importance of resurrecting an essential aspect of the message that Dr. King sought to convey. It is clear that there is a need to …

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Jan 12 2007

Challenging the sacred

Author Salman Rushdie recently reflected on an aspect of his own education, in opposing an attempt by the British government to pass legislation for a ban on incitement to “hatred against persons on racial or religious grounds.” At Cambridge University I was taught a laudable method of argument: you never personalize, but you have absolutely …

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Jan 11 2007

Bush speech on Iraq

I almost always avoid watching formal speeches live. You have to listen to a lot of verbiage before getting to the gist. I find it far more efficient to read the transcript afterwards, though that means I miss the nuances that the spoken words provide. But since Bush’s latest speech was highly advertised as showing …

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Jan 10 2007

When god talks to people

When things look grim in the world, you can always look to Pat Robertson to cheer things up with some new lunacy and he rarely lets you down. Just recently, Robertson said that god has been speaking to him again and there is much merriment in the country. According to CNN: Evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson …

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Jan 09 2007

How freedoms are stolen away

I have written before about how this government has steadily and stealthily taken away the rights that have been taken for granted. The latest atrocity, though seemingly minor when compared to the awful Military Commissions Act was done stealthily, by means of the infamous ‘signing’ statements, whereby the President issues a statement while signing a …

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Jan 08 2007

Words and actions

One of the things that often puzzles me about some public figures is how insensitive they are to what their words might seem to people who are suffering. Bush seems to be a classic case. When questioned in December 2006 about how he is handling things, he says that “I’m sleeping a lot better than …

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Jan 05 2007

A troubled start to 2007

I am by nature an optimist but frankly I do not see much good lying in wait in 2007. Peace shows no sign of breaking out anywhere. In Sri Lanka, the conflict between the Tamil Tiger separatists and the government seems to be intensifying again, with the attempts at talks by the Norwegian mediators going …

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Jan 04 2007

Cults and Religions-2: Is secrecy the difference?

In the previous post, I showed how some journalists and media pundits like Christopher Hitchens and Jacob Weisberg think that believing in Mormonism indicates stupidity and disqualifies the holder of the right to high office. Weisberg states “Such views are disqualifying because they’re dogmatic, irrational, and absurd. By holding them, someone indicates a basic failure …

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Jan 03 2007

Cults and Religions-1: Should a Mormon be President?

I was involved in a discussion recently about what differences, if any, existed between those beliefs that we label as religion and those we label as cults. The formal definition of the word cult (as given by Merriam-Webster) seems to cover religion as well since it says: “1: formal religious veneration, 2: a system of …

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