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Monthly Archive: January 2012

Jan 27 2012

Maurice Sendak

I was tempted to not watch Stephen Colbert interview children’s book author Maurice Sendak, thinking it would not be interesting. I was wrong. Sendak turns out to be a funny and feisty guy, one of the few who can match wits with Colbert. (To get hints on how to view clips on The Daily Show …

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Jan 27 2012

Top ten under-reported religious stories of 2011

I tend to avoid end of the year lists but I thought this one was interesting, since it included many items that had slipped by me.

Jan 27 2012

Maybe I’m paying too much attention to politics

There is a downside to following politics too closely in that it can cause you to misjudge the impact of a news story on the general public. Take the case of Mitt Romney’s taxes. It has been known for a long time amongst the cognoscenti that not only was he wealthy but that his income …

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Jan 27 2012

Get your debate summary here!

So the 19th Republican primary debate has come and gone and you can get the flavor of it with the live blog of it by Richard Adams of The Guardian. The next debate will be in four weeks, assuming that there is no clear nominee by then.

Jan 27 2012

How does one scientifically disprove something?

J&M edge

In the article titled Buddhism Without the Hocus-Pocus in the The Chronicle of Higher Education (January 13, 2012, page B4, unfortunately behind a subscription wall) by Owen Flanagan, a professor of philosophy at Duke University, that I wrote about yesterday, the author quotes the Dalai Lama as saying that if

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Jan 26 2012

Happy anniversary!

I almost forgot to mark the occasion of the seventh anniversary of this blog. Well, technically not at this particular location which I moved to on January 9th of this year. But I started blogging on January 26, 2005 and never thought I’d last this long. So onward and upward to year #8!

Jan 26 2012

Elizabeth Warren on The Daily Show

The candidate for US Senate from Massachusetts seems to have passion and a willingness to take on the big financial interests that are working against the poor and the middle class. While the US Senate has become a largely ineffective body, she may still be able to use it as a platform to articulate a …

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Jan 26 2012

France and free speech

France’s parliament has just passed a law that forbids denying that the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 constituted genocide. This has infuriated Turkey which has suspended military, economic, and political ties with France. Outlawing points of view, however much you disagree with them

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Jan 26 2012

An interesting tax tidbit about Romney

Large gifts given to others are taxable. There are some loopholes. For example, a parent can give up to $10,000 per year to a child without incurring gift taxes. But if you have income that can be classified as ‘carried interest’, then you can give huge gifts to your children without incurring any tax whatsoever. …

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Jan 26 2012

Can religion survive without all the hocus-pocus?

Scientists and atheists tend to be naturalists. Owen Flanagan, a professor of philosophy at Duke University, has written an article titled Buddhism Without the Hocus-Pocus in a recent issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education (January 13, 2012, page B4, unfortunately behind a subscription wall) which provides as good a definition of naturalism as any. …

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