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Monthly Archive: March 2012

Mar 23 2012

Religious people are not that different from nonbelievers

J&Mpredictions

Jason Rosenhouse makes a point that I too have noticed in my discussions about religion with both sophisticated and fundamentalist believers. The former will pooh-pooh the whole idea of evidence for the existence of god and say that religion is based on faith and is a different way of knowing and thus is exempt from …

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Mar 22 2012

Bible-based religion is anti-woman at its core

One of the bizarre turns that this election campaign has taken is the assault on women’s rights by the Republican party. It seems crazy for politicians to advocate steps that could alienate potentially 50% of the electorate. Valerie Tarico argues that this is merely the flip side of their desire to appeal to their fundamentalist …

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Mar 22 2012

Rick Perry can be as mean as the others

During the time that Rick Perry was still in the running for the Republican nomination, I argued that, while the policies he advocated were as bad as those of the others, he was one of the less obnoxious choices in that he did not seem to have the same level of gratuitous meanness. My feelings …

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Mar 22 2012

Paul Pillar interviewed on NPR

He elaborates on his article that I linked to earlier where he says that we are over-reacting to the danger posed by Iran obtaining a nuclear bomb.

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Mar 22 2012

On insults-7: Some final thoughts

Yes, this series actually is coming to an end! But not before I add some final thoughts. Insults usually have no basis in fact. In fact, the more spectacular insults may have absolutely no contact with even reality. They are meant to inflame passions by ascribing qualities to the other person that, looked at dispassionately, …

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Mar 21 2012

What to do if you are targeted for a drone assassination

Tom the Dancing Bug explains how the new due process rules work. Meanwhile Tom Tomorrow’s cheerful chipmunk explains why there is no need to worry about executive killings.

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Mar 21 2012

How the Archbishop of Canterbury is chosen

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williamson, the head of the Anglican church, is stepping down at the end of the year. I could not quite figure the man out. He seemed a nice enough sort but wishy-washy. He epitomized the dilemma of the liberal Christian, trying to make nice with science and modern liberal sensibilities …

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Mar 21 2012

Record warmest winter in Cleveland

Today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer front page headline is that the past winter was the warmest on record ever since data was kept beginning 141 years ago, being a whopping eight degrees higher than average. This past week the daytime highs have been in the mid-70s, when the normal temperatures should be in the mid-40s. Yesterday …

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Mar 21 2012

On insults-6: How should we respond to insults?

Children often respond to someone saying something hurtful by reciting “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me”. But it seems like adults are less mature than children because alleged grown ups can be aroused to a violent and even murderous rage simply by being called names.

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Mar 20 2012

When victims become statistics

In the aftermath of the cold-blooded murder of 16 Afghans by a US soldier, we have been treated to a flood of details about the soldier and his family, all seeking to understand why he might have done such an appalling thing. This process tends to arouse greater understanding for his motivations and even some …

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