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Monthly Archive: September 2012

Sep 28 2012

The attacks on free speech gain steam

As could be predicted, the violence resulting from the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims has resulted in calls for the limits to freedom of speech and laws for the protection of religious sensibilities. The president of Egypt Mohamed Morsi and the president of Yemen Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi both made speeches at the United Nations …

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Sep 27 2012

Ode to the people of Gaza

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd has a new arrangement of We Shall Overcome composed as a tribute to the people of Gaza and calling for an end to the blockade imposed on them by Israel. It and the accompanying video, produced as part of the documentary Roadmap to Apartheid, are very moving.

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Sep 27 2012

So how are the crankiest and the craziest doing?

The Republican party has become the home of such extreme people that even political leaders in other countries feel free to ignore the usual protocols and start piling on, with the Australian deputy prime minister Wayne Swan saying, “Let’s be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the world’s biggest economy are the cranks and …

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Sep 27 2012

What it means when jokes and satire are taken at face value

The political chattering class recently was agog about two incidents. One concerned Mitt Romney expressing concern that airplane windows could not be opened in the event that smoke filled the cabin, something that happened recently on a plane on which his wife Ann was traveling. People took this as yet another sign of a clueless …

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Sep 27 2012

Israel’s apartheid regime

Palestine

You can be sure that when Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the United Nations General Assembly today, he will ramp up the rhetoric against Iran. With all this saber rattling, the plight of the Palestinians in the occupied territories has taken a back seat.

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Sep 26 2012

A close look at the arguments against gay marriage

Last week, the Australian parliament took a step backwards by voting 98-42 to uphold the ban on same-sex marriages, despite opinion polls that favor allowing it. (On a more encouraging note, here are photos of a same sex marriage held at a Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. It is not yet legal there, though legislation has …

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Sep 26 2012

Why is there something rather than nothing?

miracles

Religious people (at least the sophisticated ones) have abandoned trying to argue as evidence that god provides explanations for how things work. They have realized that this is a losing strategy as science has made god redundant as an explanation for anything, and that signs of god’s power seem to show a notable inverse correlation …

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Sep 26 2012

The piling on continues

Mitt Romney’s campaign has continued to be harshly attacked by other Republicans, with long time Republican operative Peggy Noonan is calling it a ‘rolling disaster’. In fact, his campaign is perceived as being so bad that within the space of less than six months, sentiment has shifted from the belief that the Republican nominee would …

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Sep 26 2012

Is religion good for anything?

I have argued that the world would be a lot better off without religion. Religious people disagree and one would expect them to. But more surprisingly, there are those who are not believers and yet feel that religion serves a useful purpose and is worth retaining.

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Sep 25 2012

A warning from a mind reader

Take a look at this video of a clairvoyant at work.

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