The Potemkin constitution

The Tea Party is looking at the wrong place for Obama’s shadowy death panels. They do not exist in the Affordable Care Act but do exist in the way that individuals are selected for summary execution by drones and other means. We now learn that John Brennan, Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and chief counterterrorism advisor to president Barack Obama, and a person who brazenly lies, is the person who has been put in charge of recommending to Obama who should live and who should die. [Read more…]

Thought experiments on the historicity of Jesus-1: The contamination principle

Readers may recall an earlier post on the question of whether the Jesus of the Bible is based, however loosely, on an actual historical figure living in that region of the world at that time (as claimed by the historicists) or whether he is an entirely fictional character based on myths and legends (as asserted by those labeled as mythicists). It should be noted that this particular debate does not involve religious people and has nothing to do with whether Jesus did miracles, rose from the dead, and all the other things that signaled that he was divine, which both sides are willing to dismiss as fictional. [Read more…]

Death penalty in Kuwait for cursing Mohammed

Kuwait is usually held up as one of the moderate Arab states, not as extreme in pursuing rigid Islamic laws. But its parliament has just passed a law that makes blasphemy in the form of cursing god or Mohammed or even any of his wives an offense punishable with the death penalty. If the emir of Kuwait consents, which he has not done yet, it becomes law. [Read more…]