Oh, Mississippi…?

TL;dr version: sneaky christians are sneaky

We all have heard about H.B. 1523, which is a legislative fewmet that has been widely panned for doing what it’s obviously intended to do – allow people with “deeply held religious beliefs or moral convictions” to refuse service that violates those convictions. Widely interpreted as aimed at the LGBT, because it is, it then goes on to list agencies and services – DJs, adoption agencies, wedding cake makers, etc. that can be denied with impunity. That’s what most of us know, but there’s more…

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Lyrics to Die To

Caine’s got a heartbreaking post over at Affinity.

Apparently some rather tone-deaf idiots think it’s a good idea to celebrate the history of the 7th Cavalry, and teach kids how to “enlist” in the unit that massacred between 150 and 300 Indians at Wounded Knee. You can comment on the event’s Youtube blurb or facebook page if you like. It’s sponsored by a bank, which probably hasn’t thought through the implications of where their money is being spent. You can write them a letter, too.

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Vendredi Appartient à Voltaire

We’ve got Meslier on Monday and Voltaire on Friday. Our cups runneth over! Faire rire et danser!Voltaire by Houdon

I’m not going to post a Meslier every monday or a Voltaire every Friday. I’m just going to do that if I feel like it. But it’s nice to know that I can blog for 100 years here without my well running dry, if I am afraid of that happening. That doesn’t strike me as a likely outcome but having lifelines like these is particularly good.

In which I mention Milo Yiannopolous in the same breath as Voltaire (So that Milo loses horribly by comparison)

Nobody should accept mediocrities-by-committee like Milo Yiannopolous in a world that once held Voltaire.

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The Dining Philosophers, rebooted

Epicurus muttered, “None of this affects me at all,” excused himself, and slipped out the back door practically unnoticed. That left the table unbalanced. On one side were the ancient worlders: Plato and Aristotle, heads together in deep discussion, and Socrates, who appeared to be gently questioning Miletus while Sextus Empiricus studiously withheld judgement on the proceedings.

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Warning: Jesus Appearances

According to New Testament scholar Jeremiah Johnston, who allegedly spent 6 years working on a book entitled “Unanswered (Lasting Truth for Trending Questions)” interviewed in Christian Post:

“Jesus is appearing to Muslims all over the Middle Eastern world,” he told The Christian Post. The Bible scholar, who wrote a forthcoming book on the Islamic State terror group, admitted “that makes some believers uncomfortable — you know, Jesus appearing to someone. I remind them, ‘have you read Acts Chapter 9 recently? Who did Jesus appear to while he was on the road to Damascus? Saul of Tarsus.’ We don’t need to put God in a box. Believe you me, God can work apart from us.”

I didn’t realize that toast, waffles, and moldy carpet were so popular in the middle east. Or perhaps Jesus is appearing in mud puddles or other unusual places.

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The Monday Meslier

What is the Monday Meslier?

Every so often, on mondays, I’m going to select and examine a chunk of the 1729 Testament of Jean Meslier (wikipedia).

I first stumbled on Meslier when I was looking on Project Gutenberg for any works by Voltaire, and the search engine returned a pointer to Meslier’s Testament because it had been published with a forward by Voltaire. I still get

Jean Meslier Portrait

goose-bumps at the idea of being an author, and having a forward for one’s book written by Voltaire. That, as they say, is “big time.” It’s also a bit dangerous – Voltaire had his own ideas and his own agenda and, while he was a rationalist par excellence and one of the sparks of the enlightenment, he was not an atheist. Meslier was.

Meslier’s historical significance is interesting. His Testament was one of the first explicitly atheistic tracts of its sort, and he resorted to the clever dodge of posting it posthumously. “HAHA! You can’t kill me because I’m already dead!”

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fprintf(stderr,”Hello world\n”);

Hi.

I’m thrilled to be here, and I look forward to posting stuff.

In case you’re wondering what this blog is going to be about, I have a bunch of things I plan to talk about:

  • Gun control (eventually)
  • Military procurement, corruption, grand strategy, imperialism
  • Computer security  <– “that’s my thing
  • The surveillance state and its many lies and incompetencies
  • Religion and philosophy, specifically, are religions much in the way of philosophies?
  • Book reports – I’m not sure what else to call them. They won’t be “reviews” – they’ll be more along the lines of ‘a bunch of things that reading this book made me think about’
  • Maybe some recipes
  • Maybe some stuff about various crafts I get involved in
  • Rhetorical tricks and “can your dialectics break bricks?”
  • Anarchism and moral nihilism
  • Historical skepticism

I also intend to post some stuff regarding verbal abuse and how to use abuse, or how to contextualize invective. That will probably feed into a commenting policy, which I will enforce. Spoiler: I don’t expect you to be nice to eachother, but if you’re going to be nasty, I want to see creativity. Please.

For the present, I think that I am going to keep from going into other writings at great depth – especially because I’m going to be pointing you toward things that are pretty long or crunchy. I’m probably going to favor offering an overview of something, a pointer to the original, some chunks out of context, and my analysis of the same. I’ve used that sort of approach for a long time and it has worked pretty well, I think. I may remix a few of my old postings from Deviantart or my personal website, too. There’s a lot of writing I’ve been meaning to revisit and this seems like a great chance to do it.