Archive for September, 2009

More Blasphemy

September 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Here’s Glenn Beck upset over the growing godlessness of our country.

Now here’s a view of his religious beliefs. Let’s just say I don’t take him too seriously as a clear thinker.

Happy International Blasphemy Day!

September 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Set to recognize the freedom of speech against any incursions from the faithful, International Blasphemy begin after the Danish cartoon controversy along with attempts to pass laws against blasphemy in the UN.

Here’s a relevant Sam Harris article from 2008.

There is an uncanny irony here that many have noticed. The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn’t, we will kill you. Of course, the truth is often more nuanced, but this is about as nuanced as it ever gets: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn’t, we peaceful Muslims cannot be held responsible for what our less peaceful brothers and sisters do. When they burn your embassies or kidnap and slaughter your journalists, know that we will hold you primarily responsible and will spend the bulk of our energies criticizing you for “racism” and “Islamophobia.”

Update: I couldn’t resist posting this after I posted the other South Park clip in the above post.

Galbraith concerned over Afghan fraud; fired.

September 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Peter Galbraith, the deputy UN special representative for Afghanistan, “was removed from his post Wednesday after an open clash with the head of the United Nations mission,” the New York Times reports.

The two men have clashed repeatedly, United Nations officials said, and their different approaches came to a head over the vote recount after the Aug. 20 Afghan presidential election. Mr. Galbraith demanded a total recount, but then left Afghanistan and retreated to his Vermont farm.


Mr. Galbraith said, the issue was that the United Nations mission had gathered extensive evidence of fraud in the Afghan presidential vote, particularly from ghost polling stations, which Mr. Eide chose not to share with Afghan election institutions.
I’m a big personal fan of Peter Galbraith. Here’s a link to his book, which I can’t recommend enough.

Christopher Hitchens back in 2007 considers some of the themes of that book here for Slate.

His latest book, The End of Iraq, is notable for two things. First, it gives one of the most acute and intimate portraits of the Bush administration’s catastrophic mismanagement of the intervention. Second, it proposes a serious program for a radical change in policy. What are our irreducible objectives in Iraq? To prevent the country and its enormous resources from falling into the hands of the enemies of civilization—most notably al-Qaida—and to protect what remains of the secular and democratic alliance that we once hoped might emerge to govern the situation.

h.t. “Eli Larson”

Better Fed than Dead

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Ron Paul, famously, wants to End the Fed. Well, here’s a rejection of that view from Bruce Bartlett.

"Protecting Kids" is always a red flag

September 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Stories like these always remind me of why we need a smaller government.

(via Reason Hit &Run Blog)
Categories: radley balko, regulation

No Child LEFT Behind

September 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Apparently this leftist video is being shown in some public schools (can anyone confirm or deny this?). It is very troubling; the video is full of falsehoods and political spin. It has no place in a school – I mean, what class was this shown in anyway?

I have to give Glenn Beck credit (as much as I think he’s bad for politics) for covering this. I mean it’s not a huge deal but it’s nice to see any schools get called out on this crap.
Drummond Pike, Founder and CEO of TIDES, responds to Glenn Beck here.

Even Beck doesn’t know what he’s talking about

September 26, 2009 Leave a comment

H/T Andrew Sullivan

Categories: Glenn Beck, Katie Couric

Santorum runs

September 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Turns out Rick Santorum might be running for president. Well, to help out his cause I’ll post “his website.” Enjoy.

Thanks to Dan Savage for the news.

Evidence for Evolution, ctd

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Here is a BBC report that fulfills an evolutionary prediction. Jerry Coyne (among other biologists) predicted that:

On p. 44 of Why Evolution is True I say this:

“All these nonflying feathered dinosaur fossils date between 135 and 110 million years ago — later than the 145-million-year old Archaeopteryx. That means that they could not beArchaeopteryx’s direct ancestors, but they could have been its cousins. Feathered dinosaurs probably continued to exist after one of their kin gave rise to birds. We should, then, be able to find even older feathered dinosaurs that were the ancestors of Archaeopteryx. The problem is that feathers are preserved only in special sediments — the fine-grained silt of quiet environments like lake beds or lagoons. And these conditions are very rare. But we can make another testable evolutionary prediction: someday we’ll find fossils of feathered dinosaurs that are older than Archaeopteryx.”


“Drawing the tree of life, it’s fairly obvious that feathers arose before Archaeopteryx appears in the fossil record,” he told BBC News.

“Now these fantastic new discoveries by Professor Xu Xing prove that once and for all.

“These new discoveries are maybe 10 million years older thanArchaeopteryx.”

If its predictions keep coming true, that’s a real test of the veracity of any scientific theory.

Categories: BBC, Evolution, Jerry Coyne

Theodicy: Coyne Vs Sullivan

September 23, 2009 Leave a comment
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