“blindingly stupid”

“So, the latest New York Times OP/ED page conservative affirmative action case has his debut editorial for the paper, and what is his trenchant analysis? It’s that the Republicans should have nominated Richard Milhaus Cheney as their presidential nominee in 2008.” ~ Matthew Saroff in a post titled “Ross Douthat is a F$#@ing Moron!”

Hate Crimes

The House is considering new legislation that, as best I can tell, provides state governments with grants for combating hate crimes and mandates additional penalties for criminal acts motivated by racial, religious or sexual animosity.  This is not a debate I’m very familiar with, and my political “team” – such as it is – generally…

The Right to Exist

Upon returning from her visit to the West Bank last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remarked, ““For Israel to get the kind of strong support it is looking for vis-à-vis Iran, it can’t stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts. They go hand in hand.” Clinton’s visit to…

Barre None

In the middle of a phone conversation with a local Wilkes-Barre reporter, I noticed that her pronunciation of Barre comes out sounding like “burra,” not “bar.” A co-worker with family in Pennsylvania confirms that I did not mishear her, and that most people in the area prefer “burra.” My first guess was that “Barre” is…

difference/disorder

Many critics of this post insist that I am wrong, which I may be. Some further that I am uncaring, which I’m not. And a few that I am interested in pursuing eugenics against those with autism. (No.) Mark is much more measured (and constructive), but he as well as most commenters insists that autism…

How to Redefine a Word

How does the number 183 become 5?  Easy – redefine the verb “to waterboard” as meaning only “sessions of waterboarding.”  Similarly, how does the number 83 become “8 to 10”?  Easy – redefine the verb “to waterboard” as meaning only “long pours of water.”  The good news is that at least we’re moving away from trying…

From Intolerance to Tolerance to Acceptance

Freddie has made a strong argument against viewing autism as a positive thing to be celebrated.  In so doing – and keeping in mind that he is our resident liberal – Freddie argues that such views are political correctness run amok.  To complete the role reversal, I, one of our two resident self-avowed libertarians, am…

Taking Leave of Our Senses

“But the argument isn’t going away. It will be with us as long as the threat of terrorism endures. And where the Bush administration’s interrogation programs are concerned, we’ve heard too much to just “look forward,” as the president would have us do. We need to hear more: What was done and who approved it,…

Not Reading What You Defend

I had fully intended to take a lengthy hiatus from torture-blogging, but this story just magnifies why I’ve become so frustrated over claims that the program authorized by the Bybee memo is clearly not “torture” within the meaning of the law.  Andy McCarthy in a telephone conference today: “As far as mental suffering is concerned…

Why They Fight

Jim Manzi has written a provocative post on the moral distinction between battlefield killing and torturing unarmed POWs: So apparently it’s OK to inflict (the most extreme imaginable) violence when the guy is totally helpless in combat, but suddenly upon his saying the words “I surrender”, any serious violence beyond confinement becomes wrong. Now, the…

autism is a disorder

Those who have read a lot of my stuff know that I am someone who has very little patience for the seemingly endless (brave, bold, contrarian) stances bloggers and pundits make against political correctness. Very often couched in the language of the provocative and the new (when in fact these arguments are old and tired),…

The American Trajectory: Chapter 3 Great Powers

Having successfully replicated the economic construct of our American System among the vast majority of the world’s population, we are now faced with the long-term challenge of replicating it’s political constructs–its laws, its institutions, its culture and associated freedoms of religion, speech, and leadership choice–not merely within nations but across the international system as a…

Tradition in the modern United States.

The briefest description I can give of the point of view for my work as a blogger is this: I’m a Presbyterian wandering around in the gap between Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue and Jeffrey Stout’s Democracy and Tradition. How’s that for brevity? Ah, but it seems to lack something in terms of conveying meaningful information…

Sunday Poem Series

Neutral Tones by Thomas Hardy WE stood by a pond that winter day, And the sun was white, as though chidden of God, And a few leaves lay on the starving sod, -They had fallen from an ash, and were gray. Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove Over tedious riddles solved years…

all the president’s spies

John Judis would like to have more discussion about the possibility of ditching the CIA, or at the very least completely restructuring it: The question that Congress might ponder, but won’t, is whether the structure of our foreign policy apparatus – the power and responsibility vested in a secret branch of government —  invites abuse.…

Saturday Juke Joint

Not sure if I’m breaking (bending?) League protocols, but I thought I bring a little of them blues into the mix.  Featured artist is Buddy Guy (his wiki here), one the last of the classic Chicago bluesmen.  In his early years he was somewhat overshadowed by the presences of Muddy Waters, BB King, and the…

stating the obvious

“And then, where is the use of torture? It is a slippery trial and uncertain (says Ulpian) to convince by torture. For many says (says St Augustine again) he that is yet but questioned, whether he be guilty or no, before that be known, is, without all question, miserably tortured. And whereas, many time, the…

…and he doesn’t look a day over 400.

“Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will him about mine ears; and sometime voices, That if I then had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again, and then in dreaming The clouds methought would open and show riches Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked I cried to dream again”

Glenn Beck and the Red Knight

“I told you about these people.  They only mate with their own kind.   It’s yuppie inbreeding.  That’s why they’re retarded and wear the same clothes.  They don’t feel love.  They only negotiate love moments.  They’re evil, Edwin.  They’re repulsed by imperfection, horrified by the banal…everything that  America stands for!  They must be stopped before it’s…