Romantic racism

Perusing the internets a while back, I came across this picture posted on a prominent pro-liberal web forum:

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The image certainly reflects the mentality of a very vocal subset of liberals who, right or wrong, see western civilization as having gone off the rails. They are a people who desire a simpler existence uncomplicated by the deleterious effects of mass production, corporate capitalism, and a materialist, consumer-oriented culture. Like the Beat-generation before them, these “modern primitives” have latched onto fringe cultures they feel buck against the dominant culture in their own societies. We’ve all met them; they are the  ones throwing money at Deepak Chopra or pretending to be Native Americans. While it is worth pointing out I generally disagree with their assessment of western cultures, that’s not what bothers me about the picture. Rather, what gets me is the unashamed, flagrant, and patently illiberal racism of the whole thing. Continue reading

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Iraq is for lovers

According to the New York Times, President Obama is now considering military options in response to a rapid ISIS takeover of northern Iraq. I don’t envy him. Whatever decision he makes is likely to turn into an enormous clusterfuck.

Someone Set Up Us The Bomb

Speculation is the force will be limited to airstrikes or targeted drone strikes. While that’s preferable to putting boots on the ground, these strikes will be of little consequence so long as ISIS remains holed up in cities like Mosul, Tikrit and Samarra. ISIS isn’t strong, numerically speaking, and there are plentiful places to hide and/or shield one’s self with non-combatants. That should be enough to give Obama pause. Killing extremists does not kill extremism; any collateral damage taken in these Sunni-majority cities could easily reignite simmering sectarian conflict boost ISIS’ popularity in the region.

Neither, however, can we sit on our hands and let this play out. Take a look:

Courtesy GoogleEarth

Courtesy GoogleEarth

Continue reading

We don’t have to listen to Sye ten Bruggencate anymore

On this week’s The Thinking Atheist podcast, Seth Andrews provided an apt description of presuppositional apologetics. He likened presups to buzzing insects whose threat is inconsequential beside the unbridled irritation they cause.

Most of us don’t know how to deal with presups. If you march against them armed with the toolbox of logical arguments one typically deploys against apologists, you’ll find yourself startlingly ill-equipped for the word games and circular drivel that form the backbone of presuppositionalist arguments. They’ll talk concentric circles around you and you’ll stand there fuming, knowing they are wrong without being able to verbalize a coherent justification for it.

Quite literally, presuppositionalism is the theological application of Monty Python’s Argument Clinic sketch:

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Tuam Mass Grave: How to fail at moral relativism

There’s no point leading this in.

The remains of almost 800 children were buried on the grounds of an erstwhile Church-run home for unwed mothers in Tuam, Ireland. The children died between 1925 and 1961, largely of malnutrition and infectious disease. The locals in Tuam have known about this since at least 1975, when boys playing on the grounds stumbled up on a mass grave.

The Church is dealing with this markedly unpleasant revelation in its usual way: Continue reading

Fuck Mark Creech and the holy cow he rode in on

My grandfather once imparted upon me a golden rule I’ve since tried my best to live by. He said: “If you don’t know what you’re talking about, you should probably just shut the fuck up”.

And I am truly blessed to have had a much kinder, more intelligent grandfather than did North Carolina Religious Right assclown and Christian Post columnist Mark  Creech, who recently shared with us his expert analysis of the societal effects of Hinduism and Islam:

I served as a short-term missionary to India on three different occasions and saw this principle worked-out first-hand. India’s economy has been stagnated for centuries. Though I do not mean to disparage that beautiful country, it cannot be denied the two prominent religions, Hinduism and Islam, hold the nation back. Hunger is rampant in India, but not because they don’t have enough food. Hinduism teaches that people who die come back as animals. There are plenty of cows and pigs that roam the streets freely, but no one will slaughter them, even if their child’s belly is bloated with malnutrition.

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Open-Carry Assholes Strike Again

This time, they attempted to set up an OP in a Texas Chili’s because… freedom… or something.

It is bad enough these people are fucking insane, but what makes them measurably worse than your run-of-the-mill anti-government gun-fondler is their proclivity towards unapologetic prickish behavior.

Could you imagine the carnage if eight heavily armed, complete strangers showed up on any of their front porches? And Chili’s should tolerate them because… why, pray tell? Because they have a brochure? How did they expect the front of house to react? “Oh, thank you for your shoddy PR material. Any and all concerns as to the continued safety of my customers and guests is now assuaged. Please help yourselves to a beer and our one of our shitty, deep-fried, diarrhea-inducing, post-industrial TexMex abominations!”

Or — and consider this — they strolled up to Chili’s knowing damn well they’d be asked to leave, so they could get the whole fucking thing on video in some lame-brained attempt to patriot-shame the franchise. I guess trolling cops is losing its appeal.