Friday, August 1, 2014

Yes, Atheism and Conservatism Are Compatible | National Review Online

Yes, Atheism and Conservatism Are Compatible | National Review Online: "A great deal of the friction between atheists and conservatives seems to derive from a reasonable question. “If you don’t consider that human beings are entitled to ‘God given’ liberties,” I am often asked, “don’t you believe that the unalienable rights that you spend your days defending are merely the product of ancient legal accidents or of the one-time whims of transient majorities?” Well, no, not really. As far as I can see, the American settlement can thrive perfectly well within my worldview. God or no God, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence are all built upon centuries of English law, human experience, and British and European philosophy, and the natural-law case for them stands nicely on its own. "



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Interesting article. But ultimately, I think this is wrong. You can make an argument from evidence that a certain result will follow from certain policies, but you cannot make an argument that those outcomes are right or wrong without a philosophical prism to interpret them.



If we share the same premises, we can debate what that philosophy should be. But we can only reason together if we share the same premises. And ultimately, premises cannot be derived, they just have to be believed in. There's no reason to believe that one premise is right and another wrong unless there is a divine authority to reveal the truth of the matter. Otherwise it's just a contest between likes. It's like debating whether chocolate is better than vanilla

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Smarter than Thou | National Review Online

Smarter than Thou | National Review Online: "Prominent examples include MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Rachel Maddow, Steve Kornacki, and Chris Hayes; Vox’s Ezra Klein, Dylan Matthews, and Matt Yglesias; the sabermetrician Nate Silver; the economist Paul Krugman; the atheist Richard Dawkins; former vice president Al Gore; celebrity scientist Bill Nye; and, really, anybody who conforms to the Left’s social and moral precepts while wearing glasses and babbling about statistics."



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Smarter than Thou | National Review Online

Smarter than Thou | National Review Online: "One part insecure hipsterism, one part unwarranted condescension, the two defining characteristics of self-professed nerds are (a) the belief that one can discover all of the secrets of human experience through differential equations and (b) the unlovely tendency to presume themselves to be smarter than everybody else in the world."



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Smarter than Thou | National Review Online

Smarter than Thou | National Review Online: "‘My great fear,” Neil deGrasse Tyson told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes in early June, “is that we’ve in fact been visited by intelligent aliens but they chose not to make contact, on the conclusion that there’s no sign of intelligent life on Earth.” In response to this rather standard little saw, Hayes laughed as if he had been trying marijuana for the first time."



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Monday, July 28, 2014

Love People, Not Pleasure - NYTimes.com

Love People, Not Pleasure - NYTimes.com: "It makes sense. What do you post to Facebook? Pictures of yourself yelling at your kids, or having a hard time at work? No, you post smiling photos of a hiking trip with friends. You build a fake life — or at least an incomplete one — and share it. Furthermore, you consume almost exclusively the fake lives of your social media “friends.” Unless you are extraordinarily self-aware, how could it not make you feel worse to spend part of your time pretending to be happier than you are, and the other part of your time seeing how much happier others seem to be than you?"



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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Instapundit » Blog Archive » KURT SCHLICHTER: Conservatism Is The New Punk Rock. Actually, that’s more libertarianism. But: …

Instapundit » Blog Archive » KURT SCHLICHTER: Conservatism Is The New Punk Rock. Actually, that’s more libertarianism. But: …:



Look at ancient Hillary Clinton, that improbable Millennial heroine. She’s the Bachman Turner Overdrive of American politics, out there literally taking care of business – especially the businesses who take care of her by paying her hundreds of thousands a pop to come talk to them.

There’s no energy left in liberalism, no excitement, just more rules, more controls, everything the punks hated. You can’t say this, you can’t think that, everybody read the memo – today we’re scheduled to be angry at people don’t want to subsidize our birth control! Oh, and make sure you obtain a videotaped, notarized consent form before you kiss your cisgender hook-up.



Yeah. The Dems are looking like that crazy preacher in Footloose."



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Supreme beings of leisure: Column

Supreme beings of leisure: Column: "But computers and robots keep getting better, while improvement in humanity, to the extent that it takes place, is happening much more slowly. A generation ago any good chess player could beat a computer. Now computers routinely beat grandmasters. It may be that the range of things machines do better than humans will come to encompass pretty much everything humans are able to do."



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Friday, July 25, 2014

Althouse: The "50 Shades of Grey" trailer is ready to see you now.

Althouse: The "50 Shades of Grey" trailer is ready to see you now.: "I hope you find that suitably ludicrous. If not, if you got actual twinges of sexual feeling, you are not doing your part to prevent the downfall of civilization."



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Thursday, July 24, 2014

'True Blood' actor Nelsan Ellis: Former star quit because he did - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

'True Blood' actor Nelsan Ellis: Former star quit because he did - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG: "LOS ANGELES –  When Luke Grimes started on HBO’s “True Blood” last season his character James Kent was wooing a female vampire. But Grimes reportedly quit in December when he found out Kent was bisexual and starting a romantic relationship with a gay character in the seventh and final season.



 Now Nelsan Ellis, the actor who plays Kent’s gay lover on the show, is speaking up -- and he’s not happy."



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I predict this guy's career is over.

Hamblin & Peterson: Finding God through the history, philosophy of science | Deseret News

Hamblin & Peterson: Finding God through the history, philosophy of science | Deseret News: "“Science explained everything,” he reminisces. “It gobbled up the conceptual space once occupied by God and replaced it with the sane, cool rationalism of the scientific method. Only scientific claims are meaningful. Anything that lies outside the scope of science is simply superstition or delusion, no matter how understandable. The sciences were, for me, the bright lodestar of my intellectual and moral endeavours, the only true way to acquire reliable knowledge about reality and the order of things. Atheism was my creed, and science was its foundation.”"



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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

IRS experts say Lois Lerner’s hard drive was just scratched | Power Line

IRS experts say Lois Lerner’s hard drive was just scratched | Power Line: "Top IRS officials told congressional investigators that Lois Lerner’s hard drive — the one containing emails that could shed light on the IRS targeting scandal — was irreparably damaged before it was destroyed completely in 2011.



"But now, investigators have had a chance to talk to the technical experts inside the IRS who actually examined Lerner’s computer, and the experts say the hard drive in question was actually just “scratched,” and that most of the data on it was recoverable."



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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The ACA Means What It Says | National Review Online

The ACA Means What It Says | National Review Online: "It’s an odd world in which judges are accused of usurping the role of Congress for ruling that the executive branch must follow the text of a law Congress wrote. But that’s what has happened today. In Halbig v. Burwell, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Congress never gave the federal government power to provide subsidies and assess penalties under the Affordable Care Act in states that haven’t established their own health-insurance exchanges."



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Monday, July 21, 2014

Howard Zinn's Influential Mutilations of American History | New Republic

Howard Zinn's Influential Mutilations of American History | New Republic: "n my adolescent rebelliousness, I thrilled to Zinn’s deflation of what he presented as the myths of standard-issue history. Do you know that the Declaration of Independence charged King George with fomenting slave rebellions and attacks from “merciless Indian Savages”? That James Polk started a war with Mexico as a pretext for annexing California? That Eugene Debs was jailed for calling World War I a war of conquest and plunder? Perhaps you do, if you are moderately well-read in American history. And if you are very well-read, you also know that these statements themselves are problematic simplifications. But like most sixteen-year-olds, I didn’t know any of this. Mischievously—subversively—A People’s History whispered that everything I had learned in school was a sugar-coated fairy tale, if not a deliberate lie. Now I knew."



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IRS Reports New Round of Computer Crashes | The Daily Caller

IRS Reports New Round of Computer Crashes | The Daily Caller: "IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20,” and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.



 The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner’s technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens."



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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Union Drama at the Metropolitan Opera | National Review Online

Union Drama at the Metropolitan Opera | National Review Online: "Well, if worst came to worst, at least the Met’s singers and musicians could make a go of it at the New York City Opera. No, wait, it shut its doors for the last time last year."



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I thought the saying was "if worse came to worst."