Politically. I hope.
23 September, 2010
22 September, 2010
Update (and bumped):
YouTube pulled the video. Brace yourself for some potentially racy ads and watch it on LiveLeak.
My apologies for the late update. I thought I did this the other day, but the update didn’t take. Such is life with WordPress sometimes.
19 September, 2010
I scored 100%. That’s because I’m old enough to remember the Nasty Little Man. See how you do.
12 September, 2010
Turns out that Suzanne Cleary & Peter Harding have an Irish Dance show. If you’re on Facebook you can check them out here. The video that got it started is here. It reminds me of an old bit I saw The Committee do on the Smothers Brothers show. The We No Speak Americano video is much better. I enjoy seeing people refine their work to perfection like this.
You can search or browse the Koran here.
Search your favorite version of the Bible here.
Try looking up “kill” in each.
To be fair, the Old Testament is also full of nasty, violent stuff. The big difference between Christianity and Islam is that the former has been through a reformation and tempered by the Enlightenment. In other words, most Christians just ignore the parts about destroying the enemy, stoning women, etc. Lets hope Islam catches up soon.
Read a first-hand account of the Magellan rescue.
As I walked the captain up to his bridge, he examined all the cut doors, and burnt hallways as we made our way up to the bridge on the 7th level remarking, “bastard pirates, they really did a number to my ship.” Walking behind him I replied, ironically: “Yeah. They sure did.”
9 September, 2010
When physicists talk about God, people listen.
This point is often overlooked by apologists who grasp at any straw science will hold out for them. Such desperate clinging happened, disgracefully, in the last years of the philosopher Antony Flew’s life. A famous atheist, Flew was said to have changed his mind, persuaded that the best explanation for the “fine-tuning”of the universe – very precise way that its conditions make life possible – was some kind of intentional design. But what was glossed over was that he was very clear that this designer was nothing like the traditional God of the Abrahamic faiths. It was, he clearly said, rather the Deist God, or the God of Aristotle, one who might set the ball rolling but then did no more than watch it trundle off over the horizon. This is no mere quibble. The deist God does not occupy some halfway house between atheism and theism. Replace Yaweh with the deist God and the Bible would make less sense than if you’d substituted Brian for Jesus.
7 September, 2010
Here’s just one sample of why xkcd is one of the most consistently funny cartoons on the net.
NB: A lot of it is nerd humor, and there is some language. Still, the art is deceptively simple and some of the observations spot on. It makes me laugh. A lot.
Like the way I laughed at this one:
Zombie proves once again why he’s one of the best bloggers in the world. You must read this entire piece.
Why, I ask myself, must they contaminate their legitimate grievances over the left-wing bias of school curricula? By coupling patriotism with creationism, they are discrediting not only their own but everyone else’s attempts to counteract the leftist agenda.
Read it all, then go on to Part 2.
In 2004, liberal historian Thomas Frank published What’s the Matter with Kansas?, a bestselling book in which the author expresses his utter mystification at how the citizens of Kansas could hold conservative values and vote Republican, when socialist economics and the Democratic Party were so self-evidently superior. While the author looked down his nose at the inscrutable ignorant rubes of Kansas, insultingly treating them like laboratory rats unable to solve the simplest maze, the book and its popularity ended up being more of a commentary on the ideological blindness of the author and his left-leaning readers: try as they might, they just don’t get it. As the book revealed, it’s not that left-wingers disagree with conservative principles; they actually cannot grasp the notion of having any principles whatsoever.
As part of the inevitable discussion of the most idiotic thing they’ve tried to do in Texas, Zombie summarizes his clear stance on evolution, which I whole-heartedly endorse:
- The debate about the reality of evolution is over. Evolution happens, and it happens through natural selection. The evidence is beyond overwhelming and is conclusive.
- If you quibble about the meaning of the word “theory” without knowing its definition in a scientific context, then you unintentionally have disqualified yourself from the conversation.
- Intelligent design, creationism, or any other euphemism you care to use to describe “directed evolution,” are not scientific theories; they are religious beliefs, and as such have no place in a science class.
- Denial of evolution is not a necessary adjunct of being Christian or having religious sentiments; it is entirely possible to be religious and to accept scientific realities like evolution, and many evolutionary scientists are also Christians.
- “Darwinism” is not some sort of faith-based religion in its own right nor is it competing with Christianity, and anyone who claims so is either seriously misinformed or is purposely deceiving you.
- The scientific community takes an extremely dim view of any official in a position of power who tries to undermine the teaching of evolution; this is a make-or-break “litmus test” issue for most scientists.
- Therefore, the insistence by officials such as the Texas State Board of Education on tampering with evolution curriculum unnecessarily creates enemies out of many clear-thinking science educators who might otherwise applaud the TSBE’s pro-America and pro-factuality stance on other issues.
If anything, the textbooks approved by the California State Board of Education are even more politicized than Texas textbooks, and more ideologically biased. So: Why does the media ignore what happens in California textbooks? Because the state’s bias goes the other way. California-approved social studies textbooks are politically correct in the extreme, with multiculturalism and “social justice” as the defining characteristics. The pressure groups and board members setting policy for California’s (and hence a substantial portion of America’s) textbooks exceed their Texan counterparts in their extremism, but since California pushes the “correct” kind of extremism, you never hear about it.
This was a significant change from Marx’s and Lenin’s original ideas about communist revolution, which basically involved simply seizing power, public opinion be damned, and afterward propagandizing the masses to accept the new order. Gramsci realized that Marx had it reversed, and that the propaganda and indoctrination must happen first, in order to make the populace open to the idea of revolution; otherwise, rendered complacent by middle-class values and comforts, the populace would never consent to the upheaval of a revolution.
The media and public schools were correctly identified by Gramsci as the most influential cultural institutions, and it was therefore those that the left realized must be targeted.
This explains the otherwise mystifying insistence by leftist educators on ignoring facts in favor of “politically correct” ideas and frameworks. I have little doubt that the majority of teachers and educators don’t even know they’re part of a Gramscian project but still plow ahead with their ideologically driven careers anyway, unaware that they are myrmidons paving the way for revolution.
Many good suggestions, most of which I agree with. One of the most important comes near the end: Break the teachers’ unions.
Teachers’ unions have become a major hindrance to decent education in this country. They prevent the firing of bad instructors, impose political orthodoxy on curricula, and in general resist any reforms which threaten their own power.
Furthermore, the teachers’ unions have been the driving force behind the Gramscian control of education (as discussed in Part IV of this essay), and are one of the reasons schools are politically biased in the first place.
I have no idea how to diminish the power of unions, so for now we’ll have to file this one under “wishful thinking.”
The teachers’ unions are arguably the most destructive force in the country. Part of breaking them will be opening education to a free market. Part would be pulling the plug on the cabinet seat given them by the Nasty Little Man. The entire Department of Education is unconstitutional anyway.
I seriously hope you read all five part. I’ve bumped this post to encourage it.