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Nasty Versus Nice

Susan Jacoby on the distortions of atheism.

I was somewhat taken aback recently when I found myself on a list of “kinder, gentler atheists”–most of them women–compiled by a religious historian attempting to distinguish between socially acceptable atheism and the presumably mean, hard-line atheism expounded by such demonic figures as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett. This nasty versus nice dichotomy is wholly an invention of believers who are under the mistaken impression that atheism is a religion in need of a good schism.

More here.

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Howard Zinn

Roger Kimball on the legacy of Howard Zinn here.

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Cronies

John Stossel: Big Government’s Cronies here.

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Creation Museum

Vanity Fair has a story on the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

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Introverts in the Church

CT reviews Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh.

Here’s the Introduction (pdf) and Chapter 1 (pdf).

And the author’s website is here.

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A Counterexample

Alexander R. Pruss gives a counterexample to Plantinga’s Free Will Defense.

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Groundhog Day

Robert Spencer gives the Jihad Watch version of Groundhog Day.

And now here is today’s Jihad Watch news:

1. Some jihadis somewhere will blow something up and kill some people.
2. In their public statements they will quote Qur’an, invoke Muhammad, and explain that they did it all to advance Islam.
3. Mainstream media stories about the attack will never mention Islam, or Jihad, and will speculate about the desperate poverty and political oppression that led this group to carry out this attack.
4. Obama will lament this “tragedy,” call the attackers “isolated extremists,” and announce a new U.S. aid package for the area they come from, again without ever mentioning Islam or jihad, except to praise the great and noble religion of Islam.
5. I will post the attackers’ public statements here at Jihad Watch.
6. Leftist and Islamic supremacist groups will see #5 and call me an Islamophobe and a bigot, without ever taking notice of #2.

Tune in again tomorrow, when:

1. Some jihadis somewhere will blow something up and kill some people.
2. In their public statements they will quote Qur’an, invoke Muhammad, and explain that they did it all to advance Islam.
3. Mainstream media stories about the attack will never mention Islam, or Jihad, and will speculate about the desperate poverty and political oppression that led this group to carry out this attack.
4. Obama will lament this “tragedy,” call the attackers “isolated extremists,” and announce a new U.S. aid package for the area they come from, again without ever mentioning Islam or jihad, except to praise the great and noble religion of Islam.
5. I will post the attackers’ public statements here at Jihad Watch.
6. Leftist and Islamic supremacist groups will see #5 and call me an Islamophobe and a bigot, without ever taking notice of #2.

It’s Groundhog Day!

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The True Face

Darleen Click at Protein Wisdom has it exactly right.

From Howard Dean’s slander that Republicans want children to starve to NOW’s assertion that the Tebow Superbowl ad is “cynical” and masquarades as “hate” we are again seeing the true face and feelings of those we are supposed to treat as “good men” or “good women”.

We don’t need to get angry. Anger is what the Left pretends motivates any opposition to their dogma or agenda. Projecting anger onto the voters in MA is what allows the Left, from Pelosi to Obama, to reinvent the immediate past by claiming the election of Scott Brown has absolutely nothing to do with opposition to ObamaCare.

It even took Stalin more than a few weeks to wipe Trotsky from Soviet history.

The Left is statist. It is anti-Liberty. We need no anger to point that out, just a clear, concise message we need to repeat over and over, with humor as needed.

Let’s start with the obvious. Democrats have had responsibility for the US budget for three years. The deficit in 2006, the last time the Republicans held the purse strings was $247 Billion. This year it will be $1.6 Trillion. Are we better or worse since Pelosi took charge of the Federal credit card?

The bigger the Government, the smaller the people.

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Spies

According to a leading scientist the hacked emails from the Climatic Research Unit in East Anglia was probably carried out by a foreign intelligence agency.

A highly sophisticated hacking operation that led to the leaking of hundreds of emails from the Climatic Research Unit in East Anglia was probably carried out by a foreign intelligence agency, according to the Government’s former chief scientist. Sir David King, who was Tony Blair’s chief scientific adviser for seven years until 2007, said that the hacking and selective leaking of the unit’s emails, going back 13 years, bore all the hallmarks of a co-ordinated intelligence operation – especially given their release just before the Copenhagen climate conference in December.

Read the rest here.

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The Fat Lady

Stuart Schwartz: The Fat Lady Sings for Keith Olbermann here.

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It Works

Contra Douthat, abstinence education does work.

UPDATE: More from Get Religion.

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The End

The end (of Western Civilization) is near!

Switzerland will hold a referendum next month on whether domesticated animals should have the right to be represented by lawyers in court. The country recently changed its constitution to ensure the protection of the “dignity” of plant life and passed a law last year guaranteeing rights for all creatures – from guinea pigs to goldfish. If Swiss voters approve the referendum in March, every canton in the country will be obliged to appoint a lawyer to act on behalf of pets and barnyard animals in order to protect them from abuse.

More.

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The Savior State

Douglas Farrow on The Audacity of the State.

When I speak of the audacity of the state, the kind of state I have in mind is what we may call the savior state. The main characteristic of the savior state is that it presents itself as the people’s guardian, as the guarantor of the citizen’s well-being. The savior state is the paternal state, which not only sees to the security of its territory and the enforcement of its laws but also promises to feed, clothe, house, educate, monitor, medicate, and in general to care for its people. Some prefer to call it the nanny state, but that label fails to reckon with its inherently religious character. The savior state does have a religious character, precisely in its paternalism, and may even be comfortable with religious rhetoric.

More here.

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IPCC

How are things going over at the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change? Not very well.

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Dishonesty

The Cranky Conservative analyzes the latest column by E.J. Dionne.

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Free James O’Keefe

Ben Stein: Free James O’Keefe here.

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Accepting Censorship

The February issue of Reason also has a good article about P.C. censorship on college campuses.

With all these examples of authoritarian bullying and systemic miseducation about rights, we shouldn’t be surprised to discover that students are learning not only to accept censorship but to censor each other. Just before I completed this article, more than 10,000 copies of the official student newspaper for the University of Arizona were stolen and dumped by students who were upset about an article.

Newspaper theft is common on college campuses, with the most chilling examples culminating in public burnings. Students have burned other students’ newspapers at schools as prestigious as Cornell, Boston College, Dartmouth, and the University of Wisconsin. In 2008 multiple incidents were reported in which students destroyed pro-life students’ protest displays, including an incident at Missouri State University in which students smashed dozens of Popsicle-stick crosses and another at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in which a member of the student government tore up the crosses one by one in broad daylight. His defense: “Since [abortion] is a right, you don’t have the right to challenge it.”

When students come to believe that censoring rival points of view is not only permissible but laudable, the potential damage goes far beyond campus. Our colleges and universities produce our scientists, our business leaders, our lawyers, and our legislators. The habits formed in college inevitably seep into the other major social institutions.

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Class War

Reason has an excellent article on how public servants became our masters.

Although Americans may have a vague sense that the nation has run up a great deal of debt, the public employee benefit problem is not well known. Yet the wave of benefit promises is poised to wash away state and local government budgets and large portions of the incomes of most Americans. Most of these benefits are vested, meaning that they have the standing of a legal contract. They cannot be reduced. And the government employees’ allies, such as California’s legislative Democrats, are cleverly blocking some of the more obvious exit strategies.

For instance, when the city of Vallejo went bankrupt after coughing up 75 percent of its budget to police and firefighters, the state Assembly introduced legislation that would allow cities to go bankrupt only if they get approval from a commission. Such a commission would of course be dominated by union-friendly members. The result: Cities would be stuck making good on contracts they cannot afford to fulfill.

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Surface Temperature Records

Don’t miss this report: Surface Temperature Records: Policy Driven Deception?

Authors veteran meteorologists Joe D’Aleo and Anthony Watts analyzed temperature records from all around the world for a major SPPI paper, Surface Temperature Records – Policy-driven Deception? The startling conclusion that we cannot tell whether there was any significant “global warming” at all in the 20th century is based on numerous astonishing examples of manipulation and exaggeration of the true level and rate of “global warming”.

That is to say, leading meteorological institutions in the USA and around the world have so systematically tampered with instrumental temperature data that it cannot be safely said that there has been any significant net “global warming” in the 20th century.

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Bailing?

Are religious centrists bailing on Obama?