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April 3, 2014

The Emperor's New Clothes

You remember the story. The king hires a couple of hucksters who tell him they can weave garments so fine that they are invisible to the stupid and those unfit for their jobs. The king hires them. His entourage all pretend that they can see the garment so as not to lose their jobs and appear stupid. It's not until the King displays his new clothes to the town that the problem is obvious. Everyone pretends to see the clothes but one young boy who points out the King's nakedness. Whereupon the whole town see's it for what it is, but the king continues unwilling to acknowledge his lack of clothes.

Richard Dawkins has been pointing out for a long time how the personal gods man has created are like the emperor's new clothes, but instead of being admired for his honesty, for his frankness, like the boy in the story. He is told that such things are just not said in polite company. And so there are those who continue pretending that the problem is with Dawkins and not them. They believe it is okay to pretend that their God exists They have faith (pretending to know something you have no evidence for) and that is enough. They are as hypocritical as the characters in Hans Christian Andersen's tale.

February 19, 2014

In Defense of Witlessness

The Utah legislature is in session. They're doing their best. They've turned down millions of dollars for health care. They're meeting with the teetotalers, the tea partiers, the pyramid schemers. They're meeting with each other trying to figure out how to benefit their own financial interests.

They've decided that the prison should be moved providing them with more real estate deals. They're supporting more technology assuring us that a computer can teach just as well as a human and that it doesn't need healthcare, just a maintenance contract that they can provide. They struggle with facts. They struggle with logic. They're suspicious of science. They're looking for a way to deal with these inconvenient truths.

It's the reason they were now rushing through a bill that will protect them, that will enrich them, that will keep the gravy train on track, a witless protection program. A program that will make the world right.

In its final act of the session, it is prepared to pass the Witless Protection Act. It is based on similar bills passed in like-minded states--Texas, Kansas, Ignorance.

The act will make it easier to defend the climate change deniers, the evolution skeptics, the society for the defense of bigotry.

It is certain to pass constitutional mustard, there being no constitutional dictate of rationality. The Bill of Rights protects ignorance, it protects stupidity, it protects them.

Yes, the Witless Protection Act, it's their defining moment.

November 14, 2013

Libertarians Morally Bankrupt

My son Chris and I have been discussing Libertarians, and frankly just don't get it. Perhaps we still have a libertarian reader or two that can justify their philosophy.

Libertarians think that the winners in society earn what they get fair and square. For that to be true, everybody has to have an equal opportunity. To think that there is equal opportunity is delusional. For example, consider race. "When researchers in the United States sent out identical résumés to prospective employers, some with white-sounding names (e.g., Emily and Greg) and others with black-sounding names (e.g., Lakisha and Jamal), the white résumés generated 50 percent more calls from employers."

Greene, Joshua (2013-10-31). Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them (p. 13). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

More to the point, Libertarianism naturally leads to unequal opportunities. The rich pass on their advantages to their children, who then begin life with a head start. That head start is based on an accident of birth, not talent or hard work. This always be the case, hence, libertarianism produces unequal opportunity. This undermines its moral foundation, the fair and square, of earning what you get.

October 29, 2013

A Link With Your Coffee

Golden Rice a Touchstone

October 14, 2013

Oprah Talks Atheism

I couldn't watch the video all the way to the end, but I think the conclusion is either that atheists are heartless monsters or that Oprah isn't really that religious, I can't tell which.

September 20, 2013

Care Fears

September 13, 2013

Castrated America

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