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Links With Your Coffee - Thursday

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  • Editorial - Low-Road Express - Editorial - NYTimes.com
    Well, that certainly didn’t take long. On July 3, news reports said Senator John McCain, worried that he might lose the election before it truly started, opened his doors to disciples of Karl Rove from the 2004 campaign and the Bush White House. Less than a month later, the results are on full display. The candidate who started out talking about high-minded, civil debate has wholeheartedly adopted Mr. Rove’s low-minded and uncivil playbook.

  • Change *We* Can Believe In

    An Open Letter to Barack Obama

  • The Power of the Protest Vote - Campaign Stops - 2008 Elections - Opinion - New York Times Blog
    Don’t be surprised if third or fourth party presidential candidates garner enough votes in November to make a difference in some of the hotly contested swing states. The polls show more than enough Republican disaffection with John McCain’s candidacy to make a case that Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate, or another right-of-center candidate could take votes away from the G.O.P. standard bearer. And on the Democratic side, Barack Obama has to worry about defections of not only Hillary Clinton’s supporters, but also of liberals, who are beginning to grumble that he is moving too much toward the center.

  • This Incomprehensible Whatever-it-was—By Wyatt Mason (Harper's Magazine)
    Philip Roth has an essay at the back of the paperback of Portnoy’s Complaint about how the first lines of his novels came to him. It’s a nice example of how Roth can take a tiny literality and squeeze more metaphorical substance from it than would seem possible (and, simultaneously, take a metaphor and squeeze it unto literality).

  • Media Sheep » Mad Kane's Political Madness

  • Catholic Clergy Call for Reparation in Response to Communion Desecration - Christian Newswire

    They are in desperate need of a remedial class on free speech.


  • Karen Heller: The dumbing down of science | Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/28/2008
    Earlier this year, one of Philadelphia's illustrious cultural institutions underwent cosmetic surgery and had its name reduced.
    Our largest science institution simply became the Franklin, as if it were some glistening condo development or waterfront casino.

    Which is fitting, given all the sizzle, pyrotechnics and cost. Adult admission has soared to $23.25 if you want to see the current exhibits "Real Pirates" and "Chronicles of Narnia," the latter - correct me if I'm wrong - based on a fictional world and $1 billion global movie franchise.


  • Terry Sanderson: Faith is not the answer | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
    Since we stopped going to church we've become a nation of fat, isolated, divorced, graceless and uncaring slobs who spend all our time online creating "ever smaller sects of the like-minded."

  • AC Grayling: The religious are intent on taking us back to the middle ages | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
    Road to nowhere

    From Turkey to Germany to the States, religious people are intent on taking us back to the middle ages


  • The zombification of philosophy (of mind)
    David Chalmers is a famous philosopher of mind. His fame rests in great part on his 1996 book, The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory. It’s too bad that the crucial idea behind the book, dualism, is hopelessly flawed, and -- more surprising yet -- that Chalmers got away with one of the most idiotic thought experiments ever, which a lot of people inexplicably seem to think is oh so very clever. This all came back to (my) mind because of a recent article in Philosophy Now by Rebecca Hanrahan (an assistant professor of philosophy at Whitman College in Washington state), who’s finally got the chutzpah to point out the obvious, telling it like it is about Chalmers’ famous “zombie argument.”


 

Comments

re: open letter to obama

3 things interested me about this. one, the list of signatories. i got all choked up seeing ol' studs terkel and ol' tom hayden there, f'rinstance.

two, the fact that i didn't see on the list anything that would specifically forbid or censure his conduct in the fisa affair. i checked twice, maybe i missed something...it does mention ENDING the surveillance crap, abuse of civil liberties, etc., but there's nothing about dealing with past abuses, which i think is what fica was about. (?) so there's a large category missing from the list, namely "oh great one, punish those who brazenly trampled the holy constitution, tearing at the heavenly writing with their jackboots and defiling all that we hold dear with their unclean spirits."

sorry, i really liked that "obamessiah" video norm posted a few days ago. :)

and three, it's fascinating that so much time, energy and money is being spent by such wise and accomplished people on something (a petition) that, in reality, will have no effect whatever on obama's course, which is locked, loaded and focused on a very specific goal.

i harbor a tiny, secret hope, which i will reveal to my friends at 1gm:

that democracy, after so many years as the playground of the peter principle, will truly flower and a president will truly be a vessel for the voice of the people, for purely practical reasons having to do with his political survival, and the voice of the people will be a wise voice.

shhhhhhhh. don't even breathe it aloud, you'll attract the evil eye.

Some seventy some odd percent of Americans support George Bush and John McCain re offshore drilling. Should Obama change his mind based on this very powerful protest vote?

Here Obama angers the majority of Americans with his position on offshore dwelling, and here he pleases some thirty percent of those on the left. With his FISA vote he annoys another percentage (I don't know what percentage though) of those on the left.

Obama and McCain are both attempting to win over their parties as well as those independents (whatever that means).

To win the candidacy of either party in the U.S. requires a lot of finesse. And to win the general election is even more difficult and it's impossible to please everyone. If you please only the far left, you lose the general election because only about 30 percent represent the far left. If you please only the far right, you lose the general election because only about 30 percent represent the far right. etc.... etc... I could go on, but by now, I would hope that you get it.

Well, Crackergate just went official with the catholic wackaloons. And here I thought my ex-religion was more reasonable than the muslims who got scandalized for the cartoons. Where are the American muslims on this, by the way? He also desecrated a Koran, and some time ago, he did "threaten" to do so with not REMOTELY nearly as much trolls. The catholic nutbags were trolling into the multi-thousand comments in all the related threads, and even some off-topic ones. Crazy people.

I have a newfound view on American Muslims vs. Christians. Muslims don't nearly deserve all the flak they're getting because of their European extremist counterparts.

Some seventy some odd percent of Americans support George Bush and John McCain re offshore drilling. Should Obama change his mind based on this very powerful protest vote?

This was my thought a while back. If Americans are willing to burn oil then why shouldn't it ruin our beaches and fisheries until we stop?

That environmental damage is happening somewhere in the world and when the tar rolls in on the beach in Georgia and the gas prices aren't one bit lower, then we might get a few more people realizing that oil is not the solution to oil.

And why alow it to cost us a single vote, if we drill a bit more in exchange for real global warming legislation it is a fair trade in my mind. Not a trade we should have to make, but I am willing to make some sacrifices for real progress.

And here I thought my ex-religion was more reasonable than the muslims who got scandalized for the cartoons

Catholics are struggling for survival while Muslims are part of a growing form of delusion.

They are worried that no one will carry on all their traditions of funny hat wearing if someone actually proves that crackers and wine don't turn into human flesh after being blessed.

This was my thought a while back. If Americans are willing to burn oil then why shouldn't it ruin our beaches and fisheries until we stop?

Because the Bush administration has set this up. We have oil companies making record profits (which means the rise in costs is a choice), we've had the Bush administration since 2001 saying Americans should live their oil burning lives to the fullest because we have the resources. Because Bush's attitude is we're the biggest polluters. So - who is oil exploration in America really going to benefit? Bush's cronies. Who is it going to immediately screw? The environment and probably the first rung of the have nots (not sure how - I just know they are the canaries in our coal mine.) Who will it eventually screw - all of us.

The environment and probably the first rung of the have nots (not sure how - I just know they are the canaries in our coal mine.) Who will it eventually screw - all of us.

McCain ain't getting 50% without a shit load of have-not votes. Similarly a national lifting of the ban would likely only force state referendums that would also need a lot of have not votes to win.

I agree offshore drilling is bad, my only point is that Americans only burn so much of it because they are still pretty well separated from the effects of doing so.

I thought this was especially cute:

The freedom of religion means that no one has the right to attack, malign or grossly offend a faith tradition they personally do not have membership or ascribe allegiance.

ha, keep dreaming!

norm, please get rid of that pasty white sagging book hanging around in your ad banner.

crackers and wine don't turn into human flesh after being blessed.

they do turn into human flesh after being eaten...does that count? :)

and thanks for the explanation, JoAnn. 30%, wow. pretty scary. so why DON'T you move to france? just curious. i hate to see you in such pain. and what will you do if mccain does win, as you predict? do you stay in america out of patriotism, or what? fwiw, i just can't see that happening. mccain has "loser" practically tatooed on his forhead, and obama makes even jfk look like a piker in the charisma department. there's absolutely no comparison with gore, kerry, edwards... americans, bottom line, love a winner, the issues are less important.

Slinging mud, slinging water.

About Mr. Chalmers, Dr., rather, Chalmers,

If one has ever been a zombie (they do it with drums), one has an entirely different perspective on these things.

His Berk(eley) is worse than his bight. Antipodiatrist diatribalisms, etc. Being an Ur-American Arcadian (NOT Cajun), I resonate with his Pan-psychism, the Thermostats' Thermopylae, but have an even more Spartan (Spare, diffuse) take on the Loopy Lefty Nature of Nature.

Take a triangle, for instantaneousness, Pascal's Penrose, flip it along its axis of evil, err, symmetry, the numbers are the same (3 sides, 3 vertices), something "arising" seemingly out of nothing, virtual particulars on all scales, a stepped pyramid to He(ll)aven. Cheney we can believe in: one is in veep voodoo (All are in shallow gallow). Loopy, strange or...

not. What's this?

An octahedron "of David". The big galant Galoot/Goliard knocked unconsciouss.

"A biologist has no business 'dissing' any religion, rather, they should be busy teaching the scientific discipline they were hired to teach."

By this logic, a biologist should have no business practicing any religion, either, since they have neither the expertise nor the time to do so. And any biology professor who does practice a religion should be reprimanded and censured by their university.

Clearly, a claim that a bread grown from living plants or a wine also grown from living plants and fermented by living yeast can be turned into keratinocytes, erythrocytes, and lymphocytes by waving a hand over them and saying a couple of words is not something a biology professor should weigh in on.

crackers and wine don't turn into human flesh after being blessed.

they do turn into human flesh after being eaten...does that count? :)

I have to imagine this guy put it in his mouth. How far in before the transfomation?

i imagine the magical transformation occurs in the intestines, where the bits that don't make the cut are eventually uh...baptized after passing through the colon. (plop)

i imagine the magical transformation occurs in the intestines, where the bits that don't make the cut are eventually uh...baptized after passing through the colon. (plop)

god really is everywhere

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