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Phil Turmel
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I remember being shocked last year when the revelations of child abuse by Marion Zimmer Bradley became public.  MZB's fiction is very popular and was on my "need to read someday" list.  Given the child abuse, that won't be happening (at least not while she's alive to benefit from the royalties).
Anyways, a more complete and controversial report from her daughter was published this week.  Helps to understand our society's problems, IMO.  Definitely won't be welcomed by the Political Correctness brigades.
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Wind turbines versus Fracking .... which does more damage to the environment?
Josh writes: Last Sunday Christopher Booker wrote a brilliant article "Why are greens so keen to destroy the world's wildlife?" He says: When Professor David MacKay stepped down as chief scientific...
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From what I read there are in fact thousands of leaking wells. Recently read addit much illegal dumping in open puts. No much coverage there too. Media coverage is extremely unreliable metric at best.
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The subject of this CNN profile is the son of a friend...  please think about safety in the pool this summer.
Summer is a time for fun- but one wrong move and it can change your life. Holly Firfer talks about diving safety.
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safety first always!
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Modern Tribes and Tribalism.  Everyone does it.  Not everyone realizes it, or cares.  What about you?
I told George R. R. Martin I'd be writing this post -- as a result of some of the polite dialogue we had at his LiveJournal page. His basic question to me was, "How can you, as a guy in an interrac...
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Secular humanism asserts that ethics and mores can be known/discovered without reference to any Supreme Being.  The modern fad of multiculturalism derives from this school of thought, on the idea that any one group of humans might be mistaken about "what is right and good", and therefore have no right to judge other groups.

Back in 1975, Harvard professor Roberto Unger undertook to present a coherent secular means to judge ethical behavior, compiling the 336-page "Knowledge and Politics".  The work gained fame not on its own merits (though not without merit) but by the fabulous book review from Yale professor Arthur Leff, written in the persona of Satan himself.  It begins:

TO: Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Professor of Law, etc.
FROM: The Devil, etc.
RE: Your Knowledge and Politics
     Yes, yes, I know your book ends "Speak, God," and that I, therefore, am the very antithesis of Him whose reply you so sincerely sought.  But after all, a good part of the book is written, if not to me, at least against me.  And Knowledge and Politics, despite the meagerness of mortal or divine response thus far, is a very important book, certainly meriting a little diabolical commentary.  So hear me, pending Him.
     It was, indeed, the fact that you ended your work with prayer that first attracted my attention.  I am something of a connoisseur of these attempts by scholarly humans to find and describe some meaning in their personal and species existence, and when nonironic divine address comes out of Langdell Hall these days, attention must be paid.   . . . .

Professor Leff remains in character through the whole thing, addressing point after point, culminating in the circular argument that puts the entire logical edifice in question.  The circular argument that prompted Unger to end the work with a plea for divine intervention.  Professor Leff summarizes the problem (the core problem of secular humanism itself, IMHO):

. . . . as you wanted simultaneously to make something in the world -- mankind -- into the good and still reserve the right to judge its goodness, you were doomed.  You were trapped in what, to save time, I might call a Gödel problem: how to validate the premises of a system from within itself.  "Good," "right" and words like that are evaluations.  For evaluations you need an evaluator.  Either whatever the evaluator says is good is good, or you must find some superior place to stand to evaluate the evaluator.  But there is no such place in the world to stand.  . . . . unless some arbitrary standards are slipped into the game, all men, at this, are equal.

As you might expect, if people are to be their own judges, one must give credit to apologists for mass murderers like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.  Indeed, pick any villain you like, or consider any hero a villain.  Professor Leff finally points out that there really is only two possibilities:  there is no God, so mankind must judge itself; or God does exist, and has the right and power to judge us.

Professor Leff's work doesn't just entertain us with the spot-on personification of Satan, but illuminates the here-on-earth peril of abandoning God-given morality.  I encourage you to read the whole thing.
Yes, yes, I know your book ends "Speak, God," and that I, therefore,am the very antithesis of Him whose reply you so sincerely sought. Butafter all, a good part of the book is written, if not to me, at least against me.And Knowledge and Politics, despite the meagreness of mortal or divineresponse thus far, is a very important book, certainly meriting a littlediabolical commentary. So hear me, pending Him.
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I'm infuriated when sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome try to tell me "Bush lied about WMD in Iraq", but I clearly remember the news reports when various chemical weapons caches were uncovered after the invasion.  It seems that was just a small part of the WMDs recovered.

Of course, Bush (and the rest of us, including democrats) thought Saddam had a nuclear program as well.  Fortunately not.  But chemical weapons have always been considered WMDs, and our troops went into battle in chemical suits at the beginning because the threat was so serious.
The purchase plan, which began in 2005 and involved a secretive seller, yielded at least 400 warheads, some containing the nerve agent sarin, officials said.
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Some months ago, I watched a PBS special on the threat of a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest.  So this report's headline wasn't really a surprise.  What I didn't catch from TV was how recently this risk has been deciphered, and the corresponding lack of preparedness.  Anyone living near the San Andreas has been immersed in earthquake warnings for all their lives.  Not so in Oregon and Washington.
The next full-margin rupture of the Cascadia subduction zone will spell the worst natural disaster in the history of the continent. Credit Illustration by Christoph Niemann; Map by Ziggymaj / Getty
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Ok, it's from Mother Jones, but I entirely agree :-)
Our new registration system makes commenting easier and more enjoyable. Now, just register once and you're done -- you won't have to enter an email address every time you comment. And, you can give a "thumbs up" to comments that are most interesting to you. If you haven't yet, register now -- it ...
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"But once you hate in the right way, you are magically absolved of being a hater, and can go around hating on everyone you want."
Wait, wait, I think I get it now. If I am insufficiently hateful of a hater who hates, I am therefore a secret hater? And in order to absolve myself of being a secret hater, I have to loudly and pu...
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A bit of endearing history of my home state (Maine):
I'd like to introduce you to someone. This is my great-grandmother, Clara Gasperov Mayerovich (Myers), as the Statue of Wisdom, freshly re-gilded in 2014, atop the Capitol Dome of the State of Maine, in Augusta. (You can tell there has to be a good story behind this, right?) ...
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My daughter noticed this dialect quiz and prompted me to take it.  In spite of twenty-six years in the American SouthEast (and the un-self-conscious use of "y'all"), my dialect still reflects my upbringing in Maine.
From the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/20/sunday-review/dialect-quiz-map.html

I also took the British one on Buzzfeed and got "Spectacularly SouthEast", fwiw.
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The Blogfather nails it with this closing comment: "The fact is, some people just need killin’. Nazis and Islamists are in that class, and deserve to be treated accordingly. When you kill enough, the rest skulk off and pretend they never believed the stuff they were shouting, and doing, when they could get away with it."
Historically, when its enemies have attempted to make peace, Islam has responded with more violence, enslavement, and conquest.  When its enemies band to together and fight, Islam has been defeated and pushed back and its slaves freed.
Auschwitz just shows us the final stage. It doesn't show us the sympathy for the Nazis, the willingness of some on the left to see them as allies in overturning the existing system and the anger at the selfishness of the Jews in putting their own desire not to be killed ahead of world peace.
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The Humble Indie Bundle V (pay what you want and help charity)
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RESOLUTION TO STOP THE THEFT OF FUNDS FROM GEORGIA 400 MOTORISTS Revised April 19, 2012 Whereas, the construction of Georgia 400 (GA 400) ..

Is Gay Parenting Bad for the Kids?
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This is the Official Google+ page for Marvel's The Avengers. In cinemas Summer 2012