SF/F Saturday: The Top 100 Women Authors

My familiarity with the classics of sci-fi and fantasy is patchy, and I've been trying to make it more systematic. As part of that goal, I want to diversify my reading selections, and pay adequate attention to the excellent women and minority authors who are too often overlooked in favor of the white male authors who've historically dominated the field.So, I was very pleased to see this top-100 list of SF/F novels by female authors from BookRiot. I was curious to see where I stacked up in … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Exeunt Omnes

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter XAfter three years and 160(!) posts, we've finally come to the very last scene of Atlas Shrugged. In our previous installment, Ayn Rand lowered the curtain on Eddie Willers, inexplicably abandoned by his closest friends to die in the desert. In this closing scene, she takes us to Galt's Gulch to show what the capitalists are doing instead.It's a quick scene, with just a few lines devoted to each of the protagonists. But in those few lines, like a … [Read more...]

The Clock of the Long Now

I recently became aware of the Long Now Foundation, a futurist group whose mission is to plant the seeds of long-term thinking in society. It's a cause I have a lot of sympathy for, so it's worth publicizing what they do.The foundation is headquartered at The Interval, a cafe and public forum in San Francisco's Fort Mason. On display there is their library, a scale model of their 10,000-year clock (more on that in a moment), and all kinds of other curiosities. A screen above the bar shows a … [Read more...]

There Won’t Be Any New Earth

One of the Bible's repeated assertions is that, after the apocalypse and the destruction of the world, God will create a new, perfect earth where believers will live in harmony forever:"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away... And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Passion of Eddie Willers, Part II

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter XAnd now, the crowning infamy.The last time we saw poor, tragic Eddie Willers, he'd set out on a suicide mission to restore Taggart service in California - technically against Dagny's wishes, but she didn't make more than a feeble effort to dissuade him. Now, at the very end of the novel, we find out what happened to him:The locomotive of the eastbound Comet broke down in the middle of a desert in Arizona....When Eddie Willers called for the … [Read more...]

Repost: The Republican Stupid-Party Spiral Dilemma

[Author's Note: I wrote this in late 2012. In light of recent developments, I thought it was worth reposting. The success of Donald Trump seems to show that classic Christian conservatism isn't as necessary an ingredient to the Republican coalition as I once thought - but in just about every other respect, these trends have only accelerated.]In an interview in November 2012, Republican senator Marco Rubio, who was clearly laying the groundwork for his 2016 presidential run, announced that he … [Read more...]

Some Right-Wing Christians Enthusiastically Promoting a Form of Genocide

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.In 2014, Charisma magazine, a major media outlet for evangelical and Pentecostal Christians, published an open call to genocide. The article in question, titled "Why I Am Absolutely Islamaphobic" [sic] and written by Gary Cass, begins with the premise that "every true follower of Mohammed" wants to "subjugate and murder" non-Muslims, and therefore it's impossible for Christians to live together peacefully with them.Cass proposes three … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Galtocaust

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter X(Thanks to Sajanas for the title suggestion!)With John Galt on board safe and sound, the capitalists' plane heads for the Gulch and freedom, leaving the looters' world behind. The countryside below them is "an empty black sheet", reduced to darkness by the collapse of society:But when the place that had once been the source of the tide — New York City — rose in the distance before them, it was still extending its lights to the sky, still defying th … [Read more...]

New on the Guardian: Civil Rights and Corporate Power

The American corporate sector is becoming more liberal-friendly territory than ever, and it has the potential to split the conservative coalition that's prevailed in our politics for decades. That's the topic of my new piece on the Guardian, Businesses are powerful allies on LGBT rights. The left should embrace them.This column expands on my recent post "Beating the Religious Right with Corporate Power", and presents new evidence that businesses may even be progressive allies on some … [Read more...]

Why Do Anti-Choice Christians Believe Abortion Is Bad?

The Colorado courts have unsealed some documents in the case of Robert Lewis Dear, the Christian terrorist who attacked a Planned Parenthood in Colorado and murdered three people. (Since it seems clear that Dear isn't denying his guilt, I think we can dispense with words like "alleged".)The new documents confirm that Dear's motivations were explicitly religious. Among other details, we're told that he repeatedly quoted the Bible, "called President Barack Obama the antichrist" and "thought … [Read more...]


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