March 21, 2006

There’s never any shortage of people ready to claim that the latest disaster or problem is God’s punishment on us for this or that. Here’s the latest, brought to my attention by Jason Kuznicki. An outbreak of deadly bird flu in Israel is God’s punishment for calls in election ads to legalize gay marriages, according to Rabbi David Basri, a prominent sage preaching Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism. “The Bible says that God punishes depravity first through plagues against animals and… Read more

March 21, 2006

You gotta hand it to this cretin – when he loses it, he loses it big. Matt Young puts up a perfectly reasonable post at the Panda’s Thumb about a teacher in Colorado who was suspended for showing a 12 minute sock puppet animation of the opera Faust and the absolutely ridiculous response that followed (parents in the community accusing her of being a lesbian and a Satanist – over an animated opera, for crying out loud?). And DaveScot responds… Read more

March 21, 2006

Kent Hovind performed (and I use that term intentionally) his seminar in Dover, Pennsylvania over the last few days. The York Daily Record has a report on the event. Included is this quote which demonstrates quite well why oral debates with Hovind are not only a waste of time, they’re detrimental: According to several in the crowd of more than 600, Hovind’s charisma and humor got his message across: “The universe was created by God.” “Everybody’s fighting over it,” Frysinger,… Read more

March 21, 2006

In a post below, I referred to Philip Hamburger’s arguments concerning Hugo Black and separation of church and state as a weak argument that really amounts to an attempt to poison the well by focusing so closely on Black’s early KKK ties rather than on the actual arguments put forth not only by Black but by lots of other scholars and judges as well. My friend Jim Babka has challenged my position, arguing that Hamburger’s argument is more sophisticated than… Read more

March 20, 2006

Alain’s Newsletter is, much like the Worldnutdaily, home to a variety of religious right loonies. But this essay by someone named Jean Valjean Vandruff may take the cake. It’s a virtual cesspool of ignorance capped off by one giant whopper of a lie: Is homosexuality an inborn behavior? A few years ago, Dr. Simon LeVay, a homosexual, made a discovery – that a brain cell cluster (neuron group INAH3) is smaller in homosexuals than in heterosexuals. He stated, “This small… Read more

March 20, 2006

YouTube has the entire episode of South Park about scientology available to watch online. It’s quite funny, with the humor existing on several levels. Read more

March 20, 2006

I’ve never been an anti-UN guy. I’ve always had a realistic view of the UN as an organization that can be effective at things like small scale peacekeeping operations, refugee aid and moderating minor conflicts between nations. When it comes to major conflicts between the world’s powers, the UN is terribly ineffective because it was designed to be – the world’s great powers all have permanent veto power over the security council, so they can prevent any action they choose…. Read more

March 20, 2006

No, not the food but the legal scholar. Philip Hamburger teaches law at the University of Chicago and is a respected scholar, but his position on the first amendment religion clauses are quite troublesome. Jon Rowe reviews his latest book, Separation of Church and State, over at Positive Liberty. I think he’s right that Hamburger focuses excessively on the actual phrase “separation of church and state” rather than on the idea behind it. He even claims that Madison did not… Read more

March 19, 2006

You know, for all of Jerry Falwell’s complaining about the “liberal media”, he’s getting an astonishing amount of credulous and fawning coverage over the completely meaningless fact of the Liberty debate team being ranked #1 in the nation according to a point(less) system. The latest is a long article in the New York Times Magazine, of all places. Mark Twain famously said that there are three kinds of lies – lies, damned lies, and statistics. This is a perfect example…. Read more

March 18, 2006

I picked 23 out of 32 first round games correctly. Not terrible, I suppose, but I lost a couple of teams I had going pretty deep. In fact, I’ve lost 3 of my final 8 teams (Iowa, Kansas and MIchigan State), but thankfully none of my final four. So it’s a mixed bag for me. And of course, I’ve lost one of my two favorite teams in Michigan State, which has had an incredibly disappointing year. They started the year… Read more

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