‘The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers’

Beware of anyone who wants to eliminate all arbiters of law, legitimacy, and truth. Beware of anyone who dismisses law, or fact-checking, or academics, or science, or data. If they see those arbiters as a threat, then they likely see truth and reality as an obstacle. They’re probably trying to lead you somewhere unreal. [Read more…]

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You have to keep an eye on the thing you’re refusing to look at

A T-shirt reading “Sandusky is innocent” is not a claim that those wearing it have access to some body of evidence unknown to the courts and the public and Sandusky’s own attorneys. The claim has nothing to do with evidence or with logic. It’s based on desire. This is what they want to be true, and so this is what they choose to believe “truth” means. [Read more…]

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What ‘SJW’ really means

This “SJW” business doesn’t involve an argument contrasting opposing views of the nature and meaning of social justice. It doesn’t involve some ideological dispute between competing visions of the proper role of the state, or of law, or markets, civil society, neighborliness, etc. It’s a wholesale rejection of the idea that social justice — in any form — is worthwhile. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (9.8)

Josh Marshall and Sarah Kendzior say what needs to be said as Donald Trump’s hate speech normalizes racism and nativism. Bill Lindsey on the implications of what happens to most zygotes. And Ijeoma Oluo with wise advice that every one of us will sometimes need. [Read more…]

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Looking forward to happier times

The popular right-Reformed, anti-feminist Christian-gatekeeping website The Gospel Coalition ran a painfully earnest piece by a Very Nice White Lady struggling to come to grips with the spiritual challenge of “When God Sends Your White Daughter a Black Husband.” It did not go well. Also: Donald Trump under oath; the Clinton Rules; a Texas execution; and the Storehouse Theory of weather. [Read more…]

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Chapter and verse

But when I read a story like this, I want to know more. When a member of Congress is leaning on “a passage from the Bible denouncing homosexuality” as the primary basis for his legislative decisions, thereby disgusting his GOP colleagues with his ignorant rejection of the First Amendment, I also want to know which passage from the Bible, specifically, this guy is quoting. [Read more…]

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Where did the word-of-the-moment come from? To the Bat Cave!

This is a word you’re not supposed to say on live TV or in front of the children, but it’s spiking in use these days for the same reason that any word does: because of its precision and necessity. We are seeing something in our politics, exemplified in the juvenile free-for-all of this week’s Republican presidential primary debate, and we need to identify it. This appropriately crude word lets us do that. [Read more…]

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There were voices down the corridor

Ah yes, the “Hotel California” urban legend, widely embraced by white evangelicals eager to believe that the Eagles’ hit song was a detailed allegory about the Church of Satan. This applied the interpretive approach evangelicals had taught themselves for reading Genesis, Revelation, and the Sermon on the Mount — read the metaphors literally and the literal statements as metaphors. Thus a song about selling one’s soul to the music industry turns into a song about musicians actually selling their souls. [Read more…]

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