Morning Links

Friday, December 2nd, 2011
Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

57 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  x | 

    All the guy wanted to do was get high and look what prohibition made him do to do it.

  2. #2 |  derfel cadarn | 

    Loathsome truly describes this asshole,as anti-freedom as Stalin. Newt is a snake.

  3. #3 |  Joey Maloney | 

    “Newt Gingrich: More loathesome than you can imagine.”

    I think you underestimate my imagination. I know it’s not possible to overestimate his actual loathesomeness.

  4. #4 |  CSD | 

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/01/gingrich-stands-by-anti-child-labor-law-comments/

    “Almost two weeks ago Gingrich called laws preventing child labor “truly stupid” and suggested students take the jobs of many janitors.”

  5. #5 |  MassHole | 

    I am so stoked that Newt is the frontrunner. Watching the GOP go down in flames is good fun. Complete destruction is what they deserve for ignoring Gary Johnson while cheering for Newt, Bachmann and Cain. Pass the popcorn.

  6. #6 |  MH | 

    The first three walls are angled to lift the immigrant up. The next two have sharp edges to cut him down.

  7. #7 |  tarran | 

    In his first autobiography Colonel Hackworth approvingly related some German General’s warning about guys like Gingrich.

    People can be broadly categorized as being smart or stupid, energetic or lazy.

    Smart, lazy people make good generals because they find the easiest way to accomplish their goals.

    Smart, energetic people make good staff officers because they get things done.

    Stupid, lazy people can always do the mindless stuff like running the motor pool.

    But Stupid, energetic people are a disaster because they get really dumb things done.

    Newt definitely falls into the stupid/energetic class

  8. #8 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    RE: Evanston de-criminalization…

    “But Evanston offenders will instead face a city fine between $50 and $500.”

    Naturally. There is always an opportunity left open for revenue generation by the municipality. I welcome ordinances like Evanston’s, but only as a tiny baby step. Similar ordinances are being considered in cities around IL, including a few in the Central IL region where I reside. If the state must make money off of drugs, they could bring in plenty of tax dollars by legalizing and regulating marijuana and other drugs just like alcohol and tobacco products. This isn’t to hard to figure out when you don’t think like a puritan.

  9. #9 |  Mike T | 

    For what it’s worth, most of the very conservative Christians I’ve met actually trust atheists more than liberal and moderate Christians. An atheist is honest about their position about God and Christianity. You can take them at face value. It’s the moderate Christians you can’t trust.

  10. #10 |  Mike T | 

    If you really want to make Newt self-destruct, get someone to get him talking like that about national security and then ask him this question in front of a very big, very conservative audience:

    “Mr. Gingrich, wouldn’t it just be easier to limit immigration from the countries we suspect of being hotbeds of terrorism than to subject the American people, including Americans of the Islamic faith, to increased federal surveillance and police powers? Is it because you are afraid of being seen as discriminatory against foreigners or is because you are more interested in expanding the power of the federal government.”

  11. #11 |  Tom | 

    I am an atheist, and I have to tell you it’s not something I tell people. I’d as soon tell people most anything, but that I”m an atheist. People look down on us. When religious people cry persecution when they are not allowed to put a manger scene up (which I don’t mind) they don’t see how Atheists are persecuted again.

  12. #12 |  CyniCAl | 

    Walls built to keep people out also serve the purpose of keeping people in.

    That is scary.

  13. #13 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    G.K. Chesterton: “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.”

    So I suppose atheists are seen as flaky or uncommitted or random
    in their beliefs.

  14. #14 |  CyniCAl | 

    Try winning political office as a public atheist. Or anarchist. There’s like one example of each in the US.

  15. #15 |  Aresen | 

    As an atheist, I have experienced first hand the Christian belief that it is OK to break a promise to me because, as an unbeliever, I have no soul.

  16. #16 |  freebob | 

    While going to community college there’s been a couple of times that religion has been brought up. Usually, the majority of the class complains about all the things Christians can’t do, (most of which are pure fantasy) how persecuted Christians are, and how intolerant atheists are. And I have to sit there, completely outnumbered, and think ‘it must be tough to be you guys.’

  17. #17 |  Mike T | 

    how persecuted Christians are, and how intolerant atheists are

    Typically when a local religious display or activity that has any intersection with government at all (such as a nativity scene or prayer that happens to be at school) is suppressed, the effort to lead the suppression is lead by an atheist. Moderate atheists tend to have blinders about this. Much of the distrust toward atheists comes specifically from the minority of vocal, militant atheists. The worst thing for moderate atheism in modern times was the “New Atheists” who openly celebrated their unabashed hatred of religion.

  18. #18 |  Mike T | 

    That’s yet another reason why the 14th amendment’s incorporation clause is ultimately toxic. For all of the good it allows in theory, it also allows the federal courts to be used as a vehicle to hijack local self-government in the interests of minorities of minorities. Those who drafted it should have just limited it to the second amendment which was their primary reason for creating it in the first place.

  19. #19 |  Invid | 

    @ #15

    I’m trying to look that passage up. I’m sure Jesus said that on the Mount “it’s okay to lie to and cheat people who don’t believe in God.”

    Still can’t find that passage….

  20. #20 |  Comrade Dread | 

    Fuck everything, we’re going with five walls.

    Maybe we can contract some former East Germans to design it for us, and make sure the machine gun turrets can swivel 360 degrees just in case we need to deter any “terrorists” (read: undefined future political agitators he doesn’t like) from trying to escape the glorious freedom and ‘free market capitalism’ America offers.

  21. #21 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I’m an agnostic; I’m not sure and people who are worry me. From my perspective Atheists who announce themselves publicly tend to be aggressive prosthelytizers who at the same time unctuously insist that they have no religion. If they have no religion, why is it so godsdamned important to them that I share their faith, or lack of it?

    As with most religions, the quiet ones bother nobody and suffer under the reputation attached to the noisy.

  22. #22 |  MH | 

    “When religious people cry persecution when they are not allowed to put a manger scene up (which I don’t mind) they don’t see how Atheists are persecuted again.”

    Are atheists being persecuted? Not being liked, trusted, or respected is not the same as being persecuted.

    “As an atheist, I have experienced first hand the Christian belief that it is OK to break a promise to me because, as an unbeliever, I have no soul.”

    That’s puzzling to me. Shouldn’t the Christian believe that you have a soul but are mistaken in thinking you don’t?

  23. #23 |  Aresen | 

    @ Invid | December 2nd, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t think the Bible says any such thing, but a lot of Christians seem to think that the mere fact that I am an unbeliever puts me outside the pale.

  24. #24 |  omar | 

    The worst thing for moderate atheism in modern times was the “New Atheists” who openly celebrated their unabashed hatred of religion.

    The “new atheists” are concerned with living a reasoned life as much as humanly possible. The movement encourages all of us to use our brains as much as possible, to start at evidence and work towards a conclusion, and to question our own beliefs and activities at every opportunity. That this seems to piss off a lot of believers is not “unabashed hatred of religion.” It’s unabashed rejection of arbitrary thought leading to irrational belief.

  25. #25 |  freebob | 

    #17 It goes deeper than “New Atheists” are assholes, which may very well be true. The things I’ve heard Christians claim they’re unable to do goes beyond nativity scenes on public property. Why do these well meaning Christians think churches are no longer allowed to display nativity scenes anywhere, football teams are no longer allowed to pray (Tebow should be getting suspended any day now), private prayer in public has been banned, the pledge of allegiance has been removed from all schools do to the reference to god. ‘Richard Dawkins is a dick’ is not the answer. The truth is hatred of atheists as been preached from the pulpit going back to at least the cold war. If anything Richard Dawkins being a dick is a blessing to someone looking to rally the flock. Blaming that study on New Atheists is bullshit. Atheists are a small minority with a good number still in the closet, the more atheists willing to ‘come out’, even if they are kind of dickish about it, the more studies like this will change.

  26. #26 |  Oscar | 

    I think Barack Obama is the worst president ever. But Gingrich is so awful that if he gets the Republican nomination, I’ll be rooting for Obama’s re-election.

  27. #27 |  Mike T | 

    That this seems to piss off a lot of believers is not “unabashed hatred of religion.” It’s unabashed rejection of arbitrary thought leading to irrational belief.

    Like one of their main schticks which is that religion is a primary cause of war, which Vox Day firmly demonstrated is not true in The Irrational Atheist and several blog posts that analyzed the history of warfare. In fact, I believe that at one point he showed that if you remove Islam from the big picture, only about 4-5% of all of wars have had religion as a primary factor.

  28. #28 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    I’m an agnostic; I’m not sure and people who are worry me.

    It’s not about being sure, it’s about being honest about your opinion. You are answering a completely different question. Sure, no one can truly *know*, but do *you* believe?

    If someone asks your favorite color, do you explain how it’s impossible to know which color is best, or do you just say “blue”?

  29. #29 |  Mike T | 

    #25,

    1. I never said that much of the persecution talk was more than hyperbole. It is.

    2. Most atheist persecution talk is not only hyperbole, but when atheists are reviled by theists, it’s often a direct result of the behavior of the militant among them who use the courts as a cudgel against reasonable religious behavior (which is almost always exclusively Christian; atheists rarely, if ever harbor animosity toward Judaism or pagans or have the stones to go after Islam).

    3. In terms of actual persecution, atheist statists in the 20th century unleashed oppression on theists that was so extreme that it makes talk about “atheist persecution” by theists in the 20th century downright insulting. Whether or not this is an indictment of atheism in general or a large swath of politically active atheists is immaterial. If you wish to compare on the group level, the fact is that when they got power, atheists were utterly savage and brutal in their use of the state. Even Ivan the Terrible did not come even close to what the Soviets did.

    4. Men like Dawkins are the precise opposite of the sort of atheist who can create a reasonable accommodation between theists and atheists.

  30. #30 |  Mike T | 

    ** Most of the persecution talk between theists and atheists in the US is pure hyperbole. When atheists are locked up and given a Thomas More haircut for advocating their views or theists are liquidated en masse, then we can start talking about substantial persecution. What we currently have is more annoyance than persecution by any historic understanding of the term.

  31. #31 |  Tim in Ohio | 

    Odd. I attend church weekly and tend to trust my atheist friends more so than a lot of my fellow Christians.

  32. #32 |  Elliot | 

    CyniCAl (#14):Try winning political office as a public atheist. Or anarchist. There’s like one example of each in the US.

    Who is the anarchist who has won an election? Isn’t that a total contradiction?

    Also, I’m curious who the atheist is, if you know his or her name.

    As many have pointed out, there are plenty of atheists in Congress. They just lie.

  33. #33 |  celticdragonchick | 

    I think Barack Obama is the worst president ever. But Gingrich is so awful that if he gets the Republican nomination, I’ll be rooting for Obama’s re-election.

    Presidents Carter, Zachary Taylor, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding and James Buchanan want to have a word with you about that “worst president evuh” thang….

  34. #34 |  omar | 

    Like one of their main schticks which is that religion is a primary cause of war, which Vox Day

    Please don’t reference World Net Daily at me when talking about reason. The Olympic levels of instinctual dishonesty at WND is astonishing. Their articles are as credible as a UFO conspiracy page.

    And don’t cherry pick one topic that you think one atheist is wrong about to show how the movement is broken. Especially if you are using WND as your barely cited source.

    The new atheist movement is a result of attempting to introduce reason into our thinking when it comes to all aspects of life. Start at evidence, move to conclusion.

  35. #35 |  freebob | 

    “which is almost always exclusively Christian; atheists rarely, if ever harbor animosity toward Judaism or pagans or have the stones to go after Islam”
    You do realize Christianity is the majority religion in this country, Jews, Pagans, and Muslims have also been known to “use the courts as a cudgel” to protect their rights as a minority.
    The only reason you can even get away with the nonsense you wrote in number 3 is because atheists are a non-vocal minority. Does being a theist mean you’re associated with all the past crimes of the Catholic church or with modern day Islam?
    I agree that: “What we currently have is more annoyance than persecution by any historic understanding of the term.” I want to make clear I never used the word persecuted, but we are discussing a study that shows people, I say irrationally, don’t trust atheists. The way to change this isn’t for the minority to sit down and shut up.

  36. #36 |  freebob | 

    My above post was a response to Mike T #29.

  37. #37 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Gingrich proposes “double-fence” along Mexican border? I guess some fence company is a Gingrich supporter.

    But seriously, too many people keep quoting the cost of a fence. Folks, the shitheads in D.C. don’t care about cost. Trillions for war and bailouts have shown them the way.

  38. #38 |  2nd of 3 | 

    “atheists rarely, if ever harbor animosity toward Judaism or pagans or have the stones to go after Islam).”

    All three are essentially the same religion to me, why why would you assume my animosity level is different for any particular branch of it?

    Okay, I will grudgingly admit Islam gets a couple points since the shahada does start off “There is no god…” Kudos Islam! Granted it’s all downhill from there, but I stop listening after the 4th word anyway.

  39. #39 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Mike T.,

    Most atheist persecution talk is not only hyperbole, but…

    Look, I don’t want to start any trouble. Lemme just leave this here and maybe it proves that you’re using “hyperbole” incorrectly:
    http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Laws_and_other_rules_against_atheists_and_agnostics

    That’s just the state-sponsored “persecution” (granting that we haven’t defined this term), but I hope you can admit that it is substantive evidence against your position. That would be the logical thing to do.

    the fact is that when they got power, atheists were utterly savage and brutal in their use of the state. Even Ivan the Terrible did not come even close to what the Soviets did.

    Holy Smokes! Did you just pose as fact that atheists are savage/brutal statists because “Stalin Lenin Communist Russia”? Is this is serious argument from you?

    Moving on: I used to run into Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her family a lot. Not pleasant to be around as a person, but you need to understand the world was extremely different for atheists than it is today. Is she one of those who “used the courts as a cudgel”? Good. Murray v. Curlett was too damn important to forget.

  40. #40 |  Steamed McQueen | 

    Experiences with so-called ‘Christians’- many of whom preach tolerance and forgiveness as the very cornerstone of their faith- have shown them to be some of the most intolerant, unforgiving people on earth.

    Lord, protect me from your followers.

  41. #41 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    the fact is that when they got power, atheists were utterly savage and brutal in their use of the state.

    All Christians rape kids. Right?

    I might have been too subtle in #39 post.

  42. #42 |  Bergman | 

    I would trust an atheist who does what he or she believes to be right because it is right far more than I would trust a devout Christian (or Muslim, or Hindu, etc) who does what is right only because they are terrified of going to hell.

    I would trust someone who makes a reasoned, sincere, honest effort to objectively determine right from wrong far more than I would trust someone whose determination of right from wrong amounts to “because someone else said so” or “God says I’m not allowed to apply critical thinking to it.”

    I would describe myself as religious, though I don’t fit into any known denomination I’d even describe myself as Christian. Can a book, religion or other object contain wisdom or good knowledge? Of course. But ultimately, you’re reading the interpretation of the divine filtered through someone else’s imperfect understanding of it. They won’t go to hell in your place if they’re wrong, nor will you get a free pass for doing evil because someone told you to. Everyone is ultimately responsible for their own behavior, whether they are an atheist or not.

  43. #43 |  Phelps | 

    I have huge methodological problems with the “less trusted than rapists” “study”. The question was, “someone hits your car and doesn’t leave a note, do you think that person is more likely an atheist or a rapist?” What kind of study is that?

    The other part was that atheists are less trusted than blacks, women and gays. Why are we up in arms over, “someone who chooses to disagree with me is less trustworthy than a random chance of birth in another person?”

  44. #44 |  CyniCAl | 

    @Elliot:

    Cara Jennings, anarchist, city commissioner, Lake Worth, FL

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/profile-cara-jennings-the-radical-cheerleader-of-lake-720983.html

    It is possible, but unconfirmed, that Arcata, CA (near Humboldt) also has elected anarchist(s) to the city council. I invite you to do the research.

    Of course, it is somewhat specious to claim to be an anarchist while holding the power of public office, so take it all with a grain of salt. It also depends on how one defines an anarchist. The mainstream definition is synonymous with “bombthrower.” My definition is “anyone who believes that there is no right to treat another human like property and acts on that belief.” Insert your own definition here.

    As for atheists, Rep. Pete Stark(D)-CA is the highest elected atheist official I could find, the first openly atheist member of Congress. Isn’t that just the damnedest thing? That there were openly gay members of Congress before there was an openly atheistic member of Congress?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Stark

    In America, it’s braver to come out of the atheist closet than it is to come out of the gay closet. That’s perspective.

  45. #45 |  Elliot | 

    @Bergman #42 I agree with your first two paragraphs.

    I had a brief exchange with Penn Jillette on Twitter over this. He stated that only atheists can be completely moral, on the grounds that theists are motivated by fear or reward. I argued that was too general, but given the limits of Twitter, it’s not easy to make a nuanced argument. We got as far as him responding, “Bullshit!” Maybe he was plugging his Showtime series.

    But I essentially agree with him. A person is truly moral only when they respect the rights of others for rational reasons, not out of fear. I still think that a theist can do good things for rational reasons, in spite of what fundamentalist leaders might want them to do instead.

    The argument that all atheists are evil because some atheists, like Stalin, did terrible things is as absurd as blaming all Christians for Hitler, The Spanish Inquisition, mass slaughters in the crusades, slaughters of natives during colonialism, organized protection of child rape, etc.. Stalin opposed the Russian Orthodox church as a threat to the mental control of his subjects. If it had served his purposes, he would have made the official state religion Scientology or Rastafarianism.

  46. #46 |  mad libertarian guy | 

    Real Christians vote Democrat!!!

  47. #47 |  primus | 

    Apathetic Agnostic; Don’t know, Don’t care.

  48. #48 |  primus | 

    I wonder whether the atheists trust religitards more or less than rapists, and whether rapists trust atheists or religitards more? What they studied was but a third of the equation. Wonder why they limited themselves in that way? So many questions, so few answers (sort of like religion). Enquiring minds want to know.

  49. #49 |  Aresen | 

    Stalin opposed the Russian Orthodox church as a threat to the mental control of his subjects. If it had served his purposes, he would have made the official state religion Scientology or Rastafarianism.

    The Union of Soviet Rastafarian Republics*” does have a quirky appeal.

    *”CCPP” (Cyrillic acronym) or “USRR” by the English acronym.

  50. #50 |  Zeph | 

    What was it Jesus said? When you pray, don’t do it in public, but in private. Public prayer is all about being seen, not about an act of worship. Fascinating that alleged Christians would be demanding to pray in public, really.

  51. #51 |  newshutz | 

    I have every confidence in the sagacity of the Republicans that the comparison of their eventual nominee with Obama will lead me once again to vote Libertarian.

    The economy might have been better under president McCain, but I am sure everything else would have been worse. Gingrich is McCain with a more pleasant demeanor, less leadership ability, and a few more IQ points.

    (The IQ points make him more interesting to listen to, but maybe more frightening in power.)

  52. #52 |  Elliot | 

    @CyniCAl #44, I think your definition works just fine.

    Protestors who want to shut down global trade conferences are generally wanting more government, but they are commonly referred to as anarchists.

  53. #53 |  Elliot | 

    newshutz (#51): The economy might have been better under president McCain, but I am sure everything else would have been worse.

    So McCain would increase troop levels in Afghanistan, keep troops in Iraq for years, go to war in Libya, keep Guantanamo open, continue federal persecution of medical marijuana, reduce transparency? He’d have Americans lining up to stand in nude scanners or be punished with molestation-type “patdowns”?

    Of course, you have ObamaPelosiCare, which wouldn’t have come from McCain. Along with that came all the extra payoffs. ObamaPelosiCare prohibits any physician-owned hospitals from being built, or even being expanded, as a payoff to the American Hospital Association for backing the bill. Then there was the payoff to unions, the consequence of which is that we pay taxes now that union members don’t.

    Speaking of unions, GM investors had a large portion of their ownership stolen and given to unions in the “restructuring”. Obama had the NLRB prevent Boeing from opening the SC plant (without giving in to the extortion recently).

    Then there’s Solyndra, XL pipeline, gulf drilling.

    McCain would have been a rotten president and he’s worse than the vast majority of Republicans on economics, foreign policy, and individual rights. But short of going to war with Iran, I can’t imagine the lives of the average Americans being any worse under any other candidate, either McCain or even Hillary Clinton.

    If you vote Libertarian, you still agree to abide by the outcome of the election, whether it’s Obama or the Republican.

    Me? I’ll skip the election, once again. They don’t get to claim that they have my agreement on any of this.

  54. #54 |  JOR | 

    “The “new atheists” are concerned with living a reasoned life as much as humanly possible.”

    They’re mostly ignorant idiots, which is my real problem with them. I couldn’t care less about their tone or how “militant” or “radical” they are, personally, and people who go on about those qualities (such as they are) as an excuse for assholes mistreating atheists in everyday life are missing the point (missing several I’d say). Then again I feel the same way about “moderate” atheists, conservative theists, liberal theists, moderate theists . . .

    Well, almost all ideologies are stupid or at least false, but it’s also the case that most critiques of most ideologies come from one of those other ideologies that is stupid, or at least false, and so most things people say about Teh Evulz of Christianity/Islam/Conservatism/Liberalism/atheism/socialism/whatever are going to be stupid, or at least simply false.

  55. #55 |  Elliot | 

    JOR (#54):They’re mostly ignorant idiots, which is my real problem with them.

    As opposed to the people who believe the Earth is 4,000 years old and the creator everything from billions of galaxies down to the subtleties of quantum physics cares about your sex life?

    Well, almost all ideologies are stupid or at least false…

    Calling atheism an ideology is stupid and false.

    It’s the absence of any theistic ideology. It’s saying, “I don’t know,” when that is the only rational answer.

    I won’t vouch for the politics of people like Hitchens and Dawkins, but on matters of faith and science, they are clearly quite brilliant. For fun, go to YouTube and find samples of them tearing apart believers in debate forums.

  56. #56 |  Mike T | 

    That’s just the state-sponsored “persecution” (granting that we haven’t defined this term), but I hope you can admit that it is substantive evidence against your position. That would be the logical thing to do.

    It’s not. We were talking specifically about persecution in the US and the worst that you could bring up was some old state constitutional amendments that no atheist under the age of 60 can claim to have suffered from. As I said, most talk about religious or anti-religious persecution in the US is hyperbole. Most of it would go away tomorrow if the 14th amendment were repealed or replaced with a sane amendment that didn’t give the federal courts de facto veto over every single act of a state or local government based on how the judge wants to read the incorporation clause.

  57. #57 |  Mike T | 

    **Furthermore, the worst that all but one of those amendments did was prohibit atheists from holding office or giving testimony in court.

Leave a Reply