It’s all geek to me

A Geek I am not. At least, I’m not supposed to be a Geek. But last night I took Newsweek’s How Geeky Are You? test (via Dr. Helen Smith), and I find the results deeply disturbing. According to the test, here’s how I scored: 61 to 102: Seriously Nerdy And here’s how the rest of […]

Fascist-free speech is fascist free speech?

While I’m on the subject of books, Jeff from Beautiful Atrocities reminded me in the comments of something that he, Sean Kinsell and I had posted about before — that San Francisco’s City Lights doesn’t sell books by fascists. Hmmmm…. I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this, but I […]

Free speech is one thing in books, but another in our bookstore!

In what the magazine says is a historical first, major bookstore chains are refusing to sell a particular issue of Free Inquiry magazine — not because it is violent, pornographic or advocates illegal conduct, but simply because they do not like its editorial content. (The magazine dared to reprint the Danish Muhammad cartoons — only […]

Felons or citizens? (Good cop, bad cop?)

I’m beginning to understand why the MSM is disinclined to show things like Mexican flags on flagpoles or signs claiming that the Southwest belongs to Mexico. In a previous post I questioned the advisability of creating millions of new felons. Earlier today I googled the phrase “12 million new felons,” and found only one article […]

Reconquista Si, Texas no!

A typical argument often advanced in favor of the so-called “Reconquista” plan is that the annexation of the southwestern United States was unjust: The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) was fought primarily to enable the United States to expand at the expense of Mexico. Texas became the focal point of hostilities between an expansionist United States and […]

Demonstrations against freedom?

The tension between democracy and freedom is an unsettling topic, especially when the issue is economic freedom. For over a week now, there have been huge, often violent demonstrations in France by people who believe so fervently in the “right” to employment that they cannot countenance a right of an employer to fire them. Harvard […]

The end of wisdom

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! — Proverbs 6:6 Well that’s all fine and good. In the face of a recent invasion of ants in my kitchen, I’ve been considering them a lot. And I’m trying to be wise (at least, wise to the ways of the ants). I’ve […]

Y’all better take this test, hear?

As I try to make clear, I am a staunch opponent of culture wars as well as all forms of identity politics. So naturally, as soon I learned about the so-called Rebel-Yankee Test via a friend’s email, I considered it my patriotic duty to take it. The results did not please me: 36% Dixie. You […]

fringe growth

Islamic clerics in Afghanistan are none too happy about the release (thanks to international pressure, including President Bush) of that poor guy who faced the death penalty for being a Christian. They’re doing what they do best — stirring up the mob and demanding his death (and the death of all Christians): On Monday, hundreds […]

My reluctant moderation in pursuit of extremism

A brief word on “transhumanism.” Earlier Justin reminded me that this subject is hotly debated, and as it really isn’t “my” issue, I’ll leave the details to him. I’ve already expressed skepticism about things like life extension, because (as I tried to explain in my mega post about Andrew Keen) I was left embittered by […]

Whose life is it anyway?

Via Roger L. Simon, good news for those suffering from insomnia — they get to suffer more! That’s right, the more sleep you lose, the longer you live: the refrain that Americans are sleep deprived originates largely from people funded by the drug industry or with financial interests in sleep research clinics. “They think that […]

The fun of deconstructing foreign resources

In computers as well as life, some of the most minor and nitpicky annoyances can be a real hassle to fix. And if, like me, you sometimes have an irresistible tendency to get to the bottom of a problem, you can end up spending way too much time on something utterly inconsequential. So it was […]

Wars on too many fronts?

“Had enough?” That, claims Newt Gingrich in Time, is the slogan Democrats should be using to run against Republican incumbents this Fall: if the elections were held today, top strategists of both parties say privately, the Republicans would probably lose the 15 seats they need to keep control of the House of Representatives and could […]

Terrorism “can be politically unyielding” at times

On the front page of today’s Philadelphia Inquirer is a touching story along the lines of “local boy makes good in his struggle against oppression”: Dweik, who wears his moustache short and sports a white beard, is highly educated. He earned a bachelor’s degree in geography in Jordan and a master’s in education from Bethlehem […]

Polyandrous political paradigm?

In a comment the other day, Justin complained that I was “too nice” to an anonymous anti-gay commenter who thought homosexuals should be imprisoned. Being nice is one of my shortcomings, and it may eventually be my undoing. As a matter of fact, it may have already been my undoing (as I failed big time […]

Warning: Seduction in Progress

THE ANCIENTS were good at resisting seduction. Odysseus fought the seductive song of the Sirens by having his men tie him to the mast of his ship as it sailed past the Siren’s Isle. Socrates was so intent on protecting citizens from the seductive opinions of artists and writers, that he outlawed them from his […]

Iraq war coverage undermined by Craig’s List?

Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the (British) Guardian is unhappy with blogs, and he’s especially unhappy with Craig’s List (longer entry here). He sees them as part of a vast “pincer movement” seeking to destroy print journalism: Alan Rusbridger spoke to the Royal Society of Arts in London yesterday on the subject “Newspapers in the age […]

Andrew Keen: A Second Impression

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Andrew Keen: A First Impression

He has managed to merge the social relevance of Leon Kass with the trenchant historical insight of Jeremy Rifkin.

Kids, don’t do this at school!

Peter Schweizer cites a new white paper on public diplomacy by Michael Waller (Walter and Leonore Annenberg chair in International Communication at The Institute of World Politics) which concludes that ridicule can be a potent weapon against terrorism: “Ridicule raises morale at home. Ridicule strips the enemy/adversary of his mystique and prestige. Ridicule erodes the […]