The Jury Talks Back

11/24/2008

Can Atheists Be Good Citizens?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fritz @ 11:50 am

Richard John Neuhaus writes

The question is asked whether atheists can be good citizens. I do not want to keep you in suspense. I would very much like to answer the question in the affirmative. It seems the decent and tolerant thing to do. But before we can answer the question posed, we should first determine what is meant by atheism. And, second, we must inquire more closely into what is required of a good citizen.

Before commenting, please read the rest of the article at First Things.

Kinda sad, really…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 11:07 am

Alan Colmes will be leaving Hannity & Colmes at the end of the year.

I’m actually very sorry to hear this, because, ironically, I find Mr. Colmes to be one of the best people on FoxNews these days.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I think he is a man who came to his stance on issues due to thoughtful consideration.  Lord knows I don’t agree with much of what he says, but he seems like a decent guy, and someone of an opposing viewpoint with whom you could talk in a reasoned manner, and not have it devolve into name-calling and accusations of racism.

“I approached Bill Shine (FNC’s Senior Vice President of Programming) earlier this year about wanting to move on after 12 years to develop new and challenging ways to contribute to the growth of the network. Although it’s bittersweet to leave one of the longest marriages on cable news, I’m proud that both Sean (Hannity) and I remained unharmed after sitting side by side, night after night for so many years.”

He’ll keep his radio show on FoxTalk, and he’ll stick around as a liberal commentator (though frankly even though he’s on the Left, he is at worst a small “l” liberal, and not some wacko like Pelosi or Reid), but no longer will he be sitting beside Sean Hannity.

I hope he ends up with his own show on Fox.   I think he still has a lot to offer the network.

WFB on Tolerance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fritz @ 9:36 am

It is an old saw that professional tolerance-teachers, almost all of them, harbor foxes in their bosoms that eat anyone who disagrees. Show me the most adamantly liberal professor at any university, and I will show you the likeliest candidate for dean of illiberal arts and letters. The critics of Lyndon Johnson who specialize in Johnson’s inhumanity are beginning to display towards him what can only be described as attitudes such as are prerequisite to barbarism …. I do not like Mr. Johnson, but I do not believe him capable of any intentional cruelty in Vietnam. But the spirit of some of his critics is the spirit of the VC.
On the Right, April 2, 1968

h/t: KJL

In my own teaching I go to almost absurd lengths to assure my students that the information I present to them is as unbiased as I can possibily make it.  That’s not to say that I won’t that I won’t interject a “Well, I disagree, but some very smart people argue…” on occasion, but I take pains to set aside my editorial comments from the facts, theories, and arguments I present.

Well, color me shocked…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 8:58 am

So it appears that CitiGroup is next in line to benefit from planned incompetence, as they are about to receive a generous, expansive care package from Congress – to the tune of $306 Billion.

Excuse me a moment as I ask a whiny, vulgar question of Congress:

Are you dipshits fucking HIGH?????

Seriously, double-yew tee eff, mate?  Considering that CitiGroup is in this pickle because of a rush to play in the morass of Bad Risk, I really, really hate this.  To be fair, I hate the government giving money to pretty much any private company for anything besides services rendered – even then I think the process by which we pay contractors is highly broken – but this is even worse.

We are rewarding abject failure.  And this isn’t the first time Citi has done this, either.

See, one of Citigroup’s biggest groups is CitiBank, which was – once upon a time – First National City Bank.  Back in 1920s, they repackaged bad loans to Latin America and sold them as safe securities.  I don’t need to tell you (I hope I don’t) what happened to these in 1929.

You’d think a company would learn, wouldn’t you.  That perhaps some form of institutional memory might come forth and say, like some sort of Ghost of Christmas Past, that what has come before may yet come again.  That perhaps, you know just maybe, this could be a bad idea.

But alas, non. Instead, we have a company once again acting foolishly (one might argue that they acted counter to their fiduciary duties), and everyone else paying the price.  I wouldn’t mind this all nearly so much as if the people who made these decisions didn’t have some sort of background that might warn/suggest that these were bad ideas, but such is not the case.  What we have are groups of otherwise intelligent people with educations that certainly must include accounting and economics (required for even the highly over-rated MBA – no offense, those who have them, I can explain my distaste for MBAs if you like).  Even I, a 30 year old idiot with but Econ 110 and 111, and a few accounting classes, could see these as Too Good To Be True deals.  Nothing pays the kinds of returns these things were promised to make (and for a time did make) and be completely on the up and up.  It just isn’t bloody possible.

But apparently, knowingly diving head first into a pile of Bad Idea is worthy of rescue.  It is worth Billions of dollars of money the Government doesn’t have because they are “Too Big To Fail”.

Bull.  If they were too big to fail, they wouldn’t be failing like a hooker at a nunnery.

I wonder what it would take get get myself classified as “too big to fail”?  I mean, if people who should know better can get away with a Metric Ass-Load (that’s 1.76 Shit-Tons, if you insist on using Imperial measure) of the people’s money, why not me?

Hey, I said I would TRY to not swear.  I said nothing about NEVER swearing.

Edit: whoops.  Deleted this post by mistake.  Feel free to repeat your witty comment, OIDO…

If You Hated College Bull Sessions, Skip This Post

Filed under: Uncategorized — Not Rhetorical @ 1:13 am

Though I know a lot of people have zero patience for them, I can never really get enough of trippy philosophical hypotheticals.

Here’s one I’ve been toying with for years: Suppose the technology existed to safely remove a fetus from a womb at any gestational stage for incubation elsewhere until birth. If such “no-death abortion” was available to any woman who wanted it, would most abortion rights supporters stand down?

I’m especially interested in what abortion rights supporters have to say, because I’ve always thought that their position is based on opposition to forced pregnancy (“Keep your laws off my body”).

For prospective commenters (assuming there are any! I don’t want to get ahead of myself here!), I have what I imagine is a hopeless request: I’d appreciate it if you could keep the usual stuff about murder and evil and so forth to a minimum. Like zero. I’m more interested in a dispassionate discussion. I know it’s not really a discussion if I’m trying to dictate what other people say; I’m not trying to make it a rule or anything. Just expressing a (strong) preference.


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