Category Archives: politics

Israeli-Palestinian cease fire lasts four hours, broken by Hamas rockets and kidnapping an Israeli soldier

I’m sure that all of us were relieved at the sudden onset of a 72-hour cease fire between Israel and Palestine. The agreement was brokered by both the U.S. and the U.N. Even if we see no ready solution to the conflagration there, at least both sides can stop the killing for a while. Unfortunately, according […]

Turkish women defy deputy prime minister by laughing publicly

Just as fast as Turkey’s deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç declared that women of his country shouldn’t tarnish their pure image by laughing in public, so the women of Turkey are responding by laughing and tw**ting about it, laughing at Muslim Leisure Fascist Arınç at the same time. And some men are supporting them.  As the Guardian reports, On […]

Sam Harris on the Israel/Palestine conflict

If there are two hot-button topics in the liberal atheist community, they would be Sam Harris and Israel. For reasons I have yet to fathom, Sam evokes an extraordinary amount of rancor among atheists. I’m not sure why, but sometimes I think that some Harris-haters resent his goal of making them think about hard questions. (Really, is […]

Why do people deny climate change? Plus a plea for accommodationism (not from me)

  This is the second post inspired by a short essay in the New York Times, “When beliefs and facts collide,” by Brendan Nyhan, whose essay itself discusses a 49-page paper by Dan M. Kahan that’s in press in Advances in Political Psychology. Kahan is a professor of law and psychology at Yale. (Kahan’s paper, in advance form, can be […]

Why not?

From Facebook via Israellycool comes a picture that, with the caption below, brings tears to my eyes: The taller man is Rabbi Yakov Nagen (his Facebook page is here), and the other man is his friend Ibrahim, a Palestinian. I’m no fan of religion, as it’s divisive and wrong, but if those divisions can be breached with a hug, that is […]

The Telegraph: Stop treating the Palestinians like children

Here’s an unusual occurrence: a British journalist criticizing Palestinians instead of Israel. The journalist is Alan Johnson at the Telegraph, and his piece (on his website at the paper) is called “It’s time to stop infantilising the Palestinians.” The first paragraph has a number of links to images I’ll reproduce, and excerpts from Johnson’s piece are indented: […]

Time to leave Iraq—for good

The Iraq War has been America’s longest: it’s been eleven years since we invaded, based on trumped-up accusations, in 2003.  Iraq Body Count estimates the number of violent deaths, including those of combatants, at 188,000. It’s only June 14, and already 758 civilians have been killed. Official estimates of American military casualties are 4,489 killed and 32,021 […]

U.S. trades Taliban commanders for solider, and I’m confused

It’s been announced in the last few hours that the only U.S. soldier who was held by the Afghans as a prisoner of war—Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl—was handed over to the U.S. this morning. Bergdahl had been held captive for nearly five years (he’s reported to be in good shape). In return, the U.S. released five […]

D’Souza’s probably going to jail

I guess his faith didn’t help him, for according to New York’s Daily News, Dinesh D’Souza pleaded guilty to felony violations of campaign finance laws (he was originally charged with making false statements, but those charges were apparently dropped in the plea bargain). The feds will dismiss the false statements count when D’Souza is sentenced […]

Surprise: Ukraine referendum a total farce

Sunday’s “referendum” about the fate of eastern Ukraine was, as many predicted, a complete sham.  That, of course, was the plan of the thug Putin, who intends to bring that part of the country under Russian control, if not a part of Russia itself.  The vote for “sov ereignty” was 90% in favor, not quite […]

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