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Posts by The_Reader_David

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  • A rare sighting of endangered scientific graph in newsprint (Global warming??)

    01/24/2015 12:15:02 PM PST · 6 of 9
    The_Reader_David to mrsmith
    I never heard any major media report the change in temp was within the margin of error.

    They are following the first rule of Newstat (which is to statistics as Newspeak is to English): never mention a confidence interval or standard error if the point estimate serves the interests of The Party. There's a seminar on the matter about to be offered in Room 101, and you are required to attend.

  • Need Help finding an article: Inventions by White Men

    01/24/2015 11:27:48 AM PST · 18 of 71
    The_Reader_David to Don W
    Yes, I love the fact that this

    and, of course this

    is the inventor of frequency-hopping (originally intended to prevent enemy take-over of remote-control torpedoes, now used in cell-phones).

  • What Democrats Want For Children (Quick Vanity)

    01/24/2015 10:09:34 AM PST · 6 of 14
    The_Reader_David to Loud Mime

    At the risk of bringing down comments about Godwin’s Law, I’ve suggested that the unborn are to Democrats as Jews are to Nazis: they’ve defined them to be less than human, they want to kill them, and they want to appropriate their property.

  • "World Running Out of Positive-Yield Bonds"

    01/24/2015 9:00:37 AM PST · 2 of 10
    The_Reader_David to Kaslin

    Well, then the world might run out of investors willing to buy government bonds.

  • Christians Are Hypocrites And God Bless Them For It

    01/24/2015 7:42:36 AM PST · 19 of 27
    The_Reader_David to sakic

    If by “champions of Christianity” you understand “men who championed Christianity”, of course they weren’t. What the author meant is “men whom Christianity holds up as champions”, and that both the Holy Prophet Moses, the Lawgiver, and the Holy Prophet and Psalmist David, the King (to give them the full titles under which we Orthodox commemorate them on their saints days — yes, we have saints days for the saints under the Old Covenant) most assuredly are.

    There are dozens of events in Moses life which the Church sees as prefiguring Christ or events in His earthly ministry.

    David is held up as the exemplar of repentance. Psalm 50 (Psalm 51 for those of you who favor the numbering from the Masorete), composed after his rebuke by the Holy Prophet Nathan for as a hymnographer wrote “joining adultery with murder”, is the only Psalm said in its entirety in the Divine Liturgy (in the priest’s prayers, so most people don’t hear it), and occurs in both the Third Hour and both Small and Great Compline.

  • White House Tells 529 Savers To Go To Community College

    01/23/2015 3:32:30 PM PST · 35 of 40
    The_Reader_David to Nachum

    It’s very simple. Whenever Obama (or pretty much any Democrat) says, “I [or we] want to make it easier for Americans [or ordinary folks or the middle class] to [fill in any activity here],” what is meant is “I [or we] want to make Americans [or ordinary folks or the middle class] absolutely dependent upon government programs to have any means of [fill in any activity here].”

  • In the Darwin Debate, How Long Before the Tide Turns in Favor of Intelligent Design?

    01/23/2015 9:31:18 AM PST · 171 of 191
    The_Reader_David to BroJoeK; bray

    The objection raised by bray turns on time scale and the lack of ability to test interbreeding between ancient ancestors and living descendants. However, there is a phenomenon that shows that small incremental changes in genome can result in different species (though it also in the process calls into question the utility of the notion of species): Rassenkreis (also called “ring species”, though they don’t meet the usual definition of species), as for example Larus gulls and greenish warblers in Asia.

    In each case there is a region where the organisms cannot survive (the Arctic Ocean or the Himalayas in the two examples), and traveling around it one finds birds which can interbreed with their neighbors, until one comes to a place where there are two similar sorts of birds which can’t interbreed (two species), though one can interbreed with its neighbors going clockwise and the other with its neighbors going counterclockwise.

    bray: Try this on for size: The identification of the Hebrew (and Greek) words in Genesis usually Englished as “kind” with the modern scientific notion of species is a mistake.

  • In the Darwin Debate, How Long Before the Tide Turns in Favor of Intelligent Design?

    01/23/2015 9:08:07 AM PST · 169 of 191
    The_Reader_David to BroJoeK

    Hutter’s work on abstract intelligent agents anthropomorphizes nothing. It is a description of a general notion of intelligence that can be applied even to processes in a computer (indeed was constructed to describe such).

    Again, the problem with ID as usually proposed is that it has no scientific theory of intelligence broad enough to apply to unknown processes which may be very far from anything like human intelligence, seeing that no advocate of ID proposes that human intelligence designed either life or any organism (leaving aside very recent lab work). I have tentatively suggested one, and pointed out that under this definition of intelligence, the dynamics of the biosphere as described by neo-Darwinism arguably fits the definition of an intelligent agent.

    Perhaps you should read the rest of my posts to this thread a bit more carefully: The question of why there is a dynamical system that shows the characteristics of an intelligent agent is left unanswered by it — it is there that one should look for the hand of God, not in the construction of molecular machines or eyeballs.

  • Listen to Muslim prayer call on UCLA campus. 'This is an act of Islamic supremacism'

    01/23/2015 8:49:39 AM PST · 24 of 41
    The_Reader_David to The_Reader_David; javie
    Bother, I tried to edit the html for the Arabic to get rid of the blank boxes, and instead introduced an ampersand. Deleting the blank boxes, the Arabic looks like:

    بِسْمِ ٱللّٰهِ ٱلرَّ
  • Listen to Muslim prayer call on UCLA campus. 'This is an act of Islamic supremacism'

    01/23/2015 8:47:30 AM PST · 23 of 41
    The_Reader_David to javie
    I really wish people would stop posting that meme. While Mohammed was most assuredly an antichrist (one of many to have arise), and his doctrine is the doctrine of demons, the Arabic for "In the name of Allah" (Bismillah) is written

    بِسْم& ٱللّٰه ٱلرَّ

    and looks nothing like the ancient Greek numerals for the Number of the Beast (which incidentally don't have a harpoon shaped bar over the xi, nor a dot to the right of the digamma).

    While as an Orthodox Christian, I don't regard lying as indefeasibly evil (St. John Chrysostom gives examples of blameless deceptions and there are instances from the lives of the saints), supporting the critique of Islam as demonic with transparent lies only served the interest of the Evil One.

  • Say no to porn. Boycott 50 Shades of Grey, the movie: sign the petition

    01/22/2015 3:23:37 PM PST · 77 of 86
    The_Reader_David to USNBandit
    Even the sex (the only reason people read this crap) was horribly written.

    But descriptions of sex almost always represent the nadir of any author's output. The Brits have a gag literary award given to the worst sex scene in anything published the previous year. There are never any shortages of entrants and the winners are usually notable authors who can usually create engaging characters, worthwhile plots, and turn a good phrase, but somehow come to pieces when writing what used to be called "the naughty bits".

  • California city prohibits gender specific restrooms

    01/21/2015 5:27:49 PM PST · 43 of 48
    The_Reader_David to Drew68

    Actually no. In the 14th century “gender” started being applied to grammar (masculine/feminine/neuter), in the 15th folks started getting sloppy and confounding masculine with male and feminine with female. The word has since been completely corrupted by people who want to pretend that maleness and femaleness are as arbitrary and malleable as grammatical categories, and should be avoided when what is meant is sex.

  • California city prohibits gender specific restrooms

    01/21/2015 4:41:16 PM PST · 38 of 48
    The_Reader_David to Drew68
    For the 99+% of the population that prefers using their gender's sex's bathroom, how will they know which one to use if the signs are removed? Maybe paint one door pink and the other blue?

    Using "gender" when you mean "sex" is already a concession to this lunacy.

  • California city prohibits gender specific restrooms

    01/21/2015 3:16:56 PM PST · 2 of 48
    The_Reader_David to Impala64ssa

    Perhaps businesses should post signs stating: “For the comfort of the vast majority of our patrons, use of our restrooms is not based on gender, but on primary sexual characteristics, please choose the appropriate restroom on this basis.”

  • Pegida: Protest leader quits in 'Hitler' row

    01/21/2015 12:31:01 PM PST · 15 of 21
    The_Reader_David to LeoWindhorse

    It makes me wonder whether the original had a caption to the effect “How my opponents see me” or “How my opponents want you to see me”.

    (It would make a nice triptic: How I see myself, with an ordinary photo; How my opponents want you to see me, with the Hitler mustache and comb job; How I hope Muslims see me, dressed as Charles Martel.)

  • In the Darwin Debate, How Long Before the Tide Turns in Favor of Intelligent Design?

    01/21/2015 10:27:49 AM PST · 121 of 191
    The_Reader_David to Boogieman

    No. Because evolutionary biology is about the dynamics of the biosphere. The biosphere certainly, in all naturalistic accounts of the origin of currently extant life-forms, most assuredly preexists life as we know it.

    The point of my observation is that it moves the argument from design to a much grander scale — while the eye might be designed by the biosphere functioning as an intelligent agent through the mechanisms suggested by the Darwinian paradigm, much as novel complex computer code optimized for some purpose is designed by a program running autonomously following a Darwinian paradigm,* without new coding by a programmer — the question of the origin of a large complex dynamical system which functions as an intelligent agent (the biosphere) is not addressed by evolutionary biology and is not satisfactorily answered by naturalistic account, any more than the question of the origin of a computer program and digital computer is addressed by Hutter’s theory of intelligent agents modeled by interacting (possibly stochastic, or even quantum) Turing machines.

    *Yes, do a search on current work in AI. “Evolved” programs, not coded by anything other than another program that interacts with input are cutting edge. They are also, mistakenly, pointed to by atheist polemicists as “proving” that the argument from design is invalid. This is part of why “mainstream” ID is off base — it’s trying to prove some external designer hand-built molecular machines, when it’s the whole dynamical system that is arguing for design, not the little bits of living stuff it constructs.

  • Doctor wanted for raping a child in the U.S. will be allowed to stay in Britain (trunc)

    01/21/2015 5:38:46 AM PST · 22 of 32
    The_Reader_David to SWAMPSNIPER

    The article does not give enough information to decide whether this is scandalous or whether Britain is simply refusing to extradite for something that would not have been a crime in the UK.

    The article tells us the alleged “raping a child” took place in New York. If the “child” was a 16 or 17 year old and the alleged rape was not forcible, but was from the “child’s” point of view, if not the point of view of New York law, consensual, then any sexual intercourse which formed the basis for the rape charge would not have been rape under British law, since the age of consent in the UK is 16, and I see no reason why they should extradite.

  • Say It Like It Is (Holy Cow! the NYSlimes says Radical Islam is a prob)

    01/21/2015 5:31:03 AM PST · 9 of 17
    The_Reader_David to RoosterRedux

    It was amazing enough that they printed the piece by Marine LePen, but now one of their own is echoing her in an op-ed on the same topic: “When you don’t call things by their real name, you always get in trouble,” is Friedman’s reworking of the Camus quotation with which LePen opened, “To misname things is to add to the world’s unhappiness.”

    (Yes, it might be spurious, but LePen noted that in her attribution to Camus.)

  • Supreme Court rules for Muslim inmate over prison beard policy

    01/20/2015 8:54:35 AM PST · 21 of 29
    The_Reader_David to NorthMountain

    Actually, the set is not empty, but has three elements, each involving preventing access to firearms by a circumscribe group of people: convicted violent felons, the psychotic, and unsupervised children.

  • Jindal in London: Lack of Assimilation Has Led to Sharia, ‘No-Go Zones’ for Non-Muslims

    01/20/2015 8:36:48 AM PST · 12 of 21
    The_Reader_David to Liz
    Don't fall into the mistake of overstating the problem that got Fox's "expert" into trouble:

    WHY ARE THERE 750 MUSLIM NO-GO ZONES IN PARIS ALONE? is not a valid question. The 751 ZUS's that might reasonably be argued are Muslim controlled "no-go zones" are not, all but one, in Paris (even including its suburbs). 30 of them are in Marseille, 2 in Carcassone,...

    Birmingham is not a no-go zone, but there are de facto no-go zones in most cities in the Midlands, Birmingham included.

  • Supreme Court rules for Muslim inmate over prison beard policy

    01/20/2015 8:21:04 AM PST · 16 of 29
    The_Reader_David to The Duke

    The deal with half an inch (or 1.3 cm) is probably that this was the shortest beard the inmate (or his imam) felt would satisfy his religious obligation.

    Sikhs (or traditional Orthodox Christian monks or priests) convicted of a crime would present a greater problem, since their religious obligations involved not cutting hair or beard.

  • Supreme Court rules for Muslim inmate over prison beard policy

    01/20/2015 8:17:09 AM PST · 13 of 29
    The_Reader_David to ClearCase_guy

    Felons can’t have guns for the same reason that states can decide that you must carry openly or must conceal your weapon — it’s a form of regulation of the unorganized militia.

    The right to keep and bear arms can be harmonized with the legitimate concerns of gun-control advocates (as distinct from the desires of statists who want only agents of the government to be armed) if one takes seriously what the Founders understood by a “well-regulated militia” (a well-armed citizenry ready and able to voluntarily, without state control, bear arms in defense of self, family, community and country):

    Felons lose their right to be part of the unorganized militia by virtue of their conviction, a manual of arms for the unorganized militia can be promulgated (of which “you must carry openly” or “you must hide your firearm when carrying but not using it” are versions in miniature), and so forth.

  • Five Russians Held In France On Suspicion Of Plotting Attack

    01/20/2015 7:53:00 AM PST · 15 of 37
    The_Reader_David to VeniVidiVici
    Wouldn’t it make more sense to call “five russians from the chechnya region” five chechens?

    That depends on what political angle you're trying to sell. If you want to pretend the policy critique offered by the Front National is invalid, that there is no problem with mass immigration from Muslim lands, and into the bargain get a free propaganda point against Russia's resistance to "the European project", then "five Russians from the Chechnya region" makes perfect sense.

  • In the Darwin Debate, How Long Before the Tide Turns in Favor of Intelligent Design?

    01/20/2015 7:26:13 AM PST · 28 of 191
    The_Reader_David to ctdonath2
    You do realize that tu quoque is among the classical fallacies. I say that as one who also would categorize myself as a tacit ID adherent, who also finds the argumentation of "mainstream" ID advocates thin and unconvincing. I would rather see the position I suspect we share defended with sound argumentation rather than fallacies.

    The main problem with ID as generally proposed is that to be a scientific theory it needs to begin with a scientific general theory of intelligence, which is never posited by the advocates whose main argumentation seems to be based on a priori probability estimates which appear to make the account given by neo-Darwinism wildly improbable. As a firm Popperian, I regard any reliance on a priori probability estimates as unscientific, since by their very nature they are neither falsifiable nor verifiable. (I also think most positions taken in polemical advocacy of neo-Darwinism, along with a great deal evolutionary biology proposed as serious science -- the sort of things Steven Jay Gould dismisses as "just so stories" -- fail to reformulate the random-mutation and natural-selection paradigm in a falsifiable form, and thus Popper's original critique of Darwinism as non-scientific, rather than his "recantation", still applies to them.)

    Somewhat amusingly, if one takes as a general theory of intelligence the notion of "intelligent agent" proposed in turn-of-the-21st-century work on AI by among others Marcus Hutter, one can reasonably conclude that neo-Darwinism, far from being contrary to intelligent design, actually implies intelligent design, since the biosphere in the neo-Darwinian account can reasonably be argued to have the properties of an intelligent agent in the sense of Hutter.

  • IS recruiting in Pakistan, Afghanistan: US General

    01/19/2015 10:42:08 AM PST · 6 of 7
    The_Reader_David to dfwgator

    I like it! (Much better than the super-hero incarnation of the same figure.)

  • “It’s not Islam!” they say—but it is

    01/19/2015 10:34:09 AM PST · 9 of 13
    The_Reader_David to Dqban22
    As I pointed out when Obama made the remark, at some formal level his assertion, “no religion condones the killing of innocents," is true (at least since the cult of Moloch died out and the indigenous religions of Mesoamerica were suppressed). The problem is that Islam has a defective notion of innocence in which all non-Muslims, and Muslims adhering to a different confessional strain of Islam are prima facia not innocents, and can (and more often than not in Muslim eyes should) be killed.
  • How does the GOP fight a populist, tax the rich proposal by Obama?

    01/19/2015 7:46:17 AM PST · 10 of 35
    The_Reader_David to SeekAndFind
    The answer is to fight it with pro-market economic populism: propose abolition of lots of regulations and tax provisions that have tilted the economic land-scape in favor of incumbents in the market against start-ups, big corporations against mom-and-pop small businesses, the managerial class against shareholders, those with government connections against those trying to make it through their own effort.

    Again, every FReeper who hasn't yet should read Luigi Zingales's book A Capitalism for the People. Zingales is an Italian who fled crony capitalism in his homeland for the better version here back when our version of capitalism was clearly better, is a professor at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business -- remember in academic economics, unlike most other domains, the good-guys are from Chicago -- and had his ideas cited favorably, to his surprise and delight, by Sarah Palin before he publish his own popularization of them.

  • Marine Le Pen: To Call This Threat by Its Name: France Was Attacked by Islamic Fundamentalism.

    01/19/2015 7:30:03 AM PST · 28 of 30
    The_Reader_David to The_Reader_David
    Before some grammar Nazi chimes in: which I advocated it’s its use going back many months.)

    Yes, I'm a bad proofreader, particularly of my own writing.

  • Obama wants to change the tax code to punish families with a stay-at-home parent

    01/19/2015 7:19:56 AM PST · 16 of 49
    The_Reader_David to grundle

    What Obama is advocating is incredibly bad policy, but characterizing it as “punishing” those it does not benefit is leftist-style reasoning. I am not punished by the oil depreciation allowance which I can’t claim, not owning any oil wells, nor by the favorable tax treatment of income from overseas teaching and research, from which I don’t benefit since my university position is here in the U.S., and so forth. (You can make your own list of all the tax credits and deductions you can’t take because they don’t apply to you to emphasize the point.)

  • Marine Le Pen: To Call This Threat by Its Name: France Was Attacked by Islamic Fundamentalism.

    01/19/2015 6:13:47 AM PST · 27 of 30
    The_Reader_David to spokeshave

    DAESH (or as I’ve always preferred to English the Arabic, DAISH) isn’t a new acronym. It’s what they’ve been called in the Middle East by Arabic-speakers from their inception.

    I’ve always preferred it to either ISIS or ISIL on the argument that we don’t English the names of nationalist and Communist terrorist groups before abbreviating them (it’s the FARC, not the RAFC, the PKK, not the KWP, ETA, not BHF), so why the h*ll do we do that with Muslim terrorist organizations? (You can find posts here on FR in which I advocated it’s use going back many months.)

    By far the worst acronym for them is ISIS, which has the S interpretted as standing for “Syria” when it really stands for “Sham”, the Arabic word for the Levant. ISIS is preferred by those who want to minimize the threat by understating the group’s ambitions and confining it to Iraq and Syria.

  • America's Top Killing Machine

    01/17/2015 11:36:49 AM PST · 7 of 52
    The_Reader_David to Libloather

    Well, I’m glad to hear automobiles are becoming safer for operators, passengers and bystanders.

  • Niger protesters burn churches in second day of Charlie riots

    01/17/2015 11:34:34 AM PST · 9 of 22
    The_Reader_David to dila813

    Plainly, Christians in Africa are clearly to blame for the actions of French secularists whose publication also mocks Christianity. I think there’s some sequence of fatwas beginning with a condemnation of all Franks issued sometime in the 10th century that justifies this position.

  • NOAA's actual report says it is "More UNLIKELY" that 2014 was the warmest year, "than likely":

    01/17/2015 11:27:56 AM PST · 8 of 31
    The_Reader_David to Bulwinkle

    How dare you actually look at confidence intervals when the point estimate serves to advance the interests of The Party! There’s a remedial course on the correct use of statistics being offered in Room 101, and you are mandated to attend!

  • The New Ukraine Is Run by Rogues, Sexpots, Warlords, Lunatics and Oligarchs

    01/17/2015 10:30:20 AM PST · 36 of 37
    The_Reader_David to Jan_Sobieski

    I don’t blame anyone for wanting their own country, or to be free (though I’m dubious about folks blithely assuming that kow-towing to Brussels it a route to freedom), I just want the record correct. The horrors inflicted on the Ukraine during the Soviet era were inflicted by a regime alien to the Russian nation and were largely also inflicted on Russia by the same regime.

    Back in the ‘80’s when the YAF chapters at Penn and Swarthmore mounted a protest against the Soviet ambassador giving a speech at Swarthmore College, among other banners we unfurled a list of captive countries. Russia was at the top of the list, followed by Ukraine and the rest of the “union republics” of the Soviet Union, then the satellites in Eastern Europe, followed by the rest of the Communist countries.

  • Paul Krugman Rejected by His Peers

    01/17/2015 10:19:36 AM PST · 16 of 33
    The_Reader_David to jimfree

    Actually, I believe it was awarded because of Krugman’s work on international business siting decisions. Presumably he actually knows something about that corner of (micro-)economics and his views on it, unlike his views on macroeconomic policy, would be worth listening to. He’s analogous to a biologist with no training in ecology beyond a first year graduate course who has done groundbreaking work in cell biology pontificating about environmental issues, or a Ph.D. in solid-state physics going on about cosmology.

  • Which Movies Make Grown Men Cry?

    01/14/2015 8:19:23 AM PST · 152 of 299
    The_Reader_David to SeekAndFind
    Grave of the Fireflies.

    That's it for me, as far as really crying. (Though if a tear welling up counts, there are a few moving speeches in some good war movies that have had that effect on me.)

  • The New Ukraine Is Run by Rogues, Sexpots, Warlords, Lunatics and Oligarchs

    01/14/2015 8:13:43 AM PST · 13 of 37
    The_Reader_David to Jan_Sobieski
    Lets talk about all the great things that Russia the Soviet Union has done for the ungrateful Ukraine...

    1. Collectivization of all private property. 2. Murder of most farm owners (Kulaks). 3. Ukrainian Holodomir (murder by starvation) (and this only brings us to 1940)

    The dictator at the time of 3. was a Georgian, not a Russian, and the shock troops for 1. and 2. were largely Latvians and Lithuanians, and these were done to Russians in Russia as well.

    But hey, let's not obscure the anti-Russian sentiment underlying Ukranian nationalism with facts.

  • Azealia Banks Wants To Kill White People With Her Inborn Witch Powers

    01/13/2015 1:19:39 PM PST · 3 of 26
    The_Reader_David to dfwgator

    If she succeeds, then can we have a witch trial and burn her?

    (Yes, yes, I know, we’ll only be able to convict her if she weight the same as a duck, which means she’s made of wood...)

  • Little recourse seen for Democrats on Social Security rule change.

    01/13/2015 1:16:36 PM PST · 33 of 48
    The_Reader_David to Dawn53Fl

    I suspect the hope is that this new rule will encourage the SSA to adopt more stringent standards for disability evaluations, review existing claims and result in a 100% cut to those who shouldn’t be on the roles in the first place, and (if estimates of how may of those there are anything like accurate) no cut to thos who should.

  • Moroccan-born mayor of Rotterdam tells fellow Muslims who do not appreciate 'freedoms' F*#@ Off

    01/13/2015 9:56:44 AM PST · 20 of 21
    The_Reader_David to Individual Rights in NJ
    To conquer and colonize - neither of which historically has had anything to do with accepting the existing culture and civilization you are conquering or colonizing.

    Well, generally that is true, though the Germanic barbarians who conquered and colonized the Western Roman Empire, by and large signed up to become Roman culturally and tried for a while to keep up the civilization. (Merovingian France was a fully literate society with Roman law, and was Visigothic Spain, and Alaric's interactions with the Empire weren't really any different from those of a Roman general angling for the Imperial throne.)

  • Obama Handcuffs America in War on Terrorism

    01/13/2015 5:57:25 AM PST · 10 of 17
    The_Reader_David to Kaslin

    It would be funnier if the phrase “poverty caused by an inequitable distribution of the world’s resources” had been applied to Muslims by an actual leftist, rather than by David Limbaugh describing the views of the left, considering the share of the world’s easily extracted petroleum that ended up under Muslim lands.

  • Time for the 0–10–100 Tax : No deductions, 10 percent on income, every person and corporation pays.

    01/12/2015 6:41:19 AM PST · 28 of 99
    The_Reader_David to bestintxas

    This is politically infeasible: the definition of income must include deducting costs from revenues (if it doesn’t, this proposal is even more destructive of small business than the current tax regime), and that already opens the door to deductions, since the nuances of what costs are really costs of generating income will become a political football and a lot of the electorate will see businesses and business owners as still getting “deductions” while theirs have evaporated.

    The destruction wrought on non-state civil society by the abolition of the charitable contribution deduction is also not to be discounted.

  • If Jesus Were Still Schlepping This Pebble He’d Probably Mock Islam

    01/11/2015 6:27:46 PM PST · 40 of 42
    The_Reader_David to Ransomed

    Then again, considering the differences between American culture (our revolution had no anti-clerical elements, extramarital affairs are still the stuff of scandal, we are the most Christian of developed countries,...) and French culture (whose revolutionaries set up a whore on the episcopal throne in Notre Dame and murdered priests and bishops, regards extramarital affairs as normal, has a level of piety reflected in the joke about Englishmen being congenital agnostics and Frenchmen being congenital atheists,...) I think Charlie Hebdo is “a French version of MAD”.

  • French far-right 'barred' from national unity rally

    01/11/2015 12:48:13 PM PST · 70 of 80
    The_Reader_David to Zionist Conspirator
    For the zillionth time, the "far right" in Europe does not mean National Review. The European "far right" really is anti-Jewish and pro-Nazi.

    You may not have noticed, but Geert Wilders and his PVV is called "far right" by the Eurocrats and other biens pensants on the other side of the pond, and doesn't fit your description. Your warning is worth taking into consideration, but whenever a European calls some party "far right", all you know is that the party is opposed to multiculturalism and has some inclination to defend the national culture. They might be anti-Jewish and pro-Nazi, or they might not, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the any party that's in danger of losing an election to them along with the EU bureacrats in Brussels want you to think they're Nazis, whether they are or not.

  • Romney or Bush: Who would you prefer if you had to choose for 2016 nomination? And Why?

    01/10/2015 7:51:06 AM PST · 25 of 499
    The_Reader_David to inchworm

    Scott Walker. And either Rand Paul or Ted Cruz before either Romney or Bush the Lesser (though I have problems with both).

    Given the forced choice, I’ll go with Romney — I don’t like the republic descending into dynastic politics and he seems to be a little to the right of Bush.

  • Circa 2003: Gov Rick Perry advances Muslim teachings; builds mosque; sets up Texas Sharia Court

    01/10/2015 7:45:02 AM PST · 39 of 51
    The_Reader_David to Liz

    First, in any state which allows litigants to select a non-judicial arbitrator to settle disputes, you will have disputes between pious Muslims arbitrated by imams (who might organize themselves into a sharia court), disputes between pious (Orthodox, at least) Jews arbitrated by rabbis (who might organize themselves into a rabbinic court), and disputes between pious Christians of confessions which maintain a notion of apostolic succession arbitrated by bishops. This is a non-issue, provided when the civil courts approach the issue on appeal they apply American civil law with only a nod to the religious law to the extent that some contractual agreement to apply it the dispute makes it relevant.

    Second, when FReepers or others doubt the existence of a moderate, peaceful version of Islam, they are ignoring (whether by ignorance or willfully) the Ismaili Muslims (or “Sevener” Shi’ites) whom the Aga Khan leads. Ismailis have perpetrated no acts of terrorism and, indeed, regard jihad as warfare against the infidel as illegitimate unless sanctioned by the Aga Khan. And a long succession of Westernized, Oxbridge educated Aga Khans which shows no likelihood of changing course has shown no inclination to sanction any such thing.

    We are in a hot war with Sunni salafists and in a cold war with Ta’ajili Shi’ites (who run Iran). Along with the orthodox (non-Ta’ajili) Twelver Shi’ites (e.g. the followers of al Sistani), the Ismailis are natural and probably reliable allies against our Muslim enemies. Sunnis who are currently our allies — those who follow the lead of Westernized national leaders like King Abduallah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and General al Sisi in Egypt — are problematic because a shift in religious sentiment much less drastic than a conversion to another religion or branch of Islam can “radicalize” them, i.e. turn them into salafists who want to wage war to establish a copy of the society Mohammed and the first Caliphs ran.

  • Obama Will Veto Legislation Restoring The 40-Hour Work Week

    01/09/2015 8:50:04 AM PST · 20 of 49
    The_Reader_David to george76

    Probably in this context insisting on the 40 hour week is good. Unfortunately as productivity increases and more and more jobs are abolished by automation (or the number of people needed to do them drastically reduced) we will eventually have to go to a shorter work week if we are to keep anything like full employment. The alternative is the one beloved of the left, having more and more people as permanent beneficiaries of the state who will always vote to increase the power of the state.

  • Paris Attack Puts Western World in a Bad Spot

    01/09/2015 7:38:04 AM PST · 31 of 40
    The_Reader_David to Kaslin

    Goldberg’s point is why it is helpful to have a little understanding of the various sects of Islam.

    We are at war with salafism — the sect of Sunni Islam that regards strict imitation of Mohammed and the first seven Caliphs in all matters of law and religious practice (but I repeat myself*) as absolutely incumbent upon all Muslims — and salafism is at war with the entire non-Muslim world and a goodly part of the Muslim world (which is why Muslims call the most hard-line salafis “takfiri” — a word meaning they will declare Muslims who aren’t salafis to be apostates) as well. The Da’ish (a.k.a. IS, ISIL, ISIS) and all the sundry groups that have sworn allegiance to it, Boko Haram, the Taliban (or at least the hard-enders in the Taliban) and Al Qaeda with all its affiliates are all salafi movements.

    For the rest of the West, for the Muslims who are under attack from such movements, and for Russia, this point is very easy to see. For America and Israel it is muddied by the fact that we are in a cold war and Israel in a proxy war with another Islamic sect, the Ta’ajili sect of Shia Islam which controls Iran.

    I can give a long list of Muslims sects with whom we are not at war, starting with the Ismailis (who follow the Aga Khan) and the Zaidis, but also including orthodox (non-Ta’ajili) Twelver Shi’ites and non-Salafi Sunnis best exemplified by Sunni imams who take their marching orders from the Hashemite King of Jordan (but, who unfortunately don’t really constitute a well-defined sect for lack of a Caliph, and therefore are susceptible to “radicalization”, i.e. turning into salafi jihadists, as a result of an increase in religious fervor) and the (tiny) Qu’ran-only movement.

    *Islam is first and foremost a body of law, and religious practice and law are essentially identical in Muslim thought.

  • Boehner Leaves Door Open on Gas Tax Proposal (Video)

    01/08/2015 4:19:21 PM PST · 37 of 48
    The_Reader_David to roses of sharon

    Since what should be highway funds are being shifted to support mass transit projects, and the ‘Rats think that what’s good for cities is good for the whole country, here’s the compromise to propose:

    Raise motor fuel taxes in only those counties (towns in RI, parishes in LA) which have a sufficient density of public transportation route (Let the wonks in DC work out what sufficient density means in detail, but whatever it means, it better include DC, all five boroughs of NYC, and Cook Co., Illinois, and not include any counties Wyoming, the Dakotas, or any counties in Kansas other than Sedgwick (Wichita) and the few in the KC metro area), and leave the rest of us who have to use automobiles because there’s no other viable transportation option, and long-haul truckers who can just contrive not to fill up in the big cities, alone.

  • Bill Clinton and the Company He Keeps

    01/08/2015 6:44:41 AM PST · 12 of 30
    The_Reader_David to rdcbn

    Actually, Dershowitz, even if he did not say “false” or “untrue” in the statement quoted in the article here, has, in another, quoted by the BBC called the charges “unequivocally and completely false”.