God, the Universe, & Everything Else

Wonderfully-named British journalist and TV host Magnus Magnusson here grapples with expansive issues of Life, The Universe, and Everything, drawing on the considerations of several leading scientific thinkers of the 1980s to help figure things out regarding our existential reality.

Now, 30 years later…. we have Sarah Palin ridiculing one of the most basic and elementary sources of scientific discovery. Sadly, this is just another awful manifestation of the intellectually morbid “Attitude of Discouragement” to borrow Sagan’s insightful expression, that simply cannot be allowed to prevail.

An Open Letter to Liblogs

I’ve always liked to think that that the Liberal Party is a “big tent” and that its unofficial online aggregator reflects that same diversity of opinion.

But there are limits to this notion.

For some inexplicable reason, you’ve decided to protect, tolerate and effectively sustain an anonymous individual that has been waging a determined campaign of libelous character assassination against me, and has spread blatantly malicious untruths of a highly personal nature (outright lies and fabrications about my wife, kids, etc.) and has even threatened to ramp this up to a level of criminal activity (explicitly stating that I will be rubbished through a widespread effort to drag my name through the mud and professionally destroy me).

I’ve complained strenuously about this nonsense and yet you’ve done nothing.

My patience with your ineffectual dithering has run out.

Please delete me from your blogroll at your earliest possible convenience.

Prop8 Crapola

Here’s an appealing advertisement running for the “Yes” side of Prop8 in California that invokes the teachings of Jesus Christ to condemn the supposed “intolerance” of those who reject the idea of outlawing SSM:

It’s a fairly convoluted argument that unsurprisingly involves some quite bizarre, rather circular logic to make its point which goes like this: If you condemn the “Yes” side for being intolerant bigots then in fact you yourself are being an intolerant bigot and are making Jesus weep.

And here’s a rather interesting line of reasoning:

For me, same-sex marriage is different than interracial marriage because one is uncontrollable, while one isn’t. Race truly cannot be changed or controlled. When you’re white, you’re white. When you’re black, you’re black. Sexual preference, however, while it may or not not [sic] be choice, it most definitely is controllable.

There you go. If only gay folks could “control” themselves! Sheeh! Get with the program already.

Aren’t you glad that we don’t have to go through all of this b.s. again?

Maddow Interviews Obama

A good discussion about the economy, free markets, bi-partisan politics, government regulation, accountability, national security, and the war in Afghanistan, etc. from an interview in Sarasota, FL today.

On the other hand…there’s this:

“There have been many underestimated persons who’ve been elected to office and have really been then provided the opportunity to prove the pundints wrong.”

“A Clash of Civilizations”

A rather incredulous Bernard-Henri Lévy describes the partition of opinion in the US presidential election.

Maybe it’s me, but there’s something vaguely reassuring to be drawn from BHL’s wry observations about what he perceives as a deep undercurrent that’s steadily moving towards the left and his amusing view of the Bush administration being “a rearguard, last battle” of the right.

The complete video of his lengthy conversation with Arianna Huffington about what she contends is the “obsolescence” of the conventional left/right political paradigm and whether this ideological terminology is still useful to the public discourse can be viewed here.

The Day in 100 Seconds

More of the political zeitgeist…

Who knew that In the absence of a functioning press corps, Rick Sanchez (good grief, of all people!) would turn into one of the most entertaining and provocative hosts on cable TV? As for Mike Goldfarb… truly astounding douchebaggery!

“A Massive Pit of Sex”

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? In any case, here’s our own home-grown evangelical wingnut “Dr.” Charles McVety expressing some manufactured outrage over the activities of a group attempting to revive the “Summer of Love” experience from the late 60s for the benefit of nostalgic baby-boomers and others who just want to recreate in an openly sexual manner.

But let’s now turn to the matter at hand [insert joke here] which is brought to our attention by “Unrepentant Old Hippie” with respect to “Dr” McVety’s latest phony “outrage” concerning a wonderful mural at Rideau Hall by Norval Morrisseau entitled “Androgyny” which it has been said, “represents the Ojibway shaman’s world view, showing a thriving and bountiful world in which all the diverse elements are in perfect balance.” How entirely… Canadian.

I’ve been a bit out of the loop recently and wasn’t aware that Canada had “officially” been declared “a homosexual country” so the picture from Canadian Press of Harper’s new cabinet posing in front of the aforementioned mural now seems more than a little curious. Would it be fair to presume that perhaps a statement of some kind is being made here? Maybe… just maybe… in a rather discrete way, Harper is signaling that he will be faithful to his election night promise to be more inclusive. And maybe also this is a not entirely unclear message that his new government has little patience for the intolerant views of fringe-dwelling, batshit crazy nutcases like “Dr.” McVety.

Who knows? If that’s actually the case, then kudos to Steven Harper! That’s definitely something worthy of applause and appreciation.

Signed. Sealed. Delivered.

Wonkette editor Ken Layne unloads a blistering attack on pretty much everything in a piece that poses a rather salient question:

“Who Wants to Be President of HELL?”

Notwithstanding all the faithful talk of “hope” and “change” surely it’s an inquiry that has to have occurred to just about everyone.

If you’re poor – and you probably are, because John McCain says you need at least $5 million to be considered wealthy – then you no longer have the stuff that helped you survive. Credit. No crappy used car with a 16 percent interest rate for you, hobo. No more buying groceries on the Discover card and carrying that balance forever. No more raises. Hell, no more jobs.

Presidential candidates have been trotting out that “This is the generation that for the first time could do worse than their parents” line for a generation now. And you know what? We are here now. This is it. Only cheap credit and fancy accounting and cheap energy and Chinese labor dragged out our “prosperity” for this long, because the collapse really began in the early 1980s, during the Great Reagan Recession from which we’ve never truly recovered.

Sure, the rich did well, especially in the 1990s. Before this year, anyway. But that’s the top 5 percent of Americans, the households bringing home more than $150,000 a year, and more honestly the top 1.5 percent of American households, the ones earning more than $250,000.

The rest of you? Eh, not so good. Your income declined. Your debt exploded. If you’ve got a mortgage, well, sorry about that. If you’re renting, hopefully your speculator landlord won’t lose the place and make you homeless. On September 29, when the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 8.4 percent in a single session, all 500 company stocks plunged except for one: Campbell’s Soup.

We’ll all be eating canned soup, soon, and we’ll be lucky if it’s a fancy name brand soup like Campbell’s. Who would want to be president of this bankrupt national wreckage?

Okay, so maybe Layne is a little bleak about things at the moment and it could be argued is overly dire about what the future holds for America, but there’s certainly something that resonates in his article that taps into the current mood of foreboding misery.


Oh look, Steven Harper has shuffled his cabinet. Could we care less?

Hey, way to go Conservative voters in Saanich and the Islands! You now have a Minister of State for Sport. How thrilling. Oh, and I just love Chuck Strahl’s new title: Minister of Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. Bet that’s hard to cram onto a business card.