Archive for January, 2009

Heaven is filled with racists?

January 28, 2009 1 comment

Can’t say I’ve considered this possibility.

Categories: Silliness

Overly optimistic

January 26, 2009 3 comments

I’m just going to say that while closing Guantanamo and ending the Iraq war will indeed help against al Qaeda, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 9/11 happened before all that and as long as we still have troops in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries, we’re not dealing with the core of the problem. And since Obama has made no noises to that end, his impact will probably be limited. Positive, but limited.

Categories: Foreign Policy, Obama


January 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Obama’s been in office almost a week. We seem to be on the march towards some sort of Marxist utopia where government is more transparent, we don’t run secret prisons, and we don’t torture people. Craziness.

Of course, we still have destructive policies regarding Afghanistan and Israel and a terrible economy. Which Obama won’t and can’t fix (respectively).

Could be worse.

President Barack Hussein Obama

January 20, 2009 1 comment

That’s really all I have to say.

Ok, that’s not true. When I walked through campus today I was greeted by writings on the sidewalks making various statements: “not change,” “change nope”, “socialism we can believe in”…there were more, but I didn’t feel like walking around and reading them all. There was also a sign that said

The answer to 1984 is 1776. Join the second American revolution.

Something like that, anyway. I didn’t see if the second American revolution had a phone number or website, but that appears to be the title of a book by noted crazy person Alex Jones. I love college campuses.

Some things won’t change with the new administration. President Obama will no doubt pursue some policies that are the continuation of a bankrupt status quo. We’ll be disappointed with him at times. But despite that, he will do some good. He’s an intelligent person with some good policy ideas. After 8 years of frustration and disappointment, I’m looking forward to that. How successful he will be is obviously unknown, but I hope and expect that I will be able to congratulate him on taking important steps for our country. After the previous administration, we desperately need that.

Categories: Obama

Random thought

January 19, 2009 4 comments

Arguments about science and religion being compatible seem silly to me. On the one hand, they are two different “ways of knowing” (I’m trying to be charitable to religion here) and people use both of them to make claims about the natural world. It seems that by definition they could produce different conclusions and therefore are irreconcilable.

On the other hand, few actually seem to look at it like that. Why would you? There’s no reason to ever accept a conflict. If the history of religion says anything, it’s that it can say whatever you want it to. If you want it to justify slavery, it does. If you want it to justify abolitionist impulses, it can. Civil rights? Gay marriage? Scientific progress? Murder? Pacifism? You can use it to justify whatever side of whatever issue you want. That’s ignoring the phenomenon of rejecting scientific findings that conflict with your religion, too. There’s no actual logic involved with religion, so changing your mind doesn’t invalidate anything. You were just wrong. I’m not saying that’s easy, just that you’re only rethinking a conclusion, not a process.

To an atheist, the former is fairly obvious. But it’s a perverse perspective to have if you’re religious. So I don’t think those debates are particularly interesting.

Categories: Religion

Forward looking

January 12, 2009 5 comments

In commenting on Obama’s recent statement about wanting to look forward, rather than investigate the Bush administration’s crimes, one of the guest bloggers at Dispatches says

Unfortunately, Obama doesn’t get it. If prosecuting people for their crimes was “looking backward,” there’d be no need to do it. Why did we prosecute poor Slobodan Miloscevic? He was out of power after all, so why didn’t we just “look forward?”

Looking forward, I see the prospect of future presidents thinking they can commit any crimes they want without fearing retribution. That’s a pretty good argument for prosecuting high-level Bush officials (I’m looking at you, Don R.), if not Bush himself.

Right, except for that first sentence. It seems rather unlikely that Obama doesn’t get it. It’s just that there are inescapable political issues involved. Investigations and prosecutions would probably consume our political debate for years. They would be very controversial and require political capital that could be spent in other areas. Obama has an agenda and investigating the previous administration to any significant degree means giving up on some of it. For Obama to make the right call here would require quite a bit of political courage and taking a big risk. I don’t think Obama is that kind of politician.

I would really, really like to be wrong, though.

Categories: Bush, Obama

Oh boy

January 11, 2009 Leave a comment

This week I will be without my main computer and I’m having my wisdom teeth pulled.

This week is going to suck.

Categories: Personal