All entries by this author

Atheists Need Protection From the Majority *

Mar 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Atheists are one group it’s okie doke to despise.… Read the rest

BBC on Laine Case *

Mar 28th, 2004 | Filed by

US scholar says case was brought for political reasons.… Read the rest

Hitchens Reviews Buruma and Margalit *

Mar 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Paranoid, reactionary, death-loving ideas underlie Occidentalism as well as Orientalism.… Read the rest

Potential for False Abuse Claims *

Mar 28th, 2004 | Filed by

New child protection law could lead to problems being misinterpreted. Or not.… Read the rest

Miscellany 3

Mar 27th, 2004 11:21 pm | By

And more. Another item from Normblog, that made me laugh a good deal. About people who pontificate in a repetitive repetitive manner about clichés and the end of civilization as we know it. I know people like that, I’ve been trapped at dinner tables and in cars with them on more than one occasion. (Some people even think I do that! Would you believe it!) Drone drone drone they go, droning about droning bores. Rather the way I am now. I’ll let Norm tell it:

Not only that, there are ‘more dangerous’ clichés, says Mortimer, like ‘”the war against terrorism” when we aren’t at war with any country’. One reads this sort of thing so often now, I’m thinking

Read the rest

Miscellany 2

Mar 27th, 2004 8:11 pm | By

More of the miscellany. I want to look at a sentence or two from a comment on the hijab issue – a comment prompted by this article. I’m not bothering to link to the comment, because it’s quite typical and not all that interesting, in my view. It’s the typicality that makes the sentence worth looking at. It’s the kind of Everyone Says It sort of thing that – well, that everyone says, without really thinking about it much, or perhaps at all. So people go on saying it, and they hear it, and no one ever (or hardly anyone hardly ever) stops to take a closer look at it, and it infects public rhetoric more and more. A … Read the rest

Steven Poole Shreds Alain de Botton *

Mar 27th, 2004 | Filed by

The weasel words, the pretending to discover what everyone already knows, the whimsy.… Read the rest


Mar 26th, 2004 7:07 pm | By

Dang, I’ve been having a hard time keeping up lately. Not very surprisingly. This writing a book caper does tend to take more than a few minutes a day, after all, and the time has to come from somewhere. And there are other odds and ends, and so – items I want to comment on have been piling up. I do what I can, I wake up nice and early, a good deal earlier than I would like to in fact, but still the piling up goes on. So I’m just going to do a miscellany, a grab-bag, an everything all at once comment, and whittle the pile down a little.

There’s this from Normblog on something George Monbiot said … Read the rest

Tagore’s Nobel Medal is Missing *

Mar 26th, 2004 | Filed by

Some people oppose his ‘largely secular legacy.’ … Read the rest

Shaken Baby Diagnosis Shaky? *

Mar 26th, 2004 | Filed by

To admit uncertainty is sometimes appropriate.… Read the rest

Scott McLemee Reviews Richard Evans *

Mar 26th, 2004 | Filed by

‘Evans is not awed by the Nazis themselves. He defies their efforts to defy reason.’… Read the rest

The French Hijab Ban is not Anti-Muslim *

Mar 25th, 2004 | Filed by

One of the ban’s architects explains the thinking behind it.… Read the rest

Historians on Zinn *

Mar 25th, 2004 | Filed by

How does Zinn compare to Hofstadter and Foner?… Read the rest

Michael Kazin on Howard Zinn *

Mar 25th, 2004 | Filed by

‘A People’s History is bad history, albeit gilded with virtuous intentions.’… Read the rest

Lewis Wolpert on What Science Is *

Mar 25th, 2004 | Filed by

It’s not common sense, for one thing.… Read the rest

The Panda’s Thumb *

Mar 25th, 2004 | Filed by

‘dedicated to defending the integrity of science against all attempts to weaken it, distort it, or destroy it.’… Read the rest

Kevin Drum on Intelligent Design *

Mar 25th, 2004 | Filed by

He says it isn’t, and introduces The Panda’s Thumb. … Read the rest

Two People Die at ‘Passion’ Screenings *

Mar 25th, 2004 | Filed by

Heart attacks during the torture scene. Just a coincidence?… Read the rest

Monty Python to the Rescue *

Mar 25th, 2004 | Filed by

Tired of Passion-passion? See Life of Brian instead.… Read the rest

The Pledge, the Deity, the Court *

Mar 25th, 2004 | Filed by

Pledge is not religious, it’s patriotic, says Bush administration.… Read the rest