Richard Dawkins can lick my balls. Nominally an ethologist — a person who studies human behavior — Dawkins in recent years has turned himself into a sort of full-time, professional asshole. Back in the 70s and 80s, he wrote at length about some ideas that make decent metaphors but come nowhere close to being actual, literal truth; see his The Selfish Gene. Lately, he has somehow found a way to make a decent living by telling everybody how much smarter than us he is. For reasons passing my understanding, there are people out there who are still listening to him.Read it all @ The Shape of Days: The annoyance of just generally being an arrogant cocksucker
His most recent excretory function can be found in next month’s issue of Prospect magazine, a disgusting and intellectually dishonest article called “Opiate of the Masses." I quote from the first paragraph:Gerin oil (or Geriniol to give it its scientific name) is a powerful drug which acts directly on the central nervous system to produce a range of characteristic symptoms, often of an antisocial or self- damaging nature. If administered chronically in childhood, Gerin oil can permanently modify the brain to produce adult disorders, including dangerous delusions which have proved very hard to treat. The four doomed flights of 11th September were, in a very real sense, Gerin oil trips: all 19 of the hijackers were high on the drug at the time. Historically, Geriniol intoxication was responsible for atrocities such as the Salem witch hunts and the massacres of native South Americans by conquistadores. Gerin oil fuelled most of the wars of the European middle ages and, in more recent times, the carnage that attended the partitioning of the Indian subcontinent and, on a smaller scale, Ireland.The joke becomes clear if you observe that “geriniol" is an anagram for “religion." Dawkins’ column is nothing more than a snide, sarcastic, overbearingly superior thousand-word screed about the evils of religion in all its forms.
Not only is Dawkins’ article insulting in the extreme to people of faith, it’s insulting in its sheer laziness to people of mind as well. Dawkins refuses to draw distinctions between modern religions and medieval ones. To him, all religions are precisely equivalent. There is no difference between the Christianity of the 11th century, the fundamentalist Islam of today, and the Unitarians down the block who throw those nice pot-lucks every other Sunday night. They’re all just psychopaths, you see; they’re all murderers-in-waiting. To Dawkins, “Love thy neighbor as thyself" isn’t a commandment. It’s an infection.
The Australian government has refused to lobby for Hicks' release, saying it has faith in the U.S. military commission process.I can't imagine any other ally taking this attitude. Kudos to Australians.
During a visit to the United States in July, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said his government was "satisfied that the military commission process ... will provide a proper measure of justice."
"The allegations against (Hicks) are particularly serious, and we look forward to them being dealt with before the tribunal," Howard said.
Washington, Sept. 25: New Delhi acquitted itself reasonably well in the first significant challenge to its global standing and diplomacy since the world acknowledged India as an emerging global power worthy of being in the big league in the 21st century.Very interesting.
The handling of the challenge — its vote on whether Iran’s nuclear programme should be referred to the UN Security Council — was all the more commendable because its outcome defied domestic political expediency.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh personally cleared the decision to vote with the US and the so-called EU-3, namely Germany, France and the UK, in favour of referring Iran at an unspecified date to the Security Council on suspicions of pursuing a programme to acquire nuclear weapons in the full knowledge that the vote would spark a furore among Left parties and to a lesser extent in the BJP.
In deciding to vote with the West and not abstaining along with Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa, what weighed with the Prime Minister was the absolute imperative for India to secure its interests in the Gulf and not the desire to protect the July 18, 2005, Indo-US nuclear agreement, according to diplomats engaged in the negotiations that led to the IAEA resolution yesterday.
Top-ranking Americans have told equally top-ranking Indians in recent weeks that the US has plans to invade Iran before Bush’s term ends. In 2002, a year before the US invaded Iraq, high-ranking Americans had similarly shared their definitive vision of a post-Saddam Iraq, making it clear that they would change the regime in Baghdad.
A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader.
The IRA has put all of its weapons beyond use, the head of the arms decommissioning body has said.What do you want to bet they're holding some of it back?
General John de Chastelain made the announcement at a news conference accompanied by the two churchmen who witnessed the process.
"We are satisfied that the arms decommissioned represent the totality of the IRA's arsenal."
Welcoming the move, Prime Minister Tony Blair said IRA decommissioning had been "finally accomplished".
The general said: "We have observed and verified events to put beyond use very large quantities of arms which we believe include all the arms in the IRA's possession.
He said they had handled every gun and made an inventory of the weapons.
The arms included a full range of ammunition, rifles, machine guns, mortars, missiles, handguns, explosives, explosive substances and other arms including all the categories described in the estimates provided by the UK and Irish security services, he said.
"Our new inventory is consistent with these estimates. We are satisfied that the arms decommissioning represents the totality of the IRA's arsenal."
The IRA announced an end to its armed campaign in July.