Marginalia

Odd scraps, bits and pieces, notes from other blogs and other stuff.


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Dawkins has been arrogant for years, a man so convinced of his intellectual superiority that he believes the one domain in which he happens to be an expert, science, is the only legitimate way of acquiring or assessing knowledge. All of his outbursts in recent years follow from this belief: he understands the scientific method, a process intended to mitigate the interference of human subjectivity in data collection, as a universally applicable way of understanding not just the physical world but literally everything else as well. Hence his constant complaint that those appalled by his bigoted vituperations are simply offended by clarity; feeble-minded obscurantists who cling to emotion, tradition or the supernatural to shield themselves from the power of his truth bombs. Richard Dawkins, what on earth happened to you? | Eleanor Robertson | Comment is free | theguardian.com
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There were still about 60,000 Christians in Mosul when the United States and its sidekicks invaded Iraq eleven years ago. By last year, it was down to 30,000. Only two months after the arrival of ISIL, there are none. Most have fled to Kurdistan with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. They are not going back, and if they can they will leave the Middle East forever. Middle Eastern Christians: Going, Going…Gone - GWYNNE DYER
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I have Jewish and Israeli friends… some whose fingers are now hovering dangerously over the “unfriend” button with my name on it. Not because I am pro-Hamas or a closet anti-Semite. I am neither. (You’ll simply have to accept my word for that. It’s all I can offer as proof.) What got me in this trouble is simply seeing matters differently than those who, for religious, ethnic or familial reasons, have a dog(s) in the current events in Israel and Gaza and the occupied West Bank. They are circling the wagons, are hyper-defensive and increasingly angry at those of us who just don’t see it their way. Israel Is Simply Wrong This Time | Alternet
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If you want to understand the gruesome murder of 16-year-old Muhammed Abu-Khudair in the hands of six young Israelis last week, don’t turn to Bibi or the Bible or Hamas or Abbas: turn to Beitar Jerusalem, the favorite soccer team of Israel’s undivided capital. This Isn’t Geopolitics; It’s Soccer – Tablet Magazine
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