Whoops-E-Daisy!

The Organizer must be having some ‘unfavorability rating’ problems with the La Raza crowd.

NYT_2014_04_16

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L.A.: City of Angles

If you’re a fan of L.A.’s architectural styles from the 1940s through the 1960s (think art deco, John Lautner, Disney’s Tomorrowland, etc.), you’ll enjoy Charlotte Allen’s recent piece in The Weekly Standard (“City of Angles“), which is largely a review of the J. Paul Getty Museum-sponsored exhibit “Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990″, taking place at the National Building Museum in Washington.

Art as an imagined sense of Place.

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Jesus Christ’s Married Life Revealed In Rare Footage

There’s been a major discovery which will impact Christian theology:

Speculation that Jesus Christ might have married is an ancient one and, however often theologians and historians throw cold water over the idea, it will keep cropping up – most notably in recent years as a key element in the plot of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. No one would take that particular novel as gospel, but now a historian from the Harvard Divinity School has come up with what may – just – be the first ever reference to Jesus mentioning a wife.

The fragment of fourth-century Coptic writing on a rectangular piece of faded papyrus no more than eight centimetres by four contains eight lines written in black ink apparently including the words: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’” Far from being the start of a music-hall joke, the extract continues: “she will be able to be my disciple,” before being cut off.

Karen L King, the Hollis professor of divinity – the oldest endowed academic chair in the US – who made the discovery, told the New York Times: “These words can mean nothing else.”

Conan has video evidence to support it:

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Census Bureau

Noah Rothman points out “another crazy conservative conspiracy theory is proven to not be so crazy after all.”

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Ross Douthat: How to Study the Numinous

Ross Douthat has an excellent ‘philosophy of mind’-oriented piece in his latest column (“How to Study the Numinous“):

In an op-ed in the Sunday edition of this newspaper, Barbara Ehrenreich, card-carrying liberal rationalist, writes about her own mystical experiences (the subject of her new book), and argues that the numinous deserves more cutting-edge scientific study:

If mystical experiences represent some sort of an encounter, as they have commonly been described, is it possible to find out what they are encounters with? Science could continue to dismiss mystical experiences as mental phenomena, internal to ourselves, but the merest chance that they may represent some sort of contact or encounter justifies investigation. We need more data and more subjective accounts. But we also need a neuroscience bold enough to go beyond the observation that we are “wired” for transcendent experience; the real challenge is to figure out what happens when those wires connect. Is science ready to take on the search for the source of our most uncanny experiences?

Fortunately, science itself has been changing. It was simply overwhelmed by the empirical evidence, starting with quantum mechanics and the realization that even the most austere vacuum is a happening place, bursting with possibility and giving birth to bits of something, even if they’re only fleeting particles of matter and antimatter. Without invoking anything supernatural, we may be ready to acknowledge that we are not, after all, alone in the universe. There is no evidence for a God or gods, least of all caring ones, but our mystical experiences give us tantalizing glimpses of other forms of consciousness, which may be beings of some kind, ordinarily invisible to us and our instruments. Or it could be that the universe is itself pulsing with a kind of life, and capable of bursting into something that looks to us momentarily like the flame.

I appreciate the spirit (if you will) of this argument, but I am very doubtful as to its application. The trouble is that in its current state, cognitive science has a great deal of difficulty explaining “what happens” when “those wires connect” for non-numinous experience, which is why mysterian views of consciousness remain so potent even among thinkers whose fundamental commitments are atheistic and materialistic…

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Jew York Times: Pt. 711,348

Current ‘Most Emailed’ stories on NYT.com:

NYT_2014_04_15

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The New France

Another excellent piece by Dale Hurd of CBN News, on that grand experiment in multiculturalism that is France, a country where 90% of Muslim citizens vote for the Socialist Party, and where violence against whites (aka ‘native Frenchmen’) is on the rise.

Imagine segments like this airing on FNC, CNN, or (gasp) MSNBC.

GenerationIdentitaire

 Viva Génération Identitaire!

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Ann Coulter: The Hypocrisy of Sheldon Adelson

Ann Coulter is a sista’ who gets it. In “Competition For Thee, But Not For Me“, she points out the rank hypocrisy of Sheldon Adelson, who (like many Jews) favor ‘multiculturalism’ and lax immigration policies in countries like the U.S…. but not Israel:

Between having Republican presidential candidates fly to Las Vegas to kiss his ring, billionaire Sheldon Adelson has managed to fit in time to talk Sen. Lindsey Graham into sponsoring a bill banning Internet gambling.

As you may know, Sheldon Adelson is a CASINO OWNER. Internet gambling would compete with his casino business.

On the other hand, when it comes to the services Adelson isn’t selling, but buying – low-skilled workers – he’s for unbridled competition, preferring not to limit the supply even to people who are legally in the United States. (Weirdly, so is Lindsey Graham!)

Adelson is a big backer of amnesty, telling the Wall Street Journal: “It would be inhumane to send those people back, to send 12 million people out of this country. … So we’ve got to find a way, find a route for those people to get legal citizenship.”

As Milton Friedman said, “With some notable exceptions, businessmen favor free enterprise in general but are opposed to it when it comes to themselves.”

Adelson is an especially telling example of the self-interest of businessmen on immigration. His newspaper, Israel Today, the largest newspaper in Israel, is wildly patriotic on immigration (and everything else).

Israel Today has trumpeted the success of the 15-foot razor-wire fence along Israel’s 140-mile border with Egypt, triumphantly noting last August that, for the first time, “no infiltrations were recorded from the Egyptian border, compared to 193 from the same month last year.”

By “our country,” he, of course, meant Israel. In America, he wants illegal immigrants pouring across the border to provide him with an endless supply of cheap labor. [When will Ann wake up to the fact that it's also to ensure nasty Anglo nationalism never gets a foothold again - LM]

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Pat Buchanan: The End of Ideology—And The Rebirth Of Nationalism

Pat Buchanan’s recent colum is on “The End of Ideology—And The Rebirth Of Nationalism“:

On our TV talk shows and op-ed pages, and in our think tanks here, there is rising alarm over events abroad. And President Obama is widely blamed for the perceived decline in worldwide respect for the United States.

Yet, still, one hears no clamor from Middle America for “Action This Day!” to alter the perception that America is in retreat.

If a single sentence could express the seeming indifference of the silent majority of Americans to what is going on abroad, it might be the simple question: “Why is this our problem?”

If a Russian or Ukrainian flag flies over Simferopol, why should that be of such concern to us that we send U.S. warships, guns or troops? If Japan and China fight over islets 10,000 miles away, islets that few Americans can find on a map, why should we get into it?

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The New Academic Celebrity

There’s a decent, much-discussed piece in The Chronicle (“The New Academic Celebrity“) that discusses the increasing Kardashianization of public intellectuals (ala TED talks and the like.) Think (ironically) Stanley Fish, Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Sandel,l Cornel West, etc.

In a famous essay, “The Unbearable Ugliness of Volvos,” first published in the early 90s, the literary scholar Stanley Fish wrote that “the flourishing of the lecture circuit has brought with it new sources of extra income … [and] an ever-growing list of stages on which to showcase one’s talents, and geometric increase in the availability of the commodities for which academics yearn, attention, applause, fame, and ultimately, adulation of a kind usually reserved for the icons of popular culture.” Fish was Exhibit A among professors taking advantage of such trends, and his trailblazing as a lit-crit celebrity inspired the dapper, globe-trotting lit-theory operator Morris Zapp, a character in David Lodge’s academic satire Small World. But the world Fish was describing, where no one could live-tweet the lectures, let alone post the talks for worldwide distribution, now seems sepia-toned.

“If David Lodge’s Morris Zapp were alive and kicking today,” observes John Holbo, an associate professor of philosophy at the National University of Singapore, and blogger at Crooked Timber and the Valve, “he’d be giving a TED talk, not an MLA talk. Which is to say: He wouldn’t be doing Theory. He probably wouldn’t be in an English department.”

I’m glad to see some of the figures mentioned in the piece receive TED-level attention (e.g., David Chalmers, Shelly Kagan, Niall Ferguson), but the trend as a whole (in our ‘life-hacking’ epoch) is somewhat depressing.

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