Culture

The Assault on Truth

By on 3.5.14 | 4:26PM

Asserting that Truth is knowable is punishable by guillotine in contemporary philosophy. Last week, Gary Gutting interviewed philosopher Louise Antony on the possibility of God’s existence. It’s safe to say that the heads of both philosophers will be spared.

The interview led to the fundamental question of what it means to know something in a genuine sense of the word:

[L.A.:] I don’t think that when two people take opposing stands on any issue that one of them has to be irrational or ignorant.

G.G.: No, they may both be rational.

I can’t agree with either Antony or Gutting. If two people have properly functioning rational faculties, and if they arrive at contradicting conclusions, then at least one reasoned poorly, dare I say wrongly? Of course, that assumes the decapitating position that truth is not subjective.

Antony tosses my objection into the “abstract” world:

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College is a Right and My Parents Better Pay for It

By on 3.5.14 | 2:16PM

At 18, you can drive a car, enlist in the military, get married, purchase cigarettes and lottery tickets, and even buy things off infomercial ads. What you can’t do? Support yourself.

At least that is what 18-year-old Rachel Canning believes, and New Jersey law might back her up.

Canning claimed that her parents kicked her out of the house when she turned 18 and refused to pay the rest of her private high school tuition, give her access to her college fund, or pay for her daily living and transportation costs. So Canning sued.

Contrarily, her parents said that Canning left home because she didn’t want to abide by house rules, including breaking up with a boyfriend they considered a bad influence, abiding by a curfew, and doing household chores.

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The Left, the Boy Scouts, and the Truth

By on 3.4.14 | 1:42PM

Shame on the Associated Press for twisting a story and using a photograph to encourage it.

Reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman tweeted about the “new Trail Life scouting group” – a Christian alternative to Boy Scouts which excludes gays from membership or leadership. Of course, she was offended by that tenant of their creed, but she added something horribly offensive:

New Trail Life scouting group excludes gay kids & they do a “Sieg Heil!” style salute, too.

Grossman clearly misread the caption under the AP’s picture of the boys gathered in a circle with arms extended toward the center. Although the caption clearly specifies that the boys were “moving” while “singing," Grossman intentionally distorted the truth to make these kids look like Hitler Youth wannabes.

The left distorting the truth? No surprise there.

However, Grossman’s displeasure with the group’s refusal to admit gay members has some legitimacy.

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Abortion Rights and Compassion Gone Mad

By on 3.3.14 | 5:10PM

Gail Collins can be forgiven for her fundamental misunderstanding of Arizona’s SB 1062, as most of the media dishonestly reported that the bill was “anti-gay.” However, Collins quickly loses the benefit of the doubt as she concludes that the pro-life movement, and the politicians who represent it, hate the poor.

Of course, it's not as if conservatives haven’t faced such attacks before. This is simply a regurgitation of the theme of that “war” that Democrats love to trumpet. I refuse to even give it credence by using the full term in this post.

Collins's main point is that the GOP ultimately always screws the poor with their policies. “Follow the lack of money,” she says.

Besides the confusing and errant ambling of this article, “gay rights” and “abortion rights” are two issues which should not be compared, and to do so is to treat human life flippantly. The right of two men or women to be able to “marry” shouldn’t be linked to the abortion debate because it doesn’t involve the destruction of a defenseless person’s life.

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Special Report

Awards Season Begone!

By 3.3.14

Congratulations, Hollywood! You've survived awards season: a grueling ten-week experience peppered with the twin terrors of routinely dressing up in evening wear—often requiring entire days of primping, pampering, and drinking—and sitting through three-hour events with open bars, thousand-dollar goodie bags, and gourmet meals as billionaires gleefully present each other with nicknamed awards for their yearly achievement of having only a single marketable skill. 

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A Beer Journey

By on 2.28.14 | 1:19PM

Thank you to the Crystal City Wine Shop for helping me obtain this beer. They don’t pay me to say that, and the store is the best craft beer provider in my neighborhood.

The India Pale Ale style is one storied in both British and modern American history. The IPA was born during the rise of Great Britain in the eighteenth century. As the British loved their pale ale, they wanted to drink it in the sweltering heats of India, then under the management of the East India Trading Company. 

The journey to India by sea, however, took months. The ale sometimes went stale during the trips. Thus, some breweries, such as Bass, began fermenting their beers longer to remove all sugars, while also heavily “hopping” their beers.

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The Nation's Pulse

Happy National Condom Week!

By 2.28.14

Did you teens celebrate national condom week with Planned Parenthood? If you thought this was an “adult” celebration, you are mistaken. On the website of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England under the “For Teens” tab, you can find a “contest” to guess how many condoms are in a jar. The winner receives a free Planned Parenthood gift basket (I assume, filled with more condoms).

This is just part of PPNNE’s effort to reach teens and help them to healthily explore their sexuality, free condoms always being a plus. However, if talk about safe sex has become old news, don’t fret. The group’s newest initiative, “A Naked Notion with Laci Green,” is a fantastic resource for all sexually curious young ones.

Miss Green’s YouTube videos talk frankly about sex, including that of a kinkier variety. Planned Parenthood doesn’t even consider advice for teens on bondage and sadomasochism (BDSM) a little “taboo.”

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Another Perspective

The Libertarian Populism of The Lego Movie

By 2.27.14

As the parent of small kids, it was inevitable that I would see The Lego Movie, but I was totally unprepared for the reaction I had to it. I have conservative friends who have actually suggested boycotts due to the "anti-business" message of the film. So at best, I expected a typical kids movie. At worst, I expected more liberal indoctrination in the form of children's entertainment.

Instead, I found a classroom lesson in the ideals of populist libertarianism.

For those who are unfamiliar, and hopefully without revealing any spoilers, the movie tells the story of an unexceptional construction worker living and working in Bricksburg, a megatropolis that mirrors our own reality, with interchangeable pop bands, overpriced franchise coffee bars, and TV shows that appeal to the lowest possible denominator. Emmet, our reluctant blue hero, falls down a hole, discovers the "Piece of Resistance," and finds himself anointed "The Special"—the citizen who will fulfill a prophecy to bring down Lord/President Business.

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The Empowerment of Pornography

By on 2.25.14 | 3:19PM

Imagine your daughter, sister, or female friend gets her working permit at age 14 and heads out for “an honest day’s work.” She absolutely loves her job; she make a great wage and describes the experience as “freeing, empowering, and wonderful.” Instead of being burdened by thousands of dollars in college debt, she makes enough money to pay off her loans and still enjoy life.

And she does it by being a porn star.

If you think this sounds abhorrent, a Duke University freshman who goes by the pseudonym “Lauren” (who Bill Zeiser already introduced us to) couldn’t disagree more. She decided to pay off her bills by doubling as a porn starlet, and after being “outed” by a fellow freshman who recognized her while viewing porn, she told her story on XOJane yesterday:

For me, shooting pornography brings me unimaginable joy. When I finish a scene, I know that I have done so and completed an honest day’s work. It is my artistic outlet: my love, my happiness, my home.

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Americana

A President’s Son in the Ring

By 2.25.14

It didn’t pack the historical punch of the Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston fight whose golden anniversary is February 25. But history was nevertheless made 88 years ago this month when for the first and only time the son of a sitting U.S. president put up his dukes in the ring.

John Coolidge didn’t float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, and the decision in the “White House Hope’s” February 22, 1926 bout went to his more experienced opponent, Matty Silverman, known as “Little Benny Leonard.” (Big Benny Leonard, lightweight champion of the world from 1917-’25, was the Muhammad Ali of his era, a fabulous boxer as facile with his fists and tongue as the former Cassius Clay.)

Afterwards, President Calvin Coolidge vetoed any more fights for his first-born son, while Silverman received lucrative offers to capitalize on the widespread publicity attending his defeat of America’s First Son by turning professional.

The Coolidge-Silverman bout was in the lightweight (135-pound) division in the annual boxing tournament held at Amherst College, where both were sophomores.

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