Best Quote XVIII  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

Posted by Robert Stacy McCain, in response to Da Tech Guy's Statement of Common Principles:

Hmmm. It's all foreign policy. I don't see anything objectionable here, but I've never been much interested in foreign policy, which is an expert's game and I'm not all into that diplomacy stuff.

So far as I'm concerned, the world can be divided into four categories:

  1. U.S.A
  2. Countries that we're at war with
  3. Countries that we're not at war with
  4. Countries that are watching from the sidelines and thinking, "Hmmm. Maybe we should jump in on this war against America."
The objective of policy should be for category 1 to whip the living dogshit out of category 2, and thereby transfer them to category 3, so as to send a message to category 4: "Don't even think about it, assholes."

Peace Through Superior Firepower. Anybody got a better idea?

I think that's a swell idea. Fire for effect.

The Great Debate Redux  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

I have returned from the Great Debate and I am rather disappointed in both sides. The first part of the debate mostly consisted of D'Souza and Hitchens making assertions. They rarely addressed anything brought up by their opponent, and provided little, if any, reasoning or evidence for their beliefs. In this regard, I think D'Souza did slightly better than Hitchens, but I could only understand his arguments because I had read his book What's So Great About Christianity. I can only guess at Hitchens line of reason, because it was never stated.

Which puts my predictions for the debate way off. Hitchens made no personal attacks, and only a few sarcastic remarks, some of them directed at the moderator. Hitchens was definitely the more entertaining of the debaters. I do, however, give the money quote of the debate to D'Souza. Towards the end of the debate, each person was allowed to ask their opponent one question. Hitchens asked if D'Souza would rather Hitchens stay an atheist, or convert to some non-Christian religion, like Islam. S'Souza's reply: "It's much safer to debate you as an atheist than a Muslim."

I thought there were a number of fallacies and historical in Hitchens assertions, but D'Souza never dug into them. And D'Souza's arguments were not as strong as they could have been. He could have used some additional evidence and reasoning.

The last part of the debate was a little more lively. The moderator took a few questions from the audience, and Hitchens or D'Souza gave a short answer, and then the other gave a short rebuttal, and they did a bit of back and forth until the moderator cut them off. This is where Hitchens made some of his more egregious claims (the Nazis were a Christian group, the Communist founded a state church based off Eastern Orthodoxy to worship Stalin) that just don't stand up to the historical test. I'm not going to analyze or refute Hitchens' arguments until I've had a chance to read God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, since I really don't know more about Hitchens' position except that he believes every evil in the world is caused by religion and he thinks that religion is immoral because of it. So I want to get his take on that where he has a chance to explain in detail his beliefs.

It was an interesting debate, but I didn't really learn anything from it. I'd heard most of the arguments from both sides before, and without much explanation for their assertions, the ones that were new didn't mean much to me. It was more to see how the two men debated than to really learn anything. It looks like formal debates are terrible forums for either informing or persuading.

The Natives are Getting Restless  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

Over at Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, I find my favorite photo from the Washington, DC Tea Party:

Silly boy, don't you know it's racist to point out that they always call you racist no matter what you do?

Over at the Instapundit, we have a close runner up, with the only good czars in America:

The Great Debate  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

This Thursday I am going to the Great Debate between Christopher Hitchens and Dinesh D'Souza. For those who do not know, D'Souza is a Christian apologist and Hitchens is his atheist counter-part. The debate is billed as asking whether religion (read: Christianity) has been good or bad for civilization. It has generated a great deal of interest here in Orlando, with over four thousand people registering to attend, many times more people than the organizers originally expected.

I am most interested in how Christopher Hitchens will present his arguments. I am already quite familiar with the Christian side of this debate, having read D'Souza's book What's So Great About Christianity and then teaching it to a small home group. And in another bible study, we have gone through I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. And as a part of that study we watched the debate between Chistopher Hitchens and Frank Turek.

So after all that study, I am convinced of both the historical accuracy and truth of the New Testament as well as the social benefits of Christianity on civilization. Hitchens, however, believes that religion in general and Christianity in particular has been a destructive evil and civilization is well to be rid of it. So I am curious to know what evidence Hitchens has and what reasoning he will use to show the evilness of Christianity.

I am afraid he was not terribly convincing in the Turek debate, seeming to rely on general accusations and insults, avoiding or ignoring any issues raised by his opponent, and otherwise not actually answering the question of the debate. I rather expect him to use the same tactic, but it would be nice to see the pattern established. It might be time to obtain a copy of God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything and see if he is any more reasoned when he has time to put his thoughts in order.

Meanwhile, I expect D'Souza to show up with statistics, historically verified facts, and common sense and debate straight from his book, which addresses debate's question directly. I don't expect Hitchens to be impressed with D'Souza's arguments, but I would like to see if he actually refutes them or if he dismisses them with a snide comment and moves on. I also want to see how D'Souza approaches Hitchens. Turek seemed to be somewhat out of sorts trying to debate someone who wasn't actually debating anything and I want to see how D'Souza handles that.

Post debate analysis to follow this weekend.

Best Quote XVII  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

[The Department of] State is a corporate culture, a set of employees that gradually turns over (the last corps within USG selected by that true dinosaur of American history - civil-service examinations), and of course a set of power networks that are utterly and completely invisible. There is one thing you can say for scattered-authority systems: they are impossible to decapitate. Critical individuals are not to be found. Thus, these systems (commonly known as "bureaucracies") are not only very ineffective, but also very stable

Mencius Moldbug

But lets not forget my favorite bureaucratic quote:

The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the expanding needs of the bureaucracy.

Best Quote XVI  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

Thus, the same amendment protecting speech also separates church and state. Where the country has gone off the rails is allowing Critical Theory to drive towards a separation of church and culture. Into this breech steps an ideologically driven president.


Best Quote XV  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

Perhaps the dirtiest secret of decolonization is that bureaucracies prefer the postcolonial model to the colonial model, "advice" and "aid" to actual rule, because the postcolonial model generates more jobs. Vastly more Westerners are involved in failing to run the Third World, than ran these same countries successfully when they were colonies.

Mencius Moldbug

Is it Just Me?  

Posted by RogueDash1 in

...or is this what everyone else's life is like?

Cracked, by way of Linkiest

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