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Member since: Tue Aug 26, 2014, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 1,827

Journal Archives

What happens to the wrongly accused on college campuses?

AIPAC Today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Whether you agree or disagree, it's worth watching.

Homeless Man killed by LAPD: March 1, 2015

This was just sent to me by a friend in LA. Apparently this is going viral on youtube.

Caution: strong language.

Cops Vs. Cameras: The Killing of Kelly Thomas & The Power of New Media

This is why any controls of the internet are frightening. We need to make sure the internet remains open to document police abuses.

Cops Vs. Cameras: The Killing of Kelly Thomas & The Power of New Media


Salman Rushdie: The Belief In Free Speech Is An Absolute Belief or Not at All

‘Boy Who Came Back From Heaven’ pulled by publisher

As a person of faith, I abhor frauds. This book always sounded fishy to me, and now it has been proven so. Sounds like a father was trying to make money out of his vulnerable child.

‘Boy Who Came Back From Heaven’ going back to publisher


Tyndale House, a major Christian publisher, has announced that it will stop selling “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,” by Alex Malarkey and his father, Kevin Malarkey.

The best-selling book, first published in 2010, purports to describe what Alex experienced while he lay in a coma after a car accident when he was 6 years old. The coma lasted two months, and his injuries left him paralyzed, but the subsequent spiritual memoir — with its assuring description of “Miracles, Angels, and Life beyond This World” — became part of a popular genre of “heavenly tourism.”

Earlier this week, Alex recanted his testimony about the afterlife. In an open letter to Christian bookstores posted on the Pulpit and Pen Web site, Alex states flatly: “I did not die. I did not go to Heaven.”

...Thursday evening, Todd Starowitz, public relations director of Tyndale House, told The Washington Post: “Tyndale has decided to take the book and related ancillary products out of print.”

...Last April, Alex’s mother, Beth Malarkey, posted a statement on her own blog decrying the memoir and its promotion: “It is both puzzling and painful to watch the book ‘The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven’ not only continue to sell, but to continue, for the most part, to not be questioned.” She goes on to say that the book is not “Biblically sound” and that her son’s objections to it were ignored and repressed. She also notes that Alex “has not received monies from the book nor have a majority of his needs been funded by it.”

Tyndale’s book contract was only with Kevin, Alex’s father — not with Alex or his mother.

What I think of when I think of racism

We've had this discussion before on what racism actually is by definition. The discussion has been cordial and for that I have been very appreciative.

Today, I ran across an article which I do define, unequivocally, as racism. If you will notice, the article is from the Russian newspaper Pravda. For people my age, Pravda was the Soviet-era propaganda paper that no one believed, least of all the Russians. However, in the post-Soviet era, Pravda has occasionally had an interesting article or two, which is why I occasionally pop by there.

However, a recent article is, to me, the quintessential definition of racism. The author of this article believes wholeheartedly that black people across the world are not equal to whites or Asians, and that when Thomas Jefferson asserted that "all men are created equal", he was dead wrong. The writer correctly links Jefferson's belief in human equality to his deist leanings and his belief that humans were in fact created by a deity. The writer rejects this religious thinking as superstitious, and relies on evolutionary theory and genetics for his argument that races are not equal. Later, this writer invokes The Bell Curve among other things.

We don't see this kind of writing in American mainstream papers: most of our current complaints are about racist language concern the interpretation of hidden meanings, not shock at the blatantly overt screed.

Black anger and white frustration

The shootings to death of 3 blacks in 3 separate incidents involving white police officers in America in recent months - and the killings of 3 police officers by black attackers in 2 separate incidents (in New York and Florida) afterwards (in apparent retaliation) reveal an uncomfortable truth which is not discussed in the American mainstream media. And this uncomfortable truth is that the American credo of "All men are created equal" is ideologically false, as it is not a "self-evident truth" at all but propounds a form of what I call "heterophobia," that is, the fear of recognizing the biological differences on the basis of race (and, for that matter, of gender, ethnicity, and the like).

As long as America refuses to confront this uncomfortable truth, the racial tension between whites and blacks will continue for decades to come, regardless of what the outcomes of the pending civil and criminal cases about the incidents will turn out to be. In the end, what is at stake here concerns the future of democracy in America and the world at large....

...The first false assumption is that all men are "created," because the Founding Fathers believed in Creation Theory. As I already explained in THE FUTURE OF CAPITALISM AND DEMOCRACY (2002), the credo of "All men are created equal" as used by Thomas Jefferson fits well in his religious worldview with the Unitarian movement of the time, "in recognizing Jesus as a moral teacher and a religious reformer,...As he himself once said, '[t]here is not a young man now living in the U.S. who will not die a Unitarian.' And so much religious was his life outlook that he spent the pastime in his older days to collect passages from different Christian texts into a collection now published as THE JEFFERSON BIBLE....Mark Noll, an evangelical historian at Wheaton College in Illinois, noted that Jefferson 'studied Scripture every day during the last 50 years of his life.'"

The problem here is that the Creationists accept Creation Theory as a matter of religious faith, but both the atheists and the critics regard Creation Theory as a product of outdated superstition. The debate between Creation Theory and Evolutionary Theory, for example, has continued unto this day...

It gets much worse from here.

For people from my generation, THIS is what we think of as racism: the underlying belief, supported by an intelligensia and institutions, that races are not equal and should not have equal rights before the law. And as this Russian writer points out--in a perverse way--it is really un-American to have such a belief. (And un-Christian, for that matter.)

This is why many of us are shocked when we are accused of racism for merely believing in a balanced Federal budget, and we scratch our heads when making routine grammar corrections (which we might do for any student) is considered "microaggression" (a form of racism).

I hope my co-discussionists from the previous thread will comment.
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