In Defense of Republican Opportunists

found online by Raymond

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:

Marco Rubio’s decision to attend the Republican convention and speak for Donald Trump has exposed something important. Not about Rubio — but about a lot of Republicans.

Yes, Rubio is clearly showing himself to be, as the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein says in a takedown, “an opportunistic politician with his finger to the wind.” Ross Douthat agrees.

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What is a “Computer”? What is “Information Processing”?

found online by Raymond

From PZ Myers at Pharyngula:

Just before I left the States, I read this, shall we say, interesting article about how your brain is not a computer. The subhead, which does more or less summarize the content, is:

Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer

Curiously, in order to comprehend the article, I had to retrieve knowledge and stored memories about neuroscience (I have a degree in that) and computers (I worked in the field for several years), and I had to process the information in the article and in my background, and I found that article confusing. It did not compute.

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Why I Never Used “Religious” When I Was a Christian

found online by Raymond

From The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser:

I recently participated in a two-and-half-hour phone interview on the subject of the labels we use to identify ourselves. The man doing the interview is working on his master’s thesis. One label he asked me about was the label religious. Focusing on my days as an Evangelical pastor, he asked if I ever considered myself religious. I told him, absolutely not. The “religious” label was reserved for Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and other mainline groups. THEY were religious, WE were Christians. This was especially true back in my Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) days.

I viewed most other Christian sects with a good bit of skepticism. Catholics were immediately dismissed as fish-eating, beer drinking believers in works salvation. Catholics were prime evangelistic targets, even though I found them almost impossible to evangelize. Protestants such as Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterians were far easier to lead to saving faith in Christ. I considered such people, as a whole, to be religious, but lost. I found these kinds of people to be ignorant of what the Bible taught concerning salvation.

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What You are NOT Being Told About the Clinton Email Report

found online by Raymond

From Tommy Christopher at the Daily Banter:

If the past two days have taught us anything, it is that Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server during her tenure at the State Department is a threat to the American way, and even to all human life on Earth. The media’s sirens-a-blaring reaction to the State Department Office of the Inspector General’s report on email practices would lead any rational observer to conclude that the only crime greater than using personal email to conduct State business is the crime of ever believing a word that Hillary Clinton says.

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This World Was Never Meant For One As Beautiful As You

found online by Raymond

From driftglass:

You may have noticed that I do not post on this blog about every lunatic shudder and tic and primal scream of the Donald J. Trump rolling freak show.

First, because other blogs with staffs and such already do that, so keep up the Lord’s work there people!

Second, because it seems to me to be an empty, repetitive exercise.  Of course Trump lies about Iraq and lies about Libya.  Of course he’s a braying, racist troll.  Of course he’s trying to drag the race for president to his level by yelling “Rape!” at the top of his lungs.

Of course a thousand other things.

So what?

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Is Profit-Seeking At Odds With Consumer Value?

found online by Raymond

From Michael A. LaFerrara at Principled Perspectives:

In the comments section of Linda Stamato’s for-profit hit piece The predatory for-profit college industry and its enablers in Congress, which I covered in my post of 5/19/16, a correspondent ironically calling himself thinkerbell wrote,

. . . once you’ve gone for-profit, it’s pretty much axiomatic that your final concern will be the generating profit rather than the development of wise and committed citizens who can envision and enact a better future.

I left this reply:

This makes no sense. The idea that the path to profitability is to disregard the good of or do bad things to your own customers can be easily debunked by a little personal introspection: When was the last time you sought out the lowest quality, highest price, worst service, or most dishonest provider in deciding how you spend your own money?

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FT Pub Quiz Takes Look at Wacky 2016 Election Season

found online by Raymond

From Marc McDonald at

As many pundits have noted, this has been one of the most wacky and bizarre political campaign seasons in decades. And I sometimes wonder if we’ve ever faced an election where the voters were less informed on the issues, and the candidates, than they are today.

I recall reading once about the early days of television. The great TV pioneer Philo Farnsworth, among others, had high hopes for the new medium.

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Dancing Around the May Poll

found online by Raymond

From Vixen Strangely at Strangely Blogged:

I know there is some hay being made out of this spring grass already,  but I just don’t know how to relate to May polls when I know that Barack Obama wasn’t supposed to win in 2008 according to a poll done as late as September.  After McCain picked Palin. I don’t even know what all was going on at the time because I was unplugged in Reggio Calabria on a personal vacation, but as far as I know–my individual data from people I knew didn’t match the poll numbers. I thought Obama would win, and he did.

A poll in May of 1988 showed Dukakis comfortably kicking Shrub Senior’s ass. Belief in polling strength was nothing but stupid for Romney. And we all have anecdata of where polls were especially wrong.

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On This Day … Commitment to Science, Technology, Space

found online by Raymond

From Kathy Gill at The Moderate Voice:

On this day, 55 years ago, President John F. Kennedy challenged Congress and Americans to think big, to look beyond the stirrings of conflict in the developing world, to “turn recession into recovery”, and to turn our eyes to the stars.

Unemployment was 7.1%, the peak of the recession.

And the recovery he led — a testament to Keynesian economics — was “the second longest economic expansion in U.S. history.”

Part of that recovery included investment in science and technology as well as a vision that captured the nation’s imagination:

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We Were Promised Punch & Pie

found online by Raymond

From nojo at Stinque:

Well, that didn’t take long.

A couple of weeks ago, champagne corks were popping as we were duly instructed to celebrate shamelessly over Trump’s effective nomination. Republicans in disarray! Congressional rats deserting the ship! Better confirm that moderate Justice now, cuz Hillary’s gonna appoint Raul Castro soon as she gets back from the Inaugural!

And then the post-nomination national polls started coming out. Whoops!

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