Monday, January 11, 2010

Endowed with reflective consciousness, man is painfully aware of the passage of time and the finiteness of existence. He contemplates his own death. Thus man is a religious—in the broadest sense of the word—animal: he concerns himself with questions of ultimacy. He may well conclude human life is mere sound and fury. There is no God and no hereafter. But this, too, is a religious answer to a religious question.

If he adopts the non-believer’s position, one may presume he believes his religion is true and all the others false. He may even deem his god-of-Nothing sect—Nihilist? Objectivist? Obliviousist?—superior to all the others. Why the non-believer's position should prove any less divisive than any other escapes me. History's bloodiest, most fanatical theocracies—Mao’s and Stalin’s—were atheistic.

I’m the most laid-back guy on earth. It’s no skin off my nose if people embrace a Christless eternity.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Under American law, the United States can withhold support on loan guarantees to Israel," George Mitchell said on U.S. television on Wednesday after being asked about the kind of pressure that could be brought to bear on Israel.

The PBS interview

"[T]he kind of pressure that could be brought to bear" is a misleading way to couch the issue. Foreign aid consists of the governments of rich countries forcing their poor and middle classes to send their hard-earned money to the elites of poor countries. Foreign aid is welfare for the rich. It is only thanks to "pressure brought to bear" on poor and middle class Americans that foreign aid exists in the first place.

The U.S. Government should end all foreign and military "aid" to everybody, not just loan guarantees to Israel. First and foremost, the U.S. should withdraw the 575,000 U.S. troops stationed in 730 military bases in 130 countries encircling the globe.