No-Platforming and the Fourth Estate

Earlier today, The Raw Story and several other media outlets reported that American news broadcasters CNN were in the process of considering banning President Donald Trump’s counsellor, Kellyanne Conway, from its Sunday talk show “State of the Union” – possibly on a permanent basis – citing credibility issues, a reference to her ongoing creative interpretation of reality. (Her references to “alternative facts” to defend Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s outright lies regarding Trump’s inauguration crowd size, and to the “Bowling Green Massacre” – which never actually happened – to defend President Trump’s odious Muslim travel ban, have by now achieved a measure of both on- and off-line infamy.)

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Deconstructing the Antagonists

Several dozen news outlets have by now reported on the man who, along with his partner, was ejected from a Jetblue flight, after spotting Ivanka Trump in the cabin and very publicly taking her to task over her father’s general atrociousness (here and here, in the hopeful event you’ve had better things to do). Continue reading

Here are 5 reasons to suspect Jesus never existed

Gearing up for Christmas? Setting out your Nativity? Well guess what?

For any interested in the question of the historicity of Jesus, some useful introductory articles are appearing around now, probably not by chance, in the source below by psychologist Valerie Tarico (also here on WordPress), and here by writer and blogger, Philip Perry of the Internet forum, Big Think.

Before anyone shouts “appeal to authority!”, Tarico makes clear in a postscript that she is not an expert in this area, and is inclined to “defer to the preponderance of relevant experts while keeping in mind that paradigm shifts do occur”. I haven’t been able to determine what Perry’s claim to expertise in this area is, but as he is aggregating existing research rather than making any outright or novel claims, I’m choosing to turn a blind eye, as it were.

The points summarised here – as well as the names of the various experts cited – are simply helpful starting-blocks for further reading into the matter of Jesus of Nazareth, be he mythologised history, or historicised mythology.

Source: Here are 5 reasons to suspect Jesus never existed

United States of Delusional Prudes: Raw Story

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The generally balanced and refreshingly honest online news agency, The Raw Story, has just published a statistics-laden article1 bemoaning, in somewhat self-flagellatory terms, the delusional, prudish, and Bible-thumping tendencies of its fellow Americans. This, presumably, is relative to the rest of the urbane and cultured planetary population, who are fashionably apatheistic, sport enviable body mass indices, and don’t get gunned down on their way to frappuccinos and carrot cake.

The article can perhaps be seen in the context of several introspective posts seen on social media recently (for example that of “Millennial Journalist” Alexis Bloomer, albeit on a personal/generational level, rather than on a national one),2 that may be indicative of the type of deepening, coming-of-age self-awareness that is Continue reading