Best is "moderate" drinking--one to three drinks/day. Man, three drinks per day seems like a bit much to me...and I've been known to down a few in my life.
The sleep of reason begets monsters
On the night of August 19-20, 1969, Nelson County was the site of disastrous flooding due to Hurricane Camille. The hurricane had come ashore on the Gulf Coast 2 days earlier, and weakening over land, had traveled north and then stalled on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains dumping a record quantity of 27 inches (690 mm) of rain, mostly within only a 3 hour period. The rainfall was so heavy there were reports of birds drowning in trees and of survivors who had to cup their hands around mouth and nose in order to breathe through such a deluge.
As many people slept unaware, the ensuing flash floods and mudslides killed 153 people, 31 of them from Tyro and Massies Mill alone. Across Nelson County, 133 bridges were washed out, while some entire communities were under water. In the tiny Davis Creek community, 52 people were killed or could not be found; only 3 of 35 homes were left standing after the floodwaters receded. The bodies of some people were never found; others washed as much as 25 miles (40 km) downstream along the creeks and rivers. The entire county was virtually cut off, with many roads and virtually all bridges, telephone and electric service interrupted.
The UBC team remains confident that displays of pride and some aspects of mating, for example, will turn out to be pan-human characteristics.Um, really? That's what you've got?
He [Mehlman] often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called "the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now."So what's the explanation for this? Nothing could be more obvious:
So what are gay marriage’s opponents really defending, if not some universal, biologically inevitable institution? It’s a particular vision of marriage, rooted in a particular tradition, that establishes a particular sexual ideal.
This ideal holds up the commitment to lifelong fidelity and support by two sexually different human beings — a commitment that involves the mutual surrender, arguably, of their reproductive self-interest — as a uniquely admirable kind of relationship. It holds up the domestic life that can be created only by such unions, in which children grow up in intimate contact with both of their biological parents, as a uniquely admirable approach to child-rearing. And recognizing the difficulty of achieving these goals, it surrounds wedlock with a distinctive set of rituals, sanctions and taboos.
Thing is, arguments this strong are a dime a dozen. One can almost always find something that sounds vaguely plausible to say about the superiority of anything over some other thing. Are John Deere tractors better than New Holland tractors? Well, green is the color of the earth, and there is something harmonious about...etc....
Our current social arrangements are the conclusion/output of a long, informal experiment, and, as such, should be given a significant degree of moral/political/epistemic weight.The substantial conservative, on the other hand, simply thinks that conservative positions on issues are true or rationally preferable--abortion is wrong, American might should only be used to advance American national interest, the welfare state is bad, sex is dirty, there should be prayer in school, etc. The substantial conservative has no dialectical advantage over the liberal--he has to defend each of his positions. The formal conservative, however, can say: I don't know why (e.g.) different-sex marriage is better, but the great experiment has put its stamp of approval on it; not so for same-sex marriage.
[the Western/different-sex idea of marriage is] a particular vision of marriage, rooted in a particular tradition, that establishes a particular sexual ideal.Cultural moral relativism always fails; it's always false, always unsupported by sufficient reason. But at least Douthat is clear and honest enough to put his reasons lucidly out front, thus allowing us to identify them, understand them, and respond to them. And the obvious responses are:
...if you do possess burning intellectual curiosity, we'll let you read all the books we assign and do all the research you want to write profound and insightful papers; it's just that those that don't do all that reading and write b.s. in their papers might get an A, too.2. Causes:
1. Faculty cowardice - (among some) Many faculty just do not want to argue with students about grades.
2. The quest for good teaching evaluations. I would guess that the correlation between high grades awarded and enthusiastic teacher evaluations is quite high almost everywhere.
3. Political correctness and the mania to support "self-esteem" of students.
4. Precipitous decline of honor codes almost everywhere, so that cheating is rampant.
5. The spread of "spinus dissaperanus," a viral disease that robs university leaders of whatever spine they had before becoming leaders.
6. Governing board failures, due partly to the fact that prospective board members eagerly seek the social status that comes with university board membership.
7. Growing lack of diversity in faculty philosophical views.
Last week, Newt Gingrich released a Newt Direct statement at Newt.org concerning the project. As you may have heard, he's somewhat opposed to it. And to explain why, he offered this history lesson:Wow. This is slimy even by Newt's standards. Nice job, GM.The proposed "Cordoba House" overlooking the World Trade Center site – where a group of jihadists killed over 3000 Americans and destroyed one of our most famous landmarks - is a test of the timidity, passivity and historic ignorance of American elites. For example, most of them don’t understand that “Cordoba House” is a deliberately insulting term. It refers to Cordoba, Spain – the capital of Muslim conquerors who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world’s third-largest mosque complex. [...I]n fact, every Islamist in the world recognizes Cordoba as a symbol of Islamic conquest. It is a sign of their contempt for Americans and their confidence in our historic ignorance that they would deliberately insult us this way. [emphasis mine]It's that appositive phrase there buried in the middle of my quote that is the problem. In these twenty-five words, Newt offers the final word on medieval Cordoba: "the capital of Muslim conquerors who symbolized their victory over Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world's third-largest mosque complex." This fact, the transformation of a church into a mosque, is the only thing we should think of when we hear a modern Muslim use the word "Cordoba," according to Mr. Gingrich.
Notice how carefully he's phrased his claim to give the impression that during the medieval conquest of Spain the Muslims charged into Cordoba and declared it the capital of a new Muslim empire, and in order to add insult to injury seized control of a Christian church and built the biggest mosque they could, right there in front of the Christians they'd just conquered, a big Muslim middle finger in the heart of medieval Christendom. Essentially, they've done it before, they'll do it again, right there at Ground Zero, if all good Christians don't band together to stop them.
The problem is, in order to give that impression of immediacy, Newt elides three hundred years of Christian and Muslim history. Three hundred years. The Muslims conquered Cordoba in 712. The Christian church that was later transformed into the Great Mosque of Cordoba apparently continued hosting Christian worship for at least a generation after that. Work on the Mosque didn't actually begin until seventy-odd years later in 784, and the mosque only became "the world's third-largest" late in the tenth century, after a series of expansions by much later rulers, probably around 987 or so.