Something to Ponder

Question: If a Muslim father makes one a Muslim (a claim falsely made by Debbie Schlussel to smear Barack Obama) and a Jewish mother makes one a Jew, if a Muslim man marries a Jewish woman and they have a kid, is the child both Muslim and Jewish?

If so, can we fix the whole Middle Eastern situation through intermarriage?

Richard Dawkins would argue against the frame of the question. In his latest book, The God Delusion, he posits that children can't truly hold religious beliefs, so a child is a "child of Jewish parents" rather than a "Jewish child."

UPDATE: As I thought, being a Muslim requires one to submit to Allah. So much for that idea.

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Profound Atheist Quote

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." -Stephen Roberts

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A Momentary Reprieve

As of 9:05 pm last night, I'm done with finals for this semester. Not sure how I did on my last exam, but at this point I'm placing all my faith in the professor's excellent grading skills. Wish me luck.

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Michigan Proposition 2

In the wake of Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003) (invalidating a hard 20-pt advantage for racial minorities in admissions) and Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003)
288 F.3d 732, affirmed (upholding flexible racial preferences in admissions), Proposition 2 passed in Michigan. The language of the proposition, which won despite opposition from the Democratic governor and her Republican opponent.

The language of the proposition is as follows:

"The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting."

Is the passage of this initiative a good thing or a bad thing, and why? Cathy Young's Boston Globe column argues that it's progress in ending racism, while Cheryle Jackson argues in the Chicago Sun Times that affirmative action is still vital.

My biggest problem with affirmative action is that you don't get what you want by settling for something you don't want. Law students that want to do public interest work don't get there by joining big firms. I can't see the path to ending racial discrimination that stops at institutionalizing racial preferences on the way.

If affirmative action is necessary to dismantle years of institutionalized racism, when will it no longer be necessary? Furthermore, are any of the affirmative action laws and policies written with these success criteria?

Institutions have their own momentum and are much harder to stop than they are to start. We should be careful about trying to destroy one institution (racism) by starting another one (affirmative action).

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Happy Birthday Libertarian Party!

The Libertarian Party turned 35 today.

Many happy returns and here's to the next 35.

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Code Monkey

Derek sent me a link to Jonathan Coulton's Code Monkey, a beautiful little song.

His code not functional not function or elegant. What do Code Monkey think? Code Monkey think maybe manager wanna write god damn login page himself. Code Monkey not say it out loud. Code Monkey not crazy, just proud.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...code monkey...