What is a “true” religion?

Why Evolution Is True

As ISIS slaughters its way though Syria and Iraq, it became inevitable that we’d hear from the apologists who claim that ISIS is not in fact “true Islam,” and that its depredations are due to something other than religious motivation.  Those motivations, say the apologists, are political (usually Western colonialism that engendered resentment), cultural (societal tradition), or anything other than religion.

These apologists, of course, which now include President Obama, are motivated by two things. The first is the desire to avoid criticizing religion at all costs—expecially Islam, some of whose proponents have a nasty history of retaliating with extreme violence. And, in America, criticizing religion is political suicide. Further, the apologists cling to a double standard, whereby Middle Eastern Muslims are not expected to behave according to the same standards, as, say, Israel. They are treated like little children whose tantrums are simply fobbed off on their age, or, in this case, their…

View original post 1,485 more words


The body-power relationship and immanent philosophy: A question of life and death (2014)

Foucault News

Parchev, O.
The body-power relationship and immanent philosophy: A question of life and death
(2014) European Legacy, 19 (4), pp. 456-470.

According to Foucault, the human body is the targeted object of modern power systems. In his genealogical studies, Foucault describes the manner in which these power systems leave an imprint on the body and utilize knowledge of the body as an indirect means of exercising subtle forms of control. In recent years, several researchers have claimed that the status of the body, subsumed as it is by modern power networks, has become a means for conducting a unique political critique in which the human being is viewed as an agent of oppression and freedom. This article takes a fresh look at Foucaults notions of life and death that underpin the critical understanding the body-power relationship. While this approach recognizes the completeness of subjective structuring processes, it also…

View original post 27 more words

The Long Way Home, by Sun Shuyun

Buddhism now

Buddha Amida, Lord of the Western Paradise or Pure LandI grew up in China in the 1960s. Many of you will, I am sure, know what a strange time that was in China. Just about everything was turned upside down and Buddhism was very much a synonym for anything that was bad about our society. Buddhism was regarded as feudal, reactionary, and as something that gave China a lot of its evils. In primary school we had compulsory classes on political studies three times a week, during which times we studied Mao’s work, and religion was a target of attack. Communism regarded Buddhism, I would say, as the main competitor for the control for faith, for the control of people’s minds. Indeed, we had a saying, `One more Buddhist, one less Communist.’ Throughout China, even today, the one thing you will definitely see in most villages and cities, big and small, is a temple. It could be as small…

View original post 5,814 more words

Dear White Gays: Stop Stealing Black Female Culture


I need some of you to cut it the hell out. Maybe, for some of you, it’s a presumed mutual appreciation for Beyoncé and weaves that has you thinking that I’m going to be amused by you approaching me in your best “Shanequa from around the way” voice. I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t care how well you can quote Madea, who told you that your booty was getting bigger than hers, how cute you think it is to call yourself a strong black woman, who taught you to twerk, how funny you think it is to call yourself Quita or Keisha or for which black male you’ve been bottoming — you are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. It is not yours. It is not for you.

Let me explain.

Black people can’t have anything…

View original post 881 more words

Ken Silverstein’s “The Secret World of Oil”

Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Ken Silverstein’s “The Secret World of Oil”

Ken Silverstein

A Descent Into Big Oil’s Inferno


Reading Ken Silverstein’s “The Secret World of Oil” is like picking up a rock in the middle of the night and shining a flashlight at the creepy, crawly things found beneath. The emphasis is on the word secret since many of the men he scrutinizes prefer it that way. Even when their activities remain within the law, their assault on ethics and decency would provoke a Sodom and Gomorrah punishment from a just god if one existed. Is moral turpitude, criminality and a bestial level of greed intrinsically connected to making a living as a middleman in the petroleum industry? That is the conclusion a reader would draw after reading the fast-paced and entirely entertaining tour led by Ken Silverstein, our Virgilian guide to…

View original post 167 more words