Trump is pardoning Dinesh D’Souza who was convicted of breaking federal campaign laws. In Trump’s view prosecuting someone (on his side of the political aisle) for breaking the law is unfair. Yes, we are getting the same old tired old cry from Trump – that it’s all unfair. I view this as legal corruption. D’Souza, like racial profiler Sheriff Joe Arpaio, broke federal laws, but our system allows our President to pardon anyone almost without conditions. This highlights one of the problems with our system. We rely on the good judgement of the POTUS.
Dinesh is a skilled debater, twisting words with great arrogance and confidence. He is not a match for Hitchens however, which is why it’s a pleasure to watch their debates. The stronger the opponent, the better we can see Hitchens’ rhetorical gifts in action. This debate is a double header because he is facing two skilled debaters. Notice that at several points Hitchens is slumping back in his chair, apparently bored with his opponents tedious arguments. He does not appear to be struggling to win.
I’m not a believer personally, but I admire this minority of Evangelical Christians who actually believe in the ideas of Jesus. Crazy ideas like helping the poor and treating people equally. Of course, they are not welcome by the Mike Pence, family value, Trump Evangelicals. How dare they be compassionate?. Do read this article. It’s (slightly) encouraging.
Conservative television is poisoning local TV networks. Sinclair Broadcasting, which owns the highest number of television stations in the U.S., is forcing local affiliates to pump out pro-Trump, anti-media (and anti-truth) propaganda – often over their objections. See the CNN video and article below. The media can’t be free if one company owns a critical a mass of stations. This is poisonous slime and has to be resisted.
CNN article Sinclair promos
If you want to laugh, and simultaneously see a demonstration of Christopher Hitchens’ wit, you have to watch this fourteen minute video. A Christian radio show host (a Mr. Todd Friel) sets up a highly ridiculous premise for a game show called “What If?”. The game entails the said Christian radio show host pretending his beliefs are facts, and asking Hitch what he would do in particularly absurd circumstances. The amusing part is that Christopher treats each question as if it’s being asked by a legitimate journalist, answers the questions wryly and sharply, and does not get caught in any of the not-difficult traps set by Mr. Friel.
The funniest exchange happens toward the end of the interview:
Friel: Sir, is it possible that the reason you rage so much against God is because you just want to live your own autonomous way, living anyway that you want to, any lifestyle that you prefer, without being accountable to your creator?
Hitchens: I think that’s highly probable, yes
While China has made some great strides modernizing and engaging the world in the last several decades, it can still be relied upon to do some good old fashioned book banning. Once again, Orwell’s Animal Farm made the cut. They also banned the letter “N”, so don’t throw that letter around lightly if you are in China (that letter ban has since been reversed). Christopher was a great admirer of George Orwell and his “Why Orwell Matters“, as he would say, can be found at fine bookstores everywhere.
In this talk, Hitchens critiques the “Ten Commandments”, shows how they are man-made, and suggests three better, new commandments. The new suggestions start at about 35:00.
God is not Great: a great read, but if you prefer, you can listen to Hitch read it. Enjoy.