On the Champions League

I’m somewhat torn tonight, of course, but in light of Liverpool’s defeat of Inter last night, I’d be very surprised if Arsenal doesn’t come roaring back from this weekend’s embarrassing FA Cup disaster and put the tokes to Milan tonight. I expect something on the order of 3-1 to the Arsenal.

Arsenal is always tops with me. I support Milan against literally every other team in the world, but never against the Gunners. Kaka’ is absolutely brilliant, but Arsenal’s slashing, full-throttle attack is the most beautiful in the beautiful game.

Sans mercy

Anthony Sacramone publishes a very positive review of The Irrational Atheist at First Things: The Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life:

Just when atheists thought it was safe to enter the public square, a book like this comes along. The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day is not a work of Christian apologetics. It is, instead, a merciless deconstruction of atheist thought—or what passes for thought. That’s the gimmick, if you will, of the book: Day does not accept a single assertion made by any one of the “Unholy Trinity”—Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens—without first pinning it to a sheet of wax as in a seventh-grade science class, dissecting it until there’s nothing left but a case for anti-vivisection legislation.

I’m delighted with the review, especially with the attention paid to what I’ve always felt was the more significant aspect of my rebuttal of the false religion-war link, namely, the near-complete silence of the classics. However, I should probably make three small clarifications. I made a mistake in the first print-run that’s already been corrected, because Harris doesn’t actually assert “that most suicide bombers are Muslims”, he instead claims that one can almost bet one’s life on the probability of a suicide bomber being Muslim. And this is indeed true, if you believe that it’s a reasonable bet to gamble your life on a 58.6 percent probability. Also, the relevant statement from Dawkins which led to my citation of the Goldilocks-calculating mathematician isn’t “any God capable of fine-tuning the universe”, (a statement Dawkins also made), but rather any God capable of making the calculations necessary to fine-tune the universe. The difference is small, but significant to my rebuttal of Dawkins’s argument.

As for God’s sovereignty, I don’t dispute it at all, I merely dispute the omniderigiste’s tortured interpretation of the word “sovereignty”. But I have no problem whatsoever with the many Christians who are skeptical of my theological speculations, that’s precisely why they are labeled as such in the book, and in any case, they are largely tangential to my case against the New Atheists.

Thanks to Chad the Elder of the good Fraters for letting me know about it. And congratulations to Richard Dawkins for choosing an excellent time to cash in before everyone realizes how completely his credibility has been shot. I don’t begrudge him the money in the least, after all, if his next book is worth $3.5 million, I figure I can make a pretty reasonable case that mine should be worth around five times that.

CodeMonkey Ramblings also posts a very nice review. I’m sure all those atheists terrified by Harris’s Extinction Equation will simply adore his metaphor:

For a book of its size, the Irrational Atheist manages to do a lot of damage to New Atheism. Think of it as the polemic equivalent of putting a city-killing nuclear bomb in a suitcase. If anything proves the intellectual weakness of the New Atheist movement, it’s the fact that a single book which is only about 300 pages, can manage to jump from one member of the leading clique after another and deftly annihilate them in such a small amount of space.

In defense of the Magic Negro

Tom Buffenbarger president of the machinists’ union (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) was the the latest in a string of Clinton junkyard dogs unleashed upon Obama. Prior to Hillary Clinton’s speech last night in Youngstown, Ohio, Buffenbarger delivered nothing short of an Obama diatribe….

But it was Obama supporters for whom Buffenbarger saved his most vitriolic contempt, and he proved that the Democratic Party’s coalition is nothing if not fragile. Channeling Howard Beale from the movie “Network,” he yelled into the microphone, “Give me a break! I’ve got news for all the latte-drinking, Prius- driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies crowding in to hear him speak! This guy won’t last a round against the Republican attack machine. He’s a poet, not a fighter.”

That’s just not fair. I don’t see how you could possibly conclude that a man who survived a youth spent in an Indonesian madrassah isn’t tough enough to be the president of the United States.

Demographic winter

Rod Dreher points out the secular left’s inability to face the reality that they have sown the seeds of their own demise:

This story from the new issue of the left-liberal magazine The Nation is a choice example of the left’s emotion-based denial of demographic winter. It’s a lengthy catalogue of Christian and cultural conservative individuals and groups who are trying to reverse Europe’s demographic decline. What’s fascinating about the essay is never does the writer actually examine the case these conservatives make about fertility decline and demographic winter; much like the right’s prima facie dismissal of the case for global warming, the thrust of this piece is that demographic winter can’t true because it would validate so many troglodytic teachings that modernity has vanquished. In other words, the case for demographic winter can’t be correct, because all the wrong people believe in it.

You can’t completely grasp the extent of Europe’s post-Christian decline until you walk through the ghost towns of Italy, populated by no more a dozen elderly women and one old man sleeping in the sun. It’s not something that any tourist is going to see in Florence, Venice or Rome, much less Milano, but go outside the tourist tombs and the desolation of demographic winter is impossible to miss. And the imported African hookers scattered along the truck routes in the countryside are hardly adequate compensation for what were once famously vibrant family units.

There’s a large and spectacular church on the outskirts of a town near which we like to wander. Its doors are only unlocked for an hour or so every month, because despite its gorgeous interior architecture and painted ceilings, there’s not only no one around to attend it, there’s not even anyone left to visit it.

The Narrative gets exciting

Barack Obama cruised past a fading Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Wisconsin primary and Hawaii caucuses Tuesday night, gaining the upper hand in a Democratic presidential race for the ages. The twin triumphs made 10 straight for Obama, and left the former first lady in desperate need of a comeback in a race she long commanded as front-runner.

What an incredible story it would be if Hillary Rodham-Clinton, summoning hitherto unknown strength from that vast pool of goddessness deep within the core of her menopausal feminine essence, should fight back from the face of certain defeat and claim the Democratic nomination. Why, it would be a historic victory for women everywhere! And it would be all the proof she would ever need to show that she was tough enough for the job.

In case that doesn’t answer your question, yes, I am as confident that the the Lizard Queen will be Bush’s successor as I have been since I first declared that in 2003. It doesn’t look very likely at the moment, to be sure, but then it didn’t look very likely five years ago either. Since I merely observe the horse race and the Narrative rather instead of placing much significance upon them, I am untroubled by its various vicissitudes.