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Showing posts from April, 2012

Score one for Constructivist theory?

My thoughts on Obama and Democrats playing up the Osama bin Laden killing for the campaign very closely mirrors these by Digby:

I get why the Democrats are doing it. I'm sure it's extremely satisfying to land those punches on the right wing blowhards after all the years of taunting and jeering about liberal cowardice. To be able to say they killed the evil mastermind where the swaggering codpiece failed is probably too much of a temptation for them to pass up. I get it.

But I hate it. I hated it when the Republicans did it and I hate it now. I don't believe the most powerful nation on earth should be running its democracy via schoolyard power plays. This is how we ended up stuck in Vietnam and how we have found ourselves floundering about in Afghanistan and elsewhere. It's why we can't stop spending trillions on useless weapons systems, why we "have" to continue to fund ridiculous programs like Star Wars and why everyone in the political establishment ass…

Grizzlies blow huge lead, lose game 1

I can't stand when this happens in the NBA. No matter how much you are down you can always make a run. But you don't have to help the other team out like the Grizzlies did. It's one thing if the other team is just making a lot of tough shots. You can't control that. But you can control the shots you take. And this team has a tendency to get lazy on offense and shot low % shots early in the shot clock.

When you are up by 20 in the 2nd half you should be running down the shot clock all the way every possession. And you should probably only shoot 3s when they come through the flow of the offense and are very open. But for some reason we don't do this and let games get close even when we've far outplayed the other team. As much as I can't stand Chris Paul (he's a punk), he's too good to not only get lazy defensively, but offensively as I just talked about. And I'm not sure what's off with Zach Randolph, but I hope he fixes it soon because he is…

The rest of the Miami Dolphins' draft

They addressed a lot of the positions I thought were needs. They went with Jonathan Martin, the offensive tackle from Stanford in the second round. I like this pick since it should solve the problem at RT. Now we have a healthy Jake Long at LT, Incognito at LG, Pouncey at C, IDK at RG, and Martin at RT. The offensive line is pretty set and hopefully improved over last season. Offensively that left WR as the biggest need. But they didn't choose to address it until the 6th round. So I think it's fairly obvious at this point that they just don't think WR is a big need.

You don't trade Brandon Marshall, not sign a free agent, and then not take a WR (BJ Cunningham) until the 6th round unless you don't think the position is a big need. The reason I believe they think that is because Brian Hartline and Devone Bess are decent players. And they just don't value the position as highly as other teams. Green Bay has good receivers. But they don't run their offense thr…

Battlestar Galactica: more thoughts on the finale

A post over at Pajiba.com which touched on the finale got me thinking about it some more. I've narrowed my thoughts down a bit. One thing I'm certain of is that whatever you thought about the answers to some of the big questions, most of the character driven aspects of the episode were powerful and worked for me. I had noted that I wanted some kind of redemption for Baltar. He obviously did some horrible things. But if I'm given the choice of watching him suffer for doing those things or learn from them and try to make up for them, I'll choose the latter. And he finally tried to atone for his decisions.

Roslin came to be a symbol of strength and hope for humanity. She helped save a lot of people right after the bombing of Caprica and put those people on the path towards Earth. She always believed in humanity's salvation. So it was nice to see her get to see it through until the end. And it was nice to see Adama share the moment with her. Adama was part of what kep…

Miami Dolphins draft Ryan Tannehill

All of the rumors we were hearing turned out to be true. I think it was a confluence of a lot of things that led to the decision to draft the QB out of Texas A&M. The first was way back at the beginning of the season when Chad Henne got hurt. If Henne would have been healthy and played up to his potential there might not have been a need at QB coming into this season.

The second was that while Matt Moore played fairly well, he is only signed for another year and wasn't drafted very high coming into the league. Moore simply isn't expected to be anything but a good backup. Plus, he hasn't shown a lot of comfort running a west coast style offense. And that is the kind of offense the new head coach, Joe Philbin, is probably most comfortable with given what they ran in Green Bay.

So the long term solution at QB wasn't on the roster. And since it's difficult to win without a good QB and since the fan base was restless and difficult to get into the stands to begin w…

Israeli general bucks conventional wisdom in US

Most politicians and pundits in the US believe Iran is a country run by a bunch of crazy, suicidal people who want to destroy Israel, the US, and take over the Middle East. But Israel's top general doesn't seem to think that's the case:

"I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people," Gantz told Haaretz. "But I agree that such a capability, in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists who at particular moments could make different calculations, is dangerous."
It could be that he is just trying to buy time for his gov't and the US to reach an agreement with Iran or for sanctions to play out. But if he truly believed as many in the US do that Iran is not rational he at least has a better feel for diplomacy than we do given his ability to blatantly lie. Given that I'm sure the general is smart and good at his job, I think it's safe to take him at his word. He knows that he has the far superior military to Iran and that his nuclea…

But we are special

And Mitt Romney wants you to know it:

I’ll tell you about how much I love this country, where someone like my dad, who grew up poor and never graduated from college, could pursue his dreams and work his way up to running a great car company. Only in America could a man like my dad become governor of the state in which he once sold paint from the trunk of his car.
Paul Waldman asks Romney, and basically every other politician, to just stop it and get over yourself:

Can we just put aside the "only in America" schtick? It's like every presidential candidate has to channel Yakov Smirnoff at some point. Let's be honest about this. America does indeed offer enormous opportunities for all kinds of people, despite our huge and growing inequality. The attraction it has always held for immigrants made this country what it is. For a long time, the kinds of opportunities available here were a rarity among nations, when in so many places class lines were much more rigid. But that&#…

Miami Dolphins draft needs

The draft is merely several hours away. So I thought I would tell my fellow Fins fans what I think we should do. Let's start with what I think are the biggest needs. Offensively, we have issues at RG, RT, WR, and QB. The most pressing need of those for me is RT. We gave up a ton of sacks last season. And Matt Moore likes to take deep drops and push the ball downfield, which he is very good at. So assuming Moore is the starter even if we take Tannehill, I think addressing RT will go the furthest in improving the entire offense next season. But, I don't think there is a RT worthy of the 8th pick. And you can probably find a decent RT later in the draft. The same goes for RG.

So, staying with the offense, that leaves us with QB and WR. Even though trading Marshall hurts I don't think it's as bad as continuing to have a poor oline. Bess and Hartline are capable, as is Fasano at TE. But it certainly is a need. No one seems to think Justin Blackmon will fall to 8. So we are …

Tennessee lawmakers do it again

But this time it's not even remotely funny: The Tennessee House last week voted 80-18 to make miscarriage — or the killing of any fertilized egg — murder. Last night, the Tennessee Senate passed by a 28-2 margin a companion version of the bill. The bill specifically includes all embryos “at any state of gestation in utero.” Tennessee’s Republican Governor Bill Haslam has not indicated if he will sign the bill. To be clear, this bill goes further than covering, say, a violent attacker harming an expectant mother who then, unfortunately, miscarries. This bill, House Bill 3517 and the Senate’s companion, makes anyone’s actions that presumably cause a miscarriage murder. Opponents of the bill question how law enforcement would actually enforce this law or determine if someone’s action was a direct cause of a miscarriage. I don't have the words. In related news: Memphis, Tennessee The state's Republican-controlled legislature sure is great at enacting laws that they claim…

What rule of law?

From, you guessed it, Glenn Greenwald:

For the last several years, Padilla, represented by the ACLU, has been attempting to hold accountable six Bush officials responsible for his torture by suing them for violations of his Constitutional rights. But, needless to say, the Obama DOJ — led by the President who, when he announced his candidacy, proclaimed that “the era of Scooter Libby justice will be over” — has insisted that, unless Congress explicitly decrees otherwise, these officials are immune from lawsuits even when they knowingly authorize the torture of an American citizen on U.S. soil. And federal courts — also needless to say — have thus far accepted that claim and barred Padilla from suing. Today, the ACLU filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review these dismissals, and it’s worth highlight a couple parts of that brief. Here, for instance, is the question which the ACLU is asking the Supreme Court to answer:

Question presented: Whether federal officials responsible f…

Determinism and success

I talked about determinism in this post about Battlestar Galactica: The Plan. Michael Kinsley gives me the opportunity to relate it to the real world with this post about Mitt Romney's life.

In my BSG post, I make the point that my life as a man born to middle class white parents in Memphis during the 80s is much different than the life of a woman born to working class parents in Iran during the 50s. In the popular American sense of the term success, I have a much better chance at being successful than that woman. And Mitt Romney, being born to an upper class family, had a much better chance at being successful than I did. And both my odds and Romney's odds were pre-determined. We had no control over the circumstances we were born into. Thus, as Michael points out, it's kind of odd the way Romney and conservatives talk about individualism in relation to success.

Also like I said in that post, it's not all completely pre-determined. Mitt Romney wasn't simply desti…

Taxes and the collective action problem

I'm not sure I've made this point here. I know I've made it somewhere before, probably during my days on message boards. But I figured this post by Will Wilkinson was a good reason to make the point, or let him make it sufficiently:

My friend Matt Zwolinski, a professor of philosophy at University of San Diego, wonders why folks who think taxes ought to be higher, like Warren Buffett, don't just go ahead and pay more in taxes. ...
Anyway, this could be any question about the rationality of complying with a rule that (1) you support, but (2) will only have its desired effect if general compliance with the rule is high, and (3) you suspect general compliance will not be high. Suppose I'm a utilitarian convinced that human consumption of meat causes a huge amount of animal suffering. And suppose I love meat, and giving it up would leave me worse off. I would happily comply with a no-meat-eating rule if I thought others would likewise comply. But in the absence of a mec…

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

I wanted to get my thoughts down before I went to bed. At the end of the series, in the finale, Baltar and #6 say that everything is inevitable, meaning that when they landed on Earth and decided to start from scratch that it didn't matter that they gave up their technology. Humans would evolve to the point where they would build machines. And then machines would evolve to the point where they try to destroy humans. It happened on Caprica, on the first Earth they found, and they seem to suggest it will happen on the last Earth they find.

What I took away from The Plan was that it's also inevitable that some cylons will rebel. The Plan follows two different versions of each cylon. One of the two, even the #1 who was the main driver of the plan to destroy the humans, displays love towards humans or a human. And thus they don't go through with the plan to destroy the humans. We also saw this at the end of the series. They have a vote and half of them decide to rebel and event…

Scary surveillance stuff

As usual, it comes from Glenn Greenwald, who dutifully keeps us up to date on these things. I've posted some of Glenn's stuff before and the theme is usually the same. I want to continue to post his stuff to try and get it out there. And also as usual I don't have much to add since Glenn is almost always spot on in his analysis.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, George Bush ordered the NSA to spy on the communications of Americans on American soil, and they’ve been doing it ever since, with increasing aggression and fewer and fewer constraints. That development is but one arm in the creation of an American Surveillance State that is, literally, ubiquitous — one that makes it close to impossible for American citizens to communicate or act without detection from the U.S. Government — a state of affairs Americans have long been taught since childhood is a hallmark of tyranny. Such are the times — in both America generally and the Democratic Party in particular — that those …

New header pic

I decided to go with a new picture for a few reasons. While I love the old picture of the Alliance fleet before Serenity and the Reavers get to them, I felt like I needed a change. And I wanted to honor Battlestar Galactica. The picture I found of the fleet doesn't mesh as well with the background as the original picture did. But I decided that I like the background color too much to change it. Plus I could decide at any minute to go back to the original picture. And I went with the new one because I wanted to keep with the them of a 'Verse. And I think space and spaceships capture that well, plus they are just cool.

Lady Gaga on health and our bodies

Here's the tweet that prompted the discussion:

Just killed back to back spin classes. Eating a salad dreaming of a cheeseburger #PopSingersDontEat #IWasBornThisWay
And here is a good reaction to the tweet:

There is no shame is talking about all the work you do to be thin and there shouldn’t be, but we should be very critical of how health and “what you look like,” seems to have become the same thing. Doing what it takes to look like Lady Gaga and “being healthy” are two very different things. The problem is that our fat hating culture has fused these two things together–as though what you look like and how thin you are is an accurate measure of your health.
That's a very good distinction. In general, you can say that being on the thinner side is more healthy than being on the thicker side. But I don't think it's necessarily the case that being as thin as someone like Lady Gaga is being the healthiest you can be. It could be that she would be a bit thicker if she were to …

Gas prices: Obama and Iran

I don't get out much mainly because I don't have any money and I'm introverted, thus I don't care that much about being around a lot of people I don't know. But the high price of gas is a pretty strong deterrent for me and obviously everyone else in this country. Sometimes I feel like just driving around for a bit and walking around a store. But I don't drive unless I really need something.

That leads me to this Juan Cole piece about how the Obama administration's policy towards Iran affects gas prices:

Frum is likely correct that there isn’t that much speculation involved in trading oil futures nowadays. While 10% or 15% of the price of petroleum may derive from traders building the Iran crisis into futures contracts (which isn’t really speculation), mostly petroleum is high because demand is exceeding supply. Otherwise there should be a lot of petroleum just sitting around in depots, which is not the case.

But Frum then went on to say that there were two …

Poland seeks accountability for torture

I don't have much to add to this post by Andrew Sullivan. I mainly just want to recognize it and the fact that after almost four years we have still done nothing about it.

Isn't there something grotesquely appropriate in that Bush and Cheney, in importing into the US the torture techniques of totalitarian regimes, used one building named in honor of the founder of the East German Stasi? They remain war criminals, and the rule of law in America remains unenforced by the Obama administration on the core issue of torture. But not all politicians are as craven as Obama on this. Here's the current conservative prime minister of Poland, Donald Tusk:

“Poland will not be a country anymore where politicians will arrange something under the table and it will not come to light, even if they do it hand-in-hand with the biggest empire in the world,” and “those in power must be able very effectively to safeguard the dignity of the Polish state; in other words, they must act only in acco…

The Cabin in the Woods and feminism

Again, spoilers if you haven't seen the movie. Go see the movie!

Alyssa Rosenberg asks if Cabin is a step back from Buffy on the feminist front:

But Jules’ character is the one that’s least-played with, the least-subverted, and the one we see suffer the longest. We learn that Dana isn’t really a virgin—she’s just the best the people orchestrating the sacrifice have to work with. Curt, the giant jock, turns out to be a pre-med smarty. Stoner Marty’s protected from the malign influences of the people manipulating them because the pot he’s smoking ends up inoculating him to the pheromones they’re pumping into the cabin, and he’s the one who figures out how to get them into the complex. (Holden doesn’t get much of a fair shake either, and it’s too bad that both of the characters of color in the movie are somewhat quiet and detached). But we don’t get a clear debunking of whatever stereotypes we’re supposed to have about Jules. Clearly, she’s being influenced by the chemicals, the height…

Battlestar Galactica update

In case you don't follow me on Twitter I wanted to let you know that I have finished the show and I enjoyed the fraking hell out of it. It's one of my favorite shows ever. And I can't wait to watch it again. The reason I didn't post anything about the last handful of episodes is because there was so much going on that I wanted to wait until the end. And then the end came and there was so much going on that I couldn't, and still can't, wrap my head around it all. I'm going to need to watch the finale at least one more time to fully grasp everything.

But deeper analysis aside, I thought it was great. It combined everything good sci-fi should be; good characters, good plot, good action, and good visuals. What makes the show so great is it did all of those things at a very high level. And for a poli sci nerd like myself it threw in some politics for good measure.

I'll try to do one wrap up post where I give my thoughts on the finale and maybe even look ba…

The founders passed individual mandates

Just another instance of reality and history having a liberal bias:

In making the legal case against Obamacare’s individual mandate, challengers have argued that the framers of our Constitution would certainly have found such a measure to be unconstitutional. Nevermind that nothing in the text or history of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause indicates that Congress cannot mandate commercial purchases. The framers, challengers have claimed, thought a constitutional ban on purchase mandates was too “obvious” to mention. Their core basis for this claim is that purchase mandates are unprecedented, which they say would not be the case if it was understood this power existed.

But there’s a major problem with this line of argument: It just isn’t true. The founding fathers, it turns out, passed several mandates of their own. In 1790, the very first Congress—which incidentally included 20 framers—passed a law that included a mandate: namely, a requirement that ship owners buy medical insurance …

The Cabin in the Woods

This will contain spoilers. I will try not to give too much away.

This movie is best seen not knowing anything about it. So take my word for it, and the merits of Joss Whedon and his co-writer Drew Goddard (he also directed the movie), and just go see it. It would help if you are a fan of or are familiar with the horror genre. But I don't think it's necessary in order to enjoy it. If you need more convincing or just want to get my thoughts after having seen it you can keep reading.

So here are some of the spoilers, or if you've seen it, some of the awesome things I enjoyed. Basically the whole thing with Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins. Nearly all of that was funny, not to mention adorably sexy when Amy Acker was on screen.

The most fun was probably when all of the creatures are let loose. I loved the shot where the second batch of swat guys went to the elevators there was all the blood and bodies with the three zombies eating someone. I was smiling ear to ear watchi…

Do political labels make you stupid?

That's the question of this thread over at the Dish, where Andrew Sullivan is on a break. I wanted to highlight this response from a reader:

Matt Glassman’s analysis rests on a huge causal assumption that I think is difficult to defend. He believes that “no one has yet devised a better system of signals that allow low-information voters to make election choices that reflect their political beliefs and interest priorities.” I think you could reverse the causation here and argue that people are low information voters precisely because they make voting decisions in a tribal manner, rather than on an analysis of proposed policies or even their own self-interest. The fact that partisanship serves a social-identity function discourages carefully thinking or information seeking. Once I’ve decided I am going to vote republican (or democratic), there really isn’t any rational reason to become a high-information voter.

I would remind Matt, that most people’s party membership is extremely…

Community: Blade and the carnival

Spoilers for tonight's episode will follow

The last few weeks of Community has pitted Troy against Abed and thus has thrown my world into chaos. It was uncertain whether their epic battle would leave their friendship broken and laying dead on the battlefield of pillows and blankets. But with tonight's episode all is right with my world again. Troy and Abed seemed back to their old selves, correctly pointing out that Blade is a fantastic movie.

Though I'm not sure we are completely out of the woods as it pertains to the future prospects of Troy and Abed's friendship. The Vice Dean is still working to try and get Troy to join his air condition repairman school. This is why the Dean showed up at the Blade screening, which prompted my favorite line of the night from Abed upon opening the door to great Dean, "Guys, I need help reacting to this."

I'm sure there were other things going on in this episode. I know because I kept seeing tiny glimpses of Alison Br…

The forever lurking 'other candidate'

Now that Romney has all but wrapped up the Republican nomination I want to try and get out in front of the what are inevitable questions about whether anyone else will enter the race to try and capitalize on the dissatisfaction with Romney and Obama. In short, even if someone does it probably won't matter.

In the unlikely instance where we have another Bush v. Gore it could matter that someone like Gary Johnson or Ralph Nader gets 1% of the popular vote. But even then the race within states, where it actually matters, it would have to extremely close between Romney and Obama. I guess it's conceivable that some states could end up this close. In order for that to happen I think the economy would need to continue to grow slowly and for conservatives to not rally around Romney. I can see both of those things happening to some extent.

But the key point I wanted to make is that I think most conservatives will rally around Romney. To what extent they rally (turnout) will be import…

Liberals and Neoconservatives

Andrew Sullivan asks what the difference is between them. And he posts an answer from David Bosco:

Liberal interventionists share the desire to spread freedom and the conviction that outsiders can help do so, but they also care deeply about building international architecture (almost always) and respecting international rules (usually).
Andrew adds:

Liberals often differ sharply about, for example, humanitarian intervention: it's entirely coherent to self-describe as both a foreign policy liberal and believe that humanitarian intervention usually does more harm than good. Neoconservatism, by contrast, makes a belief in the morality and efficacy of preventative wars against rogue states (Iraq, Iran), nation-building endeavors (Afghanistan post-2009), and overwhelming US military dominance more broadly into bedrock principles. While liberals might endorse any or all of those three, it's not at all requried by liberal commitments that they do so.
I think they're both largely ri…

The War on ...

I tweeted about this a few minutes ago but I wanted to explain my thinking a bit more. It seems that liberals have grown fond of using the, what I thought was a conservative rhetorical ploy (think the War on Christmas), to describe many ridiculous conservative policies. The most popular of which is probably the conservative 'War on Women'. Granted, conservatives are proposing some terrible policies that will hurt women and thus the nation as a whole. I'm just as completely against those policies as every other liberal. But I don't think it helps to use this type of rhetoric.

While the policies are terrible, they aren't acts of war. I know politics involves a lot of rhetoric and people don't mean it literally. But if we think about where this phrase came from we can see the problem. I've been reading about the War of 1812 and how Madison and Jefferson viewed it as a war to prove the "Manlihood" of the young nation. They wanted to use the war as a s…

Easter: not a completely worthless "holiday"

Easter is yet another example of if not violating the 1st amendment, stretching it to just short of it's breaking point. There is no reason for it's holiday status other than to let Christians feel special. Jesus died for us and then rose from the dead three days later for whatever reason, just to show off I guess. Yet another example of the brilliant storytelling of the new testament authors. I mean, three days is the perfect number. If it's a few hours or a day after he died you're probably thinking, WTF was the point of dying. If it's a week after people have already moved on to the next messiah. But three days is enough time where it's still in the back of their minds but enough time has passed that you aren't expecting it. Great showmanship.

Anyway, I can find some value in Easter, especially since I have some young siblings that enjoy the whole Easter egg thing. It might be a mostly nostalgia thing, but I enjoy hiding the eggs and having the kids try …

My newfound respect for the restaurant industry's employees

Just worked a 12 hour day at my new job, which is likely to be my former job pretty soon. My feet have killed me every day I've worked. There is ZERO break whatsoever. No five minute break to sit down and rest your feet and back. And of course, if you aren't doing something for more than 30 seconds at a time the place might cave in and swallow everyone whole. I swear they must teach a course in business school called "How to treat your employees like a bunch of fucking children and make them think you're an asshole", because everywhere I've worked and most people I've heard from have had this experience.

And to me it doesn't make any sense. It just doesn't seem efficient to have your employees dislike you and always feel on edge. I was talking to one of the other employees that had been there for a while and I think he made a good point when he said it's about power. They know demand is fairly high for their jobs so they don't really have…

When liberals don't like the SCOTUS

Or more accurately, when they don't like when the four conservatives and one moderate offer different opinions than their own. That's been the post-ACA oral argument story since most people believe it didn't go well for the liberal side and it might mean a defeat for the individual mandate. That apparently prompted this situation which Conor Friedersdorf describes:

...while on the left, the most bothersome recent tick has been the preemptive insistence that if conservative Supreme Court justices strike down the individual mandate in President Obama's health care bill, it'll be an expression of pure partisan allegiance rather than an earnest expression of discomfort with Commerce Clause jurisprudence as it's evolved over the decades since New Deal era case law broadened and transformed it.
While I don't condone liberals making a purely partisan argument against the Supreme Court for being purely partisan, I think the court (both liberals and conservatives) …

Reminder: TN lawmakers are morons

I posted about this when it first came up a few weeks back. Now it looks like Gov. Haslam will sign the bill that will allow public teachers to teach kids that theories like evolution and global warming are something other than theories strongly supported by evidence while things like creationism and global warming conspiracy theories are made up by people who don't understand science.

This comes from a legislature that wanted to make it lawful to let people go into bars with guns. Thankfully, I think Haslam didn't sign that bill. It's kind of weird because there are huge swaths of the state that are as conservative as you can get. But the urban areas can be as liberal as you can get, such as Memphis. So while the legislature and governor are pretty conservative right now, we don't always have morons like we current have in Nashville completely in control. So not only do I hope the economy gets better for my selfish sake, for the country's sake, and for Democrats …

Slow blogging

I haven't felt compelled to post much the last few days. I think most of the reason is that I haven't been interested in many of the current stories. The GOP horserace is basically over. And even Santorum can only say so many crazy things. The other reason is that I finally got a "I need some money to help pay some bills and just to have in my pocket" job. So that will take up some time that I would normally use to aimlessly scour the internet looking for interesting things. And in about a month I'll be interning for a campaign, which will take up even more time. I'm not sure why I feel compelled to explain this. I guess I just want my loyal follower to not worry when I go a few days without a new brilliant post. Don't fear. Just sit tight and something will come out eventually.

Primed beliefs

Usually Andrew Sullivan posts thought-provoking things over the weekend, many dealing with religion or the lack thereof. But this one sounds like a lot of bullshit:

[A]dults generally do believe in gods. That such belief begins in childhood and typically endures into adulthood places it in the same class as believing in the permanence of solid objects, the continuity of time, the predictability of natural laws, the fact that causes precede effects, that people have minds, that their mothers love them and numerous others. If believing in gods is being childish in the same respect as holding these sorts of beliefs, then belief in gods is in good company.
I tried to follow the link so I could read the whole thing but it only gave a preview of the whole thing. And I'm not signing up to read it all. So I'll just have to tackle this part.

Generally believing in god/s is not in the same class as those things he mentions. All of those things can be seen. There is evidence for their ex…