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About: Murphy

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Posts by Murphy:


The BEAST ZINNTERVIEW!

June 10th, 2008 by

ZinnDESPITE IAN MURPHY’S IDIOTIC PITCH (“All the cool social activists are doing it. If you do not participate, it will be clear that Noam Chomsky is way cooler than you, and I’ll be forced to get a tattoo illustrating that theme. I’m thinking Noam could be jumping over you on a motorcycle”), the inimitable author and historian Howard Zinn took the time to answer our questions. He’s a cool dude.

Your antiwar position is well known. Why do you hate the troops? Read More

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Fuck the Troops

May 17th, 2008 by

A BEASTly Opinion

So, 4000 rubes are dead. Cry me the Tigris. Another 30,000 have been seriously wounded. Boo fucking hoo. They got what they asked for—and cool robotic limbs, too. Read More

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The 50 Most Loathsome Americans, 2007

January 10th, 2008 by

50. Nicole Richie

Charges: Not a brick house. Not mighty mighty. Vastly easier than Sunday morning. Her criminal exploits, attended by hollow contritions, do inestimable harm to drug legalization efforts; while inexplicably adding nothing to the forced-sterilization debate. Quite possibly a reason the terrorists hate us.

Exhibit A: “I’ve just gone through so much in my life that pulling my top up just doesn’t seem like that big a deal.”

Sentence: Sealed neck-high in the outhouse foundation of a popular Mexican Spring Break destination. Jaws propped open. Read More

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Critical Massimo

October 7th, 2007 by

BY JOSH BUNTING

Massimo Pigliucci, Ph D., is a professor of evolution and of philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook. He has three doctorates – in genetics, botany, and philosophy. He contributes to Skeptical Inquirer and Philosophy Now, and his musings can be found at rationallyspeaking.org . We wrote to him and he wrote back.

It seems that people who are secular and/or have an understanding of evolution tend to procreate less. Does knowledge about evolution demystify the “miracle of birth,” and if so, doesn’t that indicate natural selection working against itself?

No, I don’t think demystification or natural selection have much to do with it. Certainly a naturalistic understanding of human reproduction does make one disinclined to think of life as a “miracle,” but that doesn’t mean it has less value, or that procreation becomes less of a strong instinct and a source of joy (and plenty of pain, of course). Read More

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Say Uncle!

August 10th, 2007 by

BEAST Negotiates Iraq Withdrawal

.
Mahmoud OthmanA lifelong Kurdish diplomat, Dr. Mahmoud Othman is now a leading member of the Iraqi National Assembly. He is also our editor’s uncle.

Do you think it’s wrong that the PKK is listed as a terrorist agency?

Of course it’s wrong, because I think Turkey is waging a sort of  state terrorism against them for the last century. So when they defend themselves, you can’t call it terrorism. Read More

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Let there be retards

May 15th, 2007 by



“THREE-O-NINE! THREE-O-NINE!” I crudely affected like an overgrown toddler, exuberantly waving the hotel room key card overhead, and cradling a small, foam-rubber Tyrannosaurus Rex. I adjusted the thick, foreign prescription bifocals strapped to my head, and steamrolled to the front of the line—purblind and unconcerned with normal etiquette. I wasn’t about to wait around in the Godforsaken lobby of a Cincinnati EconoLodge while the biggest story since creation started without us. Read More

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Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe!

March 10th, 2007 by
INTERVIEW BY ALLAN UTHMAN

The Brad Blog’s Brad Friedman on the hijacking of democracy, why a paper trail is not enough and the Democrats’ flawed remedy

friedman

Do you think that the Democratic gains in the midterm elections have had a deflating effect on the election integrity movement? Read More

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Schlep Boys

February 10th, 2007 by

Failing forward in one act.

BY ALLAN UTHMAN



[Scene takes place in the interior of an auto repair garage. Charles Krauthammer is seated behind a counter. America walks up and addresses Krauthammer.]

America: Hey, I’ve got a problem here.

Krauthammer: Welcome to Kristol and Krauthammer Kollision. Can I help you?

America: Uh—yeah I was just in here… I paid you guys to fix my car? It was making a knocking sound?

Krauthammer: Yes?

America: Yeah, it broke down in your driveway right there.

Krauthammer: Oh dear.

America: Yeah, and…uh…

Krauthammer: Let me get the guys. Bill! Tom! Peter!

[William Kristol, Thomas Friedman and Peter Beinart approach. They are well dressed and clean, bearing no signs of having been engaged in auto repair work.]

Krauthammer: This guy says we messed up his car.

Kristol: No way, hehe.

Beinart: Damn, I knew it.

America: Listen, it’s not just you didn’t fix it. I looked under the hood—

Beinart: Shit.

Kristol: Damn, hehe.

America: [Growing impatient] Yeah, I looked under the hood, and—I can’t believe I’m saying this—I looked under the hood, and my engine’s not there. And uh… instead of the engine, there’s a… a pig in there, on a treadmill, and a monkey. The monkey’s not moving.

Friedman: Yeah, we had to replace the engine.

America: Replace it? There’s a pig and a dead monkey in there! What the hell? You guys are supposed to be good at this?

Beinart: Dead? Oh god…

Kristol: Well, hehe, that explains your problem, hehe.

America: Yes, dead. There’s a dead monkey with a whip taped to his hand and two wires stuck into his side. And a goddamn pig in a harness on a treadmill!

Krauthammer: [Amused] What’s going on here, guys?

Friedman: Well, how else were we going to get the pig to run, besides training a monkey to whip it when electrically shocked?

America: That’s completely insane! Why not just fix the damn engine?

Friedman: Look, the problems your engine faced were like a Superbowl halftime show: powerful and flashy, and everywhere. But fixing it would have been costly, difficult and time-consuming, like going to the moon and back. So, actually fixing your engine would have been like eradicating a Superbowl halftime show on the moon. And who wants to do that? I like the Superbowl halftime show.

America: What the hell is this guy talking about?

Beinart: Just humor him.

Friedman: I’m not done. So, you see, the halftime show—so that’s too hard, actually fixing your engine. But simply removing and replacing it with a pig and a monkey, now that is inspired, audacious thinking. We are totally, 110% outside of the box here. The box is around the corner behind us. A homeless man has moved into it.

America: But it doesn’t work!

Friedman: But just imagine how incredible, how wonderful everything would be if it had! It would be like magic donuts, but cooler! I mean, sure, the results have been disappointing, but what kind of people would we be if we hadn’t at least tried? We’d be like uneaten donuts!

[Silence.]

Beinart: Look, it was a mistake to replace your engine with a pig and a monkey, and I can admit it. In fact, looking back, I can see how disingenuous I was really being at the time, and that I might have done things differently if it was my engine. That saddens me. But, at any rate, I am still a fabulous mechanic.

Friedman: The Chinese are going to save the world!

Kristol: Shut up, hehe. I have seen no evidence of any pig or monkey, heh. The engine is fine, hehehe. Obviously, the our maintenance hasn’t, heh heh heh, been exactly to your liking, but clearly progress is being made, and anyone arguing against moving forward on this auto repair is only rooting for failure, and undermining the morale of our brave auto technicians, hehe.

America: Why do you keep snickering like that?

Kristol: I can’t help it, hehe.

America: Look, you guys are unbelievable. I can’t believe you came so highly recommended. You obviously know nothing about fixing cars, and don’t give a damn about your customers’ well-being.  That monkey died because of your irresponsible actions and your lazy thinking. This isn’t a game. You should be ashamed. You should close up shop, go home and hang your heads in shame for the rest of your lives.

[Silence.]

Beinart: Yeah… You’re right. Sorry.

Friedman: You know, you’re really great.

America: Who, me?

Kristol: He’s right, you know. You are spectacular and wonderful.

America: [Blushing] Come on…

Beinart: No, really. You’re special and you deserve the world.

America: Shucks. You guys are so nice.

Krauthammer: Um, so you need a new engine, huh?

America: Yeah, I guess I do.

Krauthammer: Can we get that for you?

America: [Perking up]: Well, I don’t see why not!

Krauthammer: Okay! We’ll need the cash up front again, of course.

America: No problem! You take credit?

[End scene.]

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The 50 Most Loathsome Americans, 2006

January 10th, 2007 by

50. Ryan Seacrest

Charges: The white man’s Casey Kasem. Catchphrase, “Seacrest out,” was so despised he was forced to drop it. “Dishes” stories. Approaching hosting ubiquity; may soon be on all television channels. An experimental super-soldier of the vanillification agenda, Seacrest emcees a weekly assault on good taste called “American Idol,” poisoning the minds of our children in a preemptive strike against decent music of the future. Ended the year being out-charisma’d by a stroke victim on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2007.” Read More

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Chattin' With Chomsky

January 10th, 2007 by

We e-mailed him & he wrote us back!

Interview BY IAN MURPHY


noamchomskyThe BEAST: You often refer to Israel as being the United States’ “cop on the beat” in the Middle East. Given the immense influence of the Israeli lobby AIPAC in our congress, who’s really calling the shots?

Noam Chomsky: The phrase is not mine. It was used by Nixon’s Secretary of Defense, Melvyn Laird, referring to US policy in the Middle East. Similar descriptions were given at the same time by US intelligence, by Senator Henry Jackson (the Senate’s leading specialist on the Middle East and energy), and others. Read More

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