Awe

  • From Chuck Klosterman’s I Wear The Black Hat:

Every other response is the process of taking an abstract feeling and figuring out how I can fit it into a lexicon that matches whatever I already want to believe. My mind is not my own. And once that realization calcifies internally, there is no going back. Once you realize you can’t control how you feel, it’s impossible to believe any of your own opinions.

  • After six wins in a row the Kansas City Chiefs are now 7-5. In spite of a 1-5 start and losing its best offensive player, Jamaal Charles, for the season, advanced metrics suggest Kansas City is one of the NFL’s best teams, and “Football Outsiders have the Chiefs going to the postseason in more than 95 percent of simulations,” according to this ESPN Insider article. I won’t hold my breath on a Super Bowl appearance or anything, but if the Chiefs manage to get to the postseason it will be a major success even if they don’t advance. Especially after it appeared like 2015 would be a lost season. Parallels are slowly beginning to manifest between KC’s comeback campaign and that of the Texas Rangers a handful of months ago, but the Chiefs still have four weeks left.
  • FiveThirtyEight conducted four polls over the course of the year, to determine the least-liked minority among Christians and Republicans. Not surprisingly, Muslims were tops among GOP voters at 38%, and were #1 among white evangelical voters at 29%. (It’s important to note that the latest poll came after the attacks in Paris. If another poll was taken after the San Bernardino massacre, it’s reasonable to assume the figures would be even higher.)
  • Considering the increasing Muslim population in the U.S., as well as the polling info suggesting roughly 1-in-3 Christians and 2-in-5 Republicans with preconceived anti-Islamic sentiment, chances of future conflict between the groups seems inevitable.
  • I used to think the modern civil rights movement was procuring equal rights for gay and transgender people. But we’re actually dealing with multiple battles, simultaneously. Racism against all kinds still exists — even if only subtly — whether it’s black people or illegal aliens coming from Mexico, or Muslims whose biggest crime is an association to radical Islam. It seems gravely shortsighted that we’re 50 years removed from the equal rights movement for black Americans, and the United States are on the verge of an imaginary domestic war between Us and Them. This is an untenable struggle that can’t last if we intend to survive as a nation. Rather than fighting each other we should be uniting against the tyranny of our real enemy, which commits atrocities every day in places we can’t see on television.
  • Politically I don’t have a side. I presume some (or most) who read that and are at least vaguely familiar with my worldview would disagree; at times I can’t deny I sound like a radical secularist; 100 percent of the time I sound like a social liberal. Those are hard to get around.
  • But when it comes to guns, or war, I can’t side with pacifism or political correctness. America didn’t get to be the world superpower without many men and women far braver than I’ll ever be. We had to fight, not only physically or with the technology of the time, but with our ideas. Now is the time to fight.
  • But not with our brothers and sisters.

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