In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe; natural wonders and supernatural blunders.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens




Soldiers seem to be a bit peeved at Joe Biden for his comments in this week’s issue stating the Taliban aren’t our enemy in Afghanistan.

Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us.

But are they actually our enemy? We originally went to Afghanistan in search of the terrorists behind 9/11. Now, Al Qaeda’s mostly moved on to other countries. But the Taliban, many argue, are just as guilty for harboring the terrorists in the first place—not to mention their continuing to kill American troops. What do you guys think?

[h/t BuzzFeed, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus]

It depends on what one means by “enemy” and in this case, Joe Biden is right. Sure, the Taliban’s ideology may be contrary to U.S. “values” but are they a force we need to be actively fighting in Afghanistan over? No. What are we doing to do, kill every last Taliban member? Continued Western presence in the Middle East is “radicalizing” people who don’t want us there. The UN coalition troops stationed in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War helped fuel the “radicalism” that brought down the Trade Centers. If you look at the Taliban numbers, they decreased after the initial invasion of Afghanistan because we were killing them but they’re nearly back up to their original numbers. Why is that? Because we’re occupying the Middle East! Are we supposed to stay forever to prevent the Taliban from ever taking power over Afghanistan again? No. We need to get out. We “lost” these ridiculous “wars on terror” and we need to end them because they’re counterproductive. As long as we’re in Afghanistan and occupying the Middle East, “radicalization” will grow.

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    Taliban are not the enemy either…
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    It depends on what one means by “enemy” and in this case, Joe Biden is right. Sure, the Taliban’s ideology may be...
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