Monthly Archives: March 2009

A Liberal Churchman, An Authoritarian Calvinist, a Former Prostitute, and Deepak Chopra: ABC’s “Nightline Face-Off” Series Sets a Circus-Like Atmosphere for a Debate on the Existence of the Devil

So reports the Christian Post. Welcome to the sensationalist Idiocracy: Two controversial preachers, a former Las Vegas escort and an author on spirituality have been recruited by ABC to debate the existence of Satan on Friday. The unexpected line-up will … Continue reading

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Farting 8th Grader Says He Didn’t Even Do It! “It was the kid who sits in front of me.”

This today in The Ledger (of Lakeland, Florida): An eighth-grader at the Bill Duncan Excel Center in South Lakeland, Locke, 15, has been suspended from riding the school bus for three days after being accused of passing gas. “Jonathan passes … Continue reading

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The Fifth Beatle: Conservative William F. Buckley on the Beatles—and What It Means for Barack Obama and Contemporary Conservatism

In 1964, William F. Buckley said of the Beatles:  “The Beatles are not merely awful. They are so unbelievably horrible, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art, that they qualify as crowned heads of antimusic.” … Continue reading

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Neo-Byzantine: Obama as Golden Haloed Medieval Art Icon

Tue Mar 24, 2:26 AM ET U.S. President Barack Obama in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex in Washington, March 23, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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Purpose v. Contingency: Are Theodicy Speculations, Conspiracy Theories, and Seeing the Hand of God (or Satan) at Work in Your Life, Intimately Linked Activities?

Philosopher AC Grayling’s review of Christian apologist John Polkinghorne’s new book, Questions of Truth, is a tough one and can be read here. In it, Grayling had an observation that was quite novel and worth reflecting on: [T]he painful experience of … Continue reading

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David Kilcullen Says WATCH PAKISTAN

The Washington Post interviewed David Kilcullen this weekend: Why is an Aussie anthropologist coaching American generals on how to win wars? David Kilcullen, an Australian army reservist and top adviser to Gen. David H. Petraeus during the troop surge in … Continue reading

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John Polkinghorne’s Book of Christian Apologetics Gets a Tart Takedown from Philosopher AC Grayling

Philosopher AC Grayling’s review of John Polkinghorne’s new book, Questions of Truth, is a tough one and can be read here. Money quote: [T]he painful experience of wading through this book gave me an epiphany: that religious faith is extremely … Continue reading

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Are Global Markets on the Mend?

According to the New York Times today, some economists and market analysts are moving into the realm of the cautiously optimistic: Garry Evans, Asia strategist at HSBC in Hong Kong, in a note last week said that “history shows that … Continue reading

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Slate Editor Jacob Weisberg: “The Kindle Will Change the World”

Slate editor Jacob Weisberg tries the Kindle and thinks it will mark a historic shift in print culture. Money quote: Like the Rocket e-book of 1999 (524 titles available!), it will surely draw chuckles a decade hence for its black-and-white … Continue reading

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Ongoing Holy War in the 21st Century

Reuters today: Rabbis in the Israeli army told battlefield troops in January’s Gaza offensive they were fighting a “religious war” against gentiles, according to one army commander’s account published on Friday. “Their message was very clear: we are the Jewish … Continue reading

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Is Afghanistan a Quagmire?

So suggests Spiegel today: Afghanistan is on the brink of chaos: That is the stark message from local leaders, the US military and development workers in the troubled country. The elected government, they warn, can no longer compete with the … Continue reading

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This is Your Army on LSD: An Early Military Experiment with Psychedelics

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Shakespeare, James Joyce, and the Dirty Encoding in Britney Spears’s “If U Seek Amy”

Recently, Britney Spears has gotten some buzz by subliminally inserting “Fuck me” into the title of her new music video: “If U Seek Amy.” See it or hear it? Maybe this will help: iF-U-CeeK-aME! Naughty. But is it a very original play on words? … Continue reading

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Soviet Hammer & Sickle Shirts Being Sold at Amazon

Below is a disturbing shirt being sold at Amazon. I don’t oppose the shirt being sold, only disturbed that people are so ignorant of the history of the 20th century that they would think it “cool” to wear it. Or worse: they … Continue reading

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“I am deluded by the turning mills”: How William Blake Might Have Responded to Richard Dawkins’s “The God Delusion”

From the third chapter of William Blake’s poem, Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion (plate 60, lines 52-64): O Lord & Savior, have the Gods of the Heathen pierced thee? Or hast thou been pierced in the House of … Continue reading

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Salon.com Reviewer, Stephanie Zacharek, Pans Nicholas Cage’s Faith Positive Film, “Knowing”

Unlike so many unenlightened scientists and rationalists, do you have faith? Or, if you don’t have faith, do you at least think that you should, and that faith is a virtue? If so, you might like the premise behind Nicholas … Continue reading

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How Much is that Daguerrotype in the Window?

One of the first photographic images ever taken of a dog, this daguerrotype is from the 1850s and is scheduled to be auctioned off at Sotheby’s soon:

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The Kindle and No-Handed Reading

Steven Berlin Johnson just got his first Kindle, and here’s something that he especially likes about it: When he was on John Stewart, Jeff Bezos mentioned that the Kindle was great for one-handed reading, which got a salacious chuckle from … Continue reading

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Axis of Medieval

Can’t we all just get along? Barack Obama is doing his best to ease tensions between the United States and the medievalists who rule Iran. He sent the Iranians a nice Youtube “let’s be friends” Hallmark card yesterday (see below). And the BBC … Continue reading

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Yesterday, Barack Obama Sent Out a Kind Word to Iran, and Today We Get the Pleasure of Hearing the Response of Iran’s “Supreme Leader,” the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is an authoritarian. Barack Obama is a liberal. As can be seen in the video above, Obama has recently made the gesture of sending a conciliatory and friendly message to Iran’s government and its people, and below is the response. According to … Continue reading

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