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Monthly Archives: December 2011
As a result of recent Egyptian elections, the (so-called moderate) Islamic Brotherhood and (all agree fanatic) Salafists will represent two-thirds of the seats in the new parliament. Erik Trager of the New Republic interviewed seven of these election winners, all … Continue reading
This is certainly hopeful. It appeared in the Washington Times recently: America’s first black female secretary of state [Condoleezza Rice] is quietly positioning herself to be the top choice of the eventual Republican presidential nominee, ready to deliver bona fide foreign-policy … Continue reading
More bad news on the H5N1 airborne experiment front (from the Los Angeles Times yesterday): [Dutch virologist Ron] Fouchier [whose lab created airborne H5N1] said he was cooperating [with the US government], but he thought the [experiment sharing] strategy was impractical. When he … Continue reading
I have to ignore the odious source (the pedophile enabling Pope Benedict XVI), but it’s quite insightful (if God exists). It comes from Benedict’s Christmas homily: Francis loved the child Jesus, because for him it was in this childish estate that … Continue reading
The Islamist group that calls itself “Boko Haram”—northern Hausa language, meaning “Western learning is sinful”—and that blew up Catholics at a Christmas service yesterday, is described in the following manner by Reuters: The shadowy group from Nigeria’s Muslim north, blamed for … Continue reading
Because saying “Happy Holidays” to a stranger is not “taking Christ out of Christmas”; instead, it’s acknowledging the plurality of ways that late December is treated in a world in which not everyone is Christian. “Happy Holidays” is a catch-all that … Continue reading
The best new Christmas song of the year (by Tim Minchin): —- Unfortunately, though Tim Minchin’s segment was taped for the Jonathan Ross Show, it didn’t actually air. It was nixed as too controversial. But Minchin, given a copy of … Continue reading
Albert Mohler is President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and Darrel Falk, past President of BioLogos, calls Albert Mohler “among the most important evangelicals in the world” and a “giant” in evangelical and fundamentalist circles. In April of … Continue reading
It’s hard to imagine a nervier end-of-the-year story. H5N1 is a highly virulent strain of bird flu. If it ever went aerosol, transmitting itself between humans through coughing or sneezing, it would probably kill a billion people before a vaccine got … Continue reading
Below, North Koreans react to news of Kim Jong-il’s death. My first thought on seeing this was the Christian notion of Judgment Day (with Jesus, not Kim Jong-il, inhabiting the Big Brother space). Every knee shall bow and every tongue … Continue reading
A must-see YouTube by Dr. Mike Evans of the University of Toronto:
When I read the following portion of an account in the New York Times, by Ian McEwan, of Christopher Hitchens’s last days, I find myself in jaw-dropping awe: [T]his was a man in constant pain. Denied drinking or eating, he sucked on … Continue reading
Marx was right. Religion is an opiate. But Sophocles was right as well. In the furnace of this world, it’s understandable if, Oedipus-like, a person avoids too naked and persistent a confrontation with the world by plucking out her eyes. … Continue reading
An example of Christopher Hitchens telling it like it is. In an age suffused with fakery and obfuscation, Hitchens was a breath of fresh air.
On hearing of Christopher Hitchens’s death this morning, my first thoughts went to something he had once said as a play on Socrates: The unlived life is not worth examining. Christopher Hitchens lived a life worth examining. May his future … Continue reading
Thought experiment. Imagine resurrecting the following figures from the Russian and Soviet past: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Czar Nicholas, and Lenin. Show them the ad below. Tell them this is what is being promoted to Russian youth as desirable in the year … Continue reading
If you’re inclined to believe that your dog or cat has thoughts, but lacks a sophisticated vocal language for communicating them, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker agrees with you. He argues that language isn’t, strictly speaking, necessary for thought. Interesting. ___