Master of Divinity

Yours truly now owns the ludicrous (and actually idolatrous) title of a Master of Divinity.  MDiv. for short.  Got to wear the silly robe and everything to prove it. In other ludicrous news, I now have a Master’s Degree and work as a janitor custodian.  My local church  doesn’t appear to have any openings right…

Bike to Work Week

Well it’s bike to work week and due to the fact that it is also ridiculously nice here – I mean upper 70’s which is almost hot – I thought it would be a good time to start biking the six miles between my apartment and work.  My goal is to do this every single…

Silly Arguments Against Hate Crimes Legislation

No, we probably shouldn’t be in the business of creating special protections for homeless victims, but this latest bout of legislative idiocy has provoked some uncommonly silly responses. Obviously, intent matters. If someone is attacking people of a particular religious, ethnic or sexual orientation in an effort to harass, provoke or intimidate members of said…

The Amish versus the recession

A heartbreaking story from Forbes. Here’s the money quote: “Most people say they’re tightening their belts. Well, we don’t use belts, so I guess we can say we’re tightening up our suspenders and rolling up our sleeves and going to work . . .”

torture and terror

“The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to.”  ~F. Scott Fitzgerald Sleep deprivation, as Andrew notes, “can sound deceptively banal” compared to other torture techniques.  Of course, keeping someone awake for a night or two certainly can’t be considered torture (if they are able-bodied men or women that is). …

defense spending: still spending

One thing to bear in mind about the free riders on the United States and its defense capabilities is to me the salient aspect of America’s defense budget in general: we could reduce our defensive budget by what would be in any other context massive amounts of money, and still remain absolutely, utterly militarily dominant.…

US Religious Landscape

ABC News posts this piece introducing the latest Pew Forum Research Survey (the premier forum for this work) on US religious identity in America.  Robert Putnam (he of social capital fame) shared some of his research due to come out in his new book American Grace (2009). ABC focuses on the decline in religious observation…

Sunday Poem Series

The Wood Pile by Robert Frost Out walking in the frozen swamp one gray day I paused and said, ‘I will turn back from here. No, I will go on farther- and we shall see’. The hard snow held me, save where now and then One foot went through. The view was all in lines…

Comedian-in-Chief

I may not always agree with his politics, but you have to give the guy credit for style.  This is not your grandfather’s president.  When they talk about him being the first postmodern president this is what they mean.  His slam on Steele’s faux ghetto slang & persona (minute 5) is unreal–and completely deserved.  I…

Joe, the GI

So before Star Trek last night– which is great, by the way– they showed the preview for the upcoming GI Joe movie. This is an old riff of mine, but it’s worth blogging. The GI Joe franchise (toys, cartoons, video games and movies) is all about a band of elite super-soldiers, each with his or…

Friday Night Jukebox

The first time I heard Elliot Smith was watching the Oscars – or rather, when I watched Good Will Hunting, but I didn’t pay much attention then.  When I saw this performance though I was extremely impressed.  It followed a number of big flashy numbers – Celine Dion I think, and others.  Lots of production.…

Quote of the Day

Br. Salam speaks the truth: Some of you are thinking, “Oh man, hipster twee. Spoon my brain out, please.” Well, you’re a bozo. You’re not necessarily a bozo. But seriously, don’t let your “contrarian” prejudices keep you from reading a rare and really brilliant book. If you’re embarrassed about reading the same book all of…

The Salad Bowl

Jonah Goldberg makes an odd claim in his latest column: The mainstream perception that conservatives are close-minded and dogmatic while liberals are open-minded and free-thinking has it almost exactly backward. Liberal dogma is settled: The government should do good, where it can, whenever it can. That is President Obama’s idea of pragmatism and bipartisanship: He’s…

New Belgium

Good read about “sustainable beer” at American Progress.  Fat Tire is one of my favorite beers, and 1554 and Skinny Dip are pretty bloody good also.  We drink a lot of New Belgium brews around here, though the company’s “Fat Tire Festival” – a musical mountain biking tour with lots of good beer – was…

an ending, but no closure

Wesleyan University is in my hometown. I have many connections to the university, which I won’t share now. I was in fact on campus when the terrible events of Wednesday occured. I wish I had something smart or insightful or wise to say about it all, about crime or violence against women or how to…

I dare you to make less sense

These days, “Orwellian” has become a convenient synonym for “things I don’t like,” so I hesitate to use the word in any context. But I don’t think anything else does justice to the sheer idiocy of this Townhall post, which accuses torture opponents of “moral relativism.” Because, you know, arguing for the essential dignity of…

Liar, Liar: Jim Carrey and the Misinformation About Vaccines and Autism

By Dan Summers Corynebacterium diphtheriae, the infectious agent responsible for diphtheria, is a nasty little germ. Known once upon a time as the “strangling angel of children,” affected patients would develop a membrane that covered the airway, as well as significant irritation in the throat and surrounding tissue. Respiratory and circulatory collapse commonly followed, with…

Teaching Moments

This depressing Los Angeles Times story inspired a pretty interesting debate on teacher unions over at the American Scene. In comments, Freddie mounts a persuasive defense of union-backed tenure for professional educators, arguing that job security is a major incentive behind recruitment and retention. This certainly makes sense to me, though it’s worth noting that…