The Horrible French vs. One Poor, Delicate Muslim Beachgoer

A constant for those of us on the left is our "rage against the machine" vibe. When it comes to the power of government or the rights of the individual, we're totally tuned in to those individual rights.When a story floats across our attention about a kid sent home from school for wearing "inappropriate clothing" -- a provocative blouse, for instance, or a t-shirt with a comically dirty picture on it -- we're right there swinging, often screaming that the teacher should be fired, or the … [Read more...]

When We All Grow Up

Every major change in life -- and probably a lot of the minor ones -- is accompanied by something I call Turbulence.New job, turbulence. New baby, turbulence. Loss of a loved one, MAJOR turbulence.It's that period of discomfort and confusion that happens between one steady life state and another. Eventually you get used to new conditions of life -- the new job is as familiar and comfortable as the old one -- but meanwhile, you suffer the bumpy ride of the necessary transition.I bring … [Read more...]

Saying Goodbye to the 100-Year-Old Man

Today I went to the funeral of a friend, someone I've only known for about 5 years, but who was one of those quality people who brightens the life of everyone he comes into contact with.Ed lived just shy of 100 years. He saw 100 Christmases, 100 Halloweens, 100 summers and winters and falls. And up until a couple of weeks before his death, he was still driving his own car, still -- IN INK -- working crossword puzzles. A mere three days before he died, he was traveling country roads with a … [Read more...]

The Sly Accusation of Islamophobia

I think we're all making a big mistake in defining "Islamophobia" as "hates Muslims."OF COURSE it's wrong to hate people. But it's not wrong to have serious reservations about a religion, a philosophy or a culture. It's not wrong to judge IDEAS, and to find them wanting.Because there really are inferior cultures and beliefs, cultures that deserve to be hated and stamped out. I grew up in one of them -- a racist Southern culture which insisted that skin color should be the decider for … [Read more...]

Starbucks Cups: Yeah, Get Angry … Suckah!

And so the annual "War on Christmas" begins -- the viral claptrap that comes out every year like Christmas lights, earlier and earlier. Here's this year's volley.A number of articles from mainstream news sites -- New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine, New York Daily News -- say "some Christians" or "Christian evangelists" take exception to Starbucks' new plain red cups ... but they never actually name the "some Christians" they're talking about. Is it the Catholic Church in all its … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Poison of Stories

I'm having this idea. Haven't worked it out completely, but … here's the main part.First, let's go back to earlier in the year and look at this post: Beta Culture: Seeing the Brackets. (Its illo is just to the right here.)This is a sister post to that one, and to me clarifies and expands what I was really getting at back then. So:A great deal of what we humans do in day-to-day living is creating stories to live by.Some of them might be stories of personal identity – Faithful Bel … [Read more...]


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