Ryan, Romney, Obama, Biden (?), and Medicare

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    And some article recommendations:   Here's Avik Roy, of the Manhattan Institute, in an article by Jim Geraghty entitled "The Ryan Plan: Compared to the Status Quo, It's the Safe Choice!"   And a good article by Michael Barone entitled "Entitlement Crisis Takes Center Stage."   And Yuval Levin, on "Grasping the Medicare Distortion."   And the editors of National Review on "The Return of Mediscare."     … [Read more...]

On Hemorrhoids

Moses Maimonides

    A number of years ago, now, Brigham Young University's Islamic Translation Series, which I founded (and which I continue to serve, after a fashion, as editor in chief), decided to branch out quite a bit and establish a a sister series called "The Medical Works of Moses Maimonides."  (That, in turn, necessitated an overall project title, "The Middle Eastern Texts Initiative," to include both series as well as, ultimately, two parallel series devoted to Eastern Christian … [Read more...]

The Temple on Mount Zion

The Recife Brazil Temple

    The Temple on Mount Zion Saturday, 22 September, 2012, 9:15 am – 5:30 pm 3rd floor Ballroom, Provo Public Library, 550 North University Avenue, Provo, Utah 84601 I would like to announce a forthcoming conference, “The Temple on Mount Zion,” to be held at the Provo Public Library on 22 September 2012.  This conference was originally organized by Matthew Brown before his untimely passing.  The conference focuses on LDS conceptions of ancient and modern … [Read more...]

The Obama Campaign: Hope, Change, Post-Partisanship, and a Vision for the Future

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With thanks to Blake Ostler:     … [Read more...]

“John Lennon Was Wrong, But Right at the Same Time”

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in New York, 1972

    A California anti-Mormon once accused me, years ago, of plagiarizing from myself (!) because I had copied a footnote from one article of mine (a footnote that listed four books on the Book of Mormon witnesses in alphabetical order, with their bibliographical information) and pasted it into another article of mine several years later.   This Deseret News column is an even better example of self-plagiarism, though, as I plainly borrowed it -- with some deletions … [Read more...]

Exotic Tastes

  I had an interesting lunch today with a couple of people who have much of intense interest to say on issues related to Mormonism, the Book of Mormon, and the temple.  (You've perhaps read some of it, and will be reading more.  Good things are on their way.)   We ate at the India Palace, on Center Street in Provo.   I remember, when I was first a student at BYU, that the place to eat out was Denny's.  Of course, if you wanted exotic, foreign food, there was Taco … [Read more...]

The Last Temptation of Christ

Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957)

    One of the most powerful books I've ever read -- I think I read it when I was about sixteen or seventeen -- is The Last Temptation of Christ, by Nikos Kazantzakis (the author, as well, of such books as The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel and Zorba the Greek).   Published originally in Greek in 1953, The Last Temptation of Christ was made into a very controversial film by Martin Scorsese in 1988, starring Willem Dafoe in the title role.   I never saw the … [Read more...]

Byzantine Portraits

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  My BYU Education Week lectures begin today, from 1:50 to 2:45 in the Pardoe Theater in the Harris Fine Arts Center. Tuesday: ”Constantine the Great” Wednesday: ”Eusebius of Caesarea” Thursday: ”Arius and Athanasius” Friday: ”Justinian and Theodora” I had high hopes for these lectures when I proposed the topics, but, well, things haven’t worked out as I had anticipated, and I’ve been much distracted over the past couple of months (which I thought would … [Read more...]

The Watermelon Miracle

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    For any who've been involved in debating whether evidence of intelligent design exists in nature, or whether or not anything like objective moral values can be identified in a random and godless universe, this is a must-see.     … [Read more...]

A Light Moment for the Early Evening

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  Some funny things -- mostly apolitical -- that have crossed my radar screen over the past twenty-four hours or so.  I meant to jot down who brought them to my attention, but I didn't, and now I've forgotten.  Sorry.  But here they are:               … [Read more...]