Attributes of success and failure

Steinbeck, John, largely forgotten novelist

   It has always seemed strange to me  . . .  the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.  John Steinbeck I 'm not sure that I completely agree w … [Read more...]

“ISIS’s rise is related to Islam: The question is: How?”

Just joking, right? (He says, nervously.)

  An important perspective on the so-called "Islamic State" that was published in the Atlantic Monthly back in October.  It's still entirely relevant.  Perhaps, indeed, even more than it was back then:   … [Read more...]

Must public employees celebrate gay rights?

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

  Driving home just now, I heard a fair portion of an interview with Eric Moutsos, the former Salt Lake City police officer whose attempt to avoid an assignment connected with last summer's Gay Pride Parade has now reached the national and international news. He was a very articulate and persuasive interview. Based on the little that I've now heard and read about this story, which I haven't previously followed, it seems to me that Salt Lake Police … [Read more...]

“The Milky Way is not as young as it looks”

Mark Garlick does the Milky Way

  A nice little article in the 21 February 2015 issue of the Economist is entitled "A galactic vampire": Our galaxy seems to be somewhat more than thirteen billion years old, which makes it not much younger than the universe itself.  How does the Milky Way retain its youthful good looks?  Why, the same way that I do:  It sucks the lifeblood of others! The article is a quick read.  For some reason, though, the direct link to it has proven unstable.   … [Read more...]

This is an absolutely fabulous, heart-warming story

Not too far from the grand dogs

  May God bless all who were involved:   … [Read more...]

“Fifty Shades of Dark. And One Shade of Feminism.”

Loyola of Chicago campus

  I just got off the phone with a journalism student at Loyola University in Chicago, who wanted to interview me for an article that he's writing on the topic of  "Ordain Women."  I had assumed that he was writing for the student paper there, but he indicated to me that he's hoping for wider publication. It was a pleasant interview, although, based upon my experience with such encounters, I wouldn't be surprised if I either don't show up in the final article at … [Read more...]

New Testament 86-88

Capernaum is among my favorite sites in Israel

  Matthew 8:14-17Mark 1:29-34Luke 4:38-41; 7:11-17 Only Luke recounts the story of Jesus raising the son of the widow of Nain from death. But all three of the synoptic gospels mention the healing of Peter's mother-in-law (πενθερά). It's striking that the first pope, as he's often regarded, had a mother-in-law.  That fact rather suggests, unless I'm missing something, that he was married. The traditional site of the … [Read more...]

“Prophets and presidents: 11 noteworthy connections between the LDS Church and the White House”

A semi-aerial view of the White House

  For those who may have missed this piece: It's really quite interesting, and provides several surprising "Gee whiz!" moments.   … [Read more...]