“50 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically”

From ancient Mesopotamia (Click to enlarge.  Click again to enlarge further.)

  Fifty identifiable individuals. This may seem a pathetically small number to some, and (I suppose) a revealingly small one to skeptics, but it's actually fairly impressive. For a specific named individual still to be detectible in the archaeological record after two or three thousand years or more is a rarity, even in the intensively studied ancient Near East, and no small … [Read more...]

Nasruddin on the radio

"Goha's Dream"

   If you're at all interested in learning about the legendary and often very funny Islamic character Nasruddin (or Nasr al-Din, or Goha), tune in here: http://www.byuradio.org/episode/cfa953ca2ddf46cda46877cfb9c02a9a/the-apple-seed-nasruddin The acrylic of "Goha's Dream" above was done for us by a friend and hangs in one of the bedrooms of our house.  More information, including the story behind the image, can be found … [Read more...]

“Capernaum bears witness of Christ”

Aerial view of Capernaum (Click to enlarge)

   One of my very favorite places to visit, for reasons that I explained in a newspaper column a few years ago: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700038919/Capernaum-bears-witness-of-Christ.html I really enjoy introducing it to people.  I'm taking a break this year, but I'm scheduled to lead a tour there in late April of 2015.   … [Read more...]

Two films

A strong cast (including Cate Blanchett, not shown here)

   We returned home a while ago from seeing The Monuments Men. It hasn't received particularly strong reviews -- according to Rotten Tomatoes, audiences have liked it better than critics have -- but we enjoyed it. I suspect that a little bit of my enjoyment, at least, came from the fact that it covered the same general period and region of the Second World War in which my father was involved.  (It occurs in the vicinity of Patton's Third … [Read more...]

Another global mystery

Something to contemplate

  I found this on the Cruise Lady website. I'm sure there's deep cosmic significance in it. If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it's a duck. We're halfway there.   … [Read more...]

“President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy”

Russian tanks in the Crimea? No.  Russian tanks putting down the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. We've seen this movie before.

  I've been roundly criticized and even denounced for my criticisms of Barack Obama.   I strongly feel, and have always felt, not only that he's too far to the ideological left but that he's far out of his depth.  Putting an untested community organizer up against the veteran KGB officer who leads Russia struck me as unspeakably foolish in 2008, and subsequent events haven't caused me to rethink my view.  (Mitt Romney was mocked and derided for publicly describing Vladimir P … [Read more...]

An agent from the National Security Agency is caught red-handed spying on ordinary Americans

Speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil. (But click to enlarge.)

  Those of you who remain unconcerned about Federal snooping into the conversations of innocent American citizens need to watch this chilling documentary footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9gtV-rSyEc   … [Read more...]

“The Great Enrichment”

This scene can easily be replicated worldwide, literally millions and millions of times.

   Private charity and emergency government relief have their legitimate places, and are sometimes urgently necessary.  Charitable care for the poor is also an important divine commandment. However, I have real doubts about the efficacy of "foreign aid."  In fact, rather like current American "welfare" policies, I suspect that a better case can be made for its long term harmfulness than for its supposed benefits over time.  (I was introduced to the wo … [Read more...]