“Muslims condemn Texas shooting: ‘Violence is never an appropriate response to hate speech’”

Where is Garland, Texas?

  For your edification: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/05/04/muslims-condemn-texas-shooting-christians-dont-condemn-pamela-geller/ Incidentally, part of the problem that I have with Pamela Geller's event in Garland -- which, I repeat again, she had a perfect legal right to organize -- is that it plays into the narrative that we in America and the West are at war with Islam.  And that's precisely the same narrative that the Islamists are … [Read more...]

V-E Day

Himmler at Mauthausen

  Amid all the bustle and pressing business and weekend plans of a typical Friday, I hope that people will take at least a moment to realize that today marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. I can't do the significance of that event, or of the conflict itself, even the remotest justice -- and I need to get a car into the dealership for an oil change in just a minute.  (The daily trivial necessities that interfere with reflection, … [Read more...]

On Pamela Geller, Garland, and the Gunmen

A Texas mosque

  Since some have asked, I'll answer here: I think that Pamela Geller and her associates had every right to put on that Muhammad-cartoon-drawing event in Garland, Texas. I also think that it was foolish and irresponsible to do so, and that organizing events designed to mock the faith of others is contemptible. It's rather like, say, putting a crucifix in a beaker of urine in order to make a "statement." Yet I understand … [Read more...]

“Religion Poisons Everything!” (15)

Fascist Duce

  The Sermon on the Mount, judging from the Hitchens principle that "religion poisons everything," might have been a halfway memorable speech if it weren't for all the religious stuff crammed into it: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5-7&version=KJV The 1939 Church of the Beatitudes, sitting above the Sea of Galilee in Israel, was commissioned for an order of Franciscan nuns by the late Italian leader Benito Mussolini in … [Read more...]

It’s time for “Harrison Bergeron”

Author of Cat's Cradle

  I was a big Kurt Vonnegut reader in high school.  I devoured his books.  And I loved his (very) short story "Harrison Bergeron."  I've thought of it many times in the months since I left high school, and I think it quite relevant to many recent discussions about equality and inequality. It's online here: http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html I encourage you to read it.  It will only take you a few minutes. Here's … [Read more...]

“The Admiral of the String Theory Wars”

Peter Woit, Ph.D.

  This relatively short article offers an interesting window into the human side of theoretical physics -- there is one, you know -- and, along the way, demonstrates both that fierce controversies aren't unknown in scholarly circles and that I may actually not be the nastiest, most contentious, and most personally insulting person in American academia: http://nautil.us/issue/24/error/the-admiral-of-the-string-theory-wars Peter Woit himself comments … [Read more...]

Genuine leadership

From the March on Washington

   A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.  (Martin Luther King, Jr.)   … [Read more...]

“Some Thoughts from Some Authorities”

SLC Tabernacle interior shot

  I think that I may have neglected to post a link to this excellent compilation of important General Authority comments that was put together by my friend and former Maxwell Institute colleague John Gee: http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2015/04/some-thoughts-from-some-authorities.html Even if I did post a link to it, though, this is a good enough collection that I don't mind doing it again.   … [Read more...]