June 5, 2018

I was on a mini-vacation this weekend in Hudson, N.Y., a pleasant little upstate town that used to be an industrial center and is reinventing itself as a hipster tourist mecca. I spent the weekend relaxing rather than writing, but I did take a few pictures: Stopped off along the way in Kingston, another delightful Hudson Valley town, specifically to visit this bookstore. Not just an excellent indie bookseller, it also had an impressive craft beer list. They’re best known… Read more

June 1, 2018

The Fountainhead echoes the Nazi ethic of treating the disabled as “life unworthy of life”. Read more

May 30, 2018

The moral difference between the nonreligious and the wicked xenophobia of white Christians is almost literally night and day. Read more

May 28, 2018

Irish voters blow away one of the last dark clouds of Catholic theocracy that lingered over their country. Read more

May 25, 2018

I’m always up for twangy roots-rock with a gimmick, and Larkin Poe has a neat one: their singer-songwriters Rebecca and Megan Lovell are sisters, and they claim descent from Edgar Allan Poe. This is from Kin, their first full-length album from 2014: Read more

May 25, 2018

The life, death and rebirth of Pennsylvania Station. Read more

May 23, 2018

In liberal, diverse blue cities, there’s not as much of a call for firebrand atheism. Read more

May 21, 2018

Since the election, I’ve wondered why any nation should ever trust the U.S. or expect us to keep our promises again. A case in point is Trump’s just-announced decision to pull out of JCPOA, the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated between the U.S., China, Russia, Europe and Iran, in which Iran would give up its nuclear-weapons program in exchange for relief from sanctions. For all that Trump complained about the deal, he had no specific criticisms of it (I doubt he… Read more

May 18, 2018

How can you be certain that your life meant something? Ayn Rand doesn’t know either. Read more

May 16, 2018

[This is the longest and twistiest route to a book review I’ve ever traveled. Dr. Karen Garst first contacted me in summer 2016 to ask if I’d be willing to run a review of her first book, Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion. I said yes, and it turns out that was about a month before my son was born… and all I can say for myself is that some things fall by the wayside when you have a… Read more

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