Reniqua Allen, in lamenting the passing of The Bill Cosby Show,  complains about the way television today depicts black families.  In doing so, she makes some observations that have wide applications: Instead of a real look at black culture, Hispanic culture or any specific culture, we get “uniculture.” That’s how Felicia Henderson, creator of the Showtime series “Soul Food” and a newly minted executive producer of a BET family sitcom “Reed Between the Lines,” describes much of our current television… Read more

A controversy roiling in the atheist community is the prevalence of sexual harassment and its leadership’s indifference to the problem: As skeptics, atheists and humanists prepare to gather for their largest meeting in Las Vegas this weekend, attendance by women is expected to be down significantly. Officials for The Amazing Meeting, or TAM, said Wednesday (July 11) that women would make up 31 percent of the 1,200 conference attendees, down from 40 percent the year before. A month before the… Read more

The music industry is struggling because so much of its product can be accessed for free, what with YouTube and “radio” sites such as Pandora (setting aside illegal downloads).  But even when a person wants to buy music, it’s hard if you aren’t old enough for a credit card.  And it’s even harder if you want to buy music your parents wouldn’t approve of.  From Aaron Leitko: The Internet has given kids boundless opportunities to hear music gratis, but few… Read more

Kitty Wells, arguably the first big female star of country music (not counting the women in the Carter Family), died Monday at the age of 92. Here is her breakthrough song, a response to Hank Thompson’s “The Wild Side of Life,” in which the singer laments that a “honky tonk angel”–that is, a woman of ill repute–broke up his marriage.  Kitty, irked at that song, wrote a reply using the same tune, in which she makes the musical observation that… Read more

The History News Network posts an earlier article by Edwin Black on the American eugenics movement and what it accomplished.  Twenty-seven states adopted eugenics laws, with the biggest program to sterilize the “unfit” being established in California.   Major funding for the eugenics movement came from the Carnegie Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation.   Black shows how the American eugenics movement spread to Germany and was championed–and later implemented on a massive scale–by Adolf Hitler. Read the whole article, but… Read more

What happens when pop culture addicts run your campaign: According to Paul Bedard at The Washington Examiner, the Obama campaign takes Batman’s new enemy Bane, a pumped up venom gas breathing maniac, in the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” and compares him to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, because of the Massachusetts GOP’ers previous work with the investment firm Bain Capital, which Obama and Democrats say was a job killer. Get it–Bane and Bain? Bedard writes: “Bane” is the… Read more

We blogged earlier about how online shopping sites have a big advantage over local businesses in not having to charge sales tax.  So states and now Congress have been trying to pass laws to collect those taxes.  Amazon used to fight those efforts, but no longer, saying, in effect, throw me into that briar patch. From Farhad Manjoo in Slate: Why would Amazon give up its precious tax advantage? This week, as part of an excellent investigative series on the… Read more

I leave today for two weeks, in which time I will have three speaking engagements, attend a conference, and visit relatives in Oklahoma.  I won’t be in the big woods, though, this time, and I do plan to keep my blog up the best I can, this being a hobby I enjoy, rather than work.  I might not be able to put up quite as many posts per day as I usually do.  And there may be days when I… Read more

You have perhaps heard about how the University of Virginia board fired the university president Teresa Sullivan, whereupon a huge uproar ensued, and she was hired back. I’ve heard conservatives lament the re-hiring, saying that the lunatics are in charge of the asylum, that this just re-enforces the corruption in higher education, that this is another example of  academic elites stifling reform, etc., etc. But in this case a conservative philosophy of education was victorious over more progressive attempts to… Read more

We had another great sermon from Pastor Douthwaite on the death of John the Baptist (Mark 6:14-29).  A sampling: John the Baptist never was at home in this world. He was an interloper. A stranger. A misfit. It began with his birth which was not the usual way. He was born miraculously to a couple who could not have children because they were too old and she was barren. He was given the wrong name (in the opinion of all… Read more

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