Finally! Long time no see. This blog went down on May 1 and just came up again the night of May 3. According to our hosting people, the server went down and then they had trouble moving everything over to a new one. I don’t understand why it took so long to zap some electronic files from one place to another.In that time I could have loaded all of my possessions into a moving van, driven halfway across the country,… Read more

Philosopher Michael Marder, with a platform in the New York Times, takes the next step, after summarizing some research as to how peas “communicate” their condition to other peas: The research findings of the team at the Blaustein Institute form yet another building block in the growing fields of plant intelligence studies and neurobotany that, at the very least, ought to prompt us to rethink our relation to plants. Is it morally permissible to submit to total instrumentalization living beings… Read more

More from that brilliant column by Peggy Noonan, America’s Crisis of Character: There is the General Services Administration scandal. An agency devoted to efficiency is outed as an agency of mindless bread-and-circuses indulgence. They had a four-day regional conference in Las Vegas, with clowns and mind readers. The reason the story is news, and actually upsetting, is not that a government agency wasted money. That is not news. The reason it’s news is that the people involved thought what they… Read more

We had a post on the report that Pepsi was using a flavor enhancement test that made use of embryonic cells from an aborted fetus. (NOT that they used that ingredient in their products!) In the discussion that ensued, it turned out that although the company Pepsi contracted with to do the testing had some patents using a Human Embryonic Kidney cells for this purpose, it wasn’t clear that these were used in the testing for Pepsi. At any rate,… Read more

Let me propose this thesis, drawing on the recent post about what Bruce Springsteen said about Hank Williams:  All distinctly Christian art must be, in some sense, about the agonizing struggle between sin and grace. Mere moral lessons, while perhaps commendable, are  not enough to be distinctly Christian, since Mormons, Muslims, and ethical humanists could agree with them.  And mere optimistic positive messages are not enough and may even be harmful, since they can create the illusion that we can… Read more

Chen Guangcheng is a Chinese lawyer who has been battling China’s forced abortion policy.  For his efforts, he has been in and out of prison since 2005.  After his last release in 2010, Mr. Chen has been under house arrest even though he has not been charged with a crime.  That means that his home is surrounded by armed plain-clothed guards who prevent him and his wife from leaving and from receiving any visitors. Last week Mr. Chen somehow escaped… Read more

Still more from that brilliant column by Peggy Noonan, America’s Crisis of Character: There is the Secret Service scandal. That one broke through too, and you know the facts: overseas to guard the president, sent home for drinking, partying, picking up prostitutes. What’s terrible about this story is that for anyone who’s ever seen the Secret Service up close it’s impossible to believe. The Secret Service are the best of the best. That has been their reputation because that has… Read more

I met an Anglican priest the other day who, it turns out, was a big fan of Spirituality of the Cross and my other “Lutheran” books.  As I talked with him, I was astonished at how much he was into Lutheranism.  He explained that there is currently a strain in Anglicanism that is seeking to recover its Lutheran roots. He said Anglicanism generally has had four theological strains:  (1) The mainline Protestantism of the Episcopal Church in America; (2) Anglo-Catholicism;… Read more

Peggy Noonan cuts to the heart: People in politics talk about the right track/wrong track numbers as an indicator of public mood. This week Gallup had a poll showing only 24% of Americans feel we’re on the right track as a nation. That’s a historic low. Political professionals tend, understandably, to think it’s all about the economy—unemployment, foreclosures, we’re going in the wrong direction. I’ve long thought that public dissatisfaction is about more than the economy, that it’s also about… Read more

David Browder quotes from a keynote speech Bruce Springsteen made at the SXSW shindig in Austin in which he gives his reflections on the great Hank Williams and the music of his tradition: I remember sitting in my little apartment, listening to Hank Williams Greatest Hits over and over. And I was trying to crack his code because at first it just didn’t sound good to me. It just sounded cranky and old-fashioned…with that hard country voice. With that austere… Read more

Follow Us!



Browse Our Archives