A Washington Post critic chastized Bruce Springsteen for using a teleprompter at a recent concert, sparking this letter to the editor by E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren.  Not only does the letter explain the quite different-from-the-ordinary use of this technology, but it illuminates the spontaneity and “musical recklessness” of a Springsteen concert from the point of view of someone on the inside: Your teleprompter article left out some important points. Last E Street tour, (”Working On A Dream”) we… Read more

A custom of Afghanistan that our intervention has helped bring back into vogue, despite the moralism of Islam: The 9-year-old boy with pale skin and big, piercing eyes captivated Mirzahan at first sight. “He is more handsome than anyone in the village,” the 22-year-old farmer said, explaining why he is grooming the boy as a sexual partner and companion. There was another important factor that made Waheed easy to take on as a bacha bazi, or a boy for pleasure:… Read more

I hope you had a glorious Easter.  I also hope that your joy in Christ’s resurrection continues.  Easter is not just a day but a season, as we now remember the days that the risen Christ spent with His disciples.  That was a period of 40 days until His Ascension, but the Easter season goes on for 50 days until we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  Of course, every Sunday recalls Christ’s resurrection, and Jesus  promises… Read more

E-books and e-readers are increasing the amount of reading that is going on.  People who get a Kindle are reading more than they used to, including reading books that aren’t electronic. A fifth of American adults have read an electronic version of a book in the last year, a trend that is fueling a renewed love of reading, according to a new survey. The portion of e-book readers among all American adults has increased to 21 percent from 17 percent… Read more

In a comment on the “It’s Romney” post, which sparked a discussion on whether voting for a third party candidate is “throwing your vote away,” Todd made an interesting and rather compelling argument that I think deserves a post of its own: I feel like the people who mock third-party candidates are akin to those who play chess by refusing to consider anything but the current move. That is to say, they rule out any long-term strategy by focusing solely… Read more

Here is a different argument for the mandatory insurance requirement in Obamacare from Donna Dubinsky: The private insurance market does not function as a normal market. If you are not employed and you want to purchase insurance in the private market, you cannot unilaterally decide to do so. An insurer has to accept you as a customer. And quite often, they don’t. Insurers prefer group plans, with lots of people enrolled to spread the risk. Can you blame them? The… Read more

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Baptism is what connects you to Good Friday and to Easter.  If you have been baptized, Christ’s death is your death, and Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection.  So says the Bible in words that I don’t understand how non-believers in baptism can get around: Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was… Read more

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams (who has announced that he is stepping down) has some perceptive comments about Luther, the Reformation, and the Theology of the Cross: “The Reformation put a question of the utmost gravity to all Christians, a question about the continuity and dependability of human response to God. It affirmed that the Church was capable of error; that no amount of scholastic tidiness could guarantee fidelity to God; that there was in the Church no secure… Read more

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