A new middle east war?

Our relationship with Iran is getting more and more dangerous.  As more and more of that country’s nuclear scientists are getting assassinated–with most people blaming Israel’s spy agency Mossad possibly with the collusion of the CIA–Iranian leaders are threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, that narrow gap of water through which much of the world’s oil supply flows.  This is in response to a new round of sanctions that would hinder Iran from selling its oil to the West. … Read more

Two cases of self-defense

I’ve been in my native Oklahoma last weekend to see my new granddaughter and to be there for her baptism.  Localists have a point:  There really are regional differences.  It’s nice to be back in my old stomping grounds. It’s interesting to read the local newspapers.  You may have heard about the 18 year old single mother in Oklahoma who greeted the man who broke into her mobile home by killing him with a blast from her 12-gauge shotgun.  She’s… Read more

Packers lose!

The Green Bay Packers, with their 15-1 record, having secured the first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, promptly lost to the New York Giants, a 9-7 team they had already beaten once in the regular season.  How could that be?   The Giants were beaten by the lowly Washington Redskins.  Twice.  The universe is out of joint! And the New Orleans Saints went down.  Tim Tebow’s miracle run with the Denver Broncos was bound to end, so… Read more

The chicken’s name was Colin

Have you seen Portlandia, the TV sketch show that skewers today’s fashions and mores, as manifested in Portland, Oregon? Nothing against locavores!  Or localism!  Or Portland!   It’s just the pose and the righteousness that begs for satire.  (And if you care so much for Colin, why are you going to eat him?) HT:  Joanna Read more

Court rules against conservative Anglicans

Despite an earlier positive ruling, a court has ruled against Falls Church and six other conservative Anglican congregations that have left the Episcopal Church over its increasingly liberal theology.  Now the congregations will have to surrender their property to the Virginia diocese of the Episcopal church.  Here is the congregation’s press release: Seven Anglican congregations in Virginia that are parties to the church property case brought by The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia are reviewing today’s ruling by the… Read more

College majors & unemployment

Colleges are getting blamed for turning out so many unemployable graduates with “impractical degrees” in the humanities.  Critics are saying that students should take “practical” majors like business or other job-training fields as a way to reduce unemployment. But that’s exactly what college students, including the unemployed graduates, have already been doing!  Only 12% are humanities majors.  What we have now is a glut of unemployed business majors, computer programmers, and (especially) architecture majors. Bloomberg’s Virginia Postrel gives the facts… Read more

Educational culture

What is the key to a successful school?  The educational culture. Think of the ingredients that make for a good school. Small classes. Well-educated teachers. Plenty of funding. Combine, mix well, then bake. Turns out, your recipe would be horribly wrong, at least according to a new working paper out of Harvard. Its take away: Schools shouldnt focus on resources. They should focus on culture. The study comes courtesy of economist Roland Fryer, an academic heavyweight who was handed a… Read more

Margaret Magdalena Moerbe

Our sixth grandchild was born today! So bright-eyed and alert already! Read more

Chapel at Harvard

Harvard Divinity School professor Stephanie Paulsell tells about worshipping at Harvard: On Wednesdays at noon we gather for community worship organized by a student steering committee and the director of religious and spiritual life. When I first came to Harvard Divinity School, the weekly community worship service was deeply ecumenical. While the shape of the service was recognizably Protestant, it also possessed a flexibility born of a desire to create a welcoming, open space for people of different theological and… Read more

Anti-business Republicans

The line of attack on Romney from the rest of the Republican field (except for Ron Paul) is that he is a capitalist!  He made profits!  He fired people!  In other words, the ostensibly conservative candidates are attacking him from the left, sounding like Occupy Wall Streeters or, at least, Democrats.  National Review is indignant: Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman seem to be engaged in a perverse contest to be the Republican presidential candidate to say the most… Read more

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