What time is it?

In a story about how the rotation of the earth has slowed 2/1000 of a second over the last century, science writer Ivan Amato explains how dependent our technology is on extremely accurate time-keeping.  For example, if the clocks in your GPS device and the satellite it connects to are out of synch by as little as 1/1000 of a second, your location would be thrown  off by hundreds of miles. [Read more…]

Mega-Ashrams & Tele-Gurus

An article about the arrest in India of the guru Asaram Bapu–worshipped as the “godman”–for sexually assaulting a 16 year old girl includes some background information which suggests that what has happened in America with Christianity is happening in India with Hinduism. [Read more…]

How Germany does elections

Germany’s conservative Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was re-elected, as voters gave her party an overwhelming victory in seats in parliament.  Political campaigns in Germany, though, are rather different from the way they are in the United States. [Read more…]

Abandoning the mentally ill

Before Charles Krauthammer became an influential conservative pundit, he was a medical doctor; specifically, a psychiatrist who worked the emergency room at Massachusetts General Hospital.  So what he says about Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people at Washington’s Navy Yard, carries some weight. [Read more…]

Pastors as Unjust Stewards

Our Scripture reading last Sunday included the Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-15), which is probably one of the toughest parables to make sense of.  A household manager gets sacked because of his corruption, so before he cleans out his desk he discounts the debts of everyone in debt to his master as a way to get in good with them for when he’s out of a job.  And even though the Unjust Steward is cheating him out of what is his due (telling people who owe 100 measures of oil they only need to pay 50), the Master commends him. [Read more…]

How exceptional is America?

Russian strongman Vladimir Putin has been scolding Americans for thinking our country is exceptional.  Robert Samuelson takes up the question of American exceptionalism and, without being triumphalist about it,  highlights some distinctive qualities of the American mind. [Read more…]