Terrorist targeted Wichita airport

A white, non-Arabic American who converted to Islam by reading jihadist sites on the internet was planning a suicide car bomb attack on the airport where he worked in Wichita, Kansas.  Fortunately, his co-conspirator was an FBI agent.

I’m scheduled to fly into that airport later this week!  Last time I was on an airplane, I flew into San Francisco a few hours after it was attacked. [Read more…]

Church government by the pastor

Continuing our earlier discussion about denominations and non-denominations, we need to consider another factor:  church government.  Some denominations define themselves not by their theology but by the way they are governed.    Presbyterians have a system of elders (presbyters, in the Greek).  Episcopalians have bishops.  Congregationalists have voters.  Other denominations have some variation or combination of these three basic structures.  But non-denominational congregations tend to have a different approach to church government that I think is unique in church history. [Read more…]

Baby Boomers agonistes

It’s almost too easy to make fun of us Baby Boomers.  But satirist P. J. O’Rourke, who is one,  has a book coming out in January entitled   The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way (And It Wasn’t My Fault) (And I’ll Never Do It Again).  An excerpt printed in the Wall Street Journal had me grudgingly laughing:

We are the generation that changed everything. Of all the eras and epochs of Americans, ours is the one that made the biggest impression—on ourselves. That’s an important accomplishment, because we’re the generation that created the self, made the firmament of the self, divided the light of the self from the darkness of the self, and said, “Let there be self.” If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you may have noticed this yourself. [Read more…]

How the FBI uses hackers and malware

The FBI has some new crime-fighting technology in its collective utility belt.  FBI-employed hackers can now infect suspects’ computers with malware that will allow investigators to download whatever they might find.

This process, which still requires a court order, takes wiretapping to a new level. [Read more…]

Who else should be Person of the Year?

Time Magazine announced its Person of the Year for 2013:  Pope Francis.  That’s a good and fitting choice.  But it is the custom of this blog for you the readers to nominate who you think should be Person of the Year.  So who else should it be?  (We will adopt Time Magazine rules, according to which the Person of the Year doesn’t actually have to be a person, as when The Computer won it in 1982. [See the list of previous winners.]  So feel free to nominate the Drone.) [Read more…]

Canada is claiming the North Pole

Canada is asserting its sovereignty over the North Pole.  It is claiming that the Canadian continental shelf that extends under the Arctic Ocean goes that far and more.  Canada will be bringing in scientists to testify at the UN to make its case.

This would make Santa Claus a Canadian.  Which, I suppose, explains why he wears red–he is a Mountie–and why he is so nice.

But this territorial grab seems uncharacteristically aggressive.  Also what many Canadians might consider American-like in its zeal for the mineral wealth that lies beneath those frigid waters. [Read more…]