A host of new domain names are going up on the internet, with unintended consequences: There’s been a scramble to snap up domain names for the Internet’s newest designation — .xxx — but not necessarily from those you’d expect. Adult sites have reserved their spot in the newly labeled section of the Web, but so have companies, charities, celebrities and politicians. Try “barackobama.xxx,” “angelinajolie.xxx” or “redcross.xxx” and you’ll find yourself faced with a black screen with gray type stating: “This… Read more

The Supreme Court will rule on whether or not the federal government can overrule Arizona’s strict immigration laws.  This is only one of some big cases the Supremes have taken on: The Supreme Court on Monday intervened in another high-profile case testing the authority of the federal government, saying it will review Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants, which inspired similar state efforts across the country. Next month, the court will hear an emergency appeal from Texas that questions the role… Read more

With one after another Republican presidential candidates rising to the top, then flaming out, it is time to seriously consider Ron Paul. He’s libertarian, but he’s also pro-life, a devout Christian by all accounts (raised Lutheran, no less,  in the ELCA, but now Baptist–from an LCMS point of view, is it better to be a liberal Lutheran or a conservative Baptist?).  Anyway, he is anti-war (conservatives now taking the lead in that department).  No one doubts his commitment to small… Read more

From David Wheeler at the Chronicle of Higher Education blog: There’s a new bully on the intellectual block, shoving scholars around. Lots of them are caving into the threats. The bully’s name is “scientism,” the belief that science has a monopoly on all real knowledge. All other knowledge, scientism asserts, is simply opinion, irrationality, or utter nonsense. That was the perspective Ian Hutchinson, professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, offered at an event titled… Read more

The Roman Catholic Church has changed the liturgical response to the greeting, “The Lord be with you” back to “And with your spirit.” This is a change from the more modern liturgies that had switched to the more colloquial “And also with you.” The more modern Lutheran liturgies of the 1980s made the same change, though users of the older services–as well as Divine Service 3 of the new Lutheran Service Book–continued to say “And with your spirit.” My question… Read more

Here is a great, eloquent, and right-on discussion of academic dishonesty, in which a professor, who blogs as “Tenured Radical,” imagines what she would say to her college-aged child on the subject, if she had one.  I offer it as a celebration of Finals Week, which students and us professors are celebrating (if you can call it that) this week.  A sample, though you should read the whole post (if you can handle some vulgar language): Tenured Radical and the… Read more

Peggy Noonan has a good column about the promise and perils of Newt Gingrich: I had a friend once who amused herself thinking up bumper stickers for states. The one she made up for California was brilliant. “California: It’s All True.” It is so vast and sprawling a place, so rich and various, that whatever you’ve heard about its wildness, weirdness and wonders, it’s true. That’s the problem with Newt Gingrich: It’s all true. It’s part of the reason so… Read more

Vanderbilt’s ruling that campus Christian groups may not require their leaders to be Christians would seem to violate every canon of reason, let alone the freedom of religion.   This happened awhile ago, but I noticed something about the story.  Consider this account: Is Vanderbilt University flirting with the suppression of religion? Yes, according to Carol Swain, a professor at Vanderbilt’s Law School. Specifically, Swain is referring to four Christian student groups being placed on “provisional status” after a university review… Read more

Historian Richard Striner proposes a solution for our economic woes: Using the monetary methods of Lincoln, updated to employ the inflation-fighting tools of the Federal Reserve, we could pay for a faster recovery and a great many worthy projects without higher taxes, without more national debt, and believe it or not, without inflation. How? By letting Congress exercise a little-known power that is used (very quietly indeed) by the Federal Reserve: the power to create new money. If you’re skeptical… Read more

President Obama gave a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, in which he wrapped himself in the mantle of Roosevelt.  Teddy Roosevelt, that is.  And, according to liberal columnist E. J. Dionne, laid out the strategy that will bring him re-election. President Obama has decided that he is more likely to win if the election is about big things rather than small ones. He hopes to turn the 2012 campaign from a plebiscite about the current state of the economy into a… Read more

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