April Fool’s Day clearinghouse

Every April 1, people by custom pull pranks, and this is especially true online, with phony news items, outrageous-but-soberly-delivered claims, and elaborate hoaxes.  As I have said, the Cranach blog does not and will not do that.  But others do.  Nevertheless, I get a kick out of them. If you come across any April Fool’s Day stunts on the internet, please post a link to them in the comments.  That way we can all benefit.

Conservatives debate the war in Libya

Here is a good summary of the debate among conservatives about whether or not to support the war in Libya: Ron Radosh » Our Libyan War: What Position Should Skeptical Conservatives Take?. Neoconservative William Kristol is calling the president Barack H. Reagan and saying conservatives should back off in their criticism and support the president in war time.  He believes that America should always be on the side of freedom and that protecting the Libyan rebels and working to overthrow... Read more

New baseball season scouting reports

Now that baseball season has started, what I need from you are scouting reports.  What are the developments, prospects, promising new players, and issues for your favorite team? It looks like Philadelphia is playing a hand with four aces (maybe five aces, but then the card game metaphor breaks down).   The Brewers seem poised to make a run, what with acquiring pitchers Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, two serious pitchers.  Washington is positioning itself to be good NEXT year, when... Read more

The Christian equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls?

    Archaeologists have discovered some 70 little books with lead pages that may be the earliest Christian texts, dating from shortly after the time of Christ.  Interestingly, they seem to have been made by Jewish Christians–being written in ancient Hebrew, depicting both a Menorah and a Cross, and including a stylized map of Jerusalem, outside of which is drawn a T shaped cross and an empty tomb. Most of the writing is in code, though, so it isn’t  decipherable,... Read more

Food & ideology

A Washington Post food writer, Andreas Viestad, discusses the Italian futurist artist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who tried to carry his aesthetic into food with his 1932 Futurist Cookbook.   Marinetti was the leader of the Italian futurists, a poet and demagogue closely associated with the ruling fascists but often in conflict with them. (He criticized them for being too traditional and for their anti-Semitism.) He is best remembered for his many manifestos calling for a break with the past. One... Read more

China spreads its influence

Michael Gerson tells about China’s inroads into Africa and its bigger plans: The skyline of this city — what little there is of it — is a Chinese creation. Chinese money built the Parliament building. A $100 million, Chinese-funded hotel and conference center is rising. The Chinese government is constructing a soccer stadium, a decidedly popular move. It is difficult to argue that these shiny new buildings are more urgent development priorities than, say, fighting malaria or providing a daily... Read more

How long does it take to read the whole Bible?

69 hours.  And to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Version, the Globe Theatre in London–an authentic recreation of Shakespeare’s playhouse–will read it straight through. Shakespeares Globe Theatre in London has entitled its 2011 season “The Word is God” and will mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible with a cover-to-cover reading between Palm Sunday, 17 April, and Easter Monday, 25 April. Twenty actors, including many Globe regulars, will take part in the reading, which will... Read more

When you disagree with someone, try to destroy him

The liberal organization Media Matters used to just try to refute stories on Fox News.  But now it is changing tactics: In an interview and a 2010 planning memo shared with POLITICO, Brock listed the fronts on which Media Matters — which he said is operating on a $10 million-plus annual budget — is working to chip away at Fox and its parent company, News Corp. They include its bread-and-butter distribution of embarrassing clips and attempts to rebut Fox points,... Read more

The Muslims’ end of the world countdown

Harold Camping isn’t the only one forecasting the end of the world.  So are many Muslims, including apparently the rulers of Iran, who are interpreting the uprisings in the Middle East as a sign that the Mahdi–the messianic successor of the prophet Muhammed–will soon return to punish evildoers and make Islam the world’s only religion. New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi–or Islamic messiah–is about... Read more

The new war

President Obama explained America’s military involvement in Libya in a speech last night: Defending the first war launched on his watch, President Barack Obama declared Monday night that the United States intervened in Libya to prevent a slaughter of civilians that would have stained the world’s conscience and “been a betrayal of who we are.” Yet he ruled out targeting Moammar Gadhafi, warning that trying to oust him militarily would be a costly mistake. Obama announced that NATO would take... Read more
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