A blog entitled “A Gay Girl in Damascus” by an Arab-American lesbian named Amina Arraf attracted quite a bit of attention with her accounts of living in the oppressive and dangerous society of Syria, chronicling too  the “Arab Spring” of the populace rising up to demand freedom.  The blog especially made headlines when a contributor claimed that Amina had been arrested by Syrian authorities.  But now it turns out that the whole blog was a hoax and that the lesbian… Read more

A mash-up of weird biology and invasion of the body-snatchers: Last month, three insect and plant disease researchers in the University of California system reported a discovery about the tomato spotted wilt virus. As its name suggests, this virus infects and damages tomato plants. It’s harmless to people. To jump from plant to plant, the virus relies on insects known as thrips. A thrip feeds by sticking its oral probe into a plant’s cells and sucking out the contents. If… Read more

I watched the New Hampshire debate between the Republican presidential candidates. Pawlenty is articulate; Bachman sounds like a good campaigner; Paul makes a lot of sense; Gingrich is a fountain of ideas; Santorum seems solid; Cain sounds like a good guy; Romney sounds more conservative than he has seemed. Pawlenty opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the mother’s health (a huge loophole)?  Santorum takes a very strong pro-life stance, as does Bachman. Notice that the alleged extreme… Read more

So far the main argument why the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” is unconstitutional is that it forces individuals to buy health insurance.  But there is a much bigger constitutional issue at stake, as George Will points out: The point of PPACA is cost containment. This supposedly depends on the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB, which is a perfect expression of the progressive mind, is to be composed of 15 presidential appointees empowered to reduce Medicare spending —… Read more

Did any of you get your invitation? Dominique Strauss-Kahn, naturally, isn’t attending this year, and his likely successor Christine Lagarde is in China, but the Bilderberg Conference which kicks off in the Swiss resort of St. Moritz on Thursday retains its conspiratorial chic and pulling power. The attendee list of Bilderberg is still pretty much the only thing that is not a closely guarded secret, as 120 of the world’s richest and most powerful people meet behind closed doors, this… Read more

Yesterday was Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church.  In celebration and contemplation of the day and the new season of the church year that we will be in for awhile, I would like to pose a couple questions: (1)  At the first Pentecost, those upon whom the Holy Spirit descended spoke in tongues.  But why is this associated with the charismatic practice of glossolalia?  Wasn’t what the disciples did the opposite of that?  The… Read more

Senator Tom Coburn, who represents my natal state of Oklahoma, is probably the biggest deficit hawk in Congress.  He’s a deficit eagle, as fiscally responsible and economically conservative as they come.  But he’s taking flack from conservative activist Grover Norquist and others for violating the no new taxes pledge that most Republican lawmakers have taken.  Why?  Because Sen. Coburn is spearheading an effort to drop ethanol subsidies, which include a tax credit for that industry. Most conservatives consider the ethanol… Read more

The state of Alaska, following a freedom of information request, has released some 24,000 e-mails from Sarah Palin.  Apparently giddy yet overwhelmed with so much information, the Washington Post is putting them online and asking its own readers to rummage around in them and help them look for dirt.  The  New York Times and the British newspaper the Guardian is doing something similar.  See Read the Palin e-mails – The Fix – The Washington Post. Doesn’t this strike you as unseemly?  First,… Read more

Alan Wisdom has a brilliant article in Salvo, bringing back a word we need again and showing how different “just living together” and marriage really are: In ancient times, there was an option for a man who desired a regular sex partner but did not wish to marry her. He could take a low-status woman as a concubine. He could enjoy her company as long as it pleased him, and he could dismiss her at any time. The man made… Read more

Twelve of GOP candidate Newt Gingrich, every one of his top campaign staff, walked out on him!  That doesn’t auger well.  The speculation is that they are going over to Texas Governor Rick Perry.  Do you think he might be the cowboy on the white horse who could ride in and save the Republicans? I’d like to hear from Texans about this guy, since he’s been governor for longer than anyone and I assume you must see something in him…. Read more

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