Religion blocks consumerism

In another odd experiment, it seems as if religious people are less susceptible to buying things according to their brand, which to secularists is often a means of enhancing status and self-worth: Prof. Ron Shachar of Tel Aviv University’s Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration says that a consumer’s religiosity has a large impact on his likelihood for choosing particular brands. Comsumers who are deeply religious are less likely to display an explicit preference for a particular brand, while… Read more

Atheists' ad campaign will target the Bible

The Christmas season will mark a newly-aggressive campaign by an atheist organization to present the moral failings of the Bible: The American Humanist Association, both atheists and agnostics who think it is possible to lead a moral and ethical life without believing in a deity, rolls out its biggest ad campaign Friday night, a $200,000 splash with a TV spot during “Dateline,” followed by Metro and bus ads that will brighten the morning commute Monday. The group’s ad campaign this… Read more

The state bank solution

My brother put me onto the example of the North Dakota State Bank as a solution to our country’s financial woes: While the Fed continues playing parlor tricks to try and stimulate the economy, a much simpler method of igniting long-term economic growth and stability exists in North Dakota. Yes, North Dakota, a state operating with a surplus of cash and unemployment at 4%. In the early 1900’s the economy of North Dakota was agriculture-based, and the farmers there were… Read more

The two different NIVs

tODD, a long-time reader and commenter on this blog, told me that he was using Bible Gateway, that extremely useful site that allows you to find Bible passages from a wide array of translations, when he noticed that an NIV passage he was finding was different from the same NIV passage he learned as a child. He dug into the matter, and it turns out there is a new version of the NIV, with many quite different translations, that will… Read more

End of the welfare state?

England’s coalition government is getting tough on welfare.  As are other European nations: Britain announced the most radical overhaul in decades Thursday to its once-generous welfare system, pledging harsh penalties for those who refuse jobs and community work service for the unemployed in return for benefit checks. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith unveiled sharp changes to the country’s cradle-to-grave social safety net, which was first introduced after World War II to better protect newborns, families, the jobless and… Read more

Tolkien vs. the Beatles

Imagine: Once upon a time, the Fab Four—having slain the pop charts—decided to set their sights on the Dark Lord Sauron by making a Lord of the Rings feature, starring themselves. One man dared stand in their way: J.R.R. Tolkien. According to Peter Jackson, who knows a little something about making Lord of the Rings movies, John Lennon was the Beatle most keen on LOTR back in the ’60s—and he wanted to play Gollum, while Paul McCartney would play Frodo,… Read more

The ideological crisis of liberalism?

Although many states are hurting financially, the states with the biggest financial problems are the “blue states” like California and New York whose Democratic state legislatures with their liberal policies have brought them to the verge of ruin.  Michael Gerson describes the problem and suggests that they point to a crisis in liberalism: Most significantly, the blue-state financial misery continues and deepens the ideological crisis of American liberalism. Few politicians in traditionally liberal states now speak about the expanding promise… Read more

Generation X is disillusioned

Generation X is disillusioned, we are told, traumatized over there being a war, the failure of our efforts to stamp out drugs, our educational woes, and the possibility that America is not as exceptional as they had been taught. I had thought Generation X was supposed to already be cynical.  Why did you have illusions in the first place?  But nevermind that. Welcome to adulthood, my friends.  Join the disillusionment of us Baby Boomers.  Generation Y will join us in… Read more

Drone proliferation

During the early part of the Iraq war, someone had the idea of installing a Hellfire missile on a surveillance drone.  Thus inventing one of the most formidable weapons ever, which can kill an enemy with no risk to the person wielding the weapon.  Now other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, want them and are trying to buy them from U.S. companies.  Read this:  David Ignatius – Dazzling new weapons require new rules for war. Can or should anything be… Read more

How Christianity conquered pagan culture

Michael Craven recounts how Christianity won a culture war: The Roman world was brutal and generally indifferent to suffering. Sympathy and mercy were weaknesses, virtues anathema to those of Rome. The ancient world was both decadent and cruel. The practice of infanticide, for example, was widespread and legal throughout the Greek and Roman world during the early days of Christianity. In fact, abortion, infanticide, and child sacrifice were extremely common throughout the ancient world. Cicero (106-43 BC), writing in the… Read more

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