February 11, 2008

My wife’s school held its annual chili cook-off and talent show last Friday.  One of the judges got stuck in traffic, so I was enlisted to be one of the judges for the chili contest.  I had always wanted to do that!  There were nine different chilis.  There was general consensus about the top three (showing the principle of classical aesthetics that beauty is objective), though the various judges differed somewhat in their rankings (showing the principle of classical aesthetics… Read more

February 8, 2008

Those of you who are Lutherans or who are considering Lutheranism or who are fellow travelers might want to sign up for  The Wittenberg Trail, an online community of some 800 Lutherans from around the world who meet together online to theologize and socialize. And get a load of this “commercial” the group put together for YouTube: Read more

February 8, 2008

Unlike the “new atheists,” the old atheists, such as Nietzsche and Camus, were at least honest in facing up to the implications of their non-belief. Consider what Walter Burns says about Camus’ “The Stranger”:Meursault, its hero (actually, its antihero), is a murderer, but a different kind of murderer. What is different about him is that he murdered for no reason–he did it because the sun got in his eyes, à cause du soleil–and because he neither loves nor hates, and… Read more

February 8, 2008

“The Weekly Standard” has a remarkable article by Walter Berns entitled Religion and the Death Penalty, arguing that the two are intimately connected. A sample:The best case for the death penalty–or, at least, the best explanation of it–was made, paradoxically, by one of the most famous of its opponents, Albert Camus, the French novelist. Others complained of the alleged unusual cruelty of the death penalty, or insisted that it was not, as claimed, a better deterrent of murder than, say, life… Read more

February 8, 2008

Some conservatives, including some of you commenters on this blog, are saying that there is no difference between John McCain and the Democrats, that we will, in effect, have a liberal administration no matter who wins.But consider this from  William J. Bennett & Seth Leibsohn, an epic catalog of specific battles that the presumptive Republican nominee has had with liberals in general and Democrats in particular. And these are on hugely important issues: McCain has been consistently pro-life, pro-military, and–his… Read more

February 8, 2008

It was bad enough that the jihadists in Iraq are turning mentally-handicapped women into suicide bombers.  Al-Qaida is also using  children as young as 10.   Read more

February 7, 2008

Romney drops his Presidential Campaign!It really is a two-man race.  Again, I ask, will movement conservatives rally to Huckabee?  I say “not a chance.”  But I’m curious what they will do.UPDATE:  McCain gives a stemwinder speech to conservatives at their big meeting, CPAC.  He seemed to get some good response from the crowd as he paraded his conservative achievements, making the case that cutting government spending and defending the country against Islamic terrorism are the major issues of our day,… Read more

February 7, 2008

The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is dead at 91.  The Indian guru turned a pop-version of Hindu meditation into a $3.5 billion empire.  With his robes and flowers, the Maharishi and his for-profit meditation seminars became a fixture of the Sixties, though his reach went beyond the counter-culture into corporate seminars and government-funded prisons and public schools.  (Bruce, we need to hear from you on this!) Read more

February 7, 2008

The more-generally-acceptable war in Afghanistan is being waged by NATO.  The problem is, some of the NATO troops there–e.g., the Germans–are not allowed by their governments to risk casualties in combat.  This creates all kinds of command and control problems, when whole units will not participate in what they may be needed to do.  Yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates had some undiplomatically harsh words for our allies:”I worry a great deal about the alliance evolving into a two-tiered alliance, in which… Read more

February 7, 2008

Japan used to be the world’s economic success story. Now, after a decades-long slide, its own government officials are saying that Japan no longer has a “first-class economy.” According to this article, its woes include too much government regulation, declining productivity, stagnant innovation, and. . .the petering out of the population. Japan has the world’s highest proportion of elderly people and the lowest proportion of children.By 2050, population decline will have reduced economic growth to zero, according to the Japan… Read more

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