"With notably rare exceptions"

The headline there comes from Alan Greenspan, from his recent comments offered in lieu of a more appropriate statement begging for forgiveness from the entire world for recently destroying the global economy: With notably rare exceptions (2008, for example), the global “invisible hand” has created relatively stable exchange rates, interest rates, prices, and wage rates. [Read More...]

Some reach out, some lash out

It’s Opening Day, so let me use that as an excuse to link to one of the most remarkable posts I’ve ever read on a baseball blog. Rany Jazayerli is a Kansas City Royals fan, which speaks well of him as a person. To be a Royals fan requires character, sincerity, humility, fidelity, commitment, courage [Read More...]

The Missiological Case for Hell

One of the common, but strange, responses to Rob Bell’s infamous lack of enthusiasm for eternal torture has been what we might call the Missiological Case for Hell. This case was articulated recently by Russell Moore, dean of the school of theology at Southern Seminary, during a Team Hell Strategy Session at Al Mohler’s Southern [Read More...]

Vonnegut on VHS

So I’ve got this decades old VHS tape of a PEN conference taped off of PBS ages ago. It’s got some nice readings from John Updike, Woody Allen and Alice Walker.  It’s got John Irving reading an excerpt from his memoirs about the death of his old classmate Russell in Vietnam after Russell “lied about [Read More...]

No! Not … the comfy chair!

By this point, I’ve come to expect the Spanish Inquisition. This is how things work in the evangelical subculture, where stridency is rewarded with prominence. You invite suspicion, inquisition and spontaneous catechism whenever you quote anything from the Bible that’s outside the usual limited parameters — such as anything it says in hundreds and hundreds [Read More...]

That chair doesn't belong in this play

Playwright David Mamet, from the essay “Realism” in Writing in Restaurants: In general, each facet of every production must be weighed and understood solely on the basis of its interrelationship to the other elements; on its service or lack of service to the meaning, the action of the play. A chair is not per se [Read More...]

Smaller government, smaller dreams, smaller people

The Weather Channel last night failed in its duty to help me drift off to sleep, instead showing a fascinating documentary on the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. I was dimly aware of the historical fact that such a storm had occurred, and recalled seeing it at the top of those grim lists of American natural [Read More...]

Nice is different than good: Al Mohler and Little Red Riding Hood

Civility does not mean, primarily, being nice. It means, foremost, being honest. Without a shared commitment to truth, there can be no civility. Pretending that one is trying to be nice while dripping with condescension and scorn is not compatible with civility. Particularly when this faux-politeness is all in the service of distorting another’s words [Read More...]