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...]

Libya: More questions than answers

On the question of international intervention in Libya I’m afraid I can’t offer any deep insights or unique wisdom. I have read numerous arguments expressing support or reluctance about this engagement and, unfortunately, I have found both sets of arguments compelling. I’ll list some of those in a bit, but first let me try to [Read More...]

Family photos

Marci A. Hamilton, “Philadelphia Is the Ireland of America” Here is what we have in Philadelphia: The Cardinals’ cover up of the abusers left child predators in ministry. They may have been moved from parish to parish, or school to parish, but they performed the standard sacraments for one family after another. That means that [Read More...]

"I spend a lot of time studying this stuff"

Q: What do Ed Koch, Joan Rivers, Barbara Bush, Russell Simons, Moby and Kyra Sedgwick have in common? A: They think that the law should apply equally to everybody in New York. And, of course, it should. Duh. * * * * * * * * * Jason at The Wild Hunt on the “New [Read More...]

Japan: Giving well, planning ahead

This advice comes from the GiveWell Blog (via Ezra Klein): The situation in Japan is tragic and worrying, and our hearts continue to go out to those affected and responding. … We believe that: Those affected have requested very little, limited aid. Aid being offered far exceeds aid being requested. Charities are aggressively soliciting donations, [Read More...]

Bracketology, trailer park heroes & ghosts

I’ve got my brackets filled in. Here’s my Final Four: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, BP, UnitedHealth. I’ve got BofA edging out BP in the final, but this is a really strong tournament field with lots of great contenders, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of March Madness, it’s that anything can [Read More...]

The paradox of pitchforks, a devilish problem

I want to turn here away from the doctrine of Hell in itself to explore briefly a bit of the folklore that has attached itself to it. Specifically I want to look at the odd notion that Hell exists as a physical location that is also the workplace of hordes of devils and demons. That [Read More...]