Shaving the intolerant barber (a continuing series)

So, yet again, we have encountered — in the wild and in full bloom — that rare and fragile flower, “Your tolerance must tolerate my intolerance.” This statement is not an argument. It’s not even a statement. It is, rather, as Lenore Beadsman describes it, “… a sort of joke. A what do you call it. An antinomy.” It’s Not Good when someone mistakes this joke for a substantial argument. [Read more…]

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Sunday favorites

“You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing … you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice. … You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 97: ‘Going to the UN’

It’s difficult to reconcile LaHaye & Jenkins’ view of a uniquely sovereign United Nations with the actual reality of the UN, but L&J’s view is not derived from looking at actual reality. Their view, rather, is retroengineered from what they think they know about the future. In the future, they are certain, there will be One World Government ruled by an all-powerful monarch and structured just like the feudal system described above (or rather, not coincidentally, like the Roman Empire under some of its first-century tyrants). And since they believe the present is made up entirely of a series of small, inexorable steps toward that preordained future, the UN must be a stalking horse for the Antichrist’s future OWG. [Read more…]

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Needed some sand in my flip-flops

I’m back from an impromptu mini-vacation down the shore — tan, rested and ready for September (once I go out and buy a new Trapper Keeper). Here’s some stuff I came across on my spotty Wildwood wifi, including: RIP Gene Wilder; the Family Research Council’s white supremacy spokesmodel; and what we can learn from press coverage of Colin Powell’s charitable foundation. [Read more…]

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Sunday favorites

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'” [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 96: ‘Humbert Steele’

My guess is that, as ever in Left Behind, the real unreliable narrators here are Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. They want to show us that their hero is fallible, and that his new faith requires him to face the consequences of the bad choices he made earlier. They also — unintentionally, accidentally and unawares — give us a portrait of Rayford as vain, selfish, misogynist and controlling. And often the least flattering aspects of Rayford’s character are revealed when the author’s seem to be trying to show us something they think is admirable about their character. It’s like reading Nabokov, but with the added twist of the authors sharing in the narrator’s solipsism and self-delusion. [Read more…]

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Now we get moose and squirrel

Yes, it’s a picture of Donald Trump with Boris and Natasha, because we shouldn’t forget Trump’s scandalous links to Russian oligarchs and Ukrainian despots, even if those aren’t among the top 10 or top 20 worst things about Donald Trump. Plus some other stuff, including: Clinton Foundation, under a microscope, looks clean; EpiPen and Insulin makers gouging consumers (and insurers); Mat Staver, law professor; and religious liberty in white America. [Read more…]

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Postcards from the culture wars (8.24)

“Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.” [Read more…]

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