Support the troops

The following was posted by Jim Macdonald over at Making Light. Cross-posting it here because it's that important. – – – – – – – – – – – - ATTENTION U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL You are not required to obey an unlawful order. You are required to disobey an unlawful order. You swore an oath [Read More...]

Take me out with the crowd

In a sad and tragic news week, one smaller sad story: former Phillies organist Paul Richardson died Monday at age 74 (more here from the Inky). The recorded sound effects they play at ball games now can be fun, and the repertoire of pop songs is finally expanding beyond Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll," but [Read More...]

Dirty work

One of the problems with torture is that somebody has to carry it out — someone has to do it, has to inflict deliberate, coercive pain on another individual. And in the doing of it, it doesn't matter a bit what this inflicting of coercive pain is called, whether the word torture is used or [Read More...]


(Or, "Un-American, continued") Through an improbable series of events nearly 500 years ago, it fell to a German man named Martin Waldseemuller to decide what half of the world would be called. Fortunately for us, he was not an egomaniac, so I am not now writing this from my home in the United States of [Read More...]


Arthur Silber thinks that many of us have been using meaningless language as part of an elaborate charade. Specifically, he's upset with the use of the adjectives "American" and "un-American": … politicians of all stripes appeal to "American values" when they are defending their particular beliefs or programs. Similarly, when people wish to condemn some [Read More...]


When you find a story particularly impenetrable, confusing or disconcerting, sometimes it helps to retell it. This particular story was itself a retelling of an older story (the new version left out the whale because people seemed to find that episode too distracting). – – – – – – – – – – – - [Read More...]

Cleaning the attic

Sometimes I read something interesting on the Web, bookmark the site, and then write about it here on the blog. Sometimes, though, I read something interesting, bookmark the site, and then never get around to writing about it. Weeks and months pass by and the bookmarks folder gets filled to overflowing. I usually label this [Read More...]

PR case studies

Two quick case studies in public relations for the morally stunted and intellectually challenged. 1. If you feel your religious tradition has been slandered, falsely accused of promoting violence and the "command to spread by the sword the faith," then it's probably best not to respond to such remarks violently. Bombing churches tends not to [Read More...]