Kim Jong Il is dead

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has died at age 69. This is big news, I think, but I don’t really know what it means for the future. My thoughts are similar to those of Dr. Thompson: The strange leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il, has died. Everyone is worried about what’s going to [Read More…]

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Vaclav Havel, 1936-2011

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. Playwright, dissident, Velvet Underground fan and the first president of the Czech Republic after the Velvet Revolution, Vaclav Havel has died at [Read More…]

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Sunday favorites

Exodus 16:14-18 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the [Read More…]

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Smart people saying smart things

Herman Melville: “Poor Man’s Pudding and Rich Man’s Crumbs” (1854) Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. “Blandmour,” said I that evening, as after tea I sat on his comfortable sofa, before a blazing [Read More…]

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Witchhunters, gerrymanders, hate-groups and hacks

Here is some helpful news for those who: 1) care about justice for workers, and 2) tend to procrastinate when it comes to Christmas shopping. Labor organization American Rights at Work released its holiday gift buying guide this week, spotlighting gifts and holiday supplies from union companies who manufacture products made in America. … I’m [Read More…]

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Church bulletin announcements

Religion News Service reports that: The Southern Baptist Convention is again considering changing its name, after a national survey found 40 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable view of the denomination. Somewhat surprisingly, the SBC’s negatives were highest in the South. It’s not surprising. To paraphrase Ed Koch, in the South, people know the SBC. [Read More…]

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Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass. — Christopher Hitchens Critic, essayist and compulsive contrarian Christopher Hitchens has died. [Read More…]

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Humans in uniform and what will winter bring?

Time magazine has named “The Protester” its “Person of the Year” for 2011. That seems like the right choice to me. “In 2011, protesters didn’t just voice their complaints,” Time’s cover story says, “they changed the world.” And they’re still changing it. That’s what makes this a good choice for the story of the year. [Read More…]

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