July 18, 2019

    By now, you’ve probably heard about the Trump rally in North Carolina yesterday in which, with reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and uncorrected by the President, the crowd began to chant “Send her back!  Send her back!”   I’ve already expressed my opinion of the presidential tweet that started all of this.  (See here and here.)   I haven’t yet called attention to the absolutely astonishing and utterly Orwellian attempt by one of Mr. Trump’s campaign personnel… Read more

July 17, 2019

    This subject came bubbling up again just the other day in a place where I happen to have noticed it.  So I think that I’ll repost an item that I originally wrote and put up on 10 January 2017:   The scandal du jour that’s agitating the embittered ex-Mormon hive (and that’s, perhaps, concerning some wavering Latter-day Saints, and even possibly a few very faithful ones) is the revelation that members of the First Presidency and other General Authorities receive… Read more

July 17, 2019

    A few nights ago, as we watched the 2008 WGBH (Boston)/BBC Sense and Sensibility, the one with Hattie Morahan as Elinor Dashwood, I heard a quotation from William Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” (or, to be more full and exact, from Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, July 13, 1798”).  That led me to re-read the poem yet again, and to be struck, yet again, by… Read more

July 17, 2019

    Since my request, made a few days ago, for suggestions of topics that I should cover during today’s FreedomFest 2019 lecture in Las Vegas (“Building Zion: Mormon Pioneers and Religion in the American West”) was so usefully productive, I thought that I might pose a more difficult, obscure, and demanding task for readers.  One good thing:  I’m not under so tight a deadline for this one.   I’m tinkering with a book manuscript for which the working title… Read more

July 16, 2019

    A few more items that I’ve extracted from P.M.H. Atwater, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We Die (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, 2007) as notes for a manuscript upon which I’m occasionally working:   In the Canadian magazine Maclean’s (20 April 1992, p. 40), Tom Harpur, an Anglican priest turned journalist, makes the following intriguing comment, which is cited by Atwater:   It is now my conviction that it is the… Read more

July 16, 2019

    Continued:   As I noted in my previous post on this topic, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were born in the United States, so Mr. Trump’s suggestion that they ought to go back to the countries from which they originally came is not only offensive but blitheringly stupid.   It’s true, though, that Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was born in Somalia and raised in Somalia and then in Kenya before she came to the… Read more

July 16, 2019

    The presentation that I was very recently asked to give at FreedomFest 2019 down in Las Vegas tomorrow afternoon (“Building Zion: Mormon Pioneers and Religion in the American West”) is beginning to take shape.  If anybody shows up to my session, I now think that they’ll find it interesting.  Even any Latter-day Saints who might happen to wander by the room will, I believe, likely learn at least a few things from it that they didn’t already know…. Read more

July 16, 2019

    “A swan song for Mormons’ Hill Cumorah Pageant”   I’m sorry to say, on the basis of my one experience with the Hill Cumorah Pageant, that Jana Riess’s verdict on the pageant was pretty much mine, as well.  I found it impressive and spectacular, but not at all moving.  So I’m less sad than I’m sure many are that the pageant’s long run is coming to a close.  (I’m sorry, though, for the revenue loss that the community… Read more

July 15, 2019

    My wife and I have been on one of our periodic Jane Austen binges again.  First, we re-watched the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice, with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.  Then, inspired, we watched the 1996 Emma again, starring Gwyneth Paltrow.  Really getting into it by this point, we binge-watched the 2008 WGBH (Boston)/BBC Sense and Sensibility, with Hattie Morahan.  It’s not nearly as familiar to me as the 1995 film of Sense and Sensibility that features Emma… Read more

July 15, 2019

    As a serious social and political conservative who is inclined to libertarianism on economic issues, I’m anything but a fan of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).  I’ve paid scarcely any attention to Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), but, given her political positions, it’s safe to say that I would never vote for her, either.   Indeed, I’ve found myself in the, for me, exceedingly odd and unaccustomed position over the past couple of weeks… Read more

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