Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A cautious optimism on Iraq

re: Sen. Jon Kyl weighs in after a trip to the Middle East...

hat tip: Carol Platt Liebau

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

ENJOY THE JOURNEY: Why should Protestants care about Lent?

re: "You see, I'm a Protestant who has grown to LOVE Lent—and though I am the wife of an Anglican priest, there’s still a little Baptist girl inside the woman, so that’s no light statement I toss off. But after 15 years of following the ancient cycle of the liturgical seasons—Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Ordinary Time—I have found it so meaningful to seasonally put the spotlight on a different aspect of my Christian walk. The Scripture readings, the prayers and the traditions of each season serve to educate my mind theologically and my heart practically in ways I need to grow..."...

The 50Book Challenge: Books 1-5 « Daily Inklings

re: Elizabeth notes her first books tackled in another online reading community/challenge...

Being Barbara, Being Mum, Being Me

re: randomly selected blog from Christian Women Online Blog Ring...

Author Lisa Samson Talks about Living Outside the Box

re: Paula Moldenhauer interviews author Lisa Samson...

Become a 'God Magnet'

re: Harvey Katz's book, Becoming a God Magnet: Life Lessons in Sharing Your Faith, (Believe Books, 2006)...

Rapid Deployment Kits

re: "...As many of our soldiers serve in extremely dangerous situations, your support and prayers continue to make a tremendous difference! Thank you for your prayers and all you've done to equip soldiers with Rapid Deployment Kits./Each Kit includes a camouflage New Testament, a 90-day devotional, and a Would You Like to Know God Personally? booklet that clearly presents the Gospel - all packaged in a waterproof plastic bag small enough to fit into a soldier's pocket. /Since September 2001, RDKs have been put into the hands of more than 1.3 million American troops-giving them the spiritual answers they're looking for as many face life and death situations daily./ But With thousands more troops preparing for deployment, there remains much to be done. Campus Crusade for Christ's Military Ministry continues to receive requests for approximately 20,000 RDKs each month..."...

hat tip: crosswalk.com

Captain's Quarters: Rudy Going Reaganesque

re: "Rudy Giuliani, out to an early and somewhat surprising lead in the Republican presidential primary race, has begun addressing conservative groups to make his case for the nomination. The New York Sun reports that Giuliani has adopted a vision-style approach while retaining his strengths in policy, painting a future for the GOP as the party of freedom..."...

Captain's Quarters: Venezuela Seizes Oil Projects From Foreign Firms

re: "Venezuelan president-cum-dictator Hugo Chavez continued his confiscation of private property and foreign investment yesterday by seizing oil projects and assimilating them into the state-owned petroleum organization. Delivering on his pledge to create a socialist state along the same lines as Fidel Castro's Cuba, Chavez told foreign-owned firms that they now had to accept a minority stake in their own properties...[snip]...Chavez's diktat will take legal effect in four months, although Chavez says he'll seize the projects by May 1. The companies have that long to negotiate terms with Chavez, who has an army to occupy the oil fields, making negotiations somewhat one-sided. The oil producers will likely try to strike a bargain with Chavez, but it makes little sense to do so. They will only be delaying the inevitable; Chavez will eventually steal it all from them. They should dismantle their operations and leave forthwith, taking the losses now and leaving Chavez to explain why the workers have lost their jobs as well as the expertise necessary to produce their primary export..."...

Monday, February 26, 2007

OpinionJournal - Five Best: Legal Fiction

re: John Mortimer, the creator of Rumpole, highlights five "law in literature" books, from William Shakespeare to Anthony Trollope to Charles Dickens (twice) to P.D. James...

Elephants in Academia: "The wild colt of new technologies can and must be controlled"

re: "There are so many things wrong here I hardly know where to begin.../It seems that the Cuban authorities have inaugurated a new search engine as a convenience for the denizens of Fidel Castro's island paradise. It is convenient in that it is the only one available, and as an added bonus it filters out any unnecessary information that would confuse them..."...

The Fear of Christian Sincerity? The Shape of Things to Come

re: British Conservative leader Michael Portillo attacking other political leaders who profess a belief in God, plus a counterattack by William Rees-Mogg which begins "We live in an age when modernists regard religion with something approaching panic..."...

Captain's Quarters: Controversial For Showing The Truth

re: "The documentary Obsession has finally started to receive attention for its presentation of the indoctrination of Arabs into an Islamist mindset, thanks to programs shown on state-run television in places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other countries in the Middle East. The New York Times reports on the controversy the documentary has created on college campuses..."...

Captain's Quarters: Is Japan Wrong To Honor Its Kamikaze Pilots?

re: "Japan will confront its World War II history with a new film this May honoring the sacrifice of its kamikaze pilots. I Go To Die For You comes from the pen of a well-known politician, and will open up a debate over the nature of the Imperial culture that sent 5,000 young men to their deaths as the pilots of guided missiles..."...

Friday, February 23, 2007

OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan: A Surmountable Hill

re: "Republicans and conservatives have been trying to sink Mrs. Clinton for years, but she keeps bob-bob-bobbing along. "Oh those Clinton haters, what's wrong with them?" /Only a Democrat could hurt her, and a Democrat just did. Hollywood titan David Geffen, who now supports Barack Obama, this week famously retagged the Clintons as an Ivy League Bonnie and Clyde. Bill is "reckless," Hillary relentless--"God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary?" In an interview that seemed like an audience, with the New York Times's Maureen Dowd, Mr. Geffen said, "Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it's troubling."..."...

OpinionJournal - Taste: Hollywood's 'Amazing' Glaze: What the new movie covers up about William Wilberforce

re: Charlotte Allen: "It is rare that a Hollywood film takes up a subject like William Wilberforce (1759-1833), the British parliamentarian who devoted nearly his entire 45-year political career to banning the British slave trade. Alas, a lot of people watching "Amazing Grace," Michael Apted's just-released film, may get the impression--perhaps deliberately fostered by Mr. Apted--that Wilberforce was a mostly secular humanitarian whose main passion was not Christian faith but politics and social justice. Along the way, they may also get the impression that the hymn "Amazing Grace" is no more than an uplifting piece of music that sounds especially rousing on the bagpipes...[snip]...The movie "Amazing Grace" nods occasionally in the direction of granting a role to faith in social reform, but it would do us all well to supplement our time in the movie theater by doing some reading about the heroic and amazing Christian who was the real William Wilberforce."...

ADF: ADF commends new Department of Justice effort to protect religious liberty - Alliance Defense Fund - Defending Our First Liberty

re: "SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A new U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division project designed to strengthen and protect the First Amendment religious freedom rights of all Americans will also help to correct decades of disinformation, according to Alliance Defense Fund President, CEO, and General Counsel Alan Sears, a former prosecutor in the Reagan administration. / “Religious freedom must be protected and secured if we are to remain free as a nation. I commend Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the Bush administration for this new initiative,” said Sears. “The fact that the Justice Department finds it necessary to launch such a project further confirms what we’ve been aware of for years: our nation’s First Liberty--religious freedom--is in serious danger because of decades of sustained attacks by the ACLU and its allies. The activities of these groups do not accurately reflect the laws of the United States.” /During a speech Tuesday announcing the “First Freedom Project,” Gonzales said, “Nothing defines us more as a nation--and differentiates us more from the extremists who are our enemies--than our respect for religious freedom. Our great country was founded on these principles, and many of us today believe it continues to thrive because of, not despite, them.” / In his statement, Gonzales mentioned several cases litigated by ADF and its allies, including a case in Balch Springs, Texas, where members of a senior citizens’ community center were told that they could no longer pray before meals, sing Gospel songs, or hold Bible studies. When they protested these actions, the city fired their bus driver and threatened to take away their meal service unless they quit. ADF-allied attorneys with Liberty Legal Institute represented the seniors in court, and the Department of Justice launched an investigation into the city’s discriminatory actions. As a result, the seniors’ First Amendment rights were restored. / More information on the First Freedom Project is available at www.firstfreedom.gov..."...

Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence - For Your Lenten Journey

re: "To assist you in your Lenten Journey, we're compiling a number of resources, including those from the Holy Father, the United Sates Conference of Catholic Bishops(USCCB), Operation Rice Bowl (Catholic Relief Services Lenten program), the Diocese of Providence, and more. The links below will bring you to pages that feature prayer, reflection, information, explanation and enrichment. We will be adding more here as our 40 day journey unfolds, please visit often!..."...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Religious left leaders chided for meeting with war on terror enemy (OneNewsNow.com)

re: "A spokesman for the Institute on Religion and Democracy says the Iranian regime is receiving the sympathy, if not the support, of a delegation of church officials from denominations such as the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church. The ecumenical delegation is currently in Iran to meet with government officials, including the country's current and past president..."...

Thomas More Law Center: Mt. Soledad Cross Victory: ACLU Loss

re: "ANN ARBOR, MI – The California Supreme Court, yesterday, affirmed the precedent-setting decision of a California appellate court, which upheld the right of the people of San Diego to transfer the Mt. Soledad veterans memorial and cross to the federal government. At the same time, the Court denied the ACLU’s attempt to prevent the publication of the lower court decision favorable to the cross and veterans memorial. The ACLU was seeking to have the decision suppressed so that it would not be used against them in future lawsuits..."...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

Benning's Writing Pad: Ancient Ireland

re: pictures of ancient stone buildings, built without mortar and shaped more or less like an overturned boat...

One Bite at a Time: How to Take on Social Evils - Prison Fellowship

re: Chuck Colson: "Two hundred years ago this week, the British Parliament outlawed the slave trade throughout the British Empire. /This hard-fought battle is beautifully told in the new film Amazing Grace. I watched a preview with President Bush at the White House this week, which was appropriate, seeing that this president has successfully fought against slavery in Sudan... / The movie, which opens this Friday, is sensational. See it, be inspired, and you will learn one of the most important lessons of politics: If you hope to overthrow a great social evil—one to which people have become accustomed—it’s crucial that you take the incremental approach. /It’s a strategy the Great Abolitionist learned early on. When Wilberforce began his battle in 1787, slavery was both accepted and highly profitable. The slaves lived and died in the Caribbean, far from English eyes..."...

Numerous links for further reading follow the post.

What and when is Lent 2007? (Christian Festival)

re: from A Calendar of British Holidays in the UK 2006-2008, by Woodlands Junior School...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007

Courage Awards

re: Earl Aagaard has been running a series of posts honoring courage...

George Washington's God -- Something Interesting for Presidents Day

re: "...We are wise to avoid the rush to remake George Washington in our own image, whether ardent secularist or fervent evangelical Christian. Washington, like all of us, was a man of his times. His expressions of Christian belief must be placed within the context of his Anglican experience in Virginia -- a tradition not given to flowery expressions of personal belief./This much is clear: Washington was no secularist, nor was he what we would now describe as an Evangelical believer. Most likely, he was a traditional Anglican believer whose trust in divine providence shaped every moment of his illustrious life. What George Washington believed about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not fully clear. That Washington believed in a God who ruled over the nations and intervened in human affairs is clear -- and Washington was confident that God favored the cause of justice and liberty..."...

ADF: Miami-Dade County officials: Buy 2.5 acres, or cancel Bible study - Alliance Defense Fund - Defending Our First Liberty

re: MIAMI — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit Friday on behalf of two groups of Christians told they must purchase 2.5 acres of land before meeting for prayer and Bible study. Miami-Dade County officials slapped International Outreach Center and Worldwide Agape Ministries with orders to cease and desist meeting unless members can procure the acreage required, even if only two or three people are in attendance./ “People can gather each week at someone’s home to watch football, but they can’t gather to read the Bible and pray without being forced to buy 2.5 acres of land. I think that would strike most people as ridiculous,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster. “It is unconstitutional for the county to bully these ministries when there is no minimum acreage requirement for other assembly-use businesses, such as pool halls, theaters, convention centers, and private clubs.”/ For more than 10 years, International Outreach Center has used its property as a meeting place for prayer, Bible study, discussion, and singing of religious songs. On April 21, IOC received a code violation notice from the county stating that the group needed to apply for a Certificate of Use. Officials responded to IOC’s application by stating that the group would need to purchase 2.5 acres of land or stop meeting. /Worldwide Agape Ministries, a small, home-based religious ministry which meets for prayer, Bible reading and discussion, and singing, received a cease-and-desist order from county zoning officials. The officials stated that even a regular gathering of two to three people is not permitted and that the group would need 2.5 acres of land to continue their activities./ A copy of the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in International Outreach Center v. Miami-Dade County is available at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/IOCComplaint.pdf. /“The limitation placed on these ministries acts as a major roadblock, particularly since land in south Florida is so expensive,” Oster said. “County officials cannot be permitted to continue the enforcement of these broad restrictions against those who simply want to exercise their freedom of religion.”..."...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Your Ideas America

re: "This website is the first step in a national effort to launch a conversation about America's future. It is a special, online project of Senator Bill Frist M.D.'s leadership committee, VOLPAC (www.volpac.org). /Our goal is to identify the most pressing problems facing our country, encourage visitors to offer solutions, evaluate the solutions as a community and then build a consensus within our Republican Party and America. We will promote this consensus as an Agenda for America..."...

Melanie Phillips’s Articles » Liberal Britain turns out the lights

re: from Jan. 31, "Two days ago, a momentous change occurred to the character of our nation. Quite simply, Britain stopped being a liberal society..."...

contentions: Dr. Faust, My Cleaning Lady, and Me

re: Ruth R. Wisse: "This morning my cleaning lady E., expecting an affirmative response, asked me whether I was pleased by the appointment of a woman to the presidency of Harvard University (where I am a professor). A year ago her English was not good enough for such a question. College-educated in São Paolo, with what I believe was a major in government, she tells me a female president will be able to smooth over the troubles of the previous administration. Evidently, she perceives the ascendancy of Drew Gilpin Faust as a boost for her own chances of advancement in America. Apparently, Brazilian women gained fully equal legal rights only in 1988...[snip]...My Portuguese is not up to E.’s English, so I cannot explain to her the difference between a woman and a Women’s Libber..."...

contentions: The Muslim Lobby

re: "...The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim American Society (MAS), and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) all worked overtime this past election cycle to create the impression that, in American politics, Muslims are now a force to be reckoned with. They were especially emphatic about the country’s growing Muslim population—some 8 million souls, in their oft-repeated estimates./So it comes as a useful corrective to read Patrick Poole’s “Numbers Don’t Lie” in this week’s Front Page Magazine. Poole cites two recent pieces (in IBD and the New York Sun) criticizing the methodology of the survey that produced the 8 million figure and citing new estimates drawn from survey work done at CUNY and the University of Chicago—estimates suggesting that there are, in fact, not 8 million Muslims in the U.S. but well under 3 million. Moreover, of these, only a minuscule 4,761 are dues-paying members of CAIR, which presents itself as the community’s authoritative voice..."...

... AND I LET MYSELF BE DUPED: Disconnected?: Jesuit Education & Today's Student

re: dealing with college students equipped with cell phones and laptops in the classroom, etc....

Imprimis - Hillsdale College: “Let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage”

re: adaptation of a speech by the president of Walden Media, with an emphasis on why their films are based on great books, great people and great historical events. Has C.S. Lewis info/quotes, plus the story behind the movie Amazing Grace...

The Self-Esteem Movement Backfires -- When Praise is Dangerous

re: "The self-esteem movement has transformed much of America, but this is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the schools. A brilliant article in New York Magazine provides a fascinating glimpse into why the movement is crashing and burning..."...

The Curt Jester: And the winners are...

re: winners and runners-up for the 2007 Catholic Blog Awards...

RealChoice: Florida Choice Plates Unveiled

re: "Aw! Isn't it cute the way the little aborted baby stars fly up to Heaven? While the one lucky little "chosen" star gets to gestate in Mommy's tummy!/Unconscious admission, or intentional statement? What do you think? Tell the Orlando NOW chapter here..."...

Secondhand Smoke: Why The Texas Futile Care Law Must Fall

re: fighting doctors who refuse to save - or transfer - patients they think should die. Gives case of specific 15-month-old baby...

Allrecipes

re: "...Allrecipes has more than 40,000 free recipes—all created, tested, reviewed and approved by home cooks worldwide..."...

hat tip: Albertsons

The Grassroots Abortion War -- Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007 -- Page 1 -- TIME

re: crisis pregnancy centers versus abortion providers...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

Elephants in Academia: Dream the impossible dream: Why I support R-B in '08

re: dreaming about a ticket of Donald Rumsfeld and John Bolton in ’08...

lines... in pleasant places: A Widow's Might

re: the nonfiction book A Widow's Might by Carolyn Lipscomb, about a woman who held her family together against steep odds during the Depression, and later went on to battle extortionists...

hat tip: Semicolon

Friday, February 16, 2007

Touchstone Magazine - Mere Comments: Christian Ceremony

re: "Join the discussion at our Treaders site on what the Marine Corps remembers about ritual and solemnity that many churches have forgotten. It is a discussion of Rites & Wrongs of Passage from the November 2006 issue of Touchstone. The article is already being discussed over at the Oversight of Souls blog."...

Free Inquiry? Not on Campus by John Leo, City Journal Winter 2007

re: "...Much campus censorship rests on philosophical underpinnings that go back to social theorist Herbert Marcuse, a hero to sixties radicals. Marcuse argued that traditional tolerance is repressive—it wards off reform by making the status quo . . . well, tolerable. Marcuse favored intolerance of established and conservative views, with tolerance offered only to the opinions of the oppressed, radicals, subversives, and other outsiders. Indoctrination of students and “deeply pervasive” censorship of others would be necessary, starting on the campuses and fanning out from there./By the late 1980s, many of the double standards that Marcuse called for were in place in academe. Marcuse’s candor was missing, but everyone knew that speakers, student newspapers, and professors on the right could (make that should) receive different treatment from those on the left. The officially oppressed—designated race and gender groups—knew that they weren’t subject to the standards and rules set for other students.
Marcuse’s thinking has influenced a generation of influential radical scholars...[snip]...Perhaps the battle to release the campuses from the iron grasp of PC will take decades, but the struggle for free speech is being fought—and won—now."...

Political Mavens » Forgotten History: How Hollywood Once Produced a President

re: "...In fact, there remains much about Reagan in Hollywood that has gone unreported. Recovering that information is not only valuable for history’s sake, but also in understanding what motivated this actor who became president. There was much more to Reagan in Hollywood than “Bedtime for Bonzo.”...[snip]...Reagan spoke on behalf of the “DPs,” the Displaced Persons. A daily headline in 1947, the DPs were initially survivors of World War II fascism, mainly from Germany, Italy, and Austria, and were primarily persecuted Jews. Once the war ended, the designated list of DPs widened to 1.5 million individuals escaping Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe./The DPs were held in camps, at large cost to the United States. Soviet officials outrageously claimed that the United States was holding the DPs as a source of slave labor — a charge dismissed by Eleanor Roosevelt, who was intimately involved in the issue, as “utterly untrue.” Moscow insisted the DPs be forcibly transported to areas under Soviet control. Secretary of State George Marshall adamantly rejected the demand./A bill was introduced by Congressman William Stratton (R-IL) to permit entry of 400,000 DPs into the United States-a lifeboat. Yet, the legislation faced stiff opposition, which Reagan resisted. “There are some people who would rather bury the Stratton bill … and thus bury the DPs in a mass grave,” protested Reagan. “They would be burying Protestants, Catholics, and Jews alike.”/On May 7, 1947, Reagan released a SAG statement urging passage of the Stratton bill. It was his first campaign against the Kremlin..."...

hat tip: Brothers Judd

Betsy's Page: Psychoanalyzing your political opponents

re: "I don't regularly see New York Magazine, but Andrew Ferguson brings us up to date on a recent issue that asked 13 writers who are not psychiatrists to explore the question: Is George W. Bush crazy? Apparently, these so-called experts don't need to actually meet or talk to the subject of their psychoanalyzing. Simply knowning that they disagree and dislike him is sufficient. Ferguson calls these people "pseuds" for being "pseudo-intellectuals."..."...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Stanley Kurtz on The Enemy at Home on National Review Online

re: "Why is the United States engaged in a war against Islamic terrorists? The Left blames the war on American foreign policy, while the Right holds that America is being scapegoated for the Muslim Middle East’s own failure to modernize. In his controversial new book, The Enemy at Home, conservative social critic Dinesh D’Souza rejects both of these explanations. Islam is perfectly compatible with modernity, argues D’Souza. The real root of the terror war, says D’Souza, is that, like many other traditional peoples throughout the world, Muslims are being shocked into anti-Western radicalism by the decadent post-Sixties culture nowadays aggressively spread across the globe by the secular Left./In “War of Cultures,” I take issue with D’Souza, arguing that the contemporary cultural Left merely aggravates a profound and already-existing conflict between Islamic society and modernity — a clash between tradition and modernity more thorough-going and prone to violence than in any other part of the globe. D’Souza’s theme of cultural incitement, rightly understood, I argue, points toward a deeper incompatibility between Islamic society and the demands of modern life — an incompatibility that has a great deal to do with the widespread Middle Eastern practice of cousin marriage. If this is so, then we are led to take up the fundamental question of the causes of the terror war in a new light..."...

ABC News: CDC Tracks Peanut Butter Contamination

re: "ATLANTA Feb 15, 2007 (AP)— Government scientists struggled Thursday to pinpoint the source of the first U.S. salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter, the kid favorite packed into millions of lunchboxes every day. /Nearly 300 people in 39 states have fallen ill since August, and federal health investigators said they strongly suspect Peter Pan peanut butter and certain batches of Wal-Mart's Great Value house brand both manufactured by ConAgra Foods Inc./Shoppers across the country were warned to throw out jars with a product code on the lid beginning with "2111," which denotes the plant where it was made. /How the dangerous germ got into the peanut butter was a mystery. But because peanuts are usually heated to high, germ-killing temperatures during the manufacturing process, government and industry officials said the contamination may have been caused by dirty jars or equipment. /"We think we have very strong evidence that this was the brand of peanut butter. Now it goes to the next step of going to the place where the peanut butter was made and focusing in on the testing," said Dr. Mike Lynch, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..."...

Wittingshire: Happy Birthday, Miep Gies

re: "Today is the 98th birthday of Miep Gies, one of the people who hid Anne Frank and her family..."...

Includes link to 1997 Q&A at Scholastic, where Gies answered questions submitted by students.

Transatlantic Intelligencer :: Tragicomedy in the Bavarian Alps (Anti-Nazi Convicted of Using Nazi Symbolism)

re: pictures, info on book and button banned for showing 'Nazi' symbolism, even though they clearly sport anti-Nazi sentiment...

links to more in-depth (but pictureless) essay appearing in translation at The American Thinker...

Gilbert Highet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

re: information the the husband of novelist Helen MacInnes: "...Like others teaching at Columbia at this time -- Lionel Trilling, Mark Van Doren, Eric Bentley, Ernest Nagel -- Gilbert Highet conceived of his work as the fostering of a tradition. "These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but 'minds' alive on the shelves," Highet wrote. He believed that "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."/As a scholar in an era in which parliamentary democracy, Communism, and fascism vied for supremacy, he believed it was the duty of the intellectual to support freedom and defend pluralism. "The aim of those who try to control thought is always the same," he wrote. "They find one single explanation of the world, one system of thought and action that will (they believe) cover everything; and then they try to impose that on all thinking people."/Above all, he was devoted to learning from the past. "History is a strange experience," he wrote in the introduction to an essay on Byzantium. "The world is quite small now; but history is large and deep. Sometimes you can go much farther by sitting in your own home and reading a book of history, than by getting onto a ship or an airplane and traveling a thousand miles. When you go to Mexico City through space, you find it a sort of cross between modern Madrid and modern Chicago, with additions of its own; but if you go to Mexico City through history, back only 500 years, you will find it as distant as though it were on another planet: inhabited by cultivated barbarians, sensitive and cruel, highly organized and still in the Copper Age, a collection of startling, of unbelievable contrasts." Ernie Seckinger has called Highet "the Harold Bloom of his day, only nicer." Highet tended to be critical of contemporary literature, attributing to it decadent qualities..."...

Above Suspicion (1943)

re: 1943 movie starring Joan Crawford and Fred MacMurray, based at least somewhat on the Helen MacInnes novel of the same name (obvious difference: the movie has Richard and Frances Myles on their honeymoon, while the book banks heavily on how well they have come to know each other in four (?) years of marriage.)...

Addition: movie also features Basil Rathbone, as Count Sig von Aschenhausen.

Helen MacInnes

re: bibliography...

Amazon.com: "know all about Helen MacInnes"

re: reader overview of Helen MacInnes novels...

The Scotsman - Business - Business soaring as more high fliers go bespoke

re: "IT'S a form of transport that has been branded wasteful and elitist by the environmental lobby. Yet, despite rankling the greens, there's little sign of any slowdown in the executive air travel market./On the contrary, demand for business jets has risen to record levels as Britain's captains of industry rush to beat the security searches and check-in queues. ...[snip]... Fresh figures from BAA reveal that the number of private jet movements at the group's three Scottish airports increased by 50 per cent to 7,319 between 2001 and 2006. Edinburgh racked up the fastest increase at 84 per cent. /Looking to cash in on this soaring demand is a young Scottish entrepreneur who has set up her own air brokerage business after working for three years in the corporate aviation industry...[snip]...While initial demand came from businesses such as law firms and banks, an increasing amount of trade is being driven by well-heeled individuals looking for a hassle-free alternative to scheduled flights...[snip]...By tapping into a range of business jet operators, Exec Air Charter is able to source anything from a small Piper aircraft that can transport up to four people to Gulfstream jets capable of whisking twice as many passengers across the Atlantic at an altitude of 40,000ft..."...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Power Line: Remembering Mr. Lincoln

re: tribute to, and a speech by, Abraham Lincoln...

hat tip: Bookworm Room

Brandywine Books: Want some mustard on that Hero?

re: the problem of creating more proactive heroes in stories (so that the good guys aren't duller than the villains)...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Francisco Marroquín (1499-1563)

re: "Francisco Marroquín was born in the province of Santander, in northern Spain, of noble and landed family. After completing ecclesiastical studies and taking priestly vows, Marroquín studied theology and philosophy at the University of Heusca. While at the University, Marroquín belonged to a renewal movement that affirmed all people as equal before God and under law and no society as just unless it was based on the free exercise of human will. This renewal movement was comparable to the humanist movements of Salamanca, Valladolid, and Alcalá de Henares. Rather than theorize about these ideals, Marroquín embarked to the New World in 1527 and put these ideals into practice..."...

When geoscientists attack » GetReligion

re: "...Cornelia Dean had a fantastic idea for a story in today’s New York Times. She found a geoscientist who completed his undergraduate and graduate schooling with great marks — all while being a young earth creationist (which the Times puts in scare quotes)...[snip]...Ross says it’s no big deal and even uses an economics department as an analogy. But as you might expect, other professors are enraged that the academy let an, er, non-believer into their hallowed halls./Dean really handled the story well, characterizing and quoting each side charitably. Major kudos for that. She also nails the crux of the debate..."...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Betsy's Page: Hélas! French - no longer the language of diplomacy, love, or commerce

re: "French trade unionists are all upset that more and more French businesses and computer users are, gasp!, using English. They are fighting to make Fench the language of the law in the European Union because it was the language used in Napoleon's Code and thus should trump English or German. They just can't stand the thought that English is permeating their culture and object to English appearing on l'internet and in les e-mails..."...

Holland's Post-Secular Future

re: Joshua Livestro reporting, Jan. 1, 2007, The Weekly Standard: "When the "corporate prayer" movement first started in 1996, few people in Holland took any notice. Why should they have done so? After all, Holland's manifest destiny was to become a fully secularized country, in which prayer was considered at best an irrational but harmless pastime. That was then. Cue forward to 2006, when prayer in the workplace is fast becoming a universally accepted phenomenon. More than 100 companies participate. Government ministries, universities, multinational companies like Philips, KLM, and ABN AMRO--all allow groups of employees to organize regular prayer meetings at their premises. Trade unions have even started lobbying the government for recognition of workers' right to prayer in the workplace./The idea that secularization is the irreversible wave of the future is still the conventional wisdom in intellectual circles here. They would be bemused, to say the least, at a Dutch relapse into religiosity. But as the authors of a recently published study called De Toekomst van God (The Future of God) point out, organized prayer in the workplace is just one among several pieces of evidence suggesting that Holland is on the threshold of a new era--one we might call the age of "post-secularization."..."...

hat tip: OrthodoxyToday.org

Variety.com - 'Screwtape' attaches Walden

re: Nichole Laporte reporting Jan. 31, 2007: "Ralph Winter Prods. is producing a bigscreen adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel "The Screwtape Letters" with Philip Anschutz's Walden Media. /Pic will be produced via Walden's Bristol Bay Prods. banner ("Ray," "Sahara")./Pic, which Walden hopes to release in 2008, is the company's second Lewis collaboration following "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," which grossed $744 million worldwide. The sequel to that pic, "Prince Caspian," is due out next year./Like "Narnia," "The Screwtape Letters" -- which is described as a midbudget, primarily live-action pic -- embodies Christian themes..."...

roundabout hat tip: Stones Cry Out

OpinionJournal - Global Warming Smear

re: "Mark Twain once complained that a lie can make it half way around the world before the truth gets its boots on. That's been the case of late in the climate change debate, as political and media activists attempt to stigmatize anyone who doesn't pay homage to their "scientific consensus."/Last week the London Guardian published a story headlined, "Scientists Offer Cash to Dispute Climate Study." The story alleges that the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative-leaning think tank in Washington, collected contributions from ExxonMobil and then offered climate scholars $10,000 so they could lobby against global warming legislation./Another newspaper, the British Independent, picked up on the story and claimed: "It has come to light that one of the world's largest oil companies, ExxonMobil, is attempting to bribe scientists to pick holes in the IPCC's assessment." (The IPCC is the United Nations climate-change panel.) /It would be easy to dismiss all this as propaganda from British tabloids, except that a few days ago the "news" crossed the Atlantic where more respectable media outlets, including the Washington Post, are reporting the story in what has become all too typical pack fashion. A CNNMoney.com report offered that "a think tank partly funded by ExxonMobil sent letters to scientists offering them up to $10,000 to critique findings in a major global warming study released Friday which found that global warming was real and likely caused by burning fossil fuels."/Here are the facts as we've been able to collect them. AEI doesn't lobby, didn't offer money to scientists to question global warming, and the money it did pay for climate research didn't come from Exxon. /What AEI did was..."...

Michael Fumento: Code of Silence

re: Subtitled: Another source of useful stem cells has been found – and the media and the cloning crowd are trying keep it quiet. Begins: "While the Democratic-controlled House voted 253-174 to expand federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, it fell far short of the 290 votes needed to override a virtually guaranteed presidential veto. A tragedy for victims of everything from Alzheimer's to warts? Not at all. Each year there are stunning breakthroughs with adult stem cells, and 2007 has already brought its first..."

Via Glenn Reynolds, via Frank Wilson

Thursday, February 08, 2007

globeandmail.com: Gore defends Chinese position on fighting global warming

re: MADRID — Emerging economies such as China are justified in holding back on fighting greenhouse gas emissions until richer polluters like the United States do more to solve the problem, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore said Wednesday./The world's top climate scientists warned in a report last week global warming is very likely caused by humanity and will last for centuries./Chinese officials said they will act after industrial countries such as the United States and others make changes, Mr. Gore said, addressing a conference in Madrid on global warming./“They're right in saying that. But we have to act quickly,” said Mr. Gore, who was nominated last week for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in drawing attention to global warming./“China's reaction to the scientific report last week was disappointing, but it was instructive,” Mr. Gore said..."...

(ed. note: China 1, Gore 0...)

Deroy Murdock on Amendment 2 & Snowflakes on National Review Online

re: from Nov. 1, 2006: "Just 14 months old, fraternal twins EmmaLyn and Ian Burnett are oblivious to the embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR) controversy dominating their home state of Missouri. It’s too bad they are too young to respond to actor Michael J. Fox’s TV commercials endorsing Democratic Senate candidates Claire McCaskill in the Show-Me State and Ben Cardin in Maryland. If EmmaLyn and Ian could speak, they might help Fox and other Americans understand how ESCR literally kills living human beings just like them./Just like you, EmmaLyn and Ian began as embryos. On their first day of life, their biological parents froze them for later implantation. EmmaLyn and Ian were suspended in liquid nitrogen for four years./Facing pregnancy risks after having two kids, EmmaLyn and Ian’s Illinois-based natural parents relinquished their remaining embryos. Rather than toss them in the garbage, they placed them with the Fullerton, California-based Snowflakes Frozen Embryo Adoption Program..."...

Deroy Murdock on Ethanol on National Review Online

re: "Stick Ethanol in the Museum of Unintended Consequences: Washington has found a way to raise the price of fuel and tortillas at the same time..."...

OpinionJournal - Jimmy Carter's Siren Song: Will "Nice Baptists" bring America together? Don't bet on it.

re: John Wilson: "...Yet there is more than that underlying the rhetoric of Mr. Carter's proposal. What's on display here is a persistent fiction in public discourse, a phony account of our common experience. First comes an exaggerated emphasis on discord, then the promise that--at last!--someone is proposing to transcend division, to work for the good of us all. /You can find this same script, for example, in Bill Moyers's manifesto "A New Story for America" in the Jan. 22 Nation magazine. There, we are given "the real political story, the one most politicians won't even touch: the reality of the anonymous, disquieting daily struggle of ordinary people. . . . The leaders and thinkers and activists who honestly tell that story and speak passionately of the moral and religious values it puts in play will be the first political generation since the New Deal to win power back for the people."/Really? A look at any newscast will remind us that we haven't reached the Promised Land. Nevertheless, Americans of every stripe routinely work together for a dazzling array of common goods. And while Christians all too often fall short of the example set by the one whose life is supposed to be their model, still, every day and in every city Southern Baptists and Methodists and Willow Creekers and Pentecostals join hands with fellow believers--and with those who don't share their faith--to feed the hungry, to shelter the homeless and to provide disaster relief all over the globe. Many, like my wife, volunteer for hospice organizations and spend some of their time each week with the dying..."...

Cafe Hayek: The political economy of global warming

re: Russell Roberts: "The din to do something about global warming appears to be deafening. Article after article in the media. The UN report. An Oscar nomination and maybe a Nobel Prize for Al Gore. A deafening din. A groundswell of concern. Unrelenting pressure to do something to save the earth./But I don't think much is going to happen in the policy arena, other than a few symbolic gestures. Here's why..."...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Townhall.com::The News:: Sotheby's Racks Up $90M at Art Sale

re: "Bidders shelled out $90.2 million in a contemporary art sale at Sotheby's on Wednesday, the latest in a record-breaking week of sales for London auction houses./Sotheby's said the total was a record for a contemporary art sale in Europe. It brings the value of the art sold by the auctioneer in London this week to $327.7 million, with more sales scheduled Thursday./The top lot Wednesday was "White Canoe" by British artist Peter Doig, which sold to an anonymous bidder for $11.3 million _ more than five times the previous record for a Doig work./The vast sums are the latest sign of a boiling-hot global art market. A Sotheby's sale of Impressionist and modern art Monday fetched $186 million, the auction house's biggest ever sale in Europe...[snip]...On Thursday, Sotheby's rival Christie's is scheduled to auction a portrait by British painter Francis Bacon. It was expected to sell for about $23 million, a record for the artist..."...

The Common Room: One Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures

re: "There are things pictures can do for us educationally, but there are more things pictures cannot do. We need words. The material that that follows largely comes comes from the book Education's Smoking Gun by Reginald G. Damerell...[snip]...He suggests, "Children brought up on television probably know less about things visual than their counterparts of pretelevision days. They know less because they are less literate. What is seen largely depends on what is known behind the eyes; and most of what we know comes from language."..."...

Charis Connection: AH: Ghostbusting

re: "I [Angela Hunt] am one of seventy-five Christian novelists who have signed a letter saying that they have become increasingly concerned and dismayed about the practice of ghostwritten novels. This letter has gone out to all the major Christian publishing houses and our agents./Though most publishers do not do this, we know the practice is ongoing in the Christian publishing industry because some of us have been offered these jobs--recently. We believe the situation is deceptive, a form of false advertising, and ultimately demeaning to the work God has called us to do..."...

Townhall.com::Some People Seem to Know Everything, But Can’t Answer the Most Basic Questions::By David Strom

re: "Have you ever noticed that the people who seem to be most certain about things are often really quite ignorant?/ It’s a version of “don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up!”/That’s what we are seeing before our eyes in the debate about anthropogenic (man-made) climate change. An unholy alliance of some scientists, celebrities, government and non-profit bureaucrats, and politicians have joined together to force massive changes to our economy and our lives based upon an intellectual framework as rickety as an old abandoned barn..."...

KGW.com: Global warming debate spurs Ore. title tiff

re: Oregon's top climatologist doesn't think human activity is the main cause of climate change, so the governor wants to strip him of the title of State Climatologist (a title George Taylor holds because the state climate office is located at OSU)...

As of post time, the KGW poll question "Should the state climatologist lose his title?" was at 1179 no, and 248 yes...

Will: The Attack on Kids With Down Syndrome - Newsweek George F. Will - MSNBC.com

re: defending the right to life of people with Down Syndrome, and fighting ignorance about what it means to have it...

Will: Inconvenient Kyoto Truths - Newsweek George F. Will - MSNBC.com

re: calling the bluffs of the global warming crowd...

hat tip: RushLimbaugh.com

Under-the-Radar Cultural Change - Prison Fellowship

re: underhanded attempts to designate faith-based speech and actions illegal under federal "hate crimes" legislation...

BrothersJudd Blog: YOU'VE GOT TO EAT A LOT OF RUBBER CHICKEN TO LEARN TO BE A GREAT LEADER:

re: the book "The Education of Ronald Reagan" by Thomas W. Evans...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

miss_o_hara: Happy Birthday, Mr. Reagan

re: "...The new cry arising in conservative circles is, "Where is the next Reagan?" Of course they mean a President Reagan, another one. I don't know if there is one. But I do know that there are many, so many, like myself - sons and daughters of the Reagan Revolution, who adore and believe in their nation and in the God that lay her foundation, willing to answer the call to keep America great. Instead of pleading for 'another Reagan' to step into office, perhaps we should encourage the mini-Reagans, his intellectual, spiritual, and patriotic progeny in their hope, their dreams, their answering of the call on themselves to keep that shining city proud, glowing, and, of course, free. It's the everyman who makes America who she is. A great leader like Reagan can man the helm, can lead the troops, but if no one else believes along with him, if no one can be encouraged by his words, there truly is no hope. /I miss you, Mr. Reagan. Very much. But we were all so, so blessed to have you while we did. You stirred our hearts back into hope and love for God's blessing of America, that seemingly impossible dream of brave men, that shining city. Thank you, sir./ Let us go forward, America..."...

EUobserver.com: Rifts emerge over EU's 50th birthday declaration

re: "EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Political divisions are emerging over the EU's 50th birthday declaration, with the European Commission set to propose an explicit reference to the need for a constitutional solution and with Germany pushing a social agenda. / The first consultations by the German EU presidency on the so-called Berlin declaration - to be signed in the German capital by EU leaders and institutions on 25 March - are exposing strongly contrasting views on the content and the political role of the document. / The European Commission, which first proposed the idea for the declaration last year, views the occasion as a first step of breaking the EU's institutional deadlock produced by the 2005 "no" votes against the EU constitution in France and the Netherlands..."...

Considerettes - Conservative commentary served up in bite-sized bits » Solar (System) Warming

re: Mars, Pluto, Triton, and Jupiter all show signs of global warming...

Power Line: Up from liberalism, Part Two

re: recommending the book Why I Turned Right, edited by Mary Eberstadt, featuring essays by twelve leading conservative thinkers...

Reasoned Audacity: Are Children at Risk in Red States?

re: Jack Yoest takes on claims made in the new book Homeland Insecurity...American Children at Risk...by Michael Petit...

Catechist’s Journey» Blog Archive » Give Me One Good Reason…

re: advice from his friend, author Bret Nicholaus, on giving a customer or prospect one good reason to buy from you, not a whole slew of reasons...

more Bret Nicholaus info at Hachette Book Group USA...

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Book Den: Global Financial Warriors: A Review and a Personal Presentation

re: John Taylor's new book Global Financial Warriors: The Untold Story of International Finance in the Post-9/11 World...

LIFE DIGEST: Swiss court OKs assisted suicide; Hope proves doctors wrong; Crist backtracks on stem cell funds - (BP)

re: Baptist Press reports on several stories, leading with, "WASHINGTON (BP)--Mental illness, not terminal illness, may now be grounds for physician-assisted suicide in Switzerland./A Feb. 2 decision from the highest Swiss court opened the door for doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to people with serious mental illnesses, according to the Associated Press..."...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Captain's Quarters: Rudy on Judges

re: Rudy Giuliani's campaign office provides a transcript of the candidate's stance on judges at the Federal level...

neo-neocon: Cold hubris: like Father (or Big Brother), the Left knows best

re: "The Left likes to position itself as the champion of the underdog, the third world, the downtrodden, the oppressed./Until, that is, someone from one of those countries has the temerity to disagree with the party line..." Challenges common Leftist narrative on Vietnam...

ShelfLife | Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Publisher of Christian Books, Videos, Software, Bibles and Children's Books

re: sign up for book excerpts, sneak previews, Advance Reading Copies, more...

Much Ado: Books for the weekend: Loved by Choice

re: "Loved by Choice by Susan Horner and Kelly Fordyce Martindale is a beautiful collection of short stories that celebrate adoption..."...

Life in the Slow Lane: Therapy notes 35: bioethics

re: the book How to Be a Christian in a Brave New World by Joni Eareckson Tada and Nigel Cameron...

Coming To “Treasure Island” « Expat Yank

re: Nicolas Sarkozy, the front-runner in the French presidential elections, would like to lure home many of the up to 300,000 French living in Britain, by offering deregulation and other changes. (At the same time, thousands of Brits are buying homes in France)...

Friday, February 02, 2007

Statistics needed

re: first in a ten-part series on scientists not on the global warming bandwagon. Links to other articles in the series included...

rosetta stone: Progress

re: and more aprons...

I have to say...: Dishtowel Apron Tutorial

re: more aprons...

Share The Love Blog Awards

re: another blog awards program, in the voting stages...

hat tip: Randi

Power Line: Memories of Vietnam

re: Ted Kennedy and John Warner both have memories of the Vietnam War era that don't jibe with the facts. For instance, Warner remembers overseeing a surge during a drawdown...

boortz.com: Nealz Nuze: Global warming, terrorists, minimum wages

re: commentary and info on why he doesn't buy into the man-made global warming stories, more...

Mommy Life: The National Down Syndrome Congress on prenatal testing

re: taking on those who want to require more first trimester screening so there can be more babies aborted because they might have Down Syndrome...

Mommy Life: Further thoughts on aprons

re: more women discovering the apron as a good thing...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

RealClearPolitics - Articles - No Third Way in Iraq

re: Tony Blankley calls for clear thinking and talking on Iraq...

hat tip: Joseph Knippenberg

No Left Turns: The Wren cross revisted

re: more on the flap caused by the removal of a cross from Wren Chapel at the College of William and Mary...

OpinionJournal - Extra: If the Shoe Fits

re: From a post on Sen. Chuck Hagel's remark about shoe salesmen (and support or nonsupport for the Iraq War), Mark Laswell writes, "...It's not clear precisely what the point would be of a resolution opposing the troop increase, other than letting legislators flatter themselves with the notion that they have some influence over the president's war-making strategy. Conducting a periodic opinion poll on Capitol Hill (for that's what nonbinding resolutions are) might be useful. Certainly historians would wish that during the Civil War the Senate had taken its temperature every few months regarding President Lincoln's prosecution of the war. Might have been interesting to compare their vacillations with his single-mindedness..."...