Profiles In Courage

Remember the book? Written by John F. Kennedy before he became President, the one for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize  in 1957? Yes, I know there was some talk about the possibility that he didn’t write it himself, or that he had at least a lot of help. Doesn’t matter. It set a tone in the country for the emulation of Americans who rise above their duties, against overwhelming pressure, to do what’s right. Maybe it is blown way out of proportion, but the ideal is still one we should admire.

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The Historicity Of Jesus

There is an interesting discussion shaping up on the atheosphere, among other places. It started with the publication of Did Jesus Exist? by Bart Ehrman. Actually, it was just a bit prior to that. There was an article in the Huffington Post written by Ehrman that provoked a shocked response from Richard Carrier. He then followed up with a full scale review of the book.

Ehrman’s book (which I have not read yet) apparently concludes that Jesus was not a myth, but actually existed. Carrier is a mythicist, concluding that there is little evidence for an historical Jesus. So it’s not surprising that he might disagree with Ehrman. His conclusion, though, is not very dispassionate. In fact it’s downright harsh, to say the least, at times devolving into the personal.

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Book Review: Drift by Rachel Maddow

This recent book by one of my favorite news commentators is subtitled The Unmooring of American Military Power. With the title and subtitle, you can get a good idea of what the thesis of the book is. Think of the Constitution as the dock, with the US Ship of State tied up securely to it. The lines tying the ship to the dock are the laws of the United States, the executive, legislative and judicial branches that create, administer and enforce those laws, and the people that work in those branches of government. Now, consider that two, sometimes all three, branches, or lines, have become frayed and worn, even purposely cut, to the point that they stretch and occasionally snap, leaving the ship to drift away from the dock, completely unmoored to land, subject to the vagaries of currents. And we have forgotten why we tied the ship to the dock in the first place.

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# 475

Every once in awhile I check under the old WordPress dashboard to see what I’ve been doing. This here post is number 475, and falls a bit shy of the end of my fifth year of blogging. By the time I get to that particular anniversary (April 18), I hope to have received about 450,000 visits to the blog. I think that’s a lot, but in comparison to others, maybe not so much. Considering that about 425,000 are probably visits from Gideon, maybe I shouldn’t be so proud. 😉

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A Difference Of Degree?

You may or may not be aware of the recent clashes the Taliban influenced populace of Afghanistan has had with authorities over the inadvertent and unintentional disposal of a few Qu’rans, resulting in daily protests, suicide bombings and other violence. All over some janitor burning a few books that were probably in the way. I often wonder how this actually can seem to be so horrendous to the protestors that they would resort to such extreme measures to voice their discontent. I can’t imagine getting that upset over the loss of a book.

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Christopher Hitchens ∞ 1949-2011

What do you most value in your friends? Their continued existence.”  ~  Hitch-22

This is, according to WordPress, my 450th post. I was going to save it for an auspicious topic, but Christopher Hitchens seems to have pre-empted that, or should I say,  he made it superfluous and irrelevant. Of course this post will be about him.

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I Get Email Too

Not very often, and most of it is spam, but occasionally I get email that requires some response. Here is one I felt compelled to respond to.


Time to crack down, folks. Be sure to vote ….. all you Democrats can ignore this as I’m sure you will. 


RE: 3 American Hikers Now In The NEWS

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Not a bad title for a book about the Bible, you gotta admit. The funny thing is, the book convincingly makes the case that much of the Bible and many of the books and letters and tracts that never made it into the Bible, but were contenders (to quote Marlon Brando in another context), were forged.

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Today is “Move All The Bibles To The Fiction Section” Day

‘Nufff said.

Ironic Hypocrisy

I’m not sure how I stumbled on this site, but suffice it to say I did. I read the article by the priest who wrote it, about how the big bad atheists are taking over the blogosphere, and maybe even the entire Intertubes, with their “aggressive’, “crude”, “negative”, “dismissive” commentary on all things religious.

As you would expect, I disagreed with him, and left a comment. I said something similar to this:

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