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Calvinism

The return of Calvinism.

In America’s Christian faith, a surprising comeback of rock-ribbed Calvinism is challenging the Jesus-is-your-buddy gospel of modern evangelism.

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We Are Doomed II

Vox Day interviews John Derbyshire about his new book, We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism.

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Philosophers

What Do Philosophers Believe? See here.

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Suicide Schools

The New York Daily News reports on Taliban suicide schools for children in Pakistan.

Pakistani terror camps are teaching children the three R’s: reading, ‘riting and rage.

Taliban suicide schools dotting the Af-Pak tribal belt leave no child behind in the deadly lessons.

Graduates don’t go to college – they blow themselves to bits in Afghanistan to find paradise.

Since 2005, when the Haqqani Taliban introduced suicide bombings in the Afghan war, kids have become a messenger of choice.

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Friends?

With friends like these. . .

Saudi Arabia is pouring hundreds of millions of pounds into Islamist groups in the Balkans, some of which spread hatred of the West and recruit fighters for jihad in Afghanistan.

According to officials in Macedonia, Islamic fundamentalism threatens to destabilise the Balkans. Strict Wahhabi and Salafi factions funded by Saudi organisations are clashing with traditionally moderate local Muslim communities.

Read more.

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Head of the Class

The Washington Post profiles Kimberly DuVall-Early, the top-rated professor in the nation according to the Web site RateMyProfessors.com.

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Obstacles To Peace

The Tragedy of the Peace Process by Mario Loyola.

When the right-wing Benyamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister of Israel the first time round in 1996, Clinton-administration officials barely disguised their bitter disappointment. For the next three years, relations between the U.S. and Israel would be dominated by tempests-in-teapots such as what an Israeli bulldozer might have been doing in a particular neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Let’s grant that the Likud party’s policy of Jewish settlements in occupied territories is an obstacle to peace. That should never have been allowed to draw all attention away from the far more deadly and intractable obstacles to peace on the Palestinian side. Alas, history is repeating itself.

Read the rest here.

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Debating Obamacare

Jack M. Balkin, Yale Law School, Randy Barnett, Georgetown Law School, Abbe R. Gluck, Columbia Law School, David B. Rivkin and Lee A. Casey, counsel in the Florida lawsuit, and James F. Blumstein, Vanderbilt Law School, debate whether or not the health care law is unconstitutional.

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Biblical Plagues

Did you know that the Biblical plagues that devastated Ancient Egypt in the Old Testament were the result of global warming?

Researchers believe they have found evidence of real natural disasters on which the ten plagues of Egypt, which led to Moses freeing the Israelites from slavery in the Book of Exodus in the Bible, were based.

But rather than explaining them as the wrathful act of a vengeful God, the scientists claim the plagues can be attributed to a chain of natural phenomena triggered by changes in the climate and environmental disasters that happened hundreds of miles away.

More here.

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Amazing

Online: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Sistine Chapel.

(h/t Kingdom People)

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John Ellis

John Ellis, president of the California Association of Scholars, makes a presentation to the joint committee on the master plan for higher education of the California legislature.

The clearest indication of how serious the lack of intellectual diversity has become is the state of Political Science departments in the University of California. Surveys have found that many of them are almost exclusively staffed by professors who are politically left of center. In any department, this would be regrettable, and suspicious. But in a politics department, the lack of intellectual diversity in political thought raises a serious question of competence. Departments that exclude one half of the spectrum of thought in their field are simply incompetent departments. They can’t provide students with a challenging intellectual environment where they learn to think for themselves, and know that whatever position they take, they will have to face tough scrutiny from contrary opinion. One has to wonder: what kind of professor of politics would want a department like that? And how did we come to appoint them? If accountability is your concern, why not ask those simple questions of the university?

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Obamacare III

Yuval Levin on why and how Obamacare must be undone.

In the days since the enactment of their health care plan, Democrats in Washington have been desperately seeking to lodge the new program in the pantheon of American public-policy achievements. House Democratic whip James Clyburn compared the bill to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Vice President Biden argued it vindicates a century of health reform efforts by Democrats and Republicans alike. House speaker Nancy Pelosi said “health insurance reform will stand alongside Social Security and Medicare in the annals of American history.”

Even putting aside the fact that Social Security and Medicare are going broke and taking the rest of the government with them, these frantic forced analogies are preposterous. The new law is a ghastly mess, which began as a badly misguided technocratic pipe dream and was then degraded into ruinous incoherence by the madcap process of its enactment.

More.

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Tolerance?

I totally agree with these comments by George Louvis.

Every time some Muslim blows up a plane, or a train, or kills innocent people, we hear from the Left how we should not judge all Muslims because of a few extremists. Our current President tells us, not to “jump to conclusions.”

Talking heads on TV try to calm us down and reassure us that Islam is the “Religion of Peace.” Yet these same politicians and liberal media hacks are going on a rampage attacking their fellow Americans because allegedly a few used racial slurs at a Tea Party protest (with no corroboration from numerous video recordings). I am not defending the racial slurs if they were used. The language is disgusting and there is no place for it. However, what happened to the tolerance that we’re supposed to show to Muslims? Shouldn’t our fellow Americans get the same treatment?

If there were a few bad, ugly people at the protest and they called names, is that more evil than flying planes into buildings or cutting off a journalist’s head? So why are we told to be tolerant and not judge a whole group based on the actions of a tens of thousands of Al Qaeda members but we can condemn millions of Americans based on the actions of what 1, 10, maybe 100 Americans who called names?

This is not about the name calling, this is being used to stifle debate, to try and silence the movement and discredit the movement. My solution is simple. I would boycott any newspaper, magazine, television network or website that will not report this fairly. Let them know and let their sponsors know that we will not fall for this kind of intimidation. They are already losing money. Most of them are on the brink. They cannot afford to lose 50 million viewers/readers.

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Polkinghorne

In Character profiles physicist John Polkinghorne.

An eminent particle physicist, John Polkinghorne helped make one of the breakthroughs that transformed modern physics: the discovery of the quark (an unseen but fundamental constituent of matter). He held the prestigious post of Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge, but in 1979, Polkinghorne surprised many with the announcement that he planned to become an Anglican priest. Author of numerous books and articles, Polkinghorne is a Knight Commander of the British Empire, a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), and the 2002 recipient of the Templeton Prize. He is founder of the International Society for Science and Religion and of the Society of Ordained Scientists.

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Feser

Edward Feser on the new atheism. See here.

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Breitbart III

Another Breitbart profile, this one by Time.

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Acerbic Atheism

Secular Humanist Paul Kurtz versus acerbic atheism.

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The Flight

Slate reviews a new book due out next month, The Flight of the Intellectuals, by Paul Berman.

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Coulter

Ann Coulter takes on Canada.

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The Judeo-Christian Tradition

An atheist defends the Judeo-Christian tradition of Western civilization.

Rational thought may provide better answers to many of life’s riddles than does faith alone. However, it is rational to conclude that religious faith has made possible the advancement of Western civilization. That is, the glue that has held Western civilization together over the centuries is the Judeo-Christian tradition. To the extent that the West loses its religious faith in favor of non-judgmental secularism, then to the same extent, it loses that which holds all else together.

Succinctly put: Western civilization’s survival, including the survival of open secular thought, depends on the continuance within our society of the Judeo-Christian tradition.