A look at various eschatological schemes.
Currently, I’m reading As They See ‘Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires, by New York Times reporter Bruce Weber, and today my local paper had a story about umpires. Here’s some umpire facts:
* 86 umpires are listed on this year’s major league roster.
* Salaries range from $85,000 to $360,000.
* Accuracy rates for umpires are said to be 95 percent on balls and strikes and 98 percent for plays on the bases (based on stats obtained from Major League Baseball).
* MLB assigns 11 umpire “observers” throughout major league parks. Umpires can be marked down for any number of infractions, including socializing too much with players.
The Christian fiction market is expanding rapidly.
Are the Gospels mythical?
Who knew flip-flops might kill you?
Matthew J. Milliner on “Putting the Culture Back in the Culture Wars.”
Conservatism’s less than energized attention to the arts is, to be sure, understandable. Sifting the wheat from the endless fields of present-day cultural chaff is a herculean chore, and appears a luxury considering the urgent issues that rightly occupy the conservative mind. Does one really expect a honed pro-life advocate to put down her pen mid-argument to embark on a pleasant afternoon gallery stroll? Likewise, should a disciplined poet, lost in contemplative gaze, interrupt a potentially fruitful reverie for a primer on the current state of bioethics? Perhaps not, but should conservatism wish to retain its current adherents and attract new ones, attention to the arts may not be a choice, but a mandate—for patronage of culture, rightfully pursued, recalls for conservatives just what it is they hope to defend.
Yes, I have been wondering, where did Cindy Sheehan go?
Remember the anti-war movement? Not too long ago, the Democratic party’s most loyal voters passionately opposed the war in Iraq. Democratic presidential candidates argued over who would withdraw American troops the quickest. Netroots activists regularly denounced President George W. Bush, and sometimes the U.S. military (“General Betray Us”). Cindy Sheehan, the woman whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, became a heroine when she led protests at Bush’s Texas ranch.
That was then. Now, even though the United States still has roughly 130,000 troops in Iraq, and is quickly escalating the war in Afghanistan — 68,000 troops there by the end of this year, and possibly more in 2010 — anti-war voices on the Left have fallen silent.
This is an example of why leftist are often very stupid . . . they oppose/d a winnable war in Iraq, and support an unwinnable war in Afghanistan.
I predict that if Obama is President for eight years, we will end up withdrawing from Afghanistan a la Vietnam.
UPDATE: Cindy Sheehan responds.
A conversation with Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, author of Prison Religion: Faith-based Reform and the Constitution.
Lefty Nat Hentoff states “I am finally scared of a White House administration.”
You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. (Sam Rutigliano)
Evangelicals call for a response to Caritas in Veritate.
Recent global events awaken us to the importance of sustained Christian reflection on the nature and goal of economic life, both within our own societies and in other parts of the world. Accordingly, as evangelical Protestants we applaud the release of Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) by Pope Benedict XVI. We call on Christians everywhere, but especially our fellow evangelicals in the global North, to read, wrestle with, and respond to Caritas in Veritate and its identification of the twin call of love and truth upon our lives as citizens, entrepreneurs, workers and, most fundamentally, as followers of Christ.
Vogue does a feature story on Jenny Sanford.
Richard Cohen proceeds to compare Sarah Palin to Joseph McCarthy:
For sheer disregard of the facts, her statement about President Obama’s “death panel” has to rank with McCarthy’s announcement that “I have here in my hand a list of 205” (or 57 or 72 or whatever) names of communists in the State Department. They were both false — McCarthy’s by commission, Palin’s probably by omission. She rarely knows her facts.
And contra Cohen, Joseph Ashby reports that the “death” panel already exist.
A new vision of “progressive” religion.
In a time when religions have literally set the world on fire, we can’t settle for a more progressive Christianity or atheism as the alternatives to fundamentalism. Neither does justice to the United States’ status as the world’s most influential nation. Instead, being progressive about religion should mean taking the logic of religious diversity to its ultimate conclusion and fostering the conditions to create multi-religious individuals.
Scientific research is revealing that ethnic diversity causes significant problems, so states political scientist Robert Putnam.
Consider how surprising this is. Achieving diversity, especially ethnic diversity, is an explicit goal of virtually all major corporations, universities, and government agencies. The U.S. Supreme Court has declared that diversity is a “compelling state interest” that overrides legal prohibitions on race-based school admissions. Top politicians routinely utter some version of the phrase “diversity is our strength” in speeches. Our immigration policy even features a “diversity lottery” that randomly offers green cards to foreign nationals whose primary qualification is that they come from exotic countries. Two years after Putnam wrote publicly about diversity’s problems, and at least five years since he has been presenting his findings informally, nothing has changed. We still treat diversity as an unqualified good.
The sensitivity of the topic probably discourages an honest conversation about the problems of diversity, but it is difficult to come up with solutions when we do not talk about the problem. So let’s have the discussion, considering all the evidence. Eventually, we should work toward an objective accounting of diversity’s strengths and weaknesses. The results could tell us how much (if any) further ethnic diversity is worth pursuing.
Read more here.
Laura McClure, writing in Mother Jones, on her “lost weekend with the trademark happy, bathroom-break hating, slightly spooky inheritors of est.”
Who knew that John Kerry and Barbara Boxer were really hawks?
Led by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the greens insist that combating global warming is the preeminent long-term national security issue facing the United States. Call them the global warming hawks. They are advancing this argument, ironically, at the same time they are working with the Obama Administration to cut spending on crucial defense programs, particularly missile defense.
More at Human Events.
Intimidation and the lost art of pitching inside.