Posts in ‘Politics’

Uncomfortable Evolution

You’ve seen this bumper sticker. Did you smile or get mad? The battle of the bumper stickers gets the creative juices flowing. Its easy to laugh at a ridiculous faith. Gets a little tense when yours is laughed at.

  • Posted: July 1, 2014

The Science of Fear

Be careful of basements, they can be pits of horror. Is your house a toxic waste dump?

  • Posted: May 21, 2014

Time Passages

Al Stewart’s “Time Passages” and the search for wisdom are an odd mix. But once you are out in that misty meadow, anything can happen.

  • Posted: March 24, 2014

After Christianity, What?

Christianity is the basis of our moral thinking, but the world seems to be moving on to other ideas.

  • Posted: November 21, 2013

Television Justice

Endless commercials for lawyers give us one picture of the legal system during our daytime television viewing. Judge Judy gives us a different look. Newton Minow said television was a vast wasteland. I think they’re all right.

  • Posted: April 26, 2013

A Republic in Trouble

The United States seems in crisis. People are out of work. We are separated by our beliefs about what our government should do for us. We don’t understand each other, or even want to understand each other. What does the future look like?

  • Posted: December 18, 2012
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  • What I’m Reading

    What I’m Reading

    The Twelfth Department
    By William Ryan

    What happens when we forget, or never bothered to learn, what we believe in and why we believe? What happens when the emotional whirls of Facebook and Twitter are the depths of our understanding? Evil, great evil, is regularly found lurking in the unexamined depths of good intentions. Mathew Arnold put our present political climate in memorable words years ago:

    And we are here as on a darkling plain
    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
    Where ignorant armies clash by night

    Novels, good stories, provide a lens to see life, including our beliefs, without camouflage. As an example, JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the finest Bible commentaries ever written. Progressive political ideals may lack in recent electoral success, but have undisputed possession of today’s moral high ground. And while death and taxes may be the only sure bets, the eventual victory of those holding the high ground have very good odds in any battle.
    And so fiction provides a look at eventual victories. There is no question that the outlines of today’s progressive agenda can be clearly seen in other times and places. William Ryan takes us to a time and place fondly imagined, idealized at the time, by the forefather’s of todays progressive leadership. In The Twelfth Department, we see a police captain in 1930’s Moscow. Captain Alexei Korolev is just a man trying to be a good father, a good citizen, a good police officer. In many ways Alexei is a fortunate man, with a good reputation and many more material advantages than the average citizen. But a high profile murder brings him into ambiguous circumstances. The tone of the book is respectful of life in Moscow, with no axes to grind. It is just a portrait of a man trying to do his job, bringing a gruesome killer to justice, among ordinary human beings seeking only to live normal lives in a progressive paradise.

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