Our world continues to grow together as a result of trade and travel. International organizations bring people from formerly separated worlds into contact. Ideas and cultures merge as old boundaries melt away in cosmopolitan encounters. A result is the growing fascination with other religions. After the wave of interest in India and areas further East earlier in this generation, Islam receives much attention in our days.
The rise of Islamic fundamentalism, the war between Muslim Bosnians and Orthodox Serbs as one of conflicts along the fault lines between Islam and other cultures stir us to discover the more moderate, cultured roots of the important heritage, theology and culture of historic Islam. The extremes do not dismiss the core of Islam. Instead, curiosity and admiration lead to a fascination with Islam in the Western culture with its characteristics carved into Biblical features from earlier paganism. (read the rest)
HT: Bill Kinnon
Remember way back in 2008 when George Bush was still the President and everyone on the left was screeching about lies? If you can’t remember that far back just flip over to MSNBC and wait a few minutes they’ll be happy to remind you. I thought I would write a short piece about the lies we have already heard from President Obama. I did little research and there are plenty of websites that focus on a lot of picayune stuff and things from long ago.
I decided to stick to direct quotes from the President within the last 18 months. Some I have commented on, the others, as they say at Harvard Law, res ipsa loquitur. (read the rest)
As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Chrysler is terminating one-fourth of its franchises – but some say its catalog of doomed dealerships looks more like a hit list that specifically seeks to put Republican donors out of business.
Chrysler will now be eligible for up to $8 billion in taxpayer-funded federal aid. The federal government has already provided $8.58 billion to Chrysler and Chrysler Holding between the months of January and May of this year. The Treasury also loaned $1.5 billion to the automaker’s lending arm in January. (read the rest)
One thing to consider though is how many of the dealerships are GOP to begin with. The disproportionate amount may be unavoidable. It still seems fishy. (HT: Stop the ACLU)
It is a trap.
Republicans are now poised to oppose an accomplished Latina federal judge for the Supreme Court, further alienating Hispanic voters the GOP has recently driven away in droves. The main line of Republican criticism is likely to concern affirmative action — which might provoke conservative extremists to predictable extremes and confirm an image of Republicans as the party of the male and pale.
President Obama’s choice of Judge Sotomayor was not cynical; she exactly mirrors his judicial philosophy of "empathy." But it is still a trap. (read the rest)
Researchers at Kansas State University have created a map of the prevalence of the Seven Deadly Sins (envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath) across the USA through statistical analysis (HT: John Bales). A writer from the Las Vegas Sun gives an account of the project here. I highlighted “wrath” simply because of the apparent (assuming the validity of the analysis) contrast between the so-called “rust belt” states around the Great Lakes (where it is often cold) and the “sun belt” states where it is often hot. I’m not suggesting that people are intrinsically or really less sinful in the cold than in the heat (that puts one in mind of Leonard Jeffries) but one does wonder about the effect of circumstances upon external behavior (which is all the researchers can measure). Certainly I thought the “sloth” map was telling and it resonates with my limited experience. The culture of work in Southern California is rather different from where I was raised. On the other hand, judging by what I’ve seen when I’m back home I think they missed the mark on the “gluttony” measure. I don’t think that west Texas has that all locked up frankly. (read the rest)