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February 2014 Archives

February 17, 2014

Christian-Muslim Dialogue Possible?

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The mind of mankind in the 21st Century is badly divided, first (and maybe foremost) between the aggrandizing materialist ideology that has captured the left in the West and increasingly lacks respect--or even tolerance for--competing world views. That's why, for example, the more narrow concept of "freedom of worship" has replaced "freedom of religion" in the hierarchy of progressive values.

Meanwhile, serious religious Jews consistently outperform their relatively tiny numbers in many fields--including moral philosophy and public life--and have effected with Christians alliances today that might have amazed our forebears. Hinduism is huge, but geographically constrained, it seems, and is not evangelizing. Likewise, several other large faith communities.

The struggle among the faithful globally is therefore between Christianity, the largest religion--and one growing in the developing world--and Islam, some portions of which are militantly expansionist and eager for conquest, and some of which are quite peaceful.

Can't there be a dialogue between Christianity and Islam? That was the provocative question explored by Pope Benedict XVI. But, as the Pope found, this is perilous territory, in part because, while Christians of Evangelical, Catholic and Orthodox expressions, have been moved to increased historically new mutual respect and collaboration in recent decades, Islam is appears torn into a number of factions that, country by country, battle one another, often, of course, in serious warfare.

Continue reading "Christian-Muslim Dialogue Possible?" »

February 20, 2014

Nice Little TV Station You've Got Here

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a federal agency with considerable power. Among other things, it grants broadcast licenses. Should that power be allowed to influence the news coverage of broadcasters?

It is naive to think that the FCC's forthcoming set of interviews with broadcasters will not have an editorial effect. Just asking questions about how much coverage is given to one subject over another, and why, is implicit insertion into the decision-making process. Another example is asking reporters if their news judgement on coverage has been over-ridden by superiors.

It's a bit like "protection" people coming to your store; only it's to a TV or radio station: "Nice little station you've got here; it would be a shame if anything were to happen to it."

Note Howard Kurtz' column for FOX News.

Continue reading "Nice Little TV Station You've Got Here" »

Strange Claims: Human Existence is the Root of Planet's Problems

Supposedly serious newspapers and magazines are featuring books and reports that suggest (once more!) that the existence of human beings in large numbers is responsible for ruining the environment. From that analysis spring all manner of new proposals for government economic dictates and constrictions on abundance.The cure for this kind of thinking is our Senior Fellow Wesley J. Smith's new book, The War on Humans.

It already is receiving an unusual amount of attention and praise. Much of it, in turn, can be followed at Discovery's Evolution News and Views.

Continue reading "Strange Claims: Human Existence is the Root of Planet's Problems" »

February 26, 2014

Stop Targeting Political Beliefs by IRS

By a vote of 243 to 176 the U.S. House passed tonight a bill to stop the planned added IRS rules and intimidating investigations of charitable groups. Called the "Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act of 2014", with lead sponsorship of Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), it attracted the backing of all Republicans and 14 Democrats.

The IRS seems to be in an appalling process of politicization that ultimately threatens free speech by all sides. Tax prosecution is the weapon of choice for authoritarian regimes--from Russia to Venezuela. It must not happen further in the U.S.

Continue reading "Stop Targeting Political Beliefs by IRS" »

February 27, 2014

Blaze's Quotes Review Gilder Book

It's an interesting approach to a book review, maybe even an innovation. In any case, The Blaze, the online magazine operated by Glen Beck, uses 28 quotations from George Gilder's book Knowledge and Power, rather than a standard review, to recommend the book to readers.

See what you think.

Continue reading "Blaze's Quotes Review Gilder Book" »

February 28, 2014

Yanukoyvch's Palace, and Putin's

One reason for widespread disgust with the administration of ousted Ukraine President Viktor Yanukoyvch was the display on TV and in newspaper accounts of his secret palace near Kiev. A public servant, supposedly, Yanukoyvch could not have afforded a luxury resort for himself--golf course, restaurant in the shape of a galleon, a zoo, etc. It all had to come from public monies he misdirected.

The damning news reports of stunned locals walking through the palace outside Kiev reminded one of the Russian Revolution and the awe of revolutionaries after they stormed the winter palace in St. Petersburg.

But it is unlikely that Russian media, which echo the official government assertions of Kiev's over throw of Yanukoyvch as the work of "hooligans", have displayed the film footage of the recent kleptocrat's palace.

Why not? One reason is that it would change minds of ordinary Russians about what has happened in Kiev. The other is perhaps that many people believe that Vladimir Putin has built himself an even more elaborate palace on the Black Sea. Reputable news organizations, such as the BBC have reported this story.

Continue reading "Yanukoyvch's Palace, and Putin's" »

Review Sees Gilder Game Changer

It takes a while to read George Gilder's Knowledge and Power, but people who do so find it a "game changer". Today it is Acton Institute and an Orthodox priest from Napels, Florida.

Fr. Jacobse concludes, "Gilder's book will prove to be a gamechanger and maybe even a classic. The ideas are so new yet so compelling that they simply cannot be ignored. Keep a dictionary nearby and use the glossary provided in the back. It will change not only the way you think about economics, but how you see the world."

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