Attorney General William P. Barr spoke last month to the Law School at Notre Dame. It was a long speech, and I did not take the time to listen to it. But it stirred up some controversy, so I stashed the transcript and eventually got around to reading it. The speech is focused on religious liberty and American society. I thought it was a great speech; Leftists attacked it as “theocracy!” of course. Here are long excerpts; I thought it was so good that I have only cut it down by half or so. I will put a link to the full transcript in the first comment if you would rather have the full Barr. This is the excerpted version:... [Read More]
Trump and his campaign launched a new “Black Voices for Trump” outreach initiative in Atlanta on Friday dedicated to “recruiting and activating Black Americans in support of President Trump,” according to the campaign. Much of that effort will focus on highlighting ways that African Americans have benefited from the Trump economy, according to advisers.
“The support we’re getting from the African American community has been overwhelming,” Trump told the crowd, which included supporters wearing red “BLACK LIVES MAGA” hats.
He predicted victory in 2020, and said, “We’re going to do it with a groundswell of support from hardworking African American patriots.”
Vice President Mike Pence told the press what he had been told by General Michael Flynn, the new National Security Advisor, which was that Michael Flynn had not told Russian Ambassador Kislyak to hold off on acting in response to President Obama’s last-minute insult to Russia. Attorney General Sally Yates went running to tell White House lawyer Don McGahn that Flynn had lied to Mike Pence.
President Trump fired Michael Flynn on February 13, 2017. In November that year, Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI.... [Read More]
I recently learned a new word. We already were familiar with “madrassa,” which is an Islamic school. An “Almajiri” is also an Islamic school. The word comes from Nigeria and specifically refers to a boarding school. Almajiris are in the news because the Nigerian military recently raided a number of schools.
This has been building up for months. President Buhari spoke against the Almajirai in speeches in June and July. There was a fanfare that quickly faltered in August, about some reforms in government schools.
But for a month now, Nigeria has been rocked by raids on private schools, almajirai, and the exposure led to additional raids, with some school owners, headmasters and teachers arrested, and other owners, headmasters and teachers on the run. It turned out that stolen children were being hidden in several almajirai, kept as slaves in shackles, and, in some cases, subjected to rape in addition to beatings.
China demolished a church. Not just any church; this was an impressive megachurch that was built for massive worship services. There was no warning. Demolition crews and police showed up during a worship service, started tearing the building down with a large track crane, and evicted the worshippers. The next day they arrested the pastors:
“…officials detained the church’s pastors, Geng Yimin and Sun Yongyao, on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order.””
“In a demand letter sent to CNN on Wednesday, an attorney working for the president outlined his intention to sue CNN for its willful misrepresentation of itself. For years, CNN has told viewers, advertisers, and sources that it is an unbiased, straight news outfit. That’s a lie, and the president’s lawyers believe it actually violates the federal Lanham Act’s prohibitions on false and misleading advertising.”
That is from Daily Caller. Here is more from the Washington Examiner:... [Read More]
USA Today ran this column. A reporter went to visit his hometown, and wrote a column defending the hillbillies for voting for President Trump.
The column tells us more about the reporter and his journalist friends than it tells about a small town in southeast Ohio. The tone is sad, as in, the reporter is sad that his hometown people say they will vote for Trump again. He wrote to rationalize them to his pals.
The hometown is struggling, as all of Appalachia struggles. But more of them have jobs now, and they rightly attribute this to President Trump.
“I think there’s a pretty major impact if you just look at the numbers,” says Victor Shih, a political economist at the University of California, San Diego, who studies the Chinese economy. China exports more goods to the U.S. than to any other country in the world, and those exports have dropped by more than 12% this year alone, he says.... [Read More]
You learned in school how the Egyptians took the pith from papyrus sedges and used it to make a writing product like paper. We study ancient Egyptian society because they were literate and left a lot of written records. Also, their dry climate preserves papyrus, so that Egypt has yielded a lot of ancient writings. This makes Egypt a favorite field of archaeological study.
Some of the most-studied artifacts of the ancient world are papyrus copies of New Testament books. Scholars study, debate, quarrel, and publish frequently regarding these precious bits of early Christian culture.
Christian “book culture”
There are some interesting things that can be learned about the early Christians from their manuscripts. This is to pass along a few things I have learned that may be of use to some of you.
A caper? A caper is a crime. In particular, a caper is a crime story that is so interesting that they made a movie or TV show about it. “Caper” in common parlance over the past four decades or so is only used to describe a crime that is somehow flamboyant.
So, here is a headline from Politico. It is currently featured at the default page on Google News:
“Giuliani and associate give conflicting accounts on origins of Ukrainian caper”
The universe we inhabit is a simulation. It was created by a being that has power to meddle within the sim, but chooses to tweak the sim on relatively rare instances. The Creator did create the sim with a purpose in mind, and characters in the sim develop into final form through the process of interactions in the sim with elements of the sim and interactions with other characters.
The headline reads “A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked.” It was prominently displayed at the top of the default Google News Spotlight for several days. The article was at The Atlantic.
The headline is wrong, but the underlying story describes a blow to Determinism that I want to bring to your attention. The news hook behind this particular story is new research getting underway to investigate findings originally reported in a 2012 paper. It provides a needed corrective to a meme that has been going around since the 1980s.