Earlier today, I found myself reading an article on Bradley Manning, a soldier in the U.S. army who is suspected of being the source of the material that WikiLeaks has been disseminating. Since his arrest, the private has been placed in solitary confinement without any crimes charged against him – a seemingly arbitrary decision enabled by the army’s virtually absolute power over him. As we contemplate situations like this, supporters of such policies would likely argue that granting the government such near absolute power to hold people without charges is permissible because it is for the greater good. Opponents might say only God ought to have absolute power. Maybe God doesn’t want such power, either.
It was an unusual Monday in many ways. Thirty years ago today, I started work at the supermarket celebrity tabloid called Star Magazine. I was supposed to have gone to work at WOR Radio, at the time the number one radio station in the country, but that had gotten postponed a month. I’d already left Gannett newspapers. So Star was something to do until the WOR job began.
Hours before Verizon officially unveiled its LTE service plans last Wednesday, I was invited to a preview event that the company held at the Kemp Auto Museum here in St. Louis. At the event, I was able to see the new network, which officially launches today, in all of its glory. With other networks having laid claim to 4G service for months or even years now, is the hype around Verizon’s new network justified?
It is a good thing that there’s a new Harry Potter movie. I have no idea if “Harry Potter and the Beginning of the End” or “Voldemort Strikes Back” or whatever it is called is any good. The New York Times says it is, but it might be anyway. The Potter movies have been wonderful (well, except maybe for the last one).
As we enter the season where we anticipate Christ's birth, it is natural for us to contemplate the spiritual dimension of life. As you think about what it means to stand between the physical and spiritual, you won't understand it. That's okay; I don't either.
We’ll soon be hearing more and more about the Civil War. Or, as it is sometimes called, the “Great Rebellion,” the “War of Northern Aggression” — in some places, it is still simply called “the War.” That’s because we’re soon to begin commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of hostilities. Some of us remember the centennial of the war. I do.
The American culture has a tendency to gravitate towards charismatic personalities. For all of the foundational principles of the separation of powers in the U.S. government, we have a bad habit of essentially handing over power to one party and then scratching our collective head when things go wrong. The same, unfortunately, is true in churches. The problem is the problem of monoculture.
We’ve entered the time of year when things are different from how they look. As the skies and the woods and the yards turn to gray and brown, the things that stimulate our other senses grow stronger.
That’s especially so out here in the country.
The media are setting us up. This is nothing new; they have basically carried water for the Democratic Party for at least 50 years and that habit shows no signs of abating. Have you noticed that they've been telling us for a year that the Dems are going to be shelled in this election? There is more to that prediction than meets the eye.
It was five years ago, riding back on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River from Ashland, Kentucky, that I noticed it. We had been at the dedication of a memorial to Jack Kerouac at the Paramount Theatre there. What was stunning about the trip home was the festoonery. Every house, it seemed, had some elaborate Halloween decoration. Even fairly woebegone trailers could be counted on to have out front a 20-foot-high Frankenstein’s monster, well lit and kept inflated by a powerful fan.