Merry Christmas, everybody! From Eric and Lance.
A force for evil is identified and rightfully condemned.
The windows from the glass cottage cast a rainbow on a barrel cactus. Those of you who get the Fertile Journal can read Bruce Flaig's article this week about the science behind the prism effect.
Some more thoughts on the local school board's vote to reinstate a Nativity scene in the lunchroom which had been removed due to concerns about separation of church and state:
•The writers of the US Constitution and the Federalist Papers are clear that government cannot be used to compel or favor one religion over another. This is an venerable freedom, and one well worth preserving and defending.
•The constitutional [...]]]>
And it isn't as far away as you think....
Here is a fun article on a young Minneapolis entrepreneur. He has a great idea for using leather scraps which are discarded by the larger companies to make unique handbags.
What's fun to me as well is Lance took the portrait used in the article! Scott is formerly from Grand Forks, and is a friend.
Oh my, I came home for a few days and we have a nativity scene controversy in town. It is really no longer a controversy. It has been resolved. The Fertile-Beltrami school board voted 4-3 to reinstate the scene. The wording of the measure allows for religious symbols if they are accompanied by other holiday decorations.
That should be the end of it.
Efrian Rios Montt is a name most Americans don't know, but should. He was a Pentecostal minister, a friend to Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, and a Guatemalan politician who had the support of President Reagan, who called him a "man of integrity and commitment."
Rios Montt became dictator of Guatemala in 1982. The CIA supported his rise. When he became dictator, he set about [...]]]>
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is the second film based on Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games" trilogy, set in the dystopian future state of Panem.
"Catching Fire" was preceded by [...]]]>
Was introduced to a new game today at the Indian restaurant where I eat the noon buffet on a regular basis: Kabaddi. The host at the restaurant did his best to explain the sport, which was on television. I told him he should write up a brochure, as he had to explain to several patrons what was going on.
I didn't get it all, but it seems like a combination of football, wrestling and tag.
In 1983, a college history teacher told me that in his view, the next major conflagration would happen in South Africa, where the black majority was agitating to throw off the oppressive rule of the white South African minority.
Due to Nelson Mandela, the conflagration never happened.
"Blessed are the peacemakers." Mandela was a peacemaker. He presided over the transition in power in South Africa without exacting revenge for the [...]]]>
The Red Army, which possessed three times as many soldiers as Finland, 30 times as many aircraft, and a hundred times as many tanks, poured across the border in 1939, three months after the beginning of World War II.
The ostensible goal was to take a strip of border territory the Soviets [...]]]>
Of course, a cold spell in Tucson is a different animal than a cold spell back home. Frost warnings last night. Some rain. Clouds. A chilly day, only in the 50s. This will continue for a few days.
I am always in touch with those back home. Lance is ensconced in the house preparing his museum show for the Rourke Gallery in Moorhead. Dad took Uncle Orv in for outpatient surgery this morning. Joe is working to get his step-daughter out of Thailand, [...]]]>
This is one of the great pieces Bach wrote for organ, played on an organ from Bach's time. The numbering system of Bach's music runs from zero to a thousand or so, and it is convenient for those like me who get confused between one A minor Prelude and Fugue and the other.
This piece is in A minor. It is an impish, even demonic work. Modern fundamentalists would be right to be scared of [...]]]>
The Twins have signed two pitchers, Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco. This is unusual behavior for them.
Just as importantly, they are working on a deal to bring A. J. Pierzynski back to catch. With Joe Mauer moving to first base, the 37-year-old Pierzynski would fill a big hole.
The catcher is the most important defensive player on the diamond. An experienced catcher can squeeze a little extra out of a shaky [...]]]>
A little math reveals that North Dakota produces about 10 barrels of oil per second. Within three or four years, that will double. That is a river of oil!
Each train of oil that rolls through Fargo represents about 60,000 barrels of oil. North Dakota produces a trainload every two hours. Some of that goes through pipelines, of course, but it is helpful to visualize what is going on out there.
To continue the [...]]]>
This was an exchange of the kind which reminds me of (journalist) Frank Meyer's observation, "We find comfort among those we agree with, growth among those we disagree with."
The fact is, sometimes I spend entirely too much time with people I agree with. And of the people I don't agree with, a lot of them don't argue very well. It's just not very challenging to discuss disagreements with somebody whose [...]]]>
Well, I'll be jiggered. A Christian leader who takes Christianity's message seriously....
Nicholas Kristof's Thanksgiving column is must reading. A profound meanness has swept our nation.