Monday, May 18, 2015

Plus ça change

"The time is fast approaching when Christianity will be almost as openly disavowed in the language as in fact it is already supposed to have disappeared from the conduct of men; when infidelity will be held to be the necessary appendage of a man of fashion, and to believe will be deemed the indication of a feeble mind and a contracted understanding." William Wilberforce, A Practical View... (1797), 375.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Idealism" in two different worlds of meaning

Looking for a synonym for "idealism" this morning, I consulted the thesaurus function (Shift-F7) in Microsoft Word, as well as Thesaurus.com, the cognate site to Dictionary.com. The two sites offered radically different sets of synonyms, indicating, I believe, drastically different ways of looking at life:



Thursday, July 31, 2014

If you don't speak Middle Eastern...

"Choose your enemies wisely, for you will become like them," goes the old Arabic saying. I winced when Bibi Netanyahu spoke at the United Nations shortly after Iran's then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, because the tone was almost identical, and much of the content was similar. Now Netanyahu is engaging in a favorite tactic of Palestinian leaders: saying one thing for an international audience, and something else at home.

This was in The Times of Israel of two weeks back:

Netanyahu finally speaks his mind


At his Friday press conference, the prime minister ruled out full Palestinian sovereignty, derided the US approach to Israeli security, and set out his Middle East overview with unprecedented candor. His remarks were not widely reported; they should be


 July 13, 2014, 4:22 pm 941

Friday, July 25, 2014

The summer air

On recent walks through Edgewood Park here in New Haven I became aware of the incredible superhighway of the outdoor air--the astonishing profusion of living organisms coursing through the atmosphere all around us. At the most macro level are the birds, each species, and each social unit within each species, engaged in travel from tree to tree, or continent to continent, or careening through the sky after gnats and mosquitos. Then the larger insects: butterflies, bumblebees, biplane-like dragonflies, sleek, shark-like wasps. Then the smaller moths, an infinitude of flies, beetles, darters, termites, thrips. At still smaller depths of field, great rivers of tiny seeds, pollen, microorganisms, passing undetected among, and even through, the larger creatures, ourselves included. If the lighting is right, and you let your vision go slack, you can catch a glimpse of the myriad layers of swirling, pulsating creaturehood passing through the landscape, like the famous flying-car traffic jams of The Fifth Element but on an almost infinitely greater scale.

I'm happy to report that we have many and various bees!