The Arab Spring has become a sick joke. As predicted, unfortunately.
On Monday, Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, warned that the mayhem caused by the so-called Arab Spring has resulted in the creation of new Al Qaeda training camps throughout the Middle East, especially in Syria and Libya, where British jihadis are receiving training in terrorist tactics. They are intent, he added, on returning to Britain to launch attacks here.
This could be great. More via Christianity Today:
“Christian without being preachy," is how Louis Markos describes his desire for The Lion Awakes, an upcoming film based on the screenplay he co-wrote about the friendship between C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien and Lewis’s conversion to Christianity.
Spring bursts to-day,
For Christ is risen and all the earth's at play.
Flash forth, thou Sun,
The rain is over and gone, its work is done.
Winter is past,
Sweet Spring is come at last, is come at last.
Bud, Fig and Vine,
Bud, Olive, fat with fruit and oil and wine.
Break forth this morn
In roses, thou but yesterday a Thorn.
Uplift thy head,
O pure white Lily through the Winter dead.
Beside your dams
Leap and rejoice, you merry-making Lambs.
All Herds and Flocks
Rejoice, all Beasts of thickets and of rocks.
Sing, Creatures, sing,
Angels and Men and Birds and everything.
All notes of Doves
Fill all our world: this is the time of loves.
Christina G. Rossetti, "An Easter Carol"
Donald Sensing asks: "But what exactly was the problem with Jesus?"
Despite their differences, both Caiaphas and Pilate came to see that executing Jesus was win-win for them. By giving up Jesus to Pilate, Caiaphas would prevent the Jesus movement from getting out of hand before it was too late to prevent the unspeakable horror of Pilate sending a legion or two to teach Judea to stop raising up such troublesome sons....
As for Pilate, his win would be to stop the Jesus movement cold by the very simple, effective expedient of killing Jesus. After all, he could not continue to send taxes and goods to Rome by destroying the country that produced them.
Jesus, it seems, had become too threatening to be allowed to live.
Gone but not to be forgotten: Earl Scruggs and timeless trans-Atlantic bonds of music.
An Indiana Jones-style expedition has been launched in Germany to recover £500million worth of missing artworks looted by the Nazis in World War Two. Monets, Manets, Cezannes and masterpieces by other artists, along with sculptures, carpets and tapestries, are believed to be buried in an old silver mine near the Czech-German border, 90 minutes' drive from the city of Dresden. The paintings formed the bulk of the Hatvany collection, the property of Baron Ferenc Hatvany, who was a leading Hungarian-Jewish industrialist and art patron.
Dave Barry’s Year in Review: The 2011 Festival of Sleaze
I’m not saying that the entire year was ruined by sleaze. It was also ruined by other bad things. This was a year in which journalism was pretty much completely replaced by tweeting. It was a year in which a significant earthquake struck Washington, yet failed to destroy a single federal agency. It was a year in which the nation was subjected to a seemingly endless barrage of highly publicized pronouncements from Charlie Sheen, a man who, where you have a central nervous system, has a Magic 8-Ball.
George Will offers measured optimism for conservatives in 2012.
Although they have become prone to apocalyptic forebodings about the fragility of the nation’s institutions and traditions under the current president, conservatives should stride confidently into 2012. This is not because they are certain, or even likely, to defeat President Obama this year. Rather, it is because, if they emancipate themselves from their unconservative fixation on the presidency, they will see events unfolding in their favor. And when Congress is controlled by one party, as it might be a year from now, it can stymie an overreaching executive.
Hugh Laurie's "Let Them Talk" sessions helping bring us to the very brink of a new year.
"Wicked" is the rare — maybe even unprecedented — show rich enough to effortlessly carry multiple meanings for multiple demographics, all of them valid, even if the messages that endeared it to my cynical heart are different from a 10-year-old's take-away....
To recap: Women are hungry to be told that their friendships matter. Kids are hungry to be told that individualism is worth it, even at the cost of being bullied. Seniors relate to the show's wistful look back on relationships that had to pass. Sexual and racial minorities relish the themes of pride and prejudice. With all that cross-demographic appeal in one popular entertainment, is there anything left for the middle-aged straight malcontent?
Yes: Oddly enough, we're starved for stories that tell us no one in power can be trusted, life is full of persecution and politics and compromises, and ambiguous fates befall even the empowered and enlightened … in a show that's got a good Reagan joke and you can dance to it.
Solyndra: Politics infused Obama energy programs
Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials....
The documents reviewed by The Post, which began examining the clean-technology program a year ago, provide a detailed look inside the day-to-day workings of the upper levels of the Obama administration. They also give an unprecedented glimpse into high-level maneuvering by politically connected clean-technology investors.
They show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the “optics” in Washington and the impact that the company’s failure could have on the president’s prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-
Should be a major scandal. Is anyone paying attention on Boxing Day? Will Mitt make use of it? But the real shock is that this is appearing in the Washington Post. It's almost like real, objective journalism.
"A day, Bright Day of Glory! Glad day that ends our woe!
A day that tells of triumph against our vanquished foe!
For us this Christmas sunrise, this bright December morn,
So sing, let us be joyous, For Christ, our Lord, is born!"
"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:30-31)