Nota Bene #120: Crazy Ivan

“If you can make a woman laugh, you’re seeing the most beautiful thing on God’s earth.” Who said it? Continue reading

What would end-timers do without the threat of nuclear annihilation?

On January 26, influential country musician Charlie Louvin died at age 83. He and his brother Ira performed and recorded as the Louvin Brothers, until they split up in the early sixties, when Charlie began a solo career. Perhaps because of the spare instrumentation of Charlie’s guitar and Ira’s mandolin, as well as their heart-felt harmonies, they influenced the Everly Brothers, the Byrds, and country rock legend Gram Parsons.

Another fan, Emmylou Harris, was quoted by the New York Times: “. . . there was something scary and washed in the blood about the sound of the Louvin Brothers.” In fact, simply “washed in blood” might better characterize one of their songs. Continue reading

Canceling end-timers' nuclear ticket to Armageddon

As with many religions, elements of Christianity look forward to an apocalypse and their subsequent ascension to heaven. In a surprising article at USA Today titled “What if the end isn’t near?” Tom Krattenmaker writes, “As signaled by the runaway success of the Left Behind books, end-time expectations hold undeniable sway in evangelical America.” Furthermore, “According to this reading of the bible’s Book of Revelation, what awaits those on the wrong side of the ecclesiastical line is not so wondrous: seven years of unimaginable suffering, war and destruction that ends with the Second Coming of Jesus.” Continue reading

Nota Bene #115: RIP No. 32

“If you’re really pro-life, do me a favor—don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.” Who said it? Continue reading

Beware celebrity negroes raising your gas prices for Satan!

I’m beginning to get a bad feeling about Campaign ’08. A nasty, sinking feeling that we’re a’fixin’ to spend the next three months obliterating ever record for dirty, dishonest, unethical, immoral electioneering in the history of American politics.

I don’t say this casually. I remember the Bush I “Willie Horton” ad. I lived through multiple Jesse Helms campaigns in North Carolina, including the one with the epic “Hands” ad. And the shit that Karl Rove’s pack of soulless jackals pulled in 2004 amazed even my cynical sensibilities. Continue reading

The J Street Project, or "Yes, Virginia, you can be pro-Israel and progressive"

By Martin Bosworth

I’m Jewish. You don’t hear me blog about this much for a variety of reasons, one of the major ones being that you are then inevitably asked to take a stand on Israel–as if such a thing even needed to be discussed, like Marx’s odious asking of “The Jewish Question.”

My faith influences my thinking in a lot of ways, but it is not the sole arbiter of my thinking, and I don’t feel that I have to travel in lockstep with what any other Jew thinks–certainly not about Israel, which has every right to exist as a sovereign state, yet commits indefensible acts against peoples it (rightly or wrongly) perceives as implacable foes. As such, people like myself stay out of the debate, allowing it to be usurped and dominated by a cabal of crazy ultrahawkish right-wing Zionists who claim that anything short of total annihilation of Palestine will end with, as my father says, “the Jews being driven into the sea.”

Thankfully, there’s an alternative coming around, and it is called J Street. Continue reading