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Charles Dickens

I was watching a movie version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with my wife recently when I had a strong feeling that I’d encountered this story before.  No, I’m not talking about earlier film versions of Dickens’ classic, but something far more ancient.  Growing up the son of a minister and ending up teaching…

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Hardy Boys

If you are looking for a nearly foolproof Christmas gift idea, I have a suggestion for you to consider.  And as an added bonus, I can promise that this gift will actually be good for the brains of those who receive it.     I am talking about a book, but not just any book.  I am…

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Words of Ancient Wisdom for our Time

This is the type of fast that I wish: to loosen the fetters of injustice . . . to set free those who are oppressed . . . to share your bread with the hungry, and to offer shelter to the homeless poor, to clothe the naked when you behold them and not turn your…

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Donald Trump and Ted Lasso Walk into a Bar

Donald Trump and Ted Lasso Walk into a Bar . . .   How would you finish that sentence?  What would be the outcome of a meeting between someone like Donald Trump and someone like Ted Lasso?   If we think of masculinity on a spectrum, then there could hardly be two more different versions of what…

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Who Can Predict the Future?

Who can predict the future?  That’s kind of a trick question, because anyone can predict the future.  The real question is “Who can predict the future accurately?”   We might think that predicting the future accurately is the task of religious mystics or seers.  But there are others who are accurately predicting the future, and those…

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Vladimir Putin is Smiling

Vladimir Putin is smiling, and that isn’t good news.  What Putin is smiling about is a recent development in our country during this election season.  As he has hoped, both political parties—Democrat and Republican—have factions within them that question the level of support for Ukraine.   One of the lessons we learned from the pandemic is…