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Category: Religion

Here’s a story for you

“The Haunted Beach.” (pdf, about 4,600 words) I submitted this to a short-story contest/anthology a few months ago. It was rejected. Maybe because it was no good. Or maybe because the theme of the anthology was “optimism.” The rules said submissions could have dark elements but needed to be optimistic overall. I thought this story just bubbled with optimism (after said “dark elements”). But you can probably see why contest judges might disagree.


Weekend links

The Boy Scouts: doing their best to close the gender gap. (Yeah, don’t ask me how that became their mission.) By Eagle Scout Jim Bovard. And don’t even get my friendly local Scout leaders started on the Michelle Obama-inspired (recently) new requirements for the cooking badge. Where’d the fun go? Any kid who had to learn cooking that way would probably avoid the kitchen for the rest of his life. You want to be treated with dignity? Behave with dignity. (Via ML who, like me, doesn’t agree with all Ringer’s points but thinks the overall piece is spot on.) Six…


Thursday links

Police face recruiting challenges, according to this NPR interview with cop advisor Darrel Stephens. But know what? If that very last line Stephens’ speaks is what cops aim for, they’re going to face a lot worse than mere recruiting challenges in the long run. They’re gonna face us. (Both audio and transcript at the link.) Of course, some cops merely aim for good old-fashioned sadistic fun at our expense. While others just watch too many movies. (Via Borepatch) Reminds me of this oldie but goodie from XKCD. All of which is why we call them thugs, regardless of their race,…


Where were you on April 19?

Where were you on April 19? On April 19, 1993 I was on a long drive toward a client’s headquarters when I heard the Branch Davidians were burning. For some reason I hadn’t taken the siege very seriously to that point (even though I’d taken the earlier Weaver siege as seriously as I’d ever taken anything in my life). Just a bunch of Jim Jonesy cultists, I thought. I figured the FBI would wait them out until Koresh got done with his preposterous “seven seals” manuscript, then peaceably arrest and later release most of them. Cause you know, why would…


Monday links

MamaLiberty reviews Jackie Clay’s Summer of the Eagles. Somebody in the mainstream media finally questions whether it’s right to destroy mom & pop businesses that aren’t sufficiently politically correct. Glad ordinary folk don’t even need to ask questions like that. Back when the RICO statutes were first passed, libertarian alarmists predicted that they’d be so misused that the feds would soon be busting penny-ante poker games. Well, it seems they’ve been misused for just about everything except that. But here’s one of the most creative turns of the RICO story. David Boaz notes that the final stage of socialism is…


Weekend reads

Two from The Atlantic: “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous.” Science and addiction treatment. Long but interesting. And just for laughs: “The Confused Person’s Guide to Middle East Conflicts.” With the Saudi-Iran cold war about to go hot over Yemen, perhaps this’ll help us appear well-informed.


Midweek links

Chortle. Mexicans (presumably Mexican yuppies) are now importing pot from the U.S. Sigh. I really thought the Buddhists were better than this. Okay, it’s not Buddhists. It’s the gummint of Myanmar, so not exactly the heart of enlightenment. But still people, get a clue. If you have to force others to respect your holy men, it’s clear you don’t actually think your holy men are worthy of respect on their own. The GNU Manifesto turns 30 this year. (H/T jed) Raising up a whole new generation of shooters. Of course, it’s all the fault of the eeeevil gun industry. But…


Book review: I Won’t Take the Mark

I Won’t Take the Mark:
A Bible Book and Contract for Children

By Katherine Albrecht, Ed.D.
Illustrations by Julia Pearson
Patterns and borders by AlfredoM Graphic Arts Studio
Designed by Monica Thomas
2014, 40 pages, $22.50

Available from
Or from


I have been remiss. I received review copies of this book around Christmastime and intended to write it up at the first of the year. I was planning to pair reviews with Vin Suprynowicz’s The Testament of James — something for believers, something for curious skeptics, good books from very different points of view.

Then the comment section on Testament got so weird (with people more interested in pushing personal grievances than talking about Vin’s book) that I freaked out & backed off from anything religion-related.

So I hope The Albrechts will be okay with “better late than never.”


Friday links

Dear foolish and gullible Americans. There’s a reason the government wants into the ‘Net. Religious freedom blogger Avjit Roy hacked to death. By guess who. And guess why. More. Cultural treasures and books have to go, also. Dog is shot twice but still stops home invasion. (H/T MR) This was a freelance home invasion. Had the thugs been wearing badges, presumably they’d have used large enough calibers to off the pesky mutt. The feds are now attempting to halt the liberty movement in Washington state using extralegal “detention” and intimidation.


Midweek miscellany, cont’d

Was up all night feeling creaky. Not actually ill; just too sour, achy, and generally uncomfortable to sleep. Useless today. But no doubt I’ll be brilliant (or at least brilliant-er) tomorrow. Would be hard to be less brilliant. Lucy and Ethel speak for the U.S. Department of State A letter concerning Muslim toleration. Ronald Ritchie, felony murderer of two, still thinks his primary victim deserved what he got. Oscar odds. Being mostly stuck with DVDs that aren’t out yet, I’ve seen very few of these films yet; probably soon. Looking forward to The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher, Birdman, and Kill the…