The indefatigable (though he says otherwise) Thomas Sowell provides us with a number of wide-ranging and ponderable “Random Thoughts.” Here are some that caught my attention:
Nothing is called “second-hand” any more, except “second-hand smoke.” Why is it not called “pre-owned” smoke?
Civil rights used to be about treating everyone the same. But today some people are so used to special treatment that equal treatment is considered to be discrimination.
Some people seem to think that we live in more “liberated” times, when all that has happened is that one set of taboos has been replaced by another and more intolerantly enforced set of taboos.
What is especially disturbing about the political left is that they seem to have no sense of the tragedy of the human condition. Instead, they tend to see the problems of the world as due to other people not being as wise or as noble as themselves.
The next time somebody says that the government is forced to intervene in the economy to protect the poor, ask why the government is forcing taxpayers to subsidize municipal golf courses, the ballet, opera and — the biggest subsidy of all — surrounding affluent communities with vast amounts of expensive “open space.”
It is hard to think of any word that has confused more issues than the word “rights.” Nowadays, almost anything that anybody wants is called a “right” — a magic word that does away with the need for evidence, logic or even common sense.
We can only hope that the rumor that Israel is going to take out Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities is true. If they do, Israel will be widely condemned by governments that are breathing a sigh of relief that they did.
Two weeks ago the Summit Oxford Study Centre hosted a conference focused on the life and work and vision of C.S. Lewis. This November brings us the fiftieth anniversary of his death and many are remembering his life and works.We believe that Lewis’s life and works are worth remembering, and that his vision is worth entertaining.
The conference itself was an intentionally intimate affair, with fewer than fifty people in attendance (including a number of the students currently attending the Summit Oxford program). The audio and some video of the presentations was captured. After some editing work, they should be available.
Roger Scruton is a most prolific author, a philosopher who is at home in politics, historical reflections, discoursing about wine, contemplating the environment and our sense of place, and helping us ponder our way through the thorny thickets of beauty.
Is beauty merely “in the eye of the beholder”?
Is beauty simply or radically relative?
Is it purely subjective?
Why Beauty Matters is an engaging, provoking, even inspiring production written and narrated by Roger Scruton.
There is much here to contemplate, to wrestle through.
The historical work of D. Michael Quinn, especially Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, early on confirmed for me what were growing suspicions about the inauthenticity and occultism of the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
Clearly Quinn is a man troubled in several respects, though the bulk of his historical scholarship has not been successfully contested. Many (if not most or all) early Mormon leaders were practitioners of a variety of occult technologies. This includes the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, Jr.
Even so, Quinn (and clearly others of the so-called September Six) are quite fine with all of this. Spiritual confusion knows no bounds, and the human ability of self-deception is uncharted and perhaps unlimited.
Below is a longish article describing Quinn’s current status, interests, and convictions. Mormons are likely to dismiss him or to claim that they are being persecuted. But neither maneuver will bury history. The dawn of the Internet has scuttled the LDS Church’s ability to frustrate these facts. Now the only problem (in addition to spiritual delusion, social pressure, personal concerns) is all the nonsense that flutters about the facts — confusing, distorting, diverting. Regardless, enjoy the article: