Weekend Reading: June 24, 2017

Good morning everyone!  Here are the stories, videos, and blogs I enjoyed or felt were interesting enough to share this week, with one warning – a read a lot of WSJ articles, so if you don’t have a subscription you’ll not be able to access all of them (of course I would highly recommend a subscription).

A few items of interest in the political world this week that you may not have heard about (I’m assuming you heard about Georgia’s 6th CD special and have no need of yet another recap).

I thought this was pretty interesting: Protesters plan to greet Mike Pence in ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ garb at Focus on the Family speech in Colorado Springs. This is a gay rights group working to bring attention to their plight, and the supposed closed-mindedness of groups like Focus on the Family.  Note this quote from the group’s leader, “This is the way they see Focus, this backwards organization that’s promoting stuff that’s far beyond what most of us would consider applicable for modern society.”  Especially note his (am I okay to use that pronoun?) use of the phrase “most of us.”  Even just 10 years ago this might have been a fanciful statement, but we have reached a moment where the tyranny of the minority has taken captive the behavior and speech patterns of the majority of the country.

After the shooting in D.C. (the one successfully aimed at several members of Congress), some interesting stories came out.  First, this video from one of the Congressmen who describes the scene is worth reviewing.  Second, there’s an opinion piece in WaPo about the precarious nature of our constitutional backup plans in the event that certain heads of state get killed.  Third, in the aftermath of the shooting, several Democratic members of Congress got together to pray for their GOP colleagues who were shot at (and wounded). However, NPR changed their action from “praying” to “thinking”, and got caught. I’m not just posting that as a “gotcha” moment to shake your head at, rather I’m making your aware (again) that there are serious prejudices in the media against religion of any kind. Also…why is NPR publically funded in the first place? It’s not a public service – if you provide a good product, people will listen and you’ll get sponsors. Period. If not…goodbye.

And how about conservative columnist Erick Erickson calling for us to contemplate secession, and then tempering that post with another right away. Some interesting points to discuss here. Maybe I don’t have space or time here, but read these, and ask yourself if he’s got a point, or whether he’s taken The Benedict Option too far…

In terms of thinking about the nation’s future, Sen. Ben Sasse is out with a book called ‘The Vanishing American Adult.’  There’s a slightly critical review of the book at Cardus this week, which surprised me, given the positive reviews I’ve seen online. Still there are some good points in the review, points about the nature of automation and the future of work that need to be pondered I suppose.

Something actually worth reading from The New York Times: How We Became Bitter Political Enemies.  Excerpt:

Today, partisan prejudice even exceeds racial hostility in implicit association tests that measure how quickly people subconsciously associate groups (blacks, Democrats) with traits (wonderful, awful). That’s remarkable, given how deeply ingrained racial attitudes are in the United States, and how many generations they’ve had to harden, according to work by Mr. Iyengar and the Dartmouth political scientist Sean J. Westwood.

Foreign Affairs…in this week’s Columbus Dispatch: What can US do to North Korea to avenge death of Otto Warmbier?  (Spoiler Alert: Nothing)

More worth reading: 4 charts on how Russians see their country’s place in the world

And…U.S. Jet Shoots Down Syrian Pro-Regime Drone

These guys crack me up: Atheist Driver Spots Jesus Fish Eating Darwin Fish, Repents

“Ever since freshman philosophy class I’ve believed God is a fiction and humans are the product of natural selection, an accidental collocation of atoms,” Boyette recounted to reporters. “Then I spotted that car decal and heard the sound of crumbling. It was my worldview. I saw that Jesus Christ could eat Charles Darwin for lunch, just as the Jesus fish bearing the word ‘truth’ was swallowing up the smaller, weaker Darwin fish.’”


There are several stories of interest in the technology sector that you might want to check out.  Wired had something on Quantum computing, which was interesting but didn’t quite help me understand the advantages of the new tech. I’ll be on the watch for more information on this as it develops.

Also….How Facebook’s Telepathic Texting Is Supposed to Work – I found this really interesting.

Here’s an interesting piece from The Guardian about Apple’s manufactuing plant in China:  Life and death in Apple’s forbidden city

The ninnies at major corporations crack me up.  They find themselves in a bit of a quagmire (not ethically, because their branding isn’t based on ethics but on fear) when the people they’re happy to take money from also wander onto political sites they don’t like or watch videos on YouTube that make them uncomfortable. Here’s the story headline: Advertisers Try to Avoid the Web’s Dark Side, From Fake News to Extremist Videos  The issue here is that through advanced programmatic buying (the kind my own firm utilizes), companies like Target (for example) follow people around the internet, instead of camping out on certain websites that cater to their demographics. It’s a great way to advertise – it’s like going to a golf tournament. You have to decide whether to follow the players around the course, or sit on one hole and take in whatever action happens on that hole as the players come through – I’ve always preferred the former!

But what happens when that potential customer ends up watching a video you think is a bit risque (not sexually, Target would never care about that – I mean like terror videos or the like)?  What then?  Well, these big companies get mad when Ad buyers don’t block sites they don’t agree with, or want their brand associated with  – fair enough. But things get harder when you are talking about content within a site – like YouTube – that is harder to monitor for ad men placing bids on real estate on the site, and have little to no control over the content posted on said site. The funny thing is, that I wonder if faced with the ability to not take the money from people watching ISIS propaganda videos, whether Target would actually discriminate in this way. Or put more provocatively, what if they learned that 20% of their target audience was actually visiting Brietbart.com for news? Would they block those people from buying at their stores; tracing their IP’s back to their physical addresses, and then declining their credit cards for online or in-store purchases?  I’m just playing out one of the several scenarios that could be only a few years down the road…food for thought!

There are some interesting goings on in Memphis: Memphis activists target Confederate monuments after failed attempt to dig up general’s grave

Entertainment Stuff:  The Han Solo Movie Just Lost Its Directors Midway Through Filming

And…they’re back!  Drive in movies are making a big comeback.  My family recently benefited from this comeback, as a Friday night trip to the drive in proved to be a ton of fun for the kids (thanks to my friend Britain for the idea!).

This is excellent: Never Read the Bible Simply to Know

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this for your amusement, this was floating around social media circles this week, and it was too good not to repost here!  (h/t Kate):

That’s it!  Have a great weekend!


Weekend Reading: June 17, 2017

Welcome to Father’s Day weekend. Here are the most interesting blogs, stories, videos and books from the week (from what I saw and thought, at least).  I’ve only got a short post for you today, as I’m in the midst of a two-day golf tournament with my dad (can you think of a better way to spend Father’s Day weekend???).

Let’s get going…

One thing that caused me to shake my head this week was the continual blatant opinion-based headlines and “news reporting” from the news networks and major media outlets. It’s as if they are in a race to outdo one another in showing how partisan they can be.  Here’s a screenshot of my iPhone’s curated stories from the week. Notice how blatantly partisan each news organization is (of course the left controls most of these outlets so they stand out the most):

Then, of course, there were items like this: Trusted Source In News. CNN Claimed Trump Did Not Visit Scalise In The Hospital 

This is why I don’t watch cable news if I can help it at all. Gone are the days of real reporting, where journalists were scrupulously ensuring their stories were balanced and fair. Al Mohler, who I really respect a great deal, likes to point out how papers like the NY Times and Washington Post have all these editorial levels, which separates them from the average blog or radio talk show you would consume.But the reason I wanted to point this out was that if you’re watching or listening to this stuff for several hours each day, then you are necessarily feeding a certain perspective. A couple of hours of talk radio each day and you will think Obama is the spawn of Satan, and Trump is God’s gift to mankind.

But it Mohler’s point makes it all the worse when there can be layer upon layer of editorial input, and still, you end up with this trash – the TV networks are especially bad. Fox, CNN, and MSNBC are pretty much unwatchable for me.

I guess I’m only bringing this up because I know a lot of people who listen to talk radio all day or watch Fox or whatever, and they are just being spoonfed everything they already agree with.  The same goes for the other side.  It’s such a disservice to our country that real reporting is vanishing, mostly because our minds are being closed to any opportunity for checking our worldview or assumptions. And frankly, if you’re a conservative or a liberal, you don’t need someone telling you their opinion about politics all day long, once you read some straight journalism on the news of the day, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to form a coherent opinion of your own. .

Rant over…

3 Stories I saved for my own weekend reading:

WSJ: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice

NYTimes: How We Became Bitter Political Enemies

Challies: Consecutive Exposition Is Not the Only Way

And from the continual theme of “words matter”:  A Judge Just Cited a Trump Tweet When Ruling Against Him. Again.

US OPEN:  He Brought the U.S. Open to a Cow Pasture. All It Cost Was His Fortune.

Foreign Policy: Otto Warmbier, Cincinnati native held by North Korea, comes home in a coma

Mohler for Ligonier: How Will We Live Now? 

Stupid News of the Week: Demi Moore reveals she’s missing her two front teeth

Capitalism Vs. Socialism…from National Journal: The Kids Aren’t Alright

Batman Died: Why Adam West will always be the true Batman Forever

Every Saw this Last Week, right?? Sanders Blasts Trump Nominee Over Religious Post

BREAKING FROM THE BEE:  Man Accepts Jesus As Personal Butler

That’s it!  Go enjoy the sun and have a great weekend!


Weekend Reading: June 10, 2017

Good morning and welcome to the weekend!  Every week I gather up some of the most interesting stories, videos, and books that I took in and share them with you. This started about three years ago this month (if I recall correctly), and I appreciate the opportunity to continue to have the dialogue, and hopefully, serve some of my best friends inside and outside of politics.

I feel like it’s been total Comey overload this week. That’s all the media wants to talk about, so there’s some reticence on my part to bombard you with more of the same. But I was struck by a non-political friend, Brittany T., who had caught a part of the hearing and was having trouble remembering what had actually started the whole thing in the first place. Which, is a great question!  So great, in fact, that Jay Caruso over at RedState felt that we needed a quick reminder that there was/is a legitimate investigation going on into Russian influence on the 2016 election. I am personally not yet convinced that Russians did anything to actually change the voting outcome, nor am I convinced that team Trump had any control or influence over their activities, but it’s still a legit investigation nonetheless, and not simply a conspiracy theory.

Lost in all this was the ridiculous interview of Vladimir Putin by Megyn Kelly.  I don’t think she’s that great of an interviewer – a good interviewer knows how to draw out the other person, whereas she simply assaults him with allegations. Of course, it’s hard to imagine what a good interview would look like with someone so adept at deception.

So what was the main political upshot of this week’s Comey hearing? I think it will likely be that the President’s favorability ratings dropped a few points and that partisans on both sides became more entrenched (as the Babylon Bee reported!).  None of this is likely due to anything Comey said, but due to the realization that the President seems to have played fast and loose with the truth. Yes, Comey is a “leaker” and yes he’s too slick by half (I credit Brian R. for the Uriah Heep – as in Dicken’s Heep – comparison). But Comey isn’t the President.  He isn’t leading the nation. He’s just a Washington insider and a smarmy bureaucrat.  Comey isn’t the issue. He isn’t really all that important, even, in the long-term because it seems apparent that the President in no way obstructed justice. What seems apparent is that the President simply doesn’t understand the traditional separation of powers, and the way in which that works – Check out Peggy Noonan’s column in WSJ for more on that.

Aside from the separation of powers issue, there’s also this issue of the President’s veracity. If you’re old enough to remember the Clinton days in the 90’s, you’ll recall that one of the main allegations/issues that were continually brought to bear about the character of President Clinton was that he was a serial liar. Now, we are living in days when conservatives are saying the same of Donald Trump.  This is a major issue and one I’ve brought to the fore in the past. The man is continually waging a self-inflicted war, and for those of us who’d like to see him succeed, and see the country move forward in strength and honor, it’s hard to watch at times.

Okay – isn’t that enough of Comey?  Good!  Let’s move on…sort of…

One of the things I find popping up from reading news articles and political commentary from both sides of the partisan divide is that there is a widely held sense that the country is changing. Politics are changing. Values are changing. And folks are having a hard time pinning down all the ways in which this is so, but especially and what it means for the future of our republic. If you read one thing this week, read National Review’s David French as he grapples with these issues. His headline is ‘We’re Not in a Civil War, but We Are Drifting Toward Divorce’.  Excerpt…

None of this is surprising. Our national political polarization is by now so well established that the only real debate is over the nature of our cultural, political, and religious conflict. Are we in the midst of a more or less conventional culture war? Are we, as Dennis Prager and others argue, fighting a kind of “cold” civil war? Or are we facing something else entirely?

Lots of food for thought in his piece…

Other interesting items this week included this devotional from John Piper on Proverbs 22:13. It’s titled ‘When Reason Serves Rebellion’ and was really interesting for such a short piece.  You might also want to check out R.C. Sproul’s podcast on the difference between Paradox and Contradiction, if you’ve never thought much about those two terms and how they differ, then you’ll find this enlightening and helpful.

And did you catch Al Mohler’s summer reading list?  Here it is if not.  My good friend Derek S. mentioned (rightly) that it’s extremely heavy on history – especially war history. But I think that accentuates the need to be continually reading history. I’ve especially enjoyed his recommendation of ‘The Silk Roads’. I’m about half-way through now, and really like how he’s shown the centrifugal force of trade throughout the ages, and how important (but underappreciated by Western scholarship) the east was for centuries before the gold and silver discoveries in the Americas tilted the balance of population and power in the world.

A few weeks back James K.A. Smith had a thoughtful reminder of how marriage is meant to engage the culture. He obviously wrote the piece with the thought that we’re heading into wedding season, which will be accompanied by the typical social media postings etc. How we celebrate weddings can often distort how we’re to view marriage after the wedding is over.

Two stories that involve Israel this week.  First, it was the 50th anniversary of the 6-day war. If you know nothing about this, then read up. Mohler actually had a recommendation for this I think. But I especially enjoyed ‘The Lion’s Gate’.  Here’s an excerpt from the Federalist story I linked above:

It is no small thing that during the Cold War Soviet arms were left in burning heaps on the battlefield, a blow to Communism’s prestige that foreshadowed its doom. You don’t have to believe in miracles or Providence to grasp how important it is for civilization that the state of Israel persists to this day.

Secondly, our U.N. Ambassador delivered a fever-pitch ultimatum to the so-called UN Human Rights Council which routinely delivers excoriating denunciations of Israel, while ignoring atrocities committed by (U.N.) member nations. The double standard has long been ignored (especially by the Obama administration), and its good to see Ambassador Haley speak some truth to the world on this front.

Two random stories from this week.  First, was about how the Vice-President’s wife has installed a beehive at the official residence. And second, a hilarious story from Atlas Obscura titled ‘The Great Hanoi Rat Massacre of 1902 Did Not Go as Planned’.

Books: It’s been a good year of reading thus far. I’ve taken in well over 100 books since January, but my pace has slowed in recent weeks with the final push of finishing a home renovation, and now the workload associated with summer seminary class.  You can find my book list on Goodreads here.  Currently, I’m reading David Copperfield with Kate, a massive introduction to the New Testament for seminary, and I’m almost done with Cinema Alchemist by Roger Christian. Additionally, as I mentioned before, I’m about half-way through ‘The Silk Roads’.  I put aside Eichman in Jerusalem for now after having punched my way through about 60% of it (enough to get the thrust of her observations).  As a family, we finished ‘The Tale of Despereaux’, which was a gift from our good friends the Jacksons, and was really fun. We’re now reading the second installment of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (The Two Towers), which was not even up for debate given the vehement pleadings of my middle child.

I hope you enjoy a fruitful summer of reading!  Any good recommendations to pass along? Let me know!

Finally, I want to note the passing of Bill Todd.  Bill was a Columbus attorney and former candidate for Mayor. I knew Bill for several years and helped out on this Mayoral run in a small way. Bill was an outspoken advocate for conservative principles and truth in the public square, and he will be missed.

That’s it for now. I hope you enjoy the weekend,


Weekend Reading: June 3, 2017

Happy weekend to everyone – and Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter Chloe!  Let’s get into what was news and what was interesting this week (and maybe last, since I held over a few stories from before the holiday).  I’ll warn you in advance that there are some big topics here, and maybe you won’t agree with me on every conclusion – that’s fine!  Send me your articles and your ideas, I’m always learning, and appreciate your input!

Of course, the big deal politically was the Trump administration pulling out of the Paris climate agreement.  I’ve got a few very helpful articles that frame this for you. First and foremost is Marc Theissen’s rundown on why this is a good thing. 

But perhaps even more helpful is a piece written by  from back in December that the American Enterprise Institute linked to this week by way of reminder. This is the one great backgrounder on Trump’s thinking that you need to read this week.

…excerpt to get the flavor:

The grand total (from what would come from the Paris agreement): about half a degree, to be achieved at a cost of about 1 percent to 2 percent of global GDP every year, inflicted disproportionately upon the world’s poor. And so Mr. Trump is correct to conclude that climate policy is preposterous as a matter of the efficient allocation of scarce resources, and that the provision of clean water and the eradication of terrible diseases in the Third World are far more important priorities.

You can find Al Mohler’s take on the Paris story here. Mohler is helpful because he addresses both the economic and Christian worldview implications.

Tech peeps, keep an eye on this: Google could face a $9bn EU fine for rigging search results in its favour (U.K. Spelling, not mine!)

Perhaps this isn’t surprising….but some interesting perspective here: Here’s how chronic conditions drive up health spending

BREAKING: Enlightened ‘Minecraft’ Character Denies Existence Of Game Designer

Couple of personal productivity-type of articles hit my radar this week. The first is from those blind squirrels over at Quartz, who write about Kanban (which is actually a really helpful way of thinking through your daily checklist) who explore the myth of multitasking. The second come from my buddy Matt R and pertains to reading more in the coming year and how to do it/think of it.  Those are always helpful stories!

HOLIDAY WEEKEND RECAP: This was packed full of great information about Memorial Day. They talk about how Memorial Day started as a Civil War holiday, and gradually expanded after the first and second world wars. Check it out and bookmark it for the future.

WORDS MATTER: Something from last week that ought to be revisited, from WaPo: ‘Evil losers’: Trump joins world leaders in condemning Manchester terrorist attack.  I wanted to bring some attention to the reaction of the President to the most recent terror attacks. Of course, he condemns them. And of course, he is right to. But let me just opine….because it’s in these moments when I really miss the leader who can speak eloquently, accurately, and powerfully about the events of our world and what they mean. To call terrorists “losers” really misses the mark, and I can’t fathom how the President and his team couldn’t come up with anything more to the point. Life isn’t a game of winners and losers, and terrorism isn’t one side of that game while the Western World is full of “winners” on the other side. Words matter, and when the President chooses words that don’t live up to the solemnity and import of the moment or fail to accurately depict what is actually going on, he fails at one of the central aspects of his job – to powerfully verbalize the pillars, the principles, and the foundations of the United States of America in matters of policy, be they foreign or domestic.  Where is Reagan?  Where is Thatcher?  Where is the Churchill of our age?!!

Words matter. And it isn’t simply the way in which the President’s words are being delivered, it’s also the fact that many of the things he has been saying and doing in the first few months on the job are the exact same things he ruthlessly criticized Obama and Hillary for on the campaign trailas the Washington Post detailed here.  What is frustrating about articles like this is that as you read them, if you’re like me, you’re agreeing with the policy positions and the budget ideas that the Post is sneering at. In fact, this is the first President in modern history to seriously go after entitlement spending – something we should all be happy about, even if we don’t agree with every specific cut or idea.

BUT because the President waged a campaign of sarcastic and sneering rhetoric (often at a 3rd-grade level) that now comes into diametric opposition to his actions as President, it makes it difficult to take him seriously. Words matter. Remember the 2004 Presidential campaign??  I do because it was the first major campaign I worked on upon graduating from college. Republicans (like myself) mercilessly branded John Kerry as a “flip-flopper” – that was a centerpiece of the attack campaign – and here we have a Republican President making John Kerry’s flip-flopping look like amateur hour.  As much as I really want him to succeed, I just gotta shake my head at this guy sometimes…

Well…to help balance things out a bit, I was encouraged by Wall Street Journal editor and columnist Kimberley Strassel’s piece about ‘the news you didn’t hear’ this week.  Strassel goes into some detail about how the Trump administration has gotten some good stuff done in the past week or so which affects everyday Americans. This is the kind of thing you don’t hear reported, and yet it really is real news.

On to other things…

Here’s a helpful post from R.C. Sproul: What If I Don’t Feel Forgiven?

Tech and Morality: A few weeks back I read this thoughtful blog post by someone named Samuel James called ‘The Parable of Anthony Weiner’s iPhone’.  He dives into whether or not the unfortunately (though perhaps appropriately) named Weiner would have carried on inappropriate relationships and communications if he was not so tempted by the ease with which technology allowed him these liberties. Well reasoned and worth the read.

In a similar context, Tim Charlie’s blogged about the intersection of humanity and technology and explores whether artificial intelligence designers and technology wizards really desire to “eliminate the human”, even when they never implicitly say as much.  What do they have against humanity, anyway?   If you read this and ALSO listen to the Mohler podcast I posted here, you’ll notice a theme. Mohler even recommends historian Paul Johnson’s book ‘Intellectuals’, which explores this idea that many intellectuals (who are mostly liberals) who call themselves “humanitarians” actually hold to policies which are anything BUT humanitarian.  In fact, the intellectual elites usually prize pretty much any part of nature above the value of humanity. Yet this religion is not often rigorously observed in their lives.  The point is that these stories get us thinking about whether we are consistent in our use of technology (talking about more than simply your iPhones here) and our holding to certain beliefs and worldviews???

Good Culture Story:  Here’s One of the Scenes That Probably Got Tim Allen’s Show Canceled

This is wacky, you gotta check it out: Nancy Lee Carlson Bought a Piece of the Moon—NASA Really Wants It Back

In Case You Missed It: Ben & Jerry’s Bans Same-Flavored Scoops to Support Same-Sex Marriage in Australia

Video of the Week: God Made You Believe in God  EXCERPT:

Grace is not God’s response to our initiative: “first, I will believe, and then you will make me alive.” Are you kidding me? After all of this, you will claim that you will defeat the course of this world, you will defeat the prince of the power of the air, you will defeat the spirit that now is at work, you will defeat the passions of your flesh, you will defeat what’s at work in your body and your mind, you will overcome the nature to be a child of wrath, you will overcome the nature to be a son of disobedience, and you will produce the glorious reality of faith, to which God will say, “Well done: you’re alive — I make you now alive” (see Ephesians 2:1–3)?

Let me conclude with an interesting read from ten years agoLIVING WITH ISLAMISM: A call for Christians to understand the Islamist narrative, and to adopt a Christian response…..Excerpt:

How should we respond to this radical, worldwide movement with millions of adherents whose programme it is to unite Muslims worldwide into one people, with one divinely sanctioned leader, governed by a reactionary version of Islamic law, and organized to wage a permanent war on the rest of the world—a war that from its perspective can only end in the annihilation, conquest or conversion of all non-Muslims?


As the late Lesslie Newbigin insisted, Christianity is public truth. Islamism makes public claims for the truth of Islam. Christians must counter with public claims for the truth of the teachings of the Bible. The gospel is not proclaimed in vain, and the present and next generations must proclaim it in every sphere of human life and every geographical area of the earth with both humility and courage.


Military action is not the ultimate answer to the challenge of Islamist terror, but it is a political responsibility that we must acknowledge and bear, even as its consequences for affected civilians must break our hearts.

That conclusion is right on point. The challenge to my fellow Christians is this: do you cheer the death of Muslims? If so, what separates you from those Muslims cheering the death of Christians in Egypt?  We fundamentally need a change in attitude toward Islam, in my opinion. A more detailed understanding of its origins would be a helpful start. After all, from the first, Islam was really just seen as another Christian heresy (which is basically is), and not a whole other religion. There are many things we hold in common with these folks – namely our belief in monotheism, and our humanity (we are all created in the image of God). But we mostly need a heart that doesn’t rejoice in the death of the wicked.

So yes, let’s defend our nation. Yes, let’s support our country as it kills terrorists who threaten our citizens and wage war on our people. But let’s do so not with rejoicing, but with heavy hearts, knowing that these are people made by the hand of God in the image of God, who need the truth of God as much as we do. Simply killing terrorists will not transform the Middle East or the world. You cannot do battle on those terms alone while neglecting the deeper driving motives of these warriors (the faith elements). So while the state is concerned to keep us safe (and thank God they are doing a great job of it), the church is charged with saving souls by courageously proclaiming the truth of the gospel to Muslims who have distorted scripture for over 1000 years, yet who need these truths as much as we do.

That’s it!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Weekend Reading: May 20, 2017

Welcome to the Weekend Reading.  Just thinking about all the news items that occurred this week was a bit overwhelming for me last night. Not only did a lot happen this week, but a lot of pretty crazy things happened – things that need thoughtful reading and time to digest.  Here’s what I found most interesting…

By far the biggest news item was that a special investigator was appointed by the Deputy Director of the FBI to explore any possible mischief between Trump Campaign operatives and the Russians.  The man they appointed was former long-time FBI head, Robert Mueller.  Mueller is universally respected on both sides of the aisle, and there seemed some sense of relief when the appointment was made. You’ve seen all this news, but I thought that the most helpful recap of the last two weeks was put together by the editors at the Weekly Standard.  Helpful excerpt:

Trump defenders are fond of saying there’s no hard evidence of collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government. Fair enough. But Trump’s first national security adviser resigned because of misleading claims he made in relation to his contacts with a Russian official. Trump’s campaign chairman resigned amid questions about his work for pro-Putin politicians and entities. And a foreign policy adviser quit after questions about his continuing contact with Russians. Justifiably or not, such a string of coincidences raises suspicions. The president himself will benefit enormously if an investigation widely seen as thorough, professional, impartial, and independent dispels them.

What are we to think of all of this?  As a Christian who is an American, I am always hopeful and desirous that the truth comes to light – and especially so at this stage of a potential scandal. As painful as truth can be, it often serves as a disinfectant in the political world, and a good reset. Remember, there are many important policy matters that are still being worked on, such as tax reform, and finishing the healthcare reform (the Senate is sitting on it at present).

The second thing to note is just how powerful words are in the life of our country. I was reading Hannah Arendt’s classic work ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’ this week, and it struck me as incredible that the German high command had created an entirely new vocabulary to use in the case of any discussion of the Final Solution, or death camps etc. The reason being that they knew that over time their words would have a demoralizing, and even an unhinging effect on soldiers downstream in the chain of command. So they had to speak in their own version of newspeak in order to keep sanity in the ranks.  I’m not making a one-to-one comparison of the political situation, but pointing out that the power of words that come down from on high (so to speak) in the American government are often dispensed with too much ease and not enough thought by our leaders. Words matter, and even more so the words of very powerful people. Lives hang in the balance, wars are started, markets shift and fluctuate based on the words of leaders.

Perhaps the most caustic example from the last few weeks came in a story first written (I believe) in the New York Times entitled Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation’.  Growing up, my parents had a rule that you never said anything bad about your family to your friends. If you had an issue with your brother, that’s between you and him and you weren’t to slander him to your best friend. It was a big no-no in our home.  The family is sacred, and they come first.  They knew something of the power of words.  What Trump has allegedly done here is sold out his family, his fellow American, in order to score points with a “friend.”  This isn’t behavior fitting for any leader, much less our President, and I hope it doesn’t prove to be simply the tip of the iceberg.

Moving on…but not really: Dwayne Johnson Sounds Pretty Serious About Running for President.  That was probably one of the most discouraging headlines of the week. I literally got done reading all the stupid things going on in Washington, and then read this story and just about lost my lunch. America, please….please do not tell me that we’re going to make ‘The Rock’ our next President…

Did anyone see this???  Dutch King Reveals Secret Life As Part-Time Pilot On KLM Airline.  WHAT????  Like, when did he have TIME for that?  How did no one know of this (it’s been going on for a few decades)? What bank account were they sending those pilot checks to?  What did he put on the application as his current or last job “I am your lord and sovereign the king”?  This is Monty Python stuff. 

More of the ridiculous…Turkish leader comes to visit our cozy capital and his thugs beat down protestors (some of which are AMERICANS). I mean, think of this, if it was the middle ages that king wouldn’t have made it back to his horse – our king would have thrown him in the tower, raised and army, and slaughtered his people like chickens headed to a Chik-Fil-A staff retreat!  If it were just a hundred years ago, we would have had another world war on our hands. Incidents less crazy led to WWI for heaven’s sake. Today it just barely makes it into the Daily Show, because, alas, we’re a bit busy with other scandals at the moment, and key allies like the king of Denmark couldn’t be reached for advice due to the fact that it was time for the in-flight coffee service.

I saw this article, Who’s in Charge of Outer Space?and thought immediately of my friend Tyler, a bright young attorney who had already seen the article by the time I’d sent it to him, and had told me months ago about this way big corporations are tangling with the legal implications of who owns what in space…I hope the king of Denmark isn’t in charge because I’m told he’s really hard to get a hold of.

Hilarious: The Bee Explains: Calvinism Vs. Arminianism

This was pretty cool: This is an American Workday, By Occupation

Erickson must have been a bit depressed this week: Aesop’s Washington: Perhaps It is Time to Dissolve Our Union.  The sad thing is that he has a few good points but they don’t come until the very end. The reason I post stuff from Erick is because he’s an influential voice on the right in American politics, and when he starts sounding alarms, then you know that there will be a few ripples (maybe even felt by monarchs cruising the atmosphere).

This was a good reset…from David Mathis: Set the Soundtrack of Your Mind.  His first sentence is really one of the great takeaways, “Leave your mind on autopilot (like the king of Denmark?), and distractions will dictate your life. Set your mind above, and God will.”

The Culture: Americans Hold Record Liberal Views on Moral Issues.  Al Mohler featured this as part of a Briefing this week.  It’s worth digging that up for some commentary if you want more context. But the key takeaway is that, other than abortion, Americans are more liberal on every moral issue we face today.  My personal opinion is that Hollywood and the movie and TV show industries are the key culprits, though we are all responsible for what we put before our eyes. What you watch, read, listen to changes you as much as who you hang out with or admire. We were designed this way. We become what we behold.

What I didn’t get to but want to: How Pixar Lost Its Way (basically how Disney ruined Pixar…shocker, I know)

FYI, not a headline most probably saw: Sessions delivers on gang crackdown: Over 1,000 arrested.

Beautiful rendition of It Is Well with My Soul was sent my way this week (h/t Matt R.)

There was certainly some ridiculous stuff going on this week – some of it was so outlandish that I am unsure how to appropriately or helpfully comment on it. But one of the things that come to mind when I read about this nonsense is just how broken the world is, and how fallen we all are from grace. Sometimes it seems like the glimpses of heaven are few and far between – heck, just a glimpse of NORMAL boring life would be a nice change for a country (and world) wracked by drama, discord, and divers dilemmas (like the alliteration?!).  What is your reaction when you read these stories?  What do you think after the thought of “boy this world is messed”? My next thought is that yes, while it is messed up, and while people are estranged from any sense of normal sometimes, it was into this state of things that Jesus stepped 2000 years ago.  The world wasn’t any less messed up then as it is now (trust me, I’ve read the history books and it wasn’t pretty).  Yet into that mess, he stepped.

The thing about being a Christian is that your eyes are opened to how messy things really are – you start seeing not only the reality behind the mess, but you see your own evil as well.  I realized again this morning just how things stood in my life before God entered in. The Apostle Paul describes is well:

Romans 5:6-11 says this…

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. [7] For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—[8] but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. [9] Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. [10] For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. [11] More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

God didn’t save people who were good and just on the brink of greatness. He didn’t come into a world that had political order, and justice and grace all figured out.  He entered a world of slavery, disease, and oppression. This was a world riddled with evil – evil people doing evil things.

Knowing my own state of things prior to Christ, and my proclivity to still do and say hurtful, messed up things, helps me to show mercy on those in the political space who we read about in these stories.  But for the grace of God, I would be on my way to hell and rightfully so.  Therefore my reaction to crazy news items and mismanaged leadership in the White House and Congress is to yes, first shake my head in incredulity, but to then show mercy and recall my own state.  Things need fixing in this world – politically and otherwise – but it starts at the individual level. Reconciliation with God begets social peace and reconciliation with our neighbors.  Pray for the eyes of leaders to be opened to these truths, and for wisdom to follow repentance.

Enjoy the weekend,


Weekend Reading: May 13, 2018

Welcome to the weekend!  It’s a beautiful day in Columbus, OH and I’m going to spend most of my day shuttling around kids from birthday parties to soccer games, but before I turn on the meter, I wanted to pass along some stories and books I found enjoyable this week.  Here we go…

The big News Item this morning: Dozens of countries hit by huge cyberextortion attack

The attack infected computers with what is known as “ransomware” — software that locks up the user’s data and flashes a message demanding payment to release it. In the U.S., FedEx reported that its Windows computers were “experiencing interference” from malware, but wouldn’t say if it had been hit by ransomware.

I’m not sure there are any words that do this justice, but here’s a story you need to be aware of: The Horror of Human Embryo Jewelry. There are many times when I read a story about IVF, or surrogacy, (or something in the field of fertilization for parents hoping to have kids) and I really hesitate to write anything at all. Sometimes I think science goes too far.  Other times I think parents go too far.  Still, many times I’m awed by the breakthroughs that have saved lives and helped improve pregnancies and opportunities. So much is left to discernment, and often I hesitate to hoist my opinion on anyone else who may have a more intimate understanding of things.  That said, this isn’t one of those stories where you’re left wondering if they’ve gone too far. It’s the most sinister thing I’ve read about all week – and that includes a pretty wide patch of content.

The biggest political story of the week was the firing of James Comey.  I try not to litter my these posts with news you already know. But the fallout and commentary have been interesting.  After the firing, the White House put together their defense, which pretty much made sense, even if the optics weren’t awesome.  BUT then, the President decided that he couldn’t let it go. I have to agree with Erick Erickson that it would have been better to simply not say anything:

He does himself and those around him absolutely no favors. He has done more harm than good. And the kicker is I think he is lying to boot. Donald Trump has an overwhelming need to make it all about himself. And if he fired Comey based on someone else’s advice, it would not be about him and his brilliant skills.

Then, President Trump decided to get on Twitter and threaten Comey:

So there is some critique from the left, from the right, and here’s one from the center-right: Trump Gets Himself in Hot Water‐‐Again (Fred Barnes).  Barnes isn’t as harsh in his commentary and reminds us the facts as they are available, and the rights and prerogatives of the President.

Now, add in this one that flew under the radar (no pun intended): Our Luddite-in-Chief Wants ‘G-D Steam’ Not Technology For The Navy.

What do we get when we put all this together? Comey probably needed sacking (see this: Comey called Trump ‘crazy’ after Obama wiretapping claims: report) – even the Democrats wanted him gone. But our President, in speaking quickly and with such bravado, has shown himself amazingly adept in stepping in it. I don’t question the heart of the man, or that his intentions are good – we all want him to succeed!  But his mouth and his ego have continually gotten him in trouble. If I were advising the President, I would have him read Proverbs every day before signing into Twitter or giving interviews. Proverbs tells us that “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly” (15:2), that “A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul” (18:7), and of course (and perhaps most famous), “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent” (17:28).

Why do I even bring this to your attention? Not really for policy reasons, which we might agree with the President on, but for the purposes of increasing discernment.  There have been some who have asked, “Do you think that Dobson was right and that Trump is really a Christian?”  No one can judge a man’s soul but God, but I do know that the words of our Savior, “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16).  Zero fruit here, only nasty tweets…errr…thorns.  Here’s the point:  It’s crucial to be praying for the President, and it’s wonderful to politically engage your mind and support, defend etc good policies he promotes.  Yet don’t be fooled and don’t think he is something he is not. If indeed he were a Christian, my words would be even harsher, for then I could judge him as a brother in Christ, and chastisement would be more appropriate. Yet, I see him for what he likely is and provide him the grace of knowing his motives, his mind, and his words will not look like our Lord’s.

Here’s a good example of some policies the President ought to be praised for: China to allow US beef exports after deal on trade issues with US

The latest in the sexual revolution: Knox County judge grants woman rights of ‘husband’ in Tennessee’s first same-sex divorce

And since controversy seems to be the order of the day here in this post, why not continue? ha!  Here’s a thoughtful blog re: Jen Hatmaker.  She and her allies have been decrying all the “character assassination” taking place out there due to her taking an un-biblcal stand on gay marriage.  Good summary here:

The church has failed to love those who identify as gay and lesbian and transgender in a great many ways. As Rosaria Butterfield said, the Gospel is on a collision course with these issues. More and more, those who claim Christ and have large platforms, like Hatmaker, are falling in step with our culture’s failing moral compass and are willing to compromise the truth of the Gospel on the Altar of Nice. I can see how it may be tempting to do the easy thing, but lying is sinful. Lying about the Law of God is shameful. To encourage those in their sin is abhorrent. It is the opposite of love.

For you golf fanatics out there, Phil Mickleson’s caddy “bones” has 10 tips for us for reading greens (h/t Alex W.)

Crazy Video: Cabin Swept Away in Rain (by the way…what is the deal with the Weather Channel and all their videos? It’s like they have nothing else going on, so why not just post up a bunch of videos…or what?)

This was helpful this week: You Can Defeat Distraction

Talk about a controversy, this is one that has wracked the church for eons: If God is good, how could he command a holy war? 

TECH: The Future of Trucking When Machines Take the Wheel (from Wired) 

Foreign Policy…from the Economist: Emmanuel Macron has a history buff’s view of Islam and religious strife

Books: This week I read Sinclair Ferguson’s short profile on John Owen, which was really enjoyable and helpful. He summarized the theology and the focus of Owen, and give a snapshot of the man himself – a man I didn’t know much about.  Owen was politically connected and was a spiritual advisor to Oliver Cromwell. A fascinating time in England’s history to play a prominent role in public life!  Owen, so it seems, was a very good-natured man, and his theology was intensely focused on the Trinity.  I also downed J. Gresham Machin’s classic ‘Christianity and Liberalism‘ – amazing how prescient he was…scary.  Additionally, I’ve been working through the complete Sherlock Holmes collection, which means that I’ve been going through 5-7 short stories and novels of his a week.  My favorite from this week was ‘The Valley of Fear’, which is a two-part story spanning several continents, and is very creative!   I’m slowly nibbling my way through Roger Christian’s ‘Cinema Alchemist’.  It’s really insightful and holds all manner of little-known information about set dressing for movies, and how the original Start Wars movie got made. That said, it’s one of the most poorly written books I’ve ever read!  It’s like the guy didn’t bother to do any editing…at all. Yet for the Star Wars junkie, it’s a must-read.

That’s it!  Enjoy your weekend.

Weekend Reading: May 6, 2017

Welcome to the weekend!  It’s been an active news week, and I have several interesting articles, books, and videos etc for you to consider…here we go…

The big news of the week was the healthcare bill passage in the House of Reps. Still, a lot of politics left here – the bill moves to the Senate, where things are sure to change a bit.  Aside from the coverage debate, I hadn’t noticed the pro-life aspects of the bill until I saw a release from Susan B. Anthony List, which pointed out the following:

First, the legislation stops the Obamacare abortion expansion by preventing taxpayer funding of health care plans that cover abortion on-demand. Second, the bill redirects taxpayer dollars away from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, to health care centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventative care to women and girls.

ALSO…The President signed an order on religious liberty this week. But as Joe Carter sums up, it’s not like it will change a whole heck of a lot...excerpt:

The scope of the order is so limited that even opposition groups are shrugging at the news. For example, earlier today the ACLU said they would be suing the Trump administration over the order. But after they read the text of the order they announced on Twitter: “We thought we’d have to sue Trump today. But it turned out the order signing was an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome.”

On the religious liberty front, you might have missed this story: A Court-Martial for a Bible Verse. This is an opinion piece from WSJ, and sets the scene pretty well.

Continuing on that theme…Fox Headline: Bible reading not allowed before class, professor tells student (h/t Rod K.). In my own experience, this isn’t surprising whatsoever. Many of my profs in undergrad were so anti-Christian that they didn’t even bother hiding it – and that was 15 years ago.

Since there is some talk among the liber elites about Mark Zuckerberg possibly running for President, I thought it a good idea to revisit an article on his worldview – specifically as it relates to Facebook‘s role in human history.  It’s hard to glean much unless you pay close attention, but the key is his worldview is formulated by the idea that history sees men as continually striving for unity – of course, he wants to provide that unity online. That hasn’t worked out quite how he’s hoped (and he knows this). Normally, this would be when you would check your worldview assumptions, but not so here, I’m afraid. Pay close attention to him in the coming year…

Along similar (and more recent) lines: Facebook Hiring 3,000 People to Monitor Live Video for Violence

Interesting history: The Nazi Who Infiltrated National Geographic

PRIVACY ALERT: NSA collected Americans’ phone records despite law change: report.  I mean…are you kidding me?

Some interesting photography here: Get a Skewed View of the American West Through These Bent-Horizon Photos

For Parents of tweens and teens: Educators and school psychologists raise alarms about ‘13 Reasons Why’

THE FUTURE: You’ve likely been hearing about Elon Musk’s tunneling project in California, but this week one of his companies released a vision for what this tunneling actually ought to lead to (at least in his mind).  There’s an interesting video as you scroll down in the piece that is really all you need to watch to get the idea…anyway…there’s a highway expert that is quoted in the article as well to balance out the fawning.

In Case you Missed it: The Tiffany Way: CBS, John Dickerson Silent on Stephen Colbert’s Profane, Gay-Baiting Attack on Trump

And – in the “I’m sure you missed it” category: Feds in Florida: Burlington College Probe Goes the Distance. This is about the wife of Bernie “Socialist” Sanders.

From the Weekly Standard: Oh, the Irony of the Backlash Against Bret Stephens.  Their subtitle helps explain everything and reads “All he did was warn liberal elites against the danger of hubris. What could possibly go wrong?”  If you read through this, you’ll quickly understand why I found it interesting, and why the writers at the Standard did as well. We all have to take a lesson here from the knee-jerk reaction of the liberal elites and ask ourselves this question: when someone questions my theory of things or my opinions, how do I react? Do I have enough humility to explore their critique honestly? Where are they coming from? What sorts of things might be influencing their writing or their opinion of my writing?

TRUMP: One of the difficult stories to read about (at least for me) this week was this situation where the President mistakenly spoke of Andrew Jackson as being upset about the Civil War (Jackson was dead before the Civil War took place). Trump subsequently talked about the Civil War as if it was something that could have been easily avoided had Jackson been in charge. The hubris of the statement is found in the fact that Trump sees his Presidency as analogous to that of Jackson’s. In his mind, he Jackson reincarnated.  Now, I often find that arrogance and ignorance, when combined, make for a very nauseous combination. Interestingly, and unfortunately, it’s been my experience that they often go together. Such is the case here, it would seem. Of course, many Presidents make mistakes, often because they are having to talk about such a variety of things, and people, and situations that it’s impossible to be right 100% of the time. You really have to rely on your staff to help inform you of a great deal. However, in this (and other) instance I think we’re dealing with a man who simply doesn’t know his history very well. So woefully ignorant of history is this President, and so confident in his pronouncements, that I doubt we’ve seen the last of these types of remarks. As a student of history, I know that there is so much I don’t know, that to speak confidently about something or someone in history that I haven’t really read much on, is tantamount to factual suicide.

So how do we react to this kind of thing? George Will (old guard conservative) was aghast, The NYTimes (liberal elites) was baffled.  My reaction was (initially) to just shake my head. I guess I’m not surprised.  But it’s my hope and prayer that the advisors surrounding the President are able to fill in the knowledge gaps, and provide him with the historical picture he needs to make the proper decisions.  I think Will has overreacted here. The first thing that intellectual elites (on both sides) run to is “oh no! this man has the nuclear codes!”  But, in truth, those war decisions (ESPECIALLY) are made with a room full of bright counselors, and it has been Trump’s modus operendi to listen to folks like that carefully. So I’m not as concerned about those decisions as others. A good leader surrounds him/herself with smart people and then makes decisions based on what they say. It’s the inability to make decisions or making decisions in cowardly and craven ways, that has been the hallmark of Presidents like Obama and Carter. I don’t think we have that kind of situation here.

FYI – for you anglophiles: Buckingham Palace Says Prince Philip Will Stop Carrying Out Engagements

TECH: Keep an eye on this! Should be really interesting development in the coming months…Hulu Just Launched Its Live TV Streaming Service

The Politics of Abortion: Dems face abortion divide in debate over party’s futureKeep an eye on this.  There is a battle brewing in the Democratic Party over how focused they should be on abortion, and whether or not being “pro-choice” ought to be a litmus test for Dems in primary contests. Perez, the new DNC chair, says “ya” that’s how it ought to be – he thinks that any Dem who is pro-life ought not to be included in the party.  Perez is a dolt., and Nancy Pelosi, the queen of abortion rights, even realizes this. That’s what prompted the story I posted above. She knows that Dems rely on African-Americans, Hispanics, and Catholics as major components of their political coalition, and many people in these groups are pro-life. Some have estimated that Perez would essentially be telling 1/3 of Democratic voters “we don’t want you.”   On a very similar front, Hillary Clinton won a big award from Planned Parenthood this week, and during her speech, she had some thoughts on the Handmaid’s Tale (from Vanity Fair, so read with a grain of heavily seasoned salt).  I have never seen or read this show/book, but I know it’s a dystopia about the future and the government’s control of reproductive rights. How is it that the left doesn’t see the irony in all of this?  Have they never read Huxley or Orwell?  Have they no sense in which the culture is actually heading? Of course they have and do! They aren’t living in another reality (I don’t think), but Clinton and Planned Parenthood are using bad dystopian fiction as a crop to beat their opponents. Women’s rights and reproductive rights aren’t the same things, even if they are being used analogously. This is why: “rights” only extend to a certain point. No one, woman or man, has the “right” to kill another person simply out of convenience. What about the “rights” of that baby?

Interestingly, the argument extends beyond abortion to the rights of all people as well.  And this Vanity Fair article is helpful in examining what the left really thinks.  Here they all were – the leftist elites celebrating the culture of death at a Planned Parenthood gala, where their views were not all couched in political jargon.  Here’s an example we need to examine:

The night’s other honoree was Shonda Rhimes, one-woman television hit maker, who had Meryl Streep on hand for an introduction. (Rhimes also directed Clinton’s Democratic National Convention video.) Streep praised Rhimes’s indefatigable work ethic at ABC and with Planned Parenthood, and highlighted how Rhimes handled the backlash to an abortion plot line in Scandal:

In Rhimes’s speech, which followed, she laid out some guiding principles of Shondaland, the shorthand for her television empire. “Some people say that’s not reality, the world doesn’t run that way, and I say it’s Shondaland. It’s my world. I run it how I want to.” she said. “And maybe that’s my goal. It’s not to reflect the world, it’s to show you how a world works when a woman runs things. Women really should be running things. But we aren’t, not yet. But there’s so much work to be done and not a lot of time to do it.”

The militancy of the feminist left is almost on par with the militancy of the LBGT community.  This calls for discernment. In the workplace, people should be valued for the contributions they make on the job, and not simply for their skin color or their gender.  That women were held back for a long time had to do with many giant social factors (war, manufacturing booms, personal prejudices, less time for the workforce, less education), some of which were very ugly and sinful- no doubt. But as we seek a way forward in this country, we ought to be treating people as valuable for what they do and respecting them for who they are. If who they are and what they do is disgusting, unproductive, and harmful (or if they simply don’t add value), then they don’t deserve elevation or promotion.  We can’t pull others down simply to elevate people for the sake of their skin, or gender, or who they are sleeping with. That’s reverse discrimination, and it’s not going to help build a stronger society.

Uh Oh….Uber Under Criminal Investigation For Avoiding Regulators

Speaking of legal issuesComey: Huma Abedin regularly sent classified info to Anthony Weiner

Foreign Policy FYI: Russian bombers, fighter jets fly near Alaska, prompting Air Force escort. Looks like the Russians are testing our response times…

Sign of the Times: Report finds skyrocketing rate of babies going through opiate withdrawal. This is a sad read.


This week I finished the well-known Sherlock Holmes book ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ and really enjoyed it. Many of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock stories are quite a bit shorter, and I enjoyed this one a great deal, and I think the length had something to do with it. He kept the narrative going, and it was enjoyable to focus on just one plot for a longer period of time than is usual with his stories. Normally it seems like just when you’re beginning to get into the plot, things wrap up super fast.

I also finished ‘The Sampson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy’ There are some absolutely fascinating insights here. I especially enjoyed learning about the different ways in which American Presidents interacted with Israel’s leadership.

Additionally, I finished Phil Knight’s biography, ‘Shoe Dog’.  This was one of the best business-bios I’ve read. As a native of Portland, I was interested to read this but was pretty sure at the outset that it would detail the relationships with superstar athletes and Phil Knight’s glorious star-studded life. It was nothing of the sort, which made it wonderful. Not only was this one of the most engagingly written books of my year thus far, but it was absolutely fascinating. There’s a lot about his supply chain issues, his travels, his thinking, his failures, and his family. All of it interesting. Highly recommend.

I’m currently reading ‘The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World’, and ‘The Titanic’s Last Hero: A Startling True Story That Can Change Your Life Forever’ among other things (my book list is here). Both of these are interesting, though the former is quickly rising to a top 10 of the year type of book. It details the Guinness family and some of the history surrounding beer as well. Absolutely fascinating stuff so far.

That’s it!  Have a great weekend!