Pursuing Peace

This evening I attended a lecture at Goucher on Jewish-Arab reconciliation. Eliyahu McLean is a founder of the Sulha Peace Project, utilizing indigenous methods of conflict resolution. I arrived late due to the storm, but I caught the bulk of it. It was quite stimulating, and you can discover more via the above links.

I was invited to the lecture by my new friend, "Pierre." He is an orthodox Jew and something of a Dooyeweerdian, having come upon Roy Clouser's views through his various philosophical readings. I certainly look forward to more discussion of the topic.


Crashing The Parties

The Public Broadcasting Service will air a documentary on the other presidential candidates this Wednesday [29th Sept] some time around 10pm. Check your local listings, and spread the word. This is the opportunity you've been waiting for to reflect on your political responsibilities and the up-coming election. Record the program and watch it later if you have to.


Around Town

Jeff and I browsed a flea market today, hoping to find some stuff for the apartment. We didn't find much, although later in the day I did get a full-22 volume hardback set of Calvin's commentaries very economically!

Anyway, we stopped by downtown's Lexington Market to get a drink at the friendly Mt. Kenya Tea & Coffee (check out their page on economic justice). Afterward we visited the St.Jude Shrine, operated by the Pallottines who advocate a kind of R.C. "priesthood of all believers" --if you can imagine it. (Rumor has it that a good friend once prayed there for the return of his beloved cat, seeing as Jude is the patron saint of lost causes).

We also made our way to the newly renovated Botanical Conservatory & Gardens in Druid Hill Park which is adjacent to our new neighborhood. It was very well done. I hope to have a picnic there before winter.
Demonstrations Of Her Power

I mentioned Oprah in the last post, and as any observer of contemporary American culture knows, she is --for good or ill-- one of the most influential opinion-shapers around. She does what academic "public intellectuals" used to do. In her variegated arsenal, Oprah has a book club, and almost every book she reads or recommends shoots straight to the best-sellers list.

This past week, she recommended a sort of romantic self-help book. Before the hour was up (!) every copy in our store was reserved by customers who called in. Every single day since then about 20 women come in to the bookstore asking for the title.

The main premise of the book seems to be that in things romantic (as in general) men are neither confusing or indirect. However, women are ever circuitous and cryptic, constantly trying to interpret the frank and unsymbolic actions of men. This book apparently speaks femalese and helps women understand otherwise obvious male behavior.

Sometimes I say to Oprah: more power to ya.


Home Is Where Your Books Are

This weekend I strolled through the annual Book Fest. I asked the Book-Thing folk if there was any progress on finding a new location (or financial donations). They told me things seem dire, and that I should write Oprah to request help. I also stopped by the CityLit Project tent to say hello to Gregg Wilhelm (but he's a busy guy and wasn't there). I also visited the YPR booth to congratulate them on the quality debut of The Signal, a long overdue radio zine on local arts&culture.

Recently I bought "The Chicago Guide to Your Academic Career: a portable mentor for scholars from graduate school through tenure." So far I have found it quite encouraging. Perhaps I will have opportunity to explore some other books on this list.

The biggest piece of news, however, is that brother Jeff and I are moving into a new apartment in Reservoir Hill the first week of October. Rejoice all you peoples!


Misunderstanding Terrorism

Perhaps you are already familiar with this brief and insightful article by (Dooyeweerdian) Paul Marshall, but it remains relevant and voices my predominant thoughts on this anniversary. Marshall criticizes secular analysts who unwisely ignore the terrorists' own stated goals.

Other pertinent articles from the Center for Public Justice on subjects related to Just War theory and terrorism.


Genesis 2:15 Day

I had the privilege of laboring today. And I'd like to take a moment and thank Almighty God for comrades in the Christian Labour Association of Canada. And together our prayers pour out for the Christian Workers Movement in Cuba, especially those languishing in prison along with other dissidents for justice.


The Scandal Of Free Speech

I'm trying hard to resist political posts. They can get old mighty fast. Anyway, you will notice my "election season" sidebar block for your edification. As a Kuyperian Constitutionalist (to be distinguished from a Calvinist Libertarian), I am sympathetic to much of the thought represented on those sites.

I cannot restrain myself, however, from voicing objection to current campaign finance and election reform bologna. The Democrat and Republican opposition to 527s is disgusting. You'd think they would try to be subtle about it. "Unregulated" "soft" money?... uh, it's called free speech, you despotic dimwits!

I'm also a supporter of open ballot access and open debate. Educate yourself to be a responsible citizen, and don't let the tyrants enslave you.

Just to lighten the mood, check out this pic of Zell Miller at the RNC last week.