Pat and Ernie’s Wild Ride
By Ernie Witham   |   May 17, 2022

…proceed to the route… proceed to the route… proceed to the route. I took out my gun and I shot Siri. “Actually, it’s against the rental car company’s policy to shoot holes in the dashboard,” my wife informed me. “According to page 15 of the rental form, they charge extra for that.” I looked at […]

How to Stop the Killing in Ukraine?
By Bob Hazard   |   May 10, 2022

The Russian military strategy for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has been to unleash a campaign of genocide, defined as “the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation (or ethnic group) with the aim of destroying that nation (or group).” A deliberate attempt to maximize civilian casualties using targeted cruise […]

 

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That’s Entertainment
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   May 3, 2022

Believe it or not, the original meaning of “to entertain” was “to hold together.” But, when you come to think of it, that isn’t so far from what it still means today. People are held together by watching the same show, enjoying the same songs or jokes, admiring the same performers, feeling the same emotions […]

Are People Basically Good or Evil? Pt. 1
By Robert Bernstein   |   May 3, 2022

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is the latest situation that might lead us to think that people under the surface are evil and only a thin veneer of civilization protects us. My college lady friend recently introduced me to the book Humankind that takes this on. Many issues are raised, and this will be the first […]

Loss
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   April 26, 2022

We have it on good Biblical authority that Humanity’s whole story started with having Paradise, and then losing it. Of course, nobody ever died in Paradise – but since then, everybody has. One of my favorite poets is A.E. Housman. And I particularly like this four-line epitaph he wrote, honoring some of the British volunteers […]

Something’s Got to Give
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   April 19, 2022

Although it has now become a somewhat ritualized procedure, particularly associated with Christmas and birthdays, the practice of gift-giving has a long and colorful history in our culture. According to a leading authority (St. Paul, quoting Jesus), “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Far be it from me to question anybody’s holy […]

Can We Trust Eyewitness Testimony?
By Robert Bernstein   |   April 12, 2022

“Who are you going to believe, me, or your lying eyes?” Variations of this quote date back to Chico Marx in Duck Soup and earlier. Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus has testified in criminal trials that eyewitness testimony is not as trustworthy as it seems. Loftus has shown that it is easy to implant false memories of […]

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Trial by Combat
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   April 12, 2022

One of the best tests of a civilization, is how disputes are settled. You can’t prevent them from arising. There are just too many different ways people can come into conflict with each other, particularly over territory, property, or sexual relations. Methods of settlement can range from pure force to peaceful adjudication. Of course, both […]

Taking Aim
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 29, 2022

Archery began with the discovery that a propelled arrow could travel farther than a thrown spear – but has subsequently gone in many strange directions. In late Victorian England, there were two outstanding schools for women, which each had an eminent headmistress. At the North London Collegiate School for Ladies, there was Frances Mary Buss; […]

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Come to Your Senses
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 22, 2022

You have probably heard the story about “The Princess and the Pea,” which was made famous in our culture by Hans Christian Andersen (but is, like most fairy tales, traceable far back to other times and places). The essence of the tale is that a girl who has claimed to be a Princess is subjected […]

Sacrifice for a Better Future?
By Robert Bernstein   |   March 22, 2022

With Putin’s attack on Ukraine, many of us wrote to President Biden to ask him to cut off Russian oil imports, even if it meant a rise in prices and/or rationing. In my message I called on him to speak to the American people to sacrifice for a greater good. I talked of how my […]

Looking for the Best Pot
By Ernie Witham   |   March 15, 2022

Bonsai pot, that is.  I gave up the other kind of pot when my last lava lamp died. “Dude, Check it out. I think it’s just as groovy when it doesn’t do anything.” “Righteous.” I sold all my bongs at a yard sale. “Excuse me, did you use reverse osmosis water in this one or […]

On the Side of the Angels
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 15, 2022

One of the religious ideas I find most attractive is that of divine intervention – particularly in the form of guardian angels. How wonderful to feel that, if things get really bad, there is a specially appointed agent of the deity who is assigned to protect you personally. Many religions and cultures promulgate ideas of […]

Time for World Government?
By Robert Bernstein   |   March 8, 2022

As I write this, Putin is brutally attacking Ukraine. Do these things really still happen in the 21st century? Is it finally time to put an end to such unilateral behavior with a world government? The idea goes back to ancient times, when it was largely promoted by powerful emperors who wanted to expand their […]

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