Observations, Politics-Government, Religion.

Apocalyptic politics

Donald Trump's latest international provocation, the decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, marches Trump-backing evangelicals a step closer to their deeply held desire for the fulfillment of Biblical end-times prophecies. A recent CNN article by Diana Bass suggests that, for many evangelicals, Jerusalem is about prophecy, not politics. I would partially agree: It is about prophecy, but it is also explicitly about politics.

Reviews.

Evolution and Truth

Book Briefly Noted, Title Why Evolution Is True, Author Jerry A. Coyne, Rating 3.5,

Why Evolution Is True

Jerry A. Coyne

Briefly Noted

Why Evolution Is True has been hailed by some as a clear-eyed exposition of modern evolutionary biology. I found it strong on the science, and disappointingly weak on the intellectual discipline.

Observations.

With liberty and justice for all

Is kneeling during the playing of the national anthem unpatriotic? I served my country, and honor those with whom I served and those who have fallen in service of our country. I also acknowledge those who have fallen at the hands of a police officer during a traffic stop. It is not an either/or proposition. Love of country for me includes looking critically at things that need to be changed.

Poetry.

I shall to sleep

I shall to sleep while you are yet dancing
over the endless tile,
sliding, eliding in hectic half-measures,
amid the fractious bile.

I shall to sleep while you are rejoicing,
savoring sweet ecstacy,
enchantment, affection, brief understanding,
moments of found harmony.

I shall to sleep while you are at worship,
leaving your self behind,
Seeking a place for inner surrender,
hoping for faith unrefined.

I shall to sleep while you are triumphant,
making a place for yours,
pounding out beats of perpetual striving,
as whispering worry implores.

I shall to sleep while you yet falter,
yearning for absolutes,
and do you sense that such is elusive,
in spite of your heartfelt pursuits?

I shall to sleep knowing you follow
my path inexorable,
struggle and breathe, discover its gifts,
life ever ends for us all.

So think I on you while I am yet living,
watching at one remove,
in my minds eye your burdens your joys,
yearning your pains to soothe.

Films, Reviews.

Is truculence alienation?

Movie Review, Title Five Easy Pieces, Studio Columbia TriStar, Rating 3.0,

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

Director: Bob Rafelson

Movie Review

The movie Five Easy Pieces was all the rage when it was made, a tale of alienation in a time when many fancied themselves agents of great change, so I decided to finally watch the whole thing, having only seen the famous chicken sandwich scene. Jack Nicholson's performance was excellent. The film, alas, for me, was too psychologically brutal to enjoy, and left me wondering what the point was.

Observations.

Shut Up, Legs!

Book Briefly Noted, Title Shut Up, Legs!, Author Jens Voigt, James D. Startt, Rating 3.0,

Shut Up, Legs!

Jens Voigt, James D. Startt

Briefly Noted

Jens Voigt was a wonderful cyclist to watch in the Tour de France. He was an aggressive rider, willing to attack in breakaways with few odds of success, friendly and available before and after a race. His motto, 'Shut Up, Legs!,' can be appreciated by anyone who rides bicycles long distance, or any endurance athlete for that matter: Muscular pain from exertion must be ignored in the pursuit of endurance feats.

Science.

Are there Laws of Medicine?

Book Book Review, Title The Laws of Medicine, Author Siddhartha Mukherjee, Rating 3.5,

The Laws of Medicine

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Book Review

Modern medicine began embracing scientific methods during the last couple of centuries, and in the past one hundred years this has produced an explosion of medical technologies that have aided physicians in significantly controlling some diseases and in particular, extending lives. Today in developed countries, many tests are available for diagnosis and many drugs are available for possible treatment. So why can't physicians today just run a comprehensive battery of tests for every sick patient and spit out a clear diagnosis, and with that, a clear prognosis and plan for a cure? Siddhartha Mukherjee proffers an answer via his Laws of Medicine.