Sunday, October 17, 2010


Joe Carter over at First Things has a bit of a rant about evangelicals.
There are two types of evangelicals in America: those who naively embrace whatever trendy items happen to be hot sellers at “Christian” bookstores—WWJD? bracelets, Testamints, prayer of Jabez scented candles—and those who shun such kitsch. I am solidly of the second type. Like a good Pharisee, I thank God every day that I’m not like those people.

Michael Totten interviews David Hazony about changes in Israeli political thought. Hazony is not speaking about Likud hardliners, nor even the centrists of Kadima. He is speaking about the Israeli left's disillusionment.
There has been a real awakening, or disillusionment. The dream that said if we give the Palestinians what they want and we’ll have peace once and for all has been abandoned by the majority of Israelis as a direct result of our experience. We had the collapse of the Oslo Accords followed by the failure of Taba and Camp David. This was huge for a lot of Israelis on the left.

Steve Sailer keeps me up-to-date on a matter of European prehistory and genetics. Short version: the prevailing wisdom is changing again, sort of back to an older theory. For now.
For quite a number of decades, it has been apparent that agriculture was first invented in the "Fertile Crescent" of the Middle East, then spread into Europe. But that raised the question of how agriculture spread: did Middle Easterners colonize Europe or did existing European hunter-gatherers pick up Middle Eastern techniques? A couple of decades or so ago, geneticists entered this debate. L.L. Cavalli-Sforza argued that most Europeans today are descended from Middle Eastern farmers. Bryan Sykes responded that most Europeans are descended from indigenous hunter-gatherers who switched to farming.

The latest view is that Cavalli-Sforza was even more right than he claimed.

Theodore Dalrymple explains why prison works, or at least works better than the alternatives.
Mr Clarke was quite right to say that short prison sentences are not effective but, with the practised lack of logic of a man who has spent far too long in politics for the good of his own mind, he has drawn precisely the wrong conclusions from it. His error will cause much unnecessary suffering.


Erin said...

Curious to know what scent prayer of Jabez candles are

Assistant Village Idiot said...

It may be made up, based on the whole Prayer of Jabez fad a few years ago.

Tracy is sensitive to scents, so we wouldn't have had 'em anyway.

Joe Carter said...

It may be made up, based on the whole Prayer of Jabez fad a few years ago.

Oh, how I wish I were. Unfortunately, that is only part of the Jabez merchandise:

***Oregon-based Multnomah Publishers has authorized a cavalcade of official merchandise, including Jabez backpacks, Christmas ornaments, vanilla-scented candles, mouse pads, even a framed artist's conception of Jabez himself. Jewelry is also in the works, but a proposal for Jabez candy bars was rejected. "We want to be careful about not over-commercializing this," says Leslie Nunn Reed, the licensing agent. The goal is to only allow products that help people remember and use the prayer, she says, noting that royalties from the merchandise will be donated to a Bible teaching ministry founded by Wilkinson.***

Ymar said...

Put prison rehabilitation up to the free market. It will solve the problem where government has not.

In point of fact, government already uses private security guards any ways. All they have to do is to make a bid for a contract that focuses on rehabilitation and has negative incentives for recidivism.

Anna said...

what the frig even was the "prayer of jabez" anyhow?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The Wiki is a decent enough summary.

Anna said...

I see now. Good thing it went away.

I might get things thrown at me for saying this, but personally I am waiting for this whole neo-naturalism fad to die down. "God wants us to eat whole grains" get back to earth stuff. "I felt God telling me to eat more local food". I kid you not, I seriously saw a blogger write that once.