"In the central portion of the great North American Continent there lies an arid and repulsive desert, which for many a long year served as a barrier against the advance of civilization. From the Sierra Nevada to Nebraska, and from the Yellowstone River in the north to the Colorado upon the south, is a region of desolation and silence." - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Farm Boy Critiques a Nativity Scene

Why is there a cow in there?

Because Jesus was born in a barn with all the animals.

But one of the cows might think he was hay. That's the problem when you have cows because they don't know very much.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Word from Germany on the Migrant Crisis

From Der Spiegel:
...integration only works if the state doesn't lose control, and Germany at present has lost control. Of course there is a basic human right to asylum, but without an upper limit -- enforced, if necessary, with border controls -- it will be almost impossible to find a way out of the crisis.
This is well said because it provides unpolarized recognition of both the crisis and the plight of refugees, when either element is often denied or ignored.

Read the rest here ("Reflecting on Refugees: A Plea for Measured Debate").

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Child's Guide to Advent

Referring to Advent calendars:
"I like Advent because we get chocolate every day."

Friday, December 4, 2015

Will Russia Sponsor Kurdistan?

Greg R. Lawson writing for The Hill raises an intriguing possibility for the future of the Middle East :
It is not difficult to envision the Syrian Kurds striking a deal with Russia to gain more autonomy, up to and including a de facto state. This is something the West can't do given ties to Turkey and fears of a spillover effect into Turkey itself... Over time, this could represent the beginning of a literal carving up of chunks of southern Turkey.

This would not happen immediately, but Putin can afford to be patient.
The United States has not supported an independent Kurdistan, likely because of a desire to see Iraq succeed, but how exactly does the country that went to war to create Kosovo tell the Kurdish people they don't deserve a state because Turkey is our (dubious) ally?