Monthly Archives: November 2011

Keeping tradition alive

I’ve recently been digging into Twain’s Innocents Abroad. I carry it around on my phone’s Kindle app, so usually I read a few “locations” at a time while waiting in line in the supermarket or killing time somewhere. Today I … Continue reading

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On books, bookshops and Kindle babies

I’m reminded, now more than ever, of something Arthur Miller (yes, that Arthur Miller) told me as we sat together in his kitchen on 68th St. in Manhattan. “One day in the future” — this was around 1999 or 2000 … Continue reading

Posted in Man About Rome | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Another tough Egyptian woman

Mona Eltahawy was beaten and sexually assaulted yesterday by Egyptian police. They broke her left arm, her right hand and “surrounded me, groped and prodded my breasts, grabbed my genital area and I lost count how many hands tried to … Continue reading

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Making sacrifices

“Mario Monti has guaranteed sacrifices for everyone. Now we expect him to trim the more than 5 billion Euro a year in public funds which are diverted to various guises of the Catholic Church.” – Raffaele Carcano, UAAR It seems … Continue reading

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Aliaa Magda Elmahdy has my support

In my view, there are few issues as pressing as secularism. In Europe we largely take it for granted. While religions still benefit from enormous privileges in probably every country and society (see here for Italy), its influence has been … Continue reading

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Extra! Extra! Pope smooches imam!

The Freethinker brought this to my attention: Apparently the BBC wouldn’t risk reproducing the image on their website, and even Benetton removed it from theirs. The ad is part of a campaign pitting “world leaders who are often at loggerheads, … Continue reading

Posted in Religious idiocy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Making stuff up

Watch Jerry Coyne get pugnacious on theologian John Haught. If ever a theologian was his own worst enemy, it is Haught. (Just try and follow his logic; you’ll get nowhere.) Coyne’s verdict: theologians “make stuff up.” (At the end of … Continue reading

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Jewishness without god

The following short essay was written for Moment Magazine’s 2011 “Elephant in the Room” contest. The question put to all contestants was, What does it mean to be Jewish without belief in God? 500 words isn’t much space to elaborate in, but … Continue reading

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