Wednesday, August 02, 2006

From Baalbek to America's Taliban

Good morning. Several new items today.

  • If you missed the Tuesday column, say your prayers: Pierre looks at America's Evangelical Taliban and finds few differences with its Islamic variants--incitements to violence included: "At this late stage of the Bush rapture, American evangelism is a lot like the Exxon Valdez: Massive, sloshing with oily energy and not a little drunk on its power as it steers through hazards of its own designs. The moment evangelicals began tearing down the church-state wall, the rubble became their shoals. The wreck will be ugly." See "America's Evangelical Taliban..."
  • News was trickling out late Tuesday evening of an Israeli airborne assault on Baalbek, the town in eastern Lebanon's Bekaa Valley that's home to some of the greatest Roman ruins. Here's a more personal and at times sappy essay that has nothing to do with politics and the war, and everything to do with a boyhood's memories of one's father in the ruins of Baalbek several decades ago: "In My Father's Court: Baalbek..."
  • Horn-tooting time: I was interviewed and The Notebooks featured in a religion column by Cary McMullen of The Ledger in Lakeland (the New York Times-owned daily where I used to work), in the context of--what else, Lebanon's tap-dance between Israel and Hezbollah. See the column in full...
  • A busy day for Candide's Recommendations: The latest Orwellian chicaneries from Ehud Olmert, Stiletto diplomacy from Condi Rice, unsurprising bigotry from Mel Gibson, whose latest act is a Richard Nixon impersonation, a round-up of bloggers' views, and quite a bit more. All in Candide's Garden...
As always, remember that the Notebooks update throughout the day. Join the conversation, drop in a comment or two, and thanks for