Shire Network News #102 has been released. The feature interview is with Reut Cohen, a student at UC Irvine, who documents anti-Semitism on campus. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary segment.


Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network New, asking you to “Consider This”.

This is a Blogosphere News Roundup; a BNR on SNN. My own little version of the Blog News segment but missing the wonderfully funky segue music.

First up is a new movie from Brian De Palma, entitled “Redacted”, which attempts to paint all US soldiers in a bad light by highlighting, in gory detail, the rape of girl and the murder of her family by 5 soldiers. De Palma calls this “the reality of what is happening in Iraq”.

This incident is horrifying, no doubt about that. But isn’t calling that “the reality” sort of like looking closely at an ant hill in my 1-acre yard and thus, by extension, condemning my house since it must be overrun by ants? De Palma blames the US for this atrocity, which may be fair enough, but he also blames the US for the beheadings by al Qaeda. Heads, it’s our fault. Tails, the fault is ours. After all, if only we weren’t in Iraq, all these al Qaeda types would instead be sipping lemonade by the pool, and their new motto would be “Live and Let Live”. And if you believe that, I’ve got a couple of towers in downtown Manhatten I’d like to sell you.

De Palma’s next film will declare that the continent of Africa is devoid of people after filming 100 square yards of Saharan real estate. Working title: “The Bonfire of the Insanities”.

Next up, Senator Hillary Clinton was found to have taken campaign money from a man of questionable ethics. Hmm, fugitive raises money for a Clinton. Eh, never mind, no real news there.

But speaking of the US presidential campaign, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama picked up a key endorsement on Wednesday; the late Fidel Castro. Fidel, from beyond the grave, said that a Clinton/Obama ticket would be “invincible”. Castro should know something about invincibility; not even his death can keep him from writing editorials. (Yes, yes, I know Castro’s death has not been confirmed, but really; a Communist leader who took ill and has not been seen in months? These guys need to get an original script. I hear Brian De Palma has just come into some free time.)

In Sydney, Australia, thousands of Christians protested and set on fire the building where the religious art competition, the Blake prize, was showing off their entries. Among them was a statue of the Virgin Mary in a burqa, and a holographic image that morphed between Jesus and Osama bin Laden, which enrage Christians to the point of rioting. Heh, yeah, right, you knew better than that. Oh, the art exhibits do indeed exist. It’s just that the worst things that happened were a few tut-tuts from a number of folks including Prime Minister John Howard, and some angry phone calls. Hey fellas, I’ve got some Danish cartoons I’d like to enter in your contest. You’re open to all religions, right? Right?

It’s been 2 years since hurricane Katrina blew through New Orleans. The flood waters rose, the levees were broken, people were driven from their homes, and now President Bush is visiting there. I believe that according to my reading of the book of Exodus, locusts should be next.

And finally, from the news site The Australian comes this headline: “A nuclear-armed Iran would not be good”. Indeed. A sworn enemy of the West with one of the most powerful weapons on the face of the Earth could ruin your whole afternoon. I wonder if, 2 years ago, there might have been an article headlined, “Bad Storm Hit New Orleans”.

All yours, Brian.

    Filed under: ChristianityEthics & MoralityIranIslamMilitaryMoviesPodcastsReligionShire Network News

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