The Netanyahu Prophesy

DO THE PRIME MINISTER’S WORDS
PORTEND A GRIM FUTURE?

I once had a neighbor who was an Ethiopian princess.

Belonging to the Makonnen royal family, she was a relative of the late Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. She had studied at Hillsdale College, met and married an American, and settled in Michigan. Her kids used to play in our yard sometimes.

NetanyahuThat former neighbor — or more properly, her illustrious ancestor — came to mind while I was watching Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address Congress Tuesday. I couldn’t help thinking of how Haile Selassie had passionately addressed the League of Nations in 1936 to condemn fascist Italian aggression against Ethiopia.

The emperor had specific charges about horrors being unleashed upon his people, in particular Italy’s use of chemical weapons. Begging for international assistance, he declared to the ambassadors assembled in Geneva…

“God and history will remember your judgment.”

History remembers that the League of Nations did nothing. But Haile Selassie’s speech, a cri de coeur in the truest sense, is now recalled as prophetic. It was, in essence, a warning to the world of greater horrors yet to come.

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R.I.P., Leonard Nimoy

MEMORIES OF A FEW HOURS SPENT
WITH A FRIENDLY AND SHY MAN

During the three years of its run, “Stark Trek” was a not-to-miss highlight of my Friday night TV-viewing schedule.

I’m talkin’ the real “Star Trek” — no holodeck, no friendly Klingons — the classic, original “Star Trek”: Captain Kirk, tacky sets, hokey alien monsters and all.

Nimoy as SpockNow my wife and I catch old episodes Saturday nights on MeTV.

This week’s is especially poignant, since Leonard Nimoy, the immortal Mr. Spock, passed away Friday morning at age 83.

He’s the third of the Enterprise’s key officers to die. DeForrest Kelley (Ship’s Surgeon Dr. Leonard McCoy) departed in 1999, and James Doohan (Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott) in 2005.

It was Nimoy’s post-“Star Trek” directorial work that brought me into contact with him. As I noted in my post of August 10, 2014, he participated in a conference on moral values in popular entertainment which I’d helped to organize at Hillsdale College. I picked him up at Detroit Metro Airport and drove him the nearly 100 miles to campus.

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Blindsided by Charity

SIMPLE GOODNESS IS OFTEN
AN AFFRONT TO IDEOLOGUES

My daughter and her husband — being of the wired, high-tech generation — have taken to downloading movies, documentaries, and TV series from Netflix.

This technical advance benefits my wife and myself. We long ago dropped cable TV; and slow web speed in our rural community makes video streaming agony.

Blind Side PosterThus, the kids gain shelf space, and the DVD collection at our house expands.

The latest batch of disks, acquired during our Christmas visit, includes a film titled, “The Blind Side.” It tells the story of an under-achieving but athletically gifted black teenager who is saved from a dead-end life in the Memphis, Tennessee “projects” through the combined efforts of a local Christian academy’s white coach (who knows football bulk when he sees it) and a rich white couple who welcome the youth into their home, eventually adopting him.

The 2009 film, which we had never seen before, was inspired by the real-life experience of Michael Oher, offensive tackle for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. Oher is portrayed by actor Quinton Aaron.

Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy, the tough-as-nails/heart-of-gold mother who perceives the intelligence, talent and spirit which Oher’s intimidating physical presence and introverted nature conceal from most people. Her part veers close to a “Steel Magnolias” cliché of the strong-willed, all-knowing, “momma grizzly” Southern woman. It’s kept on track by Bullock’s engaging screen presence. She’s good at portraying confident, personable women.

The movie was a box office success and received a Best Picture nomination. A little poking around on the web reveals that it also stirred controversy.

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In the Name of… Who?

NOBODY GETS TO RIDE THEIR HIGH HORSE
WHEN RELIGION-RELATED VIOLENCE OCCURS

Irony abounds in the juxtaposition of two recent events.

CoexistFirst is President Obama’s remark at the recent National Prayer Breakfast in which he demonstrated how a statement can be true and yet profoundly misleading…

“Unless we get on our high horse and think [extreme violence] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

Second is the murder of three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina by a 46-year-old man named Craig Stephen Hicks who (according to the UK’s Independent)…

“described himself as an atheist on Facebook and posted regular images and text condemning all religions.”

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