Hunger Games posterImagine a dark world in which most of North America is destroyed and what remains is ruled by a totalitarian regime that represses any urge toward uprising by pitting children to fight against each other to the death. That is the premise of Suzanne Collin’s best-selling novel-turned-film, The Hunger Games, the first of a trilogy. Both the novel and the film have been highly popular among middle- and high-school students, as the plot delves into the world of tyranny and the mind of a heroine who is motivated by her survival instinct and her desire to help those in need, even at her own peril.

Chip WoodHas the price of gas hit $4 a gallon yet where you live? As I mentioned in last week’s column, several analysts predict that cost will seem cheap before the year is out. Are you ready to pay $5 a gallon?

A few weeks ago, I read and reviewed Ilana Mercer’s Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa. A week or two after that, my grandmother passed away. 

Considered in themselves, each of these events is entirely distinct from the other. But, interestingly, reflection upon the loss of my beloved grandmother has deepened my reflection upon the loss that Mercer relays in her book, the loss of her beloved homeland. Although the death of which Mercer’s compelling Cannibal is an account has occurred sometime ago, the fact of the matter is that it is a death that its author mourns, the death of a country—her country, her world.

Since the September 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda terrorists on the United States, and the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, vague invocations of “the Crusades” have gained a new relevance. Both sides of the conflict have sought to link the current series of wars to those of the Crusades — either by way of justifying or denouncing of their current course of action. History is one of the victims of the current conflict, as the much-maligned and ill-remembered Crusades have been recast time and again to serve various agendas.

Many criticisms have been leveled against various forms of “alternative energy” in general, and wind power in particular. Some critics have called wind power “impractical,” while others have labeled it as “idealistic.” Some have noted that the turbines are simply “ugly.”

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