President finds missing bully pulpit (sort of)

The good news first: The White House yesterday condemned the conviction and death sentence against Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. He has been found guilty of the capital crime of being a Christian. Here is his story, if you’re not familiar with it.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide

The bad news: It took two years. That’s how long it’s been since Nadarkhani was originally convicted of apostasy by the 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the Province of Gilan. (Here is a translation of that court’s verdict.)

And it wasn’t a matter worthy of the President’s time or direct influence–it was just another brief statement by the press secretary.

But maybe I should be more generous, and just call it eleven months. That’s how long it’s been since the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom urged the President to press for Nadarkhani’s immediate and unconditional release.

Continue reading


High school for the post-literate

My son is a junior at Hockinson High School in Southwest Washington, a school that prides itself on its strong academics. He’s been working for a week on a big English assignment.

Wanna guess?

They’re supposed to find songs that go with the book they’ve just read.

That’s it? I asked. No, he said, they’re also supposed to write a one-paragraph summary of the book.


Continue reading