Obligatory Violence and the Book of Mormon

Like so many people, I have spent the past two days convulsed with grief and horror at the events in Charleston. Also shame: America’s latest accused mass murderer claimed he had to kill black people because they “rape our women,” and it’s as repugnant to me that anyone would murder a human being in defense […]

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Emil, Is It You?

My mother Gudrun Bachmann was born on June 9, 1939. When World War II begun with the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, she was less than three months old. When Germany surrendered on May 9, 1945, she was one month shy of her sixth birthday. Besides a treasure trove of family stories from […]

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Who Deserves a Memorial?

Do LDS Missionaries who died while serving missions deserve a memorial? Samuel the Utahnite thinks they do, and, in fact, has created a web page remembering those who have died in the service of the LDS church since 1999. He reports that he has gotten numerous complaints from faithful Mormons about the page — almost […]

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Spain Investigates Jay Bybee for Torture

According to Harper’s, Spanish authorities are investigating Bush administration officials for torture. That includes the former BYU law professor Jay Bybee who signed off on John Yoo’s infamous torture memos. The premier Spanish newspaper El País reports that judge Baltasar Garzón is involved in the investigation. Garzon is famous for prosecuting Basque terrorists and for […]

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Walk With Hellmut

Some of you might enjoy a virtual tour of the city of Saarbrücken, my last home before I came to the United States: Max Ophuels Preis_Trailer_2009 from LICHTFAKTOR on Vimeo. Located at the French border, my father’s house was literally five minutes walking distance, and the high and low German language border, Saarbrücken has had […]

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Beyond Victory

Did you know that there are 45 million Pashtuns? I did not either until I saw Frontline’s documentary about the Taliban last week. Watch it here. The Pashtun tribes provide the ethnic base for the Taliban insurgency. Their demographics matter. According to Mao Zedong’s dictum, guerilla fighters move in the population like fish in the […]

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