Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Counter Proposal to Evolution Sunday

From the Touchstone site
My counter-proposal, however, is for Creation Sunday, and the Psalm reading should include:
O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy creatures. Yonder is the sea, great and wide, which teems with things innumerable, living things, both small and great....These all look to thee, to give them their food in due season. When thou givest to the, they gather it up; when thou openest thy hand, they are filled with good things. When thou hidest thy face, they are dismayed; when thou takest away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the ground. (104:27-30)
Regardless of what you think of Genesis 1 and the timing of things and how exactly species arose, there is something here in this Psalm that a Christian cannot discard and has to be the main way of looking at the world, life, and ourselves. It's how Jesus understood the world, even when a piddly sparrow falls in sight of the Father. And we are, by the way, of more value than sparrows, as well. Or do we think that He got all this wrong?

In Case You Missed It: Al Qaeda "Sends 15-Year Old Boys And Mentally Handicapped Women On Suicide Missions

Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, MNF-I
Press Briefing
February 6, 2008
View MNF-I Slides
“The events in recent weeks further remind us of the morally depraved nature of Iraq’s enemy. … We have seen two 15-year old boys used as suicide bombers. … Al Qaeda also appears to be increasing the use of women as suicide bombers. … The two women who most likely unwittingly carried explosives into the markets last Friday were teenagers --- even more sad than that, they were both mentally handicapped …
“On December 4th near Khan Bani Sad, Coalition Forces … found several items, including five videos of al-Qaeda Iraq training and indoctrinating a group of young boys. …


link here

Huckabee Easily Wins Republican Caucuses in Kansas

By KATE ZERNIKE and MICHAEL COOPER
Mike Huckabee won the Kansas caucuses by a wide margin Saturday, showing he is still attracting voters even as the majority of the Republican Party is beginning to coalesce around John McCain as the nominee.


At a news conference after his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington earlier in the day, Mr. Huckabee told reporters he had no intention of dropping out until one of the Republican candidates amassed the 1,191 delegates needed to be the nominee....
Full Story Here

Canadian Scientists Worried About Global Cooling

The Sun Also Sets
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY Posted Thursday, February 07, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Climate Change: Not every scientist is part of Al Gore's mythical "consensus." Scientists worried about a new ice age seek funding to better observe something bigger than your SUV — the sun.

Back in 1991, before Al Gore first shouted that the Earth was in the balance, the Danish Meteorological Institute released a study using data that went back centuries that showed that global temperatures closely tracked solar cycles.
To many, those data were convincing. Now, Canadian scientists are seeking additional funding for more and better "eyes" with which to observe our sun, which has a bigger impact on Earth's climate than all the tailpipes and smokestacks on our planet combined.
And they're worried about global cooling, not warming.

Berkley of the Midwest

Article published Saturday, February 9, 2008
in the Toledo Blade (here)

A company of Marine Corps Reservists received a cold send-off from downtown Toledo yesterday by order of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.
The 200 members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., planned to spend their weekend engaged in urban patrol exercises on the streets of downtown as well as inside the mostly vacant Madison Building, 607 Madison Ave.
Toledo police knew days in advance about their plans for a three-day exercise. Yet somehow the memo never made it to Mayor Finkbeiner, who ordered the Marines out yesterday afternoon just minutes before their buses were to arrive.
"The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people," said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman.

The Future Lies in the Past

More evidence that God is knitting together the Body I think....

Why evangelicals are connecting with the early church as they move into the 21st century.
Chris Armstrong posted 2/08/2008 10:01AM


..."A motley group of young and clean-cut, goateed and pierced, white-haired and bespectacled filled the center's Barrows Auditorium. They joined their voices to sing of "the saints who nobly fought of old" and "mystic communion with those whose rest is won." A speaker walked an attentive crowd through prayers from the 5th-century Gelasian Sacramentary, recommending its forms as templates for worship in today's Protestant churches. Another speaker highlighted the pastoral strengths of the medieval fourfold hermeneutic. Yet another gleefully passed on the news that Liberty University had observed the liturgical season of Lent. The t-word—that old Protestant nemesis, tradition—echoed through the halls."........

full article here

Friday, February 8, 2008

Travel -Part 2

Went on a field trip with my oldest son today despite having (still) a nasty cold or some other virus and was reminded what a lovely trip a simple jaunt to San Antonio can afford.

We went to the Alamo (one of may favorite parts of this is to examine the bronze plaque out near the street that helps one visualize the fort (and how small it really was)

Then to the IMAX center (within walking distance) where we took the river ride/tour.

THEN up the stairs to the IMAX for a movie.

Then to the zoo a short car (or bus) ride up the road.

Very nice. Now if I can just feel better........

Christians Wrong About Heaven, Says Bishop

Good dicussion over a beer or a Sunday school class, or both:

In his new book, Surprised by Hope (HarperOne), Wright quotes a children's book by California first lady Maria Shriver called What's Heaven, which describes it as "a beautiful place where you can sit on soft clouds and talk... If you're good throughout your life, then you get to go [there]... When your life is finished here on earth, God sends angels down to take you heaven to be with him." That, says Wright is a good example of "what not to say." The Biblical truth, he continues, "is very, very different."

Full article here

Girly Men- The Media's Attack on Masculinity

by S. T. Karnick
The tendency of the nation’s schools to suppress boys’ natural way of seeing and doing things, brilliantly documented by Christina Hoff-Sommers in her 2001 book The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men, is becoming increasingly evident in the culture. ...


...Hence a recent Associated Press story describing how TV’s new primetime schedule “puts the softer side of men on display”:
In a number of broadcast ensembles premiering this fall, men are opening up about issues beyond sports, money, power and sexual conquests. They’re expressing their feelings—often to other men—on fatherhood, intimacy and love.
The AP story goes on to quote Nicole Vecchiarelli, entertainment director of the men’s lifestyle magazine Details, as saying of today’s men, “now it seems they can, on the inside, feel a little bit more like girls and that’s still OK....”
full article at the SALVO website here

And to kind of underscore the issue from another direction we have this over at the NY Times:

"Then a funny thing happened. The models were also downsized. Where the masculine ideal of as recently as 2000 was a buff 6-footer with six-pack abs, the man of the moment is an urchin, a wraith or an underfed runt. " see the whole article here

Dobson Endorses Huck

February 8, 2008
Posted by BLAKE DVORAK

This isn't really news but Blake Dvorak at Real Clear Politics raise the obvious questions:

1.) What is Huckabee's strategy going forward, meaning, what does he hope to accomplish? 2.) By staying in and denying McCain the official nod, is Huckabee helping or hurting his political fortunes?

link

The Romney Campaign's 5 Big Mistakes

February 08, 2008
By John Ellis

read the article here

Archbishop of Canterbury seeks adoption of Islamic law'It

'It is not as if we are bringing in an alien and rival system'
Posted: February 07, 20082:24 pm Eastern© 2008 WorldNetDaily
The chief of the 70-million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion advocates the establishment of Islamic law in Britain, drawing a rebuke from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who suggested that perhaps British law would serve better....
link here

Here is some raction over at IBD:
"Europe: Civilization took a low blow Thursday when a pillar of its values, the archbishop of Canterbury, decided that Islamic law is now "unavoidable" in the U.K. as a matter of progress and tolerance. He's off the deep end."

But of course this is not really new...According to the "Telegraph" "Husbands with multiple wives have been given the go-ahead to claim extra welfare benefits following a year-long Government review, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal".see here

Thursday, February 7, 2008

FLA bans discrimination based on the "inner sense of being a specific gender

YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
'Gender identity' enshrined by Florida city lawProtected is 'inner sense of being, without regard to sex at birth'
Posted: January 30, 20081:00 am Eastern© 2008 WorldNetDaily.com
A Florida city has added itself to the ranks of governments that have decided to ban discrimination based on the "inner sense of being a specific gender ? with or without regard to the individual's designated sex at birth."
The council in Gainesville this week narrowly voted to approve the gender identity protection plan that already is causing an uproar in
Montgomery County, Md., where its implementation is being challenged by a citizens' group over the apparent open-door attitude the ordinance has regarding public facilities including lockerrooms, showers and restrooms. .........

full article here

over 100 rockets into Israel per hour for a sustained period of time.

Syria acquiring Russian rockets at 'furious' pace
By Aaron Klein© 2008 WorldNetDaily JERUSALEM – "Syria, aided by Russia and Iran, in recent months has been furiously acquiring rockets and missiles, including projectiles capable of hitting the entire state of Israel, according to Jordanian and Israeli security officials speaking to WND.
A Jordanian security official said one of the main reasons Damascus did not retaliate after Israel carried out its Sept. 6 airstrike inside Syria allegedly targeting a nascent nuclear facility was because Syria's rocket infrastructure was not yet complete.
The official said after the Israeli airstrike, Syria picked up the pace of acquiring rockets and missiles, largely from Russia with Iranian backing, with the goal of completing its missile and rocket arsenal by the end of the year. The Jordanian official said Syria is aiming to possess enough projectiles to fire over 100 rockets into Israel per hour for a sustained period of time
..."

link

Judge blesses teaching students homosexuality is innate

Board member tells 'gay' agenda opponents: Now go away

BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS

Posted: February 05, 20089:04 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh© 2008 WorldNetDaily

The Montgomery County school board includes Nancy Navarro, Ben Moskowitz, Shirley Brandman, Jerry D. Weast, Stephen Abrams, Christopher S. Barclay, Sharon W. Cox, Judy Docca and Patricia O'Neill
A member of the school board in Montgomery County, Md., which has been working for years to overcome obstacles to its program that teaches students homosexuality is innate, has told members of a group objecting to the lessons to go away.
"To the other side, I say get out of town, shut up, quit costing Montgomery County taxpayers money for litigation, and we're right and parents believe we're right," board member Pat O'Neill said in a report in the Portland, Ore., Examiner.
Her demands followed a ruling from Maryland Circuit Court Judge William J. Rowan III that it is permissible for the district to teach students in Montgomery County how to use condoms during anal and oral sex, as well as that homosexuality is inborn, even though just a year ago Maryland's highest appellate court found there is no scientific basis for such a conclusion.
Lawyers with the Thomas Moore Law Center whose work is funded by donations, represented a group of citizens and several organizations opposed to teaching "facts" to students that do not have a foundation in facts.

read more here

the Best Darned Fundraising Letter Ever

this from the Touchstone blog. It can be found on the left of the blog (A Wholly Unauthorized Appeal)
but is posted here. A fine magazine and a fine blog. Well worth your time and subscribtion.

February 06, 2008
Today, in a rush of inspiration, this letter soliciting contributions to Touchstone came to me. I assure you, dear readers, it has NOT approved by senior management, but issued, I am sure, from a higher source, by the light of two things I encountered today.
The first was a solicitation from a school I once attended, so dripping with piety that when I was through with it I was left with the unmistakable impression that this kind of stuff, in the end, is an elaborate exercise in taking the Lord’s name in vain. It made me want to write a letter for Touchstone that didn’t make any claims whatever to being a direct tool of the Holy Spirit, indispensable for the work of God in this generation. Nope. We’re not. He can do perfectly well without us. He did just fine before we were here, and he will continue to do just fine when we’re gone. But if we’re going to stick around, we need a steady supply of money--lots of it. (Many thanks to you who contribute!)
The other inspiration came from a visit to a website that ranked charities, giving them higher or lower grades corresponding to the ranking organization’s criteria for the use of donated funds. Among the interesting figures for some of the Christian groups were the salaries given to their founders and officers. Clearly a number of these are robust advocates of the biblical principle that one should not muzzle the ox that grinds the corn.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I don’t begrudge my fellow non-profiteers the fruits of their no doubt prodigious labors in the Lord’s vineyard. My brief time in perusing this site, however, brought me under strong, I could almost say, religious, conviction, that if Touchstone really wants to play with the big guys, we need to be in the business not only of sending people long letters with lots of underlining (along with the machine-produced signature of some important person that looks like he really wrote it) but of of saving somebody. Even briefer reflection on the lives of my fellow senior editors brought me to the conclusion that they in particular need to be rescued and set on the path to Better Things.
With a generous contribution, you can save a Touchstone editor from numerous kinds of degradation. I am thinking in particular of:
--THE FILTHY HABIT OF SMOKING CHEAP CIGARS
--THE UNSPEAKABLE VICE OF DRINKING BLENDED WHISKY
--OR UNNAMABLE THINGS LABELED MISE EN BOUTEILLE EN KALAMAZOO
--LIVING IN MERELY ADEQUATE HOUSING
--DRIVING VEHICLES THAT ARE POOR TESTIMONIES TO DIVINE BENEFICENCE
And I hate very much to say this, but even though all my fellow senior editors live with handsome women they call their wives, and by whom they have children, I am the only one whose marriage papers I have actually seen. The praise they give these women when out of their company frankly makes me wonder if they are really married to them--but a generous contribution will no doubt help them all “do the right thing” by their long-suffering consorts. Making Touchstone rich might also give my own wife, legal though I know her to be, an incentive to reform her sinful attitude toward my sense of humor.
So dig deep, my friends, and cast your bread upon the waters, to mix metaphors--but piously--remembering that the First Part of Touchstone is “touch.”

Posted by S. M. Hutchens at 11:03 PM Permalink

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Will Venezuela Be Judenrein?

By Mona Charen
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com

"On December 1, 2007, two dozen heavily armed police staged a raid on a Jewish community center in Caracas where hundreds were celebrating a wedding. The police, the Venezuelan equivalent of the FBI, claimed to be seeking weapons and evidence of "subversive activity."
They found no weapons. As for subversive activity, well, in a proto-authoritarian state like Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, subversion is a very elastic concept. The mildest skepticism about Chavez's regime might easily qualify. ........."


"........During the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, Chavez became increasingly shrill, accusing the Israelis of behaving like Nazis. On a recent visit to Washington D.C., Gustavo Aristegui, the shadow foreign minister in Spain's opposition party, told a group at the Hudson Institute that Hamas and Hezbollah are now operating freely in Venezuela. Publications by the government's ministry of culture have featured titles like "The Jewish Question" with cover art showing a Star of David superimposed over a swastika. ......."

Full article here

Is It That Bad?


Sanguine ride on rabid transportation

By Dave Barry
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com

Lest we take things too serious

"It is a chilling question that we have all asked ourselves: What would we do if, Heaven forbid, we had to get a squirrel out of a piano? ..........


......Fortunately, the officer had the training, the courage and -- above all - the musical talent to deal with the situation. To quote from The Post report, which I am not making up:
"After the officer started playing the song 'All I Want' by the group Toad the Wet Sprocket, the squirrel jumped out of the piano and onto curtains, damaging them." .........


read the rest here

Berkeley Vs. America, Again

Berkeley Vs. America, again
By Michelle Malkin


"The troop-bashers in Berkeley are at it once more. But this time, the rest of America lashed back. Message to the Left Coast: It's not the 1960s anymore.
On Jan. 29, the Berkeley city council passed several measures targeting the lone Marine recruitment office in town. The anti-war harridans at Code Pink have been picketing the center for months. Last fall, they defaced the building by slapping a sign that read "assasination" (sic) in the military office window. Instead of rising to defend the recruiters' property rights, the city council and mayor voted to sabotage them further. They granted Code Pink special parking privileges directly in front of the Marines' workplace to facilitate their protests — and also offered them a free sound permit for six months.... "


Believe it or not it gets worse. The rest of the story is here

Travel Ideas- Part 1

I have said that one of the things you might find on this blog is talk about travel but I havn't been very good about putting anything down. So here is the first:

After years of hauling kids (in planes and cars) and visiting in-laws in Missouri I can say:

Take a trip to Kansas City, Mo. and visit the Liberty Memorial Museum. Give yourself a few hours because you'll want to spend some time there. It was truly a great trip. The kids (7 and 11) liked it too. Taking them to Fritz's Railroad Restaurant around the corner at Crown Center before hand doesn't hurt.

I've always liked the zoo as well.

And if you have ALOT of time, and a railroad loving brood, you can ride Amtrack from Independence (Truman's home) to St Louis. But you need to have alot of time as Amtrack yields to ALL other trains including freight.

And don't forget to try the BBQ. It ain't Texas but it's pretty darn good. Gates is a good place to start but I hear tell there are others.:-)

The Lies of Tet

By ARTHUR HERMANFebruary 6, 2008

"On January 30, 1968, more than a quarter million North Vietnamese soldiers and 100,000 Viet Cong irregulars launched a massive attack on South Vietnam. But the public didn't hear about who had won this most decisive battle of the Vietnam War, the so-called Tet offensive, until much too late.
Media misreporting of Tet passed into our collective memory. That picture gave antiwar activism an unwarranted credibility that persists today in Congress, and in the media reaction to the war in Iraq. The Tet experience provides a narrative model for those who wish to see all U.S. military successes -- such as the Petraeus surge -- minimized and glossed over.
In truth, the war in Vietnam was lost on the propaganda front, in great measure due to the press's pervasive misreporting of the clear U.S. victory at Tet as a defeat. Forty years is long past time to set the historical record straight."....
complete article here

Pray For The Chrisitians In Gaza

Gaza Christians Need Prayer
By Dan WoodingFounder of ASSIST Ministries
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (ANS) -- “Worship services at Gaza Baptist Church now includes no more than 10 or 15 believers who are willing to risk publicly attending the only evangelical church in all of the Gaza Strip since October when a church leader was martyred.”
So wrote James A. Smith Sr., Executive Editor of the Florida Baptist Witness (
www.floridabaptistwitness.com).


"I want the people in America to pray for Gaza. I want them to pray every Wednesday night and every Sunday and any day in between that they can pray. ... When they see Gaza on the news to pray for the little, tiny Gaza Baptist Church,” said one of the Baptist workers, neither of whom can be identified for security reasons. "

Read the whole article on the right of the blog....

Mossad Chief: Iran will attain offensive nuclear capabilities within three years

The question is this:(assuming you don't dismiss out of hand the statements below)
Who do want to be commander-in-chief when this happens?


Mossad Chief: Iran is the biggest threat to Israel
By JPOST.COM STAFF

Iran will attain offensive nuclear capabilities within three years and remains the central strategic threat to Israel, not only because it is striving for the attainment of nuclear weapons but also because of its influence on more imminent threats - such as Hamas, Hizbullah and Syria - according to an assessment presented to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee by Mossad head Meir Dagan Monday.

Iran is acting on two tracks, Dagan said, one towards the enrichment of uranium and the other towards manufacturing surface to surface missiles with large payloads. He claimed that Iran had not yet attained full control of the knowledge necessary to produce weapons-grade uranium, but was not far from reaching that benchmark point.... full article here
">Link


al-Qaida in Iraq Using Children

By LAUREN FRAYER Associated Press Writer
AP Photo/KHALID MOHAMMED
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Videotapes seized during U.S. raids on suspected al-Qaida in Iraq hide-outs show the terror group training young boys to kidnap and assassinate civilians, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Wednesday.
Footage aired for reporters showed an apparent training operation with black-masked boys - some of whom appeared to be about 10 years old - storming a house and holding guns to the heads of mock residents. Another tape showed a young boy wearing a suicide vest and posing with automatic weapons.....
full article here

How democracy produced a monster

A Thought proking article from the International Herald Tribune excerpted below. the full article can be found here ">Link

"Could something like it happen again? That is invariably the first question that comes to mind when recalling that Hitler was given power in Germany 75 years ago last week.
With the world now facing such great instability, the question seems more obvious than ever.
Hitler came to power in a democracy with a highly liberal constitution, and in part by using democratic freedoms to undermine and then destroy democracy itself. That democracy, established in 1919, was a product of defeat in war and revolution and was never accepted by most of the German elites, notably the military, large landholders and big industry...."

Pancake Race Cancelled Over Safety Concerns

I see a Monty Python Joke here...

"A TRADITIONAL pancake race due to take place today has fallen flat after it was cancelled due to health and safety regulations and red tape. The Shrove Tuesday race in Ripon, North Yorkshire, was revived 10 years ago and is usually started at 11am by the ringing of the city cathedral's ancient Pancake Bell. But this year, organisers have tossed tradition aside because of the time and costs involved in having to put the necessary precautions and regulations in place. ......"

The article is here

Lenten Vocabulary

From "Daily Reflections" at Touchstone/FSJ.. Link

Ash Wednesday: Originally the Lenten fast began on a Monday, as it still does in the East. Later, however, the fasting was discontinued on Sundays, not only to restore physical strength, but also from the feeling that Sunday was simply too festive a day for such rigor. Thus, the Western churches would be fasting six days a week for six weeks, making a total of 36 days. So, in order to bring that number up to the biblical model of 40, the preceding four days were added, thus making Wednesday the first day of the season. Western Christians marked this day with special signs of repentance, one of which was, like the Ninevites of old, to put ashes on top of their heads as a particular sign of turning away from worldliness and renewing their devotion to God.
Thus, the name Ash Wednesday. Many made their sacramental Confession on the day before Ash Wednesday, being “shriven” of their sins. Hence the name Shrove Tuesday. That same Tuesday was observed by others, however, as one last occasion to party before Lent started. Hence, the French name Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.” Since meat was not eaten during Lent, Shrove Tuesday was the day to say “farewell” (Vale in Latin) to “meat” (Carni in Latin), thus giving us the word “carnival.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Extreme Fear Can Lead to Extreme Faith

"The unwritten code of the police was clear: If you catch the Khmu or other tribesmen converting to Christianity, arrest them. If you catch anyone evangelizing the tribesmen, kill him.
After “Lu” had been shackled at the hands and feet and shamefully marched through the village, the Communist police threw him in a pit. “We will let you go,” they said, “when one hundred Christians in your village renounce their conversion to Christianity.” But they were unable to find believers willing to turn their backs on Christ.
Then tragedy struck the police. One officer’s son broke both legs in an accident. His other son became critically ill. The officer who had beaten and harassed new Christians suddenly died of a heart attack. ..."


Rest of the article here or click on the link on the right of the blog.

McCain Delegates Defect- Give win to Huckabee

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Mike Huckabee won the first contest declared on Super Tuesday, picking up all 18 national delegates awarded at West Virginia's state GOP convention.

Huckabee bested Mitt Romney, who entered the Mountain State event with the largest bloc of pledged convention-goers. Both men and Ron Paul made in-person appeals to the more than 1,100 convention delegates attending Tuesday's convention.
But the former Arkansas governor beat his Massachusetts counterpart after delegates for John McCain defected to his side.


Full story here

What is Conservatism



Conservatism is more than limited government, family values, or preserving the status quo. It is, to quote Dr. Russell Kirk in his 1953 magnum opus, The Conservative Mind, the preservation of the ancient moral traditions of humanity.
The word itself connotes the idea of conservation against forces of decay and dissolution. By contrast, the word "liberal" connotes a more relaxed approach to historic moral traditions, and in the modern sense, has come to mean an agenda publicly hostile to those traditions. Indeed, the development of liberalism (also called "radicalism"), even by the time The Conservative Mind first appeared, was such that Kirk could close his first chapter with the following words:
"If a conservative order is indeed to return, we ought to know the tradition which is attached to it, so that we may rebuild society; if it is not to be restored, still we ought to understand conservative ideas so that we may rake from the ashes what scorched fragments of civilization escape the conflagration of unchecked will and appetite."


Entire Article can be found here

Barack Obama Running on his Religion

"During his triumphant campaign in South Carolina, Barack Obama distributed a flyer in which he announced the spiritual dimension of his mission, running as a "committed Christian." This caused a certain amount of consternation on the secular left.
It was a remarkable move, perhaps born of a desire to refute rumors that Obama is a Muslim. But by publishing and distributing the pamphlet, Barack Obama officially placed his religion in the political sphere, and highlighted the importance of understanding the particular brand of Christianity he practices. ...."


More of the article here


China battles "coldest winter in 100 years"

CHENZHOU, China, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Millions remained stranded in China on Monday ahead of the biggest holiday of the year as parts of the country suffered their coldest winter in a century.Freezing weather has killed scores of people and left travellers stranded before the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival -- the only opportunity many people have to take a holiday all year.
see link for more

Slavery, Christianity & Islam

An article on the title subject, by Robert Spencer, has been posted here at First Things. Spencer begins:

"It has become a feature of today’s atheist chic to shy bricks at Christianity for its record on slavery. This is part of a larger assault on Western history and society, which, by accident or design, plays into the hands of those who are today mounting on a global scale a sweeping and explicit cultural challenge to Judeo-Christian as well as post-Christian values. The fundamentally most misunderstood and overlooked aspect of today’s defense against the global jihad is this challenge that Jihadists make to Western values, which are in large part Judeo-Christian. Combine this with a historical critique that relentlessly portrays the West as the aggressors against the rest of the world, and as uniquely responsible for its evils, and Westerners’ will to defend something as rotten as Western civilization begins to ebb away."

Spencer is the author of Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t

A great summary statement in the comments at Touchstone on this left by Seth R.:
"The singular defining characteristic of "Western Civilization" is not that it practiced slavery, but that it abolished it."

A Trip to the Sewage Plant

From todays Touchstone blog. Go here or click the link on the left of the blog under Touchstone: "I Went to the Sewage Plant"

I Went to the Sewage Treatment Plant
Actually, it was just a shopping mall, and the sewage wasn't being treated, just being put up for sale. I hadn't been to a shopping mall in a long time, but we had to pick up something from the phone company's office, and that was in the mall, so after church on Sunday to the mall we went. It was a strange experience.


The shopping mall was pretty crowded for noon on a Sunday -- I was surprised by that. A lot of things surprised me, in no particular order. I was struck by how much expense, intelligence, creativity of a sort, and sheer energy is required to make something like a shopping mall as ugly as it is......

Read the rest of the article by following the link on the right

British plan to build training camp for Taliban fighters in Afghanistan

By Jerome Starkey in KabulMonday, 4 February 2008
Britain planned to build a Taliban training camp for 2,000 fighters in southern Afghanistan, as part of a top-secret deal to make them swap sides, intelligence sources in Kabul have revealed. The plans were discovered on a memory stick seized by Afghan secret police in December.


Full Story

Why I'm voting for Mike Huckabee

Why I'm Voting for Mike Huckabee
By Gregg Jackson

I'm putting principle above what they're calling "party loyalty" these days. I'm putting inalienable rights endowed by our Creator above my friendships with other conservatives in the media. I'm putting real constitutions above the celebrity "conservative" lawyers who long ago figured out that defending the actual meaning of constitutions is no way to get ahead in the world. ........

...........I have made the decision to vote for Governor Mike Huckabee on the basis of research into actual records -- rather than empty campaign double-talk. Alone among the frontrunners, his record is conservative on the most fundamental issues. I will go even further: examining records proves that when $100 million dollars of GOP campaign propaganda is set aside, Mike Huckabee is the only real across-the-board (social and fiscal) conservative among the three front runners. ........ rest of the article here

Sign of the Times


A road sign points the way to nearby towns Clinton and Prosperity in Newberry, South Carolina, January 25, 2008. US Democratic presidential candidates Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), former Senator John Edwards (D-NC) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) have been criss-crossing South Carolina ahead of the state's Democratic primary election. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Wanted: Exorcist

The Vatican is looking for more exorcists to fight the growing interest in Satanism.

Video here http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/02/04/vinci.vatican.exorcist.cnn

The USA: A Christian Nation or A Nation Rooted in Judeo-Christian Values?

The Episcopal church has posted a fascinating commentary by Richard Hughes giving conservative Christians a hard time for claiming that our nation was founded as a Christian nation. Clarity on this point IS important. Our Constitution does endorse religious freedom, separation of church and state, and does not provide for a state religion. However, this complaint also obscures an important fact. The roots of our culture at its founding were deeply influenced by Judeo-Christian values. For citizens to consider such values as important as they vote is part of their right as citizens–and this view dates back to the time of our nation's founders. This means one should and can distinguish between a religious test for President (best not applied) and a role for values (inevitable). In fact, all of us probably seek a candidate who we believe will govern with values that serve our nation's interests. So let's keep this additional distinction in mind as we discuss our country and the role of the influence of religion on people's politics. (We have blogged on Romney and the issues his run for office raises before. Nothing we are raising here changes anything we said there, see Romney Speech on USA and Religious Liberty and Tolerance Dec 6)
For the Hughes piece, see http://www.episcopalchurch.org/80050_94466_ENG_HTM.htm

From http://blog.bible.org/bock/node/342:

A New York Times Editorial Sympathetic to Evangelicals

From http://blog.bible.org/bock/node/343 this link to a NY Times editorial of interest

Nicholas Kristof is not an evengelical by his own admission, but he is concerned about issues of human rights around the world. Kristof is an editorial writer for the New York Times. He recently worte an editorial about how evengelicals are addressed in the public square and suggests that they may not be appreciated for what they are doing around the world. This is a fascinating editorial that suggests that evangelicals have not been givien a fair shake and the movement is far more complex and engaged than what the press has been suggesting. The piece reflects awareness that the concerns of evangelicals today is not measured just by what used to be their concerns. My wife suggested I post this one. It is a piece worth reading. Here is the link
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/opinion/03kristof.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Quote of the Day

There are very few people who realise what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let them be formed by his grace. -
St Ignatius Loyola

In letter to Limbaugh, Bob Dole defends McCain

BOSTON (CNN) — Former Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole on Monday wrote conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh defending John McCain as a "mainstream conservative" who had supported the party on critical votes during Dole's time as the Senate Republican leader.
The letter, obtained by CNN from a Republican source close to Dole, includes a voting comparison that suggests McCain's voting record compares favorably to that of the longtime conservative icon Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina.


Read the letter here
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/02/04/in-letter-to-limbaugh-bob-dole-defends-mccain/

How the Clintons will undo McCain

From WND see complete article here

Posted: February 4, 20081:00 a.m. Eastern
By Dr. Jack Wheeler
The number of fellow senators who think John McCain is psychologically unstable is large. Some will admit it publicly, like Thad Cochran who says, "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine."
Others relate times when McCain screamed four-letter obscenities right in their faces in the
Senate cloak room, like Dick Shelby, Rick Santorum or Jim Inhofe. "The man is unhinged," one senator told me. "He is frighteningly unfit to be commander-in-chief."
That John McCain is clinically nuts is scary enough. What worries a small group of
GOP senators and congressmen even more is a deep and dark skeletal secret in McCain's glorified past to which they are privy, and which the Clintons will use to blackmail him.

Lost Touch With Reality- Part 2

BEIJING - An animal rights group called Monday for China to treat rats with kindness and respect, as millions across the nation begin to celebrate the coming Year of the Rat.

"Rats sing, they dream, and they express empathy for others," Coco Yu of PETA's Asia-Pacific branch said in a statement....

If for some reason you want to read more, click here

Britons Lose Grip On Reality

LONDON (AFP) - Britons are losing their grip on reality, according to a poll out Monday which showed that nearly a quarter think Winston Churchill was a myth while the majority reckon Sherlock Holmes was real.
The survey found that 47 percent thought the 12th century English king Richard the Lionheart was a myth.
And 23 percent thought World War II prime minister Churchill was made up. The same percentage thought Crimean War nurse Florence Nightingale did not actually exist.


Sigh...more here..

Study looks at crops' effect on weather

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Farmers in the Northern Plains often worry about what the weather could do to their crops — but they seldom think about what their crops could do to the weather.
A new NASA-funded study at South Dakota State University will tackle that question by asking whether regional weather patterns and the risk of wildfires could change because of a shift in planting. Farmers may grow fewer corn and soybean crops and more perennial grasses grown primarily to fuel cars.

rest of the article here

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Best Notable Quotes of 2007- Worst Reporting

The Best Notable Quotables of 2007 A panel of 53 leading media observers has selected the winners of MRC's Best Notable Quotables of 2007: The Twentieth Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting. Categories include "Madness of King George Award for Bush Bashing," Blue State Brigade Award for Campaign Reporting,"
"Media Millionaires for Higher Taxes Award’,"and the ever-popular "Good Morning Morons Award."The McClatchy News Service picked up the dubious distinction of winning "Quote of the Year" for an October headline that seemed a parody of the media’s incessant pessimism on Iraq: "As violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch." For a complete rundown of this year’s winners, as well as audio and video clips of the broadcast quotes, see
here

Below are some examples from the "Good Morning Morons Award".

So I’m running in the park on Saturday, in shorts, thinking this [warm weather] is great, but are we all gonna die? You know? I can’t, I can’t figure this out.”— Co-host Meredith Vieira talking about global warming on NBC’s Today, January 8. [57 points]]


Co-host Matt Lauer: “The book is called The World Without Us, and it asks the question what would happen to planet Earth if human beings were to suddenly disappear....And really it’s all about trying to figure out how long it would take nature to reclaim what we’ve created.”Co-host Meredith Vieira: “The mess.”Lauer: “How long it would take nature to fix the mess we’ve made?...Would the Earth miss us at all? How long would it take for it to fix the problems we created?”— NBC’s Today, September 4.

The World's Hottest Chili

It's 200 times hotter than the jalapeƱo. Workers handle it with goggles and face masks. And spicy-food lovers can't wait to get their hands on it. Guwahati, India
By STAN SESSERFebruary 2, 2008; Page W1

The bhut jolokia chili pepper fires up the imagination, as well as the taste buds. The thumb-sized chilies are so potent they could be used in pepper spray, says the director of India's Defense Research Lab, R.B. Srivastava. "I've been told the U.S. and Israel have considered it for antiriot material," he says.

Put on your gloves and goggles and read the rest of the story here



Pleasure Misplaced

Pleasure Misplaced
by I'Ching Thomas - A Slice of Infinity

In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis writes an imaginary exchange between a senior devil and his pupil on the subject of pleasure:
"He (God) made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All

we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula.

Any pleasure--whether good or illegitimate--will enslave us when we turn it into our life's utmost pursuit. Hunger for even the simple pleasure of food can become a life-dominating drive. The first temptation of Jesus in the desert was to fulfill a perfectly legitimate bodily need. He was naturally hungry, having fasted for forty days and nights, when Satan suggested that he turn stones into bread. Today, we wrestle with the same suggestion from Satan: What's wrong with fulfilling normal bodily needs? Didn't God make you this way? Yet Satan's temptation is to reduce humans' ultimate pursuit to merely one of pleasure--the idea that sensual pleasure drives all of our motivations and needs. Jesus responded with Scripture: "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4). By reiterating this truth, Jesus replaces Satan's view with the proper will to meaning view. As humans, we cannot live on food alone. We must have meaning and purpose to survive. In his experience in a Nazi concentration camp, psychologist Victor Frankl discovered that when men lost meaning they quickly died. Mankind needs a transcendent reason to continue striving against the struggles that life presents. Now this is not to say that there is no value in pleasure or that pleasure is not a legitimate goal. But pleasure can become a distraction or digression in the serious quest for life. When pleasure or the pursuit of it begins to distract us from life's ultimate goal, it can become an idol of the heart--not just something we might worship, but something we rely on to give us some sense of security, however fleeting.

Read the rest at A Slice of Infinity

“Real Solutions” and Teen Sex

“Real Solutions” and Teen Sex from this link excerpted below:

“Congress should … immediately stop funding for dangerous abstinence-only programs thatdeny young people information about how to prevent pregnancy, protect their health and make responsible decisions,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “It’s time to put money toward real solutions that will help prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among teenagers.”
Her so-called “solutions?” Birth-control pills. Condoms. Diaphragms. All of which send an unmistakable message to teens: “You have no self-control, and we don’t expect you to. We know you’re going to ‘do it,’ so just make sure you’re ‘safe’ when you do.”
Never mind helping teens learn the skills they need to say “no.” Forget the guys who may be willing to avoid sex — they’ll have no excuse when the “cool” kids tease them. And the girls who would like help saying “no” when their boyfriends pressure them? Sorry, they’re on their own. Some “solutions!”

The rest of the commentary here

Movie Reviews From FEC

The Family Entertainment Association is a family-centered non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting wholesome entertainment by means of a unique, single-source, online system—Family Entertainment Central (FEC).
FEC brings together, in one location, a select group of contributing partner organizations—each with expertise in a particular medium. FEC provides easy access to in-depth information for current entertainment media including movies, DVDs, electronic games, television, and music (coming soon).


http://www.familyentertainmentcentral.org/reviewDetail.aspx?id=3408

Why Huck Won't Bail -In His Own Words

We are in this race to win despite the desperate efforts by the Romney campaign to try and say that "a vote for me is a vote for McCain". Actually, a vote for me is a vote for me!
We have outlasted Rudy, Fred, and others who were supposed to be the winners. Only 8% of the Republican delegates have been selected, and we have about the same number of delegates as McCain or Romney. We are in it to win.
The Romney campaign knows this and they are running scared.
So far the media has with a few exceptions, been content to sell this sham of a story to their viewers and listeners. You would think that under this coordinated assault, we would be sinking in the polls nationally.
Not so. FOX News has us tied with Gov. Romney in 2nd place nationally in a new poll of registered voters.
What's more, in Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas and Oklahoma, recent polls have us in first or tied for first.
We can win. We will win.

http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=Issues.Home