Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Like Warm Jello

I was just finishing a cup of Starbucks here in San Francisco when I read the side of my cup.

"I wish everyone could see how much we all have in common"
Supposing that we did see our commonalities, then what? Does it remove our wickedness? Supposing that a home invader was getting ready to unload his shotgun into your family. What good would the many ways in which you share common ground with the criminal do you? Or from a global perspective suppose Iran was getting ready to keep its promise to annihilate Israel by turning it to a sea of glass. What good would the things that Israel has in common with Iran do Israel, even though there are probably many times more things both have in common than not?

These little naive idealistic sayings are like jello. They are sweet thoughts, sure, but they don't stand up when the kitchen gets hot.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Here is Kathleen Sebelius talking about the end run that will be made around the anti-abortion wording in the so called "health care reform" legislation that the blue dog Ben Nelson fell on his political sword to obtain.

Notice how Sebelius uses the words "accounting ah measure" instead of "accounting gimmick". Well that's nice. I love the "women's health services" code talk that those stupid Bible Thumpers are not suppose to understand. And as a nice icing at the end the other person's response was: "that's very confusing". Hmmmm... you bet ya.

H/T Jill Stanek -where transcrip is available-by way of Eternity Matters

Friday, December 18, 2009

Phoenix Breathes Sigh Of Relief

Thursday night Phoenix AZ breathed a sigh of relief. Georgia Lynn Baker was not hurt, or harmed, while eluding police in a high speed chase. The chase endangered the lives of many as they were going about their business, and took the life of a 28 year old police officer who was attempting to stop her, but the main thing is is that Baker is OK, and the city of Phoenix and the ACLU can breath a sigh of relief. Our right to go about driving under the influence of drugs, endangering the lives of our fellow citizens and police-should we ever feel the need to do so-without the fear of the police hurting us in their attempts to stop us, was not encroached upon.

The police officer, 28-year-old Chris Marano, gave his life while protecting these rights. Marano leaves behind a wife and four children. What a Christmas present. But hey, as I said, Miss Baker will experience this Christmas completely in tact, and that's the main thing... isn't it?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Finding The Philosophical

I spend quite a bit of time studying the integral workings of what I have come to know as "Worldview". In so doing, I have studied and marveled over the concept of beauty, philosophy, and the deep questions of life.

This has brought about quite a bit of change in my own worldview. I, for example, no longer look at art as beautiful in and of itself, or the artist as simply talented, although I do marvel over anyone's ability to create. I see the beauty as a the very finger print of God himself manifesting itself through one of his creations for all to see. This video is no different. While watching this, I marveled over what God has enabled man to do, in all its simplicity and humor, and what possible message was being conveyed, if any.

With the onset of the death of man in the sixties, which manifested it self, incidentally, as the death of God, Francis Schaeffer said at the time that "philosophers no longer ask the big questions classical philosophy has always asked", and that "the real philosophic expressions have tended to pass over to those who do not occupy the chairs of philosophy-...[such as] the film producer" (1)

This little cartoon may be such an example. While it does matter what the artist intended, I am not saying that my interpretation is the same. I had quite the laugh watching it, and as always, was struck by man's ability to create.

What I saw in this cute little video was man's desire to rid himself and the world of sin (the cat) without Christ. The more he tries, so he can get back to his own personal pursuits, the worse his life becomes until he is faced with nine times the hell in his after life. President Lincoln accused the South of being willing to burn down its barn to get rid of its rats. Current events and this little cartoon remind me of this phrase as I marvel over the follies being undertaken by our current government in its attempts at creating its Utopian paradise by stamping out, at the price of unfathomable debt, the consequences of sin; the result being the destruction of a nation and its economy.

H/T Casting Pearls Before Swine

(1) Escape From Reason, IVP Classics, pg 74

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On Economics, thoughts taken from Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell, Chapter 1

As I considered reading Basic Economics, by Thomas Sowell, I anticipated a book about money. I was surprised to learn that "economics" is not about money at all, but about resources. Currency is only a system by which the value of resources is measured.

According to Sowell, economics is defined as:

The allocation of scarce resources which have alternative uses.

This definition can be broken down into three parts:
  1. Allocation
  2. Scarce resources
  3. Alternative uses


Allocation is similar to method. Everyone who desires the use of a resource will not be able. This is one of the harsh realities with which we are all faced, and it is unreasonable to deny it, though many do. As the Titanic was sinking, this harsh reality came into play with the shortage of life boats. The modern and popular concept of equality was a foreign one, and absurd too, given the blatant realities on the deck of that ship. In fact, the only way to enforce that reality would have been to deny anyone access to the life boats. Ultimately, we all know how that decision was made, which was that the men chose self sacrifice in favor of the women. In any case, allocation is the method which determines who the beneficiaries of resources for a given society or situation will be, and it will ultimately depend on the governmental/economic system within which the resources are being allocated.

Scarce Resources

The value of a resource will depend on the demand for that resource verses its scarcity or availability. It only stands to reason that the lower the availability of a given resource, the higher the number of people there will be who will be denied its benefit, such as in the the previous example of the Titanic. Scarce simply means that there are limits on the availability of all resources.

Alternative uses

The lifeboat analogy breaks down here unless perhaps we create a hypothetical question of whether the boats might have just as well been broken up and used for a signal fire. But then the question would have been about the alternative uses for the specific resource, wood, as opposed to lifeboats. Would it have been better to use the wood for a signal fire or allow it to continue in its use as a lifeboat?

Wood, as a raw resource can also be used alternately in pianos, or in the construction of furniture, among other things. The question of "which alternative?" is answered by the system within which the question is asked? The goal with any system is to avoid a situation like a warehouse full of unwanted pianos while there is a shortage of wood for building furniture for which there is a demand? Meeting this goal will again depend on the method, or governmental/economic system, and in fact in some systems it may not be avoided at all. In the the old Soviet Union, with its central planners deciding what resources would be used for what, it was common for resources to be miss-allocated resulting in an abundance of things people didn't want while with a simultaneous shortage of things people did want. The thousands of central planners were no match for the allocation of scarce resources with alternative uses that happens daily and automatically in a free market system as millions of private individuals make millions of purchasing choices.

Free market = free choice

The free market describes just that, the freedom to choose. And although the average person living in a free market economy probably doesn't think about it, every time a choice is made to purchase one thing over another, that choice impacts the allocation of scarce resources which have alternative uses. If more people want dressers than pianos, the demand for dressers will allow the furniture manufacturer to bid higher prices for the scarce resource, wood, thereby driving up the cost of building pianos as well as the cost of purchasing furniture. As a result of demand the price of the piano and dresser will increase until a sort of equilibrium is reached between supply, demand, and cost. The end result will be that more of the scare resource, wood, will be directed toward dressers as opposed to pianos. But, of coarse, nothing is ever static in an economy. It is for these reasons that no government will ever meet the challenge of managing it.

As Christians

As Christians it is important that we understand economic concepts lest we be led astray by our own envy, or by noble sounding arguments from those who stand to benefit from laws that regulate the economy. All economic systems are ultimately the arrangements of trade-offs. No system will lead us back into Eden and as such there will be faults and problems with any system; the first and foremost springing from man's sinful nature. We are also still under the curse. This means that we have to earn our way by the sweat of our brow; that is, the old adage that you can't get something for nothing, still applies. So when someone promises something different, we should have the discernment to know better.

Note: I have a fear of insulting the reader's intelligence in posting some of my attempts at writing This article was written some time ago and wasn't posted for just such a fear. I have noticed however that many people say that they don't understand economics, so I reconsidered that earlier decision. If you're still reading, I would sure appreciate any feedback on whether or not this article was helpful or informative.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Get Your Children Out Of Public School Now

I had copied and pasted a pornographic line in the first sentence of this post, then thought better of it assuming that no one but already-shocked-by-what-they-are-seeing readers would ever see it.

Gateway Pundit reported Friday morning that the (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) GLESN, founded by President Obama's current safe schools czar, has a reading list to help students learn to feel comfortable with there own, or accept other's homosexuality. The team at Gateway chose a handful at random from the over 100 titles on GLSEN’s grades 7-12 list to read. They were unprepared for what [they] encountered. It was described as thus:

Book after book after book contained stories and anecdotes that weren't merely X-rated and pornographic, but which featured explicit descriptions of sex acts between pre-schoolers; stories that seemed to promote and recommend child-adult sexual relationships; stories of public masturbation, anal sex in restrooms, affairs between students and teachers, five-year-olds playing sex games, semen flying through the air. One memoir even praised becoming a prostitute as a way to increase one’s self-esteem.

So what we have here is a President of the United States who has an unvetted "Safe Schools" czar, Kevin Jennings, who is the founder of an increasingly powerful organization that promotes pornography for children.

This however is not shocking to me, nor is it scary. There have always been creepy people, some of which have made their way into high and powerful positions. What is scary to me is that this will not reach the level of scandalous as scandalous was once understood. There once was a saner time when the like would have caused an avalanche resulting in the President and his Orwellian Czars in the dislodged rubble at the bottom of the mountain. This will not be the case in these current times. Unfortunately, I'm much more afraid of a society that is OK with these things, just so long as sufficient numbers believe that they will get their precious free heath care, and whatever other impossible Utopian promises are currently coming from on high. This indeed I find most terrifying.

Please visit Gateway Pundit and read the article, even including some of the excerpted passages from GLESN's recommended books.